Telling Your Story: Talk about Yourself on Your Personal Statement


Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Telling Your Story: Talk about Yourself on Your Personal Statement by jdMission

A personal statement is really no more than telling a story—one that illuminates the “you” a law school would be lucky to have in its student body. In this series, “Telling Your Story,” a jdMission Senior Consultant will discuss how elements of storytelling can—and should—be applied to your personal statement.

Your personal statement is meant to be about you, not about how the world works. Of course, you may need to share some facts about the world around you and the people in your life to make your story clear and meaningful, but a good rule of thumb is that you should be writing much more about yourself than about anything else.

Here are a few ways to tell if you may be talking too much about “the world” and/or too little about yourself:

  • You have several sentences in a row describing life (or the universe, or society, or the world) in abstract terms.
  • You spend a full paragraph talking about something or someone else without reflecting on your topic from your own perspective.
  • You get to the end of the personal statement and realize you do not know how what you have read reveals something significant about you as a person.
  • You spot very few uses of “I” in your personal statement.

If any of these describe your current draft, look for ways of introducing yourself more frequently in it. Can you identify places to add a reflective remark? Or additional descriptions about where you were and what you were thinking at the time? And by all means, be liberal with regard to striking wordy remarks on how the world works. We all think our observations are brilliant, but others rarely do.

For even more insight on your law school personal statement, check out our free Personal Statement Guide 📝

jdMission is a leading law school admissions consulting firm with a team of dedicated consultants who have not only been through the law school application process themselves, but also possess elite communications skills and can help you navigate this crucial—and often perplexing—process. Your consultant will serve as your coach and partner every step of the way, advising you on school selection, helping you brainstorm personal statement topics, editing your essays and resume, helping you manage your recommenders, advising on any addenda, and more!

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