how long is too long?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
yurishima
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how long is too long?

Postby yurishima » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:11 pm

Someone should find all of the T14 length requirements and post them here. Or better yet, all law schools! That person would be my personal hero.

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Marionberry
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby Marionberry » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:18 pm

appreqs.com

yurishima
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby yurishima » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:21 pm

...well, you didn't really do this yourself, but you led me to someone who did. That makes you like.. a semi-hero! Thanks!

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Tanicius
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby Tanicius » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:22 pm

Yale: 2 pages
Harvard: 2 pages
Stanford: 2 pages
Columbia: 2-3, I believe
U-Chi: 2-3
NYU: up to you
Cal: 4 pages encouraged
UPenn: 2 pages
Michigan: up to you
UVA: I literally can find nothing even mentioning length
Duke: try to keep it around 3, though 4 is sometimes okay
Northwestern: not sure yet
Cornell: try to keep it to 2
GULC: no limit

yurishima
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby yurishima » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:44 pm

I found uva's: do you put a word limit on the length of personal statements?
No, we invite applicants to write essays that are long enough to express whatever they think the Admissions Committee should know. That said, applicants should remember that succinctness is a virtue.


Thanks to both posters. I recommend checking out the link provided. Very helpful.

One more thing. If a school doesn't mention the spacing, is it safe to assume single spaced?

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bk1
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby bk1 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:57 pm

If they don't mention you can do whatever you want. However, I don't see why people's PS's shouldn't be 2 pages, double-spaced, 12 point, 1" margins except in extreme cases.

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Ragged
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby Ragged » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:06 pm

Image

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Tanicius
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby Tanicius » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:38 pm

bk1 wrote:If they don't mention you can do whatever you want. However, I don't see why people's PS's shouldn't be 2 pages, double-spaced, 12 point, 1" margins except in extreme cases.


It's 500 words -- about as long as a 5 paragraph essay. I feel like a fool writing something that simple. It doesn't feel like there's any room to express honesty. It's just enough space to narrate a quick snippet of something interesting in the first paragraph and give a patronizing speech they've heard a million times already.

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bk1
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby bk1 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 pm

Tanicius wrote:
bk1 wrote:If they don't mention you can do whatever you want. However, I don't see why people's PS's shouldn't be 2 pages, double-spaced, 12 point, 1" margins except in extreme cases.


It's 500 words -- about as long as a 5 paragraph essay. I feel like a fool writing something that simple. It doesn't feel like there's any room to express honesty. It's just enough space to narrate a quick snippet of something interesting in the first paragraph and give a patronizing speech they've heard a million times already.


So Yale 250's say nothing new?

The point of a limit is to demonstrate brevity while still being able to articulate a story that will grab the AdComms attention. I'm sure if we all wrote Finnegans Wake it would be impressive, but that is not the point. A great story can be told in 1 page.

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Tanicius
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby Tanicius » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:26 am

bk1 wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
bk1 wrote:If they don't mention you can do whatever you want. However, I don't see why people's PS's shouldn't be 2 pages, double-spaced, 12 point, 1" margins except in extreme cases.


It's 500 words -- about as long as a 5 paragraph essay. I feel like a fool writing something that simple. It doesn't feel like there's any room to express honesty. It's just enough space to narrate a quick snippet of something interesting in the first paragraph and give a patronizing speech they've heard a million times already.


So Yale 250's say nothing new?


...

.... Uh.

... Yes? It is "new".

No other schools use it. It's not the same thing as a personal statement. The point of the personal statement is to tell the admissions people about yourself -- give them something that, whether you explicitly say it or not, proves to them that you are a good fit for their law school. The Yale 250 is an opportunity to tell them something additionally interesting about yourself, which as I understand it is not meant for a replacement of the personal statement by any means.

The point of a limit is to demonstrate brevity while still being able to articulate a story that will grab the AdComms attention. I'm sure if we all wrote Finnegans Wake it would be impressive, but that is not the point. A great story can be told in 1 page.


Sometimes yes. Not always.

NaijaLaw
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby NaijaLaw » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:33 am

How long should the DS be? I'm assuming only 1 page....??

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samsonyte16
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby samsonyte16 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:09 am

Harvard's website specifically says 11 point font is OK. My current version is 11 point font and just fits on two pages. It is a bit over 800 words. Most of the statements I've read that I really like are between 750 and 850 words.

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jayn3
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Re: how long is too long?

Postby jayn3 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:09 am

12"




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