Using the same personal statement

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Do you reuse same personal statement for every school

Yes
38
95%
No
2
5%
 
Total votes: 40

sportsstar5
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Using the same personal statement

Postby sportsstar5 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:21 pm

Debating whether or not I can use the same general personal statement - how an experience has shaped me overt he years and made me into who I am. Some schools describe including resume topics such s abroad or volunteering, but I was told to focus more on who I am while showing my writing abilities, what a personal statement should be. Thanks.

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lisjjen
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby lisjjen » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:29 pm

I mean, change the last paragraph to reflect the individual school. Just double check before you submit to make sure you have the right PS for the right school. Northwestern won't be impressed with how bad you want to go to Harvard.

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nshapkar
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby nshapkar » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:29 pm

Yeah I used my PS from last cycle this year and I don't think it hurt me. Last year I only got into 3 schools with no scholarships, this year I've gotten into 7 (waiting on 10 more) and received three scholarships. I improved my numbers though.

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Gail
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby Gail » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:34 pm

nshapkar wrote:Yeah I used my PS from last cycle this year and I don't think it hurt me. Last year I only got into 3 schools with no scholarships, this year I've gotten into 7 (waiting on 10 more) and received three scholarships. I improved my numbers though.


Actually think OP meant use the same PS for each school that he's applying to now (i.e. make one generic statement and send to each school with no variation).


But you would think if you were able to pull that off doing it two years, another person could do it for one.

I would redo the PS, to be honest. Even if you're just tweaking it a bit.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby moneybagsphd » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:41 pm

lisjjen wrote:I mean, change the last paragraph to reflect the individual school. Just double check before you submit to make sure you have the right PS for the right school. Northwestern won't be impressed with how bad you want to go to Harvard.

Respectfully disagree. It is perfectly acceptable to mention the specific law school you're applying to in the final paragraph, just don't think you're pulling a fast one on the adcomms. You can just say "law school," unless you're talking about specific programs they offer, etc (i.e. tailoring it to the law school).
Write "Why X" essays.

sportsstar5
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby sportsstar5 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:47 pm

Thanks so much. It seems like a few people are recommencing to include the name of the specific law school in the last paragraph. Should I just mention the school, it's hard to think of exact reasons and make it fit into the essay?

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby moneybagsphd » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:54 pm

sportsstar5 wrote:Thanks so much. It seems like a few people are recommencing to include the name of the specific law school in the last paragraph. Should I just mention the school, it's hard to think of exact reasons and make it fit into the essay?

It won't make a difference.

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lisjjen
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby lisjjen » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:20 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:
sportsstar5 wrote:Thanks so much. It seems like a few people are recommencing to include the name of the specific law school in the last paragraph. Should I just mention the school, it's hard to think of exact reasons and make it fit into the essay?

It won't make a difference.


I respectfully disagree with this. Is it going to make 100% of a difference? No. Is it going to make 50% of a difference? No. Maybe 2-3% of a difference? Maybe. When you're competing with hundreds of other candidates, I'd take any advantage I could.

apollo2015
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby apollo2015 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:17 pm

What I did was write one essay that largely addressed any aspect that a law school would be likely to want me to write about in their "personalized" essay. (Leadership skills, writing ability, academic interests, etc.) Then for each school I revised it by dropping in sentences relevant to the school I was applying to. Generally that entailed editing a paragraph talking about why I liked X-school's location and X-school's programs. Occasionally it entailed dropping a sentence into other paragraphs mentioning about how Y-trait or experience of mine applied to their school/location/programs in particular.

Finetuning a personal statement is equivalent to seeking a marginal advantage in admissions. Do not finetune them to the extent that the marginal advantage is smaller than the marginal cost of your time spent on them.

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citykitty
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby citykitty » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:19 pm

Every school I applied to got the exact same PS from me. My PS was about me, not any particular school.

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yankees42789
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby yankees42789 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:35 pm

If you're not going to explain why you want to go to a particular school in your PS (and oftentimes, it's just easier to write a Why X essay if your reasons are legitimate), I'd recommend that you don't include the school's name when it's clear that you're just replacing that name with another school's name in your other applications. I've read advice from adcomms explicitly mentioning that you shouldn't just generically throw their school name in there and I wouldn't take the chance of annoying them (though obviously, this isn't a big deal with respect to your overall chances of admission).

For what it's worth, I used the same PS for all my applications (the only difference being I had to shorten it for schools with page limits) and it was exclusively about me and why I want to go to law school rather than about the specific schools themselves.

snehpets
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby snehpets » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:39 pm

citykitty wrote:Every school I applied to got the exact same PS from me. My PS was about me, not any particular school.


Same. Have gotten in several places so I think it's going okay. I realized after I submitted a few that I'd stopped reading the paragraph describing what you were supposed to write (dumb, I know), but I don't think it's hurt me really.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby moneybagsphd » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:33 pm

lisjjen wrote:I respectfully disagree with this. Is it going to make 100% of a difference? No. Is it going to make 50% of a difference? No. Maybe 2-3% of a difference? Maybe. When you're competing with hundreds of other candidates, I'd take any advantage I could.

yankees42789 wrote:If you're not going to explain why you want to go to a particular school in your PS (and oftentimes, it's just easier to write a Why X essay if your reasons are legitimate), I'd recommend that you don't include the school's name when it's clear that you're just replacing that name with another school's name in your other applications. I've read advice from adcomms explicitly mentioning that you shouldn't just generically throw their school name in there and I wouldn't take the chance of annoying them (though obviously, this isn't a big deal with respect to your overall chances of admission).

For what it's worth, I used the same PS for all my applications (the only difference being I had to shorten it for schools with page limits) and it was exclusively about me and why I want to go to law school rather than about the specific schools themselves.

JasonR
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby JasonR » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:33 pm

lisjjen wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:
sportsstar5 wrote:Thanks so much. It seems like a few people are recommencing to include the name of the specific law school in the last paragraph. Should I just mention the school, it's hard to think of exact reasons and make it fit into the essay?

It won't make a difference.


I respectfully disagree with this. Is it going to make 100% of a difference? No. Is it going to make 50% of a difference? No. Maybe 2-3% of a difference? Maybe. When you're competing with hundreds of other candidates, I'd take any advantage I could.


It's not an advantage. It's utterly meaningless unless your PS is obviously specifically tailored to an individual school in a way that goes far beyond name substitution. It's actually kind of tacky, IMO, because it's a totally obvious move to adcomms.

thederangedwang
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby thederangedwang » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:18 pm

Agreed. You should NOT mention a law school by name if you are not willing to go in depth about why that school appeals to you, and such depth usually requires more space than a PS can be.

Just putting in a law school name, or including a few sentences about why that particular law school appeals to appears shallow, superficial and quite frankly, disingenuous. Adcomms will see right through it and know that you just basically switched the names for every app you put out.

And to clarify..mentioning a law school by name is not an advantage..in fact, it will at best have no effect and at worst, actually hurt a little

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lisjjen
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby lisjjen » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:19 am

thederangedwang wrote:Agreed. You should NOT mention a law school by name if you are not willing to go in depth about why that school appeals to you, and such depth usually requires more space than a PS can be.

Just putting in a law school name, or including a few sentences about why that particular law school appeals to appears shallow, superficial and quite frankly, disingenuous. Adcomms will see right through it and know that you just basically switched the names for every app you put out.

And to clarify..mentioning a law school by name is not an advantage..in fact, it will at best have no effect and at worst, actually hurt a little


oh. I just saw your TLS box. I guess I did it wrong.

thederangedwang
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:21 am

lisjjen wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:Agreed. You should NOT mention a law school by name if you are not willing to go in depth about why that school appeals to you, and such depth usually requires more space than a PS can be.

Just putting in a law school name, or including a few sentences about why that particular law school appeals to appears shallow, superficial and quite frankly, disingenuous. Adcomms will see right through it and know that you just basically switched the names for every app you put out.

And to clarify..mentioning a law school by name is not an advantage..in fact, it will at best have no effect and at worst, actually hurt a little


oh. I just saw your TLS box. I guess I did it wrong.

I can't tell if you mean this seriously or are trying to be a smartass

FinallyGoing
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby FinallyGoing » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:37 am

Can I hijack this thread for a moment; what are your thoughts? For about 4 schools I have unique personal statement which indirectly addresses the "Why ___? question; in these instances does anyone see potential down side to also writing a Why ___? addendum? Thanks and sorry for hijack :p

83947368
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby 83947368 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:14 am

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Last edited by 83947368 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LawperaMan
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby LawperaMan » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:40 am

If you have specific reasons for applying to a specific school, by all means let them know. If it is just generically dropping the school's name, it probably does more harm than good. Either way, they statement should be mostly about you.They already know about their own school.

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lisjjen
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby lisjjen » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:23 am

thederangedwang wrote:
lisjjen wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:Agreed. You should NOT mention a law school by name if you are not willing to go in depth about why that school appeals to you, and such depth usually requires more space than a PS can be.

Just putting in a law school name, or including a few sentences about why that particular law school appeals to appears shallow, superficial and quite frankly, disingenuous. Adcomms will see right through it and know that you just basically switched the names for every app you put out.

And to clarify..mentioning a law school by name is not an advantage..in fact, it will at best have no effect and at worst, actually hurt a little


oh. I just saw your TLS box. I guess I did it wrong.

I can't tell if you mean this seriously or are trying to be a smartass


5 months ago, it would be me being a smartass. But after my first semester of law school, one of the most important things I've learned is when to admit that I'm wrong. Considering the success of your cycle, I have nothing to lose by admitting that you may know a thing or two about admissions that I do not.

sportsstar5
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby sportsstar5 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:49 am

So should I not mention the school by name in the last paragraph, if it's an "insert ____ law school" type of line rather than a line followed by specific reasons by that school? That seems to be the general consensus here, even though friends not from this board had said otherwise.

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Davidbentley
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Re: Using the same personal statement

Postby Davidbentley » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:23 am

I think the general consensus here is that as long as you write in english, don't sound like a complete douche, or name drop the wrong school, then the personal statement is just an excuse for schools to charge a $75 -$100 application fee. If you have compelling reasons why you want to attend a certain school -- not, "because school x is the highest ranked school I think I have a shot at" -- then by all means feel free to state them. But, I cannot imagine an acceptance hinges on an "and I think I can best achieve these goals at Cooley" type of name drop.




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