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 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:36 am

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:
wert3813 wrote:TL;DR Dean Perez, can you again confirm that I'm awesome? It's been a couple months.

I kid, but like two months ago you asked something to the effect of what is the process is like for people who, like me, are basically auto-admits to HYS type schools. And Dean Perez nicely laughed it off and told you to chill. Maybe keep chilling dude?


Nah they're legit questions. Spivey answered them though so I think I got the answer I needed.

Playing it cool looks nice I guess but everyone who cares enough wants to know as much as they possibly can about this process to discern every advantage possible. And having a current AdComm here taking questions goes a long way to understanding little things - like the trade off effect between a slight GPA boost to early app boost.


Sounds good dude.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby togepi » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:34 am

Dean Perez, when will you start deciding to pull people off the waitlist? And would sending a LOCI benefit waitlisted applicants?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby wert3813 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:00 am

togepi wrote:Dean Perez, when will you start deciding to pull people off the waitlist? And would sending a LOCI benefit waitlisted applicants?


Not Dean Perez and I don't want to speak for him but he said very recently ITT that he doesn't take people off WL unless they have submitted an LOCI. You can probably find it without reading to much.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:29 am

DiegoWolfe wrote:Dean Perez,

I appreciate the honest and thoughtful answers, I have a few questions regarding the Summer Entry Program at TTU and how one wins you and the admissions committee over after being waitlisted. I speculate that it may often just be purely numbers based but does taking a visit to the school without being accepted or sending in multiple LOCI’s really help ones cause? I understand that every case is different but perhaps you could shed some light on how one can demonstrate sincere interest without overdoing it? Regarding the Summer Entry Program, could you provide a few details about the typical process and dates that students are expected to be in Lubbock.


With SEP, there's really no way for an applicant to influence getting selected for SEP. That decision is made by the admissions committee and a sub-committee that makes the final selections. There's an explanation of being on the waitlist and under consideration for SEP at the same time on the status checker. SEP starts the week after the 4th of July holiday, and we usually have all the offers out by May-ish. The program is limited to 15 students and we don't always fill it (meaning we don't HAVE to have 15 if we don't think we have strong enough candidates).

For people on the regular waitlist, LOCI's are pretty much a must if you want any chance (at Texas Tech, anyway). I might have said before, no one's chances on the WL are "good"; that's why they're on the WL. And most of the factors that influence who gets in off the WL are out of the applicant's control. In writing an LOCI, I understand that it can be tough to write sometimes. However, it's usually pretty clear to me when someone is sincere. Most people who don't actually care about coming to Tech don't bother to write one in the first place, which is also telling. As long as your LOCI is honest about your reasons and shows you've done your research then that's good enough. (As long, of course, as the writing and grammar is also perfect.) It is very clear when someone submits a letter they THINK looks personalized and actually isn't.

Generally speaking, visits to the school do not factor into any of our admissions decisions, SEP or otherwise. We don't have an interview program so I don't want to give students who happen to have the financial means to come out to Lubbock an unfair advantage over those who do not.

Since I'm trying to keep this is a general thread and not Tech Law specific, if you have other questions email us directly at admissions.law@ttu.edu.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby mvonh001 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:37 am

How much do a 0.3.4 vs a 3.45 affect admissions... Im asking how much do 0.01's change your acceptance chances?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby homie1515 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:49 pm

what are the qualities an admissions officer looks for in an outstanding LOR?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:59 pm

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:. So two questions -

1) How much does transcript matter? For example, I'm a CC--->T20 transfer. During one bad semester (of which I actually have a very legit addendum for) I got 2 Fs. Other than that my GPA is ~3.9. To make up for the Fs I've taken quite a few less rigorous classes at my UG and a CC to boost my GPA as high as possible. I'll end up with a ~3.5/3.6. How heavily is this taken into account? Is it looked down on?


Something like this depends greatly on what the law school is and what your LSAT is. No one piece of the application exists in a vacuum. People have bad semesters, that by itself isn't a problem unless the following semesters aren't all that great, either. This isn't the case with you. If I'm trying to assess your ability, then I probably would scan the transcripts to look at semester-by-semester grades to look for fluctuations, and in doing so would see the courses. I also see how much of your overall GPA is from your degree school and how much is from CC. E.g. just last week I remember making a comment on someone's file along the lines of the GPA being deceptively high because something like 75% of the credits were from CC and the person had only 35 hours from the 4 year school his degree would be from (and those grades weren't nearly as good). Personally, I don't get too much into individual classes for most applicants because I don't need to. Soft majors are going to have a lot of soft classes. All CC classes I consider easy from the standpoint that if you're smart enough/good enough student to succeed in law school CC should be a breeze. The only time I do look is if someone has a low, but improving GPA, I look at the semesters they did well to see if they didn't really take hard classes or took light loads. But like I've said before, if I'm doing that I'm already past the first like 4 levels of review depth so there's probably a good reason the person isn't an presumptive admit or presumptive deny.

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:2) I'm applying this upcoming cycle (c/o 2017). Gunning hard for HYS. Would you recommend applying the day apps are open with a 3.5x/172ish or mid-December with a 3.6x/172ish? Is the time trade-off worth the small GPA boost. I know I can wait for Yale without penalty so I'm moreso asking for Harvard and Stanford (throw in CCN, Berkeley, and Penn as well).


HYS admissions are a little different than it is for us mere mortals so I can't say that my opinion here is based on any real knowledge of how they do things. But generally, you're below median (by not a little bit) whether it's 3.59 or 3.62. I can't imagine those few points would be the thing that is the difference between a ding and an admit. Then again, in that rarefied air the numerical differences can be virtually non-existent, which I would think allows them to very much pick the class they want based on all those soft factors (that really create the "character" of the class) rather than be driven as much by the numbers (as far as the bottom half goes; the top half is even more competitive b/c there are so few people that are above median for those schools).

Unsolicited Bonus Advice: My question to anyone who tells me they're goal is HYS is always "Why?". If one of those is your dream school, you love the area, the programs, want to be a professor, or whatever else then I'm fine with that. But I think too many 0L's are status chasing and are only applying because (consciously or subconsciously) they want to "win" and "winning" in this context is defined by going to the schools everyone says are the best. Little thought is given to whether those schools are a good fit for them. To me, anyone good enough to get in to a top 5 school probably has a full-ride at a 10-30 school and it's not like schools in that range are online diploma mills.

Sure, I know everyone right now is probably screaming about job placements, etc., but those differences among schools outside the top 10 aren't all that big. Finding jobs ("placement" isn't a great word since schools don't "place" students in jobs) is something that changes year-to-year and is greatly influenced by factors other than the name on your diploma. Graduating debt free is something that can dramatically alter the financial trajectory of your life.

I realize that a lot of this stems from the What If? factor. You don't KNOW that you'll be on law review at the lower ranked school. Students think they might want to live in a glamorous city one day and don't want to limit themselves to one state or region. I get that. But the fact is that the overwhelming majority of people practice in relatively small radius around where they are from. The 10-30 ranked school in your area probably has a reputation that spans an entire region and several large cities. Once you're in practice, your work will carry more weight if you want to move. (Unless you want to be on the SCOTUS, since apparently we now only allow Harvard and the occasional Yale grad to do that job.)

But that's probably just my egalitarian, anti-elitism streak showing. :)

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:11 pm

Thanks Dean Perez.

Re 1) That makes a lot of sense thanks.

Re 2) I know I'm below medians, but I've seen a lot of AA URMs 3.6x this cycle (and others) nabbing H and S so I just wasn't sure if waiting for Fall grades was worth it.

And thanks for the bonus advice. I'm pretty deadset on clerking, practicing for a bit, then a academia as a main goal, that's why I'm going hard for HYS. Otherwise, I completely agree with you.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:38 am

Just came here to say thanks a lot for posting your NALP report to LST, and I wish more law school deans were like you.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:57 am

togepi wrote:Dean Perez, when will you start deciding to pull people off the waitlist? And would sending a LOCI benefit waitlisted applicants?



Probably not until mid-April. We just got through with all the timely applications and all but a handful of the late applications. We have Accepted Students Weekend this Friday/Saturday so the last of those decisions will probably go out on Monday. Friday also happens to be the deposit deadline for the majority of admitted students. Add a few weeks to allow mail to arrive and account for the 125+ coming to ASW that get their deposit date bumped back a week for attending. By mid-April we should have a rough idea of to what extent we need to go to the waitlist and what kinds of students we need.

It takes me a few days to go through the waitlist because although numbers play a big part, it's not the only part. I re-review almost everyone.

As far as LOCI go, I *almost* never take anyone from the WL who hasn't submitted one. Search this thread for a longer answer on that one.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:09 am

mvonh001 wrote:How much do a 0.3.4 vs a 3.45 affect admissions... Im asking how much do 0.01's change your acceptance chances?


Virtually zero, all other things (i.e. the LSAT) being equal. I suppose there are scenarios where you could be applying to a school shooting for a 3.44 median GPA that also has the most anal, OCD admissions person that would actually obsess over that difference, but that's incredibly unlikely.

Also, all things are virtually never equal so the odds of that particular difference being THE difference between accept and deny are also pretty slim.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:37 pm

homie1515 wrote:what are the qualities an admissions officer looks for in an outstanding LOR?


Specificity in things relevant to success in law school.

From a professor, I want to hear about writing, critical thinking, etc., and a little soft stuff (e.g. always on time, up on the reading, contributes in class, comes to office hours) to fill things out. This is a little harder for non-acad LORs b/c by definition you don't really do those sorts of things at most jobs. This is why I'm hardly ever influenced by boss recs. The most they can ever say is the applicant is a nice person that everyone likes and who works hard, qualities that alone don't predict law school success.

In order to be specific, they need to know you well. It's usually pretty clear when a prof or boss doesn't really know much about the candidate. For example, I'm always reading letters (almost always from family friends) that say things like "As you can see from his transcripts, Johnny Snowflake did excellent work at Snooty Private School," when in fact Johnny has a 2.9 LSAC gpa. These are usually applicants who put their major GPA on their resume (which is given to recommenders), and not their actual school GPA without grade replacements (and definitely not their LSAC GPA with all their JuCo C's from summer school).

I will also repeat here, DO NOT pick family friends to write you LORs! They mean nothing. If they're influential or an alum/donor, then you're pretty much saying "Yeah, I don't think I can get in on my own so I want you to know I'm connected." If you want to do that, they can always just email the dean or alumni person directly. I do read everything in every file, but my most frequent exception is LORs that start with "I have known X and his family for many years...", usually followed by something about how the applicant played baseball with their kid or dated their daughter in high school. I know from experience that there is nothing of value that will be in that letter.

And it *should* go without saying but until I have a cycle where it doesn't happen...Don't pick family either! Got a few parents and aunt/uncles this year.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:02 pm

SPerez wrote: Students think they might want to live in a glamorous city one day and don't want to limit themselves to one state or region. I get that. But the fact is that the overwhelming majority of people practice in relatively small radius around where they are from. Dean Perez


This was just as true when I attended University of Houston Law Center, a large urban law school, as it is for the small regional law school where I am now (as Dean).

Not to disrupt the thread, but thank you for the idea of this thread . . . it has clearly been well received by applicants . . . and your information and advice is spot-on. Please know that I unashamedly copied you (see: "Non-ABA Law Dean takes Questions"). Please give my best to the TTU Law Red Raider crew since I know quite a few are still around from when I was there ('96-'03) as an Asst. Dean. -- Mitch Winick, President and Dean, Monterey College of Law

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon May 06, 2013 3:06 pm

Fallen to the 3rd page?! This cannot be! (Damn you, Spivey! :evil: ) I promised myself when I created this thread that I would never shamelessly bump the thread, and luckily I've never had to (16 months, not too shabby). Alas, the time has come...

To save a little face, I'll put out a conversation starter in case anyone wants to weigh in, but of course general questions are welcome as always.

How much is too much for a seat deposit?

Have you guys had to deal with a lot of unsolicited advice from random people telling you that shouldn't go to law school now (or at all)? How do you respond?

Good luck on finals to all you graduating seniors and lurking law students!

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby nickb285 » Mon May 06, 2013 3:23 pm

SPerez wrote:How much is too much for a seat deposit?


Anything more than $100-200 or so for a first deposit is too much IMO, particularly if the school hasn't given you the whole picture yet--for instance, I and a few other people I saw tried to discuss with GW either getting or increasing merit aid and were told that they would be considering adjustments to merit aid following seat deposits. It's understandable that they don't want to waste time with people who aren't interested in attending, but what it basically amounted to for applicants was that we had to pay $500 to find out if we got any money. I was interested in GW, but there was no way I was going without a scholarship, and I wasn't willing to pay $500 to find out. Probably would have paid $100, but not $500.

Second seat deposits, I don't mind being larger, because at that point you're probably committing to a school anyway so it winds up just going toward tuition.

Have you guys had to deal with a lot of unsolicited advice from random people telling you that shouldn't go to law school now (or at all)? How do you respond?


Outside of TLS, most people have told me the exact opposite--don't worry about debt, you'll get in somewhere, just go, lawyers make big money, etc. All the standard misconceptions. The only person I've had be critical of the decision was a friend who was looking into law school for a while herself and decided not to go because of the risk; she said I was "crazy" for going until I told her about my scholarship offer, at which point she agreed that it was a manageable risk.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon May 13, 2013 5:38 pm

Thanks, nickb285. I appreciate that.

The deposit thing is something I've always been curious about. No one keeps track of law school deposits for all law schools, but I've heard a few that sounded pretty high to me. Schools need to make it large enough that it discourages students from just holding seats they aren't really serious about, thereby making it harder to predict yield and hit targets for class size, etc. On the other hand, I don't think they should be so high as to present a barrier for poor/working-class students. Ours are $300 for the first and $500 for the second. ED admits pay $750. Even then, I have 6% of my deposits right now also have deposits at 2 OR MORE schools. (Apparently $1500 isn't as much money to some people as it is to others.) I have to guess at why because historically those students never communicate with admissions offices for some reason, but my guess is that most of those are the negative stereotype of serial procrastinators that could have made a decision but just don't.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby nickb285 » Mon May 13, 2013 5:57 pm

SPerez wrote: my guess is that most of those are the negative stereotype of serial procrastinators that could have made a decision but just don't.


Disagree on this. If it were for the fact that my scholarship required a binding acceptance and seat deposit, I'd probably have deposited (first deposit, anyway) at a few schools. The reason why is so that I could negotiate merit aid--showing "look, your school is a serious candidate, but I need more of an incentive to choose it over another school." Yeah, $1500 is a bit, but if you manage to increase your scholarship by $5k/year it's a sound investment.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon May 13, 2013 6:50 pm

nickb285 wrote:
SPerez wrote: my guess is that most of those are the negative stereotype of serial procrastinators that could have made a decision but just don't.


Disagree on this. If it were for the fact that my scholarship required a binding acceptance and seat deposit, I'd probably have deposited (first deposit, anyway) at a few schools. The reason why is so that I could negotiate merit aid--showing "look, your school is a serious candidate, but I need more of an incentive to choose it over another school." Yeah, $1500 is a bit, but if you manage to increase your scholarship by $5k/year it's a sound investment.


My experience has been different, but that's probably because of the geographic locations I've worked. In both Idaho and here in Texas, there aren't a ton of schools in those regions. The vast majority of admits are choosing between a relatively small group of schools. In that situation, there's really no reason to be holding seats at three schools to play the negotiation game as the third school is usually barely distinguishable from most students' second choice school. Most of the students that are in the 2+ deposits usually fit the mold of being clustered by region, e.g. SMU/Oklahoma and Brooklyn/St. John's. I understand this because it's like 2 separate decisions. If I stay in Texas, I've got SMU or OU. But if I want to go to New York, then St. John's or Brooklyn is my choice. It's only a "problem" if the person is still undecided into like August. This doesn't bother me as much as it does other schools though because I assume students don't want to wait that long to plan their futures, either.

The ones that don't fit this mold I label procrastinators because they never respond to my attempts to contact them. Kinda hard to negotiate if you won't even respond to an email. I even had one person (I feel) straight up lie to me and say she was still "seriously considering" my school, even though she had deposits at two other similar schools in two other completely different parts of the country (think like SoCal, Ohio, and south Florida) and it was LATE JULY. She didn't ask for more money. When I asked what her concerns were or what was attractive about each school, she wouldn't answer. As it gets later into the summer, if someone is still multi-deposited and won't respond to me, I assume they aren't coming (because 99% of the time that's what happens) and that gives me what I need to know to predict my class size. I don't let the few bad apples spoil my opinion of all applicants, of course, but it's that kind of student that makes schools create rules that hurt all the rest. I wish it wasn't like that, but...

However, I can see how holding three schools for scholarship negotiation purposes could be more justifiable somewhere like California or the NE corridor where, e.g. the geographic differences in placements between NYC, NJ, and Philly are less significant. In other words, I perceive (I could be wrong) that a student can more easily move up/down the I-95 corridor than from Texas to Arizona.

Like you said, it comes down to each applicants risk/reward threshold. You said $500 wasn't worth it to you to find out if you were going to get money from GW. For someone else with different preferences or options, it might have been. From the school's perspective, they learned that although you were "interested" you weren't THAT interested, which might be their purpose for the higher deposit. D.C. is one of those hyper-competitive markets with a ton of law schools so they probably have more of a problem with their yields and people just keeping them around to use as leverage against other D.C. schools.

I'll add, though, that now that negotiating scholarships has become a "thing" it is getting MUCH harder to believe anyone who tells me "I"m really interested in your fine law school, but..." I once got virtually identical negotiation emails from different admits on the same day. (C'mon folks, if you're going to copy/paste your email from TLS, change at least some of the words around.)

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun May 19, 2013 11:00 am

[quote="SPerez"]Fallen to the 3rd page?! This cannot be! (Damn you, Spivey! :evil: ) I promised myself when I created this thread that I would never shamelessly bump the thread, and luckily I've never had to (16 months, not too shabby). Alas, the time has come...

Bump.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Bobnoxious » Fri May 24, 2013 1:03 pm

nvm

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri May 31, 2013 1:16 pm

I'm currently sitting in a session at our LSAC Annual Meeting, and a topic came up I would like y'all's thoughts on.

Are binding early decision programs fundamentally unfair to applicants? The LSAC Statement of Good Practices has all sorts of language about how we schools shouldn't force students into a commitment before they are ready and have all the information they need. The counter argument is that binding early decisionprograms do exactly that, so why are they "allowed"?
I don't want to miss more of the discussionhappening here in the room so I will leave it there for the moment.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Fri May 31, 2013 1:21 pm

SPerez wrote:I'm currently sitting in a session at our LSAC Annual Meeting, and a topic came up I would like y'all's thoughts on.

Are binding early decision programs fundamentally unfair to applicants? The LSAC Statement of Good Practices has all sorts of language about how we schools shouldn't force students into a commitment before they are ready and have all the information they need. The counter argument is that binding early decisionprograms do exactly that, so why are they "allowed"?
I don't want to miss more of the discussionhappening here in the room so I will leave it there for the moment.

Dean Perez


I don't think they're fundamentally unfair insofar as each applicant has a choice. Applicants who (wisely) would rather have a wide range of options won't ED. But applicants who have a clear and away top-choice, don't mind limiting their options, and want a small advantage when applying to their top school will ED.

The part of ED that's fundamentally flawed are it's financial ramifications. Once a school doesn't feel as if it needs to compete for your attendance, they seem to start skimping on scholarship allocation. So a student with good numbers who has limited their options because they really want to go to one school seem to get penalized for it. That seems a bit unfair.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Fri May 31, 2013 1:39 pm

SPerez wrote:I'm currently sitting in a session at our LSAC Annual Meeting, and a topic came up I would like y'all's thoughts on.

Are binding early decision programs fundamentally unfair to applicants? The LSAC Statement of Good Practices has all sorts of language about how we schools shouldn't force students into a commitment before they are ready and have all the information they need. The counter argument is that binding early decisionprograms do exactly that, so why are they "allowed"?
I don't want to miss more of the discussionhappening here in the room so I will leave it there for the moment.

Dean Perez

I think they're beneficial for both the schools and the students. Through the ED programs, students who wouldn't otherwise be admitted to schools can get in, while the schools get guaranteed matriculants. The important thing, to me, is that schools aren't doing what the statement of good practices seems to prohibit: forcing students into a commitment. The students are making the choice on their own because they, presumably, believe that they have all the information necessary to make the decision.

It's great to see that you're looking for community input, Dean Perez, and it's nice to see that LSAC actually talks about stuff like this.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Fri May 31, 2013 1:53 pm

Since you mentioned the LSAC's Statement of Good Practices, can you speak to some top law schools' practices of requiring withdrawals of all other acceptances upon placing a seat deposit? Do you think that is fair? Do you see it as a growing trend, given that the admissions offices that employ this tactic are gaining a clear advantage in terms of yield rate?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby justonemoregame » Fri May 31, 2013 2:00 pm

Dean Perez,

Above, you mentioned scholarship negotiating becomming a 'thing;' have you noticed an uptick this cycle compared to last year? Have your colleagues at other law schools noticed an upward trend? Sorry if you've answered already.




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