Does having (virtually) no softs count against you?

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JustSomebody
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:33 am

Does having (virtually) no softs count against you?

Postby JustSomebody » Wed May 18, 2011 1:22 pm

I know soft factors count for very little in the law school application process, but I am wondering if having almost no extracurricular activities will count against me.

I just graduated (after only 3 years) from my undergrad institution with a double major in economics and Spanish. Graduating a year early saved my parents lots of dough, and I worked very hard in my classes (3.95 LSAC standardized GPA as of now; may change slightly for better or worse once I get this semester's grades). LSAT score is yet to be determined since I am taking it in October.

When it comes to extracurricular activities... frankly, I suck. I did not work at all while in school. The only thing I have really done was volunteer with the local Spanish-speaking community in my college town for a semester, and study abroad in Spain last summer. I was a member of a few student organizations but have no leadership positions and no internships. I graduated with honors and participated in my college's honors program, which meant I had to do extra work each semester. I also made Dean's List every semester but well, this stuff is obviously academic and not extracurricular. I'm taking a year off after graduating and am currently seeking employment, but as I am going to start applying in September I don't think whatever job I get after graduation will make a big difference on my application.

I know that this might be difficult to answer given I don't have an LSAT score yet. I'm planning on spending a lot of time this summer prepping for it and (hopefully) getting a decently good score. But you never know. Say a person DID have a good GPA and good (in the 170s) LSAT score, but zero softs. Would their chances of getting accepted to a top law school be reduced?

sarahh
Posts: 610
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: Does having (virtually) no softs count against you?

Postby sarahh » Wed May 18, 2011 3:07 pm

JustSomebody wrote:I know soft factors count for very little in the law school application process, but I am wondering if having almost no extracurricular activities will count against me.

I just graduated (after only 3 years) from my undergrad institution with a double major in economics and Spanish. Graduating a year early saved my parents lots of dough, and I worked very hard in my classes (3.95 LSAC standardized GPA as of now; may change slightly for better or worse once I get this semester's grades). LSAT score is yet to be determined since I am taking it in October.

When it comes to extracurricular activities... frankly, I suck. I did not work at all while in school. The only thing I have really done was volunteer with the local Spanish-speaking community in my college town for a semester, and study abroad in Spain last summer. I was a member of a few student organizations but have no leadership positions and no internships. I graduated with honors and participated in my college's honors program, which meant I had to do extra work each semester. I also made Dean's List every semester but well, this stuff is obviously academic and not extracurricular. I'm taking a year off after graduating and am currently seeking employment, but as I am going to start applying in September I don't think whatever job I get after graduation will make a big difference on my application.

I know that this might be difficult to answer given I don't have an LSAT score yet. I'm planning on spending a lot of time this summer prepping for it and (hopefully) getting a decently good score. But you never know. Say a person DID have a good GPA and good (in the 170s) LSAT score, but zero softs. Would their chances of getting accepted to a top law school be reduced?


You don't have much, but it does not sound like you have zero. I would try to find a voulunteer gig for the summer (but don't let it impact your LSAT studying). A lack of softs may hurt slightly, especially if you are a boderline candidate, but your numbers are vastly more important.

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Moxie
Posts: 665
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:27 pm

Re: Does having (virtually) no softs count against you?

Postby Moxie » Wed May 18, 2011 3:11 pm

sarahh wrote:You don't have much, but it does not sound like you have zero. I would try to find a voulunteer gig for the summer (but don't let it impact your LSAT studying). A lack of softs may hurt slightly, especially if you are a boderline candidate, but your numbers are vastly more important.


Yea, at least the OP has enough to list some activities on his application. These softs don't even seem terribly below average, and with a high LSAT score, it's not going to matter that much.

duckmoney
Posts: 886
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:21 pm

Re: Does having (virtually) no softs count against you?

Postby duckmoney » Wed May 18, 2011 3:12 pm

Depends on the school. Having a blank resume is bad, but most anyone can fill up a page. Try to do something summer; you don't need 8 hours a day for 4 months to study for the LSAT. If you do you'll burn out.

I have a friend who got into UF with a scholarship despite having a terrible and empty resume and not a very interesting personal statement and lackluster rec letters. His numbers were WAAY above both 75ths.

Also, UF isn't a top-14 school that can pick and choose among candidates with great numbers.

Hope that helps.

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: Does having (virtually) no softs count against you?

Postby shoeshine » Wed May 18, 2011 3:35 pm

This definitely isn't zero. Go for a law related, non-profit, or professional (i.e. not food service or retail) job and throw that on the old resume and you should be fine.




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