03 Apr 2013

Mistake #5: "Oxymoronic" LSAT Advice

See previous – Mistake #6: "Help my GPA has fallen and it can't get up" [] Here you have it – two pieces of advice that are not only going to contradict a great deal of what you read online, but which also seem to contradict each other: 1. If you retake the LSAT your score is not likely to go up substantially or beyond the measurement of error for the first test. 2. You should likely retake the LSAT. In

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31 Mar 2013

Mistake #6: "Help my GPA has fallen and it can't get up"

See previous – Mistake #7: Texts, Typos, and Timezones [] I have been following law school discussion forums for a long time. Much has changed over the years, but the next three mistakes have stayed pretty much constant. For #6, we will focus on undergraduate grade point average (uGPA). Invariably, at some point in the admissions cycle, a phenomenon along the lines of the following happens in numerous panicky threads online (a

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26 Mar 2013

Mistake #7: Texts, Typos, and Timezones

See previous – Mistake #8: Kristen Stewart Goes to Law School [] Admissions officers are paid to be friendly, so much so that you may feel like you are on a first-name (or no-name) basis with them. But don’t let this lull you into thinking that it is OK to interact with them the same way that you interact with your friends. Admissions officers are also paid to be on the lookout for the skills and qualities that make f

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23 Mar 2013

Mistake #8: Kristen Stewart Goes to Law School

See previous – Mistake #9: "The History of the World, Part I" [] You know that vapid, dull, emotionless look Kristen Stewart always seems to land some huge acting role with? Law school admissions officers, it turns out, hate it. In particular, they hate it when they ask, “Why do you want to go to law school?” and that is the response they get. Let me quote a law admissions colleague circa 4 days ago: “I am continually ap

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22 Mar 2013

Mistake #9: "The History of the World, Part I"

See previous – Mistake #10: "The Dyson Effect" [] What I am referring to here is a reliance on historical data – particularly data from last year. In the top 10 rankings of applicants mistakes for the class of 2016, this is the only one where there is a great deal of overlap for law schools. In other words, law schools make this mistake just as much as (or more than) law students. It is harming both students and schools alike. But, I

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21 Mar 2013

Mistake #10: "The Dyson Effect"

No, this does not mean anyone or everyone is not up to par this year (although this was my favorite guess at what the Dyson Effect is… thinking through what a Dyson does…). The Dyson Effect simply means that many applicants see themselves in a vacuum. To be fair, this happens every year. In other words I get a good deal of the following. “Dear Spivey, I am a law school applicant from Western State with a LSAC computed uGPA of 3.5 and a 167 LSAT. Can you tell me if I will get into Eastern State

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21 Mar 2013

Not so top 10 -- Mistakes the applicants for the class of 2016 are making.

I correspond with applicants numerous times every day — with clients, friends of friends, via email, in private message [], twitter, one even sent me a postcard from China. Over time I have noticed some trends: namely that these people are really savvy about the state of the legal employment market, technologically much more sophisticated than I am, are pretty realistic that their legal career begins *now (*and not upon entry to or graduation from

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18 Oct 2012

Why does Spivey Consulting turn away clients?

I’ve had to turn away a good number of clients and I have tried very hard to explain to each why that is. It strikes me as a good idea to outline this policy a bit here. There are two possible categories: (1) Admissions So far, the majority of the people I have turned away are prospective students. There are two scenarios that seem to be unfolding. Scenario 1: You want to go to *x *school and from my initial conversation I can tell it seems immensely probable you will get into x school, and li

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28 Aug 2012

“My application is complete but it has not yet gone under review while others have. What gives?" (Part 2 of 2)

Fall means a few things in the world of admissions—one of the most repetitious being the panic that ensues between the time an applicant’s admissions file goes from “incomplete” to “complete” to the time said applicant hears from the admissions office which decision has been rendered: “Admit,” “Priority Waitlist,” “Waitlist,” “Hold,” or  “Deny” (someone remind me to do a post on what each of these categories really means). So before the hundreds if not thousands of threads pop up all of the vari

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03 Aug 2012

What happens to your application once it is submitted to the admissions office? (Part 1 of 2)

There is often a shroud of mystery among applicants once they submit their applications. Questions on popular prospective student message boards such as “why is it taking my application so long to get a decision versus other people who submitted after me?” and “what is holding up my application from going complete?” are rife every year. Sparing you the boring details, here is how the process works (noting that I am not speaking for any one of the more than 200 ABA-approved law schools, but rathe

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