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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LM10JV
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby LM10JV » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:59 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Off Topic:

Does anyone know how to block spam referrals on google analytics, eg. "social-buttons" etc etc. Thanks!!


https://megalytic.com/blog/how-to-filte ... ytics-spam

The step-by-step is a little ways into the article, but the background info is worthwhile if you have the time.

Also, I realized the question I asked on the previous page was a little too personal / specific for a free consultation. I'll contact you guys more formally if I decide I need some more help. Thanks again!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:04 pm

LM10JV wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Off Topic:

Does anyone know how to block spam referrals on google analytics, eg. "social-buttons" etc etc. Thanks!!


https://megalytic.com/blog/how-to-filte ... ytics-spam

The step-by-step is a little ways into the article, but the background info is worthwhile if you have the time.

Also, I realized the question I asked on the previous page was a little too personal / specific for a free consultation. I'll contact you guys more formally if I decide I need some more help. Thanks again!


Thank you for this (and to the others via PM/phone) I think we have it fixed!!

LM, sorry to have ignored that we should have said something. That was an impossible question to answer publically, as you surmised. Keep in mind that, although highly unlikely, there is some advice we could give publically that could potentially really hurt everyone in respect to how they can pull off negotiations in the future -- ie schools could adapt to certain things. Indeed they constantly are!

pjohnstron0626
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby pjohnstron0626 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:19 pm

Hi guys,

I was wondering if you could address double-depositing here. I read last year's post on the Spivey Blog, but wanted to reach out to see if your opinion has changed. If you are in at peer schools (say UCB and UM), is it still OK to deposit at both and hope to leverage that for increased merit $?

What is the 2015 strategy to get a little more bump on a merit package? Should we ever reveal that we have deposited at two schools, or just continue to ask for money later in the cycle?

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moejoe193
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby moejoe193 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:27 pm

Hey Mike or Karen,

Hoping you can help me out here. I recently had a tuition deposit deadline extended for one of my top choices. However, they did not (at least explicitly) extend my deadline for accepting the scholarship I was given. I'm still waiting on a few schools for decisions and scholarships. However, the deadline for accepting the scholarship is fast approaching. Is it bad form to accept the scholarship, but decline it before the tuition deposit if a better financial aid offer comes?

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

Postby ggnobbq » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:20 pm

Since below median students were brought up, are applicants ever looked at as simply dollar signs? Lets say, particularly during the time waitlist applicants are looked at, an admissions committee looks at a below 50% gpa/lsat candidate. All indicators point to him/her being an average applicant when comparing to the rest of the admits, however, the numbers are not there. As I'm sure schools keep a running excel-esque file and always know their current LSAT/GPA numbers and 25/50/75%, do they ever take applicants, plug them into the spreadsheet, and if it doesn't change anything at all admit them simply because its ~150k more in the school's pocket? Or do these types of applicants need stronger than average softs to warrant the admit?

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:54 pm

pjohnstron0626 wrote:Hi guys,

I was wondering if you could address double-depositing here. I read last year's post on the Spivey Blog, but wanted to reach out to see if your opinion has changed. If you are in at peer schools (say UCB and UM), is it still OK to deposit at both and hope to leverage that for increased merit $?

What is the 2015 strategy to get a little more bump on a merit package? Should we ever reveal that we have deposited at two schools, or just continue to ask for money later in the cycle?


In general, I see schools becoming less tolerant of double depositing and are using stronger language to discourage it so I think using it as leverage is not as good as it used to be in terms of a strategy. Each applicant is unique in terms of what is the best strategy for them, so it's not something that we could answer in general terms. I will say that you should pay attention to the cues from the school -- if they say "don't double deposit or else..." you probably shouldn't reveal that you are double deposited.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:56 pm

moejoe193 wrote:Hey Mike or Karen,

Hoping you can help me out here. I recently had a tuition deposit deadline extended for one of my top choices. However, they did not (at least explicitly) extend my deadline for accepting the scholarship I was given. I'm still waiting on a few schools for decisions and scholarships. However, the deadline for accepting the scholarship is fast approaching. Is it bad form to accept the scholarship, but decline it before the tuition deposit if a better financial aid offer comes?


I could be wrong here, but it seems to me that the tuition deposit and the scholarship deadline are the same, so if they extended the deadline for making a decision, that would assume that you don't have to make a decision about the scholarship as well.

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

Postby Iwanttolawschool » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:18 pm

Hey Mike and Karen, Thanks so much for all your help.

I also have a question about deposits, sorry.
If I just don't deposit at a school, am I considered withdrawn? I know this may vary school to school, but for example WUSTL's website says "your seat in the class may be lost".

I was wondering if I could just not deposit to schools which have not offered me enough money yet, but then email them the day after the deposit (presuming they now have a refilled bank of money to redistribute) asking to be considered for a higher scholarship?

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

Postby supersplittysplitter » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:32 pm

saw this question in the negotiation thread but I wanted to post it here and see if I could get some expert advice:

"Do you suggest listing the amounts in the initial negotiation email, or rather just say I have other fired and wait till they request the specific amount/PDF copies?"

I've been listing my amounts, but it hasn't really been working because none of my schools have matched my other offers, even when I've presented much higher offers from higher ranked schools. Should I be playing my cards closer to the vest?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:56 am

supersplittysplitter wrote:saw this question in the negotiation thread but I wanted to post it here and see if I could get some expert advice:

"Do you suggest listing the amounts in the initial negotiation email, or rather just say I have other fired and wait till they request the specific amount/PDF copies?"

I've been listing my amounts, but it hasn't really been working because none of my schools have matched my other offers, even when I've presented much higher offers from higher ranked schools. Should I be playing my cards closer to the vest?



Hi,

This time of year we start getting a number of scholarship negotiation questions. I've tried to intimate the following in a few recent posts and I think in my attempt to be overly diplomatic I have been confusing. I apologize for that and feel the need to be more direct. If the medium of a message board makes it sound anything other than me just trying to be fair and honest, please know it is nothing but that.

We have clients who we help deeply with scholarship negotiation, who sign up with us because they want help with this part as much as any other part of the application. In the past, we have given advice on this board about how to negotiate and that strategy was soon after rendered obsolete because schools started changing their methods. Obviously we have no way of knowing if it were because we said to do x, y and z in a public forum, but were are very averse to doing so again because we are really committed to helping our clients and giving advice here that sticks. I would hate to say "this works" only to find a week later it is now shunned upon.

So, to just end on a slightly more helpful voice -- always be polite and remember you have leverage if you do have other offers that are competitive relative to the school you are talking with. In regard to that negotiation thread I would be very careful about discussing strategies there too.

Thanks,

Mike

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:25 pm


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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:43 pm

Breaking news. I have nice, nice inside data. I'll tweet a few in a sec then blog after my upcoming two work calls.

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

Postby lawschool1741 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:54 pm

Wow! Is this for the cycle as a whole? and vs 2013 cycle?

ETA: meant 2014 :? , but thanks for understanding anyway
Last edited by lawschool1741 on Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:02 pm

lawschool1741 wrote:Wow! Is this for the cycle as a whole? and vs 2013 cycle?



This cycle as of 3/30 relative to last at 3/20 yes

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

Postby psychmusic » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:45 am

.
Last edited by psychmusic on Fri May 01, 2015 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby lawschool1741 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:51 am

Had a similar discussion with Spivey last page:

MikeSpivey wrote:
lawschool1741 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Hi all,

Here is a question I got last night over email from an admissions committee member and my word for word response. I thought this might interest everyone:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/admiss ... an-adcomm/

We will try to write that blog mentioned above this weekend/early this week. And get to questions.

At least from LSN, it appears most below-median (non-urm) applicants that are admitted are relatively close to that median, is there any reason for this? Essentially, once you fill up exactly half of your class with median/above median apps, why not dip low in the numbers and grab more 'special snowflake' applicants?


Correlation with both bar passage and 1st year GPA maybe?


MikeSpivey wrote:Not so much projected GPA but more along the lines of "are we setting this person up to fail?"

I can think of two former professional athletes, both of whom visited the school I was at and both of whom we really really like especially after their visit, who we never could pull the trigger on because the combination of our class with their low GPA and test scores were just too worrisome.


Seems admins (probably correctly) take into account the perceived abilities of the applicant to excel in school and have better outcomes. Although, medians do leave room for a low-number applicant that has incredible softs etc.

Broncos15
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Broncos15 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:28 pm

Hey Mike or Karen,

I was curious, is there any admissions boost to Hispanic applicants that are non-Mexican American or Puerto Rican? I am confused to this as I have heard conflicting sources on this and some have said there is no such boost unless you are a MA or PR applicant.

Can you give me a rough ballpark estimate to what boost ( if any) I would receive in terms of GPA and LSAT? I am looking at an October LSAT and that was the main reason I was wondering.

Regardless of any increase or not, I plan on putting my best food forward in admissions and writing a diversity statement about my background.

Certainly there are numerous other factors involved such as resume, LOR, personal statements etc, but I want to be strong in all areas of the app

Budfox55
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Budfox55 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:33 pm

Hey guys,

When I was a sophomore in college I broke the code of academic integrity and was subsequently put on disciplinary probation for a semester for using something which was explicitely stated in the directions not to use (unfortunately for me I had skimmed the directions and hadn't cought that part. Talk about a lesson learned in making sure to fully read directions). How much will this effect my application for top law schools if I graduated from a top school with a good gpa, have top lsat scores, and have 2 years of good work experience? I would also write something owning up to and explaining the situation and what I learned from it. Are we talking no shot at getting in, marginal effect or, as I suspect, somewhere in between? Thank you for your input.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:51 pm

Budfox55 wrote:Hey guys,

When I was a sophomore in college I broke the code of academic integrity and was subsequently put on disciplinary probation for a semester for using something which was explicitely stated in the directions not to use (unfortunately for me I had skimmed the directions and hadn't cought that part. Talk about a lesson learned in making sure to fully read directions). How much will this effect my application for top law schools if I graduated from a top school with a good gpa, have top lsat scores, and have 2 years of good work experience? I would also write something owning up to and explaining the situation and what I learned from it. Are we talking no shot at getting in, marginal effect or, as I suspect, somewhere in between? Thank you for your input.


With most character and fitness issues (including this one), so much will depend on how you address it. Although violations with academic honesty are taken very seriously in the admission process, they are not an automatic bar from being admitted. How you present it and the circumstances surrounding each individual case will play a large role in the outcome. It sounds like you are on the right track though!

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:01 pm

Broncos15 wrote:Hey Mike or Karen,

I was curious, is there any admissions boost to Hispanic applicants that are non-Mexican American or Puerto Rican? I am confused to this as I have heard conflicting sources on this and some have said there is no such boost unless you are a MA or PR applicant.

Can you give me a rough ballpark estimate to what boost ( if any) I would receive in terms of GPA and LSAT? I am looking at an October LSAT and that was the main reason I was wondering.

Regardless of any increase or not, I plan on putting my best food forward in admissions and writing a diversity statement about my background.

Certainly there are numerous other factors involved such as resume, LOR, personal statements etc, but I want to be strong in all areas of the app


I have not heard of this preference for MA or PR applicants. As you might imagine, it is impossible for me to say what type of boost your background might give in your application, but I can say that admissions committees are concerned with making sure that each entering class is a diverse group of individuals. I can't speak for anyone else, but when I was reading files, I didn't just look at the box that was checked on the application. I looked at the individual and how he/she would add to the discussion in the classroom and the community. The diversity statement/personal statement (along with academic factors) played a large role in my decision-making.

If it is at all helpful, I wrote this blog last year about when you should/should not write a diversity statement: http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/when-s ... statement/

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby Eladriel » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:49 pm

Mike or Karen,

Have you ever seen applicants hurt themselves with posts on TLS (either in your consulting work or when you were adcoms)? There's a constant battle in my head between sharing info for the benefit of the community and as a historical record for future applicants vs. my own personal outcome and I wanted to know if there's a clear line that applicants shouldn't cross.

Thanks.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:38 pm

Eladriel wrote:Mike or Karen,

Have you ever seen applicants hurt themselves with posts on TLS (either in your consulting work or when you were adcoms)? There's a constant battle in my head between sharing info for the benefit of the community and as a historical record for future applicants vs. my own personal outcome and I wanted to know if there's a clear line that applicants shouldn't cross.

Thanks.

Yes, but that doesn't mean that you can't post or be active on this site. it has hurt when people are rude, mean, racist, etc.
Making judgments about the admissions officers is also not a good idea.
In general, just use good judgment and pretend that the adcom is reading what you post because you just don't know if/when they will.
Cheers,
KB

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splittermcsplit88
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby splittermcsplit88 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:53 pm

Hi, I was hoping to ask you a question in light of my applications to T50 schools.

I realize that some schools have an admissions committee that says yes/no to your application, but is this true for all? Do some schools just have their Dean of Admissions make the decisions while just saying "the committee has decided" for procedural purposes? What about transfer admissions? I feel like some schools just have their Dean of Admissions decide because, when I ask for an expedited decision, I get them right away (which is less possible if there are multiple people judging my file). I'm curious because I want to know if I can strongly appeal to somebody in particular. Thank you!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:29 pm

splittermcsplit88 wrote:Hi, I was hoping to ask you a question in light of my applications to T50 schools.

I realize that some schools have an admissions committee that says yes/no to your application, but is this true for all? Do some schools just have their Dean of Admissions make the decisions while just saying "the committee has decided" for procedural purposes? What about transfer admissions? I feel like some schools just have their Dean of Admissions decide because, when I ask for an expedited decision, I get them right away (which is less possible if there are multiple people judging my file). I'm curious because I want to know if I can strongly appeal to somebody in particular. Thank you!

As you have guessed, there are many ways in which a law school will make decisions on applications. Some have a threshold for going to a faculty member, while others leave the decision-making entirely within the admissions office and both will use the term "admissions committee." Even those who use a committee will handle it differently - in some cases you must be read by a faculty member to be admitted where others only send the "middle" to the faculty and the clear admit or clear deny decisions stay within the admissions office. Because you don't know how each office operates (some are more transparent about the process than others) it is usually not recommended as a strategy to try to appeal to Someone in particular, but rather put together a polished application in general. If there is someone in particular that you have in mind and you want to highlight something that will appeal to them, there are other ways to do that. Hope this is helpful!

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:04 am

You should write a blog post on the effect TLS and LST has had on law school admissions spivey.


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