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College Planning - Completing Your Law School Personal Statement

Mar 6, 2008
Writing your law school application personal statement can be as nerve-wracking as preparing for the LSAT exam. You probably feel as though much of your future hinges on getting accepted into the college of your choice. Even the smartest of undergraduates struggle to find the right words to say. Before the panic attacks start, try this advice first.

Consider the purpose of a law school personal statement, which is two-fold. First, you must try to convince an admissions committee that your accomplishments are worthy of consideration. Second, you need to prove that you are not only lawyer material, but you are also a perfect addition to the student body at that particular institution. These are the two main questions that you need to answer.

Like a good courtroom argument, you need to focus your efforts on offering evidence. Emotional pleas may move a jury to tears, but only evidence will convict. The admissions committee is your jury, and they need to see the proof that backs up your arguments. 'I work hard' is not an evidentiary statement. How do you work hard? How have you demonstrated your work ethic throughout your lifetime, particularly in your undergraduate studies and employment? Your college grades at your undergraduate school will provide some evidence as to how hard a worker you are. Sharing your experiences in the workplace will too. Talking about your volunteer work and community service is another powerful piece of evidence. Faced with this type of evidence, your 'jury' will be convinced you are a hard worker.

For the first part of your law school personal statement, supply proof that you are law-school material. Refer to your GPA, especially if it was high (your transcript will back this up). Expand on the courses that you took in college and how they inspired and prepared you for this venture. Share how your job experiences have prepared you for a career in jurisprudence.

The second part of your essay needs to persuade your 'jury' that you are a fit for that school. What is it about the institution that attracted you in the first place? For example, if the law school you are making application to has a strong commitment to encouraging pro bono work, describe why this appeals to you. Follow that by sharing related volunteer work that you've done.

It isn't wrong to use emotional arguments. Sharing your emotions lets your 'jury' know that you are a real person with an intense passion for the law. It expresses your desire to be a part of that particular college. But don't rely solely on emotional arguments. Whenever you make an emotional statement, back it up with evidence. In other words, you might state 'I am drawn to working with at-risk youth.' Then, refer to the two years that you spent volunteering as a mentor at a homeless shelter for teenagers. This proves that you're more than just a lot of talk. When faced with your body of evidence, your 'jury' will have a hard time refuting your desire to pursue a law career.
About the Author
Michael Fleischner is the Managing Director of EssayEdge.com and a marketing expert with more than 12 years of educational experience. He has appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. For help with your law school personal statement visit http://www.EssayEdge.com
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