How to determine the strength of your softs?

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vsl89
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How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby vsl89 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:11 pm

It's no secret to anyone reading this forum that LSAT+GPA = a large, large portion of the law school admissions process. At the same time, most people on this forum, I'm sure, would acknowledge that soft factors do play at least some role (however small or large is a matter of debate). I'm raising this point because, like many of you, I have come to realize that I am not in a position to attend my reach school (my GPA is fine, but my LSAT is 2 pts too low) unless they look very favorably upon my softs. I was hoping to get feedback on what people make of the following softs (i.e. valuable, useless, somewhere in the middle, too cliche, etc.) and if anyone can offer any insight on any other types of softs, etc.

Fulbright Fellowship
Congressional Internship
Campaign job
Elected position (obviously, this depends on the prestige of the position, but let's assume local)
White House Internship
Internships w/CNN, MSNBC, etc.
Doing free tutoring for underprivileged minorities
Fulbright --teaching English abroad
NGO volunteer work
Student Body/Government
Clubs -- Model UN/Congress, etc.
Being a published author/securing a publisher and getting published soon

Feel free to comment on any of the above or to introduce another soft factor for us to collectively gauge the value of!
Many thanks in advance for the help...

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Grizz
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby Grizz » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:20 pm

vsl89 wrote:Doing free tutoring for underprivileged minorities


Minorities = bump

Whites = no bump

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Thomas Jefferson
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby Thomas Jefferson » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:22 pm

If you have to ask if your softs matter, they don't.

vsl89
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby vsl89 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:30 pm

Thomas Jefferson wrote:If you have to ask if your softs matter, they don't.


Fair enough. The point of this thread instead is to understand just how much certain softs matter, i.e. ppl need to be able to get past their subjective filters and hear what others make of their potential softs.

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manbearwig
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby manbearwig » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:54 pm

vsl89 wrote:Fulbright Fellowship Decent
Congressional Internship Dime a dozen
Campaign job Dime a dozen
Elected position (obviously, this depends on the prestige of the position, but let's assume local) What's local? Nowhereville, Population 2,000 or a major metro area? I'm sure the bigger the area, the more impressive, but it'll still only count as decent work experience (ie not a whole lot).
White House Internship Maybe quarter a dozen? Lol, it's nifty but nothing incredibly game changing.
Internships w/CNN, MSNBC, etc. Still eh.
Doing free tutoring for underprivileged minorities Means little. Most colleges have multiple clubs that do that.
Fulbright --teaching English abroad If it's not Fulbright, it's nothing special.
NGO volunteer work Nothing special.
Student Body/Government ...Please.
Clubs -- Model UN/Congress, etc.
Uh...no.

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traehekat
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby traehekat » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:02 pm

You have decent softs but the fact of the matter is none of those achievements/credentials are reported to US News & World Report, and thus they are still going to mean relatively little. Law schools want to attract the best and brightest students, and they know that many applicants choose law schools largely based upon rank. In order to improve their rank, they need to improve their GPA/LSAT medians (among other things). While admitting someone with an interesting/successful background like yourself would be desirable, by admitting you their LSAT/GPA medians are lowered. In turn, they are lowering their chances of attracting more interesting/successful applicants in the future.

This is, very roughly, some of the various reasons why soft factors do not matter much, no matter how impressive.

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Sell Manilla
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby Sell Manilla » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:31 pm

Are those really all your softs? Or are they for hypo discussion? If they are; pretty sweet.
I don't think you'll get a boost (of 1 LSAT point, let alone2), but for any school in which your GPA/LSAT clear you for consideration, those softs might set you apart from the average applicant with an identical LSAT & similar GPA.
[0L Disclaimer]

vsl89
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby vsl89 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:33 pm

Sell Manilla wrote:Are those really all your softs? Or are they for hypo discussion? If they are; pretty sweet.
I don't think you'll get a boost (of 1 LSAT point, let alone2), but for any school in which your GPA/LSAT clear you for consideration, those softs might set you apart from the average applicant with an identical LSAT & similar GPA.
[0L Disclaimer]


Most of them are hypos for discussion, although I do have six of them.

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Moxie
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby Moxie » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:35 pm

Nightrunner wrote:Don't forget that the value of a soft is highly relative to the school to which you are applying. A congressional staffer is a dime a dozen at G'Town, but might be significant at another school.


+1.

Regarding your original list, only the Fulbright (Not the ETA Fulbright) and White House internship would really be better than average. Anecdotally, I know someone who interned at the WH and ended up overachieving in his cycle, mostly as a result of that interesting soft (since it's pretty competitive).

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DaveBear07
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby DaveBear07 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:38 pm

Any thoughts on how ad comms would view a departmental scholarship or a university-wide service award?

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truffleshuffle
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby truffleshuffle » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:42 pm

Nightrunner wrote:Don't forget that the value of a soft is highly relative to the school to which you are applying. A congressional staffer is a dime a dozen at G'Town, but might be significant at another school.


Yeah, and then there is Yale who took a 161 LSAT with softs that included being published and smuggling narcotics across international borders. An instant ding at BYU, Baylor, and Pepperdine among others, but good enough for Yale.

aPosseAdEsse
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby aPosseAdEsse » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:55 pm

truffleshuffle wrote:
Nightrunner wrote:Don't forget that the value of a soft is highly relative to the school to which you are applying. A congressional staffer is a dime a dozen at G'Town, but might be significant at another school.


Yeah, and then there is Yale who took a 161 LSAT with softs that included being published and smuggling narcotics across international borders. An instant ding at BYU, Baylor, and Pepperdine among others, but good enough for Yale.


I share this animosity.

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Sell Manilla
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby Sell Manilla » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:59 pm

I assume that was Bush or some other politician/celebrity?

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truffleshuffle
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby truffleshuffle » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:01 pm

Sell Manilla wrote:I assume that was Bush or some other politician/celebrity?


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/fashi ... rtzel.html

Correction: It's a 160 LSAT, not a 161

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Emma.
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Re: How to determine the strength of your softs?

Postby Emma. » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:04 pm

Sell Manilla wrote:I assume that was Bush or some other politician/celebrity?


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/fashi ... wanted=all

edit: truffleshuffle beat me to it.




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