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

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:09 pm

MadwomanintheAttic wrote:First thanks so much for making this Q&A possible, it's been a huge help. I have one question: Given that late applications mean less this cycle than they have in the past considering the decrease in applicants, how does that play into the February LSAT? Early is always better, but provided an applicant makes a significant jump (8+ points) would that help to mitigate the late application? Any insight into how URM status or unique softs might also play into applying late? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.


A great LSAT in February is still a great LSAT. If you have already submitted your application, make sure that the school knows you will be taking the Feb test and ask that your application be held until the results come in.
Factors other than numerical ones are very much dependent on what the rest of the school's applicant pool looks like. We know that the numbers are down because we have statistics on that, and those stats inform our opinions. We do not have stats on unique softs within each applicant pool, so there is less information to inform an opinion on that.

In general, my opinion of a late application not mattering as much this year is specifically talking about numbers more than any other factor.

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:18 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Here you all go. Cliff notes: early = still emphasis on high LSAT, mid/late = flip=floppery

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/applic ... his-cycle/


This is of great concern to me, and I'd like to know how certain you are about this.

I'm a high LSAT splitter whose apps went out Dec 12, most of which are complete by now. I'm assuming I'm mid/late. That said, of the 12 schools I've applied to, I've only heard back from 1. Of the few that I'm status-checking, I'm not even UR. Is it because they file low GPAs to the bottom of the pile or they reserve hardcore splitters to be reviewed later?

What are the odds you're wrong, and high LSATs maintain their strength throughout the rest of the cycle?

I mean, your logic makes sense - if medians are more or less set in stone late in the cycle, then there's no incentive to reach for higher LSAT scores. But:

1.) are medians actually set in stone pre-deposits?

2.) doesn't this also apply for low GPAs?

Are you saying that later in the cycle, law schools are more concerned with your projected success and less with your impact on their medians?


High LSAT scores will maintain importance throughout, but much will matter on where the school stands with medians as time goes by.
Things are not set in stone pre-deposit, but needs/weaknesses start to form. If the GPA looks good but the LSAT shows some signs of dropping, the school might focus on the LSAT in the next round of admits and be ok with someone with a lower GPA. But the reverse is also true.
I would argue that your projection for success and your impact on the medians play on the same team throughout the cycle. Maybe I'm reading that question wrong?

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby leslieknope » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:59 pm

[*]
Last edited by leslieknope on Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:16 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 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:33 pm

leslieknope wrote:I have a question regarding application timing.

I am a reverse splitter (168/3.98) retaking the February LSAT. I chose not to apply to Columbia yet, given that on LSN, everyone with my numbers got waitlisted, and I figured I would be in a better position applying with a potentially better LSAT later on. However, I'm seeing some people with numbers close to mine get admitted today. Do you think I'm better off applying now without asking for the hold given my numbers, or waiting for February's results? I should mention that while I'm hoping to break 170 in February, that result is far from certain.


Waiting for the February results does put your application in a bit of a less-than-ideal position because they will have admitted many people in their class by the time the Feb test results come out. However, if your score goes up, you will have a stronger application. But there is no guarantee that it will go up. I would advise that you submit your application now instead of waiting. You have the option to let them know you are retaking and to hold the results, but you can get the process started now.

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby blacklungz » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:07 pm

I've asked around and am curious to get your take on this question.

Do schools look at your LSAT score in accordance to your school's average score? I received a 171, but my school's average is a 145. All else equal, will my 171 look "stronger" compared to an applicant who went to a more prestigious school (with more resources and a higher average LSAT score)?

If it matters, I have the highest LSAT score coming out of my undergraduate institution ever. Our pre-law advisor emailed me congratulating me about this.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:04 pm

We're going to be really busy this weekend, so I wanted to share a link with everyone before we sneak off the work. it is on being wait-listed and some surprising math behind it:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/mistak ... dest-part/

It is my opinion that if applicants really understood admissions, they could radically increase their chances of being admitted off the WL. There is so much you can do to help your cause. What is one? if you are going to grow increasingly anxious, freak out to me (offline) or Karen (offline) or whomever you want --but NEVER to a law school. This happens so often it is what half of the downtime at LSAC conferences seems to be about -- stories of freak outs. Be upbeat. Always be upbeat when projecting yourself to a law school. The second you break down and send an email that says "what gives....it has been 4 months can you please just let me know" is the day you will get denied. You would be amazed how much a positive attitude can get your off of the WL (and huge amounts of scholarship money). Plus it is good practice for OCI.

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

Postby Clearly » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:43 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:We're going to be really busy this weekend, so I wanted to share a link with everyone before we sneak off the work. it is on being wait-listed and some surprising math behind it:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/mistak ... dest-part/

It is my opinion that if applicants really understood admissions, they could radically increase their chances of being admitted off the WL. There is so much you can do to help your cause. What is one? if you are going to grow increasingly anxious, freak out to me (offline) or Karen (offline) or whomever you want --but NEVER to a law school. This happens so often it is what half of the downtime at LSAC conferences seems to be about -- stories of freak outs. Be upbeat. Always be upbeat when projecting yourself to a law school. The second you break down and send an email that says "what gives....it has been 4 months can you please just let me know" is the day you will get denied. You would be amazed how much a positive attitude can get your off of the WL (and huge amounts of scholarship money). Plus it is good practice for OCI.


amen.

There's a whole waitlist game that never gets talked about around here.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:45 pm

Clearly wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:We're going to be really busy this weekend, so I wanted to share a link with everyone before we sneak off the work. it is on being wait-listed and some surprising math behind it:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/mistak ... dest-part/

It is my opinion that if applicants really understood admissions, they could radically increase their chances of being admitted off the WL. There is so much you can do to help your cause. What is one? if you are going to grow increasingly anxious, freak out to me (offline) or Karen (offline) or whomever you want --but NEVER to a law school. This happens so often it is what half of the downtime at LSAC conferences seems to be about -- stories of freak outs. Be upbeat. Always be upbeat when projecting yourself to a law school. The second you break down and send an email that says "what gives....it has been 4 months can you please just let me know" is the day you will get denied. You would be amazed how much a positive attitude can get your off of the WL (and huge amounts of scholarship money). Plus it is good practice for OCI.


amen.


There's a whole waitlist game that never gets talked about around here.



Easy for your 1L's to say.

Oh wait, easy for me to say too. But I also promise it is true (the upbeat part). Think of it like this -- as the summer progresses their numbers are going to get locked in (because they are medians). Once this happens, they can start admitting the people they like and they can deny anyone who comes close to bothering them. And it happens just like that,

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lawschool1741
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby lawschool1741 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:54 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:We're going to be really busy this weekend, so I wanted to share a link with everyone before we sneak off the work. it is on being wait-listed and some surprising math behind it:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/mistak ... dest-part/

It is my opinion that if applicants really understood admissions, they could radically increase their chances of being admitted off the WL. There is so much you can do to help your cause. What is one? if you are going to grow increasingly anxious, freak out to me (offline) or Karen (offline) or whomever you want --but NEVER to a law school. This happens so often it is what half of the downtime at LSAC conferences seems to be about -- stories of freak outs. Be upbeat. Always be upbeat when projecting yourself to a law school. The second you break down and send an email that says "what gives....it has been 4 months can you please just let me know" is the day you will get denied. You would be amazed how much a positive attitude can get your off of the WL (and huge amounts of scholarship money). Plus it is good practice for OCI.

This is my favorite blog post of yours yet. Well done

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

Postby Auxilio » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:19 pm

blacklungz wrote:I've asked around and am curious to get your take on this question.

Do schools look at your LSAT score in accordance to your school's average score? I received a 171, but my school's average is a 145. All else equal, will my 171 look "stronger" compared to an applicant who went to a more prestigious school (with more resources and a higher average LSAT score)?

If it matters, I have the highest LSAT score coming out of my undergraduate institution ever. Our pre-law advisor emailed me congratulating me about this.


I have read elsewhere that if it has any effect (which is doubtful) it makes your GPA look less impressive because you are competing against in theory less impressive individuals.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:38 pm

Auxilio wrote:
blacklungz wrote:I've asked around and am curious to get your take on this question.

Do schools look at your LSAT score in accordance to your school's average score? I received a 171, but my school's average is a 145. All else equal, will my 171 look "stronger" compared to an applicant who went to a more prestigious school (with more resources and a higher average LSAT score)?

If it matters, I have the highest LSAT score coming out of my undergraduate institution ever. Our pre-law advisor emailed me congratulating me about this.


I have read elsewhere that if it has any effect (which is doubtful) it makes your GPA look less impressive because you are competing against in theory less impressive individuals.



Auxilio is more right than wrong about the LCM (I say it like that because I can't speak for all 1,000 admissions officers here).

How did I use it? -- to get a gauge for the school. You see hundreds of schools in admissions that the typical person has never heard of. Like, for example, Malaspina College. So you use it to see where it fits in relative to schools you have heard of.

Who wants to guess the school with the highest LCM, at least for more than several years in a row when I was reading files? It is in the South.

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

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:04 pm

The way you phrase it makes it sound like it's something unexpected, but I'm still guessing Vandy or Emory. It's got to be a small school, it can't be any of the UT's. Surprised that all the Ivys (and their peers) got beat though.

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

Postby Nathanael » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:06 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:The way you phrase it makes it sound like it's something unexpected, but I'm still guessing Vandy or Emory. It's got to be a small school, it can't be any of the UT's. Surprised that all the Ivys (and their peers) got beat though.


Maybe Rice?

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

Postby NonTradLawHopeful » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:25 pm

Duke.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:33 pm

It's Harvard.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:45 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:It's Harvard.


Wrong!

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

Postby DetroitRed » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:55 pm

Davidson

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:02 pm

It's about davidson's size. Different state.

Davidson is a great guess though because those kids always impressed me.

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

Postby TheProdigal » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:04 pm

New College of Florida?

ETA: Nevermind, too few sit for the LSAT for a reported mean. Though 22% score in the top 5%, 38% in top 10%.
Last edited by TheProdigal on Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:28 pm, 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 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:14 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:It's Harvard.


Wrong!


It's Harvard. It's always Harvard.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:18 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:It's Harvard.


Wrong!


It's Harvard. It's always Harvard.


Harvard people are so Harvard-centric, you should hear Karen and me debate my proposition that Harvard should give some partial scholarships (and thus kill Stanford every year).

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Post removed.

Postby MistakenGenius » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:24 pm

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:25 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:It's Harvard.


Wrong!


It's Harvard. It's always Harvard.


Harvard people are so Harvard-centric, you should hear Karen and me debate my proposition that Harvard should give some partial scholarships (and thus kill Stanford every year).


Merit aid at HLS is blasphemy.

green.tea
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby green.tea » Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:30 pm

LSAC has updated applicant/application data posted as of 1/16/15. When will updated numbers be out broken down by region, race/ethnicity, and LSAT scores? Thanks!

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

Postby Auxilio » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:29 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
Auxilio wrote:
blacklungz wrote:I've asked around and am curious to get your take on this question.

Do schools look at your LSAT score in accordance to your school's average score? I received a 171, but my school's average is a 145. All else equal, will my 171 look "stronger" compared to an applicant who went to a more prestigious school (with more resources and a higher average LSAT score)?

If it matters, I have the highest LSAT score coming out of my undergraduate institution ever. Our pre-law advisor emailed me congratulating me about this.


I have read elsewhere that if it has any effect (which is doubtful) it makes your GPA look less impressive because you are competing against in theory less impressive individuals.



Auxilio is more right than wrong about the LCM (I say it like that because I can't speak for all 1,000 admissions officers here).

How did I use it? -- to get a gauge for the school. You see hundreds of schools in admissions that the typical person has never heard of. Like, for example, Malaspina College. So you use it to see where it fits in relative to schools you have heard of.

Who wants to guess the school with the highest LCM, at least for more than several years in a row when I was reading files? It is in the South.



Can you give me some idea of how well you would view a school with the following breakdown of each percentile category:
95 & up 90- 94 85- 89 80- 84 75- 79 70- 74 65- 69 60- 64 55- 59 50- 54 45- 49 40- 44 35- 39 30- 34 25- 29 20- 24 0- 19
6 8 7 9 6 7 6 6 6 5 5 6 4 4 3 4 8

It is obviously above average, but I am not sure how far above average it is.


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