Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:55 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Dean Perez,

How do your graduates place in Dallas?

I want to be a PD and I've read a lot about how the rank of the school for this job really isn't that important. Participating in criminal defense clinics and other things like that are what employers are looking for. Would you say that Tech has a good program for preparing people to be PD's? How many spots are available for the criminal defense clinic at Tech and is it competitive to get a spot on it? I'd like to be a PD in Dallas.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:45 pm

arkgawilson wrote:
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?


If you're asking whether you should include your publications in your resume, the answer is absolutely yes, whether they are law-related or not. There's no set of magic words to make you not sound douchey when talking yourself up on an application, either in resumes or in personal statements. Just don't oversell it or make something sound more impressive than a reasonable person would think it was. (E.g. making winning your high school science fair sound like a Nobel Prize.) This is an area where having multiple people read your materials can help.

arkgawilson wrote: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?


The only way I know of "highlighting" anything on a 2 page resume is to put it up at the top. If your academic background is your biggest strength, then make it your first section after listing your schools/degrees. Just like how someone with an impressive work history would list that first or someone with more volunteer experience than work experience would put their volunteer stuff first.

arkgawilson wrote: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?


This is going to vary school by school, but the safe advice is to follow the school's instructions. If a school says 1 page, they won't auto-deny you for submitting 2 pages, but they also won't be impressed by (what will be seen as) your apparently inability or unwillingness to follow simple instructions.

Dean Perez

Bobnoxious
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Bobnoxious » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:33 pm

Dean Perez,

I'm 46 years old and will be applying this fall. I don't remember a TON of my past when it comes to addresses or employment from age 18, and I've had some charge off debts from 10+ years ago (but don't remember from where and they aren't on my credit report now), as well as an arrest for a failure to appear on a traffic citation (forgot about the ticket).

Is this sort of stuff a problem for admissions and C&F issues, and is there a company that can do a complete background check for me so I can have all the info I need for the applications? I can't seem to find one.

Thanks!

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:47 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Dean Perez,

How do your graduates place in Dallas?


Dallas/Ft. Worth has long been the #1 placement location for our new grads. Reports that contain a complete list of cities for employed graduates for the last three years can be found on our website, http://www.law.ttu.edu/career/employment_data.asp.

Dean Perez

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:25 pm

Bobnoxious wrote:Dean Perez,

I'm 46 years old and will be applying this fall. I don't remember a TON of my past when it comes to addresses or employment from age 18, and I've had some charge off debts from 10+ years ago (but don't remember from where and they aren't on my credit report now), as well as an arrest for a failure to appear on a traffic citation (forgot about the ticket).

Is this sort of stuff a problem for admissions and C&F issues, and is there a company that can do a complete background check for me so I can have all the info I need for the applications? I can't seem to find one.

Thanks!


Sorry for being MIA, travel season is a beast for me this year.

I don't know of any schools that ask for a complete list of past employers. I suppose it's possible that the schools that require additional financial info for need based aid might ask you about your fiscal history. The people that DO ask you both are the state bars. That's when you have to provide all that info. It's usually a "do your best" situation as far as remembering all of them. Check with your state to be sure.

Many schools ask specifically for all Failure to Appear violations. (I believe all Texas law schools ask this, which tracks the state bar language.)

READ THE QUESTION! Every school's is slightly different. Always err on the side of over disclosure.

You could pay any background check company to run a check nationally if you think that's necessary. What you're going for is showing that you've done your due diligence and have reported everything to the best of your knowledge. Most students are able to do that by memory and self-checks in their local/state databases.

Its almost never the offense that gets people. It's when it looks like someone is trying to hide things.

Dean Perez

tbesancon
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby tbesancon » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:29 pm

Dean Perez -

When do you anticipate reviewing your ED applicants and giving them a decision? I know someone who applied (and currently goes to) TTU for law. She said that she submitted her application the last week of October and had her acceptance before Thanksgiving! That is quite the quick turnaround!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:17 am

tbesancon wrote:Dean Perez -

When do you anticipate reviewing your ED applicants and giving them a decision? I know someone who applied (and currently goes to) TTU for law. She said that she submitted her application the last week of October and had her acceptance before Thanksgiving! That is quite the quick turnaround!


From our online FAQ:

How soon will I get a decision?

The Texas Tech University School of Law considers applications on a rolling admissions basis. When an applicant's file is complete, it becomes eligible for consideration. We try to have decisions made for all Early Decision applicants by January 15 and Regular Decision applicants by the first week of April. The earlier you apply, the higher your chances of receiving a decision before the end of that time window. Worthy applicants who apply after the deadline significantly reduce their odds of acceptance.


We don't even start looking at applications until I stop traveling, which isn't for another 2 weeks. I do try to be nice and get at least some decisions out in that (what is usually one) week between the end of travel season and Thanksgiving break, but it just all depends on how much other stuff I have on my plate at the time.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby grungy89 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:41 pm

Dean Perez,

Is it unheard of for an admitted student to negotiate a PGA stipulation off of their scholarships? Are only the amounts negotiable?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:24 pm

grungy89 wrote:Dean Perez,

Is it unheard of for an admitted student to negotiate a PGA stipulation off of their scholarships? Are only the amounts negotiable?


All recipients of scholarships with a GPA stip at Texas Tech have the same requirement. Period. I don't think it is fair for students with similar potential and similar scholarship amounts to have different scholarship renewal requirements.

I don't really "negotiate" scholarships. If someone has another offer that is competitive with ours, then I will reconsider, but it's not a back-and-forth thing.

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grungy89
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby grungy89 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:25 am

Dean Perez,

Thank you for your response. I appreciate getting a forthright answer to that.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby sst123 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:21 pm

Hi Dean Perez,

Thanks for taking your time to do this.

You touched on the disadvantages of applying ED already, but I was hoping you could address the widely held belief that schools skimp on merit based aid for ED applicants because they know they have them locked up no matter what. You don't have to respond with regards to Texas Tech if you don't want to, but do you think this is something that is widely practiced among law schools? I am especially curious given the overwhelming number of applicants who think it does happen and that many schools assure applicants that it doesn't.

Thanks again!

Boilerbunch
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Boilerbunch » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:04 am

Dean of Admissions,

Like so many before me I'd like to thank you for answering questions to us stressed out applicants.

How important are non-numerical aspects of a applicants profile if they are just below or far below the minimum numbers? For that matter, at these other aspects even considered or are applications sometimes (or always) thrown out and discounted if numbers aren't up to par?

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:14 pm

sst123 wrote:Hi Dean Perez,

Thanks for taking your time to do this.

You touched on the disadvantages of applying ED already, but I was hoping you could address the widely held belief that schools skimp on merit based aid for ED applicants because they know they have them locked up no matter what. You don't have to respond with regards to Texas Tech if you don't want to, but do you think this is something that is widely practiced among law schools? I am especially curious given the overwhelming number of applicants who think it does happen and that many schools assure applicants that it doesn't.

Thanks again!


I'm very curious about this, too! haha...I wish I knew what other schools did. If I had to guess, though, I'd say there is no hard and fast rule, or even general rule for how many schools do or don't do this. In law school, the answer is always "It depends."

I see the allure of the pure mercenary argument that a school knows it has the advantage b/c you don't have anything to compare to so it lowballs you. But there's also a line of thought that a school has the opportunity to come with a strong offer to lock the person up early. Many schools have non-binding ED though, in which case you don't ever have someone locked up really. As long as they are willing to lose their seat deposit, then there's the possibility that you lose them to another school.

Every school has a bunch of people who forfeit $300+ deposits to take what they feel is a better offer. (Law schools note the seeming conflict between students claiming financial need to get bigger scholarships, but at the same time having the cash flow to put down $1,000+ in deposits across multiple schools and resources to lose the majority of that money.)

Therefore, for the majority of schools I feel like their best option is to make the best offer they can and hope for the best.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:44 pm

SPerez wrote:
I'm very curious about this, too! haha...I wish I knew what other schools did. If I had to guess, though, I'd say there is no hard and fast rule, or even general rule for how many schools do or don't do this. In law school, the answer is always "It depends."

I see the allure of the pure mercenary argument that a school knows it has the advantage b/c you don't have anything to compare to so it lowballs you. But there's also a line of thought that a school has the opportunity to come with a strong offer to lock the person up early. Many schools have non-binding ED though, in which case you don't ever have someone locked up really. As long as they are willing to lose their seat deposit, then there's the possibility that you lose them to another school.

Every school has a bunch of people who forfeit $300+ deposits to take what they feel is a better offer. (Law schools note the seeming conflict between students claiming financial need to get bigger scholarships, but at the same time having the cash flow to put down $1,000+ in deposits across multiple schools and resources to lose the majority of that money.)

Therefore, for the majority of schools I feel like their best option is to make the best offer they can and hope for the best.

Dean Perez


I can't speak for all students, but I know why I did it. It's a logical cost-benefit analysis. At the school I'm currently attending, I managed to leverage offers against each other until a $60k initial offer turned into $90k. That's a pretty good return on a thousand dollars. The same goes for LSAT prep materials and tutoring. Yes, students applying are broke, but it makes a lot of financial sense to do whatever you have to in the beginning of the process to minimize debt on the other side. I remember thinking that even if I could only get the offer increased by $1,000 a year, I'd be money ahead on deposits, and I knew the potential upsides were much greater than that.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:11 pm

Boilerbunch wrote:How important are non-numerical aspects of a applicants profile if they are just below or far below the minimum numbers? For that matter, at these other aspects even considered or are applications sometimes (or always) thrown out and discounted if numbers aren't up to par?



Nothing is ever thrown out or ignored. It's all considered and weighed against each other. For the students who are admitted with numbers towards the bottom of our typical class profile, those non-numerical aspects are THE things that get them in.

It all happens within a range, of course. I made another comment today along the lines of how someone who is, say, 160/3.75 would be considered "risky" for many of the top law schools. It's not that they think that student isn't cut out for law school or shouldn't be a lawyer. When your median LSAT is in the 99th percentile, that leaves a whole lot of amazing people available to you to fill the bottom half of your class. It's just that there are way too many very well qualified applicants in the pool and only so many seats at those schools. The only worry might be that, due to the curve, a student might struggle compared to their classmates.

At most other schools, that's not the dilemma. Let's say a school's 25th percentiles are 150 and 3.25. When you start getting into LSATs in the 140s, questions start to arise about whether an applicant "thinks like a lawyer" for lack of a better phrase. It's certainly possible to learn that skill, but the question becomes whether or not the applicant can learn it quickly enough to be successful in that particular law school. The lower the LSAT, the less likely it is that they will be able to pick it up. The lower the GPA (and less rigorous the major/school, weaker the writing), the less likely the applicant has the skills necessary to assimilate all the information from class and perform well on essay-style exams.

So in this scenario, if an adcom sees an applicant with a 130 LSAT and 2.8 GPA, "risk" is the correct word to use. Statistically, that person has a very high likelihood of flunking out of law school. And even if they made it through, it would probably be at the very bottom of the class, which greatly increases the likelihood the person won't pass the bar.

A school has to have SOME measure of a student's academic potential. If it's not the LSAT and it's not undergraduate performance, then what's left? Being a good sales manager or a well-liked employee at a bank are not measures of academic ability. Neither is being a person who volunteers, did Peace Corps, provides shelter for homeless orphans, etc. Those things make you a great human being, but don't prove that you have the academic/intellectual ability to make it in law school. So it's not that all those non-numerical things don't matter; they just don't provide a counter to the things that having really low numbers suggest about an applicant.

There are no absolute minimum numbers, but there are ranges below which the odds become near statistical certainties. Those will be different for different schools.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby ScottRiqui » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:13 pm

(Copied from other thread since it seems more appropriate here:)

When you were looking at taking chances on a student who's below your 25th (either GPA or LSAT), does it make much difference just how far below the 25th he is? Likewise, is there a difference between being just a little over the school's 75th percentile vice being well above it?

ETA: I guess what I'm asking is whether someone with a 10th percentile GPA and 95th percentile LSAT is in a significantly different position than someone with a 20th percentile GPA and 80th percentile LSAT, admissions-wise.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby 7ofNine » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Hi Dean Perez,

I was wondering if it makes a difference in your review of an application if a student seems very likely to have a law job upon graduation. For example they have a parent that is an attorney and/or they work in a law office and have glowing LOR's from attorney's ready to hire them as soon as they pass the bar? Considering schools are getting hammered on their employment statistics does this sort of thing factor into the application review at all?

Thanks!!

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby HYSenberg » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:31 am

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


Are you admitting that adcoms actively search LSN profiles to YP?

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:34 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
SPerez wrote:
I'm very curious about this, too! haha...I wish I knew what other schools did. If I had to guess, though, I'd say there is no hard and fast rule, or even general rule for how many schools do or don't do this. In law school, the answer is always "It depends."

I see the allure of the pure mercenary argument that a school knows it has the advantage b/c you don't have anything to compare to so it lowballs you. But there's also a line of thought that a school has the opportunity to come with a strong offer to lock the person up early. Many schools have non-binding ED though, in which case you don't ever have someone locked up really. As long as they are willing to lose their seat deposit, then there's the possibility that you lose them to another school.

Every school has a bunch of people who forfeit $300+ deposits to take what they feel is a better offer. (Law schools note the seeming conflict between students claiming financial need to get bigger scholarships, but at the same time having the cash flow to put down $1,000+ in deposits across multiple schools and resources to lose the majority of that money.)

Therefore, for the majority of schools I feel like their best option is to make the best offer they can and hope for the best.

Dean Perez


I can't speak for all students, but I know why I did it. It's a logical cost-benefit analysis. At the school I'm currently attending, I managed to leverage offers against each other until a $60k initial offer turned into $90k. That's a pretty good return on a thousand dollars. The same goes for LSAT prep materials and tutoring. Yes, students applying are broke, but it makes a lot of financial sense to do whatever you have to in the beginning of the process to minimize debt on the other side. I remember thinking that even if I could only get the offer increased by $1,000 a year, I'd be money ahead on deposits, and I knew the potential upsides were much greater than that.


It totally does make long-term financial sense, but it still requires that one have access to (what I still consider to be) a large amount of money up front. The other aspect that doesn't sit well with adcoms is the seeming increase in the number of people who plan from the beginning to only apply to a school for the sole purpose of using their offer as leverage, never intending to even consider attending the school. In my view, it's a classic dilemma where what is good for individuals is not good for the system as a whole. While one student might be successful in getting an extra $10,000, that money could have gone to someone else who got nothing. It also means that a school might have to increase tuition in order to make up for the increased scholarship outlays to the incoming class (and the related hit to revenue that creates).

I don't blame a person for wanting to maximize their opportunities, of course. I just wish the situation hadn't evolved to the state it has seemed to for a lot of schools/applicants.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby midwest17 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:46 pm

SPerez wrote:It totally does make long-term financial sense, but it still requires that one have access to (what I still consider to be) a large amount of money up front. The other aspect that doesn't sit well with adcoms is the seeming increase in the number of people who plan from the beginning to only apply to a school for the sole purpose of using their offer as leverage, never intending to even consider attending the school. In my view, it's a classic dilemma where what is good for individuals is not good for the system as a whole. While one student might be successful in getting an extra $10,000, that money could have gone to someone else who got nothing. It also means that a school might have to increase tuition in order to make up for the increased scholarship outlays to the incoming class (and the related hit to revenue that creates).

I don't blame a person for wanting to maximize their opportunities, of course. I just wish the situation hadn't evolved to the state it has seemed to for a lot of schools/applicants.

Dean Perez


I think the more fundamental problem is how absurdly expensive law school is getting. Applicants wouldn't be nearly as motivated to play the scholarship game if paying sticker didn't threaten financial ruin.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:36 pm

midwest17 wrote:
SPerez wrote:It totally does make long-term financial sense, but it still requires that one have access to (what I still consider to be) a large amount of money up front. The other aspect that doesn't sit well with adcoms is the seeming increase in the number of people who plan from the beginning to only apply to a school for the sole purpose of using their offer as leverage, never intending to even consider attending the school. In my view, it's a classic dilemma where what is good for individuals is not good for the system as a whole. While one student might be successful in getting an extra $10,000, that money could have gone to someone else who got nothing. It also means that a school might have to increase tuition in order to make up for the increased scholarship outlays to the incoming class (and the related hit to revenue that creates).

I don't blame a person for wanting to maximize their opportunities, of course. I just wish the situation hadn't evolved to the state it has seemed to for a lot of schools/applicants.

Dean Perez


I think the more fundamental problem is how absurdly expensive law school is getting. Applicants wouldn't be nearly as motivated to play the scholarship game if paying sticker didn't threaten financial ruin.


Totally agree with you. Tuition my 1L year at UT Law was about $7,700 and had "ballooned" to around $12,500 my 3L year in 2004. The challenge here is that this particular (specifically leveraging scholarships by falsely leading a school to believe you're seriously considering the other offer) behavior exacerbates the problem. It's a real issue, but one no one has figured out how to solve. Cutting class size reduces revenue so you have to charge them more to make up for it. Laying off profs would save a lot of money, but tenure makes that difficult. Also, students want smaller classes, more specialties, clinics, etc., all of which require MORE professors, not less. In UT's case, they've lost a lot of support from the state to be sure, but they've also cut class size by nearly 1/3 and added about 20 full-time faculty. The palatial buildings many law schools have are already built so no savings there unless you start leasing out space for retail or something. (What law school is it that has a bar on its ground floor? I'm not making that up, right?)

I was at a conference once and asked Chemerinsky where he thought tuition would finally stop, using Columbia/NYU as an example since they're approaching $60k /yr. $70k? $90k? When will students finally decide the USNWR prestige isn't worth it? He didn't have an answer. My own answer is that it will stop when the feds put a cap on Grad PLUS loans.

Dean Perez

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:43 pm

SPerez wrote:
It totally does make long-term financial sense, but it still requires that one have access to (what I still consider to be) a large amount of money up front. The other aspect that doesn't sit well with adcoms is the seeming increase in the number of people who plan from the beginning to only apply to a school for the sole purpose of using their offer as leverage, never intending to even consider attending the school. In my view, it's a classic dilemma where what is good for individuals is not good for the system as a whole. While one student might be successful in getting an extra $10,000, that money could have gone to someone else who got nothing. It also means that a school might have to increase tuition in order to make up for the increased scholarship outlays to the incoming class (and the related hit to revenue that creates).

I don't blame a person for wanting to maximize their opportunities, of course. I just wish the situation hadn't evolved to the state it has seemed to for a lot of schools/applicants.

Dean Perez


A thousand dollars worth of deposits can be put on a credit card, and doesn't really require cash reserves. For cashflow purposes, this can be rolled over into student loans upon matriculation. The fact that students can get an extra $10,000, and that that might only be 20% of tuition is staggering. Even at Texas Tech, where tuition is a relatively reasonable $32,000 for non-residents, $10,000 is only a third of tuition, and barely a dent in an estimated total cost of $168,000. Law school is a phenomenally expensive endeavor with limited returns. For example, my business degree has a median starting salary of $44,000. $168,000 and three years of my life is pretty steep for a return of only $6,000-$16,000 annually fro Texas Tech, depending on whether we're talking about public or private sector. At 6.8%, that's $11,000 a year in interest. It would be financial idiocy to pay sticker at almost any law school. The only alternative is negotiating in order to minimize the risk. It is what it is.

Please don't take this as an attack on your school, or you personally. I got a business degree because I'm a numbers guy, and the financial calculus of law school is pretty grim. I appreciated your insight when I applied, and I appreciate you giving other applicants guidance.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby midwest17 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:30 pm

SPerez wrote:Totally agree with you. Tuition my 1L year at UT Law was about $7,700 and had "ballooned" to around $12,500 my 3L year in 2004. The challenge here is that this particular (specifically leveraging scholarships by falsely leading a school to believe you're seriously considering the other offer) behavior exacerbates the problem. It's a real issue, but one no one has figured out how to solve. Cutting class size reduces revenue so you have to charge them more to make up for it. Laying off profs would save a lot of money, but tenure makes that difficult. Also, students want smaller classes, more specialties, clinics, etc., all of which require MORE professors, not less. In UT's case, they've lost a lot of support from the state to be sure, but they've also cut class size by nearly 1/3 and added about 20 full-time faculty. The palatial buildings many law schools have are already built so no savings there unless you start leasing out space for retail or something. (What law school is it that has a bar on its ground floor? I'm not making that up, right?)

I was at a conference once and asked Chemerinsky where he thought tuition would finally stop, using Columbia/NYU as an example since they're approaching $60k /yr. $70k? $90k? When will students finally decide the USNWR prestige isn't worth it? He didn't have an answer. My own answer is that it will stop when the feds put a cap on Grad PLUS loans.

Dean Perez


Is this really that serious a problem? I would think that admissions committees would be pretty good at understanding when an alternative offer was one that might actually pull students away, versus when it's just being used for negotiation.

Personally, there are schools I'm applying to that I really don't expect to attend. But that doesn't mean that if things go badly differently than I'm expecting, I wouldn't go to those schools. There's no school on my list that I wouldn't attend with a full ride, for instance.

I'm also not really seeing how we can say that the negotiation process is bad for the overall system. It ends up with schools giving out more scholarships, obviously, but it also means that at least some students are paying less than they otherwise would. It's not obvious to me that that's good or bad, on net.

In fact, doesn't the negotiation process help admissions officers by increasing the amount of information at their disposal? If we somehow forbade communication between admissions and prospective students, schools would have to guess at the scholarship amounts needed to attract students. That process would probably have a lot of error, and likely encourage schools to err on the high side for competitive applicants.

By contrast, the current system allows them to lowball a bit with the initial offer, and then negotiate upwards if necessary. So I guess it's not even clear to me that negotiations do lead to, overall, higher scholarships.

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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby PSG » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:18 pm

Hi Dean Perez,
You stated earlier in the thread that a graduate degree is often an option for someone with a low UGPA, LSAT, or both. I was going through some pretty heavy family stuff during a chunk of my undergrad which, by the time I pulled my head out of my rear and stopped feeling sorry for myself, left me with a 2.6 LSAC UGPA. There was an upward trend in the last couple of undergrad semesters, but the damage was done and nobody is to blame but myself. I decided to do an MBA from another area university since Tech Law is my goal, and graduated with a 3.933 (still a little bitter about that 88 in accounting 2). I also have a lot of writing experience as it's a big part of my current job, and I wrote for the college newspaper for more than four years. All in all, I had to change from being the kid in Rushmore to a responsible adult.

I know you can't comment directly on anyone's chances for admission, and I know you'll probably know my identity as a poster here when you see my application, but how much of an impact does a high GPA in a graduate degree and proven writing skills have on an applicant's application at your university? Is it simply just lipstick on a pig, or does it make a big difference? I've been worrying about it since I finished the MBA. One can only take so much solace in Zig Ziglar platitudes before they run thin.

Thanks for your responses in this thread. You've actually made the application process seem a bit less daunting by answering our questions here.

SPerez
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:22 am

Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:40 pm

ScottRiqui wrote: When you were looking at taking chances on a student who's below your 25th (either GPA or LSAT), does it make much difference just how far below the 25th he is? Likewise, is there a difference between being just a little over the school's 75th percentile vice being well above it?

ETA: I guess what I'm asking is whether someone with a 10th percentile GPA and 95th percentile LSAT is in a significantly different position than someone with a 20th percentile GPA and 80th percentile LSAT, admissions-wise.


For us it does because of where our 25th percentiles are. Our 25th% LSAT has hovered around a 152/153, which is about the national average score. The LSAT score band (+/- 3) would take that down to 149 if we are giving people the benefit of the doubt. However, the percentiles fall off fast under 150. A 145 is, as far as I'm aware, a score that has only been admitted through our summer program. I don't know that we've every admitted anyone under a 142/3. Not to say we wouldn't ever, but there aren't very many people with 140 LSATs who have the things that we would need to see to support the argument the person could still succeed (i.e. not flunk out) here. E.g. 4.0 from an Ivy, impeccable writing, LORs that comment on critical/analytical thinking ability, work experience involving complex tasks that require both intelligence and work ethic, history of standardized tests not predicting outcomes (i.e. a 5 on the ACT but the aforementioned 4.0 from an Ivy), etc. I'm just spitballing off the top of my head here, there isn't a special checklist for this kind of situation. Those are just some of the things I think an AdCom would need to see to convince them that the 140 LSAT should be overlooked.

GPAs are very different since they can be produced in so many different ways. It's all about what does the GPA say about the person's ability. If someone is a typical college senior with a GPA of 2.5, flat trend (all semesters between 2.3 and 2.8), not a tough major, no full-time work or other things that would take away from studies...what are we left to conclude? If the LSAT is average or low, the person probably just doesn't have what it takes. If the LSAT is high, without evidence to contradict it I assume the person is lazy or lacks direction. They probably CAN do the work, but have to this point CHOSEN not to. Either way, not good. On the other hand, there could be another person with a 2.5 GPA, but this person is 35 and totally bombed college 15 years ago. Like, 30 hours of 1.5. Then say they wandered a bit, maybe got a job/married/kids, or spent some time in the military...whatever; just generally grew up. Then they went back to school a few years ago and their GPA in their last 80 hrs is a 3.9 from a good school/program. Assuming the LSAT is within range for both, the second person has shown that "the numbers" don't really describe his ability. They demonstrated they can handle college work and do very well so in my mind they aren't really a "risk" (again, assuming LSAT w/i range). The first person hasn't shown that. They could very well be able to handle the work, and could go on to demonstrate it later once they get their *bleep* together, but until then they are a risk. Some schools will take that risk, others won't.

The tough part comes when you have an applicant who has softs you fall in love with, but doesn't have anything hard academically to hang your hat on, help you go to bat for them. You're arguing "potential" at that point, which can be a tough sell. Admissions deans who are very senior and might have a track record of identifying diamonds in the rough might have earn the trust of their faculty committees. Other places, faculty might have more control and choose to only go for the "sure things", hesitant to take any risks. That will vary from school to school.

Dean Perez




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