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Personal Statement Writing Tips
Below are some suggestions for the personal statement portion of your law school application.
- Creative non-fiction writing. "Show, don't tell."
- Show them who you are; this is your interview.
- Have a strong introductory paragraph. Catch the reader's attention.
- Keep it within a reasonable length (if length is prescribed, keep it within that length; otherwise, plan on no more than two pages).
- Use spell check, but do not depend on it completely.
- Double space text, use wide margins, and legible font and size.
- Include your name and student number/SS# on each page.
- Be specific and accurate.
- Be truthful.
- Make certain that your statement supports and is supported by the rest of your application.
- Look beyond fraternity/sorority membership or athletic experiences; include volunteer work and community involvement if possible.
- Turn negatives into positives.
- Mention sensitive subjects in an appropriate way.
- Ask several people (family, peers, and faculty) to review your statement before submitting it to a law school.
- Do not use the personal statement to explain a low LSAT score or GPA. These issues should be addressed in an addendum, which can be attached to the law school application.
- Overuse the thesaurus.
- Use clichés or quote others extensively.
- Misspell words.
- Use the third person.
- Title your statement.
- Send multimedia presentations, copies of papers or theses.
- Philosophize about the role of law in society.
- Include name of law school, so-called personalization.
- Pat yourself on the back too much.
- Be too cynical.
- Come across as a victim.
- Be too specific as to what you will do with your law degree, unless your experience shows that it is a logical extension of what you've already done.
- Focus too much on another person, even if he or she has been influential in your life.
- List activities that are already on the application.
- Give a narrative résumé.