Most of my law school admission consulting clients struggle to state the reasons why they are applying to a certain law school. Here’s a few of my favorite tips:
1. Do I have to say why I want to go to Law School X?
No. You don’t. Unless X Law School asks you to, and then – yes – you do.
And if they offer this as an optional essay topic, and you don’t do it, then – yes- I think (as a former director of admissions) that you’re being lazy.
2. Is there some advantage to saying why I want to go to Law School X?
Yes. If you can convince them, they’ll be more likely to admit you rather than wait list you and make you prove you deserve a coveted admission letter that they’ll then have to report for rankings purposes.
3. So, what can I possibly say?
It’s true – sometimes law schools just don’t seem to be that different from one another, especially when they are ranked similarly.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Don’t say you love their Environmental Law program if nothing in your application supports your interest in Environmental Law.
- Don’t pick a study abroad program as your reason; you can do any ABA school’s study abroad summer program and transfer the credits (generally).
- Don’t list reasons that could be applied to any law school equally like ‘esteemed faculty’ or ‘national reputation’ or ‘bar passage rate.’ Be specific.
- If you’re applying part time, tell them why. Otherwise they’ll think you’re just using the part time program to be admitted through the “back door.”
Good luck, and I hope I’ve inspired you to do a little more research and critical thinking about why you’re choosing each law school on your list.