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User avatar
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Feb 06, 2023
Hi everyone,

Do law school admissions staff prefer a specific LSAT Writing structure over other structures? To elaborate, some online resources state that students should:

Intro - one sentence long
1st Body Paragraph - your chosen option's pros (includes both criteria)
2nd Body Paragraph - the other side's cons (includes both criteria)
Conclusion - one sentence long

Furthermore, other resources state:

Intro - three to four sentences long
1st Body Paragraph - lead with only stronger criteria
2nd Body paragraph - lead with only weaker criteria
Conclusion - three to four sentences long

There are other structures I have not included in this post. Does it matter to law school admissions which structure I ultimately choose?
 Luke Haqq
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 453
  • Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Hi JediRebecca!

There's probably not one overall response to the question that would apply to all law schools. How a given law school assesses an applicant's writing sample can be not just a matter of which people at the law school are reading it, but also can be shaped by the applicant's overall application package, regardless of who is reading it.

For one possible scenario, suppose a reviewer reads an applicant's personal statement and is concerned for whatever reasons that the applicant did not write the statement. The writing sample could help the reviewer determine this--e.g., if the writing styles are similar enough, that would probably allay concerns.

To speak to structure generally and the specific ones you raised, PowerScore emphasizes in its recently released Law School Admissions Bible that one's tone and writing style in application documents should be "professionally appropriate." There isn't necessarily a hard and fast rule as to how long a paragraph should be, but a one-sentence paragraph strikes me as rather short. Something like that seems to appear more often in journalistic writing rather than legal writing. Three seems sufficient--that provides enough space to provide a clear response to the prompt, a brief roadmap, and perhaps also a compelling intro sentence. There does seem to be value, however, in keeping the intro and conclusion shorter than the main body paragraphs, since the body paragraphs are where the substance of your arguments will be found.

In the end, what seems most important about structure in general is that it be a structure that is planned out. Many people tackle the writing prompt without bothering to sketch an outline first. It's not too difficult to differentiate oneself from these responses by taking a minute or perhaps a few to create an outline and then stick to that.

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