Personal Statement and Writing Sample

    Every law school will require you to submit some form of personal writing.  Even those of you with top credentials will want to spend the time necessary to submit a quality example of your writing.  Writing ability is very important to success in law school.  The admitting committees of the various law schools will use the writing portion of the LSAT, your personal statement and any other requested writing, and any reference to your writing ability in your recommendations in deciding whether or not you can write sufficiently well to make it in law school.
    The personal statement might serve a number of functions depending on your situation and the admitting methodology of the school to which you are applying.  For instance, if you are an in-state applicant to one of that state’s law schools and you have top credentials, the personal statement might only be used to make sure you can form a sentence.  Your admission will largely be decided on credentials alone. 
    But the farther one gets from top credentials the more important the personal statement becomes.  While a great portion of the law school class will be determined by credentials, a certain number of people are admitted for other reasons.  These folks are admitted not purely for their credentials, but because it appears that they are capable of doing the work and would fill out the class in some other manner.  The admission committee wants a diverse class.  Diversity of enrollees provides a certain breadth and richness to the educational experience.  It is through the personal statement that the admission committees are made aware of what these students will bring to the class.  Of course certain applicants are highly qualified and bring a richness of diversity to the table.  That’s why all applicants should be sure to describe applicable life experiences and background in the personal statement. 
    Have you suffered from a disability you can describe?  Was English the second language in your home while growing up?  Has your life been filled with interesting experiences? 
    Remember to elaborate.  In other words, the mere fact that one possesses a disability, is not that interesting or uncommon.  The fact that one possesses a disability and is a wheelchair athlete shows a certain admirable resilience.  The fact that one has recently immigrated isn't that interesting or uncommon.  The fact that one has recently immigrated and started a business shows a certain gusto.  Remember, provide richness of description about your station in life.
    A word of caution is in order.  Only submit material to the admission committee that you produced!  Submitting material you did not produce is just plain bad behavior aside from the obvious ethical violation.  90% of all law school exams are essay format.  For those who cheat their way into law school, a surprise awaits.  The faculty will quickly sniff out abominable writing ability. 
    There are books available to give tips for writing winning essays.  You could also try for tips and sample essays.  Type "law school personal statements" or something similar into your web browser and you'll be inundated with possibilities.
     Over the years i have occasionally assisted applicants for a reasonable fee.  My services generally involve editing of personal statements and general discussion and advice.  If you're interested, contact me and we'll see if we're a good fit.