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

1. Blog advice
0
No votes
2. Podcast advice
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No votes
3. Video advice
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No votes
4. Just keep it all on TLS
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No votes
5. Tweet it
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No votes
 
Total votes: 0

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 22, 2013 11:27 pm

Have your cat photo bomb your Harvard Skype interview. I'm friends with someone there, it happened to them and they thought it was really cool.

re: video review I can give it already and I haven't even done it yet:

Some people (obviously I think a good number but I am entirely biased) will say it's well worth it relative to the entire costs of the admissions process.

Some people will say maybe it is helpful maybe it should not cost a cent though

Some people will say this sucks

Some people will say it is TTT without ever having seen it just because some people on the internet are weird.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon May 27, 2013 9:50 am

Thanks to everyone who filled out my survey. The responses are very helpful and in some instances a bit surprising. For example, I had a number of "write ins" asking for more transfer and deferral blogs. I'm on it and tomorrow I will have another article up on transferring.

I also think I will break the videos down to shorter intervals, so 15-20 minutes a piece.

It's not to late to have a say in the survey. I try to be as responsive as possible to what you all think would be of most value:

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

I hope everyone enjoys Memorial Day! If anyone is in Boulder, CO running the Boulder Boulder 10k text me and, if before 3pm, I'll take you for coffee and give some free advice.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 29, 2013 9:59 am

Here are the transfer policies (sourced with links) of schools ranked #1-25. I'm going to go up to 75 in a three part series. Hopefully this makes life easier for some:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/transf ... ries-of-3/

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 29, 2013 10:48 am

This is a bit of a dead period of advice so I have started tweeting some not publicly available data:

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

If this is somehow publicly available let me know and I'll feel stupid and retract my self-aggrandizing promotion.

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Wed May 29, 2013 10:55 am

..

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 29, 2013 10:57 am

sublime wrote:As always, thanks for all the hard work and advice. :D

And I am going to pretend like you care (lol) and mention that I am probably going to pass up my offer and retake. Not 100% but strongly leaning that way. :|

Thanks for the help


I care and good luck! LSAC has some interesting data on retakes you can find on their website, I believe.

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Wed May 29, 2013 11:02 am

..

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Wed May 29, 2013 12:03 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:This is a bit of a dead period of advice so I have started tweeting some not publicly available data:

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

If this is somehow publicly available let me know and I'll feel stupid and retract my self-aggrandizing promotion.


Thanks for posting the stats. I recall seeing a breakdown of the # of peeps in LSAT score ranges for the 2011? cycle but haven't seen it for any other years. Is there a reason LSAC doesn't make this data publicly available? If you're able to, can you share the breakdown?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 29, 2013 12:51 pm

Sublime -- keep pestering away it is sorta the basis for my professional existence so appreciated.

Flynn -- I need to be a bit measured in how I go about some of the information that comes my way but i will try to keep at it on twitter. As far as why LSAC does not disclose, they certainly have never shared why with me (indeed I am not even certain if it was private or public) but I can think of some business reasons why they would not, including the fact that their biggest clients are law school who might not want this kind of data, particularly in a down year, floating around in mass. Who knows?

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Wed May 29, 2013 12:55 pm

..

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 29, 2013 1:08 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:This is a bit of a dead period of advice so I have started tweeting some not publicly available data:

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

If this is somehow publicly available let me know and I'll feel stupid and retract my self-aggrandizing promotion.


Thanks for posting the stats. I recall seeing a breakdown of the # of peeps in LSAT score ranges for the 2011? cycle but haven't seen it for any other years. Is there a reason LSAC doesn't make this data publicly available? If you're able to, can you share the breakdown?


Ok, perhaps that data is now available somewhere.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu May 30, 2013 12:31 pm

Transfer policies from law school 26-50 now up here:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/transf ... ool-26-50/

I will add some more admissions cycle data later today on the blog. Hope this stuff helps!

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Hat.trick
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Hat.trick » Thu May 30, 2013 5:36 pm

Will being young when i apply (age 20) have a good or bad effect on my cycle? How would you look at it from the perspective of an admissions officer? i did not graduate early or anything, i just started college at 15.

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JXander
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby JXander » Thu May 30, 2013 6:47 pm

Hat.trick wrote:Will being young when i apply (age 20) have a good or bad effect on my cycle? How would you look at it from the perspective of an admissions officer? i did not graduate early or anything, i just started college at 15.

I applied at age 20 and it appeared to have no negative effect on my cycle. But I am interested in what Mike thinks.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu May 30, 2013 6:57 pm

JXander wrote:
Hat.trick wrote:Will being young when i apply (age 20) have a good or bad effect on my cycle? How would you look at it from the perspective of an admissions officer? i did not graduate early or anything, i just started college at 15.

I applied at age 20 and it appeared to have no negative effect on my cycle. But I am interested in what Mike thinks.


Yep, while clearly a small number, this does happen with more applicants than one would expect. I remember an applicant admitted to many T14 schools years back who I recall was 12 at admission and 13 when matriculating. That, obviously, was a wild outlier.

So to answer the question, in admissions I do not see this as hurting and maybe it will be an ever so slightly differentiating and thus ever so slight elevating factor.

I would be a bit more concerned about OCI and Biglaw, though, and maybe JXander can speak to this too. Certainly do not volunteer your age or keep referring to how young you are (like some fool on TLS did once years ago...namely me). They can't ask you your age, as I imagine you are aware.

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JXander
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby JXander » Thu May 30, 2013 7:07 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I would be a bit more concerned about OCI and Biglaw, though, and maybe JXander can speak to this too. Certainly do not volunteer your age or keep referring to how young you are (like some fool on TLS did once years ago...namely me).

I have definitely heard this elsewhere. As such, I have been very hesitant to give out my specific age and I never volunteer it. After I received notification that I got my current job (a research assistant at large firm), my boss was shocked to hear how young I was (he asked me directly). Apparently, the other two people he hired were both over 25.
They can't ask you your age, as I imagine you are aware.

Oh thank God.

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Young Marino
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Young Marino » Thu May 30, 2013 7:20 pm

Hi Mike, I don't know if you can answer this but I think my situation is going to come down to going to a reputable Tier 2 with no or barely any scholarships vs. a Tier 4 with a good amount or close to full tuition scholly. Do you know what kind of LSAT score is generally needed to get close to a full ride at a T4? I've heard 154-160 and you are good to go depending on how high the gpa (mine is at 3.8).. Also does an honors thesis and a few government internships really make a difference in scholarship decisions and admission decisions?

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ThetaX
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ThetaX » Fri May 31, 2013 5:19 am

Mike, I just finished reading the whole of this thread, along with the majority of your very insightful blog. It is 5:13 A.M., so perhaps this is a testament to your enticing rhetoric.

My Question: It was asked previously, but I wish to assert it once more. Considering that Fall Grades would put me at, or slightly above, the median of my goal school, how much of a difference will this ~.05 make. Do Law schools report an applicants GPA at Admission precisely? If this were the case then perhaps waiting would be the best option, or sending in an application and putting a hold until grades come through.

Thank you for your response!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri May 31, 2013 9:43 am

ThetaX wrote:Mike, I just finished reading the whole of this thread, along with the majority of your very insightful blog. It is 5:13 A.M., so perhaps this is a testament to your enticing rhetoric.

My Question: It was asked previously, but I wish to assert it once more. Considering that Fall Grades would put me at, or slightly above, the median of my goal school, how much of a difference will this ~.05 make. Do Law schools report an applicants GPA at Admission precisely? If this were the case then perhaps waiting would be the best option, or sending in an application and putting a hold until grades come through.

Thank you for your response!


Ha, that's awesome. I should copy and paste that on my website somewhere. The last time I stayed up until 5:15am I exited a casino in Vegas and it was daytime outside.

To answer the question --first you need to be acutely aware of the LSAC computed ugpa and your school(s) gpa. I have seen many a bad freak out when someone gets there LSAC gpa. Likely you already know this but just making sure...

Go from below the median gpa to above is a BIG DEAL. Check out that thread on Chicago Law School -- I actually know the backstory on that and I may share but the quick answer is they started targeting gpa (for certain strategic reasons). So people below their gpa become unattractive, per se. I cant remember exactly when law schools report the admissions data to ABA although damn do I remember being enslaved by that process when we did, i.e. having to comb through the data and dot every i/cross every t. But the timing is a bit irrelevant because what they care about is your gpa during the admissions process (and you can update if it goes up and you are on the WL which matters!). So if in doubt, I would say yes wait and get above median ESPECIALLY if your LSAT is at or below the median.

Get some sleep!

Mike

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri May 31, 2013 11:04 am

ALeal90 wrote:Hi Mike, I don't know if you can answer this but I think my situation is going to come down to going to a reputable Tier 2 with no or barely any scholarships vs. a Tier 4 with a good amount or close to full tuition scholly. Do you know what kind of LSAT score is generally needed to get close to a full ride at a T4? I've heard 154-160 and you are good to go depending on how high the gpa (mine is at 3.8).. Also does an honors thesis and a few government internships really make a difference in scholarship decisions and admission decisions?


ALeal, there are too many big unknown variables for me to feel good about any categorical answer; namely how much money do these schools have for scholarships with dwindling enrollment, and what do their applicant pools look like?

In general though, if your LSAT and uGPA are above both medians, I think you will get significant $$$, if there is any $$$ to be given.

Here is an interesting thought along those lines that really should be it's own thread. Law schools with actual endowments/large endowments/larger percentage of unrestricted giving should start seeing gains over those with small/no endowments because enrollment is down but the market is up. This would be really interesting to track. PAGING kappycaft1!

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Fri May 31, 2013 11:13 am

Mike,
When you ask a school for more scholarship money, and they tell you they're out, is that just a polite way of saying they aren't giving you any more money? This seems like a BS line. I'm sure there's a budget on paper, but I'm equally sure that there's wiggle room there.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri May 31, 2013 3:12 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:Mike,
When you ask a school for more scholarship money, and they tell you they're out, is that just a polite way of saying they aren't giving you any more money? This seems like a BS line. I'm sure there's a budget on paper, but I'm equally sure that there's wiggle room there.


Actually, like it is true for the static moment. Schools give out 4x, 5x, even more the amount they have, knowing yield rates. So there is always a stretch where the poor dean of admissions is freaking out because they are way over-budgeted. They do get that money back, though, so some of the scholarship consideration is purely a function of timing.

Also, with all of the websites today for law school applicants, it would be really asinine to say that and then give someone else money in the same time period and watch what happens online.

So my best guess is if a school says they are out, they honestly are in most cases.

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sublime
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby sublime » Fri May 31, 2013 3:33 pm

..

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:27 am

sublime wrote:
Speaking of, how formulaic are scholarship negotiations for schools? Do many schools pretty much just have a table with how much they will pay an applicant based on their numbers/index if they ask enough?

Furthermore, I have heard of certain top schools (I think Boalt) have a small list of other schools offers that they will match/compete with. Do you know how true this is?

Thanks. :)


My experience is that scholarship offers are less formulaic than the initial admissions consideration (i.e. admit,hold, WL, deny), depend on other factors and, as the the process drags out, other school offers as you allude to.

So, there is a good deal an admitted student can do to increase their scholarship and knowing the process really helps. Unfortunately, most law school admits do not have significant negotiating experience and this is exactly what law schools try to capitalize on. Additionally, a growing number of schools are trying to entirely shut that down with the "after x date, if you seat deposit to our school you must withdraw your application from ALL schools you have been admitted to or we reserve the right to drop you" tag line.

That sounds about right re: Boalt, fyi. Likely all of those schools are ranked higher than Boalt, though.

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chem!
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby chem! » Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:05 pm

I just wanted to come in and let you know that I had a very good cycle and was admitted with solid money to all the T1 schools I applied to, less two T14 major reaches. I am quite pleased with the results and will be attending in the fall. So, to future non-traditional applicants who have to overcome the sins of their youths, there is hope.

Thank you for your feedback to me earlier in this thread.


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