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Author Topic: How optional are optional essays?  (Read 2740 times)

newperson

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How optional are optional essays?
« on: September 23, 2004, 07:08:03 PM »
This is probably a pretty basic question but just thought I'd ask. Most law schools require a personal statement and give you the chance to offer additional information. Some, like Michigan, I plan on doing because they actually ask specific questions for their additional essays. But if I've already written a personal statement, it's hard to write another one when their is essentially no prompt or only a question about how you bring diversity to the law school (which I don't racially or economically. I probably do intellectually but this is much harder to articulate). So, how "optional" is the opportunity to give extra information if you want to get in?

dr_draino

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Re: How optional are optional essays?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2004, 07:28:28 PM »
If you can articulate the intellectual diversity, you'll look like all the more bad-ass for 1) recognizing your diversity and 2) being able to articulate it.  I recomend going for it.  Others (jacy) would argue differently.

rushmore

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Re: How optional are optional essays?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2004, 03:17:44 AM »
Im stuggling with the same thing.  I feel like the diversity I add comes from my interests.  But I think the whole renaissance man thing is played out.  ???

jacy85

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Re: How optional are optional essays?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2004, 10:41:27 AM »
Actually, as much as I tried to convince myself that if you aren't diverse, don't bother, I ended up throwing somethign together.  It was very short, only about 3 paragraphs, and it discussed how I was the first to graduate college in my family (and now the first also to seek a graduate education).

Don't know how compelling it is, if at all, but it was at least well written and somewhat articulate.  And shows I put in the effort...

Candide

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Re: How optional are optional essays?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2004, 10:42:56 PM »
I'm struggling with the same question.  For example, when Georgetown says that they "encourage you to attach a brief statement that will enable the Committee to understand the contribution your personal background would make to the student body" and you've already done exactly that in your personal statement, WTF do you do?

I don't want to be repetitive, but at the same time when a adcomm uses the word "encourage" it sounds pretty damn mandatory.

jacy85

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Re: How optional are optional essays?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2004, 11:16:29 PM »
Well, Ginatio who had a ridiculously high gpa and a really good lsat score didn't do any optional essays.  But then again, his applications were pretty damn compelling without them.

If you feel your app is strong without the optional essay, then don't bother, I guess.  I didn't feel I had that going for me though, so I threw something together.  I was almost beyond the point of caring, at least for Duke, since it seems like only a fluke would get me in anyway.

Garbled

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Re: How optional are optional essays?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2004, 01:26:10 AM »
Actually, as much as I tried to convince myself that if you aren't diverse, don't bother, I ended up throwing somethign together.  It was very short, only about 3 paragraphs, and it discussed how I was the first to graduate college in my family (and now the first also to seek a graduate education).

Don't know how compelling it is, if at all, but it was at least well written and somewhat articulate.  And shows I put in the effort...

How long should the optional essays be? So yours is 3 paragraphs - maybe 1 page? I'm thinking that my diversity statement could be longer than my personal statement, which is 3 pages, but i'm not sure if thats OK. Another poster is also writing one for Georgetown, and i'm reading the same thing from the school and wondering just how much to write. Or maybe i should say how little.

Any thoughts?

Sportseditor23

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Re: How optional are optional essays?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2004, 03:39:05 AM »
Nothing more than a page
You can't get accepted to a school if you don't apply

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=Sportseditor23

Tom

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Re: How optional are optional essays?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2004, 12:56:41 PM »
Some people may think that I am crazy but I am not doing the optional essay for YLS.
I feel that between my academic accompishments, my 250 word required essay, my LOR's, and other accomplishments listed on the application that they will have enough information to admit me or not.
Who knows, maybe i'll stand out for not doing it. 
I guess i'll find out in a few months.

Garbled

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Re: How optional are optional essays?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2004, 01:04:06 PM »
Some people may think that I am crazy but I am not doing the optional essay for YLS.
I feel that between my academic accompishments, my 250 word required essay, my LOR's, and other accomplishments listed on the application that they will have enough information to admit me or not.
Who knows, maybe i'll stand out for not doing it. 
I guess i'll find out in a few months.

Then it will all come down to your competition. If they all had comparable accomplishments and an optional essay that adds something extra to their application then they will probably be chosen ahead of you. Maybe your whole package w/o the optional essay will be enough, but if you have something to add via the essay i wouldn't hesitate. Good luck. :)