- Brainstorm some themes and topics that relate to you, ones that are prominent in your life. Think about why and how you became interested in law. What significant life events and interests have you developed along the way?
- Select 1-2 topics/themes you believe will be the strongest. Use this theme as the thesis statement of your personal statement.
- Write a rough draft. Don’t worry about length, style, or grammar yet.
- Put it away for a while. Time adds an interesting perspective on your writing.
- Redraft and edit as needed; aim for 2 pages double spaced.
- Have several people read it - professors, a prelaw advisor, or the Writing Center.
- Weigh the feedback you have been given and develop your final draft.
- Proofread, proofread, and proofread!
Personal Statements for Law School
Your personal statement as an opportunity for law schools to get to know you as an individual. Think beyond your application materials – focus on your values, interests, goals, and passions.
Your statement should be the piece of your application that sets you apart from other law school candidates. It should also showcase your writing abilities.
If the law school does not specify a topic (and many don’t, but always check), here are a few ideas to help you brainstorm:
- Hobbies/work/other experiences that have shaped you
- How you became interested in the law
- Life events that have changed or motivated you
- Challenges and hurdles you overcame
- Issues or subjects that you feel strongly about and why (just make sure not to “preach”)
- Personal growth you’ve experienced in college
- A unique experience that you have had inside or outside the classroom
- Your goals and the events that have shaped those goals
- Ensure that you accurately answered the essay questions provided
- Remember to put the “personal” in the personal statement – use personal stories/experiences
- Avoid just restating your resume or transcript. Law schools are looking to get to know you beyond your application materials
- Remember, the general guideline for page length is 2-3 pages double-spaced (although check with each school for specific guidelines). Most schools do not restrict page length for the personal statement.
If you have any questions, please contact Alex Karlesses at email@example.com or 610-519-5421.