While there’s no getting around the fact that LSAT scores and GPA matter a great deal in law school admissions, the personal statement is the one place where law school admissions faculty get to know you and your reasons behind studying law.
Below are 5 tips – based on real-life scenarios – that have successfully helped my clients get into law school, even when their scores were on the low end for their schools of choice.
1. Write for clarity – not for “literary.”
Sometimes, my clients read law school personal statements that are written like beautiful poetry. Many of those essays are successful. But, there are a lot more law schools grads who aren’t poets. It’s more important to be CLEAR and SPECIFIC than it is to write inspirational phrases.
2. Highlight your work experience – it counts for a lot.
I have had a lot of clients who are able to use their work experience to show maturity and growth beyond undergraduate. Especially if you have been working for more than one year, it’s important to talk about that work in a way that highlights the skills you gained from the job. The most successful essays show how the applicant has matured – especially in terms of working with others – as evidence they are ready for law school.
3. Think about how you would approach the law and try to integrate that into your essay.
I often explain the best personal essays in terms of talking both about internal experiences and external experiences. In other words, describing a particular experience you had is important and valuable, but the essay must also explain how that experience changed the way you thought about others and yourself. Law is about how individuals interact with society, and schools value individuals who are capable of thinking about themselves and others in that light.
4. Combine the professional and the personal.
In line with the advice above, the very best essays combine the personal and the professional. If you have a unique background, how has that contributed to your work (paid or unpaid)? How have you used your own personality or skills to help others? Essays that are most successful show connections between the applicant’s personal life and their community or professional life.
5. Be genuine.
The most important aspect of any essay is a sense that the writer is being genuine. Unfortunately many of my clients initially try to replicate the essays of others or a writing style they admire. I then work with them to restore their voice to their writing.
If you struggle with finding your own voice, try writing the first draft of your essay in the form of a letter to an acquaintance or colleague – someone who knows you, but not very well. Explain in your own words why you are interested in law school. Opt for simpler words and shorter sentences over convoluted phrasing that “sounds good.” Remember that the content of the writing is always more important than the sound of it. “Fancy” writing that is devoid of content simply turns the reader off.
Many people approach writing their personal statement with dread, even those who think of themselves as strong writers. Remember that the law school personal statement is a very specific form of writing with its own conventions – it’s not a poem, a novel, or a screenplay. It needs to be both personal and professional, providing the reader with insight into how you think and how you act.
My most important tip for every applicant is to give yourself enough time to revise the personal statement and to get another’s point of view on the content and writing.
Work one-on-one with a law school admissions expert who will guide you through the process of creating a winning personal statement. Our admissions consultants have read thousands of personal statements and know the exact ingredients of an outstanding one. Check out our admissions consulting services, work with an admissions expert and get Accepted!
Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s Postbac Program and teaches writing at all levels. Want Jessica to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
The post 5 Tips to Write a Law School Personal Statement that Gets You In appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
from Accepted Admissions Blog
This post is part of a series exploring the different forms MBA interviews take and how you can ace them all!
Skype is often used for MBA interviews when an in-person interview isn’t feasible.
A Skype interview is a conversation via Skype with video on. Occasionally, when Internet connection isn’t great, the Skype interview may need to be conducted with video off because the video puts more demand on the connection, and I’ve also known of times when a phone interview had to replace Skype because of connection problems.
Skype interviews can replace either:
• the in-person interview with an adcom member, or
In both cases, follow the guidelines and tips for these two interview formats in the previous linked posts.
Why adcoms use this method
Skype allows adcoms, alumni, and students to interview applicants in situations where it might not otherwise be possible, e.g., remotely located applicant, sudden change in one party’s schedule, interruptions such as weather-related flight changes, etc.
Benefits and pitfalls for applicants
• Benefit: can showcase your adaptability and comfort with any communication medium.
• Benefit: if you establish a warm, “human” connection with the interviewer over the technology, it can really stand out and leave a strong positive impression.
• Pitfall: you’re at the mercy of the technology functioning well.
• Pitfall: it can seem awkward compared to an in-person interview.
• Pitfall: you have to pay attention not just to yourself but to your setting and your position vis-à-vis the camera.
How to make this type of interview work for you
(This is in addition to all the common sense advice for good MBA interviews and in addition to the advice in the two previous links above):
• Dress professionally down to your footwear – it will help you maintain, and reflect, a professional mindset and focus.
• It’s tempting to use notes because you can put them out of camera range, but I strongly suggest not doing so; your glances away from the interviewer and to your notes may seem subtle to you, but they will not likely be to your interviewer.
• Before the call, prepare the background (i.e. lighting, visuals) and your camera position (you don’t want the camera aiming up at your neck).
• Practice a bit on the medium, even though you normally engage well in person. It’s a different sense and feel than in person.
• Clarify date, time, and time zone. For some reason mistakes or miscommunications on these simple things are easier with Skype than when scheduling in-person meetings.
The best way to ensure that you are prepared for your MBA interviews is to practice with a pro! Check out our Mock Interview Services and learn what you can do to ace those interviews and get accepted to business school!
Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 15+ years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
The post MBA Interview Formats: Phone and Skype MBA Interviews appeared first on Accepted Admissions Blog.
from Accepted Admissions Blog