Personal Statement Question - using client name

Hi! I have a very random question. In my PS, I talk about a client I helped when I was working as an AmeriCorps at Legal Aid. My personal statement begins talking about our initial meeting. I received consent from my former client to use her name and to tell parts of her story for my admissions essay.

1.) Do you think I need to address this anywhere in my personal statement, by perhaps adding a footnote to my personal statement confirming I have received consent?

2.) Alternatively, to potentially avoid this messy look and confusion, should I just change her name? My personal statement begins like this: "My client, her name, sat in front of me as I pulled out my phone." I can change it to: "My client - we'll call her X - sat in front of me as I pulled out my phone.

If anyone has any advice on this, I would greatly appreciated it!

Thank you,



  • Kermit750Kermit750 Alum Member
    edited December 2018 2124 karma

    I don't think you need to include that you received consent to use the new name in the personal statement. I think it's fine if you choose to use the client's name. You could stick to just the first name for confidentiality reasons.

  • SLP_futureJDSLP_futureJD Alum Member
    464 karma

    I chose to change my clients' names when I included their stories in various essays just to play it safe. It sounded weird to me at first but after reading their pseudonyms so many times it sounds natural to me again.

  • egrivera2egrivera2 Alum Member
    44 karma

    Great - thank you for the advice! @SLP_futureJD @Kermit750

    Yes, I decided to change her name. My first sentence now reads: "My client - I'll call her Hui - sat in front of me as I pulled out my phone."

    Thanks again!

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