Talking about yourself is never easy. When I was applying for law school I had difficulties preparing my application because I don’t really like talking about my achievements and accomplishments. I almost felt like it was gloating (which I definitely did not want to do)! Nevertheless, a big part of the law school application is your personal statement. This is your time to tell law schools why you should be accepted and how you shine.
Some law schools will provide seminars or webinars for future applicants in order to help provide some answers about their expectations and what they are looking for in an application. When I applied to law school, I watched a very helpful webinar that explained (in detail) what to include in my personal statement and what to avoid discussing. Thus, check to see if the school(s) you are applying to have any resources for applicants. You could even check with the admissions department about any specific details they either want you to include or typically look for.
Who Is The Star?
Who is the star of the application? Well, you of course! It is important that you talk about your experience, goals, and aspirations. Sometimes people get sidetracked and start talking about someone important to them and thus lose sight of the purpose of the personal statement. While you are more than welcome to talk about the people you look up to and respect, do not forget that you are the star of the show. The personal statement is just that, a statement that talks about you as a person.
A topic you definitely want to explain is your academic career. While you obviously will want to talk about your success in your grades, you also want to give an overview of your academic career. (Like if you went to grad school or did a specialization program). You will want to talk about opportunities you have had. These include (but are not limited to): conferences, presentations, labs, study abroad, scholarships, and research opportunities. You can also discuss your extracurriculars and clubs. It is important to touch on any leadership or volunteering experience that you have as well. You can include any relevant work experience (like if you worked for a firm or had some internship that you think is important).
Anything You Need To Explain
Maybe there was a semester that you got a really bad grade or you had to take a year off for some reason. This is your opportunity to explain what circumstances surrounded that incident. When law schools receive your transcripts and resume, they just see the grades and semesters. If you have anything that you want admissions to know that could affect whether or not you would get admitted, the personal statement is perfect for that occasion.
What Makes You Special
Everyone is different and has a unique life. While each personal statement discusses the same sort of information, it is important to make your piece stand out and reflect the person that you are. Thus, you want to make sure to include what makes you special. Whether it is your road to becoming the first lawyer in your family (like me) or that you have travelled to 50 countries, everyone has a story to tell. If your personal statement is unique and reflects your experiences, then the admissions council will remember you and be more willing to admit you in their first round of decisions.
Why Law School
It is important to explain why you want to go to law school. Although your reason may be mundane or similar to others, you will want to include the motive behind wanting to attend. Your personal statement and application have a purpose, to get you into law school. Thus, it is crucial to explain to admissions why it is important for you to be admitted.
Do not stress about your personal statement! This is a time to reflect on your achievements and successes and explain why you would be a great fit for law school. While talking about yourself can prove to be difficult, think about it as telling the admissions council the story of you. If you organize your narrative around your life and experience, you will be able to successfully create a personal statement.
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