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

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:41 pm
by omorewa
Hi Spivey team!

We saw applications and enrollment into law school fall significantly (I can't find the source now, but it seemed even more so with URMs), but you've recently predicted that applications this coming cycle will be up 3-5% due to LSAC policy changes, increased likelihood that more schools will accept the GRE, and a legal awakening due to the election. And imaginably, that means the upcoming cycles will be more selective and tougher that past, recent cycles.

How much impact would you say increasing applications numbers will have on URMs for, say, the Top 10 schools? I'm wondering about these very top tier school because I remember one member from Harvard Admissions suggesting that the schools at the very top didn't change much admissions-wise in response to decreased applications. Specifically, they said they were still able to choose from a larger pool of very competitive students than they have seats for.

So I'm wondering how things might change now for URMs. Are top schools more likely to accommodate more URMs (since more are likely to apply) or perhaps, those schools will still accept roughly the same number but with greater competition for those limited seats?

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

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:10 am
by KarenButtenbaum
omorewa wrote:Hi Spivey team!

We saw applications and enrollment into law school fall significantly (I can't find the source now, but it seemed even more so with URMs), but you've recently predicted that applications this coming cycle will be up 3-5% due to LSAC policy changes, increased likelihood that more schools will accept the GRE, and a legal awakening due to the election. And imaginably, that means the upcoming cycles will be more selective and tougher that past, recent cycles.

How much impact would you say increasing applications numbers will have on URMs for, say, the Top 10 schools? I'm wondering about these very top tier school because I remember one member from Harvard Admissions suggesting that the schools at the very top didn't change much admissions-wise in response to decreased applications. Specifically, they said they were still able to choose from a larger pool of very competitive students than they have seats for.

So I'm wondering how things might change now for URMs. Are top schools more likely to accommodate more URMs (since more are likely to apply) or perhaps, those schools will still accept roughly the same number but with greater competition for those limited seats?


I don't think that things will change dramatically for URMs in the top 10 - tho I may have been the HLS admissions person who made that statement above so I may be agreeing with myself :)
Decisions are based not only on the applicant's merits but also relative to the merits of the entire applicant pool.
It is important to note that schools do not have quotas for URMs, so the number of offers to URMs is likely to fluctuate based on the individual applicants to each school as well as the larger pool for that school.

KB

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

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:51 pm
by heyduchess
MikeSpivey wrote:It's about that time for our TLS Fantasy Football League!

Winner gets two free admissions or employment calls with me.
Loser has to answer my work texts for a month. :)

Who wants to be Commissioner???? please please!


I'M IN! I'M IN!

Can't wait to reply to all of your important texts with an appropriate GIF-response.

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

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:09 pm
by SadFootballFan
rowdy wrote:
Gitaroo_Dude wrote:I'm in.


PM'd, and with you we are tentatively full. We'll see if anyone backs out.


Now my username is even more applicable.

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

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:56 pm
by rowdy
heyduchess wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:It's about that time for our TLS Fantasy Football League!

Winner gets two free admissions or employment calls with me.
Loser has to answer my work texts for a month. :)

Who wants to be Commissioner???? please please!


I'M IN! I'M IN!

Can't wait to reply to all of your important texts with an appropriate GIF-response.


We're all full but I have you as first alternate if someone drops!

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

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:47 pm
by Platopus

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

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:20 pm
by rowdy
HennessyVSOP wrote:I'm in for FF pick if still available. Thanks!


Hey, I haven't gotten your response to my PM, I'm going to have to give it to an alternate!

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

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:56 pm
by InterLaw
.

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

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:49 pm
by MikeSpivey
Interlaw,

I would certainly, but not in a C&F. I would either make it my entire DS (they can be adversity statements that is a kind of adversity) or in my PS. I've seen that exact topic done and done well. I'm also very sorry to hear this, I know that is a tough one. Stay strong!

Mike

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

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:47 am
by InterLaw
Thanks for the suggestion Mike, you're great!
And yes, always strong and positive! 8)

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

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:52 am
by dan9257
I am reapplying after being on WL and I was wondering if I should rewrite a completely new PS? Would it hurt my chance if I reuse the exact same essay? Cause honestly, it was only 7 months ago when I wrote the essay and nothing big really happened since then...
I am also applying with a significantly higher LSAT score and an LOR from my employer (I only submitted two letters from college professors last year)

Thanks a lot :D

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

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:03 am
by KarenButtenbaum
dan9257 wrote:I am reapplying after being on WL and I was wondering if I should rewrite a completely new PS? Would it hurt my chance if I reuse the exact same essay? Cause honestly, it was only 7 months ago when I wrote the essay and nothing big really happened since then...
I am also applying with a significantly higher LSAT score and an LOR from my employer (I only submitted two letters from college professors last year)

Thanks a lot :D

Many schools require a new PS when you reapply, so I would definitely read and follow the instructions for each school. You may not have to change the topic of the PS, but just present it a little differently so that it is not word for word what your old PS says.

KB

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

Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:44 pm
by Andersblooms93
Hi Spivey crew, big time follower here.
Can you guys give me a sense of whether an African American Male like myself with an 'above average' foreign transcript evaluation (from Germany)
and a 170 LSAT has a shot at HYS? I'm torn at two pieces of data. AA males tend to do exceptionally well with a 170 lsat and many (most?) with a 3.5gpa end up in HYS. However, i'm also torn at the data showing internationals with 'above average' seldom, if ever, being accepted to the aforementioned law programs. Any idea/experience with this? it's keeping me up at night!

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

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:10 am
by KarenButtenbaum
Andersblooms93 wrote:Hi Spivey crew, big time follower here.
Can you guys give me a sense of whether an African American Male like myself with an 'above average' foreign transcript evaluation (from Germany)
and a 170 LSAT has a shot at HYS? I'm torn at two pieces of data. AA males tend to do exceptionally well with a 170 lsat and many (most?) with a 3.5gpa end up in HYS. However, i'm also torn at the data showing internationals with 'above average' seldom, if ever, being accepted to the aforementioned law programs. Any idea/experience with this? it's keeping me up at night!


While I can't give you the sense of your chances you are likely seeking, I would absolutely encourage you to apply with cautious optimism. You are in a good position, but there will be other factors considered, of course, with the decision, so there are no guarantees!

KB

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:07 pm
by Future Ex-Engineer
Hey Spivey team,

Brief question (I understand if you can't answer):
I'm wanting to reapply now that I've got my 170+ score in the bag with the ultimate goal being a full at a mid T13 (dream is Dillard, then Darrow/Mordecai). I believe I'm competitive for those based on WE, GPA, and LSAT.
However, due to personal/family issues, there is a chance I won't be able to go next year, and might have to wait until Fall 2019 to matriculate (don't know yet, but it's a possibility).
How should I approach this? Have you heard of people deferring full named scholarships from T13? Would it hurt me to apply and receive an offer like that, but have to wait and try again?

Just wondering how to handle, since I can't say with 100% certainty that I can attend this coming fall (decent chance I'll be able to, but it's hard to know for sure 12 months in advance when it's not just *you* that you're having to account for).

Thanks!

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

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:56 am
by etramak
I'm outlining my PS and it may touch on how my background and personal life have led me to want to practice a specific area of law. I think I'm correct in saying that it isn't a popular field among prospective law students, and I've only seen a handful of top law schools that have substantial programs/organizations related to this area of law.

My question is whether it is appropriate to indicate my interest in those schools because of these programs within a paragraph on the PS, or if this should be relegated to an addendum (or even mentioned at all). I've seen advice on this website that "Why" essays or targeted personal statements are useless and superfluous when it comes to the top 6 schools, but I'd like to hear more opinions on this.

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

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:37 pm
by RSolano
etramak wrote:I'm outlining my PS and it may touch on how my background and personal life have led me to want to practice a specific area of law. I think I'm correct in saying that it isn't a popular field among prospective law students, and I've only seen a handful of top law schools that have substantial programs/organizations related to this area of law.

My question is whether it is appropriate to indicate my interest in those schools because of these programs within a paragraph on the PS, or if this should be relegated to an addendum (or even mentioned at all). I've seen advice on this website that "Why" essays or targeted personal statements are useless and superfluous when it comes to the top 6 schools, but I'd like to hear more opinions on this.



Wow this describes my exact case and question as well! Would be interested in seeing the answer, too. Thanks!

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

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:15 pm
by Andersblooms93
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
Andersblooms93 wrote:Hi Spivey crew, big time follower here.
Can you guys give me a sense of whether an African American Male like myself with an 'above average' foreign transcript evaluation (from Germany)
and a 170 LSAT has a shot at HYS? I'm torn at two pieces of data. AA males tend to do exceptionally well with a 170 lsat and many (most?) with a 3.5gpa end up in HYS. However, i'm also torn at the data showing internationals with 'above average' seldom, if ever, being accepted to the aforementioned law programs. Any idea/experience with this? it's keeping me up at night!


While I can't give you the sense of your chances you are likely seeking, I would absolutely encourage you to apply with cautious optimism. You are in a good position, but there will be other factors considered, of course, with the decision, so there are no guarantees!

KB


Thank you KB! On another note, are you unable to give me a sense of the chances I am likely seeing because I am not YET a client of Spivey's? On that related note is it too late to come over to you guys for help with the app. process?

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

Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:56 pm
by MikeSpivey
RSolano wrote:
etramak wrote:I'm outlining my PS and it may touch on how my background and personal life have led me to want to practice a specific area of law. I think I'm correct in saying that it isn't a popular field among prospective law students, and I've only seen a handful of top law schools that have substantial programs/organizations related to this area of law.

My question is whether it is appropriate to indicate my interest in those schools because of these programs within a paragraph on the PS, or if this should be relegated to an addendum (or even mentioned at all). I've seen advice on this website that "Why" essays or targeted personal statements are useless and superfluous when it comes to the top 6 schools, but I'd like to hear more opinions on this.



Wow this describes my exact case and question as well! Would be interested in seeing the answer, too. Thanks!


Generally no, but if it is very specific like you indicate (e.g. "Space Law" and you are applying to Nebraska) then yes bring it on. It is a yield protect data point for the school and they like those when they are sincere. It gets without saying don't mention the few other schools that have that speciality in the PS.

Also, sorry for our rate of slowness in responding in the last few weeks. I've been on a 17 day law school consulting swing which wraps up next week, and every single one of us at SCG are also temporarily at capacity. So we are a bit jammed up! Which is why we are bringing on a new full-time former AdCom Oct. 1. I'll make sure she answers a lot here too :)

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

Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:35 pm
by RSolano
MikeSpivey wrote:
RSolano wrote:
etramak wrote:I'm outlining my PS and it may touch on how my background and personal life have led me to want to practice a specific area of law. I think I'm correct in saying that it isn't a popular field among prospective law students, and I've only seen a handful of top law schools that have substantial programs/organizations related to this area of law.

My question is whether it is appropriate to indicate my interest in those schools because of these programs within a paragraph on the PS, or if this should be relegated to an addendum (or even mentioned at all). I've seen advice on this website that "Why" essays or targeted personal statements are useless and superfluous when it comes to the top 6 schools, but I'd like to hear more opinions on this.



Wow this describes my exact case and question as well! Would be interested in seeing the answer, too. Thanks!


Generally no, but if it is very specific like you indicate (e.g. "Space Law and you are applying to Nebraska") then yes bring it on. It is a yield protect data point for the school and they like those when they are sincere. It gets without saying don't mention the few other schools that have that speciality in the PS.

Also, sorry for our rate of slowness in responding in the last few weeks. I've been on a 17 day law school consulting awing which wraps up next week, and every single one of us at SCG are also temporarily at capacity. So we are a bit jammed up! Which is why we are bringing on a new full-time former AdCom Oct. 1. I'll make sure she answers a lot here too :)



Wow you guys have a lot going on- thanks for the reply! Appreciate you finding the time to help. Looking forward to the new consultant. Best!

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

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:46 pm
by EdTheLaywer
I have a law school letter of rec a professor wrote for me during my undergrad, which was six years ago. How would admissions feel about this? Would it be smarter to just ask for an updated one?

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

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:09 am
by KarenButtenbaum
EdTheLaywer wrote:I have a law school letter of rec a professor wrote for me during my undergrad, which was six years ago. How would admissions feel about this? Would it be smarter to just ask for an updated one?


If you have maintained the relationship with the professor and are able to get an updated one, then I see no reason not to ask for an updated version. If it would be an awkward conversation, then I would say use it. As long as there is another, more recent letter in your application, this should be fine. Academic letters are preferred, and this fits the bill in that sense, so if you have been out of school for this long, it is reasonable.

KB

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

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:54 am
by dan9257
Hi Spivey Consulting,

June was my third (165) take but I decided to reapply and have been preparing for another retake.
I believe if I can score even 1 point higher this weekend, I'd be better off than not writing. But I am also planning to write in December unless I get 172+ in September. Is it going to hurt my application if I take the exam 5 times even if I score higher (167+)? I have a competitive GPA for T14 schools and 3 years of work experience.

I'd appreciate if you don't quote me. Thank you so much!

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

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:17 pm
by KarenButtenbaum
As a general rule of thumb, the high score is the one that really matters, because although there aren't many guarantees in admissions, it is a certainty that the school will report the high score to the ABA. Schools will vary on their language on how they describe looking at multiple tests, but it is important to know that they will all be able to see how many times you took it and the scores (or absences or cancelled scores) associated with each test. (NO, they don't see registrations for tests, so don't fret if you registered for a test and changed it).
So, they are going to look at everything they see on the LSAC report. When an admissions officer starts to see 4 or more tests, they start to wonder what might be happening. Taking the test 5 times will likely require an explanation at most schools, and it may start to raise some questions about the applicant. Again, they will see everything, so there are many variables that will come into play (were there any cancels? how long ago were the other tests? are they all around the same score?)

Don't panic. It is not impossible to be admitted somewhere with 5 LSAT takes, but it is not ideal and not recommended to start off with that plan. My advice would be to only take it when you feel the most prepared for it to get your best possible score.

KB

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

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:22 pm
by MikeSpivey
KarenButtenbaum wrote:As a general rule of thumb, the high score is the one that really matters, because although there aren't many guarantees in admissions, it is a certainty that the school will report the high score to the ABA. Schools will vary on their language on how they describe looking at multiple tests, but it is important to know that they will all be able to see how many times you took it and the scores (or absences or cancelled scores) associated with each test. (NO, they don't see registrations for tests, so don't fret if you registered for a test and changed it).
So, they are going to look at everything they see on the LSAC report. When an admissions officer starts to see 4 or more tests, they start to wonder what might be happening. Taking the test 5 times will likely require an explanation at most schools, and it may start to raise some questions about the applicant. Again, they will see everything, so there are many variables that will come into play (were there any cancels? how long ago were the other tests? are they all around the same score?)

Don't panic. It is not impossible to be admitted somewhere with 5 LSAT takes, but it is not ideal and not recommended to start off with that plan. My advice would be to only take it when you feel the most prepared for it to get your best possible score.

KB


I'd add that even a point or two higher likely would be worth a 4th take -- it could conceptually open more doors at some higher ranked schools and/or get you more $$$ at other schools. You'd have to explain why 4 takes, but "I wanted to have to best chance to get into your beloved school" is a good starting point. But don't use "beloved"