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Author Topic: More Soft Factors Than Charmin/Snuggle  (Read 537 times)

KingDB

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More Soft Factors Than Charmin/Snuggle
« on: November 16, 2005, 12:31:32 AM »
Yo, what's the best anyone can boast?

Over The Hill

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Re: More Soft Factors Than Charmin/Snuggle
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2005, 12:46:27 AM »
Yo, what's the best anyone can boast?

I think Jeb pretty much owns everyone else: http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=jeb240

Outofcollege

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Re: More Soft Factors Than Charmin/Snuggle
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2005, 12:05:28 PM »
I don't intend to deppreciate Jeb's circumstances and triumphs, but I don't believe that "gay, poor, previously depressed, black cheerleader with poor grades from family of drug addicts" equates to amazing soft factors. Being URM will help him and, depending how he described his reactions to the unfortunate circumstances, growing up poor will contribute to his diversity factor. But soft factors aren't pity factors. In practice, adcomms are not saying, "Oh, we need another gay cheerleader so let's forgive the low gpa." This is law school, not undergrad. Adcomms want people who are going to be strong, hireable lawyers. They want diversity, but not at the expense of success. If I were an adcomm, I'd see Jeb as a huge risk--not because of his background but because of his history of dealing with it. Surely Jeb wrote similar essays to gain Columbia u.g. admission; surely Columbia thought his "will to rise above" would make him a strong student; surely that did not happen for all four/six years. This leaves me wondering, why didn't Jeb make more of his opportunity at Columbia? In law school, will he continue to blame mediocrity on circumstances?

Jeb seems capable of succeeding, but if I were an adcomm, I'd want to see some post-Columbia work experience from Jeb. I'd want to see more of a history of stability and academic/work accomplishment. I don't know too many Jebs, but I do know people with similar URM/socioeco backgrounds who worked and studied a lot, served as mentors to boys like themselves, and still had time for themselves. Jeb's argument would be more compelling if he had volunteered and used his education to help people from backgrounds like his.

Soft factors do not include race/gender/socioeconomic background. Thousands of amazing people apply with these qualities. They contribute to diversity, but are never selected solely because of them. Soft factors are the accomplishments that come from more than just surviving difficult backgrounds (i.e., being a Big Brother/Big Sister for four years in addition to working during UG); from capitalizing on opportunities and great ideas (inventing something, working abroad in a legitimate and challenging job); or from working for a significant period of time in a field that develops expertise applicable to law (i.e., consulting, investment banking, medicine/health, non-profits, environmental groups).

In his LSN profile, Jeb mentioned Yale. People with similar stories do exist at Yale Law, but they also have incredible post-graduate work experience, PhDs/MDs/MAs, and/or great numbers.Forgive me if I sound like a jerk, but let's be real about this game and not add to the expectations of borderline candidates. In the end, that is far more cruel.

I'm not writing to devalue Jeb. If you're reading, Jeb, I genuinely hope you do well. I am not a malicious person, but I'm pretty practical. There will always be a few exceptions, and Jeb I hope you're one of them, but for the most part, people who believe soft factors are about sob stories (and are relying on them for admission) are in for a surprise when they open their law school mail.


Over The Hill

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Re: More Soft Factors Than Charmin/Snuggle
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2005, 12:39:11 PM »
I don't intend to deppreciate Jeb's circumstances and triumphs, but I don't believe that "gay, poor, previously depressed, black cheerleader with poor grades from family of drug addicts" equates to amazing soft factors. Being URM will help him and, depending how he described his reactions to the unfortunate circumstances, growing up poor will contribute to his diversity factor. But soft factors aren't pity factors. In practice, adcomms are not saying, "Oh, we need another gay cheerleader so let's forgive the low gpa." This is law school, not undergrad. Adcomms want people who are going to be strong, hireable lawyers. They want diversity, but not at the expense of success. If I were an adcomm, I'd see Jeb as a huge risk--not because of his background but because of his history of dealing with it. Surely Jeb wrote similar essays to gain Columbia u.g. admission; surely Columbia thought his "will to rise above" would make him a strong student; surely that did not happen for all four/six years. This leaves me wondering, why didn't Jeb make more of his opportunity at Columbia? In law school, will he continue to blame mediocrity on circumstances?

Jeb seems capable of succeeding, but if I were an adcomm, I'd want to see some post-Columbia work experience from Jeb. I'd want to see more of a history of stability and academic/work accomplishment. I don't know too many Jebs, but I do know people with similar URM/socioeco backgrounds who worked and studied a lot, served as mentors to boys like themselves, and still had time for themselves. Jeb's argument would be more compelling if he had volunteered and used his education to help people from backgrounds like his.

Soft factors do not include race/gender/socioeconomic background. Thousands of amazing people apply with these qualities. They contribute to diversity, but are never selected solely because of them. Soft factors are the accomplishments that come from more than just surviving difficult backgrounds (i.e., being a Big Brother/Big Sister for four years in addition to working during UG); from capitalizing on opportunities and great ideas (inventing something, working abroad in a legitimate and challenging job); or from working for a significant period of time in a field that develops expertise applicable to law (i.e., consulting, investment banking, medicine/health, non-profits, environmental groups).

In his LSN profile, Jeb mentioned Yale. People with similar stories do exist at Yale Law, but they also have incredible post-graduate work experience, PhDs/MDs/MAs, and/or great numbers.Forgive me if I sound like a jerk, but let's be real about this game and not add to the expectations of borderline candidates. In the end, that is far more cruel.

I'm not writing to devalue Jeb. If you're reading, Jeb, I genuinely hope you do well. I am not a malicious person, but I'm pretty practical. There will always be a few exceptions, and Jeb I hope you're one of them, but for the most part, people who believe soft factors are about sob stories (and are relying on them for admission) are in for a surprise when they open their law school mail.



First of all, based on what he wrote in his LSD profile, I wouldn't call Jeb's application a "sob story." His story is incredibly sad, but he seems very upbeat about it and not whiny. But also, I do consider the degree of adversity that he has overcome to go to Columbia and receive a 3.7 GPA (while working nearly full time) in his past two terms to be a soft factor, though it's certainly different from traditional soft factors. I was defining a soft factors as anything other than the hard factors (numbers) that will help an applicant get into law school.

Reading about Jeb's incredibly difficult background, the degree of success he's achieved seems absolutely remarkable to me. I'm not saying he's going to get in at all the schools he's applying too, and I'm trying to boost his expectations unrealistically, but I would really love to have someone like him in my law school class. I think the extremely unusual nature (and now upward trend) of his application will appeal to many admissions officers.

nowayman

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Re: More Soft Factors Than Charmin/Snuggle
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2005, 01:31:24 PM »
Hmm, I have a few soft factors.  I'll throw my hat into the pile.

I guess the largest one would be that I am a potential host for the prophecized rebirth of the thirty second Khan of the Silver Ocean.  It's had quite an impact on my life, as I had not found out until recently and under somewhat unusual circumstances.

As taken from my personal statement:

A year ago, as I was sitting down to enjoy some quality TV programming (read: girls of an untamed nature delivered by infomercials) at my usual hour (read: 2 am) I heard an unusually large bang (read: unusual in that there was any bang, and if one must occur, unusual in that it was so loud).  Exasperated at having been interrupted and slightly curious as to why, I got up to investigate. 

As I sat up, I reajusted and made my way towards the area from which this ghastly inconvenience had originated, the un-lit (and certainly forboding) kitchen.

I crept in quietly, inching my way forward, tip-toeing through the pitch black cooridor that leads to my domestic cornocopia of delight.  At the entryway, I edged my head around the corner, in hopes of catching a glimpse of the would be culprit, or perhaps a foiled sprite (read: of the whimsical children's tale nature, i.e. neither a delightfully carbonated beverage or "other"...). 

My eyes strained, struggling to adjust to their new environment, as I scanned the kitchen.  A few seconds later, it was there (where it was not a second afore).  In the middle of the tiled floor rested a large black object, unrecognizable but (thankfully) unmoving.  My chest constricted and my breathing slowed.  Cat... No cat... allergies...  Dog...  Dog dead.  Brother... Philadelphia... girlfriend... whore... Slowly, ever so slowly, I reached out, groping for the light switch... thief... sleeping?... hurt?....

The light came on.
 
And just then, I (read: the author) realized that I'm still at work (read: it's time for lunch).

Edit:  http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.php
Words: 332
(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)

Female Score: 186
Male Score: 434

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!
Michigan, Class of 2008.5!

Outofcollege

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Re: More Soft Factors Than Charmin/Snuggle
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2005, 02:00:20 PM »
I thought his profile did sound whiney and sob story-ish, so it's a difference of interpretation. And I didn't think his ECs backed up the story to create meaningful soft factors (like the ones that will help gain admission). Jeb can hope someone interprets his writing as you did, and not as I did. You never know how the Adcomm will react and how many similar stories they'll hear.

I love triumph stories and genuinely want to attend law school with people who have overcome adversity, but the reality is that there are "overcome adversity" types who also have solid numbers, relevent work experience, etc.  It's great to encourage each other, but we're all strangers and giving him false hope of a clean sweep is just setting him up for disappointment. (People left comments about a clean sweep. I didn't say it was you.)