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MattTak

Personal Statement and Autobiographical Sketch

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Hey guys, 

I was just wondering if someone could give me the difference between the autobiographical sketch and the personal statement. I've included relevant autobiographical information  in my personal statement already (i.e. grades, academic awards, extra-circulars) so I'm not sure what the significance of an autobiographical sketch would be if I'm also including my resume as well.

Thanks

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The autobiographical sketch is more like the place to verify what you've written about in your ps. It will ask you to fill out information about where some of your achievements occurred, as well as contact information for a person who could confirm that you have actually completed or achieved x and y. 

In my experience, it was very time consuming to fill out, so when you get to that stage make sure you give yourself enough time not only to fill it out but to also make sure all your info (including contact info for your verifiers) is accurate and up to date.

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To piggy back off the initial question, who should you put as your verifier for things like extracurriculars? For example, I was my residence floor's student council president for a year; should I use my residence don as my verifier (after asking her permission of course)?

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The admissions committee have already seen your grades. 

The ps should say something about you that the rest of your application does not. But it's a statement, not a life story. Make it compelling. Use it to show how well you write. 

Here's a decent list of do's and don'ts https://www.ucalgary.ca/ssc/files/ssc/personal-statements.pdf but don't stop there. U of T has examples. This forum also has numerous ideas from successful law school candidates (other than me). 

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Yes, the autobiographical sketch is a place for you to basically list your accomplishments and extracurriculars. It's like a shortened resume, since I think OLSAS gives you something like 50 characters (characters, not words) to describe the activity. They also have 4 categories, so you can list paid work, volunteer / extracurriculars, and awards separately. But you can only have something like 30 entries. You need a versifier for each entry - the name, number and email address of someone who can confirm you did what you say you did, should the law school adcom decide to check.

For an Ontario school, at least, you cannot give them your resume, so the sketch is your chance to list the things you've done.

Your personal statement is an opportunity for you to highlight the most relevant of your experiences, and to create a narrative for why you want to study law, and why you would be successful at it. It is not a place for you to copy your resume or copy your grades, that is why you do the sketch and submit transcripts. Follow the directions of others on this thread and research good personal statements. Also pay attention to what each school is asking.

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22 hours ago, Xer said:

To piggy back off the initial question, who should you put as your verifier for things like extracurriculars? For example, I was my residence floor's student council president for a year; should I use my residence don as my verifier (after asking her permission of course)?

That's what I did for some of my extracurricular roles. The person you list isn't a reference, they just have to be able to confirm you did the thing you said you did, should the adcom check.

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