Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

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albusdumbledore
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby albusdumbledore » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:54 am

Whatever'sClever wrote:This thread smacks of ignorance and elitism. I want to E-PUNCH most of you in the throat.

The notion that people do not enlist or commission in the military for altruistic or patriotic reasons is flat out wrong. Of course these posters would have known this if they had actually served.

Though, I expect nothing less from the self-entitled X-Box generation. The only thing that this generation cares about is themselves and what they can do to help/enhance themselves. Seriously, anything service oriented done by most of you is to help make you "look" better or increase your "soft". Whoa, the notion of actually serving one's country.

A previous poster highlighted the fact of EARNING rank. That's right, rank is earned not given. This reminds me of a funny story that I can picture many a TLS poster being on the butt end of.

There was this boot ass Lt. straight from a service academy who just got assigned a bunch of grunts(infantry) right back from a combat deployment.

Well, Lt. Butterbar (he of service academy fame) tried to throw his weight around to gain respect, instead of trying to earn respect. A salty Sgt. had enough and called out the Lt. on why the men should follow him.

Lt: "I have a college degree from a service academy!"

Sgt: "Very well sir!" "Sir, by your reasoning you will now report to Private Awesome he enlisted with a PHD (from that crappy burnt college in Texas)"

You should have seen the look on his face. Total, look of a pussy.

On second thought most of you pussies look at yourselves in the mirror daily so you already know the look i'm talking about. Way to ride the coat tails of your peers and those generations that are for more superior than you.

Oh, and you are welcome for having the FREEDOM/RIGHT/CHOICE to become a lawyer, instead of whatever the regime/monarchy/oligarchy/dictatorship...would make you become.


I don't think anyone suggested that people don't enlist or commission in the military due to patriotism/altruism/general naivety. From my admittedly limited foray in the military (at one of those service academies you're ripping), there were in fact people there for those reasons. There were also people there for the money/job security/family reasons/any other reason besides 'Merika. That being said, I don't really see it as vastly different from any other job where you're required to answer to an authority, other than the fact that you deal with much more bureaucratic nonsense. Law schools don't really treat it as vastly different either, and rightfully so in my opinion. I generally agree with this:

DaftAndDirect wrote:I think the culturally embedded "warm fuzzies" that admissions officer may get RE: military service that cause them to give a military applicant a leg up are dumb - and I definitely think that happens more often than it should.

rose711
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby rose711 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:18 am

neonx wrote:I think if an applicant has decent numbers (anything above 25th percentile LSAT/GPA), he or she has a fair shot at admissions.

Of course, if the applicant's numbers below both medians, the softs will matter a lot more. If the applicant's numbers are very strong, softs are not as important, or perhaps not even required.

Anecdotally and from a personal experience, I think softs matter a lot more in law school admissions than what is assumed on these forums. Just my two cents.

Also, wait lists are clever ways to circumvent (or "play"?) the numbers game if a school really likes an applicant on the basis of softs.


Neonx: according to your numbers, your softs must have been outstanding considering the great offers and scholarships you have earned. I haven't seen you post anywhere what those softs are, and I don't blame you for not wanting to post them in a public forum, but I think that possibly your softs are a lot stronger than say, playing a sport (even NCAA, not just ultimate frisbee) or being head of a campus club.

The reality is that across the US there are lots of law applicants who have done incredibly amazing things with their lives - they are so spread out that you don't run into a concentrated bunch of them until you hit law school or graduate school. What appear to be great softs, based on a person's life experience, may not at all be great softs when compared with the applicant pool.

taxguy
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby taxguy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:42 am

As someone noted,"Also, wait lists are clever ways to circumvent (or "play"?) the numbers game if a school really likes an applicant on the basis of softs.[/quote]

I can only share the experience that my son had with a T4 school. He got waitlisted by one school where his LSAT was about 5 points below their median. All other schools whose median LSAt was 5 or more points above his rejected him. I often wonder if the median posted LSAT doesn't include waitlisted applicants. I don't really know how the median LSAT scores for a school is calculated, I would bet that it includes waitlisted applicants.To not include these statistics in the overall computation would result in too great a loophole for schools.

As for softs, I really haven't seen any significant impact on admission. I think people are right when they say it only affects the margins for admission or distinguises between two very similar applicants with very close stats. I have not seen any surprises by any T4 school regarding my son's soft factors. The law school predictor calculator was pretty spot on so far for the ten schools that have responded. My son is awaiting three more responses, but now he isn't optimistic.

As for military experience, I might be wrong regarding the impact as a strong soft factor. I only know two ex military folks who applied to law school and both of them didn't see any impact. However, this is far too few for me to make a generalization about it.

d34d9823
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby d34d9823 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:49 am

taxguy wrote:
As someone noted,"Also, wait lists are clever ways to circumvent (or "play"?) the numbers game if a school really likes an applicant on the basis of softs.

I can only share the experience that my son had with a T4 school. He got waitlisted by one school where his LSAT was about 5 points below their median. All other schools whose median LSAt was 5 or more points above his rejected him. I often wonder if the median posted LSAT doesn't include waitlisted applicants. I don't really know how the median LSAT scores for a school is calculated, I would bet that it includes waitlisted applicants.To not include these statistics in the overall computation would result in too great a loophole for schools.

As for softs, I really haven't seen any significant impact on admission. I think people are right when they say it only affects the margins for admission or distinguises between two very similar applicants with very close stats. I have not seen any surprises by any T4 school regarding my son's soft factors. The law school predictor calculator was pretty spot on so far for the ten schools that have responded. My son is awaiting three more responses, but now he isn't optimistic.

The medians are for students who matriculate only.

Also, we're discussing the process at schools which provide a certain level of job prospects and prestige, and expect a certain level of qualifications from their students. The process may well be different at T4 schools, whose only purpose is to bilk naive young people.

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kwais
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby kwais » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:54 am

Whatever'sClever wrote:This thread smacks of ignorance and elitism. I want to E-PUNCH most of you in the throat.

The notion that people do not enlist or commission in the military for altruistic or patriotic reasons is flat out wrong. Of course these posters would have known this if they had actually served.

Though, I expect nothing less from the self-entitled X-Box generation. The only thing that this generation cares about is themselves and what they can do to help/enhance themselves. Seriously, anything service oriented done by most of you is to help make you "look" better or increase your "soft". Whoa, the notion of actually serving one's country.

A previous poster highlighted the fact of EARNING rank. That's right, rank is earned not given. This reminds me of a funny story that I can picture many a TLS poster being on the butt end of.

There was this boot ass Lt. straight from a service academy who just got assigned a bunch of grunts(infantry) right back from a combat deployment.

Well, Lt. Butterbar (he of service academy fame) tried to throw his weight around to gain respect, instead of trying to earn respect. A salty Sgt. had enough and called out the Lt. on why the men should follow him.

Lt: "I have a college degree from a service academy!"

Sgt: "Very well sir!" "Sir, by your reasoning you will now report to Private Awesome he enlisted with a PHD (from that crappy burnt college in Texas)"

You should have seen the look on his face. Total, look of a pussy.

On second thought most of you pussies look at yourselves in the mirror daily so you already know the look i'm talking about. Way to ride the coat tails of your peers and those generations that are for more superior than you.

Oh, and you are welcome for having the FREEDOM/RIGHT/CHOICE to become a lawyer, instead of whatever the regime/monarchy/oligarchy/dictatorship...would make you become.


No. Oh and the last line there would only be acceptable on Glenn Beck. Thank god we have a civilian leadership keeping a lid on idiots like yourself

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby fundamentallybroken » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:59 am

Whatever'sClever wrote:This thread smacks of ignorance and elitism. I want to E-PUNCH most of you in the throat.

The notion that people do not enlist or commission in the military for altruistic or patriotic reasons is flat out wrong. Of course these posters would have known this if they had actually served.

Though, I expect nothing less from the self-entitled X-Box generation. The only thing that this generation cares about is themselves and what they can do to help/enhance themselves. Seriously, anything service oriented done by most of you is to help make you "look" better or increase your "soft". Whoa, the notion of actually serving one's country.

A previous poster highlighted the fact of EARNING rank. That's right, rank is earned not given. This reminds me of a funny story that I can picture many a TLS poster being on the butt end of.

There was this boot ass Lt. straight from a service academy who just got assigned a bunch of grunts(infantry) right back from a combat deployment.

Well, Lt. Butterbar (he of service academy fame) tried to throw his weight around to gain respect, instead of trying to earn respect. A salty Sgt. had enough and called out the Lt. on why the men should follow him.

Lt: "I have a college degree from a service academy!"

Sgt: "Very well sir!" "Sir, by your reasoning you will now report to Private Awesome he enlisted with a PHD (from that crappy burnt college in Texas)"

You should have seen the look on his face. Total, look of a pussy.

On second thought most of you pussies look at yourselves in the mirror daily so you already know the look i'm talking about. Way to ride the coat tails of your peers and those generations that are for more superior than you.

Oh, and you are welcome for having the FREEDOM/RIGHT/CHOICE to become a lawyer, instead of whatever the regime/monarchy/oligarchy/dictatorship...would make you become.


Internet law school forums: SRS BZNS.

taxguy
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby taxguy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:02 am

d34dluck3 notes," The process may well be different at T4 schools, whose only purpose is to bilk naive young people."

Response: The close minded, opinionated attitudes of folks here is really disconcerting. First, many people, myself included, feel that having a law school background can be very beneficial...period.

Secondly, there are many jobs, other than Big law that require a law school background or at least highly suggest it. If folks choose to go to law school for these reasons, it might not matter which law school that they attend. The key here is that you have to have the right reason to attend law school.

With that said above, I would agree that if a kid doesn't really know what to do with their life and wants to go to law school because they can't think of anything else, it would be a bad idea especially for lower tier expensive law schools. I also agree that lessor tiered law schools provide MUCH less job opportunities for big law and even most law firms in general than that of top tiered schools. However, it certainly is doable if a kid does well and has the right combination of personality and moxy and networking skills.

I did NOT go to a top 10 or even top 20 law school, yet I never had a problem getting a job or practicing law. In fact, I don't think I ever had a rejection for a legal job. Maybe I was just lucky or chose jobs very selectively.

I don't look at a glass half empy. I look at these lower tier schools as giving a chance for those that normally wouldn't have the opportunity to become lawyers. I can absolutely assure you as can most other lawyers that I know that there are successful practicing lawyers who didn't attend the top 50 law schools.
Last edited by taxguy on Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:02 am

kwais wrote:No. Oh and the last line there would only be acceptable on Glenn Beck. Thank god we have a civilian leadership keeping a lid on idiots like yourself

It's an alt. Three posts, all inflammatory.

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kwais
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby kwais » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:11 am

Patriot1208 wrote:
kwais wrote:No. Oh and the last line there would only be acceptable on Glenn Beck. Thank god we have a civilian leadership keeping a lid on idiots like yourself

It's an alt. Three posts, all inflammatory.


well don't i feel salty

d34d9823
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby d34d9823 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:15 am

Patriot1208 wrote:
kwais wrote:No. Oh and the last line there would only be acceptable on Glenn Beck. Thank god we have a civilian leadership keeping a lid on idiots like yourself

It's an alt. Three posts, all inflammatory.

TBF, if he's not military, he copies the half-baked elitist shit some (not all) of those guys post online really well.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:42 am

taxguy wrote:Response: The close minded, opinionated attitudes of folks here is really disconcerting. First, many people, myself included, feel that having a law school background can be very beneficial...period.

The question isn't whether it's beneficial, it's whether it's beneficial enough to be worth $180K in debt and three years of your life. Those are two different questions. Just about any form of education will be "beneficial", but when doing cost/benefit analysis, you have to look at more than just whether there's a benefit.

taxguy wrote:Secondly, there are many jobs, other than Big law that require a law school background or at least highly suggest it. If folks choose to go to law school for these reasons, it might not matter which law school that they attend. The key here is that you have to have the right reason to attend law school.

I don't disagree with the underlined at all.

taxguy wrote:I did NOT go to a top 10 or even top 20 law school, yet I never had a problem getting a job or practicing law. In fact, I don't think I ever had a rejection for a legal job. Maybe I was just lucky or chose jobs very selectively.

You've been in the profession a while now. It's changed, a lot. There's been an increase in the number of law schools, an increase in the number of people applying to law schools, an increase in the number of people graduating from law schools, and recently a pretty severe contraction in the amount of hiring of fresh law grads. Even before that contraction, law hiring had stagnated; the numbers I saw said something along the lines of: In 2007, before the economy tanked, there were only 8,000 legitimate new job openings in the legal industry every year, and 40,000 people graduating from law schools.

The BigLaw model actually conceals a lot of that attrition. Why? Because they don't create "legitimate new job openings", they just keep kicking out older associates and replacing them with greener associates. They're not creating new permanent jobs at a very high rate, but the turnover means they can keep absorbing a lot of graduating students and making it look like they're finding work. It creates an impression of a lot more actual high-paying jobs in the legal industry than actually exist. Yes, they're there, but you don't get to keep them. You'll be there 9 months after graduation, but probably not 10 years later, or even 5 years later. By then you'll be replaced by someone else, which increases that year's 9-months-after-graduation numbers.

taxguy wrote:I don't look at a glass half empy. I look at these lower tier schools as giving a chance for those that normally wouldn't have the opportunity to become lawyers. I can absolutely assure you as can most other lawyers that I know that there are successful practicing lawyers who didn't attend the top 50 law schools.

They can be such a chance, but realistically, you have to look at the odds of actually finding a job from one of these schools. It's important that people don't just have "a chance", it's that they carefully consider that chance against the costs of taking it. Three years of your life and six figures in debt is a high cost to just be taking "a chance" at becoming a lawyer.

That's what people here generally are railing about. It's not that they don't think there's anything beneficial to a legal education, it's that it's not worth the costs for many people. And because your odds of finding a job when you graduate drop dramatically as you move down from the first tier into the lower tiers, people rail against going to the lower tier schools even more loudly and strongly. It's not some irrational hate of lower-tier schools, it's because the cost/benefit ratio is worse at those schools.

There are definitely practicing lawyers today who are very successful and who graduated from a T4 law school. But what if, for every one of those successful people you know, there's 99 classmates who never made it anywhere in the legal industry? Is it worth a 1 in 100 chance to go to law school, given the cost? A one in fifty chance? Where do you draw the line?

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Rooney
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby Rooney » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:44 am

Whatever'sClever wrote:This thread smacks of ignorance and elitism. I want to E-PUNCH most of you in the throat.

The notion that people do not enlist or commission in the military for altruistic or patriotic reasons is flat out wrong. Of course these posters would have known this if they had actually served.

Though, I expect nothing less from the self-entitled X-Box generation. The only thing that this generation cares about is themselves and what they can do to help/enhance themselves. Seriously, anything service oriented done by most of you is to help make you "look" better or increase your "soft". Whoa, the notion of actually serving one's country.

A previous poster highlighted the fact of EARNING rank. That's right, rank is earned not given. This reminds me of a funny story that I can picture many a TLS poster being on the butt end of.

There was this boot ass Lt. straight from a service academy who just got assigned a bunch of grunts(infantry) right back from a combat deployment.

Well, Lt. Butterbar (he of service academy fame) tried to throw his weight around to gain respect, instead of trying to earn respect. A salty Sgt. had enough and called out the Lt. on why the men should follow him.

Lt: "I have a college degree from a service academy!"

Sgt: "Very well sir!" "Sir, by your reasoning you will now report to Private Awesome he enlisted with a PHD (from that crappy burnt college in Texas)"

You should have seen the look on his face. Total, look of a pussy.

On second thought most of you pussies look at yourselves in the mirror daily so you already know the look i'm talking about. Way to ride the coat tails of your peers and those generations that are for more superior than you.

Oh, and you are welcome for having the FREEDOM/RIGHT/CHOICE to become a lawyer, instead of whatever the regime/monarchy/oligarchy/dictatorship...would make you become.


Sure you weren't playing pirates? :o

firemed
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby firemed » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:05 pm

Whatever'sClever wrote:This thread smacks of ignorance and elitism.
How long have you been on TLS?
Whatever'sClever wrote:I want to E-PUNCH most of you in the throat.

The notion that people do not enlist or commission in the military for altruistic or patriotic reasons is flat out wrong. Of course these posters would have known this if they had actually served.
I have known a lot of people who enlisted because they wanted to put their life together, they wanted a job, they wanted citizenship, or they wanted to be a bad-ass. Nothing wrong with those, IMO.

Whatever'sClever wrote:Though, I expect nothing less from the self-entitled X-Box generation. The only thing that this generation cares about is themselves and what they can do to help/enhance themselves. Seriously, anything service oriented done by most of you is to help make you "look" better or increase your "soft". Whoa, the notion of actually serving one's country.
Talking about how service can make you look better is natural under these circumstances. It might seem cold hearted to you... but if you already served then there is no reason not to "use" your experience. Hell, everyone does that. Look at all the people who saved AIDS babies or ran into burning buildings. They didn't do those things for law school... but they will "use" them now as part of their app.

Whatever'sClever wrote:A previous poster highlighted the fact of EARNING rank. That's right, rank is earned not given. This reminds me of a funny story that I can picture many a TLS poster being on the butt end of.

There was this boot ass Lt. straight from a service academy who just got assigned a bunch of grunts(infantry) right back from a combat deployment.

Well, Lt. Butterbar (he of service academy fame) tried to throw his weight around to gain respect, instead of trying to earn respect. A salty Sgt. had enough and called out the Lt. on why the men should follow him.

Lt: "I have a college degree from a service academy!"

Sgt: "Very well sir!" "Sir, by your reasoning you will now report to Private Awesome he enlisted with a PHD (from that crappy burnt college in Texas)"

You should have seen the look on his face. Total, look of a pussy.


Yeah... cool story, bro.

Whatever'sClever wrote:On second thought most of you pussies look at yourselves in the mirror daily so you already know the look i'm talking about. Way to ride the coat tails of your peers and those generations that are for more superior than you.
Like you are doing right now. And, frankly, I have NEVER bought the bullshit line that somehow military service is the only way to make this country better and keep it safe. Rosa Parks springs to mind. That woman never carried a rifle... but what a difference she made. There are thousands of people like her, people making a difference in their country and their community without ever serving in the military (or unrelated to their military service).

Whatever'sClever wrote:Oh, and you are welcome for having the FREEDOM/RIGHT/CHOICE to become a lawyer, instead of whatever the regime/monarchy/oligarchy/dictatorship...would make you become.


I always thank military members for their service. Always. But that doesn't mean I am going to thank you for being an asshole about your service. Go piss up a rope.

cornellbeez
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby cornellbeez » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:14 pm

(1) Rankings
(2) These soft factors are irrelevant to the field of law and would not help you succeed as an attorney

Contrary to what some have said, I think certain soft factors, like military experience, matter quite a bit in LS admissions, and in firm hiring.

bdubs
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby bdubs » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:24 pm

vanwinkle wrote:The BigLaw model actually conceals a lot of that attrition. Why? Because they don't create "legitimate new job openings", they just keep kicking out older associates and replacing them with greener associates. They're not creating new permanent jobs at a very high rate, but the turnover means they can keep absorbing a lot of graduating students and making it look like they're finding work. It creates an impression of a lot more actual high-paying jobs in the legal industry than actually exist. Yes, they're there, but you don't get to keep them. You'll be there 9 months after graduation, but probably not 10 years later, or even 5 years later. By then you'll be replaced by someone else, which increases that year's 9-months-after-graduation numbers.


You make it seem as though BigLaw firms are conspiring with schools to inflate employment numbers. This is definitely not the case. BigLaw firms are out to make a profit and there are a number of reasons why they might prefer to hire experienced attorneys rather than fresh grads. One major reason cited for contracting SA classes is that BigLaw firms don't want to teach new associates the practical skills needed of an attorney, and would rather hire a 1-2 year associate laterally.

Based purely on anecdotes, I get the sense that many don't last in BigLaw because they get tired of the lifestyle, rather than some sort of up-or-out forced attrition model. I've also heard of people stepping down a level to get on to partner track when they are clearly not on track at their current firm.

Either way your characterization is a bit out of touch with the BigLaw associates I've known.

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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby rose711 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:41 pm

bdubs wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:The BigLaw model actually conceals a lot of that attrition. Why? Because they don't create "legitimate new job openings", they just keep kicking out older associates and replacing them with greener associates. They're not creating new permanent jobs at a very high rate, but the turnover means they can keep absorbing a lot of graduating students and making it look like they're finding work. It creates an impression of a lot more actual high-paying jobs in the legal industry than actually exist. Yes, they're there, but you don't get to keep them. You'll be there 9 months after graduation, but probably not 10 years later, or even 5 years later. By then you'll be replaced by someone else, which increases that year's 9-months-after-graduation numbers.


You make it seem as though BigLaw firms are conspiring with schools to inflate employment numbers. This is definitely not the case. BigLaw firms are out to make a profit and there are a number of reasons why they might prefer to hire experienced attorneys rather than fresh grads. One major reason cited for contracting SA classes is that BigLaw firms don't want to teach new associates the practical skills needed of an attorney, and would rather hire a 1-2 year associate laterally.

Based purely on anecdotes, I get the sense that many don't last in BigLaw because they get tired of the lifestyle, rather than some sort of up-or-out forced attrition model. I've also heard of people stepping down a level to get on to partner track when they are clearly not on track at their current firm.

Either way your characterization is a bit out of touch with the BigLaw associates I've known.


I know this response is way off topic but I want to say agree with vanwinkle here. The hiring rates out of law school into big law do not reflect the retention rates of that class in biglaw at year 5 or year 10. Biglaw may hire a large number of incoming students - say about 5,000 - but those firms are not necessarily growing at a rate to absorb all of those lawyers long term - say 5 or 10 years. So that while new grads may be absorbed into big law - a small percentage of them will stay at those firms.

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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby Magi228 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:16 pm

AreJay711 wrote:I'm actually not saying I don't think military is valuable experience I just question it's application to being a lawyer is all. Also, being a platoon leader might be a bit different since there is real leadership there that most people a few years out of college won't be able to get but the boost seems universal to those that have served including people without that kind of experience. Doing something risky (obviously war is more dangerous than anything but fishing) doesn't mean that it makes someone qualified. I just think our culture likes people that have been in the military so people from the military get a boost in law school admissions.


A few pages old now and completely off topic, but I lol'ed.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed May 04, 2011 12:52 am

bdubs wrote:You make it seem as though BigLaw firms are conspiring with schools to inflate employment numbers.

I realize I'm responding to this a bit late, but I'm going to anyway.

You're assuming I think the BigLaw firms do this because of how it affects employment numbers at law schools. It doesn't. It just ends up providing a benefit to them because of how the system works out. They're not conspiring at all, the law schools are just the beneficiary of an up-or-out system that hires a lot more people than it actually intends to keep long-term.

And, yes, a lot of people don't last because they get tired of the lifestyle, but that's the whole point. Those people leave, and that means they're not staying long-term. The job is designed with attrition in mind, with the knowledge that they're hiring more people than will stay in it. Those are all reported as people "employed" even though those people aren't staying there more than a few years. And they'd rather run on this model, working their employees long hours and making more of them burn out than stay, than try to adapt a less profitable model that involves more reasonable hours and increased long-term retention.

BigLaw firms aren't doing this to boost law school employment numbers, but that doesn't mean they aren't doing it.

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glitched
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby glitched » Wed May 04, 2011 2:04 am

Why? Because when asked in a survey what would be the number one factor in choosing a law school, students chose ranking. It's because of you. :) Eat that, SUCKA.

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fastforward
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby fastforward » Wed May 04, 2011 2:53 pm

I do admissions consulting in addition to LSAT prep.

Softs matter a great deal.

But first, the takeaway from taxguy's posts is:

If have helicopter parents, set firm boundaries. Admissions personnel do not look kindly on parent involvement in the process. I guarantee taxguy did his son no favors by actively participating. (Notice he refers to law school applicants as "kids"?) I'm sorry if this hurts anyone's feelings, but it needed to be said. I've posted about this elsewhere and that's enough said here.

As for softs, any factor that demonstrates maturity, leadership, self-discipline, critical thinking, etc. will enhance an application if properly presented. We regularly have clients, including regulars in these forums, who outperform their numbers in offers of admission. Why? Softs.

Every regular here grasps the importance of LSAT and GPA. But it's more than a numbers game (hence my 'tar 8) ). Beyond serving as a tie breaker, softs are what admissions officers use to build a diverse and well-rounded class. This does not mean they look for a well-rounded applicant. One or two outstanding achievements trump a laundry list of ECs. This explains in part why the same applicant who receives a named scholarship at one school might be waitlisted at a peer school.

The importance of softs is a complex issue; just don't let anyone tell you they don't matter.

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby FantasticMrFox » Wed May 04, 2011 3:02 pm

fastforward wrote:Every regular here grasps the importance of LSAT and GPA. But it's more than a numbers game (hence my 'tar 8) ). Beyond serving as a tie breaker, softs are what admissions officers use to build a diverse and well-rounded class. This does not mean they look for a well-rounded applicant. One or two outstanding achievements trump a laundry list of ECs. This explains in part why the same applicant who receives a named scholarship at one school might be waitlisted at a peer school.

The importance of softs is a complex issue; just don't let anyone tell you they don't matter.

And why one of them's purple/unique 8)
So I get that they matter but would not having much (like max 1-2 club activities, no leadership) hurt? If so, how much?

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Flips88
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby Flips88 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:10 pm

FantasticMrFox wrote:
fastforward wrote:Every regular here grasps the importance of LSAT and GPA. But it's more than a numbers game (hence my 'tar 8) ). Beyond serving as a tie breaker, softs are what admissions officers use to build a diverse and well-rounded class. This does not mean they look for a well-rounded applicant. One or two outstanding achievements trump a laundry list of ECs. This explains in part why the same applicant who receives a named scholarship at one school might be waitlisted at a peer school.

The importance of softs is a complex issue; just don't let anyone tell you they don't matter.

And why one of them's purple/unique 8)
So I get that they matter but would not having much (like max 1-2 club activities, no leadership) hurt? If so, how much?

If you have the stats to get in, then you should. If you're borderline, that's where all the softs, PS, LoR factors come into play.

FWIW, I got into Northwestern with an LSAT score 1 point below their 25th%ile and while I know my GPA kept me in the running, I think a combination of my resume, LoRs, PS, interview, and supplemental essays are what got me. To what extent did one thing help more than the other? I don't really know, but my stats alone made getting admitted an uphill battle.

So moral of the story: if you have the 170/3.9x then you shouldn't have to worry much about getting into good schools. But if you're a splitter or reverse splitter, then softs can make the difference between an acceptance and a wait list

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fastforward
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby fastforward » Wed May 04, 2011 3:11 pm

FantasticMrFox wrote:
And why one of them's purple/unique 8)
So I get that they matter but would not having much (like max 1-2 club activities, no leadership) hurt? If so, how much?


It depends on how you tell the story. For example, someone with few softs because he worked long hours at crummy jobs to pay UG tuition may not realize this itself is a strong soft and should be worked into the PS. There's no situation that can't be cast in a better light by thoughtfully explaining it.

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fastforward
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Re: Why do soft factors matter so little for LS admissions?

Postby fastforward » Wed May 04, 2011 3:18 pm

Flips88 wrote:
FWIW, I got into Northwestern with an LSAT score 1 point below their 25th%ile and while I know my GPA kept me in the running, I think a combination of my resume, LoRs, PS, interview, and supplemental essays are what got me. To what extent did one thing help more than the other? I don't really know, but my stats alone made getting admitted an uphill battle.


I consider anything beyond LSAT/GPA to be a soft factor. You made yours work for you.

Congratulations on your achievement -- and your determination!




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