Here’s an example of a common prompt: ”A personal statement of 1,000 words or less from the nominee describing his or her background, interests, plans for graduate study and career aspirations. The statement should include a discussion of some experiences and ideas that have shaped those interests, plans and aspirations.”
As Mary Tolar has noted, “If you are applying for nationally competitive scholarships, for graduate school, or for a number of post-graduate service or employment opportunities, you have seen the vaguely phrased request; in one form or another, it comes down to “tell us something about yourself… You are asked to share your “academic and other interests. A clearer charge might be: compose an essay that reveals who you are, what you care about, and what you intend to do in this life. Tell this story in a compelling manner, and do so in less than a thousand words. What’s so hard about that? Simply make sense of your life. (right.) But what does that mean?”
The personal statement is more like a genre than a rubric; there are set of constraints, but no formulas. This means that we need to triangulate our understanding of what it will be with more than one piece of advice rather than a single definition.
For that reason, I recommend you begin by printing out Mary Tolar’s advice. Highlight the phrases that strike you as helpful. Chances are, these are the phrases that surprise you or confirm what was a hunch. Noticing what stands out will help reveal assumptions you may not have even known you had. (This is a stage in the process that should not be overlooked in your rush to master the personal statement. The more you notice what you are learning, the easier the process will become.)
Please follow the directions carefully and include the requested information in the spaces provided. You may also upload various attachments to your application as outlined in the attachment section of the application. Please do not submit attachments in lieu of completing the requested information in each section of the application.
All applicants for admission to the JD program are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). All applicants are required to register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). After your application is received electronically, a request for your CAS report from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) is made automatically. The CAS report summarizes undergraduate academic work and includes copies of your transcripts, your LSAT score, and your writing sample. The law school code for NYU School of Law is 2599.
Note for Foreign-Educated Applicants: Foreign transcripts must be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Applicants who completed any post-secondary work outside of the United States (including its territories) or Canada, must use this service for the evaluation of foreign transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is foreign work completed through a study abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a US or Canadian institution, and where the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript. Please visit www.lsac.org for details.
Two recommendations are required to complete your admissions application.
The Committee on Admissions requires the use of the LSAC Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Service. Please do NOT submit duplicate letters directly to NYU School of Law.
Note: The Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship; the Lindermann Family Public Service Scholarship; the Jacobson Public Service Scholarship for Women, Children, and Families; the Sinsheimer Service Scholarship; and the Filomen M. D'Agostino Scholarship applications require at least one additional recommendation that addresses the applicant's commitment to public service (see Scholarship section for details).
Application Fee or Waiver
When you transmit your application electronically, the fee, payable by credit card only, is $85. The application fee is not applied to tuition and is not refundable.
Applicants who have received an LSAC-approved LSAT or CAS fee waiver, will have their NYU School of Law $85 application fee automatically waived.
Applicants who are alumni of Teach for America or the Peace Corps are eligible for an $85 application fee waiver. To qualify, applicants must have completed their 2-year commitment to Teach for America or the Peace Corps by the start of the fall semester. Further, Teach for America alumni must have completed TFA's pre-corps training institute and served as a teacher for two years in a low-income community through their Teach for America placement. Applicants who have completed less than 2 years by the start of law school or those who are just entering Teach for America or the Peace Corps are not eligible. The application fee will also be waived for those who have served or are serving in the United States military. (Participation in a foreign country's military does not qualify an applicant for a fee waiver.)
Teach for America, Peace Corps and US military participants should send their request for a fee waiver to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants must have an account with the LSAC. To request an application fee waiver, please include your L number, a verification letter as well as the basis for the waiver (Teach for America, Peace Corps, or US military service).
While the Committee on Admissions does not use interviews as part of the selection process, we would like to give you the opportunity to include more information about yourself than the application form conveys. Because people and their interests vary, we leave the content and length of your statement to your discretion. You may wish to complete or clarify your responses to items on the application form, bring to our attention additional information you feel should be considered, describe important or unusual aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent in your application, or tell us what led you to apply to NYU School of Law.
A resume is required to complete your application.
Supplying Additional Information
The Committee on Admissions encourages you to provide any information that may be helpful to us in reaching a thoughtful decision on your application. While the choice as to whether and what information to submit to the committee is entirely yours, any information you provide will be used to give you full credit for your accomplishments, to help the committee reach an informed decision on your application, and to aid the committee in selecting a diverse student body.
Information that has been helpful in the past includes, but is not limited to, descriptions or documentation of disabilities, a history of performance on standardized test results, an explanation for any discrepancies in the case of submission of multiple LSAT scores, unusual circumstances which may have affected academic performance, or personal/family history of educational or socioeconomic disadvantage. This list is not all-inclusive, but we offer it for you to think about as you consider whether such information might be relevant in your case, and to assure you that it is quite appropriate.
If you choose to provide additional information, please upload this information in the attachment section of the application, and clearly identify your submission accordingly.
When you receive additional grades (such as first semester of senior year grades), you are required to submit an updated transcript to LSAC, which will, in turn, send us an updated CAS report.
Any information you submit, including material sent after your application is complete, will be considered by the Committee on Admissions if received before a final decision is reached on your application.
In completing this application, be sure that your statements are accurate, you answer all the questions in the Character and Fitness section of the application, and you electronically certify the application by completing the Certification section of the application. Misrepresentation may result in denial of admission, the rescinding of an offer of admission, dismissal from the Law School, or revoking any NYU School of Law degrees granted. Misrepresentation also may result in notification of LSAC's Subcommittee on Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admissions Process. The Law School may seek to verify any information submitted by contacting recommenders, employers or school officials.
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intent to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
Questions or Concerns
We will try to notify you if any of the material necessary to complete your application has not been recieved by the Office of Admissions, and we will try to keep you informed about the status of your application. Please understand that it takes some time for the committee to give each application thorough consideration. Please note that we have an online status check function available for all applicants accessible at http://www.law.nyu.edu/jdadmissions.
Please keep a copy of your application and your personal statement. We will not return or give you copies of any part of your application or supporting material, nor will we forward any part of your application or supporting material to a third party.
If you call the Office of Admissions about the status of your application, be sure you have allowed time for materials sent to arrive and be processed. Please understand that the volume of applications and phone calls may prevent us from verifying, while you are on the phone, that a particular item has been received and filed in your application.
The Office of Admissions does not release any information except to the applicant and does not give admission decisions by e-mail, telephone, or fax. This policy helps to protect the confidentiality of every applicant.
Application materials and all supporting documents submitted in connection with an application for admitted students who enroll at New York University School of Law become part of the student's record and are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Timing of Decisions
A holistic approach to the review of applications requires an extraordinary amount of care, and thus a significant amount of time. There is no way to predict an exact date on which a candidate will receive a decision.
Candidates who apply under the binding Early Decision option (deadline November 15) will be notified (admit, deny, or hold) by late December.
Candidates who apply by our regular February 15 deadline (must have taken the LSAT by the previous December to qualify) will be notified by late April. Candidates may hear sooner than late April, but we cannot make such a guarantee.
Beyond these parameters, it is not possible to predict an exact date by which a decision will be made on an application.
The Committee on Admissions recognizes that some law schools have deposit deadlines as early as April 1 and will ask a candidate for a commitment before that candidate receives a decision from NYU School of Law. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to accelerate our process in these circumstances.
Rolling Notification, Not Rolling Admission
Applications are sent to the Committee on Admissions in the order in which they are completed, but decisions are not necessarily made in the order in which applications are first reviewed. Some applicants may receive a decision fairly quickly based on the overall and relative strength of the application.
In an applicant pool of approximately 6,500 applications, many candidates present strong qualifications. The Law School’s admissions process is both objective and comparative. The Committee follows an on-going process of reviewing and rereviewing the vast majority of the applicant pool. Most candidates’ applications require significant comparison with the applicant pool as a whole before a final decision can be reached. For many candidates, the committee is not able to reach a decision until they have a clear picture of that year’s entire applicant pool.
As long as candidates take the LSAT by December and meet the February 15 deadline by having all materials received by the Office of Admissions, they will be given full and complete consideration and will be at no competitive disadvantage in the admissions process.