Law School Essays

Do not make conclusory statements about yourself like, “I’ve always been very hardworking” or “I have the ambition to excel” or “I really want to help people.” Rather, show the reader an example of your hardworking nature – tell the story of how you single-handedly reorganized the stock room into an efficient operation at your otherwise boring summer job.Relate your experiences tutoring underprivileged junior high students.After your LSAT and GPA, your personal statement is the most important part of your law school applications.

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While every personal statement is, by its nature, different, there are a few basic points to keep in mind as you write.

The overarching principle is simple: Consider your audience.

Do, however make the explicit connection between your theme and your reason(s) for applying.

Show, don’t tell This basic principle of good writing is the most important one to follow in drafting your personal statement.

Admissions officials read every single personal statement they receive.

At some schools, this literally means that one person is reading hundreds or thousands of essays; at others, the committees split up the stack.This is another good reason to prepare multiple drafts and to have others review your work.Make it legible Do not get clever with your margins, font or line-spacing.Describe what it was like training for the big game, meet, or event.Don’t write, “I became committed to working in health care law when my grandmother was in the hospital.” Instead, describe your family’s experiences during that time.Ask yourself a couple of key questions: What are the insights, perspectives, qualities, or background experiences that you are trying to convey to the admissions committee?What are the core life lessons that have shaped who you are today, and how do they connect you to your future legal career? Do not waste space trying to convince the committee that you want to go to law school – the presence of your application in their stack is ample evidence of that desire.Either way, your statement is one of a very large number the reader will be reviewing, perhaps late into the night.Here’s another important thing to know about admissions officials: they are the idealists in the process.If you are going over the two-page limit, then you need to edit your work, not make your font smaller.Small fonts irritate people over 40 (again, even though we can easily increase the size on our screens). Look not just for the typos and spelling errors, but also for that bane of personal statements everywhere: the forgotten mention of School A in the statement for School B.


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