Why Michigan Essay (Why X Essay Generally)

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ivantheterbl
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Why Michigan Essay (Why X Essay Generally)

Postby ivantheterbl » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:29 pm

So I am working on some why X essays to hopefully avoid YP at UVA, Duke, UMich, and Upenn-- Below is what I have for UMich, and I think I will probably use the intro/concluding paragraphs for all of the schools and speak on a different topic for each. Is this fine, or should I change it??


It goes without saying that choosing a law school is one of the most significant decisions I will ever make in my life. While I feel very fortunate to possibly have the opportunity to study at many phenomenal institutions, I also feel a burden as choosing among different law schools can be nearly impossible when one only considers traditional factors. One of the main reasons Michigan is near the top of my list, in addition to its phenomenal academics and job placement, is its location in the Midwest and culture at the school.
While I spent much of my childhood crisscrossing the country, I spent all of my years in high school living in Columbus, Ohio. It is hard for me to say one place is my home, but Columbus would certainly be the closest thing to one. I have always enjoyed the city, the state of Ohio, and more generally the Midwest. While it is hard for me to pinpoint one specific reason, whether it is the cultural values, the relaxed and easygoing lifestyle, or just that it is one place I feel at home, life in the Midwest has always resonated with me. Both during and after law school, I would like to stay in the Midwest and experience the culture that I have come to enjoy so greatly, and I know that a Michigan degree will enable me to do this.
The other primary reason that Michigan is a top school for me is the environment the university operates in. I visited Michigan when applying to undergraduate schools, and was amazed at the collegial, laid back atmosphere both on campus and in Ann Arbor. While I certainly hope to attend a very highly regarded institution academically, I also hope to enjoy my time at law school and gain much more than simply a legal education. Through both my visit and in reading reviews on the atmosphere at Michigan, I feel that the school would be the best place for me to develop not only academically, but socially and culturally as well.
Michigan’s academic reputation, coupled with its location and atmosphere, make the school a perfect fit for my unique desires from a school. I sincerely hope that I am afforded the opportunity to study at Michigan, and if given that opportunity I know I will take full advantage.

RTFM
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Re: Why Michigan Essay (Why X Essay Generally)

Postby RTFM » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:10 pm

ivantheterbl wrote:Michigan is near the top of my list


I wouldn't say "near" the top of your list, especially since Michigan is well-known for protecting its yield.

ivantheterbl wrote:is its location in the Midwest and culture at the school.


Location is not a bad reason to want to go to a specific school, but location is not really something unique about Michigan. There are several top schools in the Midwest... why do you want to go to Michigan in particular? That has nothing to do with location.

ivantheterbl wrote:I visited Michigan when applying to undergraduate schools


I don't think this comes off well either. You visited 4 years ago and probably didn't observe anything about the law school when you were there. Sure, one of Michigan Law's selling points is its collegial atmosphere... but don't mention observing it when you visited as a high school students, because you most likely didn't.

In general, I don't think you say anything specific enough about Michigan in this essay to convince anyone that you really want to go there.

ivantheterbl
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Re: Why Michigan Essay (Why X Essay Generally)

Postby ivantheterbl » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:18 am

Is this more specific essay for UVA any better? I don't feel like I'm writing particularly well in these essays, but the honest truth is that I am considering these schools because they are really good and I can hopefully get some form of scholarship money. I only write the essays to hopefully not get YPed...


It goes without saying that choosing a law school is one of the most significant decisions I will ever make in my life. While I feel very fortunate to possibly have the opportunity to study at many phenomenal institutions, I also feel a burden as choosing among different law schools can be nearly impossible when one only considers traditional factors. One of the main reasons the University of Virginia is near the top of my list, in addition to its phenomenal academics and job placement, is the appellate litigation clinic that is offered at the school.
As an undergraduate, I have participated in simulated moot court arguments for the past three years, either in class or representing the university as a member of my college’s competition team. The process of creating a constitutional argument, discussing the various issues, and actually presenting the material fascinates me. I was amazed that some Virginia law students have the opportunity to not only do moot court, but even to prepare a real oral argument before a federal appeals court via the appellate litigation clinic. Currently I am strongly considering a career in appellate litigation, and the experience that I could gain from Virginia’s program would be invaluable for my future.
Additionally, even if I didn’t use my experience to pursue a career in appellate litigation, the simple fact that I might have the opportunity to help represent a real individual at the highest levels of the judiciary is incredible. While I thoroughly enjoy moot court, the cases deal with hypotheticals, and one can’t get a true sense for how the appeals process actually affects individuals. I know that I can learn the law at any school, but the opportunity to see the law in action and take part in the process is a unique aspect of Virginia that means a great deal to me.
Virginia’s academic reputation, coupled with the appellate litigation clinic, make it a perfect fit with my unique desires for a law school. I sincerely hope that I am afforded the opportunity to study at Virginia, and if given that opportunity I know I will take full advantage.

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Tanicius
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Re: Why Michigan Essay (Why X Essay Generally)

Postby Tanicius » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:30 am

It goes without saying that choosing a law school is one of the most significant decisions I will ever make in my life. While I feel very fortunate to possibly have the opportunity to study at many phenomenal institutions, I also feel a burden as choosing among different law schools can be nearly impossible when one only considers traditional factors.



This needs to be cut in both essays. They start much better without that part.

RTFM
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Re: Why Michigan Essay (Why X Essay Generally)

Postby RTFM » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:24 am

Sorry if I came off as harsh last night, I was just really tired.

ivantheterbl wrote:One of the main reasons the University of Virginia is near the top of my list, in addition to its phenomenal academics and job placement, is the appellate litigation clinic that is offered at the school.


I still think that you should get rid of "near the top of my list," but this is exactly what was lacking in your Michigan essay: you have a specific reason that you are interested in UVA that is fairly unique to UVA. The rest of this one is pretty solid.

Tanicius wrote:
It goes without saying that choosing a law school is one of the most significant decisions I will ever make in my life. While I feel very fortunate to possibly have the opportunity to study at many phenomenal institutions, I also feel a burden as choosing among different law schools can be nearly impossible when one only considers traditional factors.



This needs to be cut in both essays. They start much better without that part.


And I agree with this.

ivantheterbl
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Re: Why Michigan Essay (Why X Essay Generally)

Postby ivantheterbl » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:10 pm

No need to feel bad about being harsh, thats what I want! I went ahead and cut the part out as recommended, and this is what I have for UVA-- I have a similar one for Duke, for Penn I discuss the opportunity to take courses at Wharton, and for Michigan I discuss the location (considering changing to a program if people think location isn't compelling enough, even though that is a primary reason I would consider it over Columbia, Chicago, etc.) Finally, is saying near the top of my list a really bad problem? I don't want to be disingenuous and say that school X is at the top of my list when it isn't.


One of the main reasons the University of Virginia is near the top of my list for law school, in addition to its phenomenal academics and job placement, is the appellate litigation clinic that is offered at the school.
As an undergraduate, I have participated in simulated moot court arguments for the past three years, either in class or representing the university as a member of my college’s competition team. The process of creating a constitutional argument, discussing the various issues, and actually presenting the material fascinates me. I was amazed that some Virginia law students have the opportunity to not only do moot court, but even to prepare a real oral argument before a federal appeals court via the appellate litigation clinic. Currently I am strongly considering a career in appellate litigation, and the experience that I could gain from Virginia’s program would be invaluable for my future.
Additionally, even if I didn’t use my experience to pursue a career in appellate litigation, the simple fact that I might have the opportunity to help represent a real individual at the highest levels of the judiciary is incredible. While I thoroughly enjoy moot court, the cases deal with hypotheticals, and one can’t get a true sense for how the appeals process actually affects individuals. I know that I can learn the law at any school, but the opportunity to see the law in action and take part in the process is a unique aspect of Virginia that means a great deal to me.
Virginia’s academic reputation, coupled with the appellate litigation clinic, make it a perfect fit with my unique desires for a law school. I am hoping to attend a top rated law school in a non-urban environment, as that is where I feel most comfortable. The beautiful campus in Charlottesville, the collegial and friendly attitude at UVA, and the opportunities I will have all make Virginia a top rated school for me personally. I sincerely hope that I am afforded the opportunity to study at Virginia, and if given that opportunity I know I will take full advantage.

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achilles
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Re: Why Michigan Essay (Why X Essay Generally)

Postby achilles » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:05 pm

Hey I'm also currently working on those 4 essays, and was just browsing to see what other essays sound like. I would avoid saying "near the top of my list" because I feel like it means "if I don't get in to CCN". I'm saying things like "a good fit for me" or "the best choice for me in a (professional/personal) capacity" to try to avoid lying without sounding like I have better choices.

Like here when you say "a top school", I like that more than "near the top of my list"

"The other primary reason that Michigan is a top school for me is the environment the university operates in."

also, should be: The other primary reason that Michigan is a top school for me is the environment in which the university operates. Shouldn't end a sentence with "in"

Good luck!




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