Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:22 am

Hello,
Does anyone know how strict schools in the T14 (excepting Berkeley) are, concerning the 2-page maximum rule for Personal Statements? I feel I have a really compelling story to tell (I'm URM) which cannot be adequately explained in 2 pages or less. Do I hurt my chances by going over the 2-page limit?

Worse, my DS is three pages long and I feel that was not enough. I plan on applying early for the 2012 cycle and I'm trying to wrap up my PS and DS. Please advice.

My story is really unique (like everybody else, right?) and is otherwise interesting to read, notwithstanding the fact that it is three pages. Should I cut some more? I feel like I have cut all the "filler" and I'm still left with three pages.

Please help.

User avatar
20121109
Posts: 2149
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:19 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby 20121109 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:44 am

I know a URM who emailed Penn and was granted a page extension. He got in with $.

If your application is otherwise strong (LSAT/GPA), ask politely and with good reason, it doesn't hurt to ask.

Good luck!

User avatar
kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby kwais » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:05 am

Who said Berkeley has a 2 page limit? Pretty sure they don't. For the one's that do, stay within that limit. A lot of people would like to expand their statement. Follow directions, it's a great way to make a good first impression

User avatar
kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby kwais » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:08 am

Also, the ability to keep writing concise is a skill they are implicitly testing you on. It's an important skill. Assume that your story is not more interesting.

User avatar
icecold3000
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:50 am

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby icecold3000 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:50 am

Maybe you should post or swap your statement. This way you can get several objective opinions and TLS editors will suggest what parts are unnecessary.

User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Emma. » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:58 am

Do you really think your story is that much more compelling than every other applicant? Even though I think a 2 page DS is probably too long, between that and your PS you have 4 pages to get your points across.

Make cuts. It'll likely make your essays better.

albanach
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby albanach » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:36 am

The points that you feel are interesting and important will be irrelevant if whoever is reading doesn't reach the end.

It's better to leave them wanting more rather than glad to be finished.

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:19 pm

kwais wrote:Who said Berkeley has a 2 page limit? Pretty sure they don't. For the one's that do, stay within that limit. A lot of people would like to expand their statement. Follow directions, it's a great way to make a good first impression


Sorry for the confusion, I was excluding Berkeley from schools that require 2-pages.

Thanks for the advice.

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:27 pm

.
Last edited by Blessedassurance on Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
20121109
Posts: 2149
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:19 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby 20121109 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:41 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:
kwais wrote:Who said Berkeley has a 2 page limit? Pretty sure they don't. For the one's that do, stay within that limit. A lot of people would like to expand their statement. Follow directions, it's a great way to make a good first impression


Sorry for the confusion, I was excluding Berkeley from schools that require 2-pages.

Thanks for the advice.


Tbh, I thought you made this clear in your original post.

Blessedassurance wrote:LSAT: February 155, June 165

GPA: 3.9X (Don't wanna get too specific since I'm gonna post my PS and DS for critique tonight))

Thoughts? Probably stick with 2 pages, right?

AA male btw.


The AA male I know had a similar LSAT score but a significantly lower GPA. tbh, a 165/3.9+ AA male (schools will consider but probably will not average a 10 pt difference) is set all the way up to HYS. The DS would certainly enhance your application, but it's really not necessary. If your PS and LORs are solid you're T6 and probably T3 secure.

The safe route is to stick with two pages. But unless you don't feel like sharing your story with a bunch of anons on TLS, and understandably so, just email the admissions committee and ask for an extension. I had a similar concern with my friend and he went ahead and did his thing. He's now attending a T10 with a damn-near full scholly.

But again, and I want to stress this, an 165/3.9+ AA male is SET. If you want to play it safe, keep it to 2 pages.

admisionquestion
Posts: 473
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby admisionquestion » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:01 pm

http://www.law.uchicago.edu/node/1451

Is there a page limit on my personal statement?
There is no page limit, but we generally find 2-3 pages to be sufficient in most circumstances. If it is longer, make sure that the information is necessary and that it is so interesting that we have finished it before we realize how long it is. As with all parts of the application, it is important to follow each school's specific directions. Some law schools will have very clear rules and limits on the personal statement.

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:06 pm

Thank you Gaia & Admisionquestion

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Blessedassurance » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:00 am

Thanks for all the responses, and since I have no life, I compiled a list through research for other applicants. I added other information I found particularly interesting.


1. Yale
2-3 pages recommended
http://www.top-law-schools.com/yale-law-school.html

2. Harvard
Application becomes available on September 15th.
Harvard asks that you limit it to two pages (no less than 11 – font).
http://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective/ ... #available

3. Stanford
Application for Fall 2012 becomes available September 1st
2 Pages
“Enclose a statement of about two pages describing important or unusual aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent in your application. The statement must be submitted electronically with your electronic application”
http://www.law.stanford.edu/program/deg ... plication/

4. Columbia
Application for Fall 2012 becomes available September 1st.
No Limit
“While there is no official page limit, a good guideline is two double-spaced pages, using readable fonts and margins. Your personal statement/essay should be clear, concise and an example of your best writing. It should also be free from spelling and grammatical errors.”
http://www.law.columbia.edu/jd_applican ... ocs#942495

5. Chicago
Application becomes available September 1st
Generally no word limit. 2-3 pages recommended (see post above)

6. NYU
Application becomes available in September
Note: One recommendation is required to complete an application.
Length left to the discretion of the student.
“Because people and their interests vary, we leave the content and length of your statement to your discretion. You may wish to complete or clarify your responses to items on the application form, bring to our attention additional information you feel should be considered, describe important or unusual aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent in your application, or tell us what led you to apply to NYU School of Law.”
http://www.law.nyu.edu/admissions/jdadm ... /index.htm

7. Michigan
Applications become available September 1st
No limit stated on their website
Note: States that there is some advantage to applying earlier rather than later.
Note: “Bear in mind that there is no statistically significant difference within plus or minus three points of any particular LSAT score”.
Also requires one recommendation for file to be considered complete.

7. Penn
Application available September 1st.
2-Page limit on PS

9. Berkeley
2-4 pages
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/5188.htm

9. Virginia
Begins September 1st
No word limit: “No, we invite applicants to write essays that are long enough to express whatever they think the Admissions Committee should know”
http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/prospectives/faqs.htm
Note: 40% reserved for residents of Virginia
“As a public law school, 40 percent of the places in our student body are historically reserved for residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

11. Duke
No word limit
“There is no minimum or maximum length for the personal statement, although most are between one-and-a-half and three pages. Be succinct, but be sure to include what you think we need to know. As long as it's interesting, we don't mind reading!”
http://www.law.duke.edu/admis/faq#statement

12. Northwestern
Application starts on September 1st.
Recommended length: 1 to 3 pages
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissi ... cation.pdf
Note: Specifically states that it takes highest score per its policy (regarding multiple scores)

13. Cornell
Application becomes available usually in August
2 Page limit on PS (not less than size 10 font though so some leeway)
Note: In general, Cornell takes the highest score if it is at least 3 points higher than the lower score.

14. Georgetown
Available September 15th
No information on page limit found
Note: Requires one recommendation for file to be complete
Note: “Georgetown may consider the higher LSAT score if you have only taken the LSAT twice. Please address any mitigating circumstances you feel the Admissions Committee should consider.”

14. Texas
Available in August
2 Page limit
Note: “No, the Law School may matriculate no more than 35% non-resident students. However, each year the Law School extends offers of admission to several hundred non-resident applicants.”

Finally, a break-down

Definite 2 Page Limit
Harvard
Stanford
Penn
Cornell (no less than size 10 font)
Texas

1-3, or 2-3, otherwise where noted
Yale
Chicago (recommended)
Berkeley (2-4)
Northwestern (Recommended)

No Limit
Columbia
NYU
Michigan (Did not find one, could be different)
UVA
Duke
GULC (could not find one, could be different)

Finally, I think a need another hobby

mooseman2216
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:21 am

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby mooseman2216 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:55 am

Blessedassurance wrote:lawschool app info snip


this is one of the most informative posts i have come across. thank you!

User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Emma. » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:09 am

Have people on here forgotten about this?: --LinkRemoved--

spek
Posts: 385
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:40 am

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby spek » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:34 pm

OP, I hope you don't mind my highjacking your thread but I have a similar question. Stanford's PS guidelines say "about 2 pages" so I wonder how strict that limit is. Has anyone had experience with submitting a PS that was slightly over 2 pages (maybe 2.5) to Stanford?

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13915
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:40 pm

spek wrote:OP, I hope you don't mind my highjacking your thread but I have a similar question. Stanford's PS guidelines say "about 2 pages" so I wonder how strict that limit is. Has anyone had experience with submitting a PS that was slightly over 2 pages (maybe 2.5) to Stanford?

If it says "about 2 pages," I think 2.5 would be probably the longest you'd want to submit. Any longer than that, and it's more like "about 3 pages." :) But 2.5 seems like it wouldn't kill you.

If Stanford doesn't specify font and margins, you might try fiddling with those to get it a tad shorter. Garamond, for example, is a little more compact than Times New Roman, and 0.9" margins don't look much different than 1", but will shorten it up.

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Blessedassurance » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:53 pm

spek wrote:OP, I hope you don't mind my highjacking your thread but I have a similar question. Stanford's PS guidelines say "about 2 pages" so I wonder how strict that limit is. Has anyone had experience with submitting a PS that was slightly over 2 pages (maybe 2.5) to Stanford?


Upon asking, the conservative advise is to stick to whatever limit they give you, if they do give you a limit.

See this http://www.top-law-schools.com/statement.html

I don't know about Stanford but others have gone over limits and did not have problems with their cycle (we're talking T14) that can be attributed to having gone over the limit.
Last edited by Blessedassurance on Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

spek
Posts: 385
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:40 am

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby spek » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:14 pm

Thanks rinkrat, I'll play around with fonts and margins. Blessed, please let me know if/when you get a response!

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Blessedassurance » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:14 pm

.
Last edited by Blessedassurance on Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13915
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:25 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:Bumped

How much more input do you want? Are you hoping for a different answer?

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby Blessedassurance » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:30 pm

I bumped for other reasons. I'll change it to dots and make you happy.

BeaverHunter
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:05 am

Re: Strictness of 2 Page limit on PS and DS

Postby BeaverHunter » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:25 pm

I'm sure you have an amazing story that must be heard, but keep it to the limit. The fact that you want to go over the limit for the PS and make a long DS will most likely make you come off as a twerp to anyone forced to read through all your crap.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.