Your personal statement essay is a very important part of your application to law school. It’s not supposed to be a written form of your transcript of records or resume, but rather a document that provides admissions officers with insights regarding your life and personal opinions. Personal statements are supposed to be personal, non-generic, and unique. Writing your sample personal statement gives you the opportunity to provide readers with a look into your life as a student and how you are as a person. Because admissions officers will be reading hundreds, if not thousands, of personal statement essays, you have to make sure that yours stands out. One of the ways by which you can do this is to focus on an aspect of your life that makes you different from others.
Overcoming adversity: an effective theme employed in the sample personal statement
When writing a personal statement, it would be good for you to pick a topic and turn it into the focus of your essay. If, for example, you struggle with a disability, then you might want to write an essay that discusses your disability and how it has affected your personal life and your life in school. You have to understand, though, that having a disability in itself is not that uncommon. This is why you still have to present yourself in a way that will set you apart from other applicants who are also writing about their disabilities. Take a trip down memory lane and ask yourself some questions. How did your disability affect your life? How has it changed or affected your perspective about various matters? Did your disability make it harder for you to cope in school? Were you ever discriminated against by your classmates, other students, or even teachers just because of your disability? How did you cope with the struggles that you faced? Was there ever a time that your grades dipped low because of your disability? Answering these questions will give your readers a glimpse into the inner workings of your mind. Writing your personal statement essay also gives you the chance to talk about your academic record in the context of your obstacles and opportunities.
Tactful treatment of a disability topic in your personal statement law school
It’s a common misconception that having a disability will make one less competent in handling various matters. To disprove this statement, make sure that you state how you overcame various adversities even with your disability. Be careful, though, that you don’t sound arrogant, preachy, or a know-it-all. You can, for example, state how you dealt with the criticisms thrown your way or how you coped with instances in which you were discriminated against just because you were different. Aside from that, you can also write about the achievements you gained even despite your disability. Having only one hand may not make you that special, but being a basketball player while using only one hand is a great achievement that admissions officers will certainly take notice of.
Pros and cons of focusing on disability in your personal statements
There are various advantages and disadvantages that you have to take into consideration if you plan to write a personal statement essay that focuses on your disability. One advantage is that you can set yourself apart from other students who do not have disabilities, and you can turn your disability into a way for you to convince your readers that you can thrive amidst adversity. By focusing on your disability, you can let your readers know that you have the ability to turn obstacles into opportunities and that you know how to be optimistic and how not to let your disability get in the way of your trying to fulfill your dreams. A disadvantage, however, is that admissions officers might think that you’re relying on your disability to get into law school. Readers might think that you want their pity and are appealing to them to accept you to their school because you are unfortunate. To keep them from thinking this way, make sure that your essay sounds confident and positive, and avoid sounding like you’re after pity. It would also be good for you to talk about other things, such as your after school activities or volunteer work that you’ve done.
Finalizing your personal statements with the theme on disability
You might get too caught up in writing about your disability that you fail to put into your essay why you want to go into law. Discuss circumstances or events in your life that led you into believing that law is the career for you. Are there any persons who influenced you to take up law? Write about what made you interested in going to law school and how you’re going to handle being in law school even with your disability. You have to convince your readers that your disability will not be a hindrance to your becoming a good lawyer. Once you’ve written down all you want to say in your personal statement, make sure to edit and proofread your essay. Don’t be afraid to revise or rewrite paragraphs as this is one way of ensuring that you end up with an excellent essay.