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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:36 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
green.tea wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:A heads-up on a vastly different kind of blog we are working on. It's essentially "7 things good deans do well"

I'm not too sure how much that will appeal to people here, but I suspect a few. In fact, I can think of a few I suspect (who may want to be a dean or academic).

It should be up by Wednesday or Thursday.



Still working on this blog? Your insight is always appreciated. :)


This should be up in an hour or two, thanks for your patience!


Here it is, thanks for the interest in it!

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/three- ... ful-deans/

Mike

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:20 am

aad993 wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
aad993 wrote:Dear Spivey,

If a school is ignoring you (ex. no status changes ever), and you're well above both 75ths, wrote a Why X essay, and are legitimately interested in the school, what would you do?

Thanks,

aad993


Have you visited yet?


How long has it been since you went complete? Some schools just take a little time with their decisions, but if it has been too long, you might want to contact them to make sure all is well. If you went complete two weeks ago, it might be too soon.


No, I have not visited yet. I suppose that is the logical next step.

And I went complete a month ago. That makes sense. I'll give it maybe another two weeks, and if nothing changes, I'll contact them. Thanks, Karen and Spivey.


aad993, while I can't guarantee it, I would bet that if you emailed about a visit and they pulled up a file and saw your numbers they would be giddy for themselves and an admit would soon follow. This is assuming no major C&F issues, that you don't have a horribly sloppy application or PS that is crazy, and that you haven't already Skype or phone interviewed. But I feel like I can assume those things :)

JustMe83
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby JustMe83 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:50 pm

I recently got a temp job at a legal firm, which would likely strengthen my application as I don't have much significant post-undergrad work experience atm (graduated May 2014). I've received a couple acceptances so far, but my app is still pending at most of the schools I applied to (pretty much blanketed the T14 in early December) and I'm wondering if it's worth it to notify the schools I haven't gotten into yet in hopes of improving my chances for admission/scholarships and how I would go about this. Also got into UPenn but haven't received financial aid yet so I was thinking of notifying them too. I know this is pretty common practice for LOCI's, but I haven't heard much about doing this while your app is still under review, so I'd appreciate some insight here. Thanks!

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

Postby bretby » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:10 pm

aad993, while I can't guarantee it, I would bet that if you emailed about a visit and they pulled up a file and saw your numbers they would be giddy for themselves and an admit would soon follow. This is assuming no major C&F issues, that you don't have a horribly sloppy application or PS that is crazy, and that you haven't already Skype or phone interviewed. But I feel like I can assume those things :)



I'm in a similar situation, except I have already visited. I've already been accepted with money to much better schools, but this one is in the city I want to be in - any advice for whether/how to contact the school that has me out on the line?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:05 pm

For people who think they did poorly on the FEB LSAT, hopefully this will provide some relief.

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/help-i ... b-edition/

Please feel free to share wherever you think it may be appropriate. I hope it helps!

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usn26
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby usn26 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:15 pm

I think I knew all of that... still helps my post-LSAT sense of catastrophe. Thanks Dean Spivey.

dadownclub8
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby dadownclub8 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:58 pm

Hi Mike. Just to preface I'm a February LSAT taker and read your blog entry regarding people who just took the exam. With that being said, I think after having really thought about I believe I didn't do as well on the LSAT as well as I could have: as in more than 8+ points off from where I was currently testing at and I honestly believe that I can improve another 8-10 points more from this point on. I've taken the LSAT once before to cancel. So would it make a difference whether I cancel or keep the score on this past LSAT given that schools now say that they take the highest score? Which is the better option between the two? I'm just concerned even if I take care of business on my third attempt about the realistic possibility of a huge discrepancy between my scores when it is all said and done. Thank you.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:03 pm

JustMe83 wrote:I recently got a temp job at a legal firm, which would likely strengthen my application as I don't have much significant post-undergrad work experience atm (graduated May 2014). I've received a couple acceptances so far, but my app is still pending at most of the schools I applied to (pretty much blanketed the T14 in early December) and I'm wondering if it's worth it to notify the schools I haven't gotten into yet in hopes of improving my chances for admission/scholarships and how I would go about this. Also got into UPenn but haven't received financial aid yet so I was thinking of notifying them too. I know this is pretty common practice for LOCI's, but I haven't heard much about doing this while your app is still under review, so I'd appreciate some insight here. Thanks!


Sure! send in a quick update - not a detailed LOCI, just a "hey this is new and I'm still here" update with a new resume. Tho not all schools will accept an updated resume, it's not going to hurt!
Cheers,
KB

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Sofie4400
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Sofie4400 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:19 pm

Hello Mr. Spivey,

My question is also in regards to cancelling my Feb LSAT score. I got a 170 on the Dec test (which I originally felt confident about and ended up making stupid bubbling mistakes) and was averaging around 175 on PrepTests, but I thought the Feb. test was difficult (due mainly to reading comp. and a few ambiguous LR questions), and wouldn't be surprised to see a 165 or lower, especially if it is a -8 "curve" as some people are predicting. I felt fairly confident on the rest of the test, but I struggled through the 3rd physics passage and only had 5 minutes left to read and answer the last passage.

I am considering canceling my score, but there is a chance (albeit slim) that even though I messed up on the reading comp I made up for it in the other sections. Would a worse score mar my 170 more than a cancelled score? I only have a 3.5 gpa which is pretty low for the schools I would like to go to (low T14) so I am nervous. In addition, if I transfer after my first year would this worse score/cancelled score have a terribly adverse effect, or are L1 grades the biggest determinant?

Thank you so much for your time! :)

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

Postby leslieknope » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:24 pm

Hey there!

I recently received an invitation to interview with a certain school of Ms. Buttenbaum's expertise that ordinarily does not accept the February LSAT barring natural disaster. I didn't indicate that I'd be retaking the LSAT in February on my application, partially because I applied prior to deciding to retake and then because I figured that there isn't a point in updating them, since they don't accept it. Should I expect a question about the LSAT retake in my interview? Or should I bring it up myself? For reference, my GPA is highly competitive for that school, but my current LSAT is a tad under their 25th percentile. As I'm notoriously awful at predicting my LSAT performance, I really can't say whether yesterday went well enough that I should expect a score increase or not- though I'm leaning towards not.

Thanks!

(also would you mind not quoting this/redacting the quote? The law school application process has made me so embarrassingly paranoid)

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:16 pm

bretby wrote:
aad993, while I can't guarantee it, I would bet that if you emailed about a visit and they pulled up a file and saw your numbers they would be giddy for themselves and an admit would soon follow. This is assuming no major C&F issues, that you don't have a horribly sloppy application or PS that is crazy, and that you haven't already Skype or phone interviewed. But I feel like I can assume those things :)



I'm in a similar situation, except I have already visited. I've already been accepted with money to much better schools, but this one is in the city I want to be in - any advice for whether/how to contact the school that has me out on the line?


If you have already visited, and without knowing many more details, my gut is to just wait it out.

You could send a pre LOCI, of sorts, but my experience is that this are pretty sophisticated to do the right way and most versions of these I have seen strike me as value neutral at best. If you met someone in admissions on your visit and hit it off you could always call them, tell them you have had a good cycle but "x" law school is still your easy number 1 option.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:24 pm

Until Karen or I can address these individually, here is a blog on cancelling LSAT scores:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/should ... sat-score/

And here is a blog on dealing with the wait from a guest blogger now at Penn Law:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/how-to ... ease-wait/

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

Postby goodoll » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:48 pm

Will attempt to make my situation as brief as possible:

I started at UCLA in fall 2011, but withdrew my first quarter because of mental illness. I was diagnosed with a severe form of depression. This not NOT affect my GPA.
I started again in the Winter, and completed Winter 2012, Spring 2012, and Fall of 2012. However, three weeks into this semester, again my mental illness got the best of me. I was forcibly put into the hospital, where again I had to withdraw. Still no effect on my GPA.

Because of my illness, I decided to go back to my city college and do two years of school there, until I could be come mentally healthy. Now, this is my fourth and last semester there and I will be returning to UCLA in the fall, and will graduate in 2016. Despite the withdrawls in 2011 and 2012, my community college GPA is 3.85 and UCLA GPA is 3.72. Needless to say, I was able to overcome my manic depressive disorder, and have gotten nothing lower than an A- since.

I am going to score ~176 on the LSAT, and maintain around a 3.75 GPA.

Now my question is, are the withdraws early in my academic career going to absolutely kill my chances of getting into a T14 law school?
Or perhaps, I wonder, showing great adversity and "messing up" early in my career and then completely rebounding with stellar grades and and an awesome GPA may work to my advantage.

Long Story Short: It was a rocky road to get there, but with a 176+ LSAT and ~3.75 GPA be enough to get me into a T14 despite early academic withdraws that happened 3+ years ago? Could these maybe actually be used to my advantage to show that I struggled and overcame adversity earlier on?

Thank you very much for reading and helping me with my situation.

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

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:56 pm

goodoll wrote:I am going to score ~176 on the LSAT


Wow

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:04 pm

leslieknope wrote:Hey there!

I recently received an invitation to interview with a certain school of Ms. Buttenbaum's expertise that ordinarily does not accept the February LSAT barring natural disaster. I didn't indicate that I'd be retaking the LSAT in February on my application, partially because I applied prior to deciding to retake and then because I figured that there isn't a point in updating them, since they don't accept it. Should I expect a question about the LSAT retake in my interview? Or should I bring it up myself? For reference, my GPA is highly competitive for that school, but my current LSAT is a tad under their 25th percentile. As I'm notoriously awful at predicting my LSAT performance, I really can't say whether yesterday went well enough that I should expect a score increase or not- though I'm leaning towards not.

Thanks!

(also would you mind not quoting this/redacting the quote? The law school application process has made me so embarrassingly paranoid)


Generally speaking, the February LSAT is not recommended as the only test, but if an applicant takes the test, the folks in the admissions office would see the results. It is very hard for a school to ignore a new test; it automatically goes into your electronic record, so it is in there. It doesn't mean that they will re-read your file if you don't tell them, but it will be in your electronic record.
All schools have the ability to see if their applicants have registered for a future test, but not all schools will use that ability.
If you are not sure that your score will improve, it really won't matter. But It's not going to hurt to let them know that you took the test. You can tell them that you weren't sure if you were going to take it..

Good luck!
KB

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

Postby storpappa » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:36 pm

Mike,

Do you have a blog that discusses your experience and opinion on ED?

Does a school assign any weight or value to someone who asks for an ED?

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

Postby cookiecrisp » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:45 pm

HELLO,

Thanks for doing this!

One question: DO SOFTS STILL MATTER?

Fellowships
Prestigious positions
etc.

:shock:

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

Postby TheProdigal » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:13 pm

storpappa wrote:Mike,

Do you have a blog that discusses your experience and opinion on ED?

Does a school assign any weight or value to someone who asks for an ED?


http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/early- ... bump-real/

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

Postby storpappa » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:49 pm

TheProdigal wrote:
storpappa wrote:Mike,

Do you have a blog that discusses your experience and opinion on ED?

Does a school assign any weight or value to someone who asks for an ED?


http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/early- ... bump-real/



Thanks - reading that post now

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:45 am

cookiecrisp wrote:HELLO,

Thanks for doing this!

One question: DO SOFTS STILL MATTER?

Fellowships
Prestigious positions
etc.

:shock:


Of course they do! But they matter in combination with the numbers, not all by themselves.

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Winston1984
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Winston1984 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:52 am

TheProdigal wrote:
storpappa wrote:Mike,

Do you have a blog that discusses your experience and opinion on ED?

Does a school assign any weight or value to someone who asks for an ED?


http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/early- ... bump-real/

You missed a real opportunity to link an article about erectile dysfunction.

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

Postby storpappa » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:54 am

Winston1984 wrote:You missed a real opportunity to link an article about erectile dysfunction.


You want a link to this instead? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Last edited by storpappa on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:54 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
cookiecrisp wrote:HELLO,

Thanks for doing this!

One question: DO SOFTS STILL MATTER?

Fellowships
Prestigious positions
etc.

:shock:


Of course they do! But they matter in combination with the numbers, not all by themselves.


The deeper you go into the cycle, the more they matter.

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

Postby DiniMae » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:54 pm

Hi Karen and Mike,
What are your thoughts on thank you emails for interviews, acceptances, scholarship offers, and anything else? Are they expected, beneficial, or detrimental? I know in the "normal" world, I always follow up with a thank you. I don't know if admissions are different. Thanks.

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Blythe17
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Blythe17 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:57 pm

First, thank you for all your insight here. It's been tremendously helpful!

I'm wondering whether it is imprudent to reveal to the adcomm (via app or interview) that you are concurrently applying to other, non-law programs (e.g. TeachforAmerica, Peace Corps, etc.) with the possibility of deferring law school if accepted. I was thinking it may help support one's claims about being interested in public service, but will it hurt more than help by making them think I'll just reapply later anyway, or that I'm not sure about law school yet, etc? Is it better to stay silent on it?

Thanks!


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