今天我们将学习普林斯顿法学院Personal Statement的写作要求。它的作用是代替（in lieu of）面试的，写得越是有说服力，越有可能让你成为将来的学员。简明、令人感兴趣和唯一性（conciseness,
interest, and uniqueness are major virtues）是好的personal statement的主要特征。
Statement就是纸上的你。In sum, the Personal Statement is you on paper; the law
school version of the personal interview.
The so-called "Personal Statement" gives you an
opportunity to help personalize your admissions paperwork. The personal
statement is in lieu of an interview. The more effective personal statements
tend to be in the form of anecdotal, personal histories which lead the
reader to believe the writer might be an interesting and valuable addition
to the new class. In the competitive reading of literally thousands of
these statements, conciseness, interest, and uniqueness are major virtues.
Try to think of your application as a whole and how an admissions committee
would view it. Can you spot any issues or areas that should or could be
further addressed? Address such issues clearly and make your argument
convincing; summon facts and present them in a clear, organized, and convincing
manner. Tell them about you; personalize your essay by telling stories
Here are a few non-comprehensive do's and don'ts about
the personal statement:
DO try and personalize your statement. This is essentially
a substitute for the personal interview, so an anecdotal description of
yourself which makes you appear as an appropriate and interesting addition
to their new class tends to be most effective and convincing.
DO be concise. Some schools process literally thousands of these statements,
so an economy of phrase is appreciated. Can a sentence or two be cut without
compromising your meaning?
DO be relevant. This statement should convey information which the reader
doesn't have. That information should be about you. (See our related "don't"
DO be a perfectionist. Unfortunately, admissions committees look for easy
things to reject like misspellings; typos; poor grammar.
DON'T be theoretical. For example, an essay on the value of law to a civilized
society is usually playing to an audience/committee of law professors
or experienced academic administrators, so your effort may come off as
na?ve (obviously not your intent). Writing about something the committee
doesn't know (like yourself) is safest and more likely to be impressive
(obviously that is your intent!). Remember, this is not an academic exercise
to demonstrate some newly acquired knowledge; it's a personalization of
DON'T use quotes. This is a close relative to the "don't" #1
above. Quotes are usually the ideas of others, and often presage a theoretical
discussion, which, as we said above, is best to avoid. In fact, a few
of our guest law school admission panelists have made specific mention
on how quotes sets their teeth on edge, especially when they occur in
the first sentence. Be warned.
DON'T be irrelevant. Discussing things you don't have personal knowledge
of; things which have happened to others; things which are difficult to
link to your work experience and intellectual interest. All this tends
towards the non-personal, generally undercutting the purpose of a "personal"
statement. In sum, the Personal Statement is you on paper; the law school
version of the personal interview. （www.flytowest.com）