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Author Topic: Typical Length of PS??  (Read 1026 times)

P. Pius

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Typical Length of PS??
« on: August 08, 2007, 01:11:00 AM »
How long do most law schools normally require a PS to be?  I've seen some say two pages double spaced, yet others don't mention any maximum requirement.  Is the rule of thumb generally two double spaced pages??
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und3r3stimat3d

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Re: Typical Length of PS??
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2007, 04:13:03 PM »
Many say 2 pages. Some say up to 3. Still others keep it more open ended. Your best bet is to prepare your main statement to be 2-3 pages I'd say.

rtqw

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Re: Typical Length of PS??
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 10:45:36 PM »
How long do most law schools normally require a PS to be?  I've seen some say two pages double spaced, yet others don't mention any maximum requirement.  Is the rule of thumb generally two double spaced pages??

If I remember right, I think a slim majority of the schools I applied to had no length requirement. With one exception, however, a two page PS met the requirements at all schools I applied to.
University of Michigan Law School, Class of 2010
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P. Pius

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Re: Typical Length of PS??
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2007, 11:19:37 PM »
So then would you all say that the general rule of thumb would be around 2 1/2 pages or so??
In like Flint (Accepted):  South Texas, St. Mary's
Out on a limb (Pending):  Arizona State, Southwestern, Oregon
Better luck next time (Denial): 


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P. Pius

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Re: Typical Length of PS??
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2007, 09:01:57 PM »
Sounds good.  Let me ask this as well.  I've heard conflicting views on whether or not to address in the personal statement any areas that are lacking.  For example, my sophmore year I had a bad semester gpa wise, and want to at least touch on it.  Is this the thing to do in a personal statement, or should I not even bother with it??
In like Flint (Accepted):  South Texas, St. Mary's
Out on a limb (Pending):  Arizona State, Southwestern, Oregon
Better luck next time (Denial): 


http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=runnerxc8888

Morning Star

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Re: Typical Length of PS??
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2007, 09:13:13 PM »
if you wanna address it (and unless you bombed your sophomore year, it's probably best to leave it alone), you should do it in an addendum and not on the ps.
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Fallon

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Re: Typical Length of PS??
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2007, 09:19:36 PM »
Don't do it in your PS. Write an addendum.
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P. Pius

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Re: Typical Length of PS??
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2007, 11:23:58 PM »
Would you say a 2.8 with 2 C's that semester qualifies as simply putting it in an addendum??  And forgive me, but I'm not quite sure how I'd go about writing an addendum.  Maybe a half page or so addressing that...and include it with each law school app, PS, and resume?
In like Flint (Accepted):  South Texas, St. Mary's
Out on a limb (Pending):  Arizona State, Southwestern, Oregon
Better luck next time (Denial): 


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StudentUVA

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Re: Typical Length of PS??
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2007, 11:40:01 PM »
I'd say 2 pages double spaced is the most effective length for a ps- many schools won't accept more. I personally had two versions- one that was 3 pages and one that was 2, and both worked equally well.

P. Pius

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Re: Typical Length of PS??
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2007, 01:52:34 AM »
Sounds good.  Let me ask this as well.  I've heard conflicting views on whether or not to address in the personal statement any areas that are lacking.  For example, my sophmore year I had a bad semester gpa wise, and want to at least touch on it.  Is this the thing to do in a personal statement, or should I not even bother with it??

Speaking as someone who's applied successfully for a lot of stuff over the years, let me offer some advice:

Your PS should tell a story. That story should frame your decision to go to law school as the logical conclusion.

Your resume will have the nuts and bolts of what you've been doing these last few years

Your letters of rec. will explain why those things make you awesome

Personally, I think a personal statement should address the following:
1. How my past experiences have influenced who I am today
2. Why that person I am today is 100% sure law school is the absolute right next step in his/her life
3. The things that person you are today plans on doing later in life that he/she needs a law degree to do

Although the PS is not the place to try and "explain" a bad semester or year, if you can find some way to work that experience into 1. on the above list, you may be able to convert it into a positive, for it will contribute to the overarching narrative you are trying to create. However, be really careful about trying this...

A better approach might be to write an addendum explaining that semester, but write it in such a way as to make it seem like a footnote of your personal statement.

For example, if the theme of your PS is overcoming adversity, you don't need to mention the bad grades in the PS, but you can say in your addendum that you bombed that semester for X reason, but you learned from your mistakes, and you rededicated yourself the next year etc.

Remember: every single word in your application should increase the chances of your being admitted. If you can make an addendum function in this way, then it's a useful tool, and it would be a good idea to write one. However, if it feels superfluous/tact on/out of place/embarrassing, you shouldn't include it.

Also, always keep in mind that in these matters, there are no absolute merits or demerits. It's all a matter of interpretation. The key is being smart enough and careful enough to tell a good story.

Just a thought...

Darn, now that I look at my PS, it seems like more of a summary of my resume...except with more details.  Well, I guess that means I need to tailor it more towards what was suggested above.
In like Flint (Accepted):  South Texas, St. Mary's
Out on a limb (Pending):  Arizona State, Southwestern, Oregon
Better luck next time (Denial): 


http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=runnerxc8888