What are "Strong Softs"?

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LawSchoolChampion
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What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby LawSchoolChampion » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:00 am

Assuming you are coming straight from UG, and have no work experience, what are "strong softs"?

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:02 am

You don't have them.

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loblaw
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby loblaw » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:02 am


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FeelTheHeat
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:05 am

Also:

--LinkRemoved--

pichu
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby pichu » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:03 am

It seems like the consensus is that GREAT softs (i.e. what gets people in under both GPA and LSAT 25th percentiles) are quite rare. They include:
-Being famous
-Being the son/daughter of a famous person, Senator, Governor, President, or Vice President
-Being the son/daughter of a wealthy alumnus who has donated tons of money to the school
-Being an Olympic athlete
-Being a well-known NCAA athlete (Tim Tebow, et al)
-Starting a successful business (successful to the point where you don't really need law school)
-Student body president of a big university (I'm actually not sure about this one. Can anyone confirm about student government positions?)

Good softs are (i.e. things that will help get you in if you are between the 25th percentile and median of GPA and/or LSAT)
-Being an unknown NCAA athlete
-Peace corps
-Teach for America
-Military service
-PhD
-Student body president of your university

Regular softs:
-Law firm experience
-Regular work experience
-Clubs and Greek organizations

Being a URM counts as a soft. URMs will generally need a GPA above the 25th percentile, but can have an LSAT score lower than the 25th percentile.

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Samara
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby Samara » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:56 am

pichu wrote:It seems like the consensus is that GREAT softs (i.e. what gets people in under both GPA and LSAT 25th percentiles) are quite rare. They include:
-Being famous
-Being the son/daughter of a famous person, Senator, Governor, President, or Vice President
-Being the son/daughter of a wealthy alumnus who has donated tons of money to the school
-Being an Olympic athlete
-Being a well-known NCAA athlete (Tim Tebow, et al)
-Starting a successful business (successful to the point where you don't really need law school)
-Student body president of a big university (I'm actually not sure about this one. Can anyone confirm about student government positions?)

Good softs are (i.e. things that will help get you in if you are between the 25th percentile and median of GPA and/or LSAT)
-Being an unknown NCAA athlete
-Peace corps
-Teach for America
-Military service
-PhD
-Student body president of your university

Regular softs:
-Law firm experience
-Regular work experience
-Clubs and Greek organizations

Being a URM counts as a soft. URMs will generally need a GPA above the 25th percentile, but can have an LSAT score lower than the 25th percentile.

I wouldn't call URM status a soft. It's its own thing. Also, plenty of URM get into schools with both numbers below the 25th percentile. URMs are highly unpredictable.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:03 am

pichu wrote:It seems like the consensus is that GREAT softs (i.e. what gets people in under both GPA and LSAT 25th percentiles) are quite rare. They include:
-Being famous
-Being the son/daughter of a famous person, Senator, Governor, President, or Vice President
-Being the son/daughter of a wealthy alumnus who has donated tons of money to the school
-Being an Olympic athlete
-Being a well-known NCAA athlete (Tim Tebow, et al)
-Starting a successful business (successful to the point where you don't really need law school)
-Student body president of a big university (I'm actually not sure about this one. Can anyone confirm about student government positions?)

Good softs are (i.e. things that will help get you in if you are between the 25th percentile and median of GPA and/or LSAT)
-Being an unknown NCAA athlete
-Peace corps
-Teach for America
-Military service
-PhD
-Student body president of your university

Regular softs:
-Law firm experience
-Regular work experience
-Clubs and Greek organizations

Being a URM counts as a soft. URMs will generally need a GPA above the 25th percentile, but can have an LSAT score lower than the 25th percentile.


Actually the whole categorization is pointless.

pichu
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby pichu » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:39 pm

Also, the strength of softs correlates with a school's rankings, meaning that Yale has a higher percentage of people with great soft than does Georgetown.

And some softs look better at certain schools, such as Northwestern liking work experience.

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soj
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby soj » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:36 pm

It's not a bad list, but being student body president is probably a regular soft (i.e. doesn't matter).

And having a PhD is not always a positive.

Tainted_Praise
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby Tainted_Praise » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:56 pm

pichu wrote:It seems like the consensus is that GREAT softs (i.e. what gets people in under both GPA and LSAT 25th percentiles) are quite rare. They include:
-Being famous
-Being the son/daughter of a famous person, Senator, Governor, President, or Vice President
-Being the son/daughter of a wealthy alumnus who has donated tons of money to the school
-Being an Olympic athlete
-Being a well-known NCAA athlete (Tim Tebow, et al)
-Starting a successful business (successful to the point where you don't really need law school)
-Student body president of a big university (I'm actually not sure about this one. Can anyone confirm about student government positions?)

Good softs are (i.e. things that will help get you in if you are between the 25th percentile and median of GPA and/or LSAT)
-Being an unknown NCAA athlete
-Peace corps
-Teach for America ---- Ehhhh. Everyone and their mother has done Teach for America... Wouldn't exactly count that as a "good soft"
-Military service
-PhD
-Student body president of your university

Regular softs:
-Law firm experience
-Regular work experience
-Clubs and Greek organizations :roll:

Being a URM counts as a soft. URMs will generally need a GPA above the 25th percentile, but can have an LSAT score lower than the 25th percentile.

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moopness
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby moopness » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:01 pm

Tainted praise, you are out of your damn mind. Teach for America isn't a "good soft"? lulz

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:37 pm

moopness wrote:Tainted praise, you are out of your damn mind. Teach for America isn't a "good soft"? lulz


If you're a 166, it's not going to get you into Cornell.

OnceUponAMemo
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby OnceUponAMemo » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:48 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote:
moopness wrote:Tainted praise, you are out of your damn mind. Teach for America isn't a "good soft"? lulz


If you're a 166, it's not going to get you into Cornell.


Yeah, my cycle turned out the exact way my numbers dictated it should despite doing TFA. I think this is probably true for most TFA alums.

terrybhs06
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby terrybhs06 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:51 pm

For HYSCCN, at least, TFA is pretty regular and so is student body president.. There are literally dozens of TFA alums in the HLS incoming class.

ETA: TFA may be a good thing to have in the future as it does count as work experience for the purposes of the school's stats and also gives you something to write a PS about (even if there will be about 200 others written on the exact same topic)

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moopness
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby moopness » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:54 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote:
moopness wrote:Tainted praise, you are out of your damn mind. Teach for America isn't a "good soft"? lulz


If you're a 166, it's not going to get you into Cornell.

The 3.0 doesn't help either. This doesn't mean it's not a good soft. Few good (not great) softs will get you into a school that your numbers wont.
terrybhs06 wrote:For HYSCCN, at least, TFA is pretty regular and so is student body president.. There are literally dozens of TFA alums in the HLS incoming class.

Yea, because it's a good soft. There are plenty of anecdotes around here that JR LOVES TFA. Because. It's. A. Good. Soft.

terrybhs06
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby terrybhs06 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:57 pm

moopness wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:
moopness wrote:Tainted praise, you are out of your damn mind. Teach for America isn't a "good soft"? lulz


If you're a 166, it's not going to get you into Cornell.

This doesn't mean it's not a good soft. Few good (not great) softs will get you into a school that your numbers wont.
terrybhs06 wrote:For HYSCCN, at least, TFA is pretty regular and so is student body president.. There are literally dozens of TFA alums in the HLS incoming class.

Yea, because it's a good soft. There are plenty of anecdotes around here that JR LOVES TFA. Because. It's. A. Good. Soft.


The problem here is one of definition. By "good" soft we mean one that would you get you in a place your numbers are a bit below. Great soft is the type of stuff that gets someone into HYS with a 3.5/160 combo. Whats the point of a soft being defined as good if it gives no noticeable boost?

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moopness
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby moopness » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:08 pm

terrybhs06 wrote:
moopness wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:
moopness wrote:Tainted praise, you are out of your damn mind. Teach for America isn't a "good soft"? lulz


If you're a 166, it's not going to get you into Cornell.

This doesn't mean it's not a good soft. Few good (not great) softs will get you into a school that your numbers wont.
terrybhs06 wrote:For HYSCCN, at least, TFA is pretty regular and so is student body president.. There are literally dozens of TFA alums in the HLS incoming class.

Yea, because it's a good soft. There are plenty of anecdotes around here that JR LOVES TFA. Because. It's. A. Good. Soft.


The problem here is one of definition. By "good" soft we mean one that would you get you in a place your numbers are a bit below. Great soft is the type of stuff that gets someone into HYS with a 3.5/160 combo. Whats the point of a soft being defined as good if it gives no noticeable boost?

I was going off the list above. And I generally agree with it (except the student body president thing, that's definitely not a "great soft").
I think it would be better to reclassify them as weak, average and exceptional softs.
Weak softs are not "bad", because they don't detract from your app. Even being in a frat isn't a bad soft, it's just a really weak one. Replace "good" with average. These aren't softs that will get you into a place higher than your numbers, but they could get you rejected from a place where you're on the brink. Take WE for example. Tons of people have it, but its definitely one of the most valuable softs you can get. If you're a middling candidate at a top school, lack of a "good" (average) soft could sink you, so these are necessary. At Harvard, for example, TFA could get you accepted when you're numbers put you on the edge (NOT when you're numbers give you no chance in hell, but if you're a 3.8 174 you'd have a much better chance with TFA than without any WE). An "exceptional" soft is something that WILL get you into a school where you would otherwise have no chance. I think most of the "great" softs listed here are on point. So, I disagree that a "good" soft will get you somewhere your numbers wont.

ETA: There are obviously "above-average" or "very-good" but not exceptional softs, like military experience, that will get you somewhere where you're just below their numbers. I would still say that TFA falls into this category.

terrybhs06
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby terrybhs06 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:21 pm

Well I will put it this way. All this based on my experience last cycle and friends from the cycle before. I only applied most of the T-14+Vandy/Texas so this is from that perspective. All these are from people who were 4 years or less out of undergrad:

Great Soft: (Can get you in with numbers not really close)
Co-Founder/Board member on a successful system of charter schools focused on impoverished students
MAJOR experience in the public policy arena from a very young age
Rhodes Scholar with really good research

Good Soft: (Can get you a bump but you at least have to be somewhat in the realm)
Marshall scholar (not sure about this one.. may be a tweener between good/great)
Military experience
Tons of leadership credentials in a mid-sized city
Public policy experience on immigrants rights (as an immigrant them self)

Avg Soft: (great to have if borderline)
TFA
Finance/Consulting/Big name work experience
School leadership
Etc.

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moopness
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby moopness » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:24 pm

terrybhs06 wrote:Well I will put it this way. All this based on my experience last cycle and friends from the cycle before. I only applied most of the T-14+Vandy/Texas so this is from that perspective. All these are from people who were 4 years or less out of undergrad:

Great Soft: (Can get you in with numbers not extremely close)
Co-Founder/Board member on a successful system of charter schools focused on impoverished students
MAJOR experience in the public policy arena from a very young age
Rhodes Scholar with really good research

Good Soft: (Can get you a bump but you at least have to be somewhat in the realm)
Marshall scholar (not sure about this one.. may be a tweener between good/great)
Military experience
Tons of leadership credentials in a mid-sized city
Public policy experience on immigrants rights (as an immigrant them self)

Avg Soft: (great to have if borderline)
TFA
Finance/Consulting/Big name work experience
School leadership
Etc.

You know what? I'll agree with this. I'm a bit surprised with the Marshall scholar though, thought it was much more prestigious.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: What are "Strong Softs"?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:16 pm

moopness wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:
moopness wrote:Tainted praise, you are out of your damn mind. Teach for America isn't a "good soft"? lulz


If you're a 166, it's not going to get you into Cornell.

The 3.0 doesn't help either. This doesn't mean it's not a good soft. Few good (not great) softs will get you into a school that your numbers wont.


lol




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