Some schools require or offer the option for applicants to write "Why X" law school statements explaining why the applicant has chosen that particular school. Make no mistake that perfecting your personal statement should always be your first priority, but if you're offered the chance to write a "Why X" statement, do it.
A "Why X" law school statement is one more chance for you to speak directly to the admissions committee in your own words, and that's an opportunity you should always take; it could mean the difference between the admissions committee's choosing you over someone else with similar qualifications who didn't write one.When Should You Write a "Why X" Law School Statement?
If you're applying to a reach school, a "Why X" law school statement is essential. If your numbers already fall outside the norms, you're in an uphill battle, so you want to give the admissions committee as many reasons as possible to admit you. Chances are you know exactly why you want to go to this school, but try to keep your statement out of the "dream" realm as much as possible and stick to the solid, practical reasons you want to attend.
Perhaps you may be thinking you're safe because your GPA and LSAT score are well within the school's range. This doesn't mean you should opt against writing a "Why X" statement; in fact, it's all the more reason to go ahead and submit one. That may seem counterintuitive, but consider this: it is widely believed that some schools deny applicants within their "numbers" because they don't believe those students will end up choosing their school. Why? Because when they accept a student and a student doesn't choose to enroll, it can affect so-called "yield" numbers, i.e., the number of students who enroll after being accepted. Writing a "Why X" statement can help show the admissions committee you're serious about considering their law school.When Shouldn't You Write a "Why X" Statement?
If a law school doesn't mention the option of submitting a "Why X" statement, quite simply, you don't have to consider writing one. You may decide, though, to include a small paragraph in your personal statement that details your particular interest in a law school.
Please, though, don't make this a generic statement like "X Law School is consistently ranked in the top 14 law schools in the country" or a paragraph in which you can simply switch out one school's name for the next. If you can't match a school with any specificity to your own interests, you're better off just leaving that part out of a personal statement.How to Submit "Why X" Law School Statements
If you're applying through LSAC, as you probably are, simply submit your "Why X" statement as an addendum after you've uploaded your personal statement.Final Thoughts on "Why X" Statements
You're sick and tired of the law school application process, and you just want it to be over already. This is completely normal and understandable, but keep in mind that by taking the time to write a "Why X" statement now, you can potentially ease your mind for a lifetime from wondering "What if I had just written a 'Why X' statement?" After all, you want to give law school applications your all the first time so you never have to go through the process again.