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 CLEO Blog - CLEO's Rulz 4 Personal Statements
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February 28, 2012
  CLEO's Rulz 4 Personal Statements
The Voice! has Team Adam, Team Cee Lo, and Team Xtina. You've got Team CLEO! Twitter, Facebook, college essays, and blogs . . . you've been reading and writing mini-Personal Statements for years. Like the amateur singing in the car who dreams of being a star, you've got the talent. Now you need the coach!
Let CLEO be your coach. . . and let A.S.A.P. be your stage! (Apply to A.S.A.P. now!)

Coach's rule #1 - Know your audience . . . Michael States, Assistant Dean of Admissions, University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill: "There is no preferred format." But every law school separates applicants into piles of "follows instructions" and "does not follow instructions". Start with your personal statement.
Use personal stories to prove your points or examples of your success and challenges. The committee needs to hear your voice when it reads your story.
The admission committee wants to know what you think and wants to know that you can express yourself in detail. Using cliches, vague references, and "inside jokes" does not translate well into a personal statement. Never leave the committee guessing what you mean. To read more of Dean States' advice click here. . .
Coach's Rule #2 - The quickest way to lose your audience is with typos and grammatical errors. Caryn R. Suder's CLEO EDGE Magazine article, " I Can't Believe I Didn't Catch That!" outlines the best techniques for using proofreading to improve your personal statement.

Attorney Katherine Hughes, in her CLEO Edge article "Reading & Writing in Preparation for Law School" gives real world advice for writing.

"In addition to being efficient readers, lawyers must also be able to write clearly and succinctly."
"Becoming comfortable with the process of outlining is invaluable, as is avoiding flowery or excessive language and overly complicated sentence structures."
Clear, simple writing is always better.

Coach's Rule #3 -"legal writing is very structured, and you should ensure that you are not rambling or writing without the necessary structure in mind." - Attorney Hughes. Try this structure:

Ready to start writing? The Reader will give as much attention to your personal statement as you gave it as the Writer. Generic essays are easily spotted and ignored. Your skill in expressing your statement can be as important (and sometimes more so) than the content of your statement. Therefore; CLEO gives you its Top Ten List for writing a clear and concise Personal Statement. Incorporate these suggestions into your writing and you will have a statement that an admissions counselor will find easy to read.

For more Do's and Dont's, read Donald Pritchett's CLEO Edge article The Do's and Don'ts of writing a Personal Statement, by clicking here . . . Good luck, and good writing!

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    Posted By: matthewniziol @ 02/28/2012 06:41 PM     Prelaw Advising  

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