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

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Kluge
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Kluge » Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:55 pm

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Last edited by Kluge on Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gotCentred
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby gotCentred » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:08 pm

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blueberrycrumble
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby blueberrycrumble » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:15 pm

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Last edited by blueberrycrumble on Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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redsox
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby redsox » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:47 pm

blueberrycrumble wrote:
gotCentred wrote:Hi Mike, I was wondering if you had any experience with applicants who are younger than normal. For example, I am currently 19 and will be applying for admission to law school in Fall 2015 as a K-JD. I'll be 20 when I matriculate. Do you think this will affect my cycle at all? How? My numbers are 170/3.5x and I plan to (mostly) blanket the T14, plus a few safety schools.


I wasn't aware they discriminate/have preferences based on age. FYI, I am also 19 and will matriculate at 20. Only downside I see is not being legal.


Do you really want to be a 23 year old lawyer?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:55 pm

Cradle6 wrote:Hi Karen and Mike,

I just had a question about how admissions views GPA right out of the gate.

For context I'm at the University of Texas, which does not award the A+. Though my GPA is near perfect, it is impossible for me to be above a 4.0 because of this policy.

So I wanted to know what goes through your mind if you see a 3.99 versus say a 4.1?


Someone already said this, but you are above everyone's 75th percentile, so you are all good! There really is not a difference. Congrats on a great GPA!
Cheers,
KB

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mpc347
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby mpc347 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:50 am

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Last edited by mpc347 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:17 am

redsox wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Here is the (essentially) data for this entire past cycle. Enjoy!

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/aba-ap ... ious-year/

Also, please feel free to share wherever you want. It's not our data, it's your data.


Mike Spivey, man of the people.


LOL! I guess what I was trying to say is, you are the people actually in the data.

But yea, that too!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:18 am

mpc347 wrote:Hey MS/KB,

I'm interested in pursuing legal academia, particularly a joint JD/PhD (Poli Sci), at a T6 school. I am aware that one needs to apply separately to both programs and gain admission to both. Just wondering though: do admissions committees look either favorably or unfavorably upon applicants who highlight their interest in a joint program in their SOP or other materials? Can it be perceived as a strength or weakness in and of itself? Obviously I have a clear interest, proposal, project, etc. in mind.


My experience with such a program is that it is looked favorably upon, especially (says Mr./ Obvious) if you are a strong candidate.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:19 am

Kluge wrote:Are you still accepting clients for the upcoming cycle?


It is still early cycle so we definitely are. If you want to set up a call it's:

info@spiveyconsulting.com

Actually, come to think of it, people can also lock in this cycle's pricing for next cycle now too.
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:32 am

blueberrycrumble wrote:
gotCentred wrote:Hi Mike, I was wondering if you had any experience with applicants who are younger than normal. For example, I am currently 19 and will be applying for admission to law school in Fall 2015 as a K-JD. I'll be 20 when I matriculate. Do you think this will affect my cycle at all? How? My numbers are 170/3.5x and I plan to (mostly) blanket the T14, plus a few safety schools.


I wasn't aware they discriminate/have preferences based on age. FYI, I am also 19 and will matriculate at 20. Only downside I see is not being legal.


Outside of your academic potential, the concern would be more about maturity than age, so make sure that your application is polished and professional!

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:34 am

Dream_weaver32 wrote:Question regarding why x essays. I will be submitting a PS and Diversity statement, and am curious as to how many items is too many in an application packet?


If they give you an option for that why x essay in the application, you might want to submit. I wouldn't send it without an invitation at this stage of the process - it might add more later if you end up on the wait list
Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:37 am

Dondarrion wrote:Mike,

Is taking the December 2014 LSAT too late for the fall 2015 semester? I am debating whether or not it is worth it to delay my LSAT until June 2015 and try for the fall 2016.

I am military and will be deployed until early March (I can take the LSAT while deployed). I don't want to miss out on a good school because I am applying later in the cycle. Is it worth the wait?


December is generally fine for this cycle. Your application won't be read until about mid-cycle, but you can get everything else in ahead of time so they are just waiting for the score. February puts you pretty late, but December should be absolutely fine.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:43 am

aibohphobia wrote:Mike and Karen, thanks for all the advice you've given in this thread thus far. I just entered the admission process with little to no idea of what I'm doing and going through this thread has been tremendously helpful. My questions revolves around the LSAC GPA. I was recently told that a summer camp I went to high school will need to be on my LSAC transcript. It was a camp hosted by a local college where we would get to take college level engineering courses and redeem them for credit in the future if we want. I've never redeemed or used those course and I have a feeling that the performance wont be terrible, but it will likely drop my gpa around .5-.7 points. My GPA is already low as it is (just above 25th percentile at most of T14). I've noticed people sending GPA addendums to explain upward trends, crises, etc and was wondering whether it would be a good idea to send one explaining my situation as well (that my GPA would be higher if not for the summer camp from high school)? Or will schools only care about the actual LSAC GPA cause that's all that matters for rankings purposes?


If you never used the credits toward your degree, it sounds to me that you don't have to submit that transcript. I know that people who took college courses in high school need to submit if they used the courses for credit at their UG school, but this seems like a just-for-fun summer camp that shouldn't be included. Take a look at your transcript to make sure that they weren't used just to be sure, though.

The LSAC Cumulative GPA is the one used for ABA reporting, so that is important. If you do have to submit them, I'm not sure that an addendum is necessary here.

Cheers,
KB

bbsg
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bbsg » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:08 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
aibohphobia wrote:Mike and Karen, thanks for all the advice you've given in this thread thus far. I just entered the admission process with little to no idea of what I'm doing and going through this thread has been tremendously helpful. My questions revolves around the LSAC GPA. I was recently told that a summer camp I went to high school will need to be on my LSAC transcript. It was a camp hosted by a local college where we would get to take college level engineering courses and redeem them for credit in the future if we want. I've never redeemed or used those course and I have a feeling that the performance wont be terrible, but it will likely drop my gpa around .5-.7 points. My GPA is already low as it is (just above 25th percentile at most of T14). I've noticed people sending GPA addendums to explain upward trends, crises, etc and was wondering whether it would be a good idea to send one explaining my situation as well (that my GPA would be higher if not for the summer camp from high school)? Or will schools only care about the actual LSAC GPA cause that's all that matters for rankings purposes?


If you never used the credits toward your degree, it sounds to me that you don't have to submit that transcript. I know that people who took college courses in high school need to submit if they used the courses for credit at their UG school, but this seems like a just-for-fun summer camp that shouldn't be included. Take a look at your transcript to make sure that they weren't used just to be sure, though.

The LSAC Cumulative GPA is the one used for ABA reporting, so that is important. If you do have to submit them, I'm not sure that an addendum is necessary here.

Cheers,
KB


FWIW when I was applying I had a similar (but not so big a deal because the bonus course was an A-, not a huge problem) issue: I had taken a course that had nothing to do with my undergrad "just for fun" at a different school one summer (it was fully paid for by a government program). I invested a fair amount of time into researching and even called up LSAC. I was convinced I needed to submit it for LSAC GPA purposes -- it didn't even seem like it was a 'grey area,' tbh, but if it was a grey area I'd still generally hedge on the side of disclosure unless you want a possible disclosure issue hanging over your head for your whole career. Not worth the stress, I figured. The A- dipped me below median at my target schools so it was a bigger deal to me than you'd think.

I eventually got in to everywhere I applied. I accepted HLS, and they specifically told me not to worry about sending in the non-UG transcript unless there were transfer credits. So there seemed to be a bit of a disconnect there. But, hey, tl;dr - i'd submit and add addendum. But it really sucks that it will sink you below 25th; that's a big deal, obviously.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:22 am

bbsg wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
aibohphobia wrote:Mike and Karen, thanks for all the advice you've given in this thread thus far. I just entered the admission process with little to no idea of what I'm doing and going through this thread has been tremendously helpful. My questions revolves around the LSAC GPA. I was recently told that a summer camp I went to high school will need to be on my LSAC transcript. It was a camp hosted by a local college where we would get to take college level engineering courses and redeem them for credit in the future if we want. I've never redeemed or used those course and I have a feeling that the performance wont be terrible, but it will likely drop my gpa around .5-.7 points. My GPA is already low as it is (just above 25th percentile at most of T14). I've noticed people sending GPA addendums to explain upward trends, crises, etc and was wondering whether it would be a good idea to send one explaining my situation as well (that my GPA would be higher if not for the summer camp from high school)? Or will schools only care about the actual LSAC GPA cause that's all that matters for rankings purposes?


If you never used the credits toward your degree, it sounds to me that you don't have to submit that transcript. I know that people who took college courses in high school need to submit if they used the courses for credit at their UG school, but this seems like a just-for-fun summer camp that shouldn't be included. Take a look at your transcript to make sure that they weren't used just to be sure, though.

The LSAC Cumulative GPA is the one used for ABA reporting, so that is important. If you do have to submit them, I'm not sure that an addendum is necessary here.

Cheers,
KB


FWIW when I was applying I had a similar (but not so big a deal because the bonus course was an A-, not a huge problem) issue: I had taken a course that had nothing to do with my undergrad "just for fun" at a different school one summer (it was fully paid for by a government program). I invested a fair amount of time into researching and even called up LSAC. I was convinced I needed to submit it for LSAC GPA purposes -- it didn't even seem like it was a 'grey area,' tbh, but if it was a grey area I'd still generally hedge on the side of disclosure unless you want a possible disclosure issue hanging over your head for your whole career. Not worth the stress, I figured. The A- dipped me below median at my target schools so it was a bigger deal to me than you'd think.

I eventually got in to everywhere I applied. I accepted HLS, and they specifically told me not to worry about sending in the non-UG transcript unless there were transfer credits. So there seemed to be a bit of a disconnect there. But, hey, tl;dr - i'd submit and add addendum. But it really sucks that it will sink you below 25th; that's a big deal, obviously.


aibohphobia -
You might want to call LSAC to make sure, or re-read the language they use. I'm saying it doesn't sound like you need to submit because it was prior to college and part of your summer camp. If you took a summer course while you were in college, then yes, you should absolutely submit the transcript even if it didn't count toward your degree. But this seems different to me.
The reason I say you probably don't need to submit an addendum is that I'm not a fan of unnecessary addenda. you could always submit a brief one if you feel like you need to explain, but I mean really brief - like two sentences max.

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:43 am

FYI on transcripts, from the LSAC website:

Required Transcripts

Law schools require you to send all transcripts from the following institutions you may have attended:

community colleges
undergraduate and graduate institutions
law/medical/professional institutions
institutions attended for summer or evening courses
institutions attended even though a degree was never received
institutions from which you took college-level courses while in high school even though they were for high school credit
institutions that clearly sponsored your overseas study. Clear sponsorship means:
the courses received the sponsoring institution's academic credit (not transfer credit);
the course codes, titles, credits earned, and grades appear on the sponsoring institution's transcript. Typically, these grades and credits are included in the sponsoring institution's cumulative GPA. The courses are often administered and taught by the sponsoring institution's faculty at an overseas institution.
international transcripts, if applicable

Did you get high school credit for it? If so , it is clear that you should submit it. If not, I'm not sure that it's necessary to send it in.

tennactitans
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby tennactitans » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:48 pm

Thank you both for taking questions regularly.

I'd like to know your thoughts on splitting. I'll be applying with a 2.9 at school with a 3.0 25%, and a 161 with a 159 75%. Gpa is terrible, I know, but I have a significant upward trend ( 3.8 over last 2.5 years ). Will that LSAT figure put me in the "most likely" pile, or am I going to have to sweat it out? Thanks again, guys!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:59 pm

The top 50 "When Do Applications Open?" calendar now reflects all 50 schools, even those who don't have it on their website now. Hope this helps!

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/open/

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aibohphobia
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby aibohphobia » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:05 pm

Thanks everyone for your well considered responses. I just got off the phone with LSAC and got a clearer answer than my previous one from them. They said that if I received credit at an undergraduate institution for the class (the school that hosted the summer camp), then I needed to report it. It did not matter that at my undergraduate institution I did not receive credit for the classes or use them as a prereq in any way.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:18 pm

aibohphobia wrote:Thanks everyone for your well considered responses. I just got off the phone with LSAC and got a clearer answer than my previous one from them. They said that if I received credit at an undergraduate institution for the class (the school that hosted the summer camp), then I needed to report it. It did not matter that at my undergraduate institution I did not receive credit for the classes or use them as a prereq in any way.


Glad you called to find out for sure. I still don't think it's necessary to submit an addendum for this, but if you'd like the opportunity to discuss your performance, you can do it but keep it very short.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:56 pm

This is really big news, I think (given the Feb increase and the fact that things have been down for so long).
From LSAC to law Schools:

"There were 21,802 LSAT test takers for the June 2014 administration. This figure is down 2,195 or 9.1% from June 2013."

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victory
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby victory » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:15 pm

institutions from which you took college-level courses while in high school even though they were for high school credit


Just to clarify, how does the LSAC treat Advanced Placement courses in high school? I was under the impression they wouldn't affect my LSAC GPA, but the quote makes it sound like they could.

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redsox
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby redsox » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:04 pm

Victory wrote:
institutions from which you took college-level courses while in high school even though they were for high school credit


Just to clarify, how does the LSAC treat Advanced Placement courses in high school? I was under the impression they wouldn't affect my LSAC GPA, but the quote makes it sound like they could.


Haha no.

Long_Time_Lurker
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Long_Time_Lurker » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:32 pm

Hello Mike and Karen,

I had a quick question about diversity statements I was hoping you could address. If it is too specific to a single person though and not general enough, I completely understand.

I'm a 22 year old white male from a middle class (perhaps slightly lower-middle) family. However, for a period of several months in high school, my family's house was foreclosed on. We lost probably half of our possessions because we didn't have any place to store them and needed the space in the U-Haul/Storage Unit we rented for other things. For 3-4 months my family of four lived between a motel and a single bedroom of my step-dad's mom's townhouse.

I just don't know if I should write a statement about this experience as socioeconomic diversity. My family's financial situation was at an all time low then and it has improved a lot. Both of my parents changed careers and I really don't want it to seem as though I am attempting to capitalize on a rough time in my family's history.

Any help is really appreciated.

telef
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby telef » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:11 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
james.bungles wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Hahalollawl wrote:Thank you. So to clarify, do you think most of the waitlist movement for this year (however miniscule it may be) has happened already?


I do think that the bulk of it has happened already at the top - but that's not really different from previous years. I also think that there still will be some movement in the coming weeks.
Good luck!!
Cheers,
KB


maybe at HYS, but there have been zero reported acceptances on TLS or LSN for either Chicago or Columbia yet


True. I've also seen little movement to complete silence from many schools in the T20 or so, but given the timing of where we are and what traditionally happens in the summer WL movement, it is unlikely that we will see huge numbers of admits moving forward - even at the schools who haven't (visibly) admitted anyone yet.



Why do you think this is, given the lower number of applicants this year, previously quoted by Mike?


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