What's a good WE or strong soft?

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greenapples

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What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby greenapples » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:03 pm

A lot of people mention that it's equally important to have a strong soft, or have a good working experience. What exactly is a good WE? or a strong soft?


Please help this lost soul!!! Thanks
Last edited by greenapples on Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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t-14orbust

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby t-14orbust » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:06 pm

Your internship won't do much. LSAT and GPA are 95%+ of the law school game outside HYS, and with your GPA you have little to no shot there.

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ScottRiqui

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby ScottRiqui » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:15 pm

If it's something that you haven't done by the time you finish undergrad, but that you can reasonably expect to bang out in a year or so before law school. it's probably not a good soft factor. Good softs are things like military service, being a Rhodes Scholar, having one or more advanced degrees, participating in Teach For America, being a former pro athlete, a published author or a successful entrepreneur.

And even with all that, they're still "soft" factors - they're not likely to help you fight significantly above your weight class.

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby SoldierOfGod » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:20 am

t-14orbust wrote:Your internship won't do much. LSAT and GPA are 95%+ of the law school game outside HYS, and with your GPA you have little to no shot there.


I think more for YS than H. H is 95% LSAT and GPA.

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:52 am

I think the mantra of "softs really don't matter" is actually incorrect, or at least exaggerated. Impressive softs can have a decent impact on your admissions chances. However, people routinely overestimate how impressive their softs are.

Virtually everything that happens on an undergraduate campus is not a super impressive soft. Things like clubs, assisting a professor with research, internships, a part time job...it's all well and good, but pretty meh. Almost all good softs are things that take place after college (as Scott noted, things like military service, Rhodes Scholarships, Peace Corps, TFA, substantial professional work experience), or are things in your background that are super interesting/diverse, ie "I came to the United States as a war refugee when I was five."

tskela

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby tskela » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:33 pm

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phillywc

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby phillywc » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:37 pm

tskela wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:I think the mantra of "softs really don't matter" is actually incorrect, or at least exaggerated. Impressive softs can have a decent impact on your admissions chances. However, people routinely overestimate how impressive their softs are.

Virtually everything that happens on an undergraduate campus is not a super impressive soft. Things like clubs, assisting a professor with research, internships, a part time job...it's all well and good, but pretty meh. Almost all good softs are things that take place after college (as Scott noted, things like military service, Rhodes Scholarships, Peace Corps, TFA, substantial professional work experience), or are things in your background that are super interesting/diverse, ie "I came to the United States as a war refugee when I was five."


Interesting. Could you elaborate on why you think this counts as a good soft? I'm asking because this was more or less my situation, and I was told not to mention it all when I applied to undergrad.

They want diverse classes. Write a Diversity Statement, it could help.

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greenapples

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby greenapples » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:27 pm

Thanks for the reply guys! Looks like I'll just focus on doing well on LSAT.

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MistakenGenius

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HRomanus

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby HRomanus » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:42 am

MistakenGenius wrote:Strong softs- Teach For America, Peace Corps, Military Service, Business Owner, published author, well-known blogger, working full-time throughout college, Eagle badge/gold award, professional athlete (but not a super-famous athlete, Michael Phelps could get into Yale with a 2.0 and a 130)


I am very skeptical that Eagle or Gold would count as a strong soft, especially Gold.

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MistakenGenius

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igo2northwestern

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby igo2northwestern » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:37 am

MistakenGenius wrote:
tskela wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:I think the mantra of "softs really don't matter" is actually incorrect, or at least exaggerated. Impressive softs can have a decent impact on your admissions chances. However, people routinely overestimate how impressive their softs are.

Virtually everything that happens on an undergraduate campus is not a super impressive soft. Things like clubs, assisting a professor with research, internships, a part time job...it's all well and good, but pretty meh. Almost all good softs are things that take place after college (as Scott noted, things like military service, Rhodes Scholarships, Peace Corps, TFA, substantial professional work experience), or are things in your background that are super interesting/diverse, ie "I came to the United States as a war refugee when I was five."


Interesting. Could you elaborate on why you think this counts as a good soft? I'm asking because this was more or less my situation, and I was told not to mention it all when I applied to undergrad.


I told you that would make an interesting diversity statement. It's a nice little soft. It won't let you hit too far above your weight compared to the other softs we discussed in our pms, but it will definitely be a plus in a tiebreaker.

Also, Scott, a Rhodes Scholarship will definitely let someone fight above their weight class, but you have to have a pretty good GPA for that in the first place.

OP, there are super softs and then good softs. Super softs will let you outperform your numbers to some extent (some by a LOT) because they're so incredible, strong softs might give you the edge when numbers are equal (and sometimes when they're not for Yale and Stanford).

Super Softs- Rhodes, Marshall, Seal Team 6/ Delta Force, Medal of Honor, started a billion dollar company, celebrity or child of celebrities, royalty, astronaut, cowboy-astronaut-millionaire

Strong softs- Teach For America, Peace Corps, Military Service, Business Owner, published author, well-known blogger, working full-time throughout college, Eagle badge/gold award, professional athlete (but not a super-famous athlete, Michael Phelps could get into Yale with a 2.0 and a 130)

Average- internships, class president, head of pre-law society, less than 2 years WE

Below Average- being just the member of a bunch of clubs

Hmm, I'd agree with most of this, except that being a business owner is a strong soft--you'd be surprised at how many people fudge that achievement. One thing I'd like to mention, OP, is that there are selective work experiences that are viewed strongly. VC/PE is well regarded, especially when someone hails from Goldman/Blackstone (this is rare because many of them don't believe that law school has a good financial return); MBB consulting; Google/other high quality tech careers.

~eta: that last bit is responsive to your question about really strong work experiences. The VC/PE/MBB class of applicants have a lot of good things to say because they are usually charged with making or recommending big changes to high profile industry players. It's very easy to tie their experiences to an interest in institutional impact. As for the tech folks, I can imagine it's a pretty straightforward sell as well.

One more category that hasn't quite been mentioned is the whole academic spin. High quality published papers, PhDs in whatever, MDs, etc. from well regarded institutions usually carry weight. This is certainly not to say that you should get a 6 year PhD or an MD, just letting you know what's out there.
Last edited by igo2northwestern on Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

haus

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby haus » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:39 am

MistakenGenius wrote: ...and notice both the Eagle badge and gold award are mentioned there. So yes, I'd definitely say the Eagle and gold count as strong softs. They take as much dedication as most of those.

So is Unicyclist. It is hard to believe that riding a bike that is missing a wheel could be worth much more than mild side note to an app.

HRomanus

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Re: What's a good WE or strong soft?

Postby HRomanus » Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:15 pm

haus wrote:
MistakenGenius wrote: ...and notice both the Eagle badge and gold award are mentioned there. So yes, I'd definitely say the Eagle and gold count as strong softs. They take as much dedication as most of those.

So is Unicyclist. It is hard to believe that riding a bike that is missing a wheel could be worth much more than mild side note to an app.


I think schools (and other groups) cite it so much because it is a common distinguishing achievement. It definitely t helps an app, but I would count it as an average soft. It's better than most school-specific softs because t is a standardized, national achievement. It also carries more weight with boomers than our generation, so I am interested to see how it's regarded as a soft in the future.



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