Some general questions about topics, purpose.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Some general questions about topics, purpose.

Postby Hedwig » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:59 pm

Hey all.

I'm trying to narrow down topics for my personal statement, and I'm getting two different vibes from this forum specifically about what exactly the PS should communicate. People seem to think you should write a personal statement that shows why you want to go to law school. The other people seem to think you should write something personal about yourself that shows qualities about yourself (things that might be valuable at law school, etc), and it's okay if you don't explain why you want to go to law school because the fact that you're applying to law school kind of shows you're interested.

Thoughts? I have no major soft factors to write about so I will likely end up writing something personal. What should I be trying to get across here? Skills/personal qualities? Should I mention law at all?

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Re: Some general questions about topics, purpose.

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:12 pm

Obviously, I don't know exactly what's ideal for personal statements, but I'd start narrowing down your focus by looking at the actual prompts given by law schools.

Chicago: "The Admissions Committee often finds that a statement that focuses on a unique personal attribute or experience is usually the most informative. Please use this opportunity to show what you can contribute to the Law School community. If there are particular aspects of your background (e.g., racial, ethnic, or religious identification, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation) that you think are relevant to your application, you should include this information in your personal statement."

Columbia: "Such a statement may provide the Admissions Committee with information regarding such matters as: personal, family, or educational background; experiences and talents of special interest; reasons for applying to law school as they may relate to personal goals and professional expectations; or any other factors you think should inform the Committee's evaluation of your candidacy for admission."

Harvard: "The personal statement is intended as an opportunity to give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential student and graduate of Harvard Law School. In many instances, applicants have used the personal statement to provide more context on how their experiences and strengths could make them valuable contributors to the Harvard and legal communities, to illuminate their intellectual background and interests, or to clarify or elaborate on other information in their application. Because applicants and their experiences differ, you are the best person to determine their content of your statement."

Those are just a few examples, but I think you can safely write about pretty much anything and get away with it. Be sure to read the prompts for specific schools you're applying to, though.

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Re: Some general questions about topics, purpose.

Postby JJDancer » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:07 pm

Be careful about prompts. Some schools are more "why law-ish" than others.

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Re: Some general questions about topics, purpose.

Postby gin » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:27 pm

I would have to agree with jjdancer. some schools what to know why you want to go while other want to know about you. some schools have optional essays where you can explain why you want to go to law school (specifically to their school). make sure you know what the school is asking you to explain and i would have a couple ready

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