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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Poll ended at Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:05 am

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:47 pm

I suspect it will be an organic conversation but basically just smile and say this is my first choice (don't say dream school!), introduce yourself, and the basic "is there anything I should be doing"

Oh and read my blog article on how to shake hands:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/why-a- ... may-think/

I am not kidding, this was linked from my facebook account and a Dean of Admissions sent me "thank you for doing this, no one shakes my hand with any self-confidence"

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JXander
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby JXander » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:59 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I suspect it will be an organic conversation but basically just smile and say this is my first choice (don't say dream school!), introduce yourself, and the basic "is there anything I should be doing"

Oh and read my blog article on how to shake hands:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/why-a- ... may-think/

I am not kidding, this was linked from my facebook account and a Dean of Admissions sent me "thank you for doing this, no one shakes my hand with any self-confidence"

Wow, thanks!

And I currently work for several politicians; I have been forced to master the art of handshaking. :)

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gatorgirl2012
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby gatorgirl2012 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:10 pm

On the issue of handshakes, I prefer to give a firm handshake. I've always been told it shows confidence, power, and if you're a girl that can give a firm handshake, major points! However, sometimes when I go to shake another woman's hand, they do this dainty limp thing, making me feel like my "firm" handshake was actually more of a warm up for an arm wrestling competition!

As much as I hate what I'm about to say (cringing as I type this), is there such a thing as a gender specific handshake?!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:33 am

gatorgirl2012 wrote:
As much as I hate what I'm about to say (cringing as I type this), is there such a thing as a gender specific handshake?!


I think the key is to smile, look them in the eye, and at least have somewhat of a firm handshake. I'm trying to teach my puppy that, so I don't even think it is species specific.

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kay2016
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby kay2016 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:54 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
gatorgirl2012 wrote:
As much as I hate what I'm about to say (cringing as I type this), is there such a thing as a gender specific handshake?!


I think the key is to smile, look them in the eye, and at least have somewhat of a firm handshake. I'm trying to teach my puppy that, so I don't even think it is species specific.


Well that made my day. I can barely teach mine how to lay down though..

I'm a girl, I work in politics. I'm also very tiny. I always give firm handshakes and it usually surprises most men in a good way. So ill stick with it.

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gatorgirl2012
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby gatorgirl2012 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:16 am

Thanks for the advice, and the lulz!

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JXander
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby JXander » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:34 pm

Another WL question: if I have deposited at one or two schools, should I be worried that my number one choice on which I am wait-listed will hesitate to consider me for spot? If so, should I consider withdrawing from one of those schools to make myself appear more flexible to the school that has WL'ed me?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:51 pm

Hey all -- I'm in St. Louis for WUST's annual banquet. I'll be back Sat and back on the grid for these and PMs. Apologies for the delay.

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:57 pm

..

wannabelawstudent
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby wannabelawstudent » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:15 pm

sublime wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Hey all -- I'm in St. Louis for WUST's annual banquet. I'll be back Sat and back on the grid for these and PMs. Apologies for the delay.



Ask them to give me more money while there :wink: Have fun.

Actually can you check to see if they know who I am? I'm trying to gauge how embarrassed ill be at orientation (only kidding...kinda)
Last edited by wannabelawstudent on Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:20 pm

..

wannabelawstudent
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby wannabelawstudent » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:26 pm

sublime wrote:
wannabelawstudent wrote:
sublime wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Hey all -- I'm in St. Louis for WUST's annual banquet. I'll be back Sat and back on the grid for these and PMs. Apologies for the delay.



Ask them to give me more money while there :wink: Have fun.

Actually can you check to see if they know who I am? I'm trying to gauge how embarrassed ill be at orientation (only kidding)



I just operate under the assumption that they know who everyone who is active in that thread is.

:( gotta go to a sorority meeting before doing a project for my dance class because that is my major. Go Badgers.

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PDaddy
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby PDaddy » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:42 pm

How often do adcoms cruise these boards, and what are their goals when they do so?

These questions have been asked of other adcoms, but most claim that they cruise only to get a sense of the trends among applicants and learn how schools are being perceived. They add that they want to get a sense of what's working and what they may need to tweak.

While all of this seems plausible and even noble, I have never seen an adcom admit that there is policing activity going on, that they are doing soft background on applicants and even checking up to detect the liars or bigots, etc.

They openly admit that if someone is diligent enough they can glean who an applicant or student is, and that some have even had offers of admission and scholarships revoked, while others have been expelled.

Some adcoms have admittedly identified applicants just by noting seemingly innocuous details given in threads, as well as unique writing styles and other traits.

What they will not admit is that the watchdog activities are a primary reason for perusing the boards in the first place.

What say you? Do you have any stories (cautionary or otherwise) to share?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:48 am

So obviously I can't speak for other admissions officers and just as certainly the answer at a macro level covers just about the continuum. There are admissions officers who have never heard of TLS (I kid not) and there are some who are here every day.

For me (and I know for a fact others) I would try to reverse engineer screen names to see where our admitted students were leaning towards. That and to see at a broader level which schools had a "buzz" about them, what other law schools might be doing that we were not, etc. But again, anything at the individual level was focused on our admits. What prospective students likely do not realize simply because they are on the exact other side contextually is that admissions is really competitive. It is just like any other industry. So you are fighting with your peer schools for the same exact admits and you really want to yield them. If you can figure out who someone is on here you not only get a glimpse at where they are leaning, but also their "buying patterns" per se. In other words, things that might help recruit them to your school. We, and I imagine every other law school, had no policy towards TLS. It was more that we cared about our profession and school and thus found this website valuable. Additionally, not once have I see anyone in the law admissions profession retribute against someone on TLS. Sure I think you should not be an entitled jerk on here but I think that is much more likely to hit you in a deleterious sense at the employment level and not the admissions level.

Do law schools honestly care about "trends" stated on here. Well, I spent 30 minutes two days ago with the Dean at WUSTL who asked me that very question. So yes, even at the highest level. I do not think that is just the party-line being toed when someone says that.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:48 pm

Mike,

Your posts are informative and well rounded and I am hoping you can answer this: Someone posted how they got a 174/3.9 from a top 20 university yet got flat out rejected at every t14 applied to. Clean academic and criminal record.
Such a conundrum fascinates me and the only things I could think of were PS littered with errors and (a) terrible LOR. Assuming that's not the case, what would cause a school to reject to someone with stellar numbers? Did one school see something that raised a big flag and contact other schools? Ultimately, my question boils down to: Do schools talk to one another?

On behalf of myself and all others, thanks for answering our questions.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:00 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:Mike,

Your posts are informative and well rounded and I am hoping you can answer this: Someone posted how they got a 174/3.9 from a top 20 university yet got flat out rejected at every t14 applied to. Clean academic and criminal record.
Such a conundrum fascinates me and the only things I could think of were PS littered with errors and (a) terrible LOR. Assuming that's not the case, what would cause a school to reject to someone with stellar numbers? Did one school see something that raised a big flag and contact other schools? Ultimately, my question boils down to: Do schools talk to one another?

On behalf of myself and all others, thanks for answering our questions.


Can you link the thread? I'm a bit perplexed by this too. I have a few theories but would like to see how everything is presented and any more salient background information before I start blathering forward with my conjectures. Thanks!

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:01 pm


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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:38 pm

I find that scenario very hard to believe, quite frankly. More likely, someone wants to know if there is such a thing as "academic blacklisting" and made up the scenario..or that would be my first guess. Especially since it is the first time I have ever heard the term and it comes from the original poster.

If there were a systemic PS problem, or a really bad LOR I would still suspect that half of the schools this applicant applied to in the t-15 would have admitted him/her. So there is something that strikes me as wrong with the story. Any idea why the thread was locked?

(note: I do not know the above for certain, it is just a very strong hunch based on knowing admissions and how it works. Please OP do not come here and tell me I am the worst human in the world for doubting you)

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howlery
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby howlery » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Do admissions officers typically check the applicant/waitlist/accepted threads for the current cycle or do they keep tabs on certain users? I guess I'm asking to what degree do adcoms try and link TLS users to actual applicants. Not sure what my or most other usernames can be reverse engineered to.

Thanks :wink:

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:56 pm

howlery wrote:Do admissions officers typically check the applicant/waitlist/accepted threads for the current cycle or do they keep tabs on certain users? I guess I'm asking to what degree do adcoms try and link TLS users to actual applicants. Not sure what my or most other usernames can be reverse engineered to.

Thanks :wink:


I'm not entirely sure I get the question but I'll try to answer. It is nearly impossible (as you may be alluding to), to look at someone's user name and say "That must be applicant Jane Wilkerson". What happens, or at least happened with me, is you would be reading threads about your school, etc looking at trends and you would notice someone who talks a good deal about your school. You start going back and reading their posts and if they state they have been admitted, have scores above your medians, etc you focus on them even more. Often the person will say a good deal about themselves and you can figure out who they are. Again though, I am just speaking for myself. There are a good deal of admissions officers who don;t venture over to this board.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:06 pm

Quite possibly it is a made up scenario. Anyhow, do schools discuss applicants with each other?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:39 pm

Here is Mistake #1 in the top 10 countdown

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/mistak ... -too-nice/

Thanks to all for following! I've had over 1,000 unique hits to my website since I started this countdown and the number 1 traffic source is from TLS. I hope these have helped!

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bombaysippin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bombaysippin » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:54 pm

Thanks for the tips! Already have your blog bookmarked for future reference for when I hope to apply in the fall.

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gatorgirl2012
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby gatorgirl2012 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:00 pm

Great advice!!! Do you have any tips for WLed applicants, or people trying to negotiate after deposit deadlines? I was offered two decent scholarships, but didn't deposit at either school, so I've lost some leverage :cry:

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JXander
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby JXander » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:09 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Here is Mistake #1 in the top 10 countdown

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/mistak ... -too-nice/

Thanks to all for following! I've had over 1,000 unique hits to my website since I started this countdown and the number 1 traffic source is from TLS. I hope these have helped!

Wow. That was incredibly helpful. I have twice asked one (T60) school that gave me a shockingly low amount of money to consider raising my scholarship, but their response has been the same: "we don't have the funds available at this time." I did not know it was even thinkable to attempt beyond that.


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