A law school personal statement demonstrates two important aspects of the applicant: the personality of the individual (experiences,
qualities, attributes) and his/her writing and communication abilities. Practicing law is about effective and persuasive communication. Selection committees are looking to see if a candidate can clearly articulate an idea in an organized and concise manner.
As you begin the writing process, it’s important to spend time brainstorming. Reflect on what’s driving your desire to go to law school. You want to demonstrate you have carefully weighed the benefits and drawbacks to applying and are convinced attending is worth the costs.
Remember: practicing law is about convincing others of your stance. Do not simply list your qualities or why you want to go to law school. Use your experiences to prove you have the traits needed for the legal profession. Don’t tell the reader you are a valuable candidate. Show them through personal events or seasons of growth.
Pique the reader’s interest without relying on the “shock factor.” Be honest and insightful. In your life story, there have been experiences, individuals, and/or issues that have made you passionate about the law. Engage your reader through relevant, personal, and unique storytelling.
Focus on you. You will be the one practicing law. Often candidates drift to side discussions about family, friends, issues, or social concerns. Stay on topic and discuss how you have been influenced or how you overcame an obstacle. Keep you at the center of the personal statement.
Stay away from using legal jargon if possible. There is far too great of a risk of misusing legal terminology. Just be straightforward. Avoid using showy and pretentious wording to sound intelligent. Be confident in you – your personality, history, characteristics, and ability to succeed.
To help you brainstorm, here are several topics to consider.
- What sparked your interest in law? Explain the specific event and how you explored the law profession more.
- Exemplify your unique qualities by providing specific examples. Tie this into why you are a worthy candidate.
- Describe an experience that fostered qualities in you that makes you a valuable fit for law school.
- Write about any first hand injustice you witnessed or experienced. Describe why this made you want to go to law school and how the profession will help you solve the issue.
- Discuss a time you voiced an unpopular opinion.