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Messages - AlisaGreenstein

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Personal Statement / Re: Getting started. . .
« on: January 28, 2009, 02:23:10 PM »
It sounds like you have some great ideas.  You might want to try to turn it into a statement about how you had a strong work ethic as a child due to your upbringing and how you have turned this experience into a life long love of learning and how you now desire to challenge yourself even more/work harder in law school and your career (if that is accurate).  You might want to focus on one particular instance from your childhood (working at the restaurant, trying to balance the dual ideologies) that has a profound impact on your decision to go to law school.  Although you do want to have a catchy opening for whatever you decide to write about, you also want to make sure that the main focus/central theme of your statement is evident from the beginning. Good luck! I would love to see a draft once you have one.

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant |

Personal Statement / Re: Is 5 pages too much (1500 words)?
« on: January 28, 2009, 12:55:27 PM »
Although the school does not mention a page limit, you still don't want to go too far beyond 2 pages.  Take another look at your personal statement and see if you are including anything that does not need to be there.  Also, try to make sure you are concentrating on one central theme - because that is what they are really looking for - a well organized paper that communicates one main idea or concept.  Good luck!

Personal Statement / Re: ADDENDUM SAMPLES?
« on: January 14, 2009, 02:55:21 PM »
Addendums should never be more than a page.

To avoid giving the wrong impression, you should always highlight the positive, rather than the negative.  For example, if the addendum refers to bad grades, emphasize the improvement in your grades over time.

It is only worth it to submit an addendum to explain truly bad grades, otherwise unexplained absences from school or to submit an addendum regarding "why I want to go to X law school" if one school is truly your top choice.

Although many people do submit addendums, it is always a personal decision whether it will actually help your application.  The best advice is to concentrate on making the personal statement/overall application package the best it can be so that there is no need to submit additional essays.  Good luck!

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant |

Personal Statement / Re: Lost on my personal statement, need advice
« on: January 14, 2009, 02:47:57 PM »
It sounds like you are getting some great advice already.  Only include selective work experiences from your resume that really stand out and can add significant meaning and direction (or build on the existing central theme) to your personal statement.

But - the diversity statement addendum is always separate from the personal statement itself.  You should not combine it with the personal statement.  And you can definitely feel free to send a "Why I want to go to X law school" addendum, which would be separate from the personal statement and diversity statement and shows your personal commitment to a particular school.  Beyond those three essays, you should not submit any additional statements.  The only additional addendums that students submit are those to explain severely bad grades (due to sickness, leaves of absence, etc.)  Good luck! 

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant |

Personal Statement / Re: Mentioning current students in why statements?
« on: January 14, 2009, 02:39:12 PM »
There is no need to mention current students.  However, you should definitely talk to current students to get a feel for whether the school is a good fit for you.  And, you can mention the names of current professors or alumni, if they have done work that you are interested in and that that is part of a reason why you want to attend the school.

Good luck!

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant |

You should definitely feel free to talk about how you want to attend a particular school because it offers specialized classes or programs or clubs (or is well known for) in your particular area of interest at the end of your personal statement, to the extent that it flows with the rest of the personal statement.  That demonstrates to the school that you have done your research are have a particular commitment to their school.  You might also find it relevant to research whether there are any professors or alumni who are well known for their work in that area.

And as for any contractual obligations, just as the other commentator noted, you have none.  You can feel free to change your intentions/plans to study whatever you want as you see fit.  You just want to make sure this school is a place where you will feel comfortable for three years, whatever you choose to study.

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant |

Personal Statement / Re: Looking for PS editors...
« on: January 14, 2009, 02:22:04 PM »
I would be happy to read it.  Thanks.

Law School Applications / Re: Undergrad Major and Law School
« on: January 07, 2009, 03:34:03 PM »
Pre-law students typically choose majors just like all other students, based on areas of interest.  I have seen students apply to law school from English majors, Art majors, History majors, Economics majors, Psychology majors and even Engineering majors.  An undergraduate education is too much of an investment of both time and money to waste on a major that you are not interested in.  College is your time to learn something that exites you! That being said, hopefully your undergraduate major is something in which you can excel!  If you find yourself in a field that is too challenging, you might want to reevaluate your skills and choose something that you can both enjoy and in which you can succeed at the same time.  Good luck!

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant |

Law School Applications / Re: Resume, extracurriculars, etc.
« on: January 07, 2009, 03:26:30 PM »
While it is terrific that you have so much other valuable experience to include, you should definitely keep your resume to one page.  Try to eliminate things like volunteer activities and skills from the resume and stick to education, awards during education, and significant work experience.  Just as clients want lawyers to present them with only short and concise presentations of the law, law schools only want to see short and concise resumes.  If there is something that is particularly important to you that you can't fit in your resume, see if there is somewhere else in the application where it might be appropriate for discussion.  Good luck!

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant |

Personal Statement / Re: How much detail should I put in (or not put in)?
« on: January 07, 2009, 02:57:29 PM »
You obviously have a lot of meaningful personal experiences.  The trick to writing an effective personal statement is to use your personal experiences to convey what an outstanding contribution you would make to the law school and how confident you are that you would make an excellent law student/attorney.  So, you might want to reflect on the situations you have encountered to see in what ways you have shown your leadership and analytical abilities in these situation.  You should also try to concentrate on one central theme or situation and try to accentuate your strengths in doing so.  And if you feel like you might be sending a negative message with your topic, definitely choose another one.  It sounds like you are putting a lot of thought into this so you are already on the right track.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions!

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant |

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