'Why X?' Essays

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AntipodeanPhil
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'Why X?' Essays

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:21 am

From what I have been able to gather, none of the T14 schools require a 'why X?' essay, but some of the T14 strongly prefer one, while others don't really care. Is there a complete list somewhere of how much each school cares? If not, could we make one? I imagine HYS might be insulted, and I have heard Penn really likes them, but that's about all I know.

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bk1
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Re: 'Why X?' Essays

Postby bk1 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:47 am

Look at their LSN graph. If you see lots of yellow, it's probably best to cover your ass with a Why X.

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glewz
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Re: 'Why X?' Essays

Postby glewz » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:50 am

MVP prefers Why X Essays, and I've also heard that Duke likes them as well.

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: 'Why X?' Essays

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:59 am

glewz wrote:MVP prefers Why X Essays, and I've also heard that Duke likes them as well.


This.

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NZA
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Re: 'Why X?' Essays

Postby NZA » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:02 am

UPenn requires you to write one additional essay, and one of the topics is essentially, "Why Penn?"

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: 'Why X?' Essays

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:55 am

Okay, MVP + D, but what about Chicago? Their TLS profile makes it sound like they prefer a 'Why Chicago?' - is that just part of the usual admissions staff attempt to convince people without the numbers to apply lower their acceptance rate, or do they actually care?

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Dany
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Re: 'Why X?' Essays

Postby Dany » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:02 am

I would not send a Why Chicago? statement. They know why you want to attend. I did tailor my personal statement to UChi, but I think an additional essay would be overkill. This is from their website, and I think the 2nd paragraph is pretty important:

UChicago wrote:May I submit a diversity statement or an additional essay?

We do not ask for a diversity statement or additional essays because we believe that the personal statement is an appropriate place for you discuss any aspects of your background (e.g., racial, ethnic, or religious identification, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation) that you think are relevant to your application. If you find that you absolutely cannot convey the necessary information in your personal statement, you may submit an additional statement.

Remember that the Committee is looking for you to demonstrate skills that you will need in law school. We want to see that you can communicate your message in a clear, concise, and organized manner. Often, too many additional or supplemental materials or addenda detract from a clear and concise message.


Edit - hmmm just read their profile. It seems you could send one if you want, but I think going on for a page about how awesome Chicago is just adds unnecessary things for them to read. They're one of the best schools in the country, so I don't think applicants really need to convince Chicago that they're interested. If you have a couple good reasons, I think they'd be best worked in to the PS. At the end of the day, though, it's Dean Perry's opinion that matters and not mine. :D

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Xifeng
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Re: 'Why X?' Essays

Postby Xifeng » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:10 am

Also keep in mind that you can hold off on sending a Why X essay for some of the schools it's not basically required for (i.e. Chicago) and then follow up with a letter of continued interest later on. Just don't be super stalkery.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: 'Why X?' Essays

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:20 am

The website quote does seem fairly clear. My problem is that quotes on the TLS profile make it sound like they both prefer to receive one and prefer not to receive one.

TLS wrote:Chicago Dean of Admissions Ann Perry advised students not to send in information that is not requested, but a “Why Chicago?” essay or something of the like can be an asset.

So, don't send any additional essays, but do send an additional essay. Still, I'm inclined to accept that when they say both things, the message to not send one is more believable, since they have no reason to lie about that.

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Dany
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Re: 'Why X?' Essays

Postby Dany » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:23 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:Still, I'm inclined to accept that when they say both things, the message to not send one is more believable, since they have no reason to lie about that.

This is my thinking as well.




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