Spivey Consulting Q&A with Adcoms from Yale, Harvard, Penn, Chicago etc.

Special forum where professionals are encouraged to help law school applicants, students, and graduates.

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mornincounselor
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Postby mornincounselor » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:51 pm

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:30 am

mornincounselor wrote:Any more fantasy football spots open? The change in thread title drew me in.


I'd PM Storpappa and be in Alert 1 (name the movie) at 8pm est. the notion of all 10 strangers showing up for this last minute draft strikes me as fanciful.

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johnnysacks
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby johnnysacks » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:43 pm

johnnysacks wrote:Hey I have a question about URM admissions and affirmative action.

The Supreme Court has decided to re-hear Fisher v UT. Its looking like Kennedy is going to vote with the conservatives meaning the Court will rule in Fisher's favor What is the likelihood of Grutter being overruled, overturned, and gutted like a Christmas hog. Is the 2015-2016 cycle the last law school admissions cycle where URMs can expect to receive a strong boost at fairly competitive schools? What would a worst case scenario look like for those URMs who are planning to apply in the fall of 2016?

There seems to be a bit of confusion on TLS about how this ruling impacts public schools verses private schools. Does the T14 have to drastically change their URM admissions standards? Some insist that because they are private they are less beholden to a ruling that would impact state schools like UT but another camp insists that because all these schools take federal funds they will have to comply with whatever standard the Court comes up with.

I know its a lot of questions but it has me super anxious for next year. I will probably be a splitter and I was hoping being a URM would give me a strong cycle. Is this the end of race as a factor in admissions as we know it?



BUMP! Super anxious, I know fantasy football is a thing but I'm really nervous about applying next cycle. Could someone please give some insight?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:47 pm

johnnysacks wrote:Hey I have a question about URM admissions and affirmative action.

The Supreme Court has decided to re-hear Fisher v UT. Its looking like Kennedy is going to vote with the conservatives meaning the Court will rule in Fisher's favor What is the likelihood of Grutter being overruled, overturned, and gutted like a Christmas hog. Is the 2015-2016 cycle the last law school admissions cycle where URMs can expect to receive a strong boost at fairly competitive schools? What would a worst case scenario look like for those URMs who are planning to apply in the fall of 2016?

There seems to be a bit of confusion on TLS about how this ruling impacts public schools verses private schools. Does the T14 have to drastically change their URM admissions standards? Some insist that because they are private they are less beholden to a ruling that would impact state schools like UT but another camp insists that because all these schools take federal funds they will have to comply with whatever standard the Court comes up with.

I know its a lot of questions but it has me super anxious for next year. I will probably be a splitter and I was hoping being a URM would give me a strong cycle. Is this the end of race as a factor in admissions as we know it?


So let me disclaim by saying my area of expertise is law admissions, law school administration, and the like. I am as far from a SCOTUS wonk as it gets.

But, my former Dean x2 (at Vanderbilt and he brought me with him to WashU) was an expert witness on Grutter, he helped UM design their case, he clerked for Sandra Day (the swing vote) and as the keynote speaker on a conference brought me with him. So from that background here is my take.

1. I would guess that something like 98/100 people in legal ed are vastly for diverse law schools and do not want to live in a stratified society. And the pipeline of UFRM applicants (hence the name) is way too diminished. Legal Ed gets this. There are HUGE atmospheric pressures within legal ed not to overturn Grutter.

2. (And again law type stuff is not my thing), the terminology "narrowly tailored" is already in place in Grutter. That is like a hedge against those who want to overturn Grutter, because it isn't a quota. So for this reason based on my experience I think Grutter is safe.

But would love the opinions of others.
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DerekMeeker
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby DerekMeeker » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:33 pm

Frozenice wrote:Hello everyone!

First of all I want to say thanks for doing this, it has been very helpful. However, I have a question about potentially writing an addendum.

I am a Canadian student going into his fourth year at Queen's University in their commerce program. In my first year, I was a science student, and after being accepted into the Commerce program, because it is a specialized program it has several mandatory first and second years courses only open to students in the program. As such, I was behind some courses in second and third year. In my second year, I took four second year courses, but eight first year courses. In my third year, I took 7 third year courses, and five second year courses. In my fourth year, I was completely caught up and am taking all fourth year courses.
To make matters more confusing, at Queen's for business, all first and second year courses are 100 courses (as in, COMM - 121 is a second year finance course, when usually a second year course would begin with be a 200 level course), so it looks like in my third year I took five first year courses (third and fourth year courses are 300 and 400 courses though, so they essentially skip the 200s for an unknown reason...). I was wondering if I should write an addendum first explaining this extremely strange course numbering system (highlighting exactly which courses are first year, and which are second year), and then going on to explain why in my second year and third year I took courses that were a year behind (they were required courses, not electives).

I have a 4.09 GPA and a 177 LSAT, however I am incredibly concerned they will disregard the GPA and say "Well, obviously because you took a bunch of first year courses in second and third year" or something like that. I sincerely hope they won't use it against me. I am trying to go for T-14 schools, by the way.

What do you guys think?


I think writing a concise addendum that provides some context for the program/curriculum would be helpful.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:49 pm

DRAFT UPDATES:

1. it will now be at 8:45 pm EST, not 8pm. If this causes you to not be able to make it and your previously could, please PM me STAT).

2. We need 1 more per our commish!

FANTASY UPDATE> THREE OF YOU SLACKERS HAVE SAID YOU ARE PLAYING BUT YET TO SIGN UP A TEAM WITH NEAR MORE THAN AN HOUR TO GO. GET AFTER IT
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TheProdigal
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby TheProdigal » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:02 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:DRAFT UPDATES:

2. We need 1 more per our commish!

I'll jump in, if still open.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:12 pm

I'm currently winning the draft.

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Hikikomorist
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Hikikomorist » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:16 pm

Oops, I forgot about the time difference! Sorry.

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TheProdigal
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby TheProdigal » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:30 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:I'm currently winning the draft.

Dear god, they meant AMERICAN football.

I have no idea what I'm doing.

Quick Silver
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Quick Silver » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:10 pm

Is there a tactful way to express interest in a specific scholarship?

I'm applying to a school I'm confident I'll get into, but this specific scholarship would mean a big difference in my going.

Is there a tactful way to introduce my interest in my statement? I don't want to seem to bold or presumptuous.

"_______ is a primary reason/incentive for my application...." (This language would show how important it is to me, but I don't want to be too much).

"I hope to be considered for the _____ scholarship....." (This language is softer but I hope it doesn't understate how important the scholarship is to me).

"I am particularly interested in the ______ Scholarship." This is a happy medium.

Please Note: in all three, I follow with substantive reasons why this specific scholarship is a good fit for me.

Thoughts/advice?

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storpappa
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby storpappa » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:13 pm

If Dean Spivey keeps this thread about football and law school, expect him to respond with a clip from Jerry Maguire. That wouldn answer your question and fit the title exactly :)

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A + Fantasy Football with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:44 pm

Quick Silver wrote:Is there a tactful way to express interest in a specific scholarship?

I'm applying to a school I'm confident I'll get into, but this specific scholarship would mean a big difference in my going.

Is there a tactful way to introduce my interest in my statement? I don't want to seem to bold or presumptuous.

"_______ is a primary reason/incentive for my application...." (This language would show how important it is to me, but I don't want to be too much).

"I hope to be considered for the _____ scholarship....." (This language is softer but I hope it doesn't understate how important the scholarship is to me).

"I am particularly interested in the ______ Scholarship." This is a happy medium.

Please Note: in all three, I follow with substantive reasons why this specific scholarship is a good fit for me.

Thoughts/advice?


This:

I am particularly interested in the ______ Scholarship."

Then once admitted way amp it up.

Broncos15
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Broncos15 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:40 am

Hey, Thanks first of all for the valuable information provided on this forum.

I have a question regarding my LSAC transcript GPA since I am in somewhat of an odd situation: http://www.lsac.org/aboutlsac/policies/ ... marization

I originally intended to enter Law School in the Fall 2015 and so last fall i sent in my transcripts from all colleges attended ( 1 community college from which I transferred and the four year school i am at now). At the community college I received a C in an English course during my first semester and that is reflected on my transcript.....However, I got in contact with the school and I can retake the course and the highest grade would count ( and more importantly the prior C in English would not show up at all on the transcript).....Since I am still in undergrad as I decided to have an extra minor I will need to update my transcripts again when I do apply.

My confusion lies within since my C would be present on my old transcript that I submitted to LSAC....Would I still be penalized for the C even though if I retook the course the new one would only reflect the highest grade and the C would not show at all in the new one when I resubmit it to LSAC.


I would be interested in a retake as I feel I could do much better on a retake in the course ( close to a 4.0 my last two years), it would be cheap since the retake would be through the CC instead of a four year school, and lastly being an English course, it would help my writing skills for law school.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:46 pm

NM

SWNAM90
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby SWNAM90 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:10 am

Hi, it's my first time posting anything on TLS...

And I feel sorry that my first post isn't one to give but receive help. Apologies!

So here's my situation. I had planned to take my 3rd LSAT on coming October, but the nearer it gets, I start to have reservations.

I graduated from a top ranked college, got a 3.74 GPA (cum laude, and honors in philosophy) and canceled my first LSAT and got a 169 on my second attempt.

I think I can do better, but by only a few points, but I think that there are chances that I might lose a couple points, too, and this is the problem.

I'd like to go CCN or UPENN, especially Columbia or UPENN, and I am wondering these:

1. Would taking a third time and getting 170~172 make a noticeable difference in my chances of getting in?
2. How much would it hurt my candidacy if I canceled again, or got something like 165~168?
3. Am I better off not taking another test? Or, perhaps, sending my applications ASAP, and then taking the LSAT on December if I get waitlisted?

Thank you so much!

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:19 am

SWNAM90 wrote:Hi, it's my first time posting anything on TLS...

And I feel sorry that my first post isn't one to give but receive help. Apologies!

So here's my situation. I had planned to take my 3rd LSAT on coming October, but the nearer it gets, I start to have reservations.

I graduated from a top ranked college, got a 3.74 GPA (cum laude, and honors in philosophy) and canceled my first LSAT and got a 169 on my second attempt.

I think I can do better, but by only a few points, but I think that there are chances that I might lose a couple points, too, and this is the problem.

I'd like to go CCN or UPENN, especially Columbia or UPENN, and I am wondering these:

1. Would taking a third time and getting 170~172 make a noticeable difference in my chances of getting in?
2. How much would it hurt my candidacy if I canceled again, or got something like 165~168?
3. Am I better off not taking another test? Or, perhaps, sending my applications ASAP, and then taking the LSAT on December if I get waitlisted?

Thank you so much!


TAKE! losing a few point would be zero problem. It is all opportunity for you, no risk. Right now all schools are going to care about is the 169. If you get lower, 169. Higher, that score. Take it!
Last edited by MikeSpivey on Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby somethingElse » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:24 am

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rk42
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby rk42 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:50 pm

Hey, thanks a lot for doing this!

I was just wondering if there would be anyway to indicate to a law school that they are your first choice without applying ED. Would it be an acceptable to indicate that specifically in a 'Why X' essay or would that speak on its own? I have a clear #1 choice but don't want to ED for scholarship considerations.

SWNAM90
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby SWNAM90 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:19 am

MikeSpivey wrote:
SWNAM90 wrote:Hi, it's my first time posting anything on TLS...

And I feel sorry that my first post isn't one to give but receive help. Apologies!

So here's my situation. I had planned to take my 3rd LSAT on coming October, but the nearer it gets, I start to have reservations.

I graduated from a top ranked college, got a 3.74 GPA (cum laude, and honors in philosophy) and canceled my first LSAT and got a 169 on my second attempt.

I think I can do better, but by only a few points, but I think that there are chances that I might lose a couple points, too, and this is the problem.

I'd like to go CCN or UPENN, especially Columbia or UPENN, and I am wondering these:

1. Would taking a third time and getting 170~172 make a noticeable difference in my chances of getting in?
2. How much would it hurt my candidacy if I canceled again, or got something like 165~168?
3. Am I better off not taking another test? Or, perhaps, sending my applications ASAP, and then taking the LSAT on December if I get waitlisted?

Thank you so much!


TAKE! losing a few point would be zero problem. It is all opportunity for you, no risk. Right now all schools are going to care about is the 169. If you get lower, 169. Higher, that score. Take it!


Your AWESOME!
I have a follow up question if you don't mind.

I think what's really my concern now is whether to retake in October or December. I've been busy working and writing my apps that I hadn't had the time to prepare for the LSAT. Say that in a couple weeks I know I won't do well in October, then would it be advisable for me to take the LSAT in December with more prep but send the apps in mid October any way, or should I wait till December until my scores our out and then apply? Hmmm...

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KarenButtenbaum
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby KarenButtenbaum » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:28 am

somethingelse55 wrote:First off, I really appreciate you all taking the time to answer our questions! I have a few of my own if you don't mind:

1) I am retaking in October, and I kept my score from last time. However, this is score is undoubtedly too low for acceptance into my top choice schools. My question to you is: Am I better off not officially submitting any applications until I get my (presumably higher) score back at the end of October? Or would it be better to submit applications ASAP and then send them my updated score once it is received? I assume the former is preferable, but I just want to make sure that the advantage of that option - schools seeing my higher score initially - outweighs the benefit of a few weeks earlier application.

2) As you all have read countless applications, do you tend to notice these sorts of things, or are they things that are encouraged to articulate in an addendum? Things like completing undergrad in 3 years, being part of an honors department, and an upward grade trend. These are all things that could be gleaned from looking at official transcripts, though perhaps not glaringly so. I was also considering mentioning some of these on my resume, would this be a preferable option?

Thanks in advance!


1.) Wait to submit until you get your score back. Submitting in late October/early November is still early in the process, so there is no real advantage to applying before that. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

2.) They will likely notice all of those things without an addendum but you should highlight the honors department on your resume


Cheers,
KB

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby MikeSpivey » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:41 am

SWNAM90 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:
SWNAM90 wrote:Hi, it's my first time posting anything on TLS...

And I feel sorry that my first post isn't one to give but receive help. Apologies!

So here's my situation. I had planned to take my 3rd LSAT on coming October, but the nearer it gets, I start to have reservations.

I graduated from a top ranked college, got a 3.74 GPA (cum laude, and honors in philosophy) and canceled my first LSAT and got a 169 on my second attempt.

I think I can do better, but by only a few points, but I think that there are chances that I might lose a couple points, too, and this is the problem.

I'd like to go CCN or UPENN, especially Columbia or UPENN, and I am wondering these:

1. Would taking a third time and getting 170~172 make a noticeable difference in my chances of getting in?
2. How much would it hurt my candidacy if I canceled again, or got something like 165~168?
3. Am I better off not taking another test? Or, perhaps, sending my applications ASAP, and then taking the LSAT on December if I get waitlisted?

Thank you so much!


TAKE! losing a few point would be zero problem. It is all opportunity for you, no risk. Right now all schools are going to care about is the 169. If you get lower, 169. Higher, that score. Take it!


Your AWESOME!
I have a follow up question if you don't mind.

I think what's really my concern now is whether to retake in October or December. I've been busy working and writing my apps that I hadn't had the time to prepare for the LSAT. Say that in a couple weeks I know I won't do well in October, then would it be advisable for me to take the LSAT in December with more prep but send the apps in mid October any way, or should I wait till December until my scores our out and then apply? Hmmm...


This is not just for you, but for everyone else in this plight. If you think you can score ONE POINT higher in December than Oct, it is worth the wait. I have seen cycles where people who applied in January did better than those who applied in Oct (due to unanticipated application plummets)...the point being there is too much mythology around getting things in early and not enough fact based evidence. Dec would be fine.

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Danimals18
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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby Danimals18 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:34 pm

I am reapplying to law schools this cycle with a new (and hopefully improved) LSAT score. My questions mostly concern the extent to which I need to revise my past applications:
How substantially do I need to revise my personal statement and resume?
Can I use the same "Why School X" essays?
Same LoRs? (Graduated 3 years ago, LoR from professors, I believe they are strong)
If I declined admission from a school last cycle that I would happily attend this year if granted admission again, should I include that information somewhere? And if so, (and I imagine the answer is yes), would that be best to put in the "Why School X" essay?

Thank you!

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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby DerekMeeker » Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:23 am

rk42 wrote:Hey, thanks a lot for doing this!

I was just wondering if there would be anyway to indicate to a law school that they are your first choice without applying ED. Would it be an acceptable to indicate that specifically in a 'Why X' essay or would that speak on its own? I have a clear #1 choice but don't want to ED for scholarship considerations.


Yes, include that information as part of your "why x school" essay. Just note that many applicants write rather generic "why essays" and then throw in at the end that the school is their top choice (sometimes to every school they're applying to), so admissions committees often don't put a lot of stock into that claim. (If only I had gotten a dollar for every Penn essay I read that referenced Philly cheesesteaks or Rocky!) But if you submit a thoughtful, well-written "why x school" essay that clearly conveys why the school is your top choice, they will take it more seriously.

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Re: Q&A with former Harvard, Penn, Chicago, Vandy Admissions officers

Postby mist4bison » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:15 pm

deanmeeker wrote:
rk42 wrote:Hey, thanks a lot for doing this!

I was just wondering if there would be anyway to indicate to a law school that they are your first choice without applying ED. Would it be an acceptable to indicate that specifically in a 'Why X' essay or would that speak on its own? I have a clear #1 choice but don't want to ED for scholarship considerations.


Yes, include that information as part of your "why x school" essay. Just note that many applicants write rather generic "why essays" and then throw in at the end that the school is their top choice (sometimes to every school they're applying to), so admissions committees often don't put a lot of stock into that claim. (If only I had gotten a dollar for every Penn essay I read that referenced Philly cheesesteaks or Rocky!) But if you submit a thoughtful, well-written "why x school" essay that clearly conveys why the school is your top choice, they will take it more seriously.


What about for a school like Berkeley, which specifically states on their website that the PS should include a Why X portion? Would it still be a good idea to write a why X for Berkeley? Or should the Why X portion be shortened to fit into the PS? Or both? Thanks!


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