or disadvantage）。其中特别提到要用concrete examples.应该让朋友或者顾问润色文章（both friends
and advisors are trying to help you tailor your message.）。其中特别提到要用concrete
examples. 文章最后是哈佛大学法学院负责申请和奖学金的助理主任Joyce P. Curll对如何写personal statement的观点。
I. What is the purpose of the personal statement?（定义）
The purpose of the personal statement is to gather information
about you outside of your academic
performance, LSAT score and extracurriculars. Think of it as a written
interview, one where you have control of the questions and answers.
The most important consideration in your personal statement,
no matter what the topic, is the
impression of yourself that you are creating. Personal statement is your
opportunity to distinguish yourself.
2. Specific Pointed Question
Possible Topic Areas（可能涉及的领域）
1. Your motivation for a career as a law professional
2. The influence of your family/early experiences on your life
3. The influence of extracurricular, work or volunteer experiences on
4. Personal philosophies as related to your goals
5. How you’ve overcome an obstacle or disadvantage
II. Before You Begin:（开始之前应该）
· Self-Reflection Exercises
· Decide your approach in terms of content
· Think about your readers and tailor your message
· Write an Outline
II. Writing Process（写作过程）
· Getting Started – Writing 1st Draft
· Revise Revise Revise
Q. How long should this take?（一般需要多长时间）
A. Probably longer than you’d like. Give yourself plenty of time to go
through this writing process. The longer that you have the more revision
that you can do and as a result the better your statement.
Q. Who should I ask to read my work?（应该让谁读一下？）
A. A multitude of perspectives is good. You should ask someone who knows
you well and others who don’t know you that well. The staff in the Pre-professional
office are certainly willing to help in this regard. Listen to the feedback
and don’t take it personally
– both friends and advisors are trying to help you tailor your message.
Q. How do I know when I’m done writing and revising?
A. Only you can know the answer to this question. When you read it out
loud and feelhappy with the result.
Q. How should I handle optional essay questions?
A. Answer them. Don’t squander opportunities to communicate with admissions
committee.If you don’t take this opportunity – you may appear lazy.
Q. Should I talk about my a bad semester or a bad grade on my transcript
the personal statement?
A. No. If you feel there is something on your record that needs further
should address this in a separate letter or addendum to your application.
statement should stick to the positives.
III. General Advice（一般建议）
· Answer the questions that are asked. Don’t be tempted to use the same
statement for all
· Tell a Story. Show or demonstrate your points using concrete examples
· Be specific. Broad sweeping statements will not make you stand out as
Illustrate your points with personal examples or experiences
· Find an angle. An angle helps you to focus and make your statement interesting.
· Have a strong opening paragraph. Your first paragraph should state your
grab the reader’s attention
· Avoid cliches and quotes. This statement is about you and should not
· Write well. Be meticulous about your writing style. Type and proofread
your essay very
· Don’t write a descriptive resume. This is a common mistake. Don’t restate
your resume in prose. This information can be found in other parts of
· Avoid writing about high school experiences. Professional schools will
expect that you have had significant experiences while in college.（不要写高中经历）
· Be positive. Don’t badmouth the profession.（要积极乐观）
· Be honest.
· Everyone Fails. Writing about a failure can demonstrate that you have
been able to learn and grow from your mistakes.（犯错并没有关系）
· Find a balance between creative and cautious. This can be tricky. There
is a fine line
between creative and interesting and odd and gimmicky. Don’t write your
personal statement as a legal brief or as a poem.
· Be concise. This is greatly appreciated by those who are reading thousands
· It’s hard to be a stand-up comedian. Humor is difficult and can be misinterpreted.
It’s best to avoid it.(不要用故意用幽默)