Now regarding the mechanical form of the Law School Personal Statement... Once you arrive in in law school you will be introduced to the IRAC method of organizing your writing:
ISSUE – Identify the issue your writing concerns.
RULE – Identify the Rule of Law that applies to the Issue.
ANALYSIS – Analyze how the Rule applies to the Issue.
CONCLUSION – State your Conclusion based on your analysis.
This IRAC form should be repeated for every legal issue you have to address in any document you draft for any court, employer, or client.
I realize that we are not writing a legal memo and are instead drafting law school personal statements, but we should keep as much of the IRAC form as possible because it will please your reader. Remember, your reader will be reviewing hundreds of law school essays, so make their life easier by using sound IRAC organization and they will reward you.
For the purposes of your law school personal statement, let’s assume the topic concerns why you want to be a lawyer. Come up with three main reasons why you want to go to law school, and three actions that are connected to those reasons. Each action/reason is going to be a paragraph, so you will setup your law school personal statement outline like this:
Paragraph 1 = Introduction to your law school admission essay (general answer to question) – worked for a lawyer, personality type, full investigation, prepared myself, etc. Ex: “It is clear and unequivocal that the decision to become a lawyer requires extensive research and preparation. I believe that I have conducted not only a thorough academic investigation of what is required to become a lawyer but also put forth significant efforts to discover what it is really like to practice law” then summarize your justification. (Don’t copy this… enough people view this website to make plagiarism a significant risk.)
Paragraph 2 = First reason for wanting to become a lawyer:
ISSUE – “My primary basis for determining that the law is the proper career path for me concerns a summer internship I had at one of the top law firms in the state.”
RULE – “Experience is the most efficient teacher and I learned more about the practice of law from this internship than any other book or tutorial program.”
ANALYSIS – Talk about your experience, analyze what you did and what you learned and present same to the reader. “During my tenure at___ I was responsible for ___.... I learned ___... It felt amazing to accomplish…”
CONCLUSION – Having experienced working at a law firm first hand, I can confidently state that that the practice of law is the career for me.
Paragraph 3 = Repeat IRAC for your second reason.
Paragraph 4 = Repeat IRAC for your third reason.
Paragraph 5 = Summarize and state your overall conclusion.
So then, going forward with drafting your law school admission essay; 1) determine your reasons for applying to law school, 2) pick specific actions or examples that display PAAC and then 3) outline everything on paper with IRAC 4) then start your formal drafting, 5) revise over and over and over.
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