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

Post by castjess » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:00 am

Hello Spivey Team!
Huge Thank You for all that you do!

I just have a quick question.
I submitted my application to my first choice school back in October.
I noticed a small typo on my personal statement and I am freaking out on whether I should send a new one.
I was placed on hold back in the Fall and should be reviewed by mid-February.
The typo itself is really small (3 different people reviewed it and did not notice it), but I also took out some small words.

Should I send in a corrected PS? Especially this late?
Please let me know, thank you!

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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 Feb 04, 2019 1:22 pm

castjess wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:00 am
Hello Spivey Team!
Huge Thank You for all that you do!

I just have a quick question.
I submitted my application to my first choice school back in October.
I noticed a small typo on my personal statement and I am freaking out on whether I should send a new one.
I was placed on hold back in the Fall and should be reviewed by mid-February.
The typo itself is really small (3 different people reviewed it and did not notice it), but I also took out some small words.

Should I send in a corrected PS? Especially this late?
Please let me know, thank you!
Hi there. First, I know it is easy to say, but no need to freak out. Typos happen. Applicants are admitted to schools every cycle with minor typos and they can be very hard to catch. You'll get different answers on this and there is no one right answer. Since it is small and three different people (and you) missed it initially, there is a chance that the school will miss it too so they may not even notice it. Even if they do notice it, if it is really that small and doesn't affect the meaning or readability of your personal statement, it likely won't be a big deal to them so I could see letting it go. Another option is what you've identified--send the corrected PS. One thing to note: many schools aren't going to replace your old PS, the new one will be uploaded to your application so they'll see the old one as part of your app and then a new version. (I mention this because applicants sometimes think they can simply ask the school to replace the old one, which often isn't the case.) If you do submit a corrected one, I would own it and let them know that you noticed a small typo on the _____ page (whatever it is) of your personal statement and that while it doesn't change anything of substance in the essay, you wanted to submit a corrected version. That way they know why there is this new version of your PS and they also know that it wasn't a big deal. Go with what you are most comfortable with and is going to help you stop worrying about it. Good luck! (And, really, don't beat yourself up over it.)

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

Post by MindyKale » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:58 pm

What happens when someone sends an app after the school's mentioned deadline?
If there is a deadline, then why is it possible to send applications after the deadline has passed?
I have applied to a school past deadline and I am wondering if it was futile.

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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 Feb 05, 2019 3:45 pm

MindyKale wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:58 pm
What happens when someone sends an app after the school's mentioned deadline?
If there is a deadline, then why is it possible to send applications after the deadline has passed?
I have applied to a school past deadline and I am wondering if it was futile.
The answer to this question varies depending on the school as there are many factors that may go into why they have the application open after the deadline. A few examples, during a year when a natural disaster hits an area of the country around the deadlines, schools will keep apps open because they don't want to disadvantage those who were affected; in a year when application numbers are low, they may keep it open to try to increase their volume; some schools have priority deadlines - if you get it in by X date you will be given an answer by April 1 and will be considered for scholarships, if you apply after, if you apply after you might still be admitted, might still get scholarships but they are telling you that they won't guarantee their normal timeline. Also - its hard to accept an application in any form after the LSAC site closes access so if there was a one-off exception granted, leaving it open makes it easier.

...But that doesn't really answer the question you want to know - "was it futile?" Nope. because if a school likes your app and you will help them for what they are looking for, they aren't going to punish themselves and not admit you simply because you applied a day after their deadline! :) It will absolutely be a late cycle application - but that would have been the case on January 29th as well!

~Danielle

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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 Feb 07, 2019 6:46 pm

Hello! Would you say that sending an LOCI to a school that only waitlists starting in April after 6 months of review (but pre-waitlist) would be out of the question? This is Stanford-specific, really - I'm aware that we typically reserve LOCIs for after being waitlisted, but if a very early applicant appears to be being held for the "second review" in April, would there be anything to lose by sending a respectful LOCI during, say, early March? I can find at least two places where Dean Faye wrote that pre-waitlist LOCIs can be acceptable, but hey, that was 8 years ago.

If you do think this could be ok (I am leaning towards yes), it would be best to not mention other offers at this point and just focus on Stanford, yes?

Thanks!

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

Post by TheCatWhisperer » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:04 pm

Hi Spivey Team!

First, wanted to say a big thank you to you guys for helping us out!

I was recently waitlisted at Columbia, the school of my dreams (and many other people's I'm sure). I have two questions:

1) Is it worth visiting? I know that the general advice seems to be that visits are good because they show interest and give you something to write about in your LOCI, but I've been reading around on different forums and have read some waitlisted people saying that when they visited, Columbia showed them no interest and they couldn't even get past the receptionist to talk to someone! I'm low-income and a visit would be expensive for me. I would do it if it would have a positive effect, but for a top-tier school like Columbia, would it matter at all?

2) In your blog, you guys also mentioned that additional LORs when waitlisted can have a positive effect. I was wondering if a LOR from a former coach is something I should send in? I have a very good relationship with the coach of my former D1 college sports team and she would write me a strong LOR. She's a very busy person though, and I don't want to bother her if this was something that ultimately wouldn't make a difference.

Many thanks to you guys for your time!

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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 08, 2019 5:00 pm

tada77 wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:46 pm
Hello! Would you say that sending an LOCI to a school that only waitlists starting in April after 6 months of review (but pre-waitlist) would be out of the question? This is Stanford-specific, really - I'm aware that we typically reserve LOCIs for after being waitlisted, but if a very early applicant appears to be being held for the "second review" in April, would there be anything to lose by sending a respectful LOCI during, say, early March? I can find at least two places where Dean Faye wrote that pre-waitlist LOCIs can be acceptable, but hey, that was 8 years ago.

If you do think this could be ok (I am leaning towards yes), it would be best to not mention other offers at this point and just focus on Stanford, yes?

Thanks!
It is never a bad thing to express interest in a law school, unless it is too often, over the top, or insincere. Dean Faye is still at Stanford and I don't think much has changed there. If you do send a LOCI in now, consider what you might do later if you are waitlisted. What would your approach be then? As an alternative to an early LOCI, you could update the school with what you have been doing the past six months, maybe provide a new letter of recommendation (Stanford does appreciate Stanford specific LORs) or a new resume. Of course, you can also send those later. The point is, have a plan. If you do write a LOCI, your instinct is right -- leave out the other offers and focus on the school you're writing to. Good luck!

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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 08, 2019 5:24 pm

TheCatWhisperer wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:04 pm
Hi Spivey Team!

First, wanted to say a big thank you to you guys for helping us out!

I was recently waitlisted at Columbia, the school of my dreams (and many other people's I'm sure). I have two questions:

1) Is it worth visiting? I know that the general advice seems to be that visits are good because they show interest and give you something to write about in your LOCI, but I've been reading around on different forums and have read some waitlisted people saying that when they visited, Columbia showed them no interest and they couldn't even get past the receptionist to talk to someone! I'm low-income and a visit would be expensive for me. I would do it if it would have a positive effect, but for a top-tier school like Columbia, would it matter at all?

2) In your blog, you guys also mentioned that additional LORs when waitlisted can have a positive effect. I was wondering if a LOR from a former coach is something I should send in? I have a very good relationship with the coach of my former D1 college sports team and she would write me a strong LOR. She's a very busy person though, and I don't want to bother her if this was something that ultimately wouldn't make a difference.

Many thanks to you guys for your time!
Hi there! Columbia does have a large waitlist, so as you suspected, you are one among many. Hopefully it works out for you to attend, but in the meantime, here are answers to your questions:

1) Generally speaking, we almost always recommend visiting. Most importantly, visiting can help you figure out if the school, even a dream school, is actually the right fit. Better to find that out before you enroll. A school may be fantastic on paper or online, but may not feel like the best place for you in person. That alone is a good reason to visit. But more to your question, does it help if you're on the WL? It certainly is a good way to show a school that you're seriously interested. It is harder at some schools, like Columbia, to make a personal connection while there, however. They have tons of visitors every day and simply cannot meet one on one with people like other schools might. So, the visit is for you to gauge your own interest, register to the school that you are interested, and to provide more content for a strong LOCI. You may have a chance to talk to other people (faculty, students, staff) while there and I recommend you try to connect with some of them beforehand. Student organizations are especially easy to reach out to and you could perhaps set up coffee with a current member while you're on campus. However, it is understandable that visits are expensive and may not be that doable for some people. There are other ways to express interest than visiting. Communication with admissions and with others can be done via email and phone. You can still write a strong LOCI even if you have not been able to set foot on campus. In other words, a visit is not the only way!

This video we did recently on waitlists might be of additional interest to you as you try to navigate this tricky process!


2) An additional LOR is one way to touch base with the school and again, show continued interest. If your coach can write about things that are important to a law school in considering an applicant, then it couldn't hurt and might help. If you coach can't address qualities that are important, then think about perhaps another source who could. Here's a blog we posted about LORs that might help: https://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/lette ... mendation/.

Good luck!

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

Post by Someone » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:43 pm

Last cycle (2017-2018) I applied to just about every school in the T-14, and had a generally disappointing cycle scholarship wise for my numbers (above every median gpa/lsat and was told by a trusted professional that my p.s. was solid). I was going to sit out this cycle completely and build up a little more savings before applying again next cycle (2019-2020), but given the current state of this cycle (with decent declines in applicants with my numbers), would it be worthwhile seeing what I can get this cycle by throwing a few applications out there before the deadline? Or at this point, especially given that scholarship money is a major driving factor for me, is it better to just hold off until next cycle? I feel like I have a good excuse for turning down acceptances from 2017-2018 beyond, "I didn't get as much free money as I wanted," but if I get admitted this cycle and again have to decline due to lack of scholarships, will that start to negatively affect me going into a third application cycle?

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

Post by SCGAnneD » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:46 am

Someone wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:43 pm
Last cycle (2017-2018) I applied to just about every school in the T-14, and had a generally disappointing cycle scholarship wise for my numbers (above every median gpa/lsat and was told by a trusted professional that my p.s. was solid). I was going to sit out this cycle completely and build up a little more savings before applying again next cycle (2019-2020), but given the current state of this cycle (with decent declines in applicants with my numbers), would it be worthwhile seeing what I can get this cycle by throwing a few applications out there before the deadline? Or at this point, especially given that scholarship money is a major driving factor for me, is it better to just hold off until next cycle? I feel like I have a good excuse for turning down acceptances from 2017-2018 beyond, "I didn't get as much free money as I wanted," but if I get admitted this cycle and again have to decline due to lack of scholarships, will that start to negatively affect me going into a third application cycle?
What is different enough or could be different enough in your applications this cycle? My concern is that if you rush to throw in applications before the deadline, even with numbers above the medians, that are not different enough from last cycle, *and* you're behind all of the other folks that may have similar numbers, you're only in for disappointment even with the decline in applicants. I think once we see whether the January test bumps up the 168+ scores in the applicant pool, your answer might be clearer. There are definitely merit opportunities but applying this late in the cycle has already precluded a lot of the bigger scholarships because of those application deadlines and interviews.

Applying, being accepted and not attending for one year is understandable. There are lots of considerations that affect applicants' decisions to attend. Doing it for two years in a row may raise concerns about your follow-through or whether you're someone who can't commit. That's not to say you absolutely wouldn't be admitted, just that it might be a red flag for reviewers.

Good luck with your decision!

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

Post by Someone » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:13 pm

SCGAnneD wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:46 am
What is different enough or could be different enough in your applications this cycle?
...
Good luck with your decision!
Fair points, I'm pretty sure my major problem last cycle was how late I applied and not seeing the cycle through to the end (for the aforementioned "other" reasons). Which means nothing would be different other than my willingness to wait through the summer before making a decision. Part of me was curious if last cycle's wonkiness might have caused enough of a delay in admission/scholarship decisions to make it worthwhile even if I'd be considered "late" by normal standards. So I'll save myself the application fees and just stick to my original plan of applying first thing next cycle. Thank you!

applylaw1
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Post by applylaw1 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:52 pm

Hi Spivey,


I hope you respond. I took the LSAT 4 times so far, first was a naive attempt without preparation so I ended up with a 150, one was a cancel because I was required to attend to family emergency which had strong impact. Each of these times I also had to travel to a test center for greater than one day. I am not located in the US.
1.) Does this warrant an addendum?
2.) I am an engineer and I definitely did better on the GRE when I took a diagnostic, should I take the GRE officially to boost any chances/offset low LSAT score?
3.) My other option is to take the LSAT in June of this year and hope to get off the waitlists if any. Is this at all possible?

I think the rest of my application is strong. Superior GPA, 3.5+ graduate degree GPA, Research work with graduate degree, professional experience, good essays. I have read your blog post about a person getting an admission into Harvard with a June score of that year. I know that is a one-off case. But, with the cycle having a lower number of applicants and if I hit the 170s (who seem to be lower in number and help school medians), will I have a chance? My goal isn't necessarily Harvard but any T14-T20.

In summary, is it a better idea to either take the GRE and write to schools to consider it along with the addendum/take the June LSAT and hope to leverage that for waitlists or reconsiderations?

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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 15, 2019 4:48 pm

applylaw1 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:52 pm
Hi Spivey,


I hope you respond. I took the LSAT 4 times so far, first was a naive attempt without preparation so I ended up with a 150, one was a cancel because I was required to attend to family emergency which had strong impact. Each of these times I also had to travel to a test center for greater than one day. I am not located in the US.
1.) Does this warrant an addendum?
2.) I am an engineer and I definitely did better on the GRE when I took a diagnostic, should I take the GRE officially to boost any chances/offset low LSAT score?
3.) My other option is to take the LSAT in June of this year and hope to get off the waitlists if any. Is this at all possible?

I think the rest of my application is strong. Superior GPA, 3.5+ graduate degree GPA, Research work with graduate degree, professional experience, good essays. I have read your blog post about a person getting an admission into Harvard with a June score of that year. I know that is a one-off case. But, with the cycle having a lower number of applicants and if I hit the 170s (who seem to be lower in number and help school medians), will I have a chance? My goal isn't necessarily Harvard but any T14-T20.

In summary, is it a better idea to either take the GRE and write to schools to consider it along with the addendum/take the June LSAT and hope to leverage that for waitlists or reconsiderations?
Hello!

1) An addendum is probably a good idea, but I would also want to consider what your other scores were and would probably advise you to be careful about how much detail you go into about why each score wasn't what you hoped for. You have some good explanations, but you do not want to sound whiny about this. And, if you take the June test, make sure you're doing everything you can to get a stronger score. If you still have obstacles, such as the fact that you have to travel so far to take the test, how is that going to be any different in June than it was in prior administrations? Won't it still be an issue?

2) Now that you have an LSAT score on file (and it sounds like more), then the GRE is a moot point. If an LSAT is on file, it's the LSAT that matters regardless of your GRE. At least, that's the approach law schools are taking for now. So, no, don't go out and take the GRE now as it won't bolster your chances.

3) If you are really trying to get into law school this year, and if you are on waitlists, and you think you can get your score up to a competitive level, then taking the June LSAT would be your best option, BUT, here are a few things to consider: 1) The schools you're aiming for do not take the June LSAT, unless you are already on their waitlist, in which case most will take a look at an increase in the score. 2) If you already applied, most if not all of these schools still won't wait for a June LSAT score to review your app and they will make a decision with the scores you have on file now. 3) The schools you're aiming for are extremely competitive, so you're going to have to rock the LSAT like nobody's business (like a 15-20 point increase). Is that something you feel like you can realistically do?

So, to summarize, June is not really a possibility for the schools you're looking at. If you're willing to open up your list to those that are more realistic, and that will consider a June LSAT, then this could be a possibility, though not an ideal scenario. If I were your consultant, I would strongly suggest you consider waiting until you feel you can do as well as you possibly can on your next LSAT so that you can be the most competitive applicant you can be. That may mean applying next year, or even the following year. I also would recommend taking a look at a much larger range of law schools. There are some really great ones out there beyond the elite law schools.

Hope this was helpful in answering your questions, even if not the best news, and good luck to you!

applylaw1
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Post by applylaw1 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:22 pm

SD_Spivey_Consulting wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:48 pm

Hello!

1) An addendum is probably a good idea, but I would also want to consider what your other scores were and would probably advise you to be careful about how much detail you go into about why each score wasn't what you hoped for. You have some good explanations, but you do not want to sound whiny about this. And, if you take the June test, make sure you're doing everything you can to get a stronger score. If you still have obstacles, such as the fact that you have to travel so far to take the test, how is that going to be any different in June than it was in prior administrations? Won't it still be an issue?

2) Now that you have an LSAT score on file (and it sounds like more), then the GRE is a moot point. If an LSAT is on file, it's the LSAT that matters regardless of your GRE. At least, that's the approach law schools are taking for now. So, no, don't go out and take the GRE now as it won't bolster your chances.

3) If you are really trying to get into law school this year, and if you are on waitlists, and you think you can get your score up to a competitive level, then taking the June LSAT would be your best option, BUT, here are a few things to consider: 1) The schools you're aiming for do not take the June LSAT, unless you are already on their waitlist, in which case most will take a look at an increase in the score. 2) If you already applied, most if not all of these schools still won't wait for a June LSAT score to review your app and they will make a decision with the scores you have on file now. 3) The schools you're aiming for are extremely competitive, so you're going to have to rock the LSAT like nobody's business (like a 15-20 point increase). Is that something you feel like you can realistically do?

So, to summarize, June is not really a possibility for the schools you're looking at. If you're willing to open up your list to those that are more realistic, and that will consider a June LSAT, then this could be a possibility, though not an ideal scenario. If I were your consultant, I would strongly suggest you consider waiting until you feel you can do as well as you possibly can on your next LSAT so that you can be the most competitive applicant you can be. That may mean applying next year, or even the following year. I also would recommend taking a look at a much larger range of law schools. There are some really great ones out there beyond the elite law schools.

Hope this was helpful in answering your questions, even if not the best news, and good luck to you!
Thank you so much for the detailed information and the dose of realism.

From my understanding and research, an LSAT addendum is probably worthless without an improvement to show for it. Is this generally true?
In other words, would my position be worse of if I wrote one instead of neutral/better?

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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 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:43 pm

applylaw1 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:22 pm
SD_Spivey_Consulting wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:48 pm

Hello!

1) An addendum is probably a good idea, but I would also want to consider what your other scores were and would probably advise you to be careful about how much detail you go into about why each score wasn't what you hoped for. You have some good explanations, but you do not want to sound whiny about this. And, if you take the June test, make sure you're doing everything you can to get a stronger score. If you still have obstacles, such as the fact that you have to travel so far to take the test, how is that going to be any different in June than it was in prior administrations? Won't it still be an issue?

2) Now that you have an LSAT score on file (and it sounds like more), then the GRE is a moot point. If an LSAT is on file, it's the LSAT that matters regardless of your GRE. At least, that's the approach law schools are taking for now. So, no, don't go out and take the GRE now as it won't bolster your chances.

3) If you are really trying to get into law school this year, and if you are on waitlists, and you think you can get your score up to a competitive level, then taking the June LSAT would be your best option, BUT, here are a few things to consider: 1) The schools you're aiming for do not take the June LSAT, unless you are already on their waitlist, in which case most will take a look at an increase in the score. 2) If you already applied, most if not all of these schools still won't wait for a June LSAT score to review your app and they will make a decision with the scores you have on file now. 3) The schools you're aiming for are extremely competitive, so you're going to have to rock the LSAT like nobody's business (like a 15-20 point increase). Is that something you feel like you can realistically do?

So, to summarize, June is not really a possibility for the schools you're looking at. If you're willing to open up your list to those that are more realistic, and that will consider a June LSAT, then this could be a possibility, though not an ideal scenario. If I were your consultant, I would strongly suggest you consider waiting until you feel you can do as well as you possibly can on your next LSAT so that you can be the most competitive applicant you can be. That may mean applying next year, or even the following year. I also would recommend taking a look at a much larger range of law schools. There are some really great ones out there beyond the elite law schools.

Hope this was helpful in answering your questions, even if not the best news, and good luck to you!
Thank you so much for the detailed information and the dose of realism.

From my understanding and research, an LSAT addendum is probably worthless without an improvement to show for it. Is this generally true?
In other words, would my position be worse of if I wrote one instead of neutral/better?
It just depends on what you have to say. Sometimes an addendum is helpful to explain lower scores without seeing an improvement (e.g. one has a learning disability they weren't able to get accommodations for), and sometimes it is not helpful (e.g. I didn't prepare enough each time I took it). I think you have some legitimate reasons why yours is lower than ideal for you. However, if you tell the reader that you didn't do well because of the traveling, for example, then you can only use that excuse so much before they question why you keep taking it when traveling has such a big impact on your score. If you're going to keep taking it, then you'll still have to travel, right? So, work on mitigating that problem (such as giving yourself more time to adjust to the time change/location) so that you can ideally end up with a score more predictive of your potential, and you can write in your addendum that you worked to eliminate the effects of travel on your test results. Also, if you go into a ton of detail about whatever the issue is, it starts to sound like a sob story that they aren't interested in hearing. Be brief, mature, and show that you tried to improve the circumstances for your future LSAT. If you cannot do that, then I would agree that an addendum will not be helpful.

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

Post by icecreamlion » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:09 am

Hello Spivey!

I hope this thread is still alive. Thank you for doing this. I got the hold email from Columbia last week. Initially I thought this was a WL, but I looked at the WL letter I got from CLS last cycle and the language is different. They also emphasize that this is a "select group of applicants" that are in this category, which probably means this is not quite their "Reserve" (which I understand is so large its basically a soft rejection.)

Do you have any idea what this means from Columbia and how I should treat this? They also said they will accept LOCI's. What should I be writing in this LOCI? I am international so it will cost me $$$$ to visit so that's not really a viable option for me. How else can I demonstrate my commitment to Columbia beyond just stating it in my LOCI?

Also, is registering for the March LSAT to try to get a few points more a good idea? (i'm below 25ths). I worry that this will cause them to hold my app even further (they stated that they will make a final decision by april 24) by which time they would have filled up most of the class.

Thank you once again!

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

Post by NikkiLaubenstein » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:00 pm

icecreamlion wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:09 am
Hello Spivey!

I hope this thread is still alive. Thank you for doing this. I got the hold email from Columbia last week. Initially I thought this was a WL, but I looked at the WL letter I got from CLS last cycle and the language is different. They also emphasize that this is a "select group of applicants" that are in this category, which probably means this is not quite their "Reserve" (which I understand is so large its basically a soft rejection.)

Do you have any idea what this means from Columbia and how I should treat this? They also said they will accept LOCI's. What should I be writing in this LOCI? I am international so it will cost me $$$$ to visit so that's not really a viable option for me. How else can I demonstrate my commitment to Columbia beyond just stating it in my LOCI?

Also, is registering for the March LSAT to try to get a few points more a good idea? (i'm below 25ths). I worry that this will cause them to hold my app even further (they stated that they will make a final decision by april 24) by which time they would have filled up most of the class.

Thank you once again!
Hello!

Thank you for your questions! Columbia does often keep a rather large WL and it can go well into the summer months before WL candidates hear anything. As with all school’s waitlists, candidates will remove themselves throughout the upcoming months as they solidify plans at other law schools. This is why showing genuine interest and a willingness to hang in there as long as it takes becomes important. Because you haven’t yet been waitlisted and are holding for a decision, CLS is still deciding what to do with your application. I might suggest sending them a letter of continued interest that serves as a reapplication addendum (if you haven’t submitted something like this already) and reiterates what has changed since you applied last year, as well as gives specifics why you are so interested in the school. Also, as an international applicant, they may worry that you won’t have enough time to get your visa documentation in order if admitted late in the summer, so if you can provide details that might help assure them this could be handled quickly, that’s helpful to include as well.

Below is a link to a blog post including tips for writing a strong LOCI to help you draft this:
https://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/how-t ... -interest/

Without knowing more about your current LSAT/GPA and other application factors, deciding whether or not to retake in March is difficult to answer definitively. If you are below the 25th percentile, it sounds like you will want to give yourself any chance at an increase to make yourself more competitive. However, you are right that many schools will hold files if they see an LSAT registration for a future test.
Good luck!

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

Post by icecreamlion » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:36 am

NikkiLaubenstein wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:00 pm
icecreamlion wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:09 am
Hello Spivey!

I hope this thread is still alive. Thank you for doing this. I got the hold email from Columbia last week. Initially I thought this was a WL, but I looked at the WL letter I got from CLS last cycle and the language is different. They also emphasize that this is a "select group of applicants" that are in this category, which probably means this is not quite their "Reserve" (which I understand is so large its basically a soft rejection.)

Do you have any idea what this means from Columbia and how I should treat this? They also said they will accept LOCI's. What should I be writing in this LOCI? I am international so it will cost me $$$$ to visit so that's not really a viable option for me. How else can I demonstrate my commitment to Columbia beyond just stating it in my LOCI?

Also, is registering for the March LSAT to try to get a few points more a good idea? (i'm below 25ths). I worry that this will cause them to hold my app even further (they stated that they will make a final decision by april 24) by which time they would have filled up most of the class.

Thank you once again!
Hello!

Thank you for your questions! Columbia does often keep a rather large WL and it can go well into the summer months before WL candidates hear anything. As with all school’s waitlists, candidates will remove themselves throughout the upcoming months as they solidify plans at other law schools. This is why showing genuine interest and a willingness to hang in there as long as it takes becomes important. Because you haven’t yet been waitlisted and are holding for a decision, CLS is still deciding what to do with your application. I might suggest sending them a letter of continued interest that serves as a reapplication addendum (if you haven’t submitted something like this already) and reiterates what has changed since you applied last year, as well as gives specifics why you are so interested in the school. Also, as an international applicant, they may worry that you won’t have enough time to get your visa documentation in order if admitted late in the summer, so if you can provide details that might help assure them this could be handled quickly, that’s helpful to include as well.

Below is a link to a blog post including tips for writing a strong LOCI to help you draft this:
https://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/how-t ... -interest/

Without knowing more about your current LSAT/GPA and other application factors, deciding whether or not to retake in March is difficult to answer definitively. If you are below the 25th percentile, it sounds like you will want to give yourself any chance at an increase to make yourself more competitive. However, you are right that many schools will hold files if they see an LSAT registration for a future test.
Good luck!
Thank you very much. Appreciated!

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

Post by mutare » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:28 am

Hi Spivey team,

I'm keeping an eye on the Yale application deadline as I polish my very-last-minute application, and was hoping you'd know when the actual application closes for good. Their website states that February 28th is the last day for applications to be accepted, but I wanted to make sure that this meant 11:59 pm on February 28th as opposed to 5 pm or even 11:59 pm tonight. Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks so much!

pioneer1234
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Post by pioneer1234 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:24 am

Hello,

Do you recommend submitting anything similar to a LOCI after receiving the infamous “hold tight” email from NYU? I’ve seen it suggested online by other applicants. I’m not sure if it is a good idea if I haven’t had any large recent developments at my job and have already submitted Why NYU with the original application.

Thank you!

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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 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:33 pm

mutare wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:28 am
Hi Spivey team,

I'm keeping an eye on the Yale application deadline as I polish my very-last-minute application, and was hoping you'd know when the actual application closes for good. Their website states that February 28th is the last day for applications to be accepted, but I wanted to make sure that this meant 11:59 pm on February 28th as opposed to 5 pm or even 11:59 pm tonight. Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks so much!
Hi there! Usually the setting for turning off an application is what you expect, 11:59 pm on Feb 28. Since Yale is on the east coast, however, be prepared for that time to be 11:59 pm Eastern Time. I'm hopeful that LSAC has a way to account for the time zones within their technology, but I would be prepared for it not to.

Good luck!

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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 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:42 pm

pioneer1234 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:24 am
Hello,

Do you recommend submitting anything similar to a LOCI after receiving the infamous “hold tight” email from NYU? I’ve seen it suggested online by other applicants. I’m not sure if it is a good idea if I haven’t had any large recent developments at my job and have already submitted Why NYU with the original application.

Thank you!
Generally speaking, yes, sending a LOCI or some message that strongly indicates your interest is recommended when getting these notifications. You don't have to go into great detail, but the effort tells the school that you are definitely interested, you have really good reasons why it is a fit, and you can remind them of it without having to open your file and re-read your documents. If you are waitlisted later, there are always things you can say or reasons to reach out to a school on occasion to keep them aware of your interest. This list of blogs and videos on our waitlist advice may be helpful to you should you need it!

Mittens7
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Re: Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Post by Mittens7 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:11 pm

Hi there,

I’m writing to ask a question about a pre-decision LOCI.

I applied to Columbia in mid-December with a 3.5/173 (nonURM) w/ 3.5 years work experience. I’ve watched waitlist emails and rejections/acceptances pass by. No interview request. I didn’t do a Why Columbia essay.

My partner is a teacher who is job hunting, and he is starting to get job offers from the NYC area. Would it be appropriate for me to send a LOCI now, informing Columbia that they are my #1 choice, describing how I imagine contributing to their community, and informing them of my partner as a factor? If I’m so lucky as to be waitlisted rather than rejected, I can’t ride a WL into the summer due to the specific timing of my partner’s job hunt. I fully expect I would pay sticker at Columbia.

Thanks for any advice. I don’t want to pester adcomms but we’re getting time-crunched and I don’t want my partner to start turning down offers if Columbia is interested in me.

Softs: 2 years as a paralegal for an environmental org, 1 year as a US Attorney’s Office paralegal; in college, placed 2nd in a national energy policy competition, DI rower for 4 years/co-captain for 1, normal internships/student orgs with an emphasis on evironmental science and religion (double-majored). Wrote a gpa addendum.

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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 Mar 04, 2019 10:30 pm

Mittens7 wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:11 pm
Hi there,

I’m writing to ask a question about a pre-decision LOCI.

I applied to Columbia in mid-December with a 3.5/173 (nonURM) w/ 3.5 years work experience. I’ve watched waitlist emails and rejections/acceptances pass by. No interview request. I didn’t do a Why Columbia essay.

My partner is a teacher who is job hunting, and he is starting to get job offers from the NYC area. Would it be appropriate for me to send a LOCI now, informing Columbia that they are my #1 choice, describing how I imagine contributing to their community, and informing them of my partner as a factor? If I’m so lucky as to be waitlisted rather than rejected, I can’t ride a WL into the summer due to the specific timing of my partner’s job hunt. I fully expect I would pay sticker at Columbia.

Thanks for any advice. I don’t want to pester adcomms but we’re getting time-crunched and I don’t want my partner to start turning down offers if Columbia is interested in me.

Softs: 2 years as a paralegal for an environmental org, 1 year as a US Attorney’s Office paralegal; in college, placed 2nd in a national energy policy competition, DI rower for 4 years/co-captain for 1, normal internships/student orgs with an emphasis on evironmental science and religion (double-majored). Wrote a gpa addendum.
Hi there. We have a blog that speaks to this question in more general terms: https://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/press ... pestering/ that may be helpful—much of the thought process outlined here will apply.

To address your question more specifically, I wouldn't say that it would be inappropriate to send an LOCI, but there isn't much value in it. It likely won't help and an LOCI will do much more good if you are waitlisted. If you send one now, you lose some of that opportunity for an important waitlist communication down the road where it is welcome and adds more value. More importantly, I'd be concerned about how it could come off—it is something you'd have to handle very carefully and I'd be hesitant about mentioning your partner's job search as a factor or anything that could sound like you are asking for special treatment, are not cognizant that many applicants will have personal circumstances to consider, or a soft ultimatum. That doesn't mean I don't see your logic—I absolutely do and this is a good question.

If you were to go about this, I think it may be better to frame it as an update of sorts (we talk about updates in the blog post) with some of what you've described above—letting them know that Columbia is your first choice, how you see yourself contributing, and perhaps emphasizing that your partner has received teaching offers in NYC and that you wanted to let them know because this has made you even more committed to Columbia. But I'd be very careful with that last part if you go this route because if it comes off wrong, it could hurt more than help. Good luck! Fingers crossed that you get a decision soon before your partner has to make decisions—I know it is hard when there are so many moving pieces and things are outside of your control!

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

Post by CelestialLaw07 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:02 pm

Spivey team - have you ever seen a successful tactic to negotiate off the WL or HOLD as offering to defer potential admission to the following year (instead of 2019, offer to defer potential admission to 2020)? Especially if deferring does not have a negative affect to you (the applicant) personally? What would schools think / consider?

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