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How much will HYS weigh soft factors if someone has numbers above their 75ths?

septemberseptember Alum Member
edited July 2017 in Law School Admissions 163 karma

Would it be really important? How would a personal statement factor into it? What if someone has no good softs?

Comments

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited June 2017 23929 karma

    @ifty2nd said:
    Would be really important? How would a personal statement factor into it? What if someone has no good softs?

    If you have numbers above both 75%-tiles, softs matter significantly less. They matter even less so at TTTs law schools, at least compared to T1/T-14 schools. If you are applying to a TTT with numbers above or at their 75th%tiles, you have an incredibly good chance of being accepted! :)

  • septemberseptember Alum Member
    163 karma

    @"Alex Divine"

    I should clarify that I meant "HYS" when I wrote "T3." I did not mean "TTT." My mistake. I am sorry.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @ifty2nd said:
    @"Alex Divine"

    I should clarify that I meant "HYS" when I wrote "T3." I did not mean "TTT." My mistake. I am sorry.

    Ahhh! Alright, haha. Well, because H's class size is by far the largest of the top 3, softs are going to matter less there then at S and especially Y. Even still, if your numbers are above both 75ths, I still think you would have a very good shot at H and S even without amazing softs. This will certainly make your PS/DS more important, however.

    If you check out MYlsn.info you can play around with some numbers and see how people's softs who got into HYS are compared to yours. You can definitely see that those accepted to Y tend to have some pretty impressive softs, whereas some accepted to H have average softs and very impressive numbers.

  • septemberseptember Alum Member
    163 karma

    @"Alex Divine" Thanks, Alex. I will look into it!

  • fmihalic2fmihalic2 Free Trial Member
    266 karma

    @ifty2nd

    HLS takes a much larger class so if you are above both 75ths, you are about as close to a lock as possible because there simply aren't that many people in the world who have a 175+ LSAT.

    YLS accepts a class about 1/3 the size of that of HLS. From what I've heard/seen, softs matter much more there than at most other law schools. That said, they won't admit only people that have lived in a Haiti for a year building shelter and kids of US senators and Presidents. They admit plenty of people that have worked their way through college delivering pizzas. So, you should still have a very solid shot there.

    I don't know much about Stanford.

  • David BusisDavid Busis Member Moderator
    7165 karma

    All good info here! In general, if you're above both 75ths, it's yours to lose. You don't need amazing softs or a killer essay, though you can definitely eliminate yourself with a terrible essay.

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    I guarantee you that those three schools look at your soft qualities, no doubt about it.

  • septemberseptember Alum Member
    163 karma

    Thank you all for your input! I was just wondering.

  • Accounts PlayableAccounts Playable Live Sage
    edited June 2017 3107 karma

    I've heard from a lot of different insiders that Harvard really focuses on work experience, even if you have numbers above median/75th percentiles, and anecdotally, I've found this to be true as well (above median LSAT; above 75th GPA; and an outright rejection. I speculate it was because of a gap year of employment that I didn't explain on my application).

    This is also directly suggested in this article from the Crimson:
    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/4/9/hls-admissions-work-experience/

    A year ago, I would have said that primarily numbers matter and don't worry too much about anything else (unless you have a bad C&F issue). Now, after talking with some different people I know in various admissions departments, I've done a 180 on that position. If you can manage to get 1 or 2 years work experience, it'll not only help you in the admissions process (especially so if you have great numbers) but also help you with the job search during interviews since recruiters at firms preference those with experience.

    EDIT/ADD: I'm reapplying this year for the reasons above. My cycle was strong (don't get me wrong), but I think I have the ability to have a stronger cycle scholarship/acceptance wise if I shore up the work experience aspect. OP, if you are able, really consider adding some work experience for practical and professional reasons. Again, a year ago, I wouldn't have imagined waiting another year to attend law school, but after some reflection, I realized there really is no rush. When you're professionally ready to go, that's when you should apply/attend, and I think my application this year is going to stronger for it.

  • Rigid DesignatorRigid Designator Alum Member
    1091 karma

    @"Accounts Playable" said:
    A year ago, I would have said that primarily numbers matter and don't worry too much about anything else (unless you have a bad C&F issue). Now, after talking with some different people I know in various admissions departments, I've done a 180 on that position. If you can manage to get 1 or 2 years work experience, it'll not only help you in the admissions process (especially so if you have great numbers) but also help you with the job search during interviews since recruiters at firms preference those with experience.

    When you say 'work experience' do you mean specifically legal work experience? Or do you mean work in general?

  • Accounts PlayableAccounts Playable Live Sage
    3107 karma

    @"Rigid Designator" said:

    @"Accounts Playable" said:
    A year ago, I would have said that primarily numbers matter and don't worry too much about anything else (unless you have a bad C&F issue). Now, after talking with some different people I know in various admissions departments, I've done a 180 on that position. If you can manage to get 1 or 2 years work experience, it'll not only help you in the admissions process (especially so if you have great numbers) but also help you with the job search during interviews since recruiters at firms preference those with experience.

    When you say 'work experience' do you mean specifically legal work experience? Or do you mean work in general?

    Work in general. My current job isn't in the legal field; I work as a CPA for a Fortune 100 firm.

  • eagles12345eagles12345 Free Trial Member
    52 karma

    Does unpaid work count as work experience or is that volunteering/ service?

  • eagles12345eagles12345 Free Trial Member
    52 karma

    Also does anyone know how HYS in reality views multuiple LSAT score. Harvard's website used to say the highest one but they recently changed it to saying it is holistic like all the other law schools but what does holistic mean in pratice?

  • Accounts PlayableAccounts Playable Live Sage
    3107 karma

    @eagles12345 said:
    Does unpaid work count as work experience or is that volunteering/ service?

    Depends what you're doing. Law school applications don't ask whether you were paid or not; however, if it's just an internship, that isn't going to be considered full-time employment on applications.

    @eagles12345 said:
    Also does anyone know how HYS in reality views multuiple LSAT score. Harvard's website used to say the highest one but they recently changed it to saying it is holistic like all the other law schools but what does holistic mean in pratice?

    Only the highest score matters. Don't worry about multiple scores in the slightest.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited June 2017 23929 karma

    @eagles12345 said:
    Also does anyone know how HYS in reality views multuiple LSAT score. Harvard's website used to say the highest one but they recently changed it to saying it is holistic like all the other law schools but what does holistic mean in pratice?

    I saw an admissions forum with Jessica Soban who is the head admissions at H where she basically said yes, the highest score counts the most, but if you took it unprepared and got say a 155 and then retook and got a 173 that 155 certainly wouldn't be helpful.

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    You guys are killing me reading comprehension has to be a monster for some of you. If Harvard says they take the highest score, they take the highest score. If your first score was a 155 and your second was a 173, that probably demonstrates you didn't prepare the first time and prepared the second time. I have said this at least 20 times. No one will score a 170 unprepared. That is why we are here. A person may score a 160 unprepared but that is a hard one to sell. I saw a post yesterday from a guy who said he scored a 180 and didn't study. That's just BS. You have to at least take a couple of practice test to see what the test is about... figure out LGs and such... experience in a job. It has to be a real job, it can't be working at Mcdonalds as a cook. It has to be a professional job if it's actually going to be considered.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited June 2017 23929 karma

    @dan_unsubstantiated said:
    You guys are killing me reading comprehension has to be a monster for some of you. If Harvard says they take the highest score, they take the highest score. If your first score was a 155 and your second was a 173, that probably demonstrates you didn't prepare the first time and prepared the second time. I have said this at least 20 times. No one will score a 170 unprepared. That is why we are here. A person may score a 160 unprepared but that is a hard one to sell. I saw a post yesterday from a guy who said he scored a 180 and didn't study. That's just BS. You have to at least take a couple of practice test to see what the test is about... figure out LGs and such... experience in a job. It has to be a real job, it can't be working at Mcdonalds as a cook. It has to be a professional job if it's actually going to be considered.

    Yeah, but while they claim to take the highest score, that doesn't mean they take it in a vacuum and forsake all other scores you have scored prior. Again, I have heard Mrs. Soban at an admission forum explain that the other scores don't just cease to matter with a higher score. For example, all other things being equal, someone with a 173 will have an advantage over someone with a 155 and a 173.

    Also, this is demonstrably false. "experience in a job. It has to be a real job, it can't be working at Mcdonalds as a cook. It has to be a professional job if it's actually going to be considered."

    Non-professional jobs are indeed considered. And while being a cook at McDonalds may not carry the same weight or lay prestige as someone who worked at Goldman Sachs, it can be used as a strength just the same. It's just up to you to use your PS/DS/Resume to explain how so. There's actually tons of literature by professionals, ex-deans of admissions, consultants, etc., that explain in-depth how law schools view different types of employment. So be careful before you just throw out unsubstantiated information.

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    I disagree on both counts. They are not going to consider your job at mcdonalds in deciding if they are going to accept you into law school. Not for a second, a New York sevond are they going to consider that you were a cook at McDonald's other than to demonstrate you had a job at one time... i agree that a first time 173 is better. It just just demonstrates your preparation level. You can actually add an adendum to state why you scored poorly your first time. You shouldn't say things that make no sense.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited June 2017 23929 karma

    @dan_reynolds said:
    I disagree on both counts. They are not going to consider your job at mcdonalds in deciding if they are going to accept you into law school. Not for a second, a New York sevond are they going to consider that you were a cook at McDonald's other than to demonstrate you had a job at one time... i agree that a first time 173 is better. It just just demonstrates your preparation level. You can actually add an adendum to state why you scored poorly your first time. You shouldn't say things that make no sense.

    With all due respect, whether or not you disagree is irrelevant when there's information that shows your conjecture is factually incorrect. Again, there are professional consultants, ex & current admissions officers, and deans of admission, who have all spoken and written on these exact topics. LSAT scores are not considered in a vacuum regardless of whether they take the highest score or not. If that was the case, wouldn't it make sense that you'd be able to pick which scores you send to which schools? There's a reason that this is an option for other major standardized tests and not the LSAT.

    And I'm not sure what information you are using to inform your opinion that work experience that is not professional is not considered, but you are mistaken. There's actually many 7Sagers who were accepted to top schools with work experience limited to non-professional jobs, some even in the service industry. Of course, this is anecdata, so it doesn't prove much. Even still, I'm going to listen to the professionals who make a living writing and speaking on these topics.

    You can absolutely write an addendum and explain why you scored poorly. However, it has been stated by several admissions professionals that different variations of the ol' "I didn't prepare..." is generally not a sufficient explanation. Some would even say not to write an addendum at all if that is the case.

    Also, I stated that "all other things being equal, someone with a 173 will have an advantage over someone with a 155 and a 173." Adding in an addendum to the calculus here doesn't leave the sum of the application exactly equal.

    I've also read a couple Ann Levine books that also discuss these topics. (author, consultant, and ex-director of admissions for Loyola Law School) Check those out they're like $5 bucks for a used copy on Amazon and very informative!

    There's also some mock admissions panel that a 7Sager posted on here a few months ago. I believe it was run by Kaplan? and included a panel with Soban (Director of admission, Harvard Law School), and admissions officers from Penn Law, UVA Law, and NYU Law. If memory serves they actually touched briefly on multiple LSAT scores and how each school on the panel views them, as well as different types of employment. If I find it I'll post the link for you.

    No offense, but It seems like you're just kind of shooting from the hip and going off intuition without any real data to back it up. I used to think that you need amazing softs and WE to have a shot at top schools. And while good softs and professional WE do help, it doesn't mean that other types of employment aren't considered. It really comes down to how you tell your story in the application. If you just work at McDonalds for 4 years after college and it's your only employment, I admit that probably isn't going to stack up very well against others applying to HYS. But if you construct a narrative that tells your story and how working at McDonalds has taught you something valuable, then it could be preferable to someone who worked on Wall Street. It also probably helps in the diversity department.

    Our own excellent admissions consultant @"David.Busis" has also done webinars where people have asked about non-professional WE as well as multiple LSAT scores. So I'm not just making this stuff up, haha. I just don't want anyone to be misinformed and think they have no shot at their dream schools because they have jobs that they perceive as not good enough. I used to think that until I looked into it and it was actually quite heartbreaking. Especially since I sacrificed a lot of time and happiness to get a job I thought would be preftigious enough, haha.

    Apologies for any confusion. Let me know what I said that didn't make sense. Sometimes I make some spelling/grammatical errors when I type these too quickly on my phone, lol. :blush:

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    I make a lot of typos too, I call it happy fingers.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @dan_reynolds said:
    I make a lot of typos too, I call it happy fingers.

    Haha I like that. My fingers are too darn big for typing on small phones!

    Also, I finally found the mock admission forum. This was very enlightening and I would recommend that everyone check these out. It is a few years old, but I think the bulk of the information discussed have more or less remained the same since 2013.

    Courtesy of 7Sager @thisissparta

    Link 1 (schools: Harvard, UVA, Penn and NYU): https://livestream.com/kaptest/the-180-admissions-roundtable/videos/27765588

    Link 2 (schools: UVA, BC, GWU and NYU): https://livestream.com/kaptest/lsat-180-live-mock-admissions-panel/videos/60476031

  • DByrne07DByrne07 Core Member
    279 karma

    So what is the consensus on someone who has multiple LSAT scores, but continues to improve? I'd think that is a positive view, correct?

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @DByrne07 said:
    So what is the consensus on someone who has multiple LSAT scores, but continues to improve? I'd think that is a positive view, correct?

    Yes, a retake with a better score is better than a a sole lower score. The thing is that one "good" score seems to be better. But all in all, I think it's a pretty minimal thing admissions people consider. Perhaps if you've taken the test 3-4 times and were clearly woefully unprepared and didn't improve much, then that won't reflect well on you. Improvement is always better then a lower score, even if it's only a point.

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    Alex, are you a graduate of law school? Or have you taken the lsat and been accepted? Or are you like many here, and taking the course and just now taking the test?

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    I only suggest making your application the best you can. While Alex is correct, scoring a 170 your first time is better than retaking, if you score a 170 and you application sucks you aren't getting into H,Y or S... no matter is you are in the 75th percentile

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited July 2017 23929 karma

    @dan_reynolds said:
    Alex, are you a graduate of law school? Or have you taken the lsat and been accepted? Or are you like many here, and taking the course and just now taking the test?

    Not a graduate, just prepping like everyone else. I am also prepping for the MBA as well and deciding which path I want to take right now. I've been working in finance for 2 years and change at an iBank and just have learned a lot about how legal hiring tends to be and and what credentials seem to matter most.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @dan_reynolds said:
    I only suggest making your application the best you can. While Alex is correct, scoring a 170 your first time is better than retaking, if you score a 170 and you application sucks you aren't getting into H,Y or S... no matter is you are in the 75th percentile

    Again, this is just factually incorrect and yet another thing you have surmised without the slightest bit of data to back them up. Numbers go a long way, way longer than your application. If you're above 75th%tiles, your softs and PS/DS begin to matter substantially less. Again, Ann Levine and other professionals discuss this in their books. I implore you to do your homework before just throw out things that aren't true. While there is some truth to this, saying you aren't getting in because your app vaguely sucks, even while at both 75ths, is just wrong. Then again, I guess it depends by sucks. But generally speaking apps with numbers at 75%tiles don't suck.

    Depending on what makes your application "suck," even those with numbers above HYS 75ths%tiles, who have made egregious mistakes on their apps have been accepted. Misspellings/grammatical issues, C&F issues, lack of professional work experience, etc.

    @dan_reynolds said: "You guys are killing me reading comprehension has to be a monster for some of you."

    Yeah, reading comprehension has to be a monster for you, too, considering it doesn't seem like you can form a coherent sentence or argument. I'm guilty of it too, if I'm on my phone, but be careful throwing stones in a glass house. And please for the love of god,

    @dan_reynolds said:
    I only suggest making your application the best you can. While Alex is correct, scoring a 170 your first time is better than retaking, if you score a 170 and you application sucks you aren't getting into H,Y or S... no matter is you are in the 75th percentile

    Ehhh, If both your GPA/LSAT is above HYS 75%tiles there's actually a pretty decent chance you'll get admitted. I guess it depends on how "sucky" we are talking about. But even with a poor PS and subpar LORs, numbers matter most, always!

    Also if you're an URM with a 170+ and above a 3.7 GPA you're pretty much in at HS and probably Y, short of murdering someone. Even then, you never know. Depends on if you were convicted. LOL

  • inactiveinactive Alum Member
    edited July 2017 12637 karma

    @"Alex Divine" said:
    Yeah, reading comprehension has to be a monster for you, too, considering it doesn't seem like you can form a coherent sentence or argument.

    Uncalled for. You know better than that.

    Play nice, kids.

    https://media.tenor.com/images/150d058af7457f2068706c08cf89a8e5/tenor.gif

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @"Dillon A. Wright" said:

    @"Alex Divine" said:
    Yeah, reading comprehension has to be a monster for you, too, considering it doesn't seem like you can form a coherent sentence or argument.

    Uncalled for. You know better than that.

    Play nice, kids.

    https://media.tenor.com/images/150d058af7457f2068706c08cf89a8e5/tenor.gif

    @dan_reynolds said: "You guys are killing me reading comprehension has to be a monster for some of you."

    This was the original OP I was replying to for posterity. Apologies for letting him get the better of me. As a mentor, I should hold myself to a hire standard.

    My full reply seemed taken out of context as well: @dan_reynolds said: "You guys are killing me reading comprehension has to be a monster for some of you."

    "Yeah, reading comprehension has to be a monster for you, too, considering it doesn't seem like you can form a coherent sentence or argument. I'm guilty of it too, if I'm on my phone, but be careful throwing stones in a glass house."

    Either way, I should hold myself to a higher standard. Mea culpa and apologies for being a meanie pants.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited July 2017 23929 karma

    Deleted.

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