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

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:46 am

Two questions:

I am an untraditional student- I'm active duty military and I've been taking online courses to complete a bachelor degree before I get out. I’m also married with kids and will be 27 when I apply. I first completed an associate degree with a GPA of 2.6 but now I'm almost finished with my BA and I've been taking school much more seriously. My GPA for only my Jr/Sr level courses is a 3.7 but my overall GPA is still only going to be about a 3.2. Should I include an addendum because of this or will it be evident that my low GPA is a result of my first few years of school when I probably wasn't as mature as I am now?

Secondly, how much will my military service help me when I'm applying? How do schools consider "soft’s" like mine? Can I think of it as more or less adding points to my LSAT when looking at a schools median?

Thanks for doing this!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:29 pm

All,

This was a really fun thread and I am going to do another in 2013. The majority of applicants will be waitlisted at some school so I will wait (pun and all) and do it later in the admission season.

To start off 2013 I posted a pretty hilarious, and true story, on my blog. A few of you may have already seen this email:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/

Enjoy the absurdity.

-Mike

Tyrrhus
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Tyrrhus » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:40 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for your help in providing insight into the admissions process. It is greatly, greatly appreciated.

My question: how important is networking in the law school admissions process?

Reaching out to admissions officers, visiting campuses, e-mailing schools... are these important steps to take? I ask because I am currently working a 70 hour a week job and have found it difficult to travel/network.

Thank you

eyfl
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:28 am

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby eyfl » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:39 pm

Mike, thanks for all your answers and sorry to hijack the thread, but I haven't found much information about this:

How does admission work with international applicants, particularly those from international UG institutions (i.e. no LSDAS GPA number, just the below/above average/superior wording)? The general consensus is (I believe) that GPA doesn't count thus LSAT score plays even a more important role (makes sense). Could you give more details here?

Thanks in advance!

Big Dog
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Big Dog » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:22 pm

If I was the most senior law partner, Mike, I'd call in the hiring partner and HR and ask them how/why they let that "idiot" in the door, even the back door.....

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:35 pm

Thanks for doing this Mike.

If someone is an auto-admit or near there, how much does the transcript matter? For example taking CC classes to boost GPA.

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slawww
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby slawww » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:04 pm

To the people above me:

Mike Spivey said some pages back he was done answering questions for now. Your questions would probably be better answered by Dean Perez in his thread.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:20 pm

All,

Thanks for the humorous remarks and the questions (and reaching to out me personally for some). I need to suspend this a bit because I am pretty busy with clients and I can't answer every question (i.e. cannibalize my future business). I will renew this thread in a bit, however, maybe early March when there are a good deal of WL questions.

Again thanks for staying on top of this! I love this stuff.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:54 pm

I have a request for help, myself. I am going to be updating my website soon (hopefully next week). If anyone wants to take a look at it and offer suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. It is:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com.

I may not have the competency to entertain all suggestions, but I will certainly try!

Many thanks.

Mike

Huey Freeman
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Huey Freeman » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:37 am

MikeSpivey wrote:I have a request for help, myself. I am going to be updating my website soon (hopefully next week). If anyone wants to take a look at it and offer suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. It is:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com.

I may not have the competency to entertain all suggestions, but I will certainly try!

Many thanks.

Mike


Well, the only issue I have is that the "Contact" link isn't up/working at the moment (I tried it on Chrome and Firefox just to be sure), but that should be an easy fix. The website itself looks fine, in my opinion. Maybe this is just a personal thing, but I enjoy having prices listed (although I understand the reasons behind not listing them). All in all, thanks for the help - I'll comb through the site a little more carefully to see if there's anything else I can recommend.

rshw89
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby rshw89 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:40 am

MikeSpivey wrote:I have a request for help, myself. I am going to be updating my website soon (hopefully next week). If anyone wants to take a look at it and offer suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. It is:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com.

I may not have the competency to entertain all suggestions, but I will certainly try!

Many thanks.

Mike


My undergraduate degree is in public relations, so I'm a little bit familiar with this sort of thing. I would like to see some sort of price structure on your website. I tend to assume that a service or product is excessively expensive when I cannot find any prices on the website. If your rates are a bit high, there is no harm in posting them if we are assuming that already. Also, the generation that most law school applicants come from is one that has a very short attention span. We want instant gratification in our search for information. We have been raised on google, so we expect all of our answers to be on the internet in a couple of clicks of the mouse. Having to call or email you to find out your rates is an extra step that will turn off some potential clients.

eyfl
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby eyfl » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:46 am

rshw89 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I have a request for help, myself. I am going to be updating my website soon (hopefully next week). If anyone wants to take a look at it and offer suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. It is:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com.

I may not have the competency to entertain all suggestions, but I will certainly try!

Many thanks.

Mike


My undergraduate degree is in public relations, so I'm a little bit familiar with this sort of thing. I would like to see some sort of price structure on your website. I tend to assume that a service or product is excessively expensive when I cannot find any prices on the website. If your rates are a bit high, there is no harm in posting them if we are assuming that already. Also, the generation that most law school applicants come from is one that has a very short attention span. We want instant gratification in our search for information. We have been raised on google, so we expect all of our answers to be on the internet in a couple of clicks of the mouse. Having to call or email you to find out your rates is an extra step that will turn off some potential clients.


It might be that his pricing structure is flexible in a sense that each case is individually priced depending on the circumstances so there's no fixed hourly rate or anything. Moreover, not showing price actually encourages consumers to contact him (even if to just find out the price) so this gives Mike an opportunity to get in contact with customer & truly show the value he can give (compared to when someone looks at price, thinks it's high and Mike never has a chance to connect with that person).

rshw89
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby rshw89 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:11 pm

eyfl wrote:
rshw89 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I have a request for help, myself. I am going to be updating my website soon (hopefully next week). If anyone wants to take a look at it and offer suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. It is:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com.

I may not have the competency to entertain all suggestions, but I will certainly try!

Many thanks.

Mike


My undergraduate degree is in public relations, so I'm a little bit familiar with this sort of thing. I would like to see some sort of price structure on your website. I tend to assume that a service or product is excessively expensive when I cannot find any prices on the website. If your rates are a bit high, there is no harm in posting them if we are assuming that already. Also, the generation that most law school applicants come from is one that has a very short attention span. We want instant gratification in our search for information. We have been raised on google, so we expect all of our answers to be on the internet in a couple of clicks of the mouse. Having to call or email you to find out your rates is an extra step that will turn off some potential clients.


It might be that his pricing structure is flexible in a sense that each case is individually priced depending on the circumstances so there's no fixed hourly rate or anything. Moreover, not showing price actually encourages consumers to contact him (even if to just find out the price) so this gives Mike an opportunity to get in contact with customer & truly show the value he can give (compared to when someone looks at price, thinks it's high and Mike never has a chance to connect with that person).


I understand that pricing could be flexible, but some examples of the prices that previous clients were given or maybe some rough estimates on price ranges could help. Along with that information, it could say on the site that all situations are different and to contant Mr. Spivey for a quote. I have done a decent amount of market research in my classes, and an overwhelming trend with people in the 16-25 yr. old range is that they don't like to cold contact people. Many people in that age group feel awkward contacting a business to find out information without buying a product or service, so they will simply decide to look elsewhere. I know you may find that odd because I did when I was studying it. I've never had problems with that sort of thing, so I didn't really expect others to. A lot of it has to do with being the first generation to be raised with the internet. The anonymity of seeking information on the internet has made this generation lack a lot of the social skills(or comfortability) that previous generations had in matters like this.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:04 pm

All,

Thanks for the great suggestions! A few things:

1. Holy smokes do I need to fix the contact tab. I'm on it. For the record it is meant to slowly pop up in a box in the middle of the screen. I wonder if it is somehow going super slow?

2. When I started this business (this year) I decided for year 1 I would charge much less than in any other year. I'll be highly candid-- the reason behind this is that in my line of business there is exponentiality as far as clientele. So the more clients I get the more I will have in the future. Does that makes sense? It would be hard for me to put prices online and then triple the rate in future years. Additionally, as the poster alluded, my rates depend on many factors and are flexible. I am aware that the cold email and call is annoying to some (perhaps many) and probably costs me some business. I'm not sure how to ameliorate the former with the later but I am open to suggestions.

This is great input.

I've given numerous speeches on how to cold email and/or call for students because for 70% of law students that is how they get a job in this environment. Would that make a good blog article.

talesofyore
Posts: 294
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby talesofyore » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:27 pm

eyfl wrote:
rshw89 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I have a request for help, myself. I am going to be updating my website soon (hopefully next week). If anyone wants to take a look at it and offer suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. It is:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com.

I may not have the competency to entertain all suggestions, but I will certainly try!

Many thanks.

Mike


My undergraduate degree is in public relations, so I'm a little bit familiar with this sort of thing. I would like to see some sort of price structure on your website. I tend to assume that a service or product is excessively expensive when I cannot find any prices on the website. If your rates are a bit high, there is no harm in posting them if we are assuming that already. Also, the generation that most law school applicants come from is one that has a very short attention span. We want instant gratification in our search for information. We have been raised on google, so we expect all of our answers to be on the internet in a couple of clicks of the mouse. Having to call or email you to find out your rates is an extra step that will turn off some potential clients.


It might be that his pricing structure is flexible in a sense that each case is individually priced depending on the circumstances so there's no fixed hourly rate or anything. Moreover, not showing price actually encourages consumers to contact him (even if to just find out the price) so this gives Mike an opportunity to get in contact with customer & truly show the value he can give (compared to when someone looks at price, thinks it's high and Mike never has a chance to connect with that person).


I'm definitely one of those persons who require that the price of a product/service be listed prior to any conversation about a future relationship occurring. I usually have a set price I will pay for things, and would rather not waste my time (and the presenter's time as well) listening to a presentation and then hearing that the price is $940839538459483054. The website should reflect why I should be willing to pay a certain price.

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howlery
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby howlery » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:50 pm

talesofyore wrote:
eyfl wrote:
rshw89 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I have a request for help, myself. I am going to be updating my website soon (hopefully next week). If anyone wants to take a look at it and offer suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. It is:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com.

I may not have the competency to entertain all suggestions, but I will certainly try!

Many thanks.

Mike


My undergraduate degree is in public relations, so I'm a little bit familiar with this sort of thing. I would like to see some sort of price structure on your website. I tend to assume that a service or product is excessively expensive when I cannot find any prices on the website. If your rates are a bit high, there is no harm in posting them if we are assuming that already. Also, the generation that most law school applicants come from is one that has a very short attention span. We want instant gratification in our search for information. We have been raised on google, so we expect all of our answers to be on the internet in a couple of clicks of the mouse. Having to call or email you to find out your rates is an extra step that will turn off some potential clients.


It might be that his pricing structure is flexible in a sense that each case is individually priced depending on the circumstances so there's no fixed hourly rate or anything. Moreover, not showing price actually encourages consumers to contact him (even if to just find out the price) so this gives Mike an opportunity to get in contact with customer & truly show the value he can give (compared to when someone looks at price, thinks it's high and Mike never has a chance to connect with that person).


I'm definitely one of those persons who require that the price of a product/service be listed prior to any conversation about a future relationship occurring. I usually have a set price I will pay for things, and would rather not waste my time (and the presenter's time as well) listening to a presentation and then hearing that the price is $940839538459483054. The website should reflect why I should be willing to pay a certain price.


I kind of agree with this re: showing some kind of price. Maybe you could advertise your lowest price? "Services starting at $X," to attract some people or possibly deter those who can't afford you.

The front page is really gratifying and modern. Other pages seem to have too much text, but it isn't a tumblr so I understand.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:52 pm

I wonder if I can give a range of former clients prices? There are so many permutations of different services that it is almost impossible to say for any given person.

I will say that the lowest was $50 :) For full disclosure, that was a unique scenario though.

rshw89
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby rshw89 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:45 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:All,

Thanks for the great suggestions! A few things:

1. Holy smokes do I need to fix the contact tab. I'm on it. For the record it is meant to slowly pop up in a box in the middle of the screen. I wonder if it is somehow going super slow?

2. When I started this business (this year) I decided for year 1 I would charge much less than in any other year. I'll be highly candid-- the reason behind this is that in my line of business there is exponentiality as far as clientele. So the more clients I get the more I will have in the future. Does that makes sense? It would be hard for me to put prices online and then triple the rate in future years. Additionally, as the poster alluded, my rates depend on many factors and are flexible. I am aware that the cold email and call is annoying to some (perhaps many) and probably costs me some business. I'm not sure how to ameliorate the former with the later but I am open to suggestions.

This is great input.

I've given numerous speeches on how to cold email and/or call for students because for 70% of law students that is how they get a job in this environment. Would that make a good blog article.


I think this is a great topic for a blog article.

eyfl
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:28 am

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby eyfl » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:42 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I wonder if I can give a range of former clients prices? There are so many permutations of different services that it is almost impossible to say for any given person.

I will say that the lowest was $50 :) For full disclosure, that was a unique scenario though.


I would address prices without actually quoting them. People will naturally look for a "price / rate" section on your website, so one is likely needed. You seem to be able to write interesting prose, so you could probably write something along the lines of what you've just told re: flexible pricing, lowest being $50 etc. or just the lowest rate you're currently charging (this will encourage people to contact you and you'll work from there). But this is just my sales & marketing experience talking :) Most people here will tell you to put actual price because this is what they want to know (myself included), but as I mentioned more information is not always good (as it makes less likely that someone will actually contact you to find out more - if they can find everything on the website)

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:55 pm

eyfl--in the "about section" I say "I am not the cheapest but am also not the most expensive" I should make that more prominent.

Incidentally, one of my great mentors is a M&A guy at Gibson Dunn and he wants me to say "I am the most expensive but also they best in the business" lol.

LRGhost
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby LRGhost » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:39 am

The site is beautiful but I would agree with everyone else about getting in contact being a bit out of the way. My initial thought when I saw "Let's get started" or whatever at the bottom of the admissions section was that it would be a link to services offered with pricing or a contact form.

Other than that, it flows well and is easy/natural to navigate. No complaints.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:14 pm

Thanks again, everyone. This is important and very helpful to me.

I am going to stop responding to every post only because I feel like it makes it seem like I am just bumping this thread and I don't mean it to. So let me just say I am exceptionally appreciative of the advice so far and going-forward. I will say I would love as much input, comments, criticisms and suggestions as possible. This is my focus group (and it's been a great one so far!).

I posted a blog idea above and someone said that would be helpful. So once I write that blog I will come back here and say it's up.

Until then, thank you all! Good luck to those taking the LSAT (who I am sure are reading this today)

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:19 pm

Thanks again everyone for the great suggestions. I am in the process of adding a page and link from homepage re: Pricing. Not entirely sure how I will explain all of the different permutations but I will try to be as specific as possible. I agree 100% that it needs to be more prominent and explained in as much detail/specificity as possible.

I also added a blog article this morning on contingency "success" packages, i.e. scenarios where successful admissions is what I am primarily paid for.

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/

I am redoing the entire contact page to make it look more splashy, and adding a speaking schedule (hopefully today as I speak at Stamford this Thursday). All of these changes were spawned by input from this thread and private messages.

Finally, I am going to resurrect this thread in about a month for waitlisted questions.

Many thanks and I hope this admissions cycle is going well. I can't think of a better year from a purely admissions standpoint.

-Mike

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chem!
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby chem! » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:23 pm

Thanks again for answering all the questions, Mike.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:54 pm

I thank you all. If I win the lottery I'll still be here; I find this kind of vectoring for successful admissions really rewarding. Maybe oddly rewarding is a better way to look at it!


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