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 Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:11 pm

lateralis 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?


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


It's not so much skirting the issue as it is an unanswerable question and makes us kinda do this:

Image

I actually like theoretical admissions discussions so maybe on our next online chat we could talk a bit more about this but there really will never be a precise answer to the "what would x LSAT score translate to as a gpa"...if you were to ask a panel of admissions deans this very question I think they would just stare at you blankly or do the above. Sorry we can't be of better help on this one!

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OVOXO
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby OVOXO » Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:50 pm

Karen,

Do you consider it a fair characterization that HLS places the most emphasis on the LSAT, compared to its peer schools? If this is a fair characterization, why do you think HLS does this?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:25 pm

thecourier wrote:
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!

Any chance you're still accepting applications?


We filled it today, sorry :-( ... Also unless I have lost my mind I feel like I just answered that same question to a different username. If I am losing my mind we might need a second intern...

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:06 pm

OVOXO wrote:Karen,

Do you consider it a fair characterization that HLS places the most emphasis on the LSAT, compared to its peer schools? If this is a fair characterization, why do you think HLS does this?


Hi OVOXO -

If you mean more emphasis on the LSAT than their peer schools put on it, I would say no, that's not a fair characterization. Everyone puts a lot of emphasis on it. I think that HLS's size may have something to do with this perception, tho. Remember HLS has an entering class of 560 where SLS and YLS have ~200. So, more people with higher numbers are admitted to HLS than are admitted to YLS/SLS to get that many people in the class.
Does that help?
Cheers,
karen

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dcpanther
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby dcpanther » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:36 pm

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Last edited by dcpanther on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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teampeeta
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby teampeeta » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:38 pm

Karen,

In your experience is the admissions committee at HLS (or SLS and YLS) suspicious of people who retake the LSAT with scores that are around the median? I got a 173 in October and I've taken the test 3 times now (the other two takes were 2 years ago so I'm not over my limit). Some of my practice tests were higher and since my GPA isn't as high as I'd like it to be (it's in the 3.5-3.6 range), I was thinking of retaking in December. Is the committee going to view me with a lot of skepticism or will it not matter? I am an URM, fwiw.

Additionally, does an upward grade trend really matter? My grades for the last 3 years of UG were significantly higher than my grades freshman year. Will the schools possibly see the improvement and evaluate me as someone who is more capable than my cumulative GPA would suggest? Or, is it really a case of schools evaluating people based on the numbers they can report to US News?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:07 pm

Some good news of sorts on the horizon:

1. New blog will be up today on when/why/how to contact admissions offices after you have submitted your application and it is complete.

2. Soon, this entire thread will be condensed to just questions and answers (e.g. be babbling about my Halloween costume will not be in it) out into pdf and linked from our website. That should make it much easier for those who are new and want to read the entire thing.

Hope they help!

Mike

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bombaysippin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bombaysippin » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:24 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Some good news of sorts on the horizon:

1. New blog will be up today on when/why/how to contact admissions offices after you have submitted your application and it is complete.

2. Soon, this entire thread will be condensed to just questions and answers (e.g. be babbling about my Halloween costume will not be in it) out into pdf and linked from our website. That should make it much easier for those who are new and want to read the entire thing.

Hope they help!

Mike


PDF is an amazing idea. Good stuff Mike!

lawpanther
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawpanther » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:42 pm

Is a suit too formal for an interview?

I have been unsuccessful at getting a dress code from the school or the interviewer. I'm torn between like jeans/dress shirt/blazer and a suit.

thanks!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:24 pm

lawpanther wrote:Is a suit too formal for an interview?

I have been unsuccessful at getting a dress code from the school or the interviewer. I'm torn between like jeans/dress shirt/blazer and a suit.

thanks!


Who is interviewing you (alum or admissions person)?

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NYC2012
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby NYC2012 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:58 pm

lawpanther wrote:Is a suit too formal for an interview?

I have been unsuccessful at getting a dress code from the school or the interviewer. I'm torn between like jeans/dress shirt/blazer and a suit.

thanks!


I don't know anything about anything, but wearing jeans to any type of interview sounds like a bad idea.

lawpanther
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawpanther » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:22 pm

@ mike: alum.



NYC: yeah, i read that about the jeans a few pages back, but I didn't think about it when i was typing that out.

I should clarify. I didn't actually mean literally only jeans and a blazer, i was more trying to say that i was choosing between 'business casual' or like more formal business attire.

Not trying to take away from your catch, because it was a good one! I was just a dummy and phrased it stupidly. so with an alum, business casual or like a suit? thanks all!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:24 pm

If alum then suit because it is at least 75% likely they will be wearing one too, especially if on a work day.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:59 pm

Bajam wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Some good news of sorts on the horizon:

1. New blog will be up today on when/why/how to contact admissions offices after you have submitted your application and it is complete.

2. Soon, this entire thread will be condensed to just questions and answers (e.g. be babbling about my Halloween costume will not be in it) out into pdf and linked from our website. That should make it much easier for those who are new and want to read the entire thing.

Hope they help!

Mike


PDF is an amazing idea. Good stuff Mike!


Actually it came from a TLS'er who is also operationalizing it. So kudos to you guy. if I said it once I'll say it 100 times, many of the people in this community could be deans of admission. Actually in the future when you guys get your JDs I've already offered to help a few people do just that.

Also the blog is up:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/pressu ... pestering/

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby sublime » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:05 pm

..

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:29 pm

Mike & Karen,

Are y'all planning to do a blog about negotiating scholarships down the line?

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cannibal ox
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby cannibal ox » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:38 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Mike & Karen,

Are y'all planning to do a blog about negotiating scholarships down the line?


This is relevant to my interests.

blackbirdfly
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby blackbirdfly » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:43 pm

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Last edited by blackbirdfly on Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:32 pm

dcpanther wrote:Karen,

Apologies if this has been asked ad nauseum, but during your time at HLS what are some of the more memorable examples of "soft" factors that caused you to overlook or think twice about an applicant with lower numbers?


It is asked a lot, and I'm sorry to say that there really is no satisfactory answer.
In almost every case, at least one of the numbers indicated potential success in law school (splitters or reverse splitters).
Because the answers are so incredibly specific to the individual applicant, I think it is more helpful to reply with more general categories.
--> Overcoming something extreme in their life (extreme poverty, family issues, illness or amputation, etc.) with the right attitude. That last bit is important - don't invite us to your pity party.
--> Really smart second career folks whose first career didn't really need a college degree. The late bloomers for whom the LSAT is the first standardized test they've ever taken
--> Success in another area (great work experience, Olympic medalist, member of successful rock band

I'm sure I'm missing something, but I hope this is helpful!
Cheers,
karen

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:49 pm

teampeeta wrote:Karen,

In your experience is the admissions committee at HLS (or SLS and YLS) suspicious of people who retake the LSAT with scores that are around the median? I got a 173 in October and I've taken the test 3 times now (the other two takes were 2 years ago so I'm not over my limit). Some of my practice tests were higher and since my GPA isn't as high as I'd like it to be (it's in the 3.5-3.6 range), I was thinking of retaking in December. Is the committee going to view me with a lot of skepticism or will it not matter? I am an URM, fwiw.

Additionally, does an upward grade trend really matter? My grades for the last 3 years of UG were significantly higher than my grades freshman year. Will the schools possibly see the improvement and evaluate me as someone who is more capable than my cumulative GPA would suggest? Or, is it really a case of schools evaluating people based on the numbers they can report to US News?


Nah, I don't think they are suspicious of re-takers at the median; it's not expected, but it's not suspicious.
yes! An upward trend does matter! They will look at your transcript, not just the GPA. Of course they will report the cumulative GPA, but it doesn't mean that they are blind to everything else.
Hope that is helpful!
Cheers,
Karen

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:55 pm

blackbirdfly wrote:MIke & Karen --

I'm K-JD, which is always a point of conversation in interviews. Do you think it's a bad idea to let an interviewer know that you are exploring other options and would probably deter enrollment if a great opportunity came up?


I hope you meant defer!
If you are talking specifically about HLS, it's not a bad thing to mention deferral or ask about it.
Other schools will vary depending on how they feel about deferrals - some schools are just more liberal about granting deferrals than others.

Cheers,
Karen

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:15 am

I posted this on the "pictures of law schools" thread but I thought I would here too. Indeed, if anyone thinks it will be better served somewhere else let me know. Thanks!
_________________
Hi people.

I love this thread in part because I have long coveted a rankings, or top 10, or sorts regarding law schools facilities (read building for most law schools, although many have 2 or 3 satellite buildings as well). One of these years I am going to buy an RV and visit every one (i'm not joking) but until then I need to rely on external help to rank them. That is where you guys come in.

Linked is a survey that first has you click on all the law schools you have visited and, each time you click one, a 0-100 point scale for the building is populated below. You can then rate the building(s) of the law schools you have visited from 0-100, the higher meaning the better it was by whatever definition you have of better.

The results of this survey will be factored into a ranking I come up with, along with my experience visiting a good many, KB's experience, and likely a few faculty member who we are friends with. So, here it is, simple and hopefully fun. Many thanks for being a part of this!

http://jotform.co/form/33215267186859

Mike

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:20 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
blackbirdfly wrote:MIke & Karen --

I'm K-JD, which is always a point of conversation in interviews. Do you think it's a bad idea to let an interviewer know that you are exploring other options and would probably deter enrollment if a great opportunity came up?


I hope you meant defer!
If you are talking specifically about HLS, it's not a bad thing to mention deferral or ask about it.
Other schools will vary depending on how they feel about deferrals - some schools are just more liberal about granting deferrals than others.

Cheers,
Karen


Let me expand on this -- obviously not from the Harvard perspective. My personal experience is that you should always ask for a deferral after being admitted, not before. Again, this is my personal experience and if it is value added to ask at a specific school and we find out about that, then we will let you know, e.g. Harvard.

But for most schools I can not see the value and I see a lot of downside. Let me give an analogy and apologies if I sound like I am trying to be Kevin ("Mr. Wonderful
) from Shark Tank in doing so. In career employment I far too often see people negotiating, asking about leave, etc etc BEFORE they have a job offer. I speak with former students, people from TLS, etc on a weekly basis about career strategy and my advice is always you have no decision until you have an offer. So similarly, I do not think I would personally risk telling a school I might look to defer until I actually was admitted. I can not imagine most schools saying "wow that is an elevating factor we need to fill a class THIS year but we won't with him/her so let us admit post haste" but I can see the opposite, or a school thinking it is a bit cocky, etc etc.

I hope this colors in (technically out) the scenario. When in doubt I would leave this out.

Mike

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
blackbirdfly wrote:MIke & Karen --

I'm K-JD, which is always a point of conversation in interviews. Do you think it's a bad idea to let an interviewer know that you are exploring other options and would probably deter enrollment if a great opportunity came up?


I hope you meant defer!
If you are talking specifically about HLS, it's not a bad thing to mention deferral or ask about it.
Other schools will vary depending on how they feel about deferrals - some schools are just more liberal about granting deferrals than others.

Cheers,
Karen


Let me expand on this -- obviously not from the Harvard perspective. My personal experience is that you should always ask for a deferral after being admitted, not before. Again, this is my personal experience and if it is value added to ask at a specific school and we find out about that, then we will let you know, e.g. Harvard.

But for most schools I can not see the value and I see a lot of downside. Let me give an analogy and apologies if I sound like I am trying to be Kevin ("Mr. Wonderful
) from Shark Tank in doing so. In career employment I far too often see people negotiating, asking about leave, etc etc BEFORE they have a job offer. I speak with former students, people from TLS, etc on a weekly basis about career strategy and my advice is always you have no decision until you have an offer. So similarly, I do not think I would personally risk telling a school I might look to defer until I actually was admitted. I can not imagine most schools saying "wow that is an elevating factor we need to fill a class THIS year but we won't with him/her so let us admit post haste" but I can see the opposite, or a school thinking it is a bit cocky, etc etc.

I hope this colors in (technically out) the scenario. When in doubt I would leave this out.

Mike


fwiw, I 100% agree with what Mike says here :)
And I love Shark Tank too.

KB

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Sourrudedude
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Sourrudedude » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:46 pm

Mike and Karen,

I just read Karen's above post about softs that could supersede higher numbers. Something that I haven't seen talked about is how much bad softs/a lack of god softs could work against an applicant's numbers. Essentially, what would be examples of people with >75th numbers not getting in to schools?

P.S. I'm new to this thread so anyone can feel free to shoot me down if this has been asked before.


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