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

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Kimikho
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Kimikho » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:08 pm

I posted this before but I think it may have gotten lost in whatever argument was going on.

How do admissions committees look at errors from LOR writers (typos, poor grammar, sending the wrong letter to the wrong school...)?

THANK YOU. I didn't read the argument but no matter what it was the foxes are right.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:16 pm

scoobers wrote:I posted this before but I think it may have gotten lost in whatever argument was going on.

How do admissions committees look at errors from LOR writers (typos, poor grammar, sending the wrong letter to the wrong school...)?

THANK YOU. I didn't read the argument but no matter what it was the foxes are right.


If the error is from the LOR writer it will have zero impact on you negatively. That said, if they sent to the wrong school I doubt it will help you much either -- it will just be like it didn't exist.

Sorry we lost this in the shuffle.

Kimikho
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Kimikho » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:18 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
scoobers wrote:I posted this before but I think it may have gotten lost in whatever argument was going on.

How do admissions committees look at errors from LOR writers (typos, poor grammar, sending the wrong letter to the wrong school...)?

THANK YOU. I didn't read the argument but no matter what it was the foxes are right.


If the error is from the LOR writer it will have zero impact on you negatively. That said, if they sent to the wrong school I doubt it will help you much either -- it will just be like it didn't exist.

Sorry we lost this in the shuffle.

no prob. thanks!!! you guys are awesome.

lateralis
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lateralis » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:43 pm

neprep wrote:This would sound a lot less disingenuous sans the condescension.


Condescension was not the intention. The double face palm was funny. I cannot afford a consultant but I recommend Spivey to my friends who can.

I am ready to drop this as soon as people stop responding. That's what I meant by "Carry on. I'm done." :D

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:55 pm

I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.

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outlawscr10
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby outlawscr10 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:24 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.


When should we expect that?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:27 pm

outlawscr10 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.


When should we expect that?


I'm not sure but we (me, deans of admissions I talk to frequently who get this stuff) thought it would have been out from LSAC by now. So hopefully, foreseeably soon.

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outlawscr10
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby outlawscr10 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
outlawscr10 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.


When should we expect that?


I'm not sure but we (me, deans of admissions I talk to frequently who get this stuff) thought it would have been out from LSAC by now. So hopefully, foreseeably soon.


Hopefully the delay is a good sign.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:40 pm

Here is some more that I just got and copied from what I tweeted:

Total Oct. U.S. first time #LSAT test takers down -10.6% from 2012. Oct repeat test takers down -15.2%.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:58 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:Sorry if this has already been answered, but thank you email after an online interview: yay or nay? (And would it be weird to send one out a week after the fact, or is too late?)


hey Dangerous.

I'm for it and not too late. Think about it this way, many others are sending them out so it might reflect/look negatively upon you if you do not.

Mike


Thanks, Mike! You guys are the best.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ScottRiqui » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:03 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Here is some more that I just got and copied from what I tweeted:

Total Oct. U.S. first time #LSAT test takers down -10.6% from 2012. Oct repeat test takers down -15.2%.


From your earlier link, the "U.S. Regional Total" for October 2013 was down 11.9% from October 2012. That number doesn't match either the first-time takers or the repeat takers, though - do you know where the discrepancy lies?

EDIT - Nevermind, the 11.9% figure is probably just the weighted average of the other two figures, and is the overall year-over-year decline for October.

worried0L
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby worried0L » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:54 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.



sry i'm gonna ask a dumb question here. what does bandwidth data mean? the specific drops in each score bands?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:24 pm

in the process wrote:Hi Karen,

I've gotten conflicting information as to whether a "Why Harvard" can be of any help. Many seem to be of the opinion that it is redundant (Harvard....duh) and will just look silly.

Is this true or can writing a compelling "Why" actually help one stand out a little?

Thanks in advance (and in general for helping to make this thread into the tremendous resource that it is)


I don't think that it's as helpful when submitting the application, but it might be helpful later on if you find yourself without a decision or on the WL.

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:46 pm

malleus discentium wrote:Hi Mike and Karen. Thanks for all the advice you're offering here. It's very helpful.

Question for you or anyone else who knows: A lot of deans have said at various times and places that when they look at an ASR, they pay attention to the percentage distributions of LSAT scores/GPAs for the undergrad as well as the cumulative GPA percentile rank/GPA college mean to interpret the impressiveness, I suppose, of the GPA in the context of how difficult an undergrad is. For example, some have suggested that they can infer grade inflation or not based on this data.

I've not been able to find out for myself how to look at my own ASR and interpret anything from it. For example, I have no idea if my GPA percentile rank is good or bad or just meh, and I have no idea what GPA mean indicates grade inflation. Can you shed some light on how to interpret all these numbers on the ASR? It's mostly just for my own curiosity. Thanks! :D


You should get a copy of your CAS report or have access to it at some point (I can't see if from the applicants POV, but I'm pretty sure you do have access to this information). (Sorry - I don't know what ASR means?)

You can interpret your own percentile rank without any of the following information -- it will just say that you are in the 85%tile and that's good or the 15th%tile and that's significantly less good.

The information that they will see is GPA College Mean (GCM). The GCM is the average GPA for law school candidates who graduated at any time period from the institution and who registered for the Credential Assembly Service during the most recent three years the candidate attended the school. There must be a minimum of 50 applicants in the LSAC database to produce this calculation.

Along with the GCM, a percentile rank is reported, which is helpful to the reader.

The best way to illustrate this is with my favorite extremes: Harvard College (where the GCM is upward of 3.5) and any US military academy (where the GCM is about 3.0). Someone with a 3.5 from Harvard is below the 50th percentile, where a 3.5 from West Point might be in the top 15-20% of their class.

And if you are curious about the other numbers that you might see, there is the LSAT College Mean (LCM). The LCM is the average LSAT score for graduates of each of the candidate’s schools. The people that make up this pool may have graduated during different time periods, but all registered for the LSAT during the three most recent years the candidate attended school, and all tested on the same score scale range during that same period. There must be a minimum of 50 candidates in the LSAC database for each school to produce this calculation.

That may have been entirely too much information, but I thought you might find it interesting. I do. :)

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:53 pm

tinytoons wrote:Hi Mike and Karen,

First, thank you for this thread - it has been incredibly helpful to me.

Here's my question: I've already been admitted to a couple of schools that are at or near the top of my list. However, my wife is applying to masters programs at the same schools and is a less strong (although still very competitive) candidate in her field. I made no note of our concurrent applications in any of my applications, but is there any possibility that my admittance could help her chances? I'm sure it varies case-by-case, but I guess my main question is whether it is worth it to let the schools know that she is also applying.

Her admittance would make me significantly more likely to attend certain schools, fwiw.

Thanks!


Yes - let them know. It will not hurt at all, and it may be a thumb on the scale for her. They'll want to keep you and it is possible that they'll reach out the their colleagues at the masters program.
And congrats on the acceptances already!
Cheers,
KB

wzevon9
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby wzevon9 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:43 am

Hello Mike and Karen,

Thanks again for all of your efforts in answering questions here. I read your Blog about contacting and visiting law schools. I will be applying next cycle, but I am in the peace corps and will be applying from overseas. I will be unable to visit any of the schools to which I apply. How will being overseas impact both my ability to interview (for those schools that do interviews) and my ability to keep in contact with any of the law schools after applying (assuming I have good reason to do so, as stated in you Blog)?

Thank you again.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:59 am

In our build/facility survey I found this data point noteworthy.

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY 66.6 3

So with three votes on NYU we get 66.6. EVIL

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:02 pm

wzevon9 wrote:Hello Mike and Karen,

Thanks again for all of your efforts in answering questions here. I read your Blog about contacting and visiting law schools. I will be applying next cycle, but I am in the peace corps and will be applying from overseas. I will be unable to visit any of the schools to which I apply. How will being overseas impact both my ability to interview (for those schools that do interviews) and my ability to keep in contact with any of the law schools after applying (assuming I have good reason to do so, as stated in you Blog)?

Thank you again.


wzevon,

Not to worry, schools are very familiar with this, will Skype or phone interview you, and do not hold it against you in the least that you cannot visit, as this is of course understandable. You'd be surprised how many applicants each cycle apply from overseas.

You should obviously let them know (would be almost impossible to not, given their applications) and stay in touch via email.

Thanks for doing Peace Corp, it will give you a nice "soft" bump in your application.

Mike

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Howl
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Howl » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:29 pm

chmb wrote:Mike and Karen,

Echoing what others have said, thank you very much for all of your posts in this thread. Catching up on it over the past few days has been really helpful.

I'm interested in what you both think about submitting "Why X" addendums to T14 schools whose medians a candidate is above? I've read varying advice in other places (for example, don't even bother for T6), but wasn't able to find the topic discussed in this thread or your blog (although, that "napping" addendum image on Twitter was pretty good, Mike :) ). Is it unnecessary to write one for the schools that don't require it or could not writing one mean running the risk of being "yield protected?"

Thanks!


Hello Mike and Karen,

I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all the work in this thread! You both are amazing.

I had the same question as the quoted poster above - I honestly don't have a huge preference for any one school, and am struggling to conjure up "Why X" statements for schools where I'm above the median. I'm afraid that I'll end up sounding disingenuous though. The only thing remotely motivating me to do this is the fear of being YP'ed at these places - is there a real risk of being YPed at these schools if we're above the medians and don't particularly show our enthusiasm for the school? Or should we be writing "Why X" optional statements just to maximize our chances at admissions regardless of where we stand on the medians? TLS consensus seems to be "always write a Why X," but I wanted to get your opinions first.

Thanks a bunch!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:28 pm

worried0L wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.



sry i'm gonna ask a dumb question here. what does bandwidth data mean? the specific drops in each score bands?


This is what I mean, these are the final numbers for the class matriculating in 2013, by LSAT bandwidths. Come to think of it, have you guys ever seen all of the final numbers for 2013? I have them and can easily blog em.

Highest LSAT
Number of Applicants
Pct Chg YTD
< 140 5,016 -0.5%
140–144 6,114 -7.2%
145–149 9,439 -7.4%
150–154 11,430 -10.6%
155–159 10,920 -15.9%
160–164 7,913 -15.0%
165–169 4,967 -16.1%
170–174 1,995 -24.6%
175–180 534 -20.7%

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outlawscr10
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby outlawscr10 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:04 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
worried0L wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.



sry i'm gonna ask a dumb question here. what does bandwidth data mean? the specific drops in each score bands?


This is what I mean, these are the final numbers for the class matriculating in 2013, by LSAT bandwidths. Come to think of it, have you guys ever seen all of the final numbers for 2013? I have them and can easily blog em.

Highest LSAT
Number of Applicants
Pct Chg YTD
< 140 5,016 -0.5%
140–144 6,114 -7.2%
145–149 9,439 -7.4%
150–154 11,430 -10.6%
155–159 10,920 -15.9%
160–164 7,913 -15.0%
165–169 4,967 -16.1%
170–174 1,995 -24.6%
175–180 534 -20.7%


Given that there was a 16.2% drop in all test takers, the decrease in 170-174 and 175-180 is particularly important. Is that what we're supposed to take from those numbers?

drevo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby drevo » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:13 pm

outlawscr10 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
worried0L wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I got the first round of Oct LSAT test taker data :-)

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/oct-ls ... by-region/

That is mildly interesting. Of acute interest will be the bandwidth data, which we will blog the second it is released to admissions deans.



sry i'm gonna ask a dumb question here. what does bandwidth data mean? the specific drops in each score bands?


This is what I mean, these are the final numbers for the class matriculating in 2013, by LSAT bandwidths. Come to think of it, have you guys ever seen all of the final numbers for 2013? I have them and can easily blog em.

Highest LSAT
Number of Applicants
Pct Chg YTD
< 140 5,016 -0.5%
140–144 6,114 -7.2%
145–149 9,439 -7.4%
150–154 11,430 -10.6%
155–159 10,920 -15.9%
160–164 7,913 -15.0%
165–169 4,967 -16.1%
170–174 1,995 -24.6%
175–180 534 -20.7%


Given that there was a 16.2% drop in all test takers, the decrease in 170-174 and 175-180 is particularly important. Is that what we're supposed to take from those numbers?


I sure hope so. Got to keep that shred of hope that those 175-180s become scarce enough and important enough to HLS and SLS to accept a GPA a below 25ths. That same shred of hope that drives me to buy lottery tickets.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ScottRiqui » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:28 pm

drevo wrote:
I sure hope so. Got to keep that shred of hope that those 175-180s become scarce enough and important enough to HLS and SLS to accept a GPA a below 25ths. That same shred of hope that drives me to buy lottery tickets.


Well, sort of like the lottery, you can't win if you don't play. I think you have the right idea - send in the applications, and make them tell you "no". I've applied to a school where I don't think I would have had a legitimate chance three or four years ago. I haven't been accepted yet, but I haven't been rejected outright or moved from the ED pool into the RD pool or the wait list , so I'm keeping my hopes up.

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outlawscr10
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby outlawscr10 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:28 pm

You may just have to settle for Columbia. The rest of your life is pretty much over after that. ;)

drevo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby drevo » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:46 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
drevo wrote:
I sure hope so. Got to keep that shred of hope that those 175-180s become scarce enough and important enough to HLS and SLS to accept a GPA a below 25ths. That same shred of hope that drives me to buy lottery tickets.


Well, sort of like the lottery, you can't win if you don't play. I think you have the right idea - send in the applications, and make them tell you "no". I've applied to a school where I don't think I would have had a legitimate chance three or four years ago. I haven't been accepted yet, but I haven't been rejected outright or moved from the ED pool into the RD pool or the wait list , so I'm keeping my hopes up.


That's what I've been saying in regards to HYS is that I'm going to make them reject me. Some people initially think I am going to sabotage my app or something but I'm glad other people think that way too.

outlawscr10 wrote:You may just have to settle for Columbia. The rest of your life is pretty much over after that. ;)


Ha, I most definitely would be more than okay "settling" for Columbia :lol: . When I first took my law school aspirations seriously and started LSAT prepping I was really hoping to be competitive for USC/UCLA and I am still sort of in shock that I am competitive at places like Columbia (thank you shrinking applicant pool). And I feel almost greedy imaging the minuscule chance at Stanford, but as Bay Area native it doesn't get better than Stanford for anything.


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