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 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:05 am

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


I believe so. The key caveats I would point out, you already conceded. You would need to get permission from the law school, which would require that you do the complete first year together. You would also have to be OK with giving up part or all of one or more summers and with having potentially none of the credits count towards your JD.

If you're fine with all that, I'm not aware of any prohibition on doing what you describe.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:48 pm

lovejopd wrote: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.


This is THE source of stress for most of us as it is one of the primary ways we are evaluated.

Every law school starts the year with goals for LSAT, GPA, diversity, residency (for some state schools), and any number of other criteria. These goals might be set by the Admissions Office, the Admissions Committee, the faculty, the Dean, or some combination of those. The running joke (that's half serious) is that the goal is always "higher medians than last year".

There is some math to a school figuring out how many students it has to admit in order to yield its target class size (which is very important because at most schools a class that is too small can mean not enough revenue to cover costs), but it is never exact. Most schools will use figures from previous years to guide them for the current one, but we also have to account for changes. For example, applications being down this year and a level of negative press surrounding law schools that hasn't been seen before could be reasons why this year's yields might deviate from past years. Law schools don't exist in a vacuum, either. We have some degree of control over things we do - new faculty/deans, specialties, innovative programs, scholarships - but while we do our thing, other schools are also constantly improving, too. A school's yield could drop, not because they have done anything wrong or had bad press, but because another school in their market made some positive noise of their own.

There's no way to tell how much something these things will impact yields so we have to pay close attention to our admissions. As you mentioned, the waitlist is one tool schools use as something like the spigot on a faucet, i.e. a way to carefully regulate the flow of admits into the class. We definitely have to make a lot of tough choices that affect a lot of people.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:50 pm

taxman128 wrote: 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?


Yes.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:56 pm

I have a question for all of you.

If you are denied by a law school, do you care how you are notified?

I ask because I have always hand-signed every single deny and waitlist letter. I think it's the least I can do to show applicants respect for the time and energy they have put into their applications. I guess I'm little old school (but most of you knew that already, haha).

On the other hand, I think of that scene in My Cousin Vinny where Vinny asks Marisa Tomei which pants he should wear hunting. She ends the hilarious set up with, "Now I ask you, would you care what kind of pants the sonofab*tch that shot you was wearing?!" If it's a deny, I can totally see people not caring at all if it's in a letter or an email.

What are y'all's thoughts?

McPmpy
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby McPmpy » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:07 pm

I think the hand-signed letter adds class. I'd rather be dinged by a human than ignored by a robot.

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goldenflash19
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby goldenflash19 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:11 pm

+1 on the hand-signed letter. Sometimes it's not what you say, but it's how you say it. If I chose to sit out a cycle, improve my LSAT, and reapply, I would look favorably at a school if the ding/WL letter was hand-signed. Not that it's a dealbreaker in the least means, but I've even checked all of my acceptance letters to see if they were hand-signed or not.

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lovejopd
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby lovejopd » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:06 pm

SPerez wrote:
lovejopd wrote: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.


This is THE source of stress for most of us as it is one of the primary ways we are evaluated.

Every law school starts the year with goals for LSAT, GPA, diversity, residency (for some state schools), and any number of other criteria. These goals might be set by the Admissions Office, the Admissions Committee, the faculty, the Dean, or some combination of those. The running joke (that's half serious) is that the goal is always "higher medians than last year".

There is some math to a school figuring out how many students it has to admit in order to yield its target class size (which is very important because at most schools a class that is too small can mean not enough revenue to cover costs), but it is never exact. Most schools will use figures from previous years to guide them for the current one, but we also have to account for changes. For example, applications being down this year and a level of negative press surrounding law schools that hasn't been seen before could be reasons why this year's yields might deviate from past years. Law schools don't exist in a vacuum, either. We have some degree of control over things we do - new faculty/deans, specialties, innovative programs, scholarships - but while we do our thing, other schools are also constantly improving, too. A school's yield could drop, not because they have done anything wrong or had bad press, but because another school in their market made some positive noise of their own.

There's no way to tell how much something these things will impact yields so we have to pay close attention to our admissions. As you mentioned, the waitlist is one tool schools use as something like the spigot on a faucet, i.e. a way to carefully regulate the flow of admits into the class. We definitely have to make a lot of tough choices that affect a lot of people.


Haha Thank you for your response.

Hand-written letter is awesome because applicants feel that they get this in exchange for application fee :D

kdl13
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby kdl13 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:31 am

Question about work experience:
Does working at the same place look better than working at two different law firms in two years or so? I'm thinking about taking another year off (2nd year from finishing undergrad) and i want to move out east, but am currently working at a law firm in the midwest. I feel i can increase my LSAT but i dont want to throw away a year if the admissions committee see's switching jobs so soon as nothing special as opposed to staying at the same firm and making my application look better.
Does staying at the same firm make a big difference in applying, or is just work experience in general regardless of where/how long OK?

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2014
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:03 pm

Hand signed is very classy but if doing so costs you time that would otherwise be spent somehow recruiting better students to your school (which is basically impossible to know) then from your perspective the good will from the letters wouldn't outweigh the however marginal lower quality class.

Personally I don't judge a school that emails decisions though I certainly prefer email over a non-signed snail mail.

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dietcoke0
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby dietcoke0 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:07 pm

I'd rather a hand-signed letter either way, because finding out via status checker blows. But it seems like it would be a great effort, which makes it slightly impractical.

Waitlisted I feel would be more important because you still want to maintain some relationship to that person.

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sartorialsmitty
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby sartorialsmitty » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:07 pm

Personally, the hand-signed letter would be very appreciated...regardless of whether the reply from the school was admit, reject, or wait-list. A personal touch of any kind stands out in what is largely an impersonal process.
Last edited by sartorialsmitty on Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

MoreThanANumber
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby MoreThanANumber » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:40 pm

SPerez wrote:I have a question for all of you.

If you are denied by a law school, do you care how you are notified?

I ask because I have always hand-signed every single deny and waitlist letter. I think it's the least I can do to show applicants respect for the time and energy they have put into their applications. I guess I'm little old school (but most of you knew that already, haha).

On the other hand, I think of that scene in My Cousin Vinny where Vinny asks Marisa Tomei which pants he should wear hunting. She ends the hilarious set up with, "Now I ask you, would you care what kind of pants the sonofab*tch that shot you was wearing?!" If it's a deny, I can totally see people not caring at all if it's in a letter or an email.

What are y'all's thoughts?


Personally, I would rather receive an email because it’s faster. When a decision has been made, I like to know ASAP. A rejection letter is going straight into the trash so I wouldn’t be too worried with whether or not it was hand signed.

nucky thompson
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby nucky thompson » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:57 pm

I view all correspondence with law schools cynically. All emails/letters are fill-in-the-name forms, so do I really care if the signature at the bottom is hand signed or not.... No. If I happen to notice it is hand signed, I imagine the person robo-signing the stack of papers that admissions procedure requIres signatures to be on - not looking at who the letter is sent to, or what its about etc etc. So what is the point really? So a few naive applicants actually think their waitlist/rejection was worthy immense consideration/attention? So their form letter is a bit more, Personal... Not worth your time in my honest opinion.


I do think you can benefit with personalized acceptances though. Real personalization, not the pseudo personal touch via robo-signing decisions - hand written notes that mention something about an applicants file that got your attention would likely increase yield, in my opinion.

taxman128
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby taxman128 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:08 pm

SPerez wrote:
lovejopd wrote: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.


This is THE source of stress for most of us as it is one of the primary ways we are evaluated.



is this why law schools publish misleading employment and salary statistics?

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:29 pm

taxman128 wrote: is this why law schools publish misleading employment and salary statistics?


There's a lot packed into that question, most of which I won't get into here. However, I will say that law schools are run by people. And like in any other profession - banking, teaching, medicine, organized religion, the military - people who work in law schools can be susceptible to the pressure to produce results and make choices that aren't the best. I'm not excusing outright unethical behavior (e.g. falsifying data), of course.

I think the current movement to press law schools to be more open with their employment data is a good one. Employment statistics are a lot more complicated than admissions stats (from what little I know), though, and there are legitimate discussions about things like how to categorize certain types of post-graduation activities (should being enrolled in an LLM be counted as "employed" or "unemployed"?) or how/what salary information to give (medians can be misleading, response rates can skew data, do you require the full salary curve or just the 25/75th percentile?). These things often need context to be helpful, if not flat out harmful, and too often stats schools report get reproduced elsewhere without the explanations. Hopefully we can come to a good solution for this in the next few cycles (and hopefully it's a single solution so that CSO's don't have to take time away from helping students to fill out multiple surveys from multiple outlets asking for slightly different information). This would also go a long way to restoring some of the trust that law schools (as a group) have lost over the last few years.

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Bluewavesix
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby Bluewavesix » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:23 pm

SPerez wrote:I have a question for all of you.

If you are denied by a law school, do you care how you are notified?

I ask because I have always hand-signed every single deny and waitlist letter. I think it's the least I can do to show applicants respect for the time and energy they have put into their applications. I guess I'm little old school (but most of you knew that already, haha).

On the other hand, I think of that scene in My Cousin Vinny where Vinny asks Marisa Tomei which pants he should wear hunting. She ends the hilarious set up with, "Now I ask you, would you care what kind of pants the sonofab*tch that shot you was wearing?!" If it's a deny, I can totally see people not caring at all if it's in a letter or an email.

What are y'all's thoughts?

I like the handwritten signature. I think it indeed shows that a real person at least considered the application. Tactful...

pret
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby pret » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:24 am

Hi, thank you for taking the time.

What does it mean if a school waitlists an applicant whose scores are closer to their 25% range? Does this mean the adcomm would like to ensure that their medians will not be harmed before admitting the applicant, or does it mean the adcomm wants the applicant to retake in June?

Thank you in advance.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:46 pm

pret wrote:What does it mean if a school waitlists an applicant whose scores are closer to their 25% range?


"What does it mean..." is always tricky. I urge applicants to not get caught up in a game of trying to divine a AdCom's intent from the equivalent of chicken entrails and a magic 8 ball.

I can only speak to why we waitlist people. Not surprisingly, we waitlist applicants that we think likely have what it takes to graduate, but also have weaknesses in their files. This constitutes a large chunk of applications for us. We can't take everyone so we want to make sure that the 1 out of 10 of this group or 5 out of 15 of that group we do admit are the best. And to be sure of that we have to wait until we've reviewed all (or nearly all) of the applications. Some people are on the WL are splitters who are there for their LSATs or GPAs. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the waitlist helps us regulate the size and quality of the class so students who have both LSAT and GPA around the 25th percentile are probably there because they have something else going for them that we want that makes them standout from the huge number of otherwise mediocre applicants.

Generally speaking, if an AdCom actually wanted you to do something specific like retake the LSAT I'd like to think they would tell you flat out. The results of the June LSAT come back so late in the cycle that I can't see most law schools suggesting an applicant do that absent some really specific circumstance.

As someone who, although never waitlisted, applied ED and wasn't ultimately accepted until May, I know that kind of limbo is a sucky place to be. There isn't much you can really do because a lot depends on things that are outside your control. I just tell our applicants to write that letter of interest, update us with your latest semester grades or accomplishments, and try to be patient.

ucbkenn
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby ucbkenn » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:52 pm

SPerez wrote:I have a question for all of you.

If you are denied by a law school, do you care how you are notified?

I ask because I have always hand-signed every single deny and waitlist letter. I think it's the least I can do to show applicants respect for the time and energy they have put into their applications. I guess I'm little old school (but most of you knew that already, haha).

On the other hand, I think of that scene in My Cousin Vinny where Vinny asks Marisa Tomei which pants he should wear hunting. She ends the hilarious set up with, "Now I ask you, would you care what kind of pants the sonofab*tch that shot you was wearing?!" If it's a deny, I can totally see people not caring at all if it's in a letter or an email.

What are y'all's thoughts?


I totally watched this movie two nights ago. I love that scene! So this post made me laugh. I personally don't think it matters. It's a nice thought, but people are going to be bitter if they get rejected, regardless of whether the letter is hand-signed or not.

SPerez
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby SPerez » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:52 pm

Now that we've turned the corner from applications and admission to choosing schools, putting down deposits, and being on waitlists, I thought I'd bump this up in case folks had new questions on those topics or others simply hadn't seen the previous posts.

Dean Perez

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NR3C1
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby NR3C1 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:56 pm

SPerez wrote:Now that we've turned the corner from applications and admission to choosing schools, putting down deposits, and being on waitlists, I thought I'd bump this up in case folks had new questions on those topics or others simply hadn't seen the previous posts.

Dean Perez

Dean Perez,

Thanks for your time. I have three questions:

1. Do you believe there is a long-term, structural surplus of JDs in the US?

2. If so, how does your school plan to inform current, incoming, and prospective students about it?

3. Now that the law school bubble has burst, are you worried about your job and future?

senorhosh
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby senorhosh » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:54 pm

Thank you for doing this.

I'm not sure if you could answer this, which is understandable, but I'll shoot anyway.

How are schools responding to the recent drop in applicants? At this point, it seems like there isn't much change. However, I'd imagine if the current trend continues, law schools may be forced to become less selective. At the same time, as you mentioned, schools are concerned with keeping their medians up. Would schools rather lower the amount of admitted/enrolled students or lower their median (or both)? Do you foresee applicants having an easier time getting into law schools in the next couple years?

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banjo
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby banjo » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:26 am

Thanks for answering questions! Threads like this make TLS the great resource that it is.

How do you view applicants who have voluntarily left a PhD program with a only an MA or without any degree? Red flag? Is an MA better than nothing? Is it important to address this in the application? Finally, is it a bad idea to apply to law schools right after dropping out (in other words, is working for a year a good idea?)?

texas man
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby texas man » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:30 am

NR3C1 wrote:Dean Perez,

Thanks for your time. I have three questions:

1. Do you believe there is a long-term, structural surplus of JDs in the US?

2. If so, how does your school plan to inform current, incoming, and prospective students about it?

3. Now that the law school bubble has burst, are you worried about your job and future?


NR3C1:

I could be mistaken, but it appears that you are asking these questions to make a point based on some beliefs you hold. Instead of couching your concerns in the form of questions, could you describe what your concerns are? I am curious. Still, you might be genuinely curious if Dean Perez is worried about his future; nevertheless, I am curious about your premises.

Also, are you planning to develop a product/service similar to LegalZoom or something entirely different? Perhaps direction to another thread might be helpful here.

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dingbat
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Re: Texas Tech Dean of Admissions Taking Questions

Postby dingbat » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:45 am

SPerez wrote:Now that we've turned the corner from applications and admission to choosing schools, putting down deposits, and being on waitlists, I thought I'd bump this up in case folks had new questions on those topics or others simply hadn't seen the previous posts.

Dean Perez

Are there any applicants who have not yet heard back from you?
If not, why not? When can they expect an answer?

(asked because some Fancy East Coast Schools haven't answered all their applicants yet)
(the angst in the XXX thread is quite entertaining)




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