How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

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glaw01
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How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby glaw01 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:05 pm

So I think we all agree that admissions is primarily a numbers game. But if I'm a splitter, how much can softs help? I'm no Rhodes Scholar, but have a few interesting things on my resume. I'm a licensed pilot and certified personal trainer who speaks 5 languages and founded a nonprofit as an undergrad. I also ran a marathon to raise $5k for an anti-human trafficking organization. I'll graduate with a bachelor's and masters in accounting in May. I've also held the usual leadership positions on campus, nothing too impressive there though. In the eyes of an AdComm, does any of this stuff matter, or is it just LSAT and GPA?

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Nova
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby Nova » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:19 pm

IMO, your softs are pretty good! But so are many peoples... which neutralizes them a bit. Softs mostly affect the margins. They could easily be a tie breaker between you and someone else with similar numbers but weak softs. Obviously, LSAT and GPA are what determines if you are on edge or not in the first place.

LSAT >> GPA >>>>> Softs

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Doorkeeper
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:32 pm

Founding a nonprofit is pretty cool if you actually did things with it.

Other than that, they're ok...but they don't really matter too much.

bp shinners
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:13 pm

glaw01 wrote:So I think we all agree that admissions is primarily a numbers game. But if I'm a splitter, how much can softs help? I'm no Rhodes Scholar, but have a few interesting things on my resume. I'm a licensed pilot and certified personal trainer who speaks 5 languages and founded a nonprofit as an undergrad. I also ran a marathon to raise $5k for an anti-human trafficking organization. I'll graduate with a bachelor's and masters in accounting in May. I've also held the usual leadership positions on campus, nothing too impressive there though. In the eyes of an AdComm, does any of this stuff matter, or is it just LSAT and GPA?


Tell me more about the non-profit. The other stuff is interesting, but not really above-average. If the non-profit is something big/impressive, it might matter.

glaw01
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby glaw01 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:23 pm

The nonprofit is geared towards helping students at an inner-city school prepare for college...so it's not exactly novel, but I've been involved with it for a few years and it's done some good things. I'm not sure that it would really put me over the edge, though.

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JDizzle2015
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby JDizzle2015 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:14 pm

glaw01 wrote:The nonprofit is geared towards helping students at an inner-city school prepare for college...so it's not exactly novel, but I've been involved with it for a few years and it's done some good things. I'm not sure that it would really put me over the edge, though.

Rough estimate of how many people were affected by your 501(c)? It seems to me that size matters. :wink:

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Doorkeeper
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:39 pm

glaw01 wrote:The nonprofit is geared towards helping students at an inner-city school prepare for college...so it's not exactly novel, but I've been involved with it for a few years and it's done some good things. I'm not sure that it would really put me over the edge, though.

How big is it? How many kids has the group worked with?

If you built up this big non-profit that's helping hundreds of kids, you might have a good basis for your personal statement.

If it's just you and your friends helping 6 kids a week, less so.

glaw01
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby glaw01 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:08 pm

Right now we're looking at working with about 100 kids/week for the fall, with maybe a chance of expanding to 150 or so soon.

bp shinners
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:45 pm

glaw01 wrote:Right now we're looking at working with about 100 kids/week for the fall, with maybe a chance of expanding to 150 or so soon.


Is this like a consulting thing, where you go to a school and edit their essays, or is it something more in-depth than that?

vulpixie
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby vulpixie » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:33 pm

glaw01 wrote:does any of this stuff matter, or is it just LSAT and GPA?


To some extent, this varies from school to school. For instance, Y and S place a lot more emphasis on softs than Harvard does. Where are you applying?

glaw01
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby glaw01 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:24 pm

We work with elementary school kids twice per week - tutoring, test-prep, etc. We also spend time outside of tutoring just building relationships with the kids. In the past, we've done things like visit the campus of the school I currently attend, have field days, things of that nature.

As for where I'm applying - HYS, Columbia, and Georgetown (long story on that one). My GPR is a 3.78 and I just took the LSAT on Monday. PT'ing 175-179, but we'll see how the real one turns out. Thoughts?

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ScratchableItch
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby ScratchableItch » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:39 pm

glaw01 wrote:We work with elementary school kids twice per week - tutoring, test-prep, etc. We also spend time outside of tutoring just building relationships with the kids. In the past, we've done things like visit the campus of the school I currently attend, have field days, things of that nature.

As for where I'm applying - HYS, Columbia, and Georgetown (long story on that one). My GPR is a 3.78 and I just took the LSAT on Monday. PT'ing 175-179, but we'll see how the real one turns out. Thoughts?

From personal experience with my cycle, softs are important with the very top schools. Y and S have always emphasized factors outside of your GPA and LSAT. H is moving toward a preference for applicants with work experience. To be competitive at any of these schools you will need the numbers, but you will also need to have a compelling application and experiences.

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ScratchableItch
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby ScratchableItch » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:45 pm

ScratchableItch wrote:
glaw01 wrote:We work with elementary school kids twice per week - tutoring, test-prep, etc. We also spend time outside of tutoring just building relationships with the kids. In the past, we've done things like visit the campus of the school I currently attend, have field days, things of that nature.

As for where I'm applying - HYS, Columbia, and Georgetown (long story on that one). My GPR is a 3.78 and I just took the LSAT on Monday. PT'ing 175-179, but we'll see how the real one turns out. Thoughts?

From personal experience with my cycle, softs are important with the very top schools. Y and S have always emphasized factors outside of your GPA and LSAT. H is moving toward a preference for applicants with work experience. To be competitive at any of these schools you will need the numbers, but you will also need to have a compelling application and experiences.

And to answer your question more specifically...if you score within your practice score band you will get into Georgetown and Columbia. You will have a good chance of getting H,Y or S, especially with your founding of a nonprofit. But those are not guaranteed coming straight out of undergrad and don't overlook the possibility of taking a year or two off to gain valuable experiences that you won't be able to get once law school begins.

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JCFindley
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Re: How Much Do Softs Really Matter?

Postby JCFindley » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:18 pm

ScratchableItch wrote:
ScratchableItch wrote:
glaw01 wrote:We work with elementary school kids twice per week - tutoring, test-prep, etc. We also spend time outside of tutoring just building relationships with the kids. In the past, we've done things like visit the campus of the school I currently attend, have field days, things of that nature.

As for where I'm applying - HYS, Columbia, and Georgetown (long story on that one). My GPR is a 3.78 and I just took the LSAT on Monday. PT'ing 175-179, but we'll see how the real one turns out. Thoughts?

From personal experience with my cycle, softs are important with the very top schools. Y and S have always emphasized factors outside of your GPA and LSAT. H is moving toward a preference for applicants with work experience. To be competitive at any of these schools you will need the numbers, but you will also need to have a compelling application and experiences.

And to answer your question more specifically...if you score within your practice score band you will get into Georgetown and Columbia. You will have a good chance of getting H,Y or S, especially with your founding of a nonprofit. But those are not guaranteed coming straight out of undergrad and don't overlook the possibility of taking a year or two off to gain valuable experiences that you won't be able to get once law school begins.


This....




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