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.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:25 pm

Hey Mike/Karen-

First of all, I really appreciate all the helpful advice. I had two questions regarding these forums.

You are most welcome.

I'm signed up for the Boston Forum and am getting tons of emails from schools stating they hope I stop by the table. Are these spam messages sent out to anyone registered to go? Or does the school target specific applicants similar to how they approach fee waivers? I'm assuming the former, but was curious.

Likely done by a Candidate Referral Search which targets something about you, your gpa, LSAT, (or swinging scale for one with the other) ethnicity, etc. They can pick the ranges and I am sure some schools invite all. Incidentally, if you got any invitations that were particularly absurd please send them to me on the side I do consult for law schools and sometimes these come in helpful. mike@spiveyconsulting.com. I will 100% redact your name or you can upstream. Thanks!

Secondly, I'm trying to decide whether or not to haul these bottles of home brew with my resume on the label to this forum. But seriously, is there any advantage to having a business card, resume or other item to be able to hand over when talking with the reps? Or should I limit trying to stay on their radar with the simple follow up email?

Not really. You can have a resume in a binder in case you have a smashing time with a rep and they ask but mainly I would get their cards and follow up with them. TRUST ME YOU WILL FORGET TO ASK. So don't forget :)

Thanks!

-dasein-
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby -dasein- » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:50 pm

Thanks for the forum advice, was 50/50 about attending but now will make the effort.

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esrom55
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby esrom55 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:42 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
Incidentally, if you got any invitations that were particularly absurd please send them to me on the side I do consult for law schools and sometimes these come in helpful.


I think the only one I've really thought was bad was the one from California Western with the subject line of (exactly): CAlifornia Western School of Law @ the 2013 Bostom Forum

I'm thinking they wanted to emphasize that it was was California for those who confuse it with Colifornia. Regardless, next time I'm in Bostom, I'll be sure to stop by their table!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:50 pm

esrom55 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
Incidentally, if you got any invitations that were particularly absurd please send them to me on the side I do consult for law schools and sometimes these come in helpful.


I think the only one I've really thought was bad was the one from California Western with the subject line of (exactly): CAlifornia Western School of Law @ the 2013 Bostom Forum

I'm thinking they wanted to emphasize that it was was California for those who confuse it with Colifornia. Regardless, next time I'm in Bostom, I'll be sure to stop by their table!


I think you are being polite in implying that was intentional.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:52 pm

Um, can someone tell me where 25% of their weight in rankings are coming?

http://tippingthescales.com/2013/10/our ... w-schools/

I think it might be USNWR rankings which is pathetically awesome.

Also, they brag about how simple this ranking system is which my ranking decoder rings translates to "we do not have the resources to poll anyone of importance". Still, I loves me some rankings.

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Lavitz
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Lavitz » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:01 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Um, can someone tell me where 25% of their weight in rankings are coming?

http://tippingthescales.com/2013/10/our ... w-schools/

I think it might be USNWR rankings which is pathetically awesome.

Also, they brag about how simple this ranking system is which my ranking decoder rings translates to "we do not have the resources to poll anyone of importance". Still, I loves me some rankings.

25% is acceptance rate
25% is LSAT
25% is percentage employed at graduation
12.5% is median private sector salary
12.5% is median public sector salary

Adds up.

But Chicago at 11 pretty much discredits this. :lol:






Also GW above Cornell. :evil:

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t14splitter
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby t14splitter » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:46 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Um, can someone tell me where 25% of their weight in rankings are coming?

http://tippingthescales.com/2013/10/our ... w-schools/

I think it might be USNWR rankings which is pathetically awesome.

Also, they brag about how simple this ranking system is which my ranking decoder rings translates to "we do not have the resources to poll anyone of importance". Still, I loves me some rankings.



"Georgia State has an acceptance rate of 26.8%, which means it’s harder to get into than NYU, UT-Austin, Georgetown, and a number of other well-regarded law schools."

You can't make this stuff up.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:48 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:With the NYC Forum coming up I thought I would answer a lot of questions I have been getting "YES, I think you should go"

Here are some reasons why you should go and advice for these events I wrote about roughly a month ago.

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/forums ... e-or-draw/

Also, don't try to sell and admissions representative a watch at the event. True story --it happened to me at my first ever NYC Forum in 2000.


Or ask them on a date :shock:

Mrs. B.,

What do you think of a PS structured around two examples of students who inspired me to go into X field of law? This would include how I continued to their succeess and how the reason I want to practice law is to take my career a step further and help more people like them.

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t14splitter
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby t14splitter » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:51 pm

Also we need to appreciate the fact that they mixed up NYU and New York Law School for the rankings. http://tippingthescales.com/2013/10/new ... aw-school/

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Lavitz
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Lavitz » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:53 pm

t14splitter wrote:Also we need to appreciate the fact that they mixed up NYU and New York Law School for the rankings. http://tippingthescales.com/2013/10/new ... aw-school/

Yes. That's even the address for NYLS.

kclick
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby kclick » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:24 pm

MikeSpivey wrote: Incidentally, if you got any invitations that were particularly absurd please send them to me on the side...


I went to a big state school with a fierce interstate rival. An admissions officer from a law school that shall remain nameless sent a mass marketing email to prospective applicants at my university, addressing us as our rival. DOH. It would be like addressing a Red Sox fan as a Yankee.

Needless to say, there was no line at his table at our law fair today... :roll:

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:52 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote: Mrs. B.,

What do you think of a PS structured around two examples of students who inspired me to go into X field of law? This would include how I continued to their succeess and how the reason I want to practice law is to take my career a step further and help more people like them.


While I can't give you individual guidance on your PS (since that is one of the things that we do for our clients and it wouldn't be fair to them), I can give some general advice on personal statements.

--> It should be mostly about you and your journey/experiences/story/growth
--> It should be in your voice and reflect your personality/individuality/hopes
--> It doesn't necessarily need to address the "why law" question
--> You don't need to know exactly what you want to be when you grow up (but it should show focus)
--> Pay attention to tone, make sure it matches what you want to convey
--> Have someone (mom, dad, sibling, prelaw advisor, friend, us, etc.) proofread it; you can't be the only one reading it for content, flow, grammar and tone.

Hope this is helpful!

Cheers,
Karen

agglomeration
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby agglomeration » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:30 pm

As far as softs go, how much weight do you think would be put on military service? I spent four years in the Marines, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, am highly decorated (purple heart, combat action ribbon, etc). Also, i am finishing my undergrad degree in 3 years because i took more credits then most students do. Do you think that is helpful?

little more about me: 3.79 GPA, lsat pt range 168-173. Still waiting on official LSAT score.

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BruinRegents
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby BruinRegents » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:33 pm

agglomeration wrote:As far as softs go, how much weight do you think would be put on military service? I spent four years in the Marines, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, am highly decorated (purple heart, combat action ribbon, etc). Also, i am finishing my undergrad degree in 3 years because i took more credits then most students do. Do you think that is helpful?

little more about me: 3.79 GPA, lsat pt range 168-173. Still waiting on official LSAT score.


If true, then CONGRATS and thanks for your service. In your case, I think it would be reasonable to assume that your "softs" would be considered significant.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:28 pm

agglomeration wrote:As far as softs go, how much weight do you think would be put on military service? I spent four years in the Marines, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, am highly decorated (purple heart, combat action ribbon, etc). Also, i am finishing my undergrad degree in 3 years because i took more credits then most students do. Do you think that is helpful?

little more about me: 3.79 GPA, lsat pt range 168-173. Still waiting on official LSAT score.


It will certainly be a thumb on the scale; it's hard to quantify exactly how much weight, but it will have some, for sure. Thanks for your service!

lawpanther
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby lawpanther » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:25 pm

posted in a separate thread, they suggested I ask here.

Is there any advantage to applying to joint programs if you get into a law program? My thinking is, because law schools want a higher acceptance yield, this might be a bargaining chip, kind of like how schools will up scholarship money to retain admits. If one got into a law program and were applying for a joint degree, and made it clear that you would only attend that school if you could do the joint degree, would the law school put in a good word for you or otherwise try to boost your chances? What about the other way around? Thanks!

Instinctive
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Instinctive » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:58 am

lawpanther wrote:posted in a separate thread, they suggested I ask here.

Is there any advantage to applying to joint programs if you get into a law program? My thinking is, because law schools want a higher acceptance yield, this might be a bargaining chip, kind of like how schools will up scholarship money to retain admits. If one got into a law program and were applying for a joint degree, and made it clear that you would only attend that school if you could do the joint degree, would the law school put in a good word for you or otherwise try to boost your chances? What about the other way around? Thanks!

+1

I've been doing a ton of research into this (JD/MBA) and it mostly seems as though the left hand operates totally independent of the right hand. Which sucks. Would love to hear Mike and Karen's thoughts.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:48 am

lawpanther wrote:posted in a separate thread, they suggested I ask here.

Is there any advantage to applying to joint programs if you get into a law program? My thinking is, because law schools want a higher acceptance yield, this might be a bargaining chip, kind of like how schools will up scholarship money to retain admits. If one got into a law program and were applying for a joint degree, and made it clear that you would only attend that school if you could do the joint degree, would the law school put in a good word for you or otherwise try to boost your chances? What about the other way around? Thanks!


There are a number of factors at play here, the most contributing of which is the individual school. In other words, this is entirely idiosyncratic and, in most cases, entirely independent with no influence in either direction (grad program to jd or jd to grad).

There are exceptions, of course. For example, Vanderbilt has a JD/PhD in Economics program that pretty much is housed inside the law school (physically and intellectually). So there would be considerable overlap in the admit decisions. If someone were to compile a list of programs like this one I bet it would be somewhat substantial. Wharton seemed to have influence on Penn Law last cycle, or at least it seemed so anecdotaly.

That said, it is the nature of the professional world to guard one;s turf, and this certainly applies when rankings, numbers, etc are on the line. I would never apply to a joint degree program if only to get a mythical admissions bump, because likely you will not.

Me hopes this helps!

Mike

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bombaysippin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bombaysippin » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:43 pm

I had a question for the upcoming LSAC law forums. I know it's semi obvious to dress nicely, but how nicely?

I'm assuming black pants, shirt, tie would be fine, but I am wondering if khakis would be okay. Or would that be too informal?

Thanks!

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BruinRegents
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby BruinRegents » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:01 pm

Bajam wrote:I had a question for the upcoming LSAC law forums. I know it's semi obvious to dress nicely, but how nicely?

I'm assuming black pants, shirt, tie would be fine, but I am wondering if khakis would be okay. Or would that be too informal?

Thanks!

Never. Khakis are like spork of the pants world. Adaptable to any situation.

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bombaysippin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bombaysippin » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:14 pm

BruinRegents wrote:
Bajam wrote:I had a question for the upcoming LSAC law forums. I know it's semi obvious to dress nicely, but how nicely?

I'm assuming black pants, shirt, tie would be fine, but I am wondering if khakis would be okay. Or would that be too informal?

Thanks!

Never. Khakis are like spork of the pants world. Adaptable to any situation.


Uhh wait, never as in "unacceptable" or "never unacceptable" haha...

I'm going to guess acceptable since you said it's adaptable to any situation, but to err on the side of caution, confirmation would be great.

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BruinRegents
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby BruinRegents » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:42 pm

Bajam wrote:
BruinRegents wrote:
Bajam wrote:I had a question for the upcoming LSAC law forums. I know it's semi obvious to dress nicely, but how nicely?

I'm assuming black pants, shirt, tie would be fine, but I am wondering if khakis would be okay. Or would that be too informal?

Thanks!

Never. Khakis are like spork of the pants world. Adaptable to any situation.


Uhh wait, never as in "unacceptable" or "never unacceptable" haha...

I'm going to guess acceptable since you said it's adaptable to any situation, but to err on the side of caution, confirmation would be great.

"Never" was an answer to your last sentence, which was a question.

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bombaysippin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bombaysippin » Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:55 pm

BruinRegents wrote:
Bajam wrote:
BruinRegents wrote:
Bajam wrote:I had a question for the upcoming LSAC law forums. I know it's semi obvious to dress nicely, but how nicely?

I'm assuming black pants, shirt, tie would be fine, but I am wondering if khakis would be okay. Or would that be too informal?

Thanks!

Never. Khakis are like spork of the pants world. Adaptable to any situation.


Uhh wait, never as in "unacceptable" or "never unacceptable" haha...

I'm going to guess acceptable since you said it's adaptable to any situation, but to err on the side of caution, confirmation would be great.

"Never" was an answer to your last sentence, which was a question.


Gotcha, thanks!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:02 pm

Business casual, e.g. pressed khaki pants and a dress shirt totally fine. Indeed, unless you are coming from work, business attire is not necessary at all.

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bombaysippin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bombaysippin » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:22 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Business casual, e.g. pressed khaki pants and a dress shirt totally fine. Indeed, unless you are coming from work, business attire is not necessary at all.


Awesome, thank you Mike.


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