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

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:20 pm

Hi Mike and Karen,

Congratulations on 1000 posts.

Professor Campos mentioned last cycle that a strategy which may prove fruitful is waiting to submit a strong application until near the application deadline when schools would be scrambling for numbers. Do either of you have an opinion on how well this strategy worked last year and how well it may work in the future? Mike, are you willing to elaborate on the opinion you voiced earlier that application timing is not as important as it used to be? Karen, are you still undecided on this particular issue?

Thanks.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:00 pm

bouleversement wrote:Hi Mike and Karen,

Congratulations on 1000 posts.

Professor Campos mentioned last cycle that a strategy which may prove fruitful is waiting to submit a strong application until near the application deadline when schools would be scrambling for numbers. Do either of you have an opinion on how well this strategy worked last year and how well it may work in the future? Mike, are you willing to elaborate on the opinion you voiced earlier that application timing is not as important as it used to be? Karen, are you still undecided on this particular issue?

Thanks.


I'll jump more on timing in a later post -- I am mercifully done with traveling this coming Tuedsay. To the point of applying near the end I think this only makes sense if indeed your application will be measurably stronger then versus earlier (perhaps this is what Paul said), e. g. a better GPA, new LSAT etc.

If you are submitting near the same application this would not be my advice. Why? Well (1) you can just as easily apply earlier and stay in touch throughout the cycle (2) doing so early gives a yield data point for the school and can influence their admit decision and (3) the scholarship negotiation might become leveraged more in their balance if you are awaiting notification late stage.

So yes, if your application is empirically stronger you should wait and no, if it is not.

Helpful?

Mike

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:16 pm

Thanks Mike. Helpful indeed. I will try to locate the Campos quote. May have come from his book.

MikeSpivey wrote:
I'll jump more on timing in a later post



Looking forward to it!

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:24 pm

Here are a couple. Do you have a response you could share now Mike or is this something to be incorporated later in a blog post? Curious also for Karen's take.

Paul Campos wrote:
I agree that whether it makes sense to hold off on applying until later in the cycle is a tougher call than the other two points. It depends in part on how comfortable an applicant is with back and forth negotiations. I suspect that an applicant who applies late in this cycle will, at a lot of schools, get a better first offer than what that applicant would have gotten with exactly the same numbers earlier in the cycle. That's certainly what happened last year, when a bunch of people who made their decisions early in the cycle ended up paying higher tuition than people with worse numbers who were accepted off wait lists late in the year. . . . The starting point in a negotiation tends to make a big difference in the final result.

Keep in mind that law schools never "run out" of scholarship money. There's an excellent chance that a bunch of schools in this cycle will be admitting people at huge discounts at the end of the cycle because they'll, from a fiscal point of view, have no choice. It's a gamble for the individual applicant, but one that may well be worth taking.



viewtopic.php?f=1&t=198084&start=25#p6069958

Paul Campos wrote:
One of the first signs that the law school business model was breaking down was that total applicant numbers did not go up during the great recession, which was an unprecedented development during an economic downturn, and especially striking given that the 2007-2009 downturn was the worst since the 1930s.

What I think we'll see in the next few years are serious tuition reductions in real terms at many schools. The sticker price may not go down, but there will be a lot of schools where literally no one will be paying sticker (I understand this was already the case for the current 1L class at UIUC). We'll also see quite a few schools follow the Hastings route and seriously reduce class size. And at least a few schools are going to close down altogether.

The big shakeout is just beginning. If I were applying to law school next cycle, my strategy would be to not commit anywhere until as late in the process as possible. I might not even apply until very late. Under these conditions, the notion that "scholarship" money will be gone no longer holds. It will be more like price-lining an airline ticket or hotel room at the last minute.



viewtopic.php?f=1&t=184369#p5479863

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:59 pm

I agree with Mike that if your application is going to be better later, then it would make sense to wait. I also agree that there are benefits to applying early, including what Mike says, but also the fact that - at least in some cases - you'll hear back earlier and have more time to make a decision and possibly negotiate. I also agree with Paul that you should absolutely wait until the end to make a decision on where to attend. But I think applying late is a gamble that may not pay off.

Cheers,
karen
Last edited by KarenButtenbaum on Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:01 pm

Well, I just answered this from my laptop and it did not post. I am grouchy now because I hate my laptop and it makes my life much less efficient. Let me try again but then I am going to try to gracefully (versus grouchly) bow out for awhile this is more challenging while running around from city to city.

All things being equal, you should apply early versus later and this applies to scholarship money as well. Let's use a categorical imperative of sorts to explain why.

If you apply to ALL schools late cycle you will have no leverage for scholarship negotiation other than your application because you will have no other scholarship offers. This is EXACTLY why schools say "sure we will reconsider your scholarship offer, show us in writing what you have from other schools. So *maybe* you might get a bit more if you only apply late from the original offer but your final amount will be dulled with this strategy. This is, in part, because schools DO run out of scholarship money. Of course they do. Again, with the categorical imperative ALL Schools do not have infinite money. What I assume Paul was saying, and he is correct in doing so, is that if a schools says "we are out of money" that highly likely means they are out of money at that static moment. They will get some back throughout the cycle as people turn their offers down, BUT if you have leverage (what was that awful sci-fi movie with John Travelota where they say ("leverage" like 600 times?) you can get more money by a series of negotiations versus one lump sum late game.

So I will make this simple. If you have a 180 and a 4.0 apply now. If you apply in March you might be waitlisted because you may seem disinterested and thus a risky admit. If you have numbers that are not going to change at all apply now. Trust me on this.

(my answer from my laptop was better :( but regardless this is a 2 second binary response on my part if need be.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:03 pm

Great information. Thank you both!

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:57 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote: But I think applying late is a gamble that may not pay off.

What month is considered applying late?

I'm taking the December LSAT. I will have everything ready besides my score. Negative expected value??

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:19 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote: But I think applying late is a gamble that may not pay off.

What month is considered applying late?

I'm taking the December LSAT. I will have everything ready besides my score. Negative expected value??


When I hear "late" I think March and after. Midpoint I think of as January and anytime before mid Dec I think of as early.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:20 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote: But I think applying late is a gamble that may not pay off.

What month is considered applying late?

I'm taking the December LSAT. I will have everything ready besides my score. Negative expected value??


No need to be alarmed! I was specifically talking about purposely/strategically waiting, and that's a gamble. Your application will be better with the score, so don't worry :). You are in good company applying with the December score, and you are right to send in everything ahead of time.

If the deadline is Feb 1 for example, then I would say that applying in in the last two to three weeks of January is on the late side. And applying after the deadline is really late (it happens!). But even applying then, a strong application is still a strong application.

Cheers,
Karen

sancho
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sancho » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:22 pm

Really enjoying this thread! Thank you Mike and Karen for your contributions.

Are either of you planning a Pacific Northwest junket in the next 12 months?

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DrStudMuffin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby DrStudMuffin » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:39 pm

This thread is great - thank you to both of you.

Any idea when we'll have the numbers on how many people took the October LSAT? Is it when scores are released? I think I saw it mentioned earlier in this thread (it may have also been elsewhere) that the October LSAT is a good early indicator for overall applicant volume.

If I'm misremembering the value/implications of these figures then please disregard my question. Thanks!

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:28 pm

DrStudMuffin wrote:This thread is great - thank you to both of you.

Any idea when we'll have t e numbers on how many people took the October LSAT? Is it when scores are released? I think I saw it mentioned earlier in this thread (it may have also been elsewhere) that the October LSAT is a good early indicator for overall applicant volume.

If I'm misremembering the value/implications of these figures then please disregard my question. Thanks!

Prof Campos says its down 13% from last year. I'm not sure what number that actually translates to.

I forgot to call you this morning Mike! I figured if someone else scored 5 points higher than their highest PT it was worth trying myself!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:50 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:
DrStudMuffin wrote:This thread is great - thank you to both of you.

Any idea when we'll have t e numbers on how many people took the October LSAT? Is it when scores are released? I think I saw it mentioned earlier in this thread (it may have also been elsewhere) that the October LSAT is a good early indicator for overall applicant volume.

If I'm misremembering the value/implications of these figures then please disregard my question. Thanks!


I forgot to call you this morning Mike! I figured if someone else scored 5 points higher than their highest PT it was worth trying myself!


I got up at 5am just for that call :-(

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:54 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:
DrStudMuffin wrote:This thread is great - thank you to both of you.

Any idea when we'll have t e numbers on how many people took the October LSAT? Is it when scores are released? I think I saw it mentioned earlier in this thread (it may have also been elsewhere) that the October LSAT is a good early indicator for overall applicant volume.

If I'm misremembering the value/implications of these figures then please disregard my question. Thanks!


I forgot to call you this morning Mike! I figured if someone else scored 5 points higher than their highest PT it was worth trying myself!


I got up at 5am just for that call :-(

Well I hope someone called so it wasn't for nothing.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:27 pm

Hi everyone!
We will be posting a blog tomorrow (or Monday morning at the latest) about the reasons to cancel/not to cancel your test. Don't panic! Most people shouldn't cancel. We don't want you to make any decisions about this after a night of post-LSAT celebrating :D
Cheers,
Karen

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MoMettaMonk
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MoMettaMonk » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:04 am

I just wanted to say thank you for that blog post that you wrote a few days ago about a good mindset going into the LSAT. I don't know yet if/how much it helped my score, but it definitely helped me feel more relaxed and confident before, during, and after the test.

On a related note, I have to say that it was wildly entertaining walking into the test center with a smile on my face and seeing all of the terrified looks plastered onto the faces of my peers.

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Young Marino
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Young Marino » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:20 pm

Mike, when trying to negotiate scholarship amount and stipulations, is it a solid strategy to point out that i was offered admission at a higher ranked school with better bar passage and employment numbers? For example, if school A offers close to a full ride as long as i stay top 35% but is a tier four and school B, a tier 2, offers a small scholly but has superior numbers, will I be able to leverage an increase in $$ from school A and decrease in stipulations? I would probably just ask if the stip can be top 45% and increase the scholly amount by $1500. What do you think?

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:52 pm

We have seen year-on-year declines in LSATs administered for twelve straight administrations. Does anyone have any idea when this trend will end?

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midwest17
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby midwest17 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:17 pm

bouleversement wrote:We have seen year-on-year declines in LSATs administered for twelve straight administrations. Does anyone have any idea when this trend will end?


Do we have any confirmed evidence that October was a decline?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:02 pm

I'll dive into these questions later in the week but as this is time sensitive here is an article on what to consider before you cancel your LSAT score. In general this is done far too often, Karen and I both think.

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/

Also, Karen and I will be at the GW/DC Fair tomorrow evening stop by and say hi!

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:14 pm

midwest17 wrote:
bouleversement wrote:We have seen year-on-year declines in LSATs administered for twelve straight administrations. Does anyone have any idea when this trend will end?


Do we have any confirmed evidence that October was a decline?


I wasn't including it. The stat is for the last twelve administrations for which we have data (October 2010 through June 2013).

MikeSpivey wrote:I'll dive into these questions later in the week


Looking forward to it Mike!

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:16 am

sancho wrote:Really enjoying this thread! Thank you Mike and Karen for your contributions.

Are either of you planning a Pacific Northwest junket in the next 12 months?


We don't currently have plans to travel to the Pacific Northwest, but if you are in school and your pre-law society could help with travel expenses, we would love to come!
Otherwise, you'll have to wait until Mike buys his RV and starts his coast-to-coast trip. Help me convince him to do this!

staples88
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby staples88 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:50 am

abc
Last edited by staples88 on Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:21 am

staples88 wrote:Spivey Consulting: do you take PMs?

I know some boards allow members to disable the reception of any PMs, and I figure that you guys would be flooded with PMs if you allowed it.
I just sent one to KarenButtenbaum, and if it gets nowhere because your account has that setting, then I guess I'll just post it in this thread.


We do get PMs but can't always answer them or answer them quickly. We are both traveling right now, so I'll take a look in the next day or so.
Cheers, Karen


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