Cover Letter?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Bigsby
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Cover Letter?

Postby Bigsby » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:03 pm

So I've completed basically all of my app and am ready to rock once the apps are released.

The only thing missing is the cover letter and I'll admit I'm very lost with this. How did you guys do this? Did you pick a cover letter template?

How did you ADDRESS them? Did you do an individual one for each school? Like, "Dear Mr.X?" or "Dear Boston University Law Admissions Committee". Just don't know where to start here and if anyone can help me out, I would really greatly appreciate it.

Thank you!

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billyez
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby billyez » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:20 pm

Wait, what? A cover letter? I never made a cover letter for any school and I did just fine.

Bigsby
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby Bigsby » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:05 pm

Ah, sorry. Allow me to clarify.

I want to send one just because I have a lot of experience in a field besides Law in my resume and I wanted to write a cover letter to explain that to a questioning Adcomm, and how it will help me in law school. I heard from an adcomm from a T10 prestigious school that this was a very good idea. So I guess this question basically applies to those who DID write cover letters. I know they are not really necessary.

bball1997
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby bball1997 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:12 pm

Bigsby wrote:Ah, sorry. Allow me to clarify.

I want to send one just because I have a lot of experience in a field besides Law in my resume and I wanted to write a cover letter to explain that to a questioning Adcomm, and how it will help me in law school. I heard from an adcomm from a T10 prestigious school that this was a very good idea. So I guess this question basically applies to those who DID write cover letters. I know they are not really necessary.


Is that not what personal statements are for?

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NZA
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby NZA » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:15 pm

Do. Not. Add. A Cover Letter.

:|

Seriously.

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billyez
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby billyez » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:19 pm

That's...odd. I guess it's an additional document. Not to be unhelpful, but I don't think you're going to find too many people here who wrote actual cover letters for admission.

freestallion
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby freestallion » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:23 pm

Yeah, the cover letter you are suggesting is NOT a good idea. It sounds like you just want to write more about yourself - save that for the PS.

Don't send in unsolicited documents, it won't help you to give them things they've never asked for!

03121202698008
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby 03121202698008 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:27 pm

freestallion wrote:Yeah, the cover letter you are suggesting is NOT a good idea. It sounds like you just want to write more about yourself - save that for the PS.

Don't send in unsolicited documents, it won't help you to give them things they've never asked for!


This. That's what a PS/DS is for.

kaiser
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby kaiser » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:28 pm

You have a personal statement to make your case. Plus you can easily add a "Why X" statement if you have specific things about the school you really want to talk about, but couldn't mention in your PS. Absolutely no need for a cover letter. No one does this.

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Cupidity
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby Cupidity » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:33 pm

kaiser wrote:You have a personal statement to make your case. Plus you can easily add a "Why X" statement if you have specific things about the school you really want to talk about, but couldn't mention in your PS. Absolutely no need for a cover letter. No one does this.

+1

Bigsby
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby Bigsby » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:39 pm

Oh, okay...it's not so much about wanting to write more about myself.

Here is the problem:

For a section of my resume (volunteer/extracurricular) I have a lot of medical-related experience. And I was told that this would look questionable/confusing to an adcomm because I have very little 'legal' volunteer experience but I seemed to have done a lot in the medical track. My personal statement is about something completely different. She recommended writing a cover letter for my resume to explain this medical-related stuff. She is an adcomm for a very good law school.

These are the facts. I appreciate all the advice though. Perhaps there is a better way of explaining this. The medical-related experience does not fit into my Personal Statement, which is about something completely different.

Thanks again everybody :) It seems that a cover letter for the resume is not the best idea, and am interested in others opinions. I guess it doesn't really make too much of a difference that there is some non-law stuff on there..so I see your points.

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billyez
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby billyez » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:42 pm

See, what's holding me up from denouncing this straight away is the adcomm who says it's a good idea. But I just don't think it's necessary to have a cover letter to explain your past interests and work in the medical field. They're going to assuem that you did that and now you want to be in the law. And that should be that.

Bigsby
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby Bigsby » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:46 pm

That's what I reckon as well, Billy. Perhaps it's just law school applications jitters. I can't help but get nervous about having a 'strong application' and whatnot. I totally see your point but the fact that a very experienced adcomm at a top law school recommends this is what is making me consider it as well.

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Yeshia90
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby Yeshia90 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:22 pm

billyez wrote:See, what's holding me up from denouncing this straight away is the adcomm who says it's a good idea. But I just don't think it's necessary to have a cover letter to explain your past interests and work in the medical field. They're going to assuem that you did that and now you want to be in the law. And that should be that.


If anything I'd think you could write an addendum. I've never heard of an application with a cover letter.

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Cupidity
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby Cupidity » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:40 pm

I think the guy just means a Why X.

sparty99
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Re: Cover Letter?

Postby sparty99 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:55 pm

I recommend sending unsolicited documents if it'll work in your favor, but the point of a personal statement is to discuss your background. How many years have you done the medical stuff? Are you a non-traditional applicant? If you have a background in medical stuff, then you should explain why you are transitioning at this time. Or if you are interested in health law, mention your medical background.

If you are a year out of undergrad of what have you, then this really doesn't even need to be addressed. If it is volunteer/extracurricular maybe not even mention it if you think it will confuse the committee. It sounds like you don't have a lot of experience and so your application will hinder on two things: LSAT and GPA.

Most people out of undergrad don't even have legal experience, so the Admissions people won't be expecting that on your resume.




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