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

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LSATneurotic
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby LSATneurotic » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:17 pm

Dear KB,

I am curious about Harvard's interview process, because I am hoping that I will get an invite at some point this cycle. According to various sources, the majority of applicants interviewed by HLS are admitted, so I am curious what it is that leads applicants to get rejected after an interview. Specifically, I want to know the following:

1) Is the interview an attempt to weed out socially awkward students?

2) Can you have a good interview and then be rejected because of some other aspect of your application?

3) Is there any advantage to being interviewed by Jessica Soban versus the other admissions staff?

As always, your insight is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

--another Neurotic law school applicant

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Finnpower
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Finnpower » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:37 pm

Sent this an e-mail to you guys...so I hope you don't mind! :)

Hope I can ask a question here I am applying in the 2015-2016 cycle. I am still in undergrad. For the first 5 semesters of college I had horrible grades, multiple D's and F's.

But, (thank goodness) for the last x number semesters I have had straight 4.0's I anticipate my most recent to be a 4.0 as well. How LSAC calculates it, I will have about a 3.1ish if I stop now.

I can keep on going for the two semesters and possibly bump up my GPA to 3.3. But school is such a burden now- I am work full time in a lucrative (by my standards anyway) post college type job and the commute to school is an hour away. I have been doing the full time work/school grind for the last 3 semesters and I am pretty sick of 80 hour work weeks.

So my question is- is it worth it to keep on going to school? I technically have completed all the requirements for my major and now I am working on a minor. Is that .1 somethingish increase in GPA going to be make or break? If I drop out I can also study for the LSAT.

Just as additional info- I have taken a practice LSAT once after 5 or 6 hours of studying. Got a 168, so my hope is with studying I can land a T14 or a T10.

I am a huge fan of you guys and your posts on TLS.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:21 pm

Just curious, Finnpower, what's your major?

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kevgogators
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby kevgogators » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:28 pm

Subscribing

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:44 pm

Don't want to start a new thread for this: is it possible to defer admissions after acceptance?

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:09 pm

LSATneurotic wrote:Dear KB,

I am curious about Harvard's interview process, because I am hoping that I will get an invite at some point this cycle. According to various sources, the majority of applicants interviewed by HLS are admitted, so I am curious what it is that leads applicants to get rejected after an interview. Specifically, I want to know the following:

1) Is the interview an attempt to weed out socially awkward students?

2) Can you have a good interview and then be rejected because of some other aspect of your application?

3) Is there any advantage to being interviewed by Jessica Soban versus the other admissions staff?

As always, your insight is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

--another Neurotic law school applicant


I can't speak for HLS since I no longer work there, but I can say the following based on my experience:

Nobody is admitted without an interview, but not everyone who is interviewed is admitted.
If denied after an interview, it does not mean that you bombed the interview. It is certainly possible that you bombed it - and is has happened and I am sure it will happen, but it is unlikely.
The interview is another means of evaluating a candidate.
All of the people in the admissions office at HLS are really nice and friendly, and no one is out to get you - at least since I left mwah ha ha! You should try to engage with your interviewer and answer their questions.

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:12 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Don't want to start a new thread for this: is it possible to defer admissions after acceptance?


Sure, it is possible, but this varies wildly from school to school. Timing of the offer of admission matters here. Even at some schools where deferrals are granted liberally, deferral from the WL is not bloody likely.

Cheers,
KB

hearsay77
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby hearsay77 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:12 pm

Hi! Hoping for some advice regarding a diversity statement. I'm a first generation immigrant (non-URM) and have a recently significantly disabled parent (which I think is very rare for students my age, only 1 year out of UG, and has significantly changed my perspective), so I'm wondering:
1. Should I write a diversity statement?
2. Should I focus on the immigrant experience or the disabled parent experience? And if I focus on one, should I still mention the other?
3. How long do you typically recommend a diversity statement should be?

Thanks so much!

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DiniMae
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby DiniMae » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:15 pm

Thanks for continuing to answer these questions. I read your PDF cover to cover and still have a question of my own. I am an AA woman, reverse splitter, veteran, and nontraditional applicant (worked FT before/during/after school). I do not know how to evaluate which group I should associate with as far as applications/predictions on acceptance. There seems to be such different measures for each. Any experience with or advice for a candidate like me? Thanks!

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby PeanutsNJam » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:08 am

DiniMae wrote:Thanks for continuing to answer these questions. I read your PDF cover to cover and still have a question of my own. I am an AA woman, reverse splitter, veteran, and nontraditional applicant (worked FT before/during/after school). I do not know how to evaluate which group I should associate with as far as applications/predictions on acceptance. There seems to be such different measures for each. Any experience with or advice for a candidate like me? Thanks!


Best advice you'll get is retake. As an AA woman, hit 165+, guaranteed multiple T14. Hit 170+, guaranteed some T14 for free, and HYS. Hit 175+, and you can draw an elephant for your personal statement and still get full rides everywhere that offer it, along with HYS acceptance.

You can't change your GPA or your race, only your LSAT score. And those 3 things are by far the most important factors in admissions (listed in increasing importance). Veteran/FT work status will help with Yale acceptance. But you could be a K-JD with a criminal record, as long as you're 170+, you're getting substantial schollys at low T14.

I really can't stress how badly you need to retake. This is hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and/or easy admissions to HYS.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:24 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:
DiniMae wrote:Thanks for continuing to answer these questions. I read your PDF cover to cover and still have a question of my own. I am an AA woman, reverse splitter, veteran, and nontraditional applicant (worked FT before/during/after school). I do not know how to evaluate which group I should associate with as far as applications/predictions on acceptance. There seems to be such different measures for each. Any experience with or advice for a candidate like me? Thanks!


Best advice you'll get is retake. As an AA woman, hit 165+, guaranteed multiple T14. Hit 170+, guaranteed some T14 for free, and HYS. Hit 175+, and you can draw an elephant for your personal statement and still get full rides everywhere that offer it, along with HYS acceptance.

You can't change your GPA or your race, only your LSAT score. And those 3 things are by far the most important factors in admissions (listed in increasing importance). Veteran/FT work status will help with Yale acceptance. But you could be a K-JD with a criminal record, as long as you're 170+, you're getting substantial schollys at low T14.

I really can't stress how badly you need to retake. This is hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and/or easy admissions to HYS.


We should probably know your LSAT and LSAC computed GPA before we start playing this game. For example, if you have a 167 and 4.0 and want top 10 I wouldn't be so inclined to retake, especially if you were pretesting below 167. My point is there are hundreds of scenarios. Feel free to PM your score(s) and grades to me if you don't want to post here.

Your biggest bump will come from URM background, followed by veteran for most schools, but I would encourage you not to think of these all as disparate groups but as one very differentiated whole.
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:19 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:
DiniMae wrote:Thanks for continuing to answer these questions. I read your PDF cover to cover and still have a question of my own. I am an AA woman, reverse splitter, veteran, and nontraditional applicant (worked FT before/during/after school). I do not know how to evaluate which group I should associate with as far as applications/predictions on acceptance. There seems to be such different measures for each. Any experience with or advice for a candidate like me? Thanks!


Best advice you'll get is retake. As an AA woman, hit 165+, guaranteed multiple T14. Hit 170+, guaranteed some T14 for free, and HYS. Hit 175+, and you can draw an elephant for your personal statement and still get full rides everywhere that offer it, along with HYS acceptance.

You can't change your GPA or your race, only your LSAT score. And those 3 things are by far the most important factors in admissions (listed in increasing importance). Veteran/FT work status will help with Yale acceptance. But you could be a K-JD with a criminal record, as long as you're 170+, you're getting substantial schollys at low T14.

I really can't stress how badly you need to retake. This is hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and/or easy admissions to HYS.


We should probably know your LSAT and LSAC computed GPA before we start playing this game. For example, if you have a 167 and 4.0 and want top 10 I wouldn't be so inclined to retake, especially if you were pretesting below 167. My point is there are hundreds of scenarios. Feel free to PM your score(s) and grades to me if you don't want to post here.

Your biggest bump will come from URM background, followed by Veteran for most schools, but I would encourage you not to think of these all as disparate groups but as one very differentiated whole.


Just want to second Mike's point that you shouldn't think of fitting into one category or another, but that you represent a very unique individual, and your application will be reviewed as such.
I strongly disagree with the first response that there are any guarantees in the admission process - except if you draw an elephant as a PS, then there's a pretty good chance that you'll be denied.

Cheers,
KB

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:30 am

hearsay77 wrote:Hi! Hoping for some advice regarding a diversity statement. I'm a first generation immigrant (non-URM) and have a recently significantly disabled parent (which I think is very rare for students my age, only 1 year out of UG, and has significantly changed my perspective), so I'm wondering:
1. Should I write a diversity statement?
2. Should I focus on the immigrant experience or the disabled parent experience? And if I focus on one, should I still mention the other?
3. How long do you typically recommend a diversity statement should be?

Thanks so much!


We wrote a blog about this topic recently, so this may be helpful in your decision: http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/when-s ... statement/

In general, when thinking of whether or not to write it, think about how your perspective has changed and how you might see things differently than others in the classroom because of your experiences.

Cheers,
KB

kevin0201
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby kevin0201 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:28 am

I am currently serving in the Army, and I am scheduled to have a Skype interview with Harvard during a training.
According to the thread, it seems like the recommended interview attire is business casual, but bringing business casual clothes to the training will be very inconvenient for me.
Would it hurt my chances if I wear my uniform during the interview?

Thank you!

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:23 am

kevin0201 wrote:I am currently serving in the Army, and I am scheduled to have a Skype interview with Harvard during a training.
According to the thread, it seems like the recommended interview attire is business casual, but bringing business casual clothes to the training will be very inconvenient for me.
Would it hurt my chances if I wear my uniform during the interview?

Thank you!

I wouldn't worry about it at all! If I were interviewing someone in a military uniform, I wouldn't think twice about it. I imagine that they would not hold this against you at all. You could even mention it in the interview.
Good Luck!
KB

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:46 am

kevin0201 wrote:I am currently serving in the Army, and I am scheduled to have a Skype interview with Harvard during a training.
According to the thread, it seems like the recommended interview attire is business casual, but bringing business casual clothes to the training will be very inconvenient for me.
Would it hurt my chances if I wear my uniform during the interview?

Thank you!


When they ask an easy. natural question at the beginning you make want to smile and make a reference to the fact you are on training or something similar. A) It will make sure they know you aren't trying to force the military angle (nothing about you, but some applicants go all military 100% of the time and anything that isn't even a little broad runs the risk of overwhelming the admissions office) and B) it might be a natural way to relax the conversation for you at the get go.

Good luck, many thanks for your service!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:03 am

Hi all,

This March/early April Karen and I will be speaking at a few more campuses. We will cover waitlist strategies and a ton more; common mistakes people make on their application, how applications are actually read by AdComms, how to stand out versus the masses, etc etc.

If you would like for us to visit your campus, here is the info. Feel free to PM us as well. I hope we can make a few of these happen for some TLS'ers!

Mike

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/bring- ... -campus-2/

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bjsesq
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby bjsesq » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:07 am

If you ever to to Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, or in that region, holla at ya boy, Spivey. We'll get ya intoxicated.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:11 am

bjsesq wrote:If you ever to to Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, or in that region, holla at ya boy, Spivey. We'll get ya intoxicated.


All of you will?!

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LSATneurotic
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby LSATneurotic » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:22 am

Dear Karen and Mike,

I am currently prepping for a LSAT retake in December in order to solidify my prospects at HYS and possibly have an outside shot at competing for a Hamilton/Rubenstein scholarship. My current score got me on the wait list at Harvard & Yale last cycle (I applied very late).

I've already sent in my apps. Should I tell the adcomms to hold my applications until my new score comes in, or should I just let them evaluate me as things stand? So far I have been accepted to Duke and Michigan. I am not terribly eager to delay this process any further...

your feedback is appreciated.

Sincerely,

Neurotic

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:29 am

LSATneurotic wrote:Dear Karen and Mike,

I am currently prepping for a LSAT retake in December in order to solidify my prospects at HYS and possibly have an outside shot at competing for a Hamilton/Rubenstein scholarship. My current score got me on the wait list at Harvard & Yale last cycle (I applied very late).

I've already sent in my apps. Should I tell the adcomms to hold my applications until my new score comes in, or should I just let them evaluate me as things stand? So far I have been accepted to Duke and Michigan. I am not terribly eager to delay this process any further...

your feedback is appreciated.

Sincerely,

Neurotic


If you are going to take the Dec test, you should tell them about it and ask them to hold the decision until the score is received. Timing is not going to hurt you here and you want them to see this higher score.
Cheers,
KB

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby ChemEng1642 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:31 am

Hello Karen and Mike!

I was wondering if you were planning on or had already done a blog post on law school interviews?

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bjsesq
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby bjsesq » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:46 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
bjsesq wrote:If you ever to to Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, or in that region, holla at ya boy, Spivey. We'll get ya intoxicated.


All of you will?!

Have you seen alcohol abuse numbers for this area? Damn near all.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:23 pm

bjsesq wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
bjsesq wrote:If you ever to to Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, or in that region, holla at ya boy, Spivey. We'll get ya intoxicated.


All of you will?!

Have you seen alcohol abuse numbers for this area? Damn near all.


I think I'll visit only if you promise not to do this to me.

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bjsesq
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby bjsesq » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:24 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
bjsesq wrote:If you ever to to Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, or in that region, holla at ya boy, Spivey. We'll get ya intoxicated.


All of you will?!

Have you seen alcohol abuse numbers for this area? Damn near all.


I think I'll visit only if you promise not to do this to me.

Fuck. Fine. You got yourself a deal, Spivey. Dean Spivey.


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