- Series: Graduate School Admissions Guides
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Princeton Review; 5 edition (December 11, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307945251
- ISBN-13: 978-0307945259
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,886,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Law School Essays That Made a Difference, 5th Edition (Graduate School Admissions Guides) 5th Edition
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You crush the LSAT.
Phewww... The most important part is done. Or is it? Yes - your LSAT score is probably the single most important factor in determining your law school prospects. But the personal statement is your chance to shine and make up for any gaps in your application that form that barrier keeping you from the next tier up.
This book is a must read if you're serious about writing a meaningful personal statement. It gives you dozens of real (and GOOD) examples that are quite honestly hard to find online. Not only that, the book does a really nice job of giving you context regarding the writer. What did they do in college? Where are they from? LSAT score? GPA? What prompt were they responding to? Where did they end up getting accepted/denied? The list goes on...
Most importantly, the book goes beyond just focusing on the super top tier schools. They have examples from a few dozen schools across the ranking spectrum.
Writing a good personal statement takes weeks... maybe months. You'll go through several drafts. This book will help you refine your statement all along your journey toward the final draft.
This book will help the student who has already put signiificant effort into getting into law school. There are some pretty good tips, and definitely a good sense of what not to do, in the first section.
The essays are a little trickier to work with. You don't want to only focus on one brilliant essay (which is the girl who went to Harvard, if you're wondering), and you don't want to just skim through all of them. I thought it was helpful to go through the book with a pencil and just underline some of the sentences or ideas I liked. It's also helpful to choose some of the essays you liked generally and figure out why they were so good.
Will this book help the 150 LSAT get into Yale? No. Will this book help the 172 who needs a little something more to get into Harvard? Maybe. Other reviewers are right though, not all of the essays are amazing. Some you almost wonder how they got included (Coincidence that so many of the authors taught for Princetonreview?). Just work through the okay ones and find the gems. But don't copy.
The second section is essays, and I found them extremely useful. I found looking at other personal statements and analyzing what worked and what didn't work in them was VERY helpful in helping me draft my own. The point is not to mimic any of them, of course, but to develop a sense of the range of what is effective and ineffective. Some of the "differences" the essays in this book show aren't positive: at least one of them seems to be an instance of an otherwise excellent candidate arguing himself OUT of law schools where he should have been competitive by trying a tactic that seems to have backfired.
The personal statement is really your only chance in the application process to make yourself stand out as more than just a score and a GPA, so it's in your best interest to do whatever is honorably in your power to make it excellent. I found that mine (which I spent considerable time on) was key in my admissions success, so really, if you even think it will help--GET THIS BOOK.
As for the "games" section, I didn't so much as glance at it before I handed the book off to a friend who will be applying to law school next year.
For a better value, check out "Ivy League Admission: 160 Successful Law School Personal Statements." You can't go wrong.