Appealing to the relative 'strengths' of a school's programs

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Incanate
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:30 pm

Appealing to the relative 'strengths' of a school's programs

Postby Incanate » Thu May 13, 2010 4:43 pm

Just a quick question -

How does one discover a law school's strengths (primarily T14)? I'm writing my personal statements and I'm trying to attach my interests to each school's relative program strengths. So far, I've just been looking at each school's most prominent professors, identifying their fields of study and considering those to be each school's 'strength'. Is this accurate or even correct? Is there a better way? Some schools are easier than others (Chicago - Law and economics) but most aren't apparent. Or is it the case that the schools in the T14 all have well-rounded programs? Or should I just opt for discovering professors whose fields of study are what I'm interested in and reference them in my PS regardless of their prominence or stature?

Thane Messinger
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:54 pm

Re: Appealing to the relative 'strengths' of a school's programs

Postby Thane Messinger » Wed May 19, 2010 4:18 am

Incanate wrote:Just a quick question -

How does one discover a law school's strengths (primarily T14)? I'm writing my personal statements and I'm trying to attach my interests to each school's relative program strengths. So far, I've just been looking at each school's most prominent professors, identifying their fields of study and considering those to be each school's 'strength'. Is this accurate or even correct? Is there a better way? Some schools are easier than others (Chicago - Law and economics) but most aren't apparent. Or is it the case that the schools in the T14 all have well-rounded programs? Or should I just opt for discovering professors whose fields of study are what I'm interested in and reference them in my PS regardless of their prominence or stature?


This can be tricky, because there usually isn't a magic formula, and there are risks with this. (Say one wrong word and you might turn off someone in the admissions committee for reasons having nothing to do with your application and everything to do with the internal politics of the school. You're right as to Chicago, but even there it's a broad brush. And at other schools, such as Harvard, it's no longer so easy to paint a clear picture. Moreover, in nearly all cases the committee could not care less. They will discount nearly all discussion of fit, because in most cases it is irrelevant. The exceptions generally prove the rule, such as a physician who seeks to take advantage of the joint materials available at the University's XYZ medical complex in connection with the law school's established program in medical ethics.... See why this is usually a dead end? There are few legitimate connections that will make a material difference. (Not that the opposite should be the approach; only that it's important to be careful not to overplay this.)

An initial question: where might the specifics tie in to your genuine desires?

Thane.


Thane Messinger
Author of:
Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold
The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book: A Survival Guide

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KeepitKind
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:38 pm

Re: Appealing to the relative 'strengths' of a school's programs

Postby KeepitKind » Wed May 19, 2010 4:51 am

i have to follow this

blsingindisguise
Posts: 1296
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Appealing to the relative 'strengths' of a school's programs

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue May 25, 2010 12:07 am

You're tilting at windmills man. Numbers numbers numbers.

CMR
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:58 am

Re: Appealing to the relative 'strengths' of a school's programs

Postby CMR » Tue May 25, 2010 12:58 pm

For selecting the schools I was primarily targeting, I generally made an effort to peruse their LR, faculty pub, and particularly their clinical programs; this was generally due to personal interest and trying to select the right "fit", but it helped in the PS a bit. The consensus, however, seems to be that you don't need to spend too much time on this WRT your PS - I went overboard, and as someone already pointed out, you can generally find numbers that will point pretty plainly to the strengths and weaknesses of the respective schools in an ostensibly objective manner. Regardless, you should be able to get an idea of what the school takes particular pride in simply by perusing their website.

FYI - I haven't received a decision from a single school yet, so my opinion shouldn't be given any real weight yet. Good luck!




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