Shemmassian Academic Consulting

Your Trusted Advisors for Admissions Success

Admissions and test prep resources to help you get into your dream schools

Law School Personal Statement: The Ultimate Guide (Examples Included)

Learn how to write a law school personal statement that dazzles admissions committees.

personal statement for law sample

AN EXCELLENT LAW SCHOOL PERSONAL STATEMENT CAN HELP COMPENSATE FOR A less competitive UNDERGRADUATE GPA OR LSAT SCORE

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: why does the law school personal statement matter, part 3: what should a law school personal statement do, part 4: law school personal statement brainstorming, part 5: how to write your law school personal statement, part 6: law school personal statement examples, part 7: frequently asked questions.

The law school admissions process can feel confusing, scary, and overwhelming. Questions like “What LSAT score do I need?” , “How many law schools should I apply to?,” and “Do law school rankings matter?” likely weigh on your mind.

But amid all the uncertainty, there’s one thing we know for sure: the two most important components of your law school application are your undergraduate GPA and your LSAT score.

That means you should spend as much time as you’re able improving those two things. If you’ve already graduated from college or are about to graduate, you should focus on improving your LSAT score as much as you reasonably can. But while those two statistics are invariably the most important factors affecting the success of your law school admissions cycle, they aren’t the only factors admissions committees consider.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the third-most important part of your application: your law school personal statement.

Because your LSAT and GPA carry so much weight, you shouldn’t begin thinking about your personal statement until you have already taken the LSAT. But while you wait for your scores, you can turn your attention to the essay.

Before we get into the step-by-step guide, we’ll offer some general framing thoughts about the law school personal statement. While many people applying to law school are already strong writers with backgrounds in the humanities, social sciences, public policy, or journalism, they often forget the components of good storytelling as soon as they sit down to write their essays.

Remember that the tone of your law school essays isn’t the same tone you’ll use in a legal brief. Law schools are admitting the whole person. An artificial intelligence can handle legal research; only you can display the kind of narrative understanding of your own background and your own future that a good future attorney needs.

Learn everything you need to know to get into T-14 law schools.

Enter your name and email for high-yield admissions strategies we use to get students into programs like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford

100% privacy. No spam. Ever.

Thank you! Your guide is on its way. In the meantime, please let us know how we can help you crack the law school admissions code . You can also learn more about our 1-on-1 law school admissions support here.

A quality personal statement—a short essay in which you articulate who you are and why you want to go to law school—allows an admissions officer to understand your motivation to attend law school, and the reasons why you want to attend their school, specifically.

As admissions committees decide between students who have similar stats (i.e., GPAs and LSAT scores), they might turn to a tiebreaker: the personal statement. An effective law school personal statement can mean the difference between a letter that begins with “Congratulations!” and one that starts “We regret to inform you...”

In 2018, law school enrollment soared for the first time in nearly ten years. And the number of applications has continued to rise since then, with the 2020–2021 cycle bringing a 13 percent increase in applications compared to the previous year—the largest applicant pool of the past decade.

While the competition to get into a top law school has grown stiffer, students from these programs have less collective debt than their peers at lower-tier schools. A strong personal statement is one major way to push you beyond your scores and into the top 5, 10, or 14 programs , giving you a shot not only at a top-notch education with less debt, but also a flourishing career in the years after.

The personal statement also matters because lawyers have to write, and they have to come up with creative arguments to support a variety of claims. If you can’t make a case for yourself, how can a law school trust that you’ll defend tenants’ rights or argue successfully on behalf of a major corporation?

Your personal statement can demonstrate that you’re not only a rigorous, clear thinker but also a pristine writer, so make sure you don’t leave any typos for an eagle-eyed admissions committee to nitpick over.

Lastly, a strong set of law school essays demonstrates that you aren’t just going to law school by default. Unlike, say, medical school, law school has no undergraduate prerequisites, making it a generic possibility for many students who don’t know what to do next but want a respected career. Offering specificity, passion, and context for your application assures programs that you can make the most of these three years, and that you’ll represent them well as an alumnus or alumna.

(Suggested reading: How to Write an Amazing Law School Diversity Statement )

Your law school personal statement should tell the admissions committee something about you outside of your academic qualifications or work experience.

The personal statement is an opportunity to showcase your personality, reflect on the experiences that led you to apply to law school, and demonstrate how you will make a great addition to the school’s incoming class.

Meeting our students

Throughout the course of this post, we’ll provide examples from students who have gone through this process so you can see the writing process in action. These examples are either real essays that have been slightly adjusted for anonymity or are composites based on real students who have had success applying to T-14 (top-tier) schools.

Tucker: Tucker is from North Carolina and studied at UNC. He has bits and pieces of political experience, most notably working on a state representative’s successful campaign. He wants to return to North Carolina after law school to work as a public defender or return to politics.

Teresa: Teresa is a first-generation Nigerian immigrant who went to a large technically-focused state school, studied mechanical engineering, and ultimately decided a strictly technical career is not her forte.

Deepika: Deepika graduated with a 4.0 from a state school close to home. She studied premed, but toward the end of her undergraduate career decided med school wasn’t for her. In the last year, she’s worked for a local law firm as a paralegal and wants to become an attorney, preferably ending up at a big firm in New York City.

Pavel: Pavel did well as an undergraduate at Michigan, winning the collegiate national debate title along the way. He doesn’t know what kind of law he wants to practice, but right now he’s most interested in the work of prestigious non-profits like the ACLU.

Eric: Eric attended Morehouse, a historically Black college, and spent his undergraduate years studying American history while also getting involved in local Atlanta politics. He’s originally from rural Alabama, and moved to Baltimore after Morehouse to teach high schoolers for two years.

Victor: Victor, a Dallas native, took advantage of his liberal arts education at Harvard. He pursued an interdisciplinary major, Social Studies, and earned good but not fantastic grades in the competitive concentration. He did everything possible on campus: performed with an improv troupe, did work-study in the admissions office, attended weekly religious group meetings. When he graduated, it wasn’t obvious what he would do. He entertained offers from banks and consultancies alike, and he took his time before applying to law school, working in local government and attending a graduate program in France first.

Want expert guidance on law school admissions?

Thank you! Your guide is on its way. In the meantime,  please let us know how we can help you crack the law school admissions code . You can also learn more about our 1-on-1 law school admissions support  here .

Before you begin writing, you should spend time brainstorming ideas. Because law school personal statement prompts are almost always broad—e.g. “Why do you want to go to law school?”—applicants often feel uncertain about how to proceed. Either you have too many ideas, or no clue what to write. First, let’s look at a strategy you can use if you don’t know where to start.

Grab a notepad, and answer the following questions:

What’s a time—a year, a summer, a month, even a day—that helped define who you are today?

What are your fondest memories from college?

When did you first think about becoming a lawyer?

What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced?

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?

What cause do you care about most? When did you first begin to care about it?

What qualities do you associate with the law? When did you first begin to think about the law in those terms?

Who’s had a significant impact on you? What’s an important experience you had with that person?

What’s a Big Idea that changed the way you think? How did you encounter it (i.e. in school, with a friend, through religion, etc)?

What is definitely not on your resumé but is still an important part of who you are?

Feel free to ask yourself additional questions. The more ideas, the better.

Another way into your PS is to ask what qualities make a good lawyer, and how you embody those qualities. Here are a few to get you started, though this is by no means a comprehensive list.

A commitment to justice or the rule of law

A passion for a particular policy matter or issue (e.g. climate change, religious freedom)

A strong ability to communicate, verbally or in writing

Critical thinking skills and a facility for argumentation

A creative approach to problem-solving

Before moving from the idea-generation phase to the writing phase, take some time, whether it’s a few hours or a day or a week to step away from the process. This next step is best done when removed from the context of your brainstorming.

Focusing your ideas

Here are some of the topics that our students came up with:

Working on a local election campaign

Losing faith and deciding to leave the church he grew up in

Making environmental documentaries during his film coursework

Her senior product design engineering lab

Grandmother teaching her how to cook as a child

Interning for a civil/environmental engineering firm focused on renewables

Interning for a human rights non-profit

Growing up in Slovakia

The route to becoming the collegiate national debate champion

Being on the swim team in college

Her favorite painting, which is by a Sudanese refugee who immigrated to the United States

Working at a local law firm

Moving from a rural environment to a major city

Studying abroad in Oxford

Personally facing police injustice

Living and studying in France

Working underneath the mayor of a major city

Turning around his college improv troupe

Once you’ve generated a list of ideas, choose the one that most compellingly answers ALL of the following questions:

Why go to law school?

Before applying , let alone writing your personal statement, you should be crystal clear on why applying to law school is the logical next step for your ambitions and career.

This matters because admissions committees see too many law school applications from people who just need another step—a credential, a degree to top off their BA in English and render them more employable, or a place to hide out for three years. Explaining how a law degree will help you achieve your professional goals is crucial.

What personal strengths do I have that are not apparent in the rest of my application?

The admissions committees get two windows into your personality and life beyond the numbers: your personal statement and your letters of recommendation . Since, at the very least, you know what context your professors and/or other recommenders have on your professional and academic life, you can also deduce which aspects of yourself they might miss out on that an admissions officer would find compelling. The personal statement is a great place to highlight those.

Why do I want to attend this school specifically?

You should be able to articulate the reasons why a particular school appeals to you. Does the school have a strong reputation for your intended specialty (e.g., public interest law, constitutional law, intellectual property law)? Is there a specific faculty member with whom you want to conduct research? Is there a student organization on campus that can benefit from your expertise and leadership?

The more you’re able to tailor your personal statement to each school, the greater your chances of admission. This requires thorough research: look at the school’s website, reach out to current students and faculty members, and go on a campus tour if possible.

How do I embody the qualities of a good lawyer?

Your personal statement shouldn’t just tell a story of your own past, present, and future. In an ideal world, it’ll also speak to one or more of those intangible qualities that we listed above, or that you came up with in conversation with attorneys or professors. An admissions committee should be able to read your essays and think, “Yes, I see how this person will fit right into our larger legal world, because they’ll have to call on these qualities every day.”

How our students applied these principles

Teresa’s desire to be a lawyer is tied to her background in engineering. She wants her future career to be technical, but she sees real appeal in the skills that practicing law would employ, which has her thinking that a career in IP law could be a good fit. When she writes her essay, she wants to make sure she refers to her engineering expertise. Her idea to write about her experience on a product design engineering team survives this scrutiny.

It also demonstrates a fascination for creative problem-solving, and one can easily see how an engineer could turn her analytical mind toward the law.

Tucker, as we mentioned, was politically active throughout college, but much of that activity was informal, so he found it hard to capture in his resume or elsewhere. He wants to use his personal statement to highlight some of that passion, so he’s chosen to write about his Appalachian roots through the lens of the local candidate he worked with and how they relate to his advocacy. This topic also shows off Tucker’s passionate commitment to a whole constellation of causes and paints a clear picture of how he might use his law degree—to return home to North Carolina to address major systemic issues like poverty, racism, and the opioid crisis.

If you feel like you still have a few winners after narrowing on those criteria, you still have to pick just one. The final selection should be a combination of all the above lessons, while also asking yourself, “Which of these can tell the best story?” At the end of the day, great personal statements tell a story, and some of your ideas probably map more easily to that reality than others. If the idea doesn’t yield a story, it may not be your best. Kill it.

These questions may serve as a litmus test for whether an idea can turn into a good tale:

Do you have a story and not just a topic? In other words, can you reference a specific anecdote (a day, a summer)? Could you, if pressed, write a scene, with characters and images to illustrate your larger narrative?

Is yours a story no one else could tell? If there were other people who did your exact same jobs, or attended your exact same university, could they come up with the same essay?

Is there a natural tension or conflict present?

Did you change at all from the beginning to the end of the relevant time period? How? Was it a surprise?

In telling this story, will you sound like yourself, or is there a risk that you’ll have to write robotically or flatly?

Whichever idea you choose, you should be able to answer yes to at least one of these questions.

To that end, while Deepika felt at first that her time at a local law firm melded naturally with her desire to go to law school, the emotional arc she identified in how moved she was by the painting and the emigré narrative of the artist felt an easier story to tell, not to mention a more unique one (law schools read a lot of essays about being a paralegal).

Similarly, Pavel was torn between writing about his debate experiences or interning with an NGO, but his version of the former gives more insight into who he is and how he’s changed and grown, which means he’ll be able to tell a better story.

Eric, for his part, opted to tell a story that was personally gut-wrenching but which drew a very clear connection between him and the law: the moment a police officer wrongfully arrested him for “loitering.”

And Victor made a bold choice: he didn’t really choose. Instead, he decided to use several of his experiences as canvas in a larger, quilted story about his passions and sense of self.

Before you dive into writing the best personal statement the admissions committee has ever seen, it’s often useful to create an outline. An outline will keep your ideas organized and help you write more efficiently.

Here’s one path you could follow as you outline:

First paragraph: Lead with the anecdote or story

It may be tempting to write straight away about the importance of the legal system or why you’re excited about a particular school, but beginning with your narrative draws readers in more effectively. In addition to hooking readers, an essay that tells a story will be more memorable than one that feels focused entirely on listing your readiness for or interest in studying the law. To drive this home further, every applicant has an interest in studying the law. Pinning that interest to a story only you can tell will make your application all the more memorable.

How do you know what the right anecdote is? Remember how our litmus tests above asked about scenes? A story is a story—rather than an idea or a topic—if it can be populated with vivid descriptions of the characters and setting. Can you recall the smell of the damp room where you sat when it was announced that your boss has won the state senate seat? How did you feel on the first day of your new teaching job in the Texas border town? What was the weather like? How big was the space? Who else was there? Did someone say something particularly memorable?

Another way to check for your anecdote is to think about what growth or change you’re trying to demonstrate through the essay. What was the beginning of that growth or change? What, in other words, was the inciting incident that kicked off your epiphany or transformation?

This opening anecdote or personal hook is the place our only you litmus test matters most. No one else should be able to tell this story the way you can tell this story. Your personal views, history, and perspective will color what details pop out.

Tucker chose to open with a beautiful, personal reflection on the place that shaped him. It both sets the stage with narrative finesse, literally demonstrating place and space, but also gives us an inciting incident that spurred Tucker’s new relationship to his hometown.

Note also that Tucker’s opening is not explicitly or even obviously related to the law. Take a look:

I did not know that my home town was a small one until I was 15 years old. Growing up, I thought I lived in the big city, because Greensboro has skyscrapers—isn’t that the dividing line between the big city and not? It’s also the first town that appears on interstate signs in North Carolina once you get on I-40, headed west from Durham. I figured if the interstate thought we were important, why shouldn’t I? So when I went to Rochester, New York in tenth grade for a student conference with my friends at school, I proudly announced that I was from Greensboro to the first person who asked, only to have her, a Bronx resident, respond, “Uh, where?” It was then that I learned one thing it could not claim to be was “the big city.”

Eric also set a scene in vivid, visceral, painful detail. Because his story was so intense, he didn’t limit himself to just one paragraph at the start. He took his time, the way a lawyer would, laying out every component of what happened to him when he was wrongfully arrested, and demonstrating everything he witnessed as part of the process. This sets him up to level a layered and specific critique of the system that was responsible for his arrest.

After less than four minutes of waiting on the front lawn of my private property for my uncle to arrive, I was arrested and forced into a squad car without a reason for my arrest. As he tightened the cold handcuffs on my wrists, the arresting officer asked my age. Perplexed, I informed him I was eighteen years old. “Great,” he exclaimed, as he slammed the door in my face while he exchanged smiles with his partner. Oblivious, I waited in the back seat, as he drove down the block, anxiously awaiting an explanation for my arrest. Less than thirty seconds after forcing me in the car, the police officer jumped out of the car, pursued an unsuspecting boy riding his bike in the neighborhood, aggressively pulled him from his moving bike, and placed him in handcuffs. After throwing the boy in the back seat with me, the cop sped off—leaving the boy’s bike behind on the sidewalk to be stolen. The caravan of police proceeded to rampage the area arresting more young men walking through the neighborhood.

On the ride to the police station, I repeatedly asked the officer the reason for my arrest. After a few minutes of ignoring my questions, he said he arrested us for loitering. After arriving at the police station, the cops expressed their disapproval of my choice of clothing. At that moment it was clear that I was profiled based on my appearance alone.

A couple of hours later, my mother arrived and demanded my release. When releasing me, the cops repeatedly apologized to my mother insisting that they did not know they had a “good kid.” The whole experience left me wondering how many people, besides the ones I witnessed, are wrongfully arrested or wrongfully convicted, due to their appearance, ignorance, and lack of access to quality legal advice and representation.

Lastly, let’s look at Victor’s essay, which took an unconventional approach. He didn’t begin with a specific anecdote, but he did take on the voice of a storyteller.

The house is quiet—its residents have been asleep for some time now. In a modest room on the second floor, only faint specks of moonlight peek through the window blinds. A few of these beams land on a small, round face, his eyes glittering in the darkness. Although he retreated to his bedroom hours ago, sweet slumber eluded him. This was not the first time: for as long as he could remember, he would lie awake when he should have been in repose, his mind excitedly flitting from one thought to the next. He pictured distant lands, from Spain with its beautiful language and world-renowned cuisine, to his parents’ mother country of Ghana, where farmers journeyed for miles to sell their wares in vibrant cities teeming with life. He also loved superheroes, and he sometimes imagined himself launching into the sky like Superman, sailing through the air as quickly as possible to help a family in need. At this late hour, when the sun had not yet nudged above the horizon and his loved ones were just beginning to dream, he was obsessed with the world not as it was, but as it could be.

Victor knows that someone might read his application and wonder about his seeming lack of focus. By opening here, he demonstrates that his diversity of interests is a core part of who he is, and that he wasn’t a waffler or a flip-flopper but, rather, a curious person by nature.

Body paragraphs: Convey who you are

You should try to accomplish the following in your body paragraphs. They don’t—and probably shouldn’t—happen in this order, with each of the below points being assigned to a paragraph. But as you write, you ought to be able to pull off each of the following.

Connect the narrative to a thesis. Only after you’ve told the story should you articulate your thesis, your “here’s why I am applying to law school/want to be a lawyer/care about the law.”

Teresa accomplished this beautifully. She opened with a personal anecdote about her father’s annual “Design Days,” days in which the family would make physical things, and which spurred in her a love of creating with her hands. It’s not obvious what that has to do with the law at first, which is part of what makes it a great opening. By the third paragraph, she links it brilliantly to her legal preoccupations, and, in doing so, explains why a former engineer is applying to law school.

But the reality for many creators in America is that their work is under threat. The chief protection for many fledgling creators, whether they’re scientists or engineers or musicians or writers, is the legal system. Patent trolls aim to trounce startups; large institutions create environments unfriendly to more nascent artists. In between them stand good lawyers ready to defend the individual artist, scientist, inventor. While the American intellectual property system is not void of imperfections, it remains true that copyright and patents can and should protect the creations of every person who experiences the same precious sense of creativity my father introduced me to every November 1.

Articulate what kind of lawyer you hope to be. You might have a sense of what sort of law you want to practice, whether it’s being a defense attorney or general counsel for a big corporation. But that’s not what we’re talking about. Go back to the qualities you came up with in the brainstorming phase. What values and ideals does your life so far reflect, and what do those have to do with the kind of legal career you hope to have? This doesn’t have to take up too much space. Deepika neatly and simply explains:

I want to apply my desire for more legal experience specifically to the problem of migration.

Connect the personal to the professional. Don’t leave your opening personal anecdote out to dry. Even something that has ostensibly nothing to do with the law, like, say, Deepika’s choice to write about the artist, will need to say something about your own commitment to pursuing the law.

Remember, though, that by this point, you’ve defined what exactly the law means to you , which should help you connect your personal story to the legal profession. You don’t need to draw a through line from your grandmother’s illness to late nights as an associate lawyer working off your school debt. But you can connect your presence throughout your grandmother’s illness to the continuity of care that you’ll give your clients when they sue nursing homes for negligence.

Take a look at how Tucker does that at the end of his personal statement, which has spent most of its time in the terrain of the personal, but turns toward the professional as it closes.

The Appalachian conversation is necessarily a legal one. As some Carolinians line up along racial boundaries, many good lawyers are working to combat the mass incarceration of minority populations, while other good lawyers champion free speech for even the most maligned activists. When free speech intertwines with debates about white nationalism and the South's history, impact litigators argue multiple sides to arrive at good legal judgments that do not stop at popular opinion. As my own mayor was maligning the presence of refugees, Virginia immigration lawyers were ensuring that local migrants were educated about their rights and responsibilities. The rigor in pursuit of justice that legal conversation applies has an immense role to play in these heated debates.

In particular, the conversation about race can go deeper here at home than most are willing to take it. One issue that has faced recent attention in the highest courts is equal representation in the electorate. Studying at Harvard will train me to ensure that existing civil rights are protected. It will teach me about the viewpoints informing present discussions of how civil rights are defined and advocated for. While race, gerrymandering, and voter ID laws are contentious issues on a national scale, both recent attention and my deep roots in the region have made it clear to me that North Carolina is a place where the legal conversation needs to be carried further. I want to attend Harvard to acquire the skills, legal context and history, and education to do this work in my home.

Don’t lose your sense of story. Often, when we reach the middle of the essay, we’ve grown tired and are eager to start summarizing our resumé.

Remember that you still need to maintain the narrative propulsion that you introduced by kicking off with an anecdote or personal hook. Another way of saying this is that you need to remain present throughout the body paragraphs. As with the whole essay, ask, with every paragraph: am I the only person who could have written this? Or could one of my fellow interns at the Goldman Sachs legal program have come up with the same take?

Victor does a great job of maintaining his commitment to the storyteller’s voice, even in the middle of his essay, as he’s showing off his professional accomplishments. Witness his use of character and dialogue here:

“I hope you have had no issues settling into life here… Now, on to business. What’s wrong with this city?” the Mayor asked softly, rapidly twirling his pen in the process. Needless to say, I was floored; it was my third day in public service, and I could not think of a weightier question, one with tremendous implications for the large city where I’d taken a job. Although I felt under-qualified for such a task, he was confident in my ability to review the city’s finances from a completely blank slate. A week later, we ruminated over innovative approaches to topics ranging from how to name our city a “sanctuary city” to solving the region’s major infrastructure issues. While there were clear legal frameworks for operating within each of these spaces, we also had substantial freedom to propose what we wished.

As we refined our proposals, I realized that laws gave us the framework necessary to think critically about what was possible, but they rarely led to a clear conclusion about how to proceed. Final decisions would come as a result of deliberations with relevant internal and external parties, discussions with our counterparts in nearby cities and regions, vetting particular approaches with members of our staff and even state Senators, and checking our conclusions against the advice offered by legal counsel. No one group could act unilaterally, and our contributions were but a small piece of a larger policymaking apparatus.

Demonstrate change and growth over time, and remember that it’s not the same thing as flip-flopping. Two key components of a compelling story are conflict and resolution. Something, in other words, has to change between the beginning and the end. The middle is a great place for that to happen. You can think of it the way fiction writers think about plot: a set of events alongside a set of emotional shifts. The events incite the emotional shifts.

Deepika does this by addressing her former interest in medicine, and explaining how it gradually shifted to an interest in the law. She doesn’t pretend that she’s always wanted to be a lawyer. It’ll be obvious from her transcripts and extracurriculars that her interests lay elsewhere . Making this change part of her narrative is a good choice:

I was spending the summer working for a public health nonprofit based in Kenya, exploring a future career in medicine, and I’d used my weekend to visit a gallery with some local friends. Despite growing up in a family that appreciated art deeply, no one had equipped me for a moment where a painting could bring me so immediately to tears. Agnostic to the artist’s story, which I got only after he saw my reaction to his work, the painting itself was just such a guttural and emotional work. Something about how directly he’d translated his own trials into the medium flew straight through me. The name of the piece was “Resurrection,” and it was scratched from a discarded advertisement board that he had repurposed. The faceless figure told a story of a life plagued by violence, that violence rendered on the work itself with haphazard scratching and peeling of the paint. I was breathless seeing what he had gone through, and thinking of how that had made its way onto the “canvas.” We talked for a while, swapping our very different stories of moving countries. After, I said a sincere thank you, and I left.

By the end of that summer semester, I was sure that medicine was not the career for me. But I didn’t immediately know where to put all my passion. In a moment of serendipity, I was able to experience firsthand the value of the legal world and see attorneys in action by working as a paralegal. The hands-on legal experience I received there was ultimately vital to my decision to practice law, but I return to that summer in Nairobi as a real clarion call to do something different.

Conclusion: Tie it all together

After telling a story and spending time articulating your goals more clearly, a concluding paragraph can leave the reader with an understanding of who you are and why you’re applying—the best result you can hope for from a good personal statement.

There are a number of ways to think about an ending, which can be the toughest, and most easily clichéd part, of any essay.

First, let it happen naturally, rather than forcing it. We recommend not stressing about the ending until you’ve written your way to it. An essay that ends in exactly the spot you thought it would when you began it risks sounding cliché.

Second, declarative statements often make for clichéd endings. Things like “and that’s why I want to become a lawyer” or “and I’ll use these skills every day in my life as an attorney” can sometimes work, but often read as default options. If everyone can come up with that ending, it might not be a good one.

For Tucker, it works. He writes:

I want to attend Harvard to acquire the skills, legal context and history, and education to do this work in my home.

This simple sentence works because so much of Tucker’s essay has involved literary writing and reflection on place. A declarative statement won’t hurt him here. It’s also a gentle, nice touch to end on the words “my home,” since his essay has been about what it means to belong to a particular stretch of land.

Third, consider ending on an image or with a call-back to where you began the essay. This is one of the most organic and satisfying ways to conclude any piece of writing.

Deepika’s essay, for instance, opens on a painting done by a refugee artist, and then zooms out to discuss her own life story. But she brings the personal statement full circle by returning to the inciting image:

Recalling that artist’s story both in his own words and by seeing “Resurrection,” I understood what a privilege it is to have a legal system that can uphold freedom of expression, and one that also makes way for new futures for immigrants like my parents year after year.

To that end, I want to apply my desire for more legal experience specifically to the problem of migration. In addition to the real personal transition that this artist’s work opened for me, this decision feels an important one now more than ever as the current administration angles toward, I believe, increasingly harmful and inconsistent implementations of immigration policy to the detriment of young children who could one day paint a Resurrection II.

Victor’s essay pulls off a similar circular structure. He began with a third-person portrait of himself as a young boy, dreaming voraciously of all that he wants to discover in the world. He closes with a portrait of who he is now, a polymath of sorts who has begun to make some of those discoveries but who needs the law to help him go further:

Two decades later, that little boy staring up into the darkness has become an adult, but his penchant for moonlit dreaming has never waned. In fact, those dreams are now accompanied by a set of experiences with the potential to carry such visions forward into a life of impact and service to others. After having the opportunity to explore a variety of roles, I cannot think of a better long-term career with which to realize my unique ambitions at the intersection of business, public policy, and community activism than legal practice. Whether I provide pro bono advice to city government, serve as counsel to an international company, or represent my community as a public servant, a career in the law is my chance to fly into the fray and create something once thought unthinkable for collective benefit. My thoughts may never rest long enough to ensure an immediate night’s sleep, but I might finally obtain a deeper peace through advocacy and service.  

After you’ve finished the first draft of your law school personal statement

First, congratulations! Writing the first draft of your personal statement is no small feat. But the work has just begun! Your personal statement should undergo several revisions before submitting. Some tips for revising:

Read your essay aloud. By doing so, you will notice small typos and wording issues, as well as larger issues with form, that you wouldn’t otherwise. Reading aloud shifts the way your brain consumes the work, sometimes to great effect. It also helps you get a sense for how much an essay has your voice. You should sound like yourself when you read your essay aloud.

Ask for feedback. You should have a peer, professor, or admissions advisor read your essay. The core question to ask them to evaluate is, “Do you have a good sense of who I am and why I want to attend law school after reading this?” If the answer is no, revisions are necessary.

For big changes, rewrite instead of editing. This one can be a bit of a pain after investing all the time you have, but if you decide to make a large change in form or content, start again with a blank page. It can be tempting to preserve your existing structure and just slot in the changes where they fit, but you’ll end up with a more cohesive and coherent final product if you start anew.

You needn’t trash everything you wrote, of course. Print out a hard copy of your original, keep it on the table beside you, and open a clean doc. Rewriting from scratch whatever you do keep rather than performing a simple copy-paste will ensure you end up with one essay at the end, rather than two spliced together.

Below are the law school personal statements produced by the students we’ve followed throughout this guide, all well another successful personal statement example, all based on the writing process we just walked through.

Law school personal statement example 1

Here’s Tucker’s Harvard Law School personal statement.

That student conference, as well as the handful of other opportunities I had to travel in high school, was my first inkling that, for many people, the Blue Ridge Mountains were not a known part of the very big world I grew up aching to see more of. Because even before I realized that Greensboro was no major landmark, I still wanted to explore beyond it. My mother taught French and Spanish and was always eager to ensure I realized there were places beyond my backyard. I was also exhausted by the idea of graduating college and returning home to work in Greensboro, where, at the time, jobs were not always plentiful and hobbies were few. But, for financial reasons, college was not my long-dreamt-of exodus. I went to the University of North Carolina, which, while an hour away, certainly belongs to the same chunk of Carolina as Greensboro.

In Chapel Hill, I loved long drives. My road of choice was Mount Sinai Road. It winds down the banks of Old Field Creek, bridging the gap between Durham and I-40. It's the start of the route I took back to High Point to visit my family, and it's where I rode my bike during Chapel Hill summers. It was on Mount Sinai that I first realized how attached to this region I am.

Along Mount Sinai’s twists and turns, you can get a real sense of what North Carolina is and can be. There’s a deep agrarian heritage and rolling hills that hide the sun from their most intimate holler. Along these roads live a people who do not mind being heard, as their “These are God’s roads, so don’t drive like hell” sign would have you know. Most of all, though, Mount Sinai was one of many places over the last 25 years in Appalachia that taught me how much this land means to me. I recognize the grasses and the trees and the architecture and the people in a way that I could not possibly know another place, and that knowledge has rooted me in a way that I did not expect as a child at a student conference in Rochester, New York.

As I realized how distinctly Appalachian my own personal history is, I started to see similar connections in my family. I learned of our family struggles with substance use and of my mother's father’s affinity for our Confederate heritage. I learned I'm only a few generations removed from the McCoys of Hatfield-McCoy fame. I learned that the not-so-rosy Appalachian existence was not a storybook reality but a familial one. However, I also learned of my grandfather's sense of adventure and of the unique sense of play my father was gifted with as a child by being able to spend so much time outside in the crick. I learned that my grandmother once modeled for the rail photographer O. Winston Link and that my great uncle once threw a snowball at Elvis.

In the last year, I also saw Appalachia couched in a larger national context, especially as I tried to reckon with my home place from afar while living and working abroad last summer. I intimately knew the people, “the poor, white, rural voters,” being bandied about as political caricatures on television. As the opiate crisis worsens, a national spotlight is being thrust on my neighbors in West Virginia. As commentators wonder how much historical context justifies the presence of Confederate monuments, attention turns to Charlottesville. My home place, my Appalachia, is becoming a topic of a much larger conversation about how to support the plight of the rural American while not also succumbing to the part of that population that longs for an unequal, racist past. I believe my voice adds to that conversation. So, I took to door-knocking for Representative Edward Mitchell, knowing that the first impact I might have could be a political one. I don’t want to stop there. The law can open even more doors.

What works about Tucker’s essay, among many things:

Writing. Tucker writes fluently and smoothly, especially when he’s thinking about place and the world that shaped him. The images, the roads, and local vocabulary like “the local holler,” all contribute to the strength of his writing. Even if sentences don’t come to you naturally, you can shortcut your way to a great personal statement by including vivid descriptions of your surroundings.

An authentic connection to the law. Tucker lingers in the personal for quite a long time in this essay, and he does so because he knows he can make that confident transition: “The Appalachian conversation is a necessarily legal one.” It’s so deftly argued that we don’t even realize he’s been sculpting an argument all along, using his personal experience as a case study.

Law school personal statement example 2

Another example, a Yale Law School personal statement, this time from Teresa:

November 1 is my favorite day of the year. When I was growing up, my father would call it “Design Day.” I think he liked the alliteration. He loves woodworking, and he would spend the early fall amassing natural treefall from the woods behind our house in anticipation of November 1. Every year, he’d spend the day making things, small and large, whether a bird with a bandsaw or a new coffee table. He first invited me out into the garage when I was seven. I still wonder why he felt the imperative to concentrate so much of his hobby time into that one day, but I think he understood pinning it to a date would make it somehow more special, even if it was an arbitrary one.

Over the years, in that garage, and especially as an early teen, I learned how valuable it was to create something, to make a thing you call your own. That same feeling was reborn as a senior at Purdue University. As part of my studies in mechanical engineering, my classmates and I were required to join one of myriad senior design teams. The topics ranged from designing our own delivery drones to creating various nanotechnology applications. I eventually decided to work on a project designing new flatpack shelters that could be deployed in disaster areas with improved durability and sustainability, because I was excited by the real-world applications of my studies helping others. I saw not only my own progress first-hand, but also the development of others’, and, yet again, again the intrinsic value of a made thing.

The crux of my shift from wanting to be a maker myself to instead wanting to lend my voice to their defense was seeing Dr. Everett Simpson in action. Dr. Simpson, himself a lawyer, now teaches engineering ethics but spent the spring semester consulting all of the projects with patentable work on their IP obligations and rights. The care with which he approached the issues, but especially our interactions, opened my eyes to a world in which I might leverage my technical expertise as an advocate rather than an engineer, a combination I find so appealing.

It’s thanks to those interactions with Dr. Simpson, backed by my father’s own creativity from day one, that has led me to apply to Yale Law School. Knowing that your program in IP law is a strong one and being especially excited by the research that Professor Yochai Benkler is doing on the intellectual commons, I am confident that after three years at Yale, I will be positioned well to train as an advocate for those creators near and far.

What’s great about Teresa’s essay:

Multiple life stages. Teresa, like Deepika, has been fully committed to another discipline at one point in her life. Instead of defensively explaining why she’s moving into law now, she uses her past experience as a “maker” to explain that her previous engineering life naturally and inevitably brought her to the law. She tackles this intersection from both a personal and a professional standpoint, moving from her father to Dr. Simpson with ease.

“Why us?” Teresa’s “Why us?” addendum at the end of the essay is neat but strong. She clearly knows more about the school than what a simple Google search could yield. Referencing Dr. Benkler, whose appointment is in economics, isn’t an obvious choice for a law school candidate, but indicates that she’s grasped her field from multiple disciplinary perspectives.

Law school personal statement example 3

Here’s another full-length law school personal statement example, from Deepika:

He lives in Nairobi now. He was not born there: He grew up in Sudan, along the Nile. On a few separate occasions, he was dismissed from his studies for his political involvement, a reality I can know about but find hard to internalize. After a few efforts to pursue his practice in Sudan he left Khartoum for Benghazi. I don’t know his name. What I do remember is how it felt to see his paintings for the first time.

What we can admire from Deepika’s essay:

An unlikely take on the personal. Many applicants feel that a personal story must involve them shedding blood on the page. Deepika doesn’t get enormously vulnerable here. She doesn’t talk about Big Traumas that happened to her; in fact, she feels like she’s been pretty lucky, all told. But she does talk about a personal connection to art, and that is quite a strong window into who she is.

Ending. Deepika’s return to the painting at the end of her essay makes the whole essay feel natural, and indicates an authentic relationship to questions of immigration. It also tells us that she’s thought about what her commitment to immigration policy could change in the world, that she’s got a fully formed view of society.

Law school personal statement example 4

Here’s Eric’s Columbia Law School personal statement:

After less than four minutes of waiting on the front lawn of my private property for my uncle to arrive, I was arrested and forced into a squad car without a reason for my arrest. As he tightened the cold handcuffs on my wrists, the arresting officer asked my age. Perplexed, I informed him I was eighteen-years-old. “Great,” he exclaimed, as he slammed the door in my face while he exchanged smiles with his partner. Oblivious, I waited in the back seat, as he drove down the block, anxiously awaiting an explanation for my arrest. Less than thirty seconds after forcing me in the car, the police officer jumped out of the car, pursued an unsuspecting boy riding his bike in the neighborhood, aggressively pulled him from his moving bike, and placed him in handcuffs. After throwing the boy in the back seat with me, the cop sped off—leaving the boy’s bike behind on the sidewalk to be stolen. The caravan of police proceeded to rampage the area arresting more young men walking through the neighborhood.

During this experience and others similar to it, I was most uncomfortable with the feeling of being helpless and not well-informed about my rights. I did not like that my lack of knowledge prevented me from defending my rights and the rights of others. This experience was just one of the many instances where I witnessed a person in power abuse their authority to trample the rights of people who were not knowledgeable of their rights and did not have the resources necessary to access legal advice. My ignorance of my rights during these types of experiences was frustrating and also frightening. Being at the mercy of an apparently ethically unsound figure of authority who seemed to make arbitrary and capricious decisions, that could greatly impact my life, was very unsettling.

Witnessing grave miscarriages of justice has inspired me to equip myself with the tools necessary to fight unjust situations. These experiences have definitely fostered my desire to educate and advocate for those disadvantaged individuals and communities.

My experiences in the Columbia Law School Law Clinic reaffirmed my interest in advocating for socioeconomically challenged individuals and communities. During my time in the law clinic, I have been exposed to a plethora of pro bono opportunities and organizations. Some of the causes I’ve been able to dedicate my time to include: assisting an innocent man, who was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for eighteen years, with his exoneration; helping asylum seekers, who face the threat of being killed in their home country because of their sexuality or regional violence, through the asylum application process; assisting disabled and elderly Hurricane Sandy victims gain access to much needed food benefits; and assisting small business owners with filing their organizational documents with the state. Coming from a socioeconomically challenged background myself and being able to assist with matters that I can empathize and sympathize with has made me yearn for more knowledge that would better equip me to help indigent people in need of legal assistance.

After deeply scrutinizing legal field, working towards great causes in Columbia’s Law Clinic, and actively seeking various opinions about law school and the legal field, I believe law school is the next logical step for me to fulfill my aspirations to advocate for socioeconomically disadvantaged people on a more substantive level. I know I will be a great lawyer and be a positive agent of change. I fight tirelessly towards causes that I strongly believe in; and as a result I put forth great work that reflects the amount of effort expended.

I am sure that at the Columbia University School of Law I will be able to access a quality legal education that will challenge and prepare me for my future as an advocate for the more vulnerable members of society. I know that Columbia Law School will provide an intellectually nurturing environment that offers a bounty of experiential learning opportunities that are beneficial to my preferred learning style, and continue to surround me with individuals that will contribute to my growth and push me to strive for more. Columbia Law will also allow me to utilize my unique perspective, experiences, and skills to continue to make valuable contributions to the Columbia University community in and outside of the classroom.

What we can learn from Eric’s essay:

A clear tie between the personal and the professional. Eric chose to write about an extremely vulnerable moment in his history, one that might be an intuitive choice these days as we become more used to public conversations about the “grave miscarriages of justice” Eric writes about but which, a few years ago, might have seemed like a risky choice. By going there, and by linking it to his professional career so clearly, he gives us a memorable essay and tells us that he will be working to correct that injustice for many years to come.

Descriptions of prior professional work. Eric clearly articulates what he got out of his work at the Law Clinic, enumerating his involvements without making them seem too flat. He then draws a neat line between those experiences and what he wants out of law school at the same institution.

Law school personal statement example 5

Below is Victor’s University of Chicago Law School personal statement:

The summer before my freshman year of college, I worked for a law firm in my hometown as an assistant case manager. It was my first real job, and we were tasked with following up on the results of a settlement which promised compensation to individuals injured by cigarette use. Many of the claimants in the suit were not involved with the original case, but a wrinkle in the law meant that those who had not initially issued a claim could still stand to receive reparations. During that time, I witnessed the devastating impact of tobacco use on countless lives, and I was given an opportunity to think creatively about how to defend their claims. Whether it was by recovering medical records that could credibly tie cigarette use to the onset of disease, or looking back decades to find proof of a claim under the original settlement, we worked tirelessly to help grant our clients restitution. It was seldom a straightforward process, yet we did our best even when key details were sparse.  

Four years later, I joined a major corporation as a full-time legal analyst working directly for the management team of one of its nascent commercial arms. At first, I expected to focus on regular meetings of the Board of Directors and related tasks, such as scheduling in accordance with regulatory requirements, setting the annual agenda, and performing discrete analyses consistent with the Company’s ongoing legal needs. However, I was quickly assigned more abstract projects, rooted in questions such as “Where could the Company open a foreign branch?” and “How would proposed changes in regulation adversely impact the Company’s overall business?” When I joined the Company, I viewed the laws set by regulatory agencies as fixed mandates, but I soon learned that these laws were subject to considerable negotiation and amendment. The Company’s business model and its evolution raised legitimate questions about which functions the private sector should be allowed to perform, and my time there opened my eyes to the myriad potential organizations have to directly or indirectly shape the laws that govern their work.

“I hope you have had no issues settling into life here… Now, on to business. What’s wrong with this city?” the Mayor asked softly, rapidly twirling his pen in the process. Needless to say, I was floored; it was my third day in public service, and I could not think of a weightier question, one with tremendous implications for the large city where I’d taken a job. Although I felt under-qualified for such a task, he was confident in my ability to review the city’s finances from a completely blank slate. A week later, we ruminated over innovative approaches to topics ranging from how to name our city a “sanctuary city” to solving the region’s major infrastructure issues. While there were clear legal frameworks for operating within each of these spaces, we also had substantial freedom to propose what we wished. As we refined our proposals, I realized that laws gave us the framework necessary to think critically about what was possible, but they rarely led to a clear conclusion about how to proceed. Final decisions would come as a result of deliberations with relevant internal and external parties, discussions with our counterparts in nearby cities and regions, vetting particular approaches with members of our staff and even state Senators, and checking our conclusions against the advice offered by legal counsel. No one group could act unilaterally, and our contributions were but a small piece of a larger policymaking apparatus.

Two decades later, that little boy staring up into the darkness has become an adult, but his penchant for moonlit dreaming has never waned. In fact, those dreams are now accompanied by a set of experiences with the potential to carry such visions forward into a life of impact and service to others. After having the opportunity to explore a variety of roles, I cannot think of a better long-term career with which to realize my unique ambitions at the intersection of business, public policy and community activism than legal practice. Whether I provide pro bono advice to city government, serve as counsel to an international company, or represent my community as a public servant, a career in the law is my chance to fly into the fray and create something once thought unthinkable for collective benefit. My thoughts may never rest long enough to ensure an immediate night’s sleep, but I might finally obtain a deeper peace through advocacy and service.  

What Victor does well:

Chronology. It’s not always the right call, but sometimes the best way to tell the story of yourself is to begin at the beginning, during your dreamy childhood days, and trace it up till now. This works in part because Victor is such a passionate writer, and in part because he remains in that storytelling mode throughout. This essay would fail if it were a series of monotonous descriptions of each stage of Victor’s life. But we feel like we are sitting across from him at a coffee shop and listening in on his professional reflections.

Tackling a diverse career path. Victor makes use of the plurality of work experiences he’s had, knowing that his resumé is fuller and he is older than many of his peers. He turns that into an advantage, in the way Teresa leverages her engineering background and Deepika addresses her roots in medicine head-on.

Law school personal statement example 6

Here’s another Yale Law School personal statement, this one written by a student named Michael.

“All of you men are alike!” a woman exclaimed from the back of the nursery. “Get away from my baby girl!” Rattled, I placed the yellow crayon next to the picture of the Easter Bunny I had been helping four-year-old Gabriela color. I smiled softly, thanked Gabriela for her time, and made my way to the opposite side of the room. Her mother deserved the ease.

When I first began volunteering with the Foster Center for Domestic Violence, I was skeptical I could be effective. As a young black male in the center, I served as a reminder of the physical harm, emotional turmoil, and ongoing legal entanglements ex-partners had inflicted on victims. The women in the center had initially responded to my presence with passive animosity or fear. Nevertheless, given time, I knew I would be able to help families in the center heal; I had years of experience successfully defying stereotypes.

In my childhood and adolescence, I attended safe schools. By day, I studied in clean classrooms with devoted teachers and classmates; by night, I fell asleep to the symphony of gunshots, helicopters, and sirens. Each day after school, my backpack crammed with seminal American novels and a dense chemistry textbook, I commuted home to my East Oakland 'hood, glancing over my shoulder and quickening my pace in areas I knew to be dangerous. One afternoon, as I raced away from a group of my “brothers,” I found myself empathetic. How could I be upset at their malice? This was our norm.

Surviving as a black male in my community left little time for ambition or altruism, but this did not deter me. In my junior year of high school, I turned my attention to the societal ailments, problems seemingly devoid of practical solution, which plagued the black community. Examining my life, I recognized that I owed my commitment to success and concern for others to my family. My family had provided the structure and support that too many of my brothers had lacked. Seeking to help families in my community recover and regroup, I began volunteering at the Foster Center.

Initially, I helped conduct workshops for the victims and recreational activities for the children, but as I spent more time at the center, I became interested in addressing domestic violence on a deeper level. At Howard University, my pre-law curriculum inspired me to confront the issue’s complexity. I pioneered a college-based effort, Foster University, that enlisted my brothers in the endeavor to deter domestic violence. More than five hundred students have participated in our programs to raise awareness of domestic violence through bold discussions. Following the initiative’s success in Washington, D.C., I began helping student leaders implement the program on campuses at other institutions. At the same time, I sought to encourage my peers to engage in the active pursuit of thorough and practical solutions to all social justice issues, especially domestic violence. I developed a second initiative to introduce legal writing to my undergraduate community while simultaneously satisfying my desire to develop solutions to the problems I had encountered. My interests in law and domestic violence led me to opportunities that fueled this desire even further. My impact had become tangible, but I still wanted to do more.

In the summer before my junior year, I interned at the Domestic Violence Division at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago, where I assisted prosecutors with their caseloads and interviewed victims. The experience exposed me to the legal inefficiencies that had contributed to the frustration of the women at the Foster Center. Well-intentioned but shortsighted rulings destroyed families and unenforced orders of protection proved meaningless. Further, I was dismayed by the endless accounts of repeat offenders. As is too often the case, the legal system was failing those who most needed its protection.

By attending Yale Law School, I will prepare to work to heal at-risk families and our inadequate legal system. I will learn to address the institutional failures that frustrated Gabriela’s mother and the other women at the Foster Center. Yale Law School’s Beshar/Lehner Gender Violence Clinic and Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women's Rights will help me develop a contextual understanding of the social and legal complexities necessary for the change I envision. Furthermore, the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic will teach me to harness existing resources to empower victims of abuse and address a range of issues that plague marginalized populations. I no longer flee from my brothers. But my empathy is not enough. As an advocate and attorney, I will enlist the help of my brothers and sisters to reform broken institutions and enhance our community.

What we can learn from Michael’s personal statement:

A clear focus on a specific issue, and why it matters to him. Michael articulates clear reasons why working to prevent domestic violence and improving his community are important to him. He backs this up with directly relevant professional and volunteer experience, dating back even to high school.

“Why us?” Like Teresa, Michael has clearly done his homework about the law school he’s applying to. Naming specific programs and resources that he wants to be a part of demonstrates that Yale is a strong fit for the issues he wants to tackle as a lawyer.

How long should a personal statement be for law school?

Many universities won’t specify, but most others say between a page and a half and two pages double-spaced, which comes out to around 500 words.

What law school personal statement topics are off-limits?

Just about anything can make a good personal statement, as long as you adhere to the advice above.

One exception worth noting: you shouldn’t use your personal statement to talk about a low GPA or LSAT score. If you do feel you have a compelling context for one or both of those, you should submit a separate addendum focused on that, rather than waste valuable space in your personal statement.

Should I write a separate personal statement for each school?

While it’s okay to use the same narrative across applications, each essay should be tailored specifically to the school to which you’re applying. Make sure to triple-check that you didn’t refer to the wrong school at any point in your application.

Dr. Shirag Shemmassian headshot

About the Author

Dr. Shirag Shemmassian is the Founder of Shemmassian Academic Consulting and one of the world's foremost experts on law school admissions. For nearly 20 years, he and his team have helped thousands of students get into law school using his exclusive approach.

THERE'S NO REASON TO STRUGGLE THROUGH THE LAW SCHOOL ADMISSIONS PROCESS ALONE, ESPECIALLY WITH SO MUCH ON THE LINE. SCHEDULE YOUR COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION TO ENSURE YOU LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCE.

Login to your account

Remember Me

Register for a Free Account

Access sample lessons, a free LSAT PrepTest, and 100 question explanations today!

Password (twice) * password strength indicator

Excellent Law School Personal Statement Examples By David Busis Published May 5, 2019 Updated Feb 10, 2021

We’ve rounded up five spectacular personal statements that helped students with borderline numbers get into T-14 schools. You’ll find these examples to be as various as a typical JD class. Some essays are about a challenge, some about the evolution of the author’s intellectual or professional journey, and some about the author’s identity. The only common thread is sincerity. The authors did not write toward an imagined idea of what an admissions officer might be looking for: they reckoned honestly with formative experiences.

Personal Statement about a Career Journey

The writer of this personal statement matriculated at Georgetown. Her GPA was below the school’s 25th percentile and her LSAT score was above the 75th percentile. She was not a URM.

* Note that we’ve used female pronouns throughout, though some of the authors are male.

I don’t remember anything being out of the ordinary before I fainted—just the familiar, heady feeling and then nothing. When I came to, they were wheeling me away to the ER. That was the last time I went to the hospital for my neurology observership. Not long after, I crossed “doctor” off my list of post-graduate career options. It would be best, I figured, if I did something for which the day-to-day responsibilities didn’t make me pass out.

Back at the drawing board, I reflected on my choices. The first time around, my primary concern was how I could stay in school for the longest amount of time possible. Key factors were left out of my decision: I had no interest in medicine, no aptitude for the natural sciences, and, as it quickly became apparent, no stomach for sick patients. The second time around, I was honest with myself: I had no idea what I wanted to do.

My college graduation speaker told us that the word “job” comes from the French word “gober,” meaning “to devour.” When I fell into digital advertising, I was expecting a slow and toothless nibbling, a consumption whose impact I could ignore while I figured out what I actually wanted to do. I’d barely started before I realized that my interviewers had been serious when they told me the position was sink or swim. At six months, I was one toothbrush short of living at our office. It was an unapologetic aquatic boot camp—and I liked it. I wanted to swim. The job was bringing out the best in me and pushing me to do things I didn’t think I could do.

I remember my first client emergency. I had a day to re-do a presentation that I’d been researching and putting together for weeks. I was panicked and sure that I’d be next on the chopping block. My only cogent thought was, “Oh my god. What am I going to do?” The answer was a three-part solution I know well now: a long night, lots of coffee, and laser-like focus on exactly and only what was needed.

Five years and numerous emergencies later, I’ve learned how to work: work under pressure, work when I’m tired, and work when I no longer want to. I have enough confidence to set my aims high and know I can execute on them. I’ve learned something about myself that I didn’t know when I graduated: I am capable.

The word “career” comes from the French word “carrière,” denoting a circular racecourse. Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me then, that I’ve come full circle with regards to law school. For two college summers, I interned as a legal associate and wondered, “Is this for me?” I didn’t know if I was truly interested, and I was worried that even if I was, I wouldn’t be able to see it through. Today, I don’t have those fears.

In the course of my advertising career, I have worked with many lawyers to navigate the murky waters of digital media and user privacy. Whereas most of my co-workers went to great lengths to avoid our legal team, I sought them out. The legal conversations about our daily work intrigued me. How far could we go in negotiating our contracts to reflect changing definitions of an impression? What would happen if the US followed the EU and implemented wide-reaching data-protection laws?

Working on the ad tech side of the industry, I had the data to target even the most niche audiences: politically-active Mormon Democrats for a political client; young, low-income pregnant women for a state government; millennials with mental health concerns in a campaign for suicide prevention. The extent to which digital technology has evolved is astonishing. So is the fact that it has gone largely unregulated. That’s finally changing, and I believe the shift is going to open up a more prominent role for those who understand both digital technology and its laws. I hope to begin my next career at the intersection of those two worlds.

Personal Statement about Legal Internships

The writer of this essay was admitted to every T14 law school from Columbia on down and matriculated at a top JD program with a large merit scholarship. Her LSAT score was below the median and her GPA was above the median of each school that accepted her. She was not a URM.

About six weeks into my first legal internship, my office-mate gestured at the window—we were seventy stories high in the Chrysler Building—and said, with a sad smile, doesn’t this office just make you want to jump? The firm appeared to be falling apart. The managing partners were suing each other, morale was low, and my boss, in an effort to maintain his client base, had instructed me neither to give any information to nor take any orders from other attorneys. On my first day of work, coworkers warned me that the firm could be “competitive,” which seemed to me like a good thing. I considered myself a competitive person and enjoyed the feeling of victory. This, though, was the kind of competition in which everyone lost.

Although I felt discouraged about the legal field after this experience, I chose not to give up on the profession, and after reading a book that featured the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, I sent in an internship application. Shortly after, I received an offer to work at the office. For my first assignment, I attended a hearing in the federal courthouse. As I entered the magnificent twenty-third-floor courtroom, I felt the gravitas of the issue at hand: the sentencing of a terrorist.

That sense of gravitas never left me, and visiting the courtroom became my favorite part of the job. Sitting in hearings amidst the polished brass fixtures and mahogany walls, watching attorneys in refined suits prosecute terror, cybercrime, and corruption, I felt part of a grand endeavor. The spectacle enthralled me: a trial was like a combination of a theatrical performance and an athletic event. If I’d seen the dark side of competition at my first job, now I was seeing the bright side. I sat on the edge of my seat and watched to see if good—my side—triumphed over evil—the defense. Every conviction seemed like an unambiguous achievement. I told my friends that one day I wanted to help “lock up the bad guys.”

It wasn’t until I interned at the public defender’s office that I realized how much I’d oversimplified the world. In my very first week, I took the statement of a former high school classmate who had been charged with heroin possession. I did not know him well in high school, but we both recognized one another and made small talk before starting the formal interview. He had fallen into drug abuse and had been convicted of petty theft several months earlier. After finishing the interview, I wished him well.

The following week, in a courtroom that felt more like a macabre DMV than the hallowed halls I’d seen with the USAO, I watched my classmate submit his guilty plea, which would allow him to do community service in lieu of jail time. The judge accepted his plea and my classmate mumbled a quiet “thank you.” I felt none of the achievement I’d come to associate with guilty pleas. In that court, where hundreds of people trudged through endless paperwork and long lines before they could even see a judge, there were no good guys and bad guys—just people trying to put their lives back together.

A year after my internship at the public defender’s office, I read a profile of Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and my former boss. In the profile, he says, “You don’t want a justice system in which prosecutors are cowboys.” The more I saw at the public defender’s office, the more I rethought my experience at the USAO. When I had excitedly called my parents after an insider trading conviction, I had not thought of the defendant’s family. When I had cheered the conviction of a terrorist, I hadn’t thought about the fact that a conviction could not undo his actions. As I now plan on entering the legal profession—either as a prosecutor or public defender—I realize that my enthusiasm momentarily overwrote my empathy. I’d been playing cowboy. A lawyer’s job isn’t to lock up bad guys or help good guys in order to quench a competitive thirst—it’s to subsume his or her ego in the work and, by presenting one side of a case, create a necessary condition for justice.

Personal Statement about Cultural Identity

The writer of this essay was offered significant merit aid packages from Cornell, Michigan, and Northwestern, and matriculated at NYU Law. Her LSAT score was below the 25th percentile LSAT score and her GPA matched the median GPA of NYU.

By the age of five, I’d attended seven kindergartens and collected more frequent flier miles than most adults. I resided in two worlds – one with fast motorcycles, heavy pollution, and the smell of street food lingering in the air; the other with trimmed grass, faint traces of perfume mingling with coffee in the mall, and my mom pressing her hand against my window as she left for work. She was the only constant between these two worlds – flying me between Taiwan and America as she struggled to obtain a U.S. citizenship.

My family reunited for good around my sixth birthday, when we flew back to Taiwan to join my dad. I forgot about the West, acquired a taste for Tangyuan, and became fast friends with the kids in my neighborhood. In the evenings, I’d sit with my grandmother as she watched soap operas in Taiwanese, the dialect of the older generation, which I picked up in unharmonious bits and pieces. Other nights, she would turn off the TV, and speak to me about tradition and history – recounting my ancestors, life during the Japanese regime, raising my dad under martial law. “You are the last of the Li’s,” she would say, patting my back, and I’d feel a quick rush of pride, as though a lineage as deep as that of the English monarchy rested on my shoulders.

When I turned seven, my parents enrolled me in an American school, explaining that it was time for me, a Tai Wan Ren (Taiwanese), to learn English – “a language that could open doors to better opportunities.” Although I learned slowly, with a handful of the most remedial in ESL (English as a Second Language), books like The Secret Garden and The Wind in the Willows opened up new worlds of captivating images and beautiful stories that I longed to take part in.

Along with the new language, I adopted a different way to dress, new mannerisms, and new tastes, including American pop culture. I stopped seeing the neighborhood kids, and sought a set of friends who shared my affinity for HBO movies and  Claire’s Jewelry . Whenever taxi drivers or waitresses asked where I was from, noting that I spoke Chinese with too much of an accent to be native, I told them I was American.

At home, I asked my mom to stop packing Taiwanese food for my lunch. The cheap food stalls I once enjoyed now embarrassed me. Instead, I wanted instant mashed potatoes and Kraft mac and cheese.

When it came time for college, I enrolled in a liberal arts school on the East Coast to pursue my love of literature, and was surprised to find that my return to America did not feel like the full homecoming I’d expected. America was as familiar as it was foreign, and while I had mastered being “American” in Taiwan, being an American in America baffled me. The open atmosphere of my university, where ideas and feelings were exchanged freely, felt familiar and welcoming, but cultural references often escaped me. Unlike my friends who’d grown up in the States, I had never heard of Wonder Bread, or experienced the joy of Chipotle’s burrito bowls. Unlike them, I missed the sound of motorcycles whizzing by my window on quiet nights.

It was during this time of uncertainty that I found my place through literature, discovering Taiye Selasi, Edward Said, and Primo Levi, whose works about origin and personhood reshaped my conception of my own identity. Their usage of the language of otherness provided me with the vocabulary I had long sought, and revealed that I had too simplistic an understanding of who I was. In trying to discover my role in each cultural context, I’d confined myself within an easy dichotomy, where the East represented exotic foods and experiences, and the West, development and consumerism. By idealizing the latter and rejecting the former, I had reduced the richness of my worlds to caricatures. Where I am from, and who I am, is an amalgamation of my experiences and heritage: I am simultaneously a Mei Guo Ren and Taiwanese.

Just as I once reconciled my Eastern and Western identities, I now seek to reconcile my love of literature with my desire to effect tangible change. I first became interested in law on my study abroad program, when I visited the English courts as a tourist. As I watched the barristers deliver their statements, it occurred to me that law and literature have some similarities: both are a form of criticism that depends on close reading, the synthesis of disparate intellectual frameworks, and careful argumentation. Through my subsequent internships and my current job, I discovered that legal work possessed a tangibility I found lacking in literature. The lawyers I collaborate with work tirelessly to address the same problems and ideas I’ve explored only theoretically in my classes – those related to human rights, social contracts, and moral order. Though I understand that lawyers often work long hours, and that the work can be, at times, tedious, I’m drawn to the kind of research, analysis, and careful reading that the profession requires. I hope to harness my critical abilities to reach beyond the pages of the books I love and make meaningful change in the real world.

Personal Statement about Weightlifting

The writer of this essay was admitted to her top choice—a T14 school—with a handwritten note from the dean that praised her personal statement. Her LSAT score was below the school’s median and her GPA was above the school’s median.

As I knelt to tie balloons around the base of the white, wooden cross, I thought about the morning of my best friend’s accident: the initial numbness that overwhelmed my entire body; the hideous sound of my own small laugh when I called the other member of our trio and repeated the words “Mark died”; the panic attack I’d had driving home, resulting in enough tears that I had to pull off to the side of the road. Above all, I remembered the feeling of reality crashing into my previously sheltered life, the feeling that nothing was as safe or certain as I’d believed.

I had been with Mark the day before he passed, exactly one week before we were both set to move down to Tennessee to start our freshman year of college. It would have been difficult to feel so alone with my grief in any circumstance, but Mark’s crash seemed to ignite a chain reaction of loss. I had to leave Nashville abruptly in order to attend the funeral of my grandmother, who helped raise me, and at the end of the school year, a close friend who had helped me adjust to college was killed by an oncoming car on the day that he’d graduated. Just weeks before visiting Mark’s grave on his birthday, a childhood friend shot and killed himself in an abandoned parking lot on Christmas Eve. I spent Christmas Day trying to act as normally as possible, hiding the news in order not to ruin the holiday for the rest of my family.

This pattern of loss compounding loss affected me more than I ever thought it would. First, I just avoided social media out of fear that I’d see condolences for yet another friend who had passed too early. Eventually, I shut down emotionally and lost interest in the world—stopped attending social gatherings, stopped talking to anyone, and stopped going to many of my classes, as every day was a struggle to get out of bed. I hated the act that I had to put on in public, where I was always getting asked the same question —“I haven’t seen you in forever, where have you been?”—and always responding with the same lie: “I’ve just been really busy.”

I had been interested in bodybuilding since high school, but during this time, the lowest period of my life, it changed from a simple hobby to a necessity and, quite possibly, a lifesaver. The gym was the one place I could escape my own mind, where I could replace feelings of emptiness with the feeling of my heart pounding, lungs exploding, and blood flooding my muscles, where—with sweat pouring off my forehead and calloused palms clenched around cold steel—I could see clearly again.

Not only did my workouts provide me with an outlet for all of my suppressed emotion, but they also became the one aspect of my life where I felt I was still in control. I knew that if it was Monday, no matter what else was going on, I was going to be working out my legs, and I knew exactly what exercises I was going to do, and how many repetitions I was going to perform, and how much weight I was going to use for each repetition. I knew exactly when I would be eating and exactly how many grams of each food source I would ingest. I knew how many calories I would get from each of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. My routine was one thing I could count on.

As I loaded more plates onto the barbell, I grew stronger mentally as well. The gym became a place, paradoxically, of both exertion and tranquility, a sanctuary where I felt capable of thinking about the people I’d lost. It was the healing I did there that let me tie the balloons to the cross on Mark’s third birthday after the crash, and that let me spend the rest of the afternoon sharing stories about Mark with friends on the side of the rural road. It was the healing I did there that left me ready to move on.

One of the fundamental principles of weightlifting involves progressively overloading the muscles by taking them to complete failure, coming back, and performing past the point where you last failed, consistently making small increases over time. The same principle helped me overcome my grief, and in the past few years, I’ve applied it to everything from learning Spanish to studying for the LSAT. As I prepare for the next stage of my life, I know I’ll encounter more challenges for which I’m unprepared, but I feel strong enough now to acknowledge my weaknesses, and—by making incremental gains—to overcome them.

Personal Statement about Sexual Assault

The writer of this essay was accepted to many top law schools and matriculated at Columbia. Her LSAT score matched Columbia’s median while her GPA was below Columbia’s 25th percentile.

My rapist didn’t hold a knife to my throat. My rapist didn’t jump out of a dark alleyway. My rapist didn’t slip me a roofie. My rapist was my eighth-grade boyfriend, who was already practicing with the high school football team. He assaulted me in his suburban house in New Jersey, while his mom cooked us dinner in the next room, in the back of an empty movie theatre, on the couch in my basement.

It started when I was thirteen and so excited to have my first real boyfriend. He was a football player from a different school who had a pierced ear and played the guitar. I, a shy, slightly chubby girl with a bad haircut and very few friends, felt wanted, needed, and possibly loved. The abuse—the verbal and physical harassment that eventually turned sexual—was just something that happened in grown-up relationships. This is what good girlfriends do, I thought. They say yes.

Never having had a sex-ed class in my life, it took me several months after my eighth-grade graduation and my entry into high school to realize the full extent of what he did to me. My overall experience of first “love” seemed surreal. This was something that happened in a Lifetime movie, not in a small town in New Jersey in his childhood twin bed. I didn’t tell anyone about what happened. I had a different life in a different school by then, and I wasn’t going to let my trauma define my existence.

As I grew older, I was confronted by the fact that rape is not a surreal misfortune or a Lifetime movie. It’s something that too many of my close friends have experienced. It’s when my sorority sister tells me about the upstairs of a frat house when she’s too drunk to say no. It’s when the boy in the room next door tells me about his uncle during freshman orientation. It’s a high school peer whose summer internship boss became too handsy. Rape is real. It’s happening every day, to mothers, brothers, sisters, and fathers—a silent majority that want to manage the burden on their own, afraid of judgement, afraid of repercussions, afraid of a he-said she-said court battle.

I am beyond tired of the silence. It took me three years to talk about what happened to me, to come clean to my peers and become a model of what it means to speak about something that society tells you not to speak about. Motivated by my own experience and my friends’ stories, I joined three groups that help educate my college community about sexual health and assault: New Feminists, Speak for Change, and Sexual Assault Responders. I trained to staff a peer-to-peer emergency hotline for survivors of sexual assault. I protested the university’s cover-up of a gang-rape in the basement of a fraternity house two doors from where I live now. As a member of my sorority’s executive board, I have talked extensively about safety and sexual assault, and have orchestrated a speaker on the subject to come to campus and talk to the exceptional young women I consider family. I’ve proposed a DOE policy change to make sexual violence education mandatory to my city councilman. This past summer, I traveled to a country notorious for sexual violence and helped lay the groundwork for a health center that will allow women to receive maternal care, mental health counseling, and career counseling.

Law school is going to help me take my advocacy to the next level. Survivors of sexual assault, especially young survivors, often don’t know where to turn. They don’t know their Title IX rights, they don’t know about the Clery Act, and they don’t know how to demand help when every other part of the system is shouting at them to be quiet and give up. Being a lawyer, first and foremost, is being an advocate. With a JD, I can work with groups like SurvJustice and the Rape Survivors Law Project to change the lives of people who were silenced for too long.

📌 Further reading:

  • Six Law School Personal Statements That Got Into Harvard
  • Free admissions course

All Categories

  • Admissions 149 Posts
  • Success Story 4 Posts
  • LSAT 217 Posts
  • Logical Reasoning 9 Posts
  • Logic Games 10 Posts
  • Reading Comprehension 3 Posts
  • Podcast 74 Posts
  • Uncategorized 34 Posts

Join our newsletter

Other posts.

With Presidents’ Day in the rearview mirror, law school admissions officers are beginning one of their key stretches of the admissions cycle. Working backwards from the future to the present: […]

Announcing 7Sage’s new weekly advice column, “Dear AO”! It’s a “Dear Abby”-style column where you can ask any question to former law school admissions officers. Each week, we’ll publish our […]

  • Uncategorized

By far, the biggest group of law school applicants are those applying after a year or two in the workforce. Applicants use this time to beef up résumés, dive into […]

Leave a Reply Cancel

You must be logged in to post a comment. You can get a free account here .

Juris Education logo

Sign up to our Newsletter

How to write a law school personal statement + examples.

personal statement for law sample

Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 01/16/23

Law school personal statements help show admissions committees why you’re an excellent candidate. Read on to learn how to write a personal statement for law school!

Writing a law school personal statement requires time, effort, and a lot of revision. Law school statement prompts and purposes can vary slightly depending on the school. 

Their purpose could be to show your personality, describe your motivation for attending law school, explain why you want to go to a particular law school, or a mix of all three and more. This guide will help you perfect your writing with tips and law school personal statement examples.

The Best Law School Personal Statement Format

Unfortunately, there’s no universal format for a law school personal statement. Every law school has a preference (or lack thereof) on how your personal statement should be structured. We recommend always checking for personal statement directions for every school you want to apply to. 

However, many law schools ask for similar elements when it comes to personal statement formats. These are some standard formatting elements to keep in mind if your school doesn’t provide specific instructions: 

  • Typically two pages or less in length 
  • Double-spaced 
  • Use a basic, readable font style and size (11-point is the smallest you should do, although some schools may request 12-point) 
  • Margins shouldn’t be less than 1 inch unless otherwise specified 
  • Left-aligned 
  • Indent new paragraphs 
  • Don’t return twice to begin a new paragraph 
  • Law schools typically ask for a header, typically including your full name, page number, LSAC number, and the words “Personal Statement” (although there can be variations to this) 

How you format your header may be up to you; sometimes, law schools won't specify whether the header should be one line across the top or three lines. 

Personal statement format A

 This is how your header may look if you decide to keep it as one line. If you want a three-line header, it should look like this on the top-right of the page: 

Personal statement format B

 Remember, the best law school personal statement format is the one in application instructions. Ensure you follow all formatting requirements!

How to Title a Personal Statement (Law) 

You may be tempted to give your law school statement a punchy title, just like you would for an academic essay. However, the general rule is that you shouldn’t give your law school personal statement a title. 

The University of Washington states , “DON’T use quotes or give a title to your

statement.” Many other schools echo this advice. The bottom line is that although you're writing your story, your law school statement doesn't require a title. Don't add one unless the school requests it.

How to Start a Personal Statement for Law School 

Acing the beginning of your law school personal statement is essential for your narrative’s success. The introduction is your chance to captivate the admissions committee and immerse them in your story. As such, you want your writing to be interesting enough to grab their attention without purposefully going for shock value.

So how do you write a law school personal statement introduction that will garner the attention it deserves? The simplest way to get the reader involved in your story is to start with a relevant anecdote that ties in with your narrative. 

Consider the opening paragraph from Harvard Law graduate Cameron Clark’s law school personal statement : 

“At the intersection of 21st and Speedway, I lay on the open road. My leg grazed the shoulder of a young woman lying on the ground next to me. Next to her, a man on his stomach slowed his breathing to appear as still as possible. A wide circle of onlookers formed around the dozens of us on the street. We were silent and motionless, but the black-and-white signs affirmed our existence through their decree: BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

The beginning lines of this personal statement immediately draw the reader in. Why was the writer lying on the road? Why were other people there with him, and why was a man trying to slow his breathing? We're automatically inspired to keep reading to find out more information. 

That desire to keep reading is the hallmark of a masterful law school personal statement introduction. However, you don’t want to leave your reader hanging for too long. By the end of this introduction, we’re left with a partial understanding of what’s happening. 

There are other ways to start a law school personal statement that doesn't drop the reader in the middle of the action. Some writers may begin their law personal statement in other ways: 

  • Referencing a distant memory, thought, feeling, or perspective
  • Setting the scene for the opening anecdote before jumping in 
  • Providing more context on the time, place, or background 

Many openings can blend some of these with detailed, vivid imagery. Here's a law school personal statement opening that worked at the UChicago Law : 

“I fell in love for the first time when I was four. That was the year my mother signed me up for piano lessons. I can still remember touching those bright, ivory keys with reverence, feeling happy and excited that soon I would be playing those tinkling, familiar melodies (which my mother played every day on our boombox) myself.”

This opening blends referencing a distant memory and feeling mixed with vivid imagery that paints a picture in the reader's head. Keep in mind that different openers can work better than others, depending on the law school prompt. 

To recap, consider these elements as you write your law school personal statement’s introduction: 

  • Aim for an attention-grabbing hook 
  • Don’t purposefully aim for shock value: it can sometimes seem unauthentic 
  • Use adjectives and imagery to paint a scene for your reader 
  • Identify which opening method works best for the law school prompt and your story
  • Don’t leave the reader hanging for too long to find out what your narrative is about
  • Be concise 

Writing a law school personal statement introduction can be difficult, but these examples and tips can get your writing the attention it deserves.

How to Write a Law School Personal Statement

Now that you’re equipped with great advice and tips to start your law school statement, it’s time to tackle the body of your essay. These tips will show you how to write a personal statement for law school to captivate the admissions committee. 

Tips for writing a law school personal statement

Understand the Prompt

While many law schools have similar personal statement prompts, you should carefully examine what's being asked of you before diving in. Consider these top law school personal statement prompts to see what we mean: 

  • Yale Law School : “The personal statement should help us learn about the personal, professional, and/or academic qualities an applicant would bring to the Law School community. Applicants often submit the personal statement they have prepared for other law school applications.”
  • University of Chicago Law : “Our application does not provide a specific topic or question for the personal statement because you are the best judge of what you should write. Write about something personal, relevant, and completely individual to you.”
  • NYU Law : “Because people and their interests vary, we leave the content and length of your statement to your discretion. You may wish to complete or clarify your responses to items on the application form, bring to our attention additional information you feel should be considered, describe important or unusual aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent in your application, or tell us what led you to apply to NYU School of Law.”

Like all law personal statements, these three prompts are pretty open-ended. However, your Yale personal statement should focus on how you’d contribute to a law school community through professional and academic experience and qualities. 

For UChicago Law, you don’t even need to write about a law-related topic if you don’t want to. However, when it comes to a school like NYU Law , you probably want to mix your qualities, experiences, and what led you to apply. 

Differing prompts are the reason you’ll need to create multiple copies of your personal statement! 

Follow Formatting Directions 

Pay extra attention to each school's formatting directions. While we've discussed basic guidelines for law school personal statement formats, it's essential to check if there is anything different you need to do. 

While working on your rough drafts, copy and paste the prompt and directions at the top of the page, so you don't forget. 

Brainstorm Narratives/Anecdotes Based on the Prompt

You may have more wiggle room with some prompts than others regarding content. However, asking yourself these questions can generally help you direct your personal statement for any law school: 

  • What major personal challenges or recent hardships have you faced? 
  • What was one transformative event that impacted your life’s course or perspective? 
  • What are your hobbies or special interests? 
  • What achievements are you most proud of that aren’t stated in your application? 
  • What experience or event changed your values or way of thinking? 
  • What’s something you’re passionate about that you got involved in? What was the result of your passion? 
  • How did your distinct upbringing, background, or culture put you on the path to law school? 
  • What personal or professional experiences show who you are? 

Keep in mind that this isn't an exhaustive list. Consider your personal and professional experiences that have brought you to this point, and determine which answers would make the most compelling story. 

Pettit College of Law recommends you "go through your transcripts, application, and resume. Are there any gaps or missing details that your personal statement could cover?” If you've listed something on your resume that isn't further discussed, it could make a potential personal statement topic. 

Do More Than Recount: Reflect

Recounting an event in a summarized way is only one piece of your law school personal statement. Even if you’re telling an outlandish or objectively interesting story, stopping there doesn’t show admissions committees what they need to know to judge your candidacy. 

The University of Washington suggests that “describing the event should only be about 1/3 of your essay. The rest should be a reflection on how it changed you and how it shaped the person you are today. ” Don’t get stuck in the tangible details of your anecdote; show what the experience meant to you. 

Beth O'Neil , Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at UC Berkeley School of Law , said, " Applicants also tend to state and not evaluate. They give a recitation of their experience but no evaluation of what effect that particular experience had on them, no assessment of what certain experiences or honors meant." 

Consider What Qualities You Want to Show

No matter what direction you want to take your law school personal statement, you should consider which qualities your narrative puts on display. Weaving your good character into your essay can be difficult. Outwardly claiming, "I'm a great leader!" doesn't add much value. 

However, telling a story about a time you rose to the occasion to lead a group successfully toward a common goal shows strong leadership. "Show, don't tell" may be an overused statement, but it's a popular sentiment for a reason. 

Of course, leadership ability isn't the only quality admissions committees seek. Consider the qualities you possess and those you'd expect to find in a great lawyer, and check to see the overlap. Some qualities you could show include: 

  • Intelligence 
  • Persuasiveness 
  • Compassion 
  • Professionalism 

Evaluate the anecdotes you chose after your brainstorming session and see if any of these qualities or others align with your narrative. 

Keep Your Writing Concise

Learning how to write a personal statement for law school means understanding how to write for concision. Most prompts won't have a word limit but ask you to cap your story at two pages, double-spaced. Unfortunately, that's not a lot of space to work with. 

Although your writing should be compelling and vibrant, do your best to avoid flowery language and long, complicated sentences where they’re not needed. Writing for concision means eliminating unnecessary words, cutting down sentences, and getting the point quickly.  

Georgetown University’s take on law school personal statements is to “Keep it simple and brief. Big words do not denote big minds, just big egos.” A straightforward narrative means your reader is much less likely to be confused or get lost in your story (in the wrong way). 

Decide the Depth and Scope of Your Statement 

Since you only have two (or even three) pages to get your point across, you must consider the depth and scope of your narrative. While you don’t want to provide too little information, remember that you don’t have the room to summarize your entire life story (and you don’t have to do that anyway). 

UChicago Law’s advice is to “Use your discretion - we know you have to make a choice and have limited space. Attempting to cover too much material can result in an unfocused and scattered personal statement.” Keep the depth and scope of your narrative manageable. 

Ensure It’s Personal Enough 

UChicago Law states, "If someone else could write your personal statement, it probably is not personal enough." This doesn't mean that you must pick the most grandiose, shocking narrative to make an impact or that you can't write about something many others have probably experienced. 

Getting personal means only you can write that statement; other people may be able to relate to an experience, but your reflection, thoughts, feelings, and reactions are your own. UChicago Law sees applicants fall into this pitfall by writing about a social issue or area of law, so tread these topics carefully.

Mix the Past and Present, Present and Future, Or All Three 

Harvard Law School’s Associate Director Nefyn Meissner said your personal statement should “tell us something about who you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go.” 

Echoing this, Jon Perdue , Yale Law School's Director of Recruiting and Diversity Initiatives, states that the three most common approaches to the Yale Law School personal statement are focusing on: 

  • The past : discussing your identity and background 
  • The present : focusing on your current work, activities, and interests 
  • The future : the type of law you want to pursue and your ideal career path 

Perdue said that truly stellar personal statements have a sense of “movement” and touch on all or two of these topics. 

What does this mean for you? While writing your law school personal statement, don’t be afraid to touch on your past, present, and future. However, remember not to take on too much content! 

Keep the Focus On You 

This is a common pitfall that students fall into while writing a law school personal statement. UChicago Law cites that this is a common mistake applicants make when they write at length about: 

  • A family member who inspired them or their family history 
  • Stories about others 
  • Social or legal issues 

Even if someone like your grandmother had a profound impact on your decision to pursue law, remember that you’re the star of the show. Meissner said , “Should you talk about your grandmother? Only if doing so helps make the case for us to admit you. Otherwise, we might end up wanting to admit your grandmother.”

Don’t let historical figures, your family, or anyone else steal your spotlight. 

Decide If You Need to Answer: Why Law? 

Writing about why you want to attend law school in general or a school in particular depends on the prompt. Some schools welcome the insight, while others (like Harvard Law) don't. Meissner said, “Should you mention you want to come to HLS? We already assume that if you’re applying.”

However, Perdue said your law school personal statement for Yale should answer three questions: 

  • Why law school?

Some schools may invite you to discuss your motivation to apply to law school or what particular elements of the school inspired you to apply. 

Don’t List Qualifications or Rehash Your Resume 

Your personal statement should flow like a story, with an identifiable beginning, middle, and end. Simply firing off your honors and awards, or summarizing the experiences on your resume, doesn’t tell the admissions committee anything new about you. 

Your personal statement is your opportunity to show how your unique experiences shaped you, your qualities, and the person you are behind your LSAT scores and GPA. Think about how you can show who you are at your core. 

Avoid Legalese, Jargon, And Sophisticated Terms 

The best law school personal statements are written in straightforward English and don't use overly academic, technical, or literary words. UChicago Law recommends avoiding legalese or Latin terms since the "risk you are incorrectly using them is just too high." 

Weaving together intricate sentence structures with words you pulled out of a thesaurus won’t make your personal statement a one-way ticket to acceptance. Be clear, straightforward, and to the point. 

Don’t Put Famous Quotes In Your Writing 

Beginning your law school personal statement with a quote is not only cliche but takes the focus off of you. It also eats up precious space you could fill with your voice. 

Revise, Revise, Revise 

Even the most talented writers never submit a perfect first draft. You'll need to do a lot of revisions before your personal statement is ready for submission. This is especially true because you'll write different versions for different law schools; these iterations must be edited to perfection. 

Ensure you have enough time to make all the edits and improvements you need before you plan to submit your application. Although most law schools have rolling admissions, submitting a perfected application as soon as possible is always in your best interest. 

Have an Admission Consultant Review Your Hard Work 

Reviewing so many personal statements by yourself is a lot of work, and most writing can always benefit from a fresh perspective. Consider seeking a law school admissions consultant’s help to edit your personal statements to perfection and maximize your chances of acceptance at your dream school!

How to End Your Personal Statement for Law School 

Law school personal statement conclusions are just as open-ended as your introductions. There are a few options for ending a personal statement depending on the prompt you’re writing for:

Law school conclusion strategies

Some of these methods can overlap with each other. However, there are two more things you should always consider when you're ready to wrap up your story: the tone you're leaving on and how you can make your writing fit with your narrative's common thread. 

You should never want to leave your reader on a low note, even if you wrote about something that isn’t necessarily happy. You should strive to end your personal statement with a tone that’s hopeful, happy, confident, or some other positive feeling. 

Your last sentences should also give the impression of finality; your reader should understand that you’re wrapping up and not be left wondering where the rest of your statement is. 

So, what's the common thread? This just means that your narrative sticks to the overarching theme or event you portrayed at the beginning of your writing. Bringing your writing full circle makes a more satisfying conclusion.

Personal Statement for Law School Conclusion Examples

Evaluating law school personal statement conclusions can help you see what direction authors decided to take with their writing. Let’s circle back to the sample personal statement openings for law school and examine their respective conclusions. The first example explains the applicant’s motivation to attend Harvard Law. 

Sample Personal Statement for Law School Conclusion #1

“…Attorneys and legal scholars have paved the way for some of the greatest civil rights victories for women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and (people living with disabilities). At Harvard Law School, I will prepare to join their ranks by studying with the nation's leading legal scholars. For the past months, I have followed Harvard Law School student responses to the events in Ferguson and New York City. I am eager to join a law school community that shares my passion for using the law to achieve real progress for victims of discrimination. With an extensive history of advocacy for society's most marginalized groups, I believe Harvard Law School will thoroughly train me to support and empower communities in need. 
Our act of civil disobedience that December day ended when the Tower’s bells rang out in two bars, hearkening half-past noon. As we stood up and gathered our belongings, we broke our silence to remind everyone of a most basic truth: Black lives matter.”  

What Makes This Conclusion Effective 

Although Harvard Law School states there's no need to explain why you want to apply, this law school statement is from an HLS graduate, and we can assume this was written before the advice changed. 

In his conclusion, he relates and aligns his values with Harvard Law School and how joining the community will help him fulfill his mission to empower communities in need. The last paragraph circles back to the anecdote described in his introduction, neatly wrapping up the event and signaling a natural end to his story. 

This author used these strategies: the motivation to attend a specific law school, stating his mission, and subtly reiterating what his acceptance would bring to the school. The next example conclusion worked at UChicago Law: 

Sample Personal Statement for Law School Conclusion #2

“Songs can be rewritten and reinterpreted as situation permits, but missteps are obvious because the fundamental laws of music and harmony do not change.
Although my formal music education ended when I entered college, the lessons I have learned over the years have remained close and relevant to my life. I have acquired a lifestyle of discipline and internalized the drive for self-improvement. I have gained an appreciation for the complexities and the subtleties of interpretation. I understand the importance of having both a sound foundation and a dedication to constant study. I understand that to possess a passion and personal interest in something, to think for myself is just as important.”

What Made This Conclusion Effective

This law school personal statement was successful at UChicago Law. Although the writing has seemingly nothing to do with law or the author's capability to become a great lawyer, the author has effectively used the "show, don't tell" advice. 

The last paragraph implements the focus on qualities or skills strategy. Although related to music, the qualities they describe that a formal music education taught her mesh with the qualities of a successful lawyer: 

  • A drive for self-improvement 
  • The ability to interpret information 
  • The ability to learn consistently 
  • The ability to think for herself 

Overall, this essay does an excellent job of uncovering her personality and relating to the opening paragraph, where she describes how she fell in love with music.

2 Law School Personal Statement Examples From Admitted Students

These are two law school personal statement examples that worked. We'll review the excerpts below and describe what made them effective and if there's room for improvement. 

Law School Personal Statement Example #1

This is an excerpt of a law personal statement that worked at UChicago Law : 

“The turning point of my college football career came early in my third year. At the end of the second practice of the season, in ninety-five-degree heat, our head coach decided to condition the entire team. Sharp, excruciating pain shot down my legs as he summoned us repeatedly to the line to run wind sprints. I collapsed as I turned the corner on the final sprint. Muscle spasms spread throughout my body, and I briefly passed out. Severely dehydrated, I was rushed to the hospital and quickly given more than three liters of fluids intravenously. As I rested in a hospital recovery room, I realized my collapse on the field symbolized broader frustrations I felt playing college football.
I was mentally and physically defeated. In South Dakota, I was a dominant football player in high school, but at the Division I level, my talent was less conspicuous. In my first three years, I was convinced that obsessively training my body to run faster and be stronger would earn me a starting position. The conditioning drill that afternoon revealed the futility of my approach. I had thrust my energies into becoming a player I could never be. As a result, I lost confidence in my identity.
I considered other aspects of my life where my intellect, work ethic, and determination had produced positive results. I chose to study economics and English because processing abstract concepts and ideas in diverse disciplines were intuitively rewarding…Gathering data, reviewing previous literature, and ultimately offering my own contribution to economic knowledge was exhilarating. Indeed, undergraduate research affirmed my desire to attend law school, where I could more thoroughly satisfy my intellectual curiosity…My efforts generated high marks and praise from professors, but this success made my disappointment with football more pronounced.
The challenge of collegiate athletics felt insurmountable. However, I reminded myself that at the Division I level, I was able to compete with and against some of the best players in the country…After the hospital visit, my football position coach—sensing my mounting frustrations—offered some advice. Instead of devoting my energies almost exclusively to physical preparation, he said, I should approach college football with the same mental focus I brought to my academic studies. I began to devour scouting reports and to analyze the complex reasoning behind defensive philosophies and schemes. I studied film and discovered ways to anticipate plays from the offense and become a more effective player. Armed with renewed confidence, I finally earned a starting position in the beginning of my fourth year…
‍ I had received the highest grade on the team. After three years of A’s in the classroom, I finally earned my first ‘A’ in football. I used mental preparation to maintain my competitive edge for the rest of the season. Through a combination of film study and will power, I led my team and conference in tackles…The most rewarding part of the season, though, was what I learned about myself in the process. When I finally stopped struggling to become the player I thought I needed to be, I developed self-awareness and confidence in the person I was.
The image of me writhing in pain on the practice field sometimes slips back into my thoughts as I decide where to apply to law school. College football taught me to recognize my weaknesses and look for ways to overcome them. I will enter law school a much stronger person and student because of my experiences on the football field and in the classroom. My decision where to attend law school mirrors my decision where to play college football. I want to study law at the University of Chicago Law School because it provides the best combination of professors, students, and resources in the country. In Division I college football, I succeeded when I took advantage of my opportunities. I hope the University of Chicago will give me an opportunity to succeed again.”

Why This Personal Statement Example Worked

The beginning of this personal statement includes vivid imagery and sets up a relevant anecdote for the reader; the writer’s injury while playing football. At the end of the introduction, he sets up a fantastic transition about his broader frustrations, compelling us to keep reading. 

The essay's body shows the writer's vulnerability, making it even more personal; it can be challenging to talk about feelings, like losing your confidence, but it can help us relate to him. 

The author sets up a transition to writing more about his academic ability, his eventual leadership role on the team, and developing the necessary qualities of a well-rounded lawyer: self-awareness and confidence. 

Finally, the author rounds out his statement by circling back to his opening anecdote and showing the progress he’s made from there. He also describes why UChicago Law is the right school for him. To summarize, the author expertly handled: 

  • Opening with a descriptive anecdote that doesn’t leave the reader hanging for too long 
  • Being vulnerable in such a way that no one else could have written this statement 
  • Doing more than recounting an event but reflecting on it 
  • Although he introduced his coach's advice, he kept himself the focal point of the story 
  • He picked a focused event; the writer didn’t try to tackle too much content 
  • His conclusion references his introduction, signalling the natural end of the story 
  • The ending also reaffirms his passion for pursuing law, particularly at UChicago Law 

Law School Personal Statement Example #2 

This law school personal statement excerpt led to acceptance at Boston University Law. 

“She sat opposite me at my desk to fill out a few forms. Fumbling her hands and laughing uncomfortably, it was obvious that she was nervous. Sandra was eighteen, and her knowledge of English was limited to “yes” and “hello.” While translating the initial meeting between Sandra and her attorney, I learned of her reasons for leaving El Salvador. She had been in an abusive relationship, and though she wasn’t ready to go into detail just yet, it was clear from the conversation that her boyfriend had terrorized her and that the El Salvadoran police were of no help…Eventually, Sandra was given a credible fear interview. The interviewer believed that she had a real fear of returning to El Salvador, and Sandra was released from detention with an Immigration Court hearing notice in her hand. She had just retained our office to present her asylum case to the Immigration Judge.
I tried to imagine myself in Sandra’s shoes. She hadn’t finished high school, was in a completely new environment, and had almost no understanding of how things worked in the US. Even the harsh New England winter must have seemed unnatural to her. Having lived abroad for a couple of years, I could relate on some level; however, the circumstances of my stay overseas were completely different. I went to Spain after graduating from college to work in an elementary school, improve my Spanish skills, and see a bit of the world…I had to ask hundreds of questions and usually make a few attempts before actually accomplishing my goal. Frustrating though it was, I didn’t have so much riding on each of these endeavors. If I didn’t have all the necessary paperwork to open a bank account one day, I could just try again the next day. Sandra won’t be afforded the same flexibility in her immigration process, where so much depends on the ability to abide by inflexible deadlines and procedures. Without someone to guide her through the process, ensuring that all requirements are met, and presenting her case as persuasively as possible, Sandra will have little chance of achieving legal status in the United States…
Before starting at my current position at Joyce & Associates, an immigration law firm in Boston, I had long considered a career in law. Growing up, I was engaged by family and school debates about public policy and government. In college, I found my constitutional law courses challenging and exciting. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until I began working with clients like Sandra that I became convinced that a career in law is the right choice for me. Playing my part as a legal assistant in various immigration cases, I have been able to witness how a career in immigration advocacy is both intellectually stimulating and personally fulfilling. I have seen the importance of well-articulated arguments and even creativity in arguing a client’s eligibility for an immigration benefit. I have learned that I excel in critical thinking and in examining detail, as I continually consider the consistency and possible implications of any documents that clients provide in support of their application. But most importantly, I have realized how deserving many of these immigrants are. Many of the clients I work with are among the most hardworking and patriotic people I have encountered…
‍ I am equally confident that I would thrive as a student at Boston University, where I would be sure to take full advantage of the many opportunities available. The school’s Asylum and Human Rights Clinic and Immigration Detention Clinic would offer me invaluable experiences in various immigration settings…Given my experiences in an immigration firm, I know that I would have much to offer while participating in these programs, but even more to learn. And while I find BU’s immigration programs to be especially appealing, I am equally drawn to the Boston University experience as a whole…I hope to have the opportunity to face those challenges and to contribute my own experiences and drive to the Boston University community.”

This statement makes excellent use of opening with an experience that sets the writer's motivation to attend law school in motion. We're introduced to another person in the story in the introduction, before the author swivels and transitions to how she'd imagine herself in Sandra's shoes. 

This transition shows empathy, and although the author could relate to her client's struggles on a more superficial level, she understood the gravity of her situation and the hardships that awaited her. 

The author backpedals to show how she's cultivated an interest in law in college and explored this interest to know it's the right choice for her. The conclusion does an excellent job of referencing exactly how BU Law will help her achieve her mission. To recap, this personal statement was effective because: 

  • She started her personal statement with a story 
  • Although the writer focuses on an event with another person, she moves the focus back to her 
  • The author’s statement shows qualities like empathy, compassion, and critical thinking without explicitly stating it 
  • She connects her experiences to her motivation to attend law school 
  • This statement has movement: it references the author’s past, present, and future 
  • She ends her statement by explaining in detail why BU Law is the right school for her 

Although this personal statement worked, circling back to the opening anecdote in the conclusion, even with a brief sentence, would have made the conclusion more impactful and fortified the common thread of her narrative.

How to Write Personal Statement For Law School: FAQs

Do you still have questions about how to write a personal statement for law school? Read on to learn more. 

1. What Makes a Good Personal Statement for Law School? 

Generally, an excellent personal statement tells a relevant story, showcases your best qualities, is personal, and creatively answers the prompt. Depending on the prompt, a good personal statement may describe your motivation to attend law school or why a school, in particular, is perfect for you. 

2. Should I Write a Separate Personal Statement for Each School? 

Depending on the prompts, you may be able to submit the same or similar law school personal statements to different schools. However, you’ll likely need more than one version of your statement to apply to different schools. Generally, students will write a few versions of their statements to meet personal statement instructions. 

3. How Long Should My Law School Personal Statement Be? 

Law school personal statement length requirements vary by school, but you can generally expect to write approximately two pages, double-spaced. 

4. What Should You Not Put In a Law School Personal Statement? 

Your law school personal statement shouldn’t include famous quotes, overly sophisticated language, statements that may offend others, and unhelpful or inappropriate information about yourself. 

5. What Do I Write My Law School Personal Statement About? 

The answer depends on the prompt you need to answer. Consider your experiences and decide which are impactful, uncover your personality, show your motivation to attend law school, or show your impressive character traits. 

6. Does the Personal Statement Really Matter for Law School? 

Top LSAT scores and high GPAs may not be enough, especially at the T-14 law schools. Due to the high level of competition, you should take advantage of your personal statement to show why you’re an excellent candidate. So yes, they do matter.

Writing A Law School Personal Statement is Easy With Juris

Writing a personal statement can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Juris Education is committed to helping you learn how to write a law school personal statement with ease. We help future law school students develop their narratives, evaluate writing to ensure it’s in line with what law schools expect, and edit statements to perfection. 

A stellar law school personal statement helps you stand out and can help you take that last step to attending the law school of your dreams.

personal statement for law sample

Schedule A Free Consultation

You may also like.

How to Become a Legal Secretary

How to Become a Legal Secretary

How to Study for the LSAT - Tips & Study Schedule

How to Study for the LSAT - Tips & Study Schedule

image of youtube logo

BrightLink Prep

[2024] 4 Law School Personal Statement Examples from Top Programs

personal statement for law sample

by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad

In personal statement samples by field.

In this article, I will discuss 4 law school personal statement samples. These statements have been written by successful applicants who gained admission to prestigious US Law schools like Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. The purpose of these examples is to demonstrate how prospective applicants like yourself can artfully integrate their passion, skills, and pertinent experiences into a captivating narrative.

* To further guide you on your law school application journey, I will not only present these personal statement samples but will also provide my expert review after each one. This includes an analytical feedback, a graded evaluation, and a detailed discussion of any identified weaknesses and strengths within the personal statement. Through this comprehensive analysis, I aim to provide a clearer understanding of what makes a compelling law school personal statement.

In the process of composing these personal statements, the applicants have drawn upon valuable insights from several of my previous writings on the subject. Furthermore, you are encouraged to utilize my prior works as a resource to aid you in crafting your own personal statement.

In those posts I’ve discussed the  art of constructing a captivating personal statement , and I’ve highlighted the  pitfalls to avoid  to ensure your law school essay leaves a positive impression.

I’ve also shared valuable tips on  structuring your personal statement for clarity and readability, not to mention  how to create a powerful opening  that grabs attention from the start. And let’s not forget about maintaining brevity while effectively telling your story, as well as offering a vast range of  personal statement examples  from different fields for reference.

And yes, do not forget to explore my  8-point framework  that anyone can use to self-evaluate their law school personal statement. Complementing this, I’ve also created a  7-point guide  to help you steer clear of potential traps and missteps in your personal statement.

I encourage you to explore these topics in depth, as they will be useful while we explore the sample personal statement for law schools.

In this Article

1) Research the Law School

2) outline your law school personal statement, 3) write a compelling introduction, 4) showcase your achievements and interests in law, 5) articulate your motivations for pursuing law, 6) highlight unique qualities for the legal field, 7) addressing potential weaknesses or gaps, 8) craft a persuasive conclusion, my in-depth feedback on sample 1, my in-depth feedback on sample 2, my in-depth feedback on sample 3, my in-depth feedback on sample 4, why do law schools require a personal statement, does every law school require a personal statement, what should you avoid in a law school personal statement, can i use the same personal statement for all law schools, should i put my name on my law school personal statement, should you brainstorm your law school personal statement, how to write a personal statement for law school.

Writing a personal statement for law school requires thorough research, a well-structured outline, and a captivating introduction. The following steps will guide you in crafting a coherent and compelling narrative that effectively showcases your journey and aspirations in the field of law. For a more detailed post, follow this ultimate guide on how to write a personal statement .

Begin by immersing yourself in extensive research about the law school you are applying to. Explore the institution’s website, paying close attention to its mission, curriculum, faculty expertise, and any unique offerings such as clinical programs or specialized courses. Familiarize yourself with the admission requirements and tailor your personal statement to highlight relevant qualifications.

Immerse yourself in the law school’s culture and gain insights from faculty members, current students, or alumni. Attend informational sessions or open houses to gather additional details. Reflect on how the law school aligns with your career goals in the legal field and incorporate this understanding into your personal statement, showcasing your dedication and suitability.

Before delving into writing your personal statement, create a comprehensive outline of its content. Begin with a captivating introduction , which could include a compelling anecdote, an impactful quote, or a statement that highlights your passion for the law.

For example: “Ever since I witnessed the transformative power of the law in securing justice for the vulnerable, I have been driven to pursue a legal career that upholds the principles of equity and fairness.”

Next, outline your academic achievements and relevant experiences, such as internships, research projects, or extracurricular activities that demonstrate your commitment to the field of law. Emphasize the skills you have developed and the honors you have received.

Articulate your motivations for pursuing a legal education, sharing your aspirations and long-term goals. Highlight unique strengths, such as critical thinking, analytical abilities, or effective communication skills. If necessary, address any potential concerns or gaps in your application, explaining the situation and showcasing your ability to overcome challenges.

Conclude by reiterating your passion and qualifications for the legal profession and express your enthusiasm for joining the law school. This structured approach will ensure a coherent and persuasive personal statement.

Begin your personal statement with a captivating introduction that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. Consider starting with an engaging anecdote, a thought-provoking quote, or a personal experience that sparked your interest in the law.

For instance: “In a world where justice often hangs in the balance, I recall the moment I witnessed a courtroom’s transformative power. The eloquence of the attorneys, the weight of their arguments, and the profound impact on the lives of those involved compelled me to pursue a legal career.”

Briefly introduce the central theme of your personal statement, whether it’s your passion for advocating for others, your commitment to upholding justice, or your desire to make a positive impact through the law. A compelling introduction sets the tone for the rest of your personal statement.

In your personal statement, focus on highlighting your academic and professional accomplishments that showcase your preparedness for law school. Discuss relevant internships, research projects, or academic achievements that demonstrate your commitment to the field.

For example: “During my internship at XYZ Law Firm, I had the privilege of working alongside experienced attorneys, analyzing complex legal cases and conducting in-depth legal research. This experience solidified my passion for legal advocacy and honed my ability to navigate intricate legal frameworks.”

Illustrate key achievements, such as publications, successful legal cases, or leadership roles within legal organizations. Explain how these experiences have shaped your interest in law and contributed to your growth and expertise in the field.

Clearly articulate your motivations for pursuing a legal education. Share personal experiences, challenges, or encounters that have fueled your desire to make a difference through the law.

For example: “Growing up in a community where access to justice was limited, I witnessed firsthand the disparities in legal representation. These experiences instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility to advocate for those who have been marginalized by the legal system.”

Outline your career goals and aspirations, illustrating how obtaining a legal education aligns with your vision. Discuss how the law school’s program, faculty, and resources will contribute to your growth and help you achieve your professional objectives.

Highlight personal qualities and attributes that make you well-suited for a legal career. Emphasize traits such as critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, research skills, or effective communication.

For instance: “My ability to analyze complex legal issues, combined with my unwavering commitment to pursuing justice, has enabled me to approach legal challenges with both empathy and determination.

Provide concrete examples that demonstrate how these qualities have positively impacted your academic or professional experiences. Showcase how these qualities align with the values and expectations of the law school, presenting a strong case for your fit within the legal community.

Address any weaknesses or gaps in your application candidly. If you encountered obstacles or faced academic challenges, briefly mention them, focusing on what you have learned and how you have grown as a result.

Demonstrate resilience and determination by highlighting subsequent achievements or steps you have taken to overcome difficulties. Showcase how these experiences have strengthened your commitment and prepared you for the rigors of law school.

Your conclusion should effectively summarize the key points of your personal statement. Recap your passion for the law, the skills you have acquired, and your future ambitions within the legal field.

For example: “Driven by an unwavering commitment to justice and armed with a solid foundation in legal research and advocacy, I am ready to embark on this transformative journey in law school.”

Express your enthusiasm for contributing to the legal profession, emphasizing how your unique perspective and experiences will enrich the law school community. Conclude with a confident and concise statement that demonstrates your readiness to excel in their program and make a meaningful impact in the field of law.

Sample 1: NYU, UCLA, and Duke

Variations of this personal statement got accepted at nyu, ucla, and duke..

One day, I decided to quit home, leave my parents behind and move to a small rural town called Leiah after being inconsiderately and incessantly forced to marry a cousin. It was a bold step, but I did not want to be like other women in my country who do not fight for their rights. While living in solicitude in Leiah, I stumbled upon a poor old man sitting beside a piece of furniture that would define his existence. Lying limply on a street corner, the old man had only one helping hand – the crippled furniture.

Coming from a privileged background, I saw for the first time the disparity between the haves and have-nots. Nothing, however, seemed more unlikely when I first arrived. Constrained by their poverty, these rural people took what jobs they could find, working for long hours in the field and finally retrieving their broken houses and furniture for respite. They were outrageously overworked and underpaid but never brought any bitterness home. At that time, I realized how blessed I was, and they were not.

Inspired by these experiences, I decided to use my education and connections to bring change to the lives of these people of Leiah. By collaborating with an NGO for money and resources, I started giving out basic amenities and finances to set up cheap livable houses for these people. I didn’t stop there – I joined a maternity home in Leiah as a public liaison officer and helped the clinic with legal and administrative issues. By understanding the numerous Federal and State laws regarding Health Care, I better equipped myself at work. After tireless efforts, I handled several cases of women and children who suffered abuse, violence, and neglect.

I wanted to discuss these experiences because I believe that, as an ever-present factor during many of these four formative years, these incidents played a significant role in shaping the adult I have become. Ten years ago, I would never have foreseen that I could become a powerful vehicle for others’ growth by living in a village. The experience has helped me develop a heightened sensitivity for those who have struggled to fit into our society. As a result, I decided to move back to the city after several years and pursue further education in law and political science. During these academic years, I was actively involved with various community service projects and as an investigator in law firms, allowing me to interact with troubled and disadvantaged youth and the mentally disabled.

I have long been interested in law as an academic discipline, and working in rural areas has confirmed that my academic interests would extend to the real-world application of legal principles. To this end, I purposefully chose jobs that provided very distinct perspectives on law practice. As a legal assistant, I became acquainted with both the advantages and disadvantages of private practice. As a member of the human rights commission, I investigated how non-profits worked at a larger scale to improve the lives of the underprivileged. Moreover, helping in DIL (development in literacy) has offered me a glimpse of how the law may be used constructively in the public sector. I am currently working as a member of the Michigan chapter on fundraising that will take place next year in LA. All these positions have equally impressed upon me the unique potential of the law to make a direct, positive impact on people’s lives.

Working as a legal consultant, I was initially turned off by the formal language, which permeated all writing and discourse (“Aforementioned • legalese had heretofore proven incomprehensible”). As one unfamiliar with the jargon, I found the law to be pretentious and distant. Gradually, however, I began to sort out the shades of difference between a “motion in limine” and a “56(f) motion.” Finally, I understood the law as a vast set of rules which could, with intelligence and creativity, genuinely be used on behalf of values such as fairness and justice.

In addition to my primary assignment on an antitrust case, some exposure to pro bono work further convinced me that law has a vital role in our society. I am also avidly involved in extra-curricular activities. For example, I went to India to attend my father’s book launch (a writer) organized by Ghalib Council, Delhi. By collaborating and bonding with the people of India, I could impart brotherhood and literacy since I found Indian people more educated than us. My society needs education and health, and I want to work in these areas when I return.

As with my experience at a law firm, I soon realized the practical application of the laws written here. Unlike most of the public, who see only the final version of a bill, being part of the health legislative process has forced me to examine all sides of any given issue. Although politics can make this process agonizingly slow and inefficient, my work here has given me a greater appreciation for how laws affect our constituents back home.

Given my skills, I am convinced that health law presents the single greatest chance for me to make a difference, both in the lives of individuals and in terms of influencing the broader fabric of society. Moreover, I am confident that my insistence on looking beyond those first impressions has provided me with an exciting opportunity to apply and study at UCLA Law.

The woman in my society is an artisan and a tradesperson. She’s an economist and a doctor. She is also a fisherwoman and a craftsperson. She’s a mentor, nurturer, parliamentarian, and cultivator. She’s brimming with life and capability, but she waits for what justly belongs to her: the right to a superior life.

Here is a brief review and rating of this personal statement based on different aspects:

  • Hook and Introduction (4.5/5): Your introduction is powerful and immediately hooks the reader. It shows strength, courage, and determination.
  • Background and Motivation (4.5/5): You’ve done a great job of illustrating your background and motivation, which stem from your experiences in Leiah. You could add more about how these experiences triggered your interest in law.
  • Relevance and Competency (4/5): You have demonstrated a clear path from your experiences to your interest in law, but a more explicit discussion about the legal skills you have developed and how you applied them would make this section stronger.
  • Passion and Personal Drive (5/5): Your passion for law, social justice, and helping others is palpable and will make a strong impression on the admission committee.
  • Program Fit and Future Goals (3/5): Your statement is currently lacking in specific references to the law school you’re applying to, making it difficult to assess fit. Discussing how the program aligns with your career goals and what aspects of the program particularly attract you would strengthen your application.
  • Conclusion (4/5): Your conclusion is effective in tying together your experiences and your desire to study law. However, a clearer expression of your readiness for law school and how you plan to contribute to the law school community would enhance this section.

Now, let’s delve deeper into each part of your statement:

  • Introduction: Your introduction is powerful and impactful. The raw honesty about your decision to leave home and confront societal norms hooks the reader immediately. It tells us you are strong, independent, and willing to make hard choices. One suggestion would be to more directly link this bold decision to your interest in law—did it spark a desire for justice, or a passion for advocating for others who are oppressed?
  • Background and Challenges: You effectively depict the stark contrast between your privileged upbringing and the poverty-stricken lives of the people in Leiah. Your empathy is palpable, and it showcases your character and capacity for understanding others’ situations. To provide more context, you could elaborate on the societal and cultural norms that were challenged by your experiences in Leiah and how these experiences shaped your view of law and justice.
  • Transferable Skills: You talk about your role as a public liaison officer and how it familiarized you with Federal and State healthcare laws. This shows you’ve already been using legal skills in a practical environment, a strong point in your favor. Perhaps expand on the specific skills or competencies you gained during this period, such as negotiation, critical thinking, or public speaking, and how they will be beneficial in a law school environment.
  • Passion and Goals: Your experiences, such as working with NGOs and maternity homes, indicate a strong passion for social justice. The goal of using law to improve the lives of the underprivileged is noble and will resonate with law schools. It might be beneficial to discuss specific areas of law you are interested in (e.g., human rights, public interest law) and how you see yourself contributing in these areas in the future.
  • Relevant Experiences: Your varied experiences, from community service to law firm investigation work, provide you with a wealth of practical experiences, all very relevant to your law school journey. Perhaps you could add more detail about how these experiences solidified your desire to study law and how they shaped your perspective on legal practice.
  • Specific Interest in the School: The personal statement does not mention a specific law school or its program. Including a paragraph detailing why you are interested in the specific school you are applying to, and how its program aligns with your career goals, could strengthen your application. Discuss the school’s specific courses, faculty, or values that attract you.
  • Conclusion: While your conclusion effectively ties together your experiences and future law goals, it could be more direct in expressing your readiness to face the challenges of law school and contribute to the school community.

Your personal statement is already compelling, but adding more context to your experiences and making clear links between your past, present, and future in the context of law could further enhance it. Remember, specificity is key—whether it’s about the skills you’ve gained, the experiences that shaped your interest in law, or the specific school you’re applying to.

Sample 2: Northwestern, Vanderbilt, and UC Berkeley

Variations of this personal statement got accepted at northwestern, vanderbilt, and uc berkeley..

Unlike many, my passion for acquiring a law degree is neither a childhood fantasy of fighting a case in a courtroom nor a preconceived notion of myself as a lawyer. Instead, I recognize that a law degree would enable me to advance my career as a taxation lawyer.

I had to skip schooling during 4th and 5th grade and instead studied at home. This was due to the financial difficulties stemming from my mother’s cancer treatment, which put a significant financial burden on us. Additionally, as a female from an agricultural and rural family, I faced family pressure to attend a public school instead of a private one. But I did not succumb to these pressures. Instead, I persevered in studying and investing in getting myself private education through partial financial support from my older brother and by working part-time as a writer and content curator. Six months before my high-school graduation, my mother succumbed to her illness and passed away. She spent the last eight years of her life bedridden. The loss was immeasurable, but life had to move on.

I first set my sights on becoming a lawyer when I interned at a law firm during the summer break following my high school graduation. Throughout this internship, I annoyed my supervisors by writing long-winded legal documents even when they asked for a few sentences – this was because of the writing habits I had developed as a content writer. With time, I started to write better legal reports, but my attention was increasingly turned toward tax law. With the guidance and counseling of my supervisors, I applied to an undergrad law program. I spent the next several years understanding the Federal Reserve’s proposed Income Tax Ordinance, including exemptions from income tax and withholding tax.

Throughout this time, I continued to work part-time with various firms, hospitals, and non-profits as a volunteer, legal advisor, and editor. Upon graduation, I applied for the position of legal advisor at the Monthly Atlantic. My current job entails researching and reporting for the newspaper on appropriations bills and export legislation. I also write daily summaries of major contracts awarded by the Federal Government. I am also primarily responsible for supporting discrete legal issues by advising the organization, drafting undertakings, and structuring remedies for the relevant issues.

I am excited but also apprehensive as I try to explain legal jargon to an informed general audience, some of whom may know more about these policies than I do. For example, recently, I had a significant challenge in understanding and decoding the budget proposals of the Federal Reserve, by section 42 of the MOPA Act, 1956 (the Act), in which the entire income of the Federal Reserve and its subsidiaries is remitted to the federal government. After thoroughly going through the provisions, I learned there are still some provisions in the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, Sales Tax Act 1990, and Federal Excise Act 2005, attracting the application of taxes and duties.

Too often, I need more legal knowledge to fully grasp bills that control how companies do business overseas, the limits to which government agencies can go to collect covert intelligence, or the amount of funding an agency can receive in a given time. On the one hand, these limitations have yet to do much to impair me in my current position. I am called to turn out several short stories daily on various topics without going into significant detail. However, I would like to advance to more complex and challenging assignments one day. I fear I will be able to do so if I acquire more expertise than I can within the confines of my deadline-driven job. It is a belief shared by several of my colleagues and many of the senior legal consultants at the newspaper that those who hold advanced degrees in law, business, and related disciplines are at an edge. A law degree would put me in a better position to join their ranks, mainly if I could attend school while continuing to work as a legal advisor in taxation-related instances.

Given my circumstances and interests, a graduate degree in taxation law from UC Berkeley is my ideal choice. In addition, I have an acquaintance that is currently enrolled at Berkeley Law school. His generous feedback has convinced me that this program would also fit my needs considering its flexible schedule and emphasis on tax law.

  • Hook and Introduction (5/5): The hook and introduction effectively capture the reader’s attention and provide a clear understanding of your unique motivation for pursuing a law degree. The personal anecdote about your internship and your writing habits adds interest to the narrative and sets the stage for the rest of the personal statement.
  • Background and Motivation (4.5/5): The background section effectively outlines the challenges you faced during your education and personal life, showcasing your resilience and determination. It helps the reader understand the context in which your passion for law developed. The motivation behind your interest in taxation law is well-explained, highlighting how your experiences and skills have guided you towards this specific field.
  • Relevance and Competency (4/5): You effectively demonstrate your competence by discussing your experiences as a legal advisor, writer, and content curator. The mention of your work with firms, hospitals, and non-profits further strengthens your case. However, it would be beneficial to provide more specific examples or achievements that highlight your skills and expertise in taxation law.
  • Passion and Personal Drive (4.5/5): Your passion for taxation law shines through in your personal statement. The enthusiasm you express for writing legal reports and your desire to tackle more complex assignments demonstrate your genuine interest in the field. The mention of your colleagues and senior legal consultants’ belief in the value of advanced degrees in law further emphasizes your commitment to continuous learning and professional growth.
  • Program Fit and Future Goals (3/5): While you express your interest in pursuing a graduate degree in taxation law from UC Berkeley, the personal statement lacks specific details about why this program is a perfect fit for your goals. Providing more information about the program’s strengths and how they align with your aspirations would strengthen this section.
  • Conclusion (4/5): The conclusion effectively wraps up your personal statement and reinforces your commitment to pursuing a law degree. It restates your interest in UC Berkeley and highlights the feedback you received from an acquaintance at the institution. However, it could be enhanced by briefly summarizing your key strengths and accomplishments and how they will contribute to your success in the program.
  • Introduction: The introduction of the personal statement effectively hooks the reader by highlighting your unique motivation for pursuing a law degree with a focus on taxation law. The mention of it not being a childhood fantasy and instead recognizing the degree as a means to advance your career sets the tone for the rest of the statement.
  • Background and Challenges: The section detailing your background and the challenges you faced is compelling. The explanation of having to skip schooling due to financial difficulties resulting from your mother’s cancer treatment adds depth to your personal story. It showcases your resilience in overcoming obstacles and your determination to pursue education despite the circumstances. The mention of facing family pressure to attend a public school instead of a private one further emphasizes your determination and ability to make your own choices.
  • Transferable Skills: While you mention working part-time as a writer and content curator, the transferable skills gained from this experience could be further elaborated upon. Explaining how your writing skills, attention to detail, and ability to analyze information have prepared you for the demands of the legal field would strengthen this section.
  • Passion and Goals: Your passion for law and taxation law is effectively conveyed throughout the personal statement. The explanation of your interest developing during your internship at a law firm, where you consistently wrote legal documents, showcases your dedication and enthusiasm. The mention of your desire to tackle more complex assignments and the belief shared by colleagues and senior legal consultants that advanced degrees are advantageous demonstrate your long-term goals and commitment to professional growth.
  • Relevant Experiences: The inclusion of your various volunteer and advisory roles, as well as your current position as a legal advisor at the Monthly Atlantic, highlights your practical experience in the field. However, providing more specific examples or accomplishments from these experiences would enhance this section and further illustrate your competence and expertise.
  • Specific Interest in the School: While you express an interest in pursuing a graduate degree in taxation law from UC Berkeley, the personal statement lacks specific details about why this program is a perfect fit for your goals. Adding more information about the program’s strengths, faculty, or specific courses that align with your interests would strengthen this section.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion effectively wraps up the personal statement by restating your commitment to pursuing a law degree and emphasizing your interest in UC Berkeley. However, it could be strengthened by summarizing your key strengths, experiences, and goals and how they align with the school’s offerings.

Overall, your personal statement effectively conveys your passion for taxation law, your determination to overcome challenges, and your commitment to professional growth. Strengthening the sections on transferable skills, providing more specific examples of relevant experiences, and including more specific details about the school’s fit would enhance the overall impact of the statement.

Sample 3: Georgetown

Variations of this personal statement got accepted at georgetown..

My desire to apply to law school is not rooted in a childhood fantasy of arguing a case before a packed courtroom. I have never seen myself as a trial attorney, ala Perry Mason or Nora Lewin on Law & Order. However, a legal education would enable me to advance my career as a writer and analyst specializing in national security and global trade issues.

I first set my sights on becoming a writer when I learned my letters. But, of course, mastering the ABCs may have been a long way from winning the Pulitzer. Nevertheless, this minor detail did not prevent me from completing three “novels” and my version of Genesis before the age of seven. Throughout elementary and junior high school, I annoyed my teachers by writing 10-page themes whenever they asked for a few sentences. Later, as a high school and college student, I continued writing, though my attention was increasingly turned toward other subjects. Ultimately, one of my professors directed me on a path that would combine my background in writing with government and policymaking. With her help, I secured an internship with a government contractor. As a result, I spent the spring and summer writing copy for websites that the company managed for the government while taking additional classes at university.

In February, I accepted a full-time job as a researcher at Washington Post, where I am now an assistant editor. My current job entails researching and reporting on defense appropriations bills and export legislation, as well as writing daily summaries of major contracts awarded by the Department of Defense and other defense ministries worldwide. With enthusiasm but some trepidation, I attempt to decode pages of legal jargon for an educated lay readership, many of whom I suspect know more than I about such policies. But, too often, I lack the legal knowledge to fully grasp bills that control how companies do business overseas, the limits to which government agencies can go to collect covert intelligence, or the amount of funding an agency can receive in a given length of time.

On the one hand, these limitations have yet to do much to impair me in my current position. I am called to turn out several short stories daily on various topics without going into significant detail. However, I would like to advance to more difficult reporting assignments one day. I fear I will be able to do so if I acquire more expertise than I can within the confines of my deadline-driven job. I also would like to It is a belief shared by several of my colleagues, as well as many of the senior writers and editors at my company who hold advanced degrees in law, business, and related disciplines. A law degree would put me in a better position to join their ranks, mainly if I could attend school while continuing to work as a journalist.

Given my circumstances and interests, Georgetown University Law Center, with its top-ranked intellectual property and international law programs, is my ideal choice. In addition, I have a colleague that is currently enrolled in the Georgetown evening law program. His generous feedback has convinced me that this program would also fit my needs considering its flexible schedule and emphasis on legal writing.

Your personal statement presents a compelling narrative that effectively communicates your passion for writing, your current profession, and your interest in furthering your education in law to augment your skills and understanding. Here are a few suggestions to improve it further:

  • Specifics: While you mention you would like to join the ranks of your colleagues who hold advanced degrees in law and related disciplines, it would be beneficial to include specific examples of how having a law degree could have or will benefit you in your current role.
  • Motivation: You’ve done a great job discussing your professional path and how you hope a legal education will benefit your career. Still, it would help if you were to discuss any personal reasons or experiences that have led you to want to study law. Personal narratives often make an applicant more relatable and can help the reader understand your motivation better.
  • Intention: You may want to further discuss how you plan to apply your law degree to your current career or future aspirations.
  • Completion: Towards the end, it seems there is a sentence that is not completed: “I also would like to It is a belief shared by several of my colleagues…”. You might want to revise this sentence to make your statement clearer.
  • Why Georgetown: While you have discussed that Georgetown University Law Center is your top choice, consider elaborating on why Georgetown, in particular, is the perfect fit for your career goals, apart from its flexible schedule and the fact that your colleague is enrolled there. You could mention specific courses, professors, or the university’s ethos, for example.

Your personal statement is already quite strong, and these suggestions are only meant to fine-tune your narrative further.

Sample 4: Harvard Law

Variations of this llm personal statement got accepted at university of pennsylvania, oxford university, and harvard law school..

I grew up in a middle-class family in Malaysia, where discipline and responsible behavior were the only doctrines taught. At school, I maintained 100% attendance without exception – a feat that my parents and I take pride in. My parents’ utmost involvement throughout my growing years always made me outshine my peers. Though my school grades were average, I represented my school in many activities ranging from debates and dramatics to being a soccer team captain for the entire house.

I have always had complete freedom from my parents until I had to choose a career. A STEM career was my parents’ priority, but for the first time, I differed from my family and chose Social Sciences. I was told that career prospects were bleak and that I was making the wrong decision, but I persisted. While majoring in social sciences, I met a mentor, Dr. Anonymous, a top economist. He challenged me intellectually, which helped me become a better thinker.

Subsequently, I secured the second position in college. My life turned around as people started to value my opinions, and at that time, I discovered my passion, “to speak.” I was chosen as the Coordinator for a Student Leadership Program, where I was mainly responsible for teaching empathy to hundreds of students from elite schools.

At the same time, at age 17, I met the chief editor of the New York Times, who invited me to host the “Youth Forum,” a program to highlight young people’s perspectives on existing social issues. With 55 episodes spanning over 2.5 years, I questioned youth’s role in our turbulent political, social, and economic system. The show gained popularity and performed exceptionally on TRP scores, with viewership growing to over 500,000.

At college, I met another mentor, Justice Anonymous of the Federal Court of Malaysia, who allowed me to attend court sessions as an observer of cross-questioning sessions. In addition, I socialized with lawyers at many forums, including the Court’s Cafeteria, where all appreciated my love for the field. In my 5th semester, I took a course on U.K. Constitutional Law, where I learned about the history of the U.K. Constitution. In the session on “Parliamentary Sovereignty” and “Britain’s relationship with the European Union,” the professor gave me new energy to research further about the steps in forming its Constitution. The more I read, the more I appreciated the perseverance of the founding fathers and the strong foundation England and Wales is built on.

A few years back, I attended the Oxford University Experience-Summer Course for Teens, Summerfuel. The program helped me with experiential learning about what college life is like. During my stay, I had plenty of opportunities to experience English life outside the classroom. Here, in a session, I narrated the first paragraph of the declaration of independence and asked, “whether all men are equal?”. To this, the professor appreciated my enthusiasm for constitutional law.

On my return to Malaysia, I had new energy to question the existing constitutional norms of Malaysia and kept comparing the constitutions of both countries and analyzing the factors that led to present-day turbulence in Malaysia. It is evident through the literature and historical precedence that the Constitution of Malaysia has been used maliciously to favor the powermongers. This indicates the lack of sincerity and dedication of the leaders who have formed this country.

Sadly, very few competent constitutional lawyers exist in the country that also happened to have played in the hands of powerful politicians who manipulated the Constitution to favor their vested interests. Therefore, I decided to take a career in this area as I aspire to be one of the few upright constitutional lawyers. I want to be amongst those who have shaped law and politics in Malaysia. Not amongst those who played in the hands of the powerful.

I want to choose Oxford Law for several reasons. Its tradition for excellence, the unique constitutional law curriculum, the summer program, and the excellent opportunity to meet and network with individuals from different parts of the world. I believe that Oxford law school’s vibrant and diverse community actively affirms my personality of maintaining lifelong relations. These different connections serve as a general resource for the campus community and a source of empowerment for students like me. The diverse setting at Oxford will enable me to investigate and engage in current issues and more profound societal questions. As a result, I will be able to discover how I can positively impact the world around me.

I am looking for an environment that promotes lively debates to complement my active speaking and reasoning traits. I can access well-known professors and discuss legal issues with exceptional young lawyers from more than 35 countries. Oxford offers a culture of collegiality and collaboration, where international students feel comfortable. At Oxford, professors like Dr. Anonymous, who specialize in constitutional law, and courses such as Democracy, Judicial Law-Making, & Constitutional Law can help nurture my skills and move forward in my career.

Professor Dr. Anonymous, a former Lord Justice in Wales, will teach me the value of strategy in litigation. Next, professor Dr. Anonymous and Dr. Anonymous will introduce me to the fabulous world of copyright. Finally, professor Dr. Anonymous will show me the foundations of the England and Wales litigation system. My long-term goal is to teach and practice constitutional law and eventually join politics on the path to becoming a leading politician. I have been inspired by high-achieving lawyers in Malaysia, such as Justice Anonymous, who have shaped Malaysia’s media, politics, and legal practice. I aspire to be the next in line.

Oxford offers a vast clinical & pro bono program via externships ranging from civil practice clinic to Wales Human Relations Commission. These externships indicate that Oxford wants to help all, a notion uncommon in Malaysia. Oxford is a lab for innovation and opportunities, as seen from the example of hundreds of Alumni that Oxford Law has catered to. I firmly believe that Oxford will genuinely appreciate my leadership at every scale and will polish my raw qualities and channel them so that I can apply them in Malaysia. Actual change on the grass root comes through education, and Oxford Law School is the ideal medium to achieve the highest standards.

Overall, your personal statement is impressive and well-articulated, illustrating a journey of personal and academic growth that highlights your passion, determination, and ambition. You make a compelling case for why you are interested in studying law, and specifically constitutional law, at Oxford. The narrative is well structured, and your argument about the need for constitutional reform in Malaysia is compelling and novel. Your professional experiences and extracurricular activities are quite impressive, providing evidence of your initiative and leadership abilities.

However, there are a few areas where your personal statement could be improved.

  • Language & Tone: There are some areas where the tone may come off as overly self-congratulatory, which could potentially turn off some admissions officers. For instance, you could soften the phrase “My parents’ utmost involvement throughout my growing years always made me outshine my peers.”
  • Coherence: The transitions between paragraphs are sometimes abrupt. For example, the transition from your second to third paragraph, where you switch from discussing your choice of Social Sciences to your achievement of securing second position in college, lacks a clear connecting link.
  • Specificity: You could provide more specifics to demonstrate the impact of your work. For example, instead of mentioning that you taught empathy to hundreds of students, it would be helpful to illustrate what this entailed and what results it achieved.
  • Mention of Oxford: The reasons for choosing Oxford Law seem generic and could apply to any top law school. To make your statement more compelling, research more about what is specific to Oxford Law – perhaps a unique program or course, or a faculty member’s work you admire, and express why that appeals to you.
  • Criticizing Home Country: The criticism of Malaysia and its leaders seems a bit harsh, which may not resonate well with some readers. While it’s important to be honest about the issues you see, try to express these thoughts in a more constructive manner, focusing more on potential solutions rather than just pointing out problems.
  • Ending: The statement ends abruptly. It would be great if you could end on a strong note, summarising your aspirations, and how Oxford fits into that journey.

Here is how I would grade your personal statement:

Content: B+ (The content is strong, but it could benefit from more specific examples and better transitions)

Structure: B (The narrative is coherent but could benefit from smoother transitions and a stronger conclusion)

Language & Tone: B (The tone sometimes comes off as self-congratulatory, and the language could be more nuanced in places)

Alignment with Purpose: B+ (Your statement makes a compelling case for why you want to study law at Oxford, but reasons specific to Oxford could be made more clear)

Overall Grade: B+ 

Your personal statement has a lot of strengths, and with a few tweaks, it could be even stronger. I hope this feedback helps you in refining it further!

Law schools typically require a personal statement for several reasons:

  • Understanding You Better: The personal statement provides insights into who you are beyond your academic credentials and achievements. It helps the admissions committee understand your values, personal growth, and unique experiences that might not be evident from your GPA or LSAT scores.
  • Assessing Your Communication Skills: Law is a field that requires excellent written communication skills. A well-written personal statement allows the admissions committee to gauge your ability to articulate complex thoughts, express ideas clearly, and construct logical arguments.
  • Determining Your Commitment: A thoughtful personal statement can demonstrate your dedication to pursuing a legal career. It’s a way for you to express why you want to study law and how you perceive your future in the field.
  • Identifying Diverse Perspectives: Law schools aim to create a diverse and dynamic learning environment. Your personal statement allows you to highlight unique experiences or perspectives that you can bring to the school, thereby contributing to this diversity.
  • Evaluating Your Potential Fit: The personal statement gives the law school an opportunity to determine whether you’ll be a good fit for their institution. This isn’t just about you meeting their requirements, but also about whether the school can meet your academic and career aspirations.
  • Demonstrating Resilience: Personal statements often include narratives that reveal challenges and obstacles you’ve overcome. These stories can demonstrate your resilience and problem-solving skills, traits that are highly valued in the legal profession.

In summary, a personal statement is a tool that allows law schools to evaluate you holistically. It goes beyond objective measurements of academic potential and provides a more comprehensive view of you as an individual.

Almost all law schools in the United States require a personal statement as part of the application process. The personal statement serves as a critical component of your law school application, allowing admissions committees to understand your motivations, experiences, and skills beyond what is reflected in your academic records and LSAT scores.

However, the specific requirements for law school applications can vary from one institution to another. Some schools may have specific prompts or topics they want you to address in your personal statement, while others may offer more freedom in choosing what to discuss. Certain schools might even ask for additional essays or statements to supplement your application.

If you are applying to law schools outside of the U.S., it’s always a good idea to check the specific admissions guidelines for each law school you’re interested in. Remember that meeting all of the application requirements can demonstrate your commitment and attention to detail, which are valuable traits in the legal field.

What is a Good Length for a Law School Personal Statement?

The length of a personal statement for law school can vary depending on the specific instructions provided by each law school.

A common guideline is typically around two to three double-spaced pages, or approximately 500-750 words.

This length is usually sufficient to provide a detailed narrative without overwhelming the reader with too much information. Remember, admissions committees review many applications, so they appreciate concise and compelling personal statements.

It’s very important to adhere to the instructions provided by each law school you apply to. If a specific word or page count is given, make sure you comply with that limit. Failure to do so could give the impression that you either cannot follow instructions or that you lack the ability to express yourself concisely, neither of which will help your application.

Above all, make sure that every word you write is meaningful and contributes to your overall narrative or argument. A well-crafted, succinct personal statement can often be more powerful than a longer one that lacks focus.

Writing a personal statement for law school can be a challenging task. It’s equally important to know what to avoid as it is to know what to include . Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Vague and Cliché Statements: Avoid clichés and general statements that could apply to anyone. Be specific, personal, and honest in your writing. For example, instead of saying “I want to be a lawyer to fight for justice,” show through your experiences and reflections why and how you’re committed to justice.
  • Repeating Your Resume: Your personal statement should not be a recitation of your resume or transcript. It’s an opportunity to share your personal journey, perspectives, and insights that aren’t reflected in other parts of your application.
  • Being Overly Emotional or Dramatic: While it’s important to show passion, avoid being excessively emotional or dramatic. Aim to strike a balance between personal storytelling and professional tone.
  • Off-topic Content: Stay focused on what the prompt is asking, and tie everything back to your interest in law school and your future career. Avoid irrelevant details or anecdotes.
  • Poor Structure and Flow: A disjointed or confusing statement can be difficult to read and may give a negative impression. Plan your statement carefully to ensure it has a clear structure and logical flow.
  • Typos and Grammar Errors: These can give the impression of carelessness. Proofread your statement carefully, and consider having others review it as well.
  • Negativity or Excuses: If discussing challenges or setbacks, focus on what you learned and how you grew from the experience rather than blaming others or making excuses.
  • Making Unsupported Claims: If you claim a particular trait, back it up with concrete examples. For example, instead of just stating that you’re empathetic, share an experience that demonstrates this quality.
  • Controversial Topics: Be cautious when discussing potentially divisive subjects, as you don’t want to alienate the reader. If you do choose to address a controversial issue, be sure to do so respectfully and thoughtfully.

Remember, your personal statement is a chance to present an authentic and engaging narrative about your journey towards law school. It should showcase your unique qualities, motivations, and experiences, demonstrating why you would be an excellent addition to the law school’s incoming class.

While it’s possible to use the same base personal statement for all law schools, it is not generally recommended. This is because each law school may have different prompts or expectations for what they want to see in a personal statement. If you don’t tailor your statement to each school, you might miss an opportunity to show how well you align with that specific program or fail to answer the prompt properly.

Additionally, tailoring your personal statement to each school can demonstrate your genuine interest in that particular institution. For example, you might discuss how a specific program, course, or faculty member at that school aligns with your career goals or academic interests. Showing that you’ve done your research and understand what makes each law school unique can make your application more compelling.

That said, it’s also important to maintain consistency and honesty across your applications. You might have a central narrative or theme in your personal statement that remains the same across all versions, while adjusting specific details or sections to better fit each school.

Remember to carefully review the application guidelines for each law school you apply to, paying special attention to any specific prompts or instructions for the personal statement. It’s crucial to ensure that each statement you submit not only meets all requirements, but also clearly conveys why you are a strong fit for each particular law school. 

In general, it’s good practice to include your name and sometimes your LSAC (Law School Admission Council) number on every page of your personal statement, usually in the header or footer. This ensures that if the pages get separated for any reason, the admissions committee can easily match them back up.

However, each law school might have specific guidelines regarding formatting and what information to include. Always follow the specific directions provided by the school to which you’re applying. If the application instructions don’t specify whether or not to include your name, it’s generally safe to include it to ensure your personal statement is easily identifiable.

Also, it’s always a good idea to include a title for your personal statement, even if it’s just “Personal Statement,” so it’s immediately clear what the document is. If you are sending more than one essay or document (like a diversity statement or addendum), this will ensure that each one is clearly identified.

Prior to initiating the writing process, it is vital to set aside some time to formulate your thoughts. Given that the prompts for law school personal statements are usually quite generic—such as, “Why are you interested in studying law?”—candidates often face uncertainty about the best way to approach their response.

You may find yourself overwhelmed with numerous ideas, or conversely, completely devoid of inspiration. To start off, let’s consider a practical approach you can adopt if you’re grappling with where to begin.

Take a writing pad and respond to the subsequent questions:

  • Why do I want to go to law school? This question helps to clarify your motivation and passion for pursuing law as a career. It can be grounded in an event, an experience, or a specific interest you’ve cultivated over time .
  • What experiences have prepared me for a career in law? These could be academic, work, or extracurricular experiences, where you’ve developed skills that are relevant to a legal career, such as critical thinking, negotiation, or public speaking.
  • How have my past experiences influenced my world view? This can provide context about how you approach problems, deal with adversity, or interact with diverse groups, which are all relevant to a legal career.
  • How does a law degree fit into my long-term career goals? Here, you’re demonstrating an understanding of how a law degree can contribute to your aspirations, showing a commitment to the field.
  • Can I discuss a specific area of law I’m interested in? It’s a bonus if you’re able to tie your experiences and interests to a particular field of law. This shows a depth of understanding and dedication to the subject.
  • Is there a unique perspective or diverse background that I can bring to the law school? Schools value diversity in their student body, as it contributes to the richness of classroom discussions and the overall community.
  • Have I overcome any significant obstacles or challenges in my life that have shaped who I am? This might provide insight into your resilience, determination, and adaptability, which are valuable traits in a lawyer.
  • How have I demonstrated leadership or initiative in the past? Law schools are looking for leaders and self-starters, so any evidence of this will be useful in your personal statement.
  • Can I articulate the values and qualities that will make me a good lawyer? You might think about empathy, integrity, diligence, advocacy, or the desire to serve others and uphold justice.
  • Why am I a good fit for the specific law school I’m applying to? Consider the school’s mission statement, values, programs, faculty, etc. This can show that you’ve done your research and are committed to attending that particular school.

Formulating a compelling law school personal statement requires thoughtful introspection and strategic planning. By answering these guiding questions, you can navigate the broad prompts and articulate your experiences, motivations, and unique attributes effectively.

Remember, the goal is not to present a list of accomplishments but to paint a vivid picture of your journey towards the legal profession. So, use these questions as your starting point, and craft a narrative that stands out in the sea of applicants and resonates with the admissions committee. The journey towards a career in law starts with this crucial step, and you have the power to shape it.

WANT MORE AMAZING ARTICLES ON GRAD SCHOOL PERSONAL STATEMENTS?

  • 100+ Outstanding Examples of Personal Statements
  • The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Winning Personal Statement
  • Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Personal Statement
  • Writing a Killer Opening Paragraph for Your Personal Statement
  • Ideal Length for a Graduate School Personal Statement
  • 100 Inspiring Quotes to Jumpstart Your Personal Statement

Sample Personal Statement for Masters in International Business

Sample Personal Statement for Masters in International Business My journey began amidst the kaleidoscope of Qatar's landscapes, setting the stage for a life attuned to cultural nuances. Transitioning to Riyadh in my teens, I absorbed a mosaic of traditions, sparking a...

Sample Personal Statement for Family Medicine Residency

Personal Statement Prompt: A personal letter is required. We are looking for mature, enthusiastic physicians who bring with them a broad range of life experiences, are committed to providing excellent patient care, and can embrace the depth and breadth of experiences...

Sample Personal Statement Cybersecurity

In this article, I will be providing a sample grad school personal statement in the field of cybersecurity. This sample was written by an applicant who got admitted into George Mason, Northeastern and Arizona State University. This example aims to show how prospective...

100+ Grad School Personal Statement Examples

Introduction Importance of a Strong Personal Statement A personal statement is essential in the graduate school application process, as it plays a significant role in shaping the admissions committee's perception of you. In fact, a survey conducted by the Council of...

Mental Health Counseling Personal Statement Example

The following essay was written by an applicant who was admitted to top US master's programs in mental health counseling. Variations of this personal statement got accepted at Boston University, Harvard, and Yale. This personal statement is intended to provide an...

WANT AMAZING ARTICLES ON GRAD SCHOOL PERSONAL STATEMENTS?

  • 100+ Personal Statement Templates

2 Law School Personal Statements That Succeeded

These examples of law school essays were critical components of successful law school applications.

High angle shot of a businessman working on his laptop at the bar in a cafe

Getty Images

Sincerity is an essential ingredient of a compelling law school admissions essay, one J.D. admissions expert says.

Deciding what to say in the law school personal statement is the most challenging part of the admissions process for some applicants.

"Even people who are good writers often have a hard time writing about themselves," says Jessica Pishko, a former admissions consultant and writing tutor at Accepted, a Los Angeles-based admissions consulting firm. "That is perfectly normal."

Pishko, who coached law school applicants on how to overcome writer's block, says, "If you can find the thing that you really care about, that is who you are, and talking about that is a great way to write about yourself."

Why Law Schools Ask for Personal Statements

Personal statements can offer J.D. admissions committees "a narrative" about the applicant, which is important because it is rare for law schools to conduct admissions interviews, says Christine Carr, a law school admissions consultant with Accepted who previously was an associate director of admissions at Boston University School of Law .

The statement can help explain an applicant's reasons for wanting to attend law school , Carr adds.

"It can then add 'color' to a one-dimensional process," Carr wrote in an email. "The personal statement also allows the applicant to showcase writing ability. Law school and the legal profession require a clear and concise writing style that can be displayed by the applicant in the personal statement."

Personal statements often help admissions committees make difficult decisions, Carr says. "Given a relatively robust applicant pool, institutions often have more 'numerically' qualified applicants – LSAT and GPA – than they can admit," she explains.

Qualitative admissions factors, including not only personal statements but also resumes and recommendation letters , help to humanize applicants and "allow committees to build a community of law students not solely based on the quantifiable measures of test scores and transcripts," Carr says.

"Law schools are looking to fill classrooms with engaging and qualified students. The personal statement can provide insight into an applicant's personality and potential as a member of the school's community," she says.

What a Great Personal Statement Accomplishes

Excellent law school personal statements convey the essence of who an applicant is, experts say.

"The personal statement is the quickest way to get an overview, not only of the applicant's professional life and background, but in terms of what they emphasize, a clear indication of what the applicant themself, values," Jillian Ivy, CEO and founder of IvyCollegeEssay.com, a company that provides guidance on admissions essays, wrote in an email.

The statement "also gives admissions a snapshot of how well each applicant writes, if they understand how to brand or market their best traits, and thereby demonstrate that they know where their own strengths lie," Ivy adds.

A strong personal statement will articulate an applicant's vision for his or her future, including an explanation of short-term and long-term goals, and it will delineate how a J.D. degree will help an applicant get to where he or she wants to go, Ivy says.

"The more competitive the law school, the more admissions wants to see a level of understanding, drive and ambition within the personal statement," she explains, adding that applicants should clarify why they want to attend a particular law school and how that school can assist them on their career journey. "The schools want to see that the applicant has taken the time to understand what their particular program offers, and what makes it different."

How to Structure a Law School Personal Statement

The beginning of a solid law school personal statement ought to be intriguing, experts say.

"The statement should begin with a strong intro sentence, that summarizes the applicant's goal or tone," Ivy says. "For example, 'I have always been interested in international finance.' From there, the applicant would go on to describe 'why' they are interested in this area of financial law, and what in their unique background and experience has led them to pursue this path."

A personal statement provides context for the experiences that have prepared the applicant for law school and led him or her to pursue a legal career, experts say. It's also ideal to have a thoughtful ending "that ties the statement up," Ivy says.

An important point to address in a law school personal statement is what "sparked" the applicant's interest in law, Ivy says. She adds that law school admissions readers are aware that J.D. hopefuls' career goals may change between the time they apply to law school and the day they graduate.

Nevertheless, it can still be useful for an applicant to provide an explanation of what particular area of law he or she wants to learn more about and what type of lawyer he or she would like to become, if that is something the applicant is clear about, Ivy says.

An effective personal statement will also explain an applicant's background and how it has shaped him or her, Ivy adds. "It's connecting the dots back to anything at all that can be relevant ... to your new interest and what you want to pursue professionally."

Applicants should tailor their personal statement to each law school where they submit an application, Ivy adds. " Harvard Law School is very different than Columbia Law School even though both of them are excellent schools," she explains. "So each has their own approach to learning and to learning about law in particular."

Law school admissions committees appreciate when applicants make it clear that they have done thorough research on the school and its J.D. program . This reassures admissions officers that an applicant will be a good fit and make a valuable contribution to his or her law school class, Ivy explains.

Experts advise that a law school personal statement should align with the content in the rest of the law school application . Ideally, the essay will emphasize a selling point that is conveyed elsewhere in the application, but not simply repeat information.

In order for a personal statement to be effective and stand out, experts say, it needs to be both representative of who the applicant is and distinctive from personal essays that others have written.

How to Start Writing a Law School Personal Statement

Carr notes that writing a law school personal statement can be intimidating because it isn't easy to convey the essence of decades of events "into two pages double-spaced." She says law school hopefuls are often unsure about which portions of their life would be most meaningful and interesting to an admissions committee.

"Some applicants have a tendency to throw the 'kitchen sink' at committees and write about everything," Carr explains. But that's a mistake, Carr says, adding that J.D. personal statements should be "clear and concise."

Carr suggests that J.D. applicants concentrate on answering the central question of a law school personal statement, "Why law school?" Once they have brainstormed answers to that question, they should focus on a specific aspect or theme that explains their rationale for pursuing a career as an attorney, Carr says.

Ivy suggests that law school hopefuls who are struggling to decide what to write about in their law school personal statement should make a bullet-point list of the various topics they could focus on alongside brief one-sentence descriptions of each topic. The process of recording ideas on a piece of paper can clarify which ideas are most promising, she says.

"The strong ones will rise to the surface," she says, adding that once an applicant has narrowed down his or her list of essay ideas to only a few, it can be valuable to solicit feedback from trusted individuals about which of the remaining essay concepts is the very best.

Law school admissions experts suggest that applicants recall the various pivotal moments in their lives that shaped their identity, and then consider whether there is any idea or thesis that ties these events together.

Focusing on a central concept can help ensure that a law school personal statement does not simply list accomplishments in the way that a resume or cover letter might, experts say. Plus, an idea-driven essay can give law school admissions officers insight into the way a J.D. applicant's mind works.

A personal statement should illustrate the positive attributes the applicant has that would make him or her successful as a law student and lawyer. Sometimes the best way for an applicant to show his or her character strengths is to recount a moment when he or she was challenged and overcame adversity, experts say.

Experts advise law school hopefuls to write multiple drafts of their personal statement to ensure that the final product is top-notch.

They also recommend that applicants solicit feedback from people who understand the law school admissions process well, such as law school admissions consultants, and from people who know them well, such as close friends or family members. Getting input from friends and family can help ensure that an applicant's essay authentically conveys their personality, experts say.

Once the statement is finalized, Carr advises, the applicant should thoroughly proofread it more than once.

Mistakes to Avoid in Law School Personal Statements

A scatterbrained or disorganized approach in a law school personal statement is a major no-no, experts warn.

Ivy suggests that J.D. hopefuls avoid "rambling," adding that top law schools want to identify individuals who demonstrate that they are highly focused, ambitious, driven and persistent. "If you can hit those four things in your essay, then that's going to stand out, because most people don't know how to do that," she says.

Because it's important for a law school personal statement to be coherent and streamlined – like the law school resume – it's prudent to use an outline to plan the essay, Ivy says. The most common mistake she sees in J.D. personal statements is the lack of logical flow.

"Instead of a linear line, they're cycling around, and they'll touch on something, and then they'll come back to it again three paragraphs later," she says, adding that an unstructured essay is "just messy" and will not make a positive impression during the law school admissions process.

Experts warn that law school personal statements should not be vague, melodramatic and repetitive. The essay should not merely describe a person that the applicant met or recount an event – it needs to convey the applicant's personality.

Plus, language should be specific and clear. Absolutes like "never" or "always" are typically not the best words to use, experts warn, and it's important to not overshare personal information.

In addition, J.D. hopefuls should understand that they have a lot to learn about the law since they have not gone to law school. They should recognize that the individuals reading their essays probably know a great deal about the law, so they should not write essays that lecture readers about legal issues, experts warn.

Grammatical and spelling errors can tarnish an otherwise good personal statement, so it's important to avoid those, according to experts. It's also essential to follow any formatting rules that a law school outlines for personal statements.

Additionally, though many law school hopefuls are tempted to begin their personal statement with a dramatic anecdote, they should resist because doing so will most likely make a negative impression, experts warn. An aspiring attorney does not need to have suffered a tragedy in order to write a compelling law school personal statement, and describing something bad that has happened does not automatically lead to an effective essay.

Furthermore, when a J.D. applicant submits a generic law school personal statement that could go to any school, he or she is missing an opportunity to explain why a particular school is a great fit, experts suggest. Another common mistake, they say, is when applicants use a positive adjective to describe themselves rather than sharing an anecdote that demonstrates that they have this good quality.

Additionally, when a law school hopeful includes storytelling in his or her essay, it's best to focus on a single specific anecdote, because speaking in generalities is neither interesting nor convincing, experts say.

An applicant who writes a contrived essay based purely on what he or she believes a law school wants may come across as phony, experts say. It's essential, they say, for a personal statement to articulate what special perspective a prospective student could bring to a law school class.

Law School Personal Statement Examples

Below are two law school admissions essays whose authors were accepted to their top-choice law schools. The first is written by Waukeshia Jackson, an intellectual property attorney who earned her J.D. from the Paul M. Herbert Law Center at Louisiana State University—Baton Rouge . The second essay is written by Cameron Dare Clark, a Harvard Law School graduate.

Pishko says these two personal statements demonstrate the necessity of sincerity in an admissions essay. "It has to be sincere, and it has to be you and what you want to write about and why you want to go to law school.”

Both essays are annotated with comments from the authors about how the essays were written as well as comments from Pishko about passages that resonated best and how the essays could be improved.

Searching for a law school? Get our complete rankings of Best Law Schools.

Getting Into Law School

  • 2 Law School Admissions Essays That Succeeded
  • How to Write a Law School Resume
  • A Law School Resume That Made the Cut
  • Work Experience and Law School Admission
  • What Is a Good LSAT Score?

Tags: law school , law , graduate schools , education , students

Popular Stories

Best Global Universities

personal statement for law sample

Top Medical Schools

personal statement for law sample

Best Graduate Schools

personal statement for law sample

Applying to Medical School

personal statement for law sample

Medical School Admissions Doctor

personal statement for law sample

You May Also Like

Medical school application mistakes.

Ilana Kowarski and Cole Claybourn Feb. 23, 2024

Convince MBA Programs of Fit

Jarek Rutz Feb. 22, 2024

What Is a Good MCAT Score?

Ilana Kowarski and Sarah Wood Feb. 22, 2024

Premeds and Extracurricular Activities

Zach Grimmett Feb. 21, 2024

Public Admin vs. Public Policy Degree

Miki Tanikawa Feb. 20, 2024

personal statement for law sample

Deciding Where to Apply for Law School

Gabriel Kuris Feb. 20, 2024

personal statement for law sample

6 Traits of Successful MBA Candidates

Anayat Durrani Feb. 15, 2024

personal statement for law sample

Med Schools With Low Acceptance Rates

Sarah Wood Feb. 14, 2024

personal statement for law sample

Deciding Where to Attend Med School

Kathleen Franco, M.D., M.S. Feb. 13, 2024

personal statement for law sample

Law School and a STEM Background

Gabriel Kuris Feb. 12, 2024

personal statement for law sample

ACCEPTED

Which program are you applying to?

Sample law school personal statement essays, get accepted speak with an admissions expert today.

  • Sample Essays

You are a thoughtful, intelligent, and unique individual. You already know that—now you just need to convince top law school adcoms that you're a cut above the rest. To do so you need to write a powerful personal statement for law school. Let's first discuss what that personal statement should be and then examine examples and what made them powerful.

A law school personal statement tells the part of your story that reveals your motivation for attending law school and the reasons you will make a great lawyer (or whatever career you want to pursue after law school). 

By reading the sample law school essays provided below, you should get a clear idea of how to translate your qualifications, passions, and individual experiences into words. You will see that the samples here employ a creative voice, use detailed examples, and draw the reader in with a clear writing style. Most importantly, these personal statements are compelling—each one does a fine job of convincing you that the author of the essay is a human being worth getting to know, or better yet, worth having in your next top law school class.

These sample law school personal statement essays are here to stimulate your writing juices, not to shut them down or persuade you to think that these essays represent templates that you must follow. The writers of these essays, who were all once law school applicants just like you, sat down, thought about their stories, and crafted these essays. However, their first step, significant self-reflection and thought, you can’t see. They didn’t use a template or try to shoehorn their story into someone else’s story. You shouldn’t either. But you should take the same first step that they took: Think about your life, the influences upon it, and why you want to obtain a legal education. 

Your story will be different from these author’s stories, but as you review all four of the sample essays you will see commonalities among them, which are highlighted below. You will also see that they are very different essays written by individuals reflecting their different life experiences and dreams. The authors of each of these essays were all accepted to law school, in some cases to elite U.S. law schools. 

Now let’s explore what you can learn from each of these outstanding sample law school essays.

Lessons from Law School Sample Essay #1: The Archaeologist Enthusiast  

  • Attention-grabbing opening - The author of the essay immediately grabs the readers’ attention by placing them in the midst of the scene and vividly conveying what the author felt and saw as well as the excitement she felt. 
  • Vivid, visual opening and consistent use of opening imagery - You can practically feel the dripping sweat and the heat at the opening of this essay because the applicant used vivid, sensory language that we can all relate to. She also quickly develops a metaphor comparing archaeological excavation with research in general and legal research specifically. She uses the imagery of archaeology (“finding the shard of glass,” “reconstructing the pot”) consistently throughout the personal statement to convey not only the unusual experiences she’s had in the past, but to show her love of research and analysis. 
  • A clear theme that ties the essay together-  Her essay has a clear theme, which she states at the end of the first paragraph and in her conclusion. (You may not need to state it twice; that depends on your essay.) The applicant also relates every experience in the essay to her theme of research, analysis, and discovery. 
  • Solid structure - Because her theme is so strong, the essay is easy to follow even though she has diverse experiences that aren’t obviously related to each other – archaeology in Spain, research on Colombian environmental policy, working for an online real estate company considering entry into the art market, and her travels.
  • Good use of transitions - Transitions help your reader move from one topic to the next as you connect the topic in the preceding paragraph to the topic in the next. They can consist of a few words or a phrase or simply repetition of the topic by name as opposed to using a pronoun. The first paragraph in this sample essay ends with “research and analysis” and the next paragraph begins with “The challenge of researching and analyzing an unknown subject” as she turns from her introduction to her enjoyment of academic life and the research she had done in college. 

While one could argue that perhaps she has too many subtopics in this essay, because of the strong theme and excellent use of transitions, the essay holds together and highlights her diversity of experience, curiosity, and sense of adventure. 

Most importantly this law school personal statement earned its author a seat at an elite T10 law school.

Click here to read the essay >>  

Start your journey to law school acceptance

Lessons from Law School Sample Essay #2: Returning to School 

This sample law school personal statement is about half the length of Essay 1 and concentrates on the author’s post-college work experience. In its brevity and focus it’s the mirror image of Law School Essay 1. The contrast between the two highlights the diversity that can work in law school essays.

This applicant writes about the impact of his work experience on his law school goals – with no discussion of extracurricular activities, hobbies, or travels. He had a tight word limit on his personal statement and simply had to be concise. Regardless of the narrower focus and shorter length, this essay also shares certain elements with Essay 1 and in both cases it leads to an engaging personal statement and acceptance. Let’s review them:

  • Engaging, vivid opening that grabs attention - The applicant plops the reader right into his story and challenge: how to persuade the tired, grouchy doctors that the product he’s selling is better than the one they have been prescribing.
  • A detailed story of his developing interest in law and relevant experience - Using just enough details, he tells his story starting with research that led to evidence-based persuasion. He also highlights his success, which led him to be named Rookie of the Year. He then goes on to explain that he now seeks new, more-lasting intellectual challenge than he currently has as a pharmaceutical sales rep because the industry, or at least his segment of it, changes slowly.
  • Direction within law - Based on his background in science and his work in Big Pharma, he has direction in law. He clearly states that he wants to go into medical law. Given his background and work experience, that goal builds logically on his past, and is distinctive. 
  • Ties the essay back to the opening - At the end of his essay, he references “his grumpy physicians” and “staring at his professor…” Sometimes applicants will start an essay with a catchy opening that grabs attention, but has little or nothing to do with the rest of the essay. When reading that kind of essay, the opening feels like a tease or a gimmick. In this essay, the applicant paints a picture of what he faces on a typical workday at the beginning, refers back to the opening scene in his conclusion, and contrasts that experience with what he hopes to face when in law school. It’s not a gimmick. It unifies the story.

This applicant was accepted at several T14 law schools.

Click here to read the essay >>

Law School Sample Essay #3: The Twilight Zone

There is a story behind this law school personal statement. This applicant, a very early Accepted client, during her first meeting said that she wanted to write about a trip to Country X. When asked about the trip, she said, “Oh, I’ve never been to Country X, but I know many people who have visited, and I haven’t done anything interesting.” 

Surprised at this unexpected approach, her consultant asked if she had any creative writing experience. The client said she didn’t. The consultant said that she too lacked creative writing experience and suggested they discuss what the client had done as opposed to what she hadn’t. This essay is the result of that (and other) conversations. It is an oldie but goodie.

Let’s take a look at the lessons in this sample law school essay:

  • Don’t ever feel you don’t have a story to tell. Every single one of us has a story, and you don’t have to make one up or borrow someone else’s. Tell yours proudly and authentically.
  • Launch with a vivid, engaging opening.  While her opening is a more frightening than the other openings, it definitely grips the reader’s attention and starts her story.
  • Always have a clear theme.  Everything in this essay relates to the impact of the earthquake on her and specifically her decision to become a public interest lawyer. 
  • Tell a story.  This personal statement tells the story of the earthquake’s impact on the applicant. In telling her story, she highlights her community service, her internship, and the evolution of her goals. 
  • Use effective transitions.  As she moves from topic to topic, the author effectively carries the reader along. Look at the end of one paragraph and the beginning of the next one throughout the essay. You’ll see that in every case, there is either a word, phrase, or concept that ties one to the other. 
  • Write a conclusion that really brings the essay to a close and contributes to the sense of unity while still looking forward. The applicant repeats her thesis that her career direction was shaped by the earthquake and its aftermath. She touches on key experiences (and achievements) that she wants the reader to remember, looks briefly forward, and ties back to the Twilight Zone opening.

This client was accepted to her top choice law school.

Lessons from Law School Sample Essay #4: Change 

This essay takes a different approach than the other three essays. The theme opens the essay followed by images and sounds that make the change she is experienced something the reader can also experience or at least imagine because the applicant uses sensory language. The writer also takes a chronological approach to tell her story of change and how it shaped her. 

The author in this essay chooses not to directly address her reasons for wanting to attend law school. However, the essay still works. The essay highlights her communications skills, research, international exposure, bilingual language skills, and initiative.

However here, too, there are lessons to be learned and some may sound familiar.

  • Clear theme - Yes, this takeaway is in this essay as well as the preceding three. In fact, for any effective essay, you need a clear theme.
  • Effective use of specifics and anecdote - Whether referencing the “bleak Wisconsin winter,” the fact her mother added “barbecued brisket” to her menu in Texas, or the cultural challenges she faced in Bolivia, she effectively illustrates her ability to deal with change and adapt throughout her life. 
  • A conclusion that shows her evolution and growth - She subtly, but clearly reveals an evolution in her adaptability from complete adoption of the mores of her surroundings in New Jersey to more nuanced adaptability where she chooses what she wants to adopt and reject as she deals with change as an adult. Finally, while change is something she has to deal with throughout most of the essay by the conclusion she views it as an opportunity for growth.

Takeaways from These Law School Statement Samples

  • There are an infinite number of ways to write a law school personal statement that will help you get accepted. 
  • Begin your essay with an opening that grabs your reader’s attention. In today’s age of short attention spans and very busy people, there should be no long, slow warm ups. Put your reader in the scene as soon as they start reading.
  • Use sensory language to engage your reader and help them imagine experiencing what you were going through. Reference scenes, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes as appropriate.
  • Have a clear theme. Unless you are James Joyce, a stream of consciousness will not work. Know the core idea you want your essay to convey and ruthlessly ensure that every subtopic supports that idea. If it doesn’t, either make the connection clear or delete.
  • Use transitions to take your reader with you through your story.
  • Use specifics and anecdotes to support your theme in a distinctive way while highlighting your achievements.
  • Write a conclusion that contributes to the unity of your essay. Highlight key points in your conclusion. While you can take your theme into the future in your conclusion, it still must relate to your core idea and build on what preceded it. If you can tie your ending back to your opening, your essay will have a stronger sense of coherence. 

How would I like to see these essays improved? I would like to see them, with the exception of Essay 2, address why they are applying to a given school. Essay 2 didn’t have room for that. 

Get Expert Help From Our World Class Consultants

Do you need guidance ensuring that your law school personal statement essay reflects you authentically and incorporates the lessons from these sample law school essays? Work one-on-one with an Accepted  law school admissions consultant  with years of experience in law school admissions. Your advisor looks forward to  helping you tell your compelling story .  

Get Expert Help With Your Law School Application

Our world-class team helps you stand out from the competition and get accepted.

APPLICATION STRATEGY / ESSAY REVIEW / INTERVIEW PREP

accepted

Accepted has been helping law school applicants gain acceptance to top programs since 1994.

  • UB Directory

personal statement for law sample

  • School of Law >
  • School of Law Blog >

The Law School Personal Statement: Tips and Templates

photo of a a person writing in a notebook sitting outside.

Photo by  Alejandro Escamilla  on Unsplash

Published July 16, 2019

The stress of cramming for the LSAT (or GRE) is behind you, and you survived the intolerably long wait for your score. You‘ve researched schools, requested transcripts, secured recommendation letters, and updated your resume. Now only the dreadful personal statement is preventing you from hitting the submit button.

So you might ask:  Does anyone even read the personal statement?  Yes .  Could it be a make or break deciding factor?   Definitely . 

While your standardized test score(s) and undergraduate GPA are good law school success predictors, non-numerical factors such as your resume, recommendation letters and the personal statement give the Admissions Committee an idea of your individuality and how you might uniquely contribute to the law school. Most importantly, your personal statement is a sample of your writing, and strong writing skills are as important to law students (and lawyers) as Mjolnir is to Thor.

If the thought of writing a personal statement stresses you out, adhere to these 5 tips to avoid disaster. 

BONUS :  Scroll down to review 5 law school personal statement samples.

1. Make it personal

The Admissions Committee will have access to your transcripts and recommendation letters, and your resume will provide insight into your outside-the-classroom experiences, past and current job responsibilities and other various accomplishments. So, the personal statement is your best opportunity to share something personal they don’t already know. Be sure to provide insight into who you are, your background and how it’s shaped the person you are today, and finally, who you hope to be in the future.

2. Be genuine

If you haven’t faced adversity or overcome major life obstacles, it’s okay. Write honestly about your experiences and interests. And, whatever you do, don’t fabricate or exaggerate—the reader can often see through this. Find your unique angle and remember that a truthful and authentic essay is always your best approach.

Tip: Don’t use big words you don’t understand. This will certainly do more harm than good.

3. Tackle the “Why?”

Get creative, but remember to hone in on the why . Unless the application has specific requirements, it is recommended you include what influenced you to pursue a legal education. Consider including what impact you hope to make in the world post-graduation.

4. Keep it interesting & professional

The last thing you want to do is bore the reader, so keep it interesting, personable and engaging. A touch of humor is okay, but keep in mind that wit and sarcasm can be easily misinterpreted. Demonstrate maturity, good judgment and tact and you won’t end up offending the reader.

5. Edit & proofread

The importance of enrolling and graduating strong writers cannot be stressed enough, so don’t forget the basics! Include an introduction, supporting paragraphs and a closing. Write clearly, concisely and persuasively. Take time to edit, proofread--walk away from it--then edit and proofread again before submitting. 

Tip : Consulting a Pre-Law Advisor or a mentor to help you proofread and edit is an extra step you can take to make sure your personal statement is the best it can be!

Sound easy enough? It is, if you take it seriously. Don’t think you have to craft the “best” or most competitive personal statement, just the most “genuine” personal statement. Remember, there is nobody with your exact set of life experiences, background or point of view. Just do you.

Bonus: 5 Law School Personal Statement Samples

1.  How a suitemate's small gesture resulted in declaring a second major and, eventually, working as an interpreter at a law firm.

Near the end of the spring semester of my sophomore year, my bilingual suitemate slipped me a small chart of Spanish subject pronouns. Earlier that day, I had told him that I signed up for a study abroad program in Costa Rica, and he knew my Spanish vocabulary was limited to little more than “good morning,” “thank you,” and “goodbye.” Apart from English, languages had always seemed incredibly foreign to me, and not in terms of their origins or where they were predominantly spoken. I missed their logic. Grammatical rules seemed far removed from anything resembling expression or communication. Foreign words never added up to more than the sum of their letters. I had studied both German and French in high school with modest success. At twenty years old on that spring afternoon, I was just a motivated learner with a college language requirement to fulfill. I had the determination to soak up as much Spanish as I could, but I had what I felt at the time were realistic expectations. Spanish did not need to change my life.

From that scrap piece of paper and kind gesture of a friend, I ultimately declared a second major in Spanish. Notebooks full of vocabulary quickly replaced the list of pronouns. I poured over conjugation charts in Spanish’s fourteen verb tenses, three grammatical moods, and regional variations. Spanish was a joy. It presented both a personal challenge and an endless puzzle to be solved. While it was not my best subject, I took to the language’s study with patience, discipline, and a constant desire for measureable self-improvement.

This challenging and rewarding aspect of language acquisition never subsided. Even as it continues to become easier to read, write, speak, and listen in Spanish, I am increasingly aware of nuances I miss and vocabulary I lack. New words and phrases still give me a feeling of quiet exhilaration. Spanish presents me with a chance to relearn the world and reevaluate my understanding of it. Are the Americas one continent or two? Which form of “you” do you use? What strategies are developing in Spanish-speaking communities to promote inclusive and fair communication in a language that is so highly gender-inflected?

New words and concepts are only the beginning of the way Spanish opened up the world. I was introduced to the works of writers and artists from around the world. I watched movies that left me in stiches, moved me to tears, and gave me the chills. It opened my ears to a steady stream of protest music, singer songwriter confessionals, flamenco, tango, jotas, salsa, blues and indie rock. Over the course of my studies, Spanish led me to travel and took me to large cities, small towns, plains, mountains, jungles, waterfalls, deserts, and beaches. I have been extraordinarily privileged to have had these experiences. More importantly, however, is the way Spanish has enriched my life by connecting me with teachers, colleagues, students, artists, activists, welcoming families, and friends who I would never have met otherwise. My life is forever changed by these relationships.

After graduation, I moved to Spain to work as a language assistant and cultural ambassador for the Spanish Ministry of Education, at vocational, secondary, and primary schools in La Rioja and Madrid, where I helped students and colleagues in journeys mirroring my own, toward English proficiency and mastery. My life and work in Spain was fulfilling. However, I began to feel the distance from my family and friends in the United States. In 2014, I returned home with fresh eyes. The move was as impactful as any of my past travel. I saw a vibrant multilingual and multicultural community on the rise and was determined to put my hard-won Spanish skills to good use.

I started working at a law firm as a paralegal and interpreter. It is a small, high-volume practice limited to immigration law. There, I honed my organizational, scheduling, and managerial skills. A large part of my job is coordinating directly with clients, attorneys, and other support staff. I help to prepare motions, translations, court submissions, family-based petitions, asylum claims and many other applications. Over the course of any given day, I have the opportunity to help people from many different countries and walks of life. A significant proportion of our clientele speaks Spanish as their first language. I acknowledge that the circumstances in which many of our clients arrive in the United States are different than those that shaped my life as a traveler and an immigrant, but I am proud to be able to extend some of the much-needed help and hospitality that was always afforded to me.

Arguably, I know less about law than I knew about Spanish when my sophomore roommate gave me my first language lesson, but I feel ready for the new challenge, fascinated by its potential as a window to the world, and excited by its many applications in service of our local and global community. After my travels and time living abroad, I feel strongly connected to many distant places, but Buffalo remains my home. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to study law at the University at Buffalo School of Law and thank you for your consideration of my application.

2.  This applicant found a balance between doing what they love and earning a living.  

As adolescents become young adults, they struggle with the transitional challenges that accompany their new responsibilities. As a child, I learned how to follow rules, play for participation trophies and not ask too many questions. I was told to stay in line, but I knew that as an adult, I should be a line-leader. The problem I faced, as I learned how to wield my own independence, was a common one. I desperately struggled to reconcile my strong compulsion towards self-indulgence with my ambitions for a successful life. I often asked myself whether it was possible to make a living off of playing with kittens all day. Parents love to tell adolescents that “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” but as a young adult, it never seemed that simple. There is a looming dichotomy between “doing what you love” and “earning a wage,” which seems to plague each generation that enters adulthood. I feel genuinely fortunate to be able to say that I found harmony between the two. By pursuing a career in law, I believe I will be able to apply my personal values to a career which will give me not only a sense of personal fulfillment and gratification, but also a “real job” that contributes to society.

I had always been an enthusiastic learner, and was always throwing myself into new hobbies and interests. On a whim, I took a creative writing class in my sophomore year to kindle an interest in poetry. The poems we read that year opened my eyes to the potential and inherent beauty in language. The manipulation and purposeful reconstruction of syntax and diction resembled art. Careful articulation had always been an interest of mine, but poetry really gave me an access to language which I had never had before. Poetry became an incredibly important part of my college career and of my personal life. I read poetry, I wrote poetry, I published original poems, and I was twice awarded by the university for my work. I became active in the poetry community, and my relationship with language and articulation deepened.

At the same time, I enrolled in an elementary chemistry course as a basic science requirement. I had always been interested in science courses, and I knew the subject would fascinate me, but I was not prepared for the emotional response I felt to the chemistry material. Chemistry explained things; it explained behavior, and it dealt with calculable predictions on a microscopic level. As I delved further into my chemistry coursework, I felt like I had found a subject that answered something inside myself. My natural draw to ask “why” and “how” was finally pacified. Higher-level chemistry courses gave me the tools to approach any of those questions with the logical, rational thought required of chemical calculation.

As I maneuvered through my undergraduate coursework, and committed myself to both my English and Chemistry majors, I also tried to find a way to manifest my concern for community investment. I volunteered for an organization called Break! The Influence, which performed for schoolchildren to warn them of the dangers of substance abuse through dance and entertainment. Even after the program ended, I felt an instinctive gravitation towards community volunteer work and local investment, which led me to Literacy NY Buffalo Niagara. LNYBN is an organization which provides free English tutoring to functionally illiterate adults in the local area. This organization’s mission is very dear to me for several reasons: not only am I interested in bettering the community, but I also have immense respect for the adults who seek out this tutoring assistance. They are often learning English despite working full-time jobs and satisfying family responsibilities. These students have committed themselves in a way that inspires me and which I hope to emulate with a law degree. They are improving themselves in order to reach their potentials, and are able to reinvest those skills back into the community they learned from. I have been given the opportunity, through my work with LNYBN, to help these people equip themselves for even fuller contributions to society. I am excited to share with them my passion for language, and I am awed by the non-native speakers who are learning English as a second or third language. In the same vein, I hope to use my law degree to better prepare me to contribute to the community. I know that my language and articulation skills have made me a more effective communicator, and calculated rationality has made me a more measured and logical thinker. These are skills which I think will be enhanced by the study of law, and which can be used to improve society, as well as my local community, as my career develops.

3.  How one applicant's experience teaching English in Thailand prepared them for the challenges of law school.

As I handed my passport to the customs officer upon entry into Bangkok, Thailand, I anxiously glanced at my surroundings. What had I gotten myself into? My mind raced as I worried about whether I would be able to adapt to a foreign culture or whether I could handle teaching English in a foreign country for a year. Despite several months of analysis and reflection, I could not help but wonder if I had made the right decision. However, as the customs officer handed my passport back to me, I reminded myself why I decided to pursue this opportunity in the first place: personal and professional growth, intellectual stimulation, and the opportunity to experience a new culture. With that in mind, I confronted my fears, took a deep breath, and embarked on the journey of a lifetime.

The first few months teaching English to primary level Thai students were challenging, to say the least. Not only was I adapting to a new way of life in a bustling Asian city, but I also confronted the reality that the majority of the students in my classroom had limited exposure to the English language. Although the task seemed overwhelming, I was determined to help my students improve their English communication skills. I worked diligently to create lesson plans centered on classroom participation. I also fostered relationships with my students, which allowed them to become more comfortable practicing their English. As a result, my students made significant improvements throughout the course of the academic year and were excited to practice their communication skills. The most rewarding moment came towards the end of the year when some of my students asked for my home address. They wanted to send me letters and continue practicing their English. Teaching in such a unique environment enabled me to enhance my organization, leadership, and adaptability skills, all while providing me with the opportunity to fully engage in a different culture.

In addition to developing strong relationships with my students, I developed relationships with people from an array of cultural backgrounds. I nurtured friendships with fellow teachers and other travelers, each with unique national, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds. These relationships opened my mind to alternate ways of thinking, gave me the ability to hone my interpersonal skills, and broadened my ability to think critically about the similarities and differences in our world.

As I look back at my year of teaching in Thailand, I am proud of my accomplishments and am confident that I, in fact, did make the right decision. Although challenging at times, teaching English abroad was a defining learning experience. The lessons I learned throughout my experience in Thailand remain relevant in all aspects of my life. As a result of my intellectual curiosity and willingness to step outside of my comfort zone, I have the ability to succeed in any situation. My time in Thailand proves that I can readily face the responsibilities of law school and confidently confront the challenges of adapting to the legal environment. I believe these skills and my past experiences will make me successful at the University at Buffalo School of Law. Combining an education from the University at Buffalo with my unique international experience and strong work ethic will allow me to harness my full potential within the legal field.

4.  How a grandmother's hard work and dedication influenced this applicant to pursue a law degree.

As I stood up to speak, my mind flooded with memories. My family had traveled from New York to the island of Kauai to see my grandmother get married to a wonderful woman. Each of her grandchildren had been assigned to some part of the ceremony, and I was chosen to give a speech at the reception. I am not much of a public speaker, it is something I am always working on, but finding the right words to talk about my grandmother was easy.

After the death of her second husband, my grandmother had to support her family on her own. It would not be easy, but she knew she needed to start a career if she was going to support her four daughters. Her dream was to become an attorney. She worked as a waitress during the day and took classes at night. After excelling in law school, she began the career that she had worked so hard to get. Raising four daughters and maintaining a career is no easy task, but she flourished. Despite her obligations at home, my grandmother constantly excelled. She has received many awards and honors for her hard work throughout her career. More important to me than the awards and honors, however, is the pro bono work that she has done for women and children trapped in abusive relationships. She has always stressed the importance of giving back to the community in any way that one can. My grandmother is a kind and caring woman who puts forth an amazing amount of effort into everything she does.

Due to the absence of my father, my grandmother essentially became my second parent. I did not know the extent of her challenges and achievements while I was growing up. Much of what I learned from my grandmother I learned through her actions. My mother worked nights, so it was usually my grandmother's responsibility to pick me up from any sports practices or after school events. She was late every time, without failure. She was always putting in long hours at the office, and time would escape her. I was always silent on the ride home, not because I was upset, but because she would always be on the phone with a client or a coworker. It was as if she never stopped working. Whenever she would discuss past cases at the dinner table I would lean in close and try to understand as much as I could. Listening to my grandmother during these car rides and dinner conversations is what initially sparked my interest in the law. I always found it fascinating how eloquently she was able to articulate herself when speaking about her cases. Her work always sounded interesting, and it always felt important. I could tell she loved what she did, even if it was difficult and tiring.

I am not sure how many grandsons are lucky enough to see the smile on their grandmother’s face as she walks down the aisle toward the person she loves, but it was an experience that I would not trade for anything. As I finished my speech and sat back down, I reflected on what I have learned from my grandmother. She has always been a major role model in my life. I have seen the type of time commitment required in her field. I know that the work is both mentally and emotionally taxing. I also know that if she did not absolutely love her work, then she would not still be doing it today. From my grandmother I have learned that hard work and dedication are necessary for success, especially in the field of law. She has taught me to be caring and to give back to my community when I can. I have followed her example as best I could up to this point. I am confident that if I continue to persevere and find joy in what I do, then I will find success and happiness as my grandmother has.

5.  This applicant writes about their experience interning with a small town law firm tackling a big case.

I have lived in a small town for seventeen years. I knew advancing my education was the key to getting out of my hometown and into a more exciting environment that I yearned for. College brought me just over two hours away from home at a small liberal arts school with less than one-thousand enrolled students. Now in my senior year, a walk across campus means you know everyone who passes by; this is very similar to what happens when out and about at home. Frustrated with myself for not escaping from what I was used to, I decided to try for a summer internship at a corporate law firm in the city. My frustrations mounted after learning that one firm’s budget had been cut and I no longer had a summer position. Reluctantly, I sent cover letters and résumés to the handful of small law firms in my hometown. I received a response within two days, interviewed, and landed a summer internship at a law firm comprised of one lawyer who practiced all areas of law.

I quickly realized that being a small town lawyer did not mean small cases. The first chance I had to watch lawyers in action was during mediation for a federal lawsuit. I hesitantly stepped into the room. Across the table were five attorneys on behalf of New York State and the federal government. Only a few days earlier I had been sitting in class finishing my freshman year of college. Now, I was in a room full of attorneys negotiating their positions in a lawsuit brought on by the federal government. This is certainly not what I expected to experience as an intern at a solo practice law firm. I was catapulted into the unfamiliar environment that I had been searching for.

Feeling out of place was something I was not used to. Still timid and unsure, “You need to have faith, kid” was a phrase my boss told me, and I would hear it hundreds of times as I adjusted to the unfamiliar. My internship led me to shadow an attorney in a multitude of settings unfamiliar to me, and opened my eyes to the world of being a lawyer. Despite the small size of the law office, a wide range of cases came in. No matter how different one is from another, there was a common theme to them all: clients come to lawyers when they need help.

I was allowed to take a very hands on approach in the office, and see the demands of simultaneously being an effective lawyer and business owner. Before my internship, I did not know what a lawyer actually did aside from what I had seen as a glamorized television portrayal from various shows. I was oblivious to all the scenarios of life in which a lawyer is needed, as well as the human services side of the profession. As an attorney, you advocate the best you can for someone who cannot do that for themselves. Clients put an incredible amount of trust into their lawyers, and a client’s life can be impacted immensely as a result of the proceedings. Clients have faith that you will secure the best possible outcome for them.

As summer progressed, I was given more and more responsibilities. What began as an internship turned into a full-time job that I still return to during breaks from school. Throughout my time with the firm, I have learned more than just lawyering. I have learned the ins and outs of the legal profession, but I have also learned about myself. When I was put in the unfamiliar environment that I had yearned for, I did not know what to do. Fortunately, my boss has become a great mentor and has given me the opportunities to grow professionally, and personally. Every new experience is a chance to learn.

Capitalizing on the unfamiliarity that I so desired has led me to want more opportunities to advance into unfamiliar territories. I believe attending law school at the University at Buffalo will challenge me, and further my growth professionally and personally. The University’s unique trial advocacy program and clinics will allow me the hands-on experiences to apply what is learned in the classroom to real situations. I want to continue my ascent into the legal profession, and the University at Buffalo will provide me with the necessary tools.

Photo of Lindsay Gladney, Vice Dean for Admissions.

Guest blogger  Lindsay Gladney  is the Vice Dean for Admissions at UB School of Law. 

Office of Admissions University at Buffalo School of Law 408 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260 716-645-2907 [email protected]

Learn more about the law school admissions process and School of Law community through an individual meeting with one of our staff members.

[Learn More]

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

New England Law Boston

In This Section

4 Outstanding Real-World Law School Personal Statement Examples

What does a successful law school application essay look like? Look no further. Below you’ll find five real-world examples from some of the students admitted to New England Law | Boston’s fall 2019 entering class.

Though the subjects vary widely, these personal statements all work for similar reasons:

  • They exemplify the passion and determination it takes to succeed in law school.
  • They illustrate the reasons why a legal education is an essential next step in their careers.
  • They display an understanding of the law school’s values and sincere interest in attending.
  • They tell an attention-grabbing yet relevant story.

Check out the personal statement examples below to get inspired, and be sure to read our advice for writing an outstanding law school application essay of your own.

Empowering others through intellectual property law

Maria A. D. RePass Hometown: Leominster, Massachusetts Undergrad school: Worcester Polytechnic Institute Grad school : Tufts University, PhD

As my PhD training was drawing to a close, I found myself unsure of what my path forward would be.

When I started the program, my path was clear—I wanted to work in biotech and someday hopefully lead a research group helping to shape the research portfolio of the company. While I enjoyed the rigors of scientific research, I began to realize that I enjoyed the communication aspects as well. While some of my classmates dreaded their annual research presentations, I looked forward to the opportunity to present my work to others, whether it was an oral presentation before a group of my peers or in writing. At the same time, I knew I did not want to leave science behind and transition into a purely business or administrative role within a company. This, combined with my educational and professional experiences, make me eager to embrace the challenge of pursuing a legal education.

I consider myself to be a life-long learner and am the type of person who thrives when challenged, a problem solver who enjoys working through puzzles in order to arrive at the ideal solution. I knew that I needed to find a role in which I could stay up-to-date with the latest scientific discoveries, while continuing to challenge myself intellectually on a daily basis. I began to look for a way to fulfill my love of science and personal interaction in my career. After talking to several program alumni, friends, and colleagues in the scientific field, I took a leap of faith and jumped into a role as a technology specialist at an intellectual property law firm. I am so very glad that I did, as this role has provided me with the balance of science and communication that I was seeking.

Related:  View other law school application requirements

Simply reading what is presented and accepting it at face value often leads to overlooking important details and subtle nuances. I find myself applying these basic tenants of my scientific training in my role as a technology specialist. Life science research is a very competitive field, and the ability to secure a patent for a client often comes down to very small yet important details and nuances that separate their work from that of the prior art.

I know that I would thrive as a student at New England Law as part of a small community of students who are not in competition, looking to outshine their peers, but rather will look to be a team player and help one another through the rigors of law school. I have been fortunate to have attended institutions that encouraged open discourse between students and faculty, and that stressed the importance of teamwork for both my undergraduate and graduate training. I look forward to the opportunity to take the next step in my career and to study law under the direction of the school’s dedicated professors.

An unconventional career change

Nicole Davies Hometown: Manhattan, Kansas Undergrad school : Kansas State University Grad school : Southern New Hampshire University, MA

It was a hot summer afternoon and I had just finished setting up the local farmer’s market when the call came. The phone buzzed in my back pocket, like it has thousands of times before, but this was different. It was my boss, the hospital’s CEO, and what happened next changed everything for me.

In the midst of the chaos, with vendors unpacking their goods and waiting for the surge of customers in the hospital’s parking lot, my only thought was, “Oh, boy. What does he need?” He knew not to call me on market days, so this had to be urgent. All he told me was to come to his office immediately. I knew something was horribly wrong.

As I quickly moved through the blistering Kansas heat, I hustled up to his executive suite and plopped down on a cushy, leather seat. I took a deep breath, trying not to pant like a dog, and regained my composure before he told me the earth-shattering news. The hospital’s most profitable surgeon had been arrested for allegations of sexual misconduct with a male minor.

These things don’t ever happen here, not at a mid-size rural hospital like ours. I saw the look of despair of the CEO after a call with the hospital’s attorney, but as the director of public relations, I didn’t skip a beat and immediately went into triage mode.

The attorney and I assessed the situation, listed the facts we knew at the time, and formulated a solid plan to move forward. We created scripts internally for employees, press releases, and memos for the Board of Trustees and medical staff to follow in both the short and long term. It was a terrible situation, but I was able to navigate and lead smoothly through this crisis.

Throughout the last ten years, I’ve fine-tuned my talents and passions for negotiating deals, writing contracts, and advising top leaders of various organizations on critical issues. In that frantic moment of the hospital’s biggest crises ever, I was positioned as the co-pilot to our counsel, and an air of confidence blanketed my thoughts and actions. I had been called to the CEO’s office on serious matters before, but it was on this day I realized how comfortable and at home I felt in this role.

That’s when it finally clicked. Legal counsel and advocacy, particularly in health care, is my true calling.

My journey to decide to go into law was obviously an unconventional one. I do not come from a long line of college graduates in my family. In fact, I am the first in my immediate family to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and now I’m looking to pursue a Juris Doctor degree. I haven’t always been a “straight-A” student, and I am not the greatest test taker, but that has never deterred me. I’m a creative problem solver, a hard worker, and I have always found a way to succeed.

Related:  Everything You Need to Consider in a Law School 

Eager for the next challenge

Dina Megretskaia Hometown: Saint Petersburg, Russia Undergrad school : Carnegie Mellon University Grad school : University of Pennsylvania, MA

In sixth grade English, alongside reading Ray Bradbury’s short stories and learning that (according to Mark Twain), “the difference between the almost right word and the right word is…the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning,” my class contemplated the notion that knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss. I knew straight away, with the invisible shiver of a lightning spike through my vertebrae, that I wanted both knowledge and power—and that my life would be a thrilling, focused journey of acquiring both.

In my current profession, financial planning, I optimize my clients’ financial lives so that their whole lives can be better. I relish building my own knowledge base as I tackle esoteric pension plan provisions and subsections of our tax code, but most of all revel in the empowerment that my work creates for my clients. I intend to bring such clarity and compassion for my clients to my studies at New England Law and eventual practice as an attorney.

This need for knowledge brought me to a sawdust-strewn shop room at a local community college on Tuesday and Wednesday nights this fall for a Basic Residential Carpentry Class. I’d return home in the first weeks with a mountain range of blisters along my index finger, the product of my carelessness in holding a hammer (and blatant disregard for basic rules of physics) multiplied by the excitement of hitting hard against wood planks to create our little house. Every week I felt uncoordinated, ungainly, and stronger than I’d been just days earlier. I was gaining knowledge and experience in a trade that was entirely foreign when I’d begun the class. We installed subfloor on our floor framing, framed exterior walls, put up and spackled drywall, installed a door and window, adorned both with trim, and finished it all off with baseboards and crown molding. I was seeking (and found) a challenge, practical carpentry skills, and the euphoria of transforming from a state of ignorance to one of engagement.

Smashing a staple gun in rapid succession along a Tyvek polyethylene house-wrap, driving nails into wooden studs that were synonymous with our house’s structure, and steadying the might of a power saw to cut planks precisely: these all felt like expressions of power. Power I hadn’t initially possessed but built up as I felt the silent sting of being graceless and slow, watched my classmates and instructor, asked questions and modeled my technique after theirs. That uncomfortable place where earnest attempts at learning meet with the inability to produce something beautiful, in the language of the new knowledge area, is where I find power.

Related:   How to Be Smart About Law School Financial Aid: 12 Tips You Need to Know

Breaking down new barriers

Rebecca Boll Hometown: Buffalo, New York Undergrad school : Boston University Grad school : University of Oklahoma, MA

The reader of my law school application will see that I am in the middle of my life. I already have a career that I am proud of. Recently, I accepted the role of Chief Technology Officer/VP of Strategy for a new company. This change happened after spending thirteen years at the General Electric Corporation, holding titles such as CTO, Managing Director, General Manager, and Commercial Leader. There are still not many women in my line of work, and that has been true for my entire journey through corporate America and, before that, my time in the military.

One of the things that encourages me to press forward in the industrial working world is that doing so enables me to mentor, sponsor, and support diversity of all kinds: for women and all others. I hire with diversity in mind, ensure that the introverted and outsiders have a voice, create informal support groups, provide insights to others regarding moving up the “ladder,” fight to see the non-traditional candidates get the promotion, and accept collateral duties leading diversity agendas within my companies.

At this point in my life, I am old enough to know that this sponsorship of diversity and deep desire to help the less advantaged are more important to me than the quarterly profits. This insight culminates from almost thirty years of personal experience, enhanced by some of the painful issues being played out in current day society. In my personal experience, I was the first woman commander of my ROTC detachment. Not everyone approved of that, including some of the notable teaching staff at Boston University. My first squadron commander on active duty told me he did not believe women should be in the military. Oddly, he and I got along just fine. It was the people that didn’t say it out loud but acted with malice that made life tricky at times. For example, they would withhold information regarding key training missions, making it difficult to accomplish them and proving their “point” that women were not fit for the combat roles. The sexual harassment in my military years was ever-present and aggressive. I have not personally experienced harassment in corporate America in that same manner, but I regularly deal with the quieter discriminations of being a woman. It is not amusing when someone at a corporate function assumes I am the event coordinator or the head of HR, rather than a key business and technology leader.

I often see an underlying set of activities that make it hard for women or other non-mainstream persons to get the same chances as the majority. For example, one year a co-manager told me that no women who went on maternity leave could get a top performance rating. I fought that battle with him (in partnership with HR), and we changed his mind. Another example was a long-used personnel rating system we consulted to choose who were top and bottom employees in the annual cycle. It clearly  favored people who spoke out a lot in meetings and other venues. There are some cultural norms and personality types that do not align with the idea of talking all the time just to be heard and seen, and that decades old system accidentally pushed them aside. A final example is the odd assumption by many people that military veterans have a limited set of skills, aligned to security or plant management.

My interest in helping women, families, and the disadvantaged has been building over some years in relation to my own interactions with family courts as well. I am a woman who is successful in business and life, yet I know how intimidating dealing with a hostile lawyer and unknown legal process can be. I have seen what the result can be when a lawyer is not working as hard as they can or perhaps is just not as good as the other lawyer. I cannot imagine being in the shoes of someone who does not have resources or is disenfranchised—an immigrant, a child, or someone who has been abused—and has to deal with the courts. I was frightened and confused inside the court room. I think they must be as well.

A big part of my interest in law school is my concern for people who don’t have advantages and need help navigating the legal systems. I can easily have another career that spans decades, carry the wisdom of my personal experiences into it, and practice law with the primary goal of helping people. It would make sense for me to consider intellectual property law, given my current and previous roles in business, but what I really want to learn about and apply is family, youth, and social justice law.

The prompts for the personal statement suggest talking about overcoming obstacles. One final thing I want to share is that I grew up on a farm in western New York. We had cows, chickens, horses, and goats. We spent the last week of every August at the county fair. I competed for and won an ROTC scholarship that paid for my undergraduate degree at Boston University. In reviewing that transcript, which is twenty-six years old at this point, I can reflect on a girl who struggled there in the very first semester. This was not because the academics were too hard but because I was so taken in by the city and the diversity of people and the cosmopolitan feel of it. I did not know how to handle being on my own and succeeding back in 1989. It makes me cringe a little seeing those first semester grades, but I can be proud of ending my undergraduate studies on the Dean’s list senior year. My course of study in applied mathematics was not an easy one, but it has served me well in my various technology leadership roles.

My master’s degree, which I achieved at the University of Oklahoma while on active duty, tells a much nicer academic tale with a 4.0 average as an outcome. I would be honored if you consider me for acceptance to New England Law | Boston and look forward to the journey of studying and applying law.

After you've read these law school personal statement examples, be sure to check out our personal statement tips for law school applicants .

I Got a Full-Ride to Law School Using This Personal Statement

Jack Duffley

Law school admissions certainly are intimidating, especially when it comes to the rather daunting task of writing a personal statement with no real prompt. Generally, law schools will ask for no more than two pages of basically whatever you would like to talk about.

However, there are a few well-established principles for writing a successful personal statement. Here are 4 principles, along with my own personal statement, to help you hit a home run:

The personal statement should only drive your application forward. If it is holding it back in any way, it is not ready.

Your personal statement should explain your interest or purpose for studying the law.

This does not have to be the backbone of the entire piece, but it should be at least mentioned somewhere. It should also avoid legal jargon and should not be some sort of showcase for legal knowledge. It also should not be a regurgitation of your resume. The committee will already have your resume, so the personal statement serves as a supplement to it.

Spend the time making your personal statement better.

To get a competitive offer from whichever law school you may be applying to, it all starts with a good application package. The admissions committee is going to want to see a good LSAT score , a strong GPA, some recommendations, and a well-written personal statement. That much is clear. Your personal statement may never feel like it is just right, but it can only become better with consistent time and effort spent drafting it again and again.

Research examples of well-written personal statements.

To get some ideas about what a good personal statement could look like, I did a preliminary search to read a few successful ones. The University of Chicago had a few essays posted on  their site  from admitted students that gave me a good point of reference. Although there is tremendous flexibility in writing the personal statement, it should not be so wacky as to discourage the admissions committee in your abilities as a writer or in your seriousness about attending law school.

Take advantage of the resources around you to make your statement the best.

For my statement, I went through a couple of potential concepts and decided to do one on my life’s motto. And, no, it was not some cliché that I pretended was my motto; I picked words that I truly lived by and continue to live by to this day. I spent many hours writing and rewriting my personal statement. Thankfully, I had the invaluable help of my roommate, who is a strong writer himself, and he gave me useful feedback on many of my drafts (I promised him a nice dinner if I ended up getting admitted with a full-ride to somewhere). When I got close to a final draft, I took it to my school’s writer’s workshop to have someone I had never met before read it aloud. It allowed me to hear where someone might misunderstand something so that I could make changes accordingly for the final product.

personal statement for law sample

Beginning in the spring, picking up in September, accelerating further in October, and finishing in November when I sent my applications out, the whole process produced something that I thought gave me a very strong shot at success. So here it is. Enjoy:

“Ball: outside!” declared the umpire.

“Come on now! Get ahead, stay ahead, kid!” demanded my coach.

I checked the sign: fastball. That pitch was just not there; I shook my head no. My catcher gave me the next sign: curveball. Yes, the get-me-over-curve, my signature pitch. I stepped back to begin my windup.

“Steeeeeriiike! One and one,” the umpire grunted.

“That’s the way, Duff! Just like that!” my coach exclaimed.

My catcher fired that ball back to me. I toed the rubber and focused on his signs: he flashed two fingers and motioned to the right—curveball, outside. I nodded affirmatively. He and I were on the same page. I began my windup again, picked up the leg, and spun my big overhand curve to the plate.

“Two! One and two.” The batter stood motionless as he watched my back door hook clip the outer edge of the strike zone.

“One more now, Duff! Come on, kid!”

The pitch count, or the current amount of balls and strikes in a given at bat, is perhaps the most impactful construct of baseball. After every pitch, the umpire declares it to be a ball or strike, subsequently adding it to the count. If the batter reaches four balls, he earns a walk, or a free pass to first base; if he gets three strikes, the batter is out. The batter’s goal is to reach a base before three strikes. The pitcher does everything that he can to stop that.

As I got the ball back, I knew I was in the driver’s seat. The batter was at a tremendous disadvantage and would have to react to my pitches on two strikes rather than just being able to lock in on one. I leaned in for the sign: one finger, right, up—fastball, high and outside. I liked it. Even though it was not my best pitch that day, I understood that I could still use it effectively to keep batters off balance since I was ahead. I stepped back into the windup and let the pitch fly.

The batter flailed at the pitch. “Three!” shouted the umpire, raising his fist in the air to call him out. He was sitting on the big, slow curveball and not the fastball, but he could not be selective because he was down in the count. On to the next one.

“Atta kid! That’s what happens when you get ahead!”

Get ahead, stay ahead.

While my organized baseball playing days may be over, that fundamental is still strong. A picture of all-star pitcher Max Scherzer hurling a baseball towards the plate sits above my desk with that same motto in bolded letters:  Get Ahead, Stay Ahead .

What does getting ahead provide? For one, it gives the peace of mind that comes with flexibility; there’s room to react in case something goes off course. In baseball, it gives the pitcher more room to work within the count because he has more options when the batter must play defensively. In short, he can do what he wants. One of the key differences between baseball and life, however, is that baseball has a simple, predetermined goal: score more runs than the other team! Life, on the other hand, allows for enormous flexibility in choosing a goal. Rather than be content with the usual four-year bachelor’s track, I pushed forward as hard as I could to graduate in three years. Many people are surprised when I tell them about my efforts to graduate early; they often wonder why I chose to accelerate my education. I usually explain that it saved me a significant amount of money while expanding my room for error. Most importantly, I tell them, by efficiently reorganizing my schedule, getting ahead actually  gave  me time to think.

The most successful people throughout history have all had an overarching goal, no matter how grand; with the time from getting ahead, I chose mine. Andrew Carnegie sought to provide affordable steel, Henry Ford wanted to create a universal automobile, and Elon Musk aims to put a city on Mars. After seeing their success, I think about how I can do the same. Simply put, I want to be a leader in sustainable real estate. More specifically, I want to make green living universal. Whenever I get the same surprised looks from this claim as when I tell someone that I am graduating early, I clarify that there are already some pioneers designing revolutionary apartments with trees planted on all of their floors, working to clean the air in polluted cities. Stefano Boeri, for example, has designed a thirty-six-floor building covered with trees on terraces jutting out from its sides, dubbed the “Tower of Cedars.” I want to take this premise further: my mission is to expand clean living to all, not just the elite who can afford it. The law is one of the most important tools that I will need to achieve this. The complexities of environmental and real estate law will be major challenges. Regardless, to lead the industry, I must get ahead. When I start my business, I will reflect on my experience in running the Trial Team as its president, the perspective on efficient business systems that I gained with American Hotel Register, and the tips that the CEO of Regency Multifamily shared with me for optimally running a large real estate firm, among many other things. But I will always be looking forward. While history shows that there are answers in the past, only the future knows them. Thankfully, controlling the present by getting ahead can make the future that much more certain.

I stepped back into the windup, again. As I drove off the rubber towards the plate, I extended out as far as I could to get as much control and power as possible. The big hook landed firmly over the outer third of the plate, right into my catcher’s mitt with a solid  phwump .

“Steeeeeriiike! Oh-and-one.”

“Atta kid!” My coach was elated to see my pitch command this inning.

Are you inspired to get ahead? Don’t you just feel a sudden urge to admit me into your program? Well thankfully, it made an impression on someone. I did my best to show my ambitions while showing a bit of my personality. The greatest risk that I took was that some of the baseball jargon may have been hard to understand for someone unfamiliar with the sport, but I made sure that it would not detract from the overall meaning of the piece. It served as a useful supplement to the rest of my application.

As of 2018, I am enrolled at Chicago-Kent College of Law with a full tuition scholarship. While it is no Ivy program, it is a respectable school with a strong regional reputation. The great thing about having the financial burden of law school off my shoulders is that I can now focus on getting the most out of my studies, rather than stress to figure out how I am going to pay off the debt that would have financed my education. And if it turns out that the program is not the best option for me, I can walk away with no financial strings attached.

The personal statement should only drive your application forward. If it is holding it back in any way, it is not ready. Keep it professional but do be creative and show the reader more of your personality than a resume alone would give. You are selling them your brand as a student, so do not let them gloss over your application without much of a thought.

Jack graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2018 with a degree in Economics and History, and he currently works in property management while attending Chicago-Kent College of Law on a part-time basis. He hopes to use his law degree to enhance his career in commercial real estate and eventually lead sustainable large-scale real estate developments nationwide.

Come and join in the conversation on our social channels.

personal statement for law sample

Show Westlaw some love!

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Westlaw for Law Students (@trlawschool.us)

Statutes on Westlaw - Bonus Entries

Need some inspiration check out the statutes below., key numbers on westlaw - bonus entries, need some inspiration check out these key numbers by using the digest searches below., searching on westlaw - bonus entries, need some search inspiration for your entries check out the sample searches below.

Find helpful tools and gadgets

Because neurodivergent people often need visual prompts or sensory tools, it is helpful to figure out what works best for you. Maybe you need a quiet fidget to use under your desk in class to help you focus. Maybe you need to incorporate the use of timers throughout your day. If you struggle with time blindness, you can use hourglasses to help you visualize time. Perhaps you struggle with extraneous sounds and need to use noise-cancelling headphones. More and more tools and gadgets are being made for neurodiverse individuals that can help you throughout law school.

Find the best time to be productive

Society can dictate when you are supposed to be most productive. See the traditional 9-5 work schedule. However, that model does not always work best for neurodiverse individuals. Some people are not morning people, and that is fine. Figure out when you have the most energy during your day to be your most productive self.

Identify your organizational system

Find one system to use for organization and don’t change it. Trying too many organizational systems can become overwhelming. If your phone calendar works best, use that. If you are a list person, write all the lists. If you are a planner person, find the coolest one to use throughout the school year.

Write everything down

It would be nice to think that you can remember every task or deadline, but let’s be honest, that’s probably not true. Write down every deadline, every task, meeting, assignment, important date, etc. in the organizational system that you use.

Figure out your maximum focus time

Just like you can only put so much gasoline in a car, most neurodiverse individuals only have so much room in their focus tank. Figure out how long you can truly focus and apply yourself to a task before you need a break. That amount of time is typically shorter for neurodiverse individuals. If you can only truly focus for 20 minutes, study for 20 minutes, take a break, and then come back for another 20 minutes.

Find your friends

You may have started law school with your mind full of horror stories. Throw them out the window. Most of the people you attend law school with are genuinely kind and helpful people. Try to find a group or a couple of people that you can trust and lean on when necessary. Your law school friends can help you stay on task, body double, and even provide notes on the days you may be struggling. These friends can be one of your greatest assets throughout your law school journey.

Be honest with your professors

Only discuss your neurodivergence with your professors to the extent that you are comfortable. If there are things you are concerned about related to your neurodivergence, it can be beneficial to make your professors aware at the beginning of the semester. Whether you are worried about cold calling or need a topic broken down, most professors love opportunities to discuss their area of law! They can’t know that you may need help if you don’t let them know. This is especially important if you aren’t successful in getting accommodations from your school’s Disability Services.

Trust your methods

As a neurodivergent student, you may not fit the traditional mold of all the things a law student is “supposed to do” in order to be successful. You have been in school for years, and now is the time to trust yourself and not be afraid to be an “outside of the box” law student. There is no harm in trying new study methods, but never fear going back to your personal basics. If you need help figuring those out, see if your law school has a learning center or faculty member that can assist you.

Outlining with jury instructions.

  • On your Westlaw Precision home screen, click on Secondary Sources and then Jury Instructions .
  • On the Jury Instructions page, use the Jurisdiction filter to select your desired jurisdiction.
  • Search for your cause of action. (Ex. elements of libel in Federal Jury Practice & Instructions )
  • Open your relevant jury instruction and don't forget to check the related notes.
  • To see more instructions, check out the table of contents to your left or click on View Full TOC.

personal statement for law sample

Citation in a Click

  • Highlight the text you want to copy. Try it out with Miranda v. Arizona
  • Select "Copy with Reference" from the pop-up box.
  • Paste into your word document...and you're done!

Black's Law Dictionary

Don't guess the meaning of a legal term. know it., by using black’s law dictionary, exclusively on westlaw , you’ll know the meanings of key terms that will help you understand your cases faster, be prepared for cold-calls and beef up your class notes. 1. access black's law dictionary on westlaw., 2. type your term into the dictionary term box. (ex. demurrer ) if your term contains multiple words, place the terms in quotes. (ex. "rule against perpetuities" ), 3. open up your desired term, copy it and paste it into your notes., looking for some inspiration here are a few legal terms to get you started contracts - collateral estoppel - consequential damages civil procedure - minimum contacts - in personam jurisdiction torts - negligence - invasion of privacy criminal law - mayhem - wobbler, where can i learn more about a firm so i can ask good questions in an interview, news is an excellent source for learning about a firm. you’ll see the clients and matters they represent along with the accolades they earned from their communities. 1. click on news under “specialty areas” on your westlaw edge home screen., 2. start by trying a plain language search for your firm. (ex. gibson dunn crutcher ), 3. to up your search game, consider running a terms & connectors search with an index field. (ex. gibson /2 dunn /s crutcher & in(law lawsuit legal) ), start writing your brief without starting from scratch, what is a brief, a brief is a summary of a case in your own words that includes the key facts, procedural history, issues addressed, along with the court's holdings. how can i find a case on westlaw, cases on westlaw contain a synopsis, a summary of the main facts, issues and holdings of a case, and headnotes, summaries of points of law organizes by topic. you can locate cases on westlaw in a variety of ways. find by citation: if you know your case's citation, just type one of the citations in the search box. (ex. 113 sct 2217 ), find by party name: if you know the names of your parties, just start typing them in the search box and select corresponding case from the drop-down menu. (ex. international shoe).

personal statement for law sample

Note: If your case has common party names, you may need to enter more than one party.

Download your synopsis and headnotes: once you've pulled up your case, click on download under delivery options, select brief it under what to deliver and click on download..

personal statement for law sample

The right search terms can make a difference. Here is an easy way to come up with smart search terms.

personal statement for law sample

Rules, Codes & Restatements

Exporting tables of contents, exporting a table of contents is an easy way to get access to a list of rules, codes or restatements that you can reference on the fly and add to your outlines, as needed. locate your rules, codes or restatement: to export a toc (table of contents), you'll first want to locate your resource. restatement of torts restatement of contracts restatement of property federal rules of civil procedure ucc article 2 federal rules of evidence united states constitution, export your toc: click on download, select outline of current view under what to deliver and then click on download..

personal statement for law sample

Strengthen Your Interview Discussions with News

  • Search for a particular firm, attorney, or agency. (Ex. Kirkland and Ellis or Fourth Circuit )
  • Or select a specific practice area (Ex. Mergers & Acquisitions )

American Law Reports

Your go-to secondary source, finding an a.l.r. (american law reports) article covering your topic is a great starting point for research. you'll get a quick summary of the legal issue you're researching and a table of cases, laws, and rules to see the law across all jurisdictions. you can also use annotations to find additional secondary sources, such as legal encyclopedias, treatises, and periodicals. no wonder they're nicknamed already done legal research see it in action: the legal discussion to compensate student athletes is heating up. check out this alr article to see how the legal picture for tomorrow’s student athletes comes together in one place., keycite graphical history, procedural history made easy, are you reading a case and not sure how you got there procedurally reversed, remanded or otherwise, we got you. just sign into westlaw and follow the steps below... 1. grab one of the citations you see in your case book and type it into the search box on westlaw . (ex. 480 u.s. 102), 2. click on your case in the drop-down menu., 3. click on the history tab to see your procedural history., keycite graphical history works best when you have a federal case and a complex issue. check out some additional examples from your classes below. contracts - koken v. black & veatch const., inc. - lamps plus, inc. v. varela civil procedure - national equipment rental v. szukhent - helicopteros nacionales de colombia, s.a. v. hall torts - palsgraf v. long island r. co. - kentucky fried chicken of cal., inc. v. superior court, law school resource center, flowcharts, overviews & more..

follow link

Scheduled Maintenance

Step 1 - create a new class, step 3 - invite your students, step 2 - assign lessons.

About this event

personal statement for law sample

Love Your Lawyer Day

personal statement for law sample

All the rules you need for class in one place.

Understand the procedural history of your case..

personal statement for law sample

Don't guess the meaning of a term. Know it.

personal statement for law sample

Copy the Code Below

You'll use this code to make a copy of the sample course.

Click on Copy Another Class

Go to the Knowledge Center and click on the Copy Another Class button.

Enter Your Copy Code

Enter your copy code in the Enter Class Copy Code box and click the Validate button.

4. Set Your Options

Change your course title, set your course dates and set your copy option to Assignments Only.

5. Click Copy Course

Click on Copy Course and you're all set to share your course with students.

1. Copy the Code Below

2. click on copy another class, 3. enter your copy code, set your options, click copy course, determining whether a federal court has subject matter jurisdiction over a non-class action case..

If the case arises out of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, rules or regulations, or a treaty signed by the U.S., and the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction, then the case must be litigated in federal court.

If the case does not arise out of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, rules or regulations, or a treaty signed by the U.S., and there is not complete diversity between the plaintiffs and defendants (a.k.a they are both from different states or one is a citizen of a foreign country), then the case must be litigated in state court.

Restatement of Contracts 2d

Counter-offers.

(1) A counter-offer is an offer made by an offeree to his offeror relating to the same matter as the original offer and proposing a substituted bargain differing from that proposed by the original offer.

(2) An offeree’s power of acceptance is terminated by his making of a counter-offer, unless the offeror has manifested a contrary intention or unless the counter-offer manifests a contrary intention of the offeree.

Negligence Defined

Restatement (second) of torts 282.

In the Restatement of this Subject, negligence is conduct which falls below the standard established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. It does not include conduct recklessly disregardful of an interest of others.

Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed.2014)

Demurrer: A means of objecting to the sufficiency in law of a pleading by admitting the actual allegations made by disputing that they frame an adequate claim. Demurrer is commonly known as a motion to dismiss.

(2) An offeree’s power of acceptance is terminated by his making a counter-off, unless the offeror has manifested a contrary intention or unless the counter-offer manifests a contrary intention of the offeree.

testing footnote

What is common law and is it written by the courts of law?

[ninja_form id=2]

personal statement for law sample

School: West Academic Test Account Only

This email confirms approval of your order of Law School registration keys required on July 02, 2019. View your order in Password Access Central as needed. If requested, your keys are listed below. Keys are registered at lawschool.westlaw.com/register . Users will need to create their individual OnePass credentials (Username and Password) as well as complete a Law School Profile.

Law School Registration Key(s) to be assigned.

Registration Steps are as follows

1. Visit lawschool.westlaw.com/register

2. Create your OnePass credentials The email address you use for OnePass will be the same one used for TWEN communications.

3. Complete a Law School Profile

Please contact Technical Support at 800-850-9378 (WEST) or email [email protected] with questions about registration. For questions about PAC, please contact your Academic Account Manager.

Westlaw Academic Team

Negligence defined

Restatement (second) of torts § 282.

  • Applying to Uni
  • Apprenticeships
  • Health & Relationships
  • Money & Finance

Personal Statements

  • Postgraduate
  • U.S Universities

University Interviews

  • Vocational Qualifications
  • Accommodation
  • ​​​​​​​Budgeting, Money & Finance
  • ​​​​​​​Health & Relationships
  • ​​​​​​​Jobs & Careers
  • ​​​​​​​Socialising

Studying Abroad

  • ​​​​​​​Studying & Revision
  • ​​​​​​​Technology
  • ​​​​​​​University & College Admissions

Guide to GCSE Results Day

Finding a job after school or college

Retaking GCSEs

In this section

Choosing GCSE Subjects

Post-GCSE Options

GCSE Work Experience

GCSE Revision Tips

Why take an Apprenticeship?

Applying for an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships Interviews

Apprenticeship Wage

Engineering Apprenticeships

What is an Apprenticeship?

Choosing an Apprenticeship

Real Life Apprentices

Degree Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships

A Level Results Day 2023

AS Levels 2023

Clearing Guide 2023

Applying to University

SQA Results Day Guide 2023

BTEC Results Day Guide

Vocational Qualifications Guide

Sixth Form or College

International Baccalaureate

Post 18 options

Finding a Job

Should I take a Gap Year?

Travel Planning

Volunteering

Gap Year Guide

Gap Year Blogs

Applying to Oxbridge

Applying to US Universities

Choosing a Degree

Choosing a University or College

Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Guide to Freshers' Week

Student Guides

Student Cooking

Student Blogs

  • Top Rated Personal Statements

Personal Statements By Subject

Writing Your Personal Statement

  • Postgraduate Personal Statements
  • International Student Personal Statements
  • Gap Year Personal Statements

Personal Statement Length Checker

  • Personal Statements By University
  • Personal Statement Changes 2024
  • Personal Statement Template

Job Interviews

Types of Postgraduate Course

Writing a Postgraduate Personal Statement

Postgraduate Funding

Postgraduate Study

Internships

Choosing A College

Ivy League Universities

Common App Essay Examples

Universal College Application Guide

How To Write A College Admissions Essay

College Rankings

Admissions Tests

Fees & Funding

Scholarships

Budgeting For College

Online Degree

Platinum Express Editing and Review Service

Gold Editing and Review Service

Silver Express Editing and Review Service

UCAS Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Oxbridge Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Postgraduate Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

You are here

  • Mature Student Personal Statements
  • Personal Statement Editing Service
  • Personal Statement Writing Guide
  • Submit Your Personal Statement
  • Personal Statement Questions 2025

Law Personal Statement Examples

Our law personal statement examples for university, as well as our top rated personal statements , should inspire you to write your own unique statement for university, and help you understand how previous students have successfully gained a place to study for a law degree.

Related resources

How to write a law personal statement.

personal statement for law sample

Find out more

  • UCAS Law Personal Statement Advice

personal statement for law sample

What Can I Do With A Law Degree?

personal statement for law sample

Best UK Universities For Law

personal statement for law sample

Law Careers

personal statement for law sample

National Careers Service

personal statement for law sample

What is a law personal statement?

A law UCAS personal statement should detail why you are a great candidate for a law degree by drawing on all your skills, experience and strengths.

For many years, law has been a popular and competitive course, so it's important you make your personal statement the best it can be. 

Attention to detail and the ability to form an argument are two of the most important skills required to become a good lawyer, as well as being able to support ideas with evidence.

Our law personal statement examples above will help you put together your own, unique statement, and our personal statement template and editing services can also provide further guidance.

University admissions tutors want to see you are a dedicated student that can bring value to their department, so spend as much time as possible writing the perfect statement!

How do I write a law personal statement?

A good law personal statement should include:

  • career plans
  • skills (e.g. analytical, problem solving, etc.) and
  • achievements.

Make sure you provide examples of everything to back up what you are saying, and remember - don't tell lies, or use homour (this isn't the time or place).

Before submitting your UCAS form, give your law personal statement to friends, family and tutors for feedback and incorporate any amendments that you think will improve your statement further.

What should I include in my law personal statement?

  • First of all, look at university websites (particularly those you are applying to) for any tips and advice they have on personal statements for their law degrees. Any information straight from the horse's mouth is always a bonus!
  • Demonstrate your aptitude for the course you’ve chosen. For example, a criminal law personal statement might mention some work experience with the local police, while an international law personal statement might reference some extra reading you’ve done on international cases.
  • Talk about your work experience - whether you have worked in a shop or cafe, or volunteered at a local community centre, make sure you include any relevant skills you learned during this time. For example, the laws on tipping staff, or how many hours you are allowed to work as a volunteer.
  • The best law personal statements always show passion for the subject, and why pursuing law is so important to you.

For more help and advice on what to write in your law personal statement, please see:

  • Personal Statement Editing Services
  • Personal Statement Tips From A Teacher
  • Analysis Of A Personal Statement
  • The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
  • Personal Statement FAQs
  • Personal Statement Timeline
  • 10 Top Personal Statement Writing Tips
  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline.

How do I write a law personal statement introduction?

You should write about your initial interest in law, but make sure you explain where this interest came from, and isn't just a last-minute decision because you had to pick a subject to study.

An anecdote often works well here (if you have one) to help draw the reader in and act as a hook for your statement. For example, you might talk about an injustice you witnessed as a child, or how a family member's experience with the law made you want to learn more about it.

If you look through the law personal statement examples on our website, you'll see that this applicant about how a visit to their local Magistrate's court impacted their career choice:

"I first became interested in studying law after visiting my local Magistrates' Court in Melbourne, Australia. After witnessing the impact a lawyer could have on the outcome of a case and on a person's life I saw that a career in law offered a career in which my work made an impact in the world around me and a career in which I could directly see the consequences of my work."

Try not to start your personal statement with something mundane, such as a definition or explanation of law. Remember, you don’t need to prove you know what the subject is (or try to teach to the admissions tutor who already knows their stuff!). You need to demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for it, which is the type of student the university will want on their course.

If you choose to explain why you want to study law, mention the skills or knowledge you’ll build, and how you hope to grow as a person. You can then mention any career plans or future ambitions you have as a concluding paragraph at the end.

How do I write a law personal statement conclusion?

As mentioned above, it's a good idea to talk about your future plans in the last few sentences of your law personal statement. However, this isn't a must, and if you prefer, you can round off your statement with your hobbies and extracurricular activities, and what you've gained from these. For example, this applicant chose to talk about sports they play and their part-time job, and how these activities have helped them to balance their studies with other commitments:

"Outside school, I have participated in badminton and swimming activities, and worked part time throughout my final school year. This has enabled me to learn to balance the requirements of study with extra-curricular activities, and develop valuable skills which will see me succeed in university and beyond."

Another applicant chose to talk about why they had decided to apply to study at a university in the UK:

"I chose to study in the UK, because in my opinion, it has the best universities in Europe. The United Kingdom has continuously developed its educational system for centuries, the result of this being important values, such as refinement and modernity.

It is the ideal place for a young and motivated student to study in order to have a shining career. It will surely give me the chance to trace a clear line between law and morality."

However you decide to conclude your statement, try to end it on a positive note that will leave a lasting impression on the admissions tutors.

You can read other conclusions that applicants have used in the past over at our law personal statement examples section.

What can I do with a law degree?

There are many career options available to those wanting to study law at university. These include:

  • Chartered legal executive
  • Legal secretary
  • Patent attorney

For more information about careers with a law degree, please see Prospects and the Law Society .

What are the best UK universities for law?

Currently, the best universities in the UK for studying law are:

For more information on UK university rankings for law, please see The Complete University Guide and The Times Higher Education .

Further resources

  • The Lawyer Portal
  • How to become a lawyer
  • The Law Application
  • The University of Law
  • University of Oxford Law
  • Uni Compare Law Personal Statement Examples

Application Toolkit: Written Statements

On this webpage, you will find our advice and guidance for approaching the two written statements in the application.

Beginning with the application for Fall Term 2024 enrollment, we now require that all applicants submit a Statement of Purpose and a Statement of Perspective. Although it is no longer an application component, much of the advice we shared about the personal statement may still be useful to applicants as they develop their Written Statements. We have preserved that information on this toolkit for your reference.

Changes to the J.D. Application Components

Instructions

Every applicant must submit both a Statement of Purpose and a Statement of Perspective, responding to the prompts below. Each Statement must be one to two pages in length, using double-spacing, one-inch margins, and a font size that is comfortable to read (no smaller than 11 point). We expect every applicant to use at least one full page for each Statement.

Statement of Purpose : What motivates you to pursue law? How does attending law school align with your ambitions, goals, and vision for your future?

Statement of Perspective : The Admissions Committee makes every effort to understand who you are as an individual and potential Harvard Law School student and graduate. Please share how your experiences, background, and/or interests have shaped you and will shape your engagement in the HLS community and the legal profession.

Blog Advice

  • Visit the Admissions Blog
  • View All Written Statements Blog Posts

Featured image for Changes to the J.D. Program Application Components article

Changes to the J.D. Program Application Components

August is here, and that means the J.D. Admissions Office is finalizing our application for the 2023–2024 cycle before it opens on September 15. One exciting change for this year: we have reworked our essay requirements and prompts.

August 4, 2023

Should you include a “why Harvard” statement in your application?

Each year at this time, we receive questions about how applicants should express interest in Harvard Law School. Include a “Why Harvard” essay? Talk about HLS in the personal statement? Maybe an addendum on this topic? The answer to all these questions is the same: no, that’s not necessary.  Let’s start with the separate “why

December 2, 2022

Overrated/Underrated Part 3

Continuing our Overrated/Underrated series, this week, we shift our focus to highlight some of the overrated approaches that we recommend applicants avoid as they craft their applications. 

November 17, 2021

Overrated/Underrated Part 1

The J.D. Admissions team recently came together to offer their thoughts on some underrated and overrated approaches that applicants might take towards their HLS application. We hope you’ll find some of these nuggets useful.

September 9, 2021

Real Talk: The Personal Statement

For our first entry in the Real Talk series, Associate Director Nefyn Meissner shares advice on approaching the personal statement.

August 6, 2020

Personal Statement Advice

The personal statement is “an opportunity to give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential student and graduate of Harvard Law School.” But what does that mean to us?

November 6, 2018

Podcast Advice

Navigating law school admissions with miriam & kristi.

Miriam Ingber (Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Yale Law School) and Kristi Jobson (Assistant Dean for Admissions at Harvard Law School) provide candid, accurate, and straightforward advice about law school admissions — direct from the source. They will be joined by guest stars from other law schools to discuss application timing, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and more.

  • View All Episodes

Written Statements Workshop

Our Statement Workshop provides applicants with straightforward advice on how to craft essays with a reflective activity and guiding questions to consider.

We do understand mistakes happen. You are more than welcome to upload an updated document through your status checker. We will review the new material alongside what has been previously received.

Note that when you complete your application and hit “submit”, the information contained in your application may not be altered or deleted in any way by you as an applicant or by us as an admissions team.

Yes. Reapplicants will need to submit new written statements with their application.

We ask that transfer candidates also address the reason(s) for applying for transfer enrollment. Please visit our Transfer Applications Components for more information.

Modal Gallery

ESLDIRECT.COM

ESL Resources for Job Hunters, English Learners, Adult Learners and Tutors

Law Personal Statement Examples to Help With Your Law School Application.

In this article, we look at law personal statement examples to help with your law school application.

Our 6 top tips for writing the perfect personal statement for law school and 3 strong personal statement examples. Keep reading to hear about how Plato inspired one applicant, a candidate who is the child of two lawyers – and another whose parents battled the immigration system.

Table of contents, what is a personal statement for law school, how to make your personal statement for law school stand out.

  • My Passion for Justice and Equality
  • My Interest in the Application of Law to Different Situations
  • My Drive to Improve Society

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

More personal statement tutorials.

When it comes to applying to law school, your personal statement is key. This is your opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are and why you want to pursue a career in law.

To help you get started, we’ve put together some law personal statement examples below. Use these as inspiration for your own essay, but be sure to tailor each one to fit your unique experiences and goals.

It’s an essay or narrative that accompanies your law school application and is your opportunity to show the admissions panel why they should offer you a place on one of their law degree courses. It should bring your interest in the legal profession to life and demonstrate your skills and passions as a potential law student.

A good personal statement should focus on topics such as a personal challenge you faced, your passions and involvement in a project or pursuit, and the ways in which it has contributed to your personal growth and goals.

It’s important to remember that the personal statement should not just be a regurgitation of facts and statistics, but should reflect your individual qualities and interests.

For example,

‘My passion for justice and equality is rooted in my upbringing and experiences, watching my parents battling their way through the US immigration process. As a child and young adult, I had seen the law used to oppress, victimize, and deny people their basic rights.’

Step 1: Clearly outline your goals for applying to law school

First, you must define why you want to study law and your goals for pursuing a law degree. Think about what inspired you to pursue a career in law and why it appeals to you.

It could be something you’ve read, a person you admire such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or a legal issue that you’d like to explore further.

‘Law is not just a profession, but a way to effect change and make a positive impact in society. I believe that as a lawyer, I can help level the playing field for those who are marginalized or oppressed, and fight for justice in a world that is often unjust.

I am drawn to the intellectual challenge of the law, the critical thinking required to analyze complex issues and find creative solutions. I am also inspired by the potential to use my legal skills to make a difference in the lives of others, through public interest work.’

Step 2: Talk about your accomplishments

Start by giving a brief but vivid description of yourself and the events that have shaped your life, and then talk about your achievements. Focus on ones that are directly related to your law school aspirations, such as being an interview team lead or designing a program.

‘To gain first-hand experience with the legal system, I shadowed criminal, public and corporate lawyers and was able to observe their skills in action. This experience, combined with my leadership skills honed through captaining rugby teams, have given me the knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in law.’

According to the expert  LSAT tutors at TestMaxPrep, you can also include your admission test scores in the personal statement.

Be sure to provide relevant details and anecdotes that demonstrate why these accomplishments are important, and why they make you a strong candidate for law school.

When discussing any setbacks or mistakes, invoke your passion for law and explain how they led to further growth. This is a great way to show the admissions tutors that you are able to take responsibility for your actions and have learned from them.

Step 3: Focus on your skills

When writing a personal statement for law school, be sure to focus on the specific skills you have that make you an ideal candidate for the program. If you have done any legal aid or pro bono support work, have participated in mooting or have experience in a law-related field, make sure to mention it.

Remember, good lawyers need to be precise and have strong communication, analytic and research skills. Make sure to highlight these skills in your statement by providing examples such as public speaking, persuasive writing, or paying close attention to detail.

Step 4: Emphasize the importance of going to law school – and why you chose THIS law school

Begin your statement by discussing why you believe going to law school is important. Explain why you would like to pursue a legal career and how you believe it can positively impact your life and career goals.

Demonstrate your commitment to the law by discussing any additional reading you have done on the subject. Show your passion for the law and your interest in the field by discussing current affairs and the legal implications of the latest news stories.

Admissions officers want to see that you have done your research and have a genuine interest in their school. Instead, you need to demonstrate how the unique offerings of the school align with your personal and professional goals. Research the school’s faculty, curriculum, extracurricular activities, and clinics to identify specific programs and resources that interest you.

‘Moreover, the legal profession offers a diverse range of opportunities for growth and advancement. I am excited to learn from experienced attorneys and professors, collaborate with my peers at Duke University, and engage in meaningful work that will push me to constantly improve.’

Step 5: Showing an understanding of the legal system

This can be done in different ways, such as reading books, participating in extracurricular activities with a legal focus, visiting a local court, or joining a debating club.

Additionally, by discussing how the law can be an instrument for social change, it will demonstrate a broader appreciation of the law and why you are interested in pursuing it.

It also helps to stay up-to-date on current affairs. Many universities are looking for applicants who are aware of the current issues and events that affect the legal world. Show that you are engaged with current affairs in your statement by drawing on recent landmark legal decisions or discussing the legal implications of news stories.

Step 6: Present a well-structured personal statement and proofread it carefully

Start by outlining the structure of your law personal statement and what you want to include. Ensure that it is well organised and presented in a logical way.

Pay attention to the detail – check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation multiple times before submitting your statement.

Research the course to make sure you understand what the course entails and are able to discuss your interest in the relevant area of law.

Draft and redraft the personal statement to ensure you are meticulous and happy with your statement, and ask a tutor for feedback before submitting it.

3 Examples of personal statements for Law School

1. my passion for justice and equality.

My passion for justice and equality is rooted in my upbringing and experiences, watching my parents battling their way through the US immigration process. As a child and young adult, I had seen the law used to oppress, victimize, and deny people their basic rights. This pushed me to want to create change and use the law as a vehicle for social justice. I came to understand that the law could be used to challenge injustices and fight for social change. I also learned that advocacy was key to achieving justice and that evidence is a critical tool for making a successful argument.

My passion for justice and equality stems from a desire to create a more equitable world, where people of all backgrounds have access to their fundamental rights. As a lawyer, I would be driven by this passion and the knowledge that I can make a positive difference in the fight for justice.

My experiences have taught me that the law can be both a powerful tool for justice and a barrier to progress, depending on how it is used. I want to use my legal education to work towards a society where the law is wielded in a way that promotes equality, fairness, and compassion.

I am particularly interested in pursuing a career in public interest law, where I can serve underrepresented communities and advocate for the most vulnerable members of our society. I believe that everyone deserves equal access to justice, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. Through my legal education, I hope to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to make a tangible difference in the lives of those who have been marginalized or silenced.

In addition to my passion for justice and equality, I am also drawn to the intellectual challenge of the law. I find the complexities of legal reasoning and analysis fascinating, and I am eager to develop my skills in these areas. I am excited to learn from experienced attorneys, collaborate with my peers, and engage in meaningful work that will allow me to grow both personally and professionally.

Ultimately, my passion for justice and equality drives me to pursue a legal education and career. I am committed to working tirelessly to make a positive impact in the world, and I am confident that a career in law is the best way for me to achieve this goal.

2. My Interest in the Application of Law to Different Situations

As I studied Plato’s Republic and examined the flaws in our own society, I further developed my appreciation of the law and its power to protect us. To gain first-hand experience with the legal system, I shadowed criminal, public and corporate lawyers and was able to observe their skills in action. This experience, combined with my leadership skills honed through captaining rugby teams, have given me the knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in law. I understand the importance of being able to objectively interpret and enforce the law, and I am eager to get involved in the complex process of jurisprudence. My enthusiasm and interest in the application of law to different situations will help my law school application by demonstrating my commitment to a career in law.

As I delve deeper into my interest in law, I am particularly fascinated by its application to diverse situations. The law plays a critical role in shaping our society, and its application can have far-reaching implications for individuals and communities. I am intrigued by the challenge of interpreting and applying the law in a way that is both just and practical.

My experiences in leadership and teamwork have taught me the importance of collaboration and communication, which I believe will be essential in a legal career. I am excited to learn from experienced attorneys, collaborate with my peers, and engage in meaningful work that will challenge me to grow both personally and professionally.

Ultimately, my interest in the application of law to different situations, combined with my passion for social justice, motivates me to pursue a legal education and career. I am eager to contribute my skills and knowledge to the legal community, and I am confident that I have the drive and dedication to excel in this challenging and rewarding field.

3. My Drive to Improve Society

The purpose of my drive to improve society is to use the law as a tool for social change. As the daughter of two lawyers, as a child and young person, I was exposed to conversations about the law that depicted it as something that could overturn a system that is frequently oppressive and victimizing.

Through my participation in Model UN at school in Kansas, I developed an understanding of the law that showed me its potential to be a vehicle for positive change. I saw an opportunity to use my leadership skills and my understanding of the law to advocate for my own needs, as well as the needs of others. I committed to gaining the knowledge and the tools necessary to use the law to create a fairer, more just society, starting with my own local community in which many Spanish-speaking people could not access clear information in applying for social services.

My experiences in leadership roles, including the Big Sister Big Brother program, have shown me the importance of advocacy and the value of working collaboratively with others to achieve common goals. I have learned that effective advocacy requires a deep understanding of the law and its applications, as well as strong communication skills and the ability to build coalitions across different communities and interest groups.

I am particularly drawn to public interest law, where I believe I can make the most meaningful impact in the lives of others. I am passionate about using the law to advance social justice, promote human rights, and protect vulnerable populations. Whether working to defend the rights of immigrants, fighting for environmental justice, or advocating for criminal justice reform, I believe that the law can be a powerful tool for creating a more just and equitable society.

My commitment to social justice and my drive to improve society have motivated me to pursue a legal education and career. I am excited about the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the law and its applications and to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to make a real difference in the world. I am confident that my passion, my leadership skills, and my commitment to social justice will enable me to excel in the challenging and rewarding field of law.

Some of these questions were already covered in this blog post but I will still list them here (because not everyone carefully reads every paragraph) so here’s the TL;DR version.

How can I make my Law Personal Statement stand out?

  • Plan your personal statement carefully. Structure and present your statement in a persuasive way to show that you have the qualities to be a successful law student.
  • Pay attention to detail. Ensure that your application is free from grammar and spelling mistakes as this is an important quality for a lawyer.
  • Research the courses. Show that you have a genuine interest in the course and make sure that you mention any relevant topics that are offered in the course.
  • Focus on you. Since this is a personal statement, make sure to emphasize your motivations, experiences and skills.
  • Avoid cliches. Steer clear of phrases such as “passion for law” and instead, provide concrete examples that demonstrate your interest in the field.

What is a good opening sentence for a personal statement?

A good opening sentence for a personal statement should grab the attention of university admissions teams and sell yourself to them. It should be filled with positive adjectives that describe your motivation, determination, and commitment to law while revealing aspects of your personality.

It should also tell your story and demonstrate that you have the skills and competencies to study law. For example:

  • “Growing up in a rural community, I saw how the law could be used to perpetuate social and economic inequality, and I became determined to fight for justice and equality.”
  • “My interest in the law was sparked during a summer internship at a public interest law firm, where I witnessed the transformative power of legal advocacy in the lives of marginalized communities.”

What information should I include in my Law Personal Statement?

It is important to demonstrate your aptitude for the course you have chosen, talk about any relevant work experience you have, and explain why pursuing Law is important to you. Include details about your career plans, motivations, interests, skills (e.g. analytical, problem solving, etc.), and achievements.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in a Law Personal Statement?

Common mistakes to avoid in a Law Personal Statement include:

  • failing to research your chosen courses
  • spelling and grammatical errors
  • not explaining why something is relevant
  • overuse of quotations
  • using clichés
  • lying or exaggerating
  • plagiarising another personal statement
  • Guide to Writing a Winning Personal Statement for University
  • How to Write a Winning Scholarship Personal Statement: With Examples
  • Statement of Purpose vs. Personal Statement: Six Differences Between the Two
  • Residency Personal Statement Examples: Top Tips for Best Length, Content, and Structure
  • Statement of Purpose Examples: How to Write the Best One for You?
  • Best Internal Medicine Personal Statement Examples For Residency
  • Nursing Personal Statement Examples in 2023
  • How to Write a Resume Personal Statement That Gets You the Job – with Examples and Tips
  • Pharmacy Personal Statement Examples: How to Write a Strong Statement for Pharmacy School
  • How to Write a Personal Statement for Psychology: With Helpful Tips and Examples
  • Personal Statement for Criminology Tips: With Helpful Examples
  • How to Write a Personal Statement for Psychology: With [Examples]

personal statement for law sample

Clearing Universities & Courses

Clearing advice.

Recommended Clearing Universities

Popular Course Categories

Course search & discover.

Start the search for your uni. Filter from hundreds of universities based on your preferences.

Search by Type

Search by region.

Recommended Universities

personal statement for law sample

University Academy 92, UA92

North West England · 100% Recommended

personal statement for law sample

University of Surrey

South East England · 99% Recommended

personal statement for law sample

Kingston University

London (Greater) · 83% Recommended

Search Open Days

What's new at Uni Compare

personal statement for law sample

University of Brighton

Become highly employable with an Accounting degree and a paid placement year.

personal statement for law sample

UWTSD is the second highest ranked uni in Wales for student satisfaction (NSS, 2023).

Ranking Categories

Regional rankings.

More Rankings

Top 100 Universities

Taken from 65,000+ data points from students attending university to help future generations

About our Rankings

Discover university rankings devised from data collected from current students.

Guide Categories

Advice categories, recommended articles, popular statement examples, statement advice.

personal statement for law sample

What to include in a Personal Statement

personal statement for law sample

Personal Statement Tips

Personal statement example llb law personal statement.

Submitted by Zuzana

Uni Logo for University of Roehampton

Unlock your legal potential and take the first step to making an impact in law.

Build the skills needed to excel in the Law industry by studying Law at University of Roehampton. Within their 'law in practice' environment you'll learn to think like a lawyer in no time. Apply now!

LLB Law Personal Statement

My interest in law began when I read 'I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced', a book about a young Yemeni girl forced to marry an older man, who she escaped from and divorced. The book made me aware of how law and society differs around the world. I want to study Law to gain a deeper understanding of different laws and how they affect citizens. Studying Law will challenge and train my mind to grasp complex legal issues such as liability. I am motivated to learn about the various policies and principles which act as a code of conduct in our lives. My aspiration is to become a solicitor and I believe studying Law will allow me to develop the necessary legal knowledge and skills that will enable me to be successful in this career.

A-Level English Literature has developed my reading skills as I have studied complex texts and interpreted their meanings. I have also analysed texts and considered how the history or culture influenced the authors' writing which has improved my attention to detail. French has exposed me to a new culture and uncovered how society and laws are affected by culture. I enjoy learning a new language and overcoming the challenges that come with it. In Government and Politics, I have learnt how power and authority are divided in the British and American governments and realised the importance of law in ensuring democracy and stable governance. Through studying this subject and taking part in class discussions I have enhanced my essay writing and debating skills. A-Level Business has given me an insight into corporate law and allowed me to improve my public speaking skills as I have had opportunities to present to the class.

During my work experience placement, shadowing a solicitor, I attended the local Magistrates Court and witnessed how the prosecution and defence communicate with the defendants through a system called VideoLink. By reading legal transcripts and watching CCTV evidence to build a defence case for one individual, I developed the ability to think logically and to problem solve. This work experience reinforced the belief that I want to study Law at university as I gained a simple understanding of what Law entails which has made me excited to learn more. I also attended a Law Taster Day during which I was introduced to Property and Criminal Law. My participation in group discussions and a mock court trial strengthened my communication skills.

As a member of the Student Council, I am involved in planning events and have developed my leadership skills by undertaking a Student Council training course. Being a member of the Sixth Form Student Leadership team has improved my collaboration skills as I regularly communicate with other team members to ensure students' views are represented. Previously, I have been a prefect and my role was to assist a Year 8 form tutor and her students during form time. Aside from this, I like to read and watch documentaries including Unreported World, which focuses on current affairs that have limited media coverage such as modern day slavery in South Korea. In my part-time job as a waitress I developed the ability to manage my time effectively by balancing my studies and working.

I am confident, passionate and driven to study Law at university and I am prepared for the determination and dedication that a Law degree requires. I am looking forward to new opportunities and experiences that await at university and will strive for success both in my studies and extra-curricular activities.

Recommended Course

personal statement for law sample

Recommended Statements

Submitted by anonymous

Law Personal Statement

My attraction to law originates from my interest in justice and rewards.  Human behaviour is always altern...

It is being observed that the law on parliamentary today is too vague, and very prone to abuse. Hence, the...

Life is a constantly changing maze, where the question of right or wrong defines acceptable modes of behav...

Law is the predominant overarching factor in defining the stability of our society. My fervent interest in...

undergraduate Universities

Undergraduate uni's.

Photo of University Academy 92, UA92

Uni of Surrey

437 courses

Photo of Kingston University

Kingston Uni

388 courses

Photo of City, University of London

246 courses

Photo of The University of Law

West London IoT

Photo of Writtle University College

Writtle Uni College

Photo of University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol

UWE, Bristol

252 courses

Photo of LIBF

Swansea Uni

783 courses

Photo of Goldsmiths, University of London

Goldsmiths, UOL

272 courses

Photo of Bangor University

528 courses

Photo of University of Central Lancashire

Uni of C.Lancashire

439 courses

Photo of SOAS, University of London

166 courses

Photo of University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)

414 courses

Photo of Middlesex University

Middlesex Uni

312 courses

Photo of Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Met Uni

316 courses

Photo of University of East London

Uni of East London

301 courses

Photo of University of Reading

Uni of Reading

400 courses

Photo of Ravensbourne University London

Ravensbourne

Photo of University of Hertfordshire

Uni of Hertfordshire

420 courses

Photo of University of Winchester

Uni of Winchester

168 courses

Photo of Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt Uni

155 courses

Photo of University of Chester

Uni of Chester

403 courses

Photo of University of Sunderland

Uni of Sunderland

201 courses

Photo of University of Portsmouth

Uni of Portsmouth

369 courses

Photo of University of Roehampton

Uni of Roehampton

241 courses

Photo of Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff Met Uni

307 courses

Photo of Coventry University

Coventry Uni

448 courses

Photo of University for the Creative Arts

Uni for Creative Arts

323 courses

Photo of University of Bradford

Uni of Bradford

203 courses

Photo of Northeastern University - London

Northeastern Uni

Photo of Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett Uni

324 courses

Photo of Staffordshire University

Staffordshire Uni

276 courses

Photo of New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering, NMITE

Leeds Arts University

Photo of University of Bedfordshire

Uni of Bedfordshire

356 courses

Photo of University of Leicester

Uni of Leicester

267 courses

Photo of University of Essex

Uni of Essex

921 courses

Photo of Wrexham University

Wrexham Uni

Photo of University of Suffolk

Uni of Suffolk

105 courses

Photo of University of South Wales

376 courses

Photo of University of Brighton

Uni of Brighton

258 courses

Photo of University of Huddersfield

Uni of Huddersfield

453 courses

Photo of University of Kent

Uni of Kent

429 courses

Photo of Edge Hill University

Edge Hill Uni

249 courses

Photo of Escape Studios

Escape Studios

Photo of Bath Spa University

Bath Spa Uni

290 courses

Photo of Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin Uni

463 courses

Photo of University of Hull

Uni of Hull

278 courses

Photo of University of Westminster

Uni of Westminster

335 courses

Photo of Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent

532 courses

Photo of Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier

151 courses

Photo of Queen's University, Belfast

Queen's Uni

409 courses

Find the latest from Uni Compare

Image of University of Brighton

Middlesex University

Ranked in the Top 20 for Business Leaders in the UK by Business Money, click here!

Image of West London Institute of Technology

West London Institute of Technology

WLIoT provides students with higher technical skills that are demanded by employers, learn more here!

  • Explore Your Interests / Self-Assessment
  • Charles Hamilton Houston Internship Program
  • Meiklejohn Fellows Program
  • Arts & Communication
  • Business & Finance
  • Education Professions
  • Health Professions
  • Science & Technology
  • Social Impact
  • Law School Advising
  • Medical School Advising
  • Alumni-in-Residence
  • Job and Internship Fair – Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Workplaces
  • Sophomore Summit
  • Arts and Humanities in Action
  • African-American / Black / Caribbean Ancestry
  • Asian-American / South Pacific
  • DACA and Undocumented Students
  • First Generation and/or Low-Income
  • Indigenous Peoples of the Americas / First Nation
  • International
  • Latinx American
  • Students With Disabilities
  • Women/Trans/Non-Binary
  • Create a Resume/Cover Letter/LinkedIn Profile
  • Expand Your Network/Mentor
  • Job Search Strategy Toolkit
  • Search for a Job/Internship
  • Prepare for an Interview
  • Prepare for Graduate School
  • Negotiate an Offer
  • Job Market Trends
  • Student Staff
  • Student Outcomes
  • Timeline: Career Development at Amherst College
  • Michael Loeb ’77 P’22
  • Student Policies and Expectations
  • Advisory Council

Writing a Personal Statement for Law School

  • Share This: Share Writing a Personal Statement for Law School on Facebook Share Writing a Personal Statement for Law School on LinkedIn Share Writing a Personal Statement for Law School on X

personal statement for law sample

Writing a Personal Statement for Law School was originally published on College Recruiter .

In order to gain entrance into law school, prospective students are required to write an essay detailing the reasons why they want to become lawyers. Unlike the college entrance application, personal statements for law school are essays that have an open format. Successful lawyers are high achievers long before they enter law school. They exude confidence and accomplish their goals. When you write your law school statement, you need to write in a way that shows your skills, competence, and achievements. Think of the person reading your essay as you write. He or she will want to know what you have to offer society as a lawyer. That person also has an interest in your motivations for wanting to be a lawyer and what it is that makes you a better prospect than other law school applicants. Remember that admissions officers review hundreds of applications. Tell them the true story of the things in your life that made you decide to become an attorney. Do not embellish or say anything false because they will see through it. Do not use cliches that you have heard from someone else or tell them what you think they want to hear. For instance, if you really enjoy helping the homeless, write it down in such a way that it shows your reasons rather than telling them. What qualifies you to be a lawyer? What character traits, skills, and talents do you have that would make you a good lawyer? Describe everything you know about yourself that you feel qualifies you above other people. Don’t be disingenuous by exaggerating your skills and accomplishments. If you have any weaknesses that you feel may potentially disqualify you from law school, how do you get around them in your personal statement? That is a tough question. If you have a period of time where you had below average grades, using excuses is not the solution to your dilemma. Try to find something positive that you learned that helps you overcome the flaw. In the case of grades, you could tell how you improved them. One writer’s technique that works effectively on essays and personal statements is active voice. Use active verbs in your senses. Passive voice sounds weak and that is not the way you want to come across to the admissions board. That however does not mean that you should try to impress anyone with your knowledge of legal terminology. A personal statement does not mean writing your complete personal life memoirs. In other words, don’t write a book. Instead, write a 1 to 2 page statement using the tips contained here. When you’re finished, ask people you know to read your statement. Take their suggestions seriously. This is perhaps the most important step of all in writing your personal statement. Revise once. Set it down for a day. Revise twice. Set it down for another day. Read it again and revise and edit once more. Let someone read it again and get their opinion of your statement. Writing our personal statement for law school is not rocket science. When you put the time and effort into writing it, you will likely end up with a personal statement that will effectively get the notice of the Board of Admissions. Tip: Get a head start on writing your own personal statement by starting with a sample personal statement . Your writing will be faster, easier, and more professional as a result. Jason Kay is a professional writer offering advice in a number of areas including resume writing and personal statement writing. You can learn more useful tips at his resume writing blog .

EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence in the EU will be regulated by the AI Act, the world’s first comprehensive AI law. Find out how it will protect you.

A man faces a computer generated figure with programming language in the background

As part of its digital strategy , the EU wants to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology. AI can create many benefits , such as better healthcare; safer and cleaner transport; more efficient manufacturing; and cheaper and more sustainable energy.

In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. It says that AI systems that can be used in different applications are analysed and classified according to the risk they pose to users. The different risk levels will mean more or less regulation. Once approved, these will be the world’s first rules on AI.

Learn more about what artificial intelligence is and how it is used

What Parliament wants in AI legislation

Parliament’s priority is to make sure that AI systems used in the EU are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory and environmentally friendly. AI systems should be overseen by people, rather than by automation, to prevent harmful outcomes.

Parliament also wants to establish a technology-neutral, uniform definition for AI that could be applied to future AI systems.

Learn more about Parliament’s work on AI and its vision for AI’s future

AI Act: different rules for different risk levels

The new rules establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from artificial intelligence. While many AI systems pose minimal risk, they need to be assessed.

Unacceptable risk

Unacceptable risk AI systems are systems considered a threat to people and will be banned. They include:

  • Cognitive behavioural manipulation of people or specific vulnerable groups: for example voice-activated toys that encourage dangerous behaviour in children
  • Social scoring: classifying people based on behaviour, socio-economic status or personal characteristics
  • Biometric identification and categorisation of people
  • Real-time and remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition

Some exceptions may be allowed for law enforcement purposes. “Real-time” remote biometric identification systems will be allowed in a limited number of serious cases, while “post” remote biometric identification systems, where identification occurs after a significant delay, will be allowed to prosecute serious crimes and only after court approval.

AI systems that negatively affect safety or fundamental rights will be considered high risk and will be divided into two categories:

1) AI systems that are used in products falling under the EU’s product safety legislation . This includes toys, aviation, cars, medical devices and lifts.

2) AI systems falling into specific areas that will have to be registered in an EU database:

  • Management and operation of critical infrastructure
  • Education and vocational training
  • Employment, worker management and access to self-employment
  • Access to and enjoyment of essential private services and public services and benefits
  • Law enforcement
  • Migration, asylum and border control management
  • Assistance in legal interpretation and application of the law.

All high-risk AI systems will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle.

General purpose and generative AI

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, would have to comply with transparency requirements:

  • Disclosing that the content was generated by AI
  • Designing the model to prevent it from generating illegal content
  • Publishing summaries of copyrighted data used for training

High-impact general-purpose AI models that might pose systemic risk, such as the more advanced AI model GPT-4, would have to undergo thorough evaluations and any serious incidents would have to be reported to the European Commission.

Limited risk

Limited risk AI systems should comply with minimal transparency requirements that would allow users to make informed decisions. After interacting with the applications, the user can then decide whether they want to continue using it. Users should be made aware when they are interacting with AI. This includes AI systems that generate or manipulate image, audio or video content, for example deepfakes.

On December 9 2023, Parliament reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act . The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by both Parliament and Council to become EU law. Before all MEPs have their say on the agreement, Parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees will vote on it.

More on the EU’s digital measures

  • Cryptocurrency dangers and the benefits of EU legislation
  • Fighting cybercrime: new EU cybersecurity laws explained
  • Boosting data sharing in the EU: what are the benefits?
  • EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act
  • Five ways the European Parliament wants to protect online gamers
  • Artificial Intelligence Act

Related articles

Digital transformation in the eu, share this article on:.

  • Sign up for mail updates
  • PDF version

Judge fines Donald Trump more than $350 million, bars him from running businesses in N.Y. for three years

The judge who presided over a civil business fraud trial against Donald Trump on Friday ordered the former president, his sons, business associates and company to pay more than $350 million in damages and temporarily limited their ability to do business in New York.

Judge Arthur Engoron ordered the former president and the Trump Organization to pay over $354 million in damages , and barred Trump “from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for a period of three years,” including his namesake company.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office brought the case, said that with pre-judgment interest, the judgment totals over $450 million, an amount “which will continue to increase every single day” until the judgment is paid.

“Donald Trump is finally facing accountability for his lying, cheating, and staggering fraud. Because no matter how big, rich, or powerful you think you are, no one is above the law,” James said in a statement, calling the ruling “a tremendous victory for this state, this nation, and for everyone who believes that we all must play by the same rules — even former presidents.”

The ruling also bars Trump and his company from applying for any bank loans for three years.

In his first public remarks after the ruling, Trump said, “We’ll appeal and we’ll be successful.”

Speaking to reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Friday night, Trump bashed the ruling as “a fine of 350 million for a doing a perfect job.” He also repeated previous attacks by calling the judge “crooked” and the attorney general “corrupt.”

Trump did not take any questions from reporters after speaking for about six minutes.

The judge’s decision is a potential blow to both Trump’s finances and persona — having built his brand on being a successful businessman that he leveraged in his first run for president. Trump is currently running for the White House for a third time. This case is just one of many he is currently facing, including four separate pending criminal trials, the first of which is scheduled to begin on March 25.

Engoron also ordered the continued “appointment of an Independent Monitor” and the “the installation of an Independent Director of Compliance” for the company.

In posts on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump called the ruling “an illegal, unAmerican judgment against me, my family, and my tremendous business.”

“This ‘decision’ is a complete and total sham,” he wrote.

During the trial, Trump and executives at his company, including his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, attempted to blame exaggerated financial statements that were the heart of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ fraud case on the accountants who compiled them. Engoron disagreed.

“There is overwhelming evidence from both interested and non-interested witnesses, corroborated by documentary evidence, that the buck for being truthful in the supporting data valuations stopped with the Trump Organization, not the accountants,” he wrote.

In explaining the need for a monitor, the judge cited the lack of remorse by Trump and his executives after the fraud was discovered.

“Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological. They are accused only of inflating asset values to make more money. The documents prove this over and over again. This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin. Defendants did not commit murder or arson. They did not rob a bank at gunpoint. Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff. Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways,” Engoron wrote.

“Defendants’ refusal to admit error — indeed, to continue it, according to the Independent Monitor — constrains this Court to conclude that they will engage in it going forward unless judicially restrained,” he added.

The ruling also bars the Trump sons — who’ve been running the company since their father went to the White House — “from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for a period of two years.” Both were fined over $4 million, plus interest, for their roles in the scheme.

Donald Trump Jr. posted on the social media site X that “We’ve reached the point where your political beliefs combined with what venue your case is heard are the primary determinants of the outcome; not the facts of the case! It’s truly sad what’s happened to our country.”

In a statement, Eric Trump called the judge “a cruel man.”

“He knows that every single witness testified to that fact that I had absolutely NOTHING to do with this case (as INSANE as the case truly is),” Eric Trump said.

He also attacked the ruling as “political vengeance by a judge out to get my father.”

 Trump attorney Alina Habba called the verdict “a manifest injustice — plain and simple.”

“Given the grave stakes, we trust that the Appellate Division will overturn this egregious verdict and end this relentless persecution against my clients,” she said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Trump Organization called the ruling “a gross miscarriage of justice. The Trump Organization has never missed any loan payment or been in default on any loan.”

High legal costs

An appeal in the case would likely take years, but Trump could have to post a bond for the full amount if he does so.

Read more: Trump faces about $400 million in legal penalties. Can he afford it?

The judgment is the second this year against Trump after he was hit last month with an $83.3 million verdict in writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case against him. Trump has said he plans to appeal that verdict as well, but would have to post a bond for that amount as well.

James had been seeking $370 million from Trump, his company and its top executives, alleging “repeated and persistent fraud ” that included falsifying business records and financial statements. James had argued those financial statements were at times exaggerated by as much as $2.2 billion.

James contended the defendants used the inflated financial statements to obtain bank loans and insurance policies at rates he otherwise wouldn’t have been entitled to and “reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains.”

Trump had maintained his financial statements were conservative, and has called the AG’s allegations politically motivated and a “fraud on me.”

“This is a case that should have never been brought, and I think we should be entitled to damages,” Trump told reporters when he attended closing arguments in the case on Jan. 11.

Trump testimony knocked

The monthslong civil trial included testimony from Trump and his oldest children . The former president was combative in his day on the stand, blasting James as a “hack” and calling the judge “extremely hostile.”

Trump repeatedly complained about Engoron before and throughout the trial, and the judge slapped him with a partial gag order after he started blasting the judge’s law clerk as well. Trump’s complaints led to a flood of death threats against the clerk, as well as Engoron, court officials said, and Trump was fined $15,000 for twice violating the order.

Among the examples cited as fraud by the attorney general’s office during the trial was Trump valuing his triplex home in Trump Tower in New York City at three times its actual size and value, as well as including a brand value to increase the valuation of his golf courses on the financial statements, which explicitly said brand values were not included.

Another example pointed to by the attorney general clearly got under his skin — a dispute over the value of Mar-a-Lago, his social club and residence in Florida. Trump’s financial statements from 2011 to 2021 valued Mar-a-Lago at $426 million to $612 million, while the Palm Beach County assessor appraised the property’s market value to be $18 million to $27 million during the same time frame. Trump had also fraudulently puffed up the value of the property by saying it was a private residence, despite having signed an agreement that it could only be used as a social club to lower his tax burden.

Trump maintained during the trial the property was worth much, much more .

“The judge had it at $18 million, and it is worth, say, I say from 50 to 100 times more than that. So I don’t know how you got those numbers,” Trump testified, adding later that he thinks it’s actually worth “between a billion and a billion five.”

In his ruling Friday, Engoron said he didn’t find Trump to be a credible witness.

“Overall, Donald Trump rarely responded to the questions asked, and he frequently interjected long, irrelevant speeches on issues far beyond the scope of the trial. His refusal to answer the questions directly, or in some cases, at all, severely compromised his credibility,” the judge wrote.

Michael Cohen testimony ‘credible’

James’ investigation into the former president’s business began in 2019 as a result of congressional testimony from his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen , who told the House Oversight Committee that Trump would improperly expand and shrink values to fit whatever his business needs were.

Cohen testified during the trial about his role in the scheme, and said while Trump didn’t explicitly tell him and then-Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg to inflate the numbers in the financial statement, he was like a “mob boss” who tells you what he wants without directly telling you.

Trump claimed Cohen’s testimony exonerated him while also painting him as an untrustworthy liar because he admitted having previously lied under oath.

In his ruling, Engoron called Cohen an “important witness” and said he found his testimony “credible.” “This factfinder does not believe that pleading guilty to perjury means that you can never tell the truth. Michael Cohen told the truth,” the judge wrote.

Former CFO ‘evasive’

Engoron was less forgiving about former Trump CFO Weisselberg, who previously pleaded guilty to carrying out tax fraud at the company.

Weisselberg’s “testimony in this trial was intentionally evasive, with large gaps of ‘I don’t remember.’”

“There is overwhelming evidence that Allen Weisselberg intentionally falsified hundreds of business records during his tenure” at the company, the judge wrote. “Weisselberg understood that his assignment from Donald Trump was to have his reported assets increase every year irrespective of their actual values. The examples of Weisselberg’s intent to falsify business records are too numerous to itemize,” he added.

The judge permanently barred Weisselberg “from serving in the financial control function of any New York corporation or similar business entity operating in New York State,” and ordered him to pay the $1 million he’s already received from his $2 million separation agreement from the company as “ill-gotten gains.”

AG initially sought less

James filed her suit seeking $250 million in damages from Trump in 2022, and the judge appointed a monitor to oversee the company’s finances that November.

In a summary judgment  ruling the week before the trial started, Engoron found Trump and his executives had repeatedly engaged in fraud. The “documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business, satisfying [the attorney general’s] burden to establish liability as a matter of law against defendants,” the judge wrote, while denying Trump’s bid to dismiss the case.

Engoron summarized the Trump defense as “the documents do not say what they say; that there is no such thing as ‘objective’ value; and that, essentially, the Court should not believe its own eyes.”

The order, which Trump appealed, held that Trump’s business certificates in New York should be canceled, which could have wreaked havoc on Trump’s company and forced the sell-off of some assets.

Engoron backed off of that decision in his ruling Friday, saying the addition of the “two-tiered oversight” of the monitor and the compliance director makes that move “no longer necessary.”

Trump had complained about the summary judgment ruling while he was on the witness stand. “He said I was a fraud before he knew anything about me, nothing about me,” Trump said. “It’s a terrible thing you did.”

personal statement for law sample

Adam Reiss is a reporter and producer for NBC and MSNBC.

personal statement for law sample

Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.

An official website of the United States Government

  • Kreyòl ayisyen
  • Search Toggle search Search Include Historical Content - Any - No Include Historical Content - Any - No Search
  • Menu Toggle menu
  • INFORMATION FOR…
  • Individuals
  • Business & Self Employed
  • Charities and Nonprofits
  • International Taxpayers
  • Federal State and Local Governments
  • Indian Tribal Governments
  • Tax Exempt Bonds
  • FILING FOR INDIVIDUALS
  • How to File
  • When to File
  • Where to File
  • Update Your Information
  • Get Your Tax Record
  • Apply for an Employer ID Number (EIN)
  • Check Your Amended Return Status
  • Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
  • File Your Taxes for Free
  • Bank Account (Direct Pay)
  • Debit or Credit Card
  • Payment Plan (Installment Agreement)
  • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)
  • Your Online Account
  • Tax Withholding Estimator
  • Estimated Taxes
  • Where's My Refund
  • What to Expect
  • Direct Deposit
  • Reduced Refunds
  • Amend Return

Credits & Deductions

  • INFORMATION FOR...
  • Businesses & Self-Employed
  • Earned Income Credit (EITC)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Clean Energy and Vehicle Credits
  • Standard Deduction
  • Retirement Plans

Forms & Instructions

  • POPULAR FORMS & INSTRUCTIONS
  • Form 1040 Instructions
  • Form 4506-T
  • POPULAR FOR TAX PROS
  • Form 1040-X
  • Circular 230

Tax Time Guide 2024: What to know before completing a tax return

More in news.

  • Topics in the News
  • News Releases for Frequently Asked Questions
  • Multimedia Center
  • Tax Relief in Disaster Situations
  • Inflation Reduction Act
  • Taxpayer First Act
  • Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts
  • The Tax Gap
  • Fact Sheets
  • IRS Tax Tips
  • e-News Subscriptions
  • IRS Guidance
  • Media Contacts
  • IRS Statements and Announcements

IR-2024-45, Feb. 21, 2024

WASHINGTON — During the busiest time of the tax filing season, the Internal Revenue Service kicked off its 2024 Tax Time Guide series to help remind taxpayers of key items they’ll need to file a 2023 tax return.

As part of its four-part, weekly Tax Time Guide series, the IRS continues to provide new and updated resources to help taxpayers file an accurate tax return. Taxpayers can count on IRS.gov for updated resources and tools along with a special free help page available around the clock. Taxpayers are also encouraged to read Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals) for additional guidance.

Essentials to filing an accurate tax return

The deadline this tax season for filing Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return , or 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors , is April 15, 2024. However, those who live in Maine or Massachusetts will have until April 17, 2024, to file due to official holidays observed in those states.

Taxpayers are advised to wait until they receive all their proper tax documents before filing their tax returns. Filing without all the necessary documents could lead to mistakes and potential delays.

It’s important for taxpayers to carefully review their documents for any inaccuracies or missing information. If any issues are found, taxpayers should contact the payer immediately to request a correction or confirm that the payer has their current mailing or email address on file.

Creating an IRS Online Account can provide taxpayers with secure access to information about their federal tax account, including payment history, tax records and other important information.

Having organized tax records can make the process of preparing a complete and accurate tax return easier and may also help taxpayers identify any overlooked deductions or credits .

Taxpayers who have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN may need to renew it if it has expired and is required for a U.S. federal tax return. If an expiring or expired ITIN is not renewed, the IRS can still accept the tax return, but it may result in processing delays or delays in credits owed.

Changes to credits and deductions for tax year 2023

Standard deduction amount increased. For 2023, the standard deduction amount has been increased for all filers. The amounts are:

  • Single or married filing separately — $13,850.
  • Head of household — $20,800.
  • Married filing jointly or qualifying surviving spouse — $27,700.

Additional child tax credit amount increased. The maximum additional child tax credit amount has increased to $1,600 for each qualifying child.

Child tax credit enhancements. Many changes to the Child tax credit (CTC) that had been implemented by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 have expired.

However, the IRS continues to closely monitor legislation being considered by Congress affecting the Child Tax Credit. The IRS reminds taxpayers eligible for the Child Tax Credit that they should not wait to file their 2023 tax return this filing season. If Congress changes the CTC guidelines, the IRS will automatically make adjustments for those who have already filed so no additional action will be needed by those eligible taxpayers.

Under current law, for tax year 2023, the following currently apply:

  • The enhanced credit allowed for qualifying children under age 6 and children under age 18 has expired. For 2023, the initial amount of the CTC is $2,000 for each qualifying child. The credit amount begins to phase out where AGI income exceeds $200,000 ($400,000 in the case of a joint return). The amount of the CTC that can be claimed as a refundable credit is limited as it was in 2020 except that the maximum ACTC amount for each qualifying child increased to $1,500.
  • The increased age allowance for a qualifying child has expired. A child must be under age 17 at the end of 2023 to be a qualifying child.

Changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The enhancements for taxpayers without a qualifying child implemented by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will not apply for tax year 2023. To claim the EITC without a qualifying child in 2023, taxpayers must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2023. If a taxpayer is married filing a joint return, one spouse must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2023.

Taxpayers may find more information on Child tax credits in the Instructions for Schedule 8812 (Form 1040) .

New Clean Vehicle Credit. The credit for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles has changed. This credit is now known as the Clean Vehicle Credit. The maximum amount of the credit and some of the requirements to claim the credit have changed. The credit is reported on Form 8936, Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit , and on Form 1040, Schedule 3.

More information on these and other credit and deduction changes for tax year 2023 may be found in the Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals) , taxpayer guide.

1099-K reporting requirements have not changed for tax year 2023

Following feedback from taxpayers, tax professionals and payment processors, and to reduce taxpayer confusion, the IRS recently released Notice 2023-74 announcing a delay of the new $600 reporting threshold for tax year 2023 on Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third-Party Network Transactions . The previous reporting thresholds will remain in place for 2023.

The IRS has published a fact sheet with further information to assist taxpayers concerning changes to 1099-K reporting requirements for tax year 2023.

Form 1099-K reporting requirements

Taxpayers who take direct payment by credit, debit or gift cards for selling goods or providing services by customers or clients should get a Form 1099-K from their payment processor or payment settlement entity no matter how many payments they got or how much they were for.

If they used a payment app or online marketplace and received over $20,000 from over 200 transactions,

the payment app or online marketplace is required to send a Form 1099-K. However, they can send a Form 1099-K with lower amounts. Whether or not the taxpayer receives a Form 1099-K, they must still report any income on their tax return.

What’s taxable? It’s the profit from these activities that’s taxable income. The Form 1099-K shows the gross or total amount of payments received. Taxpayers can use it and other records to figure out the actual taxes they owe on any profits. Remember that all income, no matter the amount, is taxable unless the tax law says it isn’t – even if taxpayers don’t get a Form 1099-K.

What’s not taxable? Taxpayers shouldn’t receive a Form 1099-K for personal payments, including money received as a gift and for repayment of shared expenses. That money isn’t taxable. To prevent getting an inaccurate Form 1099-K, note those payments as “personal,” if possible.

Good recordkeeping is key. Be sure to keep good records because it helps when it’s time to file a tax return. It’s a good idea to keep business and personal transactions separate to make it easier to figure out what a taxpayer owes.

For details on what to do if a taxpayer gets a Form 1099-K in error or the information on their form is incorrect, visit IRS.gov/1099k  or find frequently asked questions at Form 1099-K FAQs .

Direct File pilot program provides a new option this year for some

The IRS launched the Direct File pilot program during the 2024 tax season. The pilot will give eligible taxpayers an option to prepare and electronically file their 2023 tax returns, for free, directly with the IRS.

The Direct File pilot program will be offered to eligible taxpayers in 12 pilot states who have relatively simple tax returns reporting only certain types of income and claiming limited credits and deductions. The 12 states currently participating in the Direct File pilot program are Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington state and Wyoming. Taxpayers can check their eligibility at directfile.irs.gov .

The Direct File pilot is currently in the internal testing phase and will be more widely available in mid-March. Taxpayers can get the latest news about the pilot at Direct File pilot news and sign up to be notified when Direct File is open to new users.

Finally, for comprehensive information on all these and other changes for tax year 2023, taxpayers and tax professionals are encouraged to read the Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals) , taxpayer guide, as well as visit other topics of taxpayer interest on IRS.gov.

  •  Facebook
  •  Twitter
  •  Linkedin

Cambridge Law School Personal Statement Examples

Cambridge Law School Personal Statement Examples

Your Cambridge law personal statement is a short essay which highlights why you are interested in studying law and how equipped you are for the task. Cambridge uses the UCAS system for all applicants wanting to study law at the undergraduate level, so there are no unique requirements for your law school personal statement here. In this blog, we’ll cover what Cambridge expects from your law school personal statement, important requirements you need to know, and some law personal statement examples .

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 6 min read

How to write a law school personal statement for cambridge law.

Cambridge law doesn’t have any specific law school admissions essays topics . The purpose of your Cambridge law personal statement is simply to share with the admissions committee why you want to study law at Cambridge and how you have prepared yourself to do so.

Your law personal statement will often be the basis of discussion during your interview, so it’s a good idea to include your most significant accomplishments or experiences in your personal statement, as well as your future career goals and interest in a specific area of the law.

Since there are no specific prompts and the personal statement can be quite open-ended, start with brainstorming. Identify 2-4 experiences or important ideas you want to convey in your personal statement. Focus on how you can demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for legal study, and how you have prepared yourself for a career in law. While you can include early life experiences, try to focus on important experiences in the last few years at most.

Here’s some questions you can ask yourself and answer in your Cambridge law personal statement:

  • What first drew you to the law?
  • How did you develop your enthusiasm for the law?
  • What legal questions interest you most?
  • What particular areas of legal study fascinate you?
  • What personal or professional experience do you have with legal matters?
  • How have you prepared yourself for the rigors or law school or the practice of law?
  • What are your intellectual or academic interests? How do they relate to your interest in law?
  • Which aptitudes do you possess that are suited to the study of law?
  • Why have you chosen Cambridge law?

Once you’ve identified a few notable experiences or accomplishments, organize them into an outline and write a draft without concerning yourself with word count. Give yourself plenty of time to rework your essay and revise it. Remember to double check for spelling and grammatical errors, and to remain under the word limit.

If you want expert help crafting or reviewing your law school personal statement, a law school admissions consulting service or law essay writing service can help you get organized and polish your drafts.

The Cambridge undergraduate law program uses the UCAS application system, so the format and length requirements for your Cambridge law personal statement will follow the UCAS requirements. UCAS allows you up to 4,000 characters, or 500 words, to complete your personal statement, or 47 lines—whichever comes first. The minimum character count for your personal statement is 1,000 characters, or around 250 words.

Cambridge law uses your UCAS personal statement as the basis for your interview, and to evaluate your academic interests and commitment to the study of law. In short, while Cambridge does not provide law school essay prompts , they are essentially asking: why do you want to study law ? Your personal statement for Cambridge should:

  • Explain your reasons for wanting to study law at university
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm for and commitment to the study of law
  • Express any particular interests within the field of law
  • Outline how you’ve pursued your subject interest in your own time

For a better idea of the format and structure of UCAS personal statement, read examples of Cambridge personal statements or Oxford personal statements as a guide. ","label":"TIP","title":"TIP"}]" code="tab1" template="BlogArticle">

Cambridge Law Personal Statement Example #1

My passion for the law was first sparked by an interest in people and their behaviours. As a child, I had a peculiar hobby, introduced to me by my father. I loved observing poker. My father taught me how to play, the two of us, and whenever he would host a friendly game with his friends, I watched and learned. I studied their behaviour, learning their tells and reading their body language. It appealed to me to puzzle out their intentions and their attempts at bluffing. Soon enough, I had a very good knack for reading other people.

As I grew older, I enjoyed watching true crime documentaries and found any crime fiction novels I could get my hands on. Each one was a puzzle that I could take apart, dissect and put back together to find the truth, the reveal. Whenever there was a real criminal court case covered on the local news, I watched with rapt attention. I pursue intellectual interests in sociology, criminology and psychology, through both fiction and scientific articles. I wanted to understand better how people thought, why they behaved the way they did.

I also pursued a side interest in theatre as a teen, as it allowed me to become more comfortable performing in front of others, and allowed me to gain self-confidence. By now, I was curious about a legal career, as it would allow me to marry my love of figuring people out with my interests in true crime and criminal law. I knew to be an effective solicitor I would need a greater presence and confidence in myself. Theatre proved to be a very effective way for me to rehearse and develop myself for the courtroom.

I was able to put my performance skills as well as my knowledge to the test when I participated in the Bar Mock Trial. I was able to banish any nerves when it came to performing in front of an audience, and theatre helped me immerse myself in the mock scenario and truly take on the role of a lawyer. Thanks to my experience with the mock trial, I began sitting in on cases in a public courtroom, once again to observe how the game was played. And just like poker, it was fascinating to me to see how real lawyers analyzed the individuals around them. This was a far more hands-on and realistic examination of people than I could find in all my books and articles. This was no longer theory but a live study of individuals in a court of criminal law. I was fascinated by the entire process.

The law is a complex and intriguing puzzle, and criminal law especially is an area that demands keen observation, sharp analysis and the ability to see beyond the surface. I look forward to the prospect of applying the knowledge I have gained so far, developing new skills and deepening my understanding of a captivating subject.

Want more tips for writing a law school personal statement? Watch this video!

Cambridge Law Personal Statement Example #2

Education, and ensuring everyone has the right to education, has been my crusade for many years. For me, the law has become a vehicle that will help me effect real change in education around the world.

I was fortunate to attend a private school in my formative years, and so I saw firsthand how exclusionary it can be to some students. There is a distinct lack of equal access to quality education for all students, and typically money and privilege are the biggest obstacles. However, around the world I know there are far larger barriers for some young students who crave access to education, and are denied it. In my private school, the few students who could attend on merit scholarships were considered lucky, but they should be able to access quality education without winning some type of lottery.

In my passion for the right to education, my initial plan was to become a teacher and bring education directly to students. But I also realized as a teacher I would not have the level of influence needed to effect real and lasting change. I decided to switch my focus, and I started volunteering with Oxfam. I took my summer off, and volunteered my time as a girls’ teacher in remote villages in Malawi. Oxfam has long been dedicated to providing access to education, and it was fulfilling to be able to help provide educational resources to students even more underprivileged than the peers I’d met in private school. To be able to witness the difference I was making every day as a teacher to young girls. Still, I had lofty goals, and I wanted to continue my humanitarian aid and continue to work towards the right to education for all students.

I delved into researching the global issues and obstacles surrounding education. It soon became clear to me that it was not always a lack of access blocking students from going to school, but a lack of educational rights. I knew I would need to pursue a career in international law, if I wanted to see through my goal of breaking down barriers to education on a global level.

For me, the law is a tool, a resource I can use to help effect change in the lives of young students eager to learn and grow. So I know I must be eager to learn and to develop my legal knowledge as well. I am committed to the studying of the law, so it might serve as my foundation in bringing education to students around the world.

Your personal statement for Cambridge law will be submitted through UCAS, so it should follow UCAS personal statement guidelines. Your personal statement for Cambridge college of law will highlight why you want to study law and what you have done to prepare yourself to become a lawyer.

Your Cambridge law personal statement should cover your motivations for studying law, your specific interests within the field, how you are suited to the study of law and independent learning you’ve done to further your passion for the law.

To write a strong personal statement, ensure it is error-free, flows naturally and is well structured. It should also demonstrate a strong enthusiasm for the study of law, an intellectual aptitude for the field and some experience with law.

Your UCAS personal statement should be no longer than 4,000 characters or around 500 words or less. At minimum, your personal statement should be 1,000 characters or 250 words.

Your law school personal statement should share why you want to study the law, what first sparked your interest in the law or a particular field of law, and what actions or pursuits you’ve taken to deepen your understanding of the law.

A law school personal statement uses a short essay format.

Yes. Your Cambridge law personal statement will be the basis of discussion at your interview, so it is important to present a well-written personal statement. While Cambridge focuses heavily on academic qualifications in applicants, your personal statement provides context and further information about you as a candidate.

Avoid using irrelevant anecdotes or personal stories, unless they provide important context to your motivation to study law. Also avoid using any cliches or often repeated phrases, informal language and merely providing a list of your accomplishments. Remember to use your word count wisely and get straight to the point!

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!

Apple Podcasts

Like our blog? Write for us ! >>

Have a question ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions, get started now.

Talk to one of our admissions experts

Our site uses cookies. By using our website, you agree with our cookie policy .

FREE Training Webinar:

How to make your law school application stand out, (and avoid the top 5 mistakes that get most rejected).

Time Sensitive. Limited Spots Available:

We guarantee you'll get into law school or you don't pay.

Swipe up to see a great offer!

personal statement for law sample

Mobile Menu Overlay

The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20500

FACT SHEET: President   Biden Cancels Student Debt for more than 150,000 Student Loan Borrowers Ahead of   Schedule

Today, President Biden announced the approval of $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers currently enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan. The Biden-Harris Administration has now approved nearly $138 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 3.9 million borrowers through more than two dozen executive actions. The borrowers receiving relief are the first to benefit from a SAVE plan policy that provides debt forgiveness to borrowers who have been in repayment after as little as 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in student loans. Originally planned for July, the Biden-Harris Administration implemented this provision of SAVE and is providing relief to borrowers nearly six months ahead of schedule.

From Day One of his Administration, President Biden vowed to fix the student loan system and make sure higher education is a pathway to the middle class – not a barrier to opportunity. Already, the President has cancelled more student debt than any President in history – delivering lifechanging relief to students and families – and has created the most affordable student loan repayment plan ever: the SAVE plan. While Republicans in Congress and their allies try to block President Biden every step of the way, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to cancel student debt for millions of borrowers, and is leaving no stone unturned in the fight to give more borrowers breathing room on their student loans.

Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s SAVE plan, starting today, the Administration will be cancelling debt for borrowers who are enrolled in the SAVE plan, have been in repayment for at least 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in loans for college. For every additional $1,000 a borrower initially borrowed, they will receive relief after an additional year of payments. For example, a borrower enrolled in SAVE who took out $14,000 or less in federal loans to earn an associate’s degree in biotechnology would receive full debt relief starting this week if they have been in repayment for 12 years. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) identified nearly 153,000 borrowers who are enrolled in SAVE plan who will have their debt cancelled starting this week, and those borrowers will receive an email today from President Biden informing them of their imminent relief. Next week, the Department of Education will also be reaching out directly to borrowers who are eligible for early relief but not currently enrolled in the SAVE Plan to encourage them to enroll as soon as possible. This shortened time to forgiveness will particularly help community college and other borrowers with smaller loans and put many on track to being free of student debt faster than ever before. Under the Biden-Harris Administration’s SAVE plan, 85 percent of future community college borrowers will be debt free within 10 years. The Department will continue to regularly identify and discharge other borrowers eligible for relief under this provision on SAVE. Over four million borrowers have a $0 monthly payment under the SAVE Plan Last year, President Biden launched the SAVE plan – the most affordable repayment plan ever. Under the SAVE plan, monthly payments are based on a borrower’s income and family size, not their loan balance. The SAVE plan ensures that if borrowers are making their monthly payments, their balances cannot grow because of unpaid interest. And, starting in July, undergraduate loan payments will be cut in half, capping a borrower’s loan payment at 5% of their discretionary income. Already, 7.5 million borrowers are enrolled in the SAVE Plan, and 4.3 million borrowers have a $0 monthly payment.  

Today, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released an issue brief highlighting how low and middle-income borrowers enrolled in SAVE could see significant saving in terms of interest saved over time and principal forgiven as a result of SAVE’s early forgiveness provisions.

personal statement for law sample

President Biden’s Administration has approved student debt relief for nearly 3.9 million Americans through various actions

Today’s announcement builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s track record of taking historic action to cancel student debt for millions of borrowers. Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved debt cancellation for nearly 3.9 million Americans, totaling almost $138 billion in debt relief through various actions. This relief has given borrowers critical breathing room in their daily lives, allowing them to afford other expenses, buy homes, start businesses, or pursue dreams they had to put on hold because of the burden of student loan debt. President Biden remains committed to providing debt relief to as many borrowers as possible, and won’t stop fighting to deliver relief to more Americans.

The Biden-Harris Administration has also taken historic steps to improve the student loan program and make higher education more affordable for more Americans, including:

  • Achieving the largest increases in Pell Grants in over a decade to help families who earn less than $60,000 a year achieve their higher-education goals.
  • Fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program so that borrowers who go into public service get the debt relief they’re entitled to under the law. Before President Biden took office, only 7,000 people ever received debt relief through PSLF. After fixing the program, the Biden-Harris Administration has now cancelled student loan debt for nearly 800,000 public service workers.
  • Cancelling student loan debt for more than 930,000 borrowers who have been in repayment for over 20 years but never got the relief they earned because of administrative failures with Income-Driven Repayment Plans.
  • Pursuing an alternative path to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Administration’s original debt relief plan. Last week, the Department of Education released proposed regulatory text to cancel student debt for borrowers who are experiencing hardship paying back their student loans, and late last year released proposals to cancel student debt for borrowers who: owe more than they borrowed, first entered repayment 20 or 25 years ago, attended low quality programs, and who would be eligible for loan forgiveness through income-driven repayment programs like SAVE but have not applied.
  • Holding colleges accountable for leaving students with unaffordable debts.

It’s easy to enroll in SAVE. Borrowers should go to studentaid.gov/save to start saving.  

Stay Connected

We'll be in touch with the latest information on how President Biden and his administration are working for the American people, as well as ways you can get involved and help our country build back better.

Opt in to send and receive text messages from President Biden.

IMAGES

  1. How to Make Law Personal Statement Example an Advantage for YouPersonal

    personal statement for law sample

  2. Law School Personal Statement Writing & Editing Help Online

    personal statement for law sample

  3. Personal statement application examples. Example. 2022-10-21

    personal statement for law sample

  4. How To Conclude A Personal Statement For Law School

    personal statement for law sample

  5. Free Law School Personal Statement Example (downloadable)

    personal statement for law sample

  6. Professional and Best 500 Word Personal Statement Samples Online

    personal statement for law sample

VIDEO

  1. CA Inter

  2. "International Intellectual Property Disputes"

  3. Faradays Law Sample Situations

  4. Cosine Law and Coulomb's Law Sample Problem

  5. b.com business law sample paper punjabi university or punjab university

  6. How to Write Essay and Personal Statement for LAT

COMMENTS

  1. 18 Law School Personal Statement Examples That Got Accepted!

    Law School Personal Statement Example #1. When I was a child, my neighbors, who had arrived in America from Nepal, often seemed stressed. They argued a lot, struggled for money, and seemed to work all hours of the day. One day, I woke early in the morning to a commotion outside my apartment.

  2. Law School Personal Statement: The Ultimate Guide (Examples Included

    Part 6: Law school personal statement examples. Below are the law school personal statements produced by the students we've followed throughout this guide, all well another successful personal statement example, all based on the writing process we just walked through. Law school personal statement example 1

  3. Law School Personal Statement Examples And Tips

    A law school personal statement is a multi-paragraph essay or narrative highlighting the reason you are pursuing a J.D. degree. This essay is an opportunity to share your identity with an ...

  4. Law Personal Statement Examples

    These examples will allow you to see what kind of structure your own Law personal statement should have, what tone to use and what to include in your statement. Your Law personal statement doesn't need to be War and Peace, but it does need to give a clear and concise insight into what makes you who you are and to speak about the passion you ...

  5. Excellent Law School Personal Statement Examples

    Excellent Law School Personal Statement Examples. We've rounded up five spectacular personal statements that helped students with borderline numbers get into T-14 schools. You'll find these examples to be as various as a typical JD class. Some essays are about a challenge, some about the evolution of the author's intellectual or ...

  6. How to Write a Law School Personal Statement + Examples

    Sample Personal Statement for Law School Conclusion #1 "…Attorneys and legal scholars have paved the way for some of the greatest civil rights victories for women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and (people living with disabilities). At Harvard Law School, I will prepare to join their ranks by studying with the nation's leading legal ...

  7. [2024] 4 Law School Personal Statement Examples from Top Programs

    1) Research the Law School. 2) Outline Your Law School Personal Statement. 3) Write a Compelling Introduction. 4) Showcase Your Achievements and Interests in Law. 5) Articulate Your Motivations for Pursuing Law. 6) Highlight Unique Qualities for the Legal Field. 7) Addressing Potential Weaknesses or Gaps.

  8. PDF Personal Statement T he Law School

    An all-encompassing statement of the multifaceted, complex person that you are A mandatory prompt for you to talk about "the hardest thing you have ever been through" A commitment to practicing a particular type of law Information that is communicated by other parts of your application (i.e. transcript, resume, diversity statement)

  9. 2 Law School Personal Statements That Succeeded

    The second essay is written by Cameron Dare Clark, a Harvard Law School graduate. Pishko says these two personal statements demonstrate the necessity of sincerity in an admissions essay. "It has ...

  10. Law School Personal Statement Examples (With Components)

    Law school personal statement examples Here are two law school personal statement examples: Example 1 Every day after high school, I had a ritual: I'd go to the local cafe, order a muffin and pass the afternoon quietly doing my homework. I enjoyed this daily practice, but most days were not particularly memorable. One day, a woman I hadn't seen ...

  11. Sample Law School Personal Statement Essays

    This sample law school personal statement is about half the length of Essay 1 and concentrates on the author's post-college work experience. In its brevity and focus it's the mirror image of Law School Essay 1. The contrast between the two highlights the diversity that can work in law school essays. This applicant writes about the impact of ...

  12. The Law School Personal Statement: Tips and Templates

    Most importantly, your personal statement is a sample of your writing, and strong writing skills are as important to law students (and lawyers) as Mjolnir is to Thor. If the thought of writing a personal statement stresses you out, adhere to these 5 tips to avoid disaster. BONUS: Scroll down to review 5 law school personal statement samples.

  13. 4 Outstanding Real-World Law School Personal Statement Examples

    They illustrate the reasons why a legal education is an essential next step in their careers. They display an understanding of the law school's values and sincere interest in attending. They tell an attention-grabbing yet relevant story. Check out the personal statement examples below to get inspired, and be sure to read our advice for ...

  14. Harvard Law School Personal Statement Samples

    The personal statement requirements for an application to Harvard Law School are fairly specific. Students are expected to write a two-page statement, 11-point font, 1-inch margins, double-spaced. This works out to about 500 words total. It is expected that students will use the entire two pages, but no more.

  15. I Got a Full-Ride to Law School Using This Personal Statement

    Research examples of well-written personal statements. To get some ideas about what a good personal statement could look like, I did a preliminary search to read a few successful ones. The University of Chicago had a few essays posted on their site from admitted students that gave me a good point of reference.

  16. Law Personal Statement Examples

    Law Personal Statement Example 4. The degree course that I have chosen to follow is law. I have a great passion forthe subject of law and thoroughly enjoy the subject; learning about different aspects of law, how the English Legal System operates and its' impact on society.

  17. Application Toolkit: Written Statements

    On this webpage, you will find our advice and guidance for approaching the two written statements in the application. Beginning with the application for Fall Term 2024 enrollment, we now require that all applicants submit a Statement of Purpose and a Statement of Perspective. Although it is no longer an application component, much of the advice ...

  18. Stanford Law Personal Statement Examples

    To apply to Stanford Law, one of the most competitive law schools in the US, you'll need to leverage everything you've got, and looking at Stanford Law personal statement examples will help immensely in crafting one of the most noteworthy components of your application.. In this article, we will provide a quick overview of what goes into a personal statement, what the format should be for ...

  19. PDF Examples of Personal Statements

    Examples of Personal Statements . Prepared by the Admissions Office . University of Toronto Faculty of Law . The Faculty of Law is committed to assisting students to make the best possible application to law school. s Below you will find examples of personal statements that were submitted by successful applicants to the JD Program in 2013.

  20. Law Personal Statement Examples for your Law School Application

    3 Examples of personal statements for Law School 1. My Passion for Justice and Equality. My passion for justice and equality is rooted in my upbringing and experiences, watching my parents battling their way through the US immigration process. As a child and young adult, I had seen the law used to oppress, victimize, and deny people their basic ...

  21. Law Masters Personal Statement Sample

    Law Masters Personal Statement Sample. Written by Jennifer Bevan. This is an example personal statement for a Masters degree application in Law. See our guide for advice on writing your own postgraduate personal statement. Over my eight-year career working in public interest law firms, I gained experience in a wide range of areas, from criminal ...

  22. LLB Law Personal Statement 46

    LLB Law Personal Statement. Submitted by Zuzana. My interest in law began when I read 'I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced', a book about a young Yemeni girl forced to marry an older man, who she escaped from and divorced. The book made me aware of how law and society differs around the world.

  23. careers.amherst.edu

    302 Found. nginx

  24. EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

    Law enforcement; Migration, asylum and border control management; Assistance in legal interpretation and application of the law. All high-risk AI systems will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle. General purpose and generative AI. Generative AI, like ChatGPT, would have to comply with transparency ...

  25. Judge Engoron fines Trump more than $350M, bars him from running

    Trump's financial statements from 2011 to 2021 valued Mar-a-Lago at $426 million to $612 million, while the Palm Beach County assessor appraised the property's market value to be $18 million ...

  26. Tax Time Guide 2024: What to know before completing a tax return

    To prevent getting an inaccurate Form 1099-K, note those payments as "personal," if possible. Good recordkeeping is key. Be sure to keep good records because it helps when it's time to file a tax return. It's a good idea to keep business and personal transactions separate to make it easier to figure out what a taxpayer owes.

  27. Cambridge Law School Personal Statement Examples

    Cambridge Law Personal Statement Examples Cambridge Law Personal Statement Example #1. My passion for the law was first sparked by an interest in people and their behaviours. As a child, I had a peculiar hobby, introduced to me by my father. I loved observing poker. My father taught me how to play, the two of us, and whenever he would host a ...

  28. FACT SHEET: President Biden Cancels Student Debt for more than 150,000

    Today, President Biden announced the approval of $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers currently enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan.