4 Ways to Beat Law School Application Essay Stress

Eileen ConnerPlease welcome back law school admissions essay expert Eileen Conner, founder of Pen & Chisel, who has some timely advice on how to handle law school application stress!

If you missed any of her other admissions Q&As, check them out here.

Q: I have so many law school application essays to write! How can I keep all my different writing and editing tasks under control without panicking?

A: Application season brings with it a slew of new commitments — and plenty of stress.

It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious and overbooked when you’re trying to balance writing your law school application essays with all the other tasks on your plate. The real key is not to let those tasks overwhelm you.

Try these four ways to beat application essay stress, and you’ll be better able to keep calm and manage all the problems the season throws at you.

1. Plan your time well.

I am a huge proponent of a good schedule. If you break down all your different law school application commitments, make a practical plan for when you’ll do each of them, and then stick to that plan, you will know deep down that you’ll be able to get everything done in plenty of time to submit your application.

Planning your essay writing in advance will let you take a deep breath, knowing that you have your agenda worked out so you can complete all your different writing tasks. This will give you self-confidence and a feeling of security — both of which can definitely help you stay composed, positive, and capable of tackling whatever challenges your essays might present.

And as you pencil in your different tasks, you can even build in breaks!

2. Take breaks.

Speaking of breaks, don’t pack your schedule too tightly with application essay tasks. Make sure to care for yourself by building in some personal time just for you.

Whether it be an occasional night out with friends, a weekend getaway, or a night or two watching a few episodes of Bob’s Burgers or Scandal, take that break!

As long as you also make sure to take the time to write and edit your essays and finish all your additional application work, you’ll be fine. Your breaks will actually help you keep calm and deal more productively with all your different law school application stressors. Don’t burn yourself out.

3. Take care of your body.

Taking care of your body as well as your brain is key to a successful application. After all, you aren’t going to be able to do your best writing and editing work while running on three hours of sleep, a triple latte, and a pack of crushed crackers you found crammed into the darkest corner of your bag.

Instead, while you complete your personal statement and other law school application essays, make sure to take care of yourself. Get 8 hours of sleep as often as you can. Eat a good amount of balanced meals that you cook at home. Limit your alcohol intake. Exercise at a level appropriate for your physical ability.

Creating and maintaining a good baseline of physical health will provide a solid foundation for completing all your application essay tasks.

4. Bond with your peers.

If you’re unfamiliar with the law school application process, attacking it head-on can seem incredibly intimidating. So why not change that by learning more about others’ real experiences writing application essays and applying to law school?

Think about your friends and contacts — who among them has applied to law school before? Who is applying this year? Who is currently a law student? Why not get together for a cup of coffee and talk about their law school application essay writing process — and yours?

Sharing your experiences can help you build up your understanding of the situation while also reassuring you that what you’re feeling is normal, and that you aren’t alone in going through this experience. And you may not only improve your friendship in the process — but also solidify a valuable professional contact.

By making sure to take care of yourself while writing your law school application essays, you’ll be able to lower your stress levels while still making a convincing argument for admission to the law schools of your choice.

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Thanks, Eileen! Excellent advice.

More about Eileen:
Eileen Conner is the founder of Pen and Chisel LLC, where she specializes in helping law school candidates perfect their application essays. A graduate of the University of Michigan’s prestigious creative writing MFA program, Eileen is the former Senior Editor for Law at Revision Editing.

Read On:

As you embark on your law school application journey, you might want to bookmark Applying to Law School 101: What You Need to Know to Succeed.

Then check out some of the rest of the Pen & Chisel Q&A:

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Best of luck on your applications!

Got an admissions question for Eileen? Leave it in the comments!


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