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The world does not need more lawyers, it needs better ones. However, law Schools are flooded with applications each year from starry-eyed idealists. Some of these applicants end up working at top litigation firms; few actually become Ralph Nader-type legal crusaders. Law schools have become suspect of applicants who seek to save the entire world before age 30.
I encourage you to write an essay that demonstrates maturity and judgment beyond your age. If you have a healthy amount of idealism, ground it with pragmatic and specific demonstrations of your commitment to realistic change. Tangible success matters (e.g., a student who led a Darfur divestment campaign or someone who helped a nonprofit organization reintegrate former child soldiers who have been abused in developing countries has more credibility than someone without tangible experience). Your leadership experiences do not need to be melodramatic, but they do need to be credible. For example, working at a homeless shelter may be impressive, depending on your motivation. Did you largely do it to put it on your resume under "community service." Or, did you do it because it speaks to a deeper level of emotional commitment that you have to make a small, but measurable difference in your community.
In your personal statement, you need to let the reader get to know your human side. Show how you have grown over the years. Demonstrate that you can learn from failure. Discuss the ethical dilemmas that conflict you.
Top law schools are interested in identifying applicants with excellent academic promise, who also have leadership skills and sound judgment. It is up to you to showcase how your experiences make you uniquely prepared to contribute to the diversity of a law school classroom.
Many applicants have fantastic grades and impressive LSAT scores. How are you different? How can you separate yourself from the many thousands of applicants who also have extremely impressive accomplishments? Why should a particular law school pick you, instead of another strongly qualified applicant? Answering this question effectively may be more difficult than you think.
I will work with you to develop a compelling argument that should lead to a favorable verdict.
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