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

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nothingtosee
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby nothingtosee » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:27 pm

AnonymousApplicant wrote:I'm sure that these two questions that I am going to ask have likely already been asked on this forum, or else in some other place on top-law-schools.com, but I just wanted to know, first, whether and to what degree my chances of getting accepted into HYSC will be diminished if I take the LSAT in December as opposed to September and, second, whether the fact that my older sister is an alumnus at HYSC (I won't specify which one) would give me a better shot at getting into that school. A brief response will do, and I thank all of you ahead of time for your help.


:shock:

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:55 pm

I'll see if Karen will chime in on that, as she is more experienced than I am for that specific subset in the question. In general though, yes if the score were the same Sept >> than Dec

In the meantime, if you enjoy odd predictions games you have about 20 hours to play the one we just tweeted :)

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Rigo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Rigo » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:20 pm

Thanks!
Last edited by Rigo on Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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KMart
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KMart » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:28 pm

Hey Mike and Karen, thank you so much for doing this. It's incalculable how much help this thread does for TLS.

That being said, I am currently working through the thread (on page 81/121) and haven't seen my question answered.

If I simultaneously work two part time jobs that equal more than 40 hours/week, under the "full time employment experience in months" question should I list all of the months this has happened or do 0? Both jobs are about 20-25hrs/week, so combined they hit 40-50hrs.

Thanks guys.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:56 pm

AnonymousApplicant wrote:I'm sure that these two questions that I am going to ask have likely already been asked on this forum, or else in some other place on top-law-schools.com, but I just wanted to know, first, whether and to what degree my chances of getting accepted into HYSC will be diminished if I take the LSAT in December as opposed to September and, second, whether the fact that my older sister is an alumnus at HYSC (I won't specify which one) would give me a better shot at getting into that school. A brief response will do, and I thank all of you ahead of time for your help.


There is a slight benefit to being complete earlier rather than later, but December is not terribly late (as opposed to February, which is). If the reason for postponing is that you aren't ready (so December will be higher) I think it's fine. Tho you can always retake. For YLS specifically, December won't matter for timing and they do prefer one LSAT take.
And yes, let the admissions office know that your sister is an alumna - it won't hurt and it may be a feather on the scale.
Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:03 pm

appind wrote:Hi,
I was going to apply HYS this year but blew it on lsat three times leaving me with a highest lsat of 165. I am not eligible for the test again until late 2015. It's not a t14 score but I'm non traditional, many many years out of college, working in tech industry and have an international UG. I was planning to leave only for hys. Does it even make sense to apply to H with this score?

I am not sure whether I have anything to lose by applying this year or that the lack of freshness of re-application would be a negative. It isn't clear how an application this year affects my chances during re-application next year assuming the package will be the same except for different lsat/ps. It appears that applying this year wouldn't cause any harm next year, no? Would my application next year be better off as being the first-time application or as being a re-application with everything except ps/lsat same as this year's application?
Thank you.


A re-application decision generally doesn't change unless something in the application changes - like a new score. A different PS on a reapplication is required for most schools, and a different score really does change the application, so it will be a different app with a new (and hopefully higher) score.
I can't tell you if you should apply now or not - it really is your call.

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:09 pm

Dirigo wrote:I identify as gay and checked the box on LSAC as such.
Is a diversity statement expected of me?

I don't want to drop the ball by not writing a diversity statement, especially if admissions would wonder why I neglected to do so. However, my sexuality really has never been an issue for me and I don't want a statement to be forced.

Will admissions see that I identified as gay on LSAC, or is a diversity statement saying as much necessary? Even if not necessary, would it be prudent to write a good one?

Edit: "The box" is really just a CRS preference, actually, so I don't know if that would show up on the application.


It might show up on your file if they are a savvy admissions office and reached out to you through CRS. Some schools' application forms will ask it as well, so you may have another opportunity to check a box when filling out applications. I do not think that it is expected at all. And the worst thing that you could do is write something that sounds forced. I wrote a blog about diversity statements on our website (I don't think that I'm allowed to link it here anymore?) and they are truly optional. You don't need to make an issue out of it if it is not an issue.
Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:13 pm

imKMart wrote:Hey Mike and Karen, thank you so much for doing this. It's incalculable how much help this thread does for TLS.

That being said, I am currently working through the thread (on page 81/121) and haven't seen my question answered.

If I simultaneously work two part time jobs that equal more than 40 hours/week, under the "full time employment experience in months" question should I list all of the months this has happened or do 0? Both jobs are about 20-25hrs/week, so combined they hit 40-50hrs.

Thanks guys.


You may have additional opportunities to explain how much you've worked in other areas of the application, but I think that this question should be answered "0"
Sorry - I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear!
Cheers,
KB

kevin0201
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby kevin0201 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:56 pm

I have 3 recommendation letters. One is general, one on emphasis on my interest in health law, one focused on international trade law. (I'm interested in those 2 areas) Would it be a bad idea to send the two letters (health and international) to the same schools?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:03 pm

kevin0201 wrote:I have 3 recommendation letters. One is general, one on emphasis on my interest in health law, one focused on international trade law. (I'm interested in those 2 areas) Would it be a bad idea to send the two letters (health and international) to the same schools?


Probably not, unless the schools do not offer said areas and then it would be REALLY bad.

It's a bit non-standard to have such practice area focused LOR, not bad, just rare.

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appind
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby appind » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:10 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:A re-application decision generally doesn't change unless something in the application changes - like a new score. A different PS on a reapplication is required for most schools, and a different score really does change the application, so it will be a different app with a new (and hopefully higher) score.
I can't tell you if you should apply now or not - it really is your call.

Cheers,
KB


Thanks. I just want to check how important lsat is for H for people with international UG degree and whether a reject this year harms, in any way, the reapplication, to be specific. H has referred to their process as holistic so it's not clear if the uniqueness of application and the international UG can offset for low lsat. There is this quote from faq at the H site: "Our review process seeks to assess a number of characteristics that have few direct or precise measures by looking for evidence of these characteristics throughout an application."
thanks in advance.

kevin0201
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby kevin0201 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:39 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
kevin0201 wrote:I have 3 recommendation letters. One is general, one on emphasis on my interest in health law, one focused on international trade law. (I'm interested in those 2 areas) Would it be a bad idea to send the two letters (health and international) to the same schools?


Probably not, unless the schools do not offer said areas and then it would be REALLY bad.

It's a bit non-standard to have such practice area focused LOR, not bad, just rare.


Thank you!

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Rigo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Rigo » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:40 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Dirigo wrote:I identify as gay and checked the box on LSAC as such.
Is a diversity statement expected of me?

I don't want to drop the ball by not writing a diversity statement, especially if admissions would wonder why I neglected to do so. However, my sexuality really has never been an issue for me and I don't want a statement to be forced.

Will admissions see that I identified as gay on LSAC, or is a diversity statement saying as much necessary? Even if not necessary, would it be prudent to write a good one?

Edit: "The box" is really just a CRS preference, actually, so I don't know if that would show up on the application.


It might show up on your file if they are a savvy admissions office and reached out to you through CRS. Some schools' application forms will ask it as well, so you may have another opportunity to check a box when filling out applications. I do not think that it is expected at all. And the worst thing that you could do is write something that sounds forced. I wrote a blog about diversity statements on our website (I don't think that I'm allowed to link it here anymore?) and they are truly optional. You don't need to make an issue out of it if it is not an issue.
Cheers,
KB

I really appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback! Thanks! :D

chaitealatte
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby chaitealatte » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:04 pm

Hi, thanks so much for doing this! I had a quick question about a GPA addendum. I didn't do too well for the first two ish years of undergrad for not super significant reasons- I just struggled a lot academically. I really pulled thing together junior year, got straight As for the next two years, and managed to bring my LSAC GPA up to a 3.7. I'm mostly focused on applying to T-6 and a few other schools, so I know my GPA is on the lowish side for those- is it worth writing a GPA addendum to explain the upward trend? It's not like I had a major personal issue going on- I attended an Ivy League and my high school didn't prepare me academically for the standard there, so it took quite a while for me to excel there. Thank you!

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:22 am

chaitealatte wrote:Hi, thanks so much for doing this! I had a quick question about a GPA addendum. I didn't do too well for the first two ish years of undergrad for not super significant reasons- I just struggled a lot academically. I really pulled thing together junior year, got straight As for the next two years, and managed to bring my LSAC GPA up to a 3.7. I'm mostly focused on applying to T-6 and a few other schools, so I know my GPA is on the lowish side for those- is it worth writing a GPA addendum to explain the upward trend? It's not like I had a major personal issue going on- I attended an Ivy League and my high school didn't prepare me academically for the standard there, so it took quite a while for me to excel there. Thank you!


The admissions folks will see an upward trend and appreciate it, and they will also appreciate the end GPA which is solid. In general, an addendum may not be super helpful if it strikes the wrong tone and you really don't have much substance to report.

Cheers,
KB

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bound
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bound » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:49 am

As a reapplicant, I'm curious about whether or not to start from scratch with my personal statement. I LOVE my personal statement, and I really think it depict perfectly my character and work ethic. I would obviously need to make some adjustments, as I am now in a new job, new city, etc... but I would really love to keep to the same theme. Would this be damaging to keep the same personal statements with only some tweaking?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:13 am

bound wrote:As a reapplicant, I'm curious about whether or not to start from scratch with my personal statement. I LOVE my personal statement, and I really think it depict perfectly my character and work ethic. I would obviously need to make some adjustments, as I am now in a new job, new city, etc... but I would really love to keep to the same theme. Would this be damaging to keep the same personal statements with only some tweaking?


It depends on the school, but the vast majority of schools ask for or require a new personal statement. I think that you would need to seriously rework it if you wanted to use the same one. There are many, many topics that you could use for a personal statement - my advice would be to brainstorm some more topics and see what you come up with.
Cheers,
KB

Pau.C.
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Pau.C. » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:02 am

.
Last edited by Pau.C. on Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:33 pm

In Chicago?

Karen and I have time to meet with one (or a small group) of people next Wednesday in our one free block of time, between 3pm -5pm CT. Preference will be given to anyone applying next cycle, fyi.

Also, we are there for a conference and to see some friends/colleagues from our days of yore. if we are given information that we are able to share, we will share it!

Mike

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KMart
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KMart » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:01 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:In Chicago?

Karen and I have time to meet with one (or a small group) of people next Wednesday in our one free block of time, between 3pm -5pm CT. Preference will be given to anyone applying next cycle, fyi.

Also, we are there for a conference and to see some friends/colleagues from our days of yore. if we are given information that we are able to share, we will share it!

Mike

I'm in Chicago! Although I am applying this cycle.

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haus
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby haus » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:49 pm

Spivey, et al,

Do you plan on making the rounds to law school forums this fall?

P.S.

Congrats on the new team member!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:25 pm

I thought some people would like to see this, it is a pre-recorded video that GULC asked for as one of their options. We had several clients who did this, and this one (among a few others) stood out.

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/we-hel ... ideos-too/

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:30 pm

haus wrote:Spivey, et al,

Do you plan on making the rounds to law school forums this fall?

P.S.

Congrats on the new team member!


Hey Haus,

It was almost a year ago that we met you at that GW one! We probably won't do any this year, we are so busy it doesn't make much logistical sense. But, we are going to the MAPLA pre-law advisor conference next week and connecting with former admissions colleagues and friends.

And thanks for the congrats!

Mike

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whitespider
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby whitespider » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:59 pm

Question for the much appreciated Mike and Karen:

I'm targeting a couple of strong regional schools for full tuition schollys, but I've noticed something peculiar. When looking through their LSN pages, it seems that some schools pretty much offer full rides to anyone who meets a certain LSAT/GPA combination. On the other hand, some schools seem way more random in determining which candidates are awarded such strong scholarships. Are those schools taking a more holistic approach?

If so, what qualities would you suppose that they are looking for? Strong WE, URM status, outstanding LORs, a well-written and interesting personal statement? Or as the term holistic suggests, a little bit from every column?

Do you have any advice for improving one's odds when pursuing a full tuition scholarship (other than having strong numbers)?

EDIT: Especially in situations where they seem to be stingy with full boats: As a former admissions rep are there certain things you look for when selecting the chosen few?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:14 pm

Whitespider,

Thanks for the question and all the work you put into this community.

Please give us a bit of time to answer; we can certainly help with the first part (why some schools seem to do it as a blanket policy, others do not). But in respect to how do you up your scholarship we have clients who employ us for this very and only reason so we need to be fair to them.

So let me think about it some and get back soon!

Mike


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