Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

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SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:06 pm

AmaryllisBelladonna wrote: What would you suggest an applicant do if he or she is “held” and what are the applicant’s chances of eventually being accepted after a hold?


This is an interesting one. I assume you're referring to our "Hold" status. This is a status that used to be internal only and not visible to the applicant. It is mostly used as a pitstop between "In Review" and a decision of some sort. Basically (as it is explained on the status checker if you have this status), a student is moved to a status of "Hold" when we still need some additional information before making a decision. This could be waiting on a Dec. or Feb. LSAT score, waiting for a response to a specific question regarding a file, or simply waiting a week or two to compare your file with other applicants that have the same numbers (to ensure consistency and fairness).

I really debated whether or not to make this status visible to you guys because (and here's the answer to your question) there's nothing for you to do about it other than send us the answer to our question if that's what we're waiting for (in which case you already knew b/c we sent you an email asking for something). Nothing has really changed; you are still "In Review". I worried that it would just cause needless anxiety and stress for students without providing any real additional information, but I decided to try it out this year to see how it was received.

One cannot divine anything about their chances of acceptance simply from this status. It's more administrative than anything else. I guess if you wanted to be super literal, you could deduce that your application was not a slam dunk admit or deny (if you were we wouldn't need to wait for additional information), but that's true of more than half of our applicants so chances are you didn't think that to begin with (or shouldn't have).

Most applicants with this status won't be there for more than a few weeks, but as with everything it varies.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:49 pm

chill wrote:Can you see how often/when we check our status via the LSAC checker (assuming TT uses one)?

THIS IS MY WORST FEAR.


Haha. No, we can't see how often you check or when the last time you checked in was.

That said, it's not hard to get an idea when we change something on the status checker and get a phone call from an applicant within 20 minutes of making the change. :)

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kalvano
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:36 pm

SPerez wrote:
Mce252 wrote:How many of your top students do you see transfering out at the end of their first year?


Very few. I don't know how many students ever go past just the information available in the webforms for schools on the ABA/LSAC Official Guide website, but the exact number of transfers out and in is actually on the PDF pages for each school.

Here's a link to our page.

We only had 4 transfer out last year (and 3 in). I looked back at the data for the last few years, and that was pretty consistent. One year we only had 1 out, but most years it was 3 or 4 in each direction. From what I understand (since this is my first full year here and I didn't know the students before), most of those that transfer out do so for personal/family reasons more than out of unhappiness with Lubbock or simply looking to trade up.


Just to back this up some, I'm at SMU and we don't have any Tech transfers that I'm aware of. We have several from other Texas schools, but I've yet to hear Tech.

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Mce252
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Mce252 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:20 pm

kalvano wrote:
SPerez wrote:
Mce252 wrote:How many of your top students do you see transfering out at the end of their first year?


Very few. I don't know how many students ever go past just the information available in the webforms for schools on the ABA/LSAC Official Guide website, but the exact number of transfers out and in is actually on the PDF pages for each school.

Here's a link to our page.

We only had 4 transfer out last year (and 3 in). I looked back at the data for the last few years, and that was pretty consistent. One year we only had 1 out, but most years it was 3 or 4 in each direction. From what I understand (since this is my first full year here and I didn't know the students before), most of those that transfer out do so for personal/family reasons more than out of unhappiness with Lubbock or simply looking to trade up.


Just to back this up some, I'm at SMU and we don't have any Tech transfers that I'm aware of. We have several from other Texas schools, but I've yet to hear Tech.


Well, SMU also costs an arm and a leg. It would be quite a jump from Tech to SMU rates.

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kalvano
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:31 pm

Mce252 wrote:Well, SMU also costs an arm and a leg. It would be quite a jump from Tech to SMU rates.



We still get transfers from all over Texas, except UT.

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Mce252
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Mce252 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:45 pm

kalvano wrote:
Mce252 wrote:Well, SMU also costs an arm and a leg. It would be quite a jump from Tech to SMU rates.



We still get transfers from all over Texas, except UT.



I think Tech is the only lower ranked school that's rather generous with scholarships so the cost is higher for a lot of their top students I would think.

cdj588
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby cdj588 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:36 pm

Do you know of anyone transferring in from Wesleyan?

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kalvano
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:39 pm

cdj588 wrote:Do you know of anyone transferring in from Wesleyan?



To Tech or SMU?

cdj588
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby cdj588 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:23 pm

SMU

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kalvano
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:32 pm

Yes. Sorry, Dean, don't mean to hijack the thread. But there are several Wesleyan transfers that I have met, and I'm sure several more that I haven't.

cdj588
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby cdj588 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:37 pm

Im sorry as well but I got one more question lol. Do you by chnace know how they performed at Wesleyan? How long they went there before transferring? any info like that?

Im asking because my goal has been to go to SMU. I have the GPA for it, UGPA: 3.851. However, my LSAT is probably going to be about 150. So I was hoping I could go to Wesleyan and hopefully prove myself capable of law school then transfer to SMU.

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kalvano
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:41 pm

cdj588 wrote:Im sorry as well but I got one more question lol. Do you by chnace know how they performed at Wesleyan? How long they went there before transferring? any info like that?

Im asking because my goal has been to go to SMU. I have the GPA for it, UGPA: 3.851. However, my LSAT is probably going to be about 150. So I was hoping I could go to Wesleyan and hopefully prove myself capable of law school then transfer to SMU.


Top 10% or so, typically. Usually transferred after the first year.

Bob Ubutu
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Bob Ubutu » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:21 am

Hello Dean Perez,

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions on this forum.

Aside from the established dual-degree programs, are Tech Law students permitted to concurrently pursue a graduate degree through Tech's grad school?

I would like to commit my first year entirely to law school courses, and afterwards take courses from both the law school and the grad school. I do not expect any credits from one program to count towards the other program; this is not a problem for me and so I do not consider it an inconvenience.

Are there any policies and/or protocol that address this?

(In pursuing an MA while in law school, I understand I would be limiting the possibilities of participating in clinics and internships.)

taxman128
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby taxman128 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:00 am

32% of all graduates have a known salary range.

why do so few report their salary?

thanks.

--LinkRemoved--

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Mce252
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Mce252 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:04 pm

taxman128 wrote:32% of all graduates have a known salary range.

why do so few report their salary?

thanks.

--LinkRemoved--



Why do you think they don't report their salary?

taxman128
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby taxman128 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Mce252 wrote:
taxman128 wrote:32% of all graduates have a known salary range.

why do so few report their salary?

thanks.

--LinkRemoved--



Why do you think they don't report their salary?


unfortunately, for the most part, i think it is either because they are unemployed or employed as unpaid interns.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:44 pm

taxman128 wrote: why do so few report their salary?


That's a really good question, and one law school career offices are confounded by every year. Again, nothing below is specific to Texas Tech.

I think the short answer that covers the majority of people that don't report is they feel it's none of anyone's business how much they make. Simple as that. Of course, there are other reasons specific individuals might have for not reporting their salary to a school, but I don't think any of them really describe any nationwide or Tech Law specific trend. I don't think it is the case that "most" of those not reporting salaries are in unpaid internships. (If they're unemployed, they aren't counted at all; salaries are only for those counted as "employed" by definition. What you're seeing is students that we know are working, but do not know how much they are making.)

Some students aren't making high salaries, but sometimes it's not so much that the salary isn't high. For some students, it's just lower than they think they are "worth" so while the salary might be considered "good" by most people, the student is disappointed because they think they deserve (rightly or wrongly) a higher salary.

Other students use not reporting their employment or salary is a kind of "protest" against a school they're unhappy with or a career office they don't think helped them (again, rightly or wrongly so).


Career Services Offices around the country are scrambling right now trying to contact all their graduates prior to the Feb. 15 deadline. If a high percentage of students responded to these requests, the overall quality of information would be much higher. Unfortunately, I've heard stories of students flat out refusing to participate even if they are employed in good jobs. They might think they are protesting the "gaming of the system" by law schools (without any real evidence that their particular school engages in such activity) or they just want to stick it to the law school they feel has done them wrong in some way. The sad part is that they're not just hurting the school, but their fellow classmates and future students who want the information. The argument could be made that not reporting actually contributes to inaccurate information because schools are left to "fill in the blanks" on their own.

I didn't realize how complicated this data collection effort really was until recently. For example, some schools place the majority of their students in large or mid-sized firms in big cities. These kinds of firms are more likely to have lockstep salary structures that are known to CSOs so if a CSO knows a student is working at a particular firm, but the student did not report a salary, they might feel comfortable in filling in a salary for that student. In the case of public employees who's salaries are public information, offices can often find out how much an Asst. DA in a particular county or a deputy AG makes. For schools that place the majority of their graduates in one or two states, CSOs might spend hours scouring the state bar directory or other public sources for information looking for missing students in hopes of finding them in the directory (with an employer) or on a law firm's website.

In the past, USNWR counted 25% of the students schools had no information on as unemployed. On the assumption that most of the people that couldn't be found were probably unemployed, schools actually had a disincentive to find them. That changed a while back and now "Unknowns" are counted as unemployed (as are students getting LLMs, which I'm not sure I agree with) so schools (on average) are much more diligent about tracking people down. Schools are also now required to indicate how many of the students they are listing as "Employed" are in positions funded by the schools themselves. (We clearly indicate this on our Fact Sheet, available on our website, but LST somehow wasn't able to locate it and incorrectly has us listed as not providing that information. We've since put more employment data on the main Statistical Profile/FAQ page. http://www.law.ttu.edu/prospective/admissions/faq/
Last edited by SPerez on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

taxman128
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby taxman128 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:30 pm

thanks very much for answering my question.

oldguy26
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby oldguy26 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:39 am

I appreciate you taking the time in your busy schedule to do this. I am a non-traditional student in that I have been out of school for several years. My first bachelor’s degree was from a mid-level university and quite frankly not very impressive. Since then I have been in the workforce for 10+ years and I am about to complete a second degree in which I have done very well. I know that your scores are based only on your first degree (a policy I completely disagree with), so my question is does the fact that I went back to school, and have been very successful at it, at all offset my average performance for my first bachelor’s degree? And will my work experience help at all?

taxman128
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby taxman128 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:13 pm

SPerez wrote:
taxman128 wrote: why do so few report their salary?


If they're unemployed, they aren't counted at all; salaries are only for those counted as "employed" by definition.


so if ten per cent landed 160.000 dollar jobs and the other ninety per cent were unemployed, the school would have an average and median salary of 160.000 dollars?

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lovejopd
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby lovejopd » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:39 pm

Hello, Dean

Can you tell us how law schools can keep their medians consistently over time? Do law schools decide to have a target median of GPA and LSAT prior to accepting prospective students? or law schools simply rely on applicants on waitlist at the end of cycle? It is up in the air about who/how many students will matriculate at law schools because of multiple offers/acceptances. How do you handle with this issue in order to keep the median?

Thank you! :)

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:29 pm

oldguy26 wrote: I know that your scores are based only on your first degree (a policy I completely disagree with), so my question is does the fact that I went back to school, and have been very successful at it, at all offset my average performance for my first bachelor’s degree? And will my work experience help at all?


The answer here is sort of yes and sort of no.

The fact that you have more recent, good grades is good because it is proof that you have a certain level of academic ability. Without that proof, a committee can only conclude that your early, bad grades reflect your ability.

The other side is that it doesn't change what your GPA is for reporting purposes so if a school has a hard target it is trying to hit and you don't help it, that's just the way it is.

Now, in reality every law school takes a few students that are very far outside it's numerical ranges. It is why we use medians and not averages. Some of the things that helps those select few are things like you described: being an excellent writer; a drastic upward trend; big time gap between very bad, very old grades and better, more recent ones; very good performance in a graduate program; "softs" like curing cancer, winning an Olympic gold medal, overcoming various and sundry personal obstacles, etc. A lot of applicants have "work experience" so in and of itself that isn't so special. It isn't like you're worse off for having it or anything. It's just that lots of people are very good at their jobs, but it doesn't mean they would be successful law students or good lawyers. It's more your maturity and overall life experiences that are your positives (assuming your work experience isn't something crazy awesome and impressive).

All you can do is write your addendum explaining the change in grades (attitude, maturity, whatever it was) and hope for the best. (As always, acing the LSAT always helps, too.) You might need to scatter a few more applications around to account for the inherent uncertainty - i.e. you can never tell which school will be the one that wants to take a chance on you instead of "oldERguy56" who's early grades were worse, recent grades were better, and has worked a similar job for more years - just to increase your odds of having at least SOME options.

McPmpy
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby McPmpy » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:57 am

Dean,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer questions here. Your insights into the inner workings of the admissions process have been very informative. How does the committee figure out which students to admit to yield the desired LSAT-GPA ranges and still manage to keep the personal statements, resumes, and everything else in mind? I'm partly asking as a splitter, but I'm also curious about what a good applicant looks like, though I imagine it's quite different for each committee member. Is there something specific in an applicant's file that makes them stand out for things like scholarships or the Summer Entry Program, or is there a pretty strict numbers window?

Thanks again,
(Hopefully) Future Raider

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observationalist
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby observationalist » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:32 am

SPerez wrote:Schools are also now required to indicate how many of the students they are listing as "Employed" are in positions funded by the schools themselves. (We clearly indicate this on our Fact Sheet, available on our website, but LST somehow wasn't able to locate it and incorrectly has us listed as not providing that information. We've since put more employment data on the main Statistical Profile/FAQ page. http://www.law.ttu.edu/prospective/admissions/faq/


Dean Perez, thanks for updating the FAQ page to include employment information. I'm the Policy Director for Law School Transparency. If you can send an email to lawschooltransparency@gmail.com with the links we will update the Live Transparency Index accordingly. In the future please don't hesitate to let us know if you feel the Index doesn't accurately reflect the information on your website. We've had dozens of deans and admissions directors contact us since publishing the report last month.

However, somehow the link to the "Fact Sheet" on that FAQ page redirects to the catalog instead of to a Fact Sheet that might contain more detailed employment information. So at this point we would still be going off the information provided on the FAQ page. While that information now shows the number of graduates who were employed in school-funded jobs and improves in a few other categories, you're still missing the following and will continue to receive a 'No' for each category until we can see evidence that your office has corrected the problems:

Law Firm Size: No
Law Firm Size + 1 other defining characteristic: No
Permanent vs Temporarily employed students: No
Location: No
Location + 1 other defining characteristic: No
Timing of offer: No
Source: No
Representative Employer List: No
Salary: No

The lack of any salary information whatsoever should be of concern for your applicants. As someone else alluded to in a question, the most recent Tech data reported to U.S. News (for the Class of 2009) in our Data Clearinghouse shows that in that year only 35% of Tech graduates in the private sector reported a salary. This is one of the lowest reporting rates in the country. At the end of the day the graduates are not the ones responsible for indicating the value of the degree. It's the school's duty to establish a strong enough relationship with their students during law school so that the students are motivated to respond to survey requests after graduation. Applicants are becoming suspicious of the schools that are still failing to disclose this information (for better or worse).

If you do manage to locate the Fact Sheet and discover it contains additional information, please don't hesitate to email us.

Best,
Patrick
Policy Director, Co-Founder
Law School Transparency

edit to point out the U.S.News data is included in the Data Clearinghouse.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:42 am

observationalist wrote:However, somehow the link to the "Fact Sheet" on that FAQ page redirects to the catalog instead of to a Fact Sheet that might contain more detailed employment information.


Thanks for letting me know that. I've fixed the link now. As for the rest, we updated our website at the request of our Career Services office so they (and, as you said, every CSO in the country) are aware of what data is available for us on the Live Index. Right now our CSO is focused on counseling current students and finalizing the numbers for the Fall 2011 class for reporting to NALP and the ABA (which unfortunately do not use all the same categories and questions, I believe, making the task even tougher).


[Edit to expand on my initial comments.]
Last edited by SPerez on Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.




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