Writing a Personal Statement for Law
A personal statement should be just that, it should be personal to you, a short statement that details your reasons and passions surrounding your decision for choosing to study law at university. However, writing one can be one of the most daunting experiences as it is a piece of writing designed to sell yourself to a university to accept you, which can be a deterministic event in regards to your professional life. Moreover, up until that point it is the first time you have written something of that nature, and you do not know what to expect. However, there are a couple of key points to bear in mind and a couple of themes to include in order to put together a successful personal statement. At bottom, what the admissions tutors want to know is why you personally want to study law and how you have demonstrated your interests and affinity in such a career.
My fundamental advice when writing a personal statement for law is that the more creative the better. Being uniquely yourself is a tall order, however, this is the most important aspect of writing a personal statement. There is a temptation to focus on what you think the university will want to hear, which can lead to generic statements and unoriginal ideas, when in reality your personal statement is one of the few opportunities you will have to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Do not be afraid to think outside of the box, one of the best personal statements for Law that I’ve seen focused on the applicant’s experience of being involved in a car accident, and all the legal implications that inspired her for a career in law from there. Do not shy away from including any personal experiences that have given you an interesting insight into a legal issue.
A winning legal personal statement will need to demonstrate the applicant’s interest in actually studying the course, and awareness for what it would entail. There are many ways that this can be done, however, there are a few staple things to include that show a real passion for law. The first would be to know particular aspects of the course that you are excited about studying. It is not enough to just say you are interested in Human Rights law, for example, instead you should be able to list courses, conferences or exhibitions you have attended or books and journals that you have read which demonstrate genuine excitement for it. Moreover, examples of work experience are crucial as this demonstrates a genuine commitment and ambition in finding out about the career of a legal professional. Even just noting that you’ve visited courts such as the Old Bailey or the Royal Courts of Justice and what you took away from the experience counts as showing a real enthusiasm for law.
The final base to cover in writing a legal personal statement is to demonstrate how you would be a valuable person in terms of contributing to university life on campus. Things to include at this point would be details of any committees or other social or sporting clubs in which you have any kind of responsibility. Any examples of helping out at school events or open days, would be good to include. Any awards prizes or particular achievements of note, such as Duke of Edinburgh, sporting medals, etc. and what you’ve gained from these experiences would be of note the admissions tutor. Details of what you do in your spare time for example, playing musical instruments, amateur dramatics, etc. which demonstrate that you are sociable and proactive and enjoy doing things with other people.
All in all your personal statement should be a genuine and interesting account of why you are absolutely sure law is what you really want to study.