The art of writing a personal statement for law schools that will both get their attention and get you accepted has been polished over many years. Here are some pointers that may help.
When it comes time to write your personal statement don’t go crazy and try to be the next F. Scott Fitzgerald. Likely you will get no points for length or originality; it is content that matters. Trying to do something out of the box may only lead to admission representatives misinterpreting your meaning, and that’s the last thing you would want to happen.
Do your homework.
Cliché I know, but if you are fortunate enough to get into law school this will become your own personal mantra. So why not get started early and start a good habit? Let’s face it, if homework isn’t your strongest quality you probably shouldn’t even be considering law school in the first place.
In this case, doing your homework means getting some samples of letters that have worked for others in the past and studying the heck out of them. Study the tone that the essays took on, look at how the ideas were clearly developed and formatted. Remember that you don’t want yours to be too wordy or beyond the scope of what you need to communicate. Remember that the purpose of this letter isn’t to show them that you are Americas next great author, it’s to reinforce the fact that you have what it takes to get to graduation with honors. Be precise and concise.
Learn from others’ mistakes.
Well in this case, learn from the mistakes of others actually. Find and study some essays that were poorly written. This is your opportunity to learn what not to do. Look at the formulation of ideas and weak links in each statement. It may be that you find qualities you have been mirroring or attributes of style similar to your own in the poorly written letters. Make note of this immediately and make changes to your own style appropriately so that you can improve.
Proofread, edit, and revise.
If you write multiple drafts without getting input from someone you know you can trust, then you may be reinforcing poor ideas and qualities in your own essay. A proofreader is an essential and required element in perfecting your own letter. There will be no way to know if you are on the right track, unless you seek the advice of a professional-or many professionals, for that matter. Remember that in the end you will have to make the final call. If you’ve done all that you should to prepare then you should have nothing to worry about.
This post was contributed by Alisa Johnson, who writes about the best online college. She welcomes your feedback at Alisa.Johnson1982 at gmail.com
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