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

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 31, 2017 12:38 pm

rowdy wrote:I read through this whole thread over the past few weeks. Thank you to Spivey & co for all of your answers - I was surprised how many times you answered the same questions over and over.

I noticed that you predicted the 2016-17 cycle pretty well around this time last year. Do y'all have any predictions for 2017-18? I think it would also be fascinating for you to review your predictions for this cycle and note your hits and misses, and why things shook out how they did.

Thanks again for all of the advice.


Rowdy, thanks for reading. You don't know the half of it :) In about 30 days , or fewer, I will do the annual prediction blog with the help of my partners and some law school deans. We've been pretty lucky so far with these (unlike my LSAT score release predictions) and hopefully can that going.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 31, 2017 12:57 pm

nyc56 wrote:Spivey,

Is it helpful for a recommender to mention the school you are applying to directly in an additional short letter (probably a paragraph) to the school. Basically saying "I've worked with this student, they would represent your university well....."

This person has specific somewhat significant ties to the university, though not to the law school and I have a close relationship with them.


Or is this type of individualization not worth my time?
The same question applies to current students at the law school as well.



Thanks


if they have tied to the university (or even better law school for others reading) 100% helps. When you look at the people that punch above their numbers every admissions cycle, it is almost always an aggregation these little things adding up. So please do!

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R. Jeeves
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby R. Jeeves » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:10 pm

hey spivey & co.,

thanks for all the advice that you give on here.

I have a question for you all and im wondering if you have insight to share. If I took a gap year between high school and college and then I complete college in three years, is that going to worse for my application than just being a traditional KJD? Asking for a friend.

thanks again.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:41 pm

So news.

I talked today to a dean at a law school who has been slowly talking to his peers and especially listening to what their admissions deans were reporting after the admissions conference this past week. His take was that the cycle, more than anything he has seen in recent memory, has sharp winners and losers. He says that there seem to be a cluster of schools over deposited and hoping for melting off their classes and another group that is very much in need of admitting more people all summer. This was his take -- I knew he wasn't going to tell me which schools were which so I didn't ask -- but it was interesting and I could tell he really had done his due diligence on all of this.

I'm not entirely sure how this will equalize -- but it likely will -- because I still expect more admitting from some of the upper strata.
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:41 pm

R. Jeeves wrote:hey spivey & co.,

thanks for all the advice that you give on here.

I have a question for you all and im wondering if you have insight to share. If I took a gap year between high school and college and then I complete college in three years, is that going to worse for my application than just being a traditional KJD? Asking for a friend.

thanks again.


Nope. If anything will enhance it if you do something interesting that year.

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Slippin' Jimmy
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby Slippin' Jimmy » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
R. Jeeves wrote:hey spivey & co.,

thanks for all the advice that you give on here.

I have a question for you all and im wondering if you have insight to share. If I took a gap year between high school and college and then I complete college in three years, is that going to worse for my application than just being a traditional KJD? Asking for a friend.

thanks again.


Nope. If anything will enhance it if you do something interesting that year.


So COUNTERCYCLE??

Joking aside thanks for all the info Spivey!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:51 pm

Slippin' Jimmy wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
R. Jeeves wrote:hey spivey & co.,

thanks for all the advice that you give on here.

I have a question for you all and im wondering if you have insight to share. If I took a gap year between high school and college and then I complete college in three years, is that going to worse for my application than just being a traditional KJD? Asking for a friend.

thanks again.


Nope. If anything will enhance it if you do something interesting that year.


So COUNTERCYCLE??

Joking aside thanks for all the info Spivey!


My pleasure. I wish I could do more for almost everyone.

Of all the info, my favorite was when 5 months ago I bloviated that we aren't in a counter cycle -- just a slow cycle. :)

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

Postby bostonbred » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:15 pm

Hi Spivey,

In regards to transferring, do schools generally look at an applicant's past application if he/she applied to the school in the past and are now applying as a transfer?

Thanks for all you do!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:02 am

bostonbred wrote:Hi Spivey,

In regards to transferring, do schools generally look at an applicant's past application if he/she applied to the school in the past and are now applying as a transfer?

Thanks for all you do!

If you are a previous applicant to the school, they will have access to your previous application. It is highly likely that they will look at at least portions of it as they review your transfer application. Good luck!
KB

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R. Jeeves
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby R. Jeeves » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:51 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
R. Jeeves wrote:hey spivey & co.,

thanks for all the advice that you give on here.

I have a question for you all and im wondering if you have insight to share. If I took a gap year between high school and college and then I complete college in three years, is that going to worse for my application than just being a traditional KJD? Asking for a friend.

thanks again.


Nope. If anything will enhance it if you do something interesting that year.

Thanks, Spivey!

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34iplaw
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby 34iplaw » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:29 pm

After having a good offer from a peer school, does it make sense to forward the notification of the offer to schools that you sit on the WL of and are interested in attending if the offer is right? Or, am I shooting myself in the foot by possibly reducing the number of schools that I could possibly receive a competing offer from? I suspect there is mildly more leverage to talk about scholarships as an admit than someone on the WL.

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

Postby sittykitty » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:34 pm

Hey Spivey! Hope you can provide some general insight. Is it truly worth checking in with a school once a mont if I'm on the wait list? I've sent two detailed LOCIs, and I don't have any more information to include; nothing has happened recently that's worthy of an update either. However, it's my absolute top choice school and I want to do anything I can do to maximize my chances. Thanks for any advice you can give!

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

Postby grtbooks91 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:49 am

Hi Spivey, complicated question here I'm hoping a consultant might have insight on:

I enrolled at a T20 five years ago straight out of undergrad. At the time, my stats were 3.77/167. I completed one semester of 1L courses with a 3.76 GPA (put me in the top 5-10% and also got a CALI award for Contracts) but towards the end of second semester I withdrew and have only 'W's for my second semester. I did this for personal reasons, some of which included some mental health issues I've spent the time since resolving, and also some family things that are also mostly resolved by now.

Since withdrawing, I've gotten about 3 years of work experience in higher education (fundraising) and made a lot of strong connections. I've also just started a masters at my employer institution (which is a T14 school, if that's worth anything), but I'm realizing that the salary ceiling for my industry, while nice, isn't anything close to what I hoped to get out of law. There were also a lot of elements of my 1L education that I found intellectually fascinating that aren't present in my current work, and I think working in regulatory/government affairs or in FedGov could be really interesting to me. So now I'm wondering about going back to law school.

My LSAT of 167 is 'expired,' so I know that if I do try to reapply I would have to retake. Worth noting is that I got the 167 with relatively little studying - my weak point was logic games. So maybe my ceiling is higher than that 167? Since I'm currently working on this masters (which is part-time and will likely not be finished for a few years), I'm guessing it makes sense to finish the degree even if it means I would have to wait until I'm about 30 to apply/go back to law school, especially so I don't flake out of this degree too. My employer is paying for most of the masters and I'm not taking any loans but I still have some debt from my 1L year and UG. I'd hope to get into a school (ideally a T14) where I'd be able to get fairly robust $$$ offer that would minimize or eliminate the need to take on additional debt.

Am I correct that my situation is unique enough - between the 1L grades, some possible C&F questions, the questionable timeline for applying, and the long gap of work experience and graduate work between withdrawing and going back - that I'd be best off hiring a consultant to help me think through the possibility of applying and how to frame everything if I do?

More importantly, is it even possible for me to reapply as a 1L to start over? I've heard conflicting reports on here with little support behind any of them, and the only official ABA rule I can find is that students have 84 months from beginning a degree to complete it, but I think that would only apply if I were trying to use the credits I've already earned? And, just to be clear, going back to the school I started at is not an option I want to consider. Part of the reason I chose to withdraw was the school I was at for 1L, and I also think that I may have 'undersold' myself when I made the decision to go there instead of retaking and aiming higher.

Any thoughts would be helpful!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:40 am

grtbooks91 wrote:Hi Spivey, complicated question here I'm hoping a consultant might have insight on:

I enrolled at a T20 five years ago straight out of undergrad. At the time, my stats were 3.77/167. I completed one semester of 1L courses with a 3.76 GPA (put me in the top 5-10% and also got a CALI award for Contracts) but towards the end of second semester I withdrew and have only 'W's for my second semester. I did this for personal reasons, some of which included some mental health issues I've spent the time since resolving, and also some family things that are also mostly resolved by now.

Since withdrawing, I've gotten about 3 years of work experience in higher education (fundraising) and made a lot of strong connections. I've also just started a masters at my employer institution (which is a T14 school, if that's worth anything), but I'm realizing that the salary ceiling for my industry, while nice, isn't anything close to what I hoped to get out of law. There were also a lot of elements of my 1L education that I found intellectually fascinating that aren't present in my current work, and I think working in regulatory/government affairs or in FedGov could be really interesting to me. So now I'm wondering about going back to law school.

My LSAT of 167 is 'expired,' so I know that if I do try to reapply I would have to retake. Worth noting is that I got the 167 with relatively little studying - my weak point was logic games. So maybe my ceiling is higher than that 167? Since I'm currently working on this masters (which is part-time and will likely not be finished for a few years), I'm guessing it makes sense to finish the degree even if it means I would have to wait until I'm about 30 to apply/go back to law school, especially so I don't flake out of this degree too. My employer is paying for most of the masters and I'm not taking any loans but I still have some debt from my 1L year and UG. I'd hope to get into a school (ideally a T14) where I'd be able to get fairly robust $$$ offer that would minimize or eliminate the need to take on additional debt.

Am I correct that my situation is unique enough - between the 1L grades, some possible C&F questions, the questionable timeline for applying, and the long gap of work experience and graduate work between withdrawing and going back - that I'd be best off hiring a consultant to help me think through the possibility of applying and how to frame everything if I do?

More importantly, is it even possible for me to reapply as a 1L to start over? I've heard conflicting reports on here with little support behind any of them, and the only official ABA rule I can find is that students have 84 months from beginning a degree to complete it, but I think that would only apply if I were trying to use the credits I've already earned? And, just to be clear, going back to the school I started at is not an option I want to consider. Part of the reason I chose to withdraw was the school I was at for 1L, and I also think that I may have 'undersold' myself when I made the decision to go there instead of retaking and aiming higher.

Any thoughts would be helpful!


This is something that is best discussed in a conversation, but the short answer is: yes, you can apply as a 1L given all of your particular circumstances. Feel free to PM me or email me directly. I have experience with helping clients in a similar situation with positive results.
KB

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:55 am

34iplaw wrote:After having a good offer from a peer school, does it make sense to forward the notification of the offer to schools that you sit on the WL of and are interested in attending if the offer is right? Or, am I shooting myself in the foot by possibly reducing the number of schools that I could possibly receive a competing offer from? I suspect there is mildly more leverage to talk about scholarships as an admit than someone on the WL.


Indeed, you will have more of a standing to talk about scholarship as an admitted student than you would as a WL student. In general, I would say that this is something to discuss after an admission offer is made.

KB

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:58 am

sittykitty wrote:Hey Spivey! Hope you can provide some general insight. Is it truly worth checking in with a school once a mont if I'm on the wait list? I've sent two detailed LOCIs, and I don't have any more information to include; nothing has happened recently that's worthy of an update either. However, it's my absolute top choice school and I want to do anything I can do to maximize my chances. Thanks for any advice you can give!


As we get into summer and registration dates draw near, it becomes increasingly important for the schools to admit people from the WL who would come. No school wants to offer admission to someone in August who doesn't want to come. And someone who pledged their undying love to a school in May or even June may have a change of heart come August, so it is important that schools know of your current desire to attend.

KB

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:56 am

We added two new Diversity Statements Samples, which means there are four total here:

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/exampl ... tatements/

Please feel free to share wherever. I hope they are helpful!

-Mike

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

Postby sdavis » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:53 pm

Hello aspiring applicants!

We are looking for ideas for our next blog post on the Spivey consulting website: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/. We've posted on personal statement and diversity statement topics recently, and there's a ton of other info on various aspects of the application process. If there's something you don't see, but are wanting to know, tell us and we'll consider your idea for our next blog!

Shannon Davis, Associate Partner

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

Postby rowdy » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:00 pm

sdavis wrote:Hello aspiring applicants!

We are looking for ideas for our next blog post on the Spivey consulting website: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/. We've posted on personal statement and diversity statement topics recently, and there's a ton of other info on various aspects of the application process. If there's something you don't see, but are wanting to know, tell us and we'll consider your idea for our next blog!

Shannon Davis, Associate Partner


I have been through your archive, and I don't recall a post on deciding to which schools (or how many schools) one should apply. TLS "conventional wisdom" is apply broadly, blanket T14 (or lower T14 -T20 if you're a splitter), apply to a few regional schools in the area you want to practice. I'm curious what the Spivey consulting take is on that advice, or other considerations.

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

Postby iwoeps » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:14 pm

sdavis wrote:Hello aspiring applicants!

We are looking for ideas for our next blog post on the Spivey consulting website: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/. We've posted on personal statement and diversity statement topics recently, and there's a ton of other info on various aspects of the application process. If there's something you don't see, but are wanting to know, tell us and we'll consider your idea for our next blog!

Shannon Davis, Associate Partner


I think I saw somewhere on Reddit and/or Twitter that you're already working on this, but I'm really interested in your thoughts about the upcoming application cycle. For example, I thought that the decrease in applicants with 165+, and particularly 175+, LSAT scores this cycle was pretty dramatic (I seem to recall that the previous cycle had seen an equally dramatic increase in applicants with those scores), and I wonder what that, along with broader trends, might say about the number of applicants with similar LSAT scores this upcoming cycle.

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

Postby sdavis » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:14 pm

iwoeps wrote:I think I saw somewhere on Reddit and/or Twitter that you're already working on this, but I'm really interested in your thoughts about the upcoming application cycle. For example, I thought that the decrease in applicants with 165+, and particularly 175+, LSAT scores this cycle was pretty dramatic (I seem to recall that the previous cycle had seen an equally dramatic increase in applicants with those scores), and I wonder what that, along with broader trends, might say about the number of applicants with similar LSAT scores this upcoming cycle.

Hey iwoeps, you're right, we are working on a post about this upcoming cycle and what we think it's going to look like, so keep an eye out for it. We're still gathering some data and considering various factors and will get the post up soon!

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

Postby sdavis » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:20 pm

rowdy wrote:I have been through your archive, and I don't recall a post on deciding to which schools (or how many schools) one should apply. TLS "conventional wisdom" is apply broadly, blanket T14 (or lower T14 -T20 if you're a splitter), apply to a few regional schools in the area you want to practice. I'm curious what the Spivey consulting take is on that advice, or other considerations.

An interesting idea, rowdy, thanks for the suggestion and a good one to blog about at this point in the cycle. We'll keep it in mind! A quick note on "regional wisdom" -- it's not for everyone. One person's T14 isn't another person's T14. As for the regional approach, it's a solid one. Wow, I feel like I could write quite a bit about this...perhaps you'll see a blog post on this sooner than later!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:36 pm

sdavis wrote:
rowdy wrote:I have been through your archive, and I don't recall a post on deciding to which schools (or how many schools) one should apply. TLS "conventional wisdom" is apply broadly, blanket T14 (or lower T14 -T20 if you're a splitter), apply to a few regional schools in the area you want to practice. I'm curious what the Spivey consulting take is on that advice, or other considerations.

An interesting idea, rowdy, thanks for the suggestion and a good one to blog about at this point in the cycle. We'll keep it in mind! A quick note on "regional wisdom" -- it's not for everyone. One person's T14 isn't another person's T14. As for the regional approach, it's a solid one. Wow, I feel like I could write quite a bit about this...perhaps you'll see a blog post on this sooner than later!


T14 died this March anyway :)

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

Postby rowdy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:09 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
sdavis wrote:
rowdy wrote:I have been through your archive, and I don't recall a post on deciding to which schools (or how many schools) one should apply. TLS "conventional wisdom" is apply broadly, blanket T14 (or lower T14 -T20 if you're a splitter), apply to a few regional schools in the area you want to practice. I'm curious what the Spivey consulting take is on that advice, or other considerations.

An interesting idea, rowdy, thanks for the suggestion and a good one to blog about at this point in the cycle. We'll keep it in mind! A quick note on "regional wisdom" -- it's not for everyone. One person's T14 isn't another person's T14. As for the regional approach, it's a solid one. Wow, I feel like I could write quite a bit about this...perhaps you'll see a blog post on this sooner than later!


T14 died this March anyway :)


We all know it's really T[whatever the rank is of the school I attend].

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

Postby sdavis » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:20 am

rowdy wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
sdavis wrote:
rowdy wrote:I have been through your archive, and I don't recall a post on deciding to which schools (or how many schools) one should apply. TLS "conventional wisdom" is apply broadly, blanket T14 (or lower T14 -T20 if you're a splitter), apply to a few regional schools in the area you want to practice. I'm curious what the Spivey consulting take is on that advice, or other considerations.

An interesting idea, rowdy, thanks for the suggestion and a good one to blog about at this point in the cycle. We'll keep it in mind! A quick note on "regional wisdom" -- it's not for everyone. One person's T14 isn't another person's T14. As for the regional approach, it's a solid one. Wow, I feel like I could write quite a bit about this...perhaps you'll see a blog post on this sooner than later!


T14 died this March anyway :)


We all know it's really T[whatever the rank is of the school I attend].


So true. Oh, and I meant to type "conventional wisdom" in my earlier reply, but I figured you got the gist!


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