If law school applicants could be granted one wish, I'm pretty sure that knowing their chances of getting into a certain school would be right at the top of the list, right after having stellar LSAT/GPA numbers and a killer personal statement. Unfortunately, when it comes to your chances are of getting into a specific school, it's almost impossible to predict with any sort of surety how likely you are to get in. There are, however, things you can look at to to give yourself some ballpark probabilities to work with.
I've been working with college and law school applicants for years (in the case of college applicants, well over a decade). Every year I see some absolutely unique essays...and I see essays that I swear I've seen before (sometimes many, many times). Some of them are strikingly good, while others are jarringly bad. In an effort to shed some light on essay topics that could quickly go from mundane to radioactive, I've compiled a list of a few of the topics that I wish would go away--or, at least, get done by fewer applicants.
Topics: Law School Admissions
Although all components of a law school application are important, I believe that the most important one is the personal statement. To that end, I've decided to write a series explaining some of the pivotal points you should keep in mind as you prepare to write your law school application personal statement.
We'll start off with today with something I find most law school applicants don't even think about: the personal statement timeline.
Once you've self-edited and had others read and give feedback on your essay, you're pretty much on the home stretch. If your essay has made it this far, then you're approximately 95% done and only one thing remains to be done before you can close the book on writing it and get ready to submit it along with your applications: proofing.
In a sense, proofing and editing are much the same--you're looking for typos, bloopers, and erroneous use of language.
If you're anything like me, the last thing you want to do when you're writing something (be it an essay, a short story, a novel, or a grocery list) is show it to someone else and have them critique it. After all, you've put a little bit of yourself into this piece of writing (well, maybe not if it's a grocery list), and the one thing you don't want to hear is criticism, even if it is constructive.
However, when it comes to your personal statement, having others read it before you consider it finalized is probably one of most important things you can do.
Well, we've reached the conclusion of this 10-part series on the law school personal statement--and now I get to talk about my favorite topic when it comes to this ever-important element of your law school application: FEAR.
Once you've written your first draft and you've had a chance to step away from it for at least day, it's time to edit. Typically, you will follow this write-step away-edit process a few times through a few drafts until you're fully satisfied with your essay and the way you've told your story.
Now, saying you're going to edit your essay is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out exactly how to edit and what you should be looking for. Whenever I'm editing an essay, these are the seven areas to which I pay attention.
Variety is the spice of life--and, as it turns out, it's the spice of personal statements, too. Variety in how you write and approach your personal statement is just as important as the topic you write about.
There are six key ways in which variety should make its way into your personal statement:
Howdy! Welcome to the second installment in a ten-part series on writing your law school application personal statement. Last week we started off by talking about the importance of giving yourself as much as time as possible when writing your essay.
Today, we'll discuss the second most important thing you should do: Planning out your writing.
The most important part of writing a personal statement is, funnily enough, sitting down and actually writing it. However, the second most important part is not writing.
Yup, you heard right: As important as writing your personal statement is, the one thing you can do to make your writing stronger is taking a step back once you have completed a draft, and giving your writing (and your brain) some time to settle down. Why is that?