Telling Your Story: Rephrase Those Clichés

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Telling Your Story: Rephrase Those Cliches by jdMission

A personal statement is really no more than telling a story—one that illuminates the “you” a law school would be lucky to have in its student body. In this series, “Telling Your Story,” a jdMission Senior Consultant will discuss how elements of storytelling can—and should—be applied to your personal statement.


You have finished a draft of your personal statement. You have read it over, looking for ways to make it stronger, and you have rewritten it a few times. Is it true? Yes. Is it compelling? Yes. Is it concise? Yes. Does it have an ending? Yes. Are you happy with it? Pretty much. What is left that could be improved?

Almost always, clichés will make their way into your drafts. These can be removed, however, and once gone (as in, rephrased), your essay will be stronger. Here are some you should remove or rewrite if they appear in your essay:

  • Nothing could keep me down
  • On my way to the top
  • I nearly died (Unless you nearly did.)
  • Burst into tears
  • Reached a fork in the road
  • A long road ahead
  • Come a long way
  • My worst nightmare had come true
  • Shoot for the stars
  • I realized that life is like a ________ (Do not do a Forrest Gump.)

Replacing these and similar overused clichés with more personally truthful descriptions of how you felt will improve your storytelling and your personal statement. 📝


For even more insight on your law school personal statements, check out our free Personal Statement Guide or sign up for your Free Personal Statement Review by a jdMission Senior Consultant.


jdMission is a leading law school admissions consulting firm with a team of dedicated consultants who have not only been through the law school application process themselves, but also possess elite communications skills and can help you navigate this crucial—and often perplexing—process. Your consultant will serve as your coach and partner every step of the way, advising you on school selection, helping you brainstorm personal statement topics, editing your essays and resume, helping you manage your recommenders, advising on any addenda, and more! Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation or a free personal statement review with a jdMission Senior Consultant.

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