How important is the PS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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How important is the PS

Postby imbored25 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:26 pm

How big of a role does this play in admissions?

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Re: How important is the PS

Postby MumofCad » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:41 pm

I get the feeling it depends on the person. I read a horrid PS by someone who had a 180, 4.0 and got in everywhere. For her, she just wanted to not make herself look like she's stolen someone's identity.

I think if your numbers are around the median though, it can be very important.

I think it can also be very important in the dinging process - grammatical errors, immaturity, etc. can probably get you tossed out right there.

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Re: How important is the PS

Postby The Valkyrie » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:42 pm

It's third behind LSAT and GPA, but it's way far behind

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Re: How important is the PS

Postby crazyblink653 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:43 pm

i'm no adcomm expert, but from the research i did before applying, the short answer is: it depends.

if you are above the school's median for gpa and lsat, very little. they will mainly read it to make sure you are semi-literate and not a psychopath. note: this is not always true for the higher-ranked t14 schools. because they frequently have a plethora of candidates that meet the initial gpa/lsat cutoff, they tend to turn to the PS to distinguish one applicant from another.

if you are at or below the schools' gpa/lsat median, or are a "splitter" (i.e. high gpa/low lsat or vice versa), then the PS can become very important, as it may be enough to push you from the "maybe" pile to the "yes" pile (or the "no" to the "maybe"). in these instances, they will mainly look for a well-written story or some compelling circumstances that indicate you will add to the diversity of the class.

in short, if you're confident your numbers and experiences make you a strong candidate at whatever schools you're applying to, then put in a little effort to make a coherent and thoughtful PS, but don't kill yourself trying to write a brilliant one. If you are coming from a position of disadvantage, though (see second scenario above), then you may want to put a lot more time into it to try to use it as a way to distinguish you. I'd check out the forums on here that offer examples of what types of PS worked and didn't work.

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Re: How important is the PS

Postby billyez » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:20 pm

A UT admission officer once said that she rejected someone who's PS basically boiled down to; "My credentials are excellent and above your medians. Admit me." Don't be that arrogant and don't just phone it in and you'll do fine. A candidate is more likely to be admitted in spite of a poor PS, but less likely in spite of poor numbers.

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Re: How important is the PS

Postby icecold3000 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:01 pm

Not nearly as important as your LSAT and UGPA. You cannot write your way into law school. On that same note, however, if there is 1 admission seat for 5 candidates with similar scores and demographics, a well written PS (combined with excellent LORs and resume) can make all the difference.

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Re: How important is the PS

Postby Emma. » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:41 pm

Important in that if you f*ck it up, it'll likely cost you offers.

Not that important in that it isn't going to get you in at a school where your numbers don't cut it.

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