How good are/how to emphasize my softs?

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hm3293

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How good are/how to emphasize my softs?

Post by hm3293 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:29 am

Hi,
I'm getting ready to apply this cycle, KJD, non-URM. I think I have a shot at all the T14 numerically but am obviously hurt by my lack of work experience so I'm trying to make my softs look as good as possible. I think most of them are good but fairly generic: an internship with a large DA's office, a boutique litigation firm and a couple of law enforcement agencies. Probably my most unique soft (and what I hope will make me stand out a little bit) is that throughout college I worked 30 hours a week as an EMT in a busy 911 system including during this whole virus situation.
Do you think that this experience is unique enough to help make up for lack of post-college experience? Should I highlight my experience as an EMT in my PS (describing what it taught me and how it made me want to go to law school) or should I focus on more my academic experience?

Thanks in advance!

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: How good are/how to emphasize my softs?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:27 am

You worked 30hrs/wk, through the whole school year, for all four years of college? That's work experience (although you're still K-JD in terms of maturity). Whether you write a personal statement about being an EMT depends on whether you can good personal statement about it. Sounds worth a try at least.

Anon-non-anon

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Re: How good are/how to emphasize my softs?

Post by Anon-non-anon » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:02 am

No idea but thanks for your service! Sounds pretty impressive to me. My optimistic side wants to say it could be a real boost, especially given COVID stuff, but really have no expertise, just wanted to say thanks.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: How good are/how to emphasize my softs?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:19 pm

Disclaimer: this is just a suggestion of how I would approach it if I were in your position. Feel free to take it or leave it.

Your EMT experiences could make for great subject matter for a strong PS. Try to show how your experiences as an EMT demonstrate the characteristics that make you a strong law school applicant, e.g. work ethic, judgment, devotion to serving the public, etc. To the extent your academic strengths/experiences are relevant to whatever sub-topic you're addressing, you can weave that in as well (e.g. "I balanced school, work for the DA, and EMT shifts for a semester, which tested my work ethic and time management skills; I remained successful in all three").

hm3293

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Re: How good are/how to emphasize my softs?

Post by hm3293 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:38 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:27 am
You worked 30hrs/wk, through the whole school year, for all four years of college? That's work experience (although you're still K-JD in terms of maturity). Whether you write a personal statement about being an EMT depends on whether you can good personal statement about it. Sounds worth a try at least.
That's good to hear. I wasn't sure if work experience only counted post-college. I'm hoping that my somewhat unique experience helps to make up for my lack of post-undergrad employment especially at schools like Yale where most of the class is not KJD. However, I know the two aren't interchangeable so I'm not getting my hopes up.

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hm3293

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Re: How good are/how to emphasize my softs?

Post by hm3293 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:48 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:19 pm
Disclaimer: this is just a suggestion of how I would approach it if I were in your position. Feel free to take it or leave it.

Your EMT experiences could make for great subject matter for a strong PS. Try to show how your experiences as an EMT demonstrate the characteristics that make you a strong law school applicant, e.g. work ethic, judgment, devotion to serving the public, etc. To the extent your academic strengths/experiences are relevant to whatever sub-topic you're addressing, you can weave that in as well (e.g. "I balanced school, work for the DA, and EMT shifts for a semester, which tested my work ethic and time management skills; I remained successful in all three").
Thanks for the advice, I will certainly weave in some academic discussion in my statement. One distinct weakness in my application is that my work left me little time to add academic stuff to my resume like clubs, awards or anything like that. Hopefully I can at least emphasize that I was doing something worthwhile.

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Pneumonia

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Re: How good are/how to emphasize my softs?

Post by Pneumonia » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:33 am

I applied with a similar profile (KJDish, blue collar work throughout undergrad, no academic extracurriculars, good numbers) and had a good cycle a while back. Several of my interviewers commented that work experience during undergrad shows maturity and can counterbalance the KJD stigma. I could see a strong PS that focuses on your EMT experience, weaves in how you managed your time well enough to both get good grades and keep your job (and do the internships), and how all of that prepared you for law school.

Also, fwiw, don't plan on having a job during law school, and don't leave interviewers with any doubt about your plans in that regard. Understanding that law school requires at least a full-time commitment is part of the maturity piece.

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