Over 30 years of experience in creative, persuasive writing
Andrea Friedlander, J.D.
Deerfield, Illinois 60015
My insights as an alumni interviewer for Harvard, extensive background in persuasive writing, and singular focus on application essays have helped many students craft memorable, well-written and successful essays for their college and graduate school admissions applications.
As should be evident from the pages in this website, I believe that the application essays are the student's best -- and sometimes only -- opportunity to persuade the admissions officers that the student is distinctive and would be an asset to the class, without bragging or ever saying so directly. The essays are an exercise in the art of subtle persuasion -- persuasion through creative storytelling and/or answers to direct questions that show (as opposed to tell) who the student is -- the student's passions, thinking, perceptions and essential humanity.
I have a long history in persuasive writing and editing. After graduating cum laude from Harvard University (where I played Varsity Softball), I earned my J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. I was named Outstanding Student in Legal Research and Writing, and my written briefs earned me a spot as a finalist in the prestigious Hinton Moot Court competition. I worked for 25 years as a litigator and appellate lawyer, writing hundreds of legal briefs that advocated creatively and persuasively for my clients' desired outcomes.
Additionally, as a volunteer for several different non-profit organizations, I have written numerous creative articles designed to promote and gain support for those organizations. These articles include regularly scheduled President's columns for two different non-profits, a series of articles published in community newsletters around the country, and an ongoing monthly Meet a Member feature.
Over the past 20 years, I have also served as the editor for five different monthly or weekly non-profit newsletters and helped edit the book, Put Me in Coach: A Parent’s Guide to Winning the Game of College Recruiting by Laurie Richter (2009).
I started helping students with their college essays in 2006 and realized that I preferred this kind of collaborative coaching to the adversarial battles of litigation. The desire to devote more time to counseling students in writing these potentially pivotal essays was the tiny nudge I needed to retire completely from the practice of law. I love what I’m doing, and based on continuing extensive research, I have become an expert in the Do’s & Don’ts and Tips & Tricks for writing stand-out essays.
The best part of this job is getting to know students of all different interests and abilities. Winning a legal battle is exciting, but there’s nothing more satisfying than mentoring a young person and seeing that person gain confidence and succeed. I found this to be true when I coached kids in park district t-ball, softball and basketball; volunteered in the elementary school classrooms; and informally counseled high school students on college-related issues.
I am also the mother of three, so I know from experience how stressful the application process can be for both students and parents. Although my children, like most others, are usually reluctant to accept parental advice, they willingly took my advice on both their college and graduate school application essays. I am proud to say that all three were accepted to their first choice colleges (two by the University of Michigan and one by Brown University), and the two who went on to graduate school were again accepted to their first choice programs (Northwestern University and Columbia University).