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

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:42 pm

Hi everyone.

I wanted to thank you all for bearing with us, as we have been traveling back to back to back on school consulting assignments and busy with full client schedules.

We are actually about to hire another former Harvard Law admissions officer to help ease with the capacity. But in the mean time, apologies for being a bit more slow than we normally are on here. And here is for a great cycle -- I am optimistic!

Mike

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

Postby haus » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:25 pm

Congrats on the potential expansion, but be sure to leave poor Harvard with someone, otherwise all the H hopefuls on this forum might explode waiting to hear about their admission decision.

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dietcoke1
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby dietcoke1 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:28 pm

Thank you Spivey and team for all of your help.

I was wondering how admissions react if I choose not to send a diversity statement. I'm a URM and I think my personal statement covers a lot of what makes me diverse. I'm worried that a diversity statement may be overkill and at times, redundant. Will it hurt me to only send a personal?

Thank you from your time.

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:51 pm

dietcoke1 wrote:Thank you Spivey and team for all of your help.

I was wondering how admissions react if I choose not to send a diversity statement. I'm a URM and I think my personal statement covers a lot of what makes me diverse. I'm worried that a diversity statement may be overkill and at times, redundant. Will it hurt me to only send a personal?

Thank you from your time.


No, it definitely will not hurt you. If your personal statement sufficiently covers what makes you diverse, you should not include a diversity essay that would be repetitive. Only submit supplemental essays that provide information that is new, relevant, and valuable.

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

Postby roranoa » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 am

Thanks for your prompt response on my previous question!

I have one more inquiry about LORs.

Do you think it would be okay to send in old recommendations I got at the time of my graduation even thought they are pretty old? (Like 5 yrs old)

I was planning to go to LS back then but switched and explored acadameia for a while and now I decided to go back. I think I can get only one good LOR from my supervisor so I'm wondering if I can fill the rest of my LOR requirement with old ones.

What do you think?

Your advice would be great help.

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

Postby LikelyThrowaway » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:49 am

For schools that only offer blind fee waiver, is it still helpful to email them to ask for one? I know they'll just respond that they don't offer waivers to emailed requests, but I'm wondering whether indicating our interest will make a difference.

Also, what is the point of the blind fee waiver? Why not just tell everyone about they nice thing you're doing for them? Just curious about the logic behind it. Thanks!

circle.the.wagons
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby circle.the.wagons » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:47 am

This may have been asked before but I was just directed to this thread from another I made and was wondering if someone could help

circle.the.wagons wrote:I messed up big time and missed the sepetmber lsat deadline. I don't have a good excuse. I know I can sign up for December lsat for fall 17, but how f'ed am I in terms of admissions and scholarships?

I'm a working mechanical engineer, am registered as an agent with the USPTO (not practicing though), 3.1ugpa, i think a 167 or 168 is a realistic goal score for me based on how Ive been doing. I want to go to fordham/bc/gw, but I need a scholarship for any of those. I was planning on sumitting my app in mid october to maximize my opportunities, so I'm really freaking out right now and I just want to know if I still have a chance of getting in and getting money to these schools.

Thanks.

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beenoparte125
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby beenoparte125 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:06 pm

Does deferring enrollment for one year between two UG programs (transfer student) count as an interruption in your "course of study"?

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:23 pm

roranoa wrote:Thanks for your prompt response on my previous question!

I have one more inquiry about LORs.

Do you think it would be okay to send in old recommendations I got at the time of my graduation even thought they are pretty old? (Like 5 yrs old)

I was planning to go to LS back then but switched and explored acadameia for a while and now I decided to go back. I think I can get only one good LOR from my supervisor so I'm wondering if I can fill the rest of my LOR requirement with old ones.

What do you think?

Your advice would be great help.


You're very welcome. Yes, as long as you have a current professional LOR, it will be fine to submit the others; they will appreciate having academic LORs.

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:31 pm

circle.the.wagons wrote:This may have been asked before but I was just directed to this thread from another I made and was wondering if someone could help

circle.the.wagons wrote:I messed up big time and missed the sepetmber lsat deadline. I don't have a good excuse. I know I can sign up for December lsat for fall 17, but how f'ed am I in terms of admissions and scholarships?

I'm a working mechanical engineer, am registered as an agent with the USPTO (not practicing though), 3.1ugpa, i think a 167 or 168 is a realistic goal score for me based on how Ive been doing. I want to go to fordham/bc/gw, but I need a scholarship for any of those. I was planning on sumitting my app in mid october to maximize my opportunities, so I'm really freaking out right now and I just want to know if I still have a chance of getting in and getting money to these schools.

Thanks.


Yes, you will still have a solid chance for admission and scholarships. I would advise completing your applications and submitting by mid-December (before you get your score). They won't review your file until they receive the score, but at least there will be less delay between processing time and review (because they can complete your file and refer to committee as soon as they receive your score). Plus many schools close during the week between Christmas and New Year's, and there is usually a deluge of applications during the winter break, so things can get backed up in admissions that time of year.
Last edited by DerekMeeker on Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:32 pm

beenoparte125 wrote:Does deferring enrollment for one year between two UG programs (transfer student) count as an interruption in your "course of study"?


Yes, provide a brief explanation.

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

Postby proteinshake » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:35 pm

posted this before but wasn't sure if it was missed or intentionally ignored:

do schools (specifically T14s) look down on applicants who were previously accepted and reapplied? I didn't take an offer with around $100k in scholarship because I knew I still had room to improve on the LSAT. thanks a lot!

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:15 pm

haus wrote:Congrats on the potential expansion, but be sure to leave poor Harvard with someone, otherwise all the H hopefuls on this forum might explode waiting to hear about their admission decision.


:)

We didn't take someone directly from their current staff. But here is the new hire announcement:

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/dr-jen ... onsulting/

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

Postby danielleearly » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:37 pm

proteinshake wrote:posted this before but wasn't sure if it was missed or intentionally ignored:

do schools (specifically T14s) look down on applicants who were previously accepted and reapplied? I didn't take an offer with around $100k in scholarship because I knew I still had room to improve on the LSAT. thanks a lot!



Hi there,

Sorry we missed your earlier question! To answer in general - those schools you were admitted to but turned down will likely not hold that against you in a future cycle as a re-applicant. However, your admission in the past does not guarantee admission (or a similar scholarship in the future) and schools will often make sure you know you'll be considered and evaluated against the current applicant pool.

~Danielle

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

Postby proteinshake » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:45 pm

danielleearly wrote:
proteinshake wrote:posted this before but wasn't sure if it was missed or intentionally ignored:

do schools (specifically T14s) look down on applicants who were previously accepted and reapplied? I didn't take an offer with around $100k in scholarship because I knew I still had room to improve on the LSAT. thanks a lot!



Hi there,

Sorry we missed your earlier question! To answer in general - those schools you were admitted to but turned down will likely not hold that against you in a future cycle as a re-applicant. However, your admission in the past does not guarantee admission (or a similar scholarship in the future) and schools will often make sure you know you'll be considered and evaluated against the current applicant pool.

~Danielle

thanks! I was hoping for the former while expecting the latter. great to hear!

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beenoparte125
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby beenoparte125 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:07 pm

PR
Last edited by beenoparte125 on Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:51 am

beenoparte125 wrote:I am a splitter with a < 3.00 LSAC GPA. Is it a good idea to write a short transcript addendum highlighting my successful last year of coursework, the fact that I worked nearly full time, and that my three years as a professional after college demonstrate my maturity and commitment to law school?


Yes, but you'll have to address why the grades were so much lower the first three years/what led to the change in your final year. Briefly explain the circumstances, take ownership and responsibility, then highlight the factors you mentioned of the last 4 years as indicative of your potential, commitment, maturity, etc.

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

Postby oliviaj_j » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:13 am

First of all, thank you for all these useful advice here!
I have one question.
I am an international student and I requested a fee waiver to one law school recently. They replied and said that they only grant fee waivers through the CRS search but since it's possible that "international students can often slip through the cracks in CRS searches", if I provide more background information about myself and the reasons as to why I am interested in their school they can see if they "can move things along" regarding my application. I was worried that if I do not answer it I might look like I am not interested in their school when in reality their school is my top choice; so I wrote 3 to 4 paragraphs as a reply, which was almost one page long. Now I am concerned that it might be too long and that I might look like an example of "generation-neurotic" or overzealous as stated in your blog or too broke to pay for an application fee. Will I have to shorten it to one paragraph?

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beenoparte125
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby beenoparte125 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:08 am

PR
Last edited by beenoparte125 on Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby danielleearly » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:31 am

oliviaj_j wrote:First of all, thank you for all these useful advice here!
I have one question.
I am an international student and I requested a fee waiver to one law school recently. They replied and said that they only grant fee waivers through the CRS search but since it's possible that "international students can often slip through the cracks in CRS searches", if I provide more background information about myself and the reasons as to why I am interested in their school they can see if they "can move things along" regarding my application. I was worried that if I do not answer it I might look like I am not interested in their school when in reality their school is my top choice; so I wrote 3 to 4 paragraphs as a reply, which was almost one page long. Now I am concerned that it might be too long and that I might look like an example of "generation-neurotic" or overzealous as stated in your blog or too broke to pay for an application fee. Will I have to shorten it to one paragraph?


It sounds like you already know it's longer than it needs to be so yes, go back and shorten it for the sake of the reader. Most likely, they are looking to learn your stats (like they would use for a CRS search) so let them know your undergrad institution and year you graduated, your GPA or LSAC rating if you have it, your LSAT score and then where you are from since they know you are an international student. Then give them a couple sentences about why you are interested in their school. And, of course, say thank you!

~Danielle

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

Postby danielleearly » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:41 am

beenoparte125 wrote:
deanmeeker wrote:
beenoparte125 wrote:I am a splitter with a < 3.00 LSAC GPA. Is it a good idea to write a short transcript addendum highlighting my successful last year of coursework, the fact that I worked nearly full time, and that my three years as a professional after college demonstrate my maturity and commitment to law school?


Yes, but you'll have to address why the grades were so much lower the first three years/what led to the change in your final year. Briefly explain the circumstances, take ownership and responsibility, then highlight the factors you mentioned of the last 4 years as indicative of your potential, commitment, maturity, etc.


Thank you!

Would it be unwise to simply say, "While I take responsibility for poor academic performance, particularly in X and X semesters, I would like to highlight my last year of courses and the years that have followed, which I believe better demonstrate my potential, commitment, and maturity."

I am afraid of pointing them directly to the problem areas... but I also want to take ownership, as you said, and make the case that I am more than this transcript.



I'm going to reiterate Derek's earlier message. You should address why the grades were lower in the first three years and what changed. Be brief, but do address it clearly. Don't worry about pointing them to the problem areas - they'll already have noticed the grade trend and will wonder why and what changed.

69385
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby 69385 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:13 pm

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

I have two questions about LORs:

1) How important is an academic LOR if an employer can speak to many of the same skills?
I am 3ish years out of school and work at a think tank where I do a lot of research and writing (including some published work). I can likely get two great letters from senior staff at my organization, but any letter I can get from a former professor will probably be pretty generic since I have been out of school for a while and didn't keep in touch with any of my professors.

2) Are academic LORs less effective if the person writing is no longer teaching?
My best prospect for an academic LOR only taught for a few semesters and now has a job outside academia. Would I be better off asking a professor who is still teaching?

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

Postby TexasENG » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:33 pm

Hi guys, as always thanks for answering so many questions. I had a quick question regarding personal statements. Is there a preferred / suggested format for them? Should we have a title, or a header / footer with our name and page number on it?

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

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:40 am

Hi, I had two questions about possible addenda:

1. I got an F in a math class during my sophomore year, for missing too many labs. Should I address the F in an addendum and explain why I missed the labs? Wouldn't be much more than something along the lines of "I was an idiot, didn't bother to attend enough to save my grade."

2. Is it okay to write "Why X" essays for schools that don't explicitly ask for them? I'm thinking of writing a few for schools like William & Mary since my PS doesn't really address it directly. Would that help, or is it unnecessary?

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

Postby DerekMeeker » Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:36 pm

69385 wrote:Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

I have two questions about LORs:

1) How important is an academic LOR if an employer can speak to many of the same skills?
I am 3ish years out of school and work at a think tank where I do a lot of research and writing (including some published work). I can likely get two great letters from senior staff at my organization, but any letter I can get from a former professor will probably be pretty generic since I have been out of school for a while and didn't keep in touch with any of my professors.

2) Are academic LORs less effective if the person writing is no longer teaching?
My best prospect for an academic LOR only taught for a few semesters and now has a job outside academia. Would I be better off asking a professor who is still teaching?


It sounds as though that letter will address many of the skills that an academic letter would; that being said, two letters from senior staff at the same organization would likely be repetitive. I would rather see a second letter from a different source, so I advise pursuing an academic letter, too. Do go with your best prospect; the substance of the letter outweighs the fact that s/he is not currently teaching.


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