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 Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:56 pm

All:

Here is the press release:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/press- ... onsulting/

Additionally, Karen is going to now use the same twitter account:

https://twitter.com/SpiveyConsult

Finally, I suspect Karen will be adding to this thread including some of the recent questions above, but not until Sept. 1st as she will be at Harvard Law until then and it would create conflicts of interest.

Thanks for humoring me on this fun day, back to business in a short bit!

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Lavitz
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Lavitz » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:10 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Finally, I suspect Karen will be adding to this thread including some of the recent questions above, but not until Sept. 1st as she will be at Harvard Law until then and it would create conflicts of interest.

KB is going to be a TLSer? :shock:
Last edited by Lavitz on Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Motivator9
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Motivator9 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:22 pm

Congrats Mike! That sounds like an excellent addition to your team.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:35 pm

Congrats Mike. I enjoyed talking to KB via Skype... she'll make a great addition

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:44 pm

Lavitz wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Finally, I suspect Karen will be adding to this thread including some of the recent questions above, but not until Sept. 1st as she will be at Harvard Law until then and it would create conflicts of interest.

KB is going to be a TLSer. :shock:

Does this make TLS preftigious? Or is KB slumming it?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:59 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
Lavitz wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Finally, I suspect Karen will be adding to this thread including some of the recent questions above, but not until Sept. 1st as she will be at Harvard Law until then and it would create conflicts of interest.

KB is going to be a TLSer. :shock:

Does this make TLS preftigious? Or is KB slumming it?


Naw, it just makes Lavitz among the long list of people who are or may be guilty of libel :) I hope they still teach this to 1Ls.

I suspect Karen may post here.


(disclaimer I don't think anyone is really guilty of libel)
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Voxius
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Voxius » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:03 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
Lavitz wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Finally, I suspect Karen will be adding to this thread including some of the recent questions above, but not until Sept. 1st as she will be at Harvard Law until then and it would create conflicts of interest.

KB is going to be a TLSer. :shock:

Does this make TLS preftigious? Or is KB slumming it?


Hah, I think it's naive to think that all the admissions people aren't already on here in some form or another (or they should be if they aren't, if for no other reason than understanding the general sentiment(s) of applicants).

I, for one, welcome the introduction of more fresh, informed information to the TLS echo chamber...

Welcome KB, and congratulations on the move! :)

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radar714
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby radar714 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:18 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks for doing this. I'm asking this question for my GF regarding applying early AND retaking. My GF has a 3.95/164/165 and is studying for her 3rd and final retake right now, and she's wondering whether she should still apply in Sept or just wait for her October score. She's leaning towards applying in Sept and notifying schools that she'll have an oct score incoming. She reasons that this way, if she doesn't do well on her retake/cancels her score, she still gets the (minuscule) advantage of being one of the first applications out the gate. Given her high GPA that puts her above almost every 75%ile, she figures that applying early might give her an advantage as a high-GPA splitter. She thinks she'll do well on her 3rd retake, ideally above 167, but on her PTs before both tests she was averaging around a 170 and she pulled almost identical scores on the real thing. She knows, obviously, that getting even 1-2 more points is far more advantageous than applying 2 months earlier, but she wants to do everything she can to maximize her chances.

What do you think she should do?

Thanks!

NYstate
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby NYstate » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:21 pm

Congrats to both you and KB! The Harvard applicants will be going insane. Literally. You might need to come up with some ground rules for posting. Lol.

mmoonb09
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby mmoonb09 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:38 pm

How do a admission officer view someone, who was discipline at his from his former college due to disciplinary action?

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Lavitz
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Lavitz » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:42 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:(disclaimer I don't think anyone is really guilty of libel)

Sorry. Edited my post anyway. Knew I should've gone with the question mark.

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TheThriller
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby TheThriller » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:44 pm

mmoonb09 wrote:How does an admissions officer view someone, who was disciplined at his from his former college. due to disciplinary action?


More information is needed on what type of disciplinary action was taken.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:45 pm

TheThriller wrote:
mmoonb09 wrote:How does an admissions officer view someone, who was disciplined at his from his former college. due to disciplinary action?


More information is needed on what type of disciplinary action was taken.


With writing like that, the Adcomm won't finish reading the addendum. or the PS.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:10 am

I Used to Be a Spy wrote:Hey Mike,

I was wondering if you (or your new partner!) could weigh in on what schools mean when they say they "consider all LSAT scores", especially at HYS

Do these schools look more favorably on just two scores e.g. 160 --> 174 or would it be wise to retake a third time if one was confident in their abilities for a hypothetical 160/174/173

Similarly, would a canceled third score have a significantly negative impact on your application. E.g. 160/174/C

Again, mostly interested in this as it relates to HYS.

Looking forward to seeing your answer, this is a great and very helpful thread!


Well, technically they are correct in saying this. On your CAS report they see all LSAT scores so somewhere in the definition of the word "consider" I guess this equates.

But what schools do and what they say they do is vastly different. They submit only the high score to the ABA, which then turns around and submits this to ole Bob Morse at USNWR. They are then ranked by USNWR -- and they will have a happy dean and perhaps great job security/pay upgrade if the LSAT goes up relative to their competition, and they might have an unhappy dean and trouble if it goes down. So....guess what they really care about? All the scores or the score that impacts their job security? Its just human nature I am certainly not judging this. Indeed I would care about the high score and high score alone.

At the VERY top, they have a small bit more leeway but the same forces described above are still in play. Perhaps Karen will be able to color in a bit more in respect to HYS, but I can not speak for her and she is still at Harvard for the entirety of the month.

I hope this helps!

Mike

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Ex Cearulo
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Ex Cearulo » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:34 pm

Hi Mike,

Kind of a "macro" admissions question for you: Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the conventional wisdom right now after analyzing the decline in LSAT takers, looking at admitted applicants' numbers where available, and hearing the opinions of professionals such as yourself, is that this is the first cycle of an emerging period of "applicant's (i.e. sellers') markets" where slightly lower scores in general or a very high LSAT splitter will be much more competitive for admission to top schools than in recent years past (i.e. recent buyers' markets where top schools could be extremely picky).

I suppose one could get into the weeds about why this is happening (improving economy drawing top potential applicants into the workforce, better educated applicants avoiding mountains of debt, etc) but that's not what I'm really getting at here. Instead, do you remember when the last "seller's market" was and how long it lasted? Did it coincide with the last economic boom? During your years in the admissions game, have you noticed a cyclical flow of sellers vs. buyers markets? If so, has there been a noticeable correlation in their durations? I'm very interested if you think, based on your experience, that we are entering a new normal that could last for quite some time or if it's equally likely that this year and the next one or two will be a flash in the pan, if you will, and then go right back to cycles similar to 2009/2010.

Thanks!

Opuntia
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Opuntia » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:56 am

Hi Mike,

I have taken a few correspondence courses from a outreach college of an university, for my personal enrichment. Never had a class or met a teacher. Do I need to require a transcript to send to the LSAC?

Thank you

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:24 am

Opuntia wrote:Hi Mike,

I have taken a few correspondence courses from a outreach college of an university, for my personal enrichment. Never had a class or met a teacher. Do I need to require a transcript to send to the LSAC?

Thank you


After you received your undergraduate degree or before?

Opuntia
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Opuntia » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:37 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
Opuntia wrote:Hi Mike,

I have taken a few correspondence courses from a outreach college of an university, for my personal enrichment. Never had a class or met a teacher. Do I need to require a transcript to send to the LSAC?

Thank you


After you received your undergraduate degree or before?

Thank you very much for your quick reply. That was before, and those correspondence courses are not related to my undergraduate degree.

linkx13
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby linkx13 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:39 pm

Spivey, in you experience, just how important is it to be above moth medians vs. being simply within the 25%-75% assuming the rest of your application is in top shape?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:16 pm

All,

I am going to get to everyone's questions and hopefully PMs (I am way behind apologies!) in the upcoming week. Sorry for the delay, I have been slammed (in the waiting tables busy sense of the word, not the ZVBXRPL libel and false accusations sense :).

In the meantime I am sitting on some massive and really cool data that I am trying to convert to a sortable format and publish. Once I do (tonight likely) I will tweet the link. I think you all will enjoy it.

Thanks,

Mike

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:33 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:All,

Sorry for the delay, I have been slammed.


Thanks,

Mike


...And they called me crazy.
Last edited by ZVBXRPL on Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:58 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:All,

Sorry for the delay, I have been slammed.


Thanks,

Mike


...And they called me crazy.


lol.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:29 pm

linkx13 wrote:Spivey, in you experience, just how important is it to be above moth medians vs. being simply within the 25%-75% assuming the rest of your application is in top shape?


Medians are what historically go into USNWR rankings (although in the past they have used a calculated median which is 25th + 75th/2) so when median are going into rankings, medians count the most for pure admission. By far.

For merit-awards, generally median-75% is what matters the most.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:29 am

HawgDriver wrote:Hi Mike,

Kind of a "macro" admissions question for you: Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the conventional wisdom right now after analyzing the decline in LSAT takers, looking at admitted applicants' numbers where available, and hearing the opinions of professionals such as yourself, is that this is the first cycle of an emerging period of "applicant's (i.e. sellers') markets" where slightly lower scores in general or a very high LSAT splitter will be much more competitive for admission to top schools than in recent years past (i.e. recent buyers' markets where top schools could be extremely picky).

I suppose one could get into the weeds about why this is happening (improving economy drawing top potential applicants into the workforce, better educated applicants avoiding mountains of debt, etc) but that's not what I'm really getting at here. Instead, do you remember when the last "seller's market" was and how long it lasted? Did it coincide with the last economic boom? During your years in the admissions game, have you noticed a cyclical flow of sellers vs. buyers markets? If so, has there been a noticeable correlation in their durations? I'm very interested if you think, based on your experience, that we are entering a new normal that could last for quite some time or if it's equally likely that this year and the next one or two will be a flash in the pan, if you will, and then go right back to cycles similar to 2009/2010.

Thanks!


Hawg, thanks for the question.

I think if you focused on this recently, ie if you are a year into TLS, and reading up on going to law school it would seem like this is the first year for a applicant friendly "buyer's market (buyer not seller from applicant perspective). In reality, we are more into year 4 of this --the expert admissions offices saw this at least 3 years ago and only the ones slow to adept (or at the very top of the food chain) are the ones that may be changing their admit patterns this year.

This is very likely the most applicant friendly period anyone has ever seen in law admissions, in respect to a 3-4 year time frame and change. The ebbs that I have lived through as a law school administrator and studied historically did not have nearly this significant of a drop in both application/applicant volume or in volume at the top bandwidths of LSAT scores. So this is dramatic and dictating a great deal of what law schools are doing on the front end -- as far as scholarship awards, admit profiles, and even SWAG. These are crazy times that favor the applicant unlike eve before, but disfavor a law school graduate unlike we have seen in recent memory. So if the later holds true (do not go back to a pyramid "out and up" model at bigfrims for hiring, we probably are in a new normal. That said, admissions numbers will back back some eventually, it is just hard to say exactly when. Indeed no body knows and if someone says they do they are likely the least to have a clue.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:22 pm

SMU Folks,

If there is anyone here who is interested in having me speak at SMU please send me a PM or email me at: mike@spiveyconsulting.com.

I will be in Dallas Sept. 18th and 19th.

Thanks!

-Mike


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