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 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:23 pm

bjsesq wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
june1 wrote:I read all the time how a lot of admissions interviews are done after a decision to admit has been tentatively made, and they're just checking to make sure the candidate isn't incapable of speech or very rude or something like that. Any funny anecdotes of candidates who interviewed their way out of admission?


Karen got Cat-bombed doing a HLS interview but since she loved cats I think the person got a bump.

Edit: "loves" cats. I imagine she still does.


How many cats does she have. There is a well known equation established by some famous scientist fuck that for every cat over 1 a woman has, she becomes 2^x more crazy. I guess what I am trying to say, Spivey, is determine this number, and then protect yourself.


hey now...

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:30 pm

june1 wrote:I read all the time how a lot of admissions interviews are done after a decision to admit has been tentatively made, and they're just checking to make sure the candidate isn't incapable of speech or very rude or something like that. Any funny anecdotes of candidates who interviewed their way out of admission?


Sure, it can be the case that an application looks good and the interview just confirms that, but the interview is an important part of the decision in many/most cases.
Yes, people have bombed an interview by saying something misogynistic, not answering the question that is asked, or becoming defensive about a question that is asked.

The cat photobomb is a true story, and she was admitted. And I do love all animals - including cats.

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby bjsesq » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:48 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
june1 wrote:I read all the time how a lot of admissions interviews are done after a decision to admit has been tentatively made, and they're just checking to make sure the candidate isn't incapable of speech or very rude or something like that. Any funny anecdotes of candidates who interviewed their way out of admission?


Karen got Cat-bombed doing a HLS interview but since she loved cats I think the person got a bump.

Edit: "loves" cats. I imagine she still does.


How many cats does she have. There is a well known equation established by some famous scientist fuck that for every cat over 1 a woman has, she becomes 2^x more crazy. I guess what I am trying to say, Spivey, is determine this number, and then protect yourself.


hey now...

lol, you have 3 or 4, don't you?

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4LTsPointingNorth
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:52 pm

Dean Spivey, I noticed on a reddit thread from the other day that you mentioned adcomm's can look at how often an applicant has checked their status checker.

Any insight into what interpretations an adcomm may draw from the raw stats (e.g., is daily but not 100x daily status checking a positive indicator of interest that may protect against YPing or is it a negative indicator of neuroticism? Any potential strategies to game the status checking game? I ask this with the 100% understanding that this is a ridiculous question, but I'm genuinely curious as to whether this plays any sort of role whatsoever in the admissions process.)

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

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:42 am

There's a TLS article about transfers. It says that transferring is even more number-centric than 0L admissions, and gave a rule-of-thumb metric for transferring "up a tier". Here's the article. http://www.top-law-schools.com/advice-f ... rring.html

It says that to transfer to HYS from a T20 (14-20), you need to be in the top 5-10%, with people in the top 1% having a lock. I'm assuming to transfer to CCN or such, it would be closer to 10-15%. It also claims softs don't matter much.

What is your opinion on this article? Is it hogwash?

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

Postby haus » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:05 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:There's a TLS article about transfers. It says that transferring is even more number-centric than 0L admissions, and gave a rule-of-thumb metric for transferring "up a tier". Here's the article. http://www.top-law-schools.com/advice-f ... rring.html

It says that to transfer to HYS from a T20 (14-20), you need to be in the top 5-10%, with people in the top 1% having a lock. I'm assuming to transfer to CCN or such, it would be closer to 10-15%. It also claims softs don't matter much.

What is your opinion on this article? Is it hogwash?

One thing that should be pointed out is when Arrow transferred (~5 years ago). A fair bit has changed in these years. The number of applicants have dropped dramatically since then, and many schools have needed to make adjustments in how they fill their classes.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:18 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:There's a TLS article about transfers. It says that transferring is even more number-centric than 0L admissions, and gave a rule-of-thumb metric for transferring "up a tier". Here's the article. http://www.top-law-schools.com/advice-f ... rring.html

It says that to transfer to HYS from a T20 (14-20), you need to be in the top 5-10%, with people in the top 1% having a lock. I'm assuming to transfer to CCN or such, it would be closer to 10-15%. It also claims softs don't matter much.

What is your opinion on this article? Is it hogwash?


Based on every single bit of experience I have...from admitting transfer students in admissions, losing them to other schools as a CSO Dean, and helping to get them in to schools on this of things + based on understanding the philosophical reasons for taking transfer students, any article that claims that transferring is as data-centric or close to/more data-centric as 0L admissions is 100% wrong. I would also note the dates to all of those links at the article are really old.

If it were just numbers, I would never do this:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/transf ... -admitted/

Actually, if it were just numbers I wouldn't even do transfer admissions. It is the OPPOSITE of that.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:26 am

haus wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:There's a TLS article about transfers. It says that transferring is even more number-centric than 0L admissions, and gave a rule-of-thumb metric for transferring "up a tier". Here's the article. http://www.top-law-schools.com/advice-f ... rring.html

It says that to transfer to HYS from a T20 (14-20), you need to be in the top 5-10%, with people in the top 1% having a lock. I'm assuming to transfer to CCN or such, it would be closer to 10-15%. It also claims softs don't matter much.

What is your opinion on this article? Is it hogwash?

One thing that should be pointed out is when Arrow transferred (~5 years ago). A fair bit has changed in these years. The number of applicants have dropped dramatically since then, and many schools have needed to make adjustments in how they fill their classes.



With the Sauron-esque gaze on employability, you are right it is probably even more about softs now. But Transfer has always been about softs over numbers, because you don't have to report the numbers to the ABA.

That will likely change in a few years, btw. So if we keep that article pinned, it may be correct down the road. Broken clock and all.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:03 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
haus wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:There's a TLS article about transfers. It says that transferring is even more number-centric than 0L admissions, and gave a rule-of-thumb metric for transferring "up a tier". Here's the article. http://www.top-law-schools.com/advice-f ... rring.html

It says that to transfer to HYS from a T20 (14-20), you need to be in the top 5-10%, with people in the top 1% having a lock. I'm assuming to transfer to CCN or such, it would be closer to 10-15%. It also claims softs don't matter much.

What is your opinion on this article? Is it hogwash?

One thing that should be pointed out is when Arrow transferred (~5 years ago). A fair bit has changed in these years. The number of applicants have dropped dramatically since then, and many schools have needed to make adjustments in how they fill their classes.



With the Sauron-esque gaze on employability, you are right it is probably even more about softs now. But Transfer has always been about softs over numbers, because you don't have to report the numbers to the ABA.

That will likely change in a few years, btw. So if we keep that article pinned, it may be correct down the road. Broken clock and all.


To further clarify, schools now have to report 1L GPA to the ABA on transfer students - this is the first year that they have been required to do that.

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

Postby haus » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:27 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:To further clarify, schools now have to report 1L GPA to the ABA on transfer students - this is the first year that they have been required to do that.

Yes, it was fun reviewing the 509 forms (with the enhanced info on transfer students) for the DC area law schools.

Between GW and GULC (and to a lesser extent GMU), we saw a large chunk of the American class being pulled away. If this trend grows, perhaps American can become the first law school junior college. Think about how much money the school could save by not needing to keep staff on hand to teach upper level course. Perhaps the can use all the extra unused space in their new building to create a high end U-Store-It facilities.

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

Postby TheProdigal » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:30 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:To further clarify, schools now have to report 1L GPA to the ABA on transfer students - this is the first year that they have been required to do that.


In theory, might this encourage lower ranked schools to adopt harsher curves to discourage transfers out?

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

Postby haus » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:36 pm

TheProdigal wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:To further clarify, schools now have to report 1L GPA to the ABA on transfer students - this is the first year that they have been required to do that.


In theory, might this encourage lower ranked schools to adopt harsher curves to discourage transfers out?

I suspect that you may see more of this, but I doubt it will be large scale until someone (USNWR) adds something into their rankings that would be driven by these numbers. Until then, it is like a calorie free desert for the schools.

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

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:08 pm

TheProdigal wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:To further clarify, schools now have to report 1L GPA to the ABA on transfer students - this is the first year that they have been required to do that.


In theory, might this encourage lower ranked schools to adopt harsher curves to discourage transfers out?


How do they report GPA for pass/fail schools? And class rank is class rank, a harsher curve won't change that. It might thin the margins, making class rank more luck-based, but that would just suck for everybody and benefit nobody.

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

Postby TheProdigal » Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:14 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:
TheProdigal wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:To further clarify, schools now have to report 1L GPA to the ABA on transfer students - this is the first year that they have been required to do that.


In theory, might this encourage lower ranked schools to adopt harsher curves to discourage transfers out?


How do they report GPA for pass/fail schools? And class rank is class rank, a harsher curve won't change that. It might thin the margins, making class rank more luck-based, but that would just suck for everybody and benefit nobody.


If they're reporting class rank as well, then sure. But if its just 1L GPA, which was the only thing mentioned here, why not trap students, with two more years of tuition, at a TTT by setting a lower curve? Certainly seems to be benefit for someone there.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:07 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:
How do they report GPA for pass/fail schools? And class rank is class rank, a harsher curve won't change that. It might thin the margins, making class rank more luck-based, but that would just suck for everybody and benefit nobody.


I would imagine the same as they report undergraduate schools with no GPA (foreign, evaluation only schools). They don't count them as part of the 25/50/75

I also don't think that this will have an immediate impact on transfers since schools have always looked seriously at law school performance as part of the transfer process -- and there are schools who have very difficult grading curves perhaps in part to dissuade transferring out. But we will see what happens if/when USNWR starts using it as part of the rankings calculation.

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

Postby DCfilterDC » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:14 pm

Okay so I have a question about a weird potential visit situation.

I'm expecting to be WL'd at my #1 choice, and I planned a trip to the city of this choice well ahead of time because my partner is visiting other schools. I was expecting to be WL'd by then, and then plan a visit while I'm there to see the school and express my strong interest. Unfortunately, I just looked up the day I can visit and it happens to be the admitted student's day. I feel like a red flag would be on my application if I even attempted to visit during an admitted student's day. I feel like that would look like I'm trying to purposely be there as an admitted student.

Is there any appropriate way to go about this? Or do I just not tell them I came to their city?

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:01 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:Okay so I have a question about a weird potential visit situation.

I'm expecting to be WL'd at my #1 choice, and I planned a trip to the city of this choice well ahead of time because my partner is visiting other schools. I was expecting to be WL'd by then, and then plan a visit while I'm there to see the school and express my strong interest. Unfortunately, I just looked up the day I can visit and it happens to be the admitted student's day. I feel like a red flag would be on my application if I even attempted to visit during an admitted student's day. I feel like that would look like I'm trying to purposely be there as an admitted student.

Is there any appropriate way to go about this? Or do I just not tell them I came to their city?


It can be very awkward to visit on admitted students day as a non-admit, but you can always call the school and see what they say. If they say, "it's best to come some other time," then listen to them. And hey, you tried. You can always tell them that you were in their fair city on blah blah date but you didn't think it was appropriate to visit given that it was their admit day.

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:51 am

4LTsPointingNorth wrote:Dean Spivey, I noticed on a reddit thread from the other day that you mentioned adcomm's can look at how often an applicant has checked their status checker.

Any insight into what interpretations an adcomm may draw from the raw stats (e.g., is daily but not 100x daily status checking a positive indicator of interest that may protect against YPing or is it a negative indicator of neuroticism? Any potential strategies to game the status checking game? I ask this with the 100% understanding that this is a ridiculous question, but I'm genuinely curious as to whether this plays any sort of role whatsoever in the admissions process.)


I think your postulation is probably spot-on, if they care at all. In other words, yep 25 times in a day probably shows healthy interests, an outlier like 500 might be a bit of a red flag (neuroticism scares Adcomms).

It's hard for me to really know how to game this as this is a new feature that wasn't around when I was an Adcomm. Karen may have a suggestion?

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

Postby PeanutsNJam » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:27 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
4LTsPointingNorth wrote:Dean Spivey, I noticed on a reddit thread from the other day that you mentioned adcomm's can look at how often an applicant has checked their status checker.

Any insight into what interpretations an adcomm may draw from the raw stats (e.g., is daily but not 100x daily status checking a positive indicator of interest that may protect against YPing or is it a negative indicator of neuroticism? Any potential strategies to game the status checking game? I ask this with the 100% understanding that this is a ridiculous question, but I'm genuinely curious as to whether this plays any sort of role whatsoever in the admissions process.)


I think your postulation is probably spot-on, if they care at all. In other words, yep 25 times in a day probably shows healthy interests, an outlier like 500 might be a bit of a red flag (neuroticism scares Adcomms).

It's hard for me to really know how to game this as this is a new feature that wasn't around when I was an Adcomm. Karen may have a suggestion?


What? I haven't been checking the status checker at all. I've just been neurotically checking my email every 5 mins instead. Should I be hitting F5 25 times for each school every day?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:35 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:Okay so I have a question about a weird potential visit situation.

I'm expecting to be WL'd at my #1 choice, and I planned a trip to the city of this choice well ahead of time because my partner is visiting other schools. I was expecting to be WL'd by then, and then plan a visit while I'm there to see the school and express my strong interest. Unfortunately, I just looked up the day I can visit and it happens to be the admitted student's day. I feel like a red flag would be on my application if I even attempted to visit during an admitted student's day. I feel like that would look like I'm trying to purposely be there as an admitted student.

Is there any appropriate way to go about this? Or do I just not tell them I came to their city?


It can be very awkward to visit on admitted students day as a non-admit, but you can always call the school and see what they say. If they say, "it's best to come some other time," then listen to them. And hey, you tried. You can always tell them that you were in their fair city on blah blah date but you didn't think it was appropriate to visit given that it was their admit day.

Cheers,
KB


I will bet the lives of every Spivey Consulting member that they say "come another day please"

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:26 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
4LTsPointingNorth wrote:Dean Spivey, I noticed on a reddit thread from the other day that you mentioned adcomm's can look at how often an applicant has checked their status checker.

Any insight into what interpretations an adcomm may draw from the raw stats (e.g., is daily but not 100x daily status checking a positive indicator of interest that may protect against YPing or is it a negative indicator of neuroticism? Any potential strategies to game the status checking game? I ask this with the 100% understanding that this is a ridiculous question, but I'm genuinely curious as to whether this plays any sort of role whatsoever in the admissions process.)


I think your postulation is probably spot-on, if they care at all. In other words, yep 25 times in a day probably shows healthy interests, an outlier like 500 might be a bit of a red flag (neuroticism scares Adcomms).

It's hard for me to really know how to game this as this is a new feature that wasn't around when I was an Adcomm. Karen may have a suggestion?


What? I haven't been checking the status checker at all. I've just been neurotically checking my email every 5 mins instead. Should I be hitting F5 25 times for each school every day?


Here is my two cents:
Just because schools have the ability to check this does not mean that they will.
Perhaps it could be useful to see if you ever checked to see as an indication of your interest, but I promise you that schools have better/other ways to find this out.
Please do not check your status 25 times a day, I would say that is borderline. There is nothing wrong with checking your status once or twice a day, but there is also nothing wrong with just checking your email.
If I were still working in admissions, I would probably use this information to see who checked the most. Don't be that guy (or girl).
Mike is right, neurotic behavior scares Adcomms

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

Postby DCfilterDC » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:32 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:Okay so I have a question about a weird potential visit situation.

I'm expecting to be WL'd at my #1 choice, and I planned a trip to the city of this choice well ahead of time because my partner is visiting other schools. I was expecting to be WL'd by then, and then plan a visit while I'm there to see the school and express my strong interest. Unfortunately, I just looked up the day I can visit and it happens to be the admitted student's day. I feel like a red flag would be on my application if I even attempted to visit during an admitted student's day. I feel like that would look like I'm trying to purposely be there as an admitted student.

Is there any appropriate way to go about this? Or do I just not tell them I came to their city?


It can be very awkward to visit on admitted students day as a non-admit, but you can always call the school and see what they say. If they say, "it's best to come some other time," then listen to them. And hey, you tried. You can always tell them that you were in their fair city on blah blah date but you didn't think it was appropriate to visit given that it was their admit day.

Cheers,
KB


I will bet the lives of every Spivey Consulting member that they say "come another day please"


Alrighty. I think I'll just pass on telling them I'm there that day, and visit over the weekend when the office is closed.

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

Postby storpappa » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:21 pm

Wait are you saying that going to Application Status Checker does not add points to my adjusted LSAT?

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

Postby pamphleteer » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:11 pm

brb preparing an addendum explaining why i refreshed the uva status checker 119 times yesterday

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

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:46 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:neurotic behavior scares Adcomms


The admissions-dating analogy stays strong.


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