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My stupid personal statement would worm its way into my brain every once in a while, and finally, about a year and a half ago, I got the idea of tearing it apart for this blog: part philanthropic, educational gesture; part exorcism. Let’s just tackle this horrifying task bird by bird.
Another bit of advice I frequently give along those lines is that people who have had experiences very early in life that set them on the path toward law should focus instead on something of more recent vintage.
Don’t tell me about how you got an idea as a child about wanting to be a lawyer—I would prefer to know why, now that you’re an adult, your application is in front of me.
Without actually remembering, I’m going to guess that I expected a nice self-affirming experience, but alas, no.
I loathed my personal statement to such a degree that I had the -style existential crisis of realizing that if I had been my own dean of admissions, I would not have admitted myself.
However, an increasing number of schools won't tell applicants what to write about.
Their thinking is that leaving the subject open will produce creative essays that reveal more about their authors. Is it worth the money to pay for sample essays, or to pay someone to help you write yours?
Unsurprisingly, writing to please an audience like that turns out to make for clunky prose—not to mention really awkward, unnatural phrasing.
The whole thing is peppered with words that seem a little—off.
(And let’s just politely avert our gazes from my having identified my mom’s degree, in the second sentence, as a .) Mostly, my personal statement is hard to read because of the hyper-formal tone I took.
I can dimly remember writing with my unknown audience in mind, and picturing them as super, super, super stiff and humorless and scary—also, for some reason, I pictured at least 10 of them simultaneously reading my application.