Overview: There's a somewhat comprehensive timeline of my cycle below but I thought as a splitter I'd share a few thoughts. Technically I'm still on the waitlists at Penn and UVA but I'm relatively certain I'll be at NU in the fall. As a splitter here's the things I think were important:
1) Apply early. As in as early as possible without sacrificing quality in your app materials. If that can be day one then make it day one. Georgetown especially seemed interested in snatching LSAT's early and I don't think I would have been accepted later in the cycle.
2) Apply broadly and do every single optional essay. And do them convincingly. After you finish them, rewrite them. There's almost always words you can cut out to make the language stronger. These things certainly only count at the margins, but you as a splitter, are at the margins. Give yourself every possible advantage. Also the kid with the 4.0 doesn't need to convince adcomms that they work hard and care. You do.
3) A high LSAT can mean a lot of things are forgiven. Many people IRL thought i was crazy for retaking a 170. I think I made the right decision.
4) There are things I'll always wonder about my cycle. Like whether EDing NU when I knew I wouldn't get it b/c of the scholarship did anything favorable for me. Also, I've wondered whether I might have had a shot in the first round of Penn ED's. I originally didn't even bother and focused on maximizing chances at NU but then I saw people with similar numbers sneaking into Penn in that first round. I tried the second round and landed WL and I'll never know what might have been. But maybe I would have just gotten dinged at both Penn and NU.
And remember, if you want NU regular sacrificial offerings to Johann are advisable. Best of luck.
Optional essays for Northwestern, Penn, Georgetown, George Washington and Washington University. Programmatic contribution addendum for UCLA.
Update on 10/22/12-
Cornell App has been on hold b/c i need a dean's certification which i then sent to the wrong dean (dean of the college instead of the dean of students). Hopefully should be taken care of sometime soon. On the upside I'm in at georgetown.
Also haven't been checking on my complete dates religiously so I'm going to go through them tonight but just be advised that they may have gone complete sooner/later. For Example UVA probably went complete much sooner than 10/22. and UNL might have actually gone complete later.
Also realized today that i somehow didn't get my ED certification in with my Northwestern App. which is a joy.
Update on 10/26/12-
Asked George Washington for a fee waiver and was denied. After prowling some message boards it looked like Penn was likely to do the same and I was so excited I finished the optional essay i decided to just send it out. Also just got an e-mail from Iowa today with new status checker info telling me my app is complete.
Checked with undergrad, they received my Dean's certification form. Hopefully should co complete at Cornell either the end of this week or early next week.
Just got an e-mail from Cornell. Have been deferred to the regular decisions pile.
11/29/12-waitlisted at fordham via statuschecker
12/12/12-deans scholly at Creighton. full with top 40% stip.
12/14/12-invited to interview with george washington alumni. Declined invitation b/c i'm too busy to schedule anything.
12/17/12-In at University of Nebraska with full scholly.
12/19/12-held over to RD at northwestern.
1/7/13-switched penn app to ED for their round 2
2/1/13-There is a splitter God. In at Northwestern.
3/8/13-Finally some news from Cornell. Unfortunately it's that I'm now on reserve which is different from the waitlist which they won't even be putting togetehr for a few more months. le sigh.
6/14/13-Just got the ding e-mail from Penn.
7/18/13-After restarting negotiations due to a change in my job situation I actually managed to get some aid. This has been a wild ride.