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

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Young Marino
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Young Marino » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:22 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:Mike have you ever heard of a student negotiating a discount on student housing? I don't plan on asking for too much. Maybe $5k off of the $17k price of law student housing and they already told me I have a great shot at paying $2k for tuition by way of scholly. Any thoughts?


Yes. if they offer student housing, i.e. the are the landlord or owners, you can possibly negotiate down. The only wrinkle is that admissions won't control this so you will have to have them argue on your behalf --some will be good at this and eager to do so and other lazy and unaccommodating, I would imagine.

I feel like I should offer a consulting package for this, i.e. for 1k I will negotiate your rent down 5k :)

I already spoke to residential life and they weren't having any of it. I figure the only shot I have is to ask admissions if they can give me a stipend to use on housing. Is this a solid strategy? And yea that consolidation package would be attractive to many prospective students I presume lol

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:35 pm

ALeal90 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
ALeal90 wrote:Mike have you ever heard of a student negotiating a discount on student housing? I don't plan on asking for too much. Maybe $5k off of the $17k price of law student housing and they already told me I have a great shot at paying $2k for tuition by way of scholly. Any thoughts?


Yes. if they offer student housing, i.e. the are the landlord or owners, you can possibly negotiate down. The only wrinkle is that admissions won't control this so you will have to have them argue on your behalf --some will be good at this and eager to do so and other lazy and unaccommodating, I would imagine.

I feel like I should offer a consulting package for this, i.e. for 1k I will negotiate your rent down 5k :)

I already spoke to residential life and they weren't having any of it. I figure the only shot I have is to ask admissions if they can give me a stipend to use on housing. Is this a solid strategy? And yea that consolidation package would be attractive to many prospective students I presume lol


It certainly depends on the savvy of that particular admissions office, but as in ALL negotiations, once you are admitted it is worth the ask. Please don't tell them res life already said no.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:23 pm

Mr. Spivey:
I enjoyed the chat this past week and look forward to the upcoming chat.

Thanks.
Last edited by ZVBXRPL on Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:43 pm

Here is a sample Personal Statement that worked really well for the applicant.

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/a-personal-statement-that-worked/

If there is a better place to link this in the Personal Statement section please be my guest and thanks!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:28 pm

Mr. Spivey:
I enjoyed the chat this past week and look forward to the upcoming chat.

I have a few options for LOR, which option would you suggest?


ZVBXRPL

I am adamant that it matters much more what they say than who says it (unless an alum of the law school you are applying to) and more precisely it matters that they do not say negative things or "I hardly know this person." Negative LOR standout way more than positive ones. So given the options you outlines, I would vet through that.

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t14splitter
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby t14splitter » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:02 pm

Mr. Spivey,

I have a question that I feel have not been adequately answered anywhere on the site. I am a very minor splitter(I'm not sure the term even applies because "splitter" is not precisely defined anywhere - I take it to mean above the LSAT median but below the GPA median) with an LSAT of 17x that is higher than the medians at the t14 but my GPA is slightly lower (.01-.1) than the upper half of the t14.

With an LSAT higher than the median (and higher than 75% at most t14) and a GPA just below the median, what would my chances look like?

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Cobretti
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Cobretti » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:17 pm

t14splitter wrote:Mr. Spivey,

I have a question that I feel have not been adequately answered anywhere on the site. I am a very minor splitter(I'm not sure the term even applies because "splitter" is not precisely defined anywhere - I take it to mean above the LSAT median but below the GPA median) with an LSAT of 17x that is higher than the medians at the t14 but my GPA is slightly lower (.01-.1) than the upper half of the t14.

With an LSAT higher than the median (and higher than 75% at most t14) and a GPA just below the median, what would my chances look like?

I don't think that's what Mike is here to answer, but here's where you can see your chances:
Image
Also there is an entire forum dedicated to it called "What are my Chances"

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t14splitter
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby t14splitter » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:30 pm

Cobretti wrote:
t14splitter wrote:Mr. Spivey,

I have a question that I feel have not been adequately answered anywhere on the site. I am a very minor splitter(I'm not sure the term even applies because "splitter" is not precisely defined anywhere - I take it to mean above the LSAT median but below the GPA median) with an LSAT of 17x that is higher than the medians at the t14 but my GPA is slightly lower (.01-.1) than the upper half of the t14.

With an LSAT higher than the median (and higher than 75% at most t14) and a GPA just below the median, what would my chances look like?

I don't think that's what Mike is here to answer, but here's where you can see your chances:
Also there is an entire forum dedicated to it called [url=http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=9]"What are my Chances"




I guess I phrased it improperly. I know about the what are my chances threads, as well as the law school prediction calculators. I am not looking for exact percentages or "strong consider" or anything like that.

What I am interested in is how admissions officers approach someone's file that is above the LSAT median but slightly below the GPA median (within .01-.05). As in, what does the officer look for in the file, how strong does the rest of the file need to be for an officer to lean toward accept, etc.

LRGhost
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby LRGhost » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:14 pm

I think he's answered this is not so many words before. All schools accept 'splitters'. The closer you are to the medians (on the low end, obviously if you're above, you're fine), the better your chances. If you're .05 away from the median and you're above the LSAT median, you have a very good shot at the school. I imagine they aren't 'looking' for anything in your app and they're going to compare you with other applicants to see how they can make up the medians of the incoming class and how you factor in (almost certainly favorably). Enjoy.

Chekhov'sGun
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Chekhov'sGun » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:16 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
Mr. Spivey:
I enjoyed the chat this past week and look forward to the upcoming chat.

I have a few options for LOR, which option would you suggest?


ZVBXRPL

I am adamant that it matters much more what they say than who says it (unless an alum of the law school you are applying to) and more precisely it matters that they do not say negative things or "I hardly know this person." Negative LOR standout way more than positive ones. So given the options you outlines, I would vet through that.


First, thanks for all the advice Mike!

Concerning alumni LOR. I have heard/understand that a LOR from a politician you interned for is not worth much or even a negative because you did not work directly under them and they probably don't know you well. I was wondering what you think about a LOR from a politician you interned for who is an alumni and is active (alumni board, speeches, board of directors/regents/governors etc...) in the law school you are applying to.

I'm assuming here that you can get a non-generic LOR drafted by the staff member you did work under that can speak to your abilities, work ethic and desire for law school, and is signed off by the politician.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:01 pm

Chekhov'sGun wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
Mr. Spivey:
I enjoyed the chat this past week and look forward to the upcoming chat.

I have a few options for LOR, which option would you suggest?


ZVBXRPL

I am adamant that it matters much more what they say than who says it (unless an alum of the law school you are applying to) and more precisely it matters that they do not say negative things or "I hardly know this person." Negative LOR standout way more than positive ones. So given the options you outlines, I would vet through that.


First, thanks for all the advice Mike!

Concerning alumni LOR. I have heard/understand that a LOR from a politician you interned for is not worth much or even a negative because you did not work directly under them and they probably don't know you well. I was wondering what you think about a LOR from a politician you interned for who is an alumni and is active (alumni board, speeches, board of directors/regents/governors etc...) in the law school you are applying to.

I'm assuming here that you can get a non-generic LOR drafted by the staff member you did work under that can speak to your abilities, work ethic and desire for law school, and is signed off by the politician.


Chekhov'sGun (or phaser, as it were), agreed with that conventional advice. Plus I would try to steer clear of politicians because of ideological beliefs of some admissions people, which are impossible to know, i.e. politician is well-known for believing "X" and admissions officers believes "Y" and as a friend of mine says, Eeeeep! that said, Alums trump all others because fund-raising is so critical it might very well get bumped up to the dean if from an alum. So I would go for the alumnus in this case.

I hope this helps.

Voxius
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Voxius » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:04 pm

Mike; first, thanks for taking our questions...

That said, if you don't mind me asking, was that KB from Harvard that just followed you on twitter???

politics89
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby politics89 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:43 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
Chekhov'sGun wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
Mr. Spivey:
I enjoyed the chat this past week and look forward to the upcoming chat.

I have a few options for LOR, which option would you suggest?


ZVBXRPL

I am adamant that it matters much more what they say than who says it (unless an alum of the law school you are applying to) and more precisely it matters that they do not say negative things or "I hardly know this person." Negative LOR standout way more than positive ones. So given the options you outlines, I would vet through that.


First, thanks for all the advice Mike!

Concerning alumni LOR. I have heard/understand that a LOR from a politician you interned for is not worth much or even a negative because you did not work directly under them and they probably don't know you well. I was wondering what you think about a LOR from a politician you interned for who is an alumni and is active (alumni board, speeches, board of directors/regents/governors etc...) in the law school you are applying to.

I'm assuming here that you can get a non-generic LOR drafted by the staff member you did work under that can speak to your abilities, work ethic and desire for law school, and is signed off by the politician.


Chekhov'sGun (or phaser, as it were), agreed with that conventional advice. Plus I would try to steer clear of politicians because of ideological beliefs of some admissions people, which are impossible to know, i.e. politician is well-known for believing "X" and admissions officers believes "Y" and as a friend of mine says, Eeeeep! that said, Alums trump all others because fund-raising is so critical it might very well get bumped up to the dean if from an alum. So I would go for the alumnus in this case.

I hope this helps.


I have a question re staying away from all politician LORs. What is they politician is actually someone you directly worked under? I want to get a LOR from my boss and hes a politician and theres no one between him and me that would be able to write one.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:05 pm

Voxius wrote:Mike; first, thanks for taking our questions...

That said, if you don't mind me asking, was that KB from Harvard that just followed you on twitter???


You are most welcome and indeed it is! We have been friends for about 13 years now from the admissions road circuit.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:44 pm

politics89 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
Mr. Spivey:
I enjoyed the chat this past week and look forward to the upcoming chat.

I have a few options for LOR, which option would you suggest?


ZVBXRPL

I am adamant that it matters much more what they say than who says it (unless an alum of the law school you are applying to) and more precisely it matters that they do not say negative things or "I hardly know this person." Negative LOR standout way more than positive ones. So given the options you outlines, I would vet through that.

First, thanks for all the advice Mike!

Concerning alumni LOR. I have heard/understand that a LOR from a politician you interned for is not worth much or even a negative because you did not work directly under them and they probably don't know you well. I was wondering what you think about a LOR from a politician you interned for who is an alumni and is active (alumni board, speeches, board of directors/regents/governors etc...) in the law school you are applying to.

I'm assuming here that you can get a non-generic LOR drafted by the staff member you did work under that can speak to your abilities, work ethic and desire for law school, and is signed off by the politician.

Chekhov'sGun (or phaser, as it were), agreed with that conventional advice. Plus I would try to steer clear of politicians because of ideological beliefs of some admissions people, which are impossible to know, i.e. politician is well-known for believing "X" and admissions officers believes "Y" and as a friend of mine says, Eeeeep! that said, Alums trump all others because fund-raising is so critical it might very well get bumped up to the dean if from an alum. So I would go for the alumnus in this case.

I hope this helps.


I have a question re staying away from all politician LORs. What is they politician is actually someone you directly worked under? I want to get a LOR from my boss and hes a politician and theres no one between him and me that would be able to write one.


To the extent that a politician's letter will read the same as any other LOR from your boss ("X demonstrated a strong work ethic, intelligence, etc, and I am confident s/he will succeed in a law school environment") there is nothing wrong with using a politician's LOR IME.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:58 pm

To the extent that a politician's letter will read the same as any other LOR from your boss ("X demonstrated a strong work ethic, intelligence, etc, and I am confident s/he will succeed in a law school environment") there is nothing wrong with using a politician's LOR IME.


I would not paint with such a broad stroke. If the politician is very public with his/her beliefs which are at either end of the continuum I would highly suggest you not include a letter from said politician.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:25 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
To the extent that a politician's letter will read the same as any other LOR from your boss ("X demonstrated a strong work ethic, intelligence, etc, and I am confident s/he will succeed in a law school environment") there is nothing wrong with using a politician's LOR IME.


I would not paint with such a broad stroke. If the politician is very public with his/her beliefs which are at either end of the continuum I would highly suggest you not include a letter from said politician.


Oh well. That advice is about a year too late for me lol

So you think admissions officers really look down on Michelle Bachmann/Todd Akin's unpaid intern who is now applying to law school?

LRGhost
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby LRGhost » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:34 pm

I really hope that doesn't come back to bite me at OCI :/

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haus
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby haus » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:42 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:So you think admissions officers really look down on Michelle Bachmann/Todd Akin's unpaid intern who is now applying to law school?

I think that if someone opted to dedicate their time working for someone on the looney fringe, and then opts to focus on this through LOR, resume, or personal statement, it would be something that could cause concern.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:49 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:

So you think admissions officers really look down on Michelle Bachmann/Todd Akin's unpaid intern who is now applying to law school?


I think *some* would, yes. Think about how idealogical people can be, and how difficult it is for some people to professionally detach from that. Actually I won't even say "think" because I have seen it or heard about it time and time again

politics89
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby politics89 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:19 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:

So you think admissions officers really look down on Michelle Bachmann/Todd Akin's unpaid intern who is now applying to law school?


I think *some* would, yes. Think about how idealogical people can be, and how difficult it is for some people to professionally detach from that. Actually I won't even say "think" because I have seen it or heard about it time and time again


I mean the politician I'm referring to is a pretty low profile state rep, I cant imagine anyone knowing who he was and if they simply care that hes a Dem, thats just going to hurt me on my resume anyways.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:27 am

t14splitter wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
t14splitter wrote:Mr. Spivey,

I have a question that I feel have not been adequately answered anywhere on the site. I am a very minor splitter(I'm not sure the term even applies because "splitter" is not precisely defined anywhere - I take it to mean above the LSAT median but below the GPA median) with an LSAT of 17x that is higher than the medians at the t14 but my GPA is slightly lower (.01-.1) than the upper half of the t14.

With an LSAT higher than the median (and higher than 75% at most t14) and a GPA just below the median, what would my chances look like?

I don't think that's what Mike is here to answer, but here's where you can see your chances:
Also there is an entire forum dedicated to it called [url=http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=9]"What are my Chances"




I guess I phrased it improperly. I know about the what are my chances threads, as well as the law school prediction calculators. I am not looking for exact percentages or "strong consider" or anything like that.

What I am interested in is how admissions officers approach someone's file that is above the LSAT median but slightly below the GPA median (within .01-.05). As in, what does the officer look for in the file, how strong does the rest of the file need to be for an officer to lean toward accept, etc.


t14splitter, you will likely be wait-listed as a splitter and then there is a great deal you can do to focus on particularly things, speak operatively to the school, differentiate, etc etc. Unfortunately I can't speak too much to this because this is probably the most value added thing I do for my clients and it would be unfair for them for me to talk at length about it on here.

That said, remember that this past cycles medians may not be the next cycles medians, especially with this kind of stuff going on:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/449/

I wish I could do the same thing for gpa bandwidths but I do not have the 2012/13 data for it.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:54 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
Also, I "debate" with Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency about whether I should rank the physical facilities of each law school here:

https://www.facebook.com/spiveyconsulting

Kyle has some good insight, as always, on this. Let me know if you think I should give the facilities a letter grade, or a rankings, etc here, on the facebook page, or in a PM or email.


Hi Mike. Thanks for your presence here.

Did you ever happen to rank the physical facilities?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:40 pm

bouleversement wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
Also, I "debate" with Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency about whether I should rank the physical facilities of each law school here:

https://www.facebook.com/spiveyconsulting

Kyle has some good insight, as always, on this. Let me know if you think I should give the facilities a letter grade, or a rankings, etc here, on the facebook page, or in a PM or email.


Hi Mike. Thanks for your presence here.

Did you ever happen to rank the physical facilities?


I actually am looking at future plans, one of which involves visiting at least every top-100 law school, interviewing students, the dean, and ranking the facilities. Numerous moving pieces on this end but I am pushing to make it happen. I think this would be really value-added and fun to do for me!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:41 pm

I could have sworn that I saw a post earlier today asking me how important a PS is? Or did I fall asleep at my desk for a few minutes and dream it?

Either way, the answer is 7.7.


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