The BriefA Blog about the LSAT, Law School and Beyond
A lot of people treat their law school applications like a long-distance race: they lope along, fiddling with their essays, and then sprint at the end.
These applicants have it backwards. You should sprint at the beginning, drafting your personal statement and other essays quickly, then slow down at the end. Why? Because you have nothing to lose but time at the beginning; you have everything to lose at the end.
Law school personal statements matter for all applicants, but they matter most for applicants who look like toss-ups based on their GPAs and LSAT scores. We call such applicants splitters. The term usually refers to students with below-median GPAs and above-median LSAT scores, but in this post, we also mean the reverse: students with below-median LSAT scores and above-median GPAs. Admissions committees scrutinize the written material of splitters carefully because they can’t make a decision based on numbers alone.
In this post, we’ve rounded up five spectacular personal statements that helped splitters get into a T14 school. You’ll find these examples to be as various as a typical JD class. Some essays are about a challenge, some about the evolution of the author’s intellectual or professional journey, and some about the author’s identity. The only common thread is sincerity. The authors did not write toward an imagined idea of what an admissions officer might be looking for: they reckoned honestly with formative experiences.