You Are Viewing Law School Personal Statement

April 3rd, 2013

6 Tips for Writing an Epic Law School Personal Statement

Written by admin

(Photo Source: ayelienne)

Write about yourself. Do it now. Thanks!

The abrupt nature of this demand combined with a lack of practice will usually result in bad writing. From miniature autobiographies to abstract musings on current events, such topics typically obliterate a personal statement’s relevance, cohesiveness, and flow.

Whether for academic or professional purposes, we rarely discuss our personal narratives. The unfortunate reality is that most people have not had practice writing about themselves in years if ever—resulting in ineffective and inappropriate personal statement topics. To put it simply, you’re not alone! And that’s why we’re here to help.

In the following article, we will discuss tendencies to avoid when writing your law school personal statement. We will also provide critical guidelines for effective writing that you can use in all of your application documents.

Continue Reading…

March 30th, 2013

Law School Personal Statement Formatting: What You Need To Know

Written by admin

Finished Example of Law School Personal Statement Formatting
This is what your finished law school essay should look like when properly formatted.

If you were wondering how to format your law school personal statement, this is how it should be done. Please note that we are using Microsoft Office’s Word 2010 to make our formatting adjustments, so if you have a different version of Word or are using another word processor, the procedure may be slightly different. However, the end result should be the same.

Continue Reading…

March 19th, 2013

Law School Personal Statement Header Format: What Should Be in Yours

Written by admin

Step Twelve
Personal Statement Header

Much of the application process now takes place online. Some schools have you submit your personal statement in a web form directly, which would negate the need for a header. However, when required to upload a Word file of your personal statement or send a paper copy with your application documents, be sure to include a proper header.

Continue Reading…

January 13th, 2013

Avoiding the Unauthorized Practice of Law in Your Personal Statement

Written by admin

(Photo Source: caliorg)

Disclaimer: the contents of this post DO NOT constitute legal advice. If you suspect that you may have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, you should immediately seek legal advice from an attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

A common misconception about getting into law school is that legal experience is required. It’s not. But many applicants, laboring under this misconception, tend to exaggerate their legal experience. This is a potentially dangerous idea as it could suggest that the applicant was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.

What is the Unauthorized Practice of Law?

Although you may have learned quite a bit about the law in undergraduate classes or through work experience, you are not a lawyer until you are admitted to a state’s bar. This means that you should you not provide legal advice or perform legal work for anyone other than yourself.

As noted by a Harvard handbook:

As future practicing lawyers, law students have standards of professional behavior and responsibilities expected of them. Please be advised that every state, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, has statutes and rules that prohibit the “unauthorized practice of law.”

The practice of law is broadly defined and can include providing advice, in addition to direct representation. Just as one must get a license to practice medicine, one must be admitted to the bar in a particular state to be able to practice law. Law students are permitted to do legal work for clients as long as the student is working as an individual supervised by an attorney admitted to practice law in the relevant jurisdiction and that attorney takes responsibility for the legal work. Engaging in the unauthorized practice of law may result in criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

To read the American Bar Association’s Model Rule of Professional Conduct prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law, which is adopted by many states, visit: Model Rule 5.5.

What this Means For You

So what does this mean for you and your personal statement? It simply means to be careful about what you write.

For example, it is not uncommon for someone to accompany a family member to court for moral support. Under no circumstances, however, should you write that you gave that person legal advice or appeared on their behalf.

Similarly, if you worked in any legal capacity, including as an intern, paralegal, or secretary for a law firm or state office, do not exaggerate your responsibilities. Do not make it seem as if you, without direct supervision, were representing clients or performing legal work. Do not say that you were “running” the office. You were not the lawyer.

Do not misinterpret this blog post as meaning that you cannot talk about your legal experience. If you have meaningful legal experience, then of course you should write about it. Just be mindful about what you write and how you write it.

December 10th, 2012

Applying to Law School Through LSDAS: Always Read the Instructions

Written by admin

(Photo Source: christopherwilkie)

As you probably know, applying to law school is a competitive numbers game: LSAT score, GPA, class size, and number of applicants to name a few. This explains why most law school applicants cast a wide net by applying to several schools.

When applying to multiple schools, it can be tempting to try to finish the application as quickly as possible. This is especially true if the applicant has other obligations, such as classes or a job.

However, speeding through an application is not advisable. In particular, you should never skip the “Instructions” section of the application because it often contains requirements that are not specified in the remainder of the application.

For example, consider Boston College Law School’s application. The prompt, the part where you upload your personal statement, states the following:

Please provide us with a personal statement that demonstrates your interest and capacity for the study of law. In crafting your essay, you may wish to consider one or more of the following topics, or you may choose a topic of your own: a.) a major life experience that has shaped your world view; b.) significant coursework undertaken in college, and/or any professional experience; c.) unique personal characteristics or traits that you will bring to the BC Law community.

If you only read the prompt, then you would assume that Boston College Law School has no length or formatting requirements for their personal statement. This assumption would be incorrect because the instructions section requires the following:

We are interested particularly in learning about your motivation and preparation for the study of law as well as any circumstances that you believe relevant to the evaluation of your credentials. Your personal statement should be no more than two or three pages, double-spaced, with your name on each page.

As you can see, if you ignored the instructions section, then you would not have been informed that your personal statement needs to be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, and have your name on each page.

We know that completing multiple law school applications can be stressful, but we encourage you to slow down and pay attention to the details of every application. Doing so could be the difference between admission, admission with a scholarship, or rejection.

November 19th, 2011

Law School Application Checklist: Avoid Becoming a Horror Story

Written by admin

(Photo Source:

For the last several months, law school applicants have strenuously studied for the LSAT. Countless hours have gone into learning the specific tips and tricks that will guarantee them an impressive score.

Many have focused so much effort on the LSAT, that they will forget to scrutinize their law school applications for errors.

The Gradvocates Editing Team has compiled a checklist to assist you in this undertaking and to help you avoid becoming an application “horror story” that we too often read about online.

Continue Reading…