Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
ze2151
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby ze2151 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:15 pm

dear dean perez,
what are the employment outcomes for your most recent class for which data are available (with the caveat that tex tech law as an entity is a fairly recently created thing), and do those data justify the cost of attendance, in your opinion?

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bobbypin
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby bobbypin » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:30 pm

Dean Perez,
A few posts up, you asked about school efforts to encourage students to pick one school over another (does swag/birthday cards, etc. matter?). For me, no, it does not matter. I have a specific school in mind that I want to attend. Any other school I apply to will be a lesser choice. The only way, for me, to actually attend the lesser choice is scholarship money. Make me a deal that is impossible to refuse.



What do you like to see statements that answer the questions, "Why are you applying to law school?" or "Why are you applying to THIS law school?"

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:44 pm

elb80 wrote: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?


Evaluations were a new option that LSAC began offering a few years ago. I decided to allow students to submit them just to see what we might get and how many students would opt for them. The idea behind them was that they would lead to better, more specific information on the applicant because they asked specific questions. This, the theory was, would be better than generic LORs that didn't really give any real information on the applicant other than they are a nice person.

In practice, I haven't seen much value from the evaluations. Most recommenders fill them out like most of us fill out any survey we see - everything is a top mark, with maybe one item rated lower by one point, i.e. all 5's, maybe one 4, and no narrative comments. I see this as even less helpful than a poorly written LOR because at least with that it is possible to take something from what the person does write (and often, what they DON'T write).

This doesn't mean I "emphasize" one over the other. I emphasize a good recommendation over a weak/bad one, regardless of whether it is in the form of an LOR or an evaluation.

Dean Perez

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:30 pm

nickb285 wrote: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.


Without an addendum, if I saw transcripts like you described I would just assume the applicant may or may not have matured by now so I always recommend an addendum in situations like yours. You might as well take the opportunity the try and put things in a light most favorable to you.

The fact that you had a better sophomore year doesn't reflect well since the reason you gave pretty much says you can do well when you want to, but often chose not to. Since you don't get to choose your 1L classes, you can see how that attitude would make an AdCom wonder how you would do when it turns out you (like most people) find at least several of your 1L classes uninteresting. Still, your good senior year grades are better than nothing and give you at least something to substantiate your argument that you've matured (and this time it's not temporary).

Dean Perez

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SumStalwart
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SumStalwart » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:43 am

Hi Dean Perez,

Would the fact that I have 7 different transcripts on my CAS cause the admissions officers to review my transcripts? I am hoping that it will. Due to poor performance on college courses that I took while I was in High School, and a medical issue when I attended my first undergraduate institution, my LSAC GPA is significantly lower than it would have been (difference between 3.46 and 3.6+).

I have also written an addendum to make it easier to decipher the timeline of institutions, as well as an explanation of the medical issue.

Is this the right choice to make?

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer all of our questions. I wish you the best of luck with your decision process.

Best Regards,

S.S.

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Nova
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Nova » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:56 am

bobbypin wrote:Dean Perez,
A few posts up, you asked about school efforts to encourage students to pick one school over another (does swag/birthday cards, etc. matter?).


The hand written note is a great personal touch.

Swag bags are great too. I bet a swag bag (pencils, bookmarks, stationary, toys, whatever) given to students at ASD would be a worthy investment.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:20 pm

ze2151 wrote:dear dean perez,
what are the employment outcomes for your most recent class for which data are available (with the caveat that tex tech law as an entity is a fairly recently created thing), and do those data justify the cost of attendance, in your opinion?


All the data from our last three graduating classes can be found on our website, http://www.law.ttu.edu/career/employment_data.asp.

I absolutely think our outcomes justify our cost of attendance. We clearly present the best value in the state. And that's not just me saying that. We just made Prelaw Magazine's "Best Value" list for the fifth straight time (the only school in Texas on the list). Of course, the best answer to that question for any individual person is going to vary by based on a whole host of criteria (e.g. law school grades, degree of specialization, geography, actual debt after scholarship, etc.), but generally speaking I think that's an easy call.

Dean Perez

(P.S. We've been around for 45 years. That might be "new" relative to some of the other law schools in Texas, but it's more than plenty of time to have a long, distinguished record of outcomes for our graduates.)

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justonemoregame
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby justonemoregame » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:27 pm

Dean Perez,

We have had a couple of recent threads where applicants are concerned that someone who has dirt on them will contact the law schools they are applying to and share unpleasant information about them. Have you ever had this happen? What are your policies on this? Do you attempt to substantiate certain types of information, like if a crime could have been committed? Or would something like this be ignored? Thanks!

Gunna4Life
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Gunna4Life » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:05 pm

Dear Dean Perez,

If your son/daughter had to choose between Texas Tech Law and UT Law which one would you recommend? Assuming both at sticker price, and s/he wants to practice in Texas. Career prospects are just to be employed. Thanks!

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justonemoregame
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby justonemoregame » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:12 pm

Gunna4Life wrote:Dear Dean Perez,

If your son/daughter had to choose between Texas Tech Law and UT Law which one would you recommend? Assuming both at sticker price, and s/he wants to practice in Texas. Career prospects are just to be employed. Thanks!


These fictional would-you-rathers are better served after a few rounds at the bar, not in helpful admissions threads. And to explain before you ask, a UT admit would not likely be facing sticker at Tex. Tech.

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mvonh001
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby mvonh001 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:35 pm

Dear Dea Perez,

I was wondering what your take on an addendum explaining my poor GPA (3.14). It was due to substance abuse problems that I had and have corrected through a stay in rehab and after a near death experience (i was in a coma for 7 days). Since then, I have received all A's on my transcript since Junior Year. But coming from a 1.5~ GPA means that my highest GPA I could hope for is a 3.14, or actually a 3.24 after Spring semester. I was wondering if i should include an addendum explaining that i was at a rough point in my life, take ful responsibility, explain that my life has turned around (switched schools, friends, etc) and my recent grades are indicative of my academic success and potential. Also, Im a splitter with a 171 on my LSAT (which im taking again to get a higher score).

Also, I was convicted of a DUI and had it reduced to a reckless driving during my "bad years," So i figured i could write an addendum explaining that situation, and include in it that my life has been turned around and my grades are indicative of that.-- This instead of a direct GPA addendum.

Thanks

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:53 pm

bobbypin wrote:What do you like to see statements that answer the questions, "Why are you applying to law school?" or "Why are you applying to THIS law school?"


I just want to see that you have an honest, REAL answer to that question. It is pretty obvious to me when someone has just written a generic paragraph or essay and is just swapping out school names. (In fact, that's something I do when reading such statements. I see if I can easily replace our name with another school and have the sentences still make sense.) Many times they end up sounding like they were written by our own PR people (if we had PR people), e.g. "your outstanding programs" yada yada. People who mention specific programs or professors we have get at least some credit for making the effort (although usually I still don't put much stock in how much they want to come here).

The most believable "Why Tech?" essays are usually personal or other reasons that can't be bluffed, e.g. family tradition, geographic preference, desire to do moot court, etc.

Dean Perez

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:22 pm

SumStalwart wrote:Would the fact that I have 7 different transcripts on my CAS cause the admissions officers to review my transcripts?


The fact that you are applying will cause us to review your transcripts. I pretty much look at all transcripts (even if briefly).

SumStalwart wrote: I have also written an addendum to make it easier to decipher the timeline of institutions, as well as an explanation of the medical issue.


With that many transcripts and the issues you described, I'd say an addendum is pretty much a must. Although I don't know how long it really needs to be. A difference of 0.2 points really isn't that big in terms of assessing your ability (although I acknowledge that the particular difference between 3.46 and 3.6+ is a jump that crosses many schools' medians). I don't think a long chronology of all your schools would really be all that necessary since it sounds like you did pretty well outside the few dual-enrollment classes and whatever your medical issue was.

As long as you don't write something that makes you sound like some crazy person, jumping from school to school for random, schizophrenic reasons you probably can't go wrong either way.

Dean Perez

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:12 pm

justonemoregame wrote:Dean Perez,

We have had a couple of recent threads where applicants are concerned that someone who has dirt on them will contact the law schools they are applying to and share unpleasant information about them. Have you ever had this happen? What are your policies on this? Do you attempt to substantiate certain types of information, like if a crime could have been committed? Or would something like this be ignored? Thanks!


Funny you should ask. Some of us dean-types were just discussing this the other day because one had received a similar question from a potential applicant.

It's happened before at other law schools, but I've never had it happen anywhere I've worked. I promise you no law school wants to turn into a private investigation company looking into the private lives of applicants. My guess is that virtually no school has a specific policy for situations like this. I can see a school having some general policy about where information used to make a decision can come from (e.g. only the application materials or official interview), though.

That's for your run of the mill Jerry Springer/Maury Povich type stuff. If there's an allegation of something criminal and easily verifiable that suggests a violation of the character & fitness portion of the application, that might be a different story. I can see a school contacting the applicant asking for verification or clarification of the allegations.

My best guess is that every school would handle it differently depending on their own judgment and the specifics of the situation.

Dean Perez

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:22 am

mvonh001 wrote:Dear Dea Perez,

I was wondering what your take on an addendum explaining my poor GPA (3.14). It was due to substance abuse problems that I had and have corrected through a stay in rehab and after a near death experience (i was in a coma for 7 days). Since then, I have received all A's on my transcript since Junior Year. But coming from a 1.5~ GPA means that my highest GPA I could hope for is a 3.14, or actually a 3.24 after Spring semester. I was wondering if i should include an addendum explaining that i was at a rough point in my life, take ful responsibility, explain that my life has turned around (switched schools, friends, etc) and my recent grades are indicative of my academic success and potential. Also, Im a splitter with a 171 on my LSAT (which im taking again to get a higher score).

Also, I was convicted of a DUI and had it reduced to a reckless driving during my "bad years," So i figured i could write an addendum explaining that situation, and include in it that my life has been turned around and my grades are indicative of that.-- This instead of a direct GPA addendum.

Thanks


That's pretty much the dictionary definition of a situation in which you would write an addendum. I'd probably just write one and include both the near death and the DUI since it's all part of the same period in your life. (You might still have to do a short additional page that just has the details and disposition of the DUI charge.)

My extra, unsolicited 2 cents is that you should just be happy with your 171. There are what, three schools where you wouldn't be above median? It would be hard for me to believe a few extra points above median on the LSAT would make up for a GPA that's 0.6 points below median. My advice would be to take your 171 and attend the very good regional law school at which you could get a hefty scholarship.

skri65
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby skri65 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:06 pm

SPerez wrote:
mvonh001 wrote:Dear Dea Perez,

I was wondering what your take on an addendum explaining my poor GPA (3.14). It was due to substance abuse problems that I had and have corrected through a stay in rehab and after a near death experience (i was in a coma for 7 days). Since then, I have received all A's on my transcript since Junior Year. But coming from a 1.5~ GPA means that my highest GPA I could hope for is a 3.14, or actually a 3.24 after Spring semester. I was wondering if i should include an addendum explaining that i was at a rough point in my life, take ful responsibility, explain that my life has turned around (switched schools, friends, etc) and my recent grades are indicative of my academic success and potential. Also, Im a splitter with a 171 on my LSAT (which im taking again to get a higher score).

Also, I was convicted of a DUI and had it reduced to a reckless driving during my "bad years," So i figured i could write an addendum explaining that situation, and include in it that my life has been turned around and my grades are indicative of that.-- This instead of a direct GPA addendum.

Thanks


That's pretty much the dictionary definition of a situation in which you would write an addendum. I'd probably just write one and include both the near death and the DUI since it's all part of the same period in your life. (You might still have to do a short additional page that just has the details and disposition of the DUI charge.)

My extra, unsolicited 2 cents is that you should just be happy with your 171. There are what, three schools where you wouldn't be above median? It would be hard for me to believe a few extra points above median on the LSAT would make up for a GPA that's 0.6 points below median. My advice would be to take your 171 and attend the very good regional law school at which you could get a hefty scholarship.


Dean Perez,

To what extent are applications declining this year? You don't need to talk specifics, but do you think that the T1 medians will take the same hit this coming year that they did last year?

Thanks.

M458
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby M458 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:05 pm

Dean Perez,

How are international students evaluated during the admissions process, specifically ones that attended undergrad here in the US? Do you look to fill a specific percentage of the class with international students? I'm also curious if an applicant who would otherwise be considered a URM would be viewed any differently than an international student from, say, England?

Thanks!

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slawww
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby slawww » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:42 pm

Dean Perez,

I'm curious as to how admissions committees would look at applicants such as me. I'm a URM with an LSAT at or above the medians of most of the schools I'm applying to, but with a GPA below their 25th percentiles. I have a huge upward grade trend the last 2 years.

Thanks!

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:38 pm

Gunna4Life wrote:Dear Dean Perez,

If your son/daughter had to choose between Texas Tech Law and UT Law which one would you recommend? Assuming both at sticker price, and s/he wants to practice in Texas. Career prospects are just to be employed. Thanks!


When students looking at both UT and Tech find out I graduated from UT Law (and came close to coming to Tech the prior year), I actually get that question a lot. However, it's really not a question I can answer with a simple "Horns Up"/"Guns Up" (mostly because I'm an Aggie and my hands can do neither of those things :D ).

Like another poster mentioned, practically speaking it would be very rare for someone to get into UT and not have SOME scholarship to Tech Law. My answer to anyone with that choice would depend on their individual financial situation, career goals, and personalities.

I personally loved my time at UT Law. But the decision I faced in 2001 is not the situation facing students today. For starters tuition my first year was around $7,700 (Tech Law was probably like around $5,000 so not a big difference, even with a full-ride to Tech vs. sticker at UT). Today, the difference between a big scholarship at Tech Law and sticker at UT could end up being over $90,000 in loans. Then there are employment goals. BigLaw or bust? SCOTUS clerkship? Trial lawyer? JAG? Finally, some students just feel like one school is a better "fit" for them for whatever reason. There's no ranking or online predictor website that can tell you that.

At the end of the day, you have to make the best decision for you, not what the rankings say or your friend's dad that's a BigLaw partner says or what some anonymous person on the internet says.

lakers24fan
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby lakers24fan » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:42 pm

Mr. Perez,

Do law schools care about run-ins with the law? My junior year of high school I got into a fight at a public park and got a citation, along with 6 months of probation. Eventually everything was discharged... I plan on writing a short C&F report about it. In your experience, would this hurt my chances of getting in to TT or any other law school that you know of?

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Yukos
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Yukos » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:30 pm

Nova wrote:
bobbypin wrote:Dean Perez,
A few posts up, you asked about school efforts to encourage students to pick one school over another (does swag/birthday cards, etc. matter?).


The hand written note is a great personal touch.

Swag bags are great too. I bet a swag bag (pencils, bookmarks, stationary, toys, whatever) given to students at ASD would be a worthy investment.


I will say the one thing that has a decent impact on my decision beyond crude COA/ranking concerns is the helpfulness of the admissions staff. I've had to interact with the admissions staffs of several law schools. Some have been extremely quick, personal and useful, others use form letters and are slow and unhelpful. Maybe this is arrogant but if I'm considering investing $200,000 I like to have the idea that the institution cares about me. More importantly, if I deal with an incompetent admissions office I generally feel like the academic administration is going to be the same way, and that will have a real effect on my QoL in law school.

tl;dr The quality of the admissions office personnel has a real effect on my decision on where to attend

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sinfiery
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby sinfiery » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Hello.

Just checking in, as I graduated from TT UG this spring.
Just visited the campus again Wednesday. Still beautiful.

lnh819
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby lnh819 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:08 am

I was accepted to Texas Tech today with a very generous scholarship! Thank you to Dean Perez and his team!

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:07 am

skri65 wrote:
Dean Perez,

To what extent are applications declining this year? You don't need to talk specifics, but do you think that the T1 medians will take the same hit this coming year that they did last year?

Thanks.


I will do my part to resist the micro-parsing of every minute detail in the law school admissions process. While I suppose some of the top schools with large early decision pools and a long history of data might be able to draw some conclusions this early (yes, it's still early), I can't.

I can, however, point to what's already been reported by the press, the large drop in the number of October (and to a lesser extent June) first-time LSAT takers. I'd imagine that to be a good indicator though, since the answer to "Where do law students come from, mamma?" is "They come from LSAT takers, sweetie. Now finish your practice test."

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:31 am

M458 wrote:Dean Perez,

How are international students evaluated during the admissions process, specifically ones that attended undergrad here in the US? Do you look to fill a specific percentage of the class with international students? I'm also curious if an applicant who would otherwise be considered a URM would be viewed any differently than an international student from, say, England?

Thanks!


I evaluate international students just like domestic students, i.e. I consider everything. The most common concern with foreign applicants is written English-language ability. This is a non-issue for students from English-speaking countries. It can sometimes still be an issue for non-native English speakers who graduate from a US undergrad depending on how long they've been speaking English, the rigor of the program, etc. The personal statement and LSAC writing sample become very important for these applicants.

Not being located in NYC, LA, etc. we don't get a huge critical mass of international applicants that would allow us to be that precise in how many we admit. I'm looking for "difference", and that comes in all different forms. URMs are one type. US Citizens born abroad are another type. UK or Canadian students yet another. And so on.




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