Honestly...How are these softs?

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shieldofachilles
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Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby shieldofachilles » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:03 am

GPA: 3.85 (currently a Junior in a top 50..i think its top 50...private ug)
Major: Theology/Philosophy Minor Classical Languages
Deans List every year
Classics Honors Fraternity
Working on a thesis next semester...Hellenistic Theory of Emotions: What's Lost in Translating Pathos to Passion. Also working with a professor who thinks i could get published in this academic thing (cross between a journal and a newspaper) small chance ill be a published writer by the end of next semester.

Work Experience: Project Manager overseeing 30 employees in a major NYC Plumbing and Heating company since August of '09-Presnt.

Basically I was a supervisor/foreman for an apartment building built in Midtown that took 2.5 years to complete and was 110 apartments (estimated real estate value of the building=60 million lmao). I know law has absolutely NOTHING to do with pipes and sh** but the pay was really good lol. I pay my own way through school while working full time and maintaining a full time schedule.

I had to take a year off between sophomore and junior year to work 60+ hours a week because my mom needed to get surgery and didnt have the funds to do it. It was pretty much a life and death situation, so I took off to help pay for the medical expenses. Pretty sure Ill have to write an addendum for the gap? (Figured this is probably something to good to write about in my personal statement; while peppering in "divorced mother, never met father, only knows father through the inmate tracking thing online, never paid child support want to be a lawyer to hate on people like this" [yea he's a convicted felon lol]). Not to sound like a sob story but it is true and I think it'll go over well with admins.

Is this enough WE for Northwestern? Just curious...

Part Time (09-Present): Private Music Teacher (6 students if that matters--Percussion)

Parts of Two Summers working on a farm in Europe. (Seriously, not kidding lol...and the Euro exchange was awesome which made up for the extremely crappy farm pay. but it was such a cool experience nonetheless)

Volunteer: Percussion Instructor at local high school for 2 years (probably like 200 hours)

Volunteer at Cemetery as a grief counselor and translator since freshman year (over 600+ hours)

Volunteer day after Hurricane Sandy maybe 20 hours total

Percussionist

Extensive travel: Greece, New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Spain, Germany, Switzerland

Hobbies: Competitive Longbow archery, long range rifle shooting (1000+ yards), hunting please dont hate on that (been on 3 out of country hunts so far in Canada, new zealand and africa--will almost definitely not put this on any app bc it's such a hot button issue)

Fluent In English Modern Greek (high school equivalency test)
Read: ancient greek and latin

Full time LSAT study-er lol....

Anyway thanks to all who took the time to look at this lengthy ass post. I was just curious if my softs are anything special that might gimme a boost. Be totally honest--i dont really care if they do or not. All the crap i did was because i wanted to, not for an application. so their perceived worth isnt diminished bc of what law schools will think about them.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby Lawquacious » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:07 am

Honestly, these softs make zero difference. It is LSAT and GPA that will matter. HTH.

shieldofachilles
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby shieldofachilles » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:54 am

thanks for the honesty...i guess you really do need an olympic medal for it to make a difference lol

Swimp
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby Swimp » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:13 am

There's a shitload of difference between an Olympic medalist and a plumbing foreman, dude. I'm sure your work experience could make for a solid PS, but come on.

shieldofachilles
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby shieldofachilles » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:38 am

didnt mean to equate the two. obviously winning a medal is way more impressive than telling a bunch of plumbers where to put the pipe that takes your shit to the sewer, but i would think managing the construction of a huge luxury manhattan apartment building is probably more real world responsibility and experience than most ug students currently in school under 23. guess im wrong.

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gguuueessttt
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby gguuueessttt » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:41 am

shieldofachilles wrote:didnt mean to equate the two. obviously winning a medal is way more impressive than telling a bunch of plumbers where to put the pipe that takes your shit to the sewer, but i would think managing the construction of a huge luxury manhattan apartment building is probably more real world responsibility and experience than most ug students currently in school under 23. guess im wrong.


They're not comparing you to other ug students currently in school under 23, they're comparing you to all other applicants (many of whom have been out of UG for years with great WE).

shieldofachilles
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby shieldofachilles » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:44 am

so i have now fully accepted that the only thing thats going to get me into the t14 is my future lsat score. seriously...thanks for the reality check. pretty sure i needed it

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gguuueessttt
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby gguuueessttt » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:48 am

shieldofachilles wrote:so i have now fully accepted that the only thing thats going to get me into the t14 is my future lsat score. seriously...thanks for the reality check. pretty sure i needed it


That's pretty much the case for everyone. With a 3.85 GPA, anything 170+ and you're definitely in the T14.

shieldofachilles
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby shieldofachilles » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:53 am

gguuueessttt wrote:
shieldofachilles wrote:so i have now fully accepted that the only thing thats going to get me into the t14 is my future lsat score. seriously...thanks for the reality check. pretty sure i needed it


That's pretty much the case for everyone. With a 3.85 GPA, anything 170+ and you're definitely in the T14.


Not to turn this into a lsat prep thread but how realistic do you think is a jump from 161, my latest lsat pt, to a 170+ in the next 6 months?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:53 am

gguuueessttt wrote:
shieldofachilles wrote:so i have now fully accepted that the only thing thats going to get me into the t14 is my future lsat score. seriously...thanks for the reality check. pretty sure i needed it

That's pretty much the case for everyone. With a 3.85 GPA, anything 170+ and you're definitely in the T14.

This.

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sinfiery
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby sinfiery » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:55 am

shieldofachilles wrote:
gguuueessttt wrote:
shieldofachilles wrote:so i have now fully accepted that the only thing thats going to get me into the t14 is my future lsat score. seriously...thanks for the reality check. pretty sure i needed it


That's pretty much the case for everyone. With a 3.85 GPA, anything 170+ and you're definitely in the T14.


Not to turn this into a lsat prep thread but how realistic do you think is a jump from 161, my latest lsat pt, to a 170+ in the next 6 months?

very possible. 6 months is more than enough time to reach your potential.

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gguuueessttt
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby gguuueessttt » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:57 am

sinfiery wrote:
shieldofachilles wrote:
gguuueessttt wrote:
shieldofachilles wrote:so i have now fully accepted that the only thing thats going to get me into the t14 is my future lsat score. seriously...thanks for the reality check. pretty sure i needed it


That's pretty much the case for everyone. With a 3.85 GPA, anything 170+ and you're definitely in the T14.


Not to turn this into a lsat prep thread but how realistic do you think is a jump from 161, my latest lsat pt, to a 170+ in the next 6 months?

very possible. 6 months is more than enough time to reach your potential.


viewtopic.php?f=6&t=41657
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=195603 (This one is obviously meant for re-takers, but it's good advice for anyone).

shieldofachilles
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby shieldofachilles » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:11 am

thanks for the links...ive been trolling this site for years now lol and i have come across the pithypike guide but not the second. im almost done with LGB and im working through the Manhattan LR book at the same time. Not taking anymore PTs until after i work through the books and the drilling. Think its a bad idea to go through LG and LR simultaneously?

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gguuueessttt
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby gguuueessttt » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:14 am

shieldofachilles wrote:thanks for the links...ive been trolling this site for years now lol and i have come across the pithypike guide but not the second. im almost done with LGB and im working through the Manhattan LR book at the same time. Not taking anymore PTs until after i work through the books and the drilling. Think its a bad idea to go through LG and LR simultaneously?


Since you have 6+ months to prepare, I'd suggest that you slow down and focus on one thing at a time. But as long as you're improving, do what works for you.

shieldofachilles
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby shieldofachilles » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:18 am

sounds right. i think im gonna focus on lg and take a pt to see if i improved, if not work through lg again. if improved work through lr, mixed review, pt, pt, pt, pt lol.

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gguuueessttt
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby gguuueessttt » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:19 am

shieldofachilles wrote:sounds right. i think im gonna focus on lg and take a pt to see if i improved, if not work through lg again. if improved work through lr, mixed review, pt, pt, pt, pt lol.


Best of luck!

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LexLeon
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby LexLeon » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:03 pm

Great.

These activities will make a huge difference for you, especially relative to none at all--contrary to the ignorance expressed in the phrase "Only GPA and LSAT matter, dude."

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sinfiery
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby sinfiery » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:09 pm

LexLeon wrote:Great.

These activities will make a huge difference for you, especially relative to none at all--contrary to the ignorance expressed in the phrase "Only GPA and LSAT matter, dude."

I sure hope you are wrong.

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stillwater
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby stillwater » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:40 pm

Softs are soft. Do soft things help you in knife fight? Same idea for law school admissions.

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pacifica
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby pacifica » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:37 pm

stillwater wrote:Softs are soft. Do soft things help you in knife fight? Same idea for law school admissions.


LOL, oh jeez, one of the better numbers-based-macho-ism epithets.

OP, I agree with most of the posters here that a 170+/3.85 should land you several choices in T14 and even crack a few T6. But honestly, IMO, your softs aren't going to help or hurt you. I think you have compelling narratives for all your essays from your experiences, from which point, if you hit the 50%+ of school X's numbers, you should slide in comfortably.

I would be more concerned about trying to erase that 10 point gap. In the 160-170 range, isn't 10 points sometimes as much as 15-18 questions? I'm definitely a slow learner when it comes to standardized exams, but it took me years to get from my initial PT to my final test score (which was also about 10 points if I remember correctly). Definitely try to give yourself more time if possible. (Why not Oct test instead of June?)

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gguuueessttt
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby gguuueessttt » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:46 pm

LexLeon wrote:Great.

These activities will make a huge difference for you, especially relative to none at all--contrary to the ignorance expressed in the phrase "Only GPA and LSAT matter, dude."


Non-exceptional softs aren't often the deciding factor in admissions (source: family friend worked in admissions at a T14 school for many years). Obviously if your numbers are very borderline, having good softs might push you into the acceptance pile if you're being compared to people with similar numbers and worse/no softs. But overall, your numbers are by far the most important. Also, most law school applicants have SOME softs, so saying they'll make a huge difference "relative to none at all" is just not relevant. The point people were making wasn't that the softs are bad or won't make any difference, but rather that the OP can't slack on the LSAT and plan to fall back on his/her softs, especially since they're not exceptionally noteworthy.

shieldofachilles
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby shieldofachilles » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 am

as to the 10 point difference... my raw score is usually around 80. Most curves for the last couple years have put 170 at 90. i got -7 on lg alone which ive heard is the most learnable section so hopefully i can shave that down by a lot and on LR ive been getting -4 on each section. Im pretty confident that i can get that raw score over 90 after the bibles. Ive been doing something LSAT everyday, averaging 2 hours a day and my longest was 12 i think, for the last couple weeks. Honestly i was pretty damn anxious about not getting it above 170 but after drilling grouping and the so called advanced linear games day and getting -1 total on 7 straight games timed (admittedly at 10 min not 8:45 lol) im pretty confident ill be able to get that score up there. I mean 6+ months of studying i think is more than enough really. Ill be done with the bibles in two weeks and after finals start pting and tutoring. But taking the June administration isnt set in stone. If i dont feel ready by june, then ill postpose to october (i really dont plan on it though). Seriously, how many people really study more than 8 9 months for this...thats just insane. Id rather do 8 hours a day for 6 months than 4 for 12.

i think it clicked today while i was going through the firs tcouple chapters in the Manhattan lr book. "read with purpose." It totally clicked...thats what i do for school with academic journals and whatnot, so just bring that over.

Finally the softs..screw the softs. im strictly worried about the LSAT now. if i get a 170 then im pretty much a lock at at least one t14...like guest said im not going to try and justify resting on my laurels bc i might have some slightly above mediocre softs. Thanks for everyones input though, put me in check and got me focused.

WhiskeynCoke
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:01 am

Not to turn this into a lsat prep thread but how realistic do you think is a jump from 161, my latest lsat pt, to a 170+ in the next 6 months?


If this is one of your first PT's, then I'd say its very realistic. I think that most people willing to dedicate 20+ hours/week of LSAT prep for 6 months improve by at least 10 points, provided they're studying properly and not reinforcing their bad habits. Since you've got the time and motivation, you should shoot for a 180. Heres how I recommend you study.

Step 1 - Familiarity: Read through Powerscore LG/LR bibles + your Manhattan ones, doing all the drills. Do these one at a time, don't try to learn LR and LG simultaneously when you're just starting. This should take up 2-4 weeks.

Step 2 - Accuracy: Take 5 tests (use the older ones), break them up into sections, and do those sections un-timed, focusing on absolutely understanding the material. Take your time and shoot for missing none, and afterwards figure out why you missed what you missed. Because you're not timing yourself, all of your errors will based on your understanding of the material. In addition to the next step, this should take you a week or two.

Step 3 - Timing: Take 5 tests (again, older ones), break them up into sections, but now do them timed. The purpose of this is to get comfortable with your pace and to begin to develop your test-taking strategy. You'll figure out pretty quickly what sections give you trouble.

Step 4 - Rehearsal: Take 2, 5-section PT's per week. (Break up older tests to use as your 5th "experimental" section). Space them out with at least 2 or 3 days in between (Mon+Thu, etc.)Do these under actual test-like conditions. Start at the same time, with your last bathroom break/drink/snack approximately 30 min before you begin. Take 3 sections, 15min break, last 2 sections. Only use an analog watch to keep track of your timing (though you can have a digital alarm as your "proctor.. used my cell phone), number 2 pencil (no mechanical), etc.

The most important part of this is what you do after you take the PT's.... you must REVIEW. Don't just review your mistakes, review all questions that gave you trouble and diagnose what went wrong and what you could do better. Re-evaluate your strategy for weakness and fix those weakness. The 5 days a week you aren't taking PT's should be used to focus on your weak areas. For example, redo all your LG sections from the PT's you already took. This will make you WAY better/faster at LG.

Thats the basics.. use the LSAT forum here as a guide. Plithypikes is awesome, use it. Also look up the articles on "how i scored a 180." They're gold. This is how I improved from a 165 (diagnostic after doing step 1) to a 179. I studied for about 6 months, it's totally realistic. Good luck.

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dingbat
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby dingbat » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:24 am

I'm gonna disagree and say that your softs are enough to make a difference.
However, the difference is minimal - basically they'll pick you over someone with a similar score.

As long as you're at least above 165, I can see you getting into one or more of the T14, but you'd have to blanket the lot and hope for the best. If you break 170, you'll get into the T6. (seriously folks, with that GPA, I can see Cornell and Berkeley opening up pretty easily; at 170 I can't imagine anyone other than HYSCCN saying no)

shieldofachilles
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Re: Honestly...How are these softs?

Postby shieldofachilles » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:27 pm

WhiskeynCoke wrote:
Not to turn this into a lsat prep thread but how realistic do you think is a jump from 161, my latest lsat pt, to a 170+ in the next 6 months?


If this is one of your first PT's, then I'd say its very realistic. I think that most people willing to dedicate 20+ hours/week of LSAT prep for 6 months improve by at least 10 points, provided they're studying properly and not reinforcing their bad habits. Since you've got the time and motivation, you should shoot for a 180. Heres how I recommend you study.

Step 1 - Familiarity: Read through Powerscore LG/LR bibles + your Manhattan ones, doing all the drills. Do these one at a time, don't try to learn LR and LG simultaneously when you're just starting. This should take up 2-4 weeks.

Step 2 - Accuracy: Take 5 tests (use the older ones), break them up into sections, and do those sections un-timed, focusing on absolutely understanding the material. Take your time and shoot for missing none, and afterwards figure out why you missed what you missed. Because you're not timing yourself, all of your errors will based on your understanding of the material. In addition to the next step, this should take you a week or two.

Step 3 - Timing: Take 5 tests (again, older ones), break them up into sections, but now do them timed. The purpose of this is to get comfortable with your pace and to begin to develop your test-taking strategy. You'll figure out pretty quickly what sections give you trouble.

Step 4 - Rehearsal: Take 2, 5-section PT's per week. (Break up older tests to use as your 5th "experimental" section). Space them out with at least 2 or 3 days in between (Mon+Thu, etc.)Do these under actual test-like conditions. Start at the same time, with your last bathroom break/drink/snack approximately 30 min before you begin. Take 3 sections, 15min break, last 2 sections. Only use an analog watch to keep track of your timing (though you can have a digital alarm as your "proctor.. used my cell phone), number 2 pencil (no mechanical), etc.

The most important part of this is what you do after you take the PT's.... you must REVIEW. Don't just review your mistakes, review all questions that gave you trouble and diagnose what went wrong and what you could do better. Re-evaluate your strategy for weakness and fix those weakness. The 5 days a week you aren't taking PT's should be used to focus on your weak areas. For example, redo all your LG sections from the PT's you already took. This will make you WAY better/faster at LG.

Thats the basics.. use the LSAT forum here as a guide. Plithypikes is awesome, use it. Also look up the articles on "how i scored a 180." They're gold. This is how I improved from a 165 (diagnostic after doing step 1) to a 179. I studied for about 6 months, it's totally realistic. Good luck.


This was great. Thanks for the advice. Really going to follow this plan to a T. I feel like ive been rushing trying to get as much info in my head as possible so i could see an increase now. I have to slow down and work on getting a good feel and understanding for the test. The increase will come with time.
dingbat wrote:I'm gonna disagree and say that your softs are enough to make a difference.
However, the difference is minimal - basically they'll pick you over someone with a similar score.

As long as you're at least above 165, I can see you getting into one or more of the T14, but you'd have to blanket the lot and hope for the best. If you break 170, you'll get into the T6. (seriously folks, with that GPA, I can see Cornell and Berkeley opening up pretty easily; at 170 I can't imagine anyone other than HYSCCN saying no)
dingbat wrote:I'm gonna disagree and say that your softs are enough to make a difference.
However, the difference is minimal - basically they'll pick you over someone with a similar score.

As long as you're at least above 165, I can see you getting into one or more of the T14, but you'd have to blanket the lot and hope for the best. If you break 170, you'll get into the T6. (seriously folks, with that GPA, I can see Cornell and Berkeley opening up pretty easily; at 170 I can't imagine anyone other than HYSCCN saying no)


I hope you're right so I can bank on something WORST CASE scenario. But seriously, im breaking 170. that shits happening. So like i said before screw the softs. My chances of getting into the t10 increase exponentially with every point my LSAT goes up. So im focusing on that. I think i might drop one of my classes for next semester taking 16 instead of 20 credits to focus. But, i appreciate the alternate perspective on my softs.

This forum is so fkin awesome. You guys are great. i went from "oh fk my pt was 160 im not getting into law school" to "im gonna rape this test."




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