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Question for Dal/newly admitted students (personal statement)


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#1 pattie12

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 02:11 PM

Hi guys,

I am interested in applying to Dal, but i'm unsure about how to proceed with my personal statement. I am a political science/languages grad so most of my personal statements are tailored to what i know , i.e social justice and the study of languages. However, i'm unsure if taking that approach will be successful with dalhousie because it looks like their specializations are in business law, environmental law, health law, and technology. While i am enthusiastic about learning about these fields of law, i know nothing about them. I doubt i would be able to write a compelling personal statement on health law. So my question is : do you think the admissions officers would look at an applicant with expressed interest in  health law for example, more favourably than  someone who talks about language learning and her general interest in law?

 

Thank you.

 



#2 realpseudonym

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 02:27 PM

Hi guys,

I am interested in applying to Dal, but i'm unsure about how to proceed with my personal statement. I am a political science/languages grad so most of my personal statements are tailored to what i know , i.e social justice and the study of languages. However, i'm unsure if taking that approach will be successful with dalhousie because it looks like their specializations are in business law, environmental law, health law, and technology. While i am enthusiastic about learning about these fields of law, i know nothing about them. I doubt i would be able to write a compelling personal statement on health law. So my question is : do you think the admissions officers would look at an applicant with expressed interest in  health law for example, more favourably than  someone who talks about language learning and her general interest in law?

 

Thank you.

 

A personal statement should be a well-written, compelling case for yourself. It should show why you're interested in law and why you're a good candidate. Those things are not dependent upon which undergraduate major you picked. 


Edited by realpseudonym, 03 November 2016 - 02:29 PM.


#3 CrimMajor

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 11:51 AM

I'll add to what real said, while you're intending to invest in a legal education, the school is investing their reputation into who they admit. You want to make a compelling case about why you're a good fit for the school, where you used to be, currently are, and where a law degree may take you. Personal statements are an opportunity to mitigate application weaknesses, highlight strengths, and give insight into who you are as a person.

 

When applying, you're competing against (literally) a thousand other applicants. I'll also note that, as far as I know, admissions doesn't expect you to have any knowledge of the law considering you're not in law school yet. I suspect attempting to show otherwise would increase scrutiny.

 

If it helps, I wrote my personal statement as a narrative - tracing relevant details of my life up to the decision to apply. Content wise, I wove in details of interest, intent, and EC involvement while adhering to an overarching structure. If there are personal circumstances you wish to disclose that don't quite push you into special status, slipping them into your narrative is an appropriate way to mention it without appearing as though you're 1)looking for pity or, 2)playing the 'poor me' card.

 

I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.