I cannot recommend Ann Levine enough! I personally was accepted into a top 40 school in which I had a 10% chance of getting accepted to according to my numbers which were average (3.4ish/162). I too was hesitant to hire Mrs. Levine at first though. I was involved in many extracurricular activities at my school that gave me tons of information about law school applications. That being so, I assumed that I knew enough about the process (etc) to apply on my own.
My experience with Ann proved me wrong, as I found most of what I read and researched comes from people who are vague or ill-informed. The books and info that I had were not detailed enough and often were mostly about those rare students with exceptional circumstances making it into top 10 schools. Friends of mine say that other consulting services follow such books/information almost word-for-word. This was not my experience with Ann (although I have no direct experience with others, just rumors I have heard.)
My experience is that Ann usually starts with what you want and then moves onto crafting that into helping you get where you want to go. She had great knowledge about the schools I applied, a lot of which I did not have access to. (Such as which schools were more GPA oriented, which were more LSAT orientated and where I fit in those schools with my numbers and personal statement from her past experience.) She took my list of schools and narrowed it down to what she thought was my best shots were. (But I had the final say of course.) I applied to 9 schools and was accepted at 7 of them, a number that speaks to her ability to direct me to schools that are favorable.
I had some ideas about a personal statement and addendums (etc); Ann took what I wrote and helped me shape it into something I am very proud of and that I am sure was “the key factor” in getting into my school. She did not write it for me, but told me what she thought worked, what did not, and where to make changes and to improve on (and how to do such). In the end I felt the personal statement was something I wrote, but could not have done without her. (Same with my addendums and my eventual choice in schools.)
I have recommended Ann to a number of my friends who are/were/will apply, and a number of them have taken my advice. All of them have had the same feelings about Ann. Not only does Ann help with advice, suggestions, editing and knowledge, but she also served as a consoler and cheerleader of sorts. When certain things were making me doubt myself she was quick to motivate me and point out what we were going to do. I felt she really wanted me to succeed in every step.
As far as responsiveness goes, when I emailed her in the evening I always heard back by the next morning, even on the weekends. Most times when I emailed her during the day I heard from her within a few hours. At no time was there a time when I emailed her and did not hear back within 24 hours. That also goes with calling her, although I rarely did such as emailing allows for attachments of what I was inquiring about. I truly feel Ann got me into the school of my choice and know people with the same feelings. Looking back I would say that the best choice I made in the entire process was hiring Ann.