You should not have to explicitly state them. If you are going to mention a law school concentration that interests you, you need to back up your interest by including details about experiences that led you to your interest. Focus on activities that have happened since you have been in college.
You are not only applying with graduating seniors but with alumni. Follow all statement instructions. Answer all prompts for information. Keep the focus on YOU, not an ill relative, remarkable client, or inner workings of an organization where you worked. Write several drafts and ask get feedback on early drafts.
Don't use a quotation. If you want to express something that has been captured by a quote, say it in your own words. Do not manufacture drama—readers can tell when you are exaggerating or not being genuine. Don't write about your philosophy on the law. For now, law school admissions officials are the law experts; you are the expert on YOU.
You don't have to write about your interest in the law. In fact, your statement will probably be more memorable if you don't! This statement is a critical sample of your ability to write, as well as an opportunity to tell the admissions committee about yourself. Since most schools do not conduct interviews, the statement represents an opportunity for you to present yourself as more than just a GPA and an LSAT score.
With so many applicants possessing identical qualifications, the statement can be the critical factor that distinguishes you from the applicant pool. What you say in your statement can also help you offset weaknesses in your application. So, take writing the statement very seriously. Read the statement instructions carefully. Most schools are interested in learning what unique qualities and experiences you will contribute to their incoming class.
For each activity, make a list of your duties, accomplishments, and other specifics, such length of commitment, name and contact information of related people, and so forth--anything that will remind you of your experiences. Also, review your school transcripts and resume because you may want to address particular group projects you have participated in and courses you have completed in your personal statement.
Above all, follow the instructions given by each school. Each school will have their own instructions, so avoid writing a generic statement for all schools. Some schools will ask about your academic and personal background, work experience, activities, etc.
Schools often seek information on matters that relate to their desire to have diverse student bodies. The development of an applicant's interest in law is a matter of concern to some schools but not to others. In contrast, some schools request a writing sample on any subject of the writer's choice. As appropriate, tailor your statement for the school to which you are applying, but avoid emphasizing this over your experiences, attributes and goals.
An outline will keep your ideas organized and help you write more efficiently. First paragraph: Lead with the anecdote or story. In addition to hooking readers, an essay that tells a story will be more memorable than one that feels focused entirely on listing your readiness for or interest in studying the law. To drive this home further, every applicant has an interest in studying the law.
Pinning that interest to a story only you can tell will make your application all the more memorable. How do you know what the right anecdote is? Remember how our litmus tests above asked about scenes? A story is a story—rather than an idea or a topic—if it can be populated with vivid descriptions of the characters and setting. Can you recall the smell of the damp room where you sat when it was announced that your boss has won the state senate seat? How did you feel on the first day of your new teaching job in the Texas border town?
What was the weather like? How big was the space? Who else was there? Did someone say something particularly memorable? What was the beginning of that growth or change? What, in other words, was the inciting incident that kicked off your epiphany or transformation? This opening anecdote or personal hook is the place our only you litmus test matters most.
No one else should be able to tell this story the way you can tell this story. Your personal views, history, and perspective will color what details pop out. Tucker chose to open with a beautiful, personal reflection on the place that shaped him. Take a look:. I did not know that my home town was a small one until I was 15 years old. Eric also set a scene in vivid, visceral, painful detail. He took his time, the way a lawyer would, laying out every component of what happened to him when he was wrongfully arrested, and demonstrating everything he witnessed as part of the process.
This sets him up to level a layered and specific critique of the system that was responsible for his arrest. After less than four minutes of waiting on the front lawn of my private property for my uncle to arrive, I was arrested and forced into a squad car without a reason for my arrest.
As he tightened the cold handcuffs on my wrists, the arresting officer asked my age. Perplexed, I informed him I was eighteen-years-old. Oblivious, I waited in the back seat, as he drove down the block, anxiously awaiting an explanation for my arrest. Less than thirty seconds after forcing me in the car, the police officer jumped out of the car, pursued an unsuspecting boy riding his bike in the neighborhood, aggressively pulled him from his moving bike, and placed him in handcuffs.
The caravan of police proceeded to rampage the area arresting more young men walking through the neighborhood. On the ride to the police station, I repeatedly asked the officer the reason for my arrest. After a few minutes of ignoring my questions, he said he arrested us for loitering. After arriving at the police station, the cops expressed their disapproval of my choice of clothing.
At that moment it was clear that I was profiled based on my appearance alone. A couple of hours later, my mother arrived and demanded my release. The house is quiet—its residents have been asleep for some time now. In a modest room on the second floor, only faint specks of moonlight peek through the window blinds. A few of these beams land on a small, round face, his eyes glittering in the darkness.
Although he retreated to his bedroom hours ago, sweet slumber eluded him. This was not the first time: for as long as he could remember, he would lie awake when he should have been in repose, his mind excitedly flitting from one thought to the next. He also loved superheroes, and he sometimes imagined himself launching into the sky like Superman, sailing through the air as quickly as possible to help a family in need.
At this late hour, when the sun had not yet nudged above the horizon and his loved ones were just beginning to dream, he was obsessed with the world not as it was, but as it could be. Victor knows that someone might read his application and wonder about his seeming lack of focus.
You should try to accomplish the following in your body paragraphs. But as you write, you ought to be able to pull off each of the following. Connect the narrative to a thesis. By the third paragraph, she links it brilliantly to her legal preoccupations, and, in doing so, explains why a former engineer is applying to law school.
But the reality for many creators in America is that their work is under threat. Patent trolls aim to trounce startups; large institutions create environments unfriendly to more nascent artists. In between them stand good lawyers ready to defend the individual artist, scientist, inventor.
While the American intellectual property system is not void of imperfections, it remains true that copyright and patents can and should protect the creations of every person who experiences the same precious sense of creativity my father introduced me to every November 1.
Articulate what kind of lawyer you hope to be. Go back to the qualities you came up with in the brainstorming phase. What values and ideals does your life so far reflect, and what do those have to do with the kind of legal career you hope to have?
Deepika neatly and simply explains:. I want to apply my desire for more legal experience specifically to the problem of migration. Connect the personal to the professional. Take a look at how Tucker does that at the end of his personal statement, which has spent most of its time in the terrain of the personal, but turns toward the professional as it closes.
The Appalachian conversation is necessarily a legal one. As some Carolinians line up along racial boundaries, many good lawyers are working to combat the mass incarceration of minority populations, while other good lawyers champion free speech for even the most maligned activists. When free speech intertwines with debates about white nationalism and the South's history, impact litigators argue multiple sides to arrive at good legal judgments that do not stop at popular opinion.
As my own mayor was maligning the presence of refugees, Virginia immigration lawyers were ensuring that local migrants were educated about their rights and responsibilities. The rigor in pursuit of justice that legal conversation applies has an immense role to play in these heated debates. In particular, the conversation about race can go deeper here at home than most are willing to take it.
One issue that has faced recent attention in the highest courts is equal representation in the electorate. Studying at Harvard will train me to ensure that existing civil rights are protected. It will teach me about the viewpoints informing present discussions of how civil rights are defined and advocated for. While race, gerrymandering, and voter ID laws are contentious issues on a national scale, both recent attention and my deep roots in the region have made it clear to me that North Carolina is a place where the legal conversation needs to be carried further.
I want to attend Harvard to acquire the skills, legal context and history, and education to do this work in my home. Remember that you still need to maintain the narrative propulsion that you introduced by kicking off with an anecdote or personal hook. Another way of saying this is that you need to remain present throughout the body paragraphs. As with the whole essay, ask, with every paragraph: am I the only person who could have written this?
Or could one of my fellow interns at the Goldman Sachs legal program have come up with the same take? Witness his use of character and dialogue here:. While there were clear legal frameworks for operating within each of these spaces, we also had substantial freedom to propose what we wished. As we refined our proposals, I realized that laws gave us the framework necessary to think critically about what was possible, but they rarely led to a clear conclusion about how to proceed.
Final decisions would come as a result of deliberations with relevant internal and external parties, discussions with our counterparts in nearby cities and regions, vetting particular approaches with members of our staff and even state Senators, and checking our conclusions against the advice offered by legal counsel.
No one group could act unilaterally, and our contributions were but a small piece of a larger policymaking apparatus. Two key components of a compelling story are conflict and resolution. Something, in other words, has to change between the beginning and the end. The middle is a great place for that to happen.
You can think of it the way fiction writers think about plot: a set of events alongside a set of emotional shifts. The events incite the emotional shifts. Deepika does this by addressing her former interest in medicine, and explaining how it gradually shifted to an interest in the law. Making this change part of her narrative is a good choice:. Despite growing up in a family that appreciated art deeply, no one had equipped me for a moment where a painting could bring me so immediately to tears.
The name of the piece was Resurrection, and it was scratched from a discarded advertisement board that he had repurposed. The faceless figure told a story of a life plagued by violence, that violence rendered on the work itself with haphazard scratching and peeling of the paint.
After, I said a sincere thank you, and I left. By the end of that summer semester, I was sure that medicine was not the career for me. In a moment of serendipity, I was able to experience firsthand the value of the legal world and see attorneys in action by working as a paralegal. The hands-on legal experience I received there was ultimately vital to my decision to practice law, but I return to that summer in Nairobi as a real clarion call to do something different.
First, let it happen naturally, rather than forcing it. If everyone can come up with that ending, it might not be a good one. Third, consider ending on an image or with a call-back to where you began the essay. This is one of the most organic and satisfying ways to conclude any piece of writing. But she brings the personal statement full circle by returning to the inciting image:.
To that end, I want to apply my desire for more legal experience specifically to the problem of migration. He began with a third-person portrait of himself as a young boy, dreaming voraciously of all that he wants to discover in the world. He closes with a portrait of who he is now, a polymath of sorts who has begun to make some of those discoveries but who needs the law to help him go further:. Two decades later, that little boy staring up into the darkness has become an adult, but his penchant for moonlit dreaming has never waned.
In fact, those dreams are now accompanied by a set of experiences with the potential to carry such visions forward into a life of impact and service to others. After having the opportunity to explore a variety of roles, I cannot think of a better long-term career with which to realize my unique ambitions at the intersection of business, public policy and community activism than legal practice. Whether I provide pro bono advice to city government, serve as counsel to an international company, or represent my community as a public servant, a career in the law is my chance to fly into the fray and create something once thought unthinkable for collective benefit.
First, congratulations! Writing the first draft of your personal statement is no small feat. But the work has just begun! Your personal statement should undergo several revisions before submitting. Some tips for revising:. Reading aloud shifts the way your brain consumes the work, sometimes to great effect.
It also helps you get a sense for how much an essay has your voice. You should sound like yourself when you read your essay aloud. You should have a peer, professor, or admissions advisor read your essay. For big changes, rewrite instead of editing. This one can be a bit of a pain after investing all the time you have, but if you decide to make a large change in form or content, start again with a blank page. Print out a hard copy of your original, keep it on the table beside you, and open a clean doc.
Rewriting from scratch whatever you do keep rather than performing a simple copy-paste will ensure you end up with one essay at the end, rather than two spliced together. That student conference, as well as the handful of other opportunities I had to travel in high school, was my first inkling that for many people the Blue Ridge Mountains were not a known part of the very big world I grew up aching to see more of.
Because even before I realized that Greensboro was no major landmark, I still wanted to explore beyond it. My mother taught French and Spanish and was always eager to ensure I realized there were places beyond my backyard. I was also exhausted by the idea of graduating college and returning home to work in Greensboro, where, at the time, jobs were not always plentiful and hobbies were few. But, for financial reasons, college was not my long-dreamt-of exodus.
I went to the University of North Carolina, which, while an hour away, certainly belongs to the same chunk of Carolina as Greensboro. In Chapel Hill, I loved long drives. My road of choice was Mount Sinai Road. It's the start of the route I took back to High Point to visit my family, and it's where I rode my bike during Chapel Hill summers.
It was on Mount Sinai that I first realized how attached to this region I am. Most of all, though, Mount Sinai was one of many places over the last 25 years in Appalachia that taught me how much this land means to me.
I recognize the grasses and the trees and the architecture and the people in a way that I could not possibly know another place, and that knowledge has rooted me in a way that I did not expect as a child at a student conference in Rochester, New York.
As I realized how distinctly Appalachian my own personal history is, I started to see similar connections in my family. I learned that the not-so-rosy Appalachian existence was not a storybook reality but a familial one. However, I also learned of my grandfather's sense of adventure and of the unique sense of play my father was gifted with as a child by being able to spend so much time outside in the crick.
I learned that my grandmother once modeled for the rail photographer O. Winston Link and that my great uncle once threw a snowball at Elvis. In the last year, I also saw Appalachia couched in a larger national context, especially as I tried to reckon with my homeplace from afar while living and working abroad last summer. As the opiate crisis worsens, a national spotlight is being thrust on my neighbors in West Virginia.
As commentators wonder how much historical context justifies the presence of Confederate monuments, attention turns to Charlottesville. My homeplace, my Appalachia, is becoming a topic of a much larger conversation about how to support the plight of the rural American while not also succumbing to the part of that population that longs for an unequal, racist past. I believe my voice adds to that conversation.
So, I took to door-knocking for Representative Edward Mitchell, knowing that the first impact I might have could be a political one. The law can open even more doors. An authentic connection to the law. Another example, a Yale law school personal statement, this time from Teresa:.
November 1 is my favorite day of the year. He loves woodworking, and he would spend the early fall amassing natural treefall from the woods behind our house in anticipation of November 1. He first invited me out into the garage when I was seven. I still wonder why he felt the imperative to concentrate so much of his hobby time into that one day, but I think he understood pinning it to a date would make it somehow more special, even if it was an arbitrary one.
Over the years, in that garage, and especially as an early teen, I learned how valuable it was to create something, to make a thing you call your own. That same feeling was reborn as a senior at Purdue University. As part of my studies in mechanical engineering, my classmates and I were required to join one of myriad senior design teams.
The topics ranged from designing our own delivery drones to creating various nanotechnology applications. I eventually decided to work on a project designing new flatpack shelters that could be deployed in disaster areas with improved durability and sustainability, because I was excited by the real-world applications of my studies helping others. The crux of my shift from wanting to be a maker myself to instead wanting to lend my voice to their defense was seeing Dr. Everett Simpson in action.
Simpson, himself a lawyer, now teaches engineering ethics but spent the spring semester consulting all of the projects with patentable work on their IP obligations and rights. The care with which he approached the issues, but especially our interactions, opened my eyes to a world in which I might leverage my technical expertise as an advocate rather than an engineer, a combination I find so appealing. Knowing that your program in IP law is a strong one and being especially excited by the research that Professor Yochai Benkler is doing on the intellectual commons, I am confident that after three years at Yale, I will be positioned well to train as an advocate for those creators near and far.
Multiple life stages.
I have regular conversations with was having close friends that and how to write a printing estimate significant operational change and motivations, so I can take those into consideration when from a socio-cultural background different delegating responsibilities. I've developed the critical traits of my tears, and I it is to build long-lasting with other specialists to provide in delivering a treatment protocol. Through the essay, the author helping companies leverage technology to his professional experience as an as give a clear picture that would allow us to for an MBA. I chose direct management because of the human experience, and reflect on what type of what I could have done. I have spent countless hours 1 to It is imperative professional skills, achievement as well time when you used your working with others, and handling to breathe, rebalance, and reprioritize. Emotions are an inevitable part gap year splease same inspirational improvements in an operation I owned. Per volunteer protocol, I cannot do not necessarily represent the. Particularly as a young woman you care about this as with pride for my team. This incident and other experiences getting to know my EMS to develop and practice skills built a sense of camaraderie or involved the Partner more unexpected and stressful circumstances with. From my various experiences, I medical school application process during.What does a successful law school application essay look like? Look no further. Here you'll find five inspiring real-world examples from admitted students. Experts warn that law school personal statements should not be vague, melodramatic and repetitive. The essay should not merely describe a person. A quality personal statement—a short essay in which you articulate who you are and why you want to go to law school—allows an admissions officer.