Would this be considered a "good soft?"

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Have you ever had independent work published in an academic journal?

No
14
64%
Yes, while in undergrad.
8
36%
Yes, while in grad school.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 22

r6_philly
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:52 am

leeronalda wrote:
taxguy wrote:Good softs are things that are either extraordinary or show a real promise to either do well in law school or do well in the legal profession.



I seriously don't get how doing extensive research to write an article that is accepted by your peers not showing a real promise to do well in law school? That's what you're going to be doing - research, understanding the research, and writing professionally about such research.


Peer reviewers are not usually students are they? So you really shouldn't call them your "peers"? That's why I consider it to be a good soft, for the academic and scholarly reasons.

OP: I wasn't being sarcastic.

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lalalawya
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby lalalawya » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:54 am

leeronalda wrote:
taxguy wrote:Good softs are things that are either extraordinary or show a real promise to either do well in law school or do well in the legal profession.



I seriously don't get how doing extensive research to write an article that is accepted by your peers not showing a real promise to do well in law school? That's what you're going to be doing - research, understanding the research, and writing professionally about such research.

Well, I hope the fact that the article was reviewed/accepted by doctoral students (while I am still undergrad) and career veterans including lawyers, nationally recognized Special Education experts, etc. could perhaps add more of an "umph" factor to this soft.

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glitched
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby glitched » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:54 am

I meant peers as in anyone in your field of study - whats a better word for that?

Edit: Because for a science article, for it to be published in a journal like nature you need to be "peer-reviewed". just clarifying things.

r6_philly
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:56 am

leeronalda wrote:I meant peers as in anyone in your field of study - whats a better word for that?

Edit: Because for a science article, for it to be published in a journal like nature you need to be "peer-reviewed" - that's what its called when they put your paper in. just clarifying things.


Authority/experts/scholars in the field.

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lalalawya
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby lalalawya » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:58 am

r6_philly wrote:
leeronalda wrote:I meant peers as in anyone in your field of study - whats a better word for that?

Edit: Because for a science article, for it to be published in a journal like nature you need to be "peer-reviewed" - that's what its called when they put your paper in. just clarifying things.


Authority/experts/scholars in the field.

Yeah, I think "authority" or "experts" would be a more appropriate name for them, as Icertainly do not feel I have the qualifications to be considered their peers (hopefully will be in another few years...)

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sundance95
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby sundance95 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:00 am

AreJay711 wrote:
bartleby wrote:Good soft because it is relatively rare. Not as good as Peace Corps, military, or TFA, but should be more interesting than President of UG Education Club or Member of XYZ Frat.


I have never understood this. The Peace Corps takes a special type of person, but TFA and the military? If you can get into a t14 you can probably get into TFA and there is some part of the military for everyone. I'm not knocking these people's service and experience but unless we're talking Chesty Puller idk if it is/should be a soft over regular professional work experience.


Wrong, at least about TFA.

New York Times wrote:Ms. Biggers says that of 15 to 20 Harvard friends who applied to Teach for America, only three or four got in. “This wasn’t last minute — a lot applied in August 2009, they’d been student leaders and volunteered,” Ms. Biggers said. She says one of her closest friends wanted to do Teach for America, but was rejected and had to “settle” for University of Virginia Law School.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/12/education/12winerip.html?_r=1&ref=teach_for_america

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gdane
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby gdane » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:03 am

Lala,

Update your resume with this. Regardless of "prestige" its still impressive. I mean geez the only thing Ive had published was a small op ed to my local newspaper. A journal would be awesome!

Just update and lets kill this thread before people start debating about T14's and LSAT scores and etc etc.

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lalalawya
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby lalalawya » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:07 am

gdane5 wrote:Lala,

Update your resume with this. Regardless of "prestige" its still impressive. I mean geez the only thing Ive had published was a small op ed to my local newspaper. A journal would be awesome!

Just update and lets kill this thread before people start debating about T14's and LSAT scores and etc etc.

Oh no, I am for sure going to update! I was just curious as to what kind of boost it would give me (if any). I have a poll going now to try and gauge how many people in undergrad have had something published so that I can see whether this is something adcomms see a lot..I also did it so that this thread doesn't drown in millions of comments.

zephyr36
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby zephyr36 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:08 am

AreJay711 wrote:
bartleby wrote:Good soft because it is relatively rare. Not as good as Peace Corps, military, or TFA, but should be more interesting than President of UG Education Club or Member of XYZ Frat.


I have never understood this. The Peace Corps takes a special type of person, but TFA and the military? If you can get into a t14 you can probably get into TFA and there is some part of the military for everyone. I'm not knocking these people's service and experience but unless we're talking Chesty Puller idk if it is/should be a soft over regular professional work experience.


You praise the Peace Corps but dispel TFA? Both require you to be a special type of person. TFA is waayy more selective than the Peace Corps. I've had friends with 4.0s in the hard sciences get rejected from the program because they don't just look for academic success. They need people who are charismatic and able to go into the country's worst schools without wavering in their commitment to the program for two years. TFA/Peace Coprs/Military >>>>>>>>>>> Working as a paralegal.

To answer OP's question: I would say publishing an article is slightly above average for the T14 meaning that it will help you more than being the president of some club, but don't expect it to be the difference. In the 50's though it could have a more significant impact.

taxguy
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby taxguy » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:11 am

I would argue that legal research is VERY different than scientific or social science research. Secondly, there are a NUMBER of kids who publish academic papers. Most, however, do so as co-author with a faculty member. Thus, it is hard to discern how much help the faculty provided.

As for GPA, Yeah, I guess undergraduate GPA isn't a soft per se, but graduate school GPA would be particularly if the grad school grades were exemplary.

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AreJay711
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:21 am

zephyr36 wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:
bartleby wrote:Good soft because it is relatively rare. Not as good as Peace Corps, military, or TFA, but should be more interesting than President of UG Education Club or Member of XYZ Frat.


I have never understood this. The Peace Corps takes a special type of person, but TFA and the military? If you can get into a t14 you can probably get into TFA and there is some part of the military for everyone. I'm not knocking these people's service and experience but unless we're talking Chesty Puller idk if it is/should be a soft over regular professional work experience.


You praise the Peace Corps but dispel TFA? Both require you to be a special type of person. TFA is waayy more selective than the Peace Corps. I've had friends with 4.0s in the hard sciences get rejected from the program because they don't just look for academic success. They need people who are charismatic and able to go into the country's worst schools without wavering in their commitment to the program for two years. TFA/Peace Coprs/Military >>>>>>>>>>> Working as a paralegal.

To answer OP's question: I would say publishing an article is slightly above average for the T14 meaning that it will help you more than being the president of some club, but don't expect it to be the difference. In the 50's though it could have a more significant impact.


So the ability to write a convincing essay and interview? I was just basing that off my own experience. I interviewed for TFA last Friday and never got the impression that it was that selective but I could be wrong (as I haven't been accepted yet). I think I'll have to withdraw anyway bc I was admitted under early decision to a school that I really want to attend. And that some entitled-feeling Harvard kids got turned down doesn't mean a lot when they have to consider other things that would make a good teacher.

Edit: and I did try to do the military (Marines) but have asthma that flared up during testing -- and they told me there were other opportunities for me in the Navy -- but could NEVER handle the peace corps.
Last edited by AreJay711 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ahduth
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby ahduth » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:21 am

taxguy wrote:As for GPA, Yeah, I guess undergraduate GPA isn't a soft per se, but graduate school GPA would be particularly if the grad school grades were exemplary.


Um. I thought UGPA was a "hard."

To the OP - you had your writing published, you should definitely let law schools know. This debate about the prestige of the journal or whatever seems a bit beside the point, as it's impossible to quantify how something like this will help you.

r6_philly
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:22 am

taxguy wrote:I would argue that legal research is VERY different than scientific or social science research. Secondly, there are a NUMBER of kids who publish academic papers. Most, however, do so as co-author with a faculty member. Thus, it is hard to discern how much help the faculty provided.

As for GPA, Yeah, I guess undergraduate GPA isn't a soft per se, but graduate school GPA would be particularly if the grad school grades were exemplary.


-What's the number? I failed to see any claim on how common it is other than the claim that it is.
-Many faculty use students to do research, so you won't know how much work the faculty actually did. Besides if the faculty is willing to put your name on the paper, then there is some merit in your scholarship.
-OP stated independent publication.

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Ragged
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Re: Would this be considered a "good soft?"

Postby Ragged » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:23 am

Just put it in on the resume and apply. What's with all the people trying to get a pat on the head for some thing or other? Not like adcomms value softs based on the general TLS opinion.

For whatever its worth, I personally think its a strong soft and would probably serve you well espessially if you are a borderline applicant. But like someone said above it all depends on the type of a school you are applying to.




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