Bias Invoking Softs

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Fish127
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Bias Invoking Softs

Postby Fish127 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:16 pm

So I had a sort of general question about a specific circumstance. I've been trying lately to become certified as an NRA instructor to teach people the safe and responsible way to handle firearms. I was thinking that I might list this on my law school application as an extra curricular. The thing that gave me pause is that, in my experience, some more liberal minded people have a very negative view of the NRA. Even some who aren't necessarily anti-gun. So my question is, would it be a bad idea to put something like this on a resume, because it might work against me if the wrong type of person is reviewing my application.

badaboom61
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Re: Biases Invoking Softs

Postby badaboom61 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:25 pm

Unless you really need space to fill it up, I'd probably leave it off. Most adcomms are pretty fair-minded, and wouldn't be biased at all by things general right-leaning things like College Republicans, but anything involving guns really upsets some people and it's probably not worth pushing your luck. I can't really see the pros outweighing the cons in this situation.

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Ramius
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Re: Biases Invoking Softs

Postby Ramius » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:29 pm

badaboom61 wrote:Unless you really need space to fill it up, I'd probably leave it off. Most adcomms are pretty fair-minded, and wouldn't be biased at all by things general right-leaning things like College Republicans, but anything involving guns really upsets some people and it's probably not worth pushing your luck. I can't really see the pros outweighing the cons in this situation.


Ignore this in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with listing it as an EC on your application. No one is going to see this on your resume and think "guns kill people, and this guy supports guns...burn him!!!" They'll take it just like any other club/group/EC not involving hate groups or gangs...a point of "meh."

Stinson
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby Stinson » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:31 pm

I'm pretty anti-gun and liberal but I can't see disliking an application because someone wants to teach others to handle guns safely and responsibly. As with any soft, they're not going to care much about it, but I don't think it would hurt you.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:34 pm

The liberal academic establishment isn't conspiratorially out to get conservatives. No one cares. It's a weak non-factor type soft, that's about it.

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MistakenGenius
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Post removed.

Postby MistakenGenius » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:01 pm

Post removed.
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johnfootball
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby johnfootball » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:15 pm

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Last edited by johnfootball on Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mroberts3
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby Mroberts3 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:24 pm

MistakenGenius wrote:(I would hope everyone going into law will be supportive of our laws)


You do understand that having a different interpretation of a law is not the same thing as not supporting the law, right?


OP, I would say you should list it as long as you make it clear you are a safety instructor. This shows maturity and leadership (not that these kind of softs matter that much anyway).

I am liberal but comfortable with guns. However, the political arm of the NRA has a (I think deservedly) bad rap because they are so extreme on the issue and it is the only issue they care about. I think you want to avoid accidentally associating yourself with that because a) it shows nothing about you and b) would be more likely to be disfavored by academic types (again, to the extent they care at all).

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midwest17
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby midwest17 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:52 pm

Would it be possible to list it without mentioning the NRA? That, not the guns, would be the source of your problems (if you end up having any).

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wowhio
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby wowhio » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:35 pm

If it's something you spend a significant amount of time on that is important to you, you should include it. Ad comms aren't looking for people who tell them what they want to hear. They want diverse and interesting people who have passion and drive. Plus, they're not going to reject you based on your political beliefs (or the political stance of a group you work for) -- and even if they did, would you want to go to a school like that?

I agree with the above posters too that teaching a gun safety class shows leadership and responsibility. I think even the most ardent, anti-gun liberal nutball would have to give you credit for teaching people that owning a gun may be a right, but it's a right that comes with certain responsibilities. I think if you emphasize the work you did, that will speak much louder than the name of the organization.

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wowhio
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby wowhio » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:43 pm

the political arm of the NRA has a (I think deservedly) bad rap because they are so extreme on the issue and it is the only issue they care about.


Don't listen to this. Us liberal nutballs list our internships and volunteer work with the ACLU, and NARAL, and the Innocence Project, and stuff like that and we don't seem to worry that these groups are too extreme or care too much about one thing. Maybe the OP of this comment would worry about that, but I think a lot of people don't think twice about admitting to working with a known-liberal and politically outspoken organization.

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Mroberts3
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby Mroberts3 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:01 am

wowhio wrote:
the political arm of the NRA has a (I think deservedly) bad rap because they are so extreme on the issue and it is the only issue they care about.


Don't listen to this. Us liberal nutballs list our internships and volunteer work with the ACLU, and NARAL, and the Innocence Project, and stuff like that and we don't seem to worry that these groups are too extreme or care too much about one thing. Maybe the OP of this comment would worry about that, but I think a lot of people don't think twice about admitting to working with a known-liberal and politically outspoken organization.


This point is well taken, but I still think the NRA is slightly different. I wouldn't tell the OP to leave of an internship at a place like the Cato institute or something similar. Maybe I'm wrong, but there is something about the gun issue that might antagonize fair minded adcomms (again, to the extent they care at all).

Again, I don't think there is anything wrong with his position as a safety instructor or that he is affiliated with the NRA. After all, the NRA does a lot other than advocacy. However, the political advocacy is what adcomms will be familiar with, and I don't think their impression will be positive.

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kwais
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby kwais » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:26 am

Mroberts3 wrote:
MistakenGenius wrote:(I would hope everyone going into law will be supportive of our laws)


You do understand that having a different interpretation of a law is not the same thing as not supporting the law, right?


lol, indeed. The same logic would counsel against repeal of anti-interracial marriage laws.

BigZuck
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby BigZuck » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:46 am

Political bickering aside-Considering its a very weak soft that will do absolutely nothing to add to the OPs application, what's the upside of adding it? If there is at all the potential downside (and maybe there is) and literally no upside, then why put it?

basketball law guy
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby basketball law guy » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:09 am

I am a pretty moderate guy- I am a hunter but anti-NRA. Think of all those NRA bumper stickers out there with the really bad political undertones- that's my impression of the NRA. Again, I am also a hunter so I am not anti-gun. Leave it off- it is too insignificant to even risk a little bias.

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Ramius
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby Ramius » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:21 am

If the OP spent significant amounts of his time doing it, it'll help fill in the gap of how the OP spends their days. I'm not saying it'll be some big boost, but filling in time requirements is always a good thing to show a person keeps busy doing constructive things like teaching the proper and safe use of firearms. Who on earth would really think that's a bad thing?

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AllDangle
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby AllDangle » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:28 am

Mods please delete this post.

edited: deleted

BigZuck
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby BigZuck » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:30 am

matthewsean85 wrote:If the OP spent significant amounts of his time doing it, it'll help fill in the gap of how the OP spends their days. I'm not saying it'll be some big boost, but filling in time requirements is always a good thing to show a person keeps busy doing constructive things like teaching the proper and safe use of firearms. Who on earth would really think that's a bad thing?


People who think the NRA are filled with Nutty McNuttertuns?

I don't know if it would adversely affect the OP. But it almost certainly won't positively affect the OP. So if they are worried that it could hurt, then leave it off. Ideally the OP has other interests that they can put on their application.

Fish127
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby Fish127 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:32 pm

BigZuck wrote:Political bickering aside-Considering its a very weak soft that will do absolutely nothing to add to the OPs application, what's the upside of adding it?

Because I don't have a lot of other softs, and since I spend a lot of time on this, not listing it will look like in addition to having no clubs or anything, I basically do nothing with my time.

rendlelaw
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby rendlelaw » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:50 pm

I think that applicants lose a lot of strength with this type of thinking. Having a bunch of pre-rehearsed interview answers, hiding who you truly are, and trying to guess what other people really want all take their tolls in confidence and authenticity.
Portray yourself as you truly are. (Of course, portray your authentic self in the best light possible, but be confident in yourself and let your application reflect who you truly are.)

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wowhio
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby wowhio » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:25 pm

I spend a lot of time on this


You should absolutely include it then. Emphasize that it has to do with gun safety and I think 99% of people would interpret that positively. (Who in the right mind is anti gun safety? Even liberals who think all guns should be banned probably think gun safety is a good idea until that actually happens.)

I still think it's a really cool and interesting soft, actually. I'm imagining an admissions person presenting your file to the committee and saying: "Oh this candidate has great numbers and a fabulous essay AND he/she/ze spends their free time doing something we don't see very often at all."
Last edited by wowhio on Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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wowhio
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby wowhio » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:25 pm

rendlelaw wrote:I think that applicants lose a lot of strength with this type of thinking. Having a bunch of pre-rehearsed interview answers, hiding who you truly are, and trying to guess what other people really want all take their tolls in confidence and authenticity.
Portray yourself as you truly are. (Of course, portray your authentic self in the best light possible, but be confident in yourself and let your application reflect who you truly are.)


+1000

BigZuck
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby BigZuck » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:44 pm

I'm getting the sense that people are really overplaying the importance of softs and the positive impacts they could have on one's application.

Anyway I don't have a particularly strong feeling about this one way or the other but I would consider maybe leaving the NRA part out of the gun safety instructor description. That way the soft is put on the app but the OP doesn't have to sweat being judged negatively for it.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby SemperLegal » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:18 pm

I would leave it off. There are certainly people in the law school system (though probably not in admissions) who are fanatically anti-gun and anti-NRA. They are few and far between, but they certainly exist. However, there is simply no one that will change a no to a yes as a result of a lackluster soft (no offense to OP, but all softs are lackluster unless they are instantly recognizable to a lay person and practically unique, neither of which is true for a NRA RSO).

Low Risk, but No Reward.

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jordan15
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Re: Bias Invoking Softs

Postby jordan15 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:12 am

I honestly don't know of a single liberal who would be against someone teaching proper gun safety. I agree with the above posters that the NRA is very divisive, more so than the ACLU and other "extreme" liberal organizations, but there is a huge difference between OP saying that he campaigned and rallied for the NRA and OP saying he taught gun safety through the NRA.

I actually think that as far as non-prestigious softs go, it's probably one of the more unique ones that might catch an adcom's eye as being especially noble given the recent national tragedies.




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