5. Topics for Law School Personal Statements

11. Edit your law school personal statement. Proofread the final draft of your personal statement several times, including at least once orally, for substance, style, and grammatical and spelling errors. Have others edit your law school personal statement as well. Ideally, ask an academic advisor, professor, or someone familiar with the law school application process to edit your statement. Pay attention to detail. Two sentences joined by the conjunction “and” requires a comma before the “and.” Leaving out the comma is called a comma splice. A comma splice or two will send your file to the reject pile.

5. Topics for Law School Personal Statements

Law School Personal Statement Samples

Commentary on law school personal statement samples:

Because very few law schools offer interviews, the personal statement functions in an introductory capacity. Thus a good personal statement should implicitly address the questions the committee will ask themselves about you if they had an opportunity. A well-crafted personal statement will not answer the following questions directly, but it will embed the desired answers in the narrative:

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1. Admissions committees at top law schools usually consist of professional admissions officers, professors, and students. These are the people who will read your personal statement.

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Writing my personal statement for law school

The biggest problem with this personal statement is its lack of specific details. The reader doesn’t feel like he or she gets to know the applicant. The writer doesn’t explain why he respects Winston Churchill, nor does he explain how the quote applies specifically to him. Furthermore, he gives no specific details about the law school he is applying to and why he feels he is a good match for that school. The reader learns from this statement that the writer feels he has improved as a student thanks to a teacher named Dr. Smith. There are no specific details about the author or his mentor. The reader is also told that the applicant began school with four credits and graduated from USC in three years, all of which can be learned from the transcript.

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This essay is too focused on the details of the story rather than giving evidence for why this person is a good candidate for law school. Luckily for the applicant, the story is powerful enough on its own, due to the impact the real events had on many people. This essay is structured as a personal narrative, and the topic is the applicant’s professional experience. The first paragraph is wholly descriptive prose that has very little to do with why this person is a good candidate for law school. The first paragraph lacks a thesis or a direction for the essay. Ideally, the reader should find a microcosm of the essay in the first paragraph.

1. List your personal skills and consider how they will make you an asset to the law school or legal community.

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5. Write about overcoming any difficulties or adversity in your life. This may include difficulties faced in your personal life, academic life, or in your local or college community. Be sure that you explain how this contributed to developing qualities that will make you a good candidate for law school.

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4. The top law schools seem to ask very little of you in your application for potentially very high returns. This is somewhat deceptive because many of the people you are competing against will invest enormous amounts of time and energy in crafting and honing their two- or three-page personal statements. They may even utilize a professional editing service. Invest time in your personal statement. This is not the two-page essay you whipped off in college the night before and got an “A.” This is a difficult genre that requires several drafts.

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Law School Personal Statements

Finally, this essay focuses too much energy on negative aspects of the applicant’s personal history. Focusing on the fact that the applicant was among the bottom tier of students in his high school class does nothing to recommend the applicant for law school. Law schools, especially top law schools, expect applicants to have been high-achievers all along. Showing improvement over time might not be the best structure for this applicant to choose in the final draft of the personal statement. Improvement over time is best used when the applicant has had to overcome a major difficulty, such as a learning disability, a major accident, or moving to a new country with a new language, not just moving to a new school.