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

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luckystar84
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:00 pm

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby luckystar84 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:22 pm

deleted
Last edited by luckystar84 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

arklaw13
Posts: 1704
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby arklaw13 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:26 pm

luckystar84 wrote:Can second-semester seniors who are K-JD just pass fail everything?
assuming my fall grades are what I expect them to be, I'm safely in honors/PBK range. I also already got into my #1 choice a few weeks ago.

Given these two facts, I see nothing to be gained from taking my last few courses on a lettered basis. The only reason I ask is that I also don't want to be rescinded. I don't want the schools to think "this guy doesn't take academics seriously." If it's relevant, the school(s) I don't want to get rescinded from are the type to care about rigor and all that (HYS).

Is it safe to just pass fail all of my courses next semester?

thanks for answering questions during this holiday season--hope it's merry for you


The only grade-related reason I can see them rescinding for is if your GPA falls quite a lot. Admissions is a numbers-driven game and if your GPA is the same one they admitted you with, I'd say you're golden.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:39 pm

luckystar84 wrote:Can second-semester seniors who are K-JD just pass fail everything?
assuming my fall grades are what I expect them to be, I'm safely in honors/PBK range. I also already got into my #1 choice a few weeks ago.

Given these two facts, I see nothing to be gained from taking my last few courses on a lettered basis. The only reason I ask is that I also don't want to be rescinded. I don't want the schools to think "this guy doesn't take academics seriously." If it's relevant, the school(s) I don't want to get rescinded from are the type to care about rigor and all that (HYS).

EDIT: it turns out my school only lets me pass/fail half my courseload next semester. But the question is the same: is it safe to P/F 2-3 courses my last semester? Going into my last semester, I've only P/Fed 2 or 3 courses. So to P/F 2-3 courses in my last semester after I've already gotten in...could that look bad enough to get me rescinded?

thanks for answering questions during this holiday season--hope it's merry for you


I think you are fine with the 2-3 courses P/F
Cheers,
KB

Baby_Got_Feuerbach
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Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:22 pm

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Baby_Got_Feuerbach » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:17 am

What are the elements of the best *and* worst personal statements you've read?

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twenty
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby twenty » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:29 am

This is a weird question, but how do adcoms actually "sort through" applicants? Do they just go through a huge spreadsheet, sort it by received date, sort it again by LSAT/GPA, and then go through each individual application? It would seem that there's probably a fairly universal approach since most schools are linked to the LSAC status checker.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:51 am

twentypercentmore wrote:This is a weird question, but how do adcoms actually "sort through" applicants? Do they just go through a huge spreadsheet, sort it by received date, sort it again by LSAT/GPA, and then go through each individual application? It would seem that there's probably a fairly universal approach since most schools are linked to the LSAC status checker.


Most likely it is a primary sort by LSAT, secondary by uGPA, tertiary by data complete.

Second most likely would be just be data complete.

Often you will also do a completely separate sort by URM, gender, geo, etc especially if you feel like you are lacking in some area.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:25 pm

Over the holiday break, starting the 24th and going to the 26th or 27th, I am going to tweet some more inside data from this cycle.

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

Feel free to spread the word :)! Happy Holidays to all!

Mike

lateralis
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:57 pm

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lateralis » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:33 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Over the holiday break, starting the 24th and going to the 26th or 27th, I am going to tweet some more inside data from this cycle.

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

Feel free to spread the word :)! Happy Holidays to all!

Mike


Great! Merry Christmas!

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:54 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Over the holiday break, starting the 24th and going to the 26th or 27th, I am going to tweet some more inside data from this cycle.

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

Feel free to spread the word :)! Happy Holidays to all!

Mike


Love the inside info :)

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:01 pm

Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:What are the elements of the best *and* worst personal statements you've read?


This would take forever to answer completely but a few thoughts.

Best

Most Personal Statements topics, if about you as an individual (past experience, passion, etc) can be either great or miserable depending how you structure it. It does need to be focused and not touch on too many things. 1 passion, 1 life experience, etc etc.

Judgement is big for admissions offices. I love a PS that is reflective or introspective. It is just rare for people to do so, or admit that "I learned and corrected this in me"...It is okay to open up about an emotional or profound event but I would always keep in mind the perspective of the human reading the document. being crass or over the top will hurt you.

The first paragraph is the most difficult. Remember these people are often reading 50 of these on a weekend with football on in the background. You need to capture their attention with something compelling.

Worst

Too many cooks in the kitchen! it is good to have multiple eyes on these things, especially for grammar, structure, etc but way too often we see a PS that obviously has gone in 100 directions because 100 people want you to write about so and so. Find someone you trust for the content suggestions.

Just about every PS I have read for the past 2 years has had some typos, grammar, etc in the first version. probably about 40%-50% I read as an AdComm had a small mistake(s). Attention to detail is critical.

A pet peeve of mine is when every sentence starts with "I"...it just drones on and on.

Find A topic or at most two that relate. Death to the PS that reads like a resume. There are way too many of these.

I could go on all day but I can't. I hope this helps!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:03 pm

Here is an important question for you all, if someone can help:

If you search "spivey consulting" our direct page used to be/should be the first thing that shows up.

Now it does not show up at all. That is bad bad. Is there a way to fix this or a king of the Internet to contact? Did one of our competition get us blocked (that would be kind of hilarious).

Thanks!

-Mike

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:11 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Here is an important question for you all, if someone can help:

If you search "spivey consulting" our direct page used to be/should be the first thing that shows up.

Now it does not show up at all. That is bad bad. Is there a way to fix this or a king of the Internet to contact? Did one of our competition get us blocked (that would be kind of hilarious).

Thanks!

-Mike


I noticed that earlier this week and thought it was strange. Do you have a web master? There are certain key words embedded in the site to help with SEO (search engine optimization). If you have someone who works on your site that would be the first person I contacted.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:19 pm

What is interesting is that it USED to work on google and it still works on yahoo and bing. So it is like someone paid google to take us down.

Our slogan should be:

"Spivey Consulting: Now unsearchable on Google"

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lawschool22
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:24 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:What is interesting is that it USED to work on google and it still works on yahoo and bing. So it is like someone paid google to take us down.

Our slogan should be:

"Spivey Consulting: Now unsearchable on Google"


Well the search engines periodically send out what they call "web crawlers" which index websites and their key words to keep the search indices up to date. If something "broke" with your SEO recently, it's possible that Google just has the most recent "crawl" and that the other two simply do not yet reflect the fact that something in your site's metadata is broken. But you're right, it could also be a google issue. But definitely have someone check your metadata to be sure it's not something on your end.

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Vincent
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Vincent » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:45 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:What are the elements of the best *and* worst personal statements you've read?


This would take forever to answer completely but a few thoughts.

Best

Most Personal Statements topics, if about you as an individual (past experience, passion, etc) can be either great or miserable depending how you structure it. It does need to be focused and not touch on too many things. 1 passion, 1 life experience, etc etc.

Judgement is big for admissions offices. I love a PS that is reflective or introspective. It is just rare for people to do so, or admit that "I learned and corrected this in me"...It is okay to open up about an emotional or profound event but I would always keep in mind the perspective of the human reading the document. being crass or over the top will hurt you.

The first paragraph is the most difficult. Remember these people are often reading 50 of these on a weekend with football on in the background. You need to capture their attention with something compelling.


You and Karen watch football?

I've always wondered whether people should tailor their PS to what they know about each Admissions person, but this probably doesn't work for a school like Harvard, where you don't know who will ultimately be given your file.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:45 pm

Vincent,

That is why we encourage people to have an "Interests" section on their resume -- if your interest(s) matches the person reading your file you may hit gold. I wouldn't recommend trying to align this on the PS but I also don't think you need to go back and retroactively rewrite yours. It seemed to work pretty well for you.

Mike

ZVBXRPL
Posts: 258
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:15 pm

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ZVBXRPL » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:53 pm

Karen and Mike,
What's the most common question (and answer) people who know you personally ask about the Admissions process/your old job?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:08 am

ZVBXRPL wrote:Karen and Mike,
What's the most common question (and answer) people who know you personally ask about the Admissions process/your old job?


Well, people often want to know if anyone every propositioned me for an admit, bought us gifts before we rendered an admissions decision, stalked me at a restaurant, etc etc. The answer is no to the former (although it did happen when i taught ethics at a college -- no joke) and yes to the later scenarios. When you deal with massive numbers of people some crazies come out.

People were probably hitting on Karen all the time at Forums.

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NYC2012
Posts: 224
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby NYC2012 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:36 am

Hahaha. The santa hat. Cute!

Edit: Was it always like that and I just noticed it? :lol:

linkx13
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:27 pm

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby linkx13 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:04 am

MikeSpivey wrote:Over the holiday break, starting the 24th and going to the 26th or 27th, I am going to tweet some more inside data from this cycle.

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

Feel free to spread the word :)! Happy Holidays to all!

Mike


It's the 24th! Where you at, Spivey? :P

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JustHawkin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby JustHawkin » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:07 am

linkx13 wrote:It's the 24th! Where you at, Spivey? :P

Colorado time means it's still early?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:10 am

JustHawkin wrote:
linkx13 wrote:It's the 24th! Where you at, Spivey? :P

Colorado time means it's still early?


Not too early! I'm on it!

thestatusguo
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:06 pm

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby thestatusguo » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:16 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Vincent,

That is why we encourage people to have an "Interests" section on their resume -- if your interest(s) matches the person reading your file you may hit gold. I wouldn't recommend trying to align this on the PS but I also don't think you need to go back and retroactively rewrite yours. It seemed to work pretty well for you.

Mike


This response just made me :)

ltrego
Posts: 221
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:41 am

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ltrego » Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:39 am

lawschool22 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:What is interesting is that it USED to work on google and it still works on yahoo and bing. So it is like someone paid google to take us down.

Our slogan should be:

"Spivey Consulting: Now unsearchable on Google"


Well the search engines periodically send out what they call "web crawlers" which index websites and their key words to keep the search indices up to date. If something "broke" with your SEO recently, it's possible that Google just has the most recent "crawl" and that the other two simply do not yet reflect the fact that something in your site's metadata is broken. But you're right, it could also be a google issue. But definitely have someone check your metadata to be sure it's not something on your end.


It's almost definitely something with the metadata on your site. I would check that, but also don't worry too much unless it continues for a couple weeks. I sometimes black hats can "trick" the google bots and throw things off. You can PM me if you want any more details or suggestions. I spent last summer working on SEO for a top site, so I've got a couple other suggestions.

linkx13
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:27 pm

Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby linkx13 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:16 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
JustHawkin wrote:
linkx13 wrote:It's the 24th! Where you at, Spivey? :P

Colorado time means it's still early?


Not too early! I'm on it!



:(


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