Admissions

10 Jan 2015

Applicant Question: "When a law school Defers/WL's someone well below the medians but has great softs, is this a polite way to reject them?"

Highly likely it’s not. Unless the applicant is some form of “special interest,” meaning that they have people who are donors interested in their admission, connections to the law school itself, etc. you really wouldn’t defer someone just to intentionally deny them later. That isn’t doing either you or them any favors. Rather, you defer them to see how your numbers look throughout the entirety of the cycle. At some point almost every school, including T3, will say “our medians look like x and z

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09 Jan 2015

Applicant questions answered, "will high LSAT scores be MORE or LESS valuable this cycle"

“Mike and Karen, as the number of takers continues to drop, won’t it become MORE acceptable to drop a median point in favor of maintaining GPA? Won’t this make high scores LESS valuable? For example, if Harvard or Yale’s median is going to drop to 172, doesn’t a 173 become LESS valuable, not more? If the median drops a point, suddenly, the pool of at/above median expands, right? So, in theory, I should be rooting for medians to stay the same?” This is something we spend a good deal of time loo

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06 Aug 2014

Debunking The 1-Page Law School Resume Myth

Let’s put an end to a false piece of advice that we recently saw on the internet — and more worrisome, that people give mixed messages on every year — about law school résumés. I won’t link the article because we are not writing this to personally call someone out, but it is written by someone who tutors for the LSAT. I imagine they are a wonderful LSAT tutor. The advice however, is about law school admissions, and is stated in such strong language it sounds like a near absolute. Thus, it is not

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17 May 2014

The Top 10 Law School Personal Statement Mistakes

1. Not proofreading your own work. We’ve all been there: we just want to be done with the darn thing and send it off.  You’ve looked at it many, many times, dissecting every word and comma but you missed that you wrote pubic instead of public. Not the same word! We are not the best judge of our own tone because *we *know what we meant to convey, but does someone else reading it know what you meant?  Have someone read it. Then, before submitting, read again. Out l

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30 Nov 2013

Generation Neurotic

Every generation, it seems, gets a label. It’s what older, grouchier people like to do — label those younger than themselves as worse at something than they are. And it makes life more simple. For my generation, "Generation X",  we were dubbed “lackluster.”  We lacked passion and focus. To a great extent, I believe that was accurate. When I was 20 I wasn’t worried about graduate school or my career. Indeed, the only career thoughts I had was of opening some small business at a ski town. But most

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22 Nov 2013

103 Pages of Free Law School Admissions Advice

The following is the collective advice we (Karen and I) have given on top-law-schools, without the external noise, bad jokes (mostly from Mike), etc. It is organized categorically, not by date posted. Enjoy! http://www.mediafire.com/view/ng3p9aw0dbbcc28/SpiveyQA.pdf

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18 Nov 2013

Pressure Points in Contacting Admissions: Professional Persistence versus Pestering?

The hardest part of the admissions cycle is the wait. For many it is worse than logic games, worse than filling out applications, dropdown boxes, questions that you have to answer that you should not have to (e.g. has anyone influenced your decision to attend our law school, yes or yes?), etc. The wait only gets intensified when others start hearing from your dream school and you are, well, waiting. What is more, if you are applying to law school you are likely a proactive person. You WANT to b

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16 Sep 2013

Top 10 Law School Application Grammar Blunders

Don’t do your best proofreading after you hit submit! Over the years, I have seen many grammatical errors in applications.  We all make mistakes, but some of these are becoming so increasingly common that I want to share them with you so that you can avoid them.  Here are my top ten grammatical (or other) errors that I have seen in applications over the years: 10.          Improper use of to, two, and too.  Spell check won’t fix this; there is no substitute for proofreading. 9.            Usi

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11 Sep 2013

Forums & Fairs: Win, lose or draw?

Admissions Forums and Admissions Fairs matter. I would argue that as attendance at these events has waned steadily in the past 12 years, they now matter more than ever for the simple reason you can make a last impression. Still, there are enough people at each law school’s table where you will have to do it the right way. Here is how: 1. First impressions matter Research on first impressions in a business context shows that we are not forming a single first impression but rather two. One, we a

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04 Sep 2013

...A word or two (words to enjoy, words that annoy)

As I was cleaning out my office at Harvard Law School, I came across a list that I used to keep during file review season: my list of words. It started as a list of words/phrases that I didn’t like, but then I thought that was too negative, so I added a list of words/phrases that I like. I have always loved the art of language, the sound and meaning of words to convey facts, emotions, subtle hints of attitude, etc. After reading thousands of personal statements, additional statements, resumes an

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