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Tips for Personal Statements

The personal statement is an excellent opportunity to convey who you are to law school admissions officers.

Yet, experts say, there’s a fine line between bragging and coming across modest.

Gabriel Kuris, a contributor at US News and founder of admissions consultancy Top Law Coach, recently discussed a few tips on how applicants can write an effective personal statement.


Experts says it’s important to tie the main points in your personal statement to real life examples.

“One of the most important things that you will do in your personal statement is tell one or more concise stories that demonstrate critical aspects of who you really are and what makes you special,” according to Kaplan Test Prep.

“Rather than say you’re hard-working, talk about a time when you pushed yourself and exceeded expectations,” Kuris writes. “Rather than say you stand up for what you believe in, talk about a time when you took a risk to do something you knew was right.”

Using real life examples helps solidify your traits and points.

“Real and specific anecdotes are more memorable, credible and interesting than self-descriptions, however accurate those descriptions may be,” Kuris writes.


Failures and missteps are inevitable.

Experts say it’s important to include these in your personal statement. Discussing missteps can demonstrate your growth and perseverance.

“Many great personal statements include humbling setbacks that became opportunities for growth and reflection,” Kuris writes. “Think of your favorite sports movie. Did the hero win every time? Stories of unblemished success are hard to believe and hard to feel invested in.”


Nobody wants to read about someone who takes themselves too seriously.

Kuris says adding a bit of humor can help lighten and also strengthen your essay.

“For example, if you did overseas volunteer work, talk about a funny miscommunication or cultural faux pas,” Kuris writes. “If you can show the reader you can laugh at yourself, the reader will have more patience when you brag about yourself.”

Sources: US News, Kaplan Test Prep