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

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:55 pm

chaitealatte wrote:Hi Mike and Karen! Continuing the question deluge so thanks as always for all your help! I have a question about LORs-- I'm three years out of college, and I'm planning on getting one of my professors (also my thesis advisor) to write one of my letters. For the past year and a half, I've worked at a big think tank in a law-focused research field, I've worked closely with two attorneys over the past several months and I'm confident that either of them would write me a great letter. My question-- if I want to submit a third letter, is it okay to ask both attorneys for a letter? I believe one would be able to speak well to my advocacy and legal research skills, while I'm co-writing a major publication with the second attorney, which in size and scope, is easily on parallel with a thesis (except it'll actually be published!). Will it disadvantage me to have two professional+one academic letter, even if the bulk of my professional work has been literally legal research and publishing? I'm sure I could get a professor from a seminar course in college to write the third LOR if absolutely necessary, but I doubt they'd have anything more unique to say than "she was a good writer/participated in class discussions etc." especially since it's been so long. i'd really appreciate any insight!


An ideal "three LOR" configuration in my opinion would be two academic and one professional/outside of academia. Academic letters are almost always preferred or favored. Having said that, you are going to be the best judge of who is going to say the nicest and most substantive things about you. As long as you have one academic LOR, you are in OK shape.

Cheers,
KB

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:05 pm

NoDayButToday wrote:I'm curious, especially after reading the Spivey blog post on transfer admissions earlier this spring - any thoughts on why transfer admissions are so numbers-driven? It seems even more numbers-driven than 1L admissions...especially considering how little data schools have to report on their transfer classes.... Thanks!


When admitting the 1L class, the admissions folks are trying to determine how well students will perform in law school based on predictive measures (LSAT/UGPA). When admitting the transfer class, they are looking at actual performance in law school. The actual performance is much more helpful than predictive measures, so they carry more weight. LSAT and UGPA do factor in, but not as much as they do in the 1L process.

Hope that helps!
Cheers,
Karen

User avatar
cc1012
Posts: 239
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:20 am

Post removed.

Postby cc1012 » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:27 pm

Post removed.
Last edited by cc1012 on Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MikeSpivey
Posts: 2609
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:28 pm

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:27 am

cc1012 wrote:Hello,

I have a question regarding claiming Native American status on applications. I am a member of a state recognized tribe in Alabama and have been involved with my heritage for all of my life. I have always claimed NA, but I get kind of nervous about claiming it on law school apps since my tribe isn't federally recognized. Will I be looked down on since my tribe isn't federally recognized? Does that make a difference?

Also, can you expand on how Native Americans are viewed in admissions? Native Americans are so rare that it is hard to find others with similar stats.

Thank you



You won't be looked down upon in the least, or I can't imagine a scenario where you would. You've been involved in the heritage your entire life, not only would I claim it, I might write a DS about it.

And NA applications are rare. The vast majority of schools want diversity. The, to me, represents real diversity.

User avatar
MikeSpivey
Posts: 2609
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:28 pm

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:04 am

What wants a crazy true funny absurd admissions story from years ago??

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:05 am

MikeSpivey wrote:What wants a crazy true funny absurd admissions story from years ago??


Which one? do tell!
I have one too if anyone is interested :)

User avatar
cdotson2
Posts: 757
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:06 am

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

Postby cdotson2 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:44 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:What wants a crazy true funny absurd admissions story from years ago??


Which one? do tell!
I have one too if anyone is interested :)

I am interested, lets hear them.

User avatar
MurdockLLP
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 10:32 am

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

Postby MurdockLLP » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:48 pm

cdotson2 wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:What wants a crazy true funny absurd admissions story from years ago??


Which one? do tell!
I have one too if anyone is interested :)

I am interested, lets hear them.


+1. Spill Spivey, Spill!

User avatar
MikeSpivey
Posts: 2609
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:28 pm

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:20 pm

MurdockLLP wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:What wants a crazy true funny absurd admissions story from years ago??


Which one? do tell!
I have one too if anyone is interested :)

I am interested, lets hear them.


+1. Spill Spivey, Spill!


Karen, Derek and I have a friend who years ago used to be the dean of admission at a west coast school. She is very naturally attractive (also married), which sadly bears on this story.

This WL'd candidate comes in to discuss his application and his interest in the school. He gets to meet with her. All normal. He asks the right questions, is respectful of her time, etc.

He send a follow-up. Still all normal. "Dear Dean ____ Thank you for your time, ect etc." Everything is spot on until she gets to the bottom of the email.

"P.S. I THINK YOU ARE YUMMY"

I kid you not. This happened.

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:27 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:What wants a crazy true funny absurd admissions story from years ago??


OK, here's my story.
One summer day when I was working at HLS, three people dressed in costume came into the admissions office. One was dressed as a chef with a big pot and the other two were dressed as lobsters. Huge lobsters. They asked if lobsters could be admitted to HLS. The response, of course, was "Do they have Bachelor's Degrees?"
Not sure if they applied - never did get their names.

User avatar
haus
Posts: 2835
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:07 am

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

Postby haus » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:49 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:"P.S. I THINK YOU ARE YUMMY"

Hmmm.

Perhaps I should stop using this as my email signature.

User avatar
MikeSpivey
Posts: 2609
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:28 pm

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:25 pm

haus wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:"P.S. I THINK YOU ARE YUMMY"

Hmmm.

Perhaps I should stop using this as my email signature.


It will get you an admissions decision quicker.

User avatar
salander
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:54 pm

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

Postby salander » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:07 am

.
Last edited by salander on Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
DerekMeeker
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:31 am

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:54 am

MikeSpivey wrote:What wants a crazy true funny absurd admissions story from years ago??


Where do I even begin with the crazy stories?! The stalker applicants who staked out my apartment building? The persistent grandma advocating for her grandson to be admitted to Penn -- after he got rejected. The applicant who ordered me to "Fire the caterer!!" because we ran out of Philly Cheesesteaks at an admitted student program (Fortunately, she was so distraught about not getting a Philly Cheesesteak, she decided to attend another law school.) Someday I will write a book...

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:03 pm

salander wrote:Hi Mike and Karen!

I'm a KJD applicant coming from a STEM background with an online portfolio of my work. Do you think there's any chance admissions officers will follow a link to it if they see it on my resume?


The chances are quite slim, I would say.

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:04 pm

deanmeeker wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:What wants a crazy true funny absurd admissions story from years ago??


Where do I even begin with the crazy stories?! The stalker applicants who staked out my apartment building? The persistent grandma advocating for her grandson to be admitted to Penn -- after he got rejected. The applicant who ordered me to "Fire the caterer!!" because we ran out of Philly Cheesesteaks at an admitted student program (Fortunately, she was so distraught about not getting a Philly Cheesesteak, she decided to attend another law school.) Someday I will write a book...


"Fire the caterer!" is going to be my new catchphrase :)

User avatar
salander
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:54 pm

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

Postby salander » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:09 pm

.
Last edited by salander on Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:25 pm

salander wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
salander wrote:Hi Mike and Karen!

I'm a KJD applicant coming from a STEM background with an online portfolio of my work. Do you think there's any chance admissions officers will follow a link to it if they see it on my resume?


The chances are quite slim, I would say.

Thanks for the quick response, Karen. As a follow-up, are there any pitfalls you'd recommend avoiding for STEM applicants?


I wouldn't say there are STEM-specific pitfalls; just the usual ones to avoid :)

rose.1070
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:54 pm

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

Postby rose.1070 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:30 am

With one more semester of college left to complete, I will graduate with a B.S. in Biology (Pre-Health Focus), as well as a B.S. in Political Science. While my cumulative GPA is a 3.43, my Political Science GPA is a 3.96 and my Biology GPA is a ~3.3 (it can still fluctuate depending on my final semester). With the most popular major for law school applicants being political science, how do I get admissions to look deep into my 3.43 cumulative GPA and convey to them that not only did I beat 99% of political science applicants in that field of study, but I also did it while doing Biology/Pre-Med on the side. And if there is a way, how can I do this without sounding completely pompous (like I probably sound right now).

User avatar
salander
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:54 pm

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

Postby salander » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:13 am

.
Last edited by salander on Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:46 am

rose.1070 wrote:With one more semester of college left to complete, I will graduate with a B.S. in Biology (Pre-Health Focus), as well as a B.S. in Political Science. While my cumulative GPA is a 3.43, my Political Science GPA is a 3.96 and my Biology GPA is a ~3.3 (it can still fluctuate depending on my final semester). With the most popular major for law school applicants being political science, how do I get admissions to look deep into my 3.43 cumulative GPA and convey to them that not only did I beat 99% of political science applicants in that field of study, but I also did it while doing Biology/Pre-Med on the side. And if there is a way, how can I do this without sounding completely pompous (like I probably sound right now).


They will get your transcript and should be able to see the general trend on there, but you can (and probably should) highlight this on your resume. It won't look pompous on the resume :)

Cheers,
KB

User avatar
cdotson2
Posts: 757
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:06 am

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

Postby cdotson2 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:02 am

to piggy back on that last question, how much do Admissions officers care about more than just your cumulative gpa? would a 4.0 in both of my majors and high upward trend on a 3.7x cumulative help me outperform my numbers? is it a noticeable boost?

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:17 am

cdotson2 wrote:to piggy back on that last question, how much do Admissions officers care about more than just your cumulative gpa? would a 4.0 in both of my majors and high upward trend on a 3.7x cumulative help me outperform my numbers? is it a noticeable boost?


They all will get and should look at your transcripts, but they also get a lot of information from LSAC that makes it easy to see trends and where you fall into the class. (Similar to your Grade Summary Report - it's your CAS report and it contains LSAT info too).
At the end of the day, they will have to report your cumulative GPA to measure the class stats, but the academic record is not always as black and white as your LSAT. Where you went to school, trends, majors, and other factors will make their way into the decision - it's impossible to quantify how much in this setting, but know that they will/should look beyond just the GPA.

Cheers,
KB

User avatar
mist4bison
Posts: 1549
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:17 pm

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

Postby mist4bison » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:38 am

Quick question after reading the response to salander's question above...

If I were to have a "publications" section on my resume with op-ed pieces, is there a chance adcoms would actually read those pieces? Would listing those on my resume give me a boost? Caveat: the one op-ed I care about showcases my interest in the environment and also discusses a unique experience, but it also mentions an illegal act (trespassing onto a heavily guarded mountain top removal site and documenting the site). So, I'm not sure if this would hurt or help in the end? Super cool experience, though. I actually thought about using it for my PS and discussing my interest in environmental law.

User avatar
KarenButtenbaum
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:41 am

mist4bison wrote:Quick question after reading the response to salander's question above...

If I were to have a "publications" section on my resume with op-ed pieces, is there a chance adcoms would actually read those pieces? Would listing those on my resume give me a boost? Caveat: the one op-ed I care about showcases my interest in the environment and also discusses a unique experience, but it also mentions an illegal act (trespassing onto a heavily guarded mountain top removal site and documenting the site). So, I'm not sure if this would hurt or help in the end? Super cool experience, though. I actually thought about using it for my PS and discussing my interest in environmental law.


There is a slight chance that someone will take a look - it is quite small though. As long as you are fully disclosing anything necessary (if you didn't get caught there is nothing to disclose) there is nothing to worry about it. Sounds like it could make for a pretty interesting PS!

Cheers,
KB


Return to “Free Help and Advice from Professionals”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest