Law School Personal Statement Guide
Whenever student is applying for a scholarship, there are three main aspects that are considered by the selection committee.
- a recommendation letter,
- GPA scores of a student
- the personal statement.
In quite a number of cases, the personal statement counts for the winning criteria than the other two. It helps bridge between the student and the committee members. The personal statement prompt may simply ask the student to write something about themselves or write about their academic and personal interests in an essay that does not exceed one thousand. Given the personal statement is a personal paper, there is not a set-out mode that the students should use whenever they are required to write one.
It is important to note, that the purpose of the personal statement remains the same across the board. This is regardless of the level at which applicant is requested to write a personal statement, looking for a job or looking forward to join an international competition for a scholarship. In this case, the personal statement is directed towards winning a scholarship at the law school.
The purposes of a personal statement are:
- to provide the panel with a picture of self as a potential candidate for the position in the scholarship program.
- it also invites the reader to know more about the student on a personal level and bridges the assumed gap between strangers.
Using a personal statement, the student is able to indicate their judgment and priorities. The choice of what is mentioned in the essay gives the panel a glimpse into what it is that the student values and helps them make a decision on whether the student is the right candidate for the position.
The personal statement is a platform for the student to tell their story to the panel.
The student is supposed to harness their storytelling skills so that the information that is offered in the personal statement does not sound generic. The idea, in this case, is to make sure that the story told is unique to the student and speaks to the panel from an individual point of view now from a rehearsed schematic that commonly found online. It is important that the panel feels they have actually connected with the student rather than a piece of text that is well-written and could have been written by anyone. The student has to make their life story for the panel is convincing enough, so that they have met the student who they are likely to give the chance to study at the law school.
Law School Personal Statement Outlining
The law school essay outline takes on the format of a personal statement. This means, the main parts are the introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs and a conclusion. This is the most crucial part of the law school essay, given that it acts as a guide for the content that is to be presented in the essay.
Tips concerning law school personal statement introduction writing:
- When writing a law school essay introduction, it is easy for the student to get tempted to jump right into the narrative about the accomplishments they have made in the past. This is, however, not a recommended approach.
- Instead, the student should concentrate on expressing what it is that attracted them to gain interest in Law studies and more specifically, an interest in the position at the Law School. This is a key to writing a good introduction and to make sure it is not too extensive for the panel to lose interest in reading it further.
- It should have just the right amount of information to keep the panel interested. This means that the student should try and highlight their confidence, maturity, abilities, skills, values and the talents they have, which fit for the position. The panel should be drawn to why the student feels that they are the best candidate for the position.
Tips on body paragraphs of a law school essay writing:
- The first paragraph is an introduction, where the student highlights who they are as a person.
- Ideally, this is a paragraph that students use to identify themselves, who they are in their family and basic information that helps the panel to understand the background of the student better.
- The key to this section is to give enough information in order to help the panel form a picture of who the student is, but not too much information. The student should maintain this balance, otherwise the panel will easily lose interest in a person who gives too much information about themselves, as it points to an egotistical character.
- In this paragraph, the student also highlights their key values.
- In the second paragraph, the student gives their educational and career goals. In this paragraph, the candidate is allowed to mention their past achievements, what they are currently doing and what they plan to do in the future.
- The student should mention their current academic achievements and engagements that are directly connected to their ambitions in the law field.
- Their career goals should all be connected to what they are doing at the moment to prepare them for the Legal field. This further indicates to the panel what are the ambitions and the values the student has placed in their goals.
- The key here is to show the panel that all the efforts the student has been putting in are directed at achieving their career goals in Law.
- The last paragraph of the law school essay is associated with the program.
- In this paragraph, the student explains what has drawn them to the program.
- The writer may make references to the other existing programs in the country or even internationally.
- The reference is geared towards showing the panel that the candidate has done their research and not just taking chances with the program in a way to try their luck.
- By showing the panel why they chose the program, the students indicate how the program is going to help them achieve their goals academically and even professionally as they grow in their career.
- Compared to the other programs, the student should indicate why they feel this program is going to boost their career and academic goals, in a way indicating how they will fit in the program.
Law School Personal Statement Conclusion
In the conclusion, the student should summarize all the main points about their goals in education and career, and why they want to join the program in relation to how this will help them achieve the aforementioned aspirations.
After completing the essay, the student should make sure they proofread their work. Grammatical errors and typos among other mistakes reduce the integrity of the essay, whereby they make the essay look unprofessional and will be enough ground to disqualify the candidate.
Dos and Don’ts of a law school essay
- Do your research before writing the essay
- Tell only what you know
- Concentrate on the opening paragraphs
- Be specific
- Tell your own story, not a generic reproduction
- Do not include sensitive information
- Do not make mistakes
- Avoid clichés and jargons
- Do not tell lies
- Do not start every sentence with ‘I’