Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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jswranch
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Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby jswranch » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:35 pm

Is it still really that necessary to spend lots of time polishing the perfect personal statements?

With the increasing competition between law schools, the focus on recruiting students with higher GPA's and LSAT's is of greater importantance than ever. More and more it seems that upping their numbers is a VERY strong motivation for them. So, with secondary items such personal statements decreasing in importance, is it still really that necessary to spend lots of time polishing the perfect personal statements?

I can drop $$$$ for an expert to 'help' me to write a great statement. However, if a school really wants to see how I can write, the LSAT sample takes care fo this.
Last edited by jswranch on Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:36 pm

A good PS won't get you into any school where your numbers wouldn't normally get you in, but a bad PS can most certainly kill your chances.

Kellanj
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby Kellanj » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:37 pm

I think it's nice to be able to communicate something about yourself besides numbers to a school.

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jswranch
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby jswranch » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:45 pm

To summarize the question:
Is it still really that necessary to spend lots of time polishing the perfect personal statements?

rinkrat19 wrote:A good PS won't get you into any school where your numbers wouldn't normally get you in, but a bad PS can most certainly kill your chances.


Agreed. However, is this not the point of the LSAT writting sample? I can drop $$$$ for an expert to 'help' me to write a great statement. However, if a school really wants to see how I can write, the LSAT sample takes care fo this.

I think it's nice to be able to communicate something about yourself besides numbers to a school.


Sure, but back to the question of "Is it still really that necessary to spend lots of time polishing the perfect personal statements?" I will take your response to be no.

Thanks guys.

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JuTMSY4
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby JuTMSY4 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:49 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:A good PS won't get you into any school where your numbers wouldn't normally get you in, but a bad PS can most certainly kill your chances.


I'd say it's nominal to the point where, if give the choice, studying for the LSAT for a December administration is a more valuable use of time that further polishing the PS. That choice is relatively rare.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:52 pm

jswranch wrote:To summarize the question:
Is it still really that necessary to spend lots of time polishing the perfect personal statements?

rinkrat19 wrote:A good PS won't get you into any school where your numbers wouldn't normally get you in, but a bad PS can most certainly kill your chances.


Agreed. However, is this not the point of the LSAT writting sample? I can drop $$$$ for an expert to 'help' me to write a great statement. However, if a school really wants to see how I can write, the LSAT sample takes care fo this.
The LSAT writing sample is a quick and dirty way for schools to judge "can this person write coherent sentences?" The PS is held to a much higher standard than that. They want to see something grammatically perfect that communicates various things about you as a person and a writer.

Spending more than two seconds thinking about this is a bigger waste of time than taking a week to polish your PS.

Kellanj
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby Kellanj » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:05 pm

By your logic nobody should engage in "softs" either because they aren't as important as numbers to the admissions process. Besides, taking the LSAT and applying to law school shows that your interest enough anyways right?

If your borderline these things will help you, otherwise write something coherent and be done with it.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:07 pm

Kellanj wrote:By your logic nobody should engage in "softs" either because they aren't as important as numbers to the admissions process. Besides, taking the LSAT and applying to law school shows that your interest enough anyways right?

If your borderline these things will help you, otherwise write something coherent and be done with it.

"something coherent" for a PS is going to hurt you.

Writing a good PS is a box you need to check. Checking the box isn't going to help you, but not checking it will hurt. Basically like LORs, unless they're epically amazing.

Kellanj
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby Kellanj » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:21 pm

Coherent was a poor word choice. But I agree with you

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Ramius
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby Ramius » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:28 am

Kellanj wrote:Coherent was a poor word choice. But I agree with you


I think coherent is a fine word choice, depending on how you define it. If you defined coherent as "written in English that the reader can understand," then yeah, it'll probably hurt you. If you meant it as "makes sense given the rest of his/her application and gives another dimension to understanding them," then I think it definitely won't hurt you and it can nominally help you.

Ultimately, for most people, the PS is a check in the box to prove you can write a polished narrative about yourself that makes you appear interesting and worth bringing into the classroom. For some lucky applicants, they have an interesting enough story to tell that the PS is a fantastic opportunity to give the ADCOMs at least slight reason to overlook slightly weaker numbers. It's not a saving grace in anything other than the most extreme cases (you negotiated a peace treaty for Serbia? Come right in!), but it can still help.

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guano
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Re: Are Personal Statements Really Necessary any more?!

Postby guano » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:58 am

You need to put in a good faith effort. If you're too lazy to write a decent PS (which, seriously, can be done in under an hour) you're probably gonna be top lazy to write a note for the über-prestigious international urban environment law journal that the school touts on its website as being cited more often than some other international urban environment journal




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