foreign military service as a soft?

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Lmao Zedong
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foreign military service as a soft?

Postby Lmao Zedong » Wed May 05, 2010 2:22 am

when i (re)apply to law school it will be after having served in the israeli army (i applied this year, right out of UG, before i'd made the final decision to enlist, thinking maybe i'd try to defer admission for two years of service). is this a soft that's going to hold significant weight? how would it compare, for example, to US military service of the same length? it'll certainly be a big part of my application, but i'm curious to what extent (if any) i'll be able to count on it being a difference maker.

thanks

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Lonagan
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby Lonagan » Wed May 05, 2010 2:50 am

Wow, I'm the first one who gets to say this is golden at Cardozo?

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JustDude
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby JustDude » Wed May 05, 2010 3:33 am

Lmao Zedong wrote:when i (re)apply to law school it will be after having served in the israeli army (i applied this year, right out of UG, before i'd made the final decision to enlist, thinking maybe i'd try to defer admission for two years of service). is this a soft that's going to hold significant weight? how would it compare, for example, to US military service of the same length? it'll certainly be a big part of my application, but i'm curious to what extent (if any) i'll be able to count on it being a difference maker.

thanks


To a negligeble degree

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D. H2Oman
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed May 05, 2010 6:14 am

JustDude wrote:
Lmao Zedong wrote:when i (re)apply to law school it will be after having served in the israeli army (i applied this year, right out of UG, before i'd made the final decision to enlist, thinking maybe i'd try to defer admission for two years of service). is this a soft that's going to hold significant weight? how would it compare, for example, to US military service of the same length? it'll certainly be a big part of my application, but i'm curious to what extent (if any) i'll be able to count on it being a difference maker.

thanks


To a negligeble degree


What are you doing giving correct advice and only spelling one word wrong?

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YCrevolution
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby YCrevolution » Wed May 05, 2010 11:24 am

..

JOThompson
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby JOThompson » Wed May 05, 2010 11:29 am

I tend to think that this would have less of an impact than US military service.

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mb88
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby mb88 » Wed May 05, 2010 11:52 am

I think Israeli military service might be a crapshoot for something like admissions.

Whoever reads your file might be pro-Israeli (or neutral), and consider your service to be just as good, if not better, than US service. On the other hand...if the reader is on the other side of the fence, it may be a disastrous negative.

US service in the US is almost universally hailed as honorable and character building. However, (and I'm not going anywhere near the debate itself) there is a significant portion of academia which is (for lack of a better word) anti-Israeli. You may very well consider your service to be honorable, but they might consider it in the light of (and oh, Irony of Ironies) "I was a Nazi!"
Last edited by mb88 on Wed May 05, 2010 11:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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YCrevolution
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby YCrevolution » Wed May 05, 2010 11:56 am

..

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mb88
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby mb88 » Wed May 05, 2010 12:00 pm

YCrevolution wrote:OP doesn't say if he's an Israeli citizen, but if he is (and is non-Arab), Israeli military service is compulsory.


That won't change the minds of anybody who happens to be anti-Israeli.

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LawandOrder
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby LawandOrder » Wed May 05, 2010 12:06 pm

mb88 wrote:
YCrevolution wrote:OP doesn't say if he's an Israeli citizen, but if he is (and is non-Arab), Israeli military service is compulsory.


That won't change the minds of anybody who happens to be anti-Israeli.


The point is that involuntarily serving carries no weight. That'd be like hoping adcoms give you bonus points for attending elementary school.

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mb88
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby mb88 » Wed May 05, 2010 12:13 pm

LawandOrder wrote:
mb88 wrote:
YCrevolution wrote:OP doesn't say if he's an Israeli citizen, but if he is (and is non-Arab), Israeli military service is compulsory.


That won't change the minds of anybody who happens to be anti-Israeli.


The point is that involuntarily serving carries no weight. That'd be like hoping adcoms give you bonus points for attending elementary school.


I disagree.

Ignoring the Israeli issue for a moment; I think the reason military service is a soft at all is because of the whole "character building" thing (whether you agree with that notion or not). I can't see how volunteering for service makes any difference at all if the whole point of it is the outcome of that service. The military is not elementary school, and it most definitely changes people and shapes them into something they were not before (for better or worse). In addition, while every candidate has gone through elementary school (or some equivalent), not every candidate for law school has had military service (even if some of the few who have were compelled to serve by law).

EDIT: Also, even if we assume that you're 100% correct and compulsory service renders no benefit, then it only entrenches my initial argument. Without the benefit of "military service" to look at, a politically charged addcom will only see "Israeli" service. If they are for that, it'll be a minor positive soft (or better perhaps, particularly if the reader happens to be Jewish), if they are against, it may be a potential disaster. A crapshoot.
Last edited by mb88 on Wed May 05, 2010 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mhernton
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby mhernton » Wed May 05, 2010 12:33 pm

People don't seem to really understand how the soft thing seems to work. It isn't really a check mark on a list of things that a person has on their resume and they get special consideration. To use it as a soft your experience has to have an impact on your perspective of the world. Being in the Israeli Military is a significant soft because you will be living in Israel for at least two years and in a military that is pound for pound the best in the world. Israel is a nation in a constant state of war, and under threat. IF anything it will help you. You must convey how this experience affects you in order for it to be a soft.

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Borhas
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby Borhas » Wed May 05, 2010 12:40 pm

one of the reasons law schools like military service (and I'm just guessing here) is that military service+law degree is one of the more well known paths of politicians. Maybe they want more politicians from their school?

And I doubt serving in the IDF would get anyone a political boost in the states. well maybe with AIPAC or something like that

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Sangiovese
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby Sangiovese » Wed May 05, 2010 12:48 pm

mhernton wrote:People don't seem to really understand how the soft thing seems to work. It isn't really a check mark on a list of things that a person has on their resume and they get special consideration. To use it as a soft your experience has to have an impact on your perspective of the world. Being in the Israeli Military is a significant soft because you will be living in Israel for at least two years and in a military that is pound for pound the best in the world. Israel is a nation in a constant state of war, and under threat. IF anything it will help you. You must convey how this experience affects you in order for it to be a soft.


I'll have to disagree with the "pound for pound best in the world" comment... but the rest of the post is spot on.

Military service offers perspective in spades. In fact, perspective is crammed down your throat :)

You learn what is truly hard vs. what you used to think was hard. You learn what actually matters compared to the trivial BS that used to consume you. You learn that all those mountains that you used to see are actually molehills. You learn that you can do a whole bunch of crap that you used to consider impossible. You learn that things can suck on a level that you never before knew existed and that you can't possibly explain to people who haven't also experienced it.... and you learned to deal with it and get the job done anyway.

Sure, there are other ways to gain this level of perspective... but that's not the issue here. The issue is that when adcoms see military service, they can be sure that the candidate they are evaluating has perspective coming out their ears.

SlipperyPete
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby SlipperyPete » Wed May 05, 2010 12:51 pm

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mb88
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby mb88 » Wed May 05, 2010 12:51 pm

mhernton wrote:People don't seem to really understand how the soft thing seems to work. It isn't really a check mark on a list of things that a person has on their resume and they get special consideration. To use it as a soft your experience has to have an impact on your perspective of the world. Being in the Israeli Military is a significant soft because you will be living in Israel for at least two years and in a military that is pound for pound the best in the world. Israel is a nation in a constant state of war, and under threat. IF anything it will help you. You must convey how this experience affects you in order for it to be a soft.


I agree with your sentiment about softs.

However, I would also like to point out that you obviously are pro-Israeli. Not that that's good or bad, I mention it only to highlight that not everyone (especially in upper academia) shares your beliefs. I hate to use strong words on such a sensitive topic, but there are people who view the IDF as a brutal, occupying force. I was only being half silly earlier when I said some would compare IDF service to Nazi service. Not all would, of course, but the number is significant enough to be a concern when talking about your service in your application.

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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby SlipperyPete » Wed May 05, 2010 12:52 pm

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Lmao Zedong
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby Lmao Zedong » Wed May 05, 2010 12:52 pm

i also am not sure that i see how this makes a difference, but i'm not an israeli citizen. i'm an american volunteering for service.

also think the claim that US military service is "universally regarded as honorable" in the US is highly questionable, but that's probably a can of worms not worth opening

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LawandOrder
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby LawandOrder » Wed May 05, 2010 12:54 pm

Lmao Zedong wrote:i also am not sure that i see how this makes a difference, but i'm not an israeli citizen. i'm an american volunteering for service.

also think the claim that US military service is "universally regarded as honorable" in the US is highly questionable, but that's probably a can of worms not worth opening

You're a US citizen volunteering for the IDF over the US military? That'll raise some eyebrows.

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YCrevolution
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby YCrevolution » Wed May 05, 2010 12:56 pm

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SlipperyPete
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby SlipperyPete » Wed May 05, 2010 12:56 pm

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Lmao Zedong
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby Lmao Zedong » Wed May 05, 2010 12:56 pm

LawandOrder wrote:
Lmao Zedong wrote:i also am not sure that i see how this makes a difference, but i'm not an israeli citizen. i'm an american volunteering for service.

also think the claim that US military service is "universally regarded as honorable" in the US is highly questionable, but that's probably a can of worms not worth opening

You're a US citizen volunteering for the IDF over the US military? That'll raise some eyebrows.


i assume you mean raising eyebrows in a negative fashion? why do you think so? (for what it's worth, in the current state of affairs i'd never remotely consider the US military)

SlipperyPete
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby SlipperyPete » Wed May 05, 2010 12:59 pm

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LawandOrder
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby LawandOrder » Wed May 05, 2010 12:59 pm

Whether positive or negative depends on who is reading your app. I don't view it particularly positively as you're serving the military of a nation not your own. I assume you are Jewish and therefore may connect culturally with Israel more than the US and so the notion of your own nation is somewhat subjective in that sense.

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Lmao Zedong
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Re: foreign military service as a soft?

Postby Lmao Zedong » Wed May 05, 2010 12:59 pm

YCrevolution wrote:
LawandOrder wrote:
Lmao Zedong wrote:i also am not sure that i see how this makes a difference, but i'm not an israeli citizen. i'm an american volunteering for service.

also think the claim that US military service is "universally regarded as honorable" in the US is highly questionable, but that's probably a can of worms not worth opening

You're a US citizen volunteering for the IDF over the US military? That'll raise some eyebrows.

I suppose Israel is an exception, but doesn't serving in a foreign military force when you're not a dual-citizen possibly put your US citizenship at risk (so says the warning in my passport)?


israel is an exception. i don't know how many there are, but the US and israel's big brother / little brother relationship ensures the US wouldn't set up this roadblock, so there's no citizenship issue (unless i decide to try to gain israeli citizenship, in which case things get a little more complicated but still there's no real threat to my US citizenship)




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