So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Grizz
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby Grizz » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:25 am

I wrote a generic PS, then added a small "why X law school is a good fit for me" paragraph at the end. The only exception was Texas, who wanted a 2 page double spaced PS, so I but a ton out of the generic and had to leave off the "why X" paragraph.

TOMaHULK
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:29 am

rad law wrote:I wrote a generic PS, then added a small "why X law school is a good fit for me" paragraph at the end. The only exception was Texas, who wanted a 2 page double spaced PS, so I but a ton out of the generic and had to leave off the "why X" paragraph.


I looked on one school's site and under their admission process it said they wanted "2" PS's. How could this possibly matter? :roll:

JOThompson
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby JOThompson » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:33 am

TOMaHULK wrote:Do you save these PS's on LSAC.org, or do you save on your computer and then upload during the application process.

Sorry, no experience with PS's yet... :cry:

Either, IIRC.

TOMaHULK
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:08 am

JOThompson wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:Do you save these PS's on LSAC.org, or do you save on your computer and then upload during the application process.

Sorry, no experience with PS's yet... :cry:

Either, IIRC.


"IIRC"? :roll:

JOThompson
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby JOThompson » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:16 am

TOMaHULK wrote:
JOThompson wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:Do you save these PS's on LSAC.org, or do you save on your computer and then upload during the application process.

Sorry, no experience with PS's yet... :cry:

Either, IIRC.


"IIRC"? :roll:

If I recall correctly. It's been a few months since I submitted an application :)

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Rock Chalk
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby Rock Chalk » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:26 am

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Thu May 24, 2012 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TOMaHULK
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:30 am

Rock Chalk wrote:
JOThompson wrote:I only added one unique paragraph for each school.

I did exactly the same thing. Make top choices feel special with their own "Why X" essays, but otherwise, don't waste your time on individualized personal statements.


Is there a generally format that people use?

I.e.:

Intro
Support
Why this school is for me
Closing
Etc...?

09042014
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:32 am

This is what "Why X" statements are for. Leave it out of your personal statement.

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Rock Chalk
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby Rock Chalk » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:34 am

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Thu May 24, 2012 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TOMaHULK
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:47 am

Was looking at some sample PS's.

Seems like people pretty much write about whatever they want. Kindda an open genre type thing...hmm... :?

Mirrored
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby Mirrored » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:56 pm

TOMaHULK wrote:Interesting. Do you think LOR from alumni really have any more pull than regular LORs? (srs question, no debate attempt)


Yes, I would imagine so.

Most of life is about recommendations and connections. A letter of recommendation from their own alums shows.

1) I am already in the network with their graduates.
2) I have made the specific effort for their school.
3) These people, who were very successful at their top school think I have what it takes. They would know from experience.
4) These people, who might donate to their endowment fund might be upset if their opinions were ignored.
5) I know biglaw partners before law school. Accepting me means that I am going to do very well.

I can't imagine recommendations from name partners hurting me. I just do not foresee it.

acrossthelake
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:01 pm

Mirrored wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:Interesting. Do you think LOR from alumni really have any more pull than regular LORs? (srs question, no debate attempt)


Yes, I would imagine so.

Most of life is about recommendations and connections. A letter of recommendation from their own alums shows.

1) I am already in the network with their graduates.
2) I have made the specific effort for their school.
3) These people, who were very successful at their top school think I have what it takes. They would know from experience.
4) These people, who might donate to their endowment fund might be upset if their opinions were ignored.
5) I know biglaw partners before law school. Accepting me means that I am going to do very well.

I can't imagine recommendations from name partners hurting me. I just do not foresee it.


Note, this only works if you know the "connected" people really well and they have a lot to say about your potential. You still need academic references, as well. Every law school admissions website I've read through has hammered that if the people writing recs don't know you well, they'll be annoyed at you trying to use "important" people.

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KingJames6
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby KingJames6 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:11 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Mirrored wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:Interesting. Do you think LOR from alumni really have any more pull than regular LORs? (srs question, no debate attempt)


Yes, I would imagine so.

Most of life is about recommendations and connections. A letter of recommendation from their own alums shows.

1) I am already in the network with their graduates.
2) I have made the specific effort for their school.
3) These people, who were very successful at their top school think I have what it takes. They would know from experience.
4) These people, who might donate to their endowment fund might be upset if their opinions were ignored.
5) I know biglaw partners before law school. Accepting me means that I am going to do very well.

I can't imagine recommendations from name partners hurting me. I just do not foresee it.


Note, this only works if you know the "connected" people really well and they have a lot to say about your potential. You still need academic references, as well. Every law school admissions website I've read through has hammered that if the people writing recs don't know you well, they'll be annoyed at you trying to use "important" people.



In addition, it seems that any old yale grad won't cut it. it needs to be yale law, for example.

Mirrored
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby Mirrored » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:16 pm

Good critiques.

However, I am lucky enough to work in a position where I regularly interact with these people so it would make sense (in house litigation support). So I work with top counsel from all over and I work hard enough that they appreciate the extra mile I go to for them.

Grabbing a random alumni is not the same as networking.

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PlugInBaby
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby PlugInBaby » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:35 pm

I am writing a few versions of the same personal statement: short, medium, and long. Schools often have different length requirements and I thought it would be best to add more detail when I can and conversely make it short, sweet, and to the point in shorter personal statements. If there is a "Why X" essay as an option..avoid it on the PS. If not and you sincerely have reasons that are tied in with your personal statement for having interest in that school put it in the PS.

TOMaHULK
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:52 pm

Mirrored wrote:Good critiques.

However, I am lucky enough to work in a position where I regularly interact with these people so it would make sense (in house litigation support). So I work with top counsel from all over and I work hard enough that they appreciate the extra mile I go to for them.

Grabbing a random alumni is not the same as networking.



I don't disagree with you. Who you know is EVERYTHING.

However, yes there's a difference however...a general alumni I don't feel will have any pull. I think an alumni of influnece (as you mentioned) helps. If not, can't hurt but...
Last edited by TOMaHULK on Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mroberts3
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby Mroberts3 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:07 am

I didn't mention law school at all, much less a specific school. I can't say whether it mattered, (ended up around where #s would predict) but I felt it was a lot easier to write. There is nothing you can say about why you want to be a lawyer or go to X school that they haven't heard a million times already, so why try? I don't subscribe to the "unique flower" theory, but you are unique enough to write about something that they haven't seen recently. It will sound better when its an interest that you care about.

mandaleni23
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby mandaleni23 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:57 am

TOMaHULK wrote:Ok, so you actually apply to each individual law school on their website, and they they collect your info from the LSAC?

Always just thought that it was all done through the LSAC since it has an "apply" tab.

Also, should I avoid a PS that is kindda "I've had a hard life/feel bad for me/I'm over come so many obstacle?" Cause I get the feeling that everyone has had a hard life and law schools may tired of this.

Thanks for info guys.


I would avoid topics like this. I think that most of them sound either manipulative or like the applicant is try to elicit pity to get accepted. However, I think that it wouldn't hurt to mention overcoming obstacles. Maybe dedicate a paragraph or so to the challenges faced and how they've influenced you to study law, or how they've developed your character, etc. I would include this paragraph somewhere in the middle of the PS--start out with something else so the whole PS isn't overshadowed by it.

TOMaHULK
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby TOMaHULK » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:03 am

Is there a book on writing PS's that someone would recommend, or are the samples on TLS probably the best sources for this?

I see that courses like Kaplan offer classes on PS's, but I definetely don't think it's worth that. :?

kmap
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby kmap » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:10 am

mandaleni23 wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:Ok, so you actually apply to each individual law school on their website, and they they collect your info from the LSAC?

Always just thought that it was all done through the LSAC since it has an "apply" tab.

Also, should I avoid a PS that is kindda "I've had a hard life/feel bad for me/I'm over come so many obstacle?" Cause I get the feeling that everyone has had a hard life and law schools may tired of this.

Thanks for info guys.


I would avoid topics like this. I think that most of them sound either manipulative or like the applicant is try to elicit pity to get accepted. However, I think that it wouldn't hurt to mention overcoming obstacles. Maybe dedicate a paragraph or so to the challenges faced and how they've influenced you to study law, or how they've developed your character, etc. I would include this paragraph somewhere in the middle of the PS--start out with something else so the whole PS isn't overshadowed by it.


I wrote kind of a tearjerker statement about a traumatic experience in my life, but I think I spun it well enough that it wasn't a pity party. I only sent it to my reach schools because I figured it was balls to the wall or bust. Got me into Harvard with a 166 LSAT, so the moral is, if you think you can knock it out of the park, don't be afraid to go for it.

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RayFinkle
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby RayFinkle » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:13 am

I changed the school name, but I left one two or three sentence section to put in something unique about this school. For example, if they had a particularly good clinical program or were strong in a particular area of law, I would say this is what interests me most and why I would love to go there. That way, I felt like it had a more tailored feel, but I didn't have to rewrite it each time.

TOMaHULK
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby TOMaHULK » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:13 am

kmap wrote:
mandaleni23 wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:Ok, so you actually apply to each individual law school on their website, and they they collect your info from the LSAC?

Always just thought that it was all done through the LSAC since it has an "apply" tab.

Also, should I avoid a PS that is kindda "I've had a hard life/feel bad for me/I'm over come so many obstacle?" Cause I get the feeling that everyone has had a hard life and law schools may tired of this.

Thanks for info guys.


I would avoid topics like this. I think that most of them sound either manipulative or like the applicant is try to elicit pity to get accepted. However, I think that it wouldn't hurt to mention overcoming obstacles. Maybe dedicate a paragraph or so to the challenges faced and how they've influenced you to study law, or how they've developed your character, etc. I would include this paragraph somewhere in the middle of the PS--start out with something else so the whole PS isn't overshadowed by it.


I wrote kind of a tearjerker statement about a traumatic experience in my life, but I think I spun it well enough that it wasn't a pity party. I only sent it to my reach schools because I figured it was balls to the wall or bust. Got me into Harvard with a 166 LSAT, so the moral is, if you think you can knock it out of the park, don't be afraid to go for it.


Did you end up going/enrolling in Harvard?

kmap
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby kmap » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:21 am

TOMaHULK wrote:
kmap wrote:
mandaleni23 wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:Ok, so you actually apply to each individual law school on their website, and they they collect your info from the LSAC?

Always just thought that it was all done through the LSAC since it has an "apply" tab.

Also, should I avoid a PS that is kindda "I've had a hard life/feel bad for me/I'm over come so many obstacle?" Cause I get the feeling that everyone has had a hard life and law schools may tired of this.

Thanks for info guys.


I would avoid topics like this. I think that most of them sound either manipulative or like the applicant is try to elicit pity to get accepted. However, I think that it wouldn't hurt to mention overcoming obstacles. Maybe dedicate a paragraph or so to the challenges faced and how they've influenced you to study law, or how they've developed your character, etc. I would include this paragraph somewhere in the middle of the PS--start out with something else so the whole PS isn't overshadowed by it.


I wrote kind of a tearjerker statement about a traumatic experience in my life, but I think I spun it well enough that it wasn't a pity party. I only sent it to my reach schools because I figured it was balls to the wall or bust. Got me into Harvard with a 166 LSAT, so the moral is, if you think you can knock it out of the park, don't be afraid to go for it.


Did you end up going/enrolling in Harvard?


Going this fall!

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: So, are most of you writing 1 PS and changing school names?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:52 pm

So I have most of my first draft for my PS written (Applying after Oct. LSAT but getting an early start) and I planned to commit 1-2 paragraphs to "Why X?" for my reach schools (Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA) instead of doing it in another place on the application. For example, Berkeley Law has "optional" applicant questionnaires to fill out, but aside from that, it doesn't seem like there's any specific place to otherwise write a "Why Berkeley Law?" addendum. That is, besides the optional addenda (Which I kind of thought were more for diversity statements and "upward trend" type things).

Any thoughts??




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