Law school applications are meant to be personal. But just how much sharing is too much and what things should applicants avoid in their application?
Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and a contributor at US News, recently discussed four common “self-sabotaging” mistakes law school applicants should avoid.
FOCUSING TOO MUCH ON NEGATIVITY
While it is important to call out gaps in your resume or GPA, Kuris says focusing too much on the negative isn’t helpful.
“Resist the urge to overexplain your faults,” Kuris writes.” The more you draw attention to them, the more they will overshadow your strengths. Even worse, you may seem like a perfectionist too fragile to handle feeling like a fool in a law school classroom.”
Being truthful is important when putting together your application. However, Kuris cautions applicants not to share too much.
“In a law school application, you are advocating for your admission, not defending your whole life,” Kuris writes. “Your task is to speak truthfully about your candidacy. If personal issues got in the way, talk about how you managed them, not their messy details.”
Rather, experts say, applicants can use an addendum to discuss gaps in their resume or application. The key is to have an objective tone when writing your addendum.
“While emotion and personality are welcome in your essays, your addendum should be a statement,” Shawn P. O’Connor, a contributor at US News, writes. “Again, if you get too emotional, the text may start to sound like excuses rather than additional information.”
Professionalism in an application, Kuris says, comes down to following the rules and paying attention to detail.
“Law is an exacting and detail-oriented profession,” Kuris writes. “A failure to follow the rules of the application process is an unmissable red flag. Pay close attention to deadlines, word limits, formatting instructions and guidance about letters of recommendation and addenda.”
Admissions officers have thousands of applications to go over. It’s important to keep your application clean and concise and to avoid redundancy where possible.
“…Resist the urge to take up all the space you can on your law school application,” Kuris writes. “Before answering optional essay prompts, or tacking on extra pages to your resume, ask yourself whether you are adding anything new to your application.”
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