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.
Your grades and LSAT score are the most important part of your application to law school. But you shouldn’t neglect the law school personal statement. Your application essay is a valuable opportunity to distinguish yourself from other applicants, especially those with similar LSAT scores and GPA.
How To Write a Personal Statement for Law School
1. Be specific to each law school.
You’ll probably need to write only one basic personal statement, but you should tweak it for each law school to which you apply. There are usually some subtle differences in what each school asks for in a personal statement.
2. Good writing is writing that is easily understood.
Good law students—and good lawyers—use clear, direct prose. Remove extraneous words and make sure that your points are clear. Don’t make admissions officers struggle to figure out what you are trying to say.
3. Get plenty of feedback on your law school personal statement.
The more time you’ve spent writing your personal statement, the less likely you are to spot any errors. You should ask for feedback from professors, friends, parents, and anyone else whose judgment and writing skills you trust. This will help ensure that your statement is clear, concise, candid, structurally sound and grammatically accurate.
4. Find your unique angle.
Who are you? What makes you unique? Sometimes, law school applicants answer this question in a superficial way. It’s not enough to tell the admissions committee that you’re a straight-A student from Missouri. You need to give them a deeper sense of yourself. And there’s usually no need to mention awards or honors you’ve won. That’s what the law school application or your resume is for.
Use your essay to explain how your upbringing, your education, and your personal and professional experiences have influenced you and led you to apply to law school. Give the admissions officers genuine insight into who you are. Don’t use cliches or platitudes. The more personal and specific your personal statement is, the better received it will be.
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