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Law School Application Essay: Why X?

One of the law school application essays that many students choose to write about is the one that asks, “Why our law school in particular?”

There are different variations on this question, but they’re all asking the same things:

What is it about this particular school or area of study that you find interesting? Why? How will this educational setting allow you to thrive, not just during your time here, but also in your career?

There are two important components to answering these questions:

• First, you must describe what makes you unique. Which educational experiences do you have that show why you’re interested in a particular area of study? What will you bring to the law school that’s valuable to them? Why would they want to have you as a student?

• Secondly, you must also describe why the law school is the perfect fit for you. What attracts you to that law school? Is it a specific professor? Does one of their programs have a unique advantage that you’re drawn to?

In the first version of her essay for Stanford Law School, Samantha achieved only one of these components. She told us about only herself, highlighting her interest in patent law.

The problem was, she left out what made Stanford Law so appealing to her.

By leaving out this one essential element, she really only completed half of the essay. Even though it met the word count requirements, her original essay would have been missing a key element, and law school admission officers would have noticed.

Thankfully, Samantha came to me for help and we were able to catch the mistake in time. For her final version, Samantha’s essay had clear examples of why Stanford Law would provide the perfect learning environment for her.

She also cited the Dean’s philosophy and how it relates to her educational and career goals and explains how some of the school’s legal clinics truly excite her.

Could your essay be missing some key details like Samantha’s was? Don’t submit it before finding out. Read about how you can answer the question, “Why do you want to go to this law school?” in my articles here, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any further help.

Until next time,


P.S. There’s a lot more to writing a “Why X Law School” essay than the two bullet points I listed above. While those are the two main components, you must also incorporate the other elements of law school application essay-writing we’ve discussed so far, like “show don’t tell.” I know it’s a lot to remember, but when you have a well-written law school application essay that can help get you into your top-choice school, it will certainly pay off!

Recommended Resources:

1. Law School Admissions Coaching

Get personalized 1-1 help on every aspect of the law school admission process — or just the law school personal statement.

2. Law School Admissions Guide

I’ve written a concise guide to the law school admission process with tips on completing every aspect of your applications from start to finish. It’s a small price to pay for a whole lot of guidance, and it’s short enough that you’ll actually read the whole thing.

3. Law School Admissions Cheat Sheet

Quick-reference guide for the law school personal statement, the “Why X?” essay, and the law school résumé. (You can also get it with the LSAT Cheat Sheets.)


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