I initially planned to begin my PS with a "mysterious" attention grabbing intro with the rest of the statement explaining the significance of the intro and what it says about me. But I just a recommendation by a former Berkeley AdCom on their website that this is exactly the type of structure that they hate because it's generic and manipulative.
Is this just Berkelely's stance or do most law schools agree? Have you guys had any successes/failures with a PS structured like this? I mean, I understand that they probably see a lot of these types of statements but they receive thousands every year and are bound to see a lot of similar PS regardless.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Not sure why you're posting as anonymous. I was accepted to Berkeley a few cycles ago with something similar to what the Berkeley adcom described, except it wasn't mysterious. As long as it is well written and sincere, I don't think it matters.
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I would counter and say you better grab their attention early, otherwise you're going to lose them from the start. That doesn't mean it has to be exciting, provocative or somehow groundbreaking, but it does have to be interesting. You want to draw the reader in, show them something positive about you that you're trying to sell, and take them seamlessly from beginning to end in a narrative that is both engaging and thoughtful. You don't have to particularly "wow" the ADCOM with your life experiences or some extraordinary topic, but you want them to put your statement down and have them think to themselves, "the person I just read about is the type of person I want in my law school class." You need to show a third dimension that they'll want to see. What that third dimension consists of is entirely up to you.
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