A Guide to Writing Personal Statements

Besides the LSAT, personal statements seem to be the next most feared component of the application process. Law schools want a unique statement, but not one that leaves the admission team thinking, “Why on earth would she have written this???” Personal statements are the one chance an applicant has to express who they are and why they should be admitted. I DREADED writing my personal statement and put it off until the very last minute. My pre-law advisor told me I should write the first draft in August, but I did not start until late October. It was literally the last thing I did in the application process. I knew my topic since August, but was afraid that it was too out there and would not relate to law school.  The first draft did not, but then I had a breakthrough and was able to relate the topic to law school in a unique way.

Proofread, proofread, proofread once again, and then ask someone else to proofread your personal statement. Once I had my almost final draft, I sent it to my roommate and my best friend to edit it. My roommate is also going to grad school so she had an idea of what a personal statement should and should not be.  My best friend is going to med school, and we edited each other’s personal statement. They pointed out little grammatical things I missed or confusing sentences. Having someone else proofread your personal statement is vital, as sometimes you miss small things because your brain knows what you meant to write rather than what you actually wrote.

I also wrote two versions of my personal statement: a two-page template and a three-page template. Based on the page limitations provided by each school, I choose which one to submit. By making a template, I was able to avoid the common- and detrimental- mistake of submitting personal statement for School A to School B.  This is more common than you think, and if it happens, law schools will typically deny you. As a future lawyer, it is important to pay attention to details. In my template, I simply left the name of the school blank and would insert the correct name. Then I would save the new document as “(Law School Name) PS.”

Once I finally submitted my application, I received many compliments on my personal statement. I wrote about a topic that I related to personally, but one that other people could also relate to.  This allowed admissions teams to relate to my personal statement and form a connection with me. Submitting an “I want to go to law school because…” personal statement usually does not foster a connection. Admission teams read many of these, so they do not stand out. Find a way to stand out, yet make sure it relates to law school. Your personal statement is just that, a personal expression of you and your desire to be an attorney.


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