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

Special forum where professionals are encouraged to help law school applicants, students, and graduates.

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

Postby Adcomm » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:49 pm

Hi guys. I recently found a huge error in my resume and sent the schools to which I applied an updated one. As it turns out, I may soon get a new job that would reflect well on my applications. Should I hold off on sending another updated resume? I would feel like a spammer.

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

Postby pterodactyls » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:59 pm

MikeSpivey wrote: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.


My initial reaction is that the students who are viewing your twitter are students like us, who have put time into researching good advice. Also, it could make more difficult for students like us to find the information we are looking for on your twitter (cycle predictions, release dates, etc.).

Now, if you could get Barnes and Noble to include this as an insert with every Kaplan 180 book they sell...

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

Postby Bach-City » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:00 am

MikeSpivey wrote: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.


I might keep it more limited than every 4-5 days. Don't force it to keep a schedule if you can't do A+ advice every time. Also, that meme is *the worst*. Other than that I think it's fine

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:27 pm

pterodactyls wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote: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.


My initial reaction is that the students who are viewing your twitter are students like us, who have put time into researching good advice. Also, it could make more difficult for students like us to find the information we are looking for on your twitter (cycle predictions, release dates, etc.).

Now, if you could get Barnes and Noble to include this as an insert with every Kaplan 180 book they sell...


There is SO much bad advice out there, and again spoken by people he pretend like they know, it worries me that people just take it as gospel. But everyone's points are well taken, and I appreciate them!

Mike

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PatriotP74
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby PatriotP74 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:59 pm

I have a few questions pertaining to school visits, after searching this thread i'm still not sure I found an answer for them! I have currently scheduled a visit with my top choice, my numbers are just a hair below both medians for the school. I have the day off of work and its about a 3-3.5 hour drive. When going for a visit and class sit in, what are the best rules for appearance? I mean my first instinct is to wear a suit which I have no problem with but I don't want it to come across the wrong way? Also what about facial hair? I keep mine neatly trimmed and shave around it but again do law schools frown upon having facial hair? I just want to put my best out there so that maybe when they come across my application they see me as more than a piece of paper and numbers.

Thanks so much for all the time you have spent on this thread!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:53 pm

PatriotP74 wrote:I have a few questions pertaining to school visits, after searching this thread i'm still not sure I found an answer for them! I have currently scheduled a visit with my top choice, my numbers are just a hair below both medians for the school. I have the day off of work and its about a 3-3.5 hour drive. When going for a visit and class sit in, what are the best rules for appearance? I mean my first instinct is to wear a suit which I have no problem with but I don't want it to come across the wrong way? Also what about facial hair? I keep mine neatly trimmed and shave around it but again do law schools frown upon having facial hair? I just want to put my best out there so that maybe when they come across my application they see me as more than a piece of paper and numbers.

Thanks so much for all the time you have spent on this thread!


I wouldn't wear a suit, you will really stand out which in turn might make you feel a bit uncomfortable, which then in turn might mess with how you comport yourself. Business casual works best! And you are fine with facial hair. Look at all the faculty who do the same thing.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:59 pm

Here is the most recent cycle data for you peeps

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/2015-1 ... ata-as-of/

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

Postby WhiteHouse » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:55 am

Thanks so much for all the Q&A. I'm sure you hear it a lot, but it is super helpful.

My question is, should I send UVA a LOCI without having received any notification. I know the conventional answer is just be patient, but I went under review on 9/16. Its pushing on 5 months now, and I'm at the median for LSAT and below median for GPA. I sincerely am interested in UVA, and I regret not using the additional tab to write a "why uva" essay originally. I've already visited the campus to try and demonstrate more interest.

Thanks!

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

Postby lymenheimer » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:01 am

WhiteHouse wrote:Thanks so much for all the Q&A. I'm sure you hear it a lot, but it is super helpful.

My question is, should I send UVA a LOCI without having received any notification. I know the conventional answer is just be patient, but I went under review on 9/16. Its pushing on 5 months now, and I'm at the median for LSAT and below median for GPA. I sincerely am interested in UVA, and I regret not using the additional tab to write a "why uva" essay originally. I've already visited the campus to try and demonstrate more interest.

Thanks!


You can send in a Why UVA even after having submitted your application. It's not really a LOCI (because, duh you're still interested; you haven't withdrawn your app, yet!), but it may add that little extra to your package that they are looking for.

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

Postby Loney M. Setnick » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:33 am

Hello,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer everyone's questions. I'm a student currently living abroad and I haven't heard back from my frst choice. I think Mike Spivey mentioned earlier in the thread that students overseas wouldn't be penalized for their inability to visit any schools in person. However, I was wondering, how much do you think it would help me if I did? Would it increase my chances of admission, since that would really show interest in the school? Also, this may sound silly, but if I decided to visit, what do you recommend students in general do during a campus visit? Is there someone specific I should talk to? Is there anything in particular I should mention or bring up?

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

Postby pterodactyls » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:56 pm

Is it weird to visit a law school after you've applied, but before you've received a decision? If you visit before applying, you look like you're there to learn about the school. If you visit after you're admitted, you're there trying to decide.

But I'm worried that visiting in-between (while app is being considered) would give the impression that:
1. You're only visiting because you're trying to improve your chances, or
2. You're assuming that you will get in

Am I overthinking this? Thanks!
Last edited by pterodactyls on Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby lymenheimer » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:59 pm

pterodactyls wrote:Is it weird to visit a law school after you've applied, but before you've received a decision? If you visit before applying, you look like you're there to learn about the school. If you visit after you're admitted, you're there trying to decide.

But I'm worried that visiting in-between (while app is being considered) would give the impression that:
1. You're only visiting because you're trying to improve your changes, or
2. You're assuming that you will get in

Am I overthinking this? Thanks!


I wouldn't do it. It gets your hopes up to only fall into sweet rejection...Maybe not in your case, but if you fall in love with the school on your visit, it is a sad day if it does happen. But if you're in the area anyways, you can get some questions answered (if you have any) and get a feel for the area (but again, see above). It would be interesting to see how admissions views this, though.

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

Postby pterodactyls » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:03 pm

lymenheimer wrote:
pterodactyls wrote:Is it weird to visit a law school after you've applied, but before you've received a decision? If you visit before applying, you look like you're there to learn about the school. If you visit after you're admitted, you're there trying to decide.

But I'm worried that visiting in-between (while app is being considered) would give the impression that:
1. You're only visiting because you're trying to improve your changes, or
2. You're assuming that you will get in

Am I overthinking this? Thanks!


I wouldn't do it. It gets your hopes up to only fall into sweet rejection...Maybe not in your case, but if you fall in love with the school on your visit, it is a sad day if it does happen. But if you're in the area anyways, you can get some questions answered (if you have any) and get a feel for the area (but again, see above). It would be interesting to see how admissions views this, though.


Yeah, I'm not seriously considering but I was just curious. I mean, I would be willing to invest a few hundred dollars to visit if I thought it would help my chances. But I'm afraid that if I clearly traveled a long way to visit after I already applied, I would look desperate.

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

Postby lymenheimer » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:06 pm

pterodactyls wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
pterodactyls wrote:Is it weird to visit a law school after you've applied, but before you've received a decision? If you visit before applying, you look like you're there to learn about the school. If you visit after you're admitted, you're there trying to decide.

But I'm worried that visiting in-between (while app is being considered) would give the impression that:
1. You're only visiting because you're trying to improve your changes, or
2. You're assuming that you will get in

Am I overthinking this? Thanks!


I wouldn't do it. It gets your hopes up to only fall into sweet rejection...Maybe not in your case, but if you fall in love with the school on your visit, it is a sad day if it does happen. But if you're in the area anyways, you can get some questions answered (if you have any) and get a feel for the area (but again, see above). It would be interesting to see how admissions views this, though.


Yeah, I'm not seriously considering but I was just curious. I mean, I would be willing to invest a few hundred dollars to visit if I thought it would help my chances. But I'm afraid that if I clearly traveled a long way to visit after I already applied, I would look desperate.


JUST to visit the school? I wouldn't. But if it is a popular place to visit (NYC, AUS, LA, etc), you can make a destination trip out of it. Visit the city (just because) and check out the school.

eta: speaking from a personal standpoint as the individual, not as a reflection of what the admissions team may be thinking. See below for that (Thanks, Spivey!)
Last edited by lymenheimer on Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:20 pm

pterodactyls wrote:Is it weird to visit a law school after you've applied, but before you've received a decision? If you visit before applying, you look like you're there to learn about the school. If you visit after you're admitted, you're there trying to decide.

But I'm worried that visiting in-between (while app is being considered) would give the impression that:
1. You're only visiting because you're trying to improve your changes, or
2. You're assuming that you will get in

Am I overthinking this? Thanks!


One of the BEST things you can do...especially if you are on the bubble and likable. Yes I would.

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

Postby SCOTUSorBust » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:24 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
pterodactyls wrote:Is it weird to visit a law school after you've applied, but before you've received a decision? If you visit before applying, you look like you're there to learn about the school. If you visit after you're admitted, you're there trying to decide.

But I'm worried that visiting in-between (while app is being considered) would give the impression that:
1. You're only visiting because you're trying to improve your changes, or
2. You're assuming that you will get in

Am I overthinking this? Thanks!


One of the BEST things you can do...especially if you are on the bubble and likable. Yes I would.


Would you recommend calling in beforehand to schedule an appointment or just walking in?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:06 pm

SCOTUSorBust wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
pterodactyls wrote:Is it weird to visit a law school after you've applied, but before you've received a decision? If you visit before applying, you look like you're there to learn about the school. If you visit after you're admitted, you're there trying to decide.

But I'm worried that visiting in-between (while app is being considered) would give the impression that:
1. You're only visiting because you're trying to improve your changes, or
2. You're assuming that you will get in

Am I overthinking this? Thanks!


One of the BEST things you can do...especially if you are on the bubble and likable. Yes I would.


Would you recommend calling in beforehand to schedule an appointment or just walking in?


yes, I would call before

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

Postby AbbeyS » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:15 pm

These may have been answered previously, but I couldn't find them on the ~100-page PDF that was linked on page 1…but I have 2 questions. 1) I retook the LSAT on Saturday (February 6th) in hopes that a score increase may help my scholarship offers. I've also spoken to current law students who have negotiated with schools to increase their scholarship offers using a higher score. Can you explain specifically how to go about doing this?
2) What's the general consensus on applying to schools either super close to their deadline or even after their deadline (with their permission)? Do you stand any chance of getting a scholarship if you apply in February for the current cycle?

Thanks!

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:54 pm

AbbeyS wrote:These may have been answered previously, but I couldn't find them on the ~100-page PDF that was linked on page 1…but I have 2 questions. 1) I retook the LSAT on Saturday (February 6th) in hopes that a score increase may help my scholarship offers. I've also spoken to current law students who have negotiated with schools to increase their scholarship offers using a higher score. Can you explain specifically how to go about doing this?
2) What's the general consensus on applying to schools either super close to their deadline or even after their deadline (with their permission)? Do you stand any chance of getting a scholarship if you apply in February for the current cycle?

Thanks!


1) If your score increases, you will want to send an email to the schools that you have been admitted to, inform them of the new score, and ask that the new LSAT score be taken into consideration when they make scholarship decisions. If they have already made a scholarship award before they got your new score, then express your great interest in attending the school and ask if they will reconsider the package in light of your new score. This is a very basic answer to the logistical part of your question. Understand that the scholarship "negotiation" process is definitely more nuanced. I would say one of the most important components of the process is to connect with the school by attending admitted student events and to build somewhat of a relationship with someone in the admissions and/or financial aid office over the next few months. A higher LSAT score and a scholarship offer from a peer school are certainly compelling in the negotiation process, but they are going to be more willing to work with you on the scholarship package if you are engaged with the school (i.e., conveying that you are genuinely interested in attending) and communicate and interact with them with great courtesy, respect and professionalism. Here is a blog Mike wrote a few years ago with some great advice on this topic: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/mistak ... -too-nice/

2) Yes, if you are someone they want and they still have scholarship money available (which they generally do in the early spring), then you still have a good chance. Also, more funds sometimes become available later in the spring/summer as people withdraw and waitlist movement starts happening.

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

Postby AbbeyS » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:03 pm

deanmeeker wrote:
AbbeyS wrote:These may have been answered previously, but I couldn't find them on the ~100-page PDF that was linked on page 1…but I have 2 questions. 1) I retook the LSAT on Saturday (February 6th) in hopes that a score increase may help my scholarship offers. I've also spoken to current law students who have negotiated with schools to increase their scholarship offers using a higher score. Can you explain specifically how to go about doing this?
2) What's the general consensus on applying to schools either super close to their deadline or even after their deadline (with their permission)? Do you stand any chance of getting a scholarship if you apply in February for the current cycle?

Thanks!


1) If your score increases, you will want to send an email to the schools that you have been admitted to, inform them of the new score, and ask that the new LSAT score be taken into consideration when they make scholarship decisions. If they have already made a scholarship award before they got your new score, then express your great interest in attending the school and ask if they will reconsider the package in light of your new score. This is a very basic answer to the logistical part of your question. Understand that the scholarship "negotiation" process is definitely more nuanced. I would say one of the most important components of the process is to connect with the school by attending admitted student events and to build somewhat of a relationship with someone in the admissions and/or financial aid office over the next few months. A higher LSAT score and a scholarship offer from a peer school are certainly compelling in the negotiation process, but they are going to be more willing to work with you on the scholarship package if you are engaged with the school (i.e., conveying that you are genuinely interested in attending) and communicate and interact with them with great courtesy, respect and professionalism. Here is a blog Mike wrote a few years ago with some great advice on this topic: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/mistak ... -too-nice/

2) Yes, if you are someone they want and they still have scholarship money available (which they generally do in the early spring), then you still have a good chance. Also, more funds sometimes become available later in the spring/summer as people withdraw and waitlist movement starts happening.


Thank you for your response! Just to follow up on part two...is it completely taboo to e-mail a school you're highly interested in to ask them to consider your application past the deadline (assuming LSAT and other factors are in range)? Or should I just forget about applying to any schools past the deadline for this cycle?

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:40 am

AbbeyS wrote:
deanmeeker wrote:
AbbeyS wrote:These may have been answered previously, but I couldn't find them on the ~100-page PDF that was linked on page 1…but I have 2 questions. 1) I retook the LSAT on Saturday (February 6th) in hopes that a score increase may help my scholarship offers. I've also spoken to current law students who have negotiated with schools to increase their scholarship offers using a higher score. Can you explain specifically how to go about doing this?
2) What's the general consensus on applying to schools either super close to their deadline or even after their deadline (with their permission)? Do you stand any chance of getting a scholarship if you apply in February for the current cycle?

Thanks!


1) If your score increases, you will want to send an email to the schools that you have been admitted to, inform them of the new score, and ask that the new LSAT score be taken into consideration when they make scholarship decisions. If they have already made a scholarship award before they got your new score, then express your great interest in attending the school and ask if they will reconsider the package in light of your new score. This is a very basic answer to the logistical part of your question. Understand that the scholarship "negotiation" process is definitely more nuanced. I would say one of the most important components of the process is to connect with the school by attending admitted student events and to build somewhat of a relationship with someone in the admissions and/or financial aid office over the next few months. A higher LSAT score and a scholarship offer from a peer school are certainly compelling in the negotiation process, but they are going to be more willing to work with you on the scholarship package if you are engaged with the school (i.e., conveying that you are genuinely interested in attending) and communicate and interact with them with great courtesy, respect and professionalism. Here is a blog Mike wrote a few years ago with some great advice on this topic: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/mistak ... -too-nice/

2) Yes, if you are someone they want and they still have scholarship money available (which they generally do in the early spring), then you still have a good chance. Also, more funds sometimes become available later in the spring/summer as people withdraw and waitlist movement starts happening.


Thank you for your response! Just to follow up on part two...is it completely taboo to e-mail a school you're highly interested in to ask them to consider your application past the deadline (assuming LSAT and other factors are in range)? Or should I just forget about applying to any schools past the deadline for this cycle?


No, not taboo at all. It is definitely worth emailing to ask. Briefly introduce yourself and Include your UGPA and LSAT score and some of the other key points, e.g., college, major, year of graduation, and if you've graduated, what you've been doing since, and briefly explain your interest in the school/why you're reaching out to them now.

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

Postby coldmonkey13 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:29 pm

Hi Guys,

Huge thanks for this (as others have said). I was just wondering if you could comment on when would be the latest to get an initial response. I'm a pretty big splitter (170 - 3.2) but I have pretty unique softs. I went complete at H/S in late October and have just heard nothing, yet I survived the first round of rejections at both schools. What is a reasonable date to regard as the unofficial "end" of the cycle?

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:04 pm

coldmonkey13 wrote:Hi Guys,

Huge thanks for this (as others have said). I was just wondering if you could comment on when would be the latest to get an initial response. I'm a pretty big splitter (170 - 3.2) but I have pretty unique softs. I went complete at H/S in late October and have just heard nothing, yet I survived the first round of rejections at both schools. What is a reasonable date to regard as the unofficial "end" of the cycle?


Hi there. They try to have all initial decisions out by the end of April. Given that you went complete in late October, I'd expect that you'd hear before then. Hang in there!

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

Postby sjp200 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:18 am

Although this is not about admissions, the thread itself is filled with consultants and advisers so this still seems like the best spot to get a quality answer.

I plan on quitting my job about 1-2 months before law school and hope to pass the patent bar by the time the semester starts. Does anyone have any insight on maybe the best course to take to prepare myself for the exam?

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

Postby Pianoolong » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:14 am

Not sure if this has been covered...

What is the consensus on asking the admissions office to replace some part of your application (essays/resume) with a corrected or "improved" version because you discovered a typo, error, or some kind of non-ideality after submitting it? I imagine it's not a good idea after going complete, but what about before? Will an administrative assistant simply swap it out for you before it goes under review, or will it only get added to your file? In the latter case, will people on the admissions committee who see both think it's sloppy/unprofessional? Thanks!


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