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Law school admission essay example

Jun 21, 2018

Change has been the one constant in my life. While staring out at the bleak Wisconsin winter, I think back to my beginnings on a warm tropical island. The biggest change was probably the first — moving from that buzzing Spanish-speaking isle to the sleepy sea-side town that was Tampa in 1978. It took me some time to realize that the other pre-schoolers could not understand my native tongue. Before long, I too was speaking their language.

Five years later I, an excited eight-year-old girl, boarded a school bus in New Jersey. The excitement quickly turned to fear as I heard rampant swearing in the back of the bus. I was truly shocked when the bus driver did nothing to stop the vulgarity. In my schools in Florida such behavior would have met with a bar of soap and a visit to the principal’s office. A year later, I had a "Jersey" accent, and had started swearing too.

After nine years my family then moved to a place called "a whole ’nother country": Texas. I discovered that everything is bigger in Texas, from the size of a glass of ice tea to the distances on the road. My mother added barbecued brisket to the regular menu of turkey and Idaho potatoes on Monday and arroz con pollo on Tuesday. The incredibly friendly Texans, wearing cowboy boots and going to high school football games on Friday nights, seemed a totally different breed from my friends in New Jersey. A slight drawl entered my speech.

In two years time, I found myself in the mountains of rural Bolivia. As part of a team of doctors and students researching hypertension on a group of African-Bolivian villagers, I quickly learned a new vocabulary that included medical and anthropological terms. The greatest test of my linguistic abilities came when a villager accused me of drinking blood samples in some kind of vampire-like witchcraft ritual. I had to bridge a vast cultural gulf to explain a DNA isolation and analysis protocol in Spanish to someone who had never heard of a gene much less a double helix.

A year later I stood in a line at a McDonalds outside Buenos Aires asking for a sorbeto with a Puerto Rican accent and receiving a blank stare in return. I did not realize that in Argentina the word for straw was papote. Working at the U.S. embassy, I could clearly see the obvious differences between the U.S. and Argentina, but being out among the people and actually experiencing the culture helped me begin to understand and appreciate the subtle differences which, when taken together, make up a people.

Each place I have lived has its differences, from the obvious distinctions of Wisconsin and Texas weather, to the regional variations of the Spanish language. I bring with me wherever I go a part of those places and the impact they have had on my life, most evident to others by the variations in my speech. Beneath all the accents, however, lies something more significant, for I believe who you are is immeasurable more important than where you were. When I was younger, I could not clearly discern between situations where I should or should not adopt the ways of those around me. With maturity however I have come to understand the crucial difference between adaptation and assimilation. I have chosen to reject the vulgarity of the New Jersey school bus; I have also adopted the Texans’ warm and friendly manner. Having experienced frequent moves to very different surroundings, I can adapt without compromising what is important to me while learning from each new setting.

A sign hung in my garage for many years that said, "Home is where you can scratch where it itches." To me this means that home is wherever you are comfortable and secure with yourself and your surroundings. I will be at home and prepared to meet new challenges wherever I am. Starting over so many times has taught me not to fear failure, but rather to embrace opportunities for change.

Article courtesy of , admissions consultancy

By Catherine Cook Senior Editor

Law school applications are steadily on the rise, and your personal statement is the best place to make yourself stand out from the wannabe attorney crowd. What should you include in your essay to convince the admissions committee to stand up and take notice?

Law School Applicants Are Not All The Same

Law school personal statements do not follow a set formula or template to fit what an admissions committee is looking for. However, there are guidelines to keep in mind as you begin to outline and write your law school personal statement. Not only will the details be different, but also the focus of your essay depends upon where you are in your career and life when you are applying to law school. Keep in mind that you do not want to try to include every detail about your life, nor do you want your personal statement to be a resume in prose. You want to give the admissions committee a snapshot of who you are and what makes you a compelling applicant for admission to their school.

The College Graduate

You are getting ready to finish up at Big State U. and have decided you want to begin law school the following September. An effective personal statement from a recent or soon-to-be college graduate could have any of the following components, depending on where your strengths lie and on what you'd like to emphasize. It is not necessary to have all of these details, but at this stage in your life, any of these areas could be fodder for your essay.

Two To Six Years In The Workforce

Older Law School Applicants

Guidelines That Apply To All Law School Applicants

No matter where you are in your career or your life, there are a few points that every law school applicant should cover in their admission essay:


If you would like the guidance and support of experienced editors as you apply to law school, offers a range of services to help with your essays, letters of recommendation, and wait-list letters. Our singular goal is to help you gain admittance to the law school of your choice!

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Identity is a prison you can never escape, but the way to redeem your past is not to run from it, but to try to understand it, and use it as a foundation to grow. Jay-Z

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