A bit stumped by Columbia's personal statement

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ColdBreadstick

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A bit stumped by Columbia's personal statement

Postby ColdBreadstick » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:02 pm

Hi all,

Compiling a list of personal statement questions for the schools I'm applying to. Most of them are pretty straightforward in what they want, but I'm not sure how to handle Columbia's.

"Candidates to Columbia Law School are required to submit a personal statement supplementing required application materials. We are curious about your interests, goals, and aspirations and how the J.D. program at Columbia can help you achieve these. You are encouraged to think about the contributions you hope to make to both the Columbia community and the legal profession while considering your personal, intellectual, and professional background and any relevant information that you may not have otherwise conveyed through your other application materials."

This sounds like a cross between a "Why Columbia" and a personal narrative. I've seen a mix of responses online, with some people saying that they've spoken to adcom people who have "hinted" that they don't want to see a "Why Columbia" forced into the statement, and others saying that it makes no sense to write a "Why Columbia," because adcoms know why you're applying ("because it's Columbia, duh"). However, it also sounds like the prompt is asking for you to directly address how the school factors into your decisions? :? What would be a good way to approach this?

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4LTsPointingNorth

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Re: A bit stumped by Columbia's personal statement

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:28 pm

You can submit the exact same sort of personal statement to Columbia that you submit anywhere else. The prompt is vague and does not list any hard requirements--"We are curious about" and "You are encouraged to think about" should be taken at face value.

The language in the prompt that you should focus on is "relevant information that you may not have otherwise conveyed through your other application materials." Your PS should be more than just a resume trace or an extended GPA/diversity/C&F addendum (all of which you can submit separately to supplement your application).

180degrees

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Re: A bit stumped by Columbia's personal statement

Postby 180degrees » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:10 am

I'm curious how OP decided to proceed. At first when I read Columbia's prompt, I thought they wanted it to have some "Why Columbia" element in it, but the more I read it, the more it seems open-ended.

@4LTsPointingNorth: I see where you're coming from, but if that were the case, then why wouldn't Columbia have a more vague prompt (for example, a prompt like HYSC)?



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