Law School Personal Statement Advice

LSAT Blog Law School Personal Statement AdviceThe below excerpt about getting your law school admission officer to like you is from A Comprehensive Guide to the Law School Personal Statement.


Making your reader like you is the single most important task of the personal statement. If you can make an emotional connection with the reader (your admissions officer), so that he or she feels warm and positively towards you, this is a triumph. The reader who likes you will be much more likely not only to admit you, but also to defend you if a different admissions officer says you should not be admitted. If you make an emotional connection with the reader, you have gained an advocate on the admissions committee, an invaluable asset.

Some people always make good first impressions; they seem friendly, good-natured, kind, and confident. These individuals make friends and command respect wherever they go. People seek out this type of person for advice, to collaborate on projects, and to spend time with. It can be an amazing thing to see— someone who radiates such an easy confidence that people are drawn to him or her like moths to a flame.

The qualities that make a person like this connect so powerfully and easily with people are the same qualities that you need to exude on your personal statement. Your goal is to make a powerful emotional connection with your reader in only a few pages.

Obviously this is easier said that done. Many of the qualities that make a person so powerfully likable are ineffable and hard to know how to demonstrate in your essay. However, the best way to make an emotional connection with anyone, including with your reader, is to be sincere. If you write about your life in an emotionally open, accessible, honest, and genuine way, your reader will form an emotional connection with you. He will imagine you and want to meet you. He will want to help you accomplish your dreams.

The first step to writing a sincere essay is to choose a topic that is sincerely important and meaningful to you. Sincerity is not a moral imperative, it is a strategic one. Choosing a sincere topic will help you create the most unique and compelling statement possible. If you write about your time volunteering in a low-income school because you think you should you will have a hard time conveying enthusiasm and passion. If you write about sincerely your life and what truly pulls you to become a lawyer, you will be able to articulate your ideas and experiences in a more genuine, moving way.

You may feel that your true story is not exciting enough or compelling enough to be a personal statement. Some people worry about sincerity because they think that they want to go to law school, “Because they don’t know what else to do,” or “For the money.” These applicants must ask themselves to go deeper, to get past this block in thinking. Going to law school can never be only, “For the money.” Why not business school? Why not medical school? All applicants have some reason, to choose law school. (If you really cant think of any reason, you might want to reconsider your decision.) So, even if you are worried about what you might say, you must write sincerely. It is far and away your best chance to make an emotional connection with your reader, get her to like you, and accomplish goal #1.

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