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

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Hildegard15
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Hildegard15 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:45 pm

pittsburghpirates wrote:
jetsfan1 wrote:
beantheshadow wrote:


Hey no expert but responding here because I had the same situation, although my takes were 2.5 years apart. For the T6, I only sent an addendum to Y but got in everywhere, so to be honest I don't think it made much of a difference at all. If you PM me I'll send you the addendum (it was much more concise then what you seem to be thinking). Obviously not to copy, but just to get a sense of what "worked" - and I put worked in quotes because I really don't think it made a difference. The time speaks for itself.

Regardless, good luck with your retake!


Also not an expert, but to add onto what jets said I was in the virtually exact same situation as you were. I wrote an addendum for the LSAT and submitted it to everywhere I applied and my cycle has gone as well as I could have hoped. Feel free to PM me, I'm also happy to share more details and my addendum provided I can dig it up!


Not an expert either, but I jumped 12 points (scores were 2 years apart) and sent an addendum to every school I applied to. I think I had just about as good a cycle as I could have realistically hoped for, but I don't necessarily think that the addendum positively or negatively affected my outcomes. Like jets, I also kept my addendum very short. Maybe 5 sentences? Also willing to share my addendum if you'd like.

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

Postby beantheshadow » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:07 pm

Hildegard15 wrote:
pittsburghpirates wrote:
jetsfan1 wrote:
beantheshadow wrote:


Hey no expert but responding here because I had the same situation, although my takes were 2.5 years apart. For the T6, I only sent an addendum to Y but got in everywhere, so to be honest I don't think it made much of a difference at all. If you PM me I'll send you the addendum (it was much more concise then what you seem to be thinking). Obviously not to copy, but just to get a sense of what "worked" - and I put worked in quotes because I really don't think it made a difference. The time speaks for itself.

Regardless, good luck with your retake!


Also not an expert, but to add onto what jets said I was in the virtually exact same situation as you were. I wrote an addendum for the LSAT and submitted it to everywhere I applied and my cycle has gone as well as I could have hoped. Feel free to PM me, I'm also happy to share more details and my addendum provided I can dig it up!


Not an expert either, but I jumped 12 points (scores were 2 years apart) and sent an addendum to every school I applied to. I think I had just about as good a cycle as I could have realistically hoped for, but I don't necessarily think that the addendum positively or negatively affected my outcomes. Like jets, I also kept my addendum very short. Maybe 5 sentences? Also willing to share my addendum if you'd like.



Thanks everybody. I think right now I'm still leaning towards not writing one, and hoping the gap year and increase speaks for itself. Unless you guys have any insight on why you felt you should have written one? My intuition was that I shouldn't write one until reading the comments earlier in this thread. Now I don't know! Lol

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:25 am

The real moral, and thanks everyone for the feedback as well(!), is that schools only care about your high score. I used to have to spend 40% of my workday telling people this, and now only 20% of each day -- so there is progress!

Some schools ask for an addenda if your score goes up ____ points. Others don't seem to care. But, I tend to think if it does go up by a large number it makes sense to play it safe and write one, so you won't get a surprise call from their dean of admissions, or an even more unsettling wait list.

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

Postby zeglo » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:08 pm

Is there an increasing premium on work experience in admissions? It seems seems like people going straight in from college have had rough admissions cycles, even with great numbers.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:34 am

zeglo wrote:Is there an increasing premium on work experience in admissions? It seems seems like people going straight in from college have had rough admissions cycles, even with great numbers.


I liked this question so much I blogged about it: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/applic ... -answered/

Thanks for asking!

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

Postby zeglo » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:06 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
zeglo wrote:Is there an increasing premium on work experience in admissions? It seems seems like people going straight in from college have had rough admissions cycles, even with great numbers.


I liked this question so much I blogged about it: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/applic ... -answered/

Thanks for asking!


Wow, this is awesome! My thanks - very encouraging.

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

Postby chicharon » Thu May 05, 2016 10:24 am

Hi!

Please don’t quote. Thank you!
Last edited by chicharon on Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu May 05, 2016 12:24 pm

When admissions committees review foreign transcripts, there is a lot of information presented to them by the translating service. In your case, however, some additional information would be beneficial to explain the grading system and your reasoning for not completing it. Be careful to just provide information and not turn it into a focal point of your application.

The other parts of your application will also be important -- especially the LSAT -- so that the committees have something more familiar to gauge your potential for success in law school.

Cheers,
KB

P.S Your moniker is making me crave Colombian food.

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

Postby chicharon » Thu May 05, 2016 12:45 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:P.S Your moniker is making me crave Colombian food.


Thanks Karen! Now I'm craving South American food too!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed May 11, 2016 10:09 am

Hi all.

A heads up that on Tuesday, May 31st at 8pm EST, Karen, Derek and I will be on a "Ask Us Anything" Webinar (together in person at our annual firm retreat) hosted by 7Sage.

We will get a link up with information but basically you can ask us anything you want -- this cycle questions, next cycle questions, Game of Thrones questions, etc. We will try to get to as many as we can any go for a bit longer than the normal hour -- maybe like until 9:15pm EST.

I hope to see some folks there!

Mike

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

Postby SPerez » Wed May 11, 2016 5:16 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:The real moral, and thanks everyone for the feedback as well(!), is that schools only care about your high score. I used to have to spend 40% of my workday telling people this, and now only 20% of each day -- so there is progress!

Some schools ask for an addenda if your score goes up ____ points. Others don't seem to care. But, I tend to think if it does go up by a large number it makes sense to play it safe and write one, so you won't get a surprise call from their dean of admissions, or an even more unsettling wait list.


Mike can confirm/deny this, but I think there's a difference in how a school might view a 10 point increase from 140 to 150 compared to a jump from 160-170. I would imagine the schools where 170 is in their wheelhouse also understand that a 160 is still a good score and wouldn't (or at least shouldn't, IMO) worry about that person flunking out, failing the bar, etc. However, schools more in the 150 range would (and again, should, IMO) worry about someone who scores in the 140 range, especially if 150 is below 25th% for that school to begin with. I know when I see big jumps in those lower ranges I'm really curious what the heck happened and get a little annoyed if I don't get at least "I didn't study as much as I should have the first time." Absent some really specific reason the lack of addendum almost never would change the ultimate decision, though. Just how annoyed I am when I read the next file. :)

Dean Perez

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

Postby beantheshadow » Wed May 11, 2016 5:28 pm

SPerez wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:The real moral, and thanks everyone for the feedback as well(!), is that schools only care about your high score. I used to have to spend 40% of my workday telling people this, and now only 20% of each day -- so there is progress!

Some schools ask for an addenda if your score goes up ____ points. Others don't seem to care. But, I tend to think if it does go up by a large number it makes sense to play it safe and write one, so you won't get a surprise call from their dean of admissions, or an even more unsettling wait list.


Mike can confirm/deny this, but I think there's a difference in how a school might view a 10 point increase from 140 to 150 compared to a jump from 160-170. I would imagine the schools where 170 is in their wheelhouse also understand that a 160 is still a good score and wouldn't (or at least shouldn't, IMO) worry about that person flunking out, failing the bar, etc. However, schools more in the 150 range would (and again, should, IMO) worry about someone who scores in the 140 range, especially if 150 is below 25th% for that school to begin with. I know when I see big jumps in those lower ranges I'm really curious what the heck happened and get a little annoyed if I don't get at least "I didn't study as much as I should have the first time." Absent some really specific reason the lack of addendum almost never would change the ultimate decision, though. Just how annoyed I am when I read the next file. :)

Dean Perez


Thanks everyone for the feedback! :D

Well I guess I will be writing one, I had a 15+ increase. I now see why that could be a concern. You don't think it looks really bad that someone puts "I didn't study like I should have the first time?"

Loney M. Setnick
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Loney M. Setnick » Thu May 12, 2016 9:05 am

Hi!

Quick question: I've noticed there's very little (if any) movement off the Harvard, Columbia, and Chicago waitlists. Would you be willing to explain or speculate as to why that might be the case? I thought that by this time in the application cycle, they'd have reviewed and admitted more people than they have.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Thu May 12, 2016 1:34 pm

Loney M. Setnick wrote:Hi!

Quick question: I've noticed there's very little (if any) movement off the Harvard, Columbia, and Chicago waitlists. Would you be willing to explain or speculate as to why that might be the case? I thought that by this time in the application cycle, they'd have reviewed and admitted more people than they have.


There are two possible explanations that I can see:
1. They just haven't started making large chunks of decisions off the WL yet since there is still some time left to make those big decisions (once June hits it becomes less likely)
or
2. (more likely IMO) there simply won't be as much movement as we would all like to see happen. Sorry if that is unwelcome news!

Cheers,
KB

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

Postby splitterfromhell » Thu May 12, 2016 1:58 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Loney M. Setnick wrote:Hi!

Quick question: I've noticed there's very little (if any) movement off the Harvard, Columbia, and Chicago waitlists. Would you be willing to explain or speculate as to why that might be the case? I thought that by this time in the application cycle, they'd have reviewed and admitted more people than they have.


There are two possible explanations that I can see:
1. They just haven't started making large chunks of decisions off the WL yet since there is still some time left to make those big decisions (once June hits it becomes less likely)
or
2. (more likely IMO) there simply won't be as much movement as we would all like to see happen. Sorry if that is unwelcome news!

Cheers,
KB


Thanks for the info, however disappointing it may be. What factors would contribute to a down year for waitlist movement?

poptart123
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby poptart123 » Fri May 13, 2016 11:46 am

Hi,

I'm debating whether to apply again next cycle, and will be doing so depending on WLs/June LSAT. Currently I plan to update my personal statement, but when it comes to letters of recommendation, do I need to secure all new letters, can I use a mix, or can I use all of the old one?

I doubt the letters made/broke my application for some schools, it was probably the LSAT score, so in this instance would schools look down on me for using year old letters?

Thank you!

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri May 13, 2016 3:27 pm

splitterfromhell wrote:
Thanks for the info, however disappointing it may be. What factors would contribute to a down year for waitlist movement?


A full class.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri May 13, 2016 3:29 pm

poptart123 wrote:Hi,

I'm debating whether to apply again next cycle, and will be doing so depending on WLs/June LSAT. Currently I plan to update my personal statement, but when it comes to letters of recommendation, do I need to secure all new letters, can I use a mix, or can I use all of the old one?

I doubt the letters made/broke my application for some schools, it was probably the LSAT score, so in this instance would schools look down on me for using year old letters?

Thank you!


This answer will differ from school to school. Some schools actually require a new LOR with a reapplication, but most are totally fine with using the old letters. If you can get a new one and it will be strong, you can just do that. But your older academic letters will likely still hold the same value.

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

Postby mornincounselor » Sun May 15, 2016 6:26 am

..
Last edited by mornincounselor on Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby mdnyc » Mon May 16, 2016 1:27 pm

Does anyone have information about when the first Seat Deposit Overlap Report will be (or was) released?

poptart123
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby poptart123 » Mon May 16, 2016 1:31 pm

mdnyc wrote:Does anyone have information about when the first Seat Deposit Overlap Report will be (or was) released?


I believe it was yesterday? I think Mike Spivey blogged about this recently.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon May 16, 2016 5:09 pm

poptart123 wrote:
mdnyc wrote:Does anyone have information about when the first Seat Deposit Overlap Report will be (or was) released?


I believe it was yesterday? I think Mike Spivey blogged about this recently.


Yep, we just double checked and that is indeed correct. For schools who are running the report, you are outted for double depositing.

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

Postby blackwidow » Tue May 17, 2016 1:45 pm

Hello,

Maybe this question has been already asked.

I have a dual degree in math and physics with the cumulative gpa 3.79. Also I have a master of arts in physics (my masters gpa is abysmally low (3.0) but i intend to explain it with an addendum: most people do the minimum work in courses to focus on research) I have a publication in a major journal, Science.

When i look at the top 4 schools, for some of them, my gpa is barely above or below the 25th percentile.

I repeatedly hear that for law school admissions, it doesn't matter what your major is. It's all about the GPA at face value.

Is there a way I can sell myself better given my background + my publication?

Also, I got both my degrees from well known institutions (ivies).

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue May 17, 2016 2:50 pm

blackwidow wrote:Hello,

Maybe this question has been already asked.

I have a dual degree in math and physics with the cumulative gpa 3.79. Also I have a master of arts in physics (my masters gpa is abysmally low (3.0) but i intend to explain it with an addendum: most people do the minimum work in courses to focus on research) I have a publication in a major journal, Science.

When i look at the top 4 schools, for some of them, my gpa is barely above or below the 25th percentile.

I repeatedly hear that for law school admissions, it doesn't matter what your major is. It's all about the GPA at face value.

Is there a way I can sell myself better given my background + my publication?

Also, I got both my degrees from well known institutions (ivies).


I think you will more than stand out. Your Master's GPA won't matter much, if at all, and the 3.79 in two very quantitatively rigorous and high consensus fields will. So no, while *often* it is about GPA at face value, in your case I would expect results better than most. Don't sweat it :)

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

Postby blackwidow » Tue May 17, 2016 3:32 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
blackwidow wrote:Hello,

Maybe this question has been already asked.

I have a dual degree in math and physics with the cumulative gpa 3.79. Also I have a master of arts in physics (my masters gpa is abysmally low (3.0) but i intend to explain it with an addendum: most people do the minimum work in courses to focus on research) I have a publication in a major journal, Science.

When i look at the top 4 schools, for some of them, my gpa is barely above or below the 25th percentile.

I repeatedly hear that for law school admissions, it doesn't matter what your major is. It's all about the GPA at face value.

Is there a way I can sell myself better given my background + my publication?

Also, I got both my degrees from well known institutions (ivies).


I think you will more than stand out. Your Master's GPA won't matter much, if at all, and the 3.79 in two very quantitatively rigorous and high consensus fields will. So no, while *often* it is about GPA at face value, in your case I would expect results better than most. Don't sweat it :)


Thank you for such a quick reply

I'd like to tag on a few more questions.

I am currently a second year physics graduate student in a PhD program, from which I got the masters degree I mentioned above.

I have to serve in the military as a physics instructor for 3 years before going to law school whether I finish my PhD or not.

If I choose to quit my PhD program now, then I will be applying to law schools with a view to enrolling in the fall of 2019 or 2020 at the age of 28-29.

If i choose to finish my PhD program, serve in the military, and then go to law school, I will be around 33 years of age.

So my questions are the following:

1. Do law schools look at applicants who quit their PhD programs after a change of heart unfavorably? Is having a PhD in physics going to offer a boost to my admissions chances? How much will I stand out as an IP lawyer with a PhD degree vs just a Masters?

2. I hear that 28-29 is not an anomaly in law school, but 33 is now stretching it. Do law schools and future employers look at old applicants unfavorably?

3. I'm planning to use my military service as a job experience on my CV when applying to law schools. I will be a physics instructor, with the title of professor. Is this going to be a strong enough job experience to mitigate or entirely make up for my lack of job experience in the eyes of law school admission officers?


Thank you so much in advance!


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