When to write a "Why X" Essay

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Deuce
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When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby Deuce » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:55 pm

For which schools should you write a "Why X" essay? Should it be every school you are reaching to, say above/below each median? At what point do you not need to write a "Why X" essay, above both medians/above both 75s?

Thanks!

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Bildungsroman
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby Bildungsroman » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:58 pm

When you're above a school's 75th percentile in both GPA and LSAT it is a good idea to write a Why X essay (if they accept them) to avoid that school waitlisting you to protect their yield (offers eaccepted/offers extended). Actually you should write a Why X essay for any school to which you're applying that accepts them.

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Deuce
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby Deuce » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:38 pm

So every single school... that wouldn't come across as disingenuous at all?

WestOfTheRest
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby WestOfTheRest » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:40 pm

I wouldn't to any of the top 6. If you're waitlisted somewhere else that you should be in, write a LOCI later in the cycle. If they ask for one write one.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby Bildungsroman » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:44 pm

Ildeuce wrote:So every single school... that wouldn't come across as disingenuous at all?


Why? I assume that every school you're applying to has something about it motivating you to apply there. Putting that down in writing to show you have a genuine interest in the school (i.e. they're not just a last-resort safety or a "why the hell not?" application) in order to boost your chances and avoid yield protection isn't dishonest unless you say something to the effect of "if accepted I will definitely 100% attend no matter what" to multiple schools.

Also, schools won't see who else got a Why X essay from you, so as long as it's well-written and not a form letter or clearly a product of five minutes of googling, it'll just come off as a Why X essay to them.

Also, I only recommend writing a Why X essay with your app if they have that option on their app or are UVA.

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capitalacq
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby capitalacq » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:10 pm

Ildeuce wrote:For which schools should you write a "Why X" essay? Should it be every school you are reaching to, say above/below each median? At what point do you not need to write a "Why X" essay, above both medians/above both 75s?

Thanks!

when either A) you have a really compelling reason to attend a specific law school or B) you enjoy wasting your time writing useless essays so that you could waste paper when law schools print copies of your applications

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billyez
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby billyez » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:39 pm

capitalacq wrote:when...you have a really compelling reason to attend a specific law school


This is the response that I think is most helpful. The only "Why" essays that I wrote which I thought were actually decent were for schools that I actually liked and actually wanted to attend. If you write one and don't have a true discernable reason for attending, it'll show.

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Deuce
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby Deuce » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:51 pm

billyez wrote:
capitalacq wrote:when...you have a really compelling reason to attend a specific law school


This is the response that I think is most helpful. The only "Why" essays that I wrote which I thought were actually decent were for schools that I actually liked and actually wanted to attend. If you write one and don't have a true discernable reason for attending, it'll show.


So if my numbers are ~median for a school or a little above, I'd be better off with no essay?

ARTfulDodger
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby ARTfulDodger » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:56 pm

I would personally write one only if it was one of my top schools. Or, in the event that I was waitlisted. It can't hurt to write an essay, regardless your numbers.

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billyez
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby billyez » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:04 am

Ildeuce wrote:
billyez wrote:
capitalacq wrote:when...you have a really compelling reason to attend a specific law school


This is the response that I think is most helpful. The only "Why" essays that I wrote which I thought were actually decent were for schools that I actually liked and actually wanted to attend. If you write one and don't have a true discernable reason for attending, it'll show.


So if my numbers are ~median for a school or a little above, I'd be better off with no essay?


If you really want to attend the school and think you can write about it in a way that doesn't sound canned, then go for it.

gbr12
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby gbr12 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:07 am

If I'm above both 75th percentiles, should I mention financial aid as a reason? (I.e. "I am truly interested in your school, because I would like to get a fat scholarship and not have any debt.") Is that too slimy?

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Deuce
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby Deuce » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:13 am

gbr12 wrote:If I'm above both 75th percentiles, should I mention financial aid as a reason? (I.e. "I am truly interested in your school, because I would like to get a fat scholarship and not have any debt.") Is that too slimy?


Very curious about that as well. I believe my decision is going to come down to sticker T14 vs. $$$$ at 20-40.

ARTfulDodger
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby ARTfulDodger » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:14 am

gbr12 wrote:If I'm above both 75th percentiles, should I mention financial aid as a reason? (I.e. "I am truly interested in your school, because I would like to get a fat scholarship and not have any debt.") Is that too slimy?


That's extremely unprofessional. Don't do it.

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billyez
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby billyez » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:30 am

I wouldn't do that either. If they want you, they'll offer the scholarship money.

ARTfulDodger
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Re: When to write a "Why X" Essay

Postby ARTfulDodger » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:31 am

^^
Agreed :)




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