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

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:02 am

tlsthrowaway wrote:Hi MIke and Karen:
First, I have not yet thanked you for doing this thread and especially for archiving it. So much easier going through an organized PDF than 70+ pages of thread!

I have a question that I did not see addressed in the PDF. I hope you don't mind, but I made a throwaway account out of paranoia, just in case some admissions officer is bored! It's a transfer question. My ultimate, dream school is Stanford, but I am well below their GPA floor. I am planning to only attend law school where I'd be happy graduating from, etc, but I still plan on throwing out a transfer app more as a hail-mary thing. But my actual question is very general. For people in this situation, where you are planning to go to and graduate from X school but still feel like it's worth it to throw a longshot app to a top, top school that you have no chance at now (h/y/s/whatever) and maybe have a GPA or LSAT that will stick out in a bad way, is it better to apply to the school during 0L to show interest, or to just wait and try to transfer so they only have your 1L grades to go on?

Thank you both. Love this thread!


I apologize in advance for this non-answer. The truth is that it doesn't really matter, at least in my experience. Applying in the regular cycle will not look bad if you apply again as a transfer in the next cycle -- it does show a genuine interest. But it's not going to hurt you if you don't apply (because you wanted to save the application fee because you already knew the answer).

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:06 am

Sorry I've been neglecting this thread! I'm still alive. :)
And Mike may be able to talk a better baseball game, but I can probably do a better Boston accent than he can -- and I have more Boston apparel than he does.

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:07 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:Sorry I've been neglecting this thread! I'm still alive. :)
And Mike may be able to talk a better baseball game, but I can probably do a better Boston accent than he can -- and I have more Boston apparel than he does.


That's all that matters!

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:09 am

Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:Here's a softball for either Mike or Karen:

How much research do adcomms put into a candidate's social life and/or internet presence? Some employers do a quick Google scan or LinkedIn check on potential hires. Are us applicants being "creeped" (to use a popular term among our gen.)?


I don't think that you have to worry about this. Most of them just don't have time for this -- unless you claim to have been on a reality TV show, and then it's fair game.
KB

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:11 am

Hi Karen,

Glad to see you're back! So we were talking in the HLS thread (as we are bored waiting on the next round of offers) and someone theorized that one reason many admissions offices hate TLS is due to things like the spreadsheet analysis we do in a thread like this: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=219901.

People were thinking that admissions doesn't like people seeing that much transparency in the process and timing.

This is purely a "for fun" question, but I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this from the perspective of a former admissions officer.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:14 am

OnaFets wrote:Hey Mike,

I was wondering what your input on this situation would be. I sent my application to Harvard and Stanford and didn't realize that .rtf would not show header and would make the pages a little shorter. Long story short, my personal statement and diversity statements are in without a header and the personal statement is a sentence over two pages. While I doubt an admissions officer should care, I feel like it looks sloppy. I have the option of updating my personal statement through e-mail, which will consist of me turning in the same essay but in .docx format which properly displays headers and stays under two pages, but is it worth it?

Thanks


Sure, it's worth it. HLS still reads files on paper, so the email will turn into paper and will eventually make it to your file. SLS reads online, so a new document may get attached to your file quicker. Just send it in saying that you noticed the formatting was off and you wanted to submit clean copy.

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:14 pm

lawschool22 wrote:Hi Karen,

Glad to see you're back! So we were talking in the HLS thread (as we are bored waiting on the next round of offers) and someone theorized that one reason many admissions offices hate TLS is due to things like the spreadsheet analysis we do in a thread like this: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=219901.

People were thinking that admissions doesn't like people seeing that much transparency in the process and timing.

This is purely a "for fun" question, but I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this from the perspective of a former admissions officer.


I wouldn't say that admissions officers hate TLS, but there is frustration/unease with the amount of wrong or misleading information that is on here (with the exception of this thread of course!). You probably already know this, but the posters on TLS do not represent the entire applicant pool, so sometimes the data that that is gathered is incomplete - regardless of how representative it is or isn't, its just not the whole picture. Another big frustration is the assumption that numbers are the only thing that matters. Of course they matter - a lot - but there are other very important elements of the application that can make or break you.
Admissions officers do like this site - and if they don't, they should - because it is a snapshot of what applicants are thinking. What you want, what you need, what you like and what you don't like. It is very helpful in that way for them.

hope that was helpful!
Cheers,
Karen

tlsthrowaway
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby tlsthrowaway » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:46 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
I apologize in advance for this non-answer. The truth is that it doesn't really matter, at least in my experience. Applying in the regular cycle will not look bad if you apply again as a transfer in the next cycle -- it does show a genuine interest. But it's not going to hurt you if you don't apply (because you wanted to save the application fee because you already knew the answer).

Cheers,
KB



Thanks Karen!

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:48 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:Hi Karen,

Glad to see you're back! So we were talking in the HLS thread (as we are bored waiting on the next round of offers) and someone theorized that one reason many admissions offices hate TLS is due to things like the spreadsheet analysis we do in a thread like this: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=219901.

People were thinking that admissions doesn't like people seeing that much transparency in the process and timing.

This is purely a "for fun" question, but I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this from the perspective of a former admissions officer.


I wouldn't say that admissions officers hate TLS, but there is frustration/unease with the amount of wrong or misleading information that is on here (with the exception of this thread of course!). You probably already know this, but the posters on TLS do not represent the entire applicant pool, so sometimes the data that that is gathered is incomplete - regardless of how representative it is or isn't, its just not the whole picture. Another big frustration is the assumption that numbers are the only thing that matters. Of course they matter - a lot - but there are other very important elements of the application that can make or break you.
Admissions officers do like this site - and if they don't, they should - because it is a snapshot of what applicants are thinking. What you want, what you need, what you like and what you don't like. It is very helpful in that way for them.

hope that was helpful!
Cheers,
Karen


Thanks! It's always interesting to get your perspective on this sort of stuff. I agree, there is a lot of incomplete and misleading info on here at times, and that could certainly be frustrating. I wonder if any admissions offices have ever contemplated starting an account and thread (similar to the this one) where they will take questions from applicants? I could see this being a good way of opening up a line of communication to quell any misconceptions. Although it could also get out of hand...it would probably need to be heavily moderated :D

californiauser
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby californiauser » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:50 pm

Do schools email each other about applicants' decision to ED. For example, when NYU receives an ED application, do they email their peer schools to notify them/make sure the applicant didn't ED to multiple schools? Or do they only notify peer schools after an applicant has been accepted?

Thanks guys

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Pneumonia
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:53 pm

lawschool22 wrote:I wonder if any admissions offices have ever contemplated starting an account and thread (similar to the this one) where they will take questions from applicants? I could see this being a good way of opening up a line of communication to quell any misconceptions. Although it could also get out of hand...it would probably need to be heavily moderated :D


Dean Perez of Texas Tech has done a good job of this:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=175385

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:01 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:I wonder if any admissions offices have ever contemplated starting an account and thread (similar to the this one) where they will take questions from applicants? I could see this being a good way of opening up a line of communication to quell any misconceptions. Although it could also get out of hand...it would probably need to be heavily moderated :D


Dean Perez of Texas Tech has done a good job of this:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=175385


Ah yes I completely forgot about his thread. Yeah, I don't see why more schools don't do something along those lines. Open communication could solve a lot of the misconception issues.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:14 pm

Let me add a few points to this from the road and my phone (apologies in advance for typos).

I've mentioned this a few times but I have been on this board from just about day 1. I found it to be a wonderful resource to ascertain what the vibe is from prospective students...what were best recruiting practices from law schools, and what we as an individual school could do better. For these reasons I think all AdComms would be best served if they spent at least some time on TLS. I have heard a school say the following "we don't read TLS because we don't like it when they say bad things about us"...Really? That is not really a good way to conduct business or process improve.

What I have also said a few times is that part of the reason I started The Spivey Consulting Group is because each year on here I grew increasingly frustrated with the patently wrong information here. So much so that as I was working full time I started to write a book on law admissions entirely to counter the mythology. I have heard people say "my pre-law advisor told me not to apply to Harvard because I had to drop a class"...I have heard peopl say "I have read a book on law admissions that says I can not negotiate for increased scholarship awards so it is pointless to try" etc. etc. There are well over 30 law admissions consultants and there are likely over a thousand pre-law advisors and the vast majority of these have not made a decision on 1 law school admissions file. So a number of AdComms have a pebble in their shoe about advice on here and that frustrates them.

In respect to Q&A threads -- others have tried it. I think after the Pleas scandal many have given themselves marching orders (or from their dean) to stay off here publicly.

-Mike

riverwater
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby riverwater » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:24 pm

.
Last edited by riverwater on Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

prospect2014
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby prospect2014 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:30 pm

deleted
Last edited by prospect2014 on Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SonlenNightfall
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby SonlenNightfall » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:47 pm

riverwater wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Let me add a few points to this from the road and my phone (apologies in advance for typos).

I've mentioned this a few times but I have been on this board from just about day 1. I found it to be a wonderful resource to ascertain what the vibe is from prospective students...what were best recruiting practices from law schools, and what we as an individual school could do better. For these reasons I think all AdComms would be best served if they spent at least some time on TLS. I have heard a school say the following "we don't read TLS because we don't like it when they say bad things about us"...Really? That is not really a good way to conduct business or process improve.

What I have also said a few times is that part of the reason I started The Spivey Consulting Group is because each year on here I grew increasingly frustrated with the patently wrong information here. So much so that as I was working full time I started to write a book on law admissions entirely to counter the mythology. I have heard people say "my pre-law advisor told me not to apply to Harvard because I had to drop a class"...I have heard peopl say "I have read a book on law admissions that says I can not negotiate for increased scholarship awards so it is pointless to try" etc. etc. There are well over 30 law admissions consultants and there are likely over a thousand pre-law advisors and the vast majority of these have not made a decision on 1 law school admissions file. So a number of AdComms have a pebble in their shoe about advice on here and that frustrates them.

In respect to Q&A threads -- others have tried it. I think after the Pleas scandal many have given themselves marching orders (or from their dean) to stay off here publicly.

-Mike


Link / more info on Pleas scandal?


This. I have never heard about it before but it sounds like it would be a good read. Internet trolls vs. admissions person.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:23 pm

It is "Pless" my iPhone changed it - Im not going to comment on it but if you search TLS I bet there is a ton and if you google search I believe you can find the law firm's finding from the Illinois investigation.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ZVBXRPL » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:41 pm

Karen,
Can you please share your favorite HLS memory? (though not about the time when you found out Barack Obama's
LAST score:))

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:50 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:Karen,
Can you please share your favorite HLS memory? (though not about the time when you found out Barack Obama's
LAST score:))


Denying Keanu Reeves admission?

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IgosduIkana
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby IgosduIkana » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:52 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
ZVBXRPL wrote:Karen,
Can you please share your favorite HLS memory? (though not about the time when you found out Barack Obama's
LAST score:))


Denying Keanu Reeves admission?


whooooa whaaaat!!

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:00 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:Karen,
Can you please share your favorite HLS memory? (though not about the time when you found out Barack Obama's
LAST score:))


During my first couple of months in late 2001, I wanted to answer the phones to get a sense of the kinds of questions that were asked. (I still did this periodically throughout the years -- just for fun) I answered a call from a dad, whose 8-year-old daughter had just seen Legally Blonde and wanted to go to Harvard Law School....but she didn't want to do her homework. I spoke to her and her dad about the importance taking school seriously and enjoying the learning process. It was kind of adorable.

Or the time when two people dressed as lobsters and one dressed as a chef came in (it was nowhere near Halloween) and asked our front desk person if lobsters could get into HLS. The answer, of course, was: do they have a bachelor's degree?

And there have been some awesome applicants along the way too. Making the admit calls was pretty fun. :)

Cheers,
KB

062914123
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby 062914123 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:51 pm

.
Last edited by 062914123 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:00 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
ZVBXRPL wrote:Karen,
Can you please share your favorite HLS memory? (though not about the time when you found out Barack Obama's
LAST score:))


During my first couple of months in late 2001, I wanted to answer the phones to get a sense of the kinds of questions that were asked. (I still did this periodically throughout the years -- just for fun) I answered a call from a dad, whose 8-year-old daughter had just seen Legally Blonde and wanted to go to Harvard Law School....but she didn't want to do her homework. I spoke to her and her dad about the importance taking school seriously and enjoying the learning process. It was kind of adorable.

Or the time when two people dressed as lobsters and one dressed as a chef came in (it was nowhere near Halloween) and asked our front desk person if lobsters could get into HLS. The answer, of course, was: do they have a bachelor's degree?

And there have been some awesome applicants along the way too. Making the admit calls was pretty fun. :)

Cheers,
KB


What wonderful stories. Thanks for sharing :)

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ZVBXRPL » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:06 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
ZVBXRPL wrote:Karen,
Can you please share your favorite HLS memory? (though not about the time when you found out Barack Obama's
LAST score:))


During my first couple of months in late 2001, I wanted to answer the phones to get a sense of the kinds of questions that were asked. (I still did this periodically throughout the years -- just for fun) I answered a call from a dad, whose 8-year-old daughter had just seen Legally Blonde and wanted to go to Harvard Law School....but she didn't want to do her homework. I spoke to her and her dad about the importance taking school seriously and enjoying the learning process. It was kind of adorable.

Or the time when two people dressed as lobsters and one dressed as a chef came in (it was nowhere near Halloween) and asked our front desk person if lobsters could get into HLS. The answer, of course, was: do they have a bachelor's degree?

And there have been some awesome applicants along the way too. Making the admit calls was pretty fun. :)

Cheers,
KB

Good stuff. If you were to send Mike anywhere in the US for slacking off on TLS this week, where would you send him?

prospect2014
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby prospect2014 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:15 pm

from earlier:
outlawscr10 wrote:
prospect2014 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
I'm sure in this history of law school admissions it has happened but like, maybe once. It is much harder than you think to rescind an offer of admission.


what do you mean it's hard to get rescinded? in my reading, the "decline in academic performance...action displaying lack of integrity, character...etc" statement seems vague and broad enough to justify any rescission. i know admissions people aren't in the business to screw over people's life plans. but putting misrepresentation and academic decline to the side for a moment, if they learn of a pending CF issue (for example), couldn't they just rescind and cite the "lack of character, integrity" part?


Hey Mike thanks for answering questions. When you say it's difficult, is there some technical reason it's difficult to rescind offers, and what sorts of things would an applicant have to do to get rescinded, short of misrepresentation? Not that I'm eager to try anything out soon.


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