Personal Statements and Essays

Your personal statement is a critically important part of your law school applications. The majority of law schools do not interview applicants, therefore your personal statement will serve as the only way a school will get to know you as an individual. This statement generally asks: “Who are you and why you want to go to law school?” However, each school may ask you to answer different questions. Check each application carefully. 

Your primary task in writing your statement will be to distinguish yourself from other applicants, showing what makes you unique and explaining why you would be an excellent addition to their student body. The essay can be on any topic including personal values, decision making processes, significant contributions, accomplishments, and/or special experiences that are not fully revealed elsewhere in your application and that you feel might strengthen your application. In choosing a topic, take time to first analyze your personal history, evaluate experiences most relished, and determine the personal significance of learning or events in your life. Most importantly discuss the "hows" and "whys" of your experiences. Why did you pursue the activities you did? Why did you make a particular decision? How did you benefit from the choice you made? What did you gain and learn from your experience?

Applicant's statement should be approximately two pages, double spaced in length, or the length specified in the prompt to which the applicant is responding. Be sure to read the prompts carefully, and tailor each essay appropriately, rather than simply reusing the same essay for each school. Clarity, conciseness, and candor are crucial. Your writing must be well organized and highlight your strengths and abilities. A thoughtful, illuminating essay that offers true insight will stand out and be remembered. It is important to remember that this statement will be used in an assessment of your character as well as your writing ability. If your essays have typographical or grammatical errors, that will reflect poorly on you. Be sure to read, revise, and have several others who know you well read it and give you their feedback.

You may download Do’s and Don’ts for the Law School Personal Statement.