You may have read my Top 8 Most Common Mistakes When Writing a Personal Statement blog. These mistakes focused mostly on grammar issues, inattention to detail and the result of poor editing. Here are a few additional tips focused on what not to say in the statement itself.
I want to go to law school because I’ve been told I argue well. We prefer for you to more thoughtfully and artfully explain your passion for studying the law.
I want to “Be the change I wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi. We want all of our law students to change the world — or even their own small corner. However, we hear this a lot so think of an original way to describe your passion for being a change-maker.
The Quote: Be careful incorporating quotes into the statement. If you start off with a quote, incorporate a quote or end with a quote, make sure it fits (tie it to your theme) and is not just plopped into the statement for dramatic effect.
Be mindful of oversharing. We appreciate learning about your personal journey. Sometimes those journeys came with painful experiences or life lessons. They made you who you are today and we respect that. Just remember that we don’t always need descriptive details to comprehend the adversity you overcame.
Don’t pass the buck. If you choose to explain something negative in your personal statement rather than in an addendum (which we prefer), be careful about how you explain the situation. We prefer that you own up to your mistakes. Candor and acceptance of responsibility go a long way in our evaluation of candidates.
The personal essay is your chance to shine! Show us your excellent writing skills and your passion for law school and your ultimate career as an attorney. Attorneys need to write well. This is your chance to show us your talents.