Law School Admissions Coaching - Frequently Asked Questions
- I live so far away from you! How would we end up working together?
- Do you write essays for your clients?
- Can you guarantee me admission to a particular school? What is your success rate?
- I don't want to retain you if you're just going to tell me that I am not likely to get into School X, or that I'm not ready to apply, or that I shouldn't be applying at all.
- The counseling process involves a lot of personal details. I'm nervous about sharing them with a stranger.
- I'm embarrassed about some really stupid things I've done.
- I'm probably not in the running for a top school. Will you still work with me?
- I graduated from college quite some time ago and am contemplating a serious career change. Will you work with me even though I am not a recent college graduate?
- When is the best time to start working together on admissions strategy?
- I applied last year on my own and am not happy with my results. Do you work with re-applicants?
- Can you come to my school or organization to speak to our group?
- Where can I find out more about your team's background?
- What kind of turn-around do you offer?
- What are your fees?
- Should I wait until I have my LSAT scores before I contact you?
- Can I work with Anna Ivey personally?
Our clients are located all over the world, and we routinely work with people as far away from us as Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. We use technologies like Skype to communicate with people over long distances, and each of our clients also receives a password-protected website where we post messages, drafts, questions, and documents for each other. We are big users of "high-tech, high-touch" collaboration technologies.
No. Our goal is to help you submit the best applications of which you are capable. Our clients produce many rounds of material and are prepared for brutally honest feedback. We will push you... and push you... and push you to do your best work. Think of yourself as an athlete in training, and us as your coaches - you'll still run your own laps and lift your own weights, while we help you train for the big competition.
No, we don't guarantee admission to any school. Anyone with first-hand admissions experience knows that only the admissions officers who make the final decision on your applications can guarantee you acceptance to their schools. Nobody else can. Furthermore, to offer some kind of "guarantee," we would have to pre-screen prospective clients ruthlessly and turn down anyone who would hurt our "guarantee" or "success rate."
All of our clients are different. They come from all walks of life, with different talents and problems and challenges in their backgrounds. Success means different things to different people. For one person, only a top ten school will do. For another, a lower-ranked school with a scholarship is a huge success. We want to add value no matter what your measure of success is.
And we would never turn someone away as a potential client just because he or she is not likely to go to a top school or because someone has real challenges. We love working with superstars, but people who have experienced bumps in the road are just as important to us. As long as you are willing to work hard on the application process, we consider it a privilege to collaborate with you.
Sometimes in our diagnostic work with clients, if we spot potential problems ahead and think there is room for improvement, our advice might be to wait before applying so that they can take steps to improve their profile, and we map out a longer-term action plan together. We are very candid about what schools you can reasonably expect to get into, although we never claim to have a crystal ball either.
To get a sense of how we've helped people in different situations and with different goals, please visit our testimonials page.
4. I don't want to retain you if you're just going to tell me that I am not likely to get into School X, or that I'm not ready to apply, or that I shouldn't be applying at all.
People have different reasons for seeking out our help, and only you can know whether our honest assessment -- about your career and educational goals, your admissions chances, and the most suitable schools -- has value to you. Bear in mind, though, that you are likely about to spend hundreds of dollars in application fees, over a thousand dollars on a test prep course, potential admissions counseling fees, several years' worth of lost income and work experience, and over six figures in tuition on a degree that may or may not suit you, from a school that may or may not be a good match, and a diploma that may or may not open the doors you want opened to you.
Indeed, we would generate more fees for ourselves if we simply pushed people through the appication process. For our law school applicants, we break our admissions consulting services into two stages -- a diagnostic stage, and the application stage -- because not everyone decides to apply right away, or at all, after the diagnostic; or maybe they wanted to pick our brains for big-picture strategic advice and then feel comfortable executing that strategy on their own. Either way, if moving forward after the diagnostic for work together on applications is not in your best interest, we will tell you so, even if that means fewer fees for us. We believe that's the only way for us to provide our services ethically.
It is not unusual for people who are initially discouraged by our honesty to thank us later for saving them so much money long-term and prodding them to seek out better alternatives, or whip themselves into better shape before applying.
5. The counseling process involves a lot of personal details. I'm nervous about sharing them with a stranger.
We know that we can give you the best advice only if you feel comfortable being completely honest with us, and we promise clients that we will keep their information, and even the fact that we are working together, confidential, unless you decide to put us in communication with someone else to discuss some aspect of the application process or the working relationship.
If you've done some stupid things, we have a couple of reactions:
- We've all done stupid things. We are not here to judge you. We stay agnostic about your stupid things, and we see our job as helping you deal with them ethically and effectively in the application process.
- The admissions process makes you shine a spotlight on some of your stupid things, and that's not a pleasant experience. However, you'll need to know how they will affect your applications and even your longer-term career plans.
- Don't fudge. You don't want to spend this important time in your life worrying that something you lied about will come to light later. If you're a law school applicant, you'll also have to revisit stupid things you've done when you apply for the state bar to become an attorney, and law schools can and do revoke offers when they discover dishonesty in the admissions process. Misconduct and irregularities in the law school admission process can have serious consequences. It's better to confront those issues now and figure out the best way to deal with them sooner rather than later. We can't be as helpful to you if we don't have the full picture.
All we require of our clients is motivation and ethical behavior. We happily work with people applying to all tiers of accredited schools. We do not work with people on applications to unaccredited or online programs, however.
8. I graduated from college quite some time ago and am contemplating a serious career change. Will you work with me even though I am not a recent college graduate?
For law school applicants, the ideal time to start working together is at least nine months to one year before you plan on applying, because some strategies for improving one's application profile take more than just a few months to implement. We happily work with people at all points in the timeline, although for your sake it's best not to wait until the last minute.
Other time-frames to keep in mind: You should plan on applying as early as possible in the admissions season (October/November); the best essays usually take several months of brainstorming, drafting, and editing; recommenders expect at least a month of lead-time; and many people need more than just two months (the duration of a typical test prep course) to achieve the test scores they want. We also work with applicants on waitlist strategy and management in the spring.
Yes. We can review your previous application and help you identify where you fell short and determine which problems are fixable and which ones aren't (in the immediate term). That process will also help you make a more informed decision about whether to accept an offer you already have or give it another try.
Yes. Anna and her team routinely give talks and are happy to tailor the content to the interests of your audience. Please contact us about availability.
Click here, which will take you to our "About" page.
We use our best efforts to turn documents around in two full business days. Of course, if you submit seven essays in one posting, that will take more time than if you post one essay.
Please contact us for current rates, packages, and availability. We don't use a shopping cart model on our site because we stop taking on new clients as soon as we reach full capacity with our client load. We limit the number of active clients we work with in a given season so that we do not jeopardize our personalized service or our availability for existing clients.
It's best if you begin working with us before you have your scores. We can give you our advice on test prep options and timelines, and we can tackle bigger strategy questions long before you have a score. The earlier we start strategizing together, the more time you have to implement your strategy. If you already have your score, that's fine too.
Anna collaborates with the entire Ivey Consulting team, and is not taking on clients one-on-one. When you contact us about working together, we will let you know who on our team is available to work directly with you. Even though Anna is not your day-to-day point person, she will still be collaborating closely with your day-to-day team member and is happy to jump in with a "second opinion."
Anna has chosen her team with great care -- it's her name on the business, so she doesn't bring in just anybody. (We have deliberately grown slowly over the years for just that reason.) She stands behind her team members' work completely and is eager for feedback from clients who are working with her team members. We all have different backgrounds and areas of expertise, and we collaborate as needed to offer the highest levels of service to each client.