Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

What is considered a strong soft in law school applications if you don't have an UG GPA?

I am aware that the most important factors in the law school admissions are LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA. However I don't have an undergraduate GPA since it is from an international institution (LSAC will only evaluate the score and give a rate but doesn't calculate the GPA for international institutions). I only have graduate level GPA from US institutions.
How should I improve and add some strong softs to compensate for that? I know military experience is a plus, how about military spouses? Is being a military spouse also a plus?

Thank you~!

Comments

  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    I've not been able to find a definitive answer on how much of a handicap the lack of a UGPA presents for admission to top schools. Maybe @IPmummySF and @"Nilesh S" who I believe are two 7Sage people with international undergraduate degrees to get into T14 schools can comment on that - do you guys feel that you got into the schools you would have expected based on your LSAT score, or do you feel you had to be above a typical US applicant?
    The way I see it, in the eyes of the Adcom, the UGPA serves two purposes: to tell them how likely you are to succeed as a law school student and to boost/maintain their medians.
    An international "superior" GPA would tell them that you are intellectually qualified, but it won't help their GPA median. It won't hurt it, either. So in terms of numbers, they are likely to care even more about your LSAT, since you don't have the luxury of giving them "one or the other" like a reverse splitter (low LSAT, high GPA) would.
    In terms of softs, I'm not sure how much being a military spouse would count - I would think that would be more PS material. Work experience helps, not just in this particular situation, but in general.
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4344 karma
    @runiggyrun gives a solid analysis here.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    As a military spouse I can tell you that that is not a soft.

    Take a look at threads like this on TLS: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=108015

    Google "TLS ranking of softs" or something similar and you'll find a good amount of discussion on the topic. I saw a great list the other day but can't seem to find the link anymore.

    As long as you crush the LSAT the softs won't matter too much anyways. Furthermore, the strongest softs are highly unique (e.g.-Rhodes scholar) and are not normally things you can just randomly do to strengthen your application, it takes a lot longer than that.
  • diefor170diefor170 Member
    129 karma
    Thank you @runiggyrun @Pacifico for your suggestions/help!
    I have to study extra hard for the LSAT!
  • Nilesh SNilesh S Alum Inactive ⭐
    3438 karma
    So @diefor170 and @runiggyrun your softs have to be good, but the +ve here is that your LSAT score will count for much more than anything... Before applying to law school, I had 3 LL.Ms all from top schools - London, Penn, Chicago... years of practice in my home country with the best lawyers, work ex at an international intergovernmental organization, teaching experience, publication with the yale journal of international law online, half a PhD in law and courts, and had led a national and international level project for the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, which got presented as a report before the UN General Assembly... my first attempt was a 163... I didn'tget into ANY school... the ones that took me were BC, BU, and UCI... that score is par for those schools... only when I broke into T14 range with my LSAT score did I get in... concentrate on ACING the LSAT... and you'll do fine.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    @"Nilesh S" Wow, that's an impressive resume! I don't think even a 180 on the LSAT would make up the difference between my softs and yours, but I'm going to tell myself that you're an example of the sufficient not the necessary. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, not many people are willing to be so open with their background and experience!
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27868 karma
    @runiggyrun said:
    you're an example of the sufficient not the necessary.
    For real. I’m in awe @"Nilesh S" !
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    edited May 2016 4344 karma
    @"Nilesh S" said:
    So @diefor170 and @runiggyrun your softs have to be good, but the +ve here is that your LSAT score will count for much more than anything... Before applying to law school, I had 3 LL.Ms all from top schools - London, Penn, Chicago... years of practice in my home country with the best lawyers, work ex at an international intergovernmental organization, teaching experience, publication with the yale journal of international law online, half a PhD in law and courts, and had led a national and international level project for the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, which got presented as a report before the UN General Assembly... my first attempt was a 163... I didn'tget into ANY school... the ones that took me were BC, BU, and UCI... that score is par for those schools... only when I broke into T14 range with my LSAT score did I get in... concentrate on ACING the LSAT... and you'll do fine.
    This is why we listen to everything Nilesh says. Because he is a baller.

    image
  • IPmummySFIPmummySF Alum Member
    73 karma
    I have an international GPA (round up to 3.6), and the LSAC transcript evaluation was only "above average". I have a STEM PhD from a top US engineering school and work experience in a law firm. I also think acing the LSAT is important. I got into Berkeley with my initial LSAT score that was 50%<x<75%. My final LSAT score was Harvard's 25%. During the Harvard interview, I was asked to elaborate on about my personal statement, so I think that was probably also important. Feel free to PM if you want to have more information!
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    Thanks for sharing @IPmummySF! We can add "prestigious STEM PhD" to the list of strong softs!

  • diefor170diefor170 Member
    129 karma
    Thank you so much @IPmummySF @"Nilesh S" ! Your Backgrounds are so impressive!
  • sweetalison007sweetalison007 Free Trial Member
    48 karma

    Military/Marine service would rank #1 as law School softs. My research on LSN showed that a lot many military veterans got into top B Schools - one even got into U Penn, with a sub 3.0 . You do the math. But you have to have extensive military experience, not just a year or two....

    After that comes publications in high end journals. This one's a great way to showcase academic aptitude and dedication - this actually would be even more useful if one doesn't have a great/good GPA.

    Fellowships, awards won etc.

    For all those who did poorly in UG, exemplary performance in Grad school will be a good soft.

  • edited July 2017 18 karma

    Deleted.

This discussion has been closed.