Your Law School Personal Statement: What’s Its Value?

You’ve just made up your mind to write your first law school personal statement. Well, that’s a crucial document for the Admission Committee. Let’s see what they will look for in your statement:

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First, they are eager to know who you’re. They really wonder whether you’re an interesting and likeable addition to their community or not.

It’s really interesting for them to know if their professors will enjoy working with you.

You communication and writing ability is another object of their interest. You have to prove your ability to present information in an organized, clear and concise manner.

In this statement, you require writing about something relevant, personal and completely individual to you. For instance, you may write about an important aspect of your background, your strongest personal qualities, experience, motivation and so on. There’s no need to pick up novel topics, just be yourself.

In your personal statement, you don’t necessarily need to inform the Admission Committee why you’re eager to go to this particular law school. Indeed, they’re requesting exactly a personal statement and not a statement of purpose.

Keep to these recommendations if you really want to benefit from your personal statement:

  • Proofread your personal statement all the time. It shouldn’t have any errors. You don’t want to demonstrate poor writing and communication skills, do you?
  • Be straightforward. You shouldn’t make it more complex that it should be. The Admission Committee simply wants a well-written essay to learn about your background.
  • Organize your thoughts and be concise.
  • Your personal statement should be about you. Don’t focus on your family members, legal issues, stories about other people, etc. Even if you offer a moving story, it will have nothing to do with your personal statement.
  • Be honest. Don’t write about unreal personal qualities of yours.
  • Needless to say, your personal statement needs to be absolutely authentic and believable. So, avoid using phrases you don’t normally use in your everyday conversation and writing.
  • Make sure your personal statement is…personal. The Admission Committee wants to learn about you. There’s no need to educate them about the law as well as other related things.

Applicants keep doing the same mistakes over and over again. The good thing is that you can notice them and accordingly avoid. So, let’s see what you shouldn’t do in your personal statement:

  • First, don’t restate your resume. That’s one of the most common mistakes.
  • Don’t list your qualifications. It’s not about selling yourself to the Admission Committee. That’s not a place where you should persuade everybody how qualified you’re. As for your qualifications, they’ll shine through in other parts of your statement.
  • Don’t use Latin phrases as well as legal terms, because there’s a high probability you’ll use them in the wrong way.
  • Don’t tell that you’ll be a perfect lawyer because arguing is to your liking.
  • Don’t cover too much information in your personal statement. The Admission Committee doesn’t need your entire life story. Your attempt to cover too much material will most likely result in a scattered and unfocused application.
  • Stay away from «tracked changes» and types. Make sure you’ve just uploaded the right version of your personal statement into CAS. Well, if you’re planning to reference law schools by name, make sure you’re actually referencing the right school for every application.
  • Avoid extensive discussions of the law as well as attorneys. That’s not a place to boast your knowledge of the law. Perhaps, you find it weird, but that won’t tell the committee much about you as an individual.
  • There shouldn’t be any name-dropping in your personal statement. In fact, you aren’t required to cite the names of this particular faculty as well as programs from their website in your personal statement unless you’re placing references in a certain context. You don’t want to detract the Admission Committee from your personality, do you?

Of course, you’d like to know if there’s a page limit for your personal statement. Frankly speaking, there’s no page limit here. Nevertheless, most advisers find four pages a sufficient amount for a personal statement. If you decide to make it longer, make sure you really have worthy facts to share. There aren’t any specific formatting rules in this case.

By the way, you are allowed to submit a diversity statement, but make sure it’s really important for your application. Don’t forget or be genuine and concise.

A personal statement is a great place to discuss various aspects of your background including religious identification, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic identification and so on. If you think you can’t include all of this in your personal statement, use an extra diversity statement.

If there’re informed and genuine reasons why you’re particularly interested in studying jurisprudence at this particular university, you’re welcome to discuss it in an additional essay.

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