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Status Check with Spivey

Spivey Consulting Group

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Hosted by Mike Spivey, founder of the Spivey Consulting Group, the Status Check covers life and wellbeing plus all things law school and admissions. Our admissions advice comes from our Spivey Consulting team — who collectively have over 220 years of experience working in law school admissions offices including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Chicago, and Penn — and covers how to get into the best possible law school you can, plus news and predictions about the current state of law school admissions.
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, SCG Pre-L Consultant and Fordham Law professor Jordana Confino has a conversation with legal writing coach and Dear 1L author Amanda Haverstick about legal writing and tackling your 1L year. You can learn more about Dear 1L here, connect with Amanda via LinkedIn here, or email her directly at amanda@dear…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Ann Perry, the University of Chicago Law School's Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, joins Mike Spivey and Anna Hicks-Jaco to tier-rank law school admissions strategies sourced from the folks over on the r/LawSchoolAdmissions subreddit. They talk about a huge range of topics, including pers…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Anna Hicks-Jaco speaks with Pre-L consultants Rob Cacace and Jordana Confino (bios here) about the growing importance of work experience in admissions, why the impact of being a "KJD" (going "from Kindergarten through law school" without full-time work experience) has increased over time, and—importantly…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike discusses the various factors that play into any given applicant's chances of admission coming off the waitlist. He also gives a quick preview of our (very early) predictions for next cycle. You can listen and subscribe to Status Check with Spivey on ⁠⁠Apple Podcasts⁠⁠, ⁠⁠Spotify⁠⁠, ⁠⁠YouTube⁠⁠, and…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Anna Hicks-Jaco has a conversation with Paula Gluzman—a Spivey consultant and former law school admissions officer at UCLA and UW—as well as two of her past clients who successfully transferred law schools: Katie, who transferred from a regional law school in Texas to Columbia, and Melissa, who transferr…
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In this brief episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike discusses the changes U.S. News made to their methodology this year. You can view the full list of new law school rankings (with +/-) here. You can listen to Mike's last podcast, "Why Rankings Matter to People (& Why They Should Not)," here. You can listen and subscribe to Status Check with Sp…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Anna Hicks-Jaco has a conversation with PowerScore Founder & CEO Dave Killoran about the removal of the Logic Games section of the LSAT, the new writing section, and what all this might mean for the future of the law school admissions. You can listen and subscribe to Status Check with Spivey on ⁠⁠Apple P…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, five Spivey consultants discuss their experiences as first-generation college students, law students, and lawyers, with a particular focus on passing along advice and knowledge that they wish they had known. The episode includes Sir Williams, Derek Meeker, Sam Kwak, Peter Cramer, and Rob Cacace, who, amo…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike discusses some of the psychological and societal reasons that rankings seem to matter so much to people—then explains the reasons that they shouldn't matter as much as they do. You can listen and subscribe to Status Check with Spivey on ⁠⁠Apple Podcasts⁠⁠, ⁠⁠Spotify⁠⁠, ⁠⁠YouTube⁠⁠, and ⁠⁠Google Podc…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Anna Hicks-Jaco has a conversation with two Spivey consultants, Peter Cramer and Tom Robinson (you can read their bios here), on differences in the admissions process for international applicants, how law school admissions has changed for international students over time, and our best advice for strategi…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Anna has a conversation with Joe Pollak—one of Spivey's consultants and a former admissions officer at the University of Michigan Law School—about differences and similarities in law school admissions today vs. ten years ago. Anna brings the perspective of someone who was applying to law school a decade …
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This week we talked about our reactions to the Grammys, recommended a few kids shows, discovered the origination of the term "boomshakalaka," picked out favorite Super Bowl prop bets (including how many times Taylor Swift will be shown) and decided which TV family would win a cage match. Join us for all that and more...…
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After an agonizing hiatus, The Spivey Special Podcast is back with an exciting, high-energy Season 4 premiere! Catch our vivacious team reviving the familiar Grab Bag and Food Court Files segments while introducing new ones. This episode revolves around our football banter, a detailed look at shows screened on Peacock, a meat thermometer that casts…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike interviews Dr. Peter Grinspoon—physician, Harvard Medical School instructor, and author of Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction, in which he writes about his struggles with and recovery from opiate addiction. Mike and Dr. Grinspoon discuss mental health and wellness for high performers, wh…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, current applicant and Redditor Extension_Ad_1432, who we call "Julia," interviews Spivey Consulting's new President, Anna Hicks-Jaco—unscripted and unprepared, "Ask Me Anything"-style—on anything and everything that was on her mind. They discuss factors impacting this cycle, advice for applicants who app…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Anna Hicks-Jaco, Spivey Consulting's new President, discusses common mistakes that applicants make in the second part of their admissions cycle—after they've submitted their applications. You can listen and subscribe to Status Check with Spivey on ⁠⁠Apple Podcasts⁠⁠, ⁠⁠Spotify⁠⁠, ⁠⁠Stitcher⁠⁠, ⁠⁠YouTube⁠…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike interviews best-selling author Brad Stulberg (whose books include Master of Change, The Practice of Groundedness, Peak Performance, and The Passion Paradox) on how to make real and lasting change in your life. Brad and Mike discuss why we resist change, elective vs. forced change, identity, and how …
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike interviews Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman, MD, a psychiatrist and best-selling author of The Molecule of More. Mike and Dr. Lieberman discuss tenacity, goal-setting, and both achieving and finding contentment in success—all as they relate to not just law school admissions (Dr. Lieberman gives some excellen…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike interviews UVA Law Admissions Dean Natalie Blazer on differences between this year and past years in admissions, special factors influencing this cycle, AI in admissions, and an insider look into UVA Law's application review process (including why some applicants hear back sooner than others). For m…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike interviews Ellen Cassidy, author of the acclaimed Loophole in LSAT Logical Reasoning and founder of Elemental Prep, on LSAT strategies, handling expectations (both from others and self-imposed), trends in law school applicants/LSAT-takers over time, and more. Ellen, as an LSAT expert and former appl…
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Join us as we chat through the Kings Cavs game. We watched this game live and gave our thoughts as the game progressed and talked with the chat and had a fun Monday night. We are on each week live on YouTube, X, Facebook and Twitch. Join in on the chat and stay for the beam. Checkout our new merch at https://streamlabs.com/spiveyspecialpodcast1/mer…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike discusses the reasons that this law school admissions cycle will be the slowest one ever (or at least within our admissions careers)—and, perhaps more importantly, what you should do about it if you're a current applicant. You can listen and subscribe to Status Check with Spivey on ⁠⁠Apple Podcasts⁠…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike gives his top 5 pieces of advice from his 20+ years working in law school admissions. You can listen and subscribe to Status Check with Spivey on ⁠Apple Podcasts⁠, ⁠Spotify⁠, ⁠Stitcher⁠, ⁠YouTube⁠, and ⁠Google Podcasts⁠. You can read a full transcript of this episode ⁠here⁠.…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, two experienced and respected law school Deans—Craig Boise, Dean of Syracuse University College of Law, and Daniel Rodriguez, former Dean of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law—discuss the history, the present, and the future of law school admissions and legal education. Their conversation cov…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike discusses a question we receive often (especially lately, in light of the most recent U.S. News law school ranking methodology changes that significantly emphasized job outcomes over admissions metrics)—just how important is work experience in the law school application process? You can listen and s…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike has a conversation with Spivey Consulting's COO Anna Hicks-Jaco about what to expect during the upcoming cycle, her perspective as both a recent Dean of Admissions and relatively recent applicant, and advice for applicants getting ready to apply. Mike and Anna mention several resources and past podc…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Spivey Consulting's COO Anna Hicks-Jaco gives the insider perspective on AI-generated personal statements—currently a hot topic of discussion in law school admissions offices—and critiques two personal statements written using ChatGPT. One of the AI-written essays follows a more general prompt, and one a…
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As much as we deign to use absolutes, there is at least one principle we can think of that is absolutely non-negotiable in law school admissions. Regardless of your qualifications, breaking this rule can tank any applicant's chances—this episode of Status Check with Spivey discusses that rule. Mike mentions our blog post predicting the 2023-2024 ad…
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In this brief episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike discusses what has grown in recent years to be the biggest myth in law school admissions today. Mike mentions two previous Status Check episodes in this podcast: Dr. Jud Brewer on the Highly Effective Way to Overcome Anxiety Dean Z on Underrated/Overrated Law School Admissions Advice + Answeri…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike continues his conversation with Dean Sarah Zearfoss (also known as "Dean Z"), who in her role as Senior Assistant Dean at the University of Michigan Law School has overseen the admissions office for the past 23 years. Dean Z also hosts the popular law school admissions podcast A2Z with Dean Z. In th…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike discusses the recent Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard Supreme Court decision—which ruled against the legality of race-conscious admissions or "affirmative action"—and what it means for law school applicants, particularly applicants of color. He is joined by two guests, Sydney Montgomery (Exec…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike has a conversation with Dean Sarah Zearfoss (also known as "Dean Z"), who, in her role as Senior Assistant Dean at the University of Michigan Law School, has overseen the admissions office for the past 23 years. Dean Z also hosts the popular law school admissions podcast A2Z with Dean Z. In the inte…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, we wrap up our ongoing conversation with "Lucy," a 2022-2023 law school applicant from Reddit (thank you, u/Accomplished-Body785!). We interviewed Lucy at several points throughout her cycle, and in this episode, we delve into her final decisions and her process of deciding where to attend. You can find …
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike gives an insider perspective on the new 2023-2024 U.S. News law school rankings (full +/- list here), the changes in methodology that they made, and how this year's rankings (and the surrounding controversy) may impact law school admissions and legal education moving forward. You can listen and subs…
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In this short episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike talks about the widespread notion that, even beyond whatever specific and concrete challenges we each may be facing, there is an added factor of "everything" (in today's society, in life) that can sometimes feel crushing. Then he gives some advice. You can listen and subscribe to Status Check …
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This week, we're re-releasing a 2021 episode of Status Check with Spivey that is more relevant to our listeners than ever—our interview with Dr. Guy Winch. In what has ended up being one of our favorite episodes ever, Dr. Winch discusses his own experiences with rejection in admissions, the research behind these feelings, and specific interventions…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Spivey Consulting's Derek Meeker interviews a Harvard Law 2L (and former client) who transferred from the University of Idaho. They talk about his background and story, his non-traditional path to law school, his initial 1L application, his transfer application (and what made it shine), the expectations …
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike interviews Kate Reder Sheikh, a Partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa, one of the top recruiting firms for legal hiring in the nation. Mike and Kate discuss the legal hiring market, how legal hiring may be impacted by the state of the economy in the coming months and years, what you can do to best posi…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike offers some tips and advice for getting a job out of law school from his time as a Dean of Career Services during the great recession. Part 2 is an interview with Kate Reder Sheikh, a Partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa, one of the top recruiting firms for legal hiring in the nation. You can listen a…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike talks to Spivey Consulting's COO Anna Hicks-Jaco about a question from Reddit—one that we hear many times every year. "How do I stop being so attached to my dream school?" This episode mentions several other interviews, including our episode with Dr. Guy Winch and our episode with Dr. Judson Brewer.…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike discusses the factors that have led to this historically slow-moving cycle—and how you can strategically leverage that knowledge to your advantage. Mike references two of our other episodes in this podcast: When Should You Reach Out to an Admissions Office, and How Should You Do It? Dr. Guy Winch on…
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In this short episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike discusses a question that tends to come up frequently this time of year—“Should I contact x law school's admissions office to ask for an update since I haven't heard back yet?”—then talks generally about when it can be advantageous to reach out to admissions, why, and how you should do it. You…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike talks about how online law school admissions discussion can affect (or not affect) your outcomes. Are adcoms on Reddit? Will they Google you? What sorts of online conduct can turn an admit into a waitlist or deny? Mike gives his thoughts on these questions and more from 15+ years following law schoo…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike gives an update on 2022-2023 applicant data and discusses admissions strategies for the second half of the application cycle: waitlists and letters of continued interest, tips for asking for scholarship reconsideration, and handling the waiting/anxiety. (It may surprise you how impactful that last i…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike talks about the different factors that precipitate waves of law school admissions decisions being released, especially late in the cycle/during waitlist season. You can listen and subscribe to Status Check with Spivey on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube, SoundCloud, and Google Podcasts. Yo…
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In this episode of Status Check with Spivey, Mike interviews Jordana Confino, Assistant Dean of Professionalism at Fordham Law School, about ways that law school applicants and students (and in fact, any applicant or student) can healthily cope with and reduce stress and increase overall happiness and well-being. Jordana is a graduate of Yale Unive…
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