Why Chicago

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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basilseal
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Why Chicago

Postby basilseal » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:47 pm

Sources I've seen recommend not bothering to send Why statements to T6 schools, as everyone wants to go there anyway. Even so, I feel compelled to write one for Chicago. The academic appeal is obvious, but I'd like to get across my personal reasons for wanting to go- hometown ties, long-time appeal in the imagination, etc? Is this superfluous? or worse?

Thanks for your help.

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AGooner11
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Re: Why Chicago

Postby AGooner11 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:04 am

I'd like to know as well if writing a Why X is not 'worth it' for certain schools. Does it bother them to get additional essays when they know it's bound to be one of your top choices?

My personal opinion is if you have compelling, relevant reasons for wanting to attend a LS (and the writing doesn't detract from what they saw in your PS) why not?

4910
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Re: Why Chicago

Postby 4910 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:19 am

i would say include one for chicago because i know from last cycle that they ask you to write one anyways if you get waitlisted so it shows they like ppl who like them.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Why Chicago

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:50 am

AGooner11 wrote: why not?

Because this is an application with specific instructions, not free play time in a new age grade school center art class. If a school asks for something, give it to them. If they don't ask for something, don't give it to them. I wouldn't send Gibson Dunn my bitching biglaw-themed sonnet along with my resume and cover letter.

MumofCad
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Re: Why Chicago

Postby MumofCad » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:32 pm

I added a section to my PS about Chicago specifically, because they have some interdisciplinary opportunities that build on themes I discussed in my PS. It made my PS grow to 3 pages, but I think its all relevant, and while yes, they already know people want to go to their school, I used it as an opportunity to point out things I might bring to the research being conducted there in certain areas due to my unique background. So maybe its somewhere between a Why Chicago and Diversity Statement added to the end of my PS. That is generally how I have approached all of these exercises.

I have said this before and I will say it again, I have seen people write 2 paragraphs of Why Harvard in their tiny 2 page PS and outperform their numbers by getting into Harvard. I know they often ask about what attracts you to Harvard in your phone interview, so I highly doubt its irrelevant to them. If you have something compelling to say and it fits, go for it.

Now, whether or not they want to know about your connections to the area unless you are in danger of YPing and just specifically trying to convince them you are sold on them....I am less enthusiastic about that. If that is all you are bringing to the table, you might have the opposite effect of seeming a little unwilling to explore new places/things. Of course, that may not be the case, but your OP makes it sounds a little shallow in approach. I think this is a good point to add into a larger statement, but a Why Chicago should probably have something more to it in order to be worthwhile and effective. If you are just going to talk about what a cool place your hometown is, I'd leave it off.

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basilseal
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Re: Why Chicago

Postby basilseal » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:00 pm

My PS makes clear that I was born and raised there, so maybe it's best to leave it at that. After all, it would be obvious to anyone who lived there what a cool place it is anyway.

Thanks for the help, Mumofcad.

MumofCad
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Re: Why Chicago

Postby MumofCad » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:18 pm

basilseal wrote:My PS makes clear that I was born and raised there, so maybe it's best to leave it at that. After all, it would be obvious to anyone who lived there what a cool place it is anyway.

Thanks for the help, Mumofcad.


NP, yeah, I think they will make the inference you want from that PS message. I don't know for sure, but was told from someone that went through the last cycle that it seemed when it got down to border candidates/WL decisions, those from the area seemed to do better than others so it may help you. No need to re-iterate it though. You can always do so in a LOCI anyhow.

r3k790
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Re: Why Chicago

Postby r3k790 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:58 pm

Don't let the ads fool you, Hyde Park is a hell hole. Trust me, I did 4 years of UG there. That said, it's probably a great law school, things are different on that side of the quad. Just so you know, the Law School sees itself as a very different place from the undergraduate institution so don't write anything about Saul Bellow or whatever and expect that to win you a lot of cred. Be specific about UCHICAGO LAW, not just U Chicago.

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basilseal
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Re: Why Chicago

Postby basilseal » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:11 pm

There are far worse places within hailing distance.




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