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

General admissions strategy questions, what are my chances, discussion of specific application materials like financial aid and scholarships.
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tada77
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Post by tada77 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:57 am

Hello! Thank you guys for all the info. I, like many others, have had Stanford as my top choice for years. However, I am juuuust below both medians (-1 LSAT, -.03 GPA). I of course know that the going wisdom is that being below both medians means one is unlikely to get in (I’m not URM). However, what about when one is this close to the medians? Also, do things like academic track record potentially matter in this scenario (my GPA is pulled down by a 9-year-old, academically renewed F, and I’ve had all As for 4 years), or is it really just a numbers consideration? I’m sorry if these questions are too specific or difficult to answer here - I guess I’m trying to gauge whether I should steel myself for almost certain rejection since my numbers are below the medians, or if there is potentially a bit more hope for those of us near the medians (obviously factoring the strength of the rest of the application). Thank you!

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

Post by coffeeandbagels » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:23 am

Hello! Thanks for doing this.

I was accepted to Cornell in November. I want to submit an application for the Charles Evans Hughes Scholarship. Is it too soon to send it in?

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

Post by JaymeMcKellop » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:06 am

coffeeandbagels wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:23 am
Hello! Thanks for doing this.

I was accepted to Cornell in November. I want to submit an application for the Charles Evans Hughes Scholarship. Is it too soon to send it in?
Hi. Congratulations on your acceptance to Cornell! I don't see a reason why it would be too soon to send it in, but if there is a specific reason why you are concerned about it being early, I'd give Cornell a polite call or send them an email and ask when they recommend applicants submit it? But I don't really see a reason why it would be "too soon." Good luck!

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

Post by JaymeMcKellop » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:28 am

tada77 wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:57 am
Hello! Thank you guys for all the info. I, like many others, have had Stanford as my top choice for years. However, I am juuuust below both medians (-1 LSAT, -.03 GPA). I of course know that the going wisdom is that being below both medians means one is unlikely to get in (I’m not URM). However, what about when one is this close to the medians? Also, do things like academic track record potentially matter in this scenario (my GPA is pulled down by a 9-year-old, academically renewed F, and I’ve had all As for 4 years), or is it really just a numbers consideration? I’m sorry if these questions are too specific or difficult to answer here - I guess I’m trying to gauge whether I should steel myself for almost certain rejection since my numbers are below the medians, or if there is potentially a bit more hope for those of us near the medians (obviously factoring the strength of the rest of the application). Thank you!
Hi there. Yes, unfortunately this really isn't a question that we can answer. However, there are some things I can tell you that are more definitive. Yes, it does make it more difficult to be admitted when your numbers are below both medians--and that can unfortunately still be the case even when you are close to both, which can be understandably challenging for applicants. (But it is certainly better to be closer to both medians than not.) But when it comes to numbers, yes, they'll look at your full academic record and transcripts and will consider your GPA and LSAT in the context of the rest of your application. So, the short answer is that while, yes, LSAT and GPA are the most important, all of these other factors in your application still matter. In terms of your perspective, I would prepare for the realities of the situation but also get yourself into a mindset that will help make the waiting process more bearable for you. Generally speaking, I find it is better to manage expectations and be pleasantly surprised than disappointed, but you can also remember that this process is unpredictable, schools do conduct holistic reviews of applications, and that you can be proud of the work you've put in and that you've given it your best shot. Good luck!

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

Post by MindyKale » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:58 pm

Hi Spivey,

I was wondering what is the right length for a law school resume? (unless specified).
I am trying to understand if my goal is to provide a good amount of information that they cannot get elsewhere from my application or provide a bare minimum summary of my work and academic experience?

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

Post by DanielleEarly » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:23 am

MindyKale wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:58 pm
Hi Spivey,

I was wondering what is the right length for a law school resume? (unless specified).
I am trying to understand if my goal is to provide a good amount of information that they cannot get elsewhere from my application or provide a bare minimum summary of my work and academic experience?
The vast majority of schools do not have a required length but in general, you want to keep it to two pages or less. It doesn't have to be one page however, most people are probably doing a great job with a one-page resume. You want to provide good information about your experience and work history but not add things just for the sake of making it look longer.

We wrote a blog post on the 1page myth a while back: https://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/debun ... sume-myth/ and recently just posted a new YouTube video on Law School Resume mistakes - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA_Rbm ... dUwrnlBjyQ.

Hope these help!
Danielle

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

Post by Guile » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:54 pm

Hi Spivey & Co,

I hope this is a softball for y'all. I applied in early Sept to a school. I've been UR2 for said school since mid October. I've missed just about every single wave they've had this year. (5-6) My stats are above both 75ths for the school.I'm sincerely interested in this school and am considering a LOCI in an effort to minimize chance of WL or ding. How would you recommend approaching the LOCI? Should I write it now and submit it before the new year or wait until January?

Thanks in advance!

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tada77
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Post by tada77 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:11 pm

JaymeMcKellop wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:28 am
tada77 wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:57 am
Hello! Thank you guys for all the info. I, like many others, have had Stanford as my top choice for years. However, I am juuuust below both medians (-1 LSAT, -.03 GPA). I of course know that the going wisdom is that being below both medians means one is unlikely to get in (I’m not URM). However, what about when one is this close to the medians? Also, do things like academic track record potentially matter in this scenario (my GPA is pulled down by a 9-year-old, academically renewed F, and I’ve had all As for 4 years), or is it really just a numbers consideration? I’m sorry if these questions are too specific or difficult to answer here - I guess I’m trying to gauge whether I should steel myself for almost certain rejection since my numbers are below the medians, or if there is potentially a bit more hope for those of us near the medians (obviously factoring the strength of the rest of the application). Thank you!
Hi there. Yes, unfortunately this really isn't a question that we can answer. However, there are some things I can tell you that are more definitive. Yes, it does make it more difficult to be admitted when your numbers are below both medians--and that can unfortunately still be the case even when you are close to both, which can be understandably challenging for applicants. (But it is certainly better to be closer to both medians than not.) But when it comes to numbers, yes, they'll look at your full academic record and transcripts and will consider your GPA and LSAT in the context of the rest of your application. So, the short answer is that while, yes, LSAT and GPA are the most important, all of these other factors in your application still matter. In terms of your perspective, I would prepare for the realities of the situation but also get yourself into a mindset that will help make the waiting process more bearable for you. Generally speaking, I find it is better to manage expectations and be pleasantly surprised than disappointed, but you can also remember that this process is unpredictable, schools do conduct holistic reviews of applications, and that you can be proud of the work you've put in and that you've given it your best shot. Good luck!
Thank you for the insight! Much appreciated.

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

Post by NikkiLaubenstein » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:52 pm

Guile wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:54 pm
Hi Spivey & Co,

I hope this is a softball for y'all. I applied in early Sept to a school. I've been UR2 for said school since mid October. I've missed just about every single wave they've had this year. (5-6) My stats are above both 75ths for the school.I'm sincerely interested in this school and am considering a LOCI in an effort to minimize chance of WL or ding. How would you recommend approaching the LOCI? Should I write it now and submit it before the new year or wait until January?

Thanks in advance!
I would really need more information about you and your application to assess whether the school potentially saw any red flags in your file preventing you from being one of the early admits. But, if there’s nothing that stands out to you as something that could cause the admissions committee concern in your application, remember it is still early and law schools are constantly weighing past year’s data with this year’s applicant pool to determine how large each admit group will be early on. If you wrote a Why X statement for the school, then it’s likely they already know you are interested (and hopefully, why) so I might suggest waiting a bit longer to submit your LOCI and look for other ways to connect with the school to show them your interest (ex. visiting, emailing an admissions rep. you’ve made contact with, or a current student ambassador). Good luck!

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

Post by app » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:23 pm

* please don't quote
hi former adcom, if someone reapplies to a reach hys school for the nth time, previous times being a wl and a denial respectively, with only main change being a new job in a potential field of study, is it fine to add reapplication addendum about not going school last cycle due to new job and why reapplying nth time? How bad is it to apply this late now compared to waiting for sept early app boost?
please don't quote

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

Post by SD_Spivey_Consulting » Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:49 pm

Hello "app",
If you have applied to a school multiple times, it is helpful to know what your plans ended up being and why you're continuing to apply. Know that without any *major* changes in your application, however, especially an LSAT score or GPA increase, then the decision is unlikely to be different than your prior decisions.Without knowing more about your application, it is difficult to tell if there are red flags or issues in your application that could make further improvements in your application. As for timing, if your numbers are competitive and you have typically been applying later in the cycle, then applying early in the cycle is advised. Generally, though, now is not too late to apply to those schools and shouldn't be a factor in the decision. Hope this is still helpful!

Glaucon375
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Post by Glaucon375 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:06 pm

Hello Spivey Team! Thank you for all you do and I hope you are having a great holiday season.

I wanted to get your thoughts on my situation but I'm not asking for you all to "chance me". I'm just looking to maximize my chance to get into a good law school. I will be brief

-2.1X from one term of college in 2006
-3 W's from one term of college in 2006

Military for a few years. Go back to school, do well (3.XX) but drop out to go back into military to try to make it into special operations.

Become Army Special Operator for a few years and now I am at a lower ranked Ivy League with a 3.4X aiming to finish school with at least a 3.5. It looks like my uGPA will be very low 3 if I'm lucky.

I'm a AA male and I think I'm far removed from my bad college experience but I'm not an expert. The pre-law advisor said I have a compelling story but I'm not sure that will be enough. I'm aiming for T14 or bust.

Do you think a high LSAT score will offset my uGPA and make me a competitive applicant for T14?

Thanks again!

edit: I was reading the people who use admissions consultants and I might fit the bill (assuming high lsat score). Do you all think this is true?

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

Post by NikkiLaubenstein » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:05 pm

Glaucon375 wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:06 pm
Hello Spivey Team! Thank you for all you do and I hope you are having a great holiday season.

I wanted to get your thoughts on my situation but I'm not asking for you all to "chance me". I'm just looking to maximize my chance to get into a good law school. I will be brief

-2.1X from one term of college in 2006
-3 W's from one term of college in 2006

Military for a few years. Go back to school, do well (3.XX) but drop out to go back into military to try to make it into special operations.

Become Army Special Operator for a few years and now I am at a lower ranked Ivy League with a 3.4X aiming to finish school with at least a 3.5. It looks like my uGPA will be very low 3 if I'm lucky.

I'm a AA male and I think I'm far removed from my bad college experience but I'm not an expert. The pre-law advisor said I have a compelling story but I'm not sure that will be enough. I'm aiming for T14 or bust.

Do you think a high LSAT score will offset my uGPA and make me a competitive applicant for T14?

Thanks again!

edit: I was reading the people who use admissions consultants and I might fit the bill (assuming high lsat score). Do you all think this is true?
Hi and Happy New Year!
I agree that it sounds like you do have a compelling story and likely have a lot to highlight for law schools in terms of your background and military/life experiences. The fact that there is significant time from when you did poorly in college to where you are now - with a strong GPA from an Ivy League university and extensive military experience - will certainly look favorable. There are many ways to bring out the best of what you have to offer a law school and these soft factors will all play in to an overall decision, but your LSAT and cumulative GPA will still carry the most weight. If you scored very highly on the LSAT, it could help to outweigh a lower GPA, but you will need to help admissions committees see the overall picture of what you will add to their entering class. There are also other factors to consider if you are only interested in T-14 law schools (ex. timing of when you have a complete application, the rest of the applicant pool in a given cycle, etc.). Consultants often work with clients who want assistance highlighting their best qualifications for example, if they are splitters or have pieces of their application they'd like help explaining in the best way possible. It might help you to do a consultation call with a consultant to determine if it could be beneficial to you! Best of luck!

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

Post by mutare » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:08 pm

Hi Spivey team,

Apologies for reviving this thread and thanks in advance for your input! I had an interview-related question regarding grooming. I am a male applicant with relatively long hair—a little past the shoulders at this point. I wear it in a bun for work but am worried that this might still appear unprofessional for law school interviews.

I have heard opinions from peers ranging from the negative ("Law schools are extremely traditional and there is a small chance it hurts you.") to the positive ("It'll help interviewers remember you!" and "It fits your public interest image"). This is not a life-or-death decision for me, but I would appreciate your input before choosing whether or not to lop off my hair. No pressure!

Thanks again!

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

Post by SD_Spivey_Consulting » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:21 pm

mutare wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:08 pm
Hi Spivey team,

Apologies for reviving this thread and thanks in advance for your input! I had an interview-related question regarding grooming. I am a male applicant with relatively long hair—a little past the shoulders at this point. I wear it in a bun for work but am worried that this might still appear unprofessional for law school interviews.

I have heard opinions from peers ranging from the negative ("Law schools are extremely traditional and there is a small chance it hurts you.") to the positive ("It'll help interviewers remember you!" and "It fits your public interest image"). This is not a life-or-death decision for me, but I would appreciate your input before choosing whether or not to lop off my hair. No pressure!

Thanks again!
This is a great question. Once you're in law school, you may notice the difference in appearances between 1L students at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year -- shorter haircuts, cleaner shaves, fewer piercings, etc. This happens when IL's begin the summer job search. Law in general is a more conservative place, and it is good to keep that in mind. Still, it is possible to look presentable even with longer hair, tattoos, etc. My recommendation for you is to put your hair back in a tight ponytail or bun (buns are more in trend and won't be as surprising to see) and dress conservatively, and you should be fine. Good luck!

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diamondlaw21
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Post by diamondlaw21 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:41 am

hi Spivey,

I have a question specific to URM applicants in the t14. is it true that our cycles tend to move slower than average? are schools trying to stabilize their medians before dipping into the URM pool? i can’t tell if this is the case, or if my apps are unfortunately not as competitive as i thought they were.

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

Post by DanielleEarly » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:47 pm

diamondlaw21 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:41 am
hi Spivey,

I have a question specific to URM applicants in the t14. is it true that our cycles tend to move slower than average? are schools trying to stabilize their medians before dipping into the URM pool? i can’t tell if this is the case, or if my apps are unfortunately not as competitive as i thought they were.
This cycle, in general, is moving a little slower - probably because admissions offices are coming off a very competitive year last year and are moving cautiously before they have a view of their entire applicant pool. Remember that schools application deadlines haven't passed yet, so while you may feel like you've been waiting a super long time, they are still gathering apps. But for your specific question about URM, I would say that clear cut cases get more of the early decisions that come out, then after they know what the pool looks like, they begin really looking at people who bring different things to the table and start comparing them.

So, what I would really say is this, many t-14 schools have sent deny letters and waitlists out already.... if you are still waiting, that's a good thing. They will be sure to get you decisions by the beginning of April, so don't assume that no news right now is bad news.

~Danielle

CelestialLaw07
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Post by CelestialLaw07 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:10 am

Hi Spivey team - what is the appropriate etiquette for applicants on HOLD (apologize if this has been asked); LOCI? Visit?

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

Post by NeverEverGiveUp » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:06 am

Hi Spivey team,
I hear that the lsac automatically sends lsat retake scores to schools. For candidates already being reviewed, do schools take notice right away of the added new score (e.g for a later session of the test, when admissions decisions are already made/or in progress) or would the schools have to do some work which would make the updated score not readily apparent?
I know one has the option to update the school of the new score by email. I was wondering if the schools know right away of a new score or if it is added work for them to check and as a result they may not consider the new score, unless it is brought up by the student in a timely manner.

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

Post by Nietzschean » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:28 pm

Greetings Spivey Team, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to help answer questions.

I am sure this has been discussed at length elsewhere, but what is the consensus on taking an upcoming LSAT to get off of waitlists? If one predicts they are going to be waitlisted at schools, should he or she plan to take the LSAT again to aid their cycle if they believe they can do better? Lastly, I have seen Spivey mention somewhere that sometimes schools will reconsider a rejected applicant if their LSAT score has improved. Am I recalling this correctly, and if so how may that apply to this slower cycle (as compared to last year)?

Best Regards

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

Post by JaymeMcKellop » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:51 pm

CelestialLaw07 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:10 am
Hi Spivey team - what is the appropriate etiquette for applicants on HOLD (apologize if this has been asked); LOCI? Visit?
Hi there. It depends on the school and what "hold" means for them. First, the proper etiquette is to follow their instructions. Do they ask for an updated resume? Transcript? Tell you that you can send an LOCI? Tell you to just sit tight? In almost all cases, it is perfectly appropriate to send a brief email response reiterating your interest in that law school/why you are so interested and letting them know about any updates (new promotion or job responsibilities, new grades, etc.). Visiting is also never a bad thing and can be a great way to show interest--just be cognizant of the fact that this is the busiest time of the cycle for admissions officers and you'll want to make sure you visit during an appropriate time (e.g., not during or right before an admitted student event).

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

Post by JaymeMcKellop » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:05 pm

NeverEverGiveUp wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:06 am
Hi Spivey team,
I hear that the lsac automatically sends lsat retake scores to schools. For candidates already being reviewed, do schools take notice right away of the added new score (e.g for a later session of the test, when admissions decisions are already made/or in progress) or would the schools have to do some work which would make the updated score not readily apparent?
I know one has the option to update the school of the new score by email. I was wondering if the schools know right away of a new score or if it is added work for them to check and as a result they may not consider the new score, unless it is brought up by the student in a timely manner.
Hi. I think it depends on several factors, including the school's process and where your file is in that process how and when the school sees the updated score and takes it into account. Schools' internal application review processes can very quite significantly. To be safe, you could email each school and let them know that you have an updated LSAT score and what it is. Good luck!

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

Post by JaymeMcKellop » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:22 pm

Nietzschean wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:28 pm
Greetings Spivey Team, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to help answer questions.

I am sure this has been discussed at length elsewhere, but what is the consensus on taking an upcoming LSAT to get off of waitlists? If one predicts they are going to be waitlisted at schools, should he or she plan to take the LSAT again to aid their cycle if they believe they can do better? Lastly, I have seen Spivey mention somewhere that sometimes schools will reconsider a rejected applicant if their LSAT score has improved. Am I recalling this correctly, and if so how may that apply to this slower cycle (as compared to last year)?

Best Regards
Hi there. This is hard to answer in the abstract. In general, if you think that you can retake and score at or above a school's LSAT median, then this will likely help you get off their waitlist. When schools go to their waitlists, they are looking for applicants that can help them fill in any gaps in their class and help solidify their LSAT and GPA medians. If a retake would result in an LSAT that helps their median, that obviously would boost your chances significantly. However, the decision to retake can be quite individualized and nuanced. Here is a blog post that may give you some things to think about: https://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/how-m ... aw-school/.

I personally have not seen schools reconsider an applicant that has been denied, but it is possible that my colleagues have seen it--we all have a range of experiences with different schools. In my experience, what I've seen as more common is applicants retaking a late cycle LSAT, getting a higher score, and then reapplying the next cycle with better results. Good luck!

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

Post by Nietzschean » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:26 pm

Hey again Spivey team, last question!

Are inconsistencies with, namely gender, or other demographic information including race/ethnicity eyebrow-raising or addendum worthy? That is, if one claimed a certain sex on e.g. a job application/undergraduate application but now claims more than one gender or one found out one was a particular race they did not know about prior.

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

Post by SD_Spivey_Consulting » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:27 pm

Nietzschean wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:26 pm
Hey again Spivey team, last question!

Are inconsistencies with, namely gender, or other demographic information including race/ethnicity eyebrow-raising or addendum worthy? That is, if one claimed a certain sex on e.g. a job application/undergraduate application but now claims more than one gender or one found out one was a particular race they did not know about prior.
This sounds like a very individual situation that probably deserves a conversation, but I will try to answer with the info you have provided. First, if it is the first time you have interacted with that school and they don't have any data on you, then there would not be a discrepancy in their system to explain. You might have to later, as an admitted or enrolled student, if you need to provide former documents that have the prior gender/ethnicity on them, but as an an applicant it would be unlikely to show up as a discrepancy. However, if you are already in the school's system (for example, you applied/attended there as an undergrad or you worked there, or a letter of recommendation refers to you as a different gender or ethnicity, or that info is on your undergraduate transcript) then yes, it would raise an eyebrow and a brief explanation would be beneficial.

I would also say that the gender difference probably won't raise as much of an eyebrow as a change in ethnicity. Schools have varying policies on what they will do with gender. Some schools are very liberal and will mark whatever you want to be. For others, you might have to provide a birth certificate, driver's license, or formal change in sex/gender document to clear up any question.

Race/ethnicity is a bit different. Because some people want an advantage as a URM, you want to be careful that you aren't trying to gain an advantage that is not genuine to your experience. Ad comms are interested in diversity to the extent that it will contribute a mix of perspectives in the student body. If you have a majority perspective, then identifying all of a sudden as a different race, doesn't mean that you will be able to add a minority perspective. Here's a hypothetical example of what I mean: Let's say you grew up thinking you were 100% Caucasian, but then found out one of your grandparents was Native-American. You may be genetically "Native-American" but you never had any connection with the tribe or its people or culture, so you cannot add a NA perspective. Also, if you have one or more documents showing you are Caucasian, but now you're marking you are Native-American, that seems suspicious. Whether you explain this or not may make you look like you're trying to gain an undeserved advantage. Submitting an addendum that says "hey, I just found out I'm Native American!" will definitely do that. Mark the race/ethnicity that you truly identify as, and if that is different than what you had marked previously, you should have an explanation that shows you are not just trying to seek advantage in the admissions process.

With all this said, your situation could be completely different and I might be giving you different advice. So take this as general direction and I hope it helps!

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