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

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BillsFan9907
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby BillsFan9907 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:53 pm

LSATneurotic wrote:
Growing up in the white house should definitely qualify for a diversity statement.


Okay perhaps that was a softball one come to think of it. How about Paris Hilton though? I'm trying to think of good examples. How about Seth Rogan?

I think it's about time that this is REALLY fleshed out. For too long we have known what definitely qualifies as diversity. We only have a vague idea of what doesn't.

Would Seth's writing about growing up an actor be considered a solid diversity statement?

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LSATneurotic
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby LSATneurotic » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:05 pm

Seoulless wrote:
LSATneurotic wrote:
Growing up in the white house should definitely qualify for a diversity statement.


Okay perhaps that was a softball one come to think of it. How about Paris Hilton though? I'm trying to think of good examples. How about Seth Rogan?

I think it's about time that this is REALLY fleshed out. For too long we have known what definitely qualifies as diversity. We only have a vague idea of what doesn't.

Would Seth's writing about growing up an actor be considered a solid diversity statement?


I'm really starting to second guess my essays, so please take this with a grain of salt:

The topic is probably less important than the quality of writing. If you can draft a diversity statement that is interesting and insightful, then I'd say go for it, regardless of the topic.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:16 pm

LSATneurotic wrote:I'm really starting to second guess my essays, so please take this with a grain of salt:

The topic is probably less important than the quality of writing. If you can draft a diversity statement that is interesting and insightful, then I'd say go for it, regardless of the topic.


I disagree with this advice. The wrong topic for a diversity statement would show poor judgment. It is optional, which means that you don't have to write one. Don't use this as an opportunity to lengthen your application -- it really should show how you could add a different perspective to the law school classroom.

Examples of bad diversity statement topics: being left-handed, being an econ major, appreciating diversity, being human.

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LSATneurotic
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby LSATneurotic » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:33 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
LSATneurotic wrote:I'm really starting to second guess my essays, so please take this with a grain of salt:

The topic is probably less important than the quality of writing. If you can draft a diversity statement that is interesting and insightful, then I'd say go for it, regardless of the topic.


I disagree with this advice. The wrong topic for a diversity statement would show poor judgment. It is optional, which means that you don't have to write one. Don't use this as an opportunity to lengthen your application -- it really should show how you could add a different perspective to the law school classroom.

Examples of bad diversity statement topics: being left-handed, being an econ major, appreciating diversity, being human.


I thought that the essays are used in part to evaluate a candidate's writing ability? I guess I figured a well written statement is more essential than a wonderful topic. I can see how brevity would be appreciated, though.

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WichitaShocker
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby WichitaShocker » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:00 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
LSATneurotic wrote:I'm really starting to second guess my essays, so please take this with a grain of salt:

The topic is probably less important than the quality of writing. If you can draft a diversity statement that is interesting and insightful, then I'd say go for it, regardless of the topic.


I disagree with this advice. The wrong topic for a diversity statement would show poor judgment. It is optional, which means that you don't have to write one. Don't use this as an opportunity to lengthen your application -- it really should show how you could add a different perspective to the law school classroom.

Examples of bad diversity statement topics: being left-handed, being an econ major, appreciating diversity, being human.


I did not write a diversity statement, but I did address this in my personal statement, so I will volunteer myself as a "Test Subject". I am a High school drop out, I dropped out at 15, and began college at 16. I got a degree as an automotive body repair tech by 18, and then decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I got a 4 year degree, worked for two years and am applying now. Good enough for a diversity statement, or just a unique story?

Edit: I am a white male who grew up middle class.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:22 pm

LSATneurotic wrote:I thought that the essays are used in part to evaluate a candidate's writing ability? I guess I figured a well written statement is more essential than a wonderful topic. I can see how brevity would be appreciated, though.


Essays are used in part to evaluate writing ability, but they can also help the reader evaluate their overall judgment. It's harder to come up with a bad topic for a PS than it is to come up with a bad topic for a DS.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:29 pm

WichitaShocker wrote:I did not write a diversity statement, but I did address this in my personal statement, so I will volunteer myself as a "Test Subject". I am a High school drop out, I dropped out at 15, and began college at 16. I got a degree as an automotive body repair tech by 18, and then decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I got a 4 year degree, worked for two years and am applying now. Good enough for a diversity statement, or just a unique story?

Edit: I am a white male who grew up middle class.


This could be a good diversity statement, but only if you have another good topic for your PS. Here's why it could be a good DS in my opinion: this experience may have given you a different lens with which to view the world, and you can share that point of view in the law school classroom.

I think this sounds like a great PS, though, and if you had to reach to find another topic for the PS (that would very likely be less compelling), then I wouldn't advise using it as a DS. I think you made the right call.

The diversity statement does not have to be about race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. I can be about other things, but they must actually be unique or different or underrepresented in the law school classroom.

Cheers,
KB

Moneytrees
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Moneytrees » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:17 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
WichitaShocker wrote:I did not write a diversity statement, but I did address this in my personal statement, so I will volunteer myself as a "Test Subject". I am a High school drop out, I dropped out at 15, and began college at 16. I got a degree as an automotive body repair tech by 18, and then decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I got a 4 year degree, worked for two years and am applying now. Good enough for a diversity statement, or just a unique story?

Edit: I am a white male who grew up middle class.


This could be a good diversity statement, but only if you have another good topic for your PS. Here's why it could be a good DS in my opinion: this experience may have given you a different lens with which to view the world, and you can share that point of view in the law school classroom.

I think this sounds like a great PS, though, and if you had to reach to find another topic for the PS (that would very likely be less compelling), then I wouldn't advise using it as a DS. I think you made the right call.


The diversity statement does not have to be about race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. I can be about other things, but they must actually be unique or different or underrepresented in the law school classroom.

Cheers,
KB


I thought this was common knowledge until several people on these boards vehemently started arguing against diversity statements. Thank you for clearing this issue up.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:23 pm

Seoulless wrote:
LSATneurotic wrote:
Growing up in the white house should definitely qualify for a diversity statement.


Okay perhaps that was a softball one come to think of it. How about Paris Hilton though? I'm trying to think of good examples. How about Seth Rogan?

I think it's about time that this is REALLY fleshed out. For too long we have known what definitely qualifies as diversity. We only have a vague idea of what doesn't.

Would Seth's writing about growing up an actor be considered a solid diversity statement?


I realize we never answered this. Yes, Seth Rogan overcame the adversity of his face to become a celebrity in Hollywood, so he would have a diversity statement topic.

BillsFan9907
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby BillsFan9907 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:11 am

Hey Mike/Karen -

What do you have to say about reapplicants sending in updated personal statements rather than entirely new personal statements?

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Winston1984
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Winston1984 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:50 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
Seoulless wrote:
LSATneurotic wrote:
Growing up in the white house should definitely qualify for a diversity statement.


Okay perhaps that was a softball one come to think of it. How about Paris Hilton though? I'm trying to think of good examples. How about Seth Rogan?

I think it's about time that this is REALLY fleshed out. For too long we have known what definitely qualifies as diversity. We only have a vague idea of what doesn't.

Would Seth's writing about growing up an actor be considered a solid diversity statement?


I realize we never answered this. Yes, Seth Rogan overcame the adversity of his face to become a celebrity in Hollywood, so he would have a diversity statement topic.


:lol:

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:59 am

Seoulless wrote:Hey Mike/Karen -

What do you have to say about reapplicants sending in updated personal statements rather than entirely new personal statements?


I hate to answer questions with "it depends" but ... it depends. Many schools require a new PS as part of the application, and for most people, they should write a new PS. But I could imagine a circumstance where the PS was written about the same topic, but the subject deserved an update (you wrote about your experience in a job so far (or working in a field but took a new job), but over the past year your perspective has changed for some reason).

So, in general, I would advise to write a new PS when the application requires one (not all schools require it).

Cheers,
KB

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jthach
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby jthach » Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:21 pm

Hello! I'm wondering if you could help with this question: I'm wrapping up my thesis and planning to graduate with a MA in the late end of Spring '15, but will be applying this cycle -- How should I best convey this on my law school applications? Also, my graduate transcript goes up to Spring '14 with a 3.8 GPA albeit a soft factor.

MDJ2588
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MDJ2588 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:14 pm

Hello Mike and Karen,

I am currently developing a research paper based on the correlative impact between the law school admission process and the LSAT. Thus far, I am still at the investigative stage of my research, however, your expertise would serve as an essential element to my final argument. I have listed five brief questions for either the both of you, or just one of you to answer.

In addition, I would like to note that this is for my class and it will not be published in any format. However, the answers you provide will also be a personal service to me, since I am currently in the process of applying to law school as well.

If you do not mind please answer the following questions below, thank you for your time and expertise!

1. Do you agree that the LSAT is the most accurate method to measure an applicants performance while in law school, please explain why or why not?

2. Do you believe that there are any other methods that could measure one's academic potential either equally or better than the LSAT? If not please explain. If yes, should law school's have more influence over it's format?

3. What is your opinion regarding the strongest differential between students who perform above the average median with little or no preparation for the exam, as opposed to those students who must prepare rigorously (i.e. three months or greater) for the exam, but are unable able to achieve an above average score. (e.g. Is it innate intelligence, difference in undergraduate majors, etc.)

4. What do you believe is driving the recent decline in students applying to law schools, and furthermore, is this good or bad for the future of the legal field?

5. What is your stance on the holistic approach of examining an applicant's profile? Specifically, can it be a "game changer" for an applicant who is at the bottom half of a schools LSAT/GPA median?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:05 pm

jthach wrote:Hello! I'm wondering if you could help with this question: I'm wrapping up my thesis and planning to graduate with a MA in the late end of Spring '15, but will be applying this cycle -- How should I best convey this on my law school applications? Also, my graduate transcript goes up to Spring '14 with a 3.8 GPA albeit a soft factor.


I am assuming that you will have this on the resume and on the application form itself. On the resume, you might want to include your thesis title in the MA degree school entry.

Cheers,
KB

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:25 am

MDJ2588 , I'm very intrigued and interested in this study. Would you be able to speak on the phone in the next few weeks to discuss and see how I can help? Also, LSAC has a great deal of data around the questions you ask.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:37 pm

New rule. If you score more than 140 points against me in Fantasy Football you only get really bad or really basic admissions advice -- like "stay in school, get good grades, and don't rob no liquor stores"

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WichitaShocker
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby WichitaShocker » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:03 am

MikeSpivey wrote:New rule. If you score more than 140 points against me in Fantasy Football you only get really bad or really basic admissions advice -- like "stay in school, get good grades, and don't rob no liquor stores"


If it makes you feel any better, in my league I scored 143, and my opponent managed to some how pull out a 148.

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haus
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby haus » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:31 am

MikeSpivey wrote:New rule. If you score more than 140 points against me in Fantasy Football you only get really bad or really basic admissions advice -- like "stay in school, get good grades, and don't rob no liquor stores"

How many points does an opponent need to score in order for you to advise them to rob liquor stores?

rebexness
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby rebexness » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:36 am

Last edited by rebexness on Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:56 am

haus, a 160 or above yields the really bad advice. 140+ just basic advice.

Everyone else, yes your misery makes me feel better :)

pjohnstron0626
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby pjohnstron0626 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:37 am

Hi Former Admissions Officers,

I had a question regarding disabled LSAT test-takers and possible addendums. With the new changes to the LSAT score reporting, law schools won't be able to tell if a student is disabled or not. I was wondering what you recommend for an LSAT accommodated test-taker who will be below the median LSAT at most schools I will be applying.

The LSAT score for me (164) is by far the worst part of my application, and I believe --even with an accommodation-- it warrants an explanation in conjunction with my learning disability.

I cannot seem to get a straight answer anywhere on including an addendum or not given the new anonymity with the reporting. The new court ruling and LSAC changes suggest that disabled students have a right not to be identified in an application pool. Nonetheless, I would like to explain my lower score (relative to my target school).

What are your thoughts? Am I putting myself at a disadvantage with the admissions department as an accommodated test-taker below the LSAT median? After all, if other candidates are in the same ball park and not disabled, why not use this addendum to rule me out?

Please help.

Thank you and best regards.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:15 am

pjohnstron0626 wrote:Hi Former Admissions Officers,

I had a question regarding disabled LSAT test-takers and possible addendums. With the new changes to the LSAT score reporting, law schools won't be able to tell if a student is disabled or not. I was wondering what you recommend for an LSAT accommodated test-taker who will be below the median LSAT at most schools I will be applying.

The LSAT score for me (164) is by far the worst part of my application, and I believe --even with an accommodation-- it warrants an explanation in conjunction with my learning disability.

I cannot seem to get a straight answer anywhere on including an addendum or not given the new anonymity with the reporting. The new court ruling and LSAC changes suggest that disabled students have a right not to be identified in an application pool. Nonetheless, I would like to explain my lower score (relative to my target school).

What are your thoughts? Am I putting myself at a disadvantage with the admissions department as an accommodated test-taker below the LSAT median? After all, if other candidates are in the same ball park and not disabled, why not use this addendum to rule me out?

Please help.

Thank you and best regards.


I'm not surprised you have received conflicting advice here, and I know that makes the process unclear and stressful.

Write a very concise addendum, simply defining your disability and letting them know you had accommodations. Say something to the affect of "I am not writing this as an excuse or to ask for different treatment, but rather to give the admissions committee as much information as possible on my candidacy, including that I took the test with accomodations."

I hope this helps!

Mike

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

Postby Pau.C. » Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:45 am

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

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haus
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby haus » Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:28 pm

Pau.C. wrote:Hello,

I know you've said that it is OK to have a 2 page resume as long as the second page adds value. My question is, what would constitute adding value?

I've been out of undergrad for only a short time, should my resume be 2 pages, or is that mostly for people who have been working for a long time?

Thanks!

From the previous page:
MikeSpivey wrote:
Veronica2015 wrote:I saw a hot debate about the length of a resume on the forum: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=146388

Is a one-page resume preferred by admissions? Or a two-page one is as good as the former if necessary? I'm a senior undergraduate and my resume takes up almost two pages. I had an active college life (several honors, internships, clubs, competitions), but my resume is long primarily because I add some descriptions for every experience. I want to show my role and my involvement in those activities. Do you think a two-page resume is too long for an undergraduate?

Would love to hear your advice. Thank you very much in advance!



Here you go, Veronica. Feel free to share over there too!

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/debunk ... sume-myth/


ETA: I guess that is now the previous previous page...


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