Author Archives: njones

Preparing Your Law School Personal Statement

The law school personal statement is your chance to shine. Many aspiring law students call the Admissions office to ask different questions about their personal statement. Common questions about the personal statement includes:

“How long should my personal statement be?”

“What should I write about in my personal statement?”

“What weight does my personal statement have?”

“Where do I even begin?”

The great thing about your personal statement is that it is the one part of your law school application that you have complete control over. In having this control, you should make your personal statement positive. The goal is to show us your strengths, show us your accomplishments, and finally show us who you are. You want your audience (the law school admissions committee) to act on your behalf once they have completed reading your statement.

There are many different structures of a personal statement and you need to choose the format that best captures you. Some examples include: a personal narrative or story, an explanation of chronological growth, or a presentation of a problem and how you solved it.

When thinking about your structure there are some things that you should NOT do. Some examples are: focusing on your weaknesses, using clichés or slang, discussing controversial issues, and providing us with a review of your academic history that is evident from your transcript. If you have any weaknesses that you would like to make us aware of you should write a separate statement as an addendum to your application. As stated above you want your personal statement to remain positive and show us who you are.

To help you prepare your personal statement, here are some top mistakes that the admissions committee finds in personal statements.

  • Spelling and grammatical errors
  • Sending a personal statement for School B, meant for school A
  • Focusing on your weaknesses instead of your strengths
  • Summarizing your resume
  • Not letting your personality come through
  • Not using quotation marks when using a quote and not citing sources

If you have any questions regarding your personal statement please do not hesitate to reach out to the Admissions Office at Coastal Law. You can always call us at 1-800-769-2125 or email us at admissions@fcsl.edu. We would be happy to provide some guidance.

 

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Coastal Law’s Third Year at Home

Florida Coastal School of Law is excited to announce our new “Third Year at Home” program that addresses the many challenges faced by law school students who desire to attend school in one place and take the Bar in another.

This new program allows students to complete their third year anywhere in the country and is based on three key offerings:

  • Distance Education – We offer a broad choice of distance education courses that meet ABA requirements and count towards degree requirements.
  • Externships – Whether a student chooses to return home or start a career somewhere else, we’ll assist in identifying and locating qualified externship opportunities.
  • State Specific Bar Prep – Prepare with classes that are specifically designed to help you take and pass your state’s bar.

 

Exciting opportunities are being offered at Coastal Law. This isn’t just an aspiration; whether it’s our ranking as one of the National Jurist magazine’s “A+ practice ready” law schools, or our ranking for having the nation’s #1 Moot Court team for two consecutive years, we’re serious about your future.

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What Motivates You to Go To Law School?

What Motivates Students to Go To Law School?

I was asked to write a blog about the “Value of attendance and Scholarship” as it relates to going to law school. I have to admit, at first, I was thrown by this request. Was I to keep it as simple as telling you to go class? Did you want another hack blog post on how to get a better law school scholarship and how to play the game? That would be too simple and probably even a little insulting to someone looking to go law school. Let’s “up” the game and start asking the real question. What motivates you?

External or Extrinsic Motivators To Go to Law School

When discussing motivation and law school, I get pulled into thinking about my favorite T.V. agent Ari Gold from the show Entourage. Ari is just a “lowly” Harvard grad with a J.D. /M.B.A from Michigan. One of his most memorable and honest quotes is, “Nobody’s happy in this town (L.A.) except for the losers. Look at me, I’m miserable, that’s why I’m rich.” This leads me to our first type of motivator, “external” or “extrinsic.” Extrinsic motivators include things like money, prestige, power, admiration. All of these “rewards” are external to the process of going to law school. To some, this is all they need. If you are this person, that’s okay. External rewards can induce interest and participation in something in which you had no initial concern. This seems a little backwards for a prospective student looking to spend the next three years of their lives doing nothing else but studying, going to class and dedicating any all free moments to learning the practice of law. If you are this person, this is something you might want to take a few minutes to think about.

Intrinsic Motivators  in Attending Law School

To be successful in law school, you will need to start with intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation involves engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding rather than the desire for some external reward. Our most successful students fall into this category. They are driven by an internal desire to practice law. They find the value in the Florida Coastal School of Law degree. Our motivation is intrinsic too. We promise to support and encourage the personal goals of each and every student. We’re not driven to move up a ranking by the same magazine that named Albuquerque the #1 city in America to live in. (Editor’s note: We are sure Albuquerque is a very nice city and we meant no disrespect to the people that live there. It’s not the city for me just like the top 14 law schools are not for everybody.) We’re driven by each student that walks into our classrooms, courtrooms, library and offices.

Finally, you’re probably asking, “Where is the scholarship portion of this blog?” Here it is. I recommend you do NOT go to a school that asks you, “What is it going to take (in terms of scholarship) to get you to deposit at my school. This is the #1 sign to turn and run as fast as you can.

 

Good luck with your law school search. If you want to talk to me about attending Coastal Law, shoot me an email (acardenas@fcsl.edu) or call the office and ask for Tony.

P.S. – As for happiness? Only you can figure that out. There are a lot of miserable lawyers out there. Guess what motivated them to attend law school.

-Tony

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