how do you know if you have strong softs?

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fenway
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how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby fenway » Sat May 15, 2010 7:52 pm

if saying you have "strong softs" implies you have softs that are better than average, don't you first have to know what the average is/is there a general average set of softs? if so, what do people think this might include in the scope of all applicants? cuz by relativity, presumed strong softs could be weak softs and vice versa...

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kalvano
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby kalvano » Sat May 15, 2010 8:01 pm

I conquered France once, over a weekend.

But that's not really a strong soft, anyone can do that.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sat May 15, 2010 8:05 pm

I keep getting these $3.5 million royalty checks in the mail for some book I wrote about a retard.

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gdane
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby gdane » Sat May 15, 2010 8:14 pm

Its all relative. The goal isnt so much trying to accumulate "strong" softs, its accumulating softs period. It's very unattractive to see an applicant that has no work experience, no volunteer experience, no extracurricular's, etc etc. Those type of applicants, and im sure there are people like that, appear as ghosts and they dont give a school a real way to gauge the applicant as a person and not just as a set of numbers.

I would say a strong soft is something that shows that you are mature because of it and more importanty that you've learned from it. Volunteering and being involved at a homeless or animal shelter for a long period would be a strong soft in my opinion because it shows a school that you have been exposed to the "real" world and that you've subsequently learned more about the world. The same can be said about work experience.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Sun May 16, 2010 12:12 pm

If you have to ask if your softs are strong, they're not.

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vanwinkle
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun May 16, 2010 12:21 pm

Basic rule: The more unique it is, the "stronger" it is. Softs only help separate you from the rest of the rest of the applicant pool if they're different than the rest of the applicant pool. Served as a Navy fighter pilot, or worked in Somalia to provide food and medicine to refugees for two years, or jumped on the train tracks to save a guy who fell in front of an oncoming subway? Those are good softs. President of a student organization in undergrad? Not so much.

Really. Strong softs must be strong enough to stand out. If you can easily believe that other applicants have the same softs as you, or the same general kind of softs, then they're not strong.

fenway
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby fenway » Sun May 16, 2010 1:19 pm

so basically I'm getting that the standard is a couple tutoring kids/volunteering at a shelter ec's for what would be considered the base line. sounds reasonable. i guess your qualification is equating "strong" with exceptional. just curious though-where would you say serving as a juvenile court advocate for abused children would stand? my intuition is that itd be a general soft with a casual "o, that's interesting" attached. on point?

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vanwinkle
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun May 16, 2010 1:22 pm

fenway wrote:so basically I'm getting that the standard is a couple tutoring kids/volunteering at a shelter ec's for what would be considered the base line. sounds reasonable. i guess your qualification is equating "strong" with exceptional. just curious though-where would you say serving as a juvenile court advocate for abused children would stand? my intuition is that itd be a general soft with a casual "o, that's interesting" attached. on point?

It's a good soft, but not necessarily a great one. It'll certainly help as a tiebreaker if you're on the bubble or they're trying to decide between you and someone else, but I doubt it's the kind of thing that would get you into schools that your numbers wouldn't.

That's why, unless your softs are truly exceptional, they're "soft". They're less significant than your "hard" numbers.

Generic20101L
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby Generic20101L » Sun May 16, 2010 6:00 pm

If you have to ask, you don't have elite softs, that much is positive.

Tautology
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby Tautology » Sun May 16, 2010 6:54 pm

I found a way to cure cancer in children by giving them puppies to play with.

fenway
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby fenway » Mon May 17, 2010 8:05 am

thanks vanwinkle--that's what I was expecting. It just always struck me weird to see people put out the "mediocre LSAT/GPA but SUPER softs" presentation. i guess the problem is also the ambiguity in the wording (super v good v stellar v strong etc). I would agree with people that if you don't know your softs are off the charts, then they are not off the charts. It just seems much harder to weigh what the average law applicant has on his or her resume, as a website forum consisting of highly motivated/borderline neurotic applicants plotting on how to get into the best school (joking/kind of) is not necessarily the best barometer.

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eandy
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby eandy » Mon May 17, 2010 8:11 am

Yes, you will see a lot of people claiming that they are a special daffodil with strong softs. The reality is that probably 10% or less of all applicants are special in any way at all.

greg11a
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby greg11a » Mon May 17, 2010 8:16 am

How would the school know about your softs? Unless you can work in into the PS, theres no where on the application to put something like that. For example, I have over 10 years of work experience, how do they know that, just by doing the math on my undergrad graduation date?

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eandy
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby eandy » Mon May 17, 2010 8:19 am

greg11a wrote:How would the school know about your softs? Unless you can work in into the PS, theres no where on the application to put something like that. For example, I have over 10 years of work experience, how do they know that, just by doing the math on my undergrad graduation date?

There are a number of ways they might know(if none of these, good indication the school doesn't care):
--A lot of applications allow you/ask you to submit a resume.
--If you have 10 years of work experience, I'll bet a good chunk of that is accounted for when some apps ask for your four most recent jobs
--If it really is that crucial to understand something about you, it will naturally be in your PS anyway(If you have a strong soft, that means you practically cured cancer. You would write your PS about curing cancer, if you did, wouldn't you?

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SaintClarence27
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby SaintClarence27 » Mon May 17, 2010 8:23 am

vanwinkle wrote:Basic rule: The more unique it is, the "stronger" it is. Softs only help separate you from the rest of the rest of the applicant pool if they're different than the rest of the applicant pool. Served as a Navy fighter pilot, or worked in Somalia to provide food and medicine to refugees for two years, or jumped on the train tracks to save a guy who fell in front of an oncoming subway? Those are good softs. President of a student organization in undergrad? Not so much.

Really. Strong softs must be strong enough to stand out. If you can easily believe that other applicants have the same softs as you, or the same general kind of softs, then they're not strong.


This will get you *dead*, not into law school.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/15/nyc-subway-savior-leaps-aid-woman-dies-struck/?test=latestnews

Sias
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby Sias » Mon May 17, 2010 11:27 am

Living abroad for a few years is one of the few softs that's both "strong" and actually somewhat common. I'm not talking about studying abroad for a year, but living in another country for 2+ years so that you can also list being somewhat proficient in another language.

Otherwise, softs are almost always weak. A lot of people come here thinking that community service, athletics, or a "special" background (I quotation because these are almost always just an overly dramatized sob story about a person's upbringing) are strong. They aren't. This stuff is filler and will buff an application sure, but it won't compensate for below median numbers like a "strong" soft might.

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F458JE
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby F458JE » Mon May 17, 2010 3:45 pm

greg11a wrote:How would the school know about your softs?



I was wondering about this myself. Surely a large number of people just lie on their resume. I do not see anyway that a school would know if you really have been volunteering for the last two years. I would not expect law schools to verify 5,000 resumes!

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Mon May 17, 2010 3:58 pm

False resumes to law school can be spectacularly fun when the bar C&F requests your law school app and compares to the employment & volunteer history (and contact info of such) you have provided them. :twisted:

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Matthies
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby Matthies » Mon May 17, 2010 4:05 pm

fenway wrote:if saying you have "strong softs" implies you have softs that are better than average, don't you first have to know what the average is/is there a general average set of softs? if so, what do people think this might include in the scope of all applicants? cuz by relativity, presumed strong softs could be weak softs and vice versa...


You must be new to this whole internet message board thing. Talking about something as if your an expert in which you actually have no clue, is standard operating procedure. So don't worry about what good softs are, just assume that no one before you have ever backpacked through Europe, been VP of a club, built a habitat for humanity house and consider yourself to have strong softs.

xqhp82
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby xqhp82 » Mon May 17, 2010 4:05 pm

ScaredWorkedBored wrote:False resumes to law school can be spectacularly fun when the bar C&F requests your law school app and compares to the employment & volunteer history (and contact info of such) you have provided them. :twisted:


what would make them take this step in the first place? i assume they don't do it randomly, so i guess they only do this when the resume is so badly faked that they have detected some fundamental flaws?

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Matthies
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby Matthies » Mon May 17, 2010 4:10 pm

xqhp82 wrote:
ScaredWorkedBored wrote:False resumes to law school can be spectacularly fun when the bar C&F requests your law school app and compares to the employment & volunteer history (and contact info of such) you have provided them. :twisted:


what would make them take this step in the first place? i assume they don't do it randomly, so i guess they only do this when the resume is so badly faked that they have detected some fundamental flaws?


Nope, you do it for them. You have to provide the name, adress, supervisors name and phone number of every place you have worked/volunteered for the last 10 years or since you were 18, then the bar sends them a letter saying any reason why X should not be addmited. Then the people say oh we have no recoernd of X, then, well lets just say its not good

Hey-O
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby Hey-O » Mon May 17, 2010 4:11 pm

Strong is a relative term, but I think it could be replaced by the word impressive to make it more clear. Impressive softs are something that paints a picture of yourself as not the average applicant.

I looked at my whole application as a way to paint a picture of myself. I didn't put anything on my application for no reason. Softs are a way to interest the admissions office in your application particularly.

lawschoolgiant
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby lawschoolgiant » Mon May 17, 2010 4:18 pm

obviously there are outstanding softs. I recommend having your application overall tell a compelling story. Between your extracurricular, Resume and personal statement you can let the admission committee know who you are. The idea is to be memorable.

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F458JE
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby F458JE » Mon May 17, 2010 5:16 pm

ScaredWorkedBored wrote:False resumes to law school can be spectacularly fun when the bar C&F requests your law school app and compares to the employment & volunteer history (and contact info of such) you have provided them. :twisted:


Obviously work history can be checked. I think anyone can see where you have worked if they have your ss#. Not everyone keeps records for volunteering though. I have volunteered at church functions and they don't take role or anything like that. 8)

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kalvano
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Re: how do you know if you have strong softs?

Postby kalvano » Mon May 17, 2010 5:23 pm

F458JE wrote:
ScaredWorkedBored wrote:False resumes to law school can be spectacularly fun when the bar C&F requests your law school app and compares to the employment & volunteer history (and contact info of such) you have provided them. :twisted:


Obviously work history can be checked. I think anyone can see where you have worked if they have your ss#. Not everyone keeps records for volunteering though. I have volunteered at church functions and they don't take role or anything like that. 8)



I've always found it best to begin a new endeavor on a bed of lies and deceit.




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