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

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:40 pm

Purplebook wrote:Mike, I just thought about two questions based on your last blog post.

1. Does this scholarship negotiation power hold true for people going to the T7? Your blog post specifically referenced T14 to T21. Maybe this was just to highlight an example, but I'd like to know whether it's a matter of candidates simply having more bargaining power among these schools if you don't mind.
2. Does it hold true for admits who are below one or both medians at any school?


The derivation of 7 is purely coincidental, although certainly I am aware of the fact that people often think there is a line of demarcation between T7 and #8. I think at the very top things change for negotiating (and a lot of things including some questionable admissions practices I am writing a blog article on), but I also know for a fact that schools at the very top have had to start playing the scholarship game more than they used to (which was essentially zero), because of realities in both admissions numbers and student debt.

I think splitters still have a good deal of negotiating power. The key here is the unknown, i.e. what does the school need when you are negotating (e.g. LSAT? uGPA? URM? Gender? etc).

Purplebook
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Purplebook » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:19 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
The derivation of 7 is purely coincidental, although certainly I am aware of the fact that people often think there is a line of demarcation between T7 and #8. I think at the very top things change for negotiating (and a lot of things including some questionable admissions practices I am writing a blog article on), but I also know for a fact that schools at the very top have had to start playing the scholarship game more than they used to (which was essentially zero), because of realities in both admissions numbers and student debt.

I think splitters still have a good deal of negotiating power. The key here is the unknown, i.e. what does the school need when you are negotating (e.g. LSAT? uGPA? URM? Gender? etc).



Thanks for the clarification! I look forward to reading your next blog post.

mayday! mayday!
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby mayday! mayday! » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:17 am

Thanks for all this information. So it seems to me that an easy way for schools to yield protect or at least know their competitors is to look at a student's FAFSA aid report to see which other schools it was sent to. Does this happen?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:31 pm

A few things:

1. I'll have the blog post on schools who threaten to rescind admission offers if said admit does not withdraw upon seat depositing by tomorrow at the latest. I talk about why this new trend exists and some of the unintended consequences that may result from it.

I'll answer a few more questions here after I get this blog up, which has been haunting me for days.

2. Should I visit every single ABA accredited law school in the nation? It has never been done, or at least blogged/written about which is what I would do, including interviewing students and administrators at each school. Keep in mind, for example, when Princeton Review sends their student questionnaire to law schools they send them to the admissions office (unless that has just changed). The admissions office then finds the 20 happiest students and gives the questionnaire. So the pool is highly biased and the sample size is small.

Also, I "debate" with Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency about whether I should rank the physical facilities of each law school here:

https://www.facebook.com/spiveyconsulting

Kyle has some good insight, as always, on this. Let me know if you think I should give the facilities a letter grade, or a rankings, etc here, on the facebook page, or in a PM or email.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 01, 2013 10:58 am

mayday! mayday! wrote:Thanks for all this information. So it seems to me that an easy way for schools to yield protect or at least know their competitors is to look at a student's FAFSA aid report to see which other schools it was sent to. Does this happen?


Mayday,

This is not exactly addressing your question, and I am not saying it does not happen (I imagine it might), but do note this from LSAC's Statement of Good Admissions Practices:

"Law schools should allow applicants the freedom to explore
as many
opportunities to pursue legal education as possible. To
preserve applicant options, law schools should not base admission
decisions on the order of applicants’ law school preferences, unless
the school has established a binding early decision"

Thoughts?

eyfl
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby eyfl » Wed May 01, 2013 11:47 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
mayday! mayday! wrote:Thanks for all this information. So it seems to me that an easy way for schools to yield protect or at least know their competitors is to look at a student's FAFSA aid report to see which other schools it was sent to. Does this happen?


Mayday,

This is not exactly addressing your question, and I am not saying it does not happen (I imagine it might), but do note this from LSAC's Statement of Good Admissions Practices:

"Law schools should allow applicants the freedom to explore
as many
opportunities to pursue legal education as possible. To
preserve applicant options, law schools should not base admission
decisions on the order of applicants’ law school preferences, unless
the school has established a binding early decision"

Thoughts?


If only we knew how many schools have good admission practices.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 01, 2013 11:25 pm

No idea which forum to stick this in, so instead I'll just post it here:


The Failure of Crits and Leftist Law Professors to Defend Progressive Causes

Brian Z. Tamanaha

Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... wnload=yes

Please feel free to copy and paste in the appropriate thread and forums

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Thu May 02, 2013 12:06 am

..

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tooswolle
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby tooswolle » Thu May 02, 2013 12:27 am

I'd like to start of this post by thanking you for your time. I wanted to ask about the wait list procedures admissions committees engage in. For example, what goes in to a decision that the wait list is an appropriate placement for a student and why not straight out accept or deny the student and spare them from the agonizing wait the ensues. What factors if any lends itself to wait list the student as well. Thanks in advance for your time and answer.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu May 02, 2013 6:49 pm

tooswolle wrote:I'd like to start of this post by thanking you for your time. I wanted to ask about the wait list procedures admissions committees engage in. For example, what goes in to a decision that the wait list is an appropriate placement for a student and why not straight out accept or deny the student and spare them from the agonizing wait the ensues. What factors if any lends itself to wait list the student as well. Thanks in advance for your time and answer.


1. Thanks for the thanks!

2. I think one way to understand the WL is to not look at it as an applicant, but from the law schools/admissions perspective. If every applicant was denied or admitted, that law school would be in great danger of under enrolling (read lost revenue) or over enrolling (read angry faculty, not enough facilities, trouble placing all students, etc). While Yale might come close, there is not a single law school who can do this and not over or under enroll. So what the school is essentially forced to do, because the typical applicant applies to multiple schools, has multiple offers and because their is imprecise data on where they will attend, is hedge bets by wait-listing. Usually this occurs when someone splits the medians, is slightly below the medians, or there are flaws and red flags in the application.

I know the wait is indeed agonizing. But I would also say i could give hundreds if not thousands of examples of people who, once admitted off the WL at their dream or highly regarded school, are absolutely thrilled and forget rather quickly they were ever wait-listed. Put another way, they would all say that they would rather have been wait-listed and ultimately admitted than denied without the shot.

I hope this helps!

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jrsbaseball5
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Thu May 02, 2013 7:58 pm

I made a post about this, but figured it wouldn't hurt to ask an expert. To better prepare for the LSAT I will be taking the test in October and applying once my score is back. Will this hurt my admissions chances/scholarship opportunities at T6 schools since most are based on rolling admissions?

Thanks!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri May 03, 2013 9:08 am

jrsbaseball5 wrote:I made a post about this, but figured it wouldn't hurt to ask an expert. To better prepare for the LSAT I will be taking the test in October and applying once my score is back. Will this hurt my admissions chances/scholarship opportunities at T6 schools since most are based on rolling admissions?

Thanks!


Unless things change (I say that because a few policies changed this year), it should have zero impact on your decision if you take the test in October. Good luck!

Purplebook
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Purplebook » Sun May 05, 2013 9:25 am

MikeSpivey wrote:A few things:

1. I'll have the blog post on schools who threaten to rescind admission offers if said admit does not withdraw upon seat depositing by tomorrow at the latest. I talk about why this new trend exists and some of the unintended consequences that may result from it.



Do you still plan to write about this?

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Tekrul
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Tekrul » Wed May 08, 2013 12:33 am

Something I've been rolling around in my head for awhile.

With LSAT takers decreasing every year, schools will be seeing fewer and fewer high LSAT scores. As the score distribution remains the same, the absolute number of kids walking around with, say, a 180 is simply lower.

It seems logical to think that this will be meaningful to low GPA high LSAT splitters in a positive way. Likewise, it seems logical that the high GPA low LSAT splitters will either be in high demand to even out their counterparts or they will be ignored in favor of median GPA median LSAT students, in the case that the LSAT starts weighing more heavily in the admissions process more than it does now.

Im curious to hear your professional perspective on this.

I am currently going ahead on my law school now, but I severely underperformed on my LSAT. Even though I'm extremely happy with the school I've been accepted to for my GPA, I'm wondering if a retake will be worth it.

Sorry if this has been asked already and thank you so much for offering your input on these boards.

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Ex Cearulo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Ex Cearulo » Thu May 09, 2013 1:24 am

Hi Mike,

What's your take on applicants with really old LSAT scores? For example, in my case I took it last year (twice) in anticipation of applying to law school if/when the Air Force allowed me to stop flying and apply to the JAG Corps. That request was denied, so the earliest I can apply is Fall of 2017 as the end of my service commitment approaches. Depending on when I officially submit my applications, my LSAT scores will be approaching the 5-yr old point.

Assuming all is well with LSAC and the scores are still technically alive and kicking, will admissions officers raise their eyebrows at scores that old? Or will most not care about when, but only about how high? Is a 4 yr, 10 month old 170 just as good as a brand new 170 in their eyes?

Thanks!
HawgDriver

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon May 13, 2013 1:31 pm

Purplebook wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:A few things:

1. I'll have the blog post on schools who threaten to rescind admission offers if said admit does not withdraw upon seat depositing by tomorrow at the latest. I talk about why this new trend exists and some of the unintended consequences that may result from it.



Do you still plan to write about this?


I actually already have. For political reasons I am just trying to decide whether to post it, or tone it down then post.

I believe the admissions dean at Yale blogged on it, too.

Purplebook
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Purplebook » Wed May 15, 2013 4:58 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
I actually already have. For political reasons I am just trying to decide whether to post it, or tone it down then post.

I believe the admissions dean at Yale blogged on it, too.


I read the Yale post about it. I remember wondering whether the dean had alienated other admission offices by doing that, so your hesitance in posting is totally understandable.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 15, 2013 11:34 am

Purplebook wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
I actually already have. For political reasons I am just trying to decide whether to post it, or tone it down then post.

I believe the admissions dean at Yale blogged on it, too.


I read the Yale post about it. I remember wondering whether the dean had alienated other admission offices by doing that, so your hesitance in posting is totally understandable.


Purple, thanks for the wherewithal on this. I've actually made a great deal of phone calls about this one-- to the ABA, talked to someone from LSAC, talked to Deans of Law Schools and Admissions Deans. Just about everyone I talked to thinks it is bad policy because it limits student choice. I have not talked to the schools that do it because it takes me as skrimy to do so, and then blog about how horrible it is (a pretty common journalistic concept though)...

My problem is that I have friends in admissions at some of the school that do it. So something doesn't sit right with me for eviscerating the schools or practice, knowing they engage in it.

[b]Here is the key that I hope people read[b] If it works, more schools will do it. Yale, of course, does not have to. But most need to yield protect (actually I've always thought yield protection is stupid it makes up a portion of a statistic that makes of a very small fraction of rankings. But everyone seems enamored with it these days. But I also have a strong belief with some evidence that the ABA might step in and shut down this practice. After which....wait for it...schools will start charging 5k for seat deposits (LSAC has a vague rule against exorbitant pricing here). Schools often seem to find a way.

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kay2016
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby kay2016 » Wed May 15, 2013 1:41 pm

Mike,

There have been several threads on this recently and I'd like your two cents.


Does a senioritis semester (or two) that results in a slight GPA drop have any risk of hurting an acceptance? Or do "some" schools not care, because unless you update LSAC, the GPA at the time of applying stays.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 15, 2013 2:55 pm

kayleighcheyenne wrote:Mike,

There have been several threads on this recently and I'd like your two cents.


Does a senioritis semester (or two) that results in a slight GPA drop have any risk of hurting an acceptance? Or do "some" schools not care, because unless you update LSAC, the GPA at the time of applying stays.


You should not be worried at all.

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bombaysippin
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bombaysippin » Wed May 15, 2013 4:15 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
kayleighcheyenne wrote:Mike,

There have been several threads on this recently and I'd like your two cents.


Does a senioritis semester (or two) that results in a slight GPA drop have any risk of hurting an acceptance? Or do "some" schools not care, because unless you update LSAC, the GPA at the time of applying stays.


You should not be worried at all.


Somewhat of a related question, I didn't know this until I actually saw my own academic report. My GPA started off really strong freshman year, and then the pattern it seems is that my GPA dropped little by little for the next two years (soph and junior year), but at the same time I took on more credits in my final 2 years (junior, senior) and then boosted my GPA to my final LSDAS GPA with my last 2 semesters. Sorry if that seemed confusing.

Would adcoms look at this negatively or would it only really warrant a further look into my transcript if I am below/near medians?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 15, 2013 4:53 pm

Bajam wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
kayleighcheyenne wrote:Mike,

There have been several threads on this recently and I'd like your two cents.


Does a senioritis semester (or two) that results in a slight GPA drop have any risk of hurting an acceptance? Or do "some" schools not care, because unless you update LSAC, the GPA at the time of applying stays.


You should not be worried at all.


Somewhat of a related question, I didn't know this until I actually saw my own academic report. My GPA started off really strong freshman year, and then the pattern it seems is that my GPA dropped little by little for the next two years (soph and junior year), but at the same time I took on more credits in my final 2 years (junior, senior) and then boosted my GPA to my final LSDAS GPA with my last 2 semesters. Sorry if that seemed confusing.

Would adcoms look at this negatively or would it only really warrant a further look into my transcript if I am below/near medians?


I'd write an addendum explaining the extra credit hours, perhaps extra curriculars whatever. Downward trends from freshman year tend to be a little disturbing because the implication is did this person discover bars/going out. That said, the end all be all is still your LSAC computed gpa.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 15, 2013 4:59 pm

I realize this is the wrong forum for this article but if anyone is interested in job hunting here is an article from one of the most popular online legal magazines I, and some actually industry experts :), are quoted a bunch in. The title is "How Law School Grads Can Improve Hiring Chances":

http://www.dailyreportonline.com/PubArt ... &thepage=3

Anyone who wants or thinks it makes sense can feel free to copy and post in the correct thread. Hope it is worth a read.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu May 16, 2013 12:14 pm

Here's an ppen suggestion. Anything in particular you'd like for me to blog about?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu May 16, 2013 6:45 pm

New blog on a very simple but rarely used method of making a good first impression @ http://lnkd.in/EufvX5


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