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Hi everyone, 

I’ll be applying next year and I’m beginning to think about my personal statements. I have very limited to no extra curriculars and especially not those with leadership roles. I do have work experience as I’ve been working part time for all of undergrad (I’m a third year student as of now).  Still, I have to talk about my extracurriculars in my personal statement like most people do. I really don’t have many. I’m just an average student.

Did anyone experience a similar issue?  How did you go about it? Are ECs and academic leadership really important in PS? I’m really stressed. 

Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks.

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Schools respect working through undergrad, ultimately it's a sort of privilege to be able to not work and focus on extracurriculars, and they know that. Then again, it would be nice to show involvement. You have a few months inbetween now and your application - go volunteer and get engaged somewhere. Don't waste time! 

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7 minutes ago, Prospero said:

Schools respect working through undergrad, ultimately it's a sort of privilege to be able to not work and focus on extracurriculars, and they know that. Then again, it would be nice to show involvement. You have a few months inbetween now and your application - go volunteer and get engaged somewhere. Don't waste time! 

I’ve tutored and mentored people a few times. Do you think this may be worth talking about? 

Thank you for the response, it’s appreciated! 

Edited by AnotherApplicant10

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57 minutes ago, AnotherApplicant10 said:

Still, I have to talk about my extracurriculars in my personal statement like most people do. I really don’t have many.

Don't assume this. I didn't talk about ECs at all in my personal statements and I did well. Your part-time work is more valuable and if you can pitch that in a certain way, I think you'll be fine 

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I didn't have too many ECs either. Its all about how you frame your work experience in your personal statement, especially as a reason for why you couldn't pursue more EC opportunities. Just my experience! 

Edited by ragnarlothbrok

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I think that people mistake a PS to be a "look at everything I've accomplished" statement. In my opinion, it's not. It's a narrative that shows how you got to where you are today, applying to law school, and what influenced you and gave you valuable skills for entering law school. I've seen incredible personal statements that are mostly related to personal rather than professional experiences. At the heart of it they want to see why you want to go to LS, and they want to see that you have the ability to handle the workload. But they will also see a sketch that you provide with all of your work/EC experience. 

If you've worked PT consistently while in school, that is valuable experience. It demonstrates an ability to juggle competing demands at once. If the work happens to have influenced why you want to go to law school, that's a plus. 

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12 hours ago, AnotherApplicant10 said:

Hi everyone, 

I’ll be applying next year and I’m beginning to think about my personal statements. I have very limited to no extra curriculars and especially not those with leadership roles. I do have work experience as I’ve been working part time for all of undergrad (I’m a third year student as of now).  Still, I have to talk about my extracurriculars in my personal statement like most people do. I really don’t have many. I’m just an average student.

Did anyone experience a similar issue?  How did you go about it? Are ECs and academic leadership really important in PS? I’m really stressed. 

Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks.

I think more than involvement just for the sake of "doing something", they want to see why you were involved with the organization you were involved in and the skilled you learned from it. Essentially, rather than the experiences, I think what is more valuable is the skills you've learned and how these skills can help you succeed. Like others have said, extracurriculars is not necessary, though it can be beneficial as it shows involvement and engagement with one's community. But, since you worked throughout undergrad, I'd just talk about those experiences and the type of skills you learned (I.e., communication skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, etc). I don't know if it will be beneficial volunteering now, as it might be seen as you doing something just for the sake of having something, rather than actually being interested in that something. Though I suppose it can't hurt either. 

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4 hours ago, Notnotadog said:

I think that people mistake a PS to be a "look at everything I've accomplished" statement. In my opinion, it's not. It's a narrative that shows how you got to where you are today, applying to law school, and what influenced you and gave you valuable skills for entering law school. I've seen incredible personal statements that are mostly related to personal rather than professional experiences. At the heart of it they want to see why you want to go to LS, and they want to see that you have the ability to handle the workload. But they will also see a sketch that you provide with all of your work/EC experience. 

If you've worked PT consistently while in school, that is valuable experience. It demonstrates an ability to juggle competing demands at once. If the work happens to have influenced why you want to go to law school, that's a plus. 

I agree with this, you do not want to make your PS sound like a resume. What helped me with my personal statement was focusing on one experience and really expanding on how that made me interested in law and how that experience provided me with the skills that will help me succeed in law school.  

A framework that could be helpful would be answering the questions 1. Why Law? 2. Why me? 3. Why X school in particular?

There are a couple of sample personal statements you can read on 7Sage and TopLawSchools, I would recommend checking them out to get an idea on how they are organized. 

Edit: Also you could speak about your work experience in your personal statement and talk about your mentoring in your optional essay, if you want to include both experiences. 

 

Edited by Re7o

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