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 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:50 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
bouleversement 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?


Mike and Karen,

Are you both willing to share your thoughts on when you believe this trend will end? I understand it is now thirteen straight.

Thanks.


So hard to say but my gut tells me next cycle will be slightly up. Changes in how law schools teach and respond to the atmospheric pressures of hiring + continued increase in scholarship + potential legislation on higher education debt (I know little about this, but obsess/travel and speak on the first two) should all swing the pendulum back in the other direction at some point. I think the pendulum will literally come to a stop...then ever so slowly start swinging in the other direction soon and maybe next cycle.


Just to be sure, do you mean the next cycle for which we will have results (i.e. this one, c/o 2017) or the next cycle to come (c/o 2018)?

I tend to agree that it will be flat for a while before it comes back.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:54 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
bouleversement 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?


Mike and Karen,

Are you both willing to share your thoughts on when you believe this trend will end? I understand it is now thirteen straight.

Thanks.


I also think that we are in the last of the down years -- we may see one more year of flat apps, but I think we are close to the end. I also have a very optimistic hope that many people will see what's happening with the government shutdown as motivation to go to law school and effect change in this country.


We can hope! (After of course we current applicants take advantage of the lull.)

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:37 pm

Is it ok to call a school that hasn't released their medians yet and ask for them? Is there even a chance that they'd give them to you if you did this?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:21 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Is it ok to call a school that hasn't released their medians yet and ask for them? Is there even a chance that they'd give them to you if you did this?


I know of applicants who have done just this and I don't think there is a downside -- particularly because you will not likely be speaking to an AdComm.

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BruinRegents
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby BruinRegents » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:21 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Is it ok to call a school that hasn't released their medians yet and ask for them? Is there even a chance that they'd give them to you if you did this?

Lololololol. Why even do this?

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:06 pm

BruinRegents wrote:
TheJanitor6203 wrote:Is it ok to call a school that hasn't released their medians yet and ask for them? Is there even a chance that they'd give them to you if you did this?

Lololololol. Why even do this?

Because I want to know.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:33 pm

bouleversement wrote:I am really liking the avatars now. The white/pink distinction was a good idea.


I like them too. And the thought of the former director of admissions at Harvard using MS Paint's paint bucket to make an avatar pink just really makes me happy. :)

Between that and the dancing psychometrician, I'm starting to suspect that all of the people involved in law school admissions may not be cyborgs after all.

pologirl1107
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby pologirl1107 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:55 pm

I am taking the LSAT in December to raise my score (I was unable to take it in Oct.), what should I attach to my application? (If anything at all?) Should I address it in my personal statement, write a separate letter to attach, or will the law schools already know and put me aside?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:13 am

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
bouleversement wrote:I am really liking the avatars now. The white/pink distinction was a good idea.


I like them too. And the thought of the former director of admissions at Harvard using MS Paint's paint bucket to make an avatar pink just really makes me happy. :)

Between that and the dancing psychometrician, I'm starting to suspect that all of the people involved in law school admissions may not be cyborgs after all.


Dangerous I feel like a owe you an answer to a question for some reason, do I?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:07 am

pologirl1107 wrote:I am taking the LSAT in December to raise my score (I was unable to take it in Oct.), what should I attach to my application? (If anything at all?) Should I address it in my personal statement, write a separate letter to attach, or will the law schools already know and put me aside?


You should not assume that all schools will know that you are re-taking the test. A short (1-2 sentences, just the facts)addendum asking them to hold the decision until the December score comes in should suffice.
Do not address it in your PS.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:48 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
bouleversement wrote:I am really liking the avatars now. The white/pink distinction was a good idea.


I like them too. And the thought of the former director of admissions at Harvard using MS Paint's paint bucket to make an avatar pink just really makes me happy. :)

Between that and the dancing psychometrician, I'm starting to suspect that all of the people involved in law school admissions may not be cyborgs after all.


Dangerous I feel like a owe you an answer to a question for some reason, do I?


I don't think so, but thank you!

I do have a question you could answer though (I wouldn't want to leave you hanging ;)): when you guys say that it's probably not going to make a huge difference to increase one's score once you are already above a school's 75th percentile LSAT, does that include people who are at the 75th percentile? A, uh, friend of mine is sitting at a particular T3 school's 75th percentile (it rhymes with Marvard, but that's the only hint you get) and has a below 25th GPA. She's wondering if it might be worth retaking, given that she thinks she could probably squeak out at least a point or two more. Thoughts?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:09 pm

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
bouleversement wrote:I am really liking the avatars now. The white/pink distinction was a good idea.


I like them too. And the thought of the former director of admissions at Harvard using MS Paint's paint bucket to make an avatar pink just really makes me happy. :)

Between that and the dancing psychometrician, I'm starting to suspect that all of the people involved in law school admissions may not be cyborgs after all.


Dangerous I feel like a owe you an answer to a question for some reason, do I?


I don't think so, but thank you!

I do have a question you could answer though (I wouldn't want to leave you hanging ;)): when you guys say that it's probably not going to make a huge difference to increase one's score once you are already above a school's 75th percentile LSAT, does that include people who are at the 75th percentile? A, uh, friend of mine is sitting at a particular T3 school's 75th percentile (it rhymes with Marvard, but that's the only hint you get) and has a below 25th GPA. She's wondering if it might be worth retaking, given that she thinks she could probably squeak out at least a point or two more. Thoughts?


I dont think it's worth retaking. The only reason to retake is if you thought that the school was trying to improve their numbers. I really don't think that's the case with this application cycle.

Cheers,
Karen

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hiphopopotamuss
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby hiphopopotamuss » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:37 pm

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Last edited by hiphopopotamuss on Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:15 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
I don't think so, but thank you!

I do have a question you could answer though (I wouldn't want to leave you hanging ;)): when you guys say that it's probably not going to make a huge difference to increase one's score once you are already above a school's 75th percentile LSAT, does that include people who are at the 75th percentile? A, uh, friend of mine is sitting at a particular T3 school's 75th percentile (it rhymes with Marvard, but that's the only hint you get) and has a below 25th GPA. She's wondering if it might be worth retaking, given that she thinks she could probably squeak out at least a point or two more. Thoughts?


I dont think it's worth retaking. The only reason to retake is if you thought that the school was trying to improve their numbers. I really don't think that's the case with this application cycle.

Cheers,
Karen


Hi Karen,

I am really surprised about this last comment of yours. I was under the impression it was always best to get the highest score you possibly could. In the above example doesn't the 177 help to further offset the sub-25th GPA over the at 75th 175? Wouldn't this hold water if a school was also trying to maintain numbers? Maybe you don't foresee this as an issue at HLS but it may very well be with others. It doesn't appear your answer was only directed at Harvard.

I posted this a couple of days ago. Would your answer then be "yes, sheer folly" under all circumstances?

bouleversement wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:In general, if you think you can get a higher score, you might consider retaking to maximize your options. But, if you are above the 75th percentile at your target school, you probably don't need to retake. There is time for you to make this decision after the October scores are released, so you'll be able to make a more informed decision.


Karen, I presume you don't mean this to apply to splitters? For someone with a sub-25th GPA retaking a 179 for a 180 is not folly, is it?

MikeSpivey wrote:I think it would be pointless to retake of you are over both 75th's


I see Mike qualified it as both 75ths.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:25 pm

bouleversement wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
I don't think so, but thank you!

I do have a question you could answer though (I wouldn't want to leave you hanging ;)): when you guys say that it's probably not going to make a huge difference to increase one's score once you are already above a school's 75th percentile LSAT, does that include people who are at the 75th percentile? A, uh, friend of mine is sitting at a particular T3 school's 75th percentile (it rhymes with Marvard, but that's the only hint you get) and has a below 25th GPA. She's wondering if it might be worth retaking, given that she thinks she could probably squeak out at least a point or two more. Thoughts?


I dont think it's worth retaking. The only reason to retake is if you thought that the school was trying to improve their numbers. I really don't think that's the case with this application cycle.

Cheers,
Karen


Hi Karen,

I am really surprised about this last comment of yours. I was under the impression it was always best to get the highest score you possibly could. In the above example doesn't the 177 help to further offset the sub-25th GPA over the at 75th 175? Wouldn't this hold water if a school was also trying to maintain numbers? Maybe you don't foresee this as an issue at HLS but it may very well be with others. It doesn't appear your answer was only directed at Harvard.

I posted this a couple of days ago. Would your answer then be "yes, sheer folly" under all circumstances?

bouleversement wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:In general, if you think you can get a higher score, you might consider retaking to maximize your options. But, if you are above the 75th percentile at your target school, you probably don't need to retake. There is time for you to make this decision after the October scores are released, so you'll be able to make a more informed decision.


Karen, I presume you don't mean this to apply to splitters? For someone with a sub-25th GPA retaking a 179 for a 180 is not folly, is it?

MikeSpivey wrote:I think it would be pointless to retake of you are over both 75th's


I see Mike qualified it as both 75ths.


Err, sorry! I'm going to blame my iPhone and my reluctance to get reading glasses. I thought we were still on the 75th on both. If your "friend" can get a 177, for example, it will be more attractive to the reader than a 175 when she is below the 25th on GPA.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:35 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
bouleversement wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
I don't think so, but thank you!

I do have a question you could answer though (I wouldn't want to leave you hanging ;)): when you guys say that it's probably not going to make a huge difference to increase one's score once you are already above a school's 75th percentile LSAT, does that include people who are at the 75th percentile? A, uh, friend of mine is sitting at a particular T3 school's 75th percentile (it rhymes with Marvard, but that's the only hint you get) and has a below 25th GPA. She's wondering if it might be worth retaking, given that she thinks she could probably squeak out at least a point or two more. Thoughts?


I dont think it's worth retaking. The only reason to retake is if you thought that the school was trying to improve their numbers. I really don't think that's the case with this application cycle.

Cheers,
Karen


Hi Karen,

I am really surprised about this last comment of yours. I was under the impression it was always best to get the highest score you possibly could. In the above example doesn't the 177 help to further offset the sub-25th GPA over the at 75th 175? Wouldn't this hold water if a school was also trying to maintain numbers? Maybe you don't foresee this as an issue at HLS but it may very well be with others. It doesn't appear your answer was only directed at Harvard.

I posted this a couple of days ago. Would your answer then be "yes, sheer folly" under all circumstances?

bouleversement wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:In general, if you think you can get a higher score, you might consider retaking to maximize your options. But, if you are above the 75th percentile at your target school, you probably don't need to retake. There is time for you to make this decision after the October scores are released, so you'll be able to make a more informed decision.


Karen, I presume you don't mean this to apply to splitters? For someone with a sub-25th GPA retaking a 179 for a 180 is not folly, is it?

MikeSpivey wrote:I think it would be pointless to retake of you are over both 75th's


I see Mike qualified it as both 75ths.


Err, sorry! I'm going to blame my iPhone and my reluctance to get reading glasses. I thought we were still on the 75th on both. If your "friend" can get a 177, for example, it will be more attractive to the reader than a 175 when she is below the 25th on GPA.


Thanks for the clarification Karen!

goCats3
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby goCats3 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:10 pm

Mike, Karen

For the personal statement, how do you feel about abbreviations (and contractions)? Ex. "IP law" instead of "intellectual property law."

Trying to save some space....

Thanks!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:23 pm

goCats3 wrote:Mike, Karen

For the personal statement, how do you feel about abbreviations (and contractions)? Ex. "IP law" instead of "intellectual property law."

Trying to save some space....

Thanks!


In that example totally fine.

pollockj52
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby pollockj52 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:22 pm

Mike & Karen,

As a long-time lurker, I have learned quite a bit due to your posts and am thankful for such a great resource, so thank you. I am hoping you may be able to offer some advice in regards to deciding on the best possible topic for the PS and diversity statements.

I am from a white, picket fence, middle-class family, so not much “racial” diversity there but I was also kicked-out and homeless on the streets at 18 for about 9 months. (no concern for C&F – ie. no drug, alcohol or criminal issues, just serious family issues) Yet, since that time, I have overcame numerous obstacles to reach the point of finally being able to send apps to law schools and have actually achieved more than most people I know and certainly more than what anyone expected.

My question is whether I should utilize the experience from being homeless to graduating from a top ten undergrad as the PS or the diversity statement. I would assume the most “grand story” should be reserved for the PS. After all, going from sleeping in the rain to being able to dine at some of the most exclusive private clubs in the country makes for an interesting story - and, more importantly, shows the ability through experience to understand all social strata. However, I have been considering utilizing my background in consultative sales and the importance that has had on my clients and myself as the impetus for my desire to attend law school, while describing my personal background as the basis of my diversity statement. Thoughts would be greatly appreciated and I am a severe splitter, if that makes any difference in your suggestion (ie. 2.5/174). Thanks for any advice on this particular question and all you have already answered.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:33 pm

Hello,

How much is the AA boost at HLS? Why does HLS value diversity so much?

-Dr. Dre

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:47 pm

Mike and Karen,

Why do you suppose some schools have yet to release class profile information? Is this typical for mid-October?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:46 pm

pollockj52 wrote:Mike & Karen,

As a long-time lurker, I have learned quite a bit due to your posts and am thankful for such a great resource, so thank you. I am hoping you may be able to offer some advice in regards to deciding on the best possible topic for the PS and diversity statements.

I am from a white, picket fence, middle-class family, so not much “racial” diversity there but I was also kicked-out and homeless on the streets at 18 for about 9 months. (no concern for C&F – ie. no drug, alcohol or criminal issues, just serious family issues) Yet, since that time, I have overcame numerous obstacles to reach the point of finally being able to send apps to law schools and have actually achieved more than most people I know and certainly more than what anyone expected.

My question is whether I should utilize the experience from being homeless to graduating from a top ten undergrad as the PS or the diversity statement. I would assume the most “grand story” should be reserved for the PS. After all, going from sleeping in the rain to being able to dine at some of the most exclusive private clubs in the country makes for an interesting story - and, more importantly, shows the ability through experience to understand all social strata. However, I have been considering utilizing my background in consultative sales and the importance that has had on my clients and myself as the impetus for my desire to attend law school, while describing my personal background as the basis of my diversity statement. Thoughts would be greatly appreciated and I am a severe splitter, if that makes any difference in your suggestion (ie. 2.5/174). Thanks for any advice on this particular question and all you have already answered.


A few points about the diversity statement in general that I hope will help some folks:
    -->It does not have to be focused on racial/ethnic diversity, but it really should be something that will add diversity to the class (it should not be that you are a polysci major, for example)
    -->There are often prompts for this type of statement, and you should read them for each school to make sure that your statement makes sense for that particular school
    -->The diversity statement gives you an opportunity to show another dimension of yourself so that you do not have to define yourself in those terms for the personal statement

It sounds to me like you are on the right track by thinking about this as a diversity statement, but it could be a personal statement as well. Ask yourself what you want the admissions committee to know about you. Is this the only dimension you want to show? Or is there something more that you'd rather highlight in the PS? I think it sounds like you want them to know more about you than just this one thing. And I'd agree. Showing that this experience does not completely define you by presenting another message in the personal statement is a good idea.

Cheers,
Karen

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:53 pm

bouleversement wrote:Mike and Karen,

Why do you suppose some schools have yet to release class profile information? Is this typical for mid-October?


It is mind-boggling to me, I have never seen anything close to it. No idea.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:37 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:Hello,

How much is the AA boost at HLS? Why does HLS value diversity so much?

-Dr. Dre


The formula is:
[(3x^2-27)divided by 4)] times[ 8x^2) divided by(9-3x)]divided by [(x^2+3x) divided by 6]

Edit: Sorry, couldn't resist. I always wanted to use the Riemann Hypothesis somewhere. Hint: it's an unsolvable problem :)
Last edited by KarenButtenbaum on Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:38 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:Hello,

How much is the AA boost at HLS? Why does HLS value diversity so much?

-Dr. Dre


The formula is:
[(3x^2-27)divided by 4)] times[ 8x^2) divided by(9-3x)]divided by [(x^2+3x) divided by 6]


You, I like you.


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