Does your law school personal statement have too much detail?

Great writing is all in the details. Well, that’s not all that great law school personal statements need, but it’s still very important.

The problem is, many students wonder: exactly how much detail do I need in my law school personal statement?

There’s no perfect answer. What makes it even more difficult is that some admission officers like lots of it, while others prefer less. 
You have to include just enough to make everyone happy.

Maybe you’ve had similar experiences with professors. Some are always writing “Add more detail!” or “Cite some examples” in the margins of your papers. Others might tell you to tone down the details.

When it comes to adding detail, how can you walk that fine line between too much and not enough? 

A lot of the times, less is better.

Let’s revisit Sarah’s 
law school personal statement, from my previous article.

Remember how she included details about the speaker’s voice in the auditorium? It created a powerful image. But the rest of the personal statement wasn’t loaded with detailed imagery. 

You don’t need much of it. Just a few “sprinkles.”

Think about it this way. If Sarah used that level of description to write about every meaningful moment she had with feminism, her 
personal statement would become boring and overly detailed.

Instead, we decided it would be best for her to describe – using a few key details – the most important defining moment she could recall. 

That’s not to say the rest of her law school personal statement is lacking detail. She includes some other details, such as the specific activities she was involved with during her time in the feminist society.

But they aren’t describing one specific instance in great detail.

So, how do you choose which instance to describe with lots of detail?

It should be the one defining moment that means the most to you.

Yet, the details you choose to incorporate are just as important as the moment itself.

For instance, if Sarah had described that the speaker’s shirt was red, that wouldn’t really matter, would it?

Instead, she talked about how the speech was so powerful that it drowned out everything else in the room.

The details have to matter.

If you’re struggling with including details in your law school personal statement, go easy on yourself. This is something that almost everyone has trouble with.

It takes a few tries, but I’m confident that I can help you get it just right.

Here’s a little secret I share with my students: details can always be added in later. In fact, the right amount of detail is what takes a good 
law school personal statement and makes it a great one.

Luckily, I know just how much detail you’ll need to add, and where it should go. After all, I’ve been doing this for years – I’ve chatted with dozens of admission officers and become friends with many more. Through our conversations, I’ve come to learn exactly what they’re looking for.

I’d love to share what I’ve learned with you, so you can write a law school personal statement with the perfect amount of detail to get into your dream school. 

Want to make it happen? Just reach out so we can talk more about it.


P.S. Where are you with the rest of your law school application tasks? I know there’s a lot to think about. From getting letters of recommendation to narrowing down your law school choices, you might feel overwhelmed with everything you have to do. My articles have focused a lot on the law school personal statement because it’s something students tend to struggle with most, but don’t forget to check out my other law school admissions resources to help you with all the rest!

P.P.S. Check out my law school admissions coaching sessions on YouTube to see what it's like to work with me 1-1.

Recommended Resources:

1. Law School Admissions Coaching
Get personalized 1-1 help on every aspect of the law school admission process -- or just the law school personal statement.

2. Law School Admissions Guide
I've written a concise guide to the law school admission process with tips on completing every aspect of your applications from start to finish. It's a small price to pay for a whole lot of guidance, and it's short enough that you'll actually read the whole thing.

3. Law School Admissions Cheat Sheet
Quick-reference guide for the law school personal statement, the "Why X?" essay, and the law school résumé. (You can also get it with the LSAT Cheat Sheets.)

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