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

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:44 pm
by haus
Walliums wrote:You guys should have a contest where you have people submit the worst PS they can write. Just for fun :P

Sadly, I suspect that the members of the Spivey team have already suffered enough.

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

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:58 am
by appind
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:32 am
by jaolson28
Spivey team,

So I am aware that top law schools can view online undergrad degrees with skepticism. I'm a non-traditional student (35 years old, with a wife, child, mortgage and full-time job) which is why online made the most sense for me. The school is a regionally accredited brick and mortar institution that offers an online program. My freshman and sophomore years were completed taking evening classes in person at a brick and mortar community college. Junior and senior years were online exclusively. My LSAC GPA is 3.74, while my degree GPA is 4.0 (though I have one semester left before I graduate).

My questions are:

1. Should I address my reasons for finishing my degree online in an addendum, or PS? Should I bring it up at all?
2. Will the fact that my first two years of college were spent actually inside the classroom mitigate the negative impact of attending the final two years online?

Thanks!

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

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:52 am
by MikeSpivey
[quote="appind"]***Please don't quote

It's tricky. Because even though USNWR used 19 GRE scores last year calibrated on the rankings, we don't know if USNWR requires them or defaults to LSAT above GRE (our previous understanding).

My best guess is find our your overall GRE percentile. If it is above your overall LSAT percentile report the GRE as well. But to be clear -- this is the frontier and everyone (us, law schools, etc) is working to figure out what the reporting protocols work.

EDIT UPDATE: Actually most schools, including HLS are probably going to require you to submit both scores.

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

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:53 am
by MikeSpivey
jaolson28 wrote:Spivey team,

So I am aware that top law schools can view online undergrad degrees with skepticism. I'm a non-traditional student (35 years old, with a wife, child, mortgage and full-time job) which is why online made the most sense for me. The school is a regionally accredited brick and mortar institution that offers an online program. My freshman and sophomore years were completed taking evening classes in person at a brick and mortar community college. Junior and senior years were online exclusively. My LSAC GPA is 3.74, while my degree GPA is 4.0 (though I have one semester left before I graduate).

My questions are:

1. Should I address my reasons for finishing my degree online in an addendum, or PS? Should I bring it up at all?
2. Will the fact that my first two years of college were spent actually inside the classroom mitigate the negative impact of attending the final two years online?

Thanks!


Personally I'd opt for an addendum. Kinda sounds like a boring PS unless you killed it. And yes, I think it mitigates some for sure!

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

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:28 pm
by VasiliTyomny
Hi Spivey Team,

Thanks for answering our questions. I recently looked at my LSAC Academic Report and found that the Cumulative GPA reported there is significantly lower than my school's reported UGPA (3.09 instead of 3.20) because LSAC counted an F I received for a course (which I later retook). I am planning on writing a GPA addendum, and was wondering how much weight are given to addenda by law school admission committees? Furthermore, I recently received an MS (with a 3.67 GPA) and I'm interested to know if I should focus on my improved graduate GPA or instead focus my addendum on the reasons I feel that my UGPA is not indicative of my performance?

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

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:20 am
by appind
Former adcomm team,

thanks for the response that those applying are not the only ones who seem confused by the new GRE scores. since it's also a first for H, does it mean one can (re)take GRE later during the long months of wait until decision and send the score, if strong, to H to improve chances even if one committed only to providing only lsat and no GRE to H in the submitted app?

tyia

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

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:51 am
by KarenButtenbaum
VasiliTyomny wrote:Hi Spivey Team,

Thanks for answering our questions. I recently looked at my LSAC Academic Report and found that the Cumulative GPA reported there is significantly lower than my school's reported UGPA (3.09 instead of 3.20) because LSAC counted an F I received for a course (which I later retook). I am planning on writing a GPA addendum, and was wondering how much weight are given to addenda by law school admission committees? Furthermore, I recently received an MS (with a 3.67 GPA) and I'm interested to know if I should focus on my improved graduate GPA or instead focus my addendum on the reasons I feel that my UGPA is not indicative of my performance?


When looking at an application, the GPA is not all that the school will see - they get a lot of information from the grade summary report and the transcript. If you want to submit an addendum about the GPA my general rule is always to keep it brief and be careful with the tone. You are submitting it to provide information and context to the GPA - not to give an excuse.
Sadly, graduate degrees are not looked at in the same way that undergraduate GPAs are, but having a strong academic record in grad school supports that you are not an "academic risk" to them, so in that sense it is helpful. At the end of the day, the school will submit the cumulative LSAC GPA to the ABA. And that will always carry some importance. But they do look beyond the GPA numbers alone.

KB

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

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:55 pm
by MikeSpivey
Hi everyone.

As I think some of you are aware, we work not just with prospective students but a number of law schools. So much so I've been traveling a ton, which is why the blogs have been down slightly. But a mega one is coming.

One school we are working with is George Mason Law School. Pro tip: DC is a pretty cool place to visit and practice law :)

If anyone has 5 minutes, we have put together a survey for George Mason Law School. I'd be thrilled for a few people to help out, and I know the school would be too!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/79JVTNF

Thanks!

Mike

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

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:47 pm
by Slippin' Jimmy
Quick question: Is it too early to begin scholarship negotiations for schools that have already sent out offers?

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

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:41 pm
by MikeSpivey
Slippin' Jimmy wrote:Quick question: Is it too early to begin scholarship negotiations for schools that have already sent out offers?


Very much so. You never want to be the first person who asks they will complain about you. Hold off until after they do more admitting, maybe after Thanksgiving break.

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

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:00 am
by Supersplitteriknow
Will you guys have availability for the 2018-2019 cycle?

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

Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:53 am
by MikeSpivey
Supersplitteriknow wrote:Will you guys have availability for the 2018-2019 cycle?


I'd just send us an email to info@spiveyconsulting.com and book a spot now. Every year we fill up earlier and earlier. And you can have a chat with a consultant before you do anything to make sure it sounds like a good fit for you. There are some people we really are meant for any others that might not need us at all. Thanks! -Mike

Edit update. Just read your screen name. You might need us :)

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

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:32 am
by tinycatfriend
LSAT score addendums?

So - the good news - I retook and jumped from 169 to 180 (yes I screamed for 15 straight minutes)! I'm wondering how to explain this to adcoms. The basic situation was I quit my incredibly stressful, soul-sucking job (I won't use that language) for a cool job in academia, got my mental health care dealt with, and took a course v. self study. How much of that should I include in the addendum?

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

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:27 pm
by CottonHarvest
How important is application timing? I have a 3.9X GPA and 170 LSAT and am wondering if I should retake. What is the difference between a late Oct/early Nov app with a 3.9X, 170 and a January app with a 3.9X, 172-174.

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

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:54 pm
by sdavis
rowdy wrote:
sdavis wrote:Hello aspiring applicants!

We are looking for ideas for our next blog post on the Spivey consulting website: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/. We've posted on personal statement and diversity statement topics recently, and there's a ton of other info on various aspects of the application process. If there's something you don't see, but are wanting to know, tell us and we'll consider your idea for our next blog!

Shannon Davis, Associate Partner


I have been through your archive, and I don't recall a post on deciding to which schools (or how many schools) one should apply. TLS "conventional wisdom" is apply broadly, blanket T14 (or lower T14 -T20 if you're a splitter), apply to a few regional schools in the area you want to practice. I'm curious what the Spivey consulting take is on that advice, or other considerations.


Hi rowdy, I don't know if you've seen it or not, but we posted a blog on this subject a couple of days ago. You can read it here: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/how-ma ... -apply-to/

Thanks for the suggestion!
Shannon Davis

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

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:24 pm
by rideagain
tinycatfriend wrote:LSAT score addendums?

So - the good news - I retook and jumped from 169 to 180 (yes I screamed for 15 straight minutes)! I'm wondering how to explain this to adcoms. The basic situation was I quit my incredibly stressful, soul-sucking job (I won't use that language) for a cool job in academia, got my mental health care dealt with, and took a course v. self study. How much of that should I include in the addendum?

+1, went from 169 to 179 and honestly it was just me studying better...not sure how to explain that.

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

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:40 pm
by darthrevan92
How bad does a fifth take look? My fourth score was 1 point higher than my highest leading up to the fourth take. If significant gains (7plus) are made by the February LSAT, should I still apply in this cycle?

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

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:39 pm
by lowyo
How will the very large projected increase in applicants affect T-10 admissions this cycle? Would applying early mitigate the increased competitiveness? Also, when will we have the breakdown by LSAT bands?

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

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:35 pm
by MikeSpivey
CottonHarvest wrote:How important is application timing? I have a 3.9X GPA and 170 LSAT and am wondering if I should retake. What is the difference between a late Oct/early Nov app with a 3.9X, 170 and a January app with a 3.9X, 172-174.


Here you go!

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

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

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:42 pm
by CottonHarvest
MikeSpivey wrote:
CottonHarvest wrote:How important is application timing? I have a 3.9X GPA and 170 LSAT and am wondering if I should retake. What is the difference between a late Oct/early Nov app with a 3.9X, 170 and a January app with a 3.9X, 172-174.


Here you go!

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

Thanks!

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

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:32 pm
by VasiliTyomny
KarenButtenbaum wrote:
VasiliTyomny wrote:Hi Spivey Team,

Thanks for answering our questions. I recently looked at my LSAC Academic Report and found that the Cumulative GPA reported there is significantly lower than my school's reported UGPA (3.09 instead of 3.20) because LSAC counted an F I received for a course (which I later retook). I am planning on writing a GPA addendum, and was wondering how much weight are given to addenda by law school admission committees? Furthermore, I recently received an MS (with a 3.67 GPA) and I'm interested to know if I should focus on my improved graduate GPA or instead focus my addendum on the reasons I feel that my UGPA is not indicative of my performance?


When looking at an application, the GPA is not all that the school will see - they get a lot of information from the grade summary report and the transcript. If you want to submit an addendum about the GPA my general rule is always to keep it brief and be careful with the tone. You are submitting it to provide information and context to the GPA - not to give an excuse.
Sadly, graduate degrees are not looked at in the same way that undergraduate GPAs are, but having a strong academic record in grad school supports that you are not an "academic risk" to them, so in that sense it is helpful. At the end of the day, the school will submit the cumulative LSAC GPA to the ABA. And that will always carry some importance. But they do look beyond the GPA numbers alone.

KB



Thanks!

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

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:50 pm
by VasiliTyomny
Hi Spivey Team,

I recently got back my September results, and I managed to score a 171! While this is excellent news, I looked over the writing sample and found nine errors in improper word use, sentence mechanics, and grammar, as well as some statements that could possibly be interpreted as me making up facts. With this in mind, I have several questions:

1. Given my high LSAT score and the possibility I might not score as well if I retake the LSAT, does it make sense to retake the test in December?
2. How important is the writing sample overall in admissions decisions? In addition to looking for a fairly coherent argument with few (if any) mistakes, what do most adcomms tend to look for?
3. The LSAC graders also scanned my paper so darkly that large parts of my writing sample are not legible (as of right now they said they'll re-scan it on a lower setting and resubmit it). As a result, I am planning on transcribing my written sample as a word document (mistakes and all) and use it as an addendum to the schools I'm applying to. Is this an acceptable solution for adcomms in this circumstance? Should I highlight what mistakes I noticed when copying the written sample, or do you feel as if that would be detrimental?

Thanks for going over this novella, I look forward to your response!

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

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:32 pm
by searching61
Hi! Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm wondering if you can explain the methodology behind the numbers on your LSAT score/applicants per cycle blog posts (like this http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/every- ... ts-change/)

Are these numbers totally accurate / comprehensive as of date of posting? Does LSAC report this? Just trying to get a sense of how to interpret this, thanks!

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

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:36 am
by MikeSpivey
searching61 wrote:Hi! Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm wondering if you can explain the methodology behind the numbers on your LSAT score/applicants per cycle blog posts (like this http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/every- ... ts-change/)

Are these numbers totally accurate / comprehensive as of date of posting? Does LSAC report this? Just trying to get a sense of how to interpret this, thanks!

Ahh, this time a year came earlier than usual. If you did a search of "Spivey Consuting" on here you would see dozens upon dozens of these exact same posts (I'll spare you the time). "Where do they get their data? How do they break the USNWR rankings a day early?" "Surely these are fake" "who are they paying to get an early copy of the magazine" (one of my favorite because the rankings magazine come out a month after the online version), etc. I'll just say a few words so I can copy and paste in a month when we get some new data and share with everyone. because sharing is good :)

We are given the data. As are many people, mostly law schools. There are various entities that aggregate law school and applicant data. If you are applying to law school you are using one right now. We are never given individual data, of course. But we get lots of things a bit early -- LSAT registrants, test-takers, rankings, LSAT bandwidth/geographical/school up or down data starting Dec. We usually tweet it (we tweeted some new breaking Dec LSAT taker data two days ago) and if it is a large set, we put it on our blog. And it is almost always entirely 100% accurate. (or we wouldn't post it).

Trust me when I say that we would never post something we didn't think was 100% credible, because if our numbers weren't spot on it wouldn't really do us or you much good. I'm sure we have miscalculated before, or the data we have gotten has been wrong from the provider at some specific small area like a percentage (because then we get a follow-up email saying actually one of those percentages was wrong) and we quickly update.

Also, you mentioned methodology. Our methodology is we are given the data and post it. That simple. That data is simply aggregated from all test-takers. So it's not like anyone is reverse engineering or creating advanced algorithms for the data. It's simply adding up all of the test takers/applicants with their results etc. We don't do it because, of course, we don't know who all the test-takers are. We are just given it from the entities (can you see I'm not saying names intentionally) that have the aggregate data.

But if you really want to see this question explode. Just wait till law school rankings time :) I may send some people to you for us!