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Hydarnes

Zero Extracurriculars

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How are my fellow little to no extracurricular comrades attacking this issue on the application? Anyone know how much of an impact this will have on apps? My scores are pretty decent (173 lsat/3.5 cgpa) but I'm a little concerned about the total lack of extracurriculars cutting deep. 

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17 hours ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

Like, literally zero or they are just bad? A 173 LSAT seems like it would be a train ticket to law school regardless, unless you are not a human being

Nothing off the top of my head, mental health was wild during undergrad @[email protected]

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18 hours ago, Hydarnes said:

How are my fellow little to no extracurricular comrades attacking this issue on the application? Anyone know how much of an impact this will have on apps? My scores are pretty decent (173 lsat/3.5 cgpa) but I'm a little concerned about the total lack of extracurriculars cutting deep. 

Plenty of schools are based purely on numbers, and won't even know if/what extracurricular activities you had.

 

Of the ones that do, a 173/3.5 is very unlikely to be derailed by failing to write 'debate club president'. Your LSAT is excellent and GPA is good.

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I don't even know what "zero extra-curriculars" could look like. The curriculum is, by definition, everything you formally study. Extra-curriculars are everything you do and learn from outside of that. Are you seriously telling me that you only study and do absolutely nothing outside of that that has any redeeming value, instructive aspect, or useful opportunities for personal development?

As noted above, if you aren't ticking off any of the boxes that your peers may be chasing down, that's fine. Law schools are less impressed by yet another club president than you may imagine. But you might want to reflect on how you spend your free time and whether any of the things you do, on campus or otherwise, may be worth thinking about in terms of how you are learning from it. I'm not recommending this as an exercise in inflating your own activities. I mean, really think about what you do and why it's meaningful. I honestly can't believe you do nothing at all. And if you think that you do, it's probably because you're accepting someone else's ideas of what has value and what doesn't, rather than applying your own

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Why not get involved now before applications are due? There are plenty of charitable outreach opportunities to take part in with short notice.

 

Why take the chance and have nothing, even if you have a strong LSAT?

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3 hours ago, Diplock said:

Extra-curriculars are everything you do and learn from outside of that.

Usually when people say 'zero ECs' (myself included) they mean that they have no volunteering, leadership, competitive athletic, or artistic achievements. Based on inquiries I've made on the forum thus far, ECs outside of these categories aren't worth mentioning. Even as somebody who uses their free time relatively constructively (reading, playing an instrument, exercising, etc), I'm reluctant to try to draw a connection between those 'unofficial' ECs and my interest in/aptitude for legal studies for fear of the claim being underwhelming or self-aggrandizing. 

However, given that my current PS strategy involves basing claims of my interest in/aptitude for legal studies on specific research projects in my upper year classes (i.e., it's lame), I welcome any refutation of the above or tips to improve.

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20 hours ago, Pete said:

Usually when people say 'zero ECs' (myself included) they mean that they have no volunteering, leadership, competitive athletic, or artistic achievements. Based on inquiries I've made on the forum thus far, ECs outside of these categories aren't worth mentioning. Even as somebody who uses their free time relatively constructively (reading, playing an instrument, exercising, etc), I'm reluctant to try to draw a connection between those 'unofficial' ECs and my interest in/aptitude for legal studies for fear of the claim being underwhelming or self-aggrandizing. 

However, given that my current PS strategy involves basing claims of my interest in/aptitude for legal studies on specific research projects in my upper year classes (i.e., it's lame), I welcome any refutation of the above or tips to improve.

This is on the money

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On 9/16/2019 at 9:08 PM, Hydarnes said:

How are my fellow little to no extracurricular comrades attacking this issue on the application? Anyone know how much of an impact this will have on apps? My scores are pretty decent (173 lsat/3.5 cgpa) but I'm a little concerned about the total lack of extracurriculars cutting deep. 

You should be in at most places. 173 cannot be ignored and hitting the 99% percentile of what's essentially a gauge of working memory and your ability to learn, is a fairly good gauge of the type of cognitive abilities that lets one do well in law school. This is why its universal despite naysayers saying it doesn't mean anything. 

If you have some deep pocketed parents you could hit up a T14 too, 173 will see you in at NYU and a few others, possibly Columbia. 

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So having "zero ECs" is really not a big deal for law school admissions.  It is largely just a numbers-based exercise.

BUT

Assuming the OP gets in (sounds like he/she will), in less than three years you're going to be doing articling interviews.  Things like ECs there can make a big difference between two students with otherwise similar marks.  The OP really should consider developing some kind of hobby, joining a club, or whatever.  Even if it's something simple like playing an intramural sport once a week - it makes you look more like a well-rounded person.

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Yeah, OP should reflect on why they have no ECs and make some sort of personal promise or action plan to not let those same reasons for inaction carry over to law school. The easiest thing in the world is to maintain your patterns. It takes effort to change. 

What you can learn about practicing law from legal courses is limited. It's very difficult to navigate towards your correct legal career path without meaningful EC engagement. This is for both application reasons, as well as self-discovery reasons. Can you really know that oral advocacy is not for you if you never give it a legitimate shot? Social justice might move you, but how can you figure out what that means for your career aspirations if you don't test it out with some experience of depth in a legal clinic? Etc...

Legal recruiters and employers very much care about how you can explain how your experiences inform your motivations and aspirations. If you don't have the experiences to draw upon, or you have flimsy little experiences that you have to stretch to make relevant, these conversations will be short and fall flat. 

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I have to say that as a mature applicant (in age and in spirit, even if most of the schools I'm applying to don't actually have a separate category for mature students), the ECs component actually seems a bit daunting, and almost insulting, though of course I know it's not the intent.

I feel like saying, "Of course I'm not in any clubs, I've been working shift work for ten years, supporting my partner through medical school, and raising a child. It would show poor prioritization if I tried to join a table tennis league on top of that."

I suppose I'll hope that, in any holistic assessment, my work experience can largely take the place of EC's - or alternately that my numbers are just good enough to speak for themselves. :S

-GM

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2 hours ago, GrumpyMountie said:

I have to say that as a mature applicant (in age and in spirit, even if most of the schools I'm applying to don't actually have a separate category for mature students), the ECs component actually seems a bit daunting, and almost insulting, though of course I know it's not the intent.

I feel like saying, "Of course I'm not in any clubs, I've been working shift work for ten years, supporting my partner through medical school, and raising a child. It would show poor prioritization if I tried to join a table tennis league on top of that."

I suppose I'll hope that, in any holistic assessment, my work experience can largely take the place of EC's - or alternately that my numbers are just good enough to speak for themselves. :S

-GM

ECs is not simply limited to school activities. Not everyone going to law school, medical school, dental school, etc. is doing so right out of undergrad. It includes life and work experiences. In fact, I've noticed that the latter two is given more weight by admissions than simply being President of some Pre-Law Club in university. It all comes down to how you spin your narrative and sell yourself to the adcom. They want to know who you are as an individual and ECs, which literally means anything done outside of the pursuit of academics, is an example of that. 

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