You have your rough draft and you’re ready to start editing. What should you watch out for? What are some mistakes to avoid?
- Mistake #1: You repeated your resume or letters of rec.
Your personal statement shouldn’t be a resume-in-prose. It shouldn’t list your jobs, educational background, or awards. That information is already in your resume and letters of recommendation and doesn’t need to be repeated. Use your personal statement as an opportunity to present new and different information about yourself.
- Mistake #2: You complained about the legal profession.
Sure, it’s culturally acceptable to tell lawyer jokes, but the admissions committee isn’t interested in what you think is wrong with the legal profession. Remember, you want to join them, so don’t knock them, even if you’re “just joking.”
- Mistake #3: You tried too hard to be cute or funny.
A touch of light-heartedness can work, but don’t put yourself down, be sarcastic, or write a fake legal memo in lieu of an essay. It just doesn’t work in personal statements.
- Mistake #4: You were too vague.
Make sure you “show don’t tell.” Don’t make vague statements that sound like they would be found in an advertisement for law school. Show the admissions committee exactly what you mean through the use of interesting stories, colorful details, and vivid examples.
- Mistake #5: You didn’t proofread your essay.
Your essay should be error-free and easy to read. Avoid too-long sentences and make sure you have someone else proofread it. Law is a writing profession and mistakes are generally inexcusable.
Writing a compelling and well-written personal statement is one of the most important steps towards your law school acceptance. Do you need one-on-one guidance for this vital law school admissions element? Work one-on-one with a law school admissions advisor who will help you create a winning personal statement that will get you ACCEPTED!