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

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BmoreOrLess
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby BmoreOrLess » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:17 pm

eyfl wrote:I know reapplying with exactly the same PS is no-go


Is this still true if you were previously accepted and decided to wait a few years and apply again? If so, oops.

lateralis
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lateralis » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:55 pm

Mike,

Did you have to pay the LSAC psychometricians for your appearance in Game 3 of PT 62 or did they pay you? I was pondering this earlier today as I completed the game. Rather distracting I must admit! :lol:

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:22 pm

lateralis wrote:Mike,

Did you have to pay the LSAC psychometricians for your appearance in Game 3 of PT 62 or did they pay you? I was pondering this earlier today as I completed the game. Rather distracting I must admit! :lol:


Pashley may have written me in in after I won the statistics camp award he gave out after I went to his law admissions stats thing (after an LSAC Forum). I got a book about statistics for winning the camper of the day award :) When was the question written?... maybe there is some truth to that.

lateralis
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lateralis » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:28 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
lateralis wrote:Mike,

Did you have to pay the LSAC psychometricians for your appearance in Game 3 of PT 62 or did they pay you? I was pondering this earlier today as I completed the game. Rather distracting I must admit! :lol:


Pashley may have written me in in after I won the statistics camp award he gave out after I went to his law admissions stats thing (after an LSAC Forum). I got a book about statistics for winning the camper of the day award :) When was the question written?... maybe there is some truth to that.


December 2010.

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
cigarman wrote:I think you are being charitable to former colleagues in the industry. Why would Harvard NEED to cast a "wide net"? Like they wouldn't be able to fill their class without trolling? And can ANYONE with a straight face really believe they are going to admit anyone 3 LSAT points under their 25th LSAT percentile from last year, that isn't a URM or a famous person. Oh heck, lets be generous, more than five people? If they really mean it, then a fee waiver should be included. But, short of that, I stand by it is a game to raise their selectivity and effectively defraud applicants of their application fee. There is no historical data, I can see that they seriously would admit people well below their 25%'s. Just look at the Yale data on the LSAC website. It just doesn't happen. And the Yale data Includes URM's. I'm sorry this smells like gamesmanship.


I am sitting here with a straight face telling you that in my time at HLS, MANY people with a 167 or below who are not URM or famous people were admitted to HLS. I think you may be forgetting that HLS's entering class is about 560 people. That means that about 140 people in each entering class have below the 25th percentile. They aren't all URMs or famous people. HLS has the luxury of taking a chance on someone who may not be a good test taker or someone who has interesting work experience, etc.


Perhaps he is using LSN as a resource. For each of the c/o 2015 and c/o 2016 cycles there was only a single non-URM applicant admitted under 168. For c/o 2014 there wasn't one.

Now I am not doubting the veracity of your claim for a second, but you have to agree the LSN data is not very supportive. I understand the thread has covered that the users of that particular website are not representative of the the entire population but two people in three years is a little ridiculous.

Moreover, what holds for the dynamics of the LSAT data point should also hold for the GPA data point. Why has there not in the last three years been a single non-URM acceptance appear on LSN under a 3.44? Why have there only been two beneath 3.50? Last year, c/o 2016, which should have been the most lenient of the three cycles, the lowest non-URM acceptance had a 3.53 GPA.

Can you make the same claim that "many" non-URMs in your time at HLS (how many years was this, by the way?) were accepted beneath, say, a 3.45? If not, is HLS just more willing to make an exception for a sub-25th LSAT than a sub-25th GPA? Does Admissions find the latter a better predictor than the former?

Thanks for your time Karen.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:01 pm

lateralis wrote:
Perhaps he is using LSN as a resource. For each of the c/o 2015 and c/o 2016 cycles there was only a single non-URM applicant admitted under 168. For c/o 2014 there wasn't one.

Now I am not doubting the veracity of your claim for a second, but you have to agree the LSN data is not very supportive. I understand the thread has covered that the users of that particular website are not representative of the the entire population but two people in three years is a little ridiculous.

Moreover, what holds for the dynamics of the LSAT data point should also hold for the GPA data point. Why has there not in the last three years been a single non-URM acceptance appear on LSN under a 3.44? Why have there only been two beneath 3.50? Last year, c/o 2016, which should have been the most lenient of the three cycles, the lowest non-URM acceptance had a 3.53 GPA.

Can you make the same claim that "many" non-URMs in your time at HLS (how many years was this, by the way?) were accepted beneath, say, a 3.45? If not, is HLS just more willing to make an exception for a sub-25th LSAT than a sub-25th GPA? Does Admissions find the latter a better predictor than the former?

Thanks for your time Karen.


I stand by what I said about the LSAT.
The question you raised about GPA is an entirely different matter, so no I wouldn't make that claim. And I was in the admissions office at HLS for 12 years.
Two quick reasons why I wouldn't make that claim:
-->The LSAT and GPA cannot be compared in the same way. One is a standardized test and one is not at all standard.
-->A 3.45 is very low for HLS, URM or not (and, because of point one, it is not comparable to a 167 LSAT)

Cheers,
Karen

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:01 am

Thanks everyone who applied for the Spivey Consulting Internship gig. I think 100% of our applications came from TLS. I'll keep it up one more day @ http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/ in case someone has been trying to get their materials together. In hindsight we should have asked for a Why Spivey Consulting Essay too (that's a joke...a really bad joke.)

Thanks again!

LawwwYeaa
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby LawwwYeaa » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:25 am

[deleted]
Last edited by LawwwYeaa on Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:51 am

LawwwYeaa wrote:Mike and Karen - this thread has been amazing - thank you!

I have a quick question - after submitting my resume with my apps, I realized that I listed the time period I held a certain volunteer position a few months before I actually did. I was still with this organization at the time, but I did not hold that title at the time I said I did. Is this a major issue? Should I send a corrected resume to the law schools?

I'm already under committee review at one of the schools - any guidance you could provide would be much appreciated!


yes send to the main email address and say you apologize, just caught it, and here is an updated version. It won;t have any impact so you are fine. Also, "under committee" highly likely means "complete --sitting in a file drawer" so you are totally fine on all accounts.

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bombaysippin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bombaysippin » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Thanks everyone who applied for the Spivey Consulting Internship gig. I think 100% of our applications came from TLS. I'll keep it up one more day @ http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/ in case someone has been trying to get their materials together. In hindsight we should have asked for a Why Spivey Consulting Essay too (that's a joke...a really bad joke.)

Thanks again!


Why Spivey...YP ftw haha. I thought it was a funny joke.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:38 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!


Hey Mike,

Any progress on this front?

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t14splitter
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby t14splitter » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:56 pm

bouleversement wrote:
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!


Hey Mike,

Any progress on this front?


+1

I was just about to bring this up again and you beat me to it.

lateralis
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lateralis » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:33 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:I stand by what I said about the LSAT.
The question you raised about GPA is an entirely different matter, so no I wouldn't make that claim. And I was in the admissions office at HLS for 12 years.
Two quick reasons why I wouldn't make that claim:
-->The LSAT and GPA cannot be compared in the same way. One is a standardized test and one is not at all standard.
-->A 3.45 is very low for HLS, URM or not (and, because of point one, it is not comparable to a 167 LSAT)

Cheers,
Karen


What I don't understand Karen is why HLS does not appear to accept applicants more often in the territory just below what LSN represents as a GPA floor (i.e. 3.40-3.55). Doesn't Admissions have the same discretion with the GPA that you referenced on the LSAT for up to a quarter of the class? It sounds from your reply that indeed the fact they do not accept such applicants is not for quantitative reasons. Ergo, it must be for qualitative reasons. Apparently Admissions believes a lower GPA is more predictive than a lower LSAT.

The LSAT is standardized, indeed, but these days an applicant really has nothing to lose outside of time and money by taking the LSAT multiple times. (Mike has echoed this.) If an applicant is unable to score in a certain range after a few attempts it is probably safe to say they do not belong in that range.

The GPA, on the other hand, allows for no do-over. How does Admissions account for the fact someone could attain a 3.0 the first two years, 4.0 the next two, end up with a 3.5 but would really be a 4.0 today?

Thanks again for your time.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:31 pm

bouleversement wrote:
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!


Hey Mike,

Any progress on this front?


Let me wait for the new intern to help with this a bit more, once we add said intern. I'll start it off though.

1. Yale

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:46 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
bouleversement wrote:
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!


Hey Mike,

Any progress on this front?


Let me wait for the new intern to help with this a bit more, once we add said intern. I'll start it off though.

1. Yale

Woah, Nostradamus Spivey right here.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:58 pm

Actually revisiting this topic gave me something to tweet about so gratzi for that.

Predicting rankings is a freaking disaster at times but I try every year.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bouleversement » Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:59 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
bouleversement wrote:
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!


Hey Mike,

Any progress on this front?


Let me wait for the new intern to help with this a bit more, once we add said intern. I'll start it off though.

1. Yale


Wasn't there talk about changing the methodology regarding amount spent per student or some such measure? You don't believe this will happen anytime soon?

WanderingPondering
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby WanderingPondering » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
WanderingPondering wrote:Mike, which schools do you consider the winners and losers of this most recent admissions cycle? And do you expect to see subsequent jumps in the rankings because of this? Will a school raising or maintaining their medians, or lowering their class size be rewarded for it?

I know the rankings are not important to the students, but they can be huge for the school's reputation and ability to attract students (rightly or wrongly).


That's a great idea for a blog. I think we'll need about a month before we can entirely know though, so stay on me about that!


So what do you think?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:05 pm

You guys are gangsters. (and if being called a gangster is a good thing than the opposite of that). Off the top of my head

Last cycle:

Big winners!

Stanford
Berkeley

Big Losers:

Vanderbilt (* they were punching way above their weight so it was bound to happen. In some sense they still hit above their weight)
Notre Dame

Who did I miss?

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cannibal ox
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby cannibal ox » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:16 pm

Minnesota?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:23 pm

lateralis wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:I stand by what I said about the LSAT.
The question you raised about GPA is an entirely different matter, so no I wouldn't make that claim. And I was in the admissions office at HLS for 12 years.
Two quick reasons why I wouldn't make that claim:
-->The LSAT and GPA cannot be compared in the same way. One is a standardized test and one is not at all standard.
-->A 3.45 is very low for HLS, URM or not (and, because of point one, it is not comparable to a 167 LSAT)

Cheers,
Karen


What I don't understand Karen is why HLS does not appear to accept applicants more often in the territory just below what LSN represents as a GPA floor (i.e. 3.40-3.55). Doesn't Admissions have the same discretion with the GPA that you referenced on the LSAT for up to a quarter of the class? It sounds from your reply that indeed the fact they do not accept such applicants is not for quantitative reasons. Ergo, it must be for qualitative reasons. Apparently Admissions believes a lower GPA is more predictive than a lower LSAT.

The LSAT is standardized, indeed, but these days an applicant really has nothing to lose outside of time and money by taking the LSAT multiple times. (Mike has echoed this.) If an applicant is unable to score in a certain range after a few attempts it is probably safe to say they do not belong in that range.

The GPA, on the other hand, allows for no do-over. How does Admissions account for the fact someone could attain a 3.0 the first two years, 4.0 the next two, end up with a 3.5 but would really be a 4.0 today?

Thanks again for your time.


I'm saying that you can't make the analogy that a 3.5 = 167 for this argument.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:12 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
I'm saying that you can't make the analogy that a 3.5 = 167 for this argument.


For the sake of this analogy, what does a 3.5 equal?

ljoandc
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ljoandc » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:52 pm

Hi Karen,

So my top choice at the moment is HLS, and I am retaking the LSAT on December. Is submitting an application early January still okay in terms of admissions chances into HLS? I know it's not "early," but that's not too late, right?

Forgive me if this question was already answered - I haven't waded through all of the pages of this Q&A.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby iamgeorgebush » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:56 am

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
I'm saying that you can't make the analogy that a 3.5 = 167 for this argument.


For the sake of this analogy, what does a 3.5 equal?

Hmm, I would be curious to hear this too. A 167 is at the 95th percentile...I can't find any data on the GPA distribution of law schools applicants, but at what percentile is a 3.5? Based on comparing mean GPA and mean LSAT on my UG Academic Summary Report and looking at stats from some other UGs, I would guess that a 3.5 sits around the 85th percentile among all law school applicants, and the 85th percentile for the LSAT is a 162. I think a 167 would be closer to 3.7 in terms of how their percentiles align (which, as Karen pointed out, does not make the two measures comparable).

I'm drawing these conclusions from incomplete data though, so I'm sure I'm wrong.

lateralis
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lateralis » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:29 am

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
I'm saying that you can't make the analogy that a 3.5 = 167 for this argument.


For the sake of this analogy, what does a 3.5 equal?


Good luck! I appreciate of course the advice Karen gives here but she does rather appear to be skirting the issue on this one!

lateralis
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lateralis » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:30 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
I'm saying that you can't make the analogy that a 3.5 = 167 for this argument.


For the sake of this analogy, what does a 3.5 equal?

Hmm, I would be curious to hear this too. A 167 is at the 95th percentile...I can't find any data on the GPA distribution of law schools applicants, but at what percentile is a 3.5? Based on comparing mean GPA and mean LSAT on my UG Academic Summary Report and looking at stats from some other UGs, I would guess that a 3.5 sits around the 85th percentile among all law school applicants, and the 85th percentile for the LSAT is a 162. I think a 167 would be closer to 3.7 in terms of how their percentiles align (which, as Karen pointed out, does not make the two measures comparable).

I'm drawing these conclusions from incomplete data though, so I'm sure I'm wrong.


I think the more apt comparison is within the HLS class. They are both in that nebulous <25th percentile. Whether one is 17th and the other 7th we will probably never know.


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