Optional Essays?

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itsallgoodman
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Optional Essays?

Postby itsallgoodman » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:14 pm

Do they really matter all that much? Should I do them regardless to show interest or just submit earlier without?

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phillywc
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby phillywc » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:29 pm

itsallgoodman wrote:Do they really matter all that much? Should I do them regardless to show interest or just submit earlier without?

Depends on the school and your stats.

itsallgoodman
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby itsallgoodman » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:56 pm

GPA: 3.8
LSAT: 163

I'm applying to top 50 schools. Mostly in the 20-40 range with a few reaches in the top schools. I'd really like to go to Fordham.

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phillywc
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby phillywc » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:17 am

itsallgoodman wrote:GPA: 3.8
LSAT: 163

I'm applying to top 50 schools. Mostly in the 20-40 range with a few reaches in the top schools. I'd really like to go to Fordham.

Ah. I only really know about T20, sorry. I doubt they do a ton of YP in the 20-40 range, but i'd research the schools you are applying to.

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kershka
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby kershka » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:20 am

I would tend to agree but I also am mostly familiar with the T14. I think if you are above both medians you are probably good to go for T50-T30 at least.

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usernotfound
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby usernotfound » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:39 am

I would also be interested in this info. My GPA is just short of 3.9(hopefully; waiting on a couple grades) and I expect to get a 170+ on the lsat(took december, will wait a year and retake if not).

What schools in the T14 would it be a good idea to include optional essays? I often hear Penn and Duke, but I haven't found any straightforward advice.

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kershka
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby kershka » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:53 am

usernotfound wrote:I would also be interested in this info. My GPA is just short of 3.9(hopefully; waiting on a couple grades) and I expect to get a 170+ on the lsat(took december, will wait a year and retake if not).

What schools in the T14 would it be a good idea to include optional essays? I often hear Penn and Duke, but I haven't found any straightforward advice.


UVA's a big one for YP. Michigan used to be but isn't as much anymore. I think TCR is to include a "why x" statement if you can actually write about something and not sound like you are just regurgitating the viewbook. In other words, if you think it will sound insincere then don't write it. If you actually are excited about attending that particular school and have clearly articulated reasons why then, by all means, write one.

Come back with an actual LSAT and finalized GPA and we can give better advice, however.

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phillywc
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby phillywc » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:08 am

kershka wrote:
UVA's a big one for YP. Michigan used to be but isn't as much anymore. I think TCR is to include a "why x" statement if you can actually write about something and not sound like you are just regurgitating the viewbook. In other words, if you think it will sound insincere then don't write it. If you actually are excited about attending that particular school and have clearly articulated reasons why then, by all means, write one.

Come back with an actual LSAT and finalized GPA and we can give better advice, however.

I agree with most of this. The original poster was correct on Duke and Penn (Why Penn seems pretty necessary). With UVA interviewing now YP may be less of a factor, but it can't hurt and history has shown they YP hard. I'd also note any schools you turn down interviews for you should write a Why X, NU being a big one.

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kershka
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby kershka » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:17 am

phillywc wrote:
kershka wrote:
UVA's a big one for YP. Michigan used to be but isn't as much anymore. I think TCR is to include a "why x" statement if you can actually write about something and not sound like you are just regurgitating the viewbook. In other words, if you think it will sound insincere then don't write it. If you actually are excited about attending that particular school and have clearly articulated reasons why then, by all means, write one.

Come back with an actual LSAT and finalized GPA and we can give better advice, however.

I agree with most of this. The original poster was correct on Duke and Penn (Why Penn seems pretty necessary). With UVA interviewing now YP may be less of a factor, but it can't hurt and history has shown they YP hard. I'd also note any schools you turn down interviews for you should write a Why X, NU being a big one.


I agree on Duke as well. I am mostly desperately hoping that the bolded is false and that Penn doesn't care as much about Why Penn's this cycle because I didn't write one. You should definitely take philly's advice, however, and err on the side of caution.

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phillywc
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby phillywc » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:30 am

kershka wrote:I agree on Duke as well. I am mostly desperately hoping that the bolded is false and that Penn doesn't care as much about Why Penn's this cycle because I didn't write one. You should definitely take philly's advice, however, and err on the side of caution.

Just what I"ve heard. TBF, as you can figure out by my username, why penn wasn't super hard for me to write.

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usernotfound
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby usernotfound » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:57 pm

I appreciate the advice guys. I agree with the sentiments above that optional essays may come off as insincere if you really don't have a great topic to write about. What do people normally write about for "why x" essays? How the law school has a great program they are looking to go into, or how a professor sparked their interest in the law school? Thanks.

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phillywc
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby phillywc » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:25 pm

usernotfound wrote:I appreciate the advice guys. I agree with the sentiments above that optional essays may come off as insincere if you really don't have a great topic to write about. What do people normally write about for "why x" essays? How the law school has a great program they are looking to go into, or how a professor sparked their interest in the law school? Thanks.

That would be fine. Location can be one, as can clinics/whatever. Why DO you want to go to X?

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kershka
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby kershka » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:37 pm

usernotfound wrote:I appreciate the advice guys. I agree with the sentiments above that optional essays may come off as insincere if you really don't have a great topic to write about. What do people normally write about for "why x" essays? How the law school has a great program they are looking to go into, or how a professor sparked their interest in the law school? Thanks.

This is tricky to answer because the more personal reasons for wanting to attend a school are usually better/sound more sincere. That being said, if you have a general theme to your PS/Resume that concludes in stated goals, a good "why x" might address why x is the perfect school for advancing those goals. That might include a unique clinic, a unique location, or a specific professor. Any connection that you have to the area can also be a valuable part of a why x for YP reasons.

Just don't write " I want x because it ranked __ in USWR" or "The bar near x are really fantastic" and you should be okay :D :P

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usernotfound
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby usernotfound » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:55 pm

kershka wrote:
usernotfound wrote:I appreciate the advice guys. I agree with the sentiments above that optional essays may come off as insincere if you really don't have a great topic to write about. What do people normally write about for "why x" essays? How the law school has a great program they are looking to go into, or how a professor sparked their interest in the law school? Thanks.

This is tricky to answer because the more personal reasons for wanting to attend a school are usually better/sound more sincere. That being said, if you have a general theme to your PS/Resume that concludes in stated goals, a good "why x" might address why x is the perfect school for advancing those goals. That might include a unique clinic, a unique location, or a specific professor. Any connection that you have to the area can also be a valuable part of a why x for YP reasons.

Just don't write " I want x because it ranked __ in USWR" or "The bar near x are really fantastic" and you should be okay :D :P


Yeah, that's what I figured. Thanks.

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usernotfound
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby usernotfound » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:41 am

Further question: Does anyone submit why x essays to Columbia or NYU? Or can you?

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phillywc
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby phillywc » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:42 am

usernotfound wrote:Further question: Does anyone submit why x essays to Columbia or NYU? Or can you?

You can but its not necessary. They don't really YP at all, and they are T6. they know why you wanna be there.

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usernotfound
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby usernotfound » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:50 pm

Ok, thanks. Is there a standard length that most of these essays are?

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phillywc
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby phillywc » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:32 pm

usernotfound wrote:Ok, thanks. Is there a standard length that most of these essays are?

One page double spaced.

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usernotfound
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby usernotfound » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:57 pm

phillywc wrote:
usernotfound wrote:Ok, thanks. Is there a standard length that most of these essays are?

One page double spaced.


Thanks for all of your help.

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phillywc
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby phillywc » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:09 pm

usernotfound wrote:
phillywc wrote:
usernotfound wrote:Ok, thanks. Is there a standard length that most of these essays are?

One page double spaced.


Thanks for all of your help.

No problem friend. Feel free to PM me if ya need help.

BillsFan9907
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby BillsFan9907 » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:04 am

What circumstances would you write a diversity statement instead of Why X?

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kershka
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Re: Optional Essays?

Postby kershka » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:59 pm

Seoulless wrote:What circumstances would you write a diversity statement instead of Why X?

Are you actually facing a situation where a school will only let you write one? Unless your reason for wanting to attend X is to increase their diversity it doesn't seem like they'd really overlap.... :?

Write a why X if you're in YP area, the school is a reach, or they really are (one of) your top choice(s). Write a diversity statement if you think that you would increase diversity somehow.




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