Podcast: Interview with UChicago Law Admissions Dean Ann Perry

In this podcast episode, Mike interviews the long-time Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at University of Chicago Law School, Ann Perry. Mike and Ann discuss admissions across multiple dimensions, including how admissions has changed over the past 20 years, typos in applications, when you should submit your applications (and what counts as "late"), how admissions offices set target medians, character and fitness, admissions pet peeves, and more.

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Full Transcript:

Mike: Hi, this is Status Check with Spivey, where we talk about life, law school, law school admissions, a little bit of everything. Today we are going to fine-point law school admissions with a long-standing Dean of Admissions and friend of mine, Ann Perry, who’s been the Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago [Law School] for 20 years. Ann started right around when I started, maybe a year or two prior, and I didn’t realize she got her start at the University of Illinois in Student Life. But she is one of the luminary admissions deans who’s been around for many years who has seen it all, and we’re going to talk a little bit about it all. What’s the craziest thing Ann’s seen, what she expects for this cycle. Maybe get a few surprises here and there, but this is pure admissions at I hope at a refined and elegant level. And without further delay, let’s turn it over to Ann.

Hey Ann good to see you. It’s been a while.

Ann: Hi Mike, how are you?

Mike: I couldn’t be doing better. I know you are just out in Colorado. I’m sorry I missed you, how was it?

Ann: Colorado is just beautiful. You know, it’s great to see family who I hadn’t seen in over a year, and the mountains just do something to the soul that you can’t get that in Chicago. I really liked it. It was fun.

Mike: How many personal statements have you read in your career about climbing to the top of mountains?

Ann: A lot. I don’t have the exact count but it’s an interesting topic when they write about it, but I can kind of relate to it after being in the mountains.

Mike: If I apply to Chicago Law School that might be my topic.

Ann: Yeah, Mike, you haven’t gone to law school yet, when is that going to happen?

Mike: That’s right, that’s right. So, I think you went to University of Illinois not once but twice, right?

Ann: I did, I did my undergrad there and then I went and got my law degree there. Orange and blue, I love them.

Mike: I think there’s like a word for that, double Illini or something.

Ann: Double Illini, and I’m a loyal alum. My niece went there; she just graduated. And I try to get down there at least for one football game and one basketball game every year. I sat at the athletics board for six years. So I’m a big Illini fan.

Mike: We might do a follow up podcast on how to serve on athletic boards. We’ll stick to admissions. What got you interested in admissions?

Ann: So it’s an interesting story. While I was in law school, my campus job was I was an advisor to student organizations. So I kind of learned about this whole career in university administration, and it was my second year of law school and so I’m like, but I’m still going to finish my law degree, I practiced law for two years. But then a job came open on campus, for the law school at the University of Illinois, and it was alumni relations. So I got that job, they let me live in Chicago, so I went to Champaign probably three or four times a month. And then after two years of that, the Dean of Students job came open at U of I’s law school. And at that time the positon was structured in such a way that you took them from admissions to graduation and everything in between. And so that’s where I really got my admissions experience and loved it. And I loved everything else I was doing, as a dean of students, but admissions was really where my passion was. I loved talking to students, I loved the process. And then the Chicago job happened and somehow I’ve been here almost 20 years.

Mike: Yeah.

Ann: I moved back to the city, I was from Chicago, that was great to get back home to family, but this job obviously here is just focused on admissions, and I really have enjoyed it. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been here almost 20 years. Every cycle’s different. I love getting to see the students and being on campus. I feel it keeps me young and I’m really happy here.

Mike: You look young.

Ann: Thank you.

Mike: I’m aging and you’re not and it’s-

Ann: Oh, come on. You look just the same.

Mike: Would you recommend — just because you spoke with passion about how much you like your job — if 1% of the people listening are thinking about going into admissions as a career, what would you say to that 1%?

Ann: I would say, do it. I would say it is a very rewarding career. You are helping students get to their dream, getting to that next step, starting their careers. And I really find admissions fascinating; there is so much that goes into it, data, marketing. It really kind of pulls on a lot of strengths, and I really find that I’m really happy the way it all worked out for me.

Mike: I bet you — if I had to bet someone who listens to this, to our talk will someday be a Dean of Admissions.

Ann: I bet. I bet.

Mike: How have the applicants changed over the last 20 years?

Ann: So it’s hard for me to say. Like I think what’s changed the most is the process. Like I remember carrying files and files of applications around in big bags.

Mike: We got black boxes is how we did it.

Ann: To my car, taking them home on the weekends. And so the students are very similar right, like I think maybe they’ve gotten a little bit more clear on what their goals are when they are applying now. I think they had a lot of help along the way either from pre-law advisors, other organizations like your company helping them kind of guide them. I think admissions people are very open and spending time with them, so they are putting together really strong applications. Not that they weren’t before, but they just seem much more detailed, but I really think it’s the process. Moving everything online was amazing and in the last year and a half all the stuff, we’ve done virtually that we used to do in person.

Mike: Right.

Ann: Those evolutions have been quite interesting I think in my 20 plus years of doing all this.

Mike: It’s interesting to hear that the applications are more detailed oriented. Obviously, the information available versus when you and I started 22 years ago is just extraordinary.

Ann: Exactly, and I think you just get a lot more information.

Mike: Right. What was interesting to me was when I used to read files on your side of the table, there was almost never a perfect application. Like they had all like tiny minor flaws and it didn’t matter, a period outside the quotation mark versus inside, that had zero bearing on whether we admitted the person or not. But I do remember thinking to myself when I started the firm; one practical notion is most applications are flawed in some way. But are you saying they are much more polished now?

Ann: I do agree with you that there could be a typo or something and those happen. I encourage students to try to put together the best application they can, but I think what stands out is when someone doesn’t. Because so many of them are so strong and so organized. So when someone has really not put forth the effort to put together a good application it just rises to the top, or should I say rises to the bottom.

Mike: To the bottom yes, looks down to the bottom. Just so we don’t panic our listeners one or two or three small typos, not a big deal, correct?

Ann: It happens. Does it keep you from getting into the University of Chicago Law School? No. But do spend some time, because lawyers get paid for proofreading. And for writing, so just do your best.

Mike: Yeah, that’s sort of how I would think of it too. We mentioned how going virtual last cycle, last cycle was historically challenging for applicants, I know it was challenging for law schools too, I think sometimes people lose sight of that. But it was certainly challenging in so many ways for applicants. I don’t really feel like revisiting last cycle, I’ve done so many podcasts on it. But what do you think about this cycle, what are your predictions? I know my predictions.

Ann: I think given the early information that we are getting, like how many are getting LSATs or the interests that we’re seeing on our website. I think it’s going to be up again if not at the same level as the last cycle or higher is my prediction.

Mike: What about the LSAT distribution, last year it was inorganic, as you know, you saw it better than anyone at 170. The 174 was up 56% over 100% at the 175 and above.

Ann: Yeah, I mean that was all very interesting. That’s what made last cycle something new for us to kind of dive into. But we spend a lot of time looking at the data from LSAC, monitoring it and we’ll see what happens now as they changed the format of the LSAT.

Mike: I can’t wait to see that distribution for the August test how it plays out.

Ann: I know. It’s going to be interesting. But I have to say this, LSAC did a tremendous job pivoting to their online test and adjusting to the circumstances brought on by the pandemic. I think they kept the applicant pool out there. And the fact that we are up 33% is interesting. And so I commend LSAC for pivoting like they did, because some of the other tests just didn’t manage.

Mike: You alluded to something that I have complimented them numerous times on the two-and-a-half-month pivot online. But you also even talked upon something I hadn’t even thought about. If they hadn’t done that, I mean, that thing could have been shut down, and it would have just been a year of GPA with no LSAT scores. I think there were second generational problems for how quickly they had – it’s not their fault they had to go online. The distribution was the result of second generational problems. Five-section tests to three-sections test, state dependent learning, taking it at home. But the first generational issue they solved 100%, which is they had to do it and they did it.

Ann: It saved the application cycle.

Mike: Yeah, that’s a fair point.

Ann: So we’ll see how this cycle goes. I am excited, I think there is always something new to learn and we just really watch the data. That’s one thing I’ve learned probably the most in the last five or six years is how much the data plays into this looking at things. Looking at things, at the big picture. My dean’s a PhD in Economics, so he loves the data.

Mike: Who is your dean now?

Ann: Tom Miles, he’s been on our faculty he just started his second term.

Mike: I knew Saul, your dean way years back.

Ann: He’s still here. He’s still here. Saul’s still in the building. He’s great.

Mike: Okay, so if last cycle was a 10 out of 10 competitive, are you willing to wager a guess on what number that is going to be for this cycle, this coming cycle?

Ann: I just feel because last cycle was so big and competitive, it’s going to continue for a bit. I think it’s going to be competitive.

Mike: I gave it an 8.5 for this cycle but I’m just plucking that number.

Ann: Why did you go down 1.5, what do you think’s happening?

Mike: So I’ve seen the curve look distributed normally for 21 of 22 years, and my only data point of the weird distribution at the tail end was last year. So I think they are going to tighten up the curve and – I think they didn’t account for things like less anxiety taking it alone at home versus a room of 30 crowded people. I think they didn’t account for state dependent learning, studying in your home bedroom, taking it in your home bedroom. I think they didn’t quite account for turning a five-section test into a three-section test. I know it’s four sections now. I think all that’s going to tighten the curve a little bit. I do think the number of applicants is probably going to be very similar at least from the early data as you alluded to. But I think the curve might not be so many people, 170 to 180 if that makes sense.

Ann: Yeah, we’ll just have to see. Like I said, that’s what makes every cycle a little different, so you know, I’m reading applications and everything, now application goes live September one.

Mike: Yeah.

Ann: Every cycle’s a little different that’s another thing what I love about my job. It’s not mundane and it changes.

Mike: 100%, every cycle is different. But maybe something that’s pretty consistent is — and this is a question we get all the time and that our listeners wanted me to ask you — when is sort of like the early period to get your application submitted in? When is regular and when would you consider late?

Ann: I think early applications are those that get in before November, before Thanksgiving. I think getting things in before Thanksgiving I would consider early. Like I said, our application goes live September 1, and I’m always anxious to see how many people apply on that date.

Mike: (Laughs) Of course.

Ann: But, in September and October, we are recruiting, we’re doing all the recruiting events. And majority of it would be virtual again but back before the pandemic, we are traveling all over. So there is no time to really start the reading. But getting in there, I think that would be early before Thanksgiving.

Mike: Right.

Ann: And then I think between Thanksgiving and January 1, is mid-level, and middle of January, and then I think if you start approaching the deadline, it just gets a little tighter obviously.

Mike: Right.

Ann: And I think it’s just to your benefit to be in those early groups. Because we review applications in the order that they are completed.

Mike: So small ball here, you sort by date stamp.

Ann: Mm-hm.

Mike: Okay, that’s interesting. Just for the listeners’ sake, this is one school, there are other schools that sort in different ways. And the reason why I want to fine-point on this for a second is sometimes people will apply in September, and they’ll see that people who applied in November – October, November, December got earlier decisions than they did. This happens every cycle, I wish I could like stamp it on my forehead to help people. And they’re wondering why they applied in September and people are here who’ve applied in December and because a lot of schools don’t sort by date stamp they sort by different LSAT, GPA.

Ann: Right.

Mike: Obviously, the file has to be completed, I know you know all of this.

Ann: For us it’s just basically all date driven.

Mike: How do you set medians, like target medians? I know how you get medians. How do you set target medians?

Ann: So it’s a couple of things, working with the data, looking at the prior cycles, looking at what we know of the current cycle and then talking with the admissions committee and the dean. And trying to see if we can stick to it. That’s really how we do it. We want to see what everything is looking like. I’m sure you say this to your clients all the time, it’s more than just the numbers, we are fortunate here at Chicago. Last year I think it was over 6,500 applications. So we can go beyond test scores and GPA. But you do set those medians to just kind of help gauge how the cycle is going to go and where you hope to end the class.

Mike: Yeah, one of the interesting phenomena about competitive cycles is schools actually tend to lock in their medians a little earlier, and then they have a little bit more bandwidth and breadth to take those people who they really like. Who they read, those 6,500 files, there’s going to be, I don’t know 50, 500, whatever the number is that you just really like. And during competitive cycles, in some sense, you’re given more leeway to admit some of those folks.

Ann: Exactly, so we’ll see, but that’s kind of how we set those medians. Our medians don’t change considerably.

Mike: Well, your GPA is really sky-high and I’m guessing that’s something that’s very important to your institution.

Ann: Yeah, you can get those correlation studies, and the test score is one thing, but the GPA is something that the applicants worked on for their four years of college right, five years of college. And it says a lot; the GPA gives you a lot of information because you have the majors, you have what else were they doing while they were in school. And the nice thing as you know about medians, half the class is above half the class is below, so I like to talk in ranges. But our GPA, I think the emphasis on the GPA is just more reflective of what else we’re learning from the GPA.

Mike: Yeah, what is your GPA range generally?

Ann: Our median I think last year was a 3.89, but the range was probably down to a 3.2 to over a 4.0.

Mike: I think that’s going to surprise some people. I think there’s probably this thought out there that if you’re under a 3.4 you have zero chance in Chicago, and I hate the concept of someone thinking zero chance.

Ann: I don’t want them thinking zero chance, because it’s really — that’s why I always publish our ranges, because I just want applicants to understand there is not a computer telling me who to admit.

Mike: Right, right.

Ann: If we were going to be so tight on the numbers, there’d be a computer program doing my job.

Mike: Yes, the Dean of Admissions is not the admissions bot.

Ann: Right.

Mike: Okay. Merit aid, is that evaluated differently, how is it decided on?

Ann: So that’s another holistic review. You know, we tell our applicants that once they’re admitted, their file gets automatically considered for scholarship, and you don’t have to forward an additional application, and you know, it’s just looking at the holistic information and who we think would be a strong candidate here. We’re very lucky to have our Rubenstein Scholars which is our full tuition with a stipend.

Mike: That’s what I was about to say. I was with you — the last time I saw you in Colorado, which was years ago, you had the good fortune of being able to — you were in a Starbucks Coffee and I came out to meet you and you had just given out a couple of Rubensteins.

Ann: Right. So those are great, we are making quite an investment in those students. The scholarship — you know we try to make it work for people financially, that’s an investment that they’re making, and we are making an investment into them. And so, the scholarshipping is a holistic, another review that happens.

Mike: In some sense I always think of it as more holistic, because at least when I was in admissions, like take Vanderbilt for example, we had a version of your full scholarship which was the John Wade scholar, but we only gave out like – well, we offered like 18 to get like six. Because everyone was admitted to Chicago or Harvard, Yale, et cetera, in that small group. So everyone’s numbers were 175 plus and 3.9 plus. So the numbers didn’t differentiate at all at that level, so it was just like, what about this person have they overcome, or —

Ann: Right.

Mike: Exactly, so to me they was even more holistic.

Ann: No, I agree. I agree.

Mike: Another reason to polish up your application.

Ann: Right.

Mike: Something I talk about a lot is — professional persistence, and what I mean by that is it’s really good to stay in touch with the admissions office over time, because when you get to that point where the medians are shored up, it’s nice for them to know your name. But you have to really — I have this stupid analogy and if you can come up with a better one for me, good gracious I’ll use it. I think of like this revolutionary warship and it has eight cannon balls. For some reason they only have eight.

Ann: Okay.

Mike: And the other ship is like, it comes into sight 500 yards away. Yeah, fire one cannon ball but don’t fire all eight when it’s 500 yards away. Wait for it to get closer, fire another, wait for it to get closer, fire your third. In other words, space out your point of contact, visit but then don’t send three follow-up emails and a letter of continued interest. Space that stuff out. How would you sort of titrate that sort of…?

Ann: I think that’s absolutely what needs to happen, space it out. And remember you are not the only one that is working with an admission office. And so just make sure you keep the contact professional, and provide new information. Don’t just send me a note saying that you are still on the waitlist and you want to know that “I’m still interested.” Add a little bit more, like what were you doing this summer that might not be in an updated resume? But it’s definitely spacing it out. You don’t want to be known in the admissions office as someone that’s reaching out every week, that just doesn’t bode well. And we all talk; they’ll tell me if there is someone that’s been unprofessional or reaching out too many times.

Mike: Right.

Ann: So I think that’s excellent advice, spacing it out and being thoughtful in what you’re saying and why you’re reaching out.

Mike: I think that as a whole, applicants probably don’t realize the percentage of people that are just pinging you all every week. And I thought long and hard about this, they don’t mean to be doing it. Six out of seven days impulse regulation is winning, but there is a seventh day where you have these high achieving people saying, “I can be proactive and determine my outcomes.” And there is such a thing as being way too proactive in the process.

Ann: Right, I think there’s a balance here, and we are looking for students who are ultimately going to be lawyers, so we need to see that they have a level of professionalism to start it, to handle their communication in appropriate way.

Mike: Yeah, that’s a good way of putting it. Do you have a crazy story? We have a blog on our website about our craziest admissions stories. You know a lot of people at our firm, and we each have some stories, a person waiting for you in the dark parking garage or they show up at your house.

Ann: Right.

Mike: Do any come to mind?

Ann: So there’s this one, and this is before we went all online applications and you were getting mail and you were opening up envelopes. This applicant wrote the personal statement on the back of a shoe in order to get their foot in the door.

Mike: In order to get their foot into the door, all right I knew that was –

Ann: Yeah, and so I was like what? Because again, this is not the time to be creative or adding a tone of humor because it’s a professional school, and I think the shoe just always comes to mind when asked that question because it was so crazy.

Mike: I got a shoe when I was at Vanderbilt too.

Ann: Did you? Could have been the same applicant.

Mike: (Laughs) But then it didn’t come affixed with a personal statement.

I’m going to regret telling you this story, I really am because I don’t think props ever work, but I also hate the word “ever” so I will tell you the one time that I really appreciated it. An applicant sent an application with an Uno card on her personal statement. It was the Uno, which is a card game for —

Ann: Right, right, oh yeah I’ve played.

Mike: It was the wildcard, and the personal statement was about how she used to play with her grandparents, and as a child she was afraid to use the wildcard because she didn’t understand that it was always going to get put back in the deck. So she thought if she ever got it she would never get it again. So that was her like, “Okay I’m going to use it for the first time in my life after never having used it.” That’s another example of you could do something the right way and the wrong way, and it probably had something to do with the way she worded her personal statement. It wasn’t overly assertive; it didn’t come across as a prop, it just came across as “This is a really meaningful thing to me so I’m going to include it.”

Ann: Exactly, I mean just hearing your story, she used it as a way to tie in, and you got to know a little bit about her; she played Uno with her grandparents.

Mike: I remember her name to this day. This is 20 years ago; that’s how — now Chicago law is going to get 75 Uno cards this year so I just —

Ann: They are going to have to somehow figure out how to upload them.

Mike: (laughs) Yeah, good point. We’ll do the flip side of the endearing story. Do you have any pet peeves — for example, you know Karen Buttenbaum one of my business partners very well.

Ann: Yes.

Mike: If Karen were still at Harvard Law, she would not admit someone — I’m not kidding because she brings this up all the time — if they use the word “hone” in their personal statement. She literally would just deny them. I don’t think she would even look at their numbers. You have any like pet peeves?

Ann: The quotes at the top of the personal statement just kind of get under my skin a little bit. I’m not saying I haven’t admitted someone who starts their personal statement with a quote, but unless it’s your quote, it’s not a personal statement about you, so that kind of gets to me a little bit. And I think when they’re trying to personalize a personal statement — and you do not have to do this for Chicago — but they insert the school name and they get the wrong school.

Mike: Right.

Ann: And it happens. It’s a cut and paste, search and find error, but again the attention to detail is important and I’m like, “Come on buddy, get it right.”

Mike: Yeah, the wrong school thing was a big one, I remember denying a lot of those people when I was at Vanderbilt. “All my life I’ve wanted to go to Duke.” Okay so you either don’t care enough about Vanderbilt to double check, or you are so over confident you don’t think it matters, is how my mind interpreted.

Ann: Exactly.

Mike: I have a couple of weird ones. I don’t like it when people qualify the word unique, because it’s a binary word. Something can’t be very unique or kind of unique. And if I were reading files — I see that almost every day; someone will tweet something, “Oh, I have this very unique story,” well no, it’s just unique.

Ann: Right.

Mike: The other one, tell me if this annoys you. The other one is when someone will email me and they won’t include their time zone. Well, it’s a global economy, like okay we can talk on the phone at 1:00 PM, but is that New Zealand time, do I need to be awake at 3:00 AM?

Ann: Right, right. I think that gets annoying when you don’t know exactly the time zones, because you are right. We are communicating with people all over the country. So, I have to sometimes remind myself, Central Time, Mountain Time.

Mike: Yeah, I mean these are little things and they just add up. When you’ve been doing admissions for a long while, sometimes those little things just start getting on your nerve when you see them all the time.

Ann: Exactly.

Mike: I do think the idea about the – I never even see a reason to put a school name in there, why risk it?

Ann: I agree. You don’t have to. If you are applying to Chicago, I assume you are going to want to go to Chicago.

Mike: (Laughs) Right, exactly. So speaking of that, what’s your favorite thing about Chicago Law School?

Ann: You know, it’s crazy that I’ve been here as long as I have. A few things. Can I say three things?

Mike: Sure, you can say 300.

Ann: First, it’s our faculty. I mean our faculty are so engaged with their students, not just in the classroom but outside the classroom. Having them over for dinner, going out for drinks. It’s just like kind of, they’re really here to teach, and you can just see it. I say this till I’m blue in the face and you really have to see it in action. I think they’re great.

I think we bring in really interesting students from all over the country, and it might be their first time in Chicago, the city of Chicago. I just love seeing students, it’s getting close to orientation. Orientation for us starts September 9th, and it will be fun to have the students in the building, and seeing them and just knowing they’re starting their careers. And our students really, I find them very engaged as well, working with each other, working with the community, working with the faculty, and so I really appreciate who we get to come into Chicago.

And then finally is being part of the University of Chicago. Being on the main campus with the rest of the university and everything that comes with that. Students able to take classes in other divisions and go to lectures, interacting with the different graduate students. So the campus is just a fun and engaged campus.

Mike: I’m going to regret saying this because some other Dean of Admissions is going to listen and hate me. Chicago is the only big city I could live in.

Ann: There’s a lot going on and it’s a beautiful city from the architecture to being on a lake. Another Dean of Admissions and I always argue, she doesn’t agree that we have beaches but we do have sandy beaches.

Mike: I’ve run on them.

Ann: It is a great city.

Mike: Yeah, I guess if Boston is defined as a big city I could live in Boston, but that’s it man, I’m not a city person. You have a wonderful city; I love visiting your campus. It’s been a while.

Ann: Yeah.

Mike: But I do love it when I get to go to the law school.

Ann: Well swing by.

Mike: Do you still have that reflective pool at the front?

Ann: Yeah, yeah.

Mike: Okay I’ll swing by and I’ll jump in that. No one can – well, I still might apply to Chicago Law School. So never mind, I’m not going to jump into the pool. Would that be a character and fitness issue or no, if someone –?

Ann: No, no, no. And it’s really kind of become like graduation — and all these students stand in the reflecting pool for their end of the year photo, end of career photo.

Mike: What would be a character and fitness issue that’s borderline keeping someone in or out and what would be a hard no?

Ann: That’s an interesting question. I think if there’s academic dishonesty, I think if there is multiple character and fitness like three, four, then there is a pattern forming that kind of gives us some pause. But I think the academic dishonesty is a problem.

Mike: And I think there is gradients there because I have seen a lot of the – look, I was in the lab of four people —

Ann: Exactly.

Mike: Right, there was a lab class and we all submitted the same thing, we didn’t know it was against policy.

Ann: Right, but then when there’s a pretty verified plagiarism.

Mike: Yeah, agreed. I do think that, to relieve some of our listeners, the typical character and fitness thing, which you’ve seen for 20 plus years of your career, one open container or you were having a loud party in your dorm. Those things don’t even – correct me if I’m wrong, but they don’t even like – you see one of those and you just turn the page. It’s just so tiny.

Ann: Right, you see one of those. But when you start seeing three, four, five of those in one college career, that takes a lot to get caught five times.

Mike: What if I had three loud parties spaced out over four years. Would that be sort of an open door closed? I’m actually curious now.

Ann: It won’t close the door. That wouldn’t close the door.

Mike: Why is this guy so loud?

Ann: Right, there is a couple of ways you could see that, but I don’t think that’s going to keep you from Chicago at all.

Mike: Yeah, I mean, when you are talking about systemic — I can now think back to like 16 speeding tickets. Well three speeding tickets, sure whatever, you are in a hurry.

Ann: Right.

Mike: Me too, kid. 16 and you’re like what is going on in your life?

Ann: Exactly, like that’s where you kind of question what else is going on in this person’s world that might not make law school the right next step for them?

Mike: Yeah, systemic patterns are things that I know most schools look at.

Ann: Yeah.

Mike: I know we are almost at our time cut off ,and I know you are busy so I want to thank you for your time.

Ann: Oh, my pleasure Mike. It’s always good to see you.

Mike: Yeah, yeah ,and we’ll catch up in that reflective pool when I’m in Chicago next.

Ann: And I’ll get back on to Colorado.

Mike: Thank you, I’d love to see you. Any final words for people who are in this cycle?

Ann: You know, I just like to remind students to follow every school’s instructions. Don’t assume one thing, if you have a question get the answer. We have a lot of good information on our website, our UChigago Law Welcome Center for applicants that will give you a lot of tips. So just spend your time putting together your application. Don’t leave it for the day before you want to hit submit. Put in the effort, because you are starting your legal career with this application.

Mike: Yeah, I always say don’t give an arbitrary date; “I’m going to be done by October 15” — be done when you have a really good application.

Ann: Exactly.

Mike: It might be October 14th but it might be November 1. That’s not going to make a difference.

Ann: My team is, we are ready to read applications, but we want it to be the best it can be. You are putting forth your strongest effort.

Mike: I’ll pay you a compliment; I’ve seen you read applications — I know you get excited with every one. That’s probably pretty rare. I’ve seen you excitedly at Starbucks plowing through applications.

Ann: Yeah, it is a fun job. I come back to that. I really feel fortunate to have found this career.

Mike: Yeah. It’s good to see you, thank you.

Ann: Great to see you.

Mike: We’ll catch up again in person soon.

Ann: Yeah, for sure, all right!