About my softs

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akotran
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About my softs

Postby akotran » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:32 pm

How meaningless are ECs really?

I've had prestigious internships Every summer including that after my Freshman year, have worked in a law firm for over a year now, and since last march have been working part time at a prominent lobbying group in Columbus while in school. Next quarter I will be interning full time in the DOEnergy's general counsel's office.

By the time I send my apps in next fall I will have has almost a full year of cumulative full time professional experience and another year of part-time experience.

I've also managed my school's alternative (non journalism major) student paper for two years and run my own photography business.

Is all my experience as an undergrad going to be boiled down to "good softs"? Obviously I need to do well on the LSAT (my gpa is 3.92) but if I were to get in the mid to low 160s would my ECs all count for little to nothing?

Also- would NU credit me with work experience?

062914123
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Re: About my softs

Postby 062914123 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:36 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: About my softs

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:40 pm

akotran wrote:How meaningless are ECs really?

I've had prestigious internships Every summer including that after my Freshman year, have worked in a law firm for over a year now, and since last march have been working part time at a prominent lobbying group in Columbus while in school. Next quarter I will be interning full time in the DOEnergy's general counsel's office.

By the time I send my apps in next fall I will have has almost a full year of cumulative full time professional experience and another year of part-time experience.

I've also managed my school's alternative (non journalism major) student paper for two years and run my own photography business.

Is all my experience as an undergrad going to be boiled down to "good softs"? Obviously I need to do well on the LSAT (my gpa is 3.92) but if I were to get in the mid to low 160s would my ECs all count for little to nothing?

Also- would NU credit me with work experience?


your softs sound like just about the same as everyone on here. Get the LSAT up and keep up your GPA .

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Grizz
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Re: About my softs

Postby Grizz » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:47 pm


akotran
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Re: About my softs

Postby akotran » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:12 pm


akotran
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Re: About my softs

Postby akotran » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:46 pm

bee wrote:Everyone is going to tell you that we can't really say anything without an LSAT score. The general wisdom on TLS is that great/good ECs are: Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall, Peace Corps, Teach for America (may be forgetting some right now). I don't think working for a law firm or a lobbying group will have any real impact, full time at the DOE GC's office I'm less sure about, but I doubt that it will significantly buffer a lower LSAT score. When you say you run your own photography business, are we talking a "real" business with accounts, a storefront/webpage, etc.? If so, I don't see why NU wouldn't call that WE. About running an alt. newspaper: would you say it's about equivalent to a leadership position in student gov't?


Running the alt newspaper is definitely about equivalent to leadership in student gov. Photo business was a real business with a handful of reputable clients (Nike, area Universities, prominent modern art museum).

Is it really true that the only beneficial ECs are ones that require students to take at least a year (and in some cases 2) off of school to go abroad? I assumed that, to some degree, law schools would have a preference for students who have sought out good professional experience while taking classes. I further assumed that if the areas of experience were focused on the law, that this would demonstrate a that he or she has put more thought into a career in Law than the average applicant.

Fine, the LSAT and GPA are more important, but for schools like the T10 which decline plenty of applicants who are at or above medians, are these people really flush with internship experience? I'm confused why a demonstrated focus on a specific domestic public policy issue (all my internships are hitting a specific niche that I'm planning on demonstrating in a PS or at least an addendum - another question for another thread sometime closer to next fall!) is meaningless.

bdubs
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Re: About my softs

Postby bdubs » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:21 pm

akotran wrote:Also- would NU credit me with work experience?


You won't be credited with any work experience at NU if all of your positions were internships. Under NU's rubric it doesn't matter how much time you devoted to an internship, they only count jobs that were post-graduate or significant experiences before undergrad (i.e. military service).

sven
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Re: About my softs

Postby sven » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:42 pm

Your softs are pretty good. They'll help you make a cohesive and coherent application, which is very important. But nothing replaces LSAT. You will get in over someone with the same numbers who didn't demonstrate the dedication you did through internships during school. But your experience will not get you into any school that isn't within your reach. For instance, if you get a 168, you're (most likely) not getting into Columbia. And yes, if you score a 164, you're (most likely) not getting into the T14. I'm assuming you're not a URM, of course.

The good news is that you have a great GPA and fine softs. Your application will not be lacking if you can pull a decent LSAT. And the even better news is that the LSAT is very learnable. Don't sell yourself short and settle for any score lower than a 170. If you have had the dedication to do all of these activities during school, I would expect you to be able to do what it takes to get your LSAT score up to a level that makes you competitive for the top few law schools. Good luck.

Also, NU needs post-graduate experience. They don't just want you to have had experience, they want you to be a little more mature and at least a year or two removed from undergrad.

akotran
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Re: About my softs

Postby akotran » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:08 pm

sven wrote:Also, NU needs post-graduate experience. They don't just want you to have had experience, they want you to be a little more mature and at least a year or two removed from undergrad.


Yeah this policy turned out to be a lot more rigid than I had thought. NU website claims that only 5% of admits don't have work experience, and a phone call to the admissions office was right in line with your statement... they absolutely want at least a year of work between undergrad and law school.

edit: credit to bdubs as well- thanks.

Is this the case anywhere else? As in, even though I don't particularly desire to go to NU would it make sense to take a year off and work (I could definitely find a good job to do for a year)? It doesn't seem like many people have harped about this beyond NU....

sven
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Re: About my softs

Postby sven » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:25 pm

akotran wrote:
sven wrote:Also, NU needs post-graduate experience. They don't just want you to have had experience, they want you to be a little more mature and at least a year or two removed from undergrad.


Yeah this policy turned out to be a lot more rigid than I had thought. NU website claims that only 5% of admits don't have work experience, and a phone call to the admissions office was right in line with your statement... they absolutely want at least a year of work between undergrad and law school.

edit: credit to bdubs as well- thanks.

Is this the case anywhere else? As in, even though I don't particularly desire to go to NU would it make sense to take a year off and work (I could definitely find a good job to do for a year)? It doesn't seem like many people have harped about this beyond NU....


Yes, I would work full-time for a year or two before law school. It can only help when interviews roll around and you have even more experience and stories to draw from. Applying to law school while working is also a LOT less stressful than trying to do all of your apps while you're studying for finals and writing papers.

When I was in college, I wanted to apply right away. But man am I glad that I had some time to get some more experience, learn how to live in the real world, and relax after college.

Basically, what I'm saying is: taking a year to work can never hurt.. it can only help. You have your whole life to be a lawyer. Go and do something fun/interesting/educational/resume-enhancing before you start.

akotran
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Re: About my softs

Postby akotran » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:42 pm

Well if I were to work full time after UG it would probably be at the lobbying group where I currently work, so most of the advantages that you are citing wouldn't really apply (the experience wouldn't change much beyond the hours that I'd be working, so as far as interviews go I'd have plenty of material to use regardless). I also plan to have all of my apps done before I start school (I'll only be working part time this summer - at the same lobbying gig) so stress and whatnot also won't be an issue (unless I have to retake the LSAT in October, which is definitely possible).

bdubs
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Re: About my softs

Postby bdubs » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:47 pm

akotran wrote:
sven wrote:Also, NU needs post-graduate experience. They don't just want you to have had experience, they want you to be a little more mature and at least a year or two removed from undergrad.


Yeah this policy turned out to be a lot more rigid than I had thought. NU website claims that only 5% of admits don't have work experience, and a phone call to the admissions office was right in line with your statement... they absolutely want at least a year of work between undergrad and law school.

edit: credit to bdubs as well- thanks.

Is this the case anywhere else? As in, even though I don't particularly desire to go to NU would it make sense to take a year off and work (I could definitely find a good job to do for a year)? It doesn't seem like many people have harped about this beyond NU....


Most admits to top schools now have between 1-2 years of post-graduate experience, those who went straight through are in the minority. You can only be at a disadvantage by going straight through.

My advice is, if you do well on your LSAT apply during your senior year. If you are happy with your cycle (i.e. you don't under perform your numbers) then you can either go straight in or ask for a deferral. If you're not so pleased, take a year, work, recraft your PS, and you will probably be happier.

akotran
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Re: About my softs

Postby akotran » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:32 pm

bdubs wrote:Most admits to top schools now have between 1-2 years of post-graduate experience, those who went straight through are in the minority. You can only be at a disadvantage by going straight through.


Is there a source for this? I'm very curious because I get the impression that most TLS'ers don't really emphasize the importance of that year of work experience...

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hdivschool
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Re: About my softs

Postby hdivschool » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:53 pm

akotran wrote:
bdubs wrote:Most admits to top schools now have between 1-2 years of post-graduate experience, those who went straight through are in the minority. You can only be at a disadvantage by going straight through.


Is there a source for this? I'm very curious because I get the impression that most TLS'ers don't really emphasize the importance of that year of work experience...

Stanford Law School wrote:Stanford Class of 2013 statistics (admitted in 2010)
Number of students in class entering Fall 2010: 180 students
Women: 74
Men: 106
Percentage of Fall 2010 JD population who were students of color: 34%
Average age: 25
GPA range: 3.20-4.23
LSAT range: 160-180
Students with an advanced degree: 34%
Percentage of students who come to law school


Directly from college: 24%
1-2 years after college: 42%
3 or more years after college: 34%

bdubs
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Re: About my softs

Postby bdubs » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:38 pm

akotran wrote:
bdubs wrote:Most admits to top schools now have between 1-2 years of post-graduate experience, those who went straight through are in the minority. You can only be at a disadvantage by going straight through.


Is there a source for this? I'm very curious because I get the impression that most TLS'ers don't really emphasize the importance of that year of work experience...


I have no way of knowing whether schools value it or just that good applicants generally take 1 year or more off, but a review of any T14's class profile will show you than <50% of the class is straight from undergrad.

I'm pretty sure Cornell has the highest percent of straight through students at approximately 40%.

akotran
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Re: About my softs

Postby akotran » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:35 pm

Great, thanks guys that's very helpful.

I wonder if any information is available that would give the relative proportions of applicants with WE vs. admits with WE. The class profile isn't very informative unless we know whether the applicant pool was significantly weighted with applicants with no WE.

Right?




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