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

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lawlcat4179
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby lawlcat4179 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:38 pm

Mike, thanks for answering all the questions.

How much do schools care about the statewide diversity of their incoming class? I often see them say things like, "44 states represented". Do you think this would give an applicant from Alaska/Montana/North Dakota an advantage when applying? I'm specifically wondering about the top 3 schools and how much of an advantage this might have when it comes to admissions. Could it make an otherwise borderline applicant an admit?

Thanks again for your tremendous knowledge!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:46 pm

lawlcat4179 wrote:Mike, thanks for answering all the questions.

How much do schools care about the statewide diversity of their incoming class? I often see them say things like, "44 states represented". Do you think this would give an applicant from Alaska/Montana/North Dakota an advantage when applying? I'm specifically wondering about the top 3 schools and how much of an advantage this might have when it comes to admissions. Could it make an otherwise borderline applicant an admit?

Thanks again for your tremendous knowledge!


Generally when a school says something like "44 states represented" it is more of a marketing tool than an admissions factor. But, yes of X school has no alums in Montana or even no admits from Montana on that given year, in many cases said applicant will get a slight bump because of this reason. In other words, late game wait-list I could certainly see cases of someone getting elevated from waitlist to admit because of geographic diversity. I doubt geographic diversity would get someone admitted initially, all things else held constant.

Thanks for the question!

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eav1277
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby eav1277 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:51 pm

Thanks for the answer on URMs. I had two more questions. If you are wait listed, what would be your biggest piece of advice (besides writing a Letter of Continued Interest)? Also, how much communication with the school is ideal? Some people send the LOCI and wait, others believe you should be in contact much more often. Thanks again and I look forward to getting your take on the issue.

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LittleBlueBird
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby LittleBlueBird » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:57 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:For (2), not in the least. No real difference, in fact.


What if it's an extra/new letter of recommendation that you received late (after your file went complete), but is from someone that you feel would have an impact on your application? And what if said letter was addressed and voiced directly to the school?

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North
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby North » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:06 pm

LittleBlueBird wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:For (2), not in the least. No real difference, in fact.


What if it's an extra/new letter of recommendation that you received late (after your file went complete), but is from someone that you feel would have an impact on your application? And what if said letter was addressed and voiced directly to the school?

The response you quoted was in answer to me asking if it was BAD to send things after going complete. Spivey said "not in the least." So, I think you're good with the LOR.

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LittleBlueBird
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby LittleBlueBird » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:27 pm

North wrote:
LittleBlueBird wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:For (2), not in the least. No real difference, in fact.


What if it's an extra/new letter of recommendation that you received late (after your file went complete), but is from someone that you feel would have an impact on your application? And what if said letter was addressed and voiced directly to the school?

The response you quoted was in answer to me asking if it was BAD to send things after going complete. Spivey said "not in the least." So, I think you're good with the LOR.


I took it the same way, but I was wondering if an extra LOR was taboo? (especially if they have a maximum of 2)

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Yep, one extra letter of rec, and one that comes in later, certainly won't hurt. Worst case scenario it simply will not be read, but likely it will be read and appreciated.

On sadder news I need to shut down my portion of this thread, because I have a life to get back to. Okay, who am I kidding I don't but I do have some extensive travel coming up and at some point, quite frankly probably already, I'm cannibalizing my own business with this thread.

I sincerely hope this is helpful and my contact information is on my website. In the future I may do something similar both for WL applicants and for job seekers.

Good luck, everyone!

Mike

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North
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby North » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:01 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I'm cannibalizing my own business with this thread.

I was hoping you wouldn't realize that. Thanks for all the good answers, dude.

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LittleBlueBird
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby LittleBlueBird » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:04 pm

Yes, thanks a million! You've made a lot of us feel much better. Keep writing!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:22 pm

North wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I'm cannibalizing my own business with this thread.

I was hoping you wouldn't realize that. Thanks for all the good answers, dude.


Ha, awesome. Technically I realized it before I even launched into this, but it's been fun and even addicting.

I've been candid all along, on my website, blog, and in conversations with prospective student's that if you want to go to x school and you are above both their medians are below both their medians (unless ever so slightly below or you are an URM), there is really not much I or any other person can/need do for you. You are either set or, in the below medians case, need to refocus on what "x" school should be.

Where I really can help are for people who split the medians or for people who are waitlisted. If you are waitlisted, for example, the school did that for a particular reason. There are hundreds of things you can do to identify and then leverage this reason from a WL to an admit, and oddly much are either never identified on websites like this or even falsely identified. So these are the people I can help, and I hope i have in some small way in this thread.

Again, best wishes to everyone--this is an exceptional year to apply to law school.

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LittleBlueBird
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby LittleBlueBird » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:31 pm

wert3813 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Timeout you can see where all we applied???


Quick Hijack!

I did find out they can see if you've committed to somewhere else. I found this out the hard way - I dual committed to a couple of safeties who offered me full rides because I was severely undecided and panicked. They told me LSAC had notified them I was committed elsewhere and they called to see what was up.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:36 pm

LittleBlueBird wrote:
wert3813 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Timeout you can see where all we applied???


Quick Hijack!

I did find out they can see if you've committed to somewhere else. I found this out the hard way - I dual committed to a couple of safeties who offered me full rides because I was severely undecided and panicked. They told me LSAC had notified them I was committed elsewhere and they called to see what was up.


Law schools get what is called "a commitment overlap report". Historically that just told you your number over seat deposits overlap per each other law school but recently I think that has changed to say the names of the applicants/schools they overlap with. Certainly law schools understand why people commit overlap, though, and this is past the stage where you have been admitted.

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Paraflam
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Paraflam » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:36 pm

Mike,

Thanks for taking questions. I was just wondering if you had any insight on how schools view numbers that are way above/way below their medians such that the number would clearly not become the new median. For example, if a school's medians are 166/3.6, and someone with 164/4.15 applies, their GPA obviously won't become the new median, so at that point, what difference would it make to the school whether someone's GPA is between like 3.7-4.33?

In other words, once you're above one median and below another more than a few points, does it matter to schools HOW much more? Or do they just look at it as a wash?

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North
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby North » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:20 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
LittleBlueBird wrote:
wert3813 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Timeout you can see where all we applied???


Quick Hijack!

I did find out they can see if you've committed to somewhere else. I found this out the hard way - I dual committed to a couple of safeties who offered me full rides because I was severely undecided and panicked. They told me LSAC had notified them I was committed elsewhere and they called to see what was up.


Law schools get what is called "a commitment overlap report". Historically that just told you your number over seat deposits overlap per each other law school but recently I think that has changed to say the names of the applicants/schools they overlap with. Certainly law schools understand why people commit overlap, though, and this is past the stage where you have been admitted.

Lol. Can't stay away?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:55 pm

I've been getting a good number of questions abut the WL (and this will only increase), so I blogged about it today on my blog.

One note, there is not a huge amount of information in the post, but there are some tidbits about the overall WL lay of the land that I think most applicants do not know.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:17 pm

If anyone wants to help me, I am working on two related projects.

(1) I am helping a law school with their web redesign. What are your top 2 or 3 favorite admissions pages (not homepages) from the schools websites you have been to.

(2) I am going to write a blog article on what I think are the top 10 law school websites. Does anyone want to co-research and write this with me? In return, I will do a free phone admissions consultation with said person. Private message me on this.

Many thanks on both!

Mike

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:34 am

As long as Michigan is at the bottom of any website list...

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orbbs
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby orbbs » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:17 am

MikeSpivey wrote:If anyone wants to help me, I am working on two related projects.

(1) I am helping a law school with their web redesign. What are your top 2 or 3 favorite admissions pages (not homepages) from the schools websites you have been to.

(2) I am going to write a blog article on what I think are the top 10 law school websites. Does anyone want to co-research and write this with me? In return, I will do a free phone admissions consultation with said person. Private message me on this.

Many thanks on both!

Mike


My personal favorite I've encountered so far is Cornell's. It has 2/3 things I want when visiting easily accessible (status checker, tuition and financial aid link, class profile from previous year [missing in 1 click on cornell]). I think a well designed website should never require more than 1 click to hit important stuff, and the important stuff should be easily visabe a la giant orange status check button at cornell. Also, if I have to scroll on an HD laptop screen, it's too long. /website design rant.

Bad examples of admissions pages are UChi's and GW's

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:41 am

orbbs wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:If anyone wants to help me, I am working on two related projects.

(1) I am helping a law school with their web redesign. What are your top 2 or 3 favorite admissions pages (not homepages) from the schools websites you have been to.

(2) I am going to write a blog article on what I think are the top 10 law school websites. Does anyone want to co-research and write this with me? In return, I will do a free phone admissions consultation with said person. Private message me on this.

Many thanks on both!

Mike


My personal favorite I've encountered so far is Cornell's. It has 2/3 things I want when visiting easily accessible (status checker, tuition and financial aid link, class profile from previous year [missing in 1 click on cornell]). I think a well designed website should never require more than 1 click to hit important stuff, and the important stuff should be easily visabe a la giant orange status check button at cornell. Also, if I have to scroll on an HD laptop screen, it's too long. /website design rant.

Bad examples of admissions pages are UChi's and GW's


Orbbs, thank you! You the person!

Anyone else have any favorites? It is highly appreciated.

elblufer
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby elblufer » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:46 am

UVA's is awful. Don't copy theirs. Also, USC's is hard to navigate through, so I'd stay away from that as a design inspiration as well. Penn Law's website is initially very appealing, but is far too busy.

I also like Cornell's. GULC's website is very easy to navigate as well.

jym_dawg
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby jym_dawg » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:06 pm

elblufer wrote:UVA's is awful. Don't copy theirs. Also, USC's is hard to navigate through, so I'd stay away from that as a design inspiration as well. Penn Law's website is initially very appealing, but is far too busy.

I also like Cornell's. GULC's website is very easy to navigate as well.


Haha. I think UVa's site is among the best - direct links to class profile (medians, 25/75s, demographics, geographic and undergrad diversity, and select profiles), tuition and financial aid linked and laid out clearly on FinAid page (good luck finding cost info on G'Town), status checker. Also easy to find general information about UVA and C'Ville without too many clicks (by contrast, finding anything on Columbia's website requires multiple clicks.)

Also like an easy-to-use mobile version (e.g not Penn, whose site looks broken on mobile), not cluttered (unlike Chicago, whose header is just an endless list of links). For these reasons I also like Duke's site.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:23 pm

jym_dawg wrote:
elblufer wrote:UVA's is awful. Don't copy theirs. Also, USC's is hard to navigate through, so I'd stay away from that as a design inspiration as well. Penn Law's website is initially very appealing, but is far too busy.

I also like Cornell's. GULC's website is very easy to navigate as well.


Haha. I think UVa's site is among the best - direct links to class profile (medians, 25/75s, demographics, geographic and undergrad diversity, and select profiles), tuition and financial aid linked and laid out clearly on FinAid page (good luck finding cost info on G'Town), status checker. Also easy to find general information about UVA and C'Ville without too many clicks (by contrast, finding anything on Columbia's website requires multiple clicks.)

Also like an easy-to-use mobile version (e.g not Penn, whose site looks broken on mobile), not cluttered (unlike Chicago, whose header is just an endless list of links). For these reasons I also like Duke's site.


Thanks elblufer and jym!

In respect to the difference of opinions of UVA, it reminds me of bringing in speakers/hiring partners to speak when I was a CSO Dean. We would survey students after the presentation and almost invariably something like this would happen:

Response 1: I love how the presenter did a top 15 things new lawyers should know; it was witty and very helpful. Please bring her back!

Very Next Response: That was so cheesy, a blatant rip-off of Letterman, and not in the least bit value-added. Never have her back at the law school.

That is what law school is about though, differing opinions. Stimulation and agitation all at once.

elblufer
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby elblufer » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:35 pm

Note that I may also have a bit of a biased opinion toward certain design principles, as I work in web development at the moment.

Also, if you do a mobile-optimized site, PLEASE include a link to the full site. I hate websites that force you to use the mobile version (which often seems to contain less information).

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kay2016
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby kay2016 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Dean, any advice for reverse splitters?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:31 pm

kayleighcheyenne wrote:Dean, any advice for reverse splitters?


I'd look at that excel sheet on a TLS thread that shows the delta from medians last year, both LSAt and GPA. The schools that had a significant drop in GPA will put a high premium on it this year.

Good luck!


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