KJD and/or Weak Softs Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

What schools have you gotten in to?

Stanford
22
4%
Harvard
38
7%
Chicago
35
7%
Columbia
42
8%
NYU
68
13%
UVA/Penn
57
11%
Berkeley/Michigan
67
13%
Duke
85
16%
Cornell
39
7%
Georgetown
71
14%
 
Total votes: 524

nopenottoday
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:14 am

Re: KJD and/or Weak Softs Thread

Postby nopenottoday » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:13 am

Instinctive wrote:
nopenottoday wrote:I know this is an old thread but I thought it would be worth it to bump. It seems like there's little to no support for KJDs. I've never really doubted myself until looking at this forum, and even then the only people saying to take a few years off are the ones who have done it. The couple of KJDs I've talked to say that they wish they took a year off, but none of them say that they would strongly encourage it or that they absolutely regret their decision not to. Is anyone else starting to doubt themselves? :|


I got into all but one school I applied to, with serious money at the ones that offered it. Have no regrets about going straight through.

I also think people overestimate the importance softs, although it's possible I underestimate my own (those who know me would say that's unlikely, as I certainly do not lack for confidence). I don't think most of my "softs" count as anything special. I say that because lots of other people at the UG I went to also had them, which means people at all the UGs nationwide probably have them, and many of those UGs have significantly stronger academic reputations.

I did, however, have a 3.98/179 GPA/LSAT profile. If you're a KJD, just kill it on the tests and you'll be fine.


ETA: And when you actually start, the complaining all the WE people do about having to re-learn how to study and such puts you at an advantage early on. It doesn't really do much grades-wise, but it does help with just being happier and your days being not as tough while going through 1L.


Thanks for answering! Do you find that anyone treats you differently due to being KJD or do people generally not care once you're in?

Effingham
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:40 am

Re: KJD and/or Weak Softs Thread

Postby Effingham » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:07 am

I just want to reiterate that the idea behind work experience isn't so much that you will do better or worse in school, or even so much about getting in to the right law school in the first place (though we all know Northwestern and some others do give a decent bump). Work experience helps the most for making sure that you personally know that you want to be a lawyer - you learn a lot about yourself during that first year or so in the real world. There are a ton of people out there who regret this decision, so you should be very confident it is right for you. Additionally, it helps a good deal when applying for jobs, at least in my region, as it helps to shape your story and reflects some base level of social maturity. It has come up as a significant positive in every interview I've had and my work experience isn't anything particularly special.

That being said, the market for lawyers has probably bottomed out and this might be a great year to attend. There are also a number of other factors that should influence your decision. However, I have never heard a story from a graduate wishing they had just gone one year earlier, and I highly doubt that a one or two year difference in the start of your career will influence your retirement in any meaningful way.

ETA: I also still don't get this idea that people with WE have to re-learn to study. I have never heard that from someone who actually worked before law school, and studying isn't a particularly strenuous skill.

nopenottoday
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:14 am

Re: KJD and/or Weak Softs Thread

Postby nopenottoday » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:17 am

Effingham wrote:I just want to reiterate that the idea behind work experience isn't so much that you will do better or worse in school, or even so much about getting in to the right law school in the first place (though we all know Northwestern and some others do give a decent bump). Work experience helps the most for making sure that you personally know that you want to be a lawyer - you learn a lot about yourself during that first year or so in the real world. There are a ton of people out there who regret this decision, so you should be very confident it is right for you. Additionally, it helps a good deal when applying for jobs, at least in my region, as it helps to shape your story and reflects some base level of social maturity. It has come up as a significant positive in every interview I've had and my work experience isn't anything particularly special.

That being said, the market for lawyers has probably bottomed out and this might be a great year to attend. There are also a number of other factors that should influence your decision. However, I have never heard a story from a graduate wishing they had just gone one year earlier, and I highly doubt that a one or two year difference in the start of your career will influence your retirement in any meaningful way.

ETA: I also still don't get this idea that people with WE have to re-learn to study. I have never heard that from someone who actually worked before law school, and studying isn't a particularly strenuous skill.


Yeah, the maturity and growth that comes with work experience is definitely something I am thinking about. I think my main factors for wanting to be KJD is that I will have around 8 months of WE by the time I matriculate (if in this cycle) and my family is only willing to help support me if I go straight through. They have already let me know that they will not provide me with any financial help if I take a couple years off because I will officially be "an adult." Good point about it being a great year to attend...I've noticed that people are getting into better places with lower stats.

Instinctive
Posts: 436
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:23 pm

Re: KJD and/or Weak Softs Thread

Postby Instinctive » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:45 pm

nopenottoday wrote:
Instinctive wrote:
nopenottoday wrote:I know this is an old thread but I thought it would be worth it to bump. It seems like there's little to no support for KJDs. I've never really doubted myself until looking at this forum, and even then the only people saying to take a few years off are the ones who have done it. The couple of KJDs I've talked to say that they wish they took a year off, but none of them say that they would strongly encourage it or that they absolutely regret their decision not to. Is anyone else starting to doubt themselves? :|


I got into all but one school I applied to, with serious money at the ones that offered it. Have no regrets about going straight through.

I also think people overestimate the importance softs, although it's possible I underestimate my own (those who know me would say that's unlikely, as I certainly do not lack for confidence). I don't think most of my "softs" count as anything special. I say that because lots of other people at the UG I went to also had them, which means people at all the UGs nationwide probably have them, and many of those UGs have significantly stronger academic reputations.

I did, however, have a 3.98/179 GPA/LSAT profile. If you're a KJD, just kill it on the tests and you'll be fine.


ETA: And when you actually start, the complaining all the WE people do about having to re-learn how to study and such puts you at an advantage early on. It doesn't really do much grades-wise, but it does help with just being happier and your days being not as tough while going through 1L.


Thanks for answering! Do you find that anyone treats you differently due to being KJD or do people generally not care once you're in?



Not really. I'd say somewhere between a quarter and a third of the class is KJD. Honestly, the only different treatment I've ever gotten is a very positive, "impressed with you" kind of deal. Which is a little bit awkward but not like a negative or anything. I think it's tough if you're the type of person who has to try and prove they belong, but if you know why you're there nobody gives you a hard time. It's kind of nice getting to learn with people who have very different life experiences, whereas in college most people you met came from a pretty similar place and were at a similar place in life.

Law school has, at least in my experience, far more diversity of experiences. It's a really cool learning environment when you're out of the classroom and away from the gunners. Every day's lunch in the courtyard, for example, I learn something cool from someone.

User avatar
salander
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:54 pm

Re: KJD and/or Weak Softs Thread

Postby salander » Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:49 am

nopenottoday wrote:I know this is an old thread but I thought it would be worth it to bump. It seems like there's little to no support for KJDs. I've never really doubted myself until looking at this forum, and even then the only people saying to take a few years off are the ones who have done it. The couple of KJDs I've talked to say that they wish they took a year off, but none of them say that they would strongly encourage it or that they absolutely regret their decision not to. Is anyone else starting to doubt themselves? :|

You're not the only one harboring some doubt after that massive softs list by dnptan ;) Most of those above-average and unique softs are really amazing.

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shump92
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:04 pm

Re: KJD and/or Weak Softs Thread

Postby shump92 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:48 am

First thing i want to say to everyone posting and/or lurking ITT is RELAX. KJD in it of itself is not something that is going to determine your admissions results. Take the perspective you see on this site with a grain of salt, there is significant selection bias among who the substantive posters are. Only treat advice from Spivey's thread as something that is pretty much absolute. Posters like tsl or the mods are pretty close to that level though.

I want to also reiterate that the pushback on KJD is that most people our age do not have enough real world exposure to be sure of what they want to do. Starting law school for any reason besides wanting to be a lawyer is a bad idea. You should also have general goals in mind and be ready to be stuck at a mid level position. I'm not saying that you can't shoot all the way up to the top, but only a few people actually pull that off (even among really smart and academically distinguished people like you).

As far as softs go, they really only matter in the context of how you spin your application. We are at a perceived disadvantage for immaturity so you should be ready to address that somehow. I used my PS for that but it doesn't have to be a huge point of emphasis if you have median or above stats for both numbers. Softs are only really worth obsessing over if you are a "splitter" at any of your target schools or if you want HYS.

So don't worry too much about that list. Hierarchy makes no sense to think about on an individual level. To give you an idea, every single person who I was friends with at my UG got into at least 1 T10 (2 at Yale). My other close friends also did pretty well. My accomplishments and involvement was pretty much on bar with all of them as far as UG itself goes but according to that list I would only have 1 "above average" soft. People I have talked with including adcomms were more impressed with what I had done and I've thought about this a lot as a reverse splitter.

Just be very meticulous about all of your materials and you should be fine.




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