Personal Statement for HLS

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
joe25
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:54 pm

Personal Statement for HLS

Postby joe25 » Thu May 23, 2013 12:52 pm

Is it true that to be accepted into HLS you need to have a unique story? (poverty, single-parent home, etc..) I ask this because from people that I have talked to that have been accepted into HLS they all have a unique story of overcoming an obstacle or coming from a difficult background. (I know it's an unrepresentative sample).

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: Personal Statement for HLS

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu May 23, 2013 12:53 pm

Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

joe25
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:54 pm

Re: Personal Statement for HLS

Postby joe25 » Thu May 23, 2013 12:58 pm

lol okay. But I just wanted to hear from people who have been accepted or have knowledge about the process to give an idea of what their personal statements were like

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bosmer88
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Re: Personal Statement for HLS

Postby bosmer88 » Thu May 23, 2013 2:37 pm

I don't think you need to have an *amazing* story. I really think what sets a good PS apart from others is how well you tell your story and the insights that it offers about you as a person. When I was going through the writing process for my own PS, I went through the PS thread to get a sense for what other people were writing about and read about people discussing physical abuse, sexual assault, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, family deaths, etc. There was some truly serious stuff going on that thread. While some of these PS were inspiring and thought-provoking, there were some really good statements that discussed the more mundane aspects of life. At the end of such statements, I always thought "Wow, this individual really made _________ sound super interesting and did a good job of connecting it with his/her reasons for going to law school. Hope he/she gets their first choice."

I wrote about my experiences working as a preschool teacher (TFA). Honestly, many days were mundane, but taken together my experiences in the classroom gave me some insight into my thoughts about freedom and choice (for young children/teens) and the ways that the law could better meet their needs.
Last edited by bosmer88 on Thu May 23, 2013 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Personal Statement for HLS

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Thu May 23, 2013 2:45 pm

joe25 wrote:Is it true that to be accepted into HLS you need to have a unique story? (poverty, single-parent home, etc..) I ask this because from people that I have talked to that have been accepted into HLS they all have a unique story of overcoming an obstacle or coming from a difficult background. (I know it's an unrepresentative sample).


No. There are lots of "regular" people who get admitted to HLS

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dawyzest1
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Re: Personal Statement for HLS

Postby dawyzest1 » Thu May 23, 2013 2:48 pm

I'd say mine was the least inspiring PS you could imagine, but as an older applicant I didn't think they wanted inspiration, or to hear about how hard my life has been. They wanted coherent thinking and clear goals.

gertie
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:36 pm

Re: Personal Statement for HLS

Postby gertie » Thu May 23, 2013 3:15 pm

I discussed my low-income background and being raised by a single parent but my essay mainly focused on my travel experience and career aspirations. During my interview with Harvard, she seemed much more interested in my interesting travel experience than my upbringing.

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Personal Statement for HLS

Postby BelugaWhale » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:58 pm

Wormfather wrote:If you're a URM have a 3.8+ GPA and a 170+ LSAT, then as long as your write something interestingyou'll be ok.

There we go....

suzige
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Personal Statement for HLS

Postby suzige » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:05 pm

BelugaWhale wrote:
Wormfather wrote:If you're a URM have a 3.8+ GPA and a 170+ LSAT, then as long as your write something interestingyou'll be ok.

There we go....


Lol. True story.

tirakon
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:16 pm

Re: Personal Statement for HLS

Postby tirakon » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:09 pm

The personal statement is all about packaging yourself as someone who a) has had interesting experiences that compel you to pursue law school and b) has the kind of mind that can bring sharp analysis to bear on legal issues.

Even if you haven't faced serious adversity or cured cancer, you can still probably spin a couple of typical academic or extracurricular involvements into a coherent narrative about why you're applying to law school. And you might be surprised that you sound more interesting on paper than you give yourself credit for.

You don't have to be aware of that narrative as it's happening (although some people are). I, for example, to some extent reverse engineered my coherent narrative, and I suspect many people do the same.

Feel free to pm me for details about my personal statement. (I was admitted to Harvard.)




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