Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

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wert3813
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby wert3813 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:30 am

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SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:34 pm

ewoods wrote:Does Tech ever negotiate scholarship amounts or stipulations? I have some offers from other Texas schools and was wondering if I could at least get that pesky top 50% stipulation removed.


wert3813 is right that I'm not going to discuss the specifics of any individual student on here. Call my office or email me if you want to do that.

I will, however, broadly address the topic.

First, I will say that I abhor the term "negotiate" when it comes to scholarships. Call me idealistic, but I'd like to think that choosing a law school is not on the same level as buying a car in the minds of most students. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that students shouldn't aggressively yet ethically pursue the best options for themselves, taking into account overall quality, cost, employment prospects, etc. I just feel that education, even professional school, is not a "product" in that sense and using terms like "negotiate" and "sticker" can create the idea that it is.

So, I don't "negotiate". I will re-evaluate based on new information, e.g. updated GPA, LSAT score, or a competitive offer from another school. The amount of available funds at the time also plays a factor. It is not a back-and-forth process with me, though. I do what I can. I never change stipulations. In my opinion, it's not fair to other scholarship recipients. Our scholarships are still merit based (broadly defined) so if I am able to increase an award, it is still because I believe the strength of the file warrants it and there's no reason that person shouldn't be held to the same performance expectation as the person with about the same scholarship sitting next to them. The way I look at it, if I'm giving a full ride to a 170/4.0 I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that they live up to their potential in law school. Other schools do things differently, of course.

Our stipulations are about as generous as they get short of none at all (i.e. simply good standing). Last year's scholarships required top half standing. This year I decided to try something a little different, with small scholarships requiring only good standing and the larger ones still requiring top half. We'll see how it works. I think top half is high enough to keep people motivated, but not so high that someone will be hosed if they take a semester or two to figure out law school.

wert3813 wrote:Does Tech "section load" or put many of the kids with scholarships in the same section so as to ensure that more will lose their scholarship?


I would be VERY surprised if this actually happens anywhere, although I'm not surprised students at some schools make the allegation. I did the sectioning at Idaho and I do it here at Texas Tech. At various times I've been accused (good-naturedly) of putting all the blondes/brunettes, <College A>, older students, high LSATs, etc. in the same section. Law students love to take anecdotes and extrapolate rules from them. Now, do I think that there are schools out there where a high percentage of students receive scholarships and, therefore, there are bound to be a high number of them in all sections that don't keep them? Probably, but that's more to do with the overall numbers that who is in what section.

I posted this in another thread last week, but I think it bears repeating because I've never seen it mentioned anywhere on here. The LSAC/ABA Official Guide to Law Schools has the data below for all ABA-accredited law schools. You just have to click the link for the specific school and open the PDF "ABA Law School Data".

So for example, below is the info for Tech Law in 2011. (The official guide hasn't been updated for the 2012 entering class yet.)

Total # of FT Students: 671
Total % Receiving Grants: 64.4%
% Less than 1/2 Tuition: 38.9%
% Half to Full Tuition: 15.2%
% Full Tuition: 8.0%
% More than Full Tuition: 2.2%
Median Grant Amount (Full Time Students): $5,384

The caveat here is that it is for ALL students, not just the entering class. In theory, a school could list 75% of students receive scholarships, but give none to 1Ls and a bunch to 2/3Ls. That wouldn't happen, of course, but it illustrates what could happen at a school to some lesser degree. The other thing is that it doesn't say anything about stipulations. BUT...

wert3813 wrote:Does Tech make available the amount of students who lose their scholarship? (I'm guessing no and not really faulting you because no one seems to, but do you think that information should be available?)


Enter the ABA. This year ALL law schools are required to release that information for the past three years ONLY for conditional scholarships. The form does not require reporting how many total scholarships were awarded or the amounts. It should be on every law school's website SOMEwhere. Ours is here and is included with every scholarship offer we make.

There is a standard format we must follow, but I added a column for class size, total number of scholarships, and an explanation of what the criteria for retention were because I felt that without those pieces of information the rest would lack context and not be as helpful.

wert3813 wrote:Can you give us a frank assessment of negotiation from the other side? Lots of Deans like to pretend they don't negotiate but it seems to happen quite a bit. What goes into your assessment of whether to beat, match, or let your offer stand?


There are no absolutes. So a dean may have a policy of not negotiating and 99% of the time it holds. That number not being 100% doesn't mean the person is "pretending". There are all sorts of reasons I won't get into as to why exceptions might be made. At the same time, I don't think it's hard to understand how any school would be hesitant to proclaim "We Negotiate!". That would create an administrative nightmare and make it incredibly hard to manage a scholarship budget when 100% of your class tries to "get a deal".

Personally, I don't enjoy it. It would make everyone's life easier if we (law schools) just gave our best offer and students simply made a decision. I wish I could give everyone a huge scholarship, but I can't. So every dollar I increase someone means I have one less dollar to give someone else. I bet at many schools the practice doesn't actually end up in a better class, only in the school spending more money on the class it would have had anyway.

I approach my decision as if I were the student asking. I ask for the letter from the other school (notice that's singular) and I engage the student in a discussion about what it is they're looking for in a law school. With that information, I think about what it would take for me to choose Texas Tech if I had the same options. I don't want to lose a great student if I can help it so I will do what I can. At some point, though, students have to make a decision. Fish or cut bait. #*&% or get off the pot. :) And hey, sometimes the best decision for a student isn't Texas Tech even if I can offer a full-ride. I get that.

It's becoming so pervasive now, and that's not fun. It's usually pretty clear when someone just wants to use my offer to take back to their real 1st choice.

Also, please know how to do simple math. I had one student repeatedly come back to me for increases even though the other school she said she was considering was MORE expensive than we were even with their scholarship.

I want students that want to be here and are serious about their intention to come. Every year there are a handful of students who say they want to practice in Texas, but who I lose to out-of-state schools who wooed with large scholarships and the big city. And I just shake my head and wish them luck because, even if those schools are a little cheaper or slightly higher ranked, it's usually going to be much harder for them to find work, contacts back in Texas than it would have been had they come here (or anywhere else in Texas for that matter).

And since this post passed TL;DNR status a LONG time ago I will add a small request: Please write your request yourself. I've gotten up to three requests in a 2-day period that were almost identical. That tells me that you either don't actually care about coming to Tech and probably sent the same email to every other school, which doesn't make me all that inclined to do anything for you.

OK, if I were at home in my sweats I'd keep going, but I've been at work all day so I'm headed home. I left a lot on the table up there. Feel free to ask follow-up questions, and please remember that these are just my opinions jotted down as I wind down from reviewing files. I haven't gone over this like it was a law review article for submission so if I need to clarify or explain something I said a bit more, I will do so.
Last edited by SPerez on Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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wert3813
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby wert3813 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:16 pm

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WanderingPondering
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby WanderingPondering » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:24 am

As someone who has never been to Texas and isn't considering Texas Tech, I want to say thank you to Dean Perez for everything here. Law schools need more forthcoming deans like you.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby slawww » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:00 am

Dean Perez,

Thanks for answering all of these questions, you have been extremely helpful!

My question: How do you generally deal with applicants at or above one median and below another median. For instance, my GPA is below median at every school I applied to ( large upward trend which I addressed in an addendum), but my LSAT is at or above median at every school I've applied to. So far I've been accepted to all of the schools I expected, minus a couple hail mary's, but was recently put on hold at my top choice. My LSAT is 2 points above their median, I think near their 75th percentile. I know this varies by school, but what do you think the reasoning/chances are for this school. Thanks!

Edit: Do Adcomms actually ready LOCI's and do they make any kind of difference when evaluating held/WL applications?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:06 pm

slawww wrote:Dean Perez,

Thanks for answering all of these questions, you have been extremely helpful!

My question: How do you generally deal with applicants at or above one median and below another median. For instance, my GPA is below median at every school I applied to ( large upward trend which I addressed in an addendum), but my LSAT is at or above median at every school I've applied to. So far I've been accepted to all of the schools I expected, minus a couple hail mary's, but was recently put on hold at my top choice. My LSAT is 2 points above their median, I think near their 75th percentile. I know this varies by school, but what do you think the reasoning/chances are for this school. Thanks!

Edit: Do Adcomms actually ready LOCI's and do they make any kind of difference when evaluating held/WL applications?


I really have no idea as to your chances at the school you are waitlisted at. They could be trying to focus more on holding their GPA this year, don't think you're actually interested in attending their school, concerned with some other weakness in your file, or something else entirely.

I take splitters individually. There are a lot of different ways someone can be a splitter. (Use our medians for reference here, 156/3.49)

Person A: 160 but a 2.5 GPA. The 2.5, though, is mostly because of horrendous community college grades 10 years ago. Straightened things out and has a 3.8 in the last 60 hrs. (don't do the math, just go with it)

Person B: 167 and also a 2.5 GPA, but the grades are flat. Mostly Cs, a few Bs, no semester GPA higher than 3.2. (This is sometimes referred to as the "lazy genius".)

Person C: 150. 3.50 GPA in Honors College at flagship state school in tough major. B's in dual-enrollment high school courses bring down the GPA.

Person D: 150. 3.85 GPA, but three-quarters of hours are from local jr. college. Only 30 hours at the local, pretty much open enrollment 4-year university in a soft major.

It's pretty clear who I think most adcoms would prefer in a perfect world. Some schools are able to be choosy and take only A and C. Others will have to take all of them. It just depends.

I totally read LOCIs. When I'm going to the waitlist in the summer, I often don't even consider students still on the WL that haven't submitted one. The way I look at it, it doesn't take THAT much energy or time to write a 1-page essay on why you want to attend a school so the fact that an applicant doesn't find that time/energy tells me they're not interested, lazy, and probably both. It doesn't really even matter what the letter says, really. I mean, there's only so many ways it can go--location, family, programs, long line of Red Raiders, etc. - but to put forth zero effort? As they say on ESPN's Monday Night Countdown, "C'mon Man!"

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Bobnoxious » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:55 pm

I'll be 47 when I start law school next year. What has been your experience with much older law graduates finding employment with law firms during 1L, 2L, and after graduation?

Thanks!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby chem! » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:06 pm

Bobnoxious wrote:I'll be 47 when I start law school next year. What has been your experience with much older law graduates finding employment with law firms during 1L, 2L, and after graduation?

Thanks!

Good question, as it is relevant to my situation as well.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby law1992 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:15 am

Hello,

I know this might be out of place but how does Texas Tech view an applicant participating in the CLEO summer program? I recently got accepted and I'm applying to Texas Tech. I was just wondering if that added anything to my application file. Thank you!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby slawww » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:49 am

SPerez wrote:I really have no idea as to your chances at the school you are waitlisted at. They could be trying to focus more on holding their GPA this year, don't think you're actually interested in attending their school, concerned with some other weakness in your file, or something else entirely.

I take splitters individually. There are a lot of different ways someone can be a splitter. (Use our medians for reference here, 156/3.49)

Person A: 160 but a 2.5 GPA. The 2.5, though, is mostly because of horrendous community college grades 10 years ago. Straightened things out and has a 3.8 in the last 60 hrs. (don't do the math, just go with it)

Person B: 167 and also a 2.5 GPA, but the grades are flat. Mostly Cs, a few Bs, no semester GPA higher than 3.2. (This is sometimes referred to as the "lazy genius".)

Person C: 150. 3.50 GPA in Honors College at flagship state school in tough major. B's in dual-enrollment high school courses bring down the GPA.

Person D: 150. 3.85 GPA, but three-quarters of hours are from local jr. college. Only 30 hours at the local, pretty much open enrollment 4-year university in a soft major.

It's pretty clear who I think most adcoms would prefer in a perfect world. Some schools are able to be choosy and take only A and C. Others will have to take all of them. It just depends.

I totally read LOCIs. When I'm going to the waitlist in the summer, I often don't even consider students still on the WL that haven't submitted one. The way I look at it, it doesn't take THAT much energy or time to write a 1-page essay on why you want to attend a school so the fact that an applicant doesn't find that time/energy tells me they're not interested, lazy, and probably both. It doesn't really even matter what the letter says, really. I mean, there's only so many ways it can go--location, family, programs, long line of Red Raiders, etc. - but to put forth zero effort? As they say on ESPN's Monday Night Countdown, "C'mon Man!"


Thanks for the insight, it definitely helps as I anxiously wait for decisions. I'd just like to follow up on one thing, if you don't mind.

The school did not wait-list me, at least according to them, I am put into some type of "hold" category. They said this is not a wait-list. I'm curious if Texas-Tech has some sort of hold category, and if the applicants in this category end up faring well? I know asking if you thought I had a chance of acceptance may have sounded kind of stupid, I meant, more or less, if Texas Tech's "held" applicants have high or low rates of acceptance.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer questions, it's extremely helpful!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby eyfl » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:59 am

Dean Perez,

Thanks for the time you put into this Q&A, I also have 1 thing to ask which I am extremely curious about:

How does admission work with international applicants, particularly those from international UG institutions (i.e. no LSDAS GPA number, just the below/above average/superior wording)? The general consensus is (I believe) that GPA doesn't count thus LSAT score plays even a more important role (makes sense). Could you give more details here?

Thanks!

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:19 pm

Bobnoxious wrote:I'll be 47 when I start law school next year. What has been your experience with much older law graduates finding employment with law firms during 1L, 2L, and after graduation?

Thanks!


This is more of a career services question, but since when has not having any knowledge in a subject stopped a lawyer from answering a question on that subject? :)

I talked to some folks that DO have expertise in law school career services. Older students have an advantage when it comes to credibility with clients. Nothing too complicated here, of course, just like when you go to the doctor and you have someone a few years out of their residency and you say "Um, can I talk to a real doctor?".

The flip side can be that sometimes firms (I'm guessing larger firms, but that's just me) might be a little leery about hiring older grads thinking they won't be at the firm for 20+ years. This is stupid, of course, because the odds the 24 year old law grad will be at any firm for 20+ years is virtually zero, too. There could be some other latent sense that older workers come with set habits, while younger grades are blank slates or unmolded lumps of clay they can fashion in their own image.

You might also have a leg up in the interviewing and summer associateship process in that you are much more likely to have things in common with the partners and senior associates (music, sports memories, kids around the same age, etc.).

But when it comes to employment, if you got the goods you got the goods. Law Review and a top 10% ranking can make employers forget their preconceptions and biases pretty quickly.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Bobnoxious » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:04 pm

Thank you very much. Maybe it's confirmation bias but that's close to what I was thinking, even in the face of many who keep telling me "not a chance" they'll hire someone that old into an entry level position because you'll be "out of place."

I appreciate the response.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:45 pm

law1992 wrote:Hello,

I know this might be out of place but how does Texas Tech view an applicant participating in the CLEO summer program? I recently got accepted and I'm applying to Texas Tech. I was just wondering if that added anything to my application file. Thank you!


CLEO is a great program that can really give a boost to students whose numbers might be considered "too low" by a school. Strong performance in those courses can be used as "proof" that you can succeed at a given law school. Some law schools will visit the summer programs and extend offers to students there. At my last school I would often extend conditional acceptance offers to students if they performed at a specified level.

Congratulations on being selected to what is a very competitive program! You're going to get a lot out of it!

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby justonemoregame » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:19 pm

Dean Perez,

Hail Mary!

I was wondering if there is any way you could share some data re: the performance of high LSAT scorers relative to much lower-scoring students. Like low 160s vs. 150/151.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby law1992 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:36 pm

SPerez wrote:
law1992 wrote:Hello,

I know this might be out of place but how does Texas Tech view an applicant participating in the CLEO summer program? I recently got accepted and I'm applying to Texas Tech. I was just wondering if that added anything to my application file. Thank you!


CLEO is a great program that can really give a boost to students whose numbers might be considered "too low" by a school. Strong performance in those courses can be used as "proof" that you can succeed at a given law school. Some law schools will visit the summer programs and extend offers to students there. At my last school I would often extend conditional acceptance offers to students if they performed at a specified level.

Congratulations on being selected to what is a very competitive program! You're going to get a lot out of it!

Dean Perez



Thank you so much!!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby wannabelawstudent » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:16 pm

SPerez wrote:
Person B: 167 and also a 2.5 GPA, but the grades are flat. Mostly Cs, a few Bs, no semester GPA higher than 3.2. (This is sometimes referred to as the "lazy genius".)

...

It's pretty clear who I think most adcoms would prefer in a perfect world. Some schools are able to be choosy and take only A and C.


What?!?!??! Why wouldn't they want me I mean person B? Person B sounds like an awesome guy! If I was a law school I'd do anything for person B!

But seriously, my "friend" has a 167/2.5. What advice would you give my "friend" on applying/convincing law schools that I've gotten my act together.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Yukos » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:20 pm

wannabelawstudent wrote:
SPerez wrote:
Person B: 167 and also a 2.5 GPA, but the grades are flat. Mostly Cs, a few Bs, no semester GPA higher than 3.2. (This is sometimes referred to as the "lazy genius".)

...

It's pretty clear who I think most adcoms would prefer in a perfect world. Some schools are able to be choosy and take only A and C.


What?!?!??! Why wouldn't they want me I mean person B? Person B sounds like an awesome guy! If I was a law school I'd do anything for person B!

But seriously, my "friend" has a 167/2.5. What advice would you give my "friend" on applying/convincing law schools that I've gotten my act together.


Retake and try for NU.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby wannabelawstudent » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:49 pm

Yukos wrote:
Retake and try for NU.

I've taken it 4 times. I'm not getting any higher.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Yukos » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:04 pm

wannabelawstudent wrote:
Yukos wrote:
Retake and try for NU.

I've taken it 4 times. I'm not getting any higher.


Now that I look at LSN it looks like not only can you get into some OK law schools with that score, but you actually could get some $$$, so my "retake or don't go" initial stance was definitely wrong. Good luck!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby wannabelawstudent » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:09 pm

Yukos wrote:
Now that I look at LSN it looks like not only can you get into some OK law schools with that score, but you actually could get some $$$, so my "retake or don't go" initial stance was definitely wrong. Good luck!

Thanks man, I'm guessing apps are way down this year cause everyone is easing up on their standards

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Crowing » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:36 pm

Dean Perez -

I understand that choice of major plays little to no role in the admissions process, but just out of curiosity I was wondering if distinctions between hard/soft majors were fairly static or flexible? That is, is it possible to break common majors down into a sort of tiered system for RIGOR and do adcoms actually go in-depth enough to look into the strength or particular programs at particular UGs? Also, I was wondering how double (or higher-order) majors are typically viewed with respect to single majors.

Thanks for taking the time to do this!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:55 pm

slawww wrote:I am put into some type of "hold" category. They said this is not a wait-list. I'm curious if Texas-Tech has some sort of hold category, and if the applicants in this category end up faring well? I know asking if you thought I had a chance of acceptance may have sounded kind of stupid, I meant, more or less, if Texas Tech's "held" applicants have high or low rates of acceptance.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer questions, it's extremely helpful!


Unfortunately, there's absolutely no way I can answer this question for you. Schools use their own terminology and criteria for their statuses so it's possible a status could be called the same thing at two schools but mean something different at each. The only thing I could surmise is that there is something good about you that has kept them from denying you and there is something weak/concerning in your file that is keeping them from admitting you.

In the past, I've used a "hold" status internally that was not visible to students. It was generally used if we needed more information from an applicant (e.g. adcom wanted more info on a C&F issue) or if an applicant was very close to where we thought "the line" was going to be that year. In the latter case, we might hold off on making decisions on a group of files for a week or two to see how the pool and admitted class took shape. In late spring, this can happen in that short a time period. The idea is that it's a waste of time to waitlist someone if you're just going to end up admitting or denying them two weeks later.

I was "Held" at a law school when I applied. I'm still not sure what the functional difference was from being "waitlisted" or if that's just what that school called their waitlist.

Dean Perez

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:12 pm

eyfl wrote:Dean Perez,

Thanks for the time you put into this Q&A, I also have 1 thing to ask which I am extremely curious about:

How does admission work with international applicants, particularly those from international UG institutions (i.e. no LSDAS GPA number, just the below/above average/superior wording)? The general consensus is (I believe) that GPA doesn't count thus LSAT score plays even a more important role (makes sense). Could you give more details here?

Thanks!


This is a good one because the concept also applies to students from US schools that don't grade (e.g. Evergreen St. in Washington is one I used to get at Idaho a lot) or students with LSATs taken with accommodations. Grades and scores in these situations are not included in the calculations for the ABA and USNWR rankings.

For internationally educated students, especially those from non-English speaking countries, schools are going to put more emphasis on the LSAT and writing, both essay AND LSAT sample, because most of us aren't going to really be familiar with how rigorous your undergraduate education was. If your English is weak, law school is going to be very difficult. By the same token though, the LSAT is going to be difficult if your English is weak so a high score tends to suggest the applicant can make it in law school. The writing is used in the same way. The LSAT writing sample for non-native English speakers and foreign applicants is scrutinized very closely by many reviewers because we never know how much help one had in writing their personal statement. I have seen many applications where the PS was OK, but the LSAT writing was really bad, leading us to wonder about the PS and their true ability level.

Dean Perez

eyfl
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby eyfl » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:01 am

Thanks a lot for your reply!

Not I'm going to think even more about my writing sample & how my stressed out brain managed to write "familie" in one of the sentences, heheh.

Anyway, thanks again!




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