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

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outlawscr10
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby outlawscr10 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:01 am

Karen or Mike,

How much effect do you expect the 10.9% drop to have on median LSAT scores for T14 schools?

Cheers.

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cannibal ox
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby cannibal ox » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:30 am

outlawscr10 wrote:Karen or Mike,

How much effect do you expect the 10.9% drop to have on median LSAT scores for T14 schools?

Cheers.


Image

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
t14splitter wrote:Mike and Karen,

With all of the talk about US News possibly (probably??) changing their ranking formulas to better reflect employment data, which schools will rise and which will fall? Do you have any predictions for 5 or 10 years down the road?


I do! In fact in 9 out of every 10 days I spend some time on rankings. I'll answer this but give me about a month. Slowly compiling some sort of list and predictions. Stay on me about this!


:D

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koalacity
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby koalacity » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:05 pm

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Last edited by koalacity on Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:12 pm

koalacity wrote:I went on to get a 4.1x UGPA and a 180 on the LSAT

Stop. Just stop there. Enjoy Yale.

Image

pancho
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby pancho » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:24 pm

koalacity wrote:I've heard that some schools (even in the T14) ask for information about high school GPA/class rank and SAT/ACT scores, in which case it'll be apparent I received a GED.


Can someone familiar with all the T14 applications verify if this is indeed true? If so, which schools? Seems rather irrelevant.

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drawstring
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby drawstring » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:25 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:
koalacity wrote:I went on to get a 4.1x UGPA and a 180 on the LSAT

Stop. Just stop there. Enjoy Yale.

Image


srsly stanford?

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bouleversement » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:26 pm

I think Spivey & Co. had too much candy. :P

062914123
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby 062914123 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:27 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:30 pm

sancho wrote:I was reading an old post by Brian Tamanaha (http://balkin.blogspot.com/2011/09/tran ... -with.html) in which he mentioned an interesting idea regarding transfer students' LSAT scores (emphasis mine):

Whatever one might think of the transfer phenomenon, it is likely here to stay (unless US News, bending to the urging of critics, decides to count the LSAT scores of transfers). We should discuss it more openly, without hint of scandal or taint. And we should treat transfers as valued students who have earned a place in their new school.


Do either of you have an idea if the underlined is going anywhere?


I don't think that this will happen -- at least not in this environment of apps being down. I could imagine significant resistance from law schools who need transfers to fill their classes. Since the ABA doesn't require this information, it would be difficult to get schools to give up this info voluntarily.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:58 pm

koalacity wrote:Hi Mike and Karen!

Thank you so much for all the information you've provided to TLS-ers-you guys are such a fantastic resource.

I have a couple of questions about how adcoms view candidates who received a GED. While I haven't filled out applications yet ( :oops: ), I've heard that some schools (even in the T14) ask for information about high school GPA/class rank and SAT/ACT scores, in which case it'll be apparent I received a GED.

1) Should I write an addendum for why I received a GED? In my situation, it was due to some personal/medical reasons during high school (so not due to socioeconomic status-e.g. having to work full-time to help support my family during HS-or mere desire to finish early). I went on to get a 4.1x UGPA and a 180 on the LSAT, so I'm not especially concerned about them doubting my academic rigor, but I've also heard it's better not to leave the adcom with unanswered questions about your application.

2) Would getting a GED ever be appropriate material for a diversity statement? I'm not URM, and would not otherwise write a DS.

I hope these weren't overly specific questions...if they were, could you perhaps just answer generally about what, if anything, adcoms think when they see an applicant that received a GED?


I can't remember exactly which schools currently ask about high school info, but you are right that some T14 schools do. In general, having a GED is not something that would be held against you -- especially if you went on to do very well in college/on the LSAT. It usually makes a good story and gives a unique perspective (also a good recipe for a DS, generally speaking).

Cheers,
Karen

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:08 pm

pancho wrote:
koalacity wrote:I've heard that some schools (even in the T14) ask for information about high school GPA/class rank and SAT/ACT scores, in which case it'll be apparent I received a GED.


Can someone familiar with all the T14 applications verify if this is indeed true? If so, which schools? Seems rather irrelevant.


It may be irrelevant to most applicants, but it does sometimes explain something else in the app. For example, the high school may support a claim of being ill-prepared and not adjusting well to college, or providing the SAT/ACT can provide evidence of a history of poor standardized test-taking.

amdlv
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby amdlv » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:13 am

Hi Mike and Karen,
First, thank you so much for offering this thread! I’ve read through it and found answers to many of my questions! One thing I’m still wondering about is what effect, if any, applying in Jan would have on scholarship offers? I took the LSAT in Oct for the first time and got a 166. I was very sick on test day and think I could do better, at least by a few points. However, because I have a poor uGPA (3.2) my target schools are ranked lower than I would prefer and so 166 is actually pretty good for them (above 75th percentile). I think I would likely be admitted with my current stats, but I’m hoping that with a higher score I may be able to get better scholarship offers (and there’s always the slim chance that I’ll increase by ten points and have a shot at a higher ranked school :D ). I’ve seen in previous posts that the chances of admission don’t really diminish by applying after the Dec LSAT (one of my main questions that has been answered by this thread – thanks again) but I’m still wondering about scholarship offers. If my main reason for retaking is to increase my offers, but the money is usually gone before Jan or so then there’s not much point in retaking. Also, I suppose this goes along with my question, if I’m already above 75% will getting a higher score be likely to translate to higher scholarship offers than I could expect to receive currently? Thanks in advance for the help!

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koalacity
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby koalacity » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:06 pm

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Last edited by koalacity on Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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7ofNine
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby 7ofNine » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:24 pm

Hi Mike and Karen,

Thank you so much for taking your time to answer all these questions and provide advice. I am a long time lurker and first time poster.

How much difference will an addendum addressing a low gpa really make? I was fighting with an undiagnosed auto-immune disorder during my time in undergrad in addition I watched someone very close to me die somewhat unexpectedly. The combination of those events resulted in a low (low low) gpa and one semester of academic probation. My lsat score is at median for one of my choice schools and above 75% for my second choice. Will writing a solid addendum really give me a shot at these schools or is it really just a numbers game?

Also if I have a parent that is alum at one of the schools, and a practicing attorney and work experience as a paralegal will that help my case?

Thanks so much in advance!!

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alecks
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby alecks » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:09 pm

Hello!
Schools like NYU claim they take into account "grade trends" from UGPA, but unfortunately I have a downward trend in grades and a not-quite-stellar GPA stemming from a bad second semester senior year. I developed debilitating anxiety issues that came to a head and caused me to perform badly and I'm worried that writing about that in an addendum is going to make it seem like I can't handle stress / am crazy. Any advice on this?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:29 pm

amdlv wrote:Hi Mike and Karen,
First, thank you so much for offering this thread! I’ve read through it and found answers to many of my questions! One thing I’m still wondering about is what effect, if any, applying in Jan would have on scholarship offers? I took the LSAT in Oct for the first time and got a 166. I was very sick on test day and think I could do better, at least by a few points. However, because I have a poor uGPA (3.2) my target schools are ranked lower than I would prefer and so 166 is actually pretty good for them (above 75th percentile). I think I would likely be admitted with my current stats, but I’m hoping that with a higher score I may be able to get better scholarship offers (and there’s always the slim chance that I’ll increase by ten points and have a shot at a higher ranked school :D ). I’ve seen in previous posts that the chances of admission don’t really diminish by applying after the Dec LSAT (one of my main questions that has been answered by this thread – thanks again) but I’m still wondering about scholarship offers. If my main reason for retaking is to increase my offers, but the money is usually gone before Jan or so then there’s not much point in retaking. Also, I suppose this goes along with my question, if I’m already above 75% will getting a higher score be likely to translate to higher scholarship offers than I could expect to receive currently? Thanks in advance for the help!


Retake in December? You'll be totally fine in terms of timing. :D
Cheers,
Karen

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:34 pm

7ofNine wrote:Hi Mike and Karen,

Thank you so much for taking your time to answer all these questions and provide advice. I am a long time lurker and first time poster.

How much difference will an addendum addressing a low gpa really make? I was fighting with an undiagnosed auto-immune disorder during my time in undergrad in addition I watched someone very close to me die somewhat unexpectedly. The combination of those events resulted in a low (low low) gpa and one semester of academic probation. My lsat score is at median for one of my choice schools and above 75% for my second choice. Will writing a solid addendum really give me a shot at these schools or is it really just a numbers game?

Also if I have a parent that is alum at one of the schools, and a practicing attorney and work experience as a paralegal will that help my case?

Thanks so much in advance!!


Anything that adds to the app by giving context to a situation is helpful. My general rule on addenda is to keep them brief and don't make excuses -- but give reasons.
An alum parent is a feather on the scale and won't be a bad thing to add. Work experience in general is good to neutral depending on the school.

Cheers,
Karen

FutureLawyer100
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby FutureLawyer100 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:01 am

Hi Karen,
Would you be able to tell me if law schools can see the fact that you’re registered for a future LSAT exam after you’ve already applied and sent your existing LSAT score? I ask this because I’m wondering whether law schools will hold off on reviewing an application after they see (if they can see) that you’re registered for a future LSAT.
Thank you so much for your help,
FutureLawyer100

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mpc347
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby mpc347 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:01 am

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Last edited by mpc347 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Split90
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Split90 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:38 pm

Hi Karen-

So I contacted my past TA couple days ago. He returned and said he'd be happy to help but informed me he had left academia and no longer affiliated with any university. He has the PhD though.

I attended a big university and didn't built a strong relationship with professors. So my two LoR would be from my TAs (my major) and one letter would be from a prof who's not of my major.

Should I send an email to a my major professor and ask for LoR? I'm taking December test and planning to get all letters by Dec 10th.

leroyjenkins6969
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby leroyjenkins6969 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:58 pm

Hey Karen and Mike,

How important is it to have academic sources for letters of recommendation?

Are non-academic letters looked at significantly differently / given MUCH less weight than academic letters?

And would a letter from a supervisor at a research lab at one's undergraduate university be considered more "academic" than say a letter from a supervisor at a law firm?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:51 pm

FutureLawyer100 wrote:Hi Karen,
Would you be able to tell me if law schools can see the fact that you’re registered for a future LSAT exam after you’ve already applied and sent your existing LSAT score? I ask this because I’m wondering whether law schools will hold off on reviewing an application after they see (if they can see) that you’re registered for a future LSAT.
Thank you so much for your help,
FutureLawyer100


Schools have the ability to see that you are registered for a future test by running a report or looking at a specific field in your application record, but not all schools pay attention to that. The ones that do pay attention to it will likely ask you to supply more information (as in: are you actually taking it or did you just register "just in case") so I don't think that they would hold off without getting more info from you.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:57 pm

mpc347 wrote:Karen can we get your take on how HYS (or just H) treat retakes (average vs. highest)? I've seen Mike's but not yours...


The same ABA reporting rules apply to HYS: high score wins!
The application reviewer will look at everything because that's what's in front of them, but the high score is what is reported, and that's the one that will stick out in their mind. Of course there are extreme/unusual cases where multiple tests are looked at differently (like if you've taken the test 10+ times)..

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:06 pm

In general, academic letters of rec are most valued in the admissions process. it doesn't always matter if it's a full professor or a TA or if they are in your major or not -- what matters is what they say about you. It is important that they know you well, so you will be in the best position to decide who will gush about you the most.
Professional/supervisor letters are certainly considered and appreciated, and are often a nice supplement to your academic letters of rec.

And for those of you who have completely lost touch with professors because you graduated 10 years ago -- don't worry. It makes sense that you may have lost touch and can't get an academic LOR. For those of you who are still in school - you absolutely should have an academic LOR.


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