Tag Archives: law school application

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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Tips for Preparing a Competitive Law School Application

law student

Are you currently in the process of applying for law school and need help preparing your law school application packet? We understand the admissions process isn’t exactly an easy one. We’ve put together these tips that will guide you step-by-step on putting together a competitive law school application.

Components of a Law School Application Packet

First, let’s break down what’s included in your law school application packet.

  1. Law School application
  2. CAS report – includes: letters of recommendation, transcripts, writing sample, LSAT score
  3. Personal Statement
  4. Resume
  5. Addendum(s) – optional

Completing The Law School Application

All law school applications are different. Be sure to answer all questions thoroughly and accurately. If you are ever in doubt as to what a question means, do not hesitate to reach out to an Admissions counselor for clarification. Our admissions team is always here to help.

CAS Report

  • Send all undergraduate transcripts to LSAC.
  • You do not need to submit a separate writing sample. Instead, your writing sample is part of your LSAT. The Admissions Committee reviews the writing sample to gauge writing skills and analytical ability.
  • Letters of Recommendation submitted directly to LSAC by your recommenders.

Submitting Letters of Recommendation

  • If you are a recent graduate, try to obtain at least one letter from a professor. He or she can speak to your scholastic ability and work ethic.
  • If you are not a recent graduate, you may ask an employer or someone who can speak about your work ethic.
  • Do not ask family or friends to write you a letter.
  • Make sure the person you ask knows you well and supports your decision to attend law school.
  • Provide the recommender with your resume and personal statement so he or she may gain further insight into why you want to attend law school and why you will be a valuable addition to the classroom.
  • Make sure to ask the recommender if he or she will be able to provide you with a positive/strong recommendation.

Law School Application Personal Statement

The personal statement allows the reviewer to gain insight into whom you are beyond your potential for academic excellence and why you might be a strong addition to the incoming class. The personal statement is also reviewed for writing ability and attention to detail. The personal statement may also be used to gain insight into an applicant’s motivation and interest in law school.

When brainstorming topics, consider the following:

  • What abilities, skills, or talents do you have that will help you become an outstanding law student and lawyer?
  • Why do you want to earn a law degree?
  • What life experiences or people have inspired and helped you become the person you are today?
  • What are your professional goals?
  • Be authentic.
  • Proofread! Proofread! Proofread! As your reviewing edits to your personal statement, keep in mind what message you are trying to communicate to the reviewer.

Law School Application Resume

We previously shared some tips for preparing your law school application resume. Remember the following:

  • Physical appearance: Make your resume easy to read. Use a template, good spacing, and a standard font (such as Times New Roman). Do not include photos or designs, avoid different colors. Remember, you want to make it look professional.
  • Education: Focus on college not high school. You can mention any honors, awards, or student organizations you were involved with during your time of attendance.
  • Work Experience: This section is where you will list and elaborate on any jobs or internships you have had. You can include both paid and unpaid work experience.
  • Bottom of Page: This is where you can list any extra-curricular activities; community service, publications, sports, etc. This gives the reader more insight into who you are and what you have to offer.
  • Proofread: Your resume must be error free. Read it out loud to yourself and ask at least one other person to review it as well. Remember, spell check doesn’t catch every error.
  • Length: Your resume should be one page. Focus only on the positive aspects of your previous career, education, and volunteer work.

Addendum(s)

These supplemental statements can be used to address any concerns you believe the Admissions Committee may have about your application. For example: academic probation, character and fitness issues, gap in time on your resume, low LSAT score, etc. You may also provide a supplemental statement to inform the Committee of any information that was not provided in the required portion of the application such as, diverse professional or personal life experiences.

For more detailed tips on preparing a law school application, check out Coastal Law’s webinar on Step-by-Step Guide to the Law School Admissions Process.

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