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

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:32 pm

I finished the transfer policy blogs, schools 51-75 up.

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/

The next blog will on reasons why be SHOULD transfer (note I already did the why you should not).

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:40 pm

chem! wrote: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.


You are most welcome, chem!. Glad it helped (most importantly) and thank you for not killing Wolverine (of some importance to me)!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:58 am

I'm not sure if this picture will freak some of you out, amuse you, be interesting, or is way too far down the road to even think about. But I like it:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/office ... at-biglaw/

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby jenesaislaw » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:10 pm

What on earth were you thinking when you admitted me?

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North
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby North » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:32 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:What on earth were you thinking when you admitted me?

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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mehiguess
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby mehiguess » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:50 pm

Mike,

First off thank you for doing this and secondly I apologize if you have addressed this already but I am just lacking the time to read through 19 pages of thread. My question is regarding the infamous "URM boost". How, if at all, is that applied or taken into consideration upon viewing a URM's application? Thanks.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:01 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:What on earth were you thinking when you admitted me?


I think "I met this guy at bar review and he seems pretty cool"

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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:25 pm

mehiguess wrote:Mike,

First off thank you for doing this and secondly I apologize if you have addressed this already but I am just lacking the time to read through 19 pages of thread. My question is regarding the infamous "URM boost". How, if at all, is that applied or taken into consideration upon viewing a URM's application? Thanks.


Lol, I don't really want to go through all of my babble either. Anyone, anyone? Mr. Wannabe? Anyone?

(if not --I'll take this one on tomorrow)

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jetsfan1
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby jetsfan1 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:12 pm

Lol, I don't really want to go through all of my babble either. Anyone, anyone? Mr. Wannabe? Anyone?

(if not --I'll take this one on tomorrow)


I'll take a stab. Long story short, there is a significant boost. URMs are not competing against non-URMs for admission; rather, they compete against each other for a number of spots at each school. For a statistical analysis of the URM boost and a lot of other awesome analysis, see elterrible's thread/blog. (Mike, you would find this pretty interesting too if you haven't seen it yet.)

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=210245

There's obviously much more nuance to it, but the question was broad so that's a "jist of it" response. Mike can probably give a much better answer, but hopefully saved him a little time :lol:

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mehiguess
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby mehiguess » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:30 pm

jetsfan1 wrote:
Lol, I don't really want to go through all of my babble either. Anyone, anyone? Mr. Wannabe? Anyone?

(if not --I'll take this one on tomorrow)


I'll take a stab. Long story short, there is a significant boost. URMs are not competing against non-URMs for admission; rather, they compete against each other for a number of spots at each school. For a statistical analysis of the URM boost and a lot of other awesome analysis, see elterrible's thread/blog. (Mike, you would find this pretty interesting too if you haven't seen it yet.)

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 2&t=210245

There's obviously much more nuance to it, but the question was broad so that's a "jist of it" response. Mike can probably give a much better answer, but hopefully saved him a little time :lol:



More insight than I previously had, thanks so much.

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jetsfan1
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby jetsfan1 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:33 pm

No problem- good luck!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:36 am

Thanks Jets fans!

The data is interesting but keep in mind when you look at "T14" versus "NonT14" (at that really cool admissionsbythenumbers page) you are looking at a tight spread (14 schools) versus a huge spread (188 schools I presume). The point being that the huge disparity of 347% URM bump versus 39% bump does not start immediately at T15. At the schools I have worked at, Vanderbilt, Wash U and Colorado, all three really want to enroll a heterogeneous class and in the case of VU and Wash U do so better than most. at CU it is a bit more of a struggle because of the demographic makeup of the region, but they certainly are trying.

I might blog about the "why" component because I feel like it is not discussed enough among prospective law students. For understandable reasons, everyone wants to know "how much of a bump" but rarely ask "why is this important and why does it matter?"

To the original question --the hard data is certainly out there on lawschoolnumbers. I would add that writing a diversity statement that shows strong affinity for a diverse background can really help too. Certainly there are some schools that put a stronger focus on URM representation than others, including within the top 14 or 20, and that can be culled out of the data as well.

I hope this helps!

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mehiguess
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby mehiguess » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:51 am

MikeSpivey wrote:Thanks Jets fans!

The data is interesting but keep in mind when you look at "T14" versus "NonT14" (at that really cool admissionsbythenumbers page) you are looking at a tight spread (14 schools) versus a huge spread (188 schools I presume). The point being that the huge disparity of 347% URM bump versus 39% bump does not start immediately at T15. At the schools I have worked at, Vanderbilt, Wash U and Colorado, all three really want to enroll a heterogeneous class and in the case of VU and Wash U do so better than most. at CU it is a bit more of a struggle because of the demographic makeup of the region, but they certainly are trying.

I might blog about the "why" component because I feel like it is not discussed enough among prospective law students. For understandable reasons, everyone wants to know "how much of a bump" but rarely ask "why is this important and why does it matter?"

To the original question --the hard data is certainly out there on lawschoolnumbers. I would add that writing a diversity statement that shows strong affinity for a diverse background can really help too. Certainly there are some schools that put a stronger focus on URM representation than others, including within the top 14 or 20, and that can be culled out of the data as well.

I hope this helps!


Certainly a big help. At very least I'm going to be extending myself to schools I hadn't really considered before.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:03 pm

My business model must be horrible, but here are some things I am doing for FREE

June 10th LSAT

If you are freaked out, anxious, need a distraction, whatever you can call my work phone (found at my website) and I am happy to talk you down from the ledge. I have literally done this hundreds of times and a number of people have said it helped. I've even blocked off my Monday morning calendar for this.

September Travel to Colleges and Universities

I'm going to be traveling in September to the following cities, likely in this order:

Chicago
Austin
Dallas
Boston

If you want me to speak at your school, I am happy to do so. I have done this at a large number of schools, it is free, and the feedback thus far has honestly been 100% positive, including some unsolicited testimonials written to me after talks. (I imagine my next talk will bomb because I just jinxed it). Just email me or post here if you have a school you want me to talk at and/or if you are a member of an organization you want me to speak at.

Additionally, if you know anyone at schools in these cities interested in law school please feel free to share. This message is also up on my blog: http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/free-services/

I hope these help. Good luck for the LSAT folks.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:44 pm

This link (best/worst states and regions for young legal job seekers) does have some admissions decision implications. Apologies if this has been discussed somewhere else, feel free to put in another thread of course if it has not.


http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/06/the-absolute-worst-states-for-job-hunting-law-school-grads/276463/

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:11 pm

Mike, I'm curious about your take on LSN now and in the past, to the extent it differs.

I found the data to be very predictive of my admissions cycle. Even down to scholarships (mostly). However, I was speaking to an admissions dean at a top ten school recently that did not agree that the site was useful for that person's school. The dean keeps tabs on the site data and has done so for years.

Did you analyze the site data at WashU or Vandy? What'd you think?
Last edited by jenesaislaw on Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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untar614
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby untar614 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:59 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
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.

Have you even known a law school to drop someone like that?

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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:53 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Mike, I'm curious about your rake on LSN now and in the past, to the extent it differs.

I found the data to be very predictive of my admissions cycle. Even down to scholarships (mostly). However, I was speaking to an admissions dean at a top ten school recently that did not agree that the site was useful for that person's school. The dean keeps tabs on the site data and has done so for years.

Did you analyze the site data at WashU or Vandy? What'd you think?


Well keep in mind when you are in admissions you have much much better data available to you for your own school, i.e. all of it. So personally I would use LSN to look at the scatter plots for other schools and to try to reverse engineer who some people were. I think the overall scatter plots can be very illuminating for different strategies employed by different schools but as far as individual data points, I do not think your experience is universal.

I can't speak for the folks at Wash U or Vandy now but if you are still around Vanderbilt their admissions dean is probably the very best in the business at data combing and using data so it might be interesting to drop in and ask.

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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Bulls96 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:01 pm

Hi Mike,

All this talk about URMs has me wondering. Does having a severe physical disability play any role in admissions? As far as I know, it's not an officially recognized status under URM but I'd argue it's pretty underrepresented. Do admissions really want to create a diverse class, as many claim, or do they really want a diverse class for reporting data purposes? (which I assume disability is not a reported statistic)

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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:23 pm

untar614 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
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.

Have you even known a law school to drop someone like that?


Untar,

To my knowledge that has yet to happen for double depositing. I have seen first-hand (well I guess technically second-hand) this threat (of sorts) delivered over the phone though, e.g. we see that you are double deposited drop the other school now or we will withdraw you.

I think the schools who are saying this are currently playing chicken with two separate groups; admitted applicants and other law schools. In respect to admitted applicants, surely they know that if they are to drop one, or many, they are going to get absolutely eviscerated online. Potentially, ATL or other media outlets will pick up on it and flatten them too. For that reason, I think most schools will want another school to lead the back and be the fisrt-mover. All of this said, it is still a scary tactic to deal with because as an applicant you certainly do not want to be that "first" or left without a chair when the music stops. But no, I have not seen it.

On a totally unrelated topic I added a blog explaining the different ways I try to get information out to you guys and which might be applicable for what you are looking for:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:11 pm

All,

Just an FYI about PMs. I get a lot and a try really hard to answer as many as I possibly can. If I do not, it generally is because of one of these three reasons:

1. The question is something that my clients enroll in my services to have answered. It is probably helpful to know that as far as this PM/Client overlap; these questions usually revolve around scholarship considerations, wait-list, personal statements, character and fitness, and a few others. As a general matter, the more specific it is about a single school ("Spivey, I am wait-listed at Princeton law, how can I get off the WL?) the less possible it is going to be for me to answer in a PM.

2. I'm really busy. This generally just means I have hot a wave and I'm not only unable to answer PMs, I'm probably not posting in this thread. Once the wave ends I try to hop right back on an answer questions here and in PMs.

3. I have not answered your PM in your preset timeline of acceptability (like within an hour) and you ask the same question demanding an answer. Incidentally, this is not going to work very well for you in a legal job search. I just got off the phone with a HP at a major international law firm who mentioned this is happening to her with growing frequency. Fortunately not to me so much, just a few times.

Please know I try my hardest to answer every question I can -- both in PMs and in this thread. Unfortunately there are instances in which I just can not do so and I apologize for this and hope you understand.

Mike

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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:59 pm

Bulls96 wrote:Hi Mike,

All this talk about URMs has me wondering. Does having a severe physical disability play any role in admissions? As far as I know, it's not an officially recognized status under URM but I'd argue it's pretty underrepresented. Do admissions really want to create a diverse class, as many claim, or do they really want a diverse class for reporting data purposes? (which I assume disability is not a reported statistic)


Bulls, my experience has been that for the vast majority of schools this will come in to play as a diversity issue and you or whoever you are asking for should write a diversity statement about if comfortable in doing so.

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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Ron5150 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:12 am

Hello,

I am sure this question has been answered somewhere within this thread, but I am pressed for time right now with the exam being tomorrow. I have two questions:

1) This is my first time taking the LSAT. I am "timed PT'ing" between 158-165; depending how much of the LG I get through in 35 minutes. "Untimed PT's" are at 170-175 level, so I know all I need to do is drill more on LR/LG and I'll eventually correct my speed problems. With that said, how much of an effect will a low LSAT school have on my "T14 admissions" (assuming I can get the 170+ retake in October)? I am a low GPA (3.0) canadate with somewhat exceptional softs (5+ years of experience in external audit and consulting engagements at a big four accounting firm). I really want to take the test tomorrow as a safety net in case I cannot take Octobers test, etc, and have to settle for a worse school.

(2) If I do decide to withdraw, is there still time to do so one day prior to the exam? I guess my question is what are my options for canceling the exam one day before the test date?

Ultimately, I underestimated the games because I was score near perfect untimed (biigggg difference from a true timed test averaging 5-8 wrong). I know I can correct this & am just looking for advice. LR is giving me timing problems, just not as significant (that I know I can also correct). Any input from you guys would be appreciated, you all have been a great support system throughout my studies)!

Bulls96
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Bulls96 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:16 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
Bulls96 wrote:Hi Mike,

All this talk about URMs has me wondering. Does having a severe physical disability play any role in admissions? As far as I know, it's not an officially recognized status under URM but I'd argue it's pretty underrepresented. Do admissions really want to create a diverse class, as many claim, or do they really want a diverse class for reporting data purposes? (which I assume disability is not a reported statistic)


Bulls, my experience has been that for the vast majority of schools this will come in to play as a diversity issue and you or whoever you are asking for should write a diversity statement about if comfortable in doing so.



Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, I really appreciate it! I wasn't sure whether it would actually hurt to disclose or if I did, how much of a boost it would be compared to being an "officially recognized" URM.

Note to the above poster, Ron. I think you posted in the wrong forum and thread, try posting your question in the LSAT prep forum, people will have some answers for you there. Good luck studying!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:55 pm

Ron5150 wrote:Hello,

I am sure this question has been answered somewhere within this thread, but I am pressed for time right now with the exam being tomorrow. I have two questions:

1) This is my first time taking the LSAT. I am "timed PT'ing" between 158-165; depending how much of the LG I get through in 35 minutes. "Untimed PT's" are at 170-175 level, so I know all I need to do is drill more on LR/LG and I'll eventually correct my speed problems. With that said, how much of an effect will a low LSAT school have on my "T14 admissions" (assuming I can get the 170+ retake in October)? I am a low GPA (3.0) canadate with somewhat exceptional softs (5+ years of experience in external audit and consulting engagements at a big four accounting firm). I really want to take the test tomorrow as a safety net in case I cannot take Octobers test, etc, and have to settle for a worse school.

(2) If I do decide to withdraw, is there still time to do so one day prior to the exam? I guess my question is what are my options for canceling the exam one day before the test date?

Ultimately, I underestimated the games because I was score near perfect untimed (biigggg difference from a true timed test averaging 5-8 wrong). I know I can correct this & am just looking for advice. LR is giving me timing problems, just not as significant (that I know I can also correct). Any input from you guys would be appreciated, you all have been a great support system throughout my studies)!


Ron, with respect to (1) I would not think one second about this until Tuesday. Ping me then if you want. Also is "somewhat exceptional" an oxymoron? :)

with (2) I think way too many people withdraw when they should not. If you think you bombed it, just cancel it will only show up as a "/" on your CAS report. You can withdraw today, but zero refund so you may as well take it.

Good luck!


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