Conveying Motivation in Law School Applications

Your desire to pursue law doesn’t have to start from an early age.

But it has to be a genuine interest in the field if you hope to get into a law school. At least, that’s what experts say.

Gabriel Kuris, a contributor at US News and founder of Top Law Coach, recently discussed how applicants can show their committed to law school.


Experts say law schools tend to seek out highly motivated applicants.

“Highly motivated law students are valuable to law schools because they are more likely to perform well, contribute to the campus community, succeed in their careers and feel warmly about their law school experience,” Kuris writes. “In turn, successful students provide tangible value to law schools by boosting their law school rankings and graduating into engaged and generous alumni.”

That motivation, Kuris says, is critical.

“They don’t want students for whom law school is a fallback option, or a feather in their cap, or a way to kick difficult life choices three years down the road,” Kuris writes. “They want highly motivated applicants who are enthusiastically committed to putting in the work it takes to succeed in the field of law.”


Kuris says there are a few ways an applicant can convey commitment and motivation in their application.

For one, Kuris says, it’s important to avoid clichés.

“Even if it’s true that you always wanted to be a lawyer, you spent your childhood arguing over everything and you love watching legal dramas, those things don’t communicate much information,” Kuris writes. “They make your impression of law sound shallow and cartoonish.”


Experts say when it comes to the personal statement, it’s important to remember the mantra “show, don’t tell.”

This means, detailing reasons why you’re a good fit for law school and demonstrating with examples to back up your story.

It also helps to ensure your story is unique.

“A story illustrating the reasons you want to go to law school is always going to be more effective than a generic essay that anyone could have written; remember the point of the law school personal statement is to show a law school something unique about yourself,” according to Kaplan Test Prep.


Kuris says that many applicants will use past experiences and stories to strengthen their story and application.

If your past experiences don’t match up, mention changes, but don’t dwell on it.

“Rather than sound defensive or overly apologetic about past career changes, focus on how your past experiences will complement your legal degree,” Kuris writes.

Doing so can further emphasize your motivation and commitment to a law career ahead.

“Law schools don’t expect you to have your whole life mapped out, or to commit to being a lawyer,” Kuris writes. “They just expect you to know what you’re getting into. Indeed, any law school uninterested in accepting highly motivated students is not a law school motivated to invest in your future.”

Sources: US News, Kaplan Test Prep

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