What is law school application consulting, and is it worth it? Well, the answer depends on who you ask, as every law school admissions cycle, thousands of law school applicants get denied or wait-listed from their dream schools—schools these students probably would have been accepted to, had these students better prepared and revised their applications. That doesn’t mean these students had applications riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes, they just likely didn’t “frame” themselves in the best manner possible.
What is framing, and why is it important? Psychology teaches us that all people, including those making admissions decisions, are subject to framing effects. The framing effect is a cognitive bias that influences a person’s decision making when several options are at hand; people generally pick options with greater positive connotations, as to avoid risk, rather than negative ones. How does that affect a law school applicant? Well, law schools are businesses with names and reputations to uphold, and as such, admissions committees must make risk-averse decisions that most benefit their law school programs. Below the median GPA, minimal work experience, and/or character and fitness history are all risky application attributes admissions committees are regularly presented with; however, if components are properly “framed” on an application to show the strengths of a student as opposed to their weaknesses—the apparent risk these application attributes pose is drastically minimized, resulting in a prospective student being viewed as a potential gain, rather than a loss, to the school’s program.
It can be difficult to predict how a law school admissions committee will view an applicant’s file; therefore, many students can benefit by receiving professional law school admissions advice prior to application submission. A law school admissions coach helps to guide applicants through the admissions process; from personal statement writing, to application completion, an admissions coach will ensure all pieces of the application are organized and framed for the best possible outcome.
Law School Admissions Personal Statement
The most important thing to remember when writing a law school application personal statement is that it’s a “personal statement” and not a statement of purpose (unless specified as such). Every student’s aim should be to put on display qualities that might not be overtly apparent through the rest of their applications’ components. Great topics to write about include personal growth stories, stories about a life-altering event leading to personal development, and stories about overcoming personal hardships; regardless of the topic, though, a good law application personal statement can “frame” and influence the way the rest of an applicant’s file is reviewed!
Law school personal statement requirements may vary, and some law schools may request that students write about a specific topic or about their particular desire to attend law school “X”; consequently, unless an applicant’s generic personal statement meets the specified requirements, it is highly likely additional essay writing is warranted. Many law programs provide applicants with law school application personal statement examples, and it can be a wise move for applicants to refer to and dissect these examples in order to write more effective personal statements themselves.
To ensure that personal statements are written to perfection, applicants should consider professional law school personal statement consulting. After all, there are many ways to frame the same message, and applicants want to ensure that the message they’re trying to convey about themselves is presented in the most effective manner possible. Furthermore, does the personal statement connect with the reader? Does it show personal growth, positive qualities, or strength? Is it convincing? And most importantly, does it meet any, and/or all, specified requirements? Only an expert can answer these questions, and while it can be a good idea to have a friend or family member review your essay, remember, their judgment is probably just as good as yours.
Finally, it’s critical that applicants take into consideration that effective personal statement writing takes time. Many applicants spend years cumulating a high undergraduate GPA, hundreds of hours studying for the LSAT, and then devote only a measly several hours to writing their personal statements. While it’s hard to say how much time it takes to write an effective essay, it generally doesn’t happen overnight. It’s in every applicant’s best interest to give themselves several weeks, if not months, to select topics, write and rewrite drafts, and undergo final essay selection for completion and perfection. Generally, this process leaves applicants with a personal statement that they can be proud of, as opposed to a personal statement that both the applicant, and the admissions committee, know was written haphazardly!