"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

-- The Dalai Lama

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

But WHY?...

I have just completed the final element of the mating ritual that is the law school application process: returning the letters from the jilted schools that ask "But Why? Why Not Me?" While it's flattering that they care why I've decided against attending it's still a little awkward.

I went with a mixture of "It's not you, it's me" and the truth. I even added an anecdote from an admitted students' day in which a current student who had aspirations of public interest law felt she "had no choice" but to enter corporate law. I asked whether her classmates felt the same way. She said yes. I had to wonder where this attitude was coming from. Career Services? 2Ls and 3Ls? Professors? From all of the literature, and my own conversations with their Career Services people, I had to believe that this idea of having "no choice" but to enter corporate law was not accurate. But what if it was? I decided not to stick around to find out. Of course this conversation was not actually the reason for deciding against this particular school, but it certainly didn't help.

10 comments:

kristine said...

Wow, your rejected schools want to know WHY? Sheesh. I got a notice from one that I was withdrawn after not paying a deposit; I never heard from the second one after sending in my "I will be going somewhere else" form.

I wish they still cared about me—or, the attention-loving part of me does!—but I'm glad I'm not messing with that stuff right now, too.

Shannon said...

In truth I'm under no real delusion that they actually "care" - but it was a little bit fun writing the letters pretending that they do...

CM said...

I loved Columbia, so I sent them this long email saying, "Really, I would have gone, if only you were in Boston!" I didn't bother to fill out NYU's because it was this long web survey that took forever to load. The other schools just had a short form saying, "Which school did you go to?" and "Anything you want to tell us?"

Shannon said...

CM, I was just thinking about your Columbia visits the other day, and wondered if it was at all difficult for you to choose between Columbia and Harvard.

Jeanne said...

They wanted to know why? How odd. Note to self: reason to be thankful you only sent one application. Because apparently the applications aren't painful enough on their own, right?

shell said...

Right. That reminds me - I should send in my withdraw letters soon.

My excuse is simple: Your school costs more than the school I've chosen.

kristine said...

Well, the one school that I actually sent something to did ask for the name of the school I actually planned to go to. So maybe that's all they care about? They're BIG so maybe they don't want to deal with more information gathering.

Oddly, my chosen school did send a survey request—I guess every admitted student got to fill it out, whether they chose to attend or not. I did that one. But I'll do stuff for my school.

Shannon said...

Kristine, I would have thought that was the most important piece of information to gather as well. However, mine didn't even ask for the name of the chosen school. The questions felt more like they were trying to ask, "How could we market ourselves better in the future?"

Trevor said...

Like CM, I loved Columbia's multiple choice Dear John form. I think I had the same answer too.

What didn't you like about us?

Reputation - not a factor
Clinical Programs - not a factor
Public Interest - not a factor
Our Haircuts - not a factor
Alignment of Venus - not a factor
NYC - huge negative factor

They were the only ones who asked, so it felt good to be able to say, "it's not you, it's me."

CM said...

It wasn't hard to choose between them at all -- my ideal situation from the beginning was getting into HLS and staying in Boston. But I held on to that Columbia withdrawal notice for a few weeks longer than I needed to, and felt a twinge of regret when I sent it out. Can't complain, though. :)