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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pancho
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby pancho » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:04 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Hi pancho-
Mike is on the mend and will be back in the swing of things in a few days. :)
Yes, I know that HLS and SLS will keep apps for three years. Not sure about others...
Cheers,
karen


Hey Pancho et all.

Sorry about my absence. I had to deal with a significant dizzy attacks that the medical experts couldn't really figure how to treat other than trying to make me stable by giving me that same drug they gave Michael Jackson (I don't think I am kidding here). But I made it through, they (or likely mother nature) fixed me and I am back at the Neverneverland Ranch of Spivey Consulting. Well likely 89% better and 100% by tomorrow.

So I will need to spend a good while with my clients but should be back here before too long to give some AWESOME advice :)

Thanks for understanding! Apologies again!

Mike


Hey Mike,

Great to have you back! Karen, of course, held up the fort admirably in your absence.

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bryanjbay12
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bryanjbay12 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:44 pm

Mike and Karen,

First of all, thank you for doing this thread. I have just read through the entire thing in the last two days and it was been extremely helpful. I feel a lot better about the admissions process after having read this wealth of information. I do have a couple questions I hoped you could answer though:

1. What are your thoughts on using the February LSAT to get off waitlists/negotiate scholarships? As a splitter for the bottom half of T14, I'm seriously considering taking the test in February in hopes that I can be a little more competitive for scholarships. Do you think this is a logical strategy, or is the December LSAT the test I should be targeting? (note: I will have my application turned in by the end of this week)

2. Since most (if not all) of the T6 do not consider February LSATs for the current cycle, am I correct in assuming that this strategy would not be helpful in gaining admission into these schools, despite already having a score from the October LSAT?

Again, thank you so much for answering all of these questions.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:37 am

bryanjbay12 wrote:Mike and Karen,

1. What are your thoughts on using the February LSAT to get off waitlists/negotiate scholarships? As a splitter for the bottom half of T14, I'm seriously considering taking the test in February in hopes that I can be a little more competitive for scholarships. Do you think this is a logical strategy, or is the December LSAT the test I should be targeting? (note: I will have my application turned in by the end of this week)

2. Since most (if not all) of the T6 do not consider February LSATs for the current cycle, am I correct in assuming that this strategy would not be helpful in gaining admission into these schools, despite already having a score from the October LSAT?

Again, thank you so much for answering all of these questions.


1. I have seen it happen many times every cycle. If I thought I could do better this is exactly what I would do, take the Feb LSAT. There is no downide and the upside could be an admit for tens of thousands of dollars in $$$,

I'm going to say all of this with emphasis and it is likely a repeat but bears noting. It is career suicide for a dean of admissions to average scores or to not look at Feb scores as part of the cycle. if other schools are doing it (and they are) than you better too or you will be packing your bags to transition to being the Dean of Admissions at Touro.

2. I had multiple clients get off the WL last year into T6 school taking the FEB LSAT, so still applicable. See the bolded part.

I hope this helps! :)

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bryanjbay12
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bryanjbay12 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:50 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
bryanjbay12 wrote:Mike and Karen,

1. What are your thoughts on using the February LSAT to get off waitlists/negotiate scholarships? As a splitter for the bottom half of T14, I'm seriously considering taking the test in February in hopes that I can be a little more competitive for scholarships. Do you think this is a logical strategy, or is the December LSAT the test I should be targeting? (note: I will have my application turned in by the end of this week)

2. Since most (if not all) of the T6 do not consider February LSATs for the current cycle, am I correct in assuming that this strategy would not be helpful in gaining admission into these schools, despite already having a score from the October LSAT?

Again, thank you so much for answering all of these questions.


1. I have seen it happen many times every cycle. If I thought I could do better this is exactly what I would do, take the Feb LSAT. There is no downide and the upside could be an admit for tens of thousands of dollars in $$$,

I'm going to say all of this with emphasis and it is likely a repeat but bears noting. It is career suicide for a dean of admissions to average scores or to not look at Feb scores as part of the cycle. if other schools are doing it (and they are) than you better too or you will be packing your bags to transition to being the Dean of Admissions at Touro.

2. I had multiple clients get off the WL last year into T6 school taking the FEB LSAT, so still applicable. See the bolded part.

I hope this helps! :)


Thanks so much! I guess it's back to the LSAT study grind this holiday break!

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:52 am

How do the data on LSN and mylsn.info compare to reality? I've often wondered if there is a self-selection bias on LSN, and I've seen it suggested on TLS that some people misrepresent their numbers and/or do not list all the schools they apply to.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:55 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:How do the data on LSN and mylsn.info compare to reality? I've often wondered if there is a self-selection bias on LSN, and I've seen it suggested on TLS that some people misrepresent their numbers and/or do not list all the schools they apply to.


Mr. President, I think I addressed that in this thread already.

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neprep
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby neprep » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:How do the data on LSN and mylsn.info compare to reality? I've often wondered if there is a self-selection bias on LSN, and I've seen it suggested on TLS that some people misrepresent their numbers and/or do not list all the schools they apply to.


Mr. President, I think I addressed that in this thread already.


Haha, clearly someone needs to collect your posts and, along with Karen's, assemble a little indexed booklet. What a perfect way to kill time before law school and before four more fun games from PT71 come out.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:52 pm

neprep wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:How do the data on LSN and mylsn.info compare to reality? I've often wondered if there is a self-selection bias on LSN, and I've seen it suggested on TLS that some people misrepresent their numbers and/or do not list all the schools they apply to.


Mr. President, I think I addressed that in this thread already.


Haha, clearly someone needs to collect your posts and, along with Karen's, assemble a little indexed booklet. What a perfect way to kill time before law school and before four more fun games from PT71 come out.


Maybe we will hire someone to do just that and then sell it online. Anyone? Anyone?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:21 pm

Actually...

Karen and I have been discussing getting a new intern (we got our previous intern a bang-up super awesome job for helping us) and I can't think of a better community to draw from than this. The jist of it would be someone applying next cycle (a must because...) in exchange for their hard work we will get them into the law school of their dreams.

I'll post a job description on our blog in the next day or two.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:52 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:How do the data on LSN and mylsn.info compare to reality? I've often wondered if there is a self-selection bias on LSN, and I've seen it suggested on TLS that some people misrepresent their numbers and/or do not list all the schools they apply to.


Mr. President, I think I addressed that in this thread already.

My apologies. I couldn't find it, and I went through every single page searching "lsn" in my browser's search box. (TLS doesn't allow three-letter search terms.) I'll look harder.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:53 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:How do the data on LSN and mylsn.info compare to reality? I've often wondered if there is a self-selection bias on LSN, and I've seen it suggested on TLS that some people misrepresent their numbers and/or do not list all the schools they apply to.


Mr. President, I think I addressed that in this thread already.

My apologies. I couldn't find it, and I went through every single page searching "lsn" in my browser's search box. (TLS doesn't allow three-letter search terms.) I'll look harder.


I think the question was worded differently. I'll just answer in a bit no worries.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:22 pm

Ok, so the way the question was asked before was "Did you ever look at lsn when you were in admissions?" My answer, which applies to the question at hand, was "No, why would I the data I had was 100% complete and lsn not nearly so"

So to elaborate on "how accurate is lsn" I think (obviously) its power and predictability are way down versus a school's entire data set. I think, as GWB alludes to, it is confounded by strong applicants. But is also often fails to show an important component of how much number (ugpa/LSAT) overlap there is, particularity at schools that get large numbers of applications. So in other words, Harvard may have 8 people with a 3.55/176, 3 of which are admitted and 5 of which are not? lsn may so some skewed reality like 2/2 admits or 02/. Now that I think about it, Karen and I would likely get more business if LSN WERE complete because it would beg a lot more questions "why did 3 people get admitted where 5 did not"

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:57 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Ok, so the way the question was asked before was "Did you ever look at lsn when you were in admissions?" My answer, which applies to the question at hand, was "No, why would I the data I had was 100% complete and lsn not nearly so"

So to elaborate on "how accurate is lsn" I think (obviously) its power and predictability are way down versus a school's entire data set. I think, as GWB alludes to, it is confounded by strong applicants. But is also often fails to show an important component of how much number (ugpa/LSAT) overlap there is, particularity at schools that get large numbers of applications. So in other words, Harvard may have 8 people with a 3.55/176, 3 of which are admitted and 5 of which are not? lsn may so some skewed reality like 2/2 admits or 02/. Now that I think about it, Karen and I would likely get more business if LSN WERE complete because it would beg a lot more questions "why did 3 people get admitted where 5 did not"

Thank you for your answer, Mike!

In regards to the number overlap, I suspected as much. Perhaps this is why mylsn.info gives me better odds at one school than someone with 0.1 higher GPA and an identical LSAT score (57% versus 36%).

linkx13
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby linkx13 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:58 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Ok, so the way the question was asked before was "Did you ever look at lsn when you were in admissions?" My answer, which applies to the question at hand, was "No, why would I the data I had was 100% complete and lsn not nearly so"

So to elaborate on "how accurate is lsn" I think (obviously) its power and predictability are way down versus a school's entire data set. I think, as GWB alludes to, it is confounded by strong applicants. But is also often fails to show an important component of how much number (ugpa/LSAT) overlap there is, particularity at schools that get large numbers of applications. So in other words, Harvard may have 8 people with a 3.55/176, 3 of which are admitted and 5 of which are not? lsn may so some skewed reality like 2/2 admits or 02/. Now that I think about it, Karen and I would likely get more business if LSN WERE complete because it would beg a lot more questions "why did 3 people get admitted where 5 did not"


100% complete? Schools give you their data sets on applicants?

Also, so LSN seems to be more positive (higher percentages) than what happens in reality?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:31 pm

linkx13 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:100% complete? Schools give you their data sets on applicants?

Also, so LSN seems to be more positive (higher percentages) than what happens in reality?


Eeeek No. The second all 200 people whose data you shared matriculated you would have 200 FERPA violations on your hands. Possibly anti-trust too.

I mean you know your own data set 100%. Yep every week i would probably go to lsn to look at the scatter plots of other schools, but that was all i cared about. The unique and beautiful snow flakes were meaningless because they were part of a skewed pool on lsn.

LSN percentages are higher. Keep in mind they are also self-reported.

20141023
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby 20141023 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:32 pm

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby iamgeorgebush » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:00 am

kappycaft1 wrote:Just to shed some more light on the statistical reliability of LSN, here are some graphs I made several months ago (LSATSCORES2012 helped me gather the data). Overall, Law School Numbers only accounts for approximately 4% of the total number of law school applications sent out every year, and 5% of the total number of admitted students; however, it is unmistakably “top heavy,” meaning that schools with higher LSAT / GPA medians are better represented than schools with lower medians (for example, over a quarter of the people admitted to Duke are on LSN, and over 10% of the rest of the T14 admits are on there as well). :wink:

Woah, that's really weird with 30% of Duke's admits being on LSN. Thanks for this.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:13 am

kappycaft1 you want to be our intern ? :-)

lawpanther
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawpanther » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:15 am

^ Wow. (to the info above Mike's post)

question for all or mike/karen:

So, what does that do to any margin of error? Say a school's gpa or lsat floor is "known" to be a specific number. isn't that based on historical data, so in the case of a school like duke, over time, a pretty reliable picture of their admits is constructed?
But in the last few years, things have been changing so fast that is it possible to say that we still have an accurate idea of where these floors are, especially given splitter and reverse splitter friendly schools?


I'm thinking, given a +/- 10% of applicants being represented, and given how fast these floors might be changing, what are the odds that the outliers are represented on LSN? Is it likely, given the relatively small sample size, that floors are currently below what is represented on LSN over the last, say, 2 years? Or, is the the case that, given the higher caliber of applicants, the floor is pretty much the same, and we can assume that if someone get on with low numbers it's because they likely had a better-than-average app?

thanks

Kimikho
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Kimikho » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:27 am

Warning: I'm a paranoid nutcase.

One of my LOR writers wanted to write specific letters for two schools, in addition to a generic one. Now that the LORs are in, I'm really worried that she put the wrong forms with the wrong letters...I trust that she didn't...but yeah.

How would you have viewed that mixup? Would it be clear it's not the applicant's mistake?

Thanks! I'll read through more carefully if this has been answered before, but I don't think it has :/.

EDIT: done reading, found nothing.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:48 pm

lawpanther wrote:^ Wow. (to the info above Mike's post)

question for all or mike/karen:

So, what does that do to any margin of error? Say a school's gpa or lsat floor is "known" to be a specific number. isn't that based on historical data, so in the case of a school like duke, over time, a pretty reliable picture of their admits is constructed?
But in the last few years, things have been changing so fast that is it possible to say that we still have an accurate idea of where these floors are, especially given splitter and reverse splitter friendly schools?


I'm thinking, given a +/- 10% of applicants being represented, and given how fast these floors might be changing, what are the odds that the outliers are represented on LSN? Is it likely, given the relatively small sample size, that floors are currently below what is represented on LSN over the last, say, 2 years? Or, is the the case that, given the higher caliber of applicants, the floor is pretty much the same, and we can assume that if someone get on with low numbers it's because they likely had a better-than-average app?

thanks


lawpanther. I think about this often because we obviously will be helping people each year with a score below a school's apparent "floor"

My guess is that we will see more schools admit many more people at their floor, but probably not dip below it. So if Chicago admitted (amking these numbers up) 3 people last year with a 3.0, they may admit 15-20 this year.

Beyond the psychological reasons for not going below-floor, often these lines exist because of Bar Passage correlation studies. In other words, below a 152 LSAT you see a significant drop from your school in passing the Bar. When a school has a recent graduate fail the bar it is often a double whammy because it hits them immediately in USNWR and also often in the employment rates.

My guess is that floors might be lower for most schools than LSN says, but that is really hard to know for certain.

Mike

pancho
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby pancho » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:42 pm

Mike and Karen,

Would you please both comment on whether you are aware of admissions ever mapping an applicant's address? Whether it is a mansion, a hovel, a commune, or an ashram might give some context, right?

Thanks!

P.S. Is there a forthcoming blog post about Spivey & Co.'s GPA floor estimates? :wink:

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:48 pm

pancho wrote:Mike and Karen,

Would you please both comment on whether you are aware of admissions ever mapping an applicant's address? Whether it is a mansion, a hovel, a commune, or an ashram might give some context, right?

Thanks!

P.S. Is there a forthcoming blog post about Spivey & Co.'s GPA floor estimates? :wink:


Ha! No that is, indeed, the first I have heard of such an idea. Alumni & Development offices have sophisticated financial information gathering systems (I have seen them and they are scary) but admissions would never even think to do that even on the scholarship side. hell you might want to delete this post lol.

The next blog will be our internship job description (coming today) followed by a blog on how and how often to contact an admissions office. The "floor" blog would require a lot of data gathering/analysis which neither of us have the time for, hence the first blog posts on internships.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:32 pm

here is the internship opportunity, of which I have blathered:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/we-are-hiring/

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ZVBXRPL » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:32 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
bryanjbay12 wrote:Mike and Karen,

1. What are your thoughts on using the February LSAT to get off waitlists/negotiate scholarships? As a splitter for the bottom half of T14, I'm seriously considering taking the test in February in hopes that I can be a little more competitive for scholarships. Do you think this is a logical strategy, or is the December LSAT the test I should be targeting? (note: I will have my application turned in by the end of this week)

2. Since most (if not all) of the T6 do not consider February LSATs for the current cycle, am I correct in assuming that this strategy would not be helpful in gaining admission into these schools, despite already having a score from the October LSAT?

Again, thank you so much for answering all of these questions.


1. I have seen it happen many times every cycle. If I thought I could do better this is exactly what I would do, take the Feb LSAT. There is no downide and the upside could be an admit for tens of thousands of dollars in $$$,

I'm going to say all of this with emphasis and it is likely a repeat but bears noting. It is career suicide for a dean of admissions to average scores or to not look at Feb scores as part of the cycle. if other schools are doing it (and they are) than you better too or you will be packing your bags to transition to being the Dean of Admissions at Touro.

2. I had multiple clients get off the WL last year into T6 school taking the FEB LSAT, so still applicable. See the bolded part.

I hope this helps! :)

Mike,
Why the Touro beef?


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