My softs - helpful?

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doclover
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My softs - helpful?

Postby doclover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:16 pm

I'm wondering how much my softs will help me, particularly with schools that are focused on environmental law (Berkeley, Stanford). I graduated in urban planning. I will be applying for Fall 2013.

Thanks to all who weighed in - I appreciate it!
Last edited by doclover on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

03121202698008
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:18 pm

They will help very little with admissions. It's virtually all LSAT/GPA and these aren't really significant sorts anyhow. They may help more with OCI if you're trying to stay in that field.

doclover
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby doclover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:20 pm

blowhard wrote:They will help very little with admissions. It's virtually all LSAT/GPA and these aren't really significant sorts anyhow. They may help more with OCI if you're trying to stay in that field.


I have a 3.8 GPA - LSAT score TBD. So basically, schools don't care unless you make it past the initial filter?

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spleenworship
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:36 pm

doclover wrote:
blowhard wrote:They will help very little with admissions. It's virtually all LSAT/GPA and these aren't really significant sorts anyhow. They may help more with OCI if you're trying to stay in that field.


I have a 3.8 GPA - LSAT score TBD. So basically, schools don't care unless you make it past the initial filter?



The only thing your softs would be good for is getting into NU as work experience.

Unless you have a nobel prize or something similar, the average school could give not a single f&^k about your softs except as a tie breaker (ie. you have a 3.8 and a 169; the next candidate has a 3.8 and a 169, but no softs. You win. Mozel Tov.)

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rinkrat19
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:44 pm

Work experience is good for two things: getting into Northwestern (where WE is almost required), and the job search (where it can be helpful). Aside from those, it's a very minor factor in admissions, basically just a tiebreaker.

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larsoner
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby larsoner » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:54 pm

I think the GPA/LSAT is EVERYTHING vibe is a little overstated. Yeah, you have to make it over a certain GPA/LSAT barrier, but if you have a 3.8/170 you are aren't only compared to 3.8/170s you are compared to 3.75-3.85/169-172s. (At most schools.)

Having good softs won't put you in over someone who has way better numbers, but they may help you outshine applications with slightly better scores. This is clear when you look at the lsn graphs of the top schools. There are clear GPA/LSAT cut-offs below which no one makes it in (except URMs), but above and to the right of the diagonal line there is a mixture of WLs admits and rejects. Schools don't just let everyone in over a certain number combination, they consider everyone who has a certain number combination. And once you are in that consideration category your softs will matter.

Sorry I don't have any particular knowledge of the environmental law situation, but especially at Berkeley, interesting and relevant work experience is supposed to be a plus. Get a 170+ and prepare a good app and I'll bet you'd be an easy admit.

doclover
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby doclover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:48 pm

larsoner wrote:Sorry I don't have any particular knowledge of the environmental law situation, but especially at Berkeley, interesting and relevant work experience is supposed to be a plus. Get a 170+ and prepare a good app and I'll bet you'd be an easy admit.


I thought I read something on the Berkeley/Stanford website about taking a "hollistic" approach to admissions, but I wasn't sure if that was just all hot air.

Do most schools have OCIs?

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Gail
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby Gail » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:41 am

larsoner wrote:I think the GPA/LSAT is EVERYTHING vibe is a little overstated. Yeah, you have to make it over a certain GPA/LSAT barrier, but if you have a 3.8/170 you are aren't only compared to 3.8/170s you are compared to 3.75-3.85/169-172s. (At most schools.)

Having good softs won't put you in over someone who has way better numbers, but they may help you outshine applications with slightly better scores. This is clear when you look at the lsn graphs of the top schools. There are clear GPA/LSAT cut-offs below which no one makes it in (except URMs), but above and to the right of the diagonal line there is a mixture of WLs admits and rejects. Schools don't just let everyone in over a certain number combination, they consider everyone who has a certain number combination. And once you are in that consideration category your softs will matter.

Sorry I don't have any particular knowledge of the environmental law situation, but especially at Berkeley, interesting and relevant work experience is supposed to be a plus. Get a 170+ and prepare a good app and I'll bet you'd be an easy admit.



Yeah. I think coming straight from undergrad and having no softs killed my cycle for most schools.

No clubs (I didn't like a lot of people at my undergrad, tried joining one and hated it). Crap part-time job because I needed money and wasn't willing to take an unpaid internship (big mistake). Crap undergrad. Crap personal statement. Only 2 LORs. Crap C&F.

Incredibly unaccomplished, young, and dumb. But someone bit. Someone always bites.

r6_philly
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:30 am

larsoner wrote:I think the GPA/LSAT is EVERYTHING vibe is a little overstated. Yeah, you have to make it over a certain GPA/LSAT barrier, but if you have a 3.8/170 you are aren't only compared to 3.8/170s you are compared to 3.75-3.85/169-172s. (At most schools.)

Having good softs won't put you in over someone who has way better numbers, but they may help you outshine applications with slightly better scores. This is clear when you look at the lsn graphs of the top schools. There are clear GPA/LSAT cut-offs below which no one makes it in (except URMs), but above and to the right of the diagonal line there is a mixture of WLs admits and rejects. Schools don't just let everyone in over a certain number combination, they consider everyone who has a certain number combination. And once you are in that consideration category your softs will matter.

Sorry I don't have any particular knowledge of the environmental law situation, but especially at Berkeley, interesting and relevant work experience is supposed to be a plus. Get a 170+ and prepare a good app and I'll bet you'd be an easy admit.


No a 3.8/170 is exactly what you will be compared against. I did not get into one school with a median above 170 with a 170/3.9. 2 cycles. I got lots of good soft factors. They didn't seem to help much with admissions, but they have been awesome in my job search.
Last edited by r6_philly on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

r6_philly
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:34 am

doclover wrote:
larsoner wrote:Sorry I don't have any particular knowledge of the environmental law situation, but especially at Berkeley, interesting and relevant work experience is supposed to be a plus. Get a 170+ and prepare a good app and I'll bet you'd be an easy admit.


I thought I read something on the Berkeley/Stanford website about taking a "hollistic" approach to admissions, but I wasn't sure if that was just all hot air.

Do most schools have OCIs?


Berkeley is supposed to be more hollistic. I got into Berkeley and no Stanford. I should have gotten in Stanford, I think. Their loss.

Most schools have OCI programs, but T14 programs are much better. You may have 300 firms with multiple openings interviewing 250 students, or maybe 30 firms with 1 opening each interviewing top 20% of 300 students. You may have a easier job getting some jobs with below median grades at Penn than maybe you would with top 20% grades at Temple, and you will not have access to some at all. Having experience help, but yours probably not super helpful (because of the field). I'd shoot for T14 if you want a firm job or good gov positions.

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jetissent
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby jetissent » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:43 am

For the two schools you're talking about, you should strive to get +170 on your LSAT.

Secondly, Berkeley and Stanford are both known for being slightly less numbers driven the their peers. Thus, writing a compelling PS/DS that highlights why you will be a unique addition (not just one very prepared to work in environ law) to the law school is probably the next best thing you can do.

Good luck! :)

doclover
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby doclover » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:17 am

r6_philly wrote:
No a 3.8/170 is exactly what you will be compared against. I did not get into one school with a median about 170 with a 170/3.9. 2 cycles. I got lots of good soft factors. They didn't seem to help much with admissions, but they have been awesome in my job search.


Doesn't UPenn have atleast that (median 170 LSAT score)? Looks like you got in there? Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding...

r6_philly
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:24 am

doclover wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
No a 3.8/170 is exactly what you will be compared against. I did not get into one school with a median about above 170 with a 170/3.9. 2 cycles. I got lots of good soft factors. They didn't seem to help much with admissions, but they have been awesome in my job search.


Doesn't UPenn have atleast that (median 170 LSAT score)? Looks like you got in there? Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding...


Sorry, typo. I am happily at Penn.

CodyRuegger
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby CodyRuegger » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:23 pm

It will only be a significant part of your application if you happen to write your personal statement about it or if you apply to Northwestern. Your 3.8 and whatever LSAT score you get will be doing most of the legwork.

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Perdevise
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby Perdevise » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:25 am

Elite schools increasingly have majorities of entering classes with at least 1 year of post undergrad experience (work or grad degree).

Harvard's class of 2014:

13% hold advanced degrees
76% at least 1 year out of college
54% 2+ years out of college

Yale's:

20% directly from undergrad · 45% 1-2 years out · 35% 2+ years out

Stanford's:

Students with an advanced degree: 34%
Percentage of students who come to law school

Directly from college: 24%
1-2 years after college: 42%
3 or more years after college: 34%

Columbia: Thirty-five percent began law school directly from college.

NYU:

33 percent enrolled directly after college
56 percent out of college one to four years
12 percent out of college five or more years
9 percent hold advanced or professional degrees

Michigan: One or more years off after undergrad: 70%
Penn: 37% directly out of college.
Virginia: 70% have work experience after college
2 years on average of post-college experience
14% have graduate degrees
Duke: (2010) Of this year’s 1L students, 46 percent are recent college graduates, 49 percent graduated 1 to 5 years ago, and 6 percent graduated 6 or more years ago

At most of these schools only 20-30% of incoming students are K-JD. This is a definite shift. The fact that this data is listed right alongside LSAT and GPA distributions shows how important the schools think work experience is (though probably still not as key as LSAT/GPA). I think its safe to say that K-JD applicants are at a disadvantage at elite schools and that now, instead of a minor bump, work experience is becoming a necessary condition.

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cinephile
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Re: My softs - helpful?

Postby cinephile » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:13 pm

blowhard wrote:They may help more with OCI if you're trying to stay in that field.



Definitely. And if you're trying to do public interest environmental work, a previous demonstrated history in this area will be essential.




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