Personal Statement


mdm31
I know we are all in a different phase here (anxiously awaiting admissions results), but I thought it would be useful to post this link to future applicants. This is Faye Deal's (SLS) advice regarding personal statements.

http://blogs.law.stanford.edu/admissions/2012/12/09/getting-to-know-you-getting-to-know-all-about-you/
I know we are all in a different phase here (anxiously awaiting admissions results), but I thought it would be useful to post this link to future applicants. This is Faye Deal's (SLS) advice regarding personal statements.

http://blogs.law.stanford.edu/admissions/2012/12/09/getting-to-know-you-getting-to-know-all-about-you/
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I think the blog post is very interesting, but I am wondering whether applications for a J.D. and a LL.M. should have a personal statement of the same nature. For a J.D. application, Stanford states that a personal statement should "[describe] important or unusual aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent in your application". For a LL.M. application, on the other hand, Stanford states it seeks "information about the applicant's experience in legal practice, and interest in graduate study" and that the statement should also discuss "the applicant's professional goals, and how the completion of an LLM degree could benefit his or her legal career".

I am certainly no expert in personal statements, and I do believe that all personal statements - similar to any text, really - should try to capture the reader, but I am thinking that a personal statement for a LL.M. should perhaps be somewhat more concrete.

What are your thoughts?
I think the blog post is very interesting, but I am wondering whether applications for a J.D. and a LL.M. should have a personal statement of the same nature. For a J.D. application, Stanford states that a personal statement should "[describe] important or unusual aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent in your application". For a LL.M. application, on the other hand, Stanford states it seeks "information about the applicant's experience in legal practice, and interest in graduate study" and that the statement should also discuss "the applicant's professional goals, and how the completion of an LLM degree could benefit his or her legal career".

I am certainly no expert in personal statements, and I do believe that all personal statements - similar to any text, really - should try to capture the reader, but I am thinking that a personal statement for a LL.M. should perhaps be somewhat more concrete.

What are your thoughts?
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mdm31
I agree with you - I also believe that the personal statement for an LLM should describe career achievements, how the LLM will contribute to that, etc, instead of just describing our personality or what we think of the world. But I also think that sometimes we waste too much time trying to find that "wow" factor, instead of just writing down everything there is to know about us (which, for the LLM, I agree should concentrate on, but not me limited to, the professional side). I think the questions she sets in the end of the text would have helped me a while ago when writing the personal statement.
I agree with you - I also believe that the personal statement for an LLM should describe career achievements, how the LLM will contribute to that, etc, instead of just describing our personality or what we think of the world. But I also think that sometimes we waste too much time trying to find that "wow" factor, instead of just writing down everything there is to know about us (which, for the LLM, I agree should concentrate on, but not me limited to, the professional side). I think the questions she sets in the end of the text would have helped me a while ago when writing the personal statement.
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GodBless
This is a really interesting piece!
The term 'personal story' definitely seems less intimidating!
But all I want to know is..
Suppose, we are completely honest and we write exactly what our story is.. no exaggeration, none at all... what if our story is not interesting enough? even in the best creative version of it?
What if I'm just a regular student who is good at what she does, has a decent job after law school and there are no interesting events that have transpired in my life to give me reasons for what I do? What if I am a lawyer purely because the study interests me? How do they rate our stories then?
This is a really interesting piece!
The term 'personal story' definitely seems less intimidating!
But all I want to know is..
Suppose, we are completely honest and we write exactly what our story is.. no exaggeration, none at all... what if our story is not interesting enough? even in the best creative version of it?
What if I'm just a regular student who is good at what she does, has a decent job after law school and there are no interesting events that have transpired in my life to give me reasons for what I do? What if I am a lawyer purely because the study interests me? How do they rate our stories then?
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mdm31
I strongly believe that everyone has something interesting to write in the personal statement.

In my case, I didnt have any particular interesting event to tell, nothing absolutely amazing happened in my life and I became a lawyer purely because the study interests me. I was a regular student, certainly not the best in my class. No outstanding extracurriculars or publications (very few study groups, a teaching assistant position, one publication). But I was in good law schools and I always tried to get relatively good grades. My strong point was my work experience and I made that very clear in my PS. I described very carefully the work I do, the transactions I've been involved in and a few things about myself that I believe make me a good lawyer. I also focused on the arguments of how I would benefit from the LLM and why I chose that particular school.

My point is, everybody certainly has something good to tell and I believe this should be the main point of the personal statement. Just write down the most important things about your life, career, etc and do not worry too much if that is going to make you stand out or if other people are more interesting than you. And of course, cross your fingers and count on the diversity factor ;)
I strongly believe that everyone has something interesting to write in the personal statement.

In my case, I didnt have any particular interesting event to tell, nothing absolutely amazing happened in my life and I became a lawyer purely because the study interests me. I was a regular student, certainly not the best in my class. No outstanding extracurriculars or publications (very few study groups, a teaching assistant position, one publication). But I was in good law schools and I always tried to get relatively good grades. My strong point was my work experience and I made that very clear in my PS. I described very carefully the work I do, the transactions I've been involved in and a few things about myself that I believe make me a good lawyer. I also focused on the arguments of how I would benefit from the LLM and why I chose that particular school.

My point is, everybody certainly has something good to tell and I believe this should be the main point of the personal statement. Just write down the most important things about your life, career, etc and do not worry too much if that is going to make you stand out or if other people are more interesting than you. And of course, cross your fingers and count on the diversity factor ;)
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GodBless
@mdm31.. that was exactly what I was saying.
You're strong factor is your work ex which is great. And that counts for more than anything else could.

In my case, I graduated only in 2012 and have been gaining experience since then. But I have really strong personal factors which I think have pushed me into law apart from the fact that I find the study of law fascinating!
Apart from that I was a good student.. straight A's. I have good extra curriculars too. But the most important factor for me is that I am focused on improving my country. (this is not just for law school). I have a LOT of community service. And whatever education I am gaining and the earning I will get from that, I will spend in the same; especially educating children and women. So I highlighted that in my PS. I also come from a business background and that's how I became interested in Business law to begin with. And reasons for choosing a particular school and how I might fit into the academic community there is always there!

I don't know if that is a story which the committee will notice but its my story and it's special to me. So hopefully, the schools can see that :)
@mdm31.. that was exactly what I was saying.
You're strong factor is your work ex which is great. And that counts for more than anything else could.

In my case, I graduated only in 2012 and have been gaining experience since then. But I have really strong personal factors which I think have pushed me into law apart from the fact that I find the study of law fascinating!
Apart from that I was a good student.. straight A's. I have good extra curriculars too. But the most important factor for me is that I am focused on improving my country. (this is not just for law school). I have a LOT of community service. And whatever education I am gaining and the earning I will get from that, I will spend in the same; especially educating children and women. So I highlighted that in my PS. I also come from a business background and that's how I became interested in Business law to begin with. And reasons for choosing a particular school and how I might fit into the academic community there is always there!

I don't know if that is a story which the committee will notice but its my story and it's special to me. So hopefully, the schools can see that :)
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MaryLaw
Hey everyone,

Do we need to include a title (i.e "personal statement)" and our name in the p.s.? Since it is a part of our application, isn't it clear that it's written about ourselves?

Thank you!
Hey everyone,

Do we need to include a title (i.e "personal statement)" and our name in the p.s.? Since it is a part of our application, isn't it clear that it's written about ourselves?

Thank you!
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mdm31
Hey everyone,

Do we need to include a title (i.e "personal statement)" and our name in the p.s.? Since it is a part of our application, isn't it clear that it's written about ourselves?

Thank you!


Some schools ask you to write your name on top of the page, so I did that for all applications. But I didnt include a title in any of my PS.
<blockquote>Hey everyone,

Do we need to include a title (i.e "personal statement)" and our name in the p.s.? Since it is a part of our application, isn't it clear that it's written about ourselves?

Thank you!</blockquote>

Some schools ask you to write your name on top of the page, so I did that for all applications. But I didnt include a title in any of my PS.
quote

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