What are "softs" and how are they classified?

LSAT score and GPA are "hard" data. Softs refer to everything in your application that isn't "hard" data.

Softs are inherently unquantifiable. That's why they're called softs.

The tiers below are very rough guidelines for putting a number on something that really can't be quantified. Don't take the tiers too seriously when comparing yourself to other applicants on LSData. Holistically valuing softs is the admissions committee's job.

The soft tier system is copied from an old reddit post by /u/whistleridge.

@adcoms - is this information out of date? Email us at admissions@lsd.law and tell us how we can improve!

Soft tiers

Please do not consider under represented minority (URM) status when classifying your soft tier.

Tier 1 (extremely rare)

  • High decorations for valor (Congressional Medal of Honor, DSC/Navy Cross, Silver Star)
  • Rhodes Scholarship
  • Started multimillion-dollar company/innovative service that is household name
  • C-level executive in publicly traded/Fortune 500 company
  • Professional athlete/college athlete who was a lock for professional except for injury
  • Widely published author/heavily cited academic
  • Prior high expertise in field (surgeon who invented technique, etc.)

Tier 2 (rare)

  • Decorated military service (Purple Heart, Bronze Star)
  • Fulbright/other prestigious scholarship
  • NCAA athlete in standout position, e.g. household basketball name, led water polo team to 3 titles, etc.
  • Overcome extraordinary physical/mental handicap (ALS, blind & deaf, etc.)
  • High level (director, etc.) position in prior employment
  • Prior demonstrations of high expertise (patents, etc.)

Tier 3 (uncommon)

  • Commissioned military service
  • Prestigious undergraduate scholarships and/or research awards
  • NCAA athlete
  • Overcame extraordinary adversity (childhood poverty, physical/mental handicap, etc.)
  • Published academic
  • Peace Corps/Americorps/other public service
  • Prior employment in legal field or otherwise pertinent area (engineer for IP, etc.)
  • Disadvantaged status: LGBTQ+, first in family to attend college, single working parent, etc.

Tier 4 (common)

  • Any military service
  • Legal internships
  • Congressional internships
  • President/officer of clubs/frat/etc.
  • School newspaper/yearbook/etc.
  • Honors societies


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You're right. More so than my other schools though lol
Nice, well good luck!
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
Yeah definitely haha. Actually I think SMU does really well for Dallas
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
thanks! I know my account isn't public but i have a 3.95/172 and will be EDing to Duke soon
Hell yeah.
You'd have agreat shot if you ED UT Ryan
I really don't think I would.
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
Looks like they already sent their app in @onetimesignin
Mr. Ryan look at my grades, I'm a clown
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
And I would disagree with the great shot part but who knows.
I got an ii with ED, no way you don't
I actually didn't yet. I just put my schools in to ask people advice.
I plan on applying in around 2 weeks
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
UT austin interviews almost everyone who applies ED onetime
That ain't true from what I've seen
In fact, NO ED Rejection last year has an ii on record for UT
1 went to WL
Thus, I say to you good sir, you have capped
UT is a dream school. But I almost feel like it would be more worth it to ED at A&M over UT bc I actually kind of have a chance.
Same vandy and UT are #1 for me
Can yall check my list?
Jack Ryan if you don't ED Austin I'm gonna find you
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
I said almost everyone. You went looking at rejections. It'd be interesting to see how many interviewed are eventually accepted but getting an interview isn't really indicative of any sort of chance, sorry to burst your bubble Onetime. But with a 3.3 and a 15x, you more than likely are not getting in.
I'm not stupid, I know the odds, and thems bettin odds
And 60% of UT inverviees get accepted (last year) So, it kind of is
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
Not 60% of the ED pool, I can guarantee that.
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