Fire fighter as a soft

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mattviphky
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Fire fighter as a soft

Postby mattviphky » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:11 pm

How does being a firefighter for a few years look as a soft? Volunteer or professional?

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mattviphky
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby mattviphky » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:13 pm

sorry, i guess my question is more about how much it would affect my chances. Let's say that lsp has me at like a 30% for a school, how much of a boost would the w/e give someone.

flcath
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby flcath » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:14 pm

Sounds like a good soft to me.

I'd highly doubt it would affect (improve) your chances.

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ArchRoark
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby ArchRoark » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:14 pm

Clueless 0L speaking:

I don't think it would be that amazing of a soft (i.e. it won't overcome sub-par numbers). I would imagine it would be cool to talk about during OCI with your interviewers when they are going over your resume. I am sure NU would love it.

Capitol A
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby Capitol A » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:44 am

mattviphky wrote:sorry, i guess my question is more about how much it would affect my chances. Let's say that lsp has me at like a 30% for a school, how much of a boost would the w/e give someone.

Hate to say it, but my guess would be almost no boost.
I've been a nurse for 7yrs, even held leadership positions in a world famous healthcare system. My personal statement was a tear jerker about being with people when they die and wanting to aid the vulnerable...My cycle went EXACTLY as all the numbers/prediction websites said they would. Not even the schools with "Health Law" programs gave me a boost.

firemed
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby firemed » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:38 pm

It helps as a soft. I can only speak as a professional firefighter, of course, but repeatedly through my cycle deans and admissions staff mentioned my job/experience. Now... I am not saying it will get you into HYS with sub-par numbers. You need a much better soft for that. But if you make it into an amazing PS, it can definitely help.

What it did was give me a small but notable boost. I got scholarships that people with numbers slightly higher (~.2 on GPA and ~2 points higher on LSAT) got. In addition I got WL at a few super reaches (where my numbers were below the median on LSAT and below 25th on GPA), and into multiple schools with $$$ despite being a splitter... even ones where my LSAT was at or barely above their 75th.

The legacy of the bravery of my brothers and sisters showed on 9/11 is still present. I hate using their courage to supplement my application, but as people keep trying to remind me, I have displayed the same traits in my job... so it isn't all them.

Just one more thing I want to say: When I took my job, there will still 4 spots for firefighter/paramedics open after the hiring process. So I wasn't taking a job from someone who really wanted it. If you are thinking about becoming a professional firefighter in a system where hundreds of people want that job, you might want to reconsider. There are people out there who have sacrificed their whole lives to get there, and if you take that job just to leave after a few years for law school... well, I don't think that is very cool.

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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby firemed » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:48 pm

Capitol A wrote:Hate to say it, but my guess would be almost no boost.
I've been a nurse for 7yrs, even held leadership positions in a world famous healthcare system. My personal statement was a tear jerker about being with people when they die and wanting to aid the vulnerable...My cycle went EXACTLY as all the numbers/prediction websites said they would. Not even the schools with "Health Law" programs gave me a boost.



Sorry, but nurse =/= firefighter. I respect the hell out of nurses for the job they do. This world would be a lot worse off without them. But it isn't the same.

Capitol A
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby Capitol A » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:23 pm

firemed wrote:
Capitol A wrote:Hate to say it, but my guess would be almost no boost.
I've been a nurse for 7yrs, even held leadership positions in a world famous healthcare system. My personal statement was a tear jerker about being with people when they die and wanting to aid the vulnerable...My cycle went EXACTLY as all the numbers/prediction websites said they would. Not even the schools with "Health Law" programs gave me a boost.



Sorry, but nurse =/= firefighter. I respect the hell out of nurses for the job they do. This world would be a lot worse off without them. But it isn't the same.

No arguement that nursing does not involve a direct risking of life, but to be honest, I would say that the one real reason that firefighting may be a better soft than nursing is likely because it's less common for firefighters to apply to law school than it is for nurses. I think being a firefighter is typically something that one does not leave. It's a lifestyle as well as a career. While nursing is an industry with tremendous turnover, and that many people leave to pursue legal careers. Obviously I have no way of knowing for sure, but I have to honestly doubt that AdComms viewed your firefighting more favorably as a soft than they did my nursing because they have more respect for firefighters than nurses; just as they don't view URMs more favorably because they hold Native Americans in higher esteem than white folks. It's more a matter of uniqueness.

firemed
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby firemed » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:48 pm

Capitol A wrote:No arguement that nursing does not involve a direct risking of life, but to be honest, I would say that the one real reason that firefighting may be a better soft than nursing is likely because it's less common for firefighters to apply to law school than it is for nurses. I think being a firefighter is typically something that one does not leave. It's a lifestyle as well as a career. While nursing is an industry with tremendous turnover, and that many people leave to pursue legal careers. Obviously I have no way of knowing for sure, but I have to honestly doubt that AdComms viewed your firefighting more favorably as a soft than they did my nursing because they have more respect for firefighters than nurses; just as they don't view URMs more favorably because they hold Native Americans in higher esteem than white folks. It's more a matter of uniqueness.



While I could argue that firefighters get more respect than nurses (not that they should, but that they do) it would really go nowhere since to the best of my knowledge there is zero empirical data on the topic. Having seen how nurses are treated in the ER compared to how I am treated though, that is my opinion.

I do agree, however, that the uniqueness factor is probably the huge draw. There is probably 5 or 6 nurses for every firefighter who applies to law school. To the best of my knowledge I am in fact the only firefighter who applied this cycle in the country. In my state I know of only one other firefighter who became an attorney... in the 90s. We are a small enough community I probably would have heard of another (my area has 50% of the population of the state).

So yeah, uniqueness probably is what made it a "better" soft.

Capitol A
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby Capitol A » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:03 pm

While I could argue that firefighters get more respect than nurses (not that they should, but that they do) it would really go nowhere since to the best of my knowledge there is zero empirical data on the topic. Having seen how nurses are treated in the ER compared to how I am treated though, that is my opinion.

There is actually an annual survey on this very topic, and nurses are consistently #1. I don't know where exactly firefighters typically come in, but I'm sure it's near the top. FWIW, attorneys are typically last, like seriously behind third world dictators and the guy who walks behind the elephants at the parade, so I guess we don't put much weight into these stats. :lol:
When you're in the hospital you are seeing the way a very specific group of people treats/interacts with each other. I doubt there are many AdComms moonlighting as ED physicians.
So yeah, uniqueness probably is what made it a "better" soft.


TITCR. Although we have sort of derailed OPs thread.
Obviously firefighters are immensley valuable to society, and you guys risk your lives to protect the public. For that, I know that I am grateful. it's really irrelavant which profession is "more respected" in general. Individual AdComms may have specific experiences that sway their views.
But it looks like, OP, that firefighter will certainly not hurt your apps, and based on at least one person's experience, could help. 8)
Edit: fixed the quotes.

firemed
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby firemed » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:57 pm

Personally, knowing both firefighters and nurses (both my parents were nurses too) I think nurses should get the mad props. More education, work harder, and have more difficult jobs. But yeah, we have derailed the thread.

OP: if you want to be volly, it will look great (though not as great as being a professional FF). If you already are pro or have a FD begging for people near you and can go pro, it will help you IMO. It certainly won't hurt unless you are a dick about it.

ETA: oh, and Capital, I totes know some lawyers who I respect less than third world dictators. I mean, at least ghaddafi has some fashion sense... ambulance chasers always wear the same suit.

Capitol A
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby Capitol A » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:09 pm

I totes know some lawyers who I respect less than third world dictators. I mean, at least ghaddafi has some fashion sense... ambulance chasers always wear the same suit.


There's no way you're telling me you don't look up to these two.
http://www.lernerandrowe.com/#!about-us
They have the best commercials on local day time television! :D

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vamedic03
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:59 pm

I'll toss in my 2 cents here. For way of background, I am a former career firefighter/paramedic, flight paramedic, and ICU nurse. I think there are a couple things to consider here:

(1) How are you selling your experiences? Its important to focus on leadership and critical thinking.

(2) What else are you offering? In other words, I think a lot depends on how it fits into the entire package.

Basically, I think emergency services is a good soft, but it's not going to carry a lot of weight on its own. Rather, it's a part of the package. If you're missing something numbers wise, then it might really help. For example, if you were a splitter (true, high LSAT splitter) then maybe, for some schools, it might help overcome a lower GPA. The most important thing, however, is figuring out how to sell your experiences.

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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby AKB23 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:12 pm

I'm a police officer (also hold an EMT-B license) and my cycle hasn't been any different than anyone else with my numbers. I think they respect that people in careers such as ours put our lives on the line every single day, but we seem to be treated no differently than being president of the chess club in college when it comes to an admissions decision. However, I don't expect to receive any sort of special treatment in any situation I place myself in so it doesn't really matter to me. Do we have amazing stories of wild police chases and running into burning buildings? Absolutely. But I honestly believe those are good for PS fodder and not much more.

As vamedic03 pointed out, you have to sell the experience in the proper light and be smart about it. We have to work well under pressure and make judgment calls that can equal life or death decisions for ourselves, patients, or the general public (and make those decisions on the fly). So a personal statement or other way of sharing experience needs to be done properly and not be used as story time to impress someone. I use those at the bars :lol: (I'm just kidding... I think. :wink: )

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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby firemed » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:54 pm

AKB23 wrote:I'm a police officer (also hold an EMT-B license) and my cycle hasn't been any different than anyone else with my numbers. I think they respect that people in careers such as ours put our lives on the line every single day, but we seem to be treated no differently than being president of the chess club in college when it comes to an admissions decision. However, I don't expect to receive any sort of special treatment in any situation I place myself in so it doesn't really matter to me. Do we have amazing stories of wild police chases and running into burning buildings? Absolutely. But I honestly believe those are good for PS fodder and not much more.

As vamedic03 pointed out, you have to sell the experience in the proper light and be smart about it. We have to work well under pressure and make judgment calls that can equal life or death decisions for ourselves, patients, or the general public (and make those decisions on the fly). So a personal statement or other way of sharing experience needs to be done properly and not be used as story time to impress someone. I use those at the bars :lol: (I'm just kidding... I think. :wink: )



Yeah... like I said, you have to make it into a great PS. Which is what I did.

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mattviphky
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby mattviphky » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:27 pm

thanks for all of the replies guys. well i'm already a firefighter in the air force and i'm getting out in the summer of 2012, so i'm going to apply this coming cycle. So hopefully I have the military and firefighting softs working for me. I was just curious since schools seem to value w/e, and if they tend to value f.d. a great deal more than a typical job.

FiveSermon
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby FiveSermon » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:46 pm

Probably helps a lot more in interviews than for LS apps.

firemed
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby firemed » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:36 am

mattviphky wrote:thanks for all of the replies guys. well i'm already a firefighter in the air force and i'm getting out in the summer of 2012, so i'm going to apply this coming cycle. So hopefully I have the military and firefighting softs working for me. I was just curious since schools seem to value w/e, and if they tend to value f.d. a great deal more than a typical job.



The military thing won't hurt either. Also, having talked to several people who are going to use/already are using the GI Bill to get through law school, it really does take a lot of the pressure off financially.

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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby Renzo » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:38 am

firemed wrote:
Capitol A wrote:Hate to say it, but my guess would be almost no boost.
I've been a nurse for 7yrs, even held leadership positions in a world famous healthcare system. My personal statement was a tear jerker about being with people when they die and wanting to aid the vulnerable...My cycle went EXACTLY as all the numbers/prediction websites said they would. Not even the schools with "Health Law" programs gave me a boost.



Sorry, but nurse =/= firefighter.


Amen to this. Nurses are actually useful.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:42 am

Renzo wrote:
firemed wrote:
Capitol A wrote:Hate to say it, but my guess would be almost no boost.
I've been a nurse for 7yrs, even held leadership positions in a world famous healthcare system. My personal statement was a tear jerker about being with people when they die and wanting to aid the vulnerable...My cycle went EXACTLY as all the numbers/prediction websites said they would. Not even the schools with "Health Law" programs gave me a boost.



Sorry, but nurse =/= firefighter.


Amen to this. Nurses are actually useful.


Image

firemed
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby firemed » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:42 pm

Renzo wrote:
firemed wrote:
Capitol A wrote:Hate to say it, but my guess would be almost no boost.
I've been a nurse for 7yrs, even held leadership positions in a world famous healthcare system. My personal statement was a tear jerker about being with people when they die and wanting to aid the vulnerable...My cycle went EXACTLY as all the numbers/prediction websites said they would. Not even the schools with "Health Law" programs gave me a boost.



Sorry, but nurse =/= firefighter.


Amen to this. Nurses are actually useful.



Did you read the rest of my posts... or just shoot your mouth off?

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mattviphky
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby mattviphky » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:03 pm

oh i'm not worried about the gi bill, i burnt it all doing undergrad. Great investment seeing as how my undergrad was like 12k/yr tuition and law is looking like 30k.

Renzo
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby Renzo » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:55 pm

firemed wrote:
Did you read the rest of my posts... or just shoot your mouth off?

Yes to both.

firemed
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Re: Fire fighter as a soft

Postby firemed » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:29 pm

Renzo wrote:
firemed wrote:
Did you read the rest of my posts... or just shoot your mouth off?

Yes to both.



Ah, you made a funny. My bad.




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