HLS chances - strong softs

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gs999

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HLS chances - strong softs

Postby gs999 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:09 am

Hey all,

I am a recent college graduate working within investment banking, I have a 3.77 GPA from my undergraduate institution but a 3.8 overall as calculated by LSAC. The abnormality here is that prior to my senior year I had a 3.99 GPA, but fell very ill in the fall and had to withdraw from classes and complete others from home a few hundred miles away. In order to graduate and keep my job, I had to graduate this spring and ultimately took 30 credits this past semester. I did this while simultaneously running the 3 largest organizations on campus.

In order to not dox myself, I am being purposely vague; but I started working near full-time at 14, with a majority of that work focused on efforts in my community and in politics. I was the first student from my university to get hired by my current employer and serve on the board for two large political organizations in my region.

My fear is that my transcript is a bit of a nightmare over the past year, and I'm a fairly poor standardized test taker, although I have been able to get my practice LSAT scores up to ~170. I'm aware of the perception that law school admissions is a numbers game but will they take medical situations under consideration? I've discussed with my attending physician from last year when I fell ill and he is more than willing to write an addendum to my application notifying adcom of the severity of my illness.

Looking forward to your comments.

cavalier1138

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:15 am

I didn't see anything in there to indicate strong softs, unless the "political organizations" that you serve on the board for are the ACLU and the UN.

Don't get me wrong, you'll have some great interview and PS fodder. It just won't overcome a <170 LSAT for HLS. Your GPA is fine. But if you want Harvard, you want to be in the 170s (comfortably, not just skating over the edge).
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

gs999

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby gs999 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:17 am

cavalier1138 wrote:I didn't see anything in there to indicate strong softs, unless the "political organizations" that you serve on the board for are the ACLU and the UN.

Don't get me wrong, you'll have some great interview and PS fodder. It just won't overcome a <170 LSAT for HLS. Your GPA is fine. BUt if you want Harvard, you want to be in the 170s (comfortably, not just skating over the edge).

If I were to get up to say a 172, would it become more feasible? I'm also very intrigued as to how me falling ill may play.

I'm new to this forum so perhaps the bar for strong softs is higher than I first perceived.

grades??

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby grades?? » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:21 am

Literally a strong soft is a Rhodes scholar/Olympic athlete/ Silver star special forces person (I know of two at H and they also had 4.0 from a service academy and 174+ each). Everything else is meh. The way you know you have a strong soft is that the admissions office would put you in their promotional material on the front like hey look at this amazing olympic athlete that is now here studying law kinda person. Unfortunately your softs don't come anywhere close to helping your app. Law school apps are 99.9% about GPA, LSAT, and URM status. Maybe 1 out of 1000 applications have strong softs.

cavalier1138

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:33 am

gs999 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:I didn't see anything in there to indicate strong softs, unless the "political organizations" that you serve on the board for are the ACLU and the UN.

Don't get me wrong, you'll have some great interview and PS fodder. It just won't overcome a <170 LSAT for HLS. Your GPA is fine. BUt if you want Harvard, you want to be in the 170s (comfortably, not just skating over the edge).

If I were to get up to say a 172, would it become more feasible? I'm also very intrigued as to how me falling ill may play.

I'm new to this forum so perhaps the bar for strong softs is higher than I first perceived.


The data from MyLSN show the following for a 3.7-3.8 GPA with these LSAT scores:

172: 29% chance of admission
173: 60% chance of admission
174: 83% chance of admission

You want to beat the median to get in, which currently means a 174+.

HYPSM

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby HYPSM » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:35 am

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Last edited by HYPSM on Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gs999

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby gs999 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:36 am

grades?? wrote:Literally a strong soft is a Rhodes scholar/Olympic athlete/ Silver star special forces person (I know of two at H and they also had 4.0 from a service academy and 174+ each). Everything else is meh. The way you know you have a strong soft is that the admissions office would put you in their promotional material on the front like hey look at this amazing olympic athlete that is now here studying law kinda person. Unfortunately your softs don't come anywhere close to helping your app. Law school apps are 99.9% about GPA, LSAT, and URM status. Maybe 1 out of 1000 applications have strong softs.

That's an unfortunate reality. How high on the LSAT do I need to get to make HLS a reality? I'm laser-focused on gaining admittance and would likely opt to stay within banking if Harvard is out of the question.

gs999

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby gs999 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:37 am

HYPSM wrote:
gs999 wrote:Hey all,

I am a recent college graduate working within investment banking, I have a 3.77 GPA from my undergraduate institution but a 3.8 overall as calculated by LSAC. The abnormality here is that prior to my senior year I had a 3.99 GPA, but fell very ill in the fall and had to withdraw from classes and complete others from home a few hundred miles away. In order to graduate and keep my job, I had to graduate this spring and ultimately took 30 credits this past semester. I did this while simultaneously running the 3 largest organizations on campus.

In order to not dox myself, I am being purposely vague; but I started working near full-time at 14, with a majority of that work focused on efforts in my community and in politics. I was the first student from my university to get hired by my current employer and serve on the board for two large political organizations in my region.

My fear is that my transcript is a bit of a nightmare over the past year, and I'm a fairly poor standardized test taker, although I have been able to get my practice LSAT scores up to ~170. I'm aware of the perception that law school admissions is a numbers game but will they take medical situations under consideration? I've discussed with my attending physician from last year when I fell ill and he is more than willing to write an addendum to my application notifying adcom of the severity of my illness.

Looking forward to your comments.


Law school is a numbers game. Your softs are weak, which is perfectly OK as they are not weighed much.
Also, the illness won't make a difference; at the end of the day, law schools are trying to report the highest numbers to maintain their rankings.

For now, focus on getting 173+ for HLS.


What would you put the odds at of getting in if I were to get to a 174? Is employment history taken into consideration, or does it purely come down to LSAT & GMAT?

cavalier1138

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:40 am

gs999 wrote:What would you put the odds at of getting in if I were to get to a 174? Is employment history taken into consideration, or does it purely come down to LSAT & GMAT?


I don't know how many times it needs to be said...

LSAT/GPA is it. That's the barrier to getting in. GMAT doesn't matter. Your student organizations don't matter. That paper you wrote that your teacher thought was really well written doesn't matter. Your work experience is gravy, but you will literally not get to the point where an admissions officer is even reviewing your work experience seriously if you haven't got the numbers.

If you get a 174+, you have a very good shot at getting in. 173 and lower is going to be a bit more of a coin-flip.

grades??

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby grades?? » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:41 am

gs999 wrote:
grades?? wrote:Literally a strong soft is a Rhodes scholar/Olympic athlete/ Silver star special forces person (I know of two at H and they also had 4.0 from a service academy and 174+ each). Everything else is meh. The way you know you have a strong soft is that the admissions office would put you in their promotional material on the front like hey look at this amazing olympic athlete that is now here studying law kinda person. Unfortunately your softs don't come anywhere close to helping your app. Law school apps are 99.9% about GPA, LSAT, and URM status. Maybe 1 out of 1000 applications have strong softs.

That's an unfortunate reality. How high on the LSAT do I need to get to make HLS a reality? I'm laser-focused on gaining admittance and would likely opt to stay within banking if Harvard is out of the question.


At a minimum, 174. Also to remember, a 174 is 99.5 percentile or higher. Aka you have to score in the top half of one percent of all test takers to get a 174. It is a no joke level of testing. Yeah and I agree, but that is the reality of law school admissions. A 174 is the top 5-8 scorers out of a thousand test takers. Schools have to report gpa, lsat and urm status. Nothing else. So they really don't care about anything else unless you are a unicorn type of person.

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RZ5646

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby RZ5646 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:07 pm

Also remember that most people do worse on the real test than they do on PTs. If your PTs are around 170, your real score will most likely be < 170.

lawlorbust

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Re: HLS chances - strong softs

Postby lawlorbust » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:23 pm

gs999 wrote:Hey all,

I am a recent college graduate working within investment banking, I have a 3.77 GPA from my undergraduate institution but a 3.8 overall as calculated by LSAC. The abnormality here is that prior to my senior year I had a 3.99 GPA, but fell very ill in the fall and had to withdraw from classes and complete others from home a few hundred miles away. In order to graduate and keep my job, I had to graduate this spring and ultimately took 30 credits this past semester. I did this while simultaneously running the 3 largest organizations on campus.

In order to not dox myself, I am being purposely vague; but I started working near full-time at 14, with a majority of that work focused on efforts in my community and in politics. I was the first student from my university to get hired by my current employer and serve on the board for two large political organizations in my region.

My fear is that my transcript is a bit of a nightmare over the past year, and I'm a fairly poor standardized test taker, although I have been able to get my practice LSAT scores up to ~170. I'm aware of the perception that law school admissions is a numbers game but will they take medical situations under consideration? I've discussed with my attending physician from last year when I fell ill and he is more than willing to write an addendum to my application notifying adcom of the severity of my illness.

Looking forward to your comments.


Agree with the thread consensus that the undergrad curriculars are probably oversold as being "strong." BB/EB investment banking will probably count as strong work experience, but obviously won't factor if you're not at a brand firm. It also sounds that you're coming from a non-feeder school, which will be a soft minus.

A 3.8 doesn't rule out anything. Write an addendum about your grades if you want to leave no stone unturned. But really just go kill the LSAT.



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