Crafting Your Best Law School Personal Statement

Law School Expert Blog

I just finished presenting to 160+ law school applicants through a webinar for MSU Law School. Everyone asked great questions tonight and I’m opening up this blog post tonight to answer any questions about “Crafting Your Best Law School Personal Statement and Other Winning Tips for Law School Admission” that we were unable to answer during our session tonight. Just leave comments and I will reply.

Thanks so much for your comments and feedback about the session.

For those of you who missed it, we talked about the do’s and don’t for personal statements and other aspects of the application process.

11 Responses

  1. Thanks for answering my question re: race and ethnicity with tonight’s webinar on personal statements. I have two more questions: is it possible if participants receive transcripts on tonight’s discussion? Also this afternoon, I asked one of my recommenders to write a letter of recommendation. I am applying to 14 schools and she’s the co-owner of an independent bookstore where I worked for three years as an bookseller and events coordinator. You state that the recommender should follow these three rules when writing the letter: supervision, setting up the story, and statement of facts. Should I mention these tips to my recommender, considering she did say–quite blankly–, “what should I say in the letter?”

    1. Hi Guy,
      I’m not sure how MSU is handling the transcript issue from today’s presentation, but if it becomes available I will definitely announce it here.
      Yes, please share these tips with the person writing your letter, and give her as much concrete info as she needs to help her since she probably hasn’t written a law school rec letter before. There’s more info about LORs in my book, if that’s helpful for you.

  2. Hello Ann,

    I have thought long and hard and decided that law school is for me, even though I am a history major and didn’t do the pre-law track at my school. I also have no idea what area of law I want to practice in the future, so how do I convince the admissions people that I’m serious?

    1. Lisa,
      History is a wonderful pre-law major! You shouldn’t try to claim you know what you want to do, just show that you’ve thought long and hard about it.

  3. @Ann Levine
    Thanks for the response, Ann! And since we’re on still on this topic, I am curious to ask another large question. I have a learning disability and took a few assistance courses in high school. (And although I feared and hated the label, I felt I could succeed without receiving any accommodations during my undergraduate career).

    During my freshman year at LSU, I was placed on academic probation (needless to say, I was unfocused–i.e. excessive partying–and unprepared for the demands of college life) for a semester and I felt ashamed. After re-grouping and taking full responsibility of my actions by working for a year and paying off credit card debt (while taking an independent study course to improve my GPA), I returned to LSU and made dean’s list (3.8) and steadily improved my UGPA since then. However, in addition to going to school full-time , I worked two part-time jobs (and volunteered as a college radio DJ) which was quite difficult to balance and caused my UGPA to oscillate in some semesters.

    My main question is this, Ann: Should I disclose my learning disability in the personal statement and whether it would affect my studies in law school? Should I explain–in an addendum–that the poor grades during my freshman year do not reflect my academic and intellectual abilities as a student nor character, maturity, or personal growth as I am right now?

    Sorry for the redundant questions! I plan to purchase your book as soon as possible. Again, thanks!

    1. Guy,
      These are really involved and personal questions and are not things I can answer within a blog format because I would need to know so much more about you to evaluate whether you should submit an addendum and your chances at particular law schools. I would need to review transcripts, LSAC reports, and to know everything else in your application to give you solid feedback. If you are looking for a law school admission consultant, information is available here.

  4. @Guy Anglade

    Also, what are the chances of someone with a low GPA and low LSAT score getting in a decent law program? My top school is a tie between University of Iowa, UW-Madison, and University of Miami. Let me know and thanks!

  5. Hi Ann,

    When laws schools say double-spaced, do they literally mean double-spaced or is 1.5 acceptable? And how do admission people see a personal statement that is slightly (half page) over two pages if they suggest the ‘two pages double-spaced’ guideline?

    Thanks for the posts!!

    1. Chloe, If you can’t follow directions on an application then law schools will assume you won’t be able to follow the law as an attorney ; )
      Follow the directions! I’ve never met a personal statement that couldn’t be made stronger when cut down to two pages double spaced. It’s amazing how many extra words people use to convey their ideas…..
      Good luck!

  6. Hi Ann,

    I’ve read your book and I’m writing my personal statement now. Would it be okay for me to write in my statement what about the school interests me, considering there are no optional essays for this particular school? Also, can I say that the school is my first choice in my statement, or does that sound like flattery, even if it is true?

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