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5. Topics for Law School Personal Statements
4. 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 and 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. This is not the two-page essay you whipped off in college the night before and got an “A.” This is a difficult genre that requires several drafts.
This personal statement also sets up a potentially powerful quote to create a thematic backbone for the essay, but the essay does not unpack the rhetorical power of the quote and weave that power through the essay. This writer needs to sit down with the quote and spend time unpacking the various levels and resonances of it in relation to his life and goals. The quote by Winston Churchill this writer chose as his epigraph is, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” The writer of this statement should have looked back at least as far as the time when Churchill said this, since the quote itself is about the value of history, not the value of an individual life. However, a cunning writer could beautifully bend the quote’s meaning to encompass one life, while at the same time invoking world events of great significance that have impacted him. For example, if the applicant were able to mention a grandparent who had some significant connection to World War II (and therefore Churchill) and who influenced the applicant by teaching him lessons about life or law, then the quote would have both mythic and personal significance, in addition to specific details that would contribute to a positive ethos. A rhetorical strategy such as this would allow the quote to unfurl its full rhetorical power, and it would elegantly bind the quote to a personal history, one that impacts, and is impacted by, others.
Law School Personal Statement Samples
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.
11. Edit your law school personal statement. Proofread the final draft of your personal statement several times, including at least once orally, for substance, style, and grammatical and spelling errors. Have others edit your law school personal statement as well. Ideally, ask an academic advisor, professor, or someone familiar with the law school application process to edit your statement. Pay attention to detail. Two sentences joined by the conjunction “and” requires a comma before the “and.” Leaving out the comma is called a comma splice. A comma splice or two will send your file to the reject pile.
Law School Personal Statement Samples - #2
This essay is too focused on the details of the story rather than giving evidence for why this person is a good candidate for law school. Luckily for the applicant, the story is powerful enough on its own, due to the impact the real events had on many people. This essay is structured as a personal narrative, and the topic is the applicant’s professional experience. The first paragraph is wholly descriptive prose that has very little to do with why this person is a good candidate for law school. The first paragraph lacks a thesis or a direction for the essay. Ideally, the reader should find a microcosm of the essay in the first paragraph.
This is an excellent personal statement because it shows this candidate has had a tangible impact on organizations, and probably on the global economy. The statement keeps the reader engaged by giving a meaningful story with background, context, conflict, and resolution. It also provides a peek into the mysterious and increasingly legendary world of Silicon Valley start-ups. This is a good model for someone who has been out of college for a while, but who hasn’t been working in a law firm. The essay is focused on career goals, with career history to back it up. This person is a doer, not a dreamer. The writer shows a depth of technical knowledge and strong analytic reasoning skills that go way beyond linear thinking, especially when he describes finding new solutions to highly technical problems that do not violate patents. The statement creates desire in the admissions committee to admit this person because other companies seek to hire the applicant and venture capitalists are willing to support the applicant with substantial funds. This statement will inspire members of the admissions committee to act on the applicant’s behalf because he has reached way beyond the safety net of college, and succeeded.
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Medical School Personal Statement & Application Essay …
Just how important is effectively writing personal statements? So critical that the personal statement is the first item in an application that is read by Ed Tom, the Dean of Admissions at U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. In our , Dean Tom states that “[P]utting together an entering class is like organizing a choir; we want distinct voices. There are hundreds of similar applicants, but only one of you; so take the opportunity provided by the personal statement to let us hear your voice.”
Personal Statement or Essay - Law School Admission Council
We hope the free personal statement samples with critique assist you with creating your masterpiece. But for more direction on how to write a personal statement please read our article on and the complete . While these resources convey information on personal statements for law school, they can also apply to other graduate programs. For even more free personal statement examples, visit the with over 200 personal statement samples.
Law School Sample Personal Statements - …
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.
Personal Statement or Essay - Law School …
The fourth paragraph is somewhat damaging to the author when we learn, “I spent one year at a college where I did not belong and two years taking classes irrelevant for my major.” The admissions committee will wonder: Why didn’t you belong at that college? Why did you take random classes for two years? Can you be trusted to maintain your focus in law school? The word play at this point waffles between clever and stale. This statement would do better to begin and end with the verbal play, but to have a solid paragraph or two in the middle of personal narrative, in which the admissions committee really get to know the person behind this rhetorical show.
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