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

Special forum where professionals are encouraged to help law school applicants, students, and graduates.

Which would you prefer most?

Poll ended at Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:05 am

1. Blog advice
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2. Podcast advice
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3. Video advice
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4. Just keep it all on TLS
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5. Tweet it
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Total votes: 0

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:22 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:Mike,
When applying to LS must I use my legal name?


Well schools ask for it and *unless things have changed* your LSAC # is your social security number, so it might be a bit to pull off if you did go for McLovin.

Pancakes12
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Pancakes12 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:21 pm

Mike,
Thanks for doing TLS this service. My question concerns the content of my PS. I'm down to two ideas.

The first concerns my early life growing up on a farm, my frustration with the lifestyle, how I achieved an intellectual transformation during my undergrad, and how I eventually came to be very thankful for this early life.

The second concerns econometric historical research I did on school funding across races in Postbellum Louisiana, and how it spurred an interest in law.

I've tried fusing these two ideas but they seem so disparate that that's not working. From an adcom point of view, do either of these ideas strike you as better than the other? Please don't quote.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:10 pm

jlb251 wrote:Mike,
Thanks for doing TLS this service. My question concerns the content of my PS. I'm down to two ideas.


I try not to get into too much detail on specifics of PS question, jlb251, because it's just not fair to our clients who enroll in our services for that, among other things. But i would say you have have your first be a Diversity Statement and your second a PS.

Edit. I should add for those that sent me PM's to edit or read over anything apologies that I did not, especially if I did not get back to you. I try to return all PM's but fail at times when I get really busy.

Happy to answer most any macro level question, of course!
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:34 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 Sep 01, 2013 3:34 pm

There is an announcement on the "mystery" new person joining us this week (with a very brief bio) along with a special package the three of us at Spivey Consulting will be running for everyone this week only at:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/

I even included set prices for all of you who wanted actual numbers on the website :)

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:07 pm

Mike,

Do you believe Harvard will maintain the 173? Do you believe it may have to lower its GPA floor in order to do so? In a world where 99th percentile LSAT applicants are becoming ever rarer, are you of the opinion we may see greater chances for 173+/sub-25th GPA profiles at Harvard in particular for c/o 2017? Would your opinion differ for c/o 2018?

Columbia has shown a willingness to dip quite a bit below 3.50. Will Harvard be compelled to do the same anytime soon? Or will they be willing to let Yale have the sole 99th percentile LSAT median?

I don't know if Karen is available to comment but it would be great to get her take on this as well.

Thanks.

Big Dog
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Big Dog » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:26 pm

Congrats and best wishes on the growth of your team, Mike.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:30 am

bouleversement wrote:Mike,

Do you believe Harvard will maintain the 173? Do you believe it may have to lower its GPA floor in order to do so? In a world where 99th percentile LSAT applicants are becoming ever rarer, are you of the opinion we may see greater chances for 173+/sub-25th GPA profiles at Harvard in particular for c/o 2017? Would your opinion differ for c/o 2018?

Columbia has shown a willingness to dip quite a bit below 3.50. Will Harvard be compelled to do the same anytime soon? Or will they be willing to let Yale have the sole 99th percentile LSAT median?

I don't know if Karen is available to comment but it would be great to get her take on this as well.

Thanks.


I think they will hold the line on LSAT and I doubt there will be anything more than some slight changes, perhaps a slightly lower class size and ever so slightly lower gpa somewhere. That's my best guess. Hold me to it!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:32 am

Big Dog wrote:Congrats and best wishes on the growth of your team, Mike.


Thanks for saying so!

We are going to try to limit growth for the next year now :)

NYstate
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby NYstate » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:17 am

MikeSpivey wrote:There is an announcement on the "mystery" new person joining us this week (with a very brief bio) along with a special package the three of us at Spivey Consulting will be running for everyone this week only at:

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/

I even included set prices for all of you who wanted actual numbers on the website :)


Im posting the content here so people will see it. For people attempting to get into top schools (HYS) where PS matter, I think spending $425 to have all three of you review a PS is an option to consider.

To start the additions of Karen Buttenbaum (Harvard Law) and Jennifer Winslow (Colorado Law, Morrison & Foerster, UCLA Law Review) off with a bang we are offering specials for the week of 9/2-9/7 only.

Send us any or all of Personal Statement, Resume, Diversity Statement, Character & Fitness Statement and we will review, edit , and discuss with you strategically vis-a-vis the schools you are applying to AND have back to you by 9/9 at the following rates:

Personal Statement: $425

Resume: $150

Diversity Statement: $250

C&F Statement: $300

There is limited availability but until this caps off we are happy to all three review and have a top-notch final draft with you before applications are due!

Interested? We are at info@spiveyconsulting.com


I'll admit to being ambivalent about law school admission counselors because I think most people shouldn't go. But you at least seem to understand the job market and the cost of law school.

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Lavitz
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Lavitz » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:26 am

NYstate wrote:I'm posting the content here so people will see it. For people attempting to get into top schools (HYS) where PS matter, I think spending $425 to have all three of you review a PS is an option to consider.

I recommend it if you think you're borderline.

I'm happy where I ended up, but I do somewhat regret not finding an admissions consultant to help me with my app.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:39 am

I'll admit to being ambivalent about law school admission counselors because I think most people shouldn't go. But you at least seem to understand the job market and the cost of law school.


Thanks for having the wherewithal to notice that. We are very mindful of the legal employment and debt considerations going into law school and try exceptionally hard to set our prices accordingly. Also, I am sure we could raise prices considerably and make more money in respect to less work but that is not really the model we are going for. I also think a number of clients from this past cycle would extol the fact that they made significant money off of us in respect to the scholarship negotiation process.

All of this is to say we try to make this a win/win in pricing and services. Thanks for noticing.

NYstate
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby NYstate » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:23 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
I'll admit to being ambivalent about law school admission counselors because I think most people shouldn't go. But you at least seem to understand the job market and the cost of law school.


Thanks for having the wherewithal to notice that. We are very mindful of the legal employment and debt considerations going into law school and try exceptionally hard to set our prices accordingly. Also, I am sure we could raise prices considerably and make more money in respect to less work but that is not really the model we are going for. I also think a number of clients from this past cycle would extol the fact that they made significant money off of us in respect to the scholarship negotiation process.

All of this is to say we try to make this a win/win in pricing and services. Thanks for noticing.


Yes, I meant for that to be a positive, but it probably didn't come out that way. :oops: I meant that you are aware of the reality of the debt and employment situation as compared to every other admission counselor mentioned on this forum (who universally have outdated and generally terrible advice.)

I don't know how much admissions counselors charge. You have a great staff and those prices seem reasonable given the money that is at stake.

I'm sure you could charge more and people would pay it; but you don't come across as a person who is solely out to make as much money as possible.

ZVBXRPL
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby ZVBXRPL » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:26 pm

Mike,
Why the fox?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:41 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:Mike,
Why the fox?


No real reason...indeed I'm curious what you think. When I got together with my web guy we talked about a logo, I said I liked outdoorsy things but that if he made my logo an owl I would hire someone else. I guess he thought the fox was both outdoorsy and connotated being clever? Oddly enough, a year later I think both karen and Jennifer like it and I am sort of on the fence.

Mike

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:42 pm

NYstate wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
I'll admit to being ambivalent about law school admission counselors because I think most people shouldn't go. But you at least seem to understand the job market and the cost of law school.


Thanks for having the wherewithal to notice that. We are very mindful of the legal employment and debt considerations going into law school and try exceptionally hard to set our prices accordingly. Also, I am sure we could raise prices considerably and make more money in respect to less work but that is not really the model we are going for. I also think a number of clients from this past cycle would extol the fact that they made significant money off of us in respect to the scholarship negotiation process.

All of this is to say we try to make this a win/win in pricing and services. Thanks for noticing.


Yes, I meant for that to be a positive, but it probably didn't come out that way. :oops: I meant that you are aware of the reality of the debt and employment situation as compared to every other admission counselor mentioned on this forum (who universally have outdated and generally terrible advice.)

I don't know how much admissions counselors charge. You have a great staff and those prices seem reasonable given the money that is at stake.

I'm sure you could charge more and people would pay it; but you don't come across as a person who is solely out to make as much money as possible.


Not at all. I took it as a compliment and was impressed that you were able to note that we keep exactly this in mind.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:11 pm

I like the fox Mike.

Instinctive
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Instinctive » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:52 pm

Lavitz wrote:
NYstate wrote:I'm posting the content here so people will see it. For people attempting to get into top schools (HYS) where PS matter, I think spending $425 to have all three of you review a PS is an option to consider.

I recommend it if you think you're borderline.

I'm happy where I ended up, but I do somewhat regret not finding an admissions consultant to help me with my app.


Not to hijack, but I'd like to hear more about the bolded.

Perhaps the question works better for Mike, to avoid the hijack (haha):

Earlier you mentioned (repeatedly) that if you're above the medians at your school(s) of choice, you shouldn't even buy the book you're writing. I'm wondering just how much you believe this to be true at the extremes like HYS+Chicago. If that's not specific enough, I suppose the question I'm looking at is: Just how important are PS/LoR if you're a 4.0 GPA and a 180 LSAT? I've spoken with Deans of Students (I don't have connections to any of the admissions deans, unfortunately) and it seems like with a numbers profile that strong you just have to avoid blowing it with the other application parts. Does that ring true in your experience?


To be totally clear, I am NOT a 4.0, nor do I have a 180. But I wanted to keep it macro-level per your requests throughout the thread.
Last edited by Instinctive on Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lavitz
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Lavitz » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:05 am

Instinctive wrote:
Lavitz wrote:I'm happy where I ended up, but I do somewhat regret not finding an admissions consultant to help me with my app.


Not to hijack, but I'd like to hear more about the bolded.

It would've been nice having help organize my app, making sure my resume was formatted right, my addenda were appropriate and my PS tied everything together. My lsn link is in my profile if you'd like more info on my cycle. If anyone has more specific questions, PM me.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:45 pm

All,

Just a quick FYI written hastily from my iPhone, Karen and I will be doing a web chat Q&A this Thursday starting at 5:30pm EST.

Stefan of TLS fame is working on enabling some great software for this, as yet we do not have a link but once we do it will be twitter from my twitter account and linked from my blog. I'll pop it on here too.

We may work on bringing a mystery admissions dean to the dance too. Hope to see you all there!

Mike

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xylocarp
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby xylocarp » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:35 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:All,

Just a quick FYI written hastily from my iPhone, Karen and I will be doing a web chat Q&A this Thursday starting at 5:30pm EST.

Stefan of TLS fame is working on enabling some great software for this, as yet we do not have a link but once we do it will be twitter from my twitter account and linked from my blog. I'll pop it on here too.

We may work on bringing a mystery admissions dean to the dance too. Hope to see you all there!

Mike

Awesome! Also fits in perfectly with my class schedule - I'll be there!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:30 am

Hey all,

Karen's first blog (incidentally she wrote it on a plane just now on her way out to see me for our corporate retreat. Ok, just retreat. Ok, we are having dinner and planning).

http://spiveyconsulting.com/blog/a-word ... that-harm/

It's pretty self-explanatory. I'll try to come up with my own list as well, sadly I think I have more words than annoy me and less words that I like.

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bouleversement
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby bouleversement » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:15 am

Now adcoms are going to think the use of both fjord and salacious in my PS is unoriginal. :D

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:16 am

bouleversement wrote:Now adcoms are going to think the use of both fjord and salacious in my PS is unoriginal. :D


Lol. You sorta stole a part of my public speaking song and dance from me with that :) I say something pretty similar on the speaking tour. Or I did :/

wolfgang
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby wolfgang » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:36 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
Lol. You sorta stole a part of my public speaking song and dance from me with that :) I say something pretty similar on the speaking tour. Or I did :/


Uh-oh. That's #9 on the naughty list.... :)
Last edited by wolfgang on Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Big Dog
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Re: Q&A with former Admissions Officer

Postby Big Dog » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:51 am

isn't 'crystal clear' redundant? :mrgreen:


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