A strong personal statement enable admissions officers to better understand specifically why you want to attend their law school.
Identifying your passions and the challenges you’ve overcome are both characteristics that make a quality personal statement.
But what should you avoid when it comes to writing your personal statement? The experts at Stratus Admissions Consulting recently discussed common cliches that applicants should avoid in their essays.
WHEN IT COMES TO OVERCOMING ADVERSITY AND HARDSHIP
Discussing what challenges and hardships you’ve overcame can make for a powerful essay. However, experts say, there’s a compelling way and not so compelling way to discuss adversity and hardship.
“A truly ‘next level’ essay will go beyond explaining how overcoming such challenges has enabled you to better relate to marginalized people in society,” according to Stratus. “It will take that analysis a step further and examine the position of privilege and relative advantages that have enabled you to make the choices you did. Maybe you had particularly supportive parents or access to resources that others lacked. How did that impact your ability to rise above those challenges.”
WHEN IT COMES TO VOLUNTEER WORK
Applicants often discuss what kind of volunteer work they’ve done that helps a marginalized community.
They key to discussing your volunteer work is to be genuine and self-aware when discussing your experience.
“A first-rate personal statement will articulate your depth of experience and reflect on those experiences in a complex and insightful way,” according to Stratus. “For example, how becoming a lawyer might help you to better address the systemic forces of inequality that you observed. Resist the temptation to explain how you ‘solved’ your clients’ problems.”
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR POST GRAD PLANS
It’s important to have a clear sense of your goals for post law school. Experts say applicants should avoid including a wide range of career options and, instead, be specific about their goals.
“A strong personal statement conveys a sense of direction and details an area of intellectual curiosity or passion,” according to Stratus.