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

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

Postby Billy Madison » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:38 pm

As someone planning to apply ED to NU after taking the LSAT in October, my opportunities for my admissions interview are somewhat scarce. I absolutely need to interview in-person, as I feel it will give me the best chance to make the best impression possible. As a (hopeful) splitter, do I need to wait until after the LSAT since my GPA is going to be a weak point in my application?

1sataker
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby 1sataker » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:44 pm

Hello,

I have a question...
I'm thinking to apply to law school of my master degree school.
Would law administration people come to the department and ask about the applicants if they know they belong to the same school?
I was just wondering...

Thank you,

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:45 am

gunton224 wrote:As someone planning to apply ED to NU after taking the LSAT in October, my opportunities for my admissions interview are somewhat scarce. I absolutely need to interview in-person, as I feel it will give me the best chance to make the best impression possible. As a (hopeful) splitter, do I need to wait until after the LSAT since my GPA is going to be a weak point in my application?


I would. I don't want to make a gross overstatement here but *some* admissions people tune applicants out with they get limited data and that data is well below their medians. It sounds like you really don't want to risk being tuned out, so I would wait until you crush the October LSAT and get your score back.

hello123
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby hello123 » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:37 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:In the next 3-5 days I am going to write a blog for you all that I think might be the most important blog we've written in a long time. It will be on "what people say when you ask them for Personal Statement advice" ....(and they have no law school admissions experience). Because they almost always give the dead wrong macro level advice and I think it kills so many of these essays. At the micro level, sentence structure, word choice, etc etc they are fine (because presumably you are asking a smart/mindful/well-intentioned/awesome person for their help). But the high level advice always fits into just one or two categories and it is always wrong. So please please stay tuned for this.

In the meantime, here is a blog we wrote for Powerscore that is now also up on our website, on "To ED or not to ED" ie: early decision. Enjoy!


is this blog post still coming out?

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

Postby Billy Madison » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:44 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
gunton224 wrote:As someone planning to apply ED to NU after taking the LSAT in October, my opportunities for my admissions interview are somewhat scarce. I absolutely need to interview in-person, as I feel it will give me the best chance to make the best impression possible. As a (hopeful) splitter, do I need to wait until after the LSAT since my GPA is going to be a weak point in my application?


I would. I don't want to make a gross overstatement here but *some* admissions people tune applicants out with they get limited data and that data is well below their medians. It sounds like you really don't want to risk being tuned out, so I would wait until you crush the October LSAT and get your score back.


Thank you!

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chalky
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Postby chalky » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:47 pm

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Danimals18
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Danimals18 » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:52 pm

How important are optional interviews?...especially if we feel we are on the poor-er side of interviewing.

soha
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby soha » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:42 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:My understanding of rolling admissions is that files get read as submitted, but that decisions are only quickly made on the strongest & weakest applications while the middle gets saved for a later day/cycle decision.


For many (if not most) schools, you search your files based on the LSAT/uGPA scores and read those first that are at or above your medians first. The chronological aspect comes in place in that the strong files get read, roughly, in the order they arrive. Files that are not as strong remain unread until a later point.

Again, this is in general as individual schools do things differently and some certainly read them entirely chronologically.


What would schools consider a strong applications or files?

byeby40
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby byeby40 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:03 am

Hello,

I recently took the LSAT and am planning to retake it in October. Because my first LSAT score is either at the median or above the 75% for my safety schools (mid 160s), should I send out those applications before my October scores are released? Is there a huge difference between now and the end of October?

Thanks for offering us this opportunity!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:04 am

byeby40 wrote:Hello,

I recently took the LSAT and am planning to retake it in October. Because my first LSAT score is either at the median or above the 75% for my safety schools (mid 160s), should I send out those applications before my October scores are released? Is there a huge difference between now and the end of October?

Thanks for offering us this opportunity!


There is very little, if any, difference between now and the end of October. BUT, if those truly are safety schools (the definition of which is with your current score sans a disastrous application, GPA, C&F issue such that you should almost certainly be admitted based on any recent data), you may as well submit to those school. It will give you a nice psychological platform to endure the waiting of the stretch schools, and the waiting is always the hardest part.

The big caveat is do not let it interfere with your LSAT focus and prep. GL!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:06 am

Danimals18 wrote:How important are optional interviews?...especially if we feel we are on the poor-er side of interviewing.


I wouldn't do them if they are optional and you don't think you are strong is this area. Interviews can be elevating to an application or de-elevating, it simply depends on how you do. Not interviewing for an optional school is sum zero.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:08 am

hello123 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:In the next 3-5 days I am going to write a blog for you all that I think might be the most important blog we've written in a long time. It will be on "what people say when you ask them for Personal Statement advice" ....(and they have no law school admissions experience). Because they almost always give the dead wrong macro level advice and I think it kills so many of these essays. At the micro level, sentence structure, word choice, etc etc they are fine (because presumably you are asking a smart/mindful/well-intentioned/awesome person for their help). But the high level advice always fits into just one or two categories and it is always wrong. So please please stay tuned for this.

In the meantime, here is a blog we wrote for Powerscore that is now also up on our website, on "To ED or not to ED" ie: early decision. Enjoy!


is this blog post still coming out?


It is, but I said have said "the next 3-50 days" based on how busy we are right now. Stay on my about it, I appreciate it.

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

Postby Zwiff » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:11 am

I'm in the process of submitting my Penn application on LSAC. I don't know if this is across the board on LSAC or maybe just Penn's app, but, to my surprise, PDF files are not supported and cannot be uploaded. I was planning on submitting all of my essays as PDFs, but I guess now I have to submit them as DOCs. These are the supported formats: DOC, HTM, HTML, TXT, WP, WPD, RTF, WPS, WPT, DOCX.

Is there a particular format that you or the admissions committee might find slightly more aesthetically pleasing? If I do submit a DOC/DOCX, what about the green grammar squigglies in my essays that Word likes to do for sentences/phrases/words that I know are actually correct or that I specifically want to use? How is that going to look? Also, my resume has to be submitted as a DOC now or one of the above formats - I feel like it's just unprofessional... Any words of wisdom on this topic?

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

Postby scone » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:19 am

Zwiff wrote:I'm in the process of submitting my Penn application on LSAC. I don't know if this is across the board on LSAC or maybe just Penn's app, but, to my surprise, PDF files are not supported and cannot be uploaded. I was planning on submitting all of my essays as PDFs, but I guess now I have to submit them as DOCs. These are the supported formats: DOC, HTM, HTML, TXT, WP, WPD, RTF, WPS, WPT, DOCX.

Is there a particular format that you or the admissions committee might find slightly more aesthetically pleasing? If I do submit a DOC/DOCX, what about the green grammar squigglies in my essays that Word likes to do for sentences/phrases/words that I know are actually correct or that I specifically want to use? How is that going to look? Also, my resume has to be submitted as a DOC now or one of the above formats - I feel like it's just unprofessional... Any words of wisdom on this topic?


Use DOC/X. Upload the file, then click 'view'. You'll see that it is saved as a PDF and looks lovely. There will be no green squigglies.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:33 pm

scone wrote:
Zwiff wrote:I'm in the process of submitting my Penn application on LSAC. I don't know if this is across the board on LSAC or maybe just Penn's app, but, to my surprise, PDF files are not supported and cannot be uploaded. I was planning on submitting all of my essays as PDFs, but I guess now I have to submit them as DOCs. These are the supported formats: DOC, HTM, HTML, TXT, WP, WPD, RTF, WPS, WPT, DOCX.

Is there a particular format that you or the admissions committee might find slightly more aesthetically pleasing? If I do submit a DOC/DOCX, what about the green grammar squigglies in my essays that Word likes to do for sentences/phrases/words that I know are actually correct or that I specifically want to use? How is that going to look? Also, my resume has to be submitted as a DOC now or one of the above formats - I feel like it's just unprofessional... Any words of wisdom on this topic?


Use DOC/X. Upload the file, then click 'view'. You'll see that it is saved as a PDF and looks lovely. There will be no green squigglies.


Thanks, Scone. What are you doing for employment these days?

byeby40
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby byeby40 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:11 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
byeby40 wrote:Hello,

I recently took the LSAT and am planning to retake it in October. Because my first LSAT score is either at the median or above the 75% for my safety schools (mid 160s), should I send out those applications before my October scores are released? Is there a huge difference between now and the end of October?

Thanks for offering us this opportunity!


There is very little, if any, difference between now and the end of October. BUT, if those truly are safety schools (the definition of which is with your current score sans a disastrous application, GPA, C&F issue such that you should almost certainly be admitted based on any recent data), you may as well submit to those school. It will give you a nice psychological platform to endure the waiting of the stretch schools, and the waiting is always the hardest part.

The big caveat is do not let it interfere with your LSAT focus and prep. GL!



Thank you!

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

Postby sarahsala » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:50 pm

Hello,
I'm not sure whether it is appropriate to ask this but...
Would GPA 4.0 and 3.9 be different in application?
How much is graduate school's GPA important?
Any advantage when applying to the law school where students went as undergrad or master?

Thank you for the help,

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

Postby AnonymousApplicant » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:42 am

Hi,
I've read on one of Mr. Spivey's the question responses that the idea that it is somehow disadvantageous to take the Dec. LSAT is a myth. I just write to see if additional clarification on that can be given. Surely it is better to apply earlier rather than later but I'm simply trying to get a better understanding of what would distinguish my application to HYSCCN, which I'm considering submitting after taking the Dec. LSAT as opposed to the Oct. LSAT that I was originally signed up for, from the application of someone who took the LSAT in June or October and applied soon after getting their results. Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:53 pm

AnonymousApplicant wrote:Hi,
I've read on one of Mr. Spivey's the question responses that the idea that it is somehow disadvantageous to take the Dec. LSAT is a myth. I just write to see if additional clarification on that can be given. Surely it is better to apply earlier rather than later but I'm simply trying to get a better understanding of what would distinguish my application to HYSCCN, which I'm considering submitting after taking the Dec. LSAT as opposed to the Oct. LSAT that I was originally signed up for, from the application of someone who took the LSAT in June or October and applied soon after getting their results. Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you


Hi there. Happy to try to provide some additional information. Basically, we are in a market where the number of LSAT scorers in the 170+ range has dropped significantly (i.e., the range that is most competitive for the top 6 schools). Thus, if taking the December LSAT means you are more likely to get a higher score, and particularly one that is in the 170+ range, then it absolutely is more advantageous for you to apply later to these schools. Bottom line: better to submit a stronger application in December or January than a less strong one in September or October. The increase in score that you could gain by waiting and taking the December LSAT will outweigh the advantage of submitting an application two months earlier.

So is it "surely...better to apply earlier rather than later?" Yes, IF you can submit your very BEST application at that time. But if waiting a few more months means you can put together a stronger application (particularly one with a higher LSAT score), then you are better off waiting.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:51 pm

sarahsala wrote:Hello,
I'm not sure whether it is appropriate to ask this but...
Would GPA 4.0 and 3.9 be different in application?
How much is graduate school's GPA important?
Any advantage when applying to the law school where students went as undergrad or master?

Thank you for the help,


There is little difference between a 4.0 and a 3.9 at most every school because both numbers are above every school's median (except Yale) and above most schools' 75th percentile as well.

Graduate school grades, for the most part, are expected to be very good. The matter much less than your undergraduate degree GPA (because that is what gets reported to the ABA). It's good to have a solid graduate GPA, but it not going to be nearly as helpful as a solid undergraduate GPA.

It depends on the school, but many applicants who are graduates of undergraduate school that is attached to a law school are well-represented at that school and are not disadvantaged at all. If anything, I think it is usually a bit of an advantage.

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:50 pm

I'd like to thank a TLS user for bringing this to my attention.

http://www.bing.com/
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby haus » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:32 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I'd like to thank a TLS user for brining this to my attention.

http://www.bing.com/

congrats on making the (almost) big time!

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

Postby tweedledee » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:23 am

...
Last edited by tweedledee on Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby vested » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:44 am

deanmeeker wrote:
AnonymousApplicant wrote:Hi,
I've read on one of Mr. Spivey's the question responses that the idea that it is somehow disadvantageous to take the Dec. LSAT is a myth. I just write to see if additional clarification on that can be given. Surely it is better to apply earlier rather than later but I'm simply trying to get a better understanding of what would distinguish my application to HYSCCN, which I'm considering submitting after taking the Dec. LSAT as opposed to the Oct. LSAT that I was originally signed up for, from the application of someone who took the LSAT in June or October and applied soon after getting their results. Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you


Hi there. Happy to try to provide some additional information. Basically, we are in a market where the number of LSAT scorers in the 170+ range has dropped significantly (i.e., the range that is most competitive for the top 6 schools). Thus, if taking the December LSAT means you are more likely to get a higher score, and particularly one that is in the 170+ range, then it absolutely is more advantageous for you to apply later to these schools. Bottom line: better to submit a stronger application in December or January than a less strong one in September or October. The increase in score that you could gain by waiting and taking the December LSAT will outweigh the advantage of submitting an application two months earlier.

So is it "surely...better to apply earlier rather than later?" Yes, IF you can submit your very BEST application at that time. But if waiting a few more months means you can put together a stronger application (particularly one with a higher LSAT score), then you are better off waiting.


I may be missing something---but I'm still confused as to why applying early with a weaker LSAT score, and later following up to say "Hi I retook the LSAT and scored much higher; this new score best reflects my abilities, etc." would put anyone in a weaker position than waiting to apply with the higher score.

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:46 am

vested wrote:
deanmeeker wrote:
AnonymousApplicant wrote:Hi,
I've read on one of Mr. Spivey's the question responses that the idea that it is somehow disadvantageous to take the Dec. LSAT is a myth. I just write to see if additional clarification on that can be given. Surely it is better to apply earlier rather than later but I'm simply trying to get a better understanding of what would distinguish my application to HYSCCN, which I'm considering submitting after taking the Dec. LSAT as opposed to the Oct. LSAT that I was originally signed up for, from the application of someone who took the LSAT in June or October and applied soon after getting their results. Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you


Hi there. Happy to try to provide some additional information. Basically, we are in a market where the number of LSAT scorers in the 170+ range has dropped significantly (i.e., the range that is most competitive for the top 6 schools). Thus, if taking the December LSAT means you are more likely to get a higher score, and particularly one that is in the 170+ range, then it absolutely is more advantageous for you to apply later to these schools. Bottom line: better to submit a stronger application in December or January than a less strong one in September or October. The increase in score that you could gain by waiting and taking the December LSAT will outweigh the advantage of submitting an application two months earlier.

So is it "surely...better to apply earlier rather than later?" Yes, IF you can submit your very BEST application at that time. But if waiting a few more months means you can put together a stronger application (particularly one with a higher LSAT score), then you are better off waiting.


I may be missing something---but I'm still confused as to why applying early with a weaker LSAT score, and later following up to say "Hi I retook the LSAT and scored much higher; this new score best reflects my abilities, etc." would put anyone in a weaker position than waiting to apply with the higher score.

What if your weaker score gets you rejected?


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