‘Tis the season for law school applications. Many are due in the upcoming weeks. Just in case you are about to hit that “submit” button at your top choices, U.S. News has some last minute tips to consider. While they seem like no-brainers, they are often overlooked.
First, U.S. News writer Shawn O’Connor says to make sure the essays are all the proper lengths. Let’s be honest: Most law school personal statements and essays do not really differ much from school to school. Thus, it is easy (and recommended by some) to use the same generic personal statement and essay as a base. A problem with this strategy is schools often vary in length requirements. To help with this, O’Connor suggests starting with a three-page personal statement and then reviewing length requirements and adjusting accordingly. This often involves tightening of language or deleting entire paragraphs.
Next, use the statement of interest section to be school specific. This is the time to flex your research muscles and cite specific clinics, journals or even extracurricular activities that interest you and make you a good fit for the school. If there is no opportunity for a statement of interest, O’Connor suggests putting in a school-specific paragraph or two to the personal statement.
Third, submit the correct recommendations. A failure to do this step could lead to assured rejection from a school and definite embarrassment. Often recommenders will submit school-specific recommendations. Don’t let that school-specific recommendation go to the wrong school. Don’t let that happen…because it already has in some cases.
Finally, proofread. And then have someone else proofread. And then do it again. Sometimes reading the essay out loud will help. O’Connor points out that it is more than just proofreading essays. Applicants and their editors should proof the entire application—from the name on the application to the last sentence of the statement of interest.
Shawn P. O’Connor is the founder of StratusPrep and has contributed to Tipping The Scales.
Source: U.S. News
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