Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Personal Statements, Resumes, and Letters of Recommendation => Topic started by: timnjess on June 10, 2004, 02:11:04 PM

Title: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: timnjess on June 10, 2004, 02:11:04 PM
Ok, I sat down and forced myself to write the basis for my PS. It has mistakes, the words aren't exactly right, etc. But I have the basis which was the hardest part for me to do and now I'll tweak it from here. What I was wondering is this: is my statement theme totally off base? Is it even a good one to write, etc. Would anyone on here be willing to read it and tell me if they think it is a good theme or in the right direction or not? I don't want to post it on here - its too personal - so I'd have to e-mail it.

Thanks in Advance.
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: GA_Kristi on June 10, 2004, 02:47:21 PM
I'm more than happy to give it a read.  You can email it to me at Kristi_Ann81 at yahoo [dot] com.
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: nathanielmark on June 10, 2004, 04:18:38 PM
ill read it also.  i like reading PSs.
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: timnjess on June 10, 2004, 07:18:30 PM
Ok, I e-mailed it to you both. Let me know what you think.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: nathanielmark on June 10, 2004, 07:43:53 PM
to be honest, i think its terrrible....

nah just kidding.  i havnt read it yet and i would never critique it on the board.  ill let you know...


Ok, I e-mailed it to you both. Let me know what you think.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: GA_Kristi on June 11, 2004, 09:08:26 AM
I emailed you my revisions and all.  Hope it helps!!  You've got an incredible story to tell!
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: timnjess on June 11, 2004, 09:11:12 PM
Thanks to both for the great ideas! Kristi - thanks for proofing it and making suggestions...they really clicked for me and I think it will sound great. I'm really no longer scared of the whole PS thing now!  :)
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: runnin_skeerd on June 15, 2004, 10:46:02 AM
Have you looked over the applications for the all law schools to which you intend to apply?  Many have given you a topic that must be addressed in a seperate statement or addressed as a direct part of your personal statement.  I plan to apply to a school that requires two 500 word essays: 1) What is the most significant event in your life over last ten years and what did you learn from the event and 2) a personal statement addressing any issue that you feel will help the admissions committee with their decision.  And most of the other schools to which I plan to apply have a different topic or essy legnth.  I figure that I'll end up writing about eight seperate personal statements or differing versions :o    I hope you're not placing all your hopes on a single p.s., unfortunately it may not meet all of your application needs.
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: GA_Kristi on June 15, 2004, 12:20:29 PM
I applied to 14 schools this past admissions season and used the same personal statement for 12 of them.  The only change I made was in the last paragraph where I adressed my reasons for wanting to attend that particular school.  The other 2 schools had differing requirements, one asked a specific question about their mission statement and the other wouldn't allow more than 2 pages (mine was 3 full pages).  However, I think being able to use the same statement (except for changing the last paragraph) for 12/14 schools was great.  Not only did I love my statement, but it takes a lot of time to come up with a good one, I would have never had time for 14 complete different statements.  Most schools ask why you want to go to law school and what qualifies you, as well as asking you to describe any adversity you've overcome. 

I would definitely start with only one statement, then adjust it as needed for each application.  Even the school that wanted the 2 page statement only required me to edit some sentences out of my original statement (I actually hated the 2 page statement though, it wasn't enough to cover all I wanted to cover).  So really, the only drastic changes I made were for the school that asked you to reply to their mission statement.  Saved lots of time and I don't think I would have gotten into anymore schools than I did by writing different statements for each, its just not using your time wisely.

Plus, I've read her statement.  It will apply EVERYWHERE, guaranteed!
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: MindTheGap76 on June 15, 2004, 07:56:40 PM
GA_Kristi,

You mentioned that you changed the last paragraph on each personal statement to reflect something unique to the school.  How did that work out for you?  After reading a number of books where admissions officers said they like to see applicants showing interest in their school, I was thinking about doing the same thing.

Timnjess,

I just realized you were the person who posted earlier about having trouble writing a non-"corny" intro.  Glad to hear that you managed to finish your PS!
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: GA_Kristi on June 17, 2004, 09:27:04 AM
GA_Kristi,

You mentioned that you changed the last paragraph on each personal statement to reflect something unique to the school.  How did that work out for you?  After reading a number of books where admissions officers said they like to see applicants showing interest in their school, I was thinking about doing the same thing.


Well, I think it worked out relatively well.  I applied to 14 schools and got into 3, but I'd say 9 of those 11 that rejected me were real reach schools.  I had the money and wanted to try my luck at getting into a reach, so I applied to a lot!  :)  I wouldn't recommend it though, that didn't turn out so well!

As for addressing each school in my PS, you have to be careful when you do this.  Proofread every single one before you send it out and only work on one application at a time.  I wrote the original draft of my PS and then got together all the apps and did them one by one.  I applied to 2 schools in my home state, so in that last paragraph I talked about my connections here and my desire to stay here and how the school could help me with these goals, etc.  I applied to 4 schools in FL, where I have lots of family, so I talked about why I wanted to be near family, etc.  As for the other places I applied, they were mostly in CA and further away from me, so I had to talk about why I wanted to move away from my home.  If the school had a specific program that interested me I mentioned that because the school likes to see that you've researched it and are really interested. 

I think if you send a PS that doesn't mention the school name at all the school probably thinks you sent the exact same one to EVERYONE you applied to.  This shows no real interest in THEIR school and I just didn't think that looked good.  I've also seen personal statements that only mention the school by name, but don't anymore about it.  This makes it look like all you did was go in and change the name of the school for each personal statement.  Even though I only did a paragraph for each one, I still made that paragraph the last thing the adcomm read (by making it the last paragraph) and I gave specific reasons for applying to that school.  I can't see how this could ever hurt, it shows interest and research.

If you get your PS ready and want some input, feel free to email it to me.  :)  I'd love to help!
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: tahoetahoe on June 17, 2004, 09:30:20 AM
I did the same thing w/ my personal statement.  I wrote a 4 page statement and had a 2 & 3 page version.  I also modified the last paragraph for each school.  Just make sure you send the right one to the right school.  I hear that is a common and embarassing mistake!!!   :-[
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: GA_Kristi on June 17, 2004, 09:35:11 AM
I did the same thing w/ my personal statement.  I wrote a 4 page statement and had a 2 & 3 page version.  I also modified the last paragraph for each school.  Just make sure you send the right one to the right school.  I hear that is a common and embarassing mistake!!!   :-[

I heard this a LOT!  Apparently this is a very common mistake, but easily overcome.  I mailed my apps in batches, even though I did them one at a time.  I would get one app and all the supporting docs ready and put it in a folder.  Then, when I got up to 5 or so schools I would take the 5 folders and look through each and double check that the personal statement matched up with the write app.  My last check was a co-worker friend of mine who would look at the app to see that I answered all and signed everywhere and then look to see if the personal statement talked about the right school at the end.  Then we sealed each one in an envelope one by one.  This seems to have worked.  I kept copies of everything in a separate file for each school and in going back and looking through it later they all matched up correctly.
Title: Re: Only the serious Need Reply - I need PS Help!
Post by: MindTheGap76 on June 17, 2004, 09:00:47 PM

I think if you send a PS that doesn't mention the school name at all the school probably thinks you sent the exact same one to EVERYONE you applied to.  This shows no real interest in THEIR school and I just didn't think that looked good.  I've also seen personal statements that only mention the school by name, but don't anymore about it.  This makes it look like all you did was go in and change the name of the school for each personal statement.  Even though I only did a paragraph for each one, I still made that paragraph the last thing the adcomm read (by making it the last paragraph) and I gave specific reasons for applying to that school.  I can't see how this could ever hurt, it shows interest and research.

If you get your PS ready and want some input, feel free to email it to me.  :)  I'd love to help!

Yeah, I was thinking, for example, that Virginia has a really cool "Law and Economics" program that I'm interested in, so I would write a paragraph about that.  Georgetown has a neat "B Curriculum" that sets them apart that I'd like to take.  Nothing too fancy, just something that says what attracts me specifically to their school.

I'm probably going to get working on my personal statement in the next few weeks.  I know you've volunteered to help people out; if you want anyone to take a second pass on it, let me know.  I'm a pretty good writer for an engineer, the quality of my quickly jotted posts notwithstanding :)