Tips for Your Law School Personal Statement.
2. Do not “write like a lawyer.” Lawyers are fond of “legalese,” or using long and often redundant words. The best law school personal statements display clear and succinct writing that is well within the specified word limitations.
5. Topics for Law School Personal Statements
4. Avoid a boring introduction that loses the reader’s attention. Admissions committees read thousands of law school personal statements, and a boring introduction will result in the reader skimming over rather than fully considering your personal statement.
1. The law school professors will be reading your personal statement closely and will immediately be able to spot good writers, with polished ideas, elegant structure, and no errors.
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The biggest problem with this personal statement is its lack of specific details. The reader doesn’t feel like he or she gets to know the applicant. The writer doesn’t explain why he respects Winston Churchill, nor does he explain how the quote applies specifically to him. Furthermore, he gives no specific details about the law school he is applying to and why he feels he is a good match for that school. The reader learns from this statement that the writer feels he has improved as a student thanks to a teacher named Dr. Smith. There are no specific details about the author or his mentor. The reader is also told that the applicant began school with four credits and graduated from USC in three years, all of which can be learned from the transcript.
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This applicant chose to structure the personal statement around a quote. Winston Churchill wrote some of the most memorable quotes in the English language; he was an artist of the epigram. For this reason, he is over-quoted and often cited out of context, but he is always loved. This applicant also chose to tell a personal narrative about a mentor who changed his life. The title and the quote are both about change through time. The title is “From Ordinary to Honors,” which suggests the personal statement will be structured by chronological growth. The quote suggests the writer will look at his past mistakes and accomplishments in order to make well-evaluated choices about the future. The author’s angle is “I get more responsible with age.”
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Winston Churchill once said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” Churchill’s statement is extremely evident in my path toward law school. Appearing to be a typical straight out of undergraduate law school applicant, I bring much more than that to the table. My academic achievements speak for themselves as I graduated with honors in only three years. However my path toward college was not as successful. I attended a competitive private high school and was among the bottom tier of students in my class. Going into my undergraduate studies, I was excited to get to a new place in my life, but did not realize my potential for academic success.
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Note – this applicant substantially revised his statement based upon the feedback that was provided to him. This example shows some potential, but offers more lessons on what not to do.