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Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:56 pm
by corresponding Cor
Assuming you're just a member and nothing more, does joining those random undergrad honor societies, i.e. Golden Key, the Greek societies, really help you in terms of law school admission chances?

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:58 pm
by Helmholtz
no

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:59 pm
by joshikousei
.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:02 pm
by jackassjim
Are those the type of organizations that ask for money before they deliver your "award"?

I always found that preposterous.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:04 pm
by Cleareyes
Phi Beta Kappa is worth joining in terms of being a slight boost for admissions and later job opportunities (vs a very low cost of joining) but most of the others aren't really, and it's not like PBK is equal to anything more than a soft.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:09 pm
by joshikousei
.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:15 pm
by jackassjim
joshikousei wrote:side note: PBK selection can be a very arbitrary process.. seriously, it felt like if you had a friend in PBK arguing your case, then tada


I'm sure adcomms know this full well. The only time I've read them actually say something about the value of awards and honours as a soft, was in a context such as "this person has already been screened by an experienced, qualified selection committee. They must have seen something good in him/her". If this is really the reason why award can improve the evaluation of your file, I don't think Honor Societies that you need to pay to get into, or those whose admission process is quite arbitrar, would do much good for an application.

If we know they're bullshit, the people reading our files know it too.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:41 pm
by starstruck393
It really depends on the honor society. The true academic honor societies are a good thing. These are the overarching societies for area of study like Phi Beta Kappa for liberal arts and sciences and Tau Beta Pi for engineering, and honor societies for specific majors. Even if they don't give you much of a boost in ls admissions, I've seen a number of lawyers list them with their undergraduate degree on their bio page.

After that, most other honor societies are a scam, like Golden Key and Delta Epsilon Iota. If you haven't been involved in anything else, than it might be something to consider, but I doubt it would help you out.

Two general criteria to keep in mind when looking at honor societies are what it's for and it's age. If the honor society is for general academics instead of a specific major or area of study, it's probably a waste of time. The same goes for those that were founded in the last 10-20 years. Most highly regarded societies were founded in the late 1800's/early 1900's; Phi Beta Kappa was founded in the 1700's. If the society was founded in the mid 1990's, how much prestige do you think it really has?

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:46 pm
by green
joshikousei wrote:side note: PBK selection can be a very arbitrary process.. seriously, it felt like if you had a friend in PBK arguing your case, then tada


How is it arbitrary? For us, it's just the top 10%.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:50 pm
by joshikousei
.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:56 pm
by Cleareyes
joshikousei wrote:
green wrote:
joshikousei wrote:side note: PBK selection can be a very arbitrary process.. seriously, it felt like if you had a friend in PBK arguing your case, then tada


How is it arbitrary? For us, it's just the top 10%.


maybe it differs by school? at mine, top X% let you qualify. but then your qualifications goes to a board of current PBK members (yes, including current students), where everything is reviewed, particularly academic rigor

followed by a round table vote


And then a pillow fight?

At my school it was basically just PBK faculty members making the decisions.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:02 pm
by joshikousei
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Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:56 pm
by Batman Wannabe
anyone know if it's just PBK that gives application advantages? i'm in PKP (Phi Kappa Phi) which is supposed to be somewhat prestigious (top 7.5%) but pretty obscure as far as name recognition.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:46 pm
by capitalacq
alone, none really give you a boost... but they do help build your story (when they see summa/magna cum laude, PBK, the other honor societies, and departmental honors/thesis for one candidate, it helps show that your a top student)

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:01 pm
by mcm17
Is getting into PBK early supposed to be better or something? I got in spring of junior year, but I didn't think that was such a big deal, although most of the other people who also got in that semester were seniors...

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:11 pm
by capitalacq
mcm17 wrote:Is getting into PBK early supposed to be better or something? I got in spring of junior year, but I didn't think that was such a big deal, although most of the other people who also got in that semester were seniors...

early is just good b/c you can put it on your resume/app when you apply

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:12 pm
by imchuckbass58
PBK at my school was based on percentage of A grades.

In general, it is very prestigious - much more so than any of the other societies. If you look at the bios of partners at law firms (or business executives, or scientists for that matter), it will list whether they were PBK, even if they're 40 years into their career.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:13 pm
by imchuckbass58
imchuckbass58 wrote:PBK at my school was based on percentage of A grades.

In general, it is very prestigious - much more so than any of the other societies. If you look at the bios of partners at law firms (or business executives, or scientists for that matter), it will list whether they were PBK, even if they're 40 years into their career.

That said, I don't think it gives you an "additional" boost by itself. More so, people take it as an indication that you got really good grades in college. But you'll be reporting your grades to LSAC, so this doesn't really matter.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:07 pm
by jacko
How about if your the president of PKB? I'm hoping that being president of an additional Honor Society, magna cum laude, and departmental honors help me out.

Re: Honor Societies

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:43 pm
by lyricsoprano
My school doesn't have PBK - should I even bother putting honor societies such as Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Eta Sigma, and the Golden Key on my resume? Kind of regretting spending money on them.