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

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Rahviveh
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Rahviveh » Thu May 16, 2013 7:06 pm

Mike, any insight on whether applicants from elite undergrads (HYP) or with very hard majors (STEM?) get any boost?

Thanks again for all your work.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu May 16, 2013 7:14 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:Mike, any insight on whether applicants from elite undergrads (HYP) or with very hard majors (STEM?) get any boost?

Thanks again for all your work.


Yes, and yes Papi. I've given talks at Princeton and Stanford and told them both that...then preceded to follow with, "I could only say this at a handful of schools" which is also true.

The #1 major accepted to law school percentige-wise in Physics. One of the worst is Poli Sci.

So all things being equal these would both likely put you ahead of the pack. Put another way, if you are slightly below medians this might elevate you.

Sadly however, this was MUCH more true when there where faculty admissions committees making the decisions. and that is a dying field.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu May 16, 2013 10:24 pm

Alright, I am sick of looking.

Can anyone point me to the thread or link with the spread sheet that had the fee deposit, seat deposit dates, etc etc all the information you need to know on it.

Along with consulting for prospective students I also consult for law schools. One of those clients asked me about second seat deposit due dates and I thought I'd share that link rather than compiling it all myself.

Many thanks,

Mike

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Thu May 16, 2013 10:42 pm

..

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu May 16, 2013 11:01 pm

sublime wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Alright, I am sick of looking.

Can anyone point me to the thread or link with the spread sheet that had the fee deposit, seat deposit dates, etc etc all the information you need to know on it.

Along with consulting for prospective students I also consult for law schools. One of those clients asked me about second seat deposit due dates and I thought I'd share that link rather than compiling it all myself.

Many thanks,

Mike


Not a spredsheet, but this may be what you were thinking of (maybe not though)

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=205633

To thank me, you will help my 166 into HYS, right? :wink:


I can tell you a secret about Harvard admissions :) I'm particularly looking for 2nd seat deposits which seems to be a topic no one has considered. Someone shared the super spreadsheet with me over PM (thanks again!) but I couldn't find second seat deposits there either.

Many thanks for this thought, it is interesting to look at how much deposits have increased in costs over the last few years.

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Thu May 16, 2013 11:32 pm

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alphebetagamma
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby alphebetagamma » Thu May 16, 2013 11:46 pm

Hello!
First of all, thank you so much for providing us information!! SO valuable!

My question is about waitlists.. if you don't have time to answer them all, the bolded is my most curious one!

-How do schools decide how many waitlisted people to admit with each "wave?"
(for example, if after a deposit deadline a school is 30 people short, do they admit 30 in that waitlist wave? or do they over admit knowing some people will decline? or do they admit a under that "30," knowing they'll admit another wave, just wanting to get some decisions out quickly?)

-Why do schools place so many students on the waitlist? (Most top schools don't seem to admit more than, say, about 30% of their waitlist, ever..and that's an overstatement)

-Who do schools admit off the waitlist? Is it still the game of numbers, or are they more interested in softs? Is it true that that say, if a certain admitted student drops out or declines that they'll try to get a similar candidate? ex: white female in 30s who is a splitter

-Do people below both medians stand a chance when the waitlist pool has tons of splitters or above median people? Why would a school admit these below both median people over the others?


Thank you!!!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri May 17, 2013 1:13 pm

-Do people below both medians stand a chance when the waitlist pool has tons of splitters or above median people? Why would a school admit these below both median people over the others?

The answer is throughout most of the summer almost no chance. Or maybe none at all. But near the very end of the cycle, mid August let's say, then yes you have a shot. At that stage a school's LSAT and GPA are essentially locked in and you have a chance. That chance comes down to a sophisticated dance of a good deal of variables, which is one of the reasons I do what I do!

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Ixiion
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Ixiion » Fri May 17, 2013 6:27 pm

I *just* posted a thread with a question, and then saw this thread! Hi, Mike! Though everyone has already said this, it can't be repeated enough: Thank you for all your help and effort!

I'll quote myself from my thread, so excuse my horrible attempt at being witty/funny. I blame it on finally finishing 21 credits worth of finals with very little brain matter left to work with.

Ixiion wrote:So, this whole time, like a dummy, I've been calculating my LSDAS GPA *including* what I think I'll get in Fall 2013, which is my last semester.

Then it totally hit me this morning, after about a year of doing this, that when I apply in October, I won't even have those grades yet. Woooo. That was a very sarcastic woo, as I was hoping to use my last semester to bump up my 3.81-3.85 (still waiting on grades, lame) closer to a 3.9.

So. Does your last semester (or two semesters, for all you normal non-late people who graduate in Spring) even matter in the admissions process? I'm sure some schools give out conditional acceptances, but from what I've seen on here, everyone just yells accepted/rejected/waitlisted, and not "conditionally accepted, yay!"s.


If you could help me understand the importance of my last semester in regards to the admissions process, and whether it does or doesn't affect my chances of admission in any way, that would be great.

Again, thank you.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Fri May 17, 2013 8:42 pm

Mike, can you tell us about LSAC's deposit overlap reports? How often are they sent out? Do they include the names of individuals with more than one deposit, or just macro level data for each school? If individual data, how do schools use this info - sit on it / reach out to applicant? Thanks in advance.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat May 18, 2013 4:10 pm

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.


Closing the loop on this, I emailed the ABA what amounts to a version of the blog I wrote but never posted (in email format) today. My point was that, in general what is deleterious to students is also eventually harmful to law school and the legal community. I also noted some unintentional consequences that could arise.

Obviously the ABA doesn't jump when I email them. But better someone do it than it be left unsaid and I emailed to people I know there. I suspect this policy will only increase unless and external body ends it.

In other news, I'm going to answer my growing number of PMs and questions here over the next 2-3 days, but starting Monday.

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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby goCats3 » Sun May 19, 2013 11:59 pm

Hi Mike,

First, thanks for taking the time to do all this and answering people's questions.

I read a few pages of this thread but have not had a chance to look through all of it so I'm sorry if this has already been asked. My basic question is: Is there ever a situation where a school will not even bother looking at a personal statement before rejecting the applicant?

I ask because my aim is a T14 school but I'm afraid that my 3.0s science GPA is below many of the schools' 25% and therefore I won't even be considered at all on that basis alone. And so admissions wouldn't even bother reading my statement.

However, I believe my personal statement could attest to the preparation I've put into becoming an attorney (becoming a patent agent a few months out of undergrad, working experience in patent law, etc.) and could give me a bit of a boost. But obviously, admissions would never know that if they dismiss me right off the bat because of my GPA (and therefore never read my personal statement). Thoughts?

As a follow up, in cases where my statement would be read, how much of an impact does being a patent agent and working experience in patent law have?

Thanks in advance!

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kay2016
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby kay2016 » Mon May 20, 2013 12:18 am

goCats3 wrote:Hi Mike,

First, thanks for taking the time to do all this and answering people's questions.

I read a few pages of this thread but have not had a chance to look through all of it so I'm sorry if this has already been asked. My basic question is: Is there ever a situation where a school will not even bother looking at a personal statement before rejecting the applicant?

I ask because my aim is a T14 school but I'm afraid that my 3.0s science GPA is below many of the schools' 25% and therefore I won't even be considered at all on that basis alone. And so admissions wouldn't even bother reading my statement.

However, I believe my personal statement could attest to the preparation I've put into becoming an attorney (becoming a patent agent a few months out of undergrad, working experience in patent law, etc.) and could give me a bit of a boost. But obviously, admissions would never know that if they dismiss me right off the bat because of my GPA (and therefore never read my personal statement). Thoughts?

As a follow up, in cases where my statement would be read, how much of an impact does being a patent agent and working experience in patent law have?

Thanks in advance!



Just to help you out.. This may depend on your LSAT if you haven't taken it already, and if you have.. Share your score!

If you score really high on the LSAT then you can be considered a splitter, but ill let mike answer your specific question

goCats3
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby goCats3 » Mon May 20, 2013 12:37 am

kayleighcheyenne wrote:
Just to help you out.. This may depend on your LSAT if you haven't taken it already, and if you have.. Share your score!

If you score really high on the LSAT then you can be considered a splitter, but ill let mike answer your specific question


Thanks Kayleigh. I haven't taken it yet, will be taking it in June. I'm PTing around 167-170 and will try to push it a little higher. Obviously this may not translate to test day but I guess to put it out there if it helps answer the question better, consider two situations: worse case scenario - 166, best (realistic) case - low 170s? Anything lower than 166 I'd consider retaking, but I haven't thought too much about it, hoping not to have to cross that bridge!

I'm new to the forums and while I can guess from context what a splitter is, what's the general thought about them, if any?

EDIT: I should clarify when I say 3.0s GPA, I don't mean 3.0, I meant lower 3s, like 3.3-3.4. Thanks.

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kay2016
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby kay2016 » Mon May 20, 2013 1:03 pm

3.3 or 3.4 actually puts you in much better shape!

And splitters can tend to have a more unpredictable cycle than someone who is above both medians (obviously), but as I'm sure someone more familiar with splitters (someone with an lsat above median or 75% and gpa below median) can tell you there are definitely some
Schools who are very "splitter friendly"!

So i would practice as much as you can for the LSAT, if you can crack 170 I would think you'd be in pretty good shape!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon May 20, 2013 1:22 pm

HawgDriver wrote: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


Hawg sorry for the delay on this.

You are skirting right up against when they might ask you for a new score, but if 5 years I think you are under the deadline. Also, I have heard some rumors (which very well may be that) that the scoring system and/or test methodology may change over the next 5 years -- which would mean you really may have to take it again. Keep in mind though I have heard from LSAC about test methodology changes (like a scored writing section), over my entire career. So I am not betting the farm on said changes. I do know they have changed the scoring index at least once, it used to be a 0-40 score I believe.

To answer directly, if the scores are still alive and kicking I doubt admissions officers will care. In fact, they may be under Good practice instructions not to care. So you SHOULD be fine, I just wanted to throw out the above as a disclaimer which you already seem aware of.

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Tue May 21, 2013 12:14 am

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue May 21, 2013 8:48 am

I actually kinda sorta do have a blog post on that:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/mistak ... at-advice/

One thing that the retake camp often fails to talk about is the time value of money. Yes, of course it is possible to retake, do better (even a point or 2) and increase your scholarship or get into a "better" law school. Does this translate into a higher paying job? Maybe, maybe not? Does waiting a year cost a year's worth of salary. Yes. You will start getting paid a year later. So let's assume for a second you do better on the LSAT by 2 points and get a 20k per year bump in scholarship money = 60k aggregate. Let's also assume you go to the same school because of that bump and then start at BigLaw in Dallas making 160k. Well, you've started making 160k a year later, have the same school on your resume, and in one sense just cost yourself 100k.

I'm not saying the above is the end all be all advice and there are plenty f people who I have counseled over the year to retake. But I also think that on TLS it's like people hit that button with fervor like they are on Family Feud every time they see an LSAT score. There are many other factors to consider, beyond the simple "hey dude I went from 157 to 167 and now I'm at t-14 and you should retake bro"

I hope this helps. Likely it just make things more confusing.

Lumieres
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Lumieres » Tue May 21, 2013 2:53 pm

Excellent information.

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Tue May 21, 2013 11:51 pm

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 22, 2013 10:30 am

Thanks folks and no worries Sublime. I tried to give that top 10 countdown catchy names and now I can't even figure out which post is about what. In the future I may just name them "LSAT", "Transferring" etc etc.

Speaking of blogs...if you do read mine and you have 2-3 minutes please please fill out this survey. It basically will tell me, going forward, what I should focus on. Obviously I realize that I am introducing some confounding bias, but I'd rather increase the power of the data. Many thanks for those that do!

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/the-wo ... st-survey/

goCats3
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby goCats3 » Wed May 22, 2013 11:32 am

Hey Mike,

First, thanks again for spending time answering questions, it's very much appreciated! I just wanted to repost my question since you may have missed it the first time.

In short: (full context is a couple posts back)
Is there ever a situation where a school will not even bother looking at a personal statement before rejecting the applicant?
How much of an impact does being a patent agent and working experience in patent law have?

Feel free to PM if this is not something you want to discuss publicly or at all. I understand.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 22, 2013 11:39 am

goCats3 wrote:Hey Mike,

First, thanks again for spending time answering questions, it's very much appreciated! I just wanted to repost my question since you may have missed it the first time.

In short: (full context is a couple posts back)
Is there ever a situation where a school will not even bother looking at a personal statement before rejecting the applicant?
How much of an impact does being a patent agent and working experience in patent law have?


Thanks for the thanks!

The answer certainly is "yes" many schools do not read personal statements after reading the "vitals" on the LSDAS report and realizing the applicant will never be admitted. I don't know which schools, of course, because in admissions people didn't go around bragging about that. But I do know human nature, and I do know admissions file reading often occurs in large swaths on miserable weekends where you come in to the office and read 8 + hours worth of files without taking a break. So if I had to guess I would guess the majority of schools will skip at least some fraction of personal statement reading for the files that get to late in the process and they know they will almost certainly deny. there are ways to get them to focus on your PS, certainly, and that is one thing I do for clients.

As far as your experience that will help immensely in the job hunt but will likely only be a small elevating factor in the application process.

Sorry for the delay on this I hope it helps!

goCats3
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby goCats3 » Wed May 22, 2013 5:39 pm

Thanks for the thanks!

The answer certainly is "yes" many schools do not read personal statements after reading the "vitals" on the LSDAS report and realizing the applicant will never be admitted. I don't know which schools, of course, because in admissions people didn't go around bragging about that. But I do know human nature, and I do know admissions file reading often occurs in large swaths on miserable weekends where you come in to the office and read 8 + hours worth of files without taking a break. So if I had to guess I would guess the majority of schools will skip at least some fraction of personal statement reading for the files that get to late in the process and they know they will almost certainly deny. there are ways to get them to focus on your PS, certainly, and that is one thing I do for clients.

As far as your experience that will help immensely in the job hunt but will likely only be a small elevating factor in the application process.

Sorry for the delay on this I hope it helps!


Interesting insight, and thanks very much for addressing my question! Definitely helps!

Any thoughts on how far a GPA/LSAT score has to deviate from a school's profile to elicit adcomms not taking a look? Obviously a lot of things come into play but maybe there's a general attitude or trend you see?

Thanks, Mike!

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Wed May 22, 2013 11:12 pm

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