Law School Discussion

(a lack of) soft factors

(a lack of) soft factors
« on: July 08, 2008, 05:18:33 PM »
Solely based off of things like LSAC's UGPA/LSAT calculator (172/3.72), I've supposedly got a fair chance of getting into my top choice (NYU).  Due to circumstances, I never really got too involved at my school, and don't have very much in the way of ECs.  How much can I expect my lack of soft factors to reduce my chances?  Also, I probably won't get offered any money from the top schools I'm applying to, but does anyone have guesses as to the "best" schools that would start offering me money?

Re: soft factors
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2008, 06:12:15 PM »
Hey -

Congrats on your numbers. 

If you haven't already, you might want to take a look at lawschoolnumbers.com.  It's an applicant-generated database of law school admissions results. Here are a few users with similar stats to yours:

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=smk48
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=RevJesseJakeson
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=ed4128a
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=aporia

It looks to me like you may receive a bit of money from the lower part of the T14 (Duke, Cornell, etc).  You would receive more from T15-25 schools.  I agree, I think you have a good chance at NYU if you apply before the New Year.

Having zero soft factors is sometimes a concern because admissions officers want to make sure you didn't live in the library.  But you mentioned 'circumstances', so I'm guessing you were doing something else with your time.  Soft factors don't just include clubs, but volunteering, jobs (off-campus or on), and so forth.   If you had personal issues that kept you from doing anything other than go to class, you might want to address that in your application.  (An addendum or a diversity statement, perhaps, depending on the situation.)

However, I wouldn't worry too much - this is a very numbers-driven process at the end of the day, and it looks to me like a 172 puts you in the ballpark for NYU.    Good luck!

Re: (a lack of) soft factors
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 06:27:47 PM »
Thanks!  I guess since I'm not expecting any money from NYU, would applying ED be recommended?  Does ED tend to actually help admissions chances, or is the benefit purely finding out earlier?

Re: (a lack of) soft factors
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 06:42:00 PM »
An excellent question to which I'm not sure anyone has a satisfactory answer.  On the one hand, applying ED signals your interest in the school, which is always good.  OTOH, once you've applied ED, they know you really want to come there, so they don't have an incentive not to defer you to the RD pool and decide later, after they've seen the complete applicant pool.  (Unless, of course, you're such a good applicant that they definitely want you - in which case they would accept you RD anyway.)  Finally, since admissions are rolling, you might receive an RD decision only a week after you would have received an ED decision, so you don't even hear that much earlier.

That was a pretty long way of saying I don't know.  :D Only five folks on LSN were accepted ED, and only one of them seemed like a marginal admit (168/3.9.)  If there is a boost, it appears to be pretty marginal.  But much of this is speculation based on the available evidence, so YMMV.  Hope this helps!