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Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:06 pm
by shanshan333
Hey TLS Users,

I'm just wondering... how bad is it if your personal statement is over the limit? Also, I searched but I can't seem to find that link someone once provided with all the length and question requirements for each LS personal statement. I know some allow 2pgs double spaced, some 3pgs, and others (but not many) 4pgs. Is it awful If it's 3 1/4 pgs double spaced? I would like to standardize it as much as possible, I guess otherwise I'll have to cut it down some and have different versions for different schools; not ideal. Yes, I've heard the comment: "This is a test at how well you follow directions: personal statement is over the length requirement = FAIL." Is this really true? Does anyone else have any experience just standardizing the essay and having it be a little long for some schools? Should I play with the margins or then am I treading water? Thanks guys any and all insight is appreciated. Please do not stone me to death for being a long-winded writer. :D.

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:07 pm
by bk1
Don't be an idiot. Follow their directions to the letter.

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:30 pm
by lalalawya
Def. follow the directions. I met with an adcomm who said they look into every single detail in your application and the most common mistake applicants make is not following the length requirement. If they didn't care, they wouldn't have listed any guidelines.

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:34 pm
by paratactical
shanshan333 wrote:Hey TLS Users,

I'm just wondering... how bad is it if your personal statement is over the limit? Also, I searched but I can't seem to find that link someone once provided with all the length and question requirements for each LS personal statement. I know some allow 2pgs double spaced, some 3pgs, and others (but not many) 4pgs. Is it awful If it's 3 1/4 pgs double spaced? I would like to standardize it as much as possible, I guess otherwise I'll have to cut it down some and have different versions for different schools; not ideal. Yes, I've heard the comment: "This is a test at how well you follow directions: personal statement is over the length requirement = FAIL." Is this really true? Does anyone else have any experience just standardizing the essay and having it be a little long for some schools? Should I play with the margins or then am I treading water? Thanks guys any and all insight is appreciated. Please do not stone me to death for being a long-winded writer. :D.


There is no way that your statement needs to be 3 1/4 pgs double spaced. I can help you trim it down to the recommended 2pg length if you'd like.

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:38 pm
by shanshan333
That would be awesome. I am really not good at concise writing and condensing stuff.

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:39 pm
by paratactical
shanshan333 wrote:That would be awesome. I am really not good at concise writing and condensing stuff.


It's an important skill to have, especially when you're sending essays to people who are reading a lot of them.

I'm pretty busy at work this week, but if you want to email me a draft (username (a) gmail), I can do track changes and make all kinds of little notes and let you know why I'm cutting what I cut.

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:40 pm
by op-ti
shanshan333 wrote:Hey TLS Users,

I'm just wondering... how bad is it if your personal statement is over the limit? Also, I searched but I can't seem to find that link someone once provided with all the length and question requirements for each LS personal statement. I know some allow 2pgs double spaced, some 3pgs, and others (but not many) 4pgs. Is it awful If it's 3 1/4 pgs double spaced? I would like to standardize it as much as possible, I guess otherwise I'll have to cut it down some and have different versions for different schools; not ideal. Yes, I've heard the comment: "This is a test at how well you follow directions: personal statement is over the length requirement = FAIL." Is this really true? Does anyone else have any experience just standardizing the essay and having it be a little long for some schools? Should I play with the margins or then am I treading water? Thanks guys any and all insight is appreciated. Please do not stone me to death for being a long-winded writer. :D.


--LinkRemoved--

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:11 pm
by rinkrat19
I was playing around with mine last night and changed the font from Times New Roman to Garamond (both 12pt), and it shrank a good third of a page in length. Obviously this is a Very Bad Idea if a school requires TNR, but many don't. (I changed mine back because I'm not over 3 pages.)

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:32 pm
by shanshan333
Thanks for the tip rinkrat. If they don't require TNR I will definitely do this. A lot also don't require 12 pt font, just something legible like 11. That helps too. Not trying to push it though. I will definitely email the essay to you. I get very attached to the things I write and cutting becomes very difficult I think you would be a tremendous help because you will be able to make those cutthroat decisions. Be forewarned, I did not choose a conventional topic. My topic is a little profound... It's not the easiest thing to stomach; though I've read personal statements where people went through a great deal more. I'll PM you when I get home from my internship. If you would have the time, it could possible save me from tipping over to the verge of insanity ;D.


Thanks whoever gave that link too! Very helpful.

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:35 pm
by reasonable_man
shanshan333 wrote:That would be awesome. I am really not good at concise writing and condensing stuff.


Get good at it. Fast. This is the most important skill a lawyer should have.

Done.

Re: Personal Statement Length

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:27 pm
by shanshan333
Writing concisely about legal issues and court cases, etc, is much easier than condensing a story about your personal narrative. I'm a creative writer dammit!!! I need to transcend!!!