Getting started on your personal essay for law school can seem like the most daunting part of the application process. Choosing a topic, a style, and perfecting your tone are difficult enough for any essay, especially the one that will accompany the rest of your law school application. But with the right approach and a better understanding of what makes a strong personal statement for law school admissions committees, you will confident sending in your best effort.

First, do not give a general overview of everything you have done. While this may be tempting and seem like a natural starting point, that is exactly what your resume does. Admissions consultants will already read that, so avoid being repetitive. The personal essay is a great opportunity to shed more light on a particular aspect of yourself that may not get highlighted in your resume, so take advantage of it!

Another important piece of advice is not to start or end your essay with a quote. It is acceptable to use some in the body of the essay, but admissions committees are interested in your voice, in your opinion and your perspective and using a quote can sound clichéd.

Last, it’s also important not to write what you think your law school wants to hear. Above all: be genuine. Admissions committees use the personal essay to get a feel for an applicant outside of their resume and transcripts. They want to know what its going to be like with you as a student in their program, what it will be like to sit next to you in class, or what it will be like to talk to you outside of class. The personal statement is a chance to show you are a unique candidate and will be a great addition to their program.

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