Law School Discussion

How long is an average personal statement??

How long is an average personal statement??
« on: February 21, 2006, 06:10:33 PM »
Just wondering. How long is an average personal statement. What is considered to be too less or too much. I am currently hovering around a 1000 words. Is that too much?

Re: How long is an average personal statement??
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2006, 06:20:21 PM »
"usually" 2-3 pages, double spaced, 12 point font (11 is the smallest), one inch margins. The page count "usually" depends on the school, 2 is "usually" safe.

In my case there is no limit but at the same time i dont want to write a lot. I think 3 pages should be good.

Fidelio

Re: How long is an average personal statement??
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2006, 08:51:26 PM »
I had 3 pages.

Re: How long is an average personal statement??
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2006, 08:57:07 PM »
A lot of schools I applied to had a 2-page max double-spaced with a minimum 10-point font.  I initially started doing a longer one, but just sent teh 2-page one to every school. 

nukelaw

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Re: How long is an average personal statement??
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2006, 04:18:03 PM »
Just wondering. How long is an average personal statement. What is considered to be too less or too much. I am currently hovering around a 1000 words. Is that too much?

Yes. If you're at a 1000 words, you haven't edited/fine-tuned enough.

Unless you're Ghandi, aim for 600-750 words.

jb1246a

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Re: How long is an average personal statement??
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2006, 06:31:07 PM »
Just wondering. How long is an average personal statement. What is considered to be too less or too much. I am currently hovering around a 1000 words. Is that too much?

My personal statement was obscenely long (1200 words or so in 10 pt font; 2pgs with .8 margins), but it didn't seem to matter. As long as it's engaging and devoid of fluff, I wouldn't worry too much about precise length unless the school sets a specific word limit.

Re: How long is an average personal statement??
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2006, 06:36:49 PM »
Mine was probably only a little big shorter than jb's and I haven't had bad luck either. Most schools that specify length/font size say no more than 2 pages with 10-point font, and that'll put you around 1000-1200 words. 

JamesD

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Re: How long is an average personal statement??
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2006, 07:40:16 PM »
I think the length of the personal statement should depend on the applicant.  Some people have not really done enough to warrant writing a long personal statement.  Others do not write well enough to sustain a long statement.

Conversely, those individuals who were extremely involved during their undergraduate years; who have worked; who have had unique lives; or who can offer a unique perspective should all feel comfortable writing a somewhat longer personal statement. 

My personal statement - at any schools that did not have a length requirement - was roughly 2.5 pages, 1.5 spacing, 11 point font.  At schools with length requirements, I messed with margins and fonts. 

In addition to my long personal statement, I submitted the following addenda, most of which were done using 1.5 spacing and 11 point font:

Diversity Statement (2 pages)
LSAT Addendum (history of low standardized test scores; score is a poor predictor etc)
Leave of Absence Addendum (half page)
Resume (2.5 pages)
Addendum: Justification for Part-time Status (only to PT programs)

At some schools, I submitted an additional addendum regarding why I wished to attend that particular school.

Yes, a 5 or 6 page personal statement is a bit much.  One suggestion is to break up a very long PS into a PS and a diversity statement.  That will only work for some people; I understand this.

So, bottom line, if you write a ps that is a bit longer than average, it will not hurt you as long as it is well-written and has substance.  I did, however, follow the page limits when specifically given.