Articles published in Applications & Admissions

Real Law School Personal Statements Reviewed: Use Extreme Language Only in Extreme Circumstances

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Real Law School Personal Statements Reviewed: Use Extreme Language Only in Extreme Circumstances by jdMission

In this series, a jdMission Senior Consultant reviews real law school personal statements. What’s working well? What’s not? If it were his/her essay, what would be changed? Find out!


Note: To maintain the integrity and authenticity of this project, we have not edited the personal statements, though any identifying names and details have been changed or removed. Any grammatical errors that appear in the essays belong to the candidates and illustrate the importance of having someone (or multiple someones) proofread your work.

Personal Statement

Everyone said it would be a mistake to keep my baby. My mother, my father, my teachers, my guidance counselor. Seventeen when I got pregnant, I would not even have a chance to graduate high school before he was born. Instead of going to the prom, I’d be going to the maternity unit. Instead of putting on a cap and gown, I’d be putting diapers on another human being. Read more

LSAT or GRE? 4 Considerations for Law School Applicants

Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - LSAT or GRE? 4 Considerations for Law School Applicants by Stratus Admissions Counseling

Ready to study the right way? We incorporate the latest discoveries in learning science into our LSAT course to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your prep. Want to see? Try the first session of any of our upcoming courses for free.


GPAs, GREs, LSATs, oh my! There is now a new factor adding to the complexity of all the moving parts of law school applications—the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), traditionally used by many graduate programs outside of law school. In March, Harvard Law School announced a pilot program allowing applicants to apply with either the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), the standardized test that nearly all law schools have used for decades, or the GRE. More top law schools have followed and other schools are expected to join the GRE party. Read more

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? Read more

Real Law School Personal Statements Reviewed: Take Care Not to Portray Yourself as a Fool

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Real Law School Personal Statements Reviewed: Take Care Not to Portray Yourself as a Fool by jdMission

In this series, a jdMission Senior Consultant reviews real law school personal statements. What’s working well? What’s not? If it were his/her essay, what would be changed? Find out!


Note: To maintain the integrity and authenticity of this project, we have not edited the personal statements, though any identifying names and details have been changed or removed. Any grammatical errors that appear in the essays belong to the candidates and illustrate the importance of having someone (or multiple someones) proofread your work. Read more

Writing Your Law School Personal Statement

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Writing Your Personal Statement by Ann Levine

Ann K. Levine is the founder and chief law school admission consultant at Law School Expert. Each year, pre-law students rely on Law School Expert’s blog for advice on personal statements, letters of recommendation, LSAT scores and more, to help them get into reach law schools. She has been a law school admission consultant since opening LawSchoolExpert.com in 2004, and this is her fourth book. The following is an excerpt from the Amazon bestselling law school guide, The Law School Admission Game.


What Is a Personal Statement?

This is the piece of your application over which you have—at present—the most control. And it’s not to be taken lightly. A good personal statement adds to the application by tipping the scales in your favor. If someone with your numbers has a chance of being admitted to a particular law school, but not everyone with your numbers is admitted, the major deciding factor is the personal statement. A good LOR helps, but if you can’t advocate for yourself, someone else advocating on your behalf isn’t going to make your case for you. And, if the personal statement is unimpressive, the person evaluating your application may not even go on to read the LORs. Read more

Telling Your Story: Talk about Yourself on Your Personal Statement

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Telling Your Story: Talk about Yourself on Your Personal Statement 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.


Your personal statement is meant to be about you, not about how the world works. Of course, you may need to share some facts about the world around you and the people in your life to make your story clear and meaningful, but a good rule of thumb is that you should be writing much more about yourself than about anything else. Read more

Real Law School Personal Statements Reviewed: Curse Only Sparingly

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Real Law School Personal Statements Reviewed: Curse Only Sparingly by jdMission

In this series, a jdMission Senior Consultant reviews real law school personal statements. What’s working well? What’s not? If it were his/her essay, what would be changed? Find out!


Note: To maintain the integrity and authenticity of this project, we have not edited the personal statements, though any identifying names and details have been changed or removed. Any grammatical errors that appear in the essays belong to the candidates and illustrate the importance of having someone (or multiple someones) proofread your work. Read more

Telling Your Law School Personal Statement Story: Slicing Through Writer’s Block

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law-school-personal-statement-story-writers-block-jdmissionA 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.


We all suffer from writer’s block sometimes, and it can be particularly brutal when the stakes are high…like when you are trying to get into law school. Read more

Telling Your Story: About Whom is this Article? You!

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Telling Your Story: About Whom is this Article? You! 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.


A few years ago, I was at a wedding, and someone stood up to give a toast. If you have been to many weddings, you know that toasts can get pretty bad—awkward, drunken, sometimes mean. This toast was not bad in that sense, but it was not as good as it could have been had the person not been so determined to use perfect grammar. Read more

Real Law School Personal Statements Reviewed: Pick a Strong Topic

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Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Real Law School Personal Statements Reviewed: Pick a Strong Topic by mbaMission

In this series, a jdMission Senior Consultant reviews real law school personal statements. What’s working well? What’s not? If it were his/her essay, what would be changed? Find out!


Note: To maintain the integrity and authenticity of this project, we have not edited the personal statements, though any identifying names and details have been changed or removed. Any grammatical errors that appear in the essays belong to the candidates and illustrate of the importance of having someone (or multiple someones) proofread your work.

Personal Statement

“Opening up” doesn’t come organically to everyone. The truth is, most of us have a very hard time finding a way to de-clog and allow oxygen to flow freely throughout our bodies. There are of course tools, but they are not always so easy to find. Sometimes you come across important tips in magazines or on television: They might be breathing exercises to help with circulation, or workouts to get your blood flowing, or even drugs to open up the blood vessels in your lungs as wide as they can open. Read more