Incoming students and applicants alike wonder what the law school experience is all about. Although curiosity is normal and even helpful, there are a few that go above and beyond to prepare for law school. Most of you aspiring lawyers students already have good testing, studying, reading and writing skills. So keep up your good habits, prioritize your time and focus on the present moment. The rest will come in time so don’t stress before you need to. Take time to do the best you can with what you have. Tom Trettel, third year Student Ambassador, offers the following advice for new students:
Tom Trettel, 3L
As it gets closer to time to start law school, I (as a 3L) have a few words of advice. As always, take what you find helpful and leave the rest.
2) It will all fall into place and in a year you will wonder, “Was I really stressed about That?”
3) Enjoy the next couple of weeks. Hang out with friends and family. Let them know that the next few months will probably be filled with school and little else.
4) Know that having the right kind of computer, highlighter, or dictionary is really not very important. You just need pen, paper, and yourself. (And you can borrow the pen and paper.)
5) Put in the time, do the work and you will be fine. Really. We have all been through it. We survived and so will you.
6) Do not hesitate to ask questions of people who have been through it. We really are offering to help.
7) See #1.
In order to better advise you, I frequently research Admissions standards for not just law schools but a variety of graduate departments. The Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society offers invaluable advice on personal statements, they really delve into the details of a good essay. For law school applicants, I think the following paragraph nicely summarizes what Widener Law seeks:
“Do not misinterpret the meaning of personal in the phrase personal statement! This statement is not a place for you to espouse your personal philosophy of life, to describe in detail your first romance, or to tell the story of the time you were bitten by the neighbor’s dog and subsequently developed an anxiety disorder. Instead, think of the statement as a professional statement. Write about the activities and experiences that led you to apply to graduate school and that have prepared you for its rigors. Provide concrete, detailed examples of your experiences and abilities when possible (see below for more information about content). Above all, write in a professional tone that conveys your self-confidence: You need to showcase your abilities and convince the reader that you are smart and driven to succeed. The personal statement is a chance to sell yourself–now is not the time to be overly humble, hiding your assets. Of course, you should not misrepresent yourself, and you should avoid sounding pompous.” – Quoted from http://www.kon.org/bottoms_nysse.html.
Although this page pertains to graduate psychology programs, you might find some information transferrable to a law school application. These tips could be invaluable if you are considering our JD/PsyD program!