How to Write Personal Statement for Law School
A personal statement is a brief description of who you are. It comes first before your detailed CV. A personal statement helps prospective employers or admission panel to know you better. It is among the elements, which vetting panels look for when selecting suitable candidates for a job or position. Like in any other disciplines, students who want to become lawyers must have a grip on how to write personal statement for law school regardless of their level of study.
A personal statement helps you to sell yourself to a potential employer as you get an opportunity to describe specific skills and attributes, which make you the best person for the job. Importantly, a personal statement can either give you the job or deny you that opportunity depending on the kind of person it paints. Thus, make sure you present the best image of who you are as you write your personal statements.
Tips on How to Write Personal Statement for Law School
Writing a personal statement is a task that most law students and fresh graduates dread. This is because of the challenge of being able to write about yourself and figure out what the selection committee could be looking for.
Since most law schools hardly employ interviews in their selection process, a personal statement is the only tool you need to use and prove your skills and abilities. Take full advantage of this opportunity to market your CV in the best way possible.
Here are dos to consider when mastering how to write personal statement for law school:
- Consult your prelaw advisor before you start writing. This will help you understand the topics to include in your personal statement.
- Pick narrow topic. Focus on specific details about yourself instead of giving generalities. Pick out concrete experience you have had in life and its impact on your career.
- Be real. Do not try to someone else. Do not write what you think the law school is looking for. Tell them the truth about you.
- Pay attention to paragraph one. As an opener, make it catchy and interesting. No one will read a personal statement beyond this paragraph if it is boring and flat.
- Keep it interesting. With an active voice, paint your image vividly. Make it memorable. The best personal statements create visuals in the mind of the reader.
- Be simple and brief. It is needless to write your personal statement with big words, which bears your ego. Choose your vocabulary with economy and a clear mind. Have in mind that your reader has other write-ups to read. A personal statement should range between two and three double-spaced pages.
- Proofread your statement. Request other people to go over your personal statement several times. A personal statement with grammatical and mechanical errors is simply unacceptable.
With the above dos, let us look an example, which shows how to how to write personal statement for law school.
Sample Personal Statement #1
The years that followed my graduation from high school gave me a chance to discover myself. I enrolled for various courses in politics, English and logic, statistics, anthropology, philosophy, art and history among others. Even though I learned a lot, most of the priceless things I learned were about myself. In need, none of these classes transformed and probably no class will ever change me. However, I have discovered that I have a set of skills and passions, which make a career in law.
Throughout my education, I have come to appreciate the need to look at problems in life from a range of angles. I enjoy competitive debating, which ate a big part of my time in high school. I won several tournaments and even represented Canada during World Individuals Public Speaking Championships.
Deciding on a career has been a complex journey for me. However, through the self-knowledge I have gained in the last three years since leaving high school makes it clear that law is my career of choice. I want to better systems, which affect the lives of people through domestic policy work. I believe that I can only achieve this by pursuing law. I want to join the University of Toronto because it has unmatched reputation, with quality lecturers and resources.
You can read the personal statement by clicking here.
However, the above sample shows some of the key elements to include in your personal statement. The writer gives his background in high school, including what he enjoyed doing while in school. He also explains how he discovered his interest in law and some of the courses he has undertaken in preparation for a law degree. Importantly, the author affirms his choice of the University of Toronto.
More details on how to write a personal statement for law school
Always remember that a personal essay is about you. Below is what you should have at the back of your mind as you figure out how to write personal statement for law school.
- Choose a topic. Focus on what matters about your career. Many law students end up discussing theories of law and society when they are supposed to tell their story. Even though you may have something interesting, admission boards find such topics to be irrelevant. Do not talk about the obvious things that every applicants repeats.
- Talk about your experience. What else were you doing besides studying? It would be important to tell the reader how you balanced work and class, a decision that made your high school journey tougher.
- Capture your unique perspectives towards life. Do you have unusual experiences in life, which may have transformed you into who you are today? This could be through competitions, internships, or other special abilities.
- What is your talent? Bring out your gifting, which makes you stand out from the crowd. Employers and admission committees are looking for extraordinary applicants with multiple talents.
Sample personal Statement #2
The following example gives pointers on how to write personal statement for law school:
I always had the fear of public speaking throughout my childhood. However, I was not the only one who struggled with this monster. When I joined high school, I embarked on a mission to overcome this inner fear by engaging in a series of debates. I mastered a few semantic tricks and found myself debating a range of issues including the Iraq War. With these quips, I was able to debate as a Republican or Democrat.
After my studies at Columbia University, I was sure of what I wanted to do and become in life. I wanted to do conflict resolution in my homeland using the knowledge and skills, which I had acquired in class. I experienced enormous challenges. At first, I was confident and composed in my conversations as we planned entry into the Controlled Civilian Zone. In most instances, I revealed my inadequacies for the job as I reverted to my childhood fear.
I took the challenge of learning Korean by consulting my coworkers. In every move, the challenges I confronted made me a better person for the job. I realized that life was not only what you know but also what other people understand. By the end of the job, I had implemented several programs.
This sample personal statement can be accessed here.
More guidelines on how to write personal statement for law school
Penning a good personal statement can be a complex assignment. This section gives you more tips on mastering the art of how to write personal statement for law school.
- Motivate Yourself! Ask y yourself if you are serious about going to a law school. Find a way of saying what you want confidently. As you write, remain serious, knowing that your personal statement is what will grant you that chance or shutter your career dream.
- Write for Your Audience. Your audience is the recipient. Admission panels in leading law schools comprise of professors, admission officers and students. These people will go through your personal statement and reach a conclusion. Give them specific details because they want to know you.
- Have a strong introduction. Make it attention grabbing. Since the committee has numerous applications, make it worth their time to read.
Sample Personal Statement #3
I was born and brought up in the city of Victoria, British Columbia. As I grew up, liberty and affluence were not clear to me. I understood the concepts of inequality even from trivial unfairness in the family. I even got concerned whenever my elder sister got a bigger slice of bread. Despite the fact that I was brought up in a comfortable environment, I developed interest in understanding people and the world around me. This happened first in language, travel and currently as an advocate for refuses.
View the rest of it here.
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