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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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:49 am

Pau.C. wrote:In a multiple LSAT addendum, does it look bad to say, "I regret not cancelling my score." Or does that show that the applicant is taking responsibility for his or her actions?


I don't know that it shows taking responsibility as much as it shows that they recognize they made an error in judgment, which is fine. So it doesn't look bad to say that in general.

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

Postby Pau.C. » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:37 pm

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Last edited by Pau.C. on Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

niplomo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby niplomo » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:19 pm

Hello,

First of all thank you for answering questions for us applicants. My question is how Early Decision and generally making it known that a school is your first choice plays in the admission process.

For example my dream school is Georgetown and my GPA is slightly below their 25th and my LSAT is slightly below their median. I mentioned how they are my top choice in my personal statement and how attending will assist me in my career goals. I also applied Early Decision. Assuming weak softs and strong recommendation (K-JD) how would this affect an admission decision.

Thank you

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:59 pm

Pau.C. wrote:Quick Questions about LORs: As a reapplicant, is it better to resubmit an old academic LOR that the school saw last year, or a new LOR from an employer?

I am especially curious about schools like HYS where they say that they prefer academic LORs.

Thank you again for all your help! I have asked a lot of questions lately and your answers have been extremely helpful!


Academic letters are still best and you don't need new ones for a reapplication but you can supplement with an additional new LOR, which is nice

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:03 pm

niplomo wrote:Hello,

First of all thank you for answering questions for us applicants. My question is how Early Decision and generally making it known that a school is your first choice plays in the admission process.

For example my dream school is Georgetown and my GPA is slightly below their 25th and my LSAT is slightly below their median. I mentioned how they are my top choice in my personal statement and how attending will assist me in my career goals. I also applied Early Decision. Assuming weak softs and strong recommendation (K-JD) how would this affect an admission decision.

Thank you


Applying ED is making it known that they are your first choice, and the ED will be a thumb on the scale, so it usually helps a bit in borderline cases. I think you made the right call going ED with your numbers - you did everything that you could to try to tip the scales in your favor.

niplomo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby niplomo » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:04 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
niplomo wrote:Hello,

First of all thank you for answering questions for us applicants. My question is how Early Decision and generally making it known that a school is your first choice plays in the admission process.

For example my dream school is Georgetown and my GPA is slightly below their 25th and my LSAT is slightly below their median. I mentioned how they are my top choice in my personal statement and how attending will assist me in my career goals. I also applied Early Decision. Assuming weak softs and strong recommendation (K-JD) how would this affect an admission decision.

Thank you


Applying ED is making it known that they are your first choice, and the ED will be a thumb on the scale, so it usually helps a bit in borderline cases. I think you made the right call going ED with your numbers - you did everything that you could to try to tip the scales in your favor.



I appreciate the quick reply! I feel a little better now for sure!

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bjsesq
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby bjsesq » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:08 pm

What am I?:

When my first is a task to a young girl of spirit,
And my second confines her to finish the piece,
How hard is her fate! But how great is her merit
If by taking my whole she effects her release!

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PhiPsiSciFi
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby PhiPsiSciFi » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:14 pm

Thanks for being so helpful here.

I have two questions:

1) Would you say that optional essays, PS, resume etc. are solely related to admissions whereas numbers are the sole determinants of merit-scholarship? Or do those non-number aspects also play a role in scholarship determination?

2) This is a pretty specific question, but I know that the general Northwestern admits area made up of 10% K-JDs. Any idea where I could find if Northwestern ED admits also reflect this distribution or if there is significantly fewer K-JDs?

Thanks!

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psychmusic
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby psychmusic » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:20 am

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Last edited by psychmusic on Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cradle6
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Cradle6 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:47 am

Why do some schools (Harvard included) make you put all your employment and extracurricular activities into the app? Seems very redundant with the resume and with less space.

Is it really necessary to list how many hours per week I spent on this stuff (hard to know)? And does everything from the resume need to be on it (apparently ranked in order of importance)?

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LSATneurotic
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby LSATneurotic » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:33 am

Dear Karen and Mike:

I am hoping that you can shed some light on the nature of URM admissions. Over in the URM thread, there's been a lively debate about the timing of URM admissions. Specifically, some of my counterparts suggested that URMs wait longer to hear back from schools. Is there any truth to that suggestion? Do schools focus on non-URM candidates initially before they turn their attention towards the URM applicants?

I would appreciate any insight you can offer on the opaque URM admissions process, because it's difficult to find credible information.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:35 pm

PhiPsiSciFi wrote:Thanks for being so helpful here.

I have two questions:

1) Would you say that optional essays, PS, resume etc. are solely related to admissions whereas numbers are the sole determinants of merit-scholarship? Or do those non-number aspects also play a role in scholarship determination?

2) This is a pretty specific question, but I know that the general Northwestern admits area made up of 10% K-JDs. Any idea where I could find if Northwestern ED admits also reflect this distribution or if there is significantly fewer K-JDs?

Thanks!


I believe that the entire application plays a part in both admission and scholarship, but the non-number aspects play a much smaller role in the scholarship distribution. Higher numbers usually = higher $

I am not sure, but I would guess that the numbers are pretty similar in both pools.

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:40 pm

psychmusic wrote:Thanks so much for doing this (and for keeping it going for so long)!

When researching a school that I was applying to, I found a clinic I was especially interested in, so I included it as a major part of my "Why X" essay. Last night, I was looking through their website again, and found that the clinic is not listed on their main clinics page, and it seems to have rolled into another broader but related clinic. As a result, my "Why X" is largely about a program that no longer exists. Is there anything that I can do at this point to mitigate the issue? I would need to completely revise the essay, and I've been complete for a month at this school now so I imagine it's already been read...

Thanks again!


As long as you can still do the work that you want to do in this clinic, I wouldn't worry about it. It's just been incorporated into another name. If you can find out more about the change, you might want to follow up and say that you are happy that although the clinic is no longer a stand alone entity, you are still interested in being a part of that larger clinic.

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:48 pm

Cradle6 wrote:Why do some schools (Harvard included) make you put all your employment and extracurricular activities into the app? Seems very redundant with the resume and with less space.

Is it really necessary to list how many hours per week I spent on this stuff (hard to know)? And does everything from the resume need to be on it (apparently ranked in order of importance)?


It is important to fill out as much as you can in the application form itself, as much as it is tedious and redundant of your resume, you don't know how the reader will get their information. Some people's eyes are trained to dart to the application section for how many hours you worked while in school to get a better picture of your workload (if you can't estimate, then don't, but if you went to an hour long meeting once a week, then put one hour/week).
Your resume can fill in the explanations, but the app does help in the review process. And you could look lazy if you just wrote "see resume" all over the place.

You can highlight whatever you want on the application form. it doesn't have to match exactly, but it shouldn't look completely different!

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:54 pm

LSATneurotic wrote:Dear Karen and Mike:

I am hoping that you can shed some light on the nature of URM admissions. Over in the URM thread, there's been a lively debate about the timing of URM admissions. Specifically, some of my counterparts suggested that URMs wait longer to hear back from schools. Is there any truth to that suggestion? Do schools focus on non-URM candidates initially before they turn their attention towards the URM applicants?

I would appreciate any insight you can offer on the opaque URM admissions process, because it's difficult to find credible information.


Most schools operate on a rolling basis so applications are read and decisions made as the applications become complete.
In my years in admissions, I have noticed that many URM applicants are not applying as early as non-URM applicants, so this may contribute to the phenomenon you see emerging. I have never seen or known of any school that focuses on non-URM admissions before looking at URM candidates.

Hope that clears up a little for you!

Cheers,
Karen

tu_wangclan
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby tu_wangclan » Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:10 pm

Dear Karen and Mike:

I have a 169/3.87 (Sept. 2014 LSAT, first take, retaking in December)

Would the boost of applying earlier (mid Nov. vs. early Jan.) to any of the T14 with my current stats (In particular Duke PT, Georgetown, UPenn, Cornell, UChi) outweigh the benefits of a potential LSAT increase but later application submission?

I am planning in having my applications in by the December test date but I am wondering if, for some of the school I am already competitive for, I should not tell them to hold off on reviewing until I receive my Dec. score. Or will schools see that I am registered and hold off regardless?

Basically, I'm wondering if hedging my bets and taking advantage of an earlier application may be advisable for some of the T14 schools, rather than asking them to wait and risking no score increase from my Dec. LSAT.


Thanks for any advice

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:25 pm

Hi all,

We are busy beyond belief so sorry we are not as prompt as we are before applications are due. Two thinks.

One, we should be getting the first LSAC admissions data for this cycle. I can't freaking wait because I think it is going to be really really good!

Two, as soon as I get rights, I am going to post on our blog a fascinating multivariate analysis of things admissions officers look at in admissions decisions versus law school success. The exact name of the Study is "What Makes a Law Student Succeed or Fail? A Longitudinal Study Correlating Law Student Applicant Data and Law School Outcomes"
Alexia Brunet Marks and Scott A. Moss

Since Scott is a friend of mine (a few may remember he and I do a USNWR podcast after the rankings come out) I think we will get to blog it word for word on our website. The results fascinate me, btw. For example: "among "splitters," high-UGPA/low-LSAT is equal to the more coveted high-LSAT/low-UGPA"

So more soon on two highly interesting fronts!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:31 pm

DetroitRed wrote:Hey Spivey!

Any data on the recent LSAT takers?

Do you think this cycle will be easier, harder, or generally the same as last year's cycle (especially among the T14)?


See above. I think the breakdown data is coming soon

Yeezus
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby Yeezus » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:59 pm

Would it be better to apply now with a GPA at median and LSAT one or two points below median for my target schools (I am retaking in December), or should I wait until my retake scores come out? I don't want to be a late applicant, but at the same time, I don't want to send in an application and get rejected before my December scores come out.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:04 pm

YeezusPiece wrote:Would it be better to apply now with a GPA at median and LSAT one or two points below median for my target schools (I am retaking in December), or should I wait until my retake scores come out? I don't want to be a late applicant, but at the same time, I don't want to send in an application and get rejected before my December scores come out.


Apply now but ask them to wait for your July score. They will see that you are registered but ask anyway, as they may miss it or may have a different policy. The only reason NOT to apply now is if it interferes with your LSAT studies, as right now that is priority number 1.

To dispel a myth, though, applying in December is not late I have data on my website from two cycles ago where at some schools you are advantaged for applying in Jan/Feb.

Can anyone guess why? Put on your admissions dean hat...

lilkrnq
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby lilkrnq » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:11 pm

Hi Mike. I'm not sure if this thread is strictly restricted to admissions questions or to ask you anything but I figured since you have experience with legal employment as well that I'd give it a shot. I apologize if this is in the wrong thread.

I'm about to take the December LSAT and have taken time off to study for it and to attend to other things. Hopefully if things work out I would apply this year and go by next fall to start. However, since things are uncertain and I would ideally look for work starting soon, since I don't know what my circumstances will be how open should I be with employers especially if I'm hoping to work at a law firm? Worst case scenario is that I stay 9-10 months or so and leave for law school which might make things awkward if not handled correctly. Best case is that maybe I'll be there for some time longer and end up going to law school so when I leave it wouldn't be as awkward. Any advice as to how to go about looking for legal employment and what not? Thank you.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:16 pm

lilkrnq wrote:Hi Mike. I'm not sure if this thread is strictly restricted to admissions questions or to ask you anything but I figured since you have experience with legal employment as well that I'd give it a shot. I apologize if this is in the wrong thread.

I'm about to take the December LSAT and have taken time off to study for it and to attend to other things. Hopefully if things work out I would apply this year and go by next fall to start. However, since things are uncertain and I would ideally look for work starting soon, since I don't know what my circumstances will be how open should I be with employers especially if I'm hoping to work at a law firm? Worst case scenario is that I stay 9-10 months or so and leave for law school which might make things awkward if not handled correctly. Best case is that maybe I'll be there for some time longer and end up going to law school so when I leave it wouldn't be as awkward. Any advice as to how to go about looking for legal employment and what not? Thank you.


PM me

secadc11
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby secadc11 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:13 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
YeezusPiece wrote:Would it be better to apply now with a GPA at median and LSAT one or two points below median for my target schools (I am retaking in December), or should I wait until my retake scores come out? I don't want to be a late applicant, but at the same time, I don't want to send in an application and get rejected before my December scores come out.


Apply now but ask them to wait for your July score. They will see that you are registered but ask anyway, as they may miss it or may have a different policy. The only reason NOT to apply now is if it interferes with your LSAT studies, as right now that is priority number 1.

To dispel a myth, though, applying in December is not late I have data on my website from two cycles ago where at some schools you are advantaged for applying in Jan/Feb.

Can anyone guess why? Put on your admissions dean hat...


Hmmm. Schools were overly picky early on, and now are feeling more pressure to fill their classes?

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psychmusic
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby psychmusic » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:02 pm

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Last edited by psychmusic on Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:21 pm

secadc11 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
YeezusPiece wrote:Would it be better to apply now with a GPA at median and LSAT one or two points below median for my target schools (I am retaking in December), or should I wait until my retake scores come out? I don't want to be a late applicant, but at the same time, I don't want to send in an application and get rejected before my December scores come out.


Apply now but ask them to wait for your July score. They will see that you are registered but ask anyway, as they may miss it or may have a different policy. The only reason NOT to apply now is if it interferes with your LSAT studies, as right now that is priority number 1.

To dispel a myth, though, applying in December is not late I have data on my website from two cycles ago where at some schools you are advantaged for applying in Jan/Feb.

Can anyone guess why? Put on your admissions dean hat...


Hmmm. Schools were overly picky early on, and now are feeling more pressure to fill their classes?


That's pretty much it. The reason is the base too much decision making on the past year's data, and don't forecast from LSAT test-taking data etc. It may happen this year, actually. In which case we will see some schools where it better to apply in January.


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