The Law School Personal Statement

Law School Statement 


Law School Statement Do's and Don'ts

  • Do: 
    • Strive for authenticity ; keep your voice! Tell a story where you changed, grew, or your perspective shifted 
    • Consider how your statement will compliment your resume and other application materials; you don't need to repeat your resume
    • Strive for a strong and compelling opening paragraph
    • Tailor personal statement with a paragraph describing your interest in that particular law school
    • Write several drafts
  • Don't: 
    • Write your resume twice
    • Exaggerate adversity
    • Include high school achievements
    • Write about others
    • Discuss academic inconsistencies or other issues--> better reserved for addendum

Potential Topics for your Personal Statement:

  • What skills, talents, or abilities do you have that will allow you to be a lawyer?
  • What people, events, or institutions have shaped you and how?
  • How did you arrive at the decision to earn a law degree?
  • What are your professional goals as an attorney?
  • If you had a significant hardship, how might those experiences affect how you will contribute to the classroom or the profession?
    • Focus on overcoming obstacles and perhaps how it shaped you or how will it make you a stronger candidate

*Also check the LSAC website and explore the personal statement section! 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How important is the personal statement?
    • This statement is a critical sample of your ability to write, as well as an opportunity to tell the admissions committee about yourself. Since most schools do not conduct interviews, the statement represents an opportunity for you to present yourself as more than just a GPA and an LSAT score
  • What should I say in my personal statement?
    • Above all, follow the instructions given by each school. Each school will have their own instructions, so avoid writing a generic statement for all schools. Some schools will ask about your academic and personal background, work experience, activities, etc.
    • Should I use the personal statement to address weaknesses in my application? Weaknesses, such as a string of low grades or a low LSAT score should be addressed somewhere in your application. If clarifying weaknesses flows with your statement, you may use your statement to address them. On the other hand, you may wish to use an addendum. In either case, be brief and honest while offering a sympathetic explanation and assure the admissions committee that a similar weakness is unlikely to occur again.
  • Does writing style count?
    • Absolutely! Law schools use the personal statement to learn about your ability to write concisely, precisely, and well. The personal statement gives you an opportunity to showcase your abilities and it takes the place of an interview. The best statements are not laundry lists of accomplishments and activities, but essays that describe a unique episode or two from your experience that demonstrate both your motivation for pursuing legal education along with positive, interesting aspects of your personality. 
  • How long should the statement be?
    • Some schools will explicitly state their word or page limit. You will not impress admissions committees with an overly long statement and your inability to follow directions. If no word count or page limit is stated, aim to write a statement that's about two pages long, double-spaced.


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