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A single, across-the-board PS?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:17 am
by Dipsychus
It seems that most applicants craft a single PS to use at all schools. (With some tinkering, of course -- changing the Why X portion, if it's in there at all, and length parameters.) Is this the case? Because the prompts at the different T14 schools seem to vary a bit, in subtle ways -- in what they choose to emphasize in telling you, the writer-applicant, what to emphasize on or not.

It's silly (and very difficult), of course, to write five really different personal statements (though can write a hundred personal essays). But Chicago gives examples of what has worked -- and they are uniformly structured as stories; a personal obstacle/challenge overcome is the content (with rather generic/banal conclusions, IMHO!). It seems dubious to me whether this sort of thing would work everywhere...

Using an addendum as an extension of your PS: wrong (obviously?). But using an addendum (or optional essay) to write about an aspect of yourself that doesn't cohere with your PS (don't want the main statement to feel crammed) -- is that, so to speak, kosher?

Re: A single, across-the-board PS?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:31 am
by nixy
Addenda are generally for explaining some element of your application that isn’t clear on its face - i.e. “my grades took a severe downward turn my junior year because I was diagnosed with cancer and underwent intensive chemotherapy/became homeless and was living in my car/etc.” Or specifically to address gaps in your education, or C&F issues, or getting fired from a job, or other things that the application specifically asks you to address further. I wouldn’t use it to supplement your PS with something that doesn’t fit the theme of your PS that you just want adcomms to know, unless it’s specifically asked for or specifically addresses something in your app that would otherwise be unclear.

If the school allows what they call optional essays (I think Michigan did this when I applied?), feel free to go to town within any specific prompts given. But an addendum is usually a bit more narrow and focused than an optional essay.

As for whether you have to follow the story of adversity format: you don’t. Write however you think best. You should probably tweak the PS for each school to answer the specific prompt, but it doesn’t need to be a completely different subject.

Re: A single, across-the-board PS?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:28 pm
by Wubbles
Fwiw, I used the exact same PS with no edits for all schools I applied to and was accepted by 7 of 9 T14s I applied to. Literally just talked about the background I grew up in and a job I worked in over the summers in college and how that made me want to pursue law and why it would make me a good lawyer. No need to reinvent the wheel for each school if you don't want to

Re: A single, across-the-board PS?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:02 pm
by Dipsychus
Wubbles wrote:Fwiw, I used the exact same PS with no edits for all schools I applied to and was accepted by 7 of 9 T14s I applied to. Literally just talked about the background I grew up in and a job I worked in over the summers in college and how that made me want to pursue law and why it would make me a good lawyer. No need to reinvent the wheel for each school if you don't want to


Good to know! As well as :shock: As well as: your two main numbers must have been pretty solid (uGPA of course but also LSAT) when you applied? And scholarships?