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Writing the best personal statement for law school

It is not a throwaway. That means there is an awful lot of pressure on you to get it right, and it all starts with a great opening.

Productive Preparation

They can quickly sniff out when something rings false. In some of the examples above, the use of hyperbole and dramatic action is more distracting than it is informative. Begin with you rather than going too general There is always a subset of law school applicants who love to start their personal statements with a maxim, truism, or vague and general description of a feeling or a idea. In general see what we did there?

Quality Content & Delivery

No need to get cute We understand the allure of doing something cutesy or clever or tricky. However, this is a law school application—not your blog. Why do you need a faux cross examination to tell us about yourself? Instead, go back to the very first point: When in doubt, take heart, and always ask somebody else to read your essay and give you honest, constructive feedback. As a result, law school admissions officers see too darned many of them.

One Kaplan Graduate Admissions Consultant vividly remembers the best law school personal statements they ever read—a personal statement that got the writer acceptance letters to several top law schools. The essay told an epic tale about a student who struggled to achieve passing grades — moving on and off of academic probation, and through a myriad of stops, shifts, and re-starts, from one college to another — for the better part of a decade following his graduation from high school.

For a time, it appeared that he was destined to be a college drop-out. To make matters worse, as the student floundered academically, he bounced around from one retail job to another.

Law School Personal Statement Tips

Then, one day, he took a position as a grassroots worker on a local political campaign. He quickly realized that he had found something that he loved to do, but just as importantly, he was very good at it. His life soon changed in dramatic ways. He almost immediately became a star local operative for a major political party, and in a very short time period worked his way up and into state-wide and national campaigns. His confidence ultimately inspired his academic career.

  1. Good law students—and good lawyers—use clear, direct prose.
  2. These are the qualities that make a good lawyer, so they're the qualities that law schools seek in applicants. We help students succeed in high school and beyond by giving them resources for better grades, better test scores, and stronger college applications.
  3. In general see what we did there?
  4. Get plenty of feedback on your law school personal statement. You need to give them a deeper sense of yourself.
  5. But you shouldn't neglect the law school personal statement. The essay told an epic tale about a student who struggled to achieve passing grades — moving on and off of academic probation, and through a myriad of stops, shifts, and re-starts, from one college to another — for the better part of a decade following his graduation from high school.

He transferred any grades that he could i. For his final two years of college credit which were required to attain a degree from the institution to which he had transferredhe aced nearly every course that he took and set his sights on a career in law.

As compelling as the above storyline is, it is important to always keep in mind that an outstanding story counts for little without an effective organizational structure and proper literary execution. Toward that end, the applicant in this case sought to engage the reader by presenting a scene in the opening paragraph which depicted one of the happiest moments of his life — his triumphant college graduation.

It was as he moved toward the end of the first paragraph and into the second that he added the engaging twist which showed that his academic success story was far from the norm: Most importantly, the applicant did not harp on the lengthy, negative period in his life that I described above.

Rather, he took a straightforward and succinct approach in recounting the great challenges that had stymied him for so many years. From there, it was off to the heart of the essay — how the applicant overcame his struggle and succeeded, ultimately setting a clear and direct course for law school along the way.

  1. Sometimes, law school applicants answer this question in a superficial way. Good law students—and good lawyers—use clear, direct prose.
  2. Sometimes, law school applicants answer this question in a superficial way.
  3. The personal statement that this particular applicant wrote would probably best be described as a life changer. Most importantly, the applicant did not harp on the lengthy, negative period in his life that I described above.
  4. He transferred any grades that he could i.
  5. For his final two years of college credit which were required to attain a degree from the institution to which he had transferred , he aced nearly every course that he took and set his sights on a career in law.

Finally, in the concluding paragraph of the essay, the applicant brought the reader full circle — back to the opening story. There he was, still standing at graduation, but instead of thinking simply about his past and how he had made it to this point, he was now looking toward the future and thinking about how he was fully prepared to conquer the challenges that lay ahead in law school and beyond.

One of these letters came with a handwritten note from a law school dean who praised him for doing such an outstanding job on the personal statement. I should mention that this applicant ultimately ended up declining each of those three offers in favor of an offer from one of the most renowned and oldest law schools in the United States.

Every once in a while, somewhere out there, a law school applicant does something in the application process that can be described as a real game changer.

The personal statement that this particular applicant wrote would probably best be described as a life changer.

  • One of these letters came with a handwritten note from a law school dean who praised him for doing such an outstanding job on the personal statement;
  • He transferred any grades that he could i;
  • Good writing is writing that is easily understood;
  • Most importantly, the applicant did not harp on the lengthy, negative period in his life that I described above;
  • Why do you need a faux cross examination to tell us about yourself?
  • Most importantly, the applicant did not harp on the lengthy, negative period in his life that I described above.