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

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

Postby perfunctory » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:39 pm

Hi! I think what you guys are doing is amazing so first thank you!

My question is: I realize this may be highly school/tier dependent, but what is the general consensus on chances for someone whose numbers are (GPA<25th, LSAT=50th) like this for a school? Is the current law school climate propitious for applicants like me or has it recovered enough that standards are pretty strict?

a12en
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby a12en » Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:19 am

Would three addendum's be frowned upon?

One would be in regards to C&F to disclose an expunged record as a juvenile, another for my medical history which resulted in a year gap in my undergrad, and another for my LSAT scores (149 in October 2011, 155 in June 2015, and 162 in December 2015).

As you can see, all three are relevant. I may call each school I'm applying to ask directly, and if an LSAT score addendum is even necessary.

I'm applying to UCLA, USC, UCI, Loyola, and Pepperdine.

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

Postby emergentlurker » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:50 am

Like everyone else, I want to thank you folks again doing this. It' really awesome to get this kind of credible guidance.

I was recently issued a traffic citation for speeding. Do I need to inform every school to which I have applied, or only those schools that initially requested moving violations as part of their C&F disclosures?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:58 am

emergentlurker wrote:Like everyone else, I want to thank you folks again doing this. It' really awesome to get this kind of credible guidance.

I was recently issued a traffic citation for speeding. Do I need to inform every school to which I have applied, or only those schools that initially requested moving violations as part of their C&F disclosures?


Just the ones that ask to include minor traffic infractions/moving violations. Nor will it have any impact :)

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

Postby Borderlander » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:14 am

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Borderlander wrote:My question is regarding employment changes during the admissions process.

I am currently a middle school teacher, and for reasons I'd rather not disclose am considering leaving for another job starting February. My concern is that this is happening mid-cycle right before I plan on submitting my applications and I'm worried what kind of impression that might give the admissions council when they see my last job ended in January right before I applied. Would seeing a teacher leave in the middle of the school year hurt my chances of admission at a high ranking school where my LSAT and GPA are at the median or lower?

I would really appreciate some guidance here. Thanks!


If it is a school that interviews, I would expect that question in the interview process. If I were reading your application, I would wonder what happened, but if you are willing to give a reason to the law school, then be prepared to give it to them (but not on here!). If they like your application otherwise, they'd want to know all of the information before making a decision.
Good luck!

Cheers,
KB


Thank you so much for the response Karen! Would it be worth explaining in an addendum to my application? Or would I be better off waiting until they ask?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:41 am

Just an fyi, but I am doing a *FREE* webinar for admissions questions with another SCG Senior Consultant, hosted by 7Sage. It is next Wednesday evening, details and sign up HERE:

http://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussio ... by-jy-ping

It's more than 1/2 full already so if you want to attend and ask a question, I'd sign up soon!

Mike

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:47 am

a12en wrote:Would three addendum's be frowned upon?

One would be in regards to C&F to disclose an expunged record as a juvenile, another for my medical history which resulted in a year gap in my undergrad, and another for my LSAT scores (149 in October 2011, 155 in June 2015, and 162 in December 2015).

As you can see, all three are relevant. I may call each school I'm applying to ask directly, and if an LSAT score addendum is even necessary.

I'm applying to UCLA, USC, UCI, Loyola, and Pepperdine.


Three addenda does seem excessive, but all do seem relevant/necessary in this case. I would recommend condensing when possible two C+F (if the time away is a C+F question) and one addendum or two addenda and one C+F to make it easier for the reader. And title it Addenda or even Addendums is acceptable -- but not Addendum's.

Cheers,
KB

a12en
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby a12en » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:02 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
a12en wrote:Would three addendum's be frowned upon?

One would be in regards to C&F to disclose an expunged record as a juvenile, another for my medical history which resulted in a year gap in my undergrad, and another for my LSAT scores (149 in October 2011, 155 in June 2015, and 162 in December 2015).

As you can see, all three are relevant. I may call each school I'm applying to ask directly, and if an LSAT score addendum is even necessary.

I'm applying to UCLA, USC, UCI, Loyola, and Pepperdine.


Three addenda does seem excessive, but all do seem relevant/necessary in this case. I would recommend condensing when possible two C+F (if the time away is a C+F question) and one addendum or two addenda and one C+F to make it easier for the reader. And title it Addenda or even Addendums is acceptable -- but not Addendum's.

Cheers,
KB


One is for sure a C&F, so I will label the other two as addenda. Couple other questions:

For the C&F -- do I just write what happened or do I need to explain why I did it and how I learned from it?

For the medical history addendum -- is providing a detailed timeline of what happened to me ok? I stress my surgeries, scans, and treatment to make the admissions aware of the magnitude of what I faced. Also, should I avoid using medical terms?

Bell505
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Bell505 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:56 pm

Hello and thanks for all that you do!

I was wondering, there seems to be a lot of talk about specific minorities and who is considered a URM and who isn't. Its a general consensus that Mexicans, for example, are a hispanic URM, but Cubans are not. Is this really what it boils down to? Because I am more inclined to believe that they care more about diversity in general as opposed to a specific ethnicity being more valuable.

Another question: Do you think it's wise to visit schools before you get a decision, if you are a borderline candidate?

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

Postby Scalvert » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:47 am

Just wondering - does the Admissions Committee have any interaction with the financial aid office before awarding merit scholarships? Perceived need is not taken into account at all as part of the merit scholarship award - is this correct?

Also (and idk if you can answer this, or if the question should be directed towards each school's aid office) some schools have you fill out the Need Access form in addition to the FAFSA. Since I am under 25, my parents' info will be included. They own a small business, the value of which (I'm afraid) will give the financial aid office the idea that I don't need financial assistance. I'm screwed here, right? Would it be a waste of time for me to fill out Need Access?

fooniff33
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby fooniff33 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:05 pm

Bell505 wrote:Hello and thanks for all that you do!

I was wondering, there seems to be a lot of talk about specific minorities and who is considered a URM and who isn't. Its a general consensus that Mexicans, for example, are a hispanic URM, but Cubans are not. Is this really what it boils down to? Because I am more inclined to believe that they care more about diversity in general as opposed to a specific ethnicity being more valuable.

Another question: Do you think it's wise to visit schools before you get a decision, if you are a borderline candidate?


URMs are URM because they are underrepresented in law schools. Cubans in general are a pretty educated population and as a result are not underrepresented in law schools.

Puerto Ricans and Mexicans are less represented so they are URMs.

AAs get biggest boost because they are the least represented in comparison to the general population.

Other SA hispanics are not underrepresented in law schools because there are so few of them in US population.

Sorry :( Good luck!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:18 am

just an fyi, but I am traveling this week starting in an hour. So won't be around TLS. Will be back next week!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:25 am

Here is a webinar we did with an hour of a bunch of admissions advice, some of which is even interesting!

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/one-ho ... ns-advice/

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

Postby Quick Silver » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:42 pm

Hi All-

I'm wondering how much attending AWS can affect scholarship offers/negotiations.

I was admitted to GULC - would it make a difference to attend the AWS at the end of this month (show interest early) or at the end of March (closer to deadline).

Or do they not bother looking at this stuff when considering scholarship packages?

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

Postby EEEEE » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:43 pm

Hello,

Thank you for all your advice so far; the thread is a great resource!

Some background on my question: I am applying this cycle, having submitted my applications in early January. I am in a serious relationship and my partner is currently applying to residency programs. We're hoping to end up in the same city next year. The way "residency match" works is that applicants have to make a rank list by the end of February and find out where they've matched in mid-March; the match agreement binds you to go to the top choice program you match with. My partner is a strong candidate at his top choices in New York and San Francisco, and in making his rank list, we're trying to assess my chances of admission at T-14 schools in both cities. With my numbers and background, I think I have a shot at admittance at T-14s in both cities.

My question is this: would it be smart of me to contact the schools I'm considering in both cities to inform them about our situation and ask if there's any way to speed up the decision? My thinking is that if they responded positively, this would make our decision much easier (as we'd know if there are options for me in SF or NY should my partner match there) and if they couldn't speed it up, at least the schools would know that I have a compelling reason to attend (if my partner matches in that city). The downside, of course, is that this could come across as pushy and hurt my chances of being admitted.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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

Postby ltbenn » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:42 pm

I'll start by echoing everyone else's statements of gratitude for all you guys do on here - it's been a great resource!

I have a bit of a situation - submitted all of my apps in October, hoping for a bit of an early advantage (pretty big splitter with some other weird stuff on my app...) - and discovered that three of my schools (CLS, NYU and Duke) require dean's letters to confirm some c&f stuff.
I promptly reached out to my (first) undergrad advisor (I transferred after sophomore year). It took about three weeks (and a couple of reminders...) to get a response - telling me to contact someone else in her office. Another few weeks of bugging her, and on Dec 11th she said she sent the letters.

As of the beginning of this week - none of the schools had gotten a letter. And it's coming from the undergrad school of one of them. I sent another (stern-ish) email to the pre-law advisor, and she responded that she'd "look into it right away."

My question is this - I've been complete at each of these schools for over two months, except for this letter... Should I somehow communicate to them that the delay is on the part of my undergrad (who give a distinct "can't be bothered" vibe every time I interact with them...)? If so, how do I go about wording it? ("I first requested a dean's letter on November 9th, since then I have been in regular contact with the office, and despite this they have yet to get their sh*t togeter"?)

Thanks!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:42 pm

Quick Silver wrote:Hi All-

I'm wondering how much attending AWS can affect scholarship offers/negotiations.

I was admitted to GULC - would it make a difference to attend the AWS at the end of this month (show interest early) or at the end of March (closer to deadline).

Or do they not bother looking at this stuff when considering scholarship packages?


YES! I can't say so for all schools, but I can say I know for a fact that attending an AWS is looked at when giving out merit loot, particularly the higher amounts. So I am a fan. Go if you can, and be super friendly/cool/professional with the admissions and FA folks.

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

Postby Quick Silver » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:00 pm

Thanks very much! Is attending the one this week better than waiting for the one at the end of the march? In other words is going to their earlier AWS better than waiting until the AWS closer to the deadline?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:31 pm

EEEEE wrote:Hello,

Thank you for all your advice so far; the thread is a great resource!

Some background on my question: I am applying this cycle, having submitted my applications in early January. I am in a serious relationship and my partner is currently applying to residency programs. We're hoping to end up in the same city next year. The way "residency match" works is that applicants have to make a rank list by the end of February and find out where they've matched in mid-March; the match agreement binds you to go to the top choice program you match with. My partner is a strong candidate at his top choices in New York and San Francisco, and in making his rank list, we're trying to assess my chances of admission at T-14 schools in both cities. With my numbers and background, I think I have a shot at admittance at T-14s in both cities.

My question is this: would it be smart of me to contact the schools I'm considering in both cities to inform them about our situation and ask if there's any way to speed up the decision? My thinking is that if they responded positively, this would make our decision much easier (as we'd know if there are options for me in SF or NY should my partner match there) and if they couldn't speed it up, at least the schools would know that I have a compelling reason to attend (if my partner matches in that city). The downside, of course, is that this could come across as pushy and hurt my chances of being admitted.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


I would inform them, yes, 100%. I would not ask them to "speed up the decision making" as I can not think of a good way to word that other than some sort of ED program you would broker with them, and I wouldn't try that. I have seen positive results for people in this situation -- let them know!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:32 pm

Quick Silver wrote:Thanks very much! Is attending the one this week better than waiting for the one at the end of the march? In other words is going to their earlier AWS better than waiting until the AWS closer to the deadline?


Probably! I don't think there is a binary answer for you for all schools but yes, schools would likely have more big scholarships to give out earlier than later.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:10 pm

ltbenn wrote:I'll start by echoing everyone else's statements of gratitude for all you guys do on here - it's been a great resource!

I have a bit of a situation - submitted all of my apps in October, hoping for a bit of an early advantage (pretty big splitter with some other weird stuff on my app...) - and discovered that three of my schools (CLS, NYU and Duke) require dean's letters to confirm some c&f stuff.
I promptly reached out to my (first) undergrad advisor (I transferred after sophomore year). It took about three weeks (and a couple of reminders...) to get a response - telling me to contact someone else in her office. Another few weeks of bugging her, and on Dec 11th she said she sent the letters.

As of the beginning of this week - none of the schools had gotten a letter. And it's coming from the undergrad school of one of them. I sent another (stern-ish) email to the pre-law advisor, and she responded that she'd "look into it right away."

My question is this - I've been complete at each of these schools for over two months, except for this letter... Should I somehow communicate to them that the delay is on the part of my undergrad (who give a distinct "can't be bothered" vibe every time I interact with them...)? If so, how do I go about wording it? ("I first requested a dean's letter on November 9th, since then I have been in regular contact with the office, and despite this they have yet to get their sh*t togeter"?)

Thanks!


Be careful not to point fingers and put all of the blame on someone else, it may come across the wrong way to the school. The tone of what you write is important. The reality is that you dropped the ball first by not realizing that the dean's letters were required.
You can reach out to the schools and apologize for the delay and explain that there has been an unplanned/unexpected delay and that it should have arrived by now and that you hope to have it resolved as soon as possible.

The good news is that it is still early enough that your application is still in a good position.

Good Luck!
KB

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

Postby pterodactyls » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:13 pm

I posted this in another thread, but reposting here. This is a silly question but I'm just curious.

Can schools see how many times we've accessed their status checker? If so, will they think I'm insane if I check it every day? Or will they just think I'm reallllyyyyyyyy interested? :lol:

I wonder what the record is. Has to be in the thousands.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:41 pm

pterodactyls wrote:I posted this in another thread, but reposting here. This is a silly question but I'm just curious.

Can schools see how many times we've accessed their status checker? If so, will they think I'm insane if I check it every day? Or will they just think I'm reallllyyyyyyyy interested? :lol:

I wonder what the record is. Has to be in the thousands.


Yes! they can see it!
In all fairness, they may not pay attention to it, but they can see it. Mike knows the actual number of the record, and it is insane -- checking once a day is nothing compared to the record.
At least you are checking it online and not calling everyday!

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

Postby pterodactyls » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:48 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
pterodactyls wrote:I posted this in another thread, but reposting here. This is a silly question but I'm just curious.

Can schools see how many times we've accessed their status checker? If so, will they think I'm insane if I check it every day? Or will they just think I'm reallllyyyyyyyy interested? :lol:

I wonder what the record is. Has to be in the thousands.


Yes! they can see it!
In all fairness, they may not pay attention to it, but they can see it. Mike knows the actual number of the record, and it is insane -- checking once a day is nothing compared to the record.
At least you are checking it online and not calling everyday!


Thank you! That is interesting.

Certainly adds another factor, even if most don't pay attention to it. I can only imagine a scholarship negotiation where the student tries to act as if he/she will only attend with more funding, and meanwhile the admissions officer is sitting there thinking "you checked our status checker 7,000 times..."

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:14 pm

Quick question for all you marketing geniuses who follow us on Twitter. If we did a series of tweets (maybe like 1 every 4-5 days) like the one we just did:

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

Would that get old quickly and would you want to murder us before too long, or do you think it would be value - added? As a practical matter, the impetus behind this one is that I have grown so weary of people writing long pages on law school admissions that essentially bloviate really bad advice. There's almost not a day that goes by now that Karen, Derek and I don't see it and think "I wish we could put a stop to people giving bad advice based on no experience but with such confidence thatit sounds believable"....and thus the idea for short, pithy, good advice.


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