When people say extraordinary soft...

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TheThriller
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:12 pm

Re: When people say extraordinary soft...

Postby TheThriller » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:45 pm

dingbat wrote:
TheThriller wrote:its a numbers game, softs only matter when candidates offer the same benefit median wise to schools.

Spoken like someone who thinks a soft is being president of your frat.

For most people, it's a numbers game, with softs only serving as tie-breakers. But that's because most people don't have the kind of softs that are unusual. As has already been said here, Fullbright/Rhodes is one (although, typically these come with an excellent GPA and will more often than not produce a high LSAT), Olympian is another, as is starting your own company and selling it for millions. Congressional medal of honor is another.

The list goes on, but as you can see, it's a very small pool of people who even have these softs, even less who then apply to law school. Basically, if it's something everyone has heard of and everyone knows it's very rare and incredibly difficult to accomplish, then it'll probably be a good soft.

If it's something no one ever heard of, maybe you can mention it in a PS and maybe the adcoms will go through the effort of looking it up and maybe they'll consider it something special. That's a lot of maybes.



Why would you go through the trouble of being extremely rude only to re-iterate my point?

OP, the point is, as most people have said on here, if your soft isn't brand name then it's probably wont be considered prestigious by the university. It's not that your soft isn't prestigious by any means, it's just how the university can benefit from being associated with: Olympian, Rhodes, Co-Founder of Instagram ect.

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worldtraveler
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Re: When people say extraordinary soft...

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:29 pm

In my own experience, I've seen people get into T10s with less than stellar numbers if they have some of these:

stellar work experience in another field (not like a couple of years ibanking)
military experience/honors
extensive experience living and working in developing countries (like Peace Corps plus other stuff on top of it)
founding a successful non-profit or charity that actually does stuff, or sounds like it does stuff
writing a successful novel or groundbreaking research paper
overcoming extreme hardship like cancer, orphaned at a young age, homelessness, etc
did something really badass and awesome that just sounds really cool (like a snowboard instructor who worked around the world)
writing a phenomenal PS

collegebum1989
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: When people say extraordinary soft...

Postby collegebum1989 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:20 am

worldtraveler wrote:In my own experience, I've seen people get into T10s with less than stellar numbers if they have some of these:

stellar work experience in another field (not like a couple of years ibanking)
military experience/honors
extensive experience living and working in developing countries (like Peace Corps plus other stuff on top of it)
founding a successful non-profit or charity that actually does stuff, or sounds like it does stuff
writing a successful novel or groundbreaking research paper
overcoming extreme hardship like cancer, orphaned at a young age, homelessness, etc
did something really badass and awesome that just sounds really cool (like a snowboard instructor who worked around the world)
writing a phenomenal PS


When you say "less than stellar numbers" do you mean numbers below both medians for the school or numbers below both 25th percentile for the school, or are referring to a splitter?

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JCFindley
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Re: When people say extraordinary soft...

Postby JCFindley » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:40 am

collegebum1989 wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:In my own experience, I've seen people get into T10s with less than stellar numbers if they have some of these:

stellar work experience in another field (not like a couple of years ibanking)
military experience/honors
extensive experience living and working in developing countries (like Peace Corps plus other stuff on top of it)
founding a successful non-profit or charity that actually does stuff, or sounds like it does stuff
writing a successful novel or groundbreaking research paper
overcoming extreme hardship like cancer, orphaned at a young age, homelessness, etc
did something really badass and awesome that just sounds really cool (like a snowboard instructor who worked around the world)
writing a phenomenal PS


When you say "less than stellar numbers" do you mean numbers below both medians for the school or numbers below both 25th percentile for the school, or are referring to a splitter?


I had three things on Traveler's list and for me it was below both medians. So, while anecdotal, the softs on that list can in fact make all the difference in the world.

Note: I was also dinged or WLed at schools significantly down the food chain so that indicates it is very schools specific as to where it makes a difference and schools may weigh the various factors differently.

pre-med person
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:16 pm

Re: When people say extraordinary soft...

Postby pre-med person » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:54 am

collegebum1989 wrote:what about an international research fellowship that only 50 people get in your field nationally, and $45k research grant to conduct a pilot study in a developing nation to introduce a new technology for global health applications.


yes this is a good soft. Being a good lawyer requires the ability to convince people to give you money, successfully obtaining a research grant demonstrates this quality.

collegebum1989
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: When people say extraordinary soft...

Postby collegebum1989 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:56 am

JCFindley wrote:
collegebum1989 wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:In my own experience, I've seen people get into T10s with less than stellar numbers if they have some of these:

stellar work experience in another field (not like a couple of years ibanking)
military experience/honors
extensive experience living and working in developing countries (like Peace Corps plus other stuff on top of it)
founding a successful non-profit or charity that actually does stuff, or sounds like it does stuff
writing a successful novel or groundbreaking research paper
overcoming extreme hardship like cancer, orphaned at a young age, homelessness, etc
did something really badass and awesome that just sounds really cool (like a snowboard instructor who worked around the world)
writing a phenomenal PS


When you say "less than stellar numbers" do you mean numbers below both medians for the school or numbers below both 25th percentile for the school, or are referring to a splitter?


I had three things on Traveler's list and for me it was below both medians. So, while anecdotal, the softs on that list can in fact make all the difference in the world.

Note: I was also dinged or WLed at schools significantly down the food chain so that indicates it is very schools specific as to where it makes a difference and schools may weigh the various factors differently.


Makes sense (to me at least) why lower-ranked schools would reject one with great softs, while better ranked schools would not. 1) the lower-ranked the school, the less the academic focus of the legal education, 2) higher-ranked schools already have the prestige to attract applicants with extraordinary numbers to compensate for admitted students with lower numbers with better softs and 3) lower-ranked schools are gunning to shoot up in rankings so they adopt a more rigid numbers-only admissions approach to move up in USNWR ratings.

But some schools are definitely more receptive to softs than others.




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