OK, I understand that applying to law school can be a frightening proposition and that you are looking for all the help you can get – and that’s why you are scouring the internet and the book stores for law school personal statement samples.
Well stop it.
You don’t need samples to show you how to write your law school personal statement. Each and every application you are completing tells you exactly what you need to know. The school has defined the rules, including how long the law school personal statement should be, what topics should be addressed, and frequently what topics should be avoided.
But, many ask, shouldn’t I look at what others have done to give me an idea of how to do it? While this is often good advice – and is something I frequently do in my law practice – I fervently believe that it is something that should be avoided when it comes to the law school personal statement.
The main reason you should avoid reading law school personal statement samples is that they all look the same, and you run the very real risk of looking the same if you follow those samples. In every area of life the great reward go to the outstanding people – not the good, or even excellent performers. To be outstanding, you need to do things differently than every one else.
The problem is that everyone is scared to death of screwing up their law school application by not giving the admissions committee what they expect. This kind of thinking probably won’t hurt you, because 99% of the law school personal statements they review are exactly the same. Such thinking will definitely, however, not help you because you cannot be outstanding if you look like everyone else.
Let’s face it, if you are shooting for the moon and trying to get into a law school that is not going to accept you based on your grades and LSAT scores alone, then turning in a bland personal statement isn’t going to do anything for you. You need to do something to set yourself apart, and the personal statement is one of the few areas you have an opportunity to do that.
I’m not recommending that you be crazy and violate the rules set down by the school, but I am recommending that you use those rules as your boundaries and fashion something truly personal, and different. By avoiding the same samples that every one else is reading you stand a better chance of falling in with the sheeple you are competing with.
Your goal is to get into a good law school and its my job to help you achieve that goal. One of the most important pieces of advice I can give is to encourage you to stand out, so make that personal statement yours and not someone elses.
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