Military service as a soft?

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willwash
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Military service as a soft?

Postby willwash » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:48 am

If one were to have 6 years of military service with an honorable discharge, would that give a definite bump over someone with comparable UGPA/LSAT numbers? Or do these liberal academic institutions actually frown upon service to your coutnry?

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Doritos
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby Doritos » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:05 am

willwash wrote:If one were to have 6 years of military service with an honorable discharge, would that give a definite bump over someone with comparable UGPA/LSAT numbers? Or do these liberal academic institutions actually frown upon service to your coutnry?


lol.

No. Law schools do not hate the troops. That is a good soft factor

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BigFatPanda
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby BigFatPanda » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:08 am

Those damn communists, out to reject American soldiers from law school. Bugger them all.

Seriously, thank you for your service. And no, Liberal schools do not reject soldiers (Unless your LSAT really sucked). Although if you're conservative and really into making like-minded friends, you'll have some problem on today's college/law school campus but it won't hurt u academically.

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holydonkey
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby holydonkey » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:14 am

Flame

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PowerPro64
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby PowerPro64 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:19 am

There are lots of threads on this, so just do a search. As a vet, I believe I've been viewed favorably by adcoms. However, a lot of it has to do with the way you frame it. Just don't come off too gung ho in your personal statements.

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Doritos
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby Doritos » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:39 am

holydonkey wrote:Flame


I had a long, hilarious, disparaging response because I'm 99% sure its a flame but gave the OP benefit of the doubt. Prove me right OP!

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JazzOne
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:42 am

willwash wrote:If one were to have 6 years of military service with an honorable discharge, would that give a definite bump over someone with comparable UGPA/LSAT numbers? Or do these liberal academic institutions actually frown upon service to your coutnry?

God, Corps, Coutnry?

Military service is a good soft, but it is completely negated by condescension.

notanumber
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby notanumber » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:55 am

I dunno guys, the OP might have a point.

Remember, the former admissions dean at Harvard left to work for this liberal-hippie troop-hating communist institution: http://www.aei.org/. :roll:


BigFatPanda wrote: if you're conservative and really into making like-minded friends, you'll have some problem on today's college/law school campus but it won't hurt u academically.

I'm not sure that this is true true. Almost every law school, and certainly every top law school, has a chapter of the federalist society on campus. They'll also have networks built with the local and national Republican party.

Also, why not just make friends with people who have different opinions and perspectives? You might learn something new. I'm a crazy leftist but some of my closest friends (and all of my close friends who went to top law schools) are Republicans/libertarians. Good and decent people come in all political stripes.

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willwash
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby willwash » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:10 am

I wouldn't dare condescend to show condescension, particularly on a law school app. That wasn't my intent in any case. Just wondering how heavily I should advertise my years of service; when I was in college, I did have the occasional run-in with militantly liberal profs who had T/F questions like this on their tests:

"The criminal justice system in the United States is racist."

No essay, no advancing the viewpoint with supporting evidence...just a true or false. Then you hear the stories of unpunished assaults against Marines on Berkeley's campus and harrassment of ROTC students in uniform and whatnot.

Stuff like that scares me into thinking I shouldn't mention it. The thing is, I'm one of those low UGPA/high LSAT bubbas, and the truth is that my low UGPA was the result of laziness that the Navy subsequently whipped out of me, and that's important. That's really the main capacity in which I would mention my military time.

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JazzOne
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:14 am

willwash wrote:I wouldn't dare condescend to show condescension, particularly on a law school app. That wasn't my intent in any case. Just wondering how heavily I should advertise my years of service; when I was in college, I did have the occasional run-in with militantly liberal profs who had T/F questions like this on their tests:

"The criminal justice system in the United States is racist."

No essay, no advancing the viewpoint with supporting evidence...just a true or false. Then you hear the stories of unpunished assaults against Marines on Berkeley's campus and harrassment of ROTC students in uniform and whatnot.

Stuff like that scares me into thinking I shouldn't mention it. The thing is, I'm one of those low UGPA/high LSAT bubbas, and the truth is that my low UGPA was the result of laziness that the Navy subsequently whipped out of me, and that's important. That's really the main capacity in which I would mention my military time.

To be honest, I thought you were a flame. Since you appear to be real, I'll give you my advice. You definitely should emphasize this in your application. There are quite of few military types on this board who have gotten into good law schools. Your military service will be viewed as a good soft at most schools. And if a school wants to discriminate against you for being in the military, do you really want to go to that school anyway? Discussing this in your PS has a double benefit: It will impress some schools, and it will help you figure out which schools are ideological misfits for you.

Rawlsian
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby Rawlsian » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:24 am

willwash wrote:I wouldn't dare condescend to show condescension, particularly on a law school app. That wasn't my intent in any case. Just wondering how heavily I should advertise my years of service; when I was in college, I did have the occasional run-in with militantly liberal profs who had T/F questions like this on their tests:

"The criminal justice system in the United States is racist."

No essay, no advancing the viewpoint with supporting evidence...just a true or false. Then you hear the stories of unpunished assaults against Marines on Berkeley's campus and harrassment of ROTC students in uniform and whatnot.

Stuff like that scares me into thinking I shouldn't mention it. The thing is, I'm one of those low UGPA/high LSAT bubbas, and the truth is that my low UGPA was the result of laziness that the Navy subsequently whipped out of me, and that's important. That's really the main capacity in which I would mention my military time.


Are you a seal? Underwater demo? Otherwise....

I'm jk, but you seem on edge, so I gave you a little poke. You don't have to worry. Military service is not a liberal or a conservative thing (I did 2 1/2 Iraq tours as Army Infantry, and I'm fairly anti-normative conservative), so 'liberal profs' are not going to disparage you based on that. However, if you lack the ability to engage in empathetic counter-argument, or your conservative strand leans more towards fascist instead of libertarian, the profs may eat you up.

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willwash
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby willwash » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:27 am

notanumber wrote:I dunno guys, the OP might have a point.

Remember, the former admissions dean at Harvard left to work for this liberal-hippie troop-hating communist institution: http://www.aei.org/. :roll:


BigFatPanda wrote: if you're conservative and really into making like-minded friends, you'll have some problem on today's college/law school campus but it won't hurt u academically.

I'm not sure that this is true true. Almost every law school, and certainly every top law school, has a chapter of the federalist society on campus. They'll also have networks built with the local and national Republican party.

Also, why not just make friends with people who have different opinions and perspectives? You might learn something new. I'm a crazy leftist but some of my closest friends (and all of my close friends who went to top law schools) are Republicans/libertarians. Good and decent people come in all political stripes.


I'm all about some perspective. I had the good fortune to go to high school in Germany and experience firsthand another culture and their viewpoints. Some things over there are awesome, like no speed limits and a drinking age of 16 (18 to drive though). I have my differences with certain European "ways" as well, but at least I actually got to live there and see things for myself.


Ron Paul FTW

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Rotor
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby Rotor » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:43 am

willwash wrote:Then you hear the stories of unpunished assaults against Marines on Berkeley's campus and harrassment of ROTC students in uniform and whatnot.


What?? Do you have an example of this in the last 35 years??

The ROTC students are around campus in uniform regularly and don't seem to have any issues.

I've talked with Dean Tom about this issue and he likes having prior military in the classes to give a perspective that you don't get anywhere else. Just use it as a framing device to explain what makes you you and why you are a good asset for the school.

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sky7
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby sky7 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:45 am

As a moderate/conservative member of the military (and a law student), I can safely say that you'll soon find that the vast majority of law school students and professors are quite far to the left, some more rationally than others. This, in turn, makes me - the moderate conservative - a member of some vast right wing conspiracy of which I never meant to be a part of.

However - this makes for great fun. There is almost no intellectual diversity, which means that you will become something of a novelty (that is, if you open your mouth). I've literally had people be shocked and awed that I could "educated" and be a conservative (and, to be fair, certain demographics of my fellow conservatives don't help this perception).

As a result, I'm fairly certain that some people associate with me simply because they feel that I am some sort of clever party trick - "Dude... I have to introduce you to my friend. *Whispers/Wink* He's a conservative, and here at GW Law!").

In all honesty, part of the reason my center-left friends do keep me around is because I'm something of a breath of fresh air. They can have intelligent political conversation with me, and not have some sort of "liberal law school party line" forced down their throat. I realize that's somewhat of an exaggeration, as there is no true ABA sanctioned law school political stance, the uniformity is enough to be clear.

In an interesting turn of events, I think that many of the above friends are becoming more conservative due to the intense, and sometimes extreme, liberal sentiment in law school. I mean, it's fair to hate Scalia, but there should be some reasonable legal analysis around it, not just "OMGALGOREGOTSCREWEDIHATEHIMSOMUCH".

Anyway - I don't think there are any problems, and I had my doubts. I had been warned by a GW Law prof to not play up my military experience on my resume when I was applying. Looking back on it, I think my military experience (and the fact I'm stationed in DC) helped me immensely. The law school dean even wrote me a note thanking me for my service.

So basically:

1. Is law school uber liberal? Yup, but who really cares? If you don't want to get into things, keep your mouth shut. If you do, have fun with it. It's law school, you're training to argue for a living.
2. Will military service hurt your app? Probably not. Just go for it.

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thickfreakness
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby thickfreakness » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:16 pm

willwash wrote:I wouldn't dare condescend to show condescension, particularly on a law school app. That wasn't my intent in any case. Just wondering how heavily I should advertise my years of service; when I was in college, I did have the occasional run-in with militantly liberal profs who had T/F questions like this on their tests:

"The criminal justice system in the United States is racist."

No essay, no advancing the viewpoint with supporting evidence...just a true or false. Then you hear the stories of unpunished assaults against Marines on Berkeley's campus and harrassment of ROTC students in uniform and whatnot.

Stuff like that scares me into thinking I shouldn't mention it. The thing is, I'm one of those low UGPA/high LSAT bubbas, and the truth is that my low UGPA was the result of laziness that the Navy subsequently whipped out of me, and that's important. That's really the main capacity in which I would mention my military time.


Contrary to hiding it, I would emphasize how the military reshaped your work ethic and gave you new perspective. I think it's more important to make your military experience relevant to a career as a law student/attorney than to talk about war and such in a more distant way. Lawyers are generally more analytic and less emotional/sympathetic, so you've got to connect the dots in a simple, rational way. If you can show how your time in the Navy helped shape your life, work ethic, and motivation to attend law school I think your military experience will be a powerful factor for admissions committees.

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby amputatedbrain » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:39 pm

I'm a veteran and it was a big part of my life and my law school applications. I've very much out-performed my LSAT, and am pretty sure that is the reason. You do have to be very careful how you sell it though. A bad PS statement is bad no matter how good the core material may be. I know vet's who have done very poorly by either acting like the country owes them something, or overplaying their experience (i.e. Iraq was so lawless it made me appreciate what lawyers do sort of BS)

eudaimondaimon
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby eudaimondaimon » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:41 pm

willwash wrote:when I was in college, I did have the occasional run-in with militantly liberal profs who had T/F questions like this on their tests:

"The criminal justice system in the United States is racist."

No essay, no advancing the viewpoint with supporting evidence...just a true or false.


I don't believe you.

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big_blue79
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby big_blue79 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:09 pm

Rawlsian wrote:Military service is not a liberal or a conservative thing


+1.

I did 6 years (AF), and I tend to probably be slightly right of center. However, nothing bothers me more than conservatives acting like they have a monopoly on supporting the troops, patriotism, and national defense. Sean Hannity is the poster boy for this. Go stare off into the distance and slap an American flag on everything, Sean, and just stfu.

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby amputatedbrain » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:23 pm

big_blue79 wrote:
Rawlsian wrote:Military service is not a liberal or a conservative thing


+1.

I did 6 years (AF), and I tend to probably be slightly right of center. However, nothing bothers me more than conservatives acting like they have a monopoly on supporting the troops, patriotism, and national defense. Sean Hannity is the poster boy for this. Go stare off into the distance and slap an American flag on everything, Sean, and just stfu.


Air Force is barely the military . . . thanks for loading my shit on a pallet on my way into Iraq (-:

Edit: You're right though, Hannity is a bit much

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JazzOne
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:27 pm

amputatedbrain wrote:
big_blue79 wrote:
Rawlsian wrote:Military service is not a liberal or a conservative thing


+1.

I did 6 years (AF), and I tend to probably be slightly right of center. However, nothing bothers me more than conservatives acting like they have a monopoly on supporting the troops, patriotism, and national defense. Sean Hannity is the poster boy for this. Go stare off into the distance and slap an American flag on everything, Sean, and just stfu.


Air Force is barely the military . . . thanks for loading my shit on a pallet on my way into Iraq (-:

Edit: You're right though, Hannity is a bit much

You know, lol gets thrown out there too much. But LOL.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:32 pm

I go to UVA Law. The first thing they said during orientation, when discussing the diverseness of our class, was that "Some of you served our country in Iraq or Afghanistan." We're also next door to the Army JAG school and can take classes in their school and vice versa.

Like the rest of real life, you'll find that law school is not some big uniform thing but a variety of individual institutions each with their own leanings and takes on the subject. Also, in a post-9/11 generation most people in our country are thankful for our troops and the service they provide, even those who disagree with the way those troops are deployed and used. This isn't the 1960s.

Besides, it's not like people go asking me what I did before I came to law school. You're not gonna be stood up in front of the class and asked, "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the armed forces?" Unless you show up in uniform a lot of them aren't even going to know, which will make it hard for them to care.

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby amputatedbrain » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:42 pm

vanwinkle wrote:I go to UVA Law. The first thing they said during orientation, when discussing the diverseness of our class, was that "Some of you served our country in Iraq or Afghanistan." We're also next door to the Army JAG school and can take classes in their school and vice versa.

Like the rest of real life, you'll find that law school is not some big uniform thing but a variety of individual institutions each with their own leanings and takes on the subject. Also, in a post-9/11 generation most people in our country are thankful for our troops and the service they provide, even those who disagree with the way those troops are deployed and used. This isn't the 1960s.

Besides, it's not like people go asking me what I did before I came to law school. You're not gonna be stood up in front of the class and asked, "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the armed forces?" Unless you show up in uniform a lot of them aren't even going to know, which will make it hard for them to care.


This . . . I go to a UG campus known for being pretty radical . . . almost everyone understands that troops are given orders, and if you don't agree with how they're being used, your anger needs to be directed at the elected officials who make those decisions. I've never experienced, nor heard of any other veteran experiencing, anything like being called "babykiller" or the like, and doubt I ever will. It really just doesn't happen these days on any campus I'm aware of, although for some reason a lot of people think it does.

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big_blue79
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby big_blue79 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:53 am

amputatedbrain wrote:Air Force is barely the military . . . thanks for loading my shit on a pallet on my way into Iraq (-:


Don't hate 'cause your ASVABs didn't allow you into the country club of the military. The world needs ditch diggers :wink:

Edit: I know you ground-pounders love our UAV feeds.

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby amputatedbrain » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:49 pm

big_blue79 wrote:
amputatedbrain wrote:Air Force is barely the military . . . thanks for loading my shit on a pallet on my way into Iraq (-:


Don't hate 'cause your ASVABs didn't allow you into the country club of the military. The world needs ditch diggers :wink:

Edit: I know you ground-pounders love our UAV feeds.


You're not kidding about the country club thing. I went to an Air Force base and they had landscapers hired to do all the manual labor . . . that's all privates do on every other base . . . also my barracks was about 100 feet away from an open sewage lake.

The UAV's are alright, but half the time the guys they spotted "planting IED's" were really taking a shit on the side of the road

Rawlsian
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Re: Military service as a soft?

Postby Rawlsian » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:55 pm

amputatedbrain wrote:
big_blue79 wrote:
amputatedbrain wrote:Air Force is barely the military . . . thanks for loading my shit on a pallet on my way into Iraq (-:


Don't hate 'cause your ASVABs didn't allow you into the country club of the military. The world needs ditch diggers :wink:

Edit: I know you ground-pounders love our UAV feeds.


You're not kidding about the country club thing. I went to an Air Force base and they had landscapers hired to do all the manual labor . . . that's all privates do on every other base . . . also my barracks was about 100 feet away from an open sewage lake.

The UAV's are alright, but half the time the guys they spotted "planting IED's" were really taking a shit on the side of the road


+1 Occasionally we'd get to head back to a large base which housed the AF during their 3 month deployments (really?) and those chow halls were ridiculous--the food made to order.

edit: all of this is made in good humor. We're all brothers and sisters.




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