Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Personal Statements, Resumes, and Letters of Recommendation => Topic started by: Jrtzsweetie on July 20, 2004, 12:46:08 PM

Title: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: Jrtzsweetie on July 20, 2004, 12:46:08 PM
Hey guys,
You know how a lot of schools just want you to write a PS that gives them insight into who you are, rather than asking specific questions.  Well, is it a good idea to send the same one to the schools that simply suggest you write about anything you want?
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: LSATGuru on July 20, 2004, 12:49:58 PM
In my opinion, it's acceptable with one exception. Make sure that you put individual information about the school at the end of the personal statement.  "The first step to my law school vision starts at [Insert Law School].  Your fantastic [insert something you learned about the school through reading their website or discussing with their Admissions Office on the phone] will be a key resource in my legal education.  The stellar faculty-to-student ratio communicates your school's commitment to student/faculty interaction and blah blah blah"

Round it off with personal reasons, like you have visisted their city before and loved this or that, how you want to eventually practice law in that area because of the thriving economy and so on.
Hey guys,
You know how a lot of schools just want you to write a PS that gives them insight into who you are, rather than asking specific questions.  Well, is it a good idea to send the same one to the schools that simply suggest you write about anything you want?
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: Engilaw on July 20, 2004, 12:50:37 PM
I don't think it hurts.  You could add a personalized ending to some of them specific to the school, but I think adcom's basically understand that you'll be applying to a ton of schools, and that it may be unrealistic to expect you to write 10 unique essays.
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: buster on July 20, 2004, 12:52:14 PM
I think it depends what you're writing about. If you're writing about odds you overcame or something like that I doubt it matters. If, on the other hand, you're writing in a very specific way about wanting to go to law school in order to work in a particular field, you probably would want to make some reference(s) to the way(s) in which that school will further that specific goal (certain professors or courses, for example). Not necessarily a whole separate essay, though.

Hey guys,
You know how a lot of schools just want you to write a PS that gives them insight into who you are, rather than asking specific questions.  Well, is it a good idea to send the same one to the schools that simply suggest you write about anything you want?
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: egfmba on July 20, 2004, 01:02:00 PM
Sure!  I just want to reiterate:  don't leave Harvard's name in your Yale app!  So many applicants do it and each one ends up in the trash!  I even saw one app with outstanding organization, a great cover letter, photo and everything with the wrong school's name in the PS.  File 13 for that one!

Just proofread like crazy!!
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: buster on July 20, 2004, 01:04:34 PM
photo?!

Sure!  I just want to reiterate:  don't leave Harvard's name in your Yale app!  So many applicants do it and each one ends up in the trash!  I even saw one app with outstanding organization, a great cover letter, photo and everything with the wrong school's name in the PS.  File 13 for that one!

Just proofread like crazy!!
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: egfmba on July 20, 2004, 01:06:57 PM
Yeah.  Like Elle Woods, only static. Right in the middle of the front cover of the folder she submitted her statement in.

She was even blonde.
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: ruskiegirl on July 20, 2004, 01:08:54 PM
In my opinion, it's acceptable with one exception. Make sure that you put individual information about the school at the end of the personal statement.  "The first step to my law school vision starts at [Insert Law School].  Your fantastic [insert something you learned about the school through reading their website or discussing with their Admissions Office on the phone] will be a key resource in my legal education.  The stellar faculty-to-student ratio communicates your school's commitment to student/faculty interaction and blah blah blah"

Round it off with personal reasons, like you have visisted their city before and loved this or that, how you want to eventually practice law in that area because of the thriving economy and so on.
Hey guys,
You know how a lot of schools just want you to write a PS that gives them insight into who you are, rather than asking specific questions.  Well, is it a good idea to send the same one to the schools that simply suggest you write about anything you want?
While I agree that it is acceptable to insert the school's name into your personal statement, I think your example illustrates one of the many things you should not include in your personal statement.  You are telling the School X about School X, which not only points out information with which the adcoms are already familiar, but also wastes precious sentences that you could be using to tell about yourself.  I think the only time it is appropriate to include information like that is when you are writing a seperate statement for admission to a particular program in the school (like LEOP at Hastings), at which point it would certainly be appropriate to indicate what aspects of the program would make it the correct educational path for you.
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: Jrtzsweetie on July 20, 2004, 01:14:27 PM
Hey guys,
Thanks to everyone for the awesome advice.  I haven't finalized my PS topic yet, but the pointers are great.   Now I just have to sit down and immerse myself into it this piece of writing that could possibly make or break my chances law school.  Ohhh, the stress!!  ???
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: swifty on July 20, 2004, 05:10:17 PM
In my opinion, it's acceptable with one exception. Make sure that you put individual information about the school at the end of the personal statement.  "The first step to my law school vision starts at [Insert Law School].  Your fantastic [insert something you learned about the school through reading their website or discussing with their Admissions Office on the phone] will be a key resource in my legal education.  The stellar faculty-to-student ratio communicates your school's commitment to student/faculty interaction and blah blah blah"

Round it off with personal reasons, like you have visisted their city before and loved this or that, how you want to eventually practice law in that area because of the thriving economy and so on.
Hey guys,
You know how a lot of schools just want you to write a PS that gives them insight into who you are, rather than asking specific questions.  Well, is it a good idea to send the same one to the schools that simply suggest you write about anything you want?
While I agree that it is acceptable to insert the school's name into your personal statement, I think your example illustrates one of the many things you should not include in your personal statement.  You are telling the School X about School X, which not only points out information with which the adcoms are already familiar, but also wastes precious sentences that you could be using to tell about yourself.  I think the only time it is appropriate to include information like that is when you are writing a seperate statement for admission to a particular program in the school (like LEOP at Hastings), at which point it would certainly be appropriate to indicate what aspects of the program would make it the correct educational path for you.

I was going to say the exact same thing, Ruskie, but somebody on this board thinks I'm shifty, so I bowed out.  :'(
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: gooooooo on July 20, 2004, 06:08:04 PM
Hmmm, I've never really thought about including a picture.  What do you guys think about that idea?
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: lexylit on July 20, 2004, 06:16:02 PM
who says swifty is shifty?!
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: dta on July 20, 2004, 06:19:02 PM
Make sure that you put individual information about the school at the end of the personal statement.  "The first step to my law school vision starts at [Insert Law School].  Your fantastic [insert something you learned about the school through reading their website or discussing with their Admissions Office on the phone] will be a key resource in my legal education.  The stellar faculty-to-student ratio communicates your school's commitment to student/faculty interaction and blah blah blah"

I disagree. The adcoms surely know this game - a PS that ends with plug-and-chug references to the school. In my PS I simply referred to "law school" and not any school in particular. At the very least i think the adcoms know that my lack of reference to their school in particular in my PS displays no less interest in the school than someone adopting the plug-and-chug model. At best, they'll recognize it as a more honest approach. Either way, I don't have to inject a hacked and heavily used motif at the end of my PS, an introduction I think would reduce the overall cohesion of my PS.
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: lexylit on July 20, 2004, 06:25:31 PM
Hmmm, I've never really thought about including a picture.  What do you guys think about that idea?

include your avatar, very small, in the bottom right hand corner of each page of your app
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: exposť on July 20, 2004, 06:31:14 PM
You gonna use the one in the black cocktail dress?  Looks like an auto-admit to me!

Shrub- I think Montauk quotes testimonial from adcoms that look for some individualizing of the PS, a la school-specific.  I don't, however, suggest that means plugging in the name at the end of the essay.
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: dta on July 20, 2004, 06:39:07 PM
Shrub- I think Montauk quotes testimonial from adcoms that look for some individualizing of the PS, a la school-specific.  I don't, however, suggest that means plugging in the name at the end of the essay.

My comments were specifically directed toward the plug-and-chug model quoted before my comment. Actually constructing a custom PS from scratch for each school would be the best model, but I and most people just don't have time for that.
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: buster on July 20, 2004, 07:18:21 PM
I like that idea! Do you think they will be able to tell that my avatar is an artist's rendering rather than a photograph?

include your avatar, very small, in the bottom right hand corner of each page of your app
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: LSATGuru on July 20, 2004, 07:25:19 PM
It also tells them that you KNOW things about their school and why you want to go there, which can be a very compelling reason for them to admit you, which is the ultimate goal, not letting them know everything about you down to your poodle's middle name.
In my opinion, it's acceptable with one exception. Make sure that you put individual information about the school at the end of the personal statement.  "The first step to my law school vision starts at [Insert Law School].  Your fantastic [insert something you learned about the school through reading their website or discussing with their Admissions Office on the phone] will be a key resource in my legal education.  The stellar faculty-to-student ratio communicates your school's commitment to student/faculty interaction and blah blah blah"

Round it off with personal reasons, like you have visisted their city before and loved this or that, how you want to eventually practice law in that area because of the thriving economy and so on.
Hey guys,
You know how a lot of schools just want you to write a PS that gives them insight into who you are, rather than asking specific questions.  Well, is it a good idea to send the same one to the schools that simply suggest you write about anything you want?
While I agree that it is acceptable to insert the school's name into your personal statement, I think your example illustrates one of the many things you should not include in your personal statement.  You are telling the School X about School X, which not only points out information with which the adcoms are already familiar, but also wastes precious sentences that you could be using to tell about yourself.  I think the only time it is appropriate to include information like that is when you are writing a seperate statement for admission to a particular program in the school (like LEOP at Hastings), at which point it would certainly be appropriate to indicate what aspects of the program would make it the correct educational path for you.
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: exposť on July 20, 2004, 07:27:13 PM
So, dude...you got a poodle?
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: lexylit on July 20, 2004, 09:04:01 PM
my shih tzu's middle name is "yale"
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: thebengalgent on July 20, 2004, 09:09:21 PM
I thought that LSAC can deliver your PS like they do your resume.  Is this not the case?  I am applying to 18-20 schools.  I can't imagine finetuning my PS that many times.

Can someone please clarify?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: jacy85 on July 21, 2004, 06:41:42 AM
Better start finetuning.  As I understand it, LSAC doesn't ever touch your PS.  Since that's techincally something that's very school specific, it gets sent with the rest of the application, not in your LSAC package.  When using a program like LSAC on the Web, or whatever it is, you can cut and paste or attach the word file to the electronic application.
Title: Re: Same Personal Statements for All Schools
Post by: LSATGuru on July 21, 2004, 08:08:42 AM
It's pretty important that you have school-specific reasons in your personal statement for wanting to attend--you're doing two things with your PS: 1) Let them know who you are 2) Convince them that you are a good fit for their law school.

I shouldn't have to tell you that no two law schools are alike, and some can be antipodal in their philosophies. Just remember there is more than one way to skin at a cat.
I thought that LSAC can deliver your PS like they do your resume.  Is this not the case?  I am applying to 18-20 schools.  I can't imagine finetuning my PS that many times.

Can someone please clarify?  Thanks.