2024 VLR Personal Statement Prompt

Please answer the following three questions to be considered for membership in the Virginia Law ReviewAnswering all three questions by March 15 at 11:59 pm is mandatory to be considered for VLR. Your answers will be kept strictly confidential and anonymous and will only be read by the eight members of the VLR Membership Selection Committee. 

To preserve anonymity, please do not use any personal identifiers in your answers. For example, instead of saying “as an engineer for Proctor & Gamble,” write “as an engineer at a large firm.” Or, instead of “I grew up in Chicago,” write “I grew up in a large city.” 

However, you are free to discuss identities, even if you are the only person with a particular intersection of identities. For example, even if you are the only queer Jewish woman in the 1L class, you are still permitted to discuss all three of those things in your responses. 

If you have questions about whether you can include something, please contact Mia Smutny at dyp8ku@virginia.edu. This will not violate anonymity, regardless of her answer, as she is the outgoing Membership Development Editor and therefore will not be reading personal statements.

Your personal statements should be formatted as follows:

  • Use 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced and with 1” margins.
  • The name of your document should be your Tryout Number followed by “VLR PS.” For example, if your number is 012, your document should be named “012 VLR PS” (be sure to use all three digits). Tryout numbers will be distributed on February 17th.
  • Your document must be saved as a Microsoft Word document.
  • Use the “Header” feature on Word to include your Tryout Number at the top right-hand corner of every page. You must include your Tryout Number at the top right-hand corner of every page of your statement.
  • You must also include the word count for each of your responses. Do not go over the word count; the VLR Membership Selection Committee will take your adherence to tryout rules into account.
  • Your statement should be entirely your work. You may not solicit feedback from others, whether or not they are students at the Law School.

Once you are completely done working, including adding your tryout number to your header, please remove all identifying information from your document before you submit it. To do this, please follow these instructions: 

  • Word 2010, 2013, 2016: Go to File, select “Info,” click on “Check for Issues,” click on “Inspect Document.” In the dialog box, click “Remove All” and close box. Save document.
  • Word for Mac 2016, 2018: Go to Tools, select “Protect Document.” Or click the “Protect Document” button on Review tab. Select “Remove personal information from this file on save.” Save document.

All answers are due by  Friday, March 15, at 11:59 pm, and should be submitted by emailing the document to BOTH journaltryoutsubmissions@gmail.com AND to uva_mb6f@sendtodropbox.com (note the underscore). The subject line must be: VLR Personal Statement

Please respond to all three prompts:

  1. Virginia Law Review Editorial Board (EB) members edit scholarly pieces prior to publication by reviewing grammar, obtaining and substantiating sources, and Bluebooking pieces. After a year on EB, VLR members can apply to be on Managing Board. In addition to continuing to edit and substantiate pieces, Managing Board members work collaboratively with their respective departments to select scholarship for publication, set deadlines, and communicate with authors, as well as managing other aspects of the Law Review’s operations. Discuss how your unique experiences, perspectives, or skills would help you contribute in a meaningful way to the Virginia Law Review. (This may include, but is not limited to, your social identity, personal experiences, work experiences, or academic background.) (500 words or less)
  1. Tell us about something you’re proud of. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. (250 words or less)
  1. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you and why should others care about it? This can be a legal or nonlegal topic.(250 words or less)