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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masterz
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:20 am

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

Postby masterz » Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:16 am

Hi guys,

Your compiled QA is so helpful!! I was wondering what your views are on taking LSAT 5-6 times. June 2016 made my 4th take, I got an increase of 1-3 points with every retake. And I'm confident that I can get another 1-2 points in September. Would the law schools view this continuous retaking negatively? I asked this because I read the compiled QA and your blog, most people ask about 4 takes. I just wanted to know if a 5th or 6th take would make a difference on that front.

Also you mentioned on your blog that someone took the LSAT 6 times and ended up in his dream school. Any chance you could share some of his stories?

Thank you very much!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:59 pm

poptart123 wrote:I was lucky to receive a 6 point increase on my LSAT yesterday. I'm hoping this will greatly help my chances on some of the WLs I'm currently on. Besides a traditional LOCI, sent by email, updating the schools with my new LSAT score, is there anything else I should do?

Thank you!


I would visit the schools if you can! Always the best thing you can do at this stage.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:01 pm

Itsnotalwayssunny wrote:Last week, I received a rescission-of-offer letter from the t-14 school I was going to attend--I was recently arrested for felony drug possession. There is a strong chance, the case will be dismissed before the start of the school year. At this point, I would be willing to attend any of the law schools that admitted me; I was admitted to about twenty different law schools. Since I had committed to a law school, I withdrew all my other applications. Is it worth it for me to reach out to those other schools? I qualify for 100% of the G.I. Bill, so money is not a factor. I recognize that if I am found guilty, I may not even be able to pass the C&F section of the BAR. With that in mind, I really want to study law, and I am willing to assume that risk. Any feedback would be beneficial, thanks.


It's really hard for us to give specific advice on C&F issues without a contract, fyi. But, I see no harm in doing just that, and explaining your situation in detail and honesty as best you can -- including with the expected outcomes (or ideally, the positive outcomes once you have it). Sorry to hear about this and good luck!

poptart123
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:31 pm

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

Postby poptart123 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:01 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
poptart123 wrote:I was lucky to receive a 6 point increase on my LSAT yesterday. I'm hoping this will greatly help my chances on some of the WLs I'm currently on. Besides a traditional LOCI, sent by email, updating the schools with my new LSAT score, is there anything else I should do?

Thank you!


I would visit the schools if you can! Always the best thing you can do at this stage.


I've already visited. I'm assuming another would probably cross the line of being too pesky, correct? I may only be able to cross my fingers at the point.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:55 pm

poptart123 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
poptart123 wrote:I was lucky to receive a 6 point increase on my LSAT yesterday. I'm hoping this will greatly help my chances on some of the WLs I'm currently on. Besides a traditional LOCI, sent by email, updating the schools with my new LSAT score, is there anything else I should do?

Thank you!


I would visit the schools if you can! Always the best thing you can do at this stage.


I've already visited. I'm assuming another would probably cross the line of being too pesky, correct? I may only be able to cross my fingers at the point.


Yep, just have faith in your new score 9which yes, update them on) and have hope that they need someone from the WL. My guess if you are now sitting way up there on said list if you jumped about their median.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:04 am

Coming today...(or tomorrow at the latest). Predicting the 2016/2017 Law School Admissions Cycle, on our blog.

(some good news, some not as good. All predictions, of course.).

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Barack O'Drama
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Barack O'Drama » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:38 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Coming today...(or tomorrow at the latest). Predicting the 2016/2017 Law School Admissions Cycle, on our blog.

(some good news, some not as good. All predictions, of course.).


Checked it out. Good stuff Mr. Spivey!

Thanks :D

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Barack O'Drama
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Barack O'Drama » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:39 pm

Here is the link for anyone interested:


Predicting the 2016/2017 Law School Admissions Cycle

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/predic ... ons-cycle/

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

Postby zeglo » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:41 pm

I had a Professor write me a general letter of rec and then a separate rec letter for a specific school. It was uploaded to LSAC via a different file from the "general" one. However, I am worried that my Professor could have potentially swapped the uploads. In other words, what if I end up sending a rec letter that mentions a certain school to all of them? How much of a negative would this be? I can't check since the rec letters are blind.

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:34 pm

zeglo wrote:I had a Professor write me a general letter of rec and then a separate rec letter for a specific school. It was uploaded to LSAC via a different file from the "general" one. However, I am worried that my Professor could have potentially swapped the uploads. In other words, what if I end up sending a rec letter that mentions a certain school to all of them? How much of a negative would this be? I can't check since the rec letters are blind.


It occasionally happens, but it really is not a big deal since it is an oversight on the part of the letter writer, not the applicant. Don't spend another moment worrying about it. :)

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:51 pm

masterz wrote:Hi guys,

Your compiled QA is so helpful!! I was wondering what your views are on taking LSAT 5-6 times. June 2016 made my 4th take, I got an increase of 1-3 points with every retake. And I'm confident that I can get another 1-2 points in September. Would the law schools view this continuous retaking negatively? I asked this because I read the compiled QA and your blog, most people ask about 4 takes. I just wanted to know if a 5th or 6th take would make a difference on that front.

Also you mentioned on your blog that someone took the LSAT 6 times and ended up in his dream school. Any chance you could share some of his stories?

Thank you very much!


I usually advise against it, but others, including my partners, may disagree with me, so I invite them to weigh in. Admittedly, I have not worked with clients who have taken the LSAT more than 4 times; I am speaking from my experience working at Penn and discussing this very question with a few of my colleagues who also worked at top 10 schools. That perspective is that after 3 or 4 takes, doubt creeps in as to consistency and judgment. That doubt gets heightened if there are any other questions or inconsistencies -- even slight ones -- in the application, such as lower or erratic grade trends, mediocre letters of recommendation, etc. I think if everything else in your application is airtight, many schools (perhaps most) won't view it negatively, but the most selective schools might.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:10 pm

deanmeeker wrote:
masterz wrote:Hi guys,

Your compiled QA is so helpful!! I was wondering what your views are on taking LSAT 5-6 times. June 2016 made my 4th take, I got an increase of 1-3 points with every retake. And I'm confident that I can get another 1-2 points in September. Would the law schools view this continuous retaking negatively? I asked this because I read the compiled QA and your blog, most people ask about 4 takes. I just wanted to know if a 5th or 6th take would make a difference on that front.

Also you mentioned on your blog that someone took the LSAT 6 times and ended up in his dream school. Any chance you could share some of his stories?

Thank you very much!


I usually advise against it, but others, including my partners, may disagree with me, so I invite them to weigh in. Admittedly, I have not worked with clients who have taken the LSAT more than 4 times; I am speaking from my experience working at Penn and discussing this very question with a few of my colleagues who also worked at top 10 schools. That perspective is that after 3 or 4 takes, doubt creeps in as to consistency and judgment. That doubt gets heightened if there are any other questions or inconsistencies -- even slight ones -- in the application, such as lower or erratic grade trends, mediocre letters of recommendation, etc. I think if everything else in your application is airtight, many schools (perhaps most) won't view it negatively, but the most selective schools might.


I very much agree with Derek -- after about 4 times, it has the potential to give the admissions officers wrong signals. And in my experience on the admissions side of things, an excessive number of takes usually goes hand-in-hand with questionable elements or signs of poor judgment in the application. I have seen clients find success after more than 4 takes, but it is usually the exception rather than the rule. Think carefully about it before you decide to take it too many times!

KB

ac8876a
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:02 pm

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

Postby ac8876a » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:16 pm

Barack O'Drama wrote:Here is the link for anyone interested:


Predicting the 2016/2017 Law School Admissions Cycle

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/predic ... ons-cycle/


You accidentally put the wrong link, here is the right one
http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/predic ... ons-cycle/

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Barack O'Drama
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Barack O'Drama » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:45 pm

ac8876a wrote:
Barack O'Drama wrote:Here is the link for anyone interested:


Predicting the 2016/2017 Law School Admissions Cycle

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/predic ... ons-cycle/


You accidentally put the wrong link, here is the right one
http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/predic ... ons-cycle/



Thank you--Not sure how the heck I managed that...

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carlos_danger
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:21 am

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

Postby carlos_danger » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:20 pm

.
Last edited by carlos_danger on Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:45 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 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:45 pm

Barack O'Drama wrote:
ac8876a wrote:
Barack O'Drama wrote:Here is the link for anyone interested:


Predicting the 2016/2017 Law School Admissions Cycle

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/predic ... ons-cycle/


You accidentally put the wrong link, here is the right one
http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/predic ... ons-cycle/



Thank you--Not sure how the heck I managed that...


Thanks to you both for linking! I hope the predictions help, keeping in mind none of us will know until early December, when we get some real data!

a_j_l
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:57 pm

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

Postby a_j_l » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:19 pm

deanmeeker wrote:
a_j_l wrote:Thank you Spivey et al. for such an informative thread--it has been a huge help as I get my bearings on this whole process!

I have a quick question about application timelines. I am planning on taking the LSAT in September but am curious about what my back-up plan should be if I don't get the desired score. In the past, you've said that applying after the December LSAT was fine if it could potentially increase your LSAT score and wasn't considered late. Do you think that's still true in light of the increase of LSAT takers? I don't know if you have any way of assessing this, but I'm particularly interested in whether applying post-December LSAT would impact scholarship offers in a cycle with more applicants, even if you had scores that were at/above the medians of schools you were applying to.

Thank you in advance!


Hi there. Yes, still fine to take the December LSAT; I would just advise completing and submitting your applications before December 1 but letting the schools know that you are taking the December test and asking that they wait for your new score before reviewing. At least that way everything else in your application will be submitted, and the school can then complete it and begin the review process as soon as the new score is available. If you wait to submit your applications until later in December, as the holiday break nears, or after you receive your LSAT score, it delays the completion/review process further. Schools still award scholarships to applicants that apply in December. Bottom line is: Yes, of course the best case scenario is always to have your best application (with best possible LSAT score) submitted earlier, but if taking the December LSAT results in a higher score that will make you more competitive at your target schools, that will outweigh the advantage of an earlier application. Good luck!


Great, thank you so much!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:48 am

Please, please, please read.

We are already hearing so many stories from admissions colleagues about how this is projected to be the record year of obsessive anxiety in admissions. And it is all but an auto-deny once you start going down that path.

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/generation-neurotic/

I don't want anyone on here with strong numbers for their dream school to get shut out because of odd behavior. If you get worried, call me! Not a school!

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

Postby lymenheimer » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:52 am

MikeSpivey wrote:If you get worried, call me! Not a school!


You're asking for it, now! :lol:

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:57 am

lymenheimer wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:If you get worried, call me! Not a school!


You're asking for it, now! :lol:


Trust me, I know :-)

But it really makes me sad when I see competent people lose out in this process because they get so wracked with anxiety. And it is already happening :-(

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:49 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:If you get worried, call me! Not a school!


You're asking for it, now! :lol:


Trust me, I know :-)

But it really makes me sad when I see competent people lose out in this process because they get so wracked with anxiety. And it is already happening :-(


Also, clearly I just now learned how to insert those emojis into TLS threads. :idea: :!:

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

Postby ggnobbq » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:44 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
deanmeeker wrote:
masterz wrote:Hi guys,

Your compiled QA is so helpful!! I was wondering what your views are on taking LSAT 5-6 times. June 2016 made my 4th take, I got an increase of 1-3 points with every retake. And I'm confident that I can get another 1-2 points in September. Would the law schools view this continuous retaking negatively? I asked this because I read the compiled QA and your blog, most people ask about 4 takes. I just wanted to know if a 5th or 6th take would make a difference on that front.

Also you mentioned on your blog that someone took the LSAT 6 times and ended up in his dream school. Any chance you could share some of his stories?

Thank you very much!


I usually advise against it, but others, including my partners, may disagree with me, so I invite them to weigh in. Admittedly, I have not worked with clients who have taken the LSAT more than 4 times; I am speaking from my experience working at Penn and discussing this very question with a few of my colleagues who also worked at top 10 schools. That perspective is that after 3 or 4 takes, doubt creeps in as to consistency and judgment. That doubt gets heightened if there are any other questions or inconsistencies -- even slight ones -- in the application, such as lower or erratic grade trends, mediocre letters of recommendation, etc. I think if everything else in your application is airtight, many schools (perhaps most) won't view it negatively, but the most selective schools might.


I very much agree with Derek -- after about 4 times, it has the potential to give the admissions officers wrong signals. And in my experience on the admissions side of things, an excessive number of takes usually goes hand-in-hand with questionable elements or signs of poor judgment in the application. I have seen clients find success after more than 4 takes, but it is usually the exception rather than the rule. Think carefully about it before you decide to take it too many times!

KB

Mike, would you happen to be one of their partners who disagree? If so, can you elaborate?

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

Postby aptivych » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:38 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:
aptivych wrote:Hello there,

Thank you so much for all your help answering our questions.

I have a quick but urgent question: I already have one cancellation on my LSAT record and I'm contemplating whether it would be a good idea to cancel for the second time. How bad is two cancellations back to back? Would it be better to keep my score even though it's likely to be sub-par (I had some horrible testing conditions in which my proctor failed to give us the full 35 minutes for some of the sections).

Thank you so much for your reply!

-aptivych


There are many considerations, but two cancels are not bad if you have a solid third score. It does put a lot of pressure on yourself to do well the third time since that is the limit within three years.
High score is usually the only thing they care about if it is three takes. My general advice is not to cancel -- tho you probably know best since you were cut short on time.

hope that helps!


Hello Ms. Buttenbaum,

Thank you so much for your reply!

LSAC has extended the time for canceling my score so I am still deciding to see what would be the best course of my option for my situation. I predict my score can be anywhere between 155-166 for my second take. I'm confident I can score higher on my third take.

What would be the better decision (given I have one cancel on my record already)? 1) Cancel, a score b/w 155-166 or 2) two cancellations, with note from LSAC.

I want to find out how I did but at the same time don't want to jeopardize my admission chances with a low second score. Thank you again.

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

Postby masterz » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:27 pm

KarenButtenbaum wrote:

deanmeeker wrote:


Thank you both for your input on multiple retakes!

I've reached out to most of the T14 schools regarding my situation. Most of them seem okay with it. Some said "we use your highest score and having 5 ascending scores won't be looked upon negatively". Georgetown even told me "...you’ve demonstrating an upward trend in taking the test. It looks to me like your hard work and dedication is paying off in your efforts each time"...

Although like Derek mentioned, some schools seem to want to know more about my situation and ask for an addendum.

Anyways for those who are in the same boat with me, I would suggest reaching out to the individual schools.

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

Postby danielleearly » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:04 pm

Hello TLS!

I'm excited to introduce myself as the newest member of the Spivey Consulting Group. I've long been an admirer - especially of the advice they've provided through this forum, and I'm proud to be joining them.

I've been in the world of admissions for over 15 years, most recently at HLS (where Karen actually hired me). You can learn more about me on our blog: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/new-scg-member-danielle-early/.

Also, my first blog post is up too! http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/top-5/

Here's to a great cycle!

~Danielle


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