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.

Which would you prefer most?

Poll ended at Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:05 am

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ltowns1
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby ltowns1 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:51 am

Moneytrees wrote:
ltowns1 wrote:I'm curious to know whether top law schools keep a median score for accepted appliancants within large minority groups such as HIspanic, and African Americans. So in other words, for places like HYS, are they aware of what the average median LSAT score for AA's, and HA's are? If so, why won't they release those score medians as well? I think it would really help us applicants (I'm an African American male) to know in general what score would at least allow us a further look among those schools, and what score would probably mean rejection. We know that all things being considered, the average median for non-URM's will not be reflective of the median score that reflects the accepted applicant population of URM's at that particular school, although it does give an indication of what number a URM could prob. use to gage their chance if they did reach the median given to the public at that particular school. Hope I'm making sense, let me know if not.


You can use lawschoolnumbers to get an idea of what a URM needs for a given school. I'm sure schools keep track of these things, but won't release information like that for fairly obvious reasons.



Yeah Karen and I had a nice chat. I will say the reasons are not as obvious for me to understand. (If it was I wouldn't ask the question lol.) Karen did explain to me the reason, and after a few moments of thinking about my post (after the fact) i see how it could be a source of controversy. In my opinion, I'just want to look at the numbers that are an accurate reflection of my chances.LSN is a truely great site, and I've actually done what you suggested, but it's not a fully accurate accounting since everyone does not join the site. I assume that law schools keep those numbers for the exact same reason. (in order to gage who could most likely be considered an acceptable candidate.) So I just figure why shouldn't we?? Just my 2 cents. Thanks for answering my question!

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

Postby intrepidenigma » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:08 am

I'm wondering what the best ways to keep in contact with admissions offices are. I'm on the waitlist at NYU and Reserve at Columbia. It has been about a month since I sent in LOCIs to both of them. I'm assuming now would be a good time to reach out to them again, correct? If so, I'm not entirely sure what I should say. Should I write an email essentially saying "I'm still interested and would attend if admitted," or is it worth writing something a little more substantial? Finally, if I do write something a bit longer, do most offices prefer that it is in the body of the email or an attachment?

Thanks!

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

Postby haus » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:39 am

intrepidenigma wrote:I'm wondering what the best ways to keep in contact with admissions offices are. I'm on the waitlist at NYU and Reserve at Columbia. It has been about a month since I sent in LOCIs to both of them. I'm assuming now would be a good time to reach out to them again, correct? If so, I'm not entirely sure what I should say. Should I write an email essentially saying "I'm still interested and would attend if admitted," or is it worth writing something a little more substantial? Finally, if I do write something a bit longer, do most offices prefer that it is in the body of the email or an attachment?

Thanks!

Have you considered pulling a John Cusack, and standing outside the adcoms office with a boo box held over your head playing ballads? [ / end of bad idea ]

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

Postby CoffeeIsGood » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:30 pm

To former admissions officers,

Since the 2014 change to LSAT flagging, is there any way that a school could know during the admissions assessment whether or not a given student has received any accommodation on the LSAT? Do accommodated LSAT scores count towards school LSAT medians?

In the real world, I have been very successful at modifying and adapting so that my disability goes undetected. Alas, these strategies do not work in an LSAT reading environment, but I am very aware of the unfortunate stigma of accommodation on the LSAT and may take the 5-8 point hit to avoid that (putting me just around the median ranges of top schools despite a comparatively bad reading comp score).

In my younger years, I witnessed how such a stigma was even worse if the person was deemed to be extremely bright - almost as if it was okay to be accommodated if you were of low or average intelligence, but if you're smart then you're just looking for an edge. This thinking was evident at the time in the college admissions process, and for that reason, I took SATs unaccomodated despite approval for accommodation. Thankfully, the college predicament was changed years ago. Yet, it seems that I now I may find myself in a similar boat since LSAC only cleaned up their side of the fence recently.

Based on how people discuss disability in these forums, I see that little has changed amongst the general population in this regard, but I'm hopeful that law admissions has (?). Ultimately, my concern lies in the ability to be judged "normally" by admissions committees should I use accommodation. Any direction you could provide would be most appreciated and helpful.

Thank you in advance!

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

Postby thelincolnlawyer » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:02 pm

Spivey and Karen,

Will not having any academic letters of recommendation be viewed negatively in an application?

I graduated from a large state school in May 2014 and will be applying next cycle for matriculation in the fall of 2016. I will be able to obtain letters from a current supervisor at work, and a former supervisor who I remain close with. I also have a close family friend who is a JAG officer that is willing to write a recommendation as well, if a 3rd is needed for any schools.

Since I am a fairly recent graduate, I am considering emailing one of my old professors in order to obtain an academic reference. However, I did not have a close relationship with any professors, and the school in question is 3 hours away from my hometown. My only hope would be to email a professor in a class I did well, explain my situation, and hope they agree to write something for a student they do not remember. This would probably result in a very generic and bland reference, if they even agree to write one. Is it worth it to do this or will I be safe with 2 supervisor recommendations when applying?

Thanks for your time.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:35 pm

Just an fyi that our next blog is going to be on "Things Not To Do In the Admissions Process" but essentially a bunch of little things that annoy admissions people. You'd be surprised how any one of these can make or break an applicant on the bubble.

We owe a few questions and will jump on these tomorrow! I am bogged down in work right now, including this blog.

Thanks!

Mike

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:41 pm

Oh and here is a preview of one:

"Friending an admissions officer on Facebook?

Think no one would do this? When I was in admissions Facebook was new. For a few days I thought I was really popular because a bunch (I mean like 50) strangers friend requested me. Then I thought to check. They were applicants. So even though my buddy "Clearly" on here is friends with like every admissions dean in the nation -- don't do it until you get into your dream school. And then still don't do it. Somehow he gets away with things no other human would.
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:05 am

Have you ever received threatening emails?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:54 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:Have you ever received threatening emails?


I received a threatening phone call. "I am going to get on a plane and come kick your ass"

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

Postby haus » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:10 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Have you ever received threatening emails?


I received a threatening phone call. "I am going to get on a plane and come kick your ass"

I am going to guess that it would be difficult for a candidate to spin something like this into a positive for their application.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:32 am

haus wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Have you ever received threatening emails?


I received a threatening phone call. "I am going to get on a plane and come kick your ass"

I am going to guess that it would be difficult for a candidate to spin something like this into a positive for their application.


Especially when they have previous infractions in their application of an aggressive nature.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:54 am

This keyword brought someone to our website today:

непереводимая.рф

HAHAHA (I think) please explain :)

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

Postby haus » Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:11 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:This keyword brought someone to our website today:

непереводимая.рф

HAHAHA (I think) please explain :)

You might want to look at:

http://botcrawl.com/block-%D0%BD%D0%B5% ... rrer-spam/

P.S. be suspect of advertisements and offers on sites that offer solutions to address bots and other issues, as it may not be as it appears...

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

Postby Clearly » Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:49 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Oh and here is a preview of one:

"Friending an admissions officer on Facebook?

For a few days I thought I was really popular because a bunch (I mean like 50) strangers friend requested me. Then I thought to check. They were applicants. So even though my buddy "Clearly" on here is friends with like every admissions dean in the nation -- don't do it until you get into your dream school. And then still don't do it. Somehow he gets away with things no other human would.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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

Postby storpappa » Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:42 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Have you ever received threatening emails?


I received a threatening phone call. "I am going to get on a plane and come kick your ass"



That is why I tell my wife to stop calling me at work

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:18 am

thelincolnlawyer wrote:Spivey and Karen,

Will not having any academic letters of recommendation be viewed negatively in an application?

I graduated from a large state school in May 2014 and will be applying next cycle for matriculation in the fall of 2016. I will be able to obtain letters from a current supervisor at work, and a former supervisor who I remain close with. I also have a close family friend who is a JAG officer that is willing to write a recommendation as well, if a 3rd is needed for any schools.

Since I am a fairly recent graduate, I am considering emailing one of my old professors in order to obtain an academic reference. However, I did not have a close relationship with any professors, and the school in question is 3 hours away from my hometown. My only hope would be to email a professor in a class I did well, explain my situation, and hope they agree to write something for a student they do not remember. This would probably result in a very generic and bland reference, if they even agree to write one. Is it worth it to do this or will I be safe with 2 supervisor recommendations when applying?

Thanks for your time.


You *really* should try to get one letter of rec from a former professor. For many (but not all) schools, they will consider this questionable, problematic, and perhaps likely a disturbing sign if you do not. The caveat is obviously if you don't think a professor is going to say anything good about you go your route. But I'd at least try and ask them if they feel comfortable doing so positively.

GL!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:36 am

CoffeeIsGood wrote:To former admissions officers,

Since the 2014 change to LSAT flagging, is there any way that a school could know during the admissions assessment whether or not a given student has received any accommodation on the LSAT? Do accommodated LSAT scores count towards school LSAT medians?

In the real world, I have been very successful at modifying and adapting so that my disability goes undetected. Alas, these strategies do not work in an LSAT reading environment, but I am very aware of the unfortunate stigma of accommodation on the LSAT and may take the 5-8 point hit to avoid that (putting me just around the median ranges of top schools despite a comparatively bad reading comp score).

In my younger years, I witnessed how such a stigma was even worse if the person was deemed to be extremely bright - almost as if it was okay to be accommodated if you were of low or average intelligence, but if you're smart then you're just looking for an edge. This thinking was evident at the time in the college admissions process, and for that reason, I took SATs unaccomodated despite approval for accommodation. Thankfully, the college predicament was changed years ago. Yet, it seems that I now I may find myself in a similar boat since LSAC only cleaned up their side of the fence recently.

Based on how people discuss disability in these forums, I see that little has changed amongst the general population in this regard, but I'm hopeful that law admissions has (?). Ultimately, my concern lies in the ability to be judged "normally" by admissions committees should I use accommodation. Any direction you could provide would be most appreciated and helpful.

Thank you in advance!


Since the change, it is my understanding that an accommodated test score will be treated exactly as a standard test score. So this means that they will not be able to tell that you received accommodations on the test and it will be used in calculating the school's median. They've changed the way it is reported to the schools since I worked in admissions (I left in 2013), so although I have not seen a real report since then, from everything I have heard there is no way you can tell that it is an accommodated test.

FWIW, this is the language directly from LSAC's website:
LSAC does not annotate the score reports of individuals with disabilities who take the LSAT with testing accommodations, including the testing accommodation of extended time. All accommodated scores are reported in the same manner as nonaccommodated scores.

Hope this is helpful and good luck!
Cheers,
KB

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franny90
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby franny90 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:38 am

intrepidenigma wrote:I'm wondering what the best ways to keep in contact with admissions offices are. I'm on the waitlist at NYU and Reserve at Columbia. It has been about a month since I sent in LOCIs to both of them. I'm assuming now would be a good time to reach out to them again, correct? If so, I'm not entirely sure what I should say. Should I write an email essentially saying "I'm still interested and would attend if admitted," or is it worth writing something a little more substantial? Finally, if I do write something a bit longer, do most offices prefer that it is in the body of the email or an attachment?

Thanks!


+1, would love guidance on this as well

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

Postby storpappa » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:50 am

Dean Spivey, WL movement on TLS and LSN (yes, it is self-reporting) seems to be very slow. Is this what you expected at this time in the WL game?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:38 pm

storpappa wrote:Dean Spivey, WL movement on TLS and LSN (yes, it is self-reporting) seems to be very slow. Is this what you expected at this time in the WL game?


Well, it is June 8 and most schools at the top have already admitted some people off the WL, in a classic "we need LSAT scores" pattern. I would say that aspect was supremely predictable. But I would have thought the numbers would be larger, for sure. So this has surprised me a bit. But as much as I care extremely deeply about this process, my vantage point is slightly different from yours. So to me at least, it still seems early. And I still think they are going to be tons of movement.

Let me add this. I just got off the phone with the dean of a really strong law school, who said "we are waiting for the WL damn to break above us, and we know it is going to happen"....and I think they are right! :)

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

Postby HalfStudent » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:31 pm

LSN and TLS is still a very small sample of total overall applicants so you can't tell based on that right.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:07 pm

franny90 wrote:
intrepidenigma wrote:I'm wondering what the best ways to keep in contact with admissions offices are. I'm on the waitlist at NYU and Reserve at Columbia. It has been about a month since I sent in LOCIs to both of them. I'm assuming now would be a good time to reach out to them again, correct? If so, I'm not entirely sure what I should say. Should I write an email essentially saying "I'm still interested and would attend if admitted," or is it worth writing something a little more substantial? Finally, if I do write something a bit longer, do most offices prefer that it is in the body of the email or an attachment?

Thanks!


+1, would love guidance on this as well



I'd love to answer these but this is something we are working hard at with our clients. But I will say this, more than anything, mix up emails and calls, try to visit, and BE PLESANT not ANXIOUS.

I know this is a nerve wrecking period. We have a blog called "The Waiting Is The hardest Part" and it really is true. The anxiety levels are way high right now and admissions offices have commented on that. if you stay cool as a cucumber you will stand out in the crowd. I swear it!

Mike

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:03 am

Coming today. Heaps and heaps of cycle DATA! Will tweet its existence the moment it is up. Enjoy!

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

Postby MadwomanintheAttic » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:19 pm

Greetings oh wise Admissions Officers,

What is considered "early" in the WL cycle versus late? Apparently June 8th was early, but is considered the middle or late? Is there a time frame? Or does this vary greatly by school and year? Is there any kind of timeline for a WL decision? Thank You

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

Postby Boredlaw » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:07 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Coming today. Heaps and heaps of cycle DATA! Will tweet its existence the moment it is up. Enjoy!


I just saw the new data and there is no doubt medians are going down.


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