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@adcoms - is this information out of date?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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@jl00: congrats on BC!!!
Just applied to Arizona State. Applications opened today for 2023, and I had all my stuff ready for today. They already waive their fees for everyone, plus I got a fee waiver from LSAC themselves. My chances aren't high, but I'm really proud of myself for applying.
Good luck @Datzookman!
@FryCookLLP: thank you so much!!
So exciting! Can't believe apps are opening up...
@Datzookman: Congrats!!!!
Good luck!
Eating beans.
finished eating beans
this website is fascinating. look at the 169 wall for UF. Insane
any upenn WL updates or am I doomed
are there still a lot on the WL? anyone know
You guys think Duke will take someone ED with a 3.6/170?
Any Northwestern waitlist movement?
Does anyone know why there are so few students off NW waitlist this year?
Any GMU wl updates?
@SplitStatz: would be tough with a 170
whaddup guys
haven't been here in a minute
hey kid
how are ya
So the school I teach at is doing Legally Blonde for their musical this year. That's gonna be interesting when I announce I'm leaving for law school :/
no gmu updates...
I think they may release us all by next week
anyone think BU or BC will have movement?
BC always said they were full but made multiple offers over the summer and BU has made a couple offers (since I told them I would commit in early June😡)
Hey guys if I'm reapplying this next year do i need to delete all of the current schools/decisions on my list from this last cycle?
@CoordinatedDysfunctionalDog: I’m hoping they send a feeler, but since orientation has started, I can’t say
Does URM boost change yearly
Any waitlist movement for Wisconsin Law?nt