Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Special forum where professionals are encouraged to help law school applicants, students, and graduates.

What movie should we all watch at the Spivey Consulting Firm Retreat?

The Town
21
13%
Interstellar
63
40%
Cabin in the Woods
39
25%
Logan
35
22%
 
Total votes: 158

20141023
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby 20141023 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:26 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:29 pm

Dr.Zer0 wrote:
Hey Karen,

Thanks you for your contributions to this thread. I wanted to ask a follow up question. If you do complete your app with one score, but schools know you have another score coming in, do schools sometimes offer acceptances before they see that second score? Or do they wait to see the retake score to offer/deny admission?


Dr. Z,
Sure, schools can make an admit decision without seeing the new score, but that is a rare situation since you usually retake because you are hoping for a higher score. Remember, schools report the high score to the ABA so the high score wins.
Cheers,
Karen

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:42 pm

Please don't let me get on your bad side, kappycaft1.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:49 pm

HawgDriver wrote:Hi Karen,

Welcome and thank you for your contributions! I was hoping you would address your take on applications from large splitters at the very top law schools, at least as much as you can based on your own professional experience. When you see an application with an above-median LSAT (or even above-75th percentile LSAT), but a "very low" GPA (think 3.25-3.5 range), what goes through your mind? And what kinds of other things do you need to see to consider the applicant for a waitlist or admit spot? Any personal preferences or anecdotes regarding non-quantitative factors on applications that you'd be willing to share with the TLS masses?

Thanks again!

Cheers,
HD


HD,
When I read applications like that, I went right to the transcript and looked at: how long ago the bad grades happened (time and distance is good here), trends (upward is better than downward), difficulty of major, and grade inflation at the school. There are very smart people with good reasons for bad grades, and readers can see that through those elements listed above as well as some other factors. Of course the LSAT can help here. Other factors include: good/ interesting work experience, exceptionally strong academic letters of rec, or a compelling personal story.

I hope this is helpful!
Cheers,
Karen

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:04 pm

Thanks to those who replied to the "best value" rankings post. I agree that the methodology is questionable at best, as it is with many rankings. Though I'm not proposing that rankings go away, I think it worth noting that what is important to you may not have the same significance to someone else, and rankings usually can't account for that.
...And did nobody pick up on the fact that I used the word y'all?

Cheers,
Karen

Big Dog
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Big Dog » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:44 pm

a ranking that combines jobs and costs is probably a good thing. But the numbers still need to pass the smell test. (One has to get out of the data analysis -- trees -- to see the whole forest.)

For example, according to LST, only 41% of Hamline Law (#5 on National Jurist list) grads have a JD-required jobs. In other words, 6 out of 10 grads do not. Personally, I'd much rather pay sticker at xx law school than attend Hamline for free. After three years, there is a 60% chance of not ending up with a job. How the Jurist finds that notable is beyond my comprehension.

Instinctive
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Instinctive » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:34 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:Thanks to those who replied to the "best value" rankings post. I agree that the methodology is questionable at best, as it is with many rankings. Though I'm not proposing that rankings go away, I think it worth noting that what is important to you may not have the same significance to someone else, and rankings usually can't account for that.
...And did nobody pick up on the fact that I used the word y'all?

Cheers,
Karen


I thought better of pointing it out to a person in a position such as yourself, where being on your good side is (IMO) a good idea. After all, if I'm meeting with Mike, I'm sure you'll get to hear about it :P

20141023
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby 20141023 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:44 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:31 am

Boston area people,

I going to be in Boston Monday Sept. 23rd - Wed am the 25th.

While we have limited time, Karen and I do have some availability in the mid morning and mid afternoon slots to meet with people. Please let me or Karen know if you'd like to get together as soon as you can and we will try to make it happen!

Mike

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:34 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Please don't let me get on your bad side, kappycaft1.

Just don't make crappy rankings and you'll be fine. :lol:


Mike - abort plan for making crappy rankings!

Big Dog
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Big Dog » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:41 am

Just for the record, I am not proposing that rankings only look at things like biglaw, AIII-clerkship, and prestigious-PI placement rates.


I would, (at least at the cost of private law schools).

Now that the information is available to us, rankings should be using the updated ABA data to count "employed" graduates as those who acquired "long-term, full-time, JD-required" positions. While it is true that some people may head off to law school with the intention of going into JD-advantage business positions or continuing their education to get PhDs, a JD is a professional degree and the assumption for most is that it will help them become "a lawyer."


Rankings should do both, in what I call an excellent outcome (A-3, big law, presitigous PI, academic), and then for all JD-required jobs. In addition, LS should be raked by 'bad' outcomes for the risk-averse: under-unemployment; in other words, per dollar costs of a job as a barista three years hence (hopefully) . (With computers, it would be a simple sorting.)

Then, folks can pick and choose, depending on their personal goals (aka "significance", y'all). :P

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:50 am

Speaking of rankings, did the TLS community know that the expenditure component part of USNWR rankings (roughly 10%) won't factor in this coming year as the ABA has stopped collecting it. It is hard to know if I am are breaking something on here or not, because you guys are so ahead of the curve on this stuff, but I have heard this from multiple deans of law schools fyi.

This is good news because there was a huge amount of gamesmanship along this front.

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Lavitz
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Lavitz » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:54 am

MikeSpivey wrote:Speaking of rankings, did the TLS community know that the expenditure component part of USNWR rankings (roughly 10%) won't factor in this coming year as the ABA has stopped collecting it. It is hard to know if I am are breaking something on here or not, because you guys are so ahead of the curve on this stuff, but I have heard this from multiple deans of law schools fyi.

This is good news because there was a huge amount of gamesmanship along this front.

It was brought up, but I don't think many TLSers saw the thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=212696

Innovative
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Innovative » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:58 am

MikeSpivey wrote:Speaking of rankings, did the TLS community know that the expenditure component part of USNWR rankings (roughly 10%) won't factor in this coming year as the ABA has stopped collecting it. It is hard to know if I am are breaking something on here or not, because you guys are so ahead of the curve on this stuff, but I have heard this from multiple deans of law schools fyi.

This is good news because there was a huge amount of gamesmanship along this front.


There had been a few blog posts about this in July ( http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leit ... ws-do.html ---- http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblaw ... -news.html ). But certainly no confirmation. What impact do you think this will have on students? More tuition reductions in the form of scholarship, less spending per student, no noticeable difference?

Edit: Lavitz beat me to it

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:52 pm

Is it always necessary to check "yes" in the C&F sections for speeding tickets? Most applications say something like this-
Have you ever, either as an adult or a juvenile, been cited, arrested, taken into custody, charged with, indicted, convicted or tried for, or pleaded guilty to, the commission of any felony or misdemeanor or the violation of any law, except minor parking violations
and I consider a speeding ticket a minor parking violation but I just ran across this-
The Tulane Law School Admission Committee requires complete disclosure regarding any violation or alleged violation of law (including traffic offenses)
In this case what should I say in the C&F statement? I don't remember the year, much less the date, of each speeding ticket I've ever received.

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haus
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby haus » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:01 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Is it always necessary to check "yes" in the C&F sections for speeding tickets? Most applications say something like this-
Have you ever, either as an adult or a juvenile, been cited, arrested, taken into custody, charged with, indicted, convicted or tried for, or pleaded guilty to, the commission of any felony or misdemeanor or the violation of any law, except minor parking violations
and I consider a speeding ticket a minor parking violation but I just ran across this-
The Tulane Law School Admission Committee requires complete disclosure regarding any violation or alleged violation of law (including traffic offenses)
In this case what should I say in the C&F statement? I don't remember the year, much less the date, of each speeding ticket I've ever received.

Speeding = Parking Violation ??

How fast are you going while parking?

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:02 pm

haus wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:Is it always necessary to check "yes" in the C&F sections for speeding tickets? Most applications say something like this-
Have you ever, either as an adult or a juvenile, been cited, arrested, taken into custody, charged with, indicted, convicted or tried for, or pleaded guilty to, the commission of any felony or misdemeanor or the violation of any law, except minor parking violations
and I consider a speeding ticket a minor parking violation but I just ran across this-
The Tulane Law School Admission Committee requires complete disclosure regarding any violation or alleged violation of law (including traffic offenses)
In this case what should I say in the C&F statement? I don't remember the year, much less the date, of each speeding ticket I've ever received.

Speeding = Parking Violation ??

How fast are you going while parking?

Maybe I'm wrong but in my mind speeding violation=parking violation. They're both bullshit laws designed solely to collect revenue.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:05 pm

To be more clear, I equate speeding violations and parking violations with the more general term "traffic violation" which is what I was under the impression didn't need to be disclosed.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:32 pm

To answer part of my own question, I went back and re-read all of my applications and almost all of them state that "minor traffic violations" do not need to be disclosed. My original example of "parking violations" was a bad example. But this still leaves the question of what do you write for this? "I got a speeding ticket. A lot of them."

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:36 pm

Obviously not an admissions officer, but you can contact the DMV in the states where you've been licensed to drive and get a copy of your driving record - that will give you dates etc. of speeding tickets. (It's either free/very cheap.) They usually only go back so far, so beyond that you could probably just estimate/guess and explain that you have no records of the incident. (You'll have to do this for the bar, so hold onto the records.)

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:11 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:
haus wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:Is it always necessary to check "yes" in the C&F sections for speeding tickets? Most applications say something like this-
Have you ever, either as an adult or a juvenile, been cited, arrested, taken into custody, charged with, indicted, convicted or tried for, or pleaded guilty to, the commission of any felony or misdemeanor or the violation of any law, except minor parking violations
and I consider a speeding ticket a minor parking violation but I just ran across this-
The Tulane Law School Admission Committee requires complete disclosure regarding any violation or alleged violation of law (including traffic offenses)
In this case what should I say in the C&F statement? I don't remember the year, much less the date, of each speeding ticket I've ever received.

Speeding = Parking Violation ??

How fast are you going while parking?

Maybe I'm wrong but in my mind speeding violation=parking violation. They're both bullshit laws designed solely to collect revenue.


The only way a speeding violation would possibly hurt you in the application process is if you were to write an addendum and call it a b^%!s&^% law. Just disclose it won't hurt and you do not have to explain it. In fact please don't, other than the date and infraction.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:15 pm

A new blog is up -- or as Mike likes to say I blogged it, tweeted it, and sent it to the warehouse (i.e. TLS)
Enjoy!
Karen
http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/top-10 ... -blunders/

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LEPWU
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby LEPWU » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:08 pm

...but using "effect" as a verb can be so great! ("Despite my flat affect, which may give the appearance that I am dull and not driven, I actually hope to effect great change in our country's prison system.")

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:44 pm

LEPWU wrote:...but using "effect" as a verb can be so great! ("Despite my flat affect, which may give the appearance that I am dull and not driven, I actually hope to effect great change in our country's prison system.")


Yes, using words properly can be fun! But a lot of people struggle with that one before they get it right.

20141023
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby 20141023 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:52 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.


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