So there are only two major items on my "Apply to Law Schools To-Do List": Write the personal statement, and settle on a final schools list.
The only concrete decision I have made regarding the personal statement is that I am going to write one for each school I apply to. My list is going to be short enough that there's no reason other than laziness not to get the "why I want to go here" questions answered in each.
I've spent more time lately thinking about what schools I want to apply to. I started with a very long (20+) list. I have since removed all the schools where the primary (and in some cases only) reason it was on the list was:
1. It's ranked pretty high and I think I can get in.
Now I am down to 5 schools. Yes, I did think I was that much of a prestige whore. Here is my current list in no particular order with only the top positive reasons noted:
1. It is a beautiful school with big, beautiful gothic buildings and I have always wanted to go to a beautiful school with big, beautiful gothic buildings.
2. It has a national reputation
1. I love the location - a busy city with lots of cultural opportunities and politics I agree with
2. The school's politics and reputation
3. Friends in the area
4. The school's history
5. Has a good reputation for the broad area of practice I am interested in
1. I am instate - much cheaper tuition
2. Would not have to leave my boyfriend and my family
3. Has a decent reputation for the broad area of practice I am interested in
1. Ranked #1 by USNews in the broad area of practice I am interested in
2. Very small town (a good thing for me)
3. Relatively very cheap cost of living
4. From talking to people who go there it is probable I would receive some $$$
1. The only school with a program in the specific area of practice I am interested in
2. The only school with a journal in the specific area of practice I am interested in
3. Well known (at least regionally) for the broad area of practice I am interested in
4. I love the campus
5. I love the location
6. From visiting and speaking with current students I think I would be comfortable in the atmosphere there
7. They offer study abroad opportunities
8. They offer a clinical internship seminar in the specific area of practice I am interested in
9. They have a loan repayment assist program if you go into a public interest job
Okay, so it's pretty obvious that #5 is my number one choice. Since I think it is so perfect for me, I'm considering just applying to #5 with #4 as a backup. My numbers are good to go at both of these schools. My numbers are actually okay at any of these schools so that is not really a factor. So what, I am asking myself, are the reasons to even apply to numbers 1, 2 and 3? Up until now I figured I wanted to "see" and to "keep my options open." Maybe I'm just wanting to see if the prestige whore in me will win out after all?
Any and all opinions are appreciated.
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
-- The Dalai Lama
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