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 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:18 pm

linkx13 wrote:
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!



:(


I've tweeted each of the past 4 days including data that is not available publicly and only to law schools. :/

linkx13
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby linkx13 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:31 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:

:(


I've tweeted each of the past 4 days including data that is not available publicly and only to law schools. :/[/quote]

Oh whoops I only checked the blog. Thanks!

EDIT:

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult --- please click for data

So, about 5,000 test takers between the 155-164 bands. 30,226 December test takers last year. I can't check the band numbers to directly compare with the last cycle because the LSAC site isn't working, but even assuming 5k for 164+ and 5k for 155-(which seems generous to me), the final drop could be tremendous. Is a 30% drop possible here?

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Nonconsecutive » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:23 pm

30%? Dang that's higher than I was anticipating.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:30 pm

Coming early 2014 , we will have 5-6 new blogs. I'll try to post them in rank order of significance to you all, which I assume will be as follows:

1. Common attributes, independent of numbers, that we have seen as AdComms over the years that lend towards "punching above your weight" in the admissions process, i.e. getting admitted at schools where numbers twins are mostly being denied.

2. Same as (1) but for employment our of law school, i.e. attributes that lend towards getting a job independent of jobs.

3. A 2014 special on wait list help and discount for 2014/2015 applicants who lock in early.

3. Our law school building/facility top 10 and honorable mention.

4. An article on "what makes a good admissions office"

5. An article on "what makes a good career services office"

6. An infographic we are working on with law school data.

Since we are still unsearchable on Google (working on it, many thanks to everyone you Pm'd me with suggestions, we are at the aptly named:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com

Here is to a wonderful 2014 for us all!

-Mike

Oh, one more thing... :)

We'll break the USNWR law school rankings a day early again, in March, from our twitter account. I probably won't mention this again though to make sure we get said rankings a day early.

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JustHawkin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby JustHawkin » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:21 pm

I anticipate #3 will be a big help!

Thanks Mike!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:42 am

JustHawkin wrote:I anticipate #3 will be a big help!

Thanks Mike!


Thanks for the assists on this! here is the link one more time, if you have visited more than one law school please help us help you.

http://jotform.co/form/33215267186859

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JustHawkin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby JustHawkin » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:09 pm

I meant the first #3 :lol:
But I'll definitely help out!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:10 pm

I just noticed I have two different #3's. It is also amazing how often I do something like that.

linkx13
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby linkx13 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Is there a link to the LSAT Band data by year? I'm still trying to get a sense of the drop in high scorers. I don't anticipate that the band for December would even be available until early Feb, right?

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ThetaX
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ThetaX » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:27 pm

Burning question, I haven't found an answer to this one yet. Considering that medians, as opposed to 25th and 75th percentile, matter for rankings; If a school's median is a 169 and they arent trying to raise it, wouldnt a 170 and 171 do the same exact thing for them? In a down year like this one, whats the point of a 175 vs 170 in terms of the median? Does a school care about their 75th? Same goes for GPA. If median is 3.7? Wouldnt a 3.8 do the same thing vs a 3.9?
Looking forward to your response Mike!

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ZVBXRPL » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:16 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I just noticed I have two different #3's. It is also amazing how often I do something like that.


Have your intern do this type of stuff. Then, blame it on the intern.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Nonconsecutive » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:13 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:I just noticed I have two different #3's. It is also amazing how often I do something like that.


Have your intern do this type of stuff. Then, blame it on the intern.


:lol:

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:30 pm

ThetaX wrote:Burning question, I haven't found an answer to this one yet. Considering that medians, as opposed to 25th and 75th percentile, matter for rankings; If a school's median is a 169 and they arent trying to raise it, wouldnt a 170 and 171 do the same exact thing for them? In a down year like this one, whats the point of a 175 vs 170 in terms of the median? Does a school care about their 75th? Same goes for GPA. If median is 3.7? Wouldnt a 3.8 do the same thing vs a 3.9?
Looking forward to your response Mike!


The answer to this is much more complex than you might guess, so gimme time :) In general, though, schools should not be so concerned with scores above medians as they often are.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:30 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Coming early 2014 , we will have 5-6 new blogs. I'll try to post them in rank order of significance to you all, which I assume will be as follows:

1. Common attributes, independent of numbers, that we have seen as AdComms over the years that lend towards "punching above your weight" in the admissions process, i.e. getting admitted at schools where numbers twins are mostly being denied.

2. Same as (1) but for employment our of law school, i.e. attributes that lend towards getting a job independent of jobs.

3. A 2014 special on wait list help and discount for 2014/2015 applicants who lock in early.

4. Our law school building/facility top 10 and honorable mention.

5. An article on "what makes a good admissions office"

6. An article on "what makes a good career services office"

7. An infographic we are working on with law school data.

Since we are still unsearchable on Google (working on it, many thanks to everyone you Pm'd me with suggestions, we are at the aptly named:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com

Here is to a wonderful 2014 for us all!

-Mike

Oh, one more thing... :)

We'll break the USNWR law school rankings a day early again, in March, from our twitter account. I probably won't mention this again though to make sure we get said rankings a day early.


Here is the first of the promised 6-7 blogs, this one being our new deals for early 2014. More to come!

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/

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ThetaX
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ThetaX » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:13 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
ThetaX wrote:Burning question, I haven't found an answer to this one yet. Considering that medians, as opposed to 25th and 75th percentile, matter for rankings; If a school's median is a 169 and they arent trying to raise it, wouldnt a 170 and 171 do the same exact thing for them? In a down year like this one, whats the point of a 175 vs 170 in terms of the median? Does a school care about their 75th? Same goes for GPA. If median is 3.7? Wouldnt a 3.8 do the same thing vs a 3.9?
Looking forward to your response Mike!


The answer to this is much more complex than you might guess, so gimme time :) In general, though, schools should not be so concerned with scores above medians as they often are.


I was certain it would be, as nobody has really gotten to explaining why it matters, and I am surprised people have forgone inquiring about it. I'm sure your explanation will be insightful.

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Black_Swan
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Black_Swan » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:52 pm

Karen,
I apologize if this has been asked before, will you walk us through the admissions process? What happens from the moment my application is complete at a school in the HYS range?
Who looks at the file and makes the decision to schedule an interview? And does the interviewer have final authority on who gets in? How many people read a student's application?
Do admissions officers all sit at a table and debate accepting an applicant or does this happen only when an applicant is below median? Does the Dean gets involved? Professors? and if so, at what point?
Many questions, just curious how this important decision is made when one receives thousands of files to review.
Thanks!

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DrStudMuffin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby DrStudMuffin » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:34 pm

Now that scores have been released, any idea when we'll know the number of December LSAT takers?

drevo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby drevo » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:05 pm

Quick question regarding updated GPA due to fall grades. My overall LSAC GPA stands to go up only .03-.04 after the fall grades are finalized. I've been reading around that for an increase that isn't huge (.05-.1+) it isn't necessary to email schools you have applied to about the increase because LSAC will automatically update your file when new transcripts arrive. That all makes sense. However, I looked at LSN for info on Berkeley which, as a Nor Cal native, is way up on my list of schools I would love to attend. The info I saw was:

Image

Wouldn't you know my current LSAC GPA is in the Denied applicants, and my GPA with new grades in will be up in that pretty Accepted area. This is most certainly an extremely small sample size but it has me leaning towards emailing Berkeley to let them know my new transcripts have been sent and what my new GPA is. I've been Under Review since 12/20 and Berkeley's data seems to suggest quickish turn around time so I was wondering if this was indeed a good idea to notify them or if adding an additional email to their inbox over a .04 increase is over doing it. Thanks!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:10 pm

DrStudMuffin wrote:Now that scores have been released, any idea when we'll know the number of December LSAT takers?


Likely in a week or less, and the bandwidth data in about 1.5 months.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:35 pm

ThetaX wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
ThetaX wrote:Burning question, I haven't found an answer to this one yet. Considering that medians, as opposed to 25th and 75th percentile, matter for rankings; If a school's median is a 169 and they arent trying to raise it, wouldnt a 170 and 171 do the same exact thing for them? In a down year like this one, whats the point of a 175 vs 170 in terms of the median? Does a school care about their 75th? Same goes for GPA. If median is 3.7? Wouldnt a 3.8 do the same thing vs a 3.9?
Looking forward to your response Mike!


The answer to this is much more complex than you might guess, so gimme time :) In general, though, schools should not be so concerned with scores above medians as they often are.


I was certain it would be, as nobody has really gotten to explaining why it matters, and I am surprised people have forgone inquiring about it. I'm sure your explanation will be insightful.


Anyone here old enough to remember those old Remmington Microshave Shaver commercials "I liked the company so much I bought the company"? Lol Victor Kiam, I say to my childhood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcVFQJqz9vc

Anyway, I liked my answer so I blogged it.

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/new-bl ... -answered/

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ThetaX
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby ThetaX » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:52 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
ThetaX wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
ThetaX wrote:Burning question, I haven't found an answer to this one yet. Considering that medians, as opposed to 25th and 75th percentile, matter for rankings; If a school's median is a 169 and they arent trying to raise it, wouldnt a 170 and 171 do the same exact thing for them? In a down year like this one, whats the point of a 175 vs 170 in terms of the median? Does a school care about their 75th? Same goes for GPA. If median is 3.7? Wouldnt a 3.8 do the same thing vs a 3.9?
Looking forward to your response Mike!


The answer to this is much more complex than you might guess, so gimme time :) In general, though, schools should not be so concerned with scores above medians as they often are.


I was certain it would be, as nobody has really gotten to explaining why it matters, and I am surprised people have forgone inquiring about it. I'm sure your explanation will be insightful.


Anyone here old enough to remember those old Remmington Microshave Shaver commercials "I liked the company so much I bought the company"? Lol Victor Kiam, I say to my childhood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcVFQJqz9vc

Anyway, I liked my answer so I blogged it.

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/new-bl ... -answered/


Thank you, I am honored!

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:20 am

Black_Swan wrote:Karen,
I apologize if this has been asked before, will you walk us through the admissions process? What happens from the moment my application is complete at a school in the HYS range?
Who looks at the file and makes the decision to schedule an interview? And does the interviewer have final authority on who gets in? How many people read a student's application?
Do admissions officers all sit at a table and debate accepting an applicant or does this happen only when an applicant is below median? Does the Dean gets involved? Professors? and if so, at what point?
Many questions, just curious how this important decision is made when one receives thousands of files to review.
Thanks!


The process really is different at every school, but basically here goes: Once your application is complete, it is usually sorted in some way (usually - but not limited to - LSAT/GPA). This usually done to make distribution of the reading load easier to manage for the admissions staff. It does not mean that if you are in one pile you are doomed and in another and you are in - all applications will be read eventually. Some piles are read quicker than others.
An admissions officer will read the file and recommend action, usually by assigning a score to the application. People who read the file vary from school to school, but it is a safe bet that there are more than one or two people reading thousands of files.
The interview is a part of the evaluation process, so it is an element that will be considered. The interviewer certainly has a voice in the process, but is not always the final decision maker.
There is sometimes a faculty admissions committee that plays a role in the decision making process, and this role varies drastically from school to school. It is rarely the case where they all sit around the table and discuss each and every application -- or even a large portion of applications. That would take an awfully long time. Decisions are made usually by a combination of the scores from each reader/interviewer, and the Dean of Admissions is usually the final decision maker (except Yale - their process is pretty transparent on their website).
The Dean of a Law School generally does not play a role in the admissions process at all.

Over the course of each year, I probably read about 1,500 - 2,000 files from October to May. I read most of them from home on nights, weekends and holidays, reading 30-50 files at a time (which is why I think a good personal statement can make a huge difference!). I think this is how most admissions officers read.

I hope this is helpful!

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:22 am

drevo wrote:Quick question regarding updated GPA due to fall grades. My overall LSAC GPA stands to go up only .03-.04 after the fall grades are finalized. I've been reading around that for an increase that isn't huge (.05-.1+) it isn't necessary to email schools you have applied to about the increase because LSAC will automatically update your file when new transcripts arrive. That all makes sense. However, I looked at LSN for info on Berkeley which, as a Nor Cal native, is way up on my list of schools I would love to attend. The info I saw was:

Image

Wouldn't you know my current LSAC GPA is in the Denied applicants, and my GPA with new grades in will be up in that pretty Accepted area. This is most certainly an extremely small sample size but it has me leaning towards emailing Berkeley to let them know my new transcripts have been sent and what my new GPA is. I've been Under Review since 12/20 and Berkeley's data seems to suggest quickish turn around time so I was wondering if this was indeed a good idea to notify them or if adding an additional email to their inbox over a .04 increase is over doing it. Thanks!


Email them! but keep it brief.

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drawstring
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby drawstring » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:28 am

Karen,

I think you've previously mentioned obvious ways that interviews can go poorly (e.g. being stoned!), but what are some of the subtle ways that an interview can impair an applicant's chances? How bad did interviews have to go for you to not accept otherwise strong applicants (apologies if this question is too specific)?

Thank you!

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:49 pm

drawstring wrote:Karen,

I think you've previously mentioned obvious ways that interviews can go poorly (e.g. being stoned!), but what are some of the subtle ways that an interview can impair an applicant's chances? How bad did interviews have to go for you to not accept otherwise strong applicants (apologies if this question is too specific)?

Thank you!


In my experience, the vast majority of interviews are completely and totally fine, so don't get too nervous (and for those of you in Colorado, don't light up to take the edge off -- even if it is legal). I think one of the most important things to remember is that you should listen to the question that is asked and answer that question. I know it sounds so simple, but you may expect to hear a certain question (because you've heard others were asked it on TLS) and you don't answer the question that was actually asked.

Be friendly, don't be a steamroller talker, know why you want to go to law school, and try to make sure that your roommate/parents/cats /dogs don't photobomb the Skype screen. (yes - a cat photobombed an interview I was conducting last year. I happen to think it was charming, but you may not get a cat person.)

Hope that is helpful!
Cheers,
Karen


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