Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Poll

REVISED: How do you think you'll stack up against your competition?

1: Below Average - Relying on Numbers Alone
 6 (7%)
2: Slightly Below Average - Always a Bride's Maid, Never the Bride
 4 (4.7%)
3: Average - Factors will neither help nor hurt application
 14 (16.3%)
4: Above Average - One or two unique traits that will get your app a second look
 55 (64%)
5: Godlike - Rhodes Scholar, Olympic Athlete, Nobel Laureate, etc.
 7 (8.1%)

Total Members Voted: 68

Author Topic: Rate Your Soft Factors  (Read 2722 times)

SolarysBlue

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2005, 10:48:34 PM »
So the godlike soft factors are the same as the "wow" factor?

practiceboy02

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2005, 12:20:44 AM »
Am I the only person who laughs inside a little when I read posts touting a couple undergrad semesters in a part time job or membership in a couple of extracurricular clubs as notable soft factors?  Even study abroads have become pretty commonplace - especially in Europe/english speaking countries.  I mean what kind of person goes to college and DOESN'T do a few of these things?  Only the extremely boring or those rich enough to have not had to work at all.

I'm not claiming I have much more significant soft factors but here are examples of ones that seem to make more of a difference at top schools:

-Grad degrees
-SIGNIFICANT work experience - ie. getting a foothold in an actual career and showing advancement vs. working at the bookstore
-Extraordinary honors
-SIGNIFICANT contributions to volunteer work = a year or more in peace corps or similar
-SIGNIFICANT honors = fullbright, rhodes, etc.

Thats all I can think of right now...please add. 

I have seen it proven plenty of times that a person with all of the above soft factors & 165 LSAT almost always loses their seat to the fresh college grad who spent 4 years in his room picking his navel but has a 170 LSAT.  I suppose thats why they call them soft factors.

I agree.  A lot of my friends at school are saying that their tickets into top law schools are the fact that "I wrote a thesis!" or "I studied abroad for a semester!" or "I have a double major!" or "I interned at the White House!"  Honestly, tons of people do that kind of stuff while in college.  I like your list of significant soft factors... I think these might be some more:

-Having been in the military
-Having successfully founded your own company or something
-Having worked as a significant advisor on a national political campaign

But yeah... a thesis, study abroad, double majors, and internships (no matter how prestigious in the college realm) are not things that will excite Yale.

jb1246a

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2005, 12:47:27 AM »
Am I the only person who laughs inside a little when I read posts touting a couple undergrad semesters in a part time job or membership in a couple of extracurricular clubs as notable soft factors?  Even study abroads have become pretty commonplace - especially in Europe/english speaking countries.  I mean what kind of person goes to college and DOESN'T do a few of these things?  Only the extremely boring or those rich enough to have not had to work at all.

I'm not claiming I have much more significant soft factors but here are examples of ones that seem to make more of a difference at top schools:

-Grad degrees
-SIGNIFICANT work experience - ie. getting a foothold in an actual career and showing advancement vs. working at the bookstore
-Extraordinary honors
-SIGNIFICANT contributions to volunteer work = a year or more in peace corps or similar
-SIGNIFICANT honors = fullbright, rhodes, etc.

Thats all I can think of right now...please add. 

I have seen it proven plenty of times that a person with all of the above soft factors & 165 LSAT almost always loses their seat to the fresh college grad who spent 4 years in his room picking his navel but has a 170 LSAT.  I suppose thats why they call them soft factors.

I agree.  A lot of my friends at school are saying that their tickets into top law schools are the fact that "I wrote a thesis!" or "I studied abroad for a semester!" or "I have a double major!" or "I interned at the White House!"  Honestly, tons of people do that kind of stuff while in college.  I like your list of significant soft factors... I think these might be some more:

-Having been in the military
-Having successfully founded your own company or something
-Having worked as a significant advisor on a national political campaign

But yeah... a thesis, study abroad, double majors, and internships (no matter how prestigious in the college realm) are not things that will excite Yale.

Exactly. These are things an applicant should have. Publishing a notable work is another "godlike" factor, I think.   

edit: I put average, too. I almost considered putting "below average" because most of my activities have been off campus, and I've heard that schools like applicants who participate in school activities.   

SolarysBlue

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2005, 12:55:22 AM »
I also agree that many people at my college were killing themselves trying to get internships (volunteering 30+ at a local rep) to being pres of an honor society that gives carwashes while ignoring the importance of the LSAT. The people I know who interned at the White House saw it as the ticket to a T14 regardless of their LSAT score.

ChlorasepticRelief

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2005, 08:46:47 AM »
I also agree that many people at my college were killing themselves trying to get internships (volunteering 30+ at a local rep) to being pres of an honor society that gives carwashes while ignoring the importance of the LSAT. The people I know who interned at the White House saw it as the ticket to a T14 regardless of their LSAT score.

lol, political internships look great to parents and people who don't know any better. I was told it would look great on a resume, plus I really wanted to do it. Now, though, I see that there were MUCH better ways to spend my time. Up yours, US House of Representatives! :D
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sck

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2005, 09:23:42 AM »
The only reason I think of myself as possibly being above average (slightly!) is because I'm a career changer and graduated in 1995. I mean, I did a lot, but it was because I wanted to, not because it would necessarily look better on my resume later on. I had three internships (one of which was compiling an annual report on community development activity in the Memphis area), a variety of school leaderships, and some volunteer work since. Nothing special, and I screwed around with my grades besides.

My main hope is that people will see the intervening ten years as a maturing and more focused thing.

The main thing my two DC internships taught me is that I did not want to work on the Hill.  :D

Really, I wish I'd just been able to kick some sense and motivation into my younger self.
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chrisfield

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2005, 09:56:25 AM »
Soft factors are so tough to figure out.  I think a lot of it really depends on who reads your application and how they themselves react to your soft factors.  I voted for above average for three main reasons (in order of importance):

1) For the past three years I have directed a camp for inner-city kids (600+ each summer) and was in charge of 45+ of my college-aged peers.

2) I ran for mayor of my hometown (pop. 55,000) my freshman year of college and placed three out of five with 3% of the total vote.

3) I have run 5 marathons while in college.

I don't think any one of these by themselves is a HUGE deal, but I think the combo makes my soft factors above average.  I hope I am right   ;)

The Dread Pirate Roberts

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2005, 09:59:12 AM »
Damn.  You all are impressive.  Now I'm starting to think I should have voted "below average."

FossilJ

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2005, 11:53:09 AM »
Damn.  You all are impressive.  Now I'm starting to think I should have voted "below average."

Don't worry, I did.  Join the club.  hahaha
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Groundhog

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Re: Rate Your Soft Factors
« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2005, 12:48:57 PM »
I chose above average. I'm hoping my soft factors will make me more attractive than similarly ranked applicants, since I don't have godly stats, though I think they're pretty good. Inner city kid, lots of diversity experience, some minor leadership stuff on campus and jobs, as well as starting college full-time before finishing a year in high school.