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

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

Postby mornincounselor » Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:59 am

MikeSpivey wrote:Hi everyone:

Sorry we are a bit slow in responding -- this is the height of our busiest season AND, because I apparently like not sleeping, we just went live with our new website:

Check it out at:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com

Due to the feedback on here (thanks for that!) we are going to keep the blog format but are going to work on tagging and categorizing topics. This takes a lot of time so bear with us.

Also, in the process of creating a new website my web expert/buddy insisted I upgrade to Windows 10 from 7. Now I have the new version of TLS and I had it set on the old version. Does anyone know how fix that? Does anyone (HAUS???) know when I will stop hating Word 10 versus 7? I'm not exactly a tech adapter.

Thanks all! Answers to your questions coming soon I promise!

-Mike


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

Postby Clearly » Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:17 am

Buy a mac.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:23 am

mornincounselor wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Hi everyone:

Sorry we are a bit slow in responding -- this is the height of our busiest season AND, because I apparently like not sleeping, we just went live with our new website:

Check it out at:

http://www.spiveyconsulting.com

Due to the feedback on here (thanks for that!) we are going to keep the blog format but are going to work on tagging and categorizing topics. This takes a lot of time so bear with us.

Also, in the process of creating a new website my web expert/buddy insisted I upgrade to Windows 10 from 7. Now I have the new version of TLS and I had it set on the old version. Does anyone know how fix that? Does anyone (HAUS???) know when I will stop hating Word 10 versus 7? I'm not exactly a tech adapter.

Thanks all! Answers to your questions coming soon I promise!

-Mike


User Control Panel --> Board Preferences --> Change "My board style" to subsilver2


Thank you, sir.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:56 pm

Zwiff wrote:1. Some applications have "Recommenders" section where I can list the names/information of my recommenders. What is the point of this section if law schools will be receiving my recommendations with the recommenders' information through the LSAC anyways? These sections are not necessary fields I must fill out, can I just check "This section does not apply to me"?

2. Question about Duke's optional essay - one of the optional essays is,

Optional Essay 1: You may submit an essay providing additional information about why you have chosen to apply to law school in general and Duke in particular. We are interested in the factors that have prompted your interest in a legal career and the ways in which you think Duke can further that interest. The optional essays must be your own work. This means the ideas and expressions originated with you, and you wrote all drafts and the final product. It does not preclude asking family members, friends, pre-law advisors, and others for proofreading assistance or general feedback.

I address my future career/why law school in my personal statement, but do not say anything about why Duke. Would it be alright to sort of quickly gloss over those why law factors and focus everything on why Duke particularly?

Thanks for your help!


1. It is possible that they use this as part of the processing of your application. They check that the recommenders that you have listed there match the actual recommendations in your file. I see it as a professional courtesy to fill out as much as you can on the application form.

2. makes sense to gloss over the bit that is in your PS. No need to be redundant; focus on why Duke.


Sorry for the delay!
Cheers,
KB

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:05 pm

pterodactyls wrote:I was wondering if you could expand a little about retaking the LSAT in February for the current cycle (after submission). On the google doc of compiled Q&A, it was stated that top 6 schools do likely consider February scores, even if they claim not to.

So,
Per se someone takes December LSAT and scores in the 170-172 range, with a ~3.8 GPA. Goal of HYS or top 6. Submits applications by February 1st deadline, but considers taking February LSAT.

My question are,
1. Will law schools know that the student is registered for February? Will this affect the timeliness in which the application is reviewed (will the school wait until March to give that student a decision?).
2. If the student specifically submits his/her applications before registering for February, will the law schools still receive notification when that student registers?
3. Will this affect the student's chances of being admitted/waitlisted? So, if the school was considering admitting the student, will they now wait instead? And alternatively, if they would have denied the student, will they now wait?

I appreciate any advice you could give. Not planning to retake in February, just want to know what my options are. I'm pretty set on applying this cycle for personal reasons.


1. The schools will all have the ability to find out that you are registered for a future test, but schools use this information in very different ways. For some, they may hold the decision until they get the test, for others, you have to tell them to hold your decision.
2. Schools will have the ability to see that you are registered as soon as (or soon after) you are registered. Some schools may run weekly reports to do this or they may run the report after registration deadlines.
3. They probably wouldn't hold an admit, but it totally depends on the school. If they know about the test (one way or another) they will likely hold the decision until after the Feb test is in (but this is also depending on if the school accepts the feb test).

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby dumdeedum » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:26 am

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Sun Nov 22, 2015 5:58 pm

SirArthurDayne wrote:Do you guys have a blog post on the Feb test and which schools are more willing to accept a Feb score and under what circumstances?


We don't have a blog on that, but the reality is that a strong application later in the cycle is still going to be a strong application. And many schools will make room for a strong applicant with a Feb test.

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 Nov 23, 2015 12:03 pm

I'm sharing a link to a podcast I did almost exactly a year ago on goal-setting, aspirations, and not settling. There is a bit on law school admissions in here but it is mostly life type stuff. Anyway, over the past year I have received a number of emails from applicants saying this helped them in various areas -- particularly after getting an LSAT score back and thinking about re-taking or after a WL from a dream school so I thought it might be helpful.

As a disclaimer I receive no money for this so it isn't as pitch. Indeed, I have yet to figure out how this company, The Bucket List Life, makes money which is kind of a running joke with Karen and me and we oft reference the underwear gnomes business plan from South Park when we discuss,.

https://thebucketlistlife.com/20-why-yo ... ke-spivey/

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

Postby mornincounselor » Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:12 am

Dean Spivey, Director Buttenbaum et al.,

You had mentioned possibly doing a blog on "how nice is too nice" awhile back, but I don't think you ever did one. So what's the procedure for making small talk in our emails with admissions people and Deans. Let's say we have genuine questions and/or updates to our file, but we also want to put a "personality" paragraph in there bs'ing about the weather, or their sports team doing well, or something to that effect.

Do you have any tips and tricks for this type of communication? It seems like at certain times in the admissions process if we can make someone smile that might help put us in a good spot. But, it seems a bit of a delicate balance between that and being too nice / creeping them out.

boslaw56
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby boslaw56 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:57 pm

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

Postby jeremydc » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:32 pm

boslaw56 wrote:One of the professors writing a LOR on my behalf has asked what are some of the key aspects law schools look for in the letter. I found what looks to be a pretty good summary from Berkeley: https://career.berkeley.edu/Letter/LetterGuidelines#law. However, any other tips you have for those writing LORs?


After I requested LOR letters from two professors, I sent them direct quotes from the interviews by the DOAs posted on TLS as well as links to what law schools are looking for. I also sent my general PS/RESUME (CV)/ WRITING SAMPLE/ Background information (relevant to LS)/ and even a little Q&A just for kicks.

I insisted that we chat for a week or two before they wrote the LOR. I wanted them to get to know me on a personal level because it will show through the LOR. I also insisted NOT to draw too much of a correlation of my WE/Education but rather on the abilities I possess that will transfer smoothly into LS.

I am doing hybrid Masters. The professors fly out to Korea for an intense 2 week in class course so it was a bit difficult building rapport. However, I kept in contact for a few months by sending weekly emails. I'm sure the LORs will a personal touch.

My question is regarding the Evaluation. I've requested both professors as well as the head of my teaching department to participate in the evals. Overkill?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:07 pm

mornincounselor wrote:Dean Spivey, Director Buttenbaum et al.,

You had mentioned possibly doing a blog on "how nice is too nice" awhile back, but I don't think you ever did one. So what's the procedure for making small talk in our emails with admissions people and Deans. Let's say we have genuine questions and/or updates to our file, but we also want to put a "personality" paragraph in there bs'ing about the weather, or their sports team doing well, or something to that effect.

Do you have any tips and tricks for this type of communication? It seems like at certain times in the admissions process if we can make someone smile that might help put us in a good spot. But, it seems a bit of a delicate balance between that and being too nice / creeping them out.


Definitely at certain times in the admission process you want to make people smile, that is 100% accurate. And if you could guarantee you would do so with some communication, then I would do it. In the WL period of the cycle I think this is been more true, and one reason we have been so successful at helping people get admitted off of WL's in the past -- critical timing PLUS making someone smile is huge in the WL process especially when medians start shoring up. But, busy professionals can also be irritable professionals and this holds true in admissions as much as any other field. What you categorically do not want to do is spam them, particularly with emails this time of year when they are beginning to feel the crunch of recruited admitted students + file draws becoming more and more full with unread applications.

I talk about this a little bit here: http://spiveyconsulting.ghost.io/applic ... -up-cycle/

So unless you have a real reason to get in touch, or a killer way to make them smile, at this stage less is better. I would say that about 70-80% of post application submission but pre-waitlist communication is done because the applicant wants to make themselves feel better, and not for any real value-added or legit reason.

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

Postby hello123 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:35 pm

A successful UVA alum recently offered to write a letter of recommendation for me to UVA, but I've already submitted my application. Will it look bad to UVA if I ask them to hold consideration of my application until they receive the letter? he needs two weeks to write it

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:11 pm

boslaw56 wrote:One of the professors writing a LOR on my behalf has asked what are some of the key aspects law schools look for in the letter. I found what looks to be a pretty good summary from Berkeley: https://career.berkeley.edu/Letter/LetterGuidelines#law. However, any other tips you have for those writing LORs?


Not exactly what you are looking for but I did this blog based on your post and it is 100% how things work behind the admissions curtain.

http://spiveyconsulting.ghost.io/the-cu ... mendation/

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:22 am

hello123 wrote:A successful UVA alum recently offered to write a letter of recommendation for me to UVA, but I've already submitted my application. Will it look bad to UVA if I ask them to hold consideration of my application until they receive the letter? he needs two weeks to write it


Yes, if it is an alum it is worth the wait -- generally those are the only LOR that really help. Or, see the blog I just wrote and posted above :)

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

Postby kumquat3 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:05 pm

I am a few years out of college, and left a full-time job this summer. I took some time to travel and have been applying to temporary positions/internships more related to the work that I hope to do following law school. I am applying this cycle, but I do not anticipate that I will have anything confirmed before I submit my application. Therefore, my resume currently shows no activity since this August. Is this something that should be directly addressed in my application?

The travel has been very sporadic (six different trips to cities/countries in four months) and was timed to coincide with my boyfriend's parallel departure from his job. I don't think it qualifies as a "special experience" to add formally to my application, but I am comfortable with explaining a choice to dip into my savings while taking advantage of a rare opportunity for travel and diverse experiences before committing to law school in a short addenda or elsewhere if appropriate. In terms of potential red flags, I have a recommendation from my most recent job that would confirm that I left the position on very good terms with my employer, so I don't believe that should be a concern.

Thank you again for all your help on this forum!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:38 pm

kumquat3 wrote:I am a few years out of college, and left a full-time job this summer. I took some time to travel and have been applying to temporary positions/internships more related to the work that I hope to do following law school. I am applying this cycle, but I do not anticipate that I will have anything confirmed before I submit my application. Therefore, my resume currently shows no activity since this August. Is this something that should be directly addressed in my application?

The travel has been very sporadic (six different trips to cities/countries in four months) and was timed to coincide with my boyfriend's parallel departure from his job. I don't think it qualifies as a "special experience" to add formally to my application, but I am comfortable with explaining a choice to dip into my savings while taking advantage of a rare opportunity for travel and diverse experiences before committing to law school in a short addenda or elsewhere if appropriate. In terms of potential red flags, I have a recommendation from my most recent job that would confirm that I left the position on very good terms with my employer, so I don't believe that should be a concern.

Thank you again for all your help on this forum!


You could add this travel to an interests section at the bottom of the resume and include the dates to provide the reader with more information about what you've been up to. And you could send an updated resume when you have something new to report. And if anyone asks in an interview - you just explain to them what you've been up to!

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby Zwiff » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:50 pm

Y'all have been a great help, thanks!

Georgetown says you may submit a "brief statement that will enable the Committee to understand the contribution your personal background would make to the student body of Georgetown University Law Center."

Is "brief" anything less than a page? Or is it more along the lines of a paragraph?

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:53 pm

Zwiff wrote:Y'all have been a great help, thanks!

Georgetown says you may submit a "brief statement that will enable the Committee to understand the contribution your personal background would make to the student body of Georgetown University Law Center."

Is "brief" anything less than a page? Or is it more along the lines of a paragraph?



A page is fine; you don't need to just have just a paragraph.
Cheers,
KB

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

Postby Zwiff » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:52 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Zwiff wrote:Y'all have been a great help, thanks!

Georgetown says you may submit a "brief statement that will enable the Committee to understand the contribution your personal background would make to the student body of Georgetown University Law Center."

Is "brief" anything less than a page? Or is it more along the lines of a paragraph?



A page is fine; you don't need to just have just a paragraph.
Cheers,
KB


Thanks. One more quick question on length - UVA allows for the submission of optional addenda on "as many topics as you wish." Would 2 pages be too long for one of these addenda?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:43 am

Zwiff wrote:
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Zwiff wrote:Y'all have been a great help, thanks!

Georgetown says you may submit a "brief statement that will enable the Committee to understand the contribution your personal background would make to the student body of Georgetown University Law Center."

Is "brief" anything less than a page? Or is it more along the lines of a paragraph?



A page is fine; you don't need to just have just a paragraph.
Cheers,
KB


Thanks. One more quick question on length - UVA allows for the submission of optional addenda on "as many topics as you wish." Would 2 pages be too long for one of these addenda?


I imagine you can make just about any 2-page addenda more concise, and I have seen schools get aggravated (especially as the cycle drags on) with things that are not concise.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:44 am

gamerish wrote:Hi, everyone. Question about LOCIs. If I plan on visiting a school I've been waitlisted at (in about a month), should I wait until after the visit to write the letter so I can put in some more compelling details about the campus, class visits, etc? Or is it better to express interest as soon as possible and submit the letter without having visited? I already wrote a Why X so I doubt submitting another statement about why I want to go there in addition to the LOCI would be acceptable.

My stats were above 75th/median for the school so I think showing interest is probably the most important thing I can do towards getting off the waitlist and I'd rather not bungle it by being too rash or, conversely, waiting too long.

Thanks


Yes yes wait! It will be a more sincere and compelling LOCI and except in extreme special interest cases I can't imagine any school going to the WL in the next month so it would be pointless to send one in now anyway. Timing is critical in WL activity.


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