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Boarding Time at Law School Station

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:39 pm
by Splitt3r
So, with my (2nd) 4000th post I've decided to start a blog about my admissions cycle, in part just in case anyone cares or can draw motivation from it, but mostly to get my ass in gear about getting going on the process. To this end, I'm going to set time-tables for myself with regard to getting portions of my application done and sending stuff in, and we'll see if I meet them.

8/28/08 - Finish 1st draft of PS (anyone want to read it for me?)

8/29/08 - Ask for letter of recommendation from boss at end of internship evaluation.

9/4/08 - Ask for letters of recommendation from my two professors.

9/5-21/08 - Refresh my methods and approach to LSAT. Take practice tests, refine weak areas.

9/22/08 - Begin to go through individual school applications and find out what unique essays I will need to write.

9/26-29/08 - Write "Why X?" school essays where they are encouraged.

9/30/08-10/2/08 - Make any necessary last minute refinements of LSAT strategy and technique.

10/4/08 - Take LSAT

10/5/08 - Have PS and most school-specific essays finalized.

10/24/08 - Begin submitting applications.

What am I forgetting here?

Also, I've been thinking about writing a diversity statement regarding travelling and experiencing different cultures. Though I know it's not something that only I have done, I feel as though it would give me the opportunity to give a better picture of who I am and would also show that I have a different than average perspective to bring to the classroom. I'm a bit afraid of what seems to be a somewhat popular position of "whitey shouldn't be writing about diversity." If anyone has actually managed to read this far, what are your feelings on this?

Re: Boarding Time at Law School Station

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:44 pm
by Splitt3r
With my 5000th post, I have decided to update my blog once again. I like the idea of posting in here on milestone posts.

I finally finished getting my applications in today nearly two months behind schedule, mostly as a result of problems getting letters of recommendation and that giving me a reason to procrastinate on everything else. If I could go back and do it again I would A) start asking for my letter of recommendation at the end of my junior year rather than the beginning of my senior year and B) would ask for one more letter than I needed. As it is, I ended up having to ask two more people than letters I needed to write one, because the second and third ended up flaking. The fourth came through for me, thank god, but I really was not prepared for that to happen and it threw my time-table off.

Fortunately though, especially given my splitter numbers, I managed to do well this quarter. I got about 3.7 (give or take .1, yeah I know I'm paranoid) which is a significant improvement over the 3.25ish I was coming into this quarter with. I'm hoping that my updated grades will convince adcomms that I have the drive/ability to succeed in law school.

I've spent a lot of time touring law schools over the past month, visiting eight of the 16 I'm applying to. I went to get a feel for what the schools are like when they're not necessarily putting their best face on for you (as in ASWs,) and the visits really did change my perception of some schools either for good or bad. I'm going to be getting down south to take a look at G'Town, UVa, and Duke in late Jan/early Feb, so I'll have most likely seen the vast majority of the schools that I plan to apply to before any acceptances (or rejections) start rolling in.

I think I'm going to start participating in the areas of the message board outside of the lounge a bit more again. Though sometimes all of the new people can be a bit annoying and answering the same questions over and over can get frustrating, I feel as though I'm wasting all of the knowledge I've accumlated about law school admissions during my time here not sharing it and I feel like I should give back to a website that, as silly as this sounds, as given me quite a bit.

I'm hoping for as many acceptances as possible, but I'd really be happy to go nearly anywhere I apply, so as long as one of the 18 comes through I'll be satisfied with my results. Hope everyone has a great holiday and gets the acceptances they want for Christmas :) .

Re: Boarding Time at Law School Station

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:16 pm
by Splitt3r
Post 6k, time to update the blog again. I think I may start posting here more often than every 1000 posts now that decisions have started rolling in. Gives more something relatively significant to talk about instead of just random babbling.

So far the only things I've heard back at a WL at GULC and a ding at Mich. As I've discussed with some people around here already, this is making me somewhat anxious about the quality of my application, but I've been getting a lot of good support and assurances, so thanks for that. I've gotten over what's already happened and am just looking forward now. I knew my cycle was going to be pretty random as a splitter, especially coming straight out of UG, and I just have to roll with the punches for a bit while I'm waiting for the good news that is bound to come eventually.

I just got back from the Southeast and I loved my time there. Shout out to Rocket for meeting up for lunch with me, definitely one of the highlights of my trip. I actually liked all of the schools I saw, which is a first on these things, though obviously I liked some better than others. UVa was particularly nice; I had not one, but two students start conversations with me while I was sitting in on a class, both of whom were very nice and made me feel right at home.

As soon as my cycle is over I'm going to write-up a review for all of the school visits I did and put it here and in the "Visits to Law School" forum. I did 10 during this cycle, plus I have toured seven additional law schools prior to applying, so I hope that it'll be helpful to people for me to share my impression of the places I've been.

Ok, that's it for now, I hope to update soon with my first acceptance. Congrats, good luck, and stay strong to everyone else applying c/o 2012, depending on your situation :) .

Re: Boarding Time at Law School Station

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:54 pm
by Splitt3r
All right, post 7k, time to update the blog. I have something relatively useful to put in here today, imo at least, hopefully other people will find it interesting as well. I said last time I updated that I was going to start posting in here more often, but I really haven't had any good news or anything of note to say, so that didn't happen.

Anyway, I'm on 7 waitlists at the moment and am hoping to get off at least one. I was interested to see approximately what my odds were of getting off the waitlist at any given school, so I pulled some data off of LSN and worked on it a little so I could get an idea of who is going to be pulling from their waitlist and who won't (to the extent that LSN is a representative sample, anyway.)

The categories are pretty much self-explanatory except for the last two, which are "number of people remaining on the waitlist" and "of those who have been accepted, the percentage that have withdrawn" respectively. These are just the schools that I've been waitlisted at, but one could easily work up the same data set and stats for any school. Also please note that the order I put them in is loosely based on rankings, but is not at all indicative of my desire to attend each school.

schools Acc Attend W/d WL WL w/d WL, A WL, R WL rem W/d/Acc
Uva 262 33 91 512 151 2 51 308 34.7%
NU 207 11 98 131 35 1 8 87 47.3%
Duke 381 21 171 212 65 4 0 143 44.9%
Cornell 225 17 107 90 15 0 2 73 47.6%
G'town 511 19 250 198 40 20 0 138 48.9%
UCLA 232 12 108 214 76 0 0 138 46.6%
Vandy 228 7 116 242 59 1 0 182 50.9%

The one thing that jumps out at me first is the extremely low W/d/Acc rate that UVa has compared to other schools. They also have the highest number of people committed to attending out of any of the schools. The latter may be attributed to class size when compared to say, cornell, but obviously this argument wouldn't work with GULC. Even so though, the former indicator shows that even controlling for class size UVa is way out in front of everyone else in terms of yield. I think it seems fairly likely that UVa will once again be using it's waitlist sparingly, if at all, this year.

As we look at the rest of the schools, the next thing that jumps out is the low rate of commitment to attend at Northwestern. I'm not quite sure what to attribute this to, perhaps it's high cost or reluctance to take people without work experience, but unless people are just waiting until the last minute to indicate that they will be attending NU, it seems likely that they will be making heavy use of their waitlist this year. Given that they have one of the lowest numbers in terms of people remaining on the waitlist, it seems that this is probably the school that one has the best chance of getting in off the WL at.

Very similar observations could be made with regard to Vandy as with NU, but the much higher number of people still on the waitlist at Vandy makes it seem at first glance that one will have lower odds of getting in there than at NU.

Re: Boarding Time at Law School Station

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 6:23 pm
by Splitt3r
In at G'town just now.

Re: Boarding Time at Law School Station

Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:18 pm
by Splitt3r
Back to the blog for post 8k. Since my last update, I've become pretty set on attending G'town and am very excited about moving out to DC to start school. Though it was far from my first choice when I first started applying to law schools, it grew on me after my visit out there and even more after I got in and really gave some thought to the idea of being in DC for the next three years (what will be a very exciting time imo.) At this point I would probably only consider not taking my seat if I was admitted to UVa off the waitlist, and since there's virtually no chance of that happening I'm not even really thinking about any school other than GULC.

My last post of note mentioned that I was looking into what observations one could make from LSN correlate with letting people in off the waitlist, and how that could be used to focus ones efforts re: trying to get off of multiple waitlists and determining odds of that happening. It seems, unsurprisingly, that low commitment rates in proportion to class size and a high rate of withdrawals per acceptance correlate highly with letting a significant number of people in off the waitlist. This can be seen with NU, GULC, and Vandy very clearly. The limited movement on Cornell's waitlist, even with it's high withdrawal to acceptance rate, can probably be explained by its small class size and relatively high proportion of commitments to class size.

I've also been wondering lately whether the rise of discussion boards such as TLS and the prevailing general knowledge has contributed significantly to patterns in admissions (examples of possible cases of this off the top of my head: UVa having a high yield rate, Chicago pulling people with numbers beyond their ranking, GULC being held in lower esteem than DNC, in general.) I'm not sure exactly how I would test for these things, so I'm going to give it some more thought, but it'd be very interesting if I could formulate a test which showed with at least some reliability that the schools of thought perpetuated on TLS had a significant impact on the macro level on where people choose to attend LS.

I've also begun working on an article chronicling my visits to the T-14 minus HY. I haven't heard of anyone else who has visited that many of the T-14 outside of ASWs (correct me if I'm wrong) so I think offering a comparative perspective may be something valuable I can give back to TLS. Granted, it will be one persons subjective of opinion of each school, and I'm doing my best to phrase it as such. With that being said, there were a couple of schools that I didn't particularly care for, and I'm not going to try to hide that.

Anyway, that's basically all I have to say for now. Now sure if anyone actually reads this thing, but if you did I hope you enjoy it. Onward and Upward to post 9k!