Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

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patel529
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby patel529 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:43 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 allowing students to choose the ED option is valuable and not necessarily unfair. As others have said, each student has access to information about ED and has the right to accept or decline that option. For a student who has a borderline LSAT/GPA, EDing gives them a better chance of getting accepted (at least that is the perception).

In your experience, Dean Perez, are students who have GPA/LSAT scores higher than the median placing themselves at a disadvantage by EDing in terms of the scholarship offered by the school? Does the school have less incentive to offer scholarships to accepted students who have applied through a binding ED program?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby NYstate » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:53 pm

I think ED should allow students a timeframe to explore other options. With admissions changing so much over the past few years, people may accept early decision with numbers that turn out to be competitive.

Students need to keep their costs as low as possible. Schools should allow them to explore other options and give students the chance to contact other schools before deciding.

Does early decision really benefit the schools so much?

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Pneumonia
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:20 pm

I wouldn't necessarily say that the ED option is unfair, but I do think its regrettable that, as JRR said, it seemingly comes with the understanding that scholarship options will be severely lessened. Particularly, I wish that the ED option could be used as a way for candidates above or well above both medians to express their interest in a particular school as a way of avoiding YP.

Of course there are "why X" essays, but there are also applicants who write them for 20 different schools- something that schools are of corse aware of. When I first read about ED this is what I assumed it was primarily used for. Perhaps an above median student could ED with the understanding that they'd receive the average scholarship of candidates with similar numbers who are admitted RD. Just some thoughts.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Yukos » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:08 pm

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:
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
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.


There is no reason to ED unless you're a borderline candidate, and borderline candidates, for obvious reasons, get little or no merit aid. I think the universe of people who would have gotten fin aid but for their applying ED is very small. And even for those affected (ie those who would've gotten fin aid RD but applied ED so get nothing) it's a reasonable trade off for their greater chance of being accepted in the first place.

ED seems like a good deal for the student and the school. It's a little sad when you see a school like Indiana Tech suckering people into ED'ing (LinkRemoved), but really at this point those kids should've done their research.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby NYstate » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:25 pm

Yukos wrote:
John_rizzy_rawls wrote:
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
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.


There is no reason to ED unless you're a borderline candidate, and borderline candidates, for obvious reasons, get little or no merit aid. I think the universe of people who would have gotten fin aid but for their applying ED is very small. And even for those affected (ie those who would've gotten fin aid RD but applied ED so get nothing) it's a reasonable trade off for their greater chance of being accepted in the first place.

ED seems like a good deal for the student and the school. It's a little sad when you see a school like Indiana Tech suckering people into ED'ing (LinkRemoved), but really at this point those kids should've done their research.


Wouldn't it be nice to see the actual statistics on this? I'm sure there are uninformed people who ED with numbers that are above borderline. The problem is that students can't even explore other options. Perhaps they would consider going to a lower ranked school or a lower tuition state school on a scholarship but they will never know what those possible options might be. I think schools have no reason to keep these applicants hostage after they are accepted.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Yukos » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:43 pm

NYstate wrote:
Yukos wrote:
John_rizzy_rawls wrote:
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
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.


There is no reason to ED unless you're a borderline candidate, and borderline candidates, for obvious reasons, get little or no merit aid. I think the universe of people who would have gotten fin aid but for their applying ED is very small. And even for those affected (ie those who would've gotten fin aid RD but applied ED so get nothing) it's a reasonable trade off for their greater chance of being accepted in the first place.

ED seems like a good deal for the student and the school. It's a little sad when you see a school like Indiana Tech suckering people into ED'ing (LinkRemoved), but really at this point those kids should've done their research.


Wouldn't it be nice to see the actual statistics on this? I'm sure there are uninformed people who ED with numbers that are above borderline. The problem is that students can't even explore other options. Perhaps they would consider going to a lower ranked school or a lower tuition state school on a scholarship but they will never know what those possible options might be. I think schools have no reason to keep these applicants hostage after they are accepted.


I don't think it's the schools' fault if someone commits to spending a quarter of a million dollars without doing even the most basic of research (if you're above both medians -- you're probably getting in!). Unlike all the tactics we hate from law schools, there's absolutely no obfuscation involved with ED'ing. You know you're trading a better chance of getting in for not being able to hear other schools' offers. Everything beyond that is your responsibility.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:08 pm

drive4showLSAT4dough wrote: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.


Like others mentioned, it does seem like each side gives up something and gets something in return for Binding ED programs. However, I worry that the bump in chances of admission is more perception than reality, which if true would put more than a thumb on the scale on the law school's side. In that case, all an ED applicant is really getting is the promise to find out sooner than they would otherwise. Not sure that's worth losing the flexibility that comes with fully exploring all the possible offers.

It bears repeating, also, that this is only really an issue with the T25 schools. Those of us in the "99%" aren't usually popular enough, even within our regions, to have any real leverage to do binding ED. We had one here at Texas Tech when I got here mid-cycle 2010, although we explicitly stated that only people that had already fully researched law schools and made Tech Law their #1 choice should use it. We didn't promise any bump in odds of acceptance so no one was every accepted ED that wouldn't have been RD.

I didn't know if this was a net benefit, solidifying a percentage of our class early (usually around 1/8th of the enrolled class), or if it was costing us applicants/enrollees who were going RD and waiting until our deadline to apply (and in the meantime being courted by and falling in like with another school). I figured there was only one real way to know for sure so we tried non-binding this year. It's too soon to say whether or not it "worked", but we did get significantly more deposits from ED applicants this year. (You guys all hate to feel committed to anything, haha. It's a generational thing, I think. One of the speakers at our conference was Bryan Stevenson - AMAZING guy, BTW; check out his TEDTalk - mentioned how it was hard to find "staff attorneys" for his non-profit until he changed them to "fellows" because grads were scared to commit to things longer than 2 years out. :) )

I agree with the general principle that if an applicant wants to limit themselves and enter into an ED application, then that's on them. There is very little information today that is not available for anyone willing to put in the time to find it. However, we know that not everyone does put in that time. And I wonder if allowing students to apply to a binding ED program is offering them a choice they shouldn't be offered in the first place.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby sinfiery » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:12 pm

The ED contracts should be more open about the changes in chances of obtaining merit aid when one does ED.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:32 pm

justonemoregame wrote: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.



Big time. We've been seeing it increase for the past several years. Frankly, most of us hate it, but I can both hate it (b/c it makes my job harder) and totally understand and support students doing it (b/c your job is not to make my job easy). Where we get annoyed is when admits are less than sincere in their stated motivations for requesting an increase, e.g. asking for the sole purpose of using the offer as leverage against another school. At this point, I pretty much don't believe any "I really love Texas Tech, and you are my top choice..." type language in emails unless I know the individual personally. When you get multiple emails in the same day asking for increases and they are nearly word-for-word identical, it's pretty clear that people are just cut/pasting things they read on here and emailing multiple schools. (I even had one person reference our own scholarship offer in sort of a 3rd person way that only made sense if another school was reading it. #mailmergefail) Unfortunately, that drives up the "costs" to schools (i.e. we spend more scholarship money) which reduces the available funds for other admitted students who might honestly be deserving of them (e.g. they retake and get a higher score or they just ended up with a low offer for whatever reason).

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:49 pm

NYstate wrote:Does early decision really benefit the schools so much?


The big reason schools have ED is to lock up a portion of their class early. This helps schools figure out their admissions strategy and goals for RD. For instance, if you already have 25% of your class committed via ED, then that's fewer students you have to find and fight with other schools for, which can be an unpredictable process. Also, you know the stats for that 25% of your class and that lets you know what you need to do with the other 75% in order to hit your targets.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby GoCanucks » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:03 pm

Hi,

I noticed on the Letters of Recommendation portion of the TTU Law website, it says no letters from judges, lawyers, or politicians whose basis of judgement is from a purely personal relationship. And you said definitely no "family friends" in a previous post you wrote through my search.

Originally, I had a lawyer in mind who I was going to have write me a letter of recommendation. But, as you guys don't want those type of letters, I was wondering if these other references would be okay?

I have a tennis coach who went to TTU, she played on the school's tennis team as an undergrad. She also obtained her MA from TTU, and coached on the team for a bit. Would she be an appropriate reference?

My other reference is a Boss I had at work, so the tennis coach would be a secondary reference.


I really want to go to TTU Law as my mom, dad & uncle went to TTU back in the 70s (by way of China), so it'd be cool to continue the tradition. But the Letters of References, I might have a little trouble finding suitable ones :| . I'm hoping to get an academic reference too, but as I went to a very large Canadian school for undergrad, I'm not sure if any of my Professors would remember me.

Thanks.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby JasonH » Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:31 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



If you will allow me to turn this around to you with another question...Once a student has agreed to an early decision, does this tend to result in less scholarship money being offered? My only worry about ED is agreeing to a binding early decision and receiving very little money because well, I've already agreed to attend,and then being forced to turn down a full ride at an equivalent school (and by equivalent school, I mean that we look at the wholeee school and not just the ranking :D ) .


On a more comical note, there is a student at my undergrad that did binding ED's at 8-9 different schools. He said he thought it meant to check the box if you prefer an early decision to a late one. Can't wait to hire him as my lawyer.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:34 pm

GoCanucks wrote:Hi,

I noticed on the Letters of Recommendation portion of the TTU Law website, it says no letters from judges, lawyers, or politicians whose basis of judgement is from a purely personal relationship. And you said definitely no "family friends" in a previous post you wrote through my search.

Originally, I had a lawyer in mind who I was going to have write me a letter of recommendation. But, as you guys don't want those type of letters, I was wondering if these other references would be okay?

I have a tennis coach who went to TTU, she played on the school's tennis team as an undergrad. She also obtained her MA from TTU, and coached on the team for a bit. Would she be an appropriate reference?

My other reference is a Boss I had at work, so the tennis coach would be a secondary reference.

I really want to go to TTU Law as my mom, dad & uncle went to TTU back in the 70s (by way of China), so it'd be cool to continue the tradition. But the Letters of References, I might have a little trouble finding suitable ones :| . I'm hoping to get an academic reference too, but as I went to a very large Canadian school for undergrad, I'm not sure if any of my Professors would remember me.

Thanks.


I would say focus less on the recommenders' connection to Texas Tech and exclusively on their relationship to YOU. The point of my comments is that a purely personal LOR adds absolutely zero to your application. If all anyone of the people you mention can say about you is "I've known GoCanucks and his family for many years, eh. He's a good guy," then look for someone else. I don't care if they've gone to Tech undergrad, MA, lived in Lubbock, or red's their favorite color.

If you're still in school, then you need to find at least 1 academic LOR and there's no reason you shouldn't be able to. If you're only a year out and live in the same city as your uni, it would be worth emailing and visiting the professors you think might remember you best. Always a good idea to provide a resume with your first contact and maybe even a paper you wrote for them, maybe. If they really don't remember you at all, they will politely decline to write you a letter.

If that's not an option, supervisors are the next best option. They need to be able to comment on your specific skills or abilities. Again, not just "He's a solid guy, would buy you a Tim Horton's if you found yourself stranded in Nunavut waiting for your snowmobile to be towed, eh," but substantive comments. E.g. turned in high quality written work, displayed excellent problem solving/analytical thinking skills, etc.

Keep in mind you still have like 6 months to get to know someone well enough that they can write you an LOR.

Dean Perez
Asst. Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid
Texas Tech University School of Law

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby GoCanucks » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:30 pm

If you're still in school, then you need to find at least 1 academic LOR and there's no reason you shouldn't be able to. If you're only a year out and live in the same city as your uni, it would be worth emailing and visiting the professors you think might remember you best. Always a good idea to provide a resume with your first contact and maybe even a paper you wrote for them, maybe. If they really don't remember you at all, they will politely decline to write you a letter.


I'm 2 years out of school, and not in the same city as my uni. As most of my classes were huge, I did get to work closely with many TAs, as they were the ones that led discussion. If I had a TA for 2 semesters, would that be a good character reference for my time in school? I know it's not a Professor, but, I did most of my participating/talking in tutorials taught by TAs, so I'm sure my TAs would remember me.

I know this sounds absurd, that Profs don't remember me. But Canadian Unis are gigantic (there was close to 50,000 undergrads at my school), so 2 years out, unless they saw my face and recognized me, I wouldn't bet on them remembering me.


Thanks. (It'd be great if Tim Hortons came to TTU).

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:21 pm

GoCanucks wrote: I'm 2 years out of school, and not in the same city as my uni. As most of my classes were huge, I did get to work closely with many TAs, as they were the ones that led discussion. If I had a TA for 2 semesters, would that be a good character reference for my time in school? I know it's not a Professor, but, I did most of my participating/talking in tutorials taught by TAs, so I'm sure my TAs would remember me.

I know this sounds absurd, that Profs don't remember me. But Canadian Unis are gigantic (there was close to 50,000 undergrads at my school), so 2 years out, unless they saw my face and recognized me, I wouldn't bet on them remembering me.



It's not ideal, but if that's what you got, that's what you got.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:21 pm

LSAC has a feature that allows applicants to rank the schools to which they are appplying; I take it that the schools don't have access to this ranking?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:55 pm

Pneumonia wrote:LSAC has a feature that allows applicants to rank the schools to which they are appplying; I take it that the schools don't have access to this ranking?


I wasn't aware this existed, but if it saves me from having to troll LSN and TLS profiles then I'm all for it! haha...

I'm nearly 100% positive law schools don't have access to that.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Redfactor » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:18 pm

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Last edited by Redfactor on Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:00 pm

Redfactor wrote:
SPerez wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:LSAC has a feature that allows applicants to rank the schools to which they are appplying; I take it that the schools don't have access to this ranking?


I wasn't aware this existed, but if it saves me from having to troll LSN and TLS profiles then I'm all for it! haha...

I'm nearly 100% positive law schools don't have access to that.

Dean Perez




I didn't actually think law schools sought to identify "anonymous" LSN applicants. Makes me glad that I didn't do it for scholarship negotiation purposes.


I meant that jokingly (hence the "haha"), but...Generally speaking, law schools don't seek to ID all their applicants online, but that doesn't mean that WON'T if they have a reason to do so. As with anything else, don't say anything online if you wouldn't want the whole world to know you said it.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Redfactor » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:18 pm

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Last edited by Redfactor on Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:30 pm

SPerez wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:LSAC has a feature that allows applicants to rank the schools to which they are appplying; I take it that the schools don't have access to this ranking?


I wasn't aware this existed, but if it saves me from having to troll LSN and TLS profiles then I'm all for it! haha...

I'm nearly 100% positive law schools don't have access to that.

Dean Perez


Thanks for the answer!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby steven21 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:01 pm

Is it beneficial to apply before you receive your LSAT score? Will the application go complete faster and be looked at sooner? Also, is there any way to notify them that I will be taking the test again October so that they know a new higher score will be coming in? Would turning in an application have a negative effect in this situation since they would see the old LSAT score before the new one

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby arkgawilson » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:52 am

This has been an amazing thread to read, so thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions. :)

Being in the South, Texas Tech is a program I would look at. I'm a year out from applying, and have a somewhat unique situation. A little background so my questions make sense...Went to a PsyD program (Doctor of Psychology) and decided the school ultimately wasn't for me after 3 years as my interests lie more within law and mental health, so transferred to a new graduate institution close to family to get my M.S. while I work on some publishing some more research manuscripts...have published in peer-reviewed journals and have presented at major conferences every year in my field. Lots of leadership and non-profit work too. I am looking at dual JD/PhD programs in law and psychology, and am looking at some strictly JD programs with whom I feel I would be a good fit.

I have a few questions (and some seem very random)

1) One of the peer-reviewed publications was a mix of law/psychology (co-authored with a Judge) and fits the area of law I could see myself doing at the intersection of mental health and law. Would that raise anyone's eye in a positive manner on an adcom? Also, how can one present scholastic accomplishments in a way that promotes themselves yet the student retains their humility?

2) Because I have now been out of undergrad for 5 years and have had the blessings to publish, present, and have leadership experiences in national academic non profits, including being the only graduate student on the board of directors, what is the most effective way to highlight this on a resume?

3) Coming from another professional program that required us to keep updated CV's, the concept of a one-page resume is hard for me to grapple with. Obviously I wouldn't send a 13 page CV, but do you feel there is a strict 1-page limit unless otherwise stated? If the experiences are relevant or noteworthy, does a 2 or (Lord forbid) a 3 page resume get an application tossed out?


Thank you so much!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:16 pm

Dean Perez,

How do your graduates place in Dallas?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:44 pm

steven21 wrote:Is it beneficial to apply before you receive your LSAT score? Will the application go complete faster and be looked at sooner? Also, is there any way to notify them that I will be taking the test again October so that they know a new higher score will be coming in? Would turning in an application have a negative effect in this situation since they would see the old LSAT score before the new one


There's really no way to predict whether your app will get marked complete faster at any one particular school. Every law school has different work flows, staffing levels, internal rules for how the apps move through their various statuses, etc. In general, though, you would at least have the possibility of your file being marked complete sooner if its in and all that is needed to complete it is your LSAC CAS report. Remember, too, that being marked complete doesn't necessarily mean you'll move into consideration right after so adjust your expectations accordingly.

If you want a school to know you're retaking and have another score coming, just tell them. Add a 1 sentence "addendum" to your upload that just says that an additional score is coming. A school will either wait or it won't based on its established policy. Don't worry about any negative effect of submitting your app without the second score. The school will see the first score either way. The question is whether your worry about the possible negative effects is outweighed by the perceived bump you think you will get by submitting your application that early. (If formal ED, then of course you need to apply before deadlines even if you don't have your score yet. If you're just applying super early, then the impact of applying early-Nov. over early-Oct. is so small as to be hardly worth worrying about.)

Dean Perez




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