August 14, 2007

Personal Statement Draft One Finished!

Just finished up the first draft of my personal statement! That definitely took longer than I thought it would but it feels really nice to have something (finally!) down on paper. I will be sending it to a few different people to read. Before I make any changes, I want to hear what kind of person they think wrote it. I really want to hear about what general impression they get about me. I read somewhere that you should give your personal statement to some people who don't know you all that well so that they can pass this kind of judgement on what you've written. Good advice, I think! After I get that back I am going to take it to our pre-law advisor and writing center for editing purposes.

Just wanted to share the exciting news! Well, exciting for me, anyway ;)

Catch ya later,

July 28, 2007

LOR Dilemma

I have always associated a bit of awkwardness with asking for a Letter of Recommendation. I went to meet with a professor a few days ago to ask for their thoughts on going right from undergrad to law school. Mind you, this is a professor I don't know all that well, but then again I don't really know any of my professors all that well. I was planning on also asking them for a LOR...or at least how they would feel about writing one...but I completely backed out at the end and didn't even bring it up. Sad, really. I just feel so strange asking someone who does not know me outside of papers I have written to write a recommendation for me. In retrospect, I wish I had gotten to know at least one of my professors on a personal level. Ah, the things we don't take advantage of! To anyone still in undergrad and thinking about law school - please do not make the mistake of being shy around professors like I have! Life lessson, huh?

On a related note, I am currently compiling a list of things to give to potential LOR writers. Hoping to help them since, as I said above, I'm not particularly close with any professors. Should have that done soon!

Catch ya later,

July 18, 2007

Personal Statement - Part One: Getting the Ideas Out

If you're like me, writing the personal statement can seem like quite a daunting task. Right now mine is in its infancy - aka the brainstorming phase. I thought sharing some tips I might be helpful to others. These are suggestions to get the ideas flowing. They might not work for everyone, but hey, some were really helpful for me.

1. Chronological Order. Try going through life from childhood. Think back starting from the time you were in gradeschool and write down any memories/experiences that had an impact on your life. Include not only the event, but how it affected you and what feelings you associate with it. Do not leave anything out! You'll have a timeline of your life and hopefully remember some old, forgotten memories.
2. Review Your Resume. Not only should you review your resume, but you should also make sure it is current (more blogging on this later)! From looking at your resume, make a list of the skills and accomplishments you have had in the past five years. Add to it with additional information about yourself if it is not listed on your resume. Remember: Accomplishments do not just include an academic honor or award - they also include overcoming obstacles in your life. The same goes for skills - do not think just in terms of "proficient in Microsoft Word" - leadership is a skill, too, you know!
3. Personal Characteristics. What can you bring to the table here? And futhermore, how can you prove that you have such characteristics? If you say you stand up for what you believe in, have you done so through an organization or group recently? Just like in college research papers, you have got to back up your facts.
4. Goals and Why. Think about you career goals and write them down. When did you first become interested in law school? Why? Note qualities and facts about yourself that make you a good candidate for law school. As someone once said to me, why law school, why you, and why now?
5. Highlight, highlight, highlight. Go back through these lists or notes that you have made and highlight words, phrases, and ideas that you would like to expand on. This will help you come up with potential topics. By now you should have some solid ideas to expand on.

This is just Part One of my "Personal Statement" series, but I am hoping that it will get some ideas out for those who have trouble with what topic to write about. If you would like to check out some actual personal statements, the TLS forums has a good thread here. There are also a few good books on personal statements, I found Richard Stelzer's How to Write a Winning Personal Statement to be pretty helpful and a good general guide.

Happy Writing,

July 16, 2007

Spreading the word

I've decided to check out some of the search tools for blogs, see if perhaps some other people will find my (soon to be) obsessive posts about law school applications useful. Technorati Profile is now up, might do a few more later. Interesting.

July 15, 2007

A Brief Introduction

Here's my story - I'm A and I'm applying to law schools this fall. So far I've been learning what a crazy process this can be, so I have decided to document my experience in my very first blog. This is (hopefully) somewhere I can get my thoughts out and stop annoying my friends & family with my endless chatter about law schools. Or maybe not, we'll see...

I won't be posting my numbers or my soft factors, but I will tell you this: I have good numbers for the schools I'm looking at applying to, but I am not a whiz-kid applicant. I do hope that at least some of you other Fall 08ers will be able to relate.

Well, off to go work on my personal statement!

Catch ya later, A