9 Important Personal Statement Tips for Law School Applicants

 

personal statement law school

Jun 28,  · The law school personal statement is important—probably the most important qualitative factor in your application. Admissions deans from the best programs in the country often point to the personal statement as their entry into a prospective student’s application. 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. These example law school essays were integral components of successful law school applications. These example law school essays were integral components of successful law school applications. Author: Ilana Kowarski. Law schools use the personal statement to learn about your ability to write concisely, precisely, and well. The personal statement gives you an opportunity to showcase your abilities. So, the best statements not only follow the schools' instructions, but are tied together by a theme and a logical progression of ideas, making good use of.


Law School - Personal Statement | Career Center


There is no other component of your application that you can control as much as your law school personal statement. An excellent personal statement will separate you from the sea of candidates with similar academic qualifications.

Analogous to an interview, personal statement law school, a law school personal statement should introduce the attributes and accomplishments personal statement law school make you an individual, personal statement law school. Do not write a summary of your resume or transcript, but instead utilize this opportunity to expand upon what is unique about you, your life experiences, and your goals.

The following advice is intended to help you understand your audience, teach you how to personal statement law school a persuasive statement, personal statement law school, suggest topics, and tell you the inside secrets you should know. This advice is supplemented by personal statement samples with commentary at the end. Ask yourself if you want to go to law school.

You must demonstrate a strong, mature commitment to law: Inform yourself about your chosen profession and the schools you would consider attending. This research will take some time, and your serious personal statement law school will put in this time. The top law schools seem to ask very little of you in your application for potentially very high returns. This is somewhat deceptive because many of the people you are competing against will invest enormous amounts of time personal statement law school energy in crafting and honing their two- or three-page personal statements.

They may even utilize a professional editing service. Invest time in your personal statement. Accept responsibilities for yourself, your family, personal statement law school, and your community, personal statement law school. Show why you are among the best and brightest, and break stereotypes by being unique. Admissions committees at top law schools usually consist of professional admissions officers, personal statement law school, professors, and students.

These are the people who will read your personal statement, personal statement law school. Your audience wants to enter into your thoughts and perspective, and they want specific details about you.

The ideal effect you want to achieve is personal transformation for the reader. The very best personal statements are the unforgettable handful that move the reader. Because very few law schools offer interviews, the personal statement functions in an introductory capacity. Thus a good personal statement should implicitly address the questions the committee will ask themselves about you if they had an opportunity.

A well-crafted personal statement will not answer the following questions directly, but it will embed the desired answers in the narrative:. You are writing a persuasive essay, but it should also have some of the elements of a persuasive speech. The personal statement is a unique genre and very difficult to master, since at most people write one or two in their lives. Most importantly for this genre, you want to build a strong ethos. That means your audience should like you and find you authoritative, competent, thoughtful, and honest.

You want to demonstrate that you are a perceptive leader, who can communicate well with others, that you are open to new experiences and are enthusiastic. You do not want to come across as too formal, stuffy or too technical.

You must give your audience evidence for your assertion that you should be admitted. The best essays will interpret the evidence provided by explaining how each piece of evidence contributes to supporting the assertion. The best essays will also be clear, concise, and graceful. There are several types of evidence you may choose to use. Good personal statements use more than one type of evidence, and exceptional personal statements use personal statement law school all.

Ethos: Credibility, including perceived competence, character, and likeability. Use ethos to persuade by authority. Mythos: Belief and value patterns of an audience, including traditional narratives, sayings, metaphors, and symbols. Use mythos to add power, subtle rhetorical control and wider significance to your argument. You should be able to tell someone how your personal statement is structured, what the logical progression is, what each of the roughly six to ten paragraphs is about, and how each paragraph both interprets evidence for its specific claim and contributes to the overall effect of the essay.

You should also try to have a unifying theme. This might organically develop from your attention-grabbing material at the beginning of the statement. There are several standard structures for personal statement law school school personal statements. You may use more than one:. Tell a personal narrative or story. People remember stories. This type of essay typically allows you to demonstrate aspects of your character and leadership skills. Show how you have made chronological growth, personal statement law school, including steps you will take in the future.

It is generally better to avoid giving long narratives about some aspect of yourself before college. If you have a good reason for mentioning your childhood or adolescence such as an unusual history abroad or a specific obstacle you have overcomethen it is better to keep it to one short, vivid paragraph and refer to it again later in the essay, if you are making it the unifying theme of your statement. This structure relies on time to move it forward, but that is not enough: it also requires a theme you are tracing through time.

Present a problem and how you solved it or would solve it. This is called the problem-solution structure. This type of essay showcases your analytic reasoning.

Use a metaphor or analogy to help your audience understand you. This demonstrates your rhetorical control and usually integrates mythos into your statement.

Pose rhetorical questions to your audience or use suspense. This structure showcases your personal statement law school in persuasion and argumentation. Personal statement law school what you have learned from another lawyer or mentor.

Also analyze what you would do differently. This type of essay allows you to showcase your analytic reasoning, personal statement law school. Begin with a meaningful quote, which you explain and refer to throughout your statement. This is a difficult structure to master, but when it is done well, it can be satisfying for the reader. Do not pick a quote by some famous person whose work you have never read or barely encountered.

Spend some time unpacking the various levels and resonances of the quote in relation to your life and goals. List reasons personal statement law school should be admitted.

This structure, like the chronological structure, needs a unifying theme, or it is completely boring. It is best to avoid this structure. Attention-grabbing material: Hook them with a remarkable or a life-changing experience, an anecdote, or a question that will be answered by your law school personal statement. The conclusion is the final chord of music resolved. It should pull together the different parts of the personal statement, rephrase main ideas, interpret the importance of the choice of topics, point towards the future, and give the cue for ending with a rhetorical flourish.

Several ways to use pathos include: writing your personal statement law school as a quest narrative which also adds mythosasking the audience to think of a time when…, using rhetorical questions, using suspense, describing a great disappointment with details but ending with a positive lesson learned, describing a great joy.

Your audience will be one of three types of learners: visual, auditory, personal statement law school, or kinesthetic. Try to appeal to all of these by working in visual descriptions for visual learners, discussing times in which you excelled in oral communication for auditory learners, and discussing specific ways in which you were active for kinesthetic learners kinesthetic learners are those who learn by physically doing rather than reading or listening. Your audience will primarily self-select as visual learners, because these typically include people who are good at reading.

The bottom line is this: Vivid, active language is crucial. Try to make the reader feel he or she has taken a short mental vacation. Whisk the reader away into your world. Make the reader smile. This applies to describing your work in a different nation and culture, for example.

Your audience will perk up if you describe a campus visit you made and give specific details about which of their colleagues you met with and how that visit changed your perspective, personal statement law school.

Appeal to universal human values, including success, freedom, honesty, and friendship, among others. Your topic is related to, but separate from your structure. Your structure is the form of your personal statement, and the topic is the content. You may start with the structure or the topic, depending on which appeals to you more. Personalize your law school personal statement as much as possible by including concrete examples of your characteristics and specific details of your experiences.

Show, rather than tell, the reader about yourself and your accomplishments. Write about coursework, experiences, or research related to your law career or legal interest, such as completing a thesis, working with a professor, or volunteering for a legal aid or clinic.

Write about why a particular law school or program fits your goals. Extensive knowledge about that law school or program is essential for this to truly succeed. Write about overcoming any difficulties or adversity in your life. This may include difficulties faced in your personal life, academic life, or in your local or college community. Be sure that you explain how this contributed to developing qualities that will make you a good candidate for law school.

Examine a tragedy in your life loss of a parent or someone close, a severe accident or a triumph recognition for your outstanding performance, overcoming a disease, awards for excellence. Discuss how you have grown from this experience, and again, be sure that you explain how this contributed to developing qualities that will make you a good candidate for law school. Write about your passions, ideals, or favorite hobbies and how they are related to your choice to attend law school and become a lawyer.

If you are still unsure about what you should write or where to begin your personal statement, try some of the following activities. Expand one or more into a theme for your law school personal statement. List your personal skills and consider how they will make you an asset to the law school or legal community. Have a friend or colleague do a mock interview with you regarding why you are interested in applying to law school.

 

Law School Personal Statements Advice

 

personal statement law school

 

Law schools use the personal statement to learn about your ability to write concisely, precisely, and well. The personal statement gives you an opportunity to showcase your abilities. So, the best statements not only follow the schools' instructions, but are tied together by a theme and a logical progression of ideas, making good use of. In your personal statement for law school you want to present yourself as intelligent, professional, mature and persuasive. These are the qualities that make a good lawyer, so they're the qualities that law schools seek in applicants. Jun 28,  · The law school personal statement is important—probably the most important qualitative factor in your application. Admissions deans from the best programs in the country often point to the personal statement as their entry into a prospective student’s application. 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.