The #1 Mistake When Writing a Personal Statement for Law School

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The #1 Mistake When Writing a Personal Statement for Law School

Law school personal statements are a chance for applicants to showcase why a school should pick them over another student. A statement demonstrates a student’s writing skill, creativity, and background. Unfortunately, the statement can also be a double-edged sword. What can elevate you above the rest can also quickly disqualify you—if done wrong. 

There are basic guidelines, like using proper grammar and writing within the word limit. The key to a good personal statement lies beyond just avoiding basic mistakes. Trying too hard to impress or playing the sympathy card can be just as damaging to your chances as poor writing. There is one mistake, though, that stands above all the rest. Avoid writing this way at all costs. 

Writing Without a Purpose

The best way to derail your chances with the admissions committee is to write without a clear purpose. Listing your grades, activities, and career aspirations only goes so far. If there is no cohesive theme to draw all the thoughts together, the statement becomes a useless list of facts. With no rhyme or reason for your actions, there’s no way for an admissions committee to see what motivates you.

Schools want to know if you are worth taking a risk on. If you are not dedicated to a purpose, you most likely won’t excel in a law school environment. This makes admitting you a gamble for the admissions committee. 

Writing a law school personal statement with a clear sense of purpose shows you have the strong potential to thrive. It is also a good indicator that you will represent the school well. Knowing what you want and why you want it means you have a higher chance of achieving your goals. Writing with a sense of purpose makes you the kind of person an admissions committee is willing to invest in. 

How to Write with Purpose

Learning how to write a personal statement for law school is learning how to write with purpose. Be clear about who you are and what your goals are in life. Show how you proactively take advantage of the opportunities around you. Completing the bare minimum of work is not an enticing quality to schools looking for dedicated students. Speak about extracurricular activities, internships, volunteer positions—anything that was above and beyond the basic requirements. Where did you excel, and when did you learn from your failures? 

Most importantly, all of these points must fit into one cohesive theme. What influenced your choices when selecting these activities? Reflect on the “why” and show how one choice led to another. Create an overarching theme for your story. Draw it all together in a clear picture of where you have been and where you want to end up. 

A statement with a clear purpose tells admissions officers what kind of person you are and what is important to you. The answer to these questions will indicate if you will be a good fit for the school. Aimless writing demonstrates a lack of creativity and logic, both of which are necessary when studying law. 

How to Ace Your Personal Statement

It can be daunting to face something as important to your law school application as the personal statement. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. Personal Statement University takes the time to teach you how to stand out from the crowd and avoid fatal mistakes. We have streamlined the writing process, helping you to identify relevant facts about your background and shape a narrative that is uniquely yours.

Posted in
Branden Frankel, Esq.

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