Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

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NYC2012
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby NYC2012 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:03 pm

dowu wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:
dowu wrote:WHAT are the so called consultants doing to make someone more qualified or able to hit their reach schools? Doesn't make sense.


From what I have gathered talking to those who have used them with success, it is a bunch of small things that add up to make it worthwhile.

    - Working with the person to get a resume in perfect shape, framing experiences in the best possible light to "sell" yourself to admissions. Many people do not know how to craft a really good resume, and they can help with this.

    - Editing C&F statements to only disclose what is absolutely necessary and leaving out the fluff. I know people can post their statements on TLS and gather advice, but with something this delicate it can help to have a former dean edit out what is unnecessary, as TLS tends to advise over-disclosure that probably isn't truly necessary. For someone with C&F issues, this can help keep more schools in play than might have been without the help.

    - Helping develop the PS into something more than just "adequate," from the perspective of someone who has read thousands of them. Sure, you can get help from TLS, but few on TLS have actually been in the position of reading and ranking as many personal statements as someone like Karen or Mike. They can help you craft something that will stand out.

    - Proof reading the entire application to make sure everything is perfect. Those little typos you notice after you send them out, the consultant will catch those. They can help with those fun little overlooked sections on apps such as UVA's "Interests" section or Cornell's "Why Cornell" section.

    - Unlike TLS, a consultant can review your application as one cohesive unit, and make sure it fits together, tells a story, is cohesive, there are no unintended contradictions, etc.

    - A consultant can do mock interviews with you over Skype, to prepare for the increasing number of schools conducting interviews. What could be a better way to prepare for a JS1 than to do a mock interview with a former Admissions Director at HLS?

    - All of those "Why X?" essays? An admissions consultant who has read numerous of these can help you write it in a way that doesn't sound like you simply spent 5 minutes on the school website and copied down a laundry list of items from the view book.

Now again I will reiterate that for most people on this site, it probably isn't necessary. I mean if you're above both 75ths of your dream school, then you don't need to worry about the "little things" that a consultant will iron out. But if you're a splitter, or have some other negative to your app, then having someone who can make your app spotless, and who can work with you to make each piece as good as possible, can be the thing that tips you over the edge.

Also, while they are worth it for the application part of your cycle, where they really can be worth it is in scholarship negotiation.

Finally, I want to emphasize that many of my perceived advantages to a consultant rest on the consultant having been a former dean or director of admissions. You need to hire someone who has read thousands of apps and knows what admissions offices are looking for. There are only a few people in the business who have been there. That is one reason I think this "industry" gets a bad reputation. Most consultants are not helpful, because they only regurgitate information you could find on TLS. But the few who have been there can read your app from that perspective, and can offer you help in making sure the application is as favorable as possible to someone reading it in the admissions office.

I didn't have the means to hire an admissions consultant, but if I did I would have in a heartbeat, and it would only have been Spivey Consulting.

Sorry but no. All of this info has been talked about here and if it wasn't then there's a good chance it's common sense.

Have ur friend or family member view ur app or someone like a professor.


Most people's friends and family have no clue what it takes to put together a successful law school app. This is horrible advice.

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FlanAl
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby FlanAl » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:34 pm

stillwater wrote:you all sound like a bunch of paid spokespersons. given the dominant importance of numbers in the admissions game and the fact there is AMPLE (which is an understatement) material on admissions there is absolutely no reason to have a consultant. if your aim is to make the law school process even more financially exploitative, then, sure, preach the importance of consultants.


I'm pretty sure my reliance on this site's attitude regarding bolded is why I underperformed for my numbers. Having other law students etc. help you with apps is sort of a blind leading blind type thing. I think a consultant would be especially helpful for your average white suburbanite trying to navigate school's that require diversity statements etc.. The advice on here is generally good for PS's etc. but none of us actually know if they make good PS's and those books like Anna Ivey definitely don't give everything away. Looks like an above poster said it costs about a couple grand? I'm not sure thats worth a say duke to nyu jump. But if you're numbers are borderline HYS I think that money could definitely be worth it.

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lawschool22
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby lawschool22 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:58 pm

FlanAl wrote:
stillwater wrote:you all sound like a bunch of paid spokespersons. given the dominant importance of numbers in the admissions game and the fact there is AMPLE (which is an understatement) material on admissions there is absolutely no reason to have a consultant. if your aim is to make the law school process even more financially exploitative, then, sure, preach the importance of consultants.


I'm pretty sure my reliance on this site's attitude regarding bolded is why I underperformed for my numbers. Having other law students etc. help you with apps is sort of a blind leading blind type thing. I think a consultant would be especially helpful for your average white suburbanite trying to navigate school's that require diversity statements etc.. The advice on here is generally good for PS's etc. but none of us actually know if they make good PS's and those books like Anna Ivey definitely don't give everything away. Looks like an above poster said it costs about a couple grand? I'm not sure thats worth a say duke to nyu jump. But if you're numbers are borderline HYS I think that money could definitely be worth it.


Yeah there's sort of an echo chamber effect. Again, for most applicants a consultant is NOT needed. But for some (app issues and those right on the cusp of a top school) a consultant can be worth it. Of course it's up to each individual to decide if it's worth it.

For those interested, I got a few quotes from various consultants. For "full service", i.e. having full access to the consultant from the very beginning through the day you start school, prices ranged from $1,500 to $3,000.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby malleus discentium » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:43 pm

sasquatchsam wrote:I think one of the most important things a good admissions consultant can give is confidence that you have done everything the "right" way. The main reason I decided to use an admissions consultant was because I was struggling with my PS. I knew my scores were top notch but I couldn't seem to come up with a good PS (at least not by TLS standards). After trying multiple topics and revising them multiple times, I finally decided I would avoid the stress I was beginning to feel regarding the application process and scrape together the money to hire Mike Spivey. The anxiety I had been experiencing that I would somehow destroy my chances of admittance at schools like HYS with a sub-par application suddenly evaporated.

Although I am sure I did not "need" to hire an admissions consultant, if I had to do the process over I would do the exact same thing. The couple of thousand dollars is well worth it in my mind to ensure that your application is flawless. I think I perused TLS as much as pretty much any applicant out there and Mike helped me form an application that was drastically different than the one I would have submitted by only listening to TLS (different PS and DS topics and changes to my resume). If I am going to go over 100k into debt for law school, it is worth the few thousand to make sure I get into the best school possible. Others may have the confidence to do it on their own, but I was not willing to take even the .1% chance that I would underperform my numbers.

This was my thinking, especially WRT peace of mind. I retained Spivey & Co.—Karen specifically, since H is my target—for help with just my PS. The vociferous TLS-is-god attitudes here aside, nobody here actually knows what makes a good PS unless they've been in charge of reading them and deciding on those applications. Anna Ivey's book was helpful for general pointers, but TLS giving advice on specifics is definitely the blind leading the blind for much anything other than stylistic advice. My numbers are solid for H, but my application was going to be weak in other areas so it was worth it to make sure that my PS was at least not also holding me back.

We're all in agreement that nobody needs a consultant and that TLS is sufficient advice for much of the process. But law school is not a trivial thing and ensuring the best outcomes by using a consultant is not a categorically poor idea. Especially at the top, where people do underperform their numbers, it can in some cases be worth it. I wouldn't recommend doing or not doing it except to say that I'm happy with my decision. (This is, of course, said before I know whether I get what I'm shooting for this cycle 8))
Last edited by malleus discentium on Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KingJamesLBJ
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby KingJamesLBJ » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:04 pm

How much do these companies charge?

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:07 pm

stillwater wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:top-law-schools.com


this. you dont need a consultant. ridiculous waste of money.


This.

KingJamesLBJ wrote:How much do these companies charge?


TTTToo much.

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lawschool22
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:14 pm

KingJamesLBJ wrote:How much do these companies charge?


For "full service", i.e. having full access to the consultant from the very beginning of the process through the day you start school, which includes virtual 24/7 access to the consultant, review and help with all documents, review of all applications, mock interviews, scholarship negotiation, wait-list strategies, etc., prices ranged from $1,500 to $3,000. Most also offer a la carte services, where they could review just your PS for instance. I think from what I saw the average price for a PS was around $300-$400 or so.

As I have always said, most people do not need these services. But when you look at the price of this as a percentage of the total Law School Bill (LSAT prep, application fees, credential assembly fees, travel to admitted students weekends, tuition, living expenses, books, bar prep, etc.) $500 to a couple thousand is not a huge price to pay for certain applicants.

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dowu
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby dowu » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:15 pm

lawschool22 wrote:
KingJamesLBJ wrote:How much do these companies charge?


For "full service", i.e. having full access to the consultant from the very beginning of the process through the day you start school, which includes virtual 24/7 access to the consultant, review and help with all documents, review of all applications, mock interviews, scholarship negotiation, wait-list strategies, etc., prices ranged from $1,500 to $3,000. Most also offer a la cart services, where they could review just your PS for instance. I think from what I saw the average price for a PS was around $300-$400 or so.

As I have always said, most people do not need these services. But when you look at the price of this as a percentage of the total Law School Bill (LSAT prep, application fees, credential assembly fees, travel to admitted students weekends, tuition, living expenses, books, bar prep, etc.) $500 to a couple thousand is not a huge price to pay for certain applicants.

This all assumes of course that adcons give a shit about how diverse u are and that u went through struggles.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:19 pm

dowu wrote:This all assumes of course that adcons give a shit about how diverse u are and that u went through struggles.


With schools trying to cling on to their falling medians, that's doubtful that it would matter even if they do care.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=215104

As a poster said above, MAYBE if your goal is HYS (the very top where they can pick and choose candidates without having their medians take a hit), then it could be worth it.

Columbia, Chicago, NYU ALL posted -1, -1, -1 on their 25th, 50th, and 75th LSAT percentiles. UVA just lost it's 170 median. All of this because of falling apps. You really think they give a shit about anything else?

ETA.
Last edited by ManoftheHour on Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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lawschool22
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:25 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:
dowu wrote:This all assumes of course that adcons give a shit about how diverse u are and that u went through struggles.


With schools trying to cling on to their falling medians, that's doubtful that it would matter even if they do care.

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 2&t=215104

As a poster said above, MAYBE if your goal is HYS (the very top where they can pick and choose candidates without having their medians take a hit), then it could be worth it.


I think for the most part I am in agreement with you. My main point is that for certain, specific cases a consultant can be useful. For the average applicant it is likely not necessary.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:26 pm

lawschool22 wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:
dowu wrote:This all assumes of course that adcons give a shit about how diverse u are and that u went through struggles.


With schools trying to cling on to their falling medians, that's doubtful that it would matter even if they do care.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=215104

As a poster said above, MAYBE if your goal is HYS (the very top where they can pick and choose candidates without having their medians take a hit), then it could be worth it.


I think for the most part I am in agreement with you. My main point is that for certain, specific cases a consultant can be useful. For the average applicant it is likely not necessary.


Yeah. It's like letters of recs. For most applicants, it's garbage and doesn't do jack. But I know LORs can make or break you for Yale.

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lawschool22
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:33 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:
dowu wrote:d be worth it.

Columbia, Chicago, NYU ALL posted -1, -1, -1 on their 25th, 50th, and 75th LSAT percentiles. You really think they give a shit about anything else?


For someone with a specific C&F issue, or who is a super-splitter, they may. Again, it's specific cases where it could be useful. For the majority of candidates it probably isn't.

The other place where it could come into play is scholarship offers. Someone's goal may not be to just passably get accepted. Sometimes the non-numbers stuff can matter when schools are deciding on scholarship offers. This is just a hunch though.

I think for a certain segment of the consultants' target market, these services act as a form of insurance. Sure it's not necessary, but just as different people have different tolerances for risk with the insurance products they select (high-deductible plan vs. Cadillac health plan) some people are willing to pay the price to know they did all they could.

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redsox
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby redsox » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:44 pm

Not trying to offend anyone (especially Mike and Karen, because they appear to be generally awesome people), but am I the only one who would feel like a bit of a loser for hiring someone to get me into law school? I get it if there's some sort of special C&F issue to work around. Other than that, though, it just feels...wrong. It doesn't seem fair that, because I can drop $3k on a consultant and not feel it, I should get a better shot at law school than people who can't.

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lawschool22
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:52 pm

redsox wrote:Not trying to offend anyone (especially Mike and Karen, because they appear to be generally awesome people), but am I the only one who would feel like a bit of a loser for hiring someone to get me into law school? I get it if there's some sort of special C&F issue to work around. Other than that, though, it just feels...wrong. It doesn't seem fair that, because I can drop $3k on a consultant and not feel it, I should get a better shot at law school than people who can't.


This isn't that different than being able to drop $$$ on a top private undergrad known for grade inflation instead of attending the local TTT because you have to pay your own way, spending $$$ on a private LSAT tutor, or $$$ on study abroad programs and other such opportunities during undergrad.

There's also the situation of people with the means sending their kids to the best school without regard for tuition, whereas another equally qualified student may have to attend a lower-ranked school for financial concerns.

I'm not coming down on either side of the coin, just pointing out that there are a lot of structural and financial barriers to the best schools in addition to the one you have pointed out.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:53 pm

redsox wrote:Not trying to offend anyone (especially Mike and Karen, because they appear to be generally awesome people), but am I the only one who would feel like a bit of a loser for hiring someone to get me into law school? I get it if there's some sort of special C&F issue to work around. Other than that, though, it just feels...wrong. It doesn't seem fair that, because I can drop $3k on a consultant and not feel it, I should get a better shot at law school than people who can't.


This is silly. It's not like they wave a magic wand and boom your app is better. In my experience consultants are helping you realize what's valuable about your candidacy, which helps expedite your app. It's like the LSAT- many will be natural self studiers, and lots will need/prefer a course. Many will not be able to afford a course. Doesn't mean you shouldn't take one if you can.

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JustHawkin
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby JustHawkin » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:54 pm

.
Last edited by JustHawkin on Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:56 pm

JustHawkin wrote:
redsox wrote:Not trying to offend anyone (especially Mike and Karen, because they appear to be generally awesome people), but am I the only one who would feel like a bit of a loser for hiring someone to get me into law school? I get it if there's some sort of special C&F issue to work around. Other than that, though, it just feels...wrong. It doesn't seem fair that, because I can drop $3k on a consultant and not feel it, I should get a better shot at law school than people who can't.


As far as personal feeling, I somewhat agree that there can be more pride in achieving your goal school without a consultant. Whether it's fair, well sorry to be the bearer of bad news... life isn't fair.


I think you're misunderstanding what they do. Anyone who is not an idiot is going to have someone proof their PS and their resume, and if they're lucky, have a good pre-law advisor that can say something sensible to them about their overall "message" within the app. This is what consultants do, they're just much much better at it than the above, and so you have to pay them for it.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby malleus discentium » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:11 pm

redsox wrote:Not trying to offend anyone (especially Mike and Karen, because they appear to be generally awesome people), but am I the only one who would feel like a bit of a loser for hiring someone to get me into law school? I get it if there's some sort of special C&F issue to work around. Other than that, though, it just feels...wrong. It doesn't seem fair that, because I can drop $3k on a consultant and not feel it, I should get a better shot at law school than people who can't.

Law school admissions is already a cynical slough. Exploiting it by hiring a consultant it is also cynical, but when there's already mud everywhere walking gingerly doesn't help you much.

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redsox
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby redsox » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:13 am

Pneumonia wrote:I think you're misunderstanding what they do. Anyone who is not an idiot is going to have someone proof their PS and their resume, and if they're lucky, have a good pre-law advisor that can say something sensible to them about their overall "message" within the app. This is what consultants do, they're just much much better at it than the above, and so you have to pay them for it.


Yeah, but I'm an idiot. Didn't have anyone proof my PS. Wrote it in a day. Hungover. In a hostel. In Bangkok. A previous version of my resume had been proofed, so I guess maybe that counts.

Cycle has gone pretty much as expected so far, but I'll let you all know if I suddenly start to crash and burn due to my idiocy.

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redsox
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby redsox » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:17 am

JustHawkin wrote:As far as personal feeling, I somewhat agree that there can be more pride in achieving your goal school without a consultant. Whether it's fair, well sorry to be the bearer of bad news... life isn't fair.


Saying that "life isn't fair" is usually just a shitty excuse to treat people unfairly. But I was also speaking in terms of personal feeling - I wouldn't blame anyone for using an admissions consultant, I might just chuckle a bit under my breath.

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redsox
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby redsox » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:23 am

lawschool22 wrote:This isn't that different than being able to drop $$$ on a top private undergrad known for grade inflation instead of attending the local TTT because you have to pay your own way, spending $$$ on a private LSAT tutor, or $$$ on study abroad programs and other such opportunities during undergrad.


That's true. I think the LSAT tutor thing is kind of unsporting as well. There are at least some programs to cover tuition for UG/study abroad for people who can't afford it or earn it academically - I don't feel like it's stepping outside the system the same way as consultants/tutors. I get that the world is unfair. I just don't feel the need to contribute.

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Clearly
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby Clearly » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:27 am

redsox wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:This isn't that different than being able to drop $$$ on a top private undergrad known for grade inflation instead of attending the local TTT because you have to pay your own way, spending $$$ on a private LSAT tutor, or $$$ on study abroad programs and other such opportunities during undergrad.


That's true. I think the LSAT tutor thing is kind of unsporting as well. There are at least some programs to cover tuition for UG/study abroad for people who can't afford it or earn it academically - I don't feel like it's stepping outside the system the same way as consultants/tutors. I get that the world is unfair. I just don't feel the need to contribute.

To each his own I suppose. I don't see how getting help with the lsat or with your apps, for a few grand, to get into a better school that costs 200k is anything except well thought out.

daryldixon
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby daryldixon » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:30 am

If you aren't smart enough to google the information you need or read it on TLS, then your numbers probably already reflect that stupidity and there is not much an admissions consultant could do for you anyway.

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lawschool22
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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:29 am

daryldixon wrote:If you aren't smart enough to google the information you need or read it on TLS, then your numbers probably already reflect that stupidity and there is not much an admissions consultant could do for you anyway.


This is just so incorrect.

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Re: Has anyone used a great law school Admissions Consultant

Postby carmensandiego » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:47 am

lawschool22 wrote:
daryldixon wrote:If you aren't smart enough to google the information you need or read it on TLS, then your numbers probably already reflect that stupidity and there is not much an admissions consultant could do for you anyway.


This is just so incorrect.


And extremely pessimistic. To each their own I guess.




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