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

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Instinctive
Posts: 436
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:23 pm

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Instinctive » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:03 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
pancho wrote:
Instinctive wrote:
pancho wrote:Hi Karen,

JDMBA questions

-Pancho


my answers


TY and more questions


pancho -
Transferring into a joint program is tricky. Because most joint degrees allow you to use some credits at your non-JD degree toward your JD, plus the ABA requirement that you need to take a certain number of credits at the JD -degree-granting school, being a transfer and a joint degree student is difficult. It is not a good idea to plan this option from the beginning.
Julie Barton is the right person at HLS who coordinates the joint degree students, so she may be a good resource.

You should check the joint degree box and tell them that you are applying to both schools. There is no downside to it. HLS and HBS do not have access to each other's applicant databases, but Instinctive is right, they will eventually share that info but usually the applicant tells them first!

Cheers,
KB


Karen,

Is there anything I said that you would disagree with or needs correcting? Just want to make sure I don't tell someone else something that is wrong.

pancho
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:05 am

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby pancho » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:20 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:pancho -
Transferring into a joint program is tricky. Because most joint degrees allow you to use some credits at your non-JD degree toward your JD, plus the ABA requirement that you need to take a certain number of credits at the JD -degree-granting school, being a transfer and a joint degree student is difficult. It is not a good idea to plan this option from the beginning.
Julie Barton is the right person at HLS who coordinates the joint degree students, so she may be a good resource.

You should check the joint degree box and tell them that you are applying to both schools. There is no downside to it. HLS and HBS do not have access to each other's applicant databases, but Instinctive is right, they will eventually share that info but usually the applicant tells them first!

Cheers,
KB


Thanks Karen!

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:47 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:Karen,

What are your thoughts on Mike's assessment/reporting of the potential lowering of GPA floors in an effort to secure 173+ LSAT scores? Do you have any info that would support that this is taking place? Do you think this will extend even to top schools such as HLS? I am curious on your thoughts.

Thanks!


Given that HLS's apps were up last year when nearly everyone else is down, I would say that they are a bit more insulated from the reality of the sate of declining applications. It's a little early now to predict what's going to happen at the top. I think there might be a very, very minor downward shift, but it's not going to be a free-for-all at HLS :)

Cheers,
KB


Thanks Karen! I'm hoping their apps are down this year :D...

edwardt1988
Posts: 365
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby edwardt1988 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:43 pm

Obviously it's hard to say this for Harvard, but even with an uptick in applications, the average quality of the applicant(gpa/LSAT) could be down. You could have a bunch of applicants that would have never applied before because they knew their chances are small( like me) applying because of the overall trend in applications. So that could boost the overall application #.

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:44 pm

edwardt1988 wrote:Obviously it's hard to say this for Harvard, but even with an uptick in applications, the average quality of the applicant(gpa/LSAT) could be down. You could have a bunch of applicants that would have never applied before because they knew their chances are small( like me) applying because of the overall trend in applications. So that could boost the overall application #.


True, and this would jive with what has tended to happen lately, that is the drop off in scores / test takers is at the high end.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:51 pm

lawschool22 wrote:
edwardt1988 wrote:Obviously it's hard to say this for Harvard, but even with an uptick in applications, the average quality of the applicant(gpa/LSAT) could be down. You could have a bunch of applicants that would have never applied before because they knew their chances are small( like me) applying because of the overall trend in applications. So that could boost the overall application #.


True, and this would jive with what has tended to happen lately, that is the drop off in scores / test takers is at the high end.


This is all very true, but I should have also mentioned that HLS's numbers didn't change that much this past year with the uptick in applications.
More generally speaking (not specific to HLS) this is good news for applicants this cycle. I do think this is a very good year to throw in several "reach" applications!
Cheers,
KB

pancho
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby pancho » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:51 pm

No word on SLS's C/O 2016 application volume? Wonder if it went with Yale or stayed with Harvard. What does your bird say Mike?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:19 pm

lawschool22 wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:Karen,

What are your thoughts on Mike's assessment/reporting of the potential lowering of GPA floors in an effort to secure 173+ LSAT scores? Do you have any info that would support that this is taking place? Do you think this will extend even to top schools such as HLS? I am curious on your thoughts.

Thanks!


Given that HLS's apps were up last year when nearly everyone else is down, I would say that they are a bit more insulated from the reality of the sate of declining applications. It's a little early now to predict what's going to happen at the top. I think there might be a very, very minor downward shift, but it's not going to be a free-for-all at HLS :)

Cheers,
KB


Thanks Karen! I'm hoping their apps are down this year :D...


I think the more salient hope will be for their quality applications to be down. Harvard is always going to get a large number of applications and I suspect that the variance here is minimal year to year. But they also have a large class and to maintain medians with ever decreasing LSAT scores at the top might be hard, given the pool this year and the # of test-takers being down yet again. It will be interesting to see.

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:22 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:Karen,

What are your thoughts on Mike's assessment/reporting of the potential lowering of GPA floors in an effort to secure 173+ LSAT scores? Do you have any info that would support that this is taking place? Do you think this will extend even to top schools such as HLS? I am curious on your thoughts.

Thanks!


Given that HLS's apps were up last year when nearly everyone else is down, I would say that they are a bit more insulated from the reality of the sate of declining applications. It's a little early now to predict what's going to happen at the top. I think there might be a very, very minor downward shift, but it's not going to be a free-for-all at HLS :)

Cheers,
KB


Thanks Karen! I'm hoping their apps are down this year :D...


I think the more salient hope will be for their quality applications to be down. Harvard is always going to get a large number of applications and I suspect that the variance here is minimal year to year. But they also have a large class and to maintain medians with ever decreasing LSAT scores at the top might be hard, given the pool this year and the # of test-takers being down yet again. It will be interesting to see.


Yes a that is a very valid distinction, Mike. It will be very interesting indeed. As an applicant with an LSAT at their median and a GPA slightly below the 25th, the number of high quality LSAT scores they receive will definitely determine contribute to my fate there. :)

redsoxfan1989
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby redsoxfan1989 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:29 pm

How concerned are schools like H and S with their GPA medians?

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:34 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:Karen,

What are your thoughts on Mike's assessment/reporting of the potential lowering of GPA floors in an effort to secure 173+ LSAT scores? Do you have any info that would support that this is taking place? Do you think this will extend even to top schools such as HLS? I am curious on your thoughts.

Thanks!


Given that HLS's apps were up last year when nearly everyone else is down, I would say that they are a bit more insulated from the reality of the sate of declining applications. It's a little early now to predict what's going to happen at the top. I think there might be a very, very minor downward shift, but it's not going to be a free-for-all at HLS :)

Cheers,
KB


Thanks Karen! I'm hoping their apps are down this year :D...


I think the more salient hope will be for their quality applications to be down. Harvard is always going to get a large number of applications and I suspect that the variance here is minimal year to year. But they also have a large class and to maintain medians with ever decreasing LSAT scores at the top might be hard, given the pool this year and the # of test-takers being down yet again. It will be interesting to see.


This is just my pet theory, but what do you think about the idea that HYS have historically been able to turn away so many high-number applicants that they'll be able to maintain their medians and class sizes even with bigger declines in applications than we've already seen, simply by being less selective regarding "soft factors"? In other words, HYS will likely be able to maintain their medians, but they'll have to start accepting applicants with great numbers and little else, rather than great number AND incredible softs.

luckystar84
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby luckystar84 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:24 pm

deleted
Last edited by luckystar84 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:29 pm

luckystar84 wrote:they need roughly 400 173+s. there were ~337 this Oct (99th %). about 240 in june. Dec and Feb # of takers average out to about june, so another 500 between those 2. that's about 1k-1100.

less K-JDs than before, so people taking tests from previous years not applying until now. don't have a # on this one so let's just stick with the 1k-1100 from this year alone. some from this year will wait, so some from previous years will take their spots. don't see the net inflow being negative on this one; if anything more people from previous years will apply this year than 2013 takers not applying

yea the percentage decrease among high scorers might be higher, but isn't that because there are so few of them to begin with, so small nominal decreases = larger percentage decreases?

they lose 150 173+s to YS. maybe 50 more to other schools. so -200.

that's still 800-900 173+s. if they're struggling to find 400 people with non-splitter GPAs among 800-900 people then...

this is very crude math. somebody check it


We will know more soon with the Oct bandwidths but they lose more than 50 173+ to other schools.

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:32 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:they need roughly 400 173+s. there were ~337 this Oct (99th %). about 240 in june. Dec and Feb # of takers average out to about june, so another 500 between those 2. that's about 1k-1100.

less K-JDs than before, so people taking tests from previous years not applying until now. don't have a # on this one so let's just stick with the 1k-1100 from this year alone. some from this year will wait, so some from previous years will take their spots. don't see the net inflow being negative on this one; if anything more people from previous years will apply this year than 2013 takers not applying

yea the percentage decrease among high scorers might be higher, but isn't that because there are so few of them to begin with, so small nominal decreases = larger percentage decreases?

they lose 150 173+s to YS. maybe 50 more to other schools. so -200.

that's still 800-900 173+s. if they're struggling to find 400 people with non-splitter GPAs among 800-900 people then...

this is very crude math. somebody check it


We will know more soon with the Oct bandwidths but they lose more than 50 173+ to other schools.


Yeah for sure. Many take the $$ at other T6's, or are major splitters who head to NU, or get full rides at top regionals, etc

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:34 pm

luckystar84 wrote:they need roughly 400 173+s. there were ~337 this Oct (99th %). about 240 in june. Dec and Feb # of takers average out to about june, so another 500 between those 2. that's about 1k-1100.

less K-JDs than before, so people taking tests from previous years not applying until now. don't have a # on this one so let's just stick with the 1k-1100 from this year alone. some from this year will wait, so some from previous years will take their spots. don't see the net inflow being negative on this one; if anything more people from previous years will apply this year than 2013 takers not applying

yea the percentage decrease among high scorers might be higher, but isn't that because there are so few of them to begin with, so small nominal decreases = larger percentage decreases?

they lose 150 173+s to YS. maybe 50 more to other schools. so -200.

that's still 800-900 173+s. if they're struggling to find 400 people with non-splitter GPAs among 800-900 people then...

this is very crude math. somebody check it


It sounds like "they" in your post is just Harvard, so do they even really need 400 173+ matriculants? For the class of 2016, their median was 173, and their class size was 564, so wouldn't they only need ~280 in order to "hold what they've got", numbers-wise?

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:35 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:they need roughly 400 173+s. there were ~337 this Oct (99th %). about 240 in june. Dec and Feb # of takers average out to about june, so another 500 between those 2. that's about 1k-1100.

less K-JDs than before, so people taking tests from previous years not applying until now. don't have a # on this one so let's just stick with the 1k-1100 from this year alone. some from this year will wait, so some from previous years will take their spots. don't see the net inflow being negative on this one; if anything more people from previous years will apply this year than 2013 takers not applying

yea the percentage decrease among high scorers might be higher, but isn't that because there are so few of them to begin with, so small nominal decreases = larger percentage decreases?

they lose 150 173+s to YS. maybe 50 more to other schools. so -200.

that's still 800-900 173+s. if they're struggling to find 400 people with non-splitter GPAs among 800-900 people then...

this is very crude math. somebody check it


It sounds like "they" in your post is just Harvard, so do they even really need 400 173+ matriculants? For the class of 2016, their median was 173, and their class size was 564, so wouldn't they only need ~280 in order to "hold what they've got", numbers-wise?


I was just about to post this lol. And yes that would be right I believe.

Edit: it hit me after I posted. Yield is the difference.

Edit 2: Scooped by lucky!
Last edited by lawschool22 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

luckystar84
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby luckystar84 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:37 pm

deleted
Last edited by luckystar84 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:34 am, edited 4 times in total.

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cotiger
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby cotiger » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:39 pm

luckystar84 wrote:they need roughly 400 173+s. there were ~337 this Oct (99th %). about 240 in june. Dec and Feb # of takers average out to about june, so another 500 between those 2. that's about 1k-1100.

less K-JDs than before, so people taking tests from previous years not applying until now. don't have a # on this one so let's just stick with the 1k-1100 from this year alone

yea the percentage decrease among high scorers might be higher, but isn't that because there are so few of them to begin with, so small nominal decreases = larger percentage decreases?

they lose 150 173+s to YS. maybe 50 more to other schools. so -200.

that's still 800-900 173+s. if they're struggling to find 400 people with non-splitter GPAs among 800-900 people then...

this is very crude math. somebody check it


For one thing, you need to adjust for the number of HYS-worthy GPAs at the beginning, not the end. I have zero idea what the actual number is, but if 40% of 173+s have GPAs below 3.7, then there would only be about 650 eligible students if the total applicant pool has, as you assume, 1000-1100.

Take out the 200 going to YS and the 50 (?) you assumed go for schollys elsewhere, and you're left with only 400 eligible 173+s to fill the ~300 HLS above-median slots. There's also people who take the test but end up not applying, or applying and then not matriculating, and people with major CF issues.

All of which will reduce the applicant pool even further. If the number of 173+s who take the test but don't matriculate (or have CF issues) is more than the number of 173+s who are applying after having only taken the test in prior years by even 50 people (which I think is a quite reasonable assumption), then HLS starts to get super shaky about maintaining that median.

redsoxfan1989
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby redsoxfan1989 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:41 pm

cotiger wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:they need roughly 400 173+s. there were ~337 this Oct (99th %). about 240 in june. Dec and Feb # of takers average out to about june, so another 500 between those 2. that's about 1k-1100.

less K-JDs than before, so people taking tests from previous years not applying until now. don't have a # on this one so let's just stick with the 1k-1100 from this year alone

yea the percentage decrease among high scorers might be higher, but isn't that because there are so few of them to begin with, so small nominal decreases = larger percentage decreases?

they lose 150 173+s to YS. maybe 50 more to other schools. so -200.

that's still 800-900 173+s. if they're struggling to find 400 people with non-splitter GPAs among 800-900 people then...

this is very crude math. somebody check it


For one thing, you need to adjust for the number of HYS-worthy GPAs at the beginning, not the end. I have zero idea what the actual number is, but if 40% of 173+s have GPAs below 3.7, then there would only be about 650 eligible students if the total applicant pool has, as you assume, 1000-1100.

Take out the 200 going to YS and the 50 (?) you assumed go for schollys elsewhere, and you're left with only 400 eligible 173+s to fill the ~300 HLS above-median slots. There's also people who take the test but end up not applying, or applying and then not matriculating, and people with major CF issues.

All of which will reduce the applicant pool even further. If the number of 173+s who take the test but don't matriculate (or have CF issues) is more than the number of 173+s who are applying after having only taken the test in prior years by even 50 people (which I think is a quite reasonable assumption), then HLS starts to get super shaky about maintaining that median.


Do we actually know how common splitters are?

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cotiger
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby cotiger » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:47 pm

redsoxfan1989 wrote:
cotiger wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:they need roughly 400 173+s. there were ~337 this Oct (99th %). about 240 in june. Dec and Feb # of takers average out to about june, so another 500 between those 2. that's about 1k-1100.

less K-JDs than before, so people taking tests from previous years not applying until now. don't have a # on this one so let's just stick with the 1k-1100 from this year alone

yea the percentage decrease among high scorers might be higher, but isn't that because there are so few of them to begin with, so small nominal decreases = larger percentage decreases?

they lose 150 173+s to YS. maybe 50 more to other schools. so -200.

that's still 800-900 173+s. if they're struggling to find 400 people with non-splitter GPAs among 800-900 people then...

this is very crude math. somebody check it


For one thing, you need to adjust for the number of HYS-worthy GPAs at the beginning, not the end. I have zero idea what the actual number is, but if 40% of 173+s have GPAs below 3.7, then there would only be about 650 eligible students if the total applicant pool has, as you assume, 1000-1100.

Take out the 200 going to YS and the 50 (?) you assumed go for schollys elsewhere, and you're left with only 400 eligible 173+s to fill the ~300 HLS above-median slots. There's also people who take the test but end up not applying, or applying and then not matriculating, and people with major CF issues.

All of which will reduce the applicant pool even further. If the number of 173+s who take the test but don't matriculate (or have CF issues) is more than the number of 173+s who are applying after having only taken the test in prior years by even 50 people (which I think is a quite reasonable assumption), then HLS starts to get super shaky about maintaining that median.


Do we actually know how common splitters are?


Looking at the spreadsheet here, 40/126 173+s had below 75th percentile GPAs. That's 32%.

27/126 = 21% have below-"floor" (below 3.7) GPAs

This is also TLS, though, and people who willingly put their numbers in, so you have to assume it's got a higher level of numbers than the overall pool.
Last edited by cotiger on Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

luckystar84
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby luckystar84 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:49 pm

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cotiger
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby cotiger » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:53 pm

.
Last edited by cotiger on Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

luckystar84
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby luckystar84 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:56 pm

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Last edited by luckystar84 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cotiger
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby cotiger » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:01 pm

luckystar84 wrote:i fixed that but you were too quick. I meant to say the 173+s that cls & lower T14 take are mostly <3.7 (and this is in fact true). CLS is scooping up the ~3.45 174 kids.

hls's yield is 64% with YS included, so in head to head cross-admit matchups with lower T14 it must be higher than that. hence a 3.8 174 who got both hls and another school would choose hls quite a bit more than 64% of the time


Hamiltons, Butlers, Rubys, NYU full schollys, Mordecais, etc all require 173+ and 3.7+. There are more than 50 of all of those combined. 20 Rubys/year, and NYU matriculates around 35 full scholly people every year, so that's over 50 between those two schools right there.

Regardless of the exact numbers, I think it's safe to say it's at the least getting tighter than before.

luckystar84
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby luckystar84 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:07 pm

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