Personal Statement


TwelfthMon...

So I was thinking... You read all these dos and donts on various websites, including "perfect" personal statements who make you more teary-eyed than that moment Bambi's mother died. The main message being that the personal statement'd better be a fine piece of emotional entertainment than a dry summary of your lifetime achievements.

On the other hand: Doesn't that obviously apply much more to JD applications than the one year LLM programs (esp. the ones for foreign students who already have their law degree and have mostly worked for years)? I'm all for nice little anecdotes with a "and that's how I realized I want to become the White Knight for Justice" conclusion, but I don't think that's an appropriate approach for people who obtained a law degree and basically seek to upgrade it in an exciting new environment; i.e. there's no more need to poetically prove one's "passion for law".

But mabye I got it all wrong.

So I was thinking... You read all these dos and donts on various websites, including "perfect" personal statements who make you more teary-eyed than that moment Bambi's mother died. The main message being that the personal statement'd better be a fine piece of emotional entertainment than a dry summary of your lifetime achievements.

On the other hand: Doesn't that obviously apply much more to JD applications than the one year LLM programs (esp. the ones for foreign students who already have their law degree and have mostly worked for years)? I'm all for nice little anecdotes with a "and that's how I realized I want to become the White Knight for Justice" conclusion, but I don't think that's an appropriate approach for people who obtained a law degree and basically seek to upgrade it in an exciting new environment; i.e. there's no more need to poetically prove one's "passion for law".

But mabye I got it all wrong.
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gizzajob

I know what you mean, some websites out there have the most farcical examples of personal statements - the fact of the matter is that if they make the applicants cringe, particularly at postgraduate level, they are likely to make the admissions tutor cringe, also.

I think conveying your passion for the new exciting area you plan to head into is important, but going to ridiculous lengths to do so is pointless. Show how your previous studies, outside reading, work experience, volunteering and interning have led to you deciding you want to study this area. Tell them what you think you'll get out of studying - acceptance into academia or a career in the field? This is not a degree in literature or creative writing, so your ability to gush is completely irrelevant. I'm saying this as someone who received a number of UK LL.M offers for next september, so I guess I might be off the mark with regards the US LL.M. I get the impression that, since these websites tend to be .com, they are more relevant to American applicants, but like you said, probably those for their first law degree.

Then mention how you came to the conclusion that you want to attend that institution in particular. Which academics do you respect there? Is the course structure particularly beneficial to you and your interests?

Those two points are pretty key in my opinion - you should only be writing for a page, so once you've conveyed passion for your school and your subject there won't be much room.

I know what you mean, some websites out there have the most farcical examples of personal statements - the fact of the matter is that if they make the applicants cringe, particularly at postgraduate level, they are likely to make the admissions tutor cringe, also.

I think conveying your passion for the new exciting area you plan to head into is important, but going to ridiculous lengths to do so is pointless. Show how your previous studies, outside reading, work experience, volunteering and interning have led to you deciding you want to study this area. Tell them what you think you'll get out of studying - acceptance into academia or a career in the field? This is not a degree in literature or creative writing, so your ability to gush is completely irrelevant. I'm saying this as someone who received a number of UK LL.M offers for next september, so I guess I might be off the mark with regards the US LL.M. I get the impression that, since these websites tend to be .com, they are more relevant to American applicants, but like you said, probably those for their first law degree.

Then mention how you came to the conclusion that you want to attend that institution in particular. Which academics do you respect there? Is the course structure particularly beneficial to you and your interests?

Those two points are pretty key in my opinion - you should only be writing for a page, so once you've conveyed passion for your school and your subject there won't be much room.
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P_Martini

Well, come on then! You're a lawyer. Make an argument for yourself. Not to say I would phrase it exactly like this, but why do you want to spend the money and effort to get an LL.M. in your subject? If you have the marks, and you give good reasons why you are motivated to do it and why it makes sense for them to let this particular applicant with these particular qualities and bullet-points on a CV (That's you.) do it, then you'll find a good programme somewhere!

Well, come on then! You're a lawyer. Make an argument for yourself. Not to say I would phrase it exactly like this, but why do you want to spend the money and effort to get an LL.M. in your subject? If you have the marks, and you give good reasons why you are motivated to do it and why it makes sense for them to let this particular applicant with these particular qualities and bullet-points on a CV (That's you.) do it, then you'll find a good programme somewhere!
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