« on: October 25, 2006, 05:46:32 PM »
I'm a 1L right now. I found that every school that I applied to either asked for a diversity statement, an optional essay, or anything else that would help the admissions people get a better idea of who you are. I did a personal statement and then added on a totally separate essay about my mission experience and it worked out well. Just make sure that they work well together (i.e., don't write your personal statement about your experience as a porn star and your optional essay about your mission). Another tip I would give for writing about your mission is to make sure you understand your audience. If you are writing to Notre Dame, then don't worry about talking about religious experiences and the like, they may even like that. But if you are writing to a more liberal school like Berkeley, leave that stuff out and focus on the cultural/social/education experiences. I think that this would apply to just about any school that does not have a religious affiliation of some sort. There is a time and a place for everything, and some people don't want a "preachy" application. I opted to talk more about some specific people that I met and how they affected me as well as leadership experience. I went stateside, so I didn't have many cool things to talk about. Another suggestion: if you are applying to BYU or Utah, they don't really care about your experiences as a missionary. Almost everyone that is applying at those schools is a return missionary. And yet another suggestion: some schools absolutely love return missionaries. I know from talking with one of the associate deans at Iowa that he is sent to the law school fairs at BYU and the UofU specifically because he is a mormon and he can recruit missionaries through his church connections. They are the only law school fairs that he goes to. I know it sounds weird, but he told me himself when I met him last year.