Take Five Steps To Craft A Great Law School Personal Statement
The time for law school applications is rapidly approaching. Even if you are taking the October LSAT, it is probably a good idea to begin preparing application materials. And the most time consuming is often the personal statement. Not to worry, Shawn O’Connor of Stratus Prep test preparation and admissions consulting firm, has you covered with a five-step process he takes his clients through.
First, brainstorm. Take the time for introspection on your life, who you are, what you’ve experienced, and how those experiences have shaped the person you are now. And then figure out a way to relate those thoughts to your pursuit of legal education. The example O’Connor gives is how one of his clients wrote largely about her academic discipline and work ethic but made it more interesting and less generic by including supportive anecdotes from her experiences training hard for triathlons.
Next, make an outline of a few key themes. It will help keep you focused and on message of what you want to communicate to the admissions committee. Third, write several drafts. This can be painful, especially for someone who doesn’t necessarily love to write. But it’s important will lead to a much better final product. O’Connor says expect to spend two to three weeks working through different drafts of your personal statement.
Fourth, get feedback. This goes beyond normal edits. Ask for large structural input. And O’Connor points out it’s good to have a diversity of people giving you feedback. It’s important to reach out to both current attorneys and someone within a law school, if possible. It’s also a good idea to get some feedback from someone close to you—either a friend or family member. They often see you in ways you don’t see yourself and know you well. They will want you to get into the best law school possible and will most likely give you suggestions you haven’t thought of.
Finally, proofread. And then proofread more. A good strategy for proofreading is to read out loud. If it doesn’t sound right when you say it, it won’t sound right when someone else reads it.
There you have it—a five-step process to a killer personal statement. Happy application season!
Source: U.S. News
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