Applying to Law School: Writing Your Personal Statement

Your Personal Statement is one of the most important parts of your law school application. It is your chance to let the schools know exactly who you are as well as display your writing ability. You may have the exact same grade point average and LSAT score with a large percentage of other students so your Personal Statement is your chance to stand out from the group. Because of this, writing a Personal Statement can prove to be extremely stressful. For me, this was the most stressful part of the application process. Personal Statements have such a broad description that it can prove to be difficult to figure out exactly what to write, how much to write and how to organize it among other things. Here are a list of ways to ensure that you write a successful Personal Statement.

Write about a subject that you are passionate about. This may be a goal you accomplished or an event that occurred in your life that may have affected your view of life. We all have stories to tell. Whatever you write about, your passion must shine through. If not, it’s just another piece of paper with a bunch of words that are correctly organized. If you are passionate about the subject, that will come through and you will be able to captivate your audience.

An excellent introduction makes an excellent paper. Your introduction is the most important part of your paper because it gives your readers an idea of what to expect. Just like when you are watching a movie, you can tell whether or not you want to continue watching based on how good the first few minutes are. The same is with reading. If you lose your audience in the introduction, it may be difficult to recapture their attention.

Your paper must be emotionally stimulating. You don’t necessarily need to take your readers on an emotional roller coaster but you want to take them on an emotional trip. We may not always remember events that occurred but we always remember how they made us feel. I am sure you have heard a similar quote before and it’s just as true with writing. You want your readers to laugh, to cry and to sigh. Whether or not your piece is happy or sad, you want your readers to connect to it and to have a reaction to it. If you do not put any emotion into your piece, there will be no emotions received. To test the emotional reaction of your piece, you may want to have a friend or family member read it and give their honest opinion.

Follow the guidelines from your school. Most schools will let you know how many words or pages the Personal Statement should be. Stick to that! This is not the time to be an overachiever. If you are asked for two pages, you do not want to give five. The readers are going to have thousands of other statements to read and they are not going to be interested in reading your long, even though it may be magnificent, Personal Statement. You are also showing your abilities to follow the rules. This is LAW school, after all.

Edit your work. You want to submit your best work since your ability to succeed in law school will be judged by this. One way to edit your work is to wait a couple of days and then re-read it. Sometimes, you are unable to see your errors when the work is still fresh in your mind. After a couple of days, you can look at it with a fresh set of eyes. You could also have someone else edit your work for you. You don’t need to have a professional look at it. Any other set of eyes would do just fine. Have a friend look at it and point out the grammatical errors.

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