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

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What movie should we all watch at the Spivey Consulting Firm Retreat?

The Town
21
14%
Interstellar
60
40%
Cabin in the Woods
37
25%
Logan
31
21%
 
Total votes: 149

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Future Ex-Engineer
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:36 pm

BlackWillHunting wrote:Hello Mr. Spivey and associates,

Thank you for answering all these questions -- it is very helpful!

I am a 2015 graduate who worked very random jobs following graduation and now have decided to take time off to prep for the LSAT. I am wondering how the gap on my resume will be seen by admissions officers? I am planning on studying from now until June/Sept and probably won't be doing much aside from working part-time teaching piano. And I'm not even sure if I'll be doing that.

Will the gap keep me out of top law schools?

Thank you in advanced!


I know I'm not Mike, but anecdotally from what you typically see posted here:

Some people take time off to study for the LSAT - if you crush it, you've got a shot at top schools (GPA/etc also decent).

That being said, you're positing a year and a half break from work (if taking in June, you'd be applying for the 2018 cycle). Maybe a full time job after the test prep/test is over would be a good option?

Lawschool305
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby Lawschool305 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:11 pm

Hello Mike question about negotiating scholarships

If a school gave you scholarship information in February, and it was your number one choice. Do you think negotiating in February could be valuable? I have a clear number one choice, and if I do not get as much scholarship as I want I am considering sending an email, with much better wording, along the lines of the following.

Hello School XXX

"If given a scholarship of $$$$$ I would be willing to withdraw all my other pending applications and acceptances. If currently no funds are available please let me know if more become available in the following months."


Would a school be more or less willing to negotiate in February, if a student is willing to allow them to lock up a slightly above median acceptance early in the cycle?

Thank you!

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big_willy_style_333
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby big_willy_style_333 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:07 pm

R. Jeeves wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
R. Jeeves wrote:Hello Spivey,

In your most recent data dump, how was the % change YTD calculated? Were you given the percentages, or did you calculate them after being given the raw #s.

Because im running some numbers and it looks like there is either a weird discrepancy with the % change YTDs, or I am very bad at math; given that I am posting on this board, that latter is probably true, but I'd appreciate it if you humored me.


I was given all of it, including %'s.

Every year there are a few weird percentage results, and every years LSAC has an explanation for them fyi (different dates compared, different metric, etc). So *likely* they aren't as weird as they seem but let it on me let's see what it is!


something leads me to suspect that the % change YTDs have been reported as

(Current # - Previous #)/(Current #)

instead of

(Current # - Previous #)/(Previous #)


Yeah, I was noticing this yesterday as well. Specifically looking at LSAT scores of 179. It says they are up 38.5% to 13, but there is no way for this to be true using the correct (second) formula. But it does work with the first/incorrect formula if there were previously 8.

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R. Jeeves
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby R. Jeeves » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:23 pm

big_willy_style_333 wrote:
R. Jeeves wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
R. Jeeves wrote:Hello Spivey,

In your most recent data dump, how was the % change YTD calculated? Were you given the percentages, or did you calculate them after being given the raw #s.

Because im running some numbers and it looks like there is either a weird discrepancy with the % change YTDs, or I am very bad at math; given that I am posting on this board, that latter is probably true, but I'd appreciate it if you humored me.


I was given all of it, including %'s.

Every year there are a few weird percentage results, and every years LSAC has an explanation for them fyi (different dates compared, different metric, etc). So *likely* they aren't as weird as they seem but let it on me let's see what it is!


something leads me to suspect that the % change YTDs have been reported as

(Current # - Previous #)/(Current #)

instead of

(Current # - Previous #)/(Previous #)


Yeah, I was noticing this yesterday as well. Specifically looking at LSAT scores of 179. It says they are up 38.5% to 13, but there is no way for this to be true using the correct (second) formula. But it does work with the first/incorrect formula if there were previously 8.


Yeah here's what confused me:

The table which Spivey posted has the current number of applicants, and the Percentage Change YTD for each and every LSAT score. So if Percentage Change = (Current # - Previous #)/(Previous #), you should be able to use the table to calculate (Previous #) for every LSAT score using the formula: (Previous #) = (Current #)/(1+Percentage Change)

But then spivey also posted the percentage change for each band - 175-180, 170-174, etc.

You can calculate the percentage change for each band by taking the sum of the Current # of applicants for each score in that band, and then comparing that to the sum of the Previous # of applicants for each score in the band.

If you use the formula Percentage Change = (Current # - Previous #)/(Previous #) - which i believe is the correct formula - to calculate the percentage change for each score and each score band, then the numbers Spivey posted in the table are NOT consistent with the percentage changes that he posted for each band.

But if you use the formula Percentage Change = (Current # - Previous #)/(Current #), then the numbers Spivey posted in the table ARE consistent with the percentage changes that he posted for each band. So I am almost certain that this is the formula that was used. But as far as I know percentage change YTD is expressed as a percentage of the previous year's value, not the current year's value.

Maybe I'm wrong about something and will end up with egg on my face but w/e, if I had any shame, I wouldn't have posted this either way.
Last edited by R. Jeeves on Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:11 pm

I can't ask the powers that be about this, but I can have a law school if you want me to?

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R. Jeeves
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby R. Jeeves » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:52 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I can't ask the powers that be about this, but I can have a law school if you want me to?

Oh, I won't Jill Stein this thing then. I thought it would be quick and easy to verify, but if not then that's okay. Sorry for crapping up your thread.

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zerato5
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby zerato5 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:08 am

Hey Mike,

Lets say I successfully negotiate a scholarship with a school without having one at the time of initial admission, and I want to ask for an increase. How do I go about making that ask without sounding entitled?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:11 pm

zerato5 wrote:Hey Mike,

Lets say I successfully negotiate a scholarship with a school without having one at the time of initial admission, and I want to ask for an increase. How do I go about making that ask without sounding entitled?


You hire a consultant who never talks about scholarships publicly so that schools won't counter sound strategies :)

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zerato5
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby zerato5 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:33 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
zerato5 wrote:Hey Mike,

Lets say I successfully negotiate a scholarship with a school without having one at the time of initial admission, and I want to ask for an increase. How do I go about making that ask without sounding entitled?


You hire a consultant who never talks about scholarships publicly so that schools won't counter sound strategies :)



....Touche

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

Postby Automotomayor » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:19 am

Mike,
If my LSAT and GPA are between 25th and median for lower t-14 schools, is it a good idea to write an addendum to explain that I studied for LSAT while going to school and working 50+ hours a week as active duty military? Or do I trust that adcomms will come to that conclusion themselves?

EDIT: Merry Christmas!

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

Postby Ifoundnemo » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:15 am

I know it's a long shot, but are there ways to successfully negotiate merit $ when you've already been accepted ED? I'm a pretty big splitter and I could not be more excited to attend my dream school, UVA, next fall. However the trade off for peace of mind from ED is that it does severely risk leaving money on the table. Without going though FAFSA for loans and need based aid, does anyone have suggestions/anecdotes on how I might get a few merit dollars tossed my way? I'm not expecting them to make it rain....but even a slight drizzle would be helpful. Thanks!

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

Postby appind » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:46 pm

International ug gpa vary greatly from school to school. Some international gpa may not be high on the numerical terms but are still evaluated as superior or above average by lsac.

If someone with an international GPA is evaluated as "superior" by LSAC even though the numerical GPA is low around 2.8/4.0, what number would t6/hys adcomms assign to that gpa?
Is superior/3.7 clearly better than superior/2.7 for t6 or is it same because only the lsac evaluation rating matters and not the exact numerical value?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:43 pm

Ifoundnemo wrote:I know it's a long shot, but are there ways to successfully negotiate merit $ when you've already been accepted ED? I'm a pretty big splitter and I could not be more excited to attend my dream school, UVA, next fall. However the trade off for peace of mind from ED is that it does severely risk leaving money on the table. Without going though FAFSA for loans and need based aid, does anyone have suggestions/anecdotes on how I might get a few merit dollars tossed my way? I'm not expecting them to make it rain....but even a slight drizzle would be helpful. Thanks!


we really can't give public advice about scholarships -- schools change their strategy frequently here based in part on applicant strategy. I'm sure you know this, but keep in mind that some schools have guaranteed ED scholarships.

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

Postby vcap180 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:40 pm

Spivey you're a legend.

Here is my question: I've heard you speak about "reverse cycles" -- cycles during which it may actually be beneficial to apply somewhat later; do you think this could be one of them? Applicants are down and it look like the last two LSATs were pretty brutal...

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

Postby nmare » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:50 pm

Hi all, I have a question regarding my application.

I was recently admitted via ED to a school and at the time of my application (within a few days of submitting it) I was offered a promotion at work that I ended up not taking. I worked about 38 hours a week and marked that I was employed full time, as I would have gotten benefits and "full time status" at work if I had stayed in the promoted position. Shortly after sending the application, I had other responsibilities that I had to take care of and ended up declining the work promotion, but still stayed working my usual 38 hours a week. My application reflected my old position but I did mark that I was full time, which now that I'm thinking about it I'm wondering if I should have marked part time and indicated the amount of hours worked a week instead. Should I email the school and tell them, or is this something I should be concerned about after I finish school and have to pass c&f?

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:17 pm

vcap180 wrote:Spivey you're a legend.

Here is my question: I've heard you speak about "reverse cycles" -- cycles during which it may actually be beneficial to apply somewhat later; do you think this could be one of them? Applicants are down and it look like the last two LSATs were pretty brutal...


No, I don't think it will likely be one. It's just going to be a slower cycle. "Counter cycles" usually occur a year after a really strong cycle and then a bad early cycle, which aren't exactly the conditions here. But it is certainly possible, since the LSAT groupings last year were so plus. Will be interesting to see! Also that is a pretty astute observation.

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

Postby Anon.y.mousse. » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:07 pm

Hi Spivey! Thanks in advance for the help. I submitted all my applications in November with my September LSAT score. I just decided to take the February score to see if I can score a few points higher for scholarship negotiations or any waitlists, but I'm perfectly happy with schools considering my September score (which is at or above 75% for 8/10 of the schools I applied to).

My question is whether I have an obligation to let the schools know that I registered for the February test or if there's any danger that they will see that I am registered and wait to review my application until after those scores are released? I figure that because scores won't come out until at or after most schools' deadlines they won't wait, and I'm not even sure if they'll know I'm registered since I wasn't registered and therefore didn't report it when I submitted my apps in November.

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

Postby freekick » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:15 am

Thank you for the extremely helpful thread.

Would be really if I could have the following addressed:
For reapplicants, do law schools look at the previous application while evaluating the second?
Other than a new LSAT score, resume and PS, is it safe to recycle everything else (LoRs, optional essays, addendum)?.

Thanks a lot again.

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:47 am

Automotomayor wrote:Mike,
If my LSAT and GPA are between 25th and median for lower t-14 schools, is it a good idea to write an addendum to explain that I studied for LSAT while going to school and working 50+ hours a week as active duty military? Or do I trust that adcomms will come to that conclusion themselves?

EDIT: Merry Christmas!


You don't usually get credit for juggling work and or school and studying for the LSAT, but your situation may merit an addendum if you feel as if your grades and scores were affected by this schedule. My advice for all addenda is to keep it simple and brief -- don't make it an additional essay.
Good luck!
KB

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:52 am

appind wrote:International ug gpa vary greatly from school to school. Some international gpa may not be high on the numerical terms but are still evaluated as superior or above average by lsac.

If someone with an international GPA is evaluated as "superior" by LSAC even though the numerical GPA is low around 2.8/4.0, what number would t6/hys adcomms assign to that gpa?
Is superior/3.7 clearly better than superior/2.7 for t6 or is it same because only the lsac evaluation rating matters and not the exact numerical value?


International GPAs are generally not recorded in the LSAC database, so schools would not assign them a value. The transcript is included as part of the evaluation, so the reader will see that as well. But the rating is more valuable since the grading scales have tons of variation internationally. What will matter is how you did in relation to your peers, and that comes across in the "superior" rating.

Good luck!
KB

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

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:55 am

nmare wrote:Hi all, I have a question regarding my application.

I was recently admitted via ED to a school and at the time of my application (within a few days of submitting it) I was offered a promotion at work that I ended up not taking. I worked about 38 hours a week and marked that I was employed full time, as I would have gotten benefits and "full time status" at work if I had stayed in the promoted position. Shortly after sending the application, I had other responsibilities that I had to take care of and ended up declining the work promotion, but still stayed working my usual 38 hours a week. My application reflected my old position but I did mark that I was full time, which now that I'm thinking about it I'm wondering if I should have marked part time and indicated the amount of hours worked a week instead. Should I email the school and tell them, or is this something I should be concerned about after I finish school and have to pass c&f?


If your question is "does 38 hours per week equal full time?" my answer is yes, I believe it does.

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

Postby danielleearly » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:40 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
guybourdin wrote:Mike, do you ever get GPA data?


Funny, I never had thought of that. The answer is no and I suspect maybe because GPAs aren't well comparable over time due to grade inflation. I don't know that is interesting maybe @karenbuttenbaum @danielleearly or @derekmeeker have a better guess?



Well this question is from a little while back so my apologies on the delay! i agree with mike but also will say that my experience was that GPAs were also hard to compare across schools as well. I remember looking at a 3.0 at one school and seeing that the applicant was above 50% of his classmates, while at another school a 3.0 he would have been below 80%. So the LSAT really can compare students across schools while GPA is much harder to use the same way.

~Danielle

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

Postby danielleearly » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:54 pm

freekick wrote:Thank you for the extremely helpful thread.

Would be really if I could have the following addressed:
For reapplicants, do law schools look at the previous application while evaluating the second?
Other than a new LSAT score, resume and PS, is it safe to recycle everything else (LoRs, optional essays, addendum)?.

Thanks a lot again.


Most schools do have your previous application to review to see what has changed between your former application and this new one. Some of this changes will be your lsat or work experience (as well as their own applicant pool). But, I encourage you to provide a new PS as well as anything else you write - new optional essays etc. For LORs, if there is someone who can add something new (a new employer, for example) then you may want to update that as well.

Schools like to see that you have made an effort with the new application so you don't want to make it appear too "recycled" and you may be able to show a matured perspective with your updated essays.

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

Postby danielleearly » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:39 pm

R. Jeeves wrote:
big_willy_style_333 wrote:
R. Jeeves wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
R. Jeeves wrote:Hello Spivey,

In your most recent data dump, how was the % change YTD calculated? Were you given the percentages, or did you calculate them after being given the raw #s.

Because im running some numbers and it looks like there is either a weird discrepancy with the % change YTDs, or I am very bad at math; given that I am posting on this board, that latter is probably true, but I'd appreciate it if you humored me.


I was given all of it, including %'s.

Every year there are a few weird percentage results, and every years LSAC has an explanation for them fyi (different dates compared, different metric, etc). So *likely* they aren't as weird as they seem but let it on me let's see what it is!


something leads me to suspect that the % change YTDs have been reported as

(Current # - Previous #)/(Current #)

instead of

(Current # - Previous #)/(Previous #)


Yeah, I was noticing this yesterday as well. Specifically looking at LSAT scores of 179. It says they are up 38.5% to 13, but there is no way for this to be true using the correct (second) formula. But it does work with the first/incorrect formula if there were previously 8.


Yeah here's what confused me:

The table which Spivey posted has the current number of applicants, and the Percentage Change YTD for each and every LSAT score. So if Percentage Change = (Current # - Previous #)/(Previous #), you should be able to use the table to calculate (Previous #) for every LSAT score using the formula: (Previous #) = (Current #)/(1+Percentage Change)

But then spivey also posted the percentage change for each band - 175-180, 170-174, etc.

You can calculate the percentage change for each band by taking the sum of the Current # of applicants for each score in that band, and then comparing that to the sum of the Previous # of applicants for each score in the band.

If you use the formula Percentage Change = (Current # - Previous #)/(Previous #) - which i believe is the correct formula - to calculate the percentage change for each score and each score band, then the numbers Spivey posted in the table are NOT consistent with the percentage changes that he posted for each band.

But if you use the formula Percentage Change = (Current # - Previous #)/(Current #), then the numbers Spivey posted in the table ARE consistent with the percentage changes that he posted for each band. So I am almost certain that this is the formula that was used. But as far as I know percentage change YTD is expressed as a percentage of the previous year's value, not the current year's value.

Maybe I'm wrong about something and will end up with egg on my face but w/e, if I had any shame, I wouldn't have posted this either way.


Just to clarify - we are reporting the data released by LSAC and the numbers and percentages are their calculations. You are correct that the formula used is (Current# - Previous #) / Current #. I remember asking about this in the past myself. They are consistent with the way they report the percentage change each year but I am not really certain why this is the formula they use.

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bearedman8
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Postby bearedman8 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:29 pm

What font/font size and spacing (double spaced, single but doubles between paragraphs, etc.) would you all recommend for personal statements?


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