Writing Your Personal Statement
Your personal statement is a piece of writing that is your opportunity to give the admissions committee a better understanding of who you are as a person, and why you want to attend their law school.
Where do I begin?
First, read the instructions provided to you by the law school. The instructions may be specific or vague, but make sure to take them into account. Your personal statement must conform to the instructions.
What should I write about?
Law schools will read your personal statement critically, so it is essential that it is well-written. There are a wide variety of topics you can choose to discuss in your personal statement. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Intellectual Curiosity
- Understanding or experience with the skills necessary for success in law school
- Personal growth and maturity
- Motivation to study law
- Connection to our ever-diversifying community
- Features that make you a unique applicant
- Something that you are passionate about
What are some tips for writing my personal statement?
- Do not simply regurgitate your resume.
- Indicate what in your background suggests suitability for law school (if applicable).
- Don't 'reach' for slightly relevant features or remind the school of its ranking.
- Remember that law school is an academic institution. The leadership experiences that you describe should relate to your education (e.g. co-curricular clubs) or from a professional experience (e.g. internships, military service, etc.)
- Bring out unique features of your undergraduate curriculum if they are not evident from your transcript or resume, such as graduate level work, or official undergraduate research.
- Do not write in legalese.
- If you have any blemishes in your record such as a low GPA or LSAT score, consider writing an addendum explaining them. Do not offer excuses or blame others. Instead, explain why your record appears this way, and explain how you have grown from it.
- Feel free to look online for examples of previous students' personal statements as inspiration but do not copy them!
Who should I have look at my personal statement?
We recommend that students have multiple people critically read and critique their essay before submitting it. You can have friends, professors, the University Writing Center or the University Career Center review it for you.