How good are my "softs"?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
seacow
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:25 pm

How good are my "softs"?

Postby seacow » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:14 pm

As the 2013 application draws nearer, I have begun to seriously think about my chances at getting into my target schools. While I understand that it is largely a numbers game, I know it isn't the whole story. So I was wondering if you guys could help me evaluate my "softs", and how they might stack up against those of others.

Here we go:

Numbers, 3.74, 161 (awaiting June - I expect it to be higher)

- BA Philosophy and language minor from a large public school (known better for its athletics than academics), from which my GPA was 3.85 (3.9 departmental)
- Fluent in spanish, working knowledge of a few others
- U.S. State Department internship
- 3 years off from school - travelling, internships, part-time work, although noticeably with intent to attend law school in 2013.
- A diversity statement highlighting social and economic hardship growing up (though not too severe), which also serves as an addendum for low GPA and limited extracurricular participation during my first 2 years or so of undergrad.
- White male from, as they say, the "undeveloped core of the U.S.A."


So, my question is this: at what point (what rank) will my softs cease to be superior (for a lack of a better term) and be average? At what point will other applicants' softs tend to be better? I know superlatives here like "better" don't really work here, as softs are normally not better than anyone else's, just closer to what the school is looking for, but it is certainly the case that some applicants' resumes will be more impressive than my own. For example, I was not the leader of an honor's society at school, nor have I done a fellowship, nor do I have any publications to my name, nor did I win an olympic medal.

As I look at law school predictor or simply look at the ranges of other schools, I wonder how far my chances go up (or down) once you take into account my softs.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby thederangedwang » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:16 pm

slightly below average imho. 4 outa 10...maybe average on a good day

but it wont hurt you and it certainly wont help you
Last edited by thederangedwang on Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
aekea
Posts: 236
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:10 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby aekea » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:16 pm

seacow wrote:As the 2013 application draws nearer, I have begun to seriously think about my chances at getting into my target schools. While I understand that it is largely a numbers game, I know it isn't the whole story. So I was wondering if you guys could help me evaluate my "softs", and how they might stack up against those of others.

Here we go:

Numbers, 3.74, 161 (awaiting June - I expect it to be higher)

- BA Philosophy and language minor from a large public school (known better for its athletics than academics), from which my GPA was 3.85 (3.9 departmental)
- Fluent in spanish, working knowledge of a few others
- U.S. State Department internship
- 3 years off from school - travelling, internships, part-time work, although noticeably with intent to attend law school in 2013.
- A diversity statement highlighting social and economic hardship growing up (though not too severe), which also serves as an addendum for low GPA and limited extracurricular participation during my first 2 years or so of undergrad.
- White male from, as they say, the "undeveloped core of the U.S.A."


So, my question is this: at what point (what rank) will my softs cease to be superior (for a lack of a better term) and be average? At what point will other applicants' softs tend to be better? I know superlatives here like "better" don't really work here, as softs are normally not better than anyone else's, just closer to what the school is looking for, but it is certainly the case that some applicants' resumes will be more impressive than my own. For example, I was not the leader of an honor's society at school, nor have I done a fellowship, nor do I have any publications to my name, nor did I win an olympic medal.

As I look at law school predictor or simply look at the ranges of other schools, I wonder how far my chances go up (or down) once you take into account my softs.

You will likely perform as your numbers would indicate.

User avatar
JCFindley
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby JCFindley » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:25 pm

aekea wrote:You will likely perform as your numbers would indicate.


This.

With three years off I would expect to see some real world WE and more than internships in there. IMHO they won't help you all that much but won't hurt so average works.

seacow
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby seacow » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:27 pm

average compared to which class or schools? All?

Thanks, everyone.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby thederangedwang » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:28 pm

seacow wrote:average compared to which class or schools? All?

Thanks, everyone.

average compared to the people you are going up against based on your numbers

seacow
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby seacow » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:31 pm

thederangedwang wrote:
seacow wrote:average compared to which class or schools? All?

Thanks, everyone.

average compared to the people you are going up against based on your numbers



So am I mistaken to think that, typically, T5 students have noticeably better softs than the T10-T14 and the T14-T20?

User avatar
Lawquacious
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:34 pm

thederangedwang wrote:slightly below average imho. 4 outa 10...maybe average on a good day

but it wont hurt you and it certainly wont help you



IDK about below average (other than maybe at T14 schools, in which case perhaps), but I don't think they will help numbers particularly. Have you considered retaking? If not, I think you have a good shot at T50 school (possibly with a bit of money) and maaaybe a T30 (at full price). Retaking and bumping that score a few (maybe 4 or 5) points could lock you at a T30 and maybe get you a little money in that range.

User avatar
Lawquacious
Posts: 2037
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:36 am

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:35 pm

seacow wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:
seacow wrote:average compared to which class or schools? All?

Thanks, everyone.

average compared to the people you are going up against based on your numbers



So am I mistaken to think that, typically, T5 students have noticeably better softs than the T10-T14 and the T14-T20?


Probably as a whole they do have better softs, but the one thing that is for sure is they have better numbers.

User avatar
JCFindley
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby JCFindley » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:39 pm

seacow wrote:average compared to which class or schools? All?

Thanks, everyone.


Just average in general but let me use a real world example.

Rutgers Newark is a good regional school that performs above its numbers within the state of NJ. They are unique in that they have a box you can check on the application that has them judge you based on your numbers OR your real world experience. So, my feeling on softs are this. Would you check the box to be judged on experience or numbers? If you choose experience it means your softs are better than your numbers and relatively good in comparison. If you would check the box to be judged on numbers then the softs are not that spectacular relatively speaking.

Keep in mind, if I had a 4.0 and a 180 I would need to be a freak'n shuttle pilot before I checked the experience box and conversely if I had a 2.5 and 145 then I would check the experience box even if I was a cashier at Walmart. It is all relative.

seacow
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby seacow » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:47 pm

Tell me if this is a correct take away from all of your comments:

Help me at Missouri, Slightly help me at Kentucky, as numbers indicate at Notre Dame, Slightly hurt me at Virginia, and, if I have the median LSAT, I will need to get lucky at Chicago.


I know you guys are saying average in general, and its hard to say much else, but there has got to be a point where my "softs" look quite unimpressive to the Admissions committee, and vice versa.

I know I am getting picky here, and that it will likely not hurt me, but just to exhaust the discussion.

User avatar
JCFindley
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby JCFindley » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:51 pm

seacow wrote:Tell me if this is a correct take away from all of your comments:

Help me at Missouri, Slightly help me at Kentucky, as numbers indicate at Notre Dame, Slightly hurt me at Virginia, and, if I have the median LSAT, I will need to get lucky at Chicago.


I know you guys are saying average in general, and its hard to say much else, but there has got to be a point where my "softs" look quite unimpressive to the Admissions committee, and vice versa.

I know I am getting picky here, and that it will likely not hurt me, but just to exhaust the discussion.


In general your softs won't hurt you anywhere except places like NU where WE is almost a requirement. They may or may not help at lower ranked schools but certainly won't help Edit, should say obviously won't hurt.

In general, and this is just my opinion, there is nothing there that will get you in above your numbers but they will be fine for the schools where you have the numbers.
Last edited by JCFindley on Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby thederangedwang » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:51 pm

seacow wrote:Tell me if this is a correct take away from all of your comments:

Help me at Missouri, Slightly help me at Kentucky, as numbers indicate at Notre Dame, Slightly hurt me at Virginia, and, if I have the median LSAT, I will need to get lucky at Chicago.


I know you guys are saying average in general, and its hard to say much else, but there has got to be a point where my "softs" look quite unimpressive to the Admissions committee, and vice versa.

I know I am getting picky here, and that it will likely not hurt me, but just to exhaust the discussion.

your softs will not help you anywhere you apply to. They are simply not strong enough...even if you applied to a shit school.

They are just weak enough to hurt you if you applied to an elite school. However, of those options you listed...they wont hurt or help you.

I think you need to be applying for the Top 6 schools or higher before your softs are considered weak..but thats a non-isse since like others have said, your numbers arent good enough anyway

seacow
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby seacow » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:06 pm

A low 170s score is well within my capabilities - I just have a few performance issues that tend to arise on test day - so it may well become an issue. I also think I may have presented myself in a less impressive light; my time off simply has been spent mooching off my mother and partying with friends. I think your picture of me may have been a little more precise if I would have shown you my full resume.

But of course all of this is irrelevant since I don't know you, you don't know me, and TLS is not an adcomm. :)

Thanks for the discussion, everyone. It truly helped.

User avatar
JCFindley
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby JCFindley » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:25 pm

seacow wrote:A low 170s score is well within my capabilities - I just have a few performance issues that tend to arise on test day - so it may well become an issue. I also think I may have presented myself in a less impressive light; my time off simply has been spent mooching off my mother and partying with friends. I think your picture of me may have been a little more precise if I would have shown you my full resume.

But of course all of this is irrelevant since I don't know you, you don't know me, and TLS is not an adcomm. :)

Thanks for the discussion, everyone. It truly helped.


Exactly right and it all depends on how the specific adcoms see it and it will vary from school to school.

Either way, good luck.

ajaxconstructions
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 12:24 am

Re: How good are my "softs"?

Postby ajaxconstructions » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:24 pm

No adcomm is going to be impressed by your resume to overlook your numbers. Those softs are very average.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: trooper10538 and 4 guests