galeatus wrote: Alexandros wrote:
oopsu812 wrote:Writing a normal PS is hard enough, now you want to make it school-specific? Ya'll are crazy.
Yeah, I'm worried it might be hard to "tell my story in a compelling way" and bring up a bunch of specific stuff about a school at the same time. I think the former is more important than the latter if it comes down to it.
I lean towards doing a separate PS and Why X. I think school specific PSs only work well if you can tie your goals and life story well to a school's selling point (i.e. if you have been wanting to do PI all your life then you can mix your PS and Why NYU perfectly). Anything short of that will be basically squeezing a paragraph of school specific stuff in the already tight two pages for your PS (and making it hard to structure it coherently), in which case you might be better off just writing a Why X.
I tend to agree with this. Either that or immensely strong ties to the area, but I still feel like that's more appropriate for a Why X. I read a lot of statements and provide feedback on here, and I rarely find a school tailored PS that makes total sense. Then again, I sort of wonder what the why X will be about.
CottonHarvest wrote:I don't even have any idea on where to start on my personal statement. Like, how do you pick a topic?
I can see how this would be tough. For me, I had a very significant life experience at a young age that I'd be crazy not to write about (not gonna get into too much detail for anonymity's sake), but since then, my life has been pretty vanilla. If I couldn't write about what I'm writing about, I'd have a very hard time trying to compose something worth reading.
IMO - for anyone starting their PS, the best thing you can do is just write. Don't even worry about how it relates to law school and don't worry about the length or structure. Look at it almost as keeping a journal except reflecting rather than what happened to you that day. After awhile, read through these and you will start to see either some recurring theme or particularly compelling story. After you are set on a theme and story, try to write out the statement for law school. After you have written it, rewrite it once or twice separated by a week or so without looking at the original copy. You will write a slightly different structure, flow, verbiage, tone, etc., and you will be able to pick and choose what is best from these drafts.
My final statement was a blend of two or three of the little entries and a rewrite or two. Personally, I thought my statement was strong, but I suppose it's a bit objective.
In the end, I, personally, think a strong statement will be (somewhat arbitrarily) 60% thinking and writing blurbs, 30% nitpicky edits and weaving selected bits together, 10% actually writing new stuff. I think the worst way to write a statement is to think to yourself (early on at least), "I'm going to sit down and write my PS for two hours," followed by editing it.
TLDR: Compelling PSs require introspection and time to think rather than hammering it out.