Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

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thewaterlanding
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby thewaterlanding » Mon May 07, 2012 10:56 am

Dean Perez,

If you could give any advice to incoming 1L's at your school or any other school, what would it be and why? I think it's good to hear this from someone who has been to law school and is currently working in an admin position at a school.

Thanks

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BVest
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby BVest » Mon May 07, 2012 12:43 pm

SPerez wrote:And since we're talking about LORs, I'll repeat my general advice:

NO FAMILY MEMBERS


But Bobby's such a smart boy, and he never makes a fuss when I pinch his cheeks. He'd be an excellent lawyer.

ConcernedHabsFan
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby ConcernedHabsFan » Mon May 07, 2012 7:20 pm

Hi,

I'm planning on applying to Texas Tech Law School this fall, after getting my undergraduate at a Canadian University.

I've heard that having alumni doesn't matter for undergrad admissions at TTU. Does it get taken into account for law school? My mom, dad, and uncle all went to Texas Tech University and graduated in the 1970s (as international students from Hong Kong). I'd love to experience the college they went to that gave them their first taste of North America 8)


Thanks.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed May 09, 2012 10:06 am

thewaterlanding wrote:Dean Perez,

If you could give any advice to incoming 1L's at your school or any other school, what would it be and why? I think it's good to hear this from someone who has been to law school and is currently working in an admin position at a school.

Thanks


That's a broad question to which I don't think there is a single "best" answer. It's not like I was Order of the Coif in law school myself, either, so I don't know that I have any special insight. However, not having knowledge of a subject seldom stops a law student or lawyer from offering their opinion so I'll give it a shot. :)

I know many super Type-A future law students are looking for that magic book, study aid, or secret outline that will give them that extra edge. It doesn't exist. However, I've heard several people recommend a book called 1000 Days to the Bar Exam by Dennis Tonsing. I've never read it, but it's cheap, and while it may not work for everyone, it could at least be helpful in providing a good way to approach law school.

If you're like I was and have never had to really try to get good grades or ever really learned how to study, I'm sorry to inform you that those days are most likely coming to an end. I didn't really learn how to study until I was preparing for the bar exam (which, if you're going to pick a time to learn, is better than after the bar exam). I would have done much better in law school if I had studied like that for my classes. I studied lazily and didn't do practice exams, sample questions, etc.

Something else I learned the hard way was that law school essay exams are something one should "learn" how to write. How you write a law school exam can sometimes be worth just as much as the answers you write. The details will differ from professor to professor (e.g. are bullet points and sentence fragments OK or are you graded on grammar and punctuation?), but it is good to know what the overarching rules are.

Someone told me to study with people smarter than myself. The class I did that for I ended up doing much better than in most of my other classes. What I got out of it was mostly seeing how someone that (in my case) was truly brilliant viewed the questions, thought trough the analysis, and constructed his answers. While I didn't get smarter simply by osmosis, once I saw those things I was at least able to try and emulate his thought process.

Don't get caught up in what other people are doing. By that I don't just mean who's in the library studying what outline until what our of the night, but also who's doing who (funny enough, often also in the library in the wee hours of the night) or what the student government "scandal" du jour is. I'm not saying you have to run from the building immediately after class and not make any friends (which is about what it would take to totally avoid those things). It's probably not a bad idea to stay informed of the goings on in the building, both academic and non-academic. Just don't get caught up in it, take it too seriously, or let it impact your studies.

Don't forget why you are going to law school. There's so much bad publicity out there right now, it's easy to get down about your choice even before you're going through the meat grinder that is final exams. If you don't have a clear answer for why you're in law school, get one quick. This is "do as I say, not as I did" advice. I didn't go to law school knowing I wanted to be a lawyer, nor did I develop a strong desire during school. I was lucky and found a career that I really enjoy. However, when I graduated (not so long ago) I was able to get through UT with $55,000 in loans (tuition was about $7,700 when I started and $12,500 when I graduated) and the interest rate at the time was like 2%. That is not the situation y'all find yourself in.

Enjoy this summer. For those of you that aren't currently in the work force, this is the last one you're going to get. There is no summer vacation (or 3 weeks off for Christmas) in the real world.

Then there's the old adage "If you live like a lawyer when you're a student, you will live like a student when you're a lawyer." It's hard to complain about your debt load when you spend $100 at the bar every weekend, hit up Starbucks and Chick-fil-a every day, do a study abroad in Europe your first summer, and live by yourself in a luxury apartment complex that has granite counters and tanning beds.

I'm sure I could come up with more with time, but I'll leave it at that for now...

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dingbat
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby dingbat » Wed May 09, 2012 10:16 am

It's too bad Tecas is entirely off my radar - I would have liked dealing with you

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Thu May 10, 2012 3:50 pm

jas1503 wrote:@Dean Perez.

How does your school -or any law school in general- evaluate students with a missing transcript (due to financial hold) in the application?

Obviously, it sends a red flag about that students ability to pay bills, but is it enough to toss an application out completely?

What if the missing school transcript is the graduating university?



The short answer is that we virtually never even review files that are missing transcripts. If it is the degree granting school, we have our settings such that we won't get your CAS report at all until LSAC receives your transcripts so you wouldn't be considered Complete without it. In some very rare occasions we might review a file and render a decision, if for example, an applicant was missing CC transfer credit that is reflected on another transcripts. Still, I can see a school still being hesitant to extend an offer to that person without knowing what the real LSAC reportable GPA is.

We don't know why LSAC doesn't have an applicant's transcripts, just that they aren't there. If you owe a school money, you need to get that taken care of. Most universities require official copies of the transcripts sent directly from the school (not LSAC, which only sends photocopies of the front) before they will allow you to matriculate.

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Nova
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Nova » Thu May 10, 2012 11:40 pm

SPerez wrote:Then there's the old adage "If you live like a lawyer when you're a student, you will live like a student when you're a lawyer." It's hard to complain about your debt load when you spend $100 at the bar every weekend, hit up Starbucks and Chick-fil-a every day, do a study abroad in Europe your first summer, and live by yourself in a luxury apartment complex that has granite counters and tanning beds.
[/quote]

I will surely keep this in mind. Thank you!!
Last edited by Nova on Fri May 11, 2012 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

rglifberg
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby rglifberg » Fri May 11, 2012 12:50 am

Dean Perez,

How does your school factor in grade trends. For instance, how would the GPA of a student who got terrible grades as a freshman (like me) but got high grades as an upperclassman be viewed. More specifically, if the cumulative GPA is low but upper-division classes are high grades. The general consensus here on TLS is that the Cum. GPA is all that matters and trends are relatively irrelevant, but I'd love to hear your response.

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jas1503
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby jas1503 » Fri May 11, 2012 1:37 pm

SPerez wrote:
jas1503 wrote:@Dean Perez.

How does your school -or any law school in general- evaluate students with a missing transcript (due to financial hold) in the application?

Obviously, it sends a red flag about that students ability to pay bills, but is it enough to toss an application out completely?

What if the missing school transcript is the graduating university?



The short answer is that we virtually never even review files that are missing transcripts. If it is the degree granting school, we have our settings such that we won't get your CAS report at all until LSAC receives your transcripts so you wouldn't be considered Complete without it. In some very rare occasions we might review a file and render a decision, if for example, an applicant was missing CC transfer credit that is reflected on another transcripts. Still, I can see a school still being hesitant to extend an offer to that person without knowing what the real LSAC reportable GPA is.

We don't know why LSAC doesn't have an applicant's transcripts, just that they aren't there. If you owe a school money, you need to get that taken care of. Most universities require official copies of the transcripts sent directly from the school (not LSAC, which only sends photocopies of the front) before they will allow you to matriculate.

@Dean Perez
Thank you very much for this Bro-nominal response, sir!

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri May 11, 2012 4:00 pm

ConcernedHabsFan wrote:Hi,

I'm planning on applying to Texas Tech Law School this fall, after getting my undergraduate at a Canadian University.

I've heard that having alumni doesn't matter for undergrad admissions at TTU. Does it get taken into account for law school? My mom, dad, and uncle all went to Texas Tech University and graduated in the 1970s (as international students from Hong Kong). I'd love to experience the college they went to that gave them their first taste of North America 8)


Thanks.


Legacy isn't really a factor in admissions for the law school, either. It might have some marginal influence for applicants right on the outer edge among otherwise equally qualified candidates, but practically that ends up being very, very rare.

Where it would be of interest to reviewers would be in a case like yours, where it would answer the "Why the heck is this guy applying here...eh?" question.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed May 16, 2012 10:40 am

rglifberg wrote:Dean Perez,

How does your school factor in grade trends. For instance, how would the GPA of a student who got terrible grades as a freshman (like me) but got high grades as an upperclassman be viewed. More specifically, if the cumulative GPA is low but upper-division classes are high grades. The general consensus here on TLS is that the Cum. GPA is all that matters and trends are relatively irrelevant, but I'd love to hear your response.


Like with most things on here, the general advice is usually hyperbolic and overly simplistic, but not entirely wrong. Because schools will report your overall GPA, if you're below their median and they're worried about hitting that number, there's nothing you can do about it.

However, all schools take students that have numbers below their medians, both splitters and people that are below on both LSAT and GPA. Something that can help one student beat out others with similar numbers is having a strong grade trend like you describe. I think it's fairly obvious why a school would rather have the 2.0 freshman year/4.0 soph-senior year student than the flat 3.0 student. The first had some issues, but proved they can be a great student. The latter was consistently mediocre.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:21 pm

As this year's cycle draws to a close and next year's begins, I thought I would bump this thread by asking Fall 2012 enrollees how they feel their cycles went. Are you happy with where you will be going to school? Were you more successful than you thought you would be? Less?

Also, out of curiosity...In an increasingly competitive market, law schools come up with all sorts of gimmicks and strategies to recruit students. I'm thinking things like admit phone calls from a dean, invitations to dinner with professors, birthday cards (we did that one this year). Did something like this make the difference for anyone out there? I tend to think they fall in the "Nice, but it didn't get me to change my decision," category, but I would be interesting to hear what others think.

For folks new to this thread, see my first post for an overview of how I do things here.

-Dean Perez

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:28 pm

I doubt birthday cards would be something that majorly factors into anyone's law school choices. Like you said, it probably falls into the second category. On the other hand, there have been several post around here about schools being over-eager to accept students who hadn't even applied and badgering them with phone-calls even when asked not too. I'd say schools should be careful how they approach this lest they pass the line from "seemingly interested in it's potential students" to "desperate/shameless".

I haven't had my cycle yet, I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but I thought that this thread deserved to be bumped anyways.

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2014
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:16 am

I really doubt most gimmicks make a difference to applicants, but personalized attention probably helps your reputation out which can never hurt (of course it's a cost benefit thing though). I agree with the above though that gimmicks appearing desperate probably do more harm than good and potentially cause the wrath of Campos or ATL.

As examples of the above Michigan seems to benefit here despite its drawbacks perhaps in part to applicants being flattered by their admissions folks doing the handwritten note on viewbooks, and many applied to Alabama last year just for the ITunes card, but schools like Rutgers-Camden continue to be bashed for their actions. If TLS is any indication, gimmicks can get you as a school in or out of one's application list but they aren't on average going to choose TTU unless your tuition-scholarships places you at a competitive price and they want to end up in Texas in the first place. Whether TLS is representative of your applicant pool though is up for debate :P

I do have a question for you too! What were your general reactions to this past cycle? Were you taken by relative surprise, forced to dive into your waitlist more than expected, or from your end was it just more of the same from previous years? It seems like many schools had to reduce class sizes and even then didn't maintain medians, and if this is the case what do you expect to change from the admissions POV this year given that you now have a year or arguably two years to recognize and adapt to a changing climate surrounding applicants?

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:57 pm

2014 wrote:I do have a question for you too! What were your general reactions to this past cycle? Were you taken by relative surprise, forced to dive into your waitlist more than expected, or from your end was it just more of the same from previous years? It seems like many schools had to reduce class sizes and even then didn't maintain medians, and if this is the case what do you expect to change from the admissions POV this year given that you now have a year or arguably two years to recognize and adapt to a changing climate surrounding applicants?


I think last year took all of us by surprise. We all expected applications to continue to drop, but not to the extent they did. Also, the degree to which the state of legal education and legal employment situation became subjects of mainstream media coverage was also surprising (to me, at least). I think the NYTimes does one law school-ish article a year, and this year there were a ton, along with the WSJ, etc.

I didn't know what to expect this year. I spent the whole year waiting for the other shoe to drop. We consistently ran +14% or more on our applications all year. I wasn't sure if that was going to hold or if our applications would just stop coming all of a sudden. I'm really happy with how things turned out, though. Not to be a tease, but you'll just have to wait for the official announcement for the details.

As for the future, this isn't the first time the number of people applying to law school has decreased. The change is that this time it is happening in sync with an economic downturn (historically, it is counter-cyclical), there are more law schools than last time (when I applied to law school in 1999-2000 it was the first time applications increased in 6 or 7 years; there have been 17 law schools accredited since then), and the cost of law school has skyrocketed. Schools have had a year to work out their finances to allow them to enter a smaller class. Not everyone will be able to do that, though...something will have to give.

Schools are boxed in on all sides here. The easiest response to a drop in applicants is to reduce your class size. Easy-peasy. Revenue realities, however, require schools to maintain enrollment or increase tuition (which could threaten enrollment and becomes moot if you just end up discounting it). The largest components of law school budgets - faculty and facilities - are not easily reduced. A school needs to pay the faculty and keep the lights on regardless of how many students are in the class. So OK, if you can't reduce the class size you just take a credential hit for a few years. Only problem is that you have pressure from your university administration and alumni (read: donors) to not let those numbers (and, in turn, rankings) slip. Rock and hard place.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:56 am

Just posted this over in the Class Size/Medians thread, wanted to cross post it here.

SPerez wrote:Our info is going out in our monthly newsletter soon, but since I told all the 1Ls at Orientation and our new print materials arrived yesterday I figured I could post them now.

Texas Tech: 156 (+1), 3.48 (-0.01), 232 (-4, +1.69%)

Our 25th/75th's are 152/158 (no change) and 3.26/3.68 (+.01/+.02).

This is as of the first day of classes (Aug. 20th), and therein lies the caveat to every law school's numbers right now. Because of the new "certification" program LSAC is offering this year, the official statistics that will be used for the ABA Report, the LSAC Official Guide, and (presumably) USNWR rankings will be reported as of Oct. 5. In past years the entering class was reported based on who "matriculated", i.e. who was there the first day of class.

What this means is that when the official numbers actually come out (I've heard the ABA/LSAC are going to make a special effort to get at least some stats out sooner than the rest of the guide, but I can't confirm that) they will likely be at least a little different for every law school due to people withdrawing during the first semester. If a school happens to have made a median by only a few people, it's very possible the numbers that are recorded for posterity could be lower depending on who withdraws from the class (e.g. students above or below median).

If that raises more questions for people, I'd be happy to answer what I can.

Dean Perez

Oceano123
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Oceano123 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:14 pm

Dean Perez,
Has Texas Tech considered adding a part-time program to the law school in the future?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby patel529 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:24 am

Dean Perez,

Thanks for bumping this thread for this year's cycle. Just a quick question - How does TTU Law view multiple LSAT scores for applicants?

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hallbd16
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby hallbd16 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:06 am

patel529 wrote:Dean Perez,

Thanks for bumping this thread for this year's cycle. Just a quick question - How does TTU Law view multiple LSAT scores for applicants?

+1
I also have an additional question. Do you (and others schools if you can generalize) prefer students that are retaking the LSAT in December to wait until after they receive their test scores to submit their application or do you prefer students submit the application in October with the addendum that they are retaking the December LSAT?

Would either give any benefit to the potential applicant?
Would it be worth mentioning in the addendum a likely target range for the December test?

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cahwc12
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby cahwc12 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:40 am

.
Last edited by cahwc12 on Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

elb80
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby elb80 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:30 pm

Good morning Dean,
Your comments and participation in this panel have been very helpful and encouraging! I would like to know if you have a preference between Letters of Recommendation and Evaluations. Do you place more emphasis on one versus the other? Thanks so much!
elb80

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:47 am

Oceano123 wrote:Dean Perez,
Has Texas Tech considered adding a part-time program to the law school in the future?


Sorry for the long delay. Travel season snuck up on me with a vengeance this year.

To have a full-fledged part-time program (separate sections, class times, etc.) usually requires a critical mass of population to be cost effective. That's why virtually all schools with PT programs are in large urban centers. It's going to be a while before Lubbock fits in that category. :)

However, we have been discussing a sort of flex-scheduling option that would allow working professionals in Lubbock to attend law schools. This would take a while to work out the details so if we did do it, it probably wouldn't be available until next cycle at the earliest.

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nickb285
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby nickb285 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:10 pm

Hadn't seen this thread before as I'm relatively new here, but this is awesome. Thanks for answering questions.

How would you view an addendum that basically stated that I was kind of a dumbass between the ages of 18 and 21 (obviously going to phrase that a little differently)? My freshman and junior years (TBH my sophomore year probably would have been the same had I not needed to pull up grades for a study abroad), I had little in the way of motivation or maturity--didn't think I was going to go to law school, partied a lot, etc--and my grades suffered predictably; wound up with a 3.17. My LSAT score is respectable, and my senior-year grades are solid, but there are not enough of them to make up for me being a dumbass. Conventional wisdom is not to write an addendum just to say "I used to be an idiot, but I'm not anymore!" unless it was freshman year grades only, but I want a way to emphasize that my LSAT scores and final year grades are more representative of my potential than the degree to which I cared about my "Does ET Exist" junior-year science credit as a hungover 21-year-old.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:26 pm

patel529 wrote:Dean Perez,

Thanks for bumping this thread for this year's cycle. Just a quick question - How does TTU Law view multiple LSAT scores for applicants?


If your question is whether we "take" the higher score or average, then the answer is the higher score. In fact, that's the answer for all law schools because that's the explicit instruction by the ABA for reporting LSAT scores.

When it comes to reviewing your application in order to assess your ability, however, we definitely take all scores into account.

If you're asking if we look at people that take the LSAT multiple times any different than those that only take it once, then the answer is not really. Twice is definitely no big deal. Three times is a bit much. More than that makes us wonder about the applicant and their judgment, especially if there isn't an appreciable and steady increase in the scores.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:00 pm

hallbd16 wrote: Do you (and others schools if you can generalize) prefer students that are retaking the LSAT in December to wait until after they receive their test scores to submit their application or do you prefer students submit the application in October with the addendum that they are retaking the December LSAT?

Would either give any benefit to the potential applicant?


I don't know that I can really answer this one. It seems to me that it would depend on how each school runs its file review process. Some schools might be fine with holding back a file at a student's request, while others might not. (Sort of like how some restaurants allow substitutions and others don't. :) ).

For us, we try to accommodate applicant requests when we can. Personally, when you're talking about applying in the fall it sounds like this to me: Yes, I'm applying very early in the process so you can review me right away, but please don't actually review me until January. Huh? If you're applying ED, by asking us to wait you've sort of lost most of the benefit. If you're applying regular decision, just apply in January; it's still way before the deadline for most schools. The odds that doing either would appreciably impact your chances is virtually nil. I put this in my file labeled "Things type-A law school applicants worry about that they shouldn't".

Would it be worth mentioning in the addendum a likely target range for the December test?


I can't see any possible value to this. No committee is going to place any stock whatsoever in what an applicants says they think they can score. They're just going to wait and see what you actually do score.

Dean Perez




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