How do I Write a Law School Personal Statement?

Tara Barnett

A law school personal statement is a common component of law school applications. This essay provides a way for an applicant to express why he or she is a particularly good fit for a certain law school because of who he or she is. It might include an account of a particular experience, a lifetime goal, or even a personal hero. While the topic of a law school personal statement is important, the way in which this topic is addressed and explained is also essential to writing a good essay. The best way to think of a personal statement is as a representation of one's self, and the essay should reflect all the wonderful personal qualities one wants the law school to see.

Law schools expect students to be able to express and present themselves professionally.
Law schools expect students to be able to express and present themselves professionally.

Usually, a law school personal statement should be no longer than two double-spaced typewritten pages. If the particular school asks for something different, it is essential that one obey those rules. An applicant who cannot follow basic instructions will almost certainly be looked upon negatively.

Law schools expect applicants to be able to express themselves professionally, and a law school personal statement is a good opportunity to demonstrate how professional one can be. It is important to note that professional is not equivalent to boring and that there is no reason to write a personal statement like a machine. Essentially, one must simply make sure that a law school personal statement is both concise and formal. All appropriate grammatical and spelling conventions should be obeyed, and no inappropriate topics should be covered unless absolutely essential.

One thing many people forget when writing personal statements is the difference a proofreader can make. Having another person read one's writing can help catch embarrassing errors. It isn't really necessary to obey everything a proofreader says, but when one has produced a piece of writing it can be difficult to see its flaws. If a proofreader is not available, reading the essay aloud can also help.

Writing the essay itself is relatively simple. First, one must choose a topic that is well suited to a personal statement and explain its personal relevance. Then one must use the body of the essay to draw a poignant connection between the topic and the specific law school to which one is applying. The cleverness of this connection is important, because law schools value the ability to think about different subjects logically. Finally, one should conclude with how this means that one is perfect for that particular law school.

Even though writing a personal statement seems relatively straightforward, one should take the time to make every word count. If a sentence is not essential to the point being made, then it should be removed. With only two pages to make a big impression, a law school personal statement must be a virtual work of art. When writing the personal statement, remember that this document is the most personal aspect of the application process and can make the difference between acceptance and rejection.

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