Law School Discussion

Constructing a Personal Statement

Baron

Constructing a Personal Statement
« on: July 31, 2006, 01:22:12 PM »
Hello All:

I'm bored at work and came across a sample personal statement which led me to a few questions.  I won't be applying till next year, so this isn't urgent or anything.  My writing style in general tends to be more subtle rather than simply openly telling the reader what I want them to know.  I don't, however, want to risk leaving the reader in the dark or having some doubts as to my meaning.  Is it better to just forfeit grace and tact in favor of clarity?  Any tips on balancing between the two.

-Thanks

A.

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Re: Constructing a Personal Statement
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2006, 01:38:50 PM »
Adcoms are going to be reading hundreds, if not thousands, of personal statements.  Be clear.  Subtlety isn't going to get you anywhere.

EDIT: I will also add that legal writing in general favors clarity much more than subtlety.  Forget "suspense."  You put the answer in the very first sentence, so the reader can skip everything else if s/he wants to.

TruOne

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Re: Constructing a Personal Statement
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2006, 06:48:41 AM »
You want to use alittle subtley(sp) because of the fact that they ar reading THOUSANDS of PS for the season and alot of people have the same story. For example:

I am a Black Man. I checked that box on my application and I came from Morehouse, therefore I ddin't want to be redundant by stating that in my PS. However, I did want to bring up my Blackness®. So instead of saying, "I'm a Black Man" I instead said that by hiring me, my former boss "Had taken a chance on the son of an Alabama Sharecropper".

Now within' that small phrase you have a pretty good idea of what color I am and what my family's economic background is.

Be subtle for certain things, but be absolutely clear on bigger things, such as:

- Why you want to go to Law School
- Why you want to go to THEIR Law School
- Why you are different from the other people who are applying.