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
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.
- Visit the Admissions Blog
- View All Written Statements Blog Posts
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
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.
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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.
How to write a law personal statement.
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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
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
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- Analysis Of A Personal Statement
- The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
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- 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 .
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How to Write A Standout Law Personal Statement
A law personal statement is essential when applying to enrol on an LLB law course as an undergraduate or an LLM degree as a postgraduate. Get advice and tips on writing good law personal statements.
Our Guide to Law Personal Statements
- Find out the word count and the right structure
- See how universities use personal statements
- Learn how to write and structure your statement
- Get more top tips on writing a knock-out statement
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You’ll need to write a law personal statement if you’re applying for the LLB or other types of law degrees via UCAS . You will also have to write one if you’re applying to study law at postgraduate level.
What is a Law Personal Statement?
The personal statement is a piece of writing which you send off with your UCAS application to different universities . It’s capped at 4,000 characters (so will often end up running for about one side of A4), and serves as the best way to differentiate yourself from other applicants to the most competitive courses. In short, it’s the personal statement which is the truly ‘personal’ part of your application. This is your chance to grab the attention of the admissions team, who will often use the personal statement as the easiest way to pick between candidates with other similar metrics (e.g. predicted A Level grades which meet the entry requirements ). Other universities ( Oxbridge specifically ) place even more emphasis on your personal statement, using it as a way to decide who to invite to interview (and then as a source of discussion during interviews). Put simply, it’s an important part of your application.
For law specifically, a subject which is known to be both competitive and highly academic, the personal statement is even more crucial. The University of Law have a page outlining some law personal statement tips , but this article seeks to present our views on some of the most crucial elements of a successful personal statement for studying law at university – from what you should do to what you shouldn’t, structure, content and more, this article will get you well on your way.
How Universities Use Your UCAS Law Personal Statement
If a lot of students applying for law degree courses have achieved the basic entry requirements, university admissions teams use UCAS law personal statements to decide who is more suited to their learning programme. Some universities take this a step further with, for example, with the LNAT , which is taken into consideration alongside your personal statement.
Some law schools will read every personal statement and score them. They then use this score alongside your qualifications and grades to decide whether to offer you an interview. Other law universities don’t give as much consideration to personal statements and will only use them to decide between students who have borderline entry requirements.
Law schools may refer to your personal statement on results day if you don’t get the grades you need. A good personal statement could be the difference in securing a university place if you don’t get the grades you hoped for.
Planning Your Statement
Plan a clear structure.
First thing’s first, you’re going to need a clear structure. There are a few reasons for this. First, having a clearly planned out structure before you start writing will limit the amount of ‘waffle’ you could accidentally end up putting into your writing (more on that in our next point). Second, a clear structure allows your reader (those university admissions teams) to enjoy the personal statement more by increasing the smoothness of the reading experience associated with a well thought out body of text (remember, they’ll be reading hundreds, if not thousands, of these). Third, you’re applying to study law – the personal statement is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that you can produce well planned, structured writing (as is crucial for any humanities subject). The theme of the personal statement serving a dual purpose (presenting the content itself but also showcasing your writing abilities) will come up again throughout this article – it’s super important to bear in mind.
There is no one-size-fits-all structure that your personal statement should take, and you should allow yourself to be guided largely by the content you’re looking to present. It is a good idea, however, to feature a particularly catchy opening leading into an introductory section, a main body (structure however best suits the content) and at least a line or two of concluding material at the end.
Leading on from our last point, being concise is key. Not only does this allow you to demonstrate your clarity of writing (as all law students and aspiring lawyers need as a key skill ), but it also increases the amount of content (or explanation of that content) you’re able to pack into 4,000 characters. For example, have you written ‘on the other hand’? ‘Conversely’ is 2 words/7 characters shorter, and serves the exact same purpose. Also consider whether you’re repeating yourself. Conciseness is best achieved by proofreading.
Manage Your Tone
Throughout your personal statement, it’s best to take a relatively formal tone. Your content is the part that allows your personality and individualism to shine through. Also avoid humour – it’s simply too risky without knowing the preferences of the individual whose desk your personal statement will eventually land on.
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Writing Your Statement
Proofreading is essential for a personal statement, and you’ll likely go through many rounds of drafts. Having concise writing is key (see the point above), but even more important is the fact your personal statement needs to avoid any errors in spelling or grammar. These are easily correctible and may reflect badly on you as a student applying to an essay-based subject at university. It’s fine if you personally struggle with spelling or grammar – see our next point for a way to combat that.
Your personal statement, while being innately ‘personal’, is best improved by showing it to a range of people. Although there will naturally (and sadly) be a difference in the quality of assistance you will receive based on the quality of your sixth form/college, be proactive in seeking out the best people possible to read over it and give you feedback. Are there any teachers at your school who studied on the university course you now find yourself applying to? Can you find current students/alumni of that course on LinkedIn and ask if they’d be willing to spare a few minutes to glance over it for you? The more input you get (from people who have more experience than you on this topic), the more secure you’ll feel in defending why you’ve written what you have.
Capital Letter Checks
If you’ve successfully followed the tips above, you’re likely to have a personal statement with a great deal of specific references in it. There’s an easy way to roughly check this – visually scan down your personal statement and see how many capital letters there are. If you’ve got very few, it’s likely that you may have included a fair amount of ‘waffle’. If you can spot quite a few capital letters, that’s a sign that you’ve probably included the specifics – great job! Where ‘I’ve read many legal books’ might throw up a red flag, ‘I’ve read X and Y books’ means you’re on a great path.
Get to Know Your Course
Demonstrate your interest by improving your understanding
Perfecting Your Statement
Keep it personal.
Attempting to present a broad overview of your degree’s content (e.g. trying to do a broad sweep of UK legal history) is useless, impossible, and ultimately pretty boring to read. It also means you’ll end up with something that skims the surface of many things. Remember, this is a ‘personal’ statement. The best way to approach it is to drill down deep into one or two particular niches that interests you (again, rather than skimming the surface of a huge range of topics). This keeps your personal statement fresh and interesting to read for the admissions team. Have you developed an interest in a particular piece of legislation that’s just come out? You could spend a paragraph going into some detail here – and the contents of that paragraph are what comes next.
Show – Don’t Tell
This is one of the most important pieces of advice possible. Once you’ve found a particular area of interest to talk about in your personal statement, you need to back that up with specific, tangible examples. Some people will also advise that you try and keep this content relatively recent in order to demonstrate an engagement with world affairs. Although not compulsory, this can still be a useful avenue to explore. ‘I’m really interested in the new Online Safety Bill’ is generic, proves very little, and could apply to anyone. ‘My interest in the new Online Safety Bill led me to read X book and watch X documentary, after which I considered X issues’ is specific to you, demonstrates a tangible interest in these topics, and is simply far more interesting to read. This idea of constantly building on what came before allows you to demonstrate a thread running throughout your essay (helping your structure present itself as clear in the process). This is where you’ll often hear people say that your personal statement needs to ‘flow’.
The range of things that you could ‘show’ is vast – books related to your course are a great starting point. If you know one of your top choice universities employs a particularly prominent member of faculty, perhaps you’d be interested to have a look at their writing and include that too. Other such content could include documentaries, conferences, events, or work experience. Now your personal statement is looking far more personal.
Academic vs Extra-Curricular
Balancing the proportion of academic to extra-curricular content in your personal statement is not an easy task, especially when you’re likely to hear that certain top universities like Oxbridge heavily favour the former. Law is also an intensely academic subject. With that in mind, it’s only natural to place a heavy emphasis on the academic side. However, if you’ve got extra-curricular content which you feel you could successfully link to your degree course in some way (e.g. ‘For my swimming club, I researched current health and safety regulations to make sure we are compliant’ – ‘I am in a swimming club’, conversely, doesn’t hold much value), then do feel free to include that too.
In short, while writing law personal statements may appear a challenge, following our top tips will allow your application to excel. Be clear, be specific, be you.
Watch this video from Solent University Law School, Southampton, which is packed with great tips on how to write a strong personal statement for law.
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How to write a law school personal statement + examples.
Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University
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
- 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
- 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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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Personal and Diversity Statements Differ for Law School
While personal statement prompts are fairly consistent, diversity statements vary widely.
2 Different Law School Essays
Diversity statements have grown more diverse themselves, ranging widely from school to school. Getty Images
The diversity statement was already one of the most misunderstood elements of the law school application. Then, in June 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of decisions that overturned race-conscious admissions policies, forcing law schools to overhaul how they ask about diversity in their applications.
As a result of these changes, diversity statements have grown more diverse themselves, ranging widely from school to school. And they are likely to continue to diverge in the future, as law schools take different approaches to building diverse classes without running afoul of the law.
Since schools are no longer allowed to ask about candidates’ race or ethnicity, law school essays no longer mention these factors. But many ask about a candidate’s background or life experience. Some ask about a candidate’s experience with promoting inclusivity, working together with people coming from different perspectives or fighting racism or bias.
Importantly, the Supreme Court’s decisions specifically allow applicants to mention or discuss their own race or ethnicity, particularly as a factor in their own life experience. So, for example, it’s okay to talk about your ethnic identity, family background and experience with bias. You may do so in your personal statement or any other essays or materials.
It is also important to understand that law schools absolutely still value diversity, both in the sense that they want to build diverse classes and in the sense that they take into account hardships that applicants have faced because of their experience.
So, how can admissions offices account for an applicant’s full life experience without intentionally considering an applicant’s race or ethnicity? Answering that question is a burden that the Supreme Court placed on admissions offices, not you.
As an applicant, your focus should be on how to navigate these new variants of diversity statements. Exploring the major differences between the personal statement and diversity statement can help answer many of the questions that applicants have about the diversity statement, including what it is, who should write one and how to approach it.
Diversity Statements Are Usually Optional
Every law school requires applicants to write a personal statement, the primary written essay for the law school application. In contrast, a diversity statement is almost always an optional essay .
Some law schools now require a statement of perspective or experience in addition to their personal statement, but these statements have a very broad prompt that could encompass a range of life experiences or influences beyond race or ethnicity .
Putting aside those few cases, nearly every other law school allows applicants to write some form of optional diversity statement, and no law school would regret receiving a short and insightful diversity statement.
But applicants should read prompts carefully before deciding whether to write one. For example, being a veteran or in active military service may fit some schools’ diversity statement prompts but not others. In the latter cases, it may be best to highlight this aspect of your background elsewhere in the application, like your personal statement or resume .
Diversity Statement Prompts Vary Widely Between Schools
Few law school applications now have an essay called a “diversity statement.”
In its place, some law schools have introduced a perspective statement, an identity statement, a statement of challenge or adversity , or another variation on the theme. Others provide an array of optional prompts, one or more of which touch on issues of diversity or simply provide space for applicants to write an open-ended essay about a topic of their choice.
Applicants should read these prompts carefully. There is often overlap between a statement about your perspective and a statement about your identity, but they may be framed differently in ways that will require at least some rewriting.
In contrast, law schools tend to have similar personal statement prompts about the reasons an applicant is applying to law school. Some personal statement prompts include extra questions, perhaps about an applicant’s interest in a specific school.
Applicants may also tailor their personal statement to meet differing length requirements. But otherwise, the same personal statement can generally be used for all schools.
Not Everyone Should Write a Diversity Statement
Many applicants have the mistaken belief that writing a diversity statement is always a good idea, because law schools are looking for diversity. Or they may have the misimpression that law schools want applicants to write as much as allowed .
But a misconceived diversity statement can backfire and seem insensitive or trivializing. Everyone is different in some ways, and law applicants are not as monolithic as they once were. Many applicants come from minority backgrounds, and most applicants identify as women.
A diversity statement is not simply a place to talk about what distinguishes you from other people. It is not a place to detail your genetic or family history. Its contents should be guided by the wording of the prompt, but generally it is intended more to discuss the perspectives you developed, the lessons you gained or the challenges you have faced because of your background or life experiences.
Diversity Statements Should Be Approached Differently
Just because you can write a diversity statement doesn’t mean you should. The diversity statement should complement your personal statement with extra context, not reiterate it.
For example, if you come from an Indigenous background and plan to devote your legal career to advocating for Native rights, that may be a great topic for your personal statement. In that case, there’s no reason to repeat the same information in your diversity statement. The reader already knows about your background. You could instead write an optional essay about a different topic or forgo it altogether.
However, if you come from an Indigenous background but are most interested in energy law for unrelated reasons, a diversity statement will save you from making an unfair choice between discussing your career goals and your heritage. Law schools want to give you space to discuss both.
Your diversity and personal statements may differ in tone as well as subject. A personal statement is about your achievements and dreams, and it may sound a bit self-aggrandizing . A diversity statement should be more reflective and self-aware, showing that you have the maturity to engage with others with different points of view.
It can be hard to strike the right tone in your diversity statement, and it may take a few drafts. Avoid self-pity, self-justification and persistent negativity. Focus on your experience, how it shaped you and what you bring to the table because of it.
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About Law Admissions Lowdown
Law Admissions Lowdown provides advice to prospective students about the law school application process, LSAT prep and potential career paths. Previously authored by contributors from Stratus Admissions Counseling, the blog is currently authored by Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach , an admissions consultancy. Kuris is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has helped hundreds of applicants navigate the law school application process since 2003. Got a question? Email [email protected] .
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Every law school application requires a personal statement and it is an important part of the application. Since the majority of law schools don’t have interviews, committees rely on this statement as an interview-in-an-essay. It is also a sample of your writing ability. With many applicants with similar qualifications (high GPA and LSAT scores, strong professional or extracurricular experiences, etc), the personal statement is the chance for you to help the admissions committee distinguish you from all the rest. Your personal statement can be what tips you from the waitlist or decline list to the admit list, so make sure to take it seriously!
Steps to Writing a Strong Personal Statement:
- Brainstorm: The goal of this stage is to find a core idea or theme around which your statement will center. Most schools are interested in learning what unique qualities and experiences you will contribute to their incoming class. Take time to brainstorm about what experiences have shaped you, what skills or traits are unique to you, or what personal accomplishments set you apart.
- Free Write: Pick three of the topics, themes, or ideas from your brainstorming session. This is the stage where you sit down and just start to write. If you have several different themes or topics in mind, start one draft for each. Spend 10-15 minutes on each free writing draft. Don’t edit yourself, try to stay within a word limit, or attempt to edit while you write. The goal is to get as much down on paper as you can.
- Review: Review your “free write” drafts. Does one stand out or particularly resonate with you? If none of the topics feel right, go back, pick three more ideas from your brainstorming session, and repeat the free write exercise until you find something that you want to move to the next stage with;
- Draft: Start drafting your personal statement. Some people find drafting an outline first assists them in thinking through the structure and flow of the statement, while other prefer to just start writing and organize as they go.
- Edit: Have at least one objective person, ideally someone familiar with the law school application process, review your personal statement. Be prepared for feedback. A good reviewer will send your personal statement back to you with comments and suggestions. If you get your statement back with a simple “looks great!”, find a new reviewer! Remember that many law school applicants go through several rounds of revision before submitting their application! Legal Pathways offers personal statement review, but please make sure to allow enough time to go through the editing process -- if you email asking for feedback by the next day, we won’t be able to help!
- Finalize: Once you are done making any substantive edits, proofread carefully. Additionally, make sure you have followed the directions provided (which may vary from school to school) about word count or page limit and any formatting requirements. Ensure you have used the right law school name for each statement.
Personal Statement Tips:
- “Show, Don’t Tell” : Show, don’t tell: conclusions should be self-evident. Well written statements use stories that illustrate your good qualities. You should not have to explicitly state them.
- Be the Main Character and Grow : Tell a story where you are the main character and you changed, grew, or shifted your perspective.
- Write a concise narrative with one or two points . Personal statements are relatively short and you can’t fit it all in -- tell one story very well not ten stories poorly! over quantity.
- Keep the focus on yourself , not your family members, friends, or other people in your life (even if they are very interesting or important to you!)
- Be authentic and honest . This is your chance for the law school admissions committee to get to know you. Use it!
Avoid Common Pitfalls:
- Don’t rush the process . Many students need to write 3-6 drafts to craft a strong, concise and memorable personal statement.
- Don’t skip the review process . Have at least one person familiar with the law school application process review your personal statement and provide feedback. At the University of Washington Tacoma, both the Writing Center and Legal Pathways provide this service!
- Don’t use your personal statement to repeat what is already in your resume . You only get to submit a handful of things in your law school application, so make each one count and don’t duplicate information! If they will read about it somewhere else, don’t repeat it.
- Don’t try to write like a legal scholar or explain the law . No Latin phrases. No teaching. This is an essay about you (and don’t worry, you will have lots of opportunities to use that Latin once you are in law school!)
- Personal Statement Do’s and Don’ts
- Writing Personal Statements for Law School
- Personal Statement Packet (Pre-Law Guru)
- Sample Personal Statements (The University of Chicago Law School)
- Personal Statement Brainstorming Exercises (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
- Nine Important Personal Statement Tips for Law School Applicants (New England Law)
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Law School Personal Statement
Writing an effective personal statement is a challenging and often frustrating task, even for the law school applicant who has had a great deal of experience in writing. A carefully conceived essay will certainly compliment the credentials of a well-qualified applicant; it may tip the balance in favor of one applicant over another. When completing law school application forms, there is generally not enough room to elaborate or to highlight individual experiences and achievements. The personal statement may be the best opportunity to accomplish this. The personal statement is, in the abstract, an intimate portrait of a candidate. In reality, it is about you. It provides an opportunity for individual consideration which generally substitutes for a personal interview.
While there is no fixed formula for your personal statement, the key is to supply the law school with material about you and then to allow the admissions committee to draw its own conclusions from the information provided. Law school applications differ. Some applications include specific questions which provide an opportunity to deal with some of the areas mentioned here, while others will want you to include all areas in your personal statement. In preparing to write the personal statement, you should consider a number of questions. You may find some of the following suggestions helpful.
You should first consider: “Where did my interest in law begin?”, “When did I first become interested in a legal career?” You may want to highlight pivotal factors or experiences. These may include an inspirational role model such as a parent or teacher, an experience with the law or a significant high school or college course. One suggestion is to begin with a pivotal experience in your life which sparked your interest in law. It might be a job experience, a course taken as an undergraduate, or a childhood experience which developed your interest. However, simply rambling on about how you have had an interest in law since the age of ten and not explaining why does not help your case. Whatever the pivotal experience may be, find a clear way of describing this experience. You should also ask yourself: “What makes me a unique applicant?'”, “Why would this particular law school want me?”, “What makes me a desirable candidate for the rigors of studying and practicing law?” Focus upon particular personal qualities, life experiences or accomplishments which may be of interest to the admissions staff who will be reading the essay. Think of inner strengths and qualities. Consider areas in your background which may be of interest to the law school such as a rigorous undergraduate course of study, a particularly interesting employment history, life experiences and the like. Rather than listing your achievements, explain how you have excelled in areas such as scholarship or civic responsibility.
Some law schools suggest that you include a resume, if appropriate, to list achievements, extracurricular activities, employment history and the like. Other law schools include specific questions regarding these areas. The personal statement, in contrast, may focus on only one or a limited number of experiences which reveal who you are as a unique individual.
The importance of including outside interests such as extracurricular activities, student groups, the pre-law society, a fraternity, a sorority, employment and military service should be carefully weighed. Involvement in such activities should be included if it demonstrates leadership ability, professional growth or unique contributions. In contrast, simply stating that you were a member of an organization without explaining its significance to your application will not be useful. It may even lead to the conclusion that you diluted your academic efforts.
Similarly, with regard to employment history, you should only mention job experiences which have had a direct effect on your professional growth. An internship with a government agency or one within the legal field which sparked an interest in the legal profession are good examples for inclusion. One caveat – you may not want to mention affiliation with a particular political party or ideology because it may needlessly cause a subjective reaction on the part of the reader. In such a case, you may want to describe your experience in generic terms and explain how your exposure to the legal field will help you to be a successful law student. Be careful not to come off as being all-knowing. There is a tremendous difference between an essay which describes one’s budding interest in the legal profession through work experience, and an essay which attempts to demonstrate that one already has a vast knowledge of the law.
Military service may also be a factor which enhances your potential as a prospective law student. The military is often seen as a catalyst for developing and instilling discipline, leadership principles and tenacity. Focusing on themes such as these within the personal statement lets the committee know that time devoted to military service has been spent wisely. If you attended college part-time while in the military and your grades were not as good as after discharge, you may want to explain the difficulty in completing college-level courses while assigned to a military unit. In certain cases, a supporting letter from a unit commander can explain the difficulty in undertaking college studies while on active duty.
If you have definite career plans, you also focus upon the future by asking: “What are my goals and plans for the future?”, “How do these plans flow from my background and experience?”, “How will formal legal training help me to realize my goals?” In some cases, it may be appropriate to indicate whether and how a law school education would have helped you to be more effective in your prior activities. If it is applicable, indicate how law school and admission to the bar are the tools that you will need for your future endeavors.
Once you have thought through the content of your personal statement, the writing process begins. In the view of one law school admissions officer, the key is to stress strengths without being boastful or obnoxious and deal with weaknesses without being defensive. The law school application is, in a sense, your first legal case and the personal statement demonstrates how persuasive you can be in discussing your own candidacy.
Somewhere in your law school application, you will need to explain negative aspects of your credentials as a means of “damage control”. For some law schools, the personal statement provides you with this opportunity, while for other schools, an addendum or separate explanatory statement is more appropriate.
Significant adverse factors which may have affected the GPA, such as a change of major or a weak beginning, must be addressed whether in the personal statement or a separate statement. Be sure to mention such weaknesses. However, when presenting detrimental factors, do not dwell on them. Discuss meaningful personal factors but do not be melodramatic. It is particularly important to show triumph over adversity where it truthfully exists, such as a strong finish after a weak beginning.
If you are a consistently poor standardized test taker with a high grade point average, the personal statement may provide an opportunity to point this out. This does not mean that you should whine and plead. Some students utilize the entire personal statement to try to explain away a low LSAT score, rather than dedicating a single concise paragraph. The admissions staff want to see a picture of you as a whole person, not just a person who has difficulty in taking tests.
The weak points of every candidate’s law school application are always revealed and examined. The question is “on whose terms will they be examined’? You can frame the discussion by concisely confronting problem areas and then offering reasonable and informative explanations. As an illustration of this, a panel of admissions officers conducted a mock admission exercise at the 1991 Conference of the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisors. The panel considered the credentials of six hypothetical applicants. The applicant who decided to dwell on the reasons for his poor grades, rather than “good, solid reasons to admit him” fared very poorly. In contrast, the applicant who briefly mentioned the death of his mother, and how this tragedy helped him to grow, fared extremely well despite several negative factors in his credentials.
Many times applicants are reluctant to discuss personal tragedies, a history of financial disadvantage, medical disabilities and things of this nature. A reluctance is understandable, but needs to be overcome. The personal statement provides a valuable tool for the admissions committee to gain insight if there are serious problems in your life which may have prevented you from reaching your highest potential. It is up to you to provide the admissions committee with your explanation of difficulties such as a difficult course of study or a severe dip in grade point average, rather than leaving it up to the committee to decide what might have happened. In some cases, supporting documentation may provide a better understanding of special circumstances or difficulties.
The personal statement should generally not exceed two typewritten pages. It should be the product of a great deal of time and thought. Law school admissions officers look for clear and concise writing, free from grammatical error. Remember that they have to read thousands of essays. Make yours memorable!
The personal statement is your opportunity to paint a self-portrait, with the paper serving as the canvas. It is not, however, the place to demonstrate your intellectual brilliance in areas such as law, politics or philosophy; nor is it a philosophical exposition on your views about world problems. For this reason, you should never submit a thesis paper, term paper or other sample of written work in the place of the personal statement. Two of the most important guidelines in writing the personal statement are: “Write about yourself” and “Be specific”.
While your essay may communicate your confidence in your ability to complete the course of study, it should not project a pompous image. The most common error is the attempt to impress. Some candidates become pretentious or pedantic in their choice of words and phrases. An example of pompous verbiage submitted as a personal statement is:
The recommendations which I have presented from legal and educational leaders in my milieu adduce the level of motivation and acumen that you require. These qualities are touted as being the sine qua non for the successful law school applicant. You will find my credentials stellar in these and other respects.
Clearly, this is an example of what not to submit to a law school. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. It is crucial to understand the difference and to demonstrate only confidence, never arrogance.
Once you have completed the thinking and writing process, an advisor should read over the finished product at least once. It would be very wise to ask someone who is very well acquainted with both your credentials and the English language to read over your statement and provide input. The insights, reactions, and suggestions provided by an objective third party will help to polish the personal statement so that it paints a vivid and supportive picture for the admissions staff.
Creating a balanced essay can be very difficult to accomplish but certainly can be mastered through conscientious effort, in some instances writing and re-writing the essay a dozen times. As the Dean of Admissions for Georgetown once remarked: “Applicants should be advised to write their statements with great care. In many cases, they will be the determining factor’.
This article was written by Kevin J. O’Connor, Esq., graduate of Montclair State University and Rutgers-Newark School of Law. It includes material presented by sources such as N.A.P.L.A., L.S.A.C., Topics in Pre-Law Advising, The American Pre-Law Advisor, and actual advisement experience at Montclair State University. The article has been updated by Dr. Marilyn Tayler, Pre-Law Advisor at Montclair State University.
© MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY 1992 -1998, 2006 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
How to Write a Compelling Personal Statement for University of Houston Law Center
Learn how to craft a winning personal statement for University of Houston Law Center with our expert tips and advice.
Posted May 12, 2023
If you're looking to apply to the University of Houston Law Center, writing a strong personal statement is crucial to making a great first impression on the admissions committee. Your personal statement gives you the opportunity to showcase your unique experiences, skills, and passion for law and legal studies. In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know to write a compelling personal statement that will help you stand out from other applicants.
Why a Personal Statement is Important for Admission
A personal statement is an essential part of the application process for law school at the University of Houston Law Center. This document allows you to communicate your personality, interests, and goals to the admissions committee. The personal statement also helps the committee understand why you're interested in attending law school and why you're a good fit for the program. It provides a glimpse into who you are as an individual and helps the committee make an informed decision about your suitability for the program.
Another reason why a personal statement is important for admission is that it can set you apart from other applicants. Your academic record and test scores may be similar to other candidates, but your personal statement can showcase your unique experiences, skills, and perspectives. This can make you stand out and increase your chances of being accepted into the program.
Additionally, a well-written personal statement can demonstrate your writing skills and ability to communicate effectively. These are important qualities for a law student and future lawyer. Admissions committees want to see that you can express yourself clearly and persuasively, as this is a crucial skill in the legal profession.
Understanding the University of Houston Law Center's Admissions Process
Before you start writing your personal statement, it's essential to understand the University of Houston Law Center's admissions process. The Center has a rolling admissions process, meaning there's no fixed deadline for submitting your application. The admissions committee begins reviewing applications as they are submitted. So, it's best to apply as early as possible. The Committee evaluates each application holistically, taking into consideration factors like grades, work and life experience, personal circumstances, and extracurricular activities. The personal statement is an important piece of your application that allows you to demonstrate your fit for the program.
In addition to the personal statement, the University of Houston Law Center also requires applicants to submit their LSAT scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. LSAT scores are a crucial component of the application, as they provide insight into an applicant's critical thinking and analytical skills. The admissions committee also considers an applicant's undergraduate GPA, with a minimum requirement of 2.2 on a 4.0 scale.
It's important to note that the University of Houston Law Center offers a variety of programs, including full-time, part-time, and evening programs. Each program has its own set of requirements and deadlines, so it's essential to research and understand the specific program you're interested in before applying. Additionally, the Law Center offers a range of scholarships and financial aid options to help students finance their education.
What the Admission Committee Looks for in a Personal Statement
The admissions committee looks for a few key things in a personal statement. They're looking to see if you can communicate your thoughts and ideas effectively and persuasively. They also want to see if you have a deep interest in law and the legal system and can articulate this in a clear and compelling way.
In addition to effective communication and a deep interest in law, the admissions committee also looks for evidence of your unique perspective and experiences. They want to see how you have overcome challenges and how your background has shaped your desire to pursue a legal education. It's important to showcase your individuality and demonstrate how you will contribute to the law school community.
How to Choose a Topic for Your Personal Statement
Choosing a topic can be a challenging part of the personal statement writing process. The key is to choose something that is true to who you are and that can demonstrate your interest in law. You may want to focus on a pivotal moment in your life that inspired you to pursue law school, an experience that has taught you valuable skills that will assist you in law school, or your long-term goals and how attending law school fits into your plans.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a topic for your personal statement is to avoid clichés. Admissions committees read hundreds of personal statements, so it's important to choose a unique and original topic that will make you stand out from the crowd. Avoid topics that are overused, such as writing about a family member who is a lawyer or discussing your love for the TV show "Law and Order."
Lastly, it's important to remember that your personal statement is not just about demonstrating your interest in law, but also about showcasing your writing skills and ability to communicate effectively. Choose a topic that allows you to showcase your writing style and personality, while also demonstrating your ability to think critically and analytically. Your personal statement should be a reflection of who you are and what you can bring to the law school community.
Crafting a Strong Introduction that Captivates the Reader
Your introduction should be captivating and set the stage for the rest of the essay. A great way to do this is to use a hook that draws the reader in. This could be anything from a personal anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful quote that speaks to you. Whatever you choose, make sure it's something that resonates with you and will grab the reader's attention.
Another important aspect of a strong introduction is to provide context for the topic you will be discussing. This can be done by briefly explaining the background or history of the subject, or by highlighting its relevance in today's society. By doing so, you are helping the reader understand why the topic is important and why they should continue reading.
Finally, it's important to remember that your introduction should be concise and to the point. While it's important to provide enough information to hook the reader and provide context, you don't want to give away too much information or overwhelm them with details. Keep it simple and focused, and save the more detailed information for the body of your essay.
Highlighting Your Skills and Experiences Relevant to Law School
Showcasing your skills and experiences is essential to demonstrating your fit for the law program. Discuss your academic achievements, work experience, and volunteer work. Highlight any experience you have working with the legal system, such as internships or mentorship. Show that you have the skills required for law school, such as strong analytical ability, critical thinking, and excellent communication skills.
Additionally, it is important to highlight any leadership roles you have held, as this demonstrates your ability to take charge and make decisions. This could include being a team captain, club president, or volunteer coordinator. Law schools are looking for individuals who can take initiative and lead others.
Furthermore, if you have any specialized skills or knowledge that could be useful in the legal field, be sure to mention them. For example, if you are fluent in a second language, have experience in a particular industry, or have taken courses in a related field such as political science or philosophy, this could set you apart from other applicants and demonstrate your potential value to the legal community.
Demonstrating Your Passion for Law and Legal Studies
Your passion for law and legal studies should be evident throughout your essay. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the field through the examples you provide and the language you use. You might discuss particular aspects about the law that you find interesting or a particular area where you hope to specialize. Your passion should shine through and communicate to the reader that you are truly invested in this area of study.
One effective way to demonstrate your passion for law and legal studies is to discuss any relevant experiences you have had in the field. This could include internships, volunteer work, or even personal research projects. By sharing these experiences, you can show the reader that you have already taken steps to explore and engage with the field, and that you are committed to pursuing a career in law. Additionally, you can use these experiences to highlight specific skills or knowledge that you have gained, which will further strengthen your case for why you are a strong candidate for a legal studies program.
Addressing Any Gaps in Your Academic or Professional Background
If there are any gaps or areas of concern in your academic or professional background, you should address them directly in your personal statement. For example, if your GPA is lower than you would like, explain why this is the case and how you plan to overcome it. Be honest and transparent while taking responsibility for any shortcomings, but also communicate your ability to persevere and thrive in the face of any challenge.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Mistakes in Personal Statements
Some common mistakes that applicants make include failing to follow the prompt or word count, being too generic or cliché, or failing to proofread and edit their essay. Avoid these pitfalls by understanding the prompt, being specific and authentic, and taking the time to proofread your essay multiple times to ensure its error-free.
Editing and Proofreading Your Personal Statement for Maximum Impact
The editing and proofreading stage is crucial to making sure your personal statement is impactful. Take the time to review your essay critically. Edit for grammar, punctuation, and style. Make sure your ideas flow effectively and your language is clear and concise. Ask for feedback from friends, family, or professors to get a fresh perspective on your essay.
Tips from Successful Applicants: What Worked for Them?
Some tips from successful applicants include being honest and authentic, demonstrating your passion for the law, and being specific about your accomplishments, skills, and experiences. Take the time to understand the prompt and the admissions criteria, and tailor your essay specifically to the University of Houston Law Center. And don't be afraid to put yourself out there and be proud of who you are and the unique experiences and perspectives you can bring to the program.
In conclusion, writing a compelling personal statement for the University of Houston Law Center is an opportunity to demonstrate your fit for the program and showcase your unique experiences, skills, and passion for law. By following these steps and putting in the necessary preparation, you can set yourself apart from other applicants and make a strong impression on the admissions committee. Good luck!
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The University of Chicago The Law School
Program info, faqs: personal statement, what is the admissions committee looking for in the personal statement.
The Admissions Committee is primarily looking for two things in the personal statement:
- Who are you: Will this applicant be a likeable and interesting addition to our community? Are you thoughtful and reflective? Will our professors and your classmates enjoy working with you and learning from your perspective?
- Writing and communication ability: Can you communicate your thoughts effectively? Are you able to present information in a clear, organized, and concise manner (much like you will be required to do in law school and as an attorney)?
What should I write about in my personal statement?
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. This may include writing about a significant aspect of your background, a quality or trait you believe defines you, a transformative experience, or the things that interest and motivate you. Don’t worry so much about selecting a unique or novel topic. Just be yourself. Your personal statement will be unique if you are honest and authentic. See these examples of personal statements .
How does the personal statement fit into the rest of my application?
Think about the personal statement as the fun and interesting part of your application. This is where we get to learn more about who are you as a person and go beyond the transcripts, test scores, and resume. Let each part of your application speak for itself and do what it is intended to do - you don't need to worry about selling us on your credentials in the personal statement.
Do I need to tell the Admissions Committee why I want to go to law school?
Not necessarily. We request a personal statement; it is not a statement of purpose. You are welcome to discuss your reasons for applying to law school, but please make sure we will still get to know you as an individual. Law schools have different views on this topic, so please consult each school to which you are applying.
What are some tips for a successful personal statement?
There are few rules that apply to every applicant because of the individual nature of the personal statement, but here are some tips based on our experiences that all applicants should follow:
- Be straightforward. Do not make it more complex than it is. We simply want a candid, well-written essay that helps us learn about you, your story, and your background.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread. Your personal statement should not have errors - this is a sample of your writing and it should be a strong reflection of your written communication skills. Edit extensively and make sure to remove tracked changes.
- Be concise and organize your thoughts. Remember basic writing skills and essay structure. You want to present your ideas in a logical, clear manner.
- Make sure your personal statement is about you . Keep the focus on you with any topic you choose. Focusing too much on a family member or family history, a social or legal issue, or stories about others is a very common mistake. Even if you tell a moving and interesting story, it will not be a successful personal statement if it does not allow us to get to know you.
- Be yourself. We are confident every one of our applicants is unique. Be honest. Do not write about something you think you are supposed to write about or rely too heavily on sample topics or model statements. A topic will not be effective unless it is appropriate for your specific application and background. Don’t try to fit your personal statement into a defined category or box.
- Write in your own voice. This makes your personal statement believable and authentic. Don’t use phrases and vocabulary that you wouldn’t normally use in writing and conversation. It is usually not a good idea to lead with a quote. We are looking for clarity and honesty.
- Make it personal. If someone else could write your personal statement, it probably is not personal enough. We often see this happen when applicants discuss a social issue or area of the law. Remember you are not trying to educate the Admissions Committee about the law or any particular issue. Your goal should be to educate the Admissions Committee about you.
What are some of the common mistakes I should avoid?
While what works for one individual will not work for another because the personal statement is so individualized, here are some common mistakes we see from applicants:
- Restating your resume. Resume restatements are one of the most common errors. We will read your resume in detail. We want the personal statement to tell us something new about you.
- Listing your qualifications. Don't try to overtly sell yourself to the Admissions Committee. This isn't the place to convince us how qualified you are. Your qualifications will shine through in other parts of your application. Remember, this is the part where we get to know you as an individual.
- Typos and “tracked changes”. Make sure to upload the correct version of your personal statement into CAS. If you plan to reference law schools by name, please reference the correct school for each application.
- Legalese or Latin phrases. Avoid using legal terms or Latin phrases if you can. The risk you are incorrectly using them is just too high.
- Extensive discussions of the law and attorneys. It is not necessary to discuss the law, tell us what type of law you want to practice, or convey the extent of your legal experience. Legal experience is not a factor in admission. It is not the place to demonstrate your knowledge of the law or the role of attorneys. These personal statements do not tell us much about the applicant as an individual.
- Telling us you'll be a good lawyer because you like to argue.
- Name-dropping. It is not necessary to cite the names of our faculty and programs from our website in your personal statement unless you are placing the reference in a meaningful context. It detracts from your authenticity. However, if one of our faculty members or something about our community has genuinely inspired you, you are more than welcome to tell us about it.
- Covering too much information. You don't have to cover your entire life story. 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.
Is there a page limit on my personal statement?
There is no page limit, but we generally find 2-4 pages to be sufficient. If it is longer, make sure it is absolutely necessary and really interesting. We do not have any formatting rules with respect to spacing, font type, font size, or margins.
May I submit additional essays?
You may submit additional essays to highlight particular topics you wish to bring to our attention. Please remember you want to be concise and genuine.
Examples of types of additional essays include Diversity Statements and explanations of undergraduate and/or standardized test performance.
- UChicago aims to train well-rounded, critical, and socially conscious thinkers and doers. Describe how your background or experiences will contribute to the UChicago Law and Chicago Booth communities. Example topics include: lessons you have learned; skillsets you have developed; obstacles you have overcome based on your background or upbringing; or topics you have become passionate about studying in law school based on your lived or educational experiences.
- Undergraduate and/or Standardized Test Performance: If you do not think that your academic record or standardized test scores accurately reflect your ability to succeed in law school, please tell us why.
The Admissions Committee typically finds one page or less is a sufficient length for most additional essays.
How to Write a Great Law School Personal Statement
Are you ready to tackle your law school personal statement? Clear and concise writing is a vital skill for law students, but writing about yourself can be daunting. It's hard to winnow your life experiences down to a couple of pages or find one topic to focus on.
Yet, your personal statement is a critical part of the application process . When combined with your resume, application, and LSAT score, it forms a complete picture of who you are and why you're a perfect fit.
With these steps, you'll overcome obstacles while developing prose that supports a favorable application decision.
Does a personal statement matter for law school?
Yes, your personal statement for law school is vital. It provides insights that aren't apparent on your transcripts. Engaging prose helps you stand out in a competitive space resulting in acceptance at your most-desired schools.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, the number of applicants to law schools rose by 1.6%, with 63,206 applicants submitting 381,698 applications, according to the Law School Admission Council . You're competing with students who may have similar LSAT scores , grade point averages, and professional experience. When facing identical transcripts from hardworking students, often the only differentiator is the personal statement.
After all, admissions officers want to know the person behind the hard data. That's where your law school personal statement comes into play. With a standout essay, you capture admissions officers' attention and an amazing narrative sticks in their heads. Your story should emphasize valuable traits, such as:
How do you write a good law school personal statement?
Writing a great law school personal statement doesn't come without hard work. Although you've written plenty of essays during your college experience, a strong narrative requires genuine reflection. You need to dig deep to uncover an aspect of your life that led to a significant change or put you on your current path.
Of course, intelligent prose doesn't always come out in the first draft. So prepare to spend a good chunk of time building your narrative and adjusting your statement for flow. Starting is often the hardest part of writing. Fortunately, you can follow these steps to nail your law school personal statement.
Review law school personal statement requirements
Begin by scouring the application packet materials and college websites. Look for key information about the length and page format of your personal statement. The guidelines should answer important questions like:
- How long should your personal statement be for law school?
- What is the maximum word count for a personal statement?
- How do you format a personal statement?
Next, write down any required prompts to answer in your essay. For instance, some schools may ask why you're applying or why you want a JD degree. Organize program details using a spreadsheet or project management software like Trello. Create a card or row for each program, then list important facts about its mission, goals, and community.
Also, check to see if any programs offer law school personal statement examples. Read through samples to get an idea of what admissions officers expect. Lastly, some colleges accept other types of statements as well, such as a diversity statement or an addendum. For best results, complete all options.
Diversity statement for law school
A diversity statement defines what makes you different. It sounds or looks similar to your law school personal statement. But, it differs because you don't need to tie up your narrative into a neat package that ends with an epiphany. Instead, it may cover an experience that explains your values or desire to work towards inclusivity.
Law school application addendum
An addendum is a way to overcome lower scores, a gap in education, or other concerns where you fall short in your official papers and transcripts. Addendums are short, concise, and honest. Explain your reason and demonstrate that you've met and overcome your challenge.
Brainstorm potential personal statement topics
Some people prefer to jump right into writing. However, your life story is pretty lengthy, so it's essential to narrow down your subject matter. Focus your attention by reflecting on your life and coming up with some topics to write about. Consider ideas like:
- Personal challenges, hardships, or completed goals
- A turning point in your life
- Unique hobbies or personal interests
- Special achievements or awards, not listed in-depth on your initial application
- A situation or environment that changed you or your values
- A project that got results and you're passionate about
- Your upbringing, culture, education, or a personal or professional experience
While brainstorming, go through your transcripts, application, and resume. Are there any gaps or missing details that your personal statement could cover? Perhaps you listed volunteer work with a local animal shelter on your application. Could you delve into this topic further? Aim to share a unique story where your personal growth is the main focus.
Explore your subject for clarity and insights
Sure, your chosen topic may be fresh on your mind. However, your personal statement for law school is more than describing an event. You need to show admission officers how this experience shaped you. It's vital to dig into how it impacted your values, traits, and feelings.
Many students report spending hours or days considering their topic, digging through memories, and compiling their subject matter. If you have access to photos, documents, or other things that'll jog your mind, then now is the time to pull them out. Sometimes even listening to your favorite songs can help you remember the moment.
Uncover a unique angle
Mark Twain once said that no story ideas are original. That holds true for personal statements as well. Plenty of law school applicants face difficult decisions, adversity, or enlightening experiences. Your essay isn't a retelling of an event. It focuses on your feelings and growth. And the story of you is unique, as no one shares your exact emotions or reactions.
Your goal is to explore an angle that sets your story apart from others. Overcome obstacles by taking a break during brainstorming. Come back to your topic with fresh eyes and hammer out your main idea.
Sum up your idea and start writing
Now you're looking at your topic, an angle, and you've pulled up those old memories. Do your best to sum it up and conclude it with a few sentences. This is your main point, and what every paragraph should lead the reader back to. Use these sentences as a reference point while writing.
Some students prefer to create a general outline before writing. Others produce a few key sentences and start typing. All personal statements for law school use a narrative arc with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Include:
- A captivating introduction that draws the reader into your life
- Body paragraphs that naturally flow towards a conclusion
- A decisive conclusion that delivers a lasting impression
During the rough draft, forget about length, grammar, or other specifics. Instead, just write. Get everything out on the pages. You'll have plenty of time later to refine, clarify, and structure your personal law school statement. Once you're done, read it over, make a few edits, and walk away.
Turn a draft into your personal law school statement
With a rough draft in hand, assess every word to ensure your story meets your objectives. Your goal is to recreate the moment and invite the reader into your account. Mold your rough draft into a final piece by focusing on a coherent structure.
Flow. A logical progression of ideas, with a clear arc, is essential. Your reader should glide through your personal statement naturally.
Length. Eliminate wordy phrases, overly difficult words, and descriptions that don't support your conclusion.
Personalization. Pay attention to subtle differences in law schools, from their communities to purpose. If you can genuinely work this into your personal statement, then do so.
Character decisions. It's okay to include other characters in your personal statement, but ultimately you want to return the focus to yourself.
Revise and edit several times
Few applicants write a stellar personal statement the first time. Get the best results by putting your draft through a comprehensive editing and revision process. This goes beyond using your word processing spell checker. Invest in human and technical tools to ensure the best results. Take steps such as:
- Double-check that your essay meets formatting and length requirements.
- Make sure you've answered any writing prompts.
- Personalize your statement to the specific school and program.
- Use a tool like Grammarly or ProWritingAid to correct grammar and style issues.
- Run your document through the Hemingway App to catch hard-to-read sentences and more.
Lastly, it’s essential to get help editing your personal statement. Fresh eyes and unbiased opinions allow you to refine your narrative. Obtain assistance from law school forums, writing centers, and social media communities. Or, ask fellow students or mentors to review your essay.
Create an impressive law school personal statement
Make your application packet stand out with a genuine and captivating personal statement for law school. Although writing your essay may seem like a challenging task, once you break it down into steps, it'll be easier to develop a cohesive statement that's sure to win admission officers’ attention.
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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 .
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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!
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Personal statements, explore personal statements from previous applicants who have been admitted to our jd program., personal statements from previous applicants.
Through their personal statements, applicants share their greatest influences, professional aspirations, and why they applied to BU Law. We share these examples to help you consider how to approach your own personal statement as you prepare your application.
Passionate students from across the globe choose BU Law for many different reasons. The personal statement portion of our application allows them opportunity to discuss significant experiences that have inspired them to become lawyers. Learn why these student—through influences like the earthquake in Haiti, innovation in the biotechnology sector, and a motel staircase—chose to enroll in our JD program.
Jean-Phillip Brignol: Teacher inspired to give back in earthquake aftermath
Q&A with Jean-Phillip
“Being a voice for those who are voiceless is an axiom that I carry with me as I think about my role as a teacher and citizen.”
“Earthquake in Haiti.” That is what the text from my aunt read. I went to dinner thinking this has happened before, not too big of a deal, and then after went to the dorm and turned on the TV. It was arresting. I sat in front of CNN transfixed for 3 hours as if it was 10 minutes. I could not believe that just 5 days before I was with my grandparents at their house in Delmas, Haiti with my mom, dad, and sister.
I am Haitian-American. Even though I was born in Chicago and lived in its suburbs most of my life, Haiti is a place I am deeply connected to through culture and family. The place where I lived when I was young and gave me the mix of languages, which got me sideways glances on the first day of 1st grade in the US when I introduced myself in French with, “Bonjour, je m’appelle Jean-Phillip.” It set me apart in my life but also made me a part of something. This relationship and the feeling of straddling different spaces would lead me to my interest in Race and Ethnicity and its impact on how people interacted in political and social worlds, especially immigrant populations. The pride I feel at the history of the first independent Black nation is immense, as it is for many Haitians, but so is the frustration with the failure to meet its true potential. To see it in such chaos and disaster tore at me and brought me closer to the Haitian reality. The reality of a small beautiful country filled with strong people who live with stark inequality. On my visits, my feelings of undeserved privilege have always been reinforced.
In the days after the earthquake my thoughts were of my grandparents who my family had not been able to contact. Seeing the destruction of a market nearby my grandparents’ house crushed our hopes. I sat and watched news stories helpless. I did not know what I could do to help. While in my dazed state, my friend Arlene called me to ask if we could reboot our Haitian student group. She asked and I assumed the role of President of the Haitian Student Organization and began working closely with the Yale administration to plan a concert fundraiser to support Haiti immediately. We also knew that keeping attention on Haiti, even a few weeks after, would be essential to helping Haiti in the long run. We spearheaded a committee to work on a Haitian awareness week, which brought the Haitian Prime Minister and aid workers as well as continued fundraising. My parents left to go back to their original home to help those who they could and see our family. They knew they would hear stories of many lost friends. Our story was lucky in comparison. My grandparents were shaken but alive. In this whole ordeal one moment stuck out to me. My grandmother on my mom’s side found one of her many cell phones to call us and let us know she was okay a few days after the earthquake and then against the wishes of my mom found a way to deliver a phone to my dad’s mom, who was visiting her old home for a month, so that he could speak to his family. It was an amazing moment of selfless giving. She knew my dad needed that conversation.
I drew strength from this and other moments as I balanced being a counselor, being a student, and being on our relief advisory committee. During one of the committee meetings with an administrator and graduate students from the Yale Forestry school there was a remarkable incident when the well-intentioned idea of a hunger dinner was raised and the idea of having the dining area decorated as a refugee camp was discussed. All at once I felt that these people who I was working with to help Haiti were trying to get my approval for something that would be another disaster. Asking me to support a hunger dinner that would portray all of Haiti as a refugee camp was ridiculous to me. I knew I had to speak up; I dismissed the idea of the refugee camp immediately. Even though I was not experiencing the trauma directly, I attempted to fathom the feelings felt and channeled them, along with my own, to be a fervent defender of the dignity of the Haitian people.
When I graduated in May that same grandmother who had found that cell phone was there to see me graduate as if nothing had happened, maybe slightly skinnier, with the rest of my family alongside her. Even though I told my parents I would have no problems driving alone from Yale to our home in Chicago, my grandmother scoffed and said of course she was going with me. As a teacher now, I draw from that example. Giving of myself in small ways so that others can stand on me and being an advocate for my Dominican immigrant students has been incredible. Teaching them how to advocate for themselves and navigate within a system that often misunderstands and disadvantages them has lead me beyond just being their “No Excuses” science teacher. I have had so many opportunities and support in my life and giving back seems like the only reasonable option. Being a voice for those who are voiceless is an axiom that I carry with me as I think about my role as a teacher and citizen. I am ready now to acquire the additional skills and knowledge necessary to support and provide access for those people.
Joshua Butera: Campaign fundraiser with a future in policy
Q&A with Josh
“After three years of campaigning, I am ready to be part of governing. Politics is my passion, but I want to see the promises made on a campaign through to completion.”
When I landed my first job on a US Senate campaign, I had volunteered and interned on various political campaigns and was eager to work on messaging and communications. My days, however, were not spent writing speeches or forming strategy as I had hoped but instead repeating mundane tasks and aggressively seeking out donors. I found myself calling strangers for hours each day, soliciting them for campaign contributions. Naturally an introvert, calling strangers made me uncomfortable, asking them for money pushed me well out of my comfort zone. There were no breaks to look forward to, either: I spent my nights researching potential donors and my weekends knocking on doors and canvassing public events.
With a goal of raising $20 million by Election Day, I was also responsible for planning fundraisers with seemingly unrealistic goals. For my first event, I was expected to raise $10,000 despite a difficult host who refused to return my phone calls. I called everyone on the invitation list multiple times, pitching anyone who answered. The day of the event, I was hopeful that my hard work would pay off. Maybe the host had been working his own connections in the community, or maybe the messages I left were compelling. There were ultimately only five people in attendance. We raised $800 that day. Frustrated with the long hours and meager results, I wondered why I was working on this campaign.
During those first couple of weeks, only the knowledge that I was fighting for a cause I believed in kept me motivated. The choices in the race were stark, and the winner would shape national decisions that affected every American. Our opponent’s stances were so radically different from what I believed best that I knew I would regret having any other job. All the negative aspects seemed trivial when compared to the consequences at stake.
Eventually, after putting in the hours and showing my commitment, I was given new responsibilities and more interesting tasks. I staffed call time with the candidate and witnessed how he integrated my research about the donors into his pitch. My heart skipped as he transitioned from health care reform to the “ask” and I breathed relief when we had a new pledge. I began writing the weekly campaign newsletter that went to hundreds of opinion leaders and activists around the state. Injecting my creativity and style when commenting on the week’s happenings and our opponent’s missteps reminded me of the reasons I took the job in the first place.
I also began to see better results when managing fundraisers. My first event taught me to seek out more engaged hosts and to build a stronger invitation list. I still spent hours on the phone inviting guests, but these calls now energized me as I spoke about the latest headlines and why we needed their help. During events, I preoccupied myself collecting contact information and scouting the room for the next potential host. As soon as the event ended, I raced back to the office excited to count the night’s haul. I enjoyed writing the newsletters, but the best part of the job was seeing my hard work pay off in an immediate and tangible way. No other experience had challenged me the way this job had, and through that I learned how to adapt and overcome obstacles to achieve my goals.
After three years of campaigning, I am ready to be part of governing. Politics is my passion, but I want to see the promises made on a campaign through to completion. As a fundraiser, I frequently plan events hosted by law firms, and I have seen firsthand how often politicians rely on lawyers for help in implementing policy decisions. Recently, the Mayor of Providence stayed late to ask attorneys their opinions about how to resolve issues with public pension contracts for current retirees. An attorney by trade, the Mayor probed them on potential solutions while discussing his concerns with them. Similarly, many other issues that affect people in very real ways require legal expertise in order to develop sound, effective policy solutions.
Kathryn Gevitz: Lifelong health care enthusiast determined to enact reform
Q&A with Kathryn
“Based on my experiences growing up, at the university, and now at work, I have come to the conclusion that a career in law is the single most effective way for me to help enact positive change and transform our fragmented health care delivery system.”
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a career in health care (yes—I know I am applying to law school—please bear with me). However, my focus has changed as I have had the opportunity to take a variety of classes and gain work experience.
My parents were unwittingly responsible for my initial interest in health. They both work in the field, albeit indirectly, so I was immersed in a world full of doctors, nurses, and hospitals at a young age.
Years ago, when my father—a medical historian and ethicist—was invited to speak at a conference or university, my mother and I would go along for the ride. At the time, I had no interest in listening to the actual content of his talks. I viewed these trips more as an opportunity to miss school and to make fun of my father’s wild hand gestures—I even conceived the Kung Fu GevitzTM action doll, which karate-chopped a podium at the push of a button. I earnestly swore to his bemused colleagues that I would never grow up to be like him, but despite my greatest efforts (and perhaps as a result of listening to one too many of his speeches), I slowly found myself sharing many of his academic interests.
My mother’s domain—the hospital where she worked as a practice manager of a cardiac surgery office—was a much more fascinating playground growing up. Despite being sick during most of my visits, I preferred spending time at the hospital to attending any conference. Between napping on her floor and drawing pictures for everyone in the office, I would watch live feed of the surgeons operating on an exposed heart or take trips to the morgue to view hearts with congenital abnormalities.
Dismissing my father’s profession and familiar only with the glamorous side of medicine, I began college with one career in mind: physician. I dreamed of discovering the cure for AIDS, developing new treatments for cancer, and ridding the world of disease. However, early in my freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania, I found that the classes that piqued my interest and excited me the most were not biology lab or chemistry, but rather the classes I took through my major in health and societies; classes like American Health Policy, Biomedical Ethics, and Health Law. These courses opened my eyes to the realm of health care beyond patient diagnosis and treatment. For the first time, I became acutely aware of the millions of Americans who struggle to access or pay for basic health services. I was also introduced to the tremendous influence of law and policy in everyday medical issues. The breadth of topics in my health law class, as well as the law’s presence in my other courses, astounded me. Whether we were talking about patient consent in my bioethics class or insurance markets in Medical Economics, our discussion always circled back to the role of the law. What impressed me most, however, was the legal system’s potential to effect broad social change. Inspired, I started thinking that a career in health law would be the best way to impact not only my clients, but also my community, and even my country.
Gaining firsthand insight into real life health issues has only reaffirmed this belief. While I do not work directly with the underserved, I manage aggregate data that testifies just as strongly to the need for policy reform. Every week at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, I pull data from the Communicable Disease Management System—a database of collected patient information—to generate a report summarizing weekly and monthly trends in disease incidence. Week after week, the same social and behavioral risk factors are associated with the same diseases. For example, Asians comprise the majority of hepatitis B reports, older individuals with smoking histories are most at risk for Legionnaires’ disease, and infants and the elderly are most susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases such as H. influenzae . The targeted health education and vaccination efforts we provide are necessary, but clearly not sufficient, to reduce disease incidence in these groups.
Examining emergency department chief complaint data reveals another set of problematic trends. Performing syndromic surveillance, I regularly see records of people who come to the emergency department with chronic conditions that they have had for years, but that have remained untreated because they cannot afford or access regular care. I also see how many individuals repeatedly misuse the emergency department as a resource. Rather than visiting a general practitioner, many poor and uninsured individuals come to the emergency department for primary care issues—colds, hangnails, back aches—because they cannot be denied treatment based on ability to pay. These are problems that cannot be fixed without a fundamental overhaul of our health care system.
Earning a law degree from Boston University with a specialty in health care law will give me the analytical tools to construct public policy that can address these issues and more. I would have the capacity to develop legislation and policies to decrease the incidence of Legionnaires’ disease (as well as lung cancer and heart disease) or advise on the legality of mandated vaccination. Alternatively, I could develop as well as defend policy and regulations that reduce emergency department misuse and promote greater access to more affordable and higher quality health care services. Based on my experiences growing up, at the university, and now at work, I have come to the conclusion that a career in law is the single most effective way for me to help enact positive change and transform our fragmented health care delivery system.
Kate Lebeaux: Immigrant advocate inspired by her clients to do more
Q&A with Kate
“[My clients] have shown me how great an asset the immigrant community is to our country and left me convinced that I will find immigrant advocacy extremely rewarding.”
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. Afraid for her life, Sandra left for the US to join her sister in Massachusetts. She had been in our country for all of eight weeks, five of which she spent in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Texas. 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. Despite the different reasons for my move abroad, I do remember feeling completely overwhelmed by what would have been mindless tasks in a familiar environment—from opening a bank account to paying utility bills, nothing was intuitive anymore. 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. Her case will likely take years to complete, but overlooking any details along the way could render Sandra ineligible to receive immigration benefits.
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. They have shown me how great an asset the immigrant community is to our country and left me convinced that I will find immigrant advocacy extremely rewarding.
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. Likewise, by participating in the pro bono program’s Immigration/Asylum service trip in Texas, I could develop a better understanding of the challenges immigrants face upon crossing the Mexican border. 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. The school’s diverse curriculum and highly-renowned academic programs would constantly challenge me and allow me to grow in ways I can’t yet imagine. I hope to have the opportunity to face those challenges, and to contribute my own experiences and drive to the Boston University community.
Eva Maryskova: Czech native seizing the opportunity to pursue her dreams
Q&A with Eva
“The experience of growing up surrounded by people whose lives and dreams were disrupted by the strict communist regime fills me with a great desire to take full advantage of the opportunities available to me.”
November 1989 saw the restoration of democracy in Czechoslovakia. Without knowing it at the time, my life would be forever changed by this moment in my country’s history. Not only did the Velvet Revolution expand the horizon of my opportunities beyond anything my parents and their whole generation could have ever imagined, but it also ultimately sparked my interest in law. It highlighted the importance of understanding how nations and their legislation can affect the lives of citizens and how international regulations influence transnational relations. From the example of my home country, which is still working on developing its young social and political framework, I can see how law is a crucial determinant in the formation of an environment under which business and culture can thrive. I see great purpose and personal fulfillment in pursuing a discipline which has the potential to positively affect social development.
The experience of growing up surrounded by people whose lives and dreams were disrupted by the strict communist regime fills me with a great desire to take full advantage of the opportunities available to me. I utilized the scholarship I received to attend an international school in Prague not only to study English, but also to learn as much as possible from my international classmates. This experience expanded my worldview and later prompted my decision to study abroad and travel. Continuously interacting with people from different cultures makes me an adaptive, confident, and effective communicator, and it helps me see any situation from various points of view. Being able to identify and evaluate possible options helps me find the right solutions to challenges and identify steps to fulfilling specific goals. It has also helped me find my own course to the study of law.
I transferred out of the undergraduate degree in law I was pursuing in the United Kingdom to gain the skills, and most importantly the experience, I felt I needed in order to reach a deeper understanding of law theory and its application. As an English major at Boston University I developed skills in writing, research, critical reading and analysis. My second major in economics provided a solid background into the business setting within which law firms operate and prompted my interest in business and finance law. Later on, internships and full-time work tested this knowledge in a corporate environment. It was important to learn to apply classroom skills creatively and within tight deadlines. For example, managing the creation and release of company press releases at my first job after graduation demanded particularly good organization and time management. I had to identify interesting points worthy of mention in international media, make sure I understood the scientific data I was writing about and schedule the release of articles on time, while coordinating requests from several company departments. This gave me a strong sense of responsibility, as my writing was the voice of the entire company. I believe that continuing to apply this same work ethic will help me manage the rigorous demands of law school.
Learning from experienced professionals at large international companies encourages me to take on increasingly challenging tasks. In my free time I manage the Czech branch of an international non-profit arts project related to theater. It gives students the opportunity to see theater performances for free, publish their reviews and articles on an international web portal, and receive guidance and feedback from experts and scholars in the field. I have now expanded the Prague team to include five reviewers, and I am always looking to involve more students in the project. I will continue to look for ways to provide learning opportunities and share knowledge with peers in order to contribute to the Boston University community.
The lessons I have received from my country’s recent history continue to provide me with strong motivation. I grew up listening to stories from the times of the occupation, and they were always about the limits and the restrictions that characterized the era. I am very thankful that this does not apply to me and that I can now take the next step to realizing my goal of becoming a lawyer. I will rely on my determination and the skills I have gained through education, work experience, and travel to help me through the challenges of law school. I believe that I have what it takes to be a valuable contribution to the Boston University Law School classroom and also the legal profession.
Eddie Moreno: Scientist with a passion for intellectual property law
Q&A with Eddie
“I was motivated by a desire to pursue a career that would allow me to broaden the range of scientific issues I worked on, rather than the narrow field in which I had specialized.”
I am very passionate about science and spent much of my academic life in research laboratories studying parasites that cause human disease. Recently, as a technical specialist at an intellectual property law firm, I discovered that I could successfully utilize the creative-thinking and analytical skills that I acquired as a scientist to help clients in the biotechnology sector protect their intellectual property. My experiences have solidified my commitment to law school, and I therefore write this statement to convince you of my resolve to merge my passions for science and law by becoming an attorney-scientist.
I was raised in the mountainous interior of Puerto Rico by parents who emphasized the importance of obtaining the best education possible. I attended a public residential high school with a curriculum specializing in math and science, where I excelled at learning about a variety of scientific disciplines and developed my passion for science. At age fifteen, I was selected to begin working in a research laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, as a participant in a summer program directed to motivating students to pursue careers in scientific research. My work focused on isolating and characterizing proteins that could be used for the diagnosis of, and vaccination against, two parasitic diseases. This transformative experience propelled my decision to pursue a career in scientific research. After high school, I continued working on the same research project while earning my Bachelor of Science degree in biology at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. My undergraduate experience was enriched by my selection to participate in a scientific exchange program, sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health, which funded my training in research laboratories at three distinguished research institutions: the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Monash University (Australia), and the University of Salamanca (Spain). These global experiences not only helped cultivate my scientific skills, they also allowed me to gain a unique understanding of different cultures, peoples, and belief systems.
At the University of Virginia, I earned a doctoral degree in microbiology studying the molecular mechanisms regulating how the parasite Entamoeba histolytica causes disease. I presented my doctoral research at multiple national and international scientific conferences and the results of my work were published in two peer-reviewed scientific articles. As my doctoral studies were concluding and job prospects loomed, however, the realization hit that I was motivated by a desire to pursue a career that would allow me to broaden the range of scientific issues I worked on, rather than the narrow field in which I had specialized. I had been exposed to intellectual property law while taking a technology transfer course taught by a law professor in college, and conducted several informational interviews with attorneys practicing intellectual property law to decide if I should explore a career in this field.
Working as a technical specialist in the biotechnology/chemical practice group of an intellectual property law firm in Washington, DC, for the past year and a half has afforded me the opportunity to gradually transition from the lab bench to the law firm under the mentorship of several attorney-scientists. I have been rewarded by the opportunity to work on a broad variety of biotechnology fields including pharmaceuticals, biofuels, vaccines and nutraceuticals, and enjoyed the intellectual challenge of understanding the technical issues of each case, analyzing the legal and strategic implications of the advice we give our clients, and developing writing skills to produce work products that can be understood by non-technical audiences. My responsibilities as a technical specialist include prosecuting patents in the US and abroad, developing opinions for clients regarding the invalidity and/or non-infringement of patent claims, and performing freedom-to-operate analyses for clients seeking to release new or modified products.
My experiences as a technical specialist have convinced me that I am committed to becoming an attorney specializing in intellectual property law. I have the technical aptitude and determination to succeed as an attorney and now seek the necessary formal legal education to become an effective advocate and trusted advisor. I believe that my background, professional experiences, and maturity will allow me to contribute a unique perspective to the student body at the Boston University School of Law.
Jacquelyn Rex: Teach for America participant who learned to love home
Q&A with Jackie
“Although my students may never know it, my time as their teacher has instilled in me a sense of urgency and purpose that fuels me to continue working for children and their families as long as I am able.”
When I applied for Teach for America in the winter of 2009, it was more for the opportunity to leave the Rio Grande Valley than to accomplish the movement’s real mission of bringing a quality education to low-income students. A predominantly Mexican area with most families living under the poverty line, the Valley represented, for me, a place where ignorance met apathy, a place where people got what they deserved, and above all else, a place I refused to spend any more time in. I applied for major cities around the nation, but Teach for America had different plans for me, and when notifications were sent out at the end of March, I was placed as an elementary special education teacher in the Rio Grande Valley. And in what I could only chalk up to be divine intervention, I was hired at the same elementary school that I had attended.
Two years and I will be done. I couldn’t shake that thought as I entered my classroom on the first day of school. Making a real difference seemed unlikely: my heart wasn’t into the work I was about to do. When the bell rang and I began picking up my students from their classes, life as I knew it ceased to exist.
That first day, I didn’t pick up a single child that wasn’t wearing dirty or ripped clothing. One was covered in bug bites. Another’s stomach growled as I walked the students through classroom rules and procedures. None smiled. I could not seem to wrap my mind around the fact that these students attended the same school that I so happily did not-so-many years before. By Thanksgiving, a brother and sister in my class scratched so hard at their wrists and fingers from poorly treated scabies that they’d return their assignments to me with small blood streaks staining the bottom. Stomachs still growled during my math lessons. But when a fifth-grade student told me she’d spent the night in a small bedroom closet, arms around her four younger siblings as her mother and father went at each other with broken bottles and angry fists, I could no longer stand it.
Something changed in me that day. I’m not quite sure if I finally grew up or realized the enormous responsibility my job had given me, but something changed. And for probably the first time in my life, I stopped thinking of only myself. Suddenly I was so ashamed of ever thinking negatively about being Mexican or growing up in the Valley—so embarrassed that I thought so little of the community that had given of their time to ensure that I would have all the opportunities in the world. It dawned on me that I was only able to have the strong opinions I did because countless individuals had made my success their mission. And it was time for me to do the same. It may have been pure chance that I ended up returning to the Valley where I was raised, but doing so gave me such an advantage over my Teach for America counterparts: Parents found me more trustworthy, my intentions and abilities as a teacher were rarely questioned, and my ability to speak Spanish comforted. My Valley roots made me an ally, and my children only benefited from this.
For the next three years, I poured my soul into my work and let my students have my heart. I organized community reading groups to get parents and neighbors involved in literacy. When parents began telling me that they wanted to help their children with math homework but didn’t understand the objectives, I requested my principal set up a family math night so that parents could come into my classroom and have me teach the concepts to them alongside their children. I watched as my community grew closer together and my students’ academic abilities blossomed. It didn’t matter if students had autism or Down Syndrome, learning disabilities or emotional disturbance. All my students were learning at a pace faster than expected. By the spring semester of my second year, I even dismissed two students from special education services entirely.
My time in the classroom has been a wonderful, challenging experience. I’ve seen children accomplish more than others thought possible; at times, certainly more than I thought possible. I’ve seen a real love of learning blossom in the children and the families I’ve served. These were my miracles—my proof that if you wanted something badly enough you could make it happen. My children made great gains. And I tried my hardest to do all the things I thought a great teacher needed to do. But at times, it still wasn’t enough. My children needed more. My classroom was a safe place for my students, but their time with me was limited. I could shelter them to my heart’s content during the day, but once that bell rang and I handed my children back to the outside world, all I could do was stand and watch as life’s circumstances tried and often did bring them down. That’s when I decided to apply for law school. I have enjoyed every moment in the classroom, but I want to help children and their families in ways I simply cannot as a teacher. I want to fight for them and their families in an effort to improve their lives as much as I possibly can. If I’ve learned anything from my time in the classroom, it is that even the smallest of changes in circumstance can make for the biggest changes in one’s quality of life.
This past year was my third working with students from my own community. And although my students may never know it, my time as their teacher has instilled in me a sense of urgency and purpose that fuels me to continue working for children and their families as long as I am able. Working as a special education teacher in my own community has taught me humility and respect. It has taught me that, for many children, the need is great, the time is short, and I have an obligation to do whatever I can to help. I now believe that those with special talents, extraordinary abilities, or just a moment of free time have a responsibility to help those around them in every way possible. I have learned that in helping others achieve even the smallest of victories, I have not only made new opportunities possible for them but also contributed to the content of my own character. A life of service is a noble one that I hope to achieve. A life where I can inspire as I have been inspired and offer hope when hope seems most unlikely.
I laugh a little now when I think about how a group of disabled children helped me find my home again and gave me a place in the world. They showed me that being from the Valley is something to cheer about. I am now so proud to be a Mexican-American woman with a rich culture and language who had the opportunity to learn from and be embraced by the community I spent a lifetime criticizing. I am so honored and humbled to have been a special education teacher for my little ones, showing them that education, opportunities, and justice are for everyone, regardless of life’s circumstances and arrogant opinions. As a law student, you will find few more passionate than I; as an attorney, few who work harder and demand greater of themselves. For three years, my students and their families have allowed me to work for them, trusting my judgment and welcoming my help. But I can do more. I am ready to do more.
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Writing the Personal Statement
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This handout provides information about writing personal statements for academic and other positions.
The personal statement, your opportunity to sell yourself in the application process, generally falls into one of two categories:
1. The general, comprehensive personal statement:
This allows you maximum freedom in terms of what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms.
2. The response to very specific questions:
Often, business and graduate school applications ask specific questions, and your statement should respond specifically to the question being asked. Some business school applications favor multiple essays, typically asking for responses to three or more questions.
Questions to ask yourself before you write:
- What's special, unique, distinctive, and/or impressive about you or your life story?
- What details of your life (personal or family problems, history, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?
- When did you become interested in this field and what have you learned about it (and about yourself) that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained?
- How have you learned about this field—through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or conversations with people already in the field?
- If you have worked a lot during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for example), and how has that work contributed to your growth?
- What are your career goals?
- Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (great grades but mediocre LSAT or GRE scores, for example, or a distinct upward pattern to your GPA if it was only average in the beginning)?
- Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (for example, economic, familial, or physical) in your life?
- What personal characteristics (for example, integrity, compassion, and/or persistence) do you possess that would improve your prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics?
- What skills (for example, leadership, communicative, analytical) do you possess?
- Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field than other applicants?
- What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?
Answer the questions that are asked
- If you are applying to several schools, you may find questions in each application that are somewhat similar.
- Don't be tempted to use the same statement for all applications. It is important to answer each question being asked, and if slightly different answers are needed, you should write separate statements. In every case, be sure your answer fits the question being asked.
Tell a story
- Think in terms of showing or demonstrating through concrete experience. One of the worst things you can do is to bore the admissions committee. If your statement is fresh, lively, and different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the pack. If you distinguish yourself through your story, you will make yourself memorable.
- Don't, for example, state that you would make an excellent doctor unless you can back it up with specific reasons. Your desire to become a lawyer, engineer, or whatever should be logical, the result of specific experience that is described in your statement. Your application should emerge as the logical conclusion to your story.
Find an angle
- If you're like most people, your life story lacks drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding an angle or a "hook" is vital.
Concentrate on your opening paragraph
- The lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. This paragraph becomes the framework for the rest of the statement.
Tell what you know
- The middle section of your essay might detail your interest and experience in your particular field, as well as some of your knowledge of the field. Too many people graduate with little or no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the profession or field they hope to enter. Be as specific as you can in relating what you know about the field and use the language professionals use in conveying this information. Refer to experiences (work, research, etc.), classes, conversations with people in the field, books you've read, seminars you've attended, or any other source of specific information about the career you want and why you're suited to it. Since you will have to select what you include in your statement, the choices you make are often an indication of your judgment.
Don't include some subjects
- There are certain things best left out of personal statements. For example, references to experiences or accomplishments in high school or earlier are generally not a good idea. Don't mention potentially controversial subjects (for example, controversial religious or political issues).
Do some research, if needed
- If a school wants to know why you're applying to it rather than another school, do some research to find out what sets your choice apart from other universities or programs. If the school setting would provide an important geographical or cultural change for you, this might be a factor to mention.
Write well and correctly
- Be meticulous. Type and proofread your essay very carefully. Many admissions officers say that good written skills and command of correct use of language are important to them as they read these statements. Express yourself clearly and concisely. Adhere to stated word limits.
- A medical school applicant who writes that he is good at science and wants to help other people is not exactly expressing an original thought. Stay away from often-repeated or tired statements.
For more information on writing a personal statement, see the personal statement vidcast .
How to write a great personal statement
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, work experience and volunteer opportunities have been harder to come by over the last couple of years. Due to this, crafting a personal statement that stands out is more important than ever. We catch up with Student Recruitment Managers Richard Palmer and James Busson for their tips on writing a great personal statement.
By Cara Fielder . Published 13 October 2021. Last updated 13 July 2022.
Why is a personal statement important?
The personal statement is much more than just meeting the grade requirements and must tick several boxes to stand out. These statements are a top consideration for admissions tutors but don’t see it as a chore, the personal statement provides an opportunity to communicate your unique skills and strengths and to secure your place at university.
What are admissions looking for?
Students must have the appropriate qualifications and grade predictions to meet entry requirements but this needs to be elaborated on in your personal statement. As you think of your different qualifications, accomplishments, and qualities remember to link them all together to show how this makes you suitable for your chosen course.
- Excellent spelling, grammar and attention to detail.
- Illustrate your suitability for the course by linking it to different areas of life. For example, earlier studies, extra-curricular activities, personal hobbies/experiences and work experience (if applicable).
- Your personality – not in terms of humour or sarcasm but show that you are a responsible and hardworking student.
- A strong reference that supports your application.
Top tips for your personal statement
1) Map out the structure. The best way to approach this is visually: create a diagram splitting the personal statement into sections. Firstly, you want a strong opening statement introducing yourself. The middle section can then be split into three sub-sections: your course choice, education experience and your wider experiences (e.g. extracurricular activities and work). Then close it off with a concluding statement summarising the points you’ve made as concisely as possible.
2) When discussing your suitability, discuss your current or previous studies by talking about your transferable skills; how the content and the skills relate to your chosen course and how they will help you succeed.
Do this even for subjects that aren’t directly related to your chosen course. For example, if you’re applying for criminology but studied A-level Geography you could talk about ‘green crimes’ etc. Alternatively, you could discuss how group or creative projects have provided you with relevant skills to succeed in a degree such as organisation skills, communication or multi-tasking.
If you are applying for slightly different courses, remember that all your university choices will see the same personal statement. Make sure to prioritise talking about your main subject for consistency.
3) While it might be tempting to copy your friends or take inspiration from example personal statements online, avoid at all costs. Plagiarism is often unintentional but the best thing you can do to avoid it is steering away from using templates or writing similar personal statements to your peers.
UCAS (for example) puts every statement through plagiarism software. If your statement has 30% similarities to others, a report is sent to all your university choices. They decide the outcome, which could be to revoke your offer.
It’s also helpful to be aware of plagiarism and how best to avoid it, as you’ll need to have an awareness of this when submitting university assignments.
Using the Plagiarism report from UCAS in 2018 we know the following phrase was used 234 times…. "Ever since I accidentally burnt holes in my pyjamas after experimenting with a chemistry set on my 8th birthday, I have had a passion for science"
Don’t be too worried though. If you honestly write an original statement and the software still picks it up by fluke the university will know to what to do.
4) Consider your strengths – what are you good at? What have you done that could help demonstrate that skill?
Keep is positive - “I was a debate team captain and lead in making arguments” add positive adjectives and adverbs to build up the sentence. “I was a successful debate team captain and lead in making winning arguments”
Everybody has weaknesses, and it’s important to recognise these too. However, be sure to frame it as a positive. Be honest and recognise areas you haven’t experienced or aren’t as confident at – and consider positive ways that you can develop in that area.
5) Highlight any previous work experience. Even if it was short-term or voluntary, any experience is good and helps to emphasise your skills. Demonstrating that you have actively sought out work experience presents you as someone with initiative and independence.
6) Plan ahead. Start writing it as early as possible and be aware of all important deadlines. Draw out a timeline detailing when you aim to have your first draft done, your second draft, any reviews and submission deadlines. This will help to get you in the right mindset from the outset, because nobody likes last-minute stress.
7) Keep an eye out for typos, you don’t want this distracting from your strengths. Make sure to double and triple check your work. Sometimes when you have been working on something for a long time, it’s easy to overlook mistakes so it’s also helpful to ask someone else to proofread it for you. Getting family or friends to proofread your personal statement will also help to ensure that it sounds authentically you.
8) Aim to stand out from the crowd. Try to think outside of the box and communicate what makes you unique. For example, if you have any creative ideas on how to improve a certain area within your chosen industry/subject, put this forward. This might tie in with your hobbies and work experience and be a good way to build on it.
9) Make evidence-based points. Highlighting your experiences is a crucial part of the personal statement but must be backed up with solid evidence. For example, if you have experience as a sports captain or society member, rather than just listing what you did, explain how you got there and what you achieved. Mention actions and outcomes, this shows how you strive for self-improvement and highlights an ability to clearly define goals.
10) No excuses. The last two years have been extremely challenging especially for students seeking work experience. This means students who have utilised the available opportunities have a serious competitive edge. So, be sure to highlight what you have done rather than attempting to fill in any gaps where you were less active. You can turn the lack of opportunities into a positive by explaining how you overcame this challenge and managed to remain focused on your future profession.
The University of Law holds hundreds of events around work experience, mentoring schemes and taster sessions. Discover more about ULaw events .
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Personal statement example llb law personal statement.
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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.
Submitted by anonymous
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Announcing new committee on preventing antisemitism and hate.
Dear members of the Northwestern community,
In the weeks since the brutal terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas and the ensuing military action in Gaza, I have had the opportunity to meet with students, faculty, parents, alumni and staff across our campuses, many of whom have shared very personal stories of pain, anger, fear or disillusionment as we — individually and collectively — face the uncertainties and horrors of the terror attacks and war in the Middle East.
This conflict has created division and mistrust on our campuses, further stoked by events that have taken place at other universities and by the rhetoric of individuals both inside and outside of our community. I have heard from students and parents who feel unsafe. I want to assure you that the University is committed to providing a safe, welcoming environment for everyone in our community, through measures both visible and, in many cases, unseen.
As I have said before on multiple occasions and will reiterate again: Northwestern will not stand for antisemitism or discriminatory acts directed at any individual based upon their race, religion, national origin or other protected categories . They are against University policy and, in many instances, against the law. We will investigate any and all allegations of behavior targeting members of our community in violation of our policies. If an individual violates these policies, we will begin disciplinary proceedings against the perpetrator and, if the matter warrants, refer it to law enforcement.
A strong commitment to fighting antisemitism and other forms of hate, such as those targeting students, faculty or staff of Muslim or Arab heritage, is consistent with our value of protecting free expression. While words expressing political views and support for one group or another may not rise to a violation of our policies, they may still have no place in a community like ours, which is based upon mutual respect and dialogue. As I repeatedly say and write, “Just because one has the right to say something doesn’t mean that they should do so.” I call on all members of our community to use our collective voices to emphatically reject statements or banners that significant parts of our community interpret as promoting murder and genocide. This includes flying flags associated with Hamas and banners with the slogan “From the River to the Sea.”
To support the University’s commitment to protecting our students, faculty and staff from antisemitism and other forms of discriminatory or threatening acts based upon religion or national origin and to promote our central mission of civil dialogue and learning, I will appoint the President’s Advisory Committee on Preventing Antisemitism and Hate. This Advisory Committee will be co-chaired by Kellogg Professor Efraim Benmelech and SESP Dean Bryan Brayboy. Members will be selected to represent a diverse set of Northwestern perspectives and will include faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustees.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Preventing Antisemitism and Hate will examine the current landscape at the University, to help guide our response to the crisis in the Middle East and to ensure we have mechanisms in place to help prevent the type of violence and threatening behaviors we have seen at peer institutions. It will focus not just on stemming the growth of antisemitism, but also hate directed to other groups such as our students of Palestinian descent. It will work with me, the provost and our entire community to find ways to bring us together through engagement, learning and dialogue across difference. This could include suggestions related to future academic panels and filling gaps in our curriculum and research efforts. It also will help us understand whether our mechanisms to report antisemitic or other acts of bias are sufficient.
As the advisory committee gets up and running, I will continue to meet with individuals and groups in our community, because your feedback and experiences are vitally important to me and to our University. Our indefatigable Student Affairs team will continue its outreach to student groups and individuals, providing space, psychological and spiritual support and consultation. And our Department of Safety and Security will continue increased patrols and visibility.
In recent weeks, our faculty, staff and students have provided many opportunities to discuss and explore the issues that have shaped — and continue to shape — the Middle East, including a discussion last week at Northwestern Chabad with Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Israel’s Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism, and a conversation with author Nathan Thrall, which was co-hosted by the Middle East & North African Studies Program (MENA) and Medill.
Tonight, starting at 5 p.m. in McCormick Auditorium in Norris Center, the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies and MENA will host a dialogue between professors Wendy Pearlman and David Shyovitz, in which they will share their perspectives on the current war and its larger context. And on Wednesday at 10 a.m., the Northwestern Israel Innovation Project and the Office of the Vice President for International Relations will host a webinar on “ The Israel-Hamas War ,” with discussion of its background and implications.
Such discussions are not easy, but they are essential. They showcase how our Northwestern community can come together to examine the world’s most pressing problems — a function of our University that is as important today as at any point in our history.
I am grateful for so many members of our community who have offered their scholarly expertise, who have provided care and support for our students, or who have contacted me to share their thoughts and advice as we all work together to better understand and navigate the crushing weight of a war that impacts so many of us.
I ask again that we resist the temptation to denigrate others and react before thinking — particularly on social media or email. Efforts to “dox” or shame members of our community because of their beliefs are simply beneath us and not worthy of Northwestern or any of its constituent groups. They also can be dangerous. Instead, our community stands for learning, civil discourse, informed dialogue and, through those core functions, making our world a better place.
Jurisprudence in a Sentence 🔊
Definition of Jurisprudence
the part of philosophy that focuses on the origins of the law and the decisions made by the judicial systems
Examples of Jurisprudence in a sentence
Even in high school, Evan read a great deal on jurisprudence because he knew he wanted to become a lawyer. 🔊
People who study jurisprudence hope to learn more about the nature and history of laws. 🔊
In the federal courts, jurisprudence is often used to help make rulings on difficult cases. 🔊
To simply ignore a legal precedent is to overlook jurisprudence. 🔊
The jurisprudence of the right to bare arms has become a nightmare for the court system. 🔊
Other words in the Law category:
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How to write jurisprudence essays.
Jurisprudence essay writing is one of the hardest assignment students are given. Natural law, analytic jurisprudence, and normative jurisprudence are three main aspects of the jurisprudence. Natural law is the unchangeable law of nature that all institution should look upon and try to match with theorists. The natural law intends to identify the moral compass to guide state law making power. Analytic jurisprudence is concern with the inquisitive nature of the academics. Normative jurisprudence concern the law which need to be in an ideal world.
Guidelines on how to write Jurisprudence essays
When writing a jurisprudence essays, always remember to limit your essay according to the instructions given. Jurisprudence essays require one to resolve the legal controversy. It is not advisable to tell the reader in the first paragraph what your argument is all about. But it is more exciting if the reader does a jurisprudential scavenger hunt. Write a conclusion that summarizes the entire essay . It is not advisable to add any new information in the conclusion part. Conclusion part should not be large but should be made up of only one paragraph. By understanding what is required from you, will guarantee high grade in this type of essay. Clearly, identify the legal authority and critical evaluation of the essay. One characteristic of jurisprudence essay is it should be simple and concise. Reassure the examiner that the essay was easy by carrying out thorough research from various sources. Let the argument follow one another in a systematic way. Repeat the question in every paragraph and give the best argument ever. Correct quotations, paraphrasing, and citations are very important when writing jurisprudence essay. Proofread your jurisprudence essay before submission to make sure that the essay is free from any spelling and grammatical error. Do not forget to format according to instructions given.
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Harvard Law Review Editors Vote to Kill Article About Genocide in Gaza
The article on the Gaza war and the Nakba was commissioned, edited, fact-checked, and prepared for publication — but was then blocked amid a climate of fear.
A week after Hamas’s October 7 massacre, by which time Israel’s all-out assault on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip had killed thousands of civilians, the online editors of the prestigious Harvard Law Review reached out to Rabea Eghbariah.
The two online chairs, as they are called, had decided to solicit an essay from a Palestinian scholar for the journal’s website. Eghbariah was an obvious choice: A Palestinian doctoral candidate at Harvard Law School and human rights lawyer, he has tried landmark Palestinian civil rights cases before the Israeli Supreme Court.
Eghbariah submitted a draft of a 2,000-word essay by early November. He argued that Israel’s assault on Gaza should be evaluated within and beyond the “legal framework” of “genocide.”
In line with the Law Review’s standard procedures, the piece was solicited, commissioned, contracted, submitted, edited, fact checked, copy edited, and approved by the relevant editors. Yet it will never be published with the Harvard Law Review.
Following an intervention to delay the publication of Eghbariah’s article by the Harvard Law Review president, the piece went through several committee processes before it was finally killed by an emergency meeting of editors. The essay, “The Ongoing Nakba,” would have been the first from a Palestinian scholar published by the journal.
In an email to Eghbariah and Harvard Law Review President Apsara Iyer, shared with The Intercept, online chair Tascha Shahriari-Parsa, one of the editors who commissioned the essay, called the move an “unprecedented decision.”
“Let’s not dance around it — this is also outright censorship. It is dangerous and alarming.”
“As Online Chairs, we have always had full discretion to solicit pieces for publication,” Shahriari-Parsa wrote, informing Eghbariah that his piece would not be published despite following the agreed upon procedure for blog essays. Shahriari-Parsa wrote that concerns had arisen about staffers being offended or harassed, but “a deliberate decision to censor your voice out of fear of backlash would be contrary to the values of academic freedom and uplifting marginalized voices in legal academia that our institution stands for.”
Both Shahriari-Parsa and the other top online editor, Sabrina Ochoa, told The Intercept that they had never seen a piece face this level of scrutiny at the Law Review. Shahriari-Parsa could find no previous examples of other pieces pulled from publication after going through the standard editorial process. Another editor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, echoed the view that Eghbariah’s treatment is unprecedented.
The anonymous editor said that, based on their research, Israeli scholars had been well represented in the pages of the magazine, but not Palestinians. The editor also said that they could find no previous examples, based on their research, of a publication-ready article being pulled.
In one of his responses to the editors, Eghbariah wrote, “This is discrimination. Let’s not dance around it — this is also outright censorship. It is dangerous and alarming.”
According to emails shared with The Intercept, as well as Shahriari-Parsa and Eghbariah’s accounts, Iyer at first delayed the essay’s publication over what she said were safety concerns and the desire to deliberate with editors. According to an email from Shahriari-Parsa to the author, however, Iyer also said in meetings that “she was personally unwilling to allow the piece to be published.” (Iyer responded in the email chain with Eghbariah that there were “numerous inaccuracies” in the rejection email, claiming the story had gone through the normal process and that the piece had been rejected based on the requested publication timeline.)
Following requests from over 30 editors, an emergency meeting of the entire journal body was called. After nearly six hours, the more than 100 editors voted anonymously on running the piece or not, with a strong majority voting against publication.
“Like every academic journal, the Harvard Law Review has editorial processes governing how it solicits, evaluates, and determines when and whether to publish a piece,” the Harvard Law Review said in a statement. “An intrinsic feature of these internal processes is the confidentiality of our 104 editors’ perspectives and deliberations. After a full body meeting and vote of the entire membership last week, a substantial majority voted not to proceed with publication.”
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Entirely run by students — Iyer and Shahriari-Parsa, like Eghbariah, attend Harvard Law School — Harvard Law Review is a well-known launch pad for estimable legal and political careers. Barack Obama was the journal president during his time at the law school, and graduates regularly go on to clerkships with Supreme Court justices and jobs at top-tier law firms. With careers potentially on the line, the Harvard Law Review’s decision on Eghbariah’s essay came amid a crackdown in academia, in Ivy League schools and elsewhere, against pro-Palestinian speech following the October 7 Hamas attack and Israel’s subsequent onslaught against the Gaza Strip.
“I can only speculate about the reasons of individual editors,” said Ryan Doerfler, a law professor at Harvard who attended a meeting with Law Review staff about the Palestine article. “What I can observe, though, is that the vote took place amidst a climate of suppression of pro-Palestinian advocacy.”
A second editor who asked for anonymity to speak freely about the process said that fear of backlash played a key role in their personal decision to vote “no” on Eghbariah’s piece. The editor said they found “substantive flaws” in the piece that were exacerbated by a fear among editors that they would have their names and faces plastered on billboard trucks around campus accusing them of being Hamas supporters — something that happened to pro-Palestine Harvard students who signed a controversial open letter.
The editor said substantive flaws are generally removed from pieces prior to publication, but they did not feel such edits would have been possible in this case because of the lack of agreement on underlying facts. “Reasonable scholarly debate couldn’t happen in that context,” they said. “Partly because we’re not at a point in time where that debate can happen without your face being put on a truck.”
Doerfler praised Eghbariah’s draft amid that climate of fear. “It is a forceful piece of legal scholarship,” he said, “and it articulates a position that takes real courage to put forward.”
Eghbariah’s article was published Tuesday night at The Nation , under the headline “The Harvard Law Review Refused to Run This Piece About Genocide in Gaza.”
“Threatens Academic Freedom”
For some of the more than 100 editors at the Harvard Law Review, the delay and subsequent killing of Eghbariah’s piece did not hew to the usual process. In a forthcoming public statement viewed by The Intercept, 25 Harvard Law Review editors objected to the move to squash the essay.
“We are unaware of any other solicited piece that has been revoked by the Law Review in this way,” the editors wrote. “This unprecedented decision threatens academic freedom and perpetuates the suppression of Palestinian voices. We dissent.”
Public Defenders Get Restraining Order to Block Their Own Union From Voting on Gaza Statement
In an interview, the first anonymous Law Review editor told me that they have evaluated “hundreds of submissions” for the journal and that Eghbariah’s essay is “more than just ‘good enough.’” Both this editor and Shahriari-Parsa said that they believe the primary reason for the “no” votes was fear.
“Editors expressed that they supported the piece and wanted to uplift marginalized voices,” the second editor said, “but were voting against publishing it because they were afraid of the consequences and had worked too hard to now risk their futures. Some also expressed concerns that the blowback to the piece would discriminatorily target editors of color more than others.”
Students , writers , and artists speaking out for Palestinian liberation are facing extreme levels of censorship and censure — especially in academia. Columbia University and Brandeis University have suspended the campus chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace on spurious grounds of violating campus protest policy and risks to campus safety. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered public universities to shut down chapters of the groups. Harvard, too, has faced pressure from major donors to crackdown on pro-Palestinian speech. Students have been doxxed and harassed for writing a letter in the aftermath of October 7 saying Israel’s longtime oppression of Palestinians was “entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.”
“The Law Review specifically had just gone through an incident in which one of its members was doxxed after participating as a safety marshal at a ‘die in’ at the Harvard Business School campus organized by student activists,” said Doerfler, the professor. Doerfler, who had been brought into a meeting with Iyer, Eghbariah, and two Review editors on November 14 to discuss Eghbariah’s essay, said the editor who participated in the “die in” protest has been publicly criticized by a major university donor “as part of his broader criticism of the University’s handling of the crisis.”
“This is exactly the kind of work that good international legal scholarship should do.”
In the essay, Eghbariah argues that the atrocities in Gaza amount to genocide ; he considers the frames used to name Israeli policies in Palestine more broadly and calls for a distinctive legal framework for Palestine. According to Eghbariah, just as “the South African experience brought ‘Apartheid’ into the global and legal lexicon,” the distinctive nature of the domination Palestinians have faced should demand a new category of crime: “Nakba,” the word Palestinians use to describe their dispossession and expulsion at the founding of the state of Israel.
Yale Law School professor Aslı Bâli, an international and human rights law expert who said she has never met or worked with Eghbariah but was sent his essay and aware of the Harvard Law Review situation, said in an interview that the article constituted an “excellent piece of legal scholarship.” She noted that the essay’s arguments are no doubt contested, as is the nature of legal argumentation. “This is exactly the kind of work that good international legal scholarship should do,” she said.
Bâli told The Intercept that in her “quarter century” of experience in legal scholarship, she has never heard of a contracted article, which has gone through the editorial process, being pulled before publication. She said, “I’ve never heard of anything of this sort.”
Update: November 22, 2023 This story has been updated to include a reference to the publication of Eghbariah’s essay in The Nation late Tuesday evening.
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Columbia Faces Protests After Suspending 2 Pro-Palestinian Groups
Students rallied after the university barred two groups from holding campus events until the end of the semester, and faculty members walked out in protest.
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By Liset Cruz and Claire Fahy
As police officers guarded the wrought iron gates protecting Columbia University’s main campus on Tuesday evening, checking for student identification cards, a group gathered around a stone sundial at the center of the quad.
Roughly 400 students held Palestinian flags and handmade signs. Protesters took turns speaking into a microphone, criticizing the Israel-Hamas war, but also their own school over its decision to suspend two pro-Palestinian student groups through the end of the semester.
“We’ve said it before, that our voices are louder and more powerful than the money that you receive, Columbia,” said Mohsen Mahdawi, 33, a student and a Palestinian refugee. “We won’t be silenced.”
And on Wednesday, roughly 200 faculty members walked out to protest the decision to suspend the groups, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. Professors, graduate workers and others read statements in support of the groups and their members as a Police Department helicopter buzzed overhead. Hundreds of students joined the crowd to cheer on the faculty members as they spoke.
“Where is your moral courage?” Premilla Nadasen, 56, a history professor at Barnard College, asked the administration. “We are here to tell the students: They can suspend an organization, but they cannot suspend a movement.”
Similar scenes have become increasingly common in New York City and across the country as college campuses grapple with the fallout from the war. Divisions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have existed on campuses for generations, but as the war continues and the death toll in Gaza continues to mount, colleges have faced growing blowback over efforts to contain the discord.
Columbia suspended the groups last week, saying they had violated university policy. The university did not elaborate on how exactly the groups did that except to say they had held “ unauthorized ” events that included unspecified “threatening rhetoric and intimidation.”
Following their suspension, the groups released a joint statement on Instagram , accusing the university of “selective censorship” of pro-Palestinian groups and calling the move “an attack on free speech to distract from and enable Israel’s genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people.”
Some pro-Israel donors have pressured institutions to respond more forcefully in condemning Hamas and pro-Palestinian student protests on campuses.
And on Tuesday, three Jewish students sued New York University, the New York Post first reported, over what they said was a hostile environment that had allowed antisemitism to go unchecked. The complaint argues that N.Y.U. has violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibiting discrimination.
John Beckman, a spokesman for N.Y.U., said Wednesday that the claims made in the suit were inaccurate and that the school had taken steps to “fight antisemitism and keep the campus safe.”
On Wednesday, N.Y.U. announced it would create a Center for the Study of Antisemitism, geared toward examining “contemporary and historical manifestations of one of the world’s most enduring forms of hate.” The center was expected to open next year.
During the faculty walkout at Columbia, Joseph Howley, a classics professor, said the censorship of student speech was making his job “1,000 times harder,” and pushed back against the university characterizing the Pro-Palestinian students’ speech as threatening.
“It is those charges that move me to stand today and do something that I have never done and I’m very uncomfortable doing, which is to speak in my own voice as a Jewish member of this faculty,” he said.
Columbia students responded to the suspension of the two pro-Palestinian groups by announcing a new coalition, Columbia University Apartheid Divest. The group is a collection of 40 student organizations representing a range of racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds that have called on Columbia to divest from Israel.
Deen Haleem, 24, a law student and the son of a Palestinian refugee who is part of the new coalition, said that Columbia’s decision to suspend the groups sent a loud message to its students.
“To me as a Palestinian, it says that your tragedy doesn’t matter,” he said. “It says that when your people die, you don’t get to speak about it.”
In an interview on Tuesday, Maryam Alwan, 21, a Palestinian American student and a member of S.J.P., said that she was afraid to go to class because fellow students had harassed her on campus. She said she had received numerous graphic death threats.
But when the university sends emails regarding the conflict, Ms. Alwan said, they rarely mention the plight of the Palestinians.
“My friends are losing family members. I see my little brother in every photo of a traumatized child who looks like him,” Ms. Alwan said at the Tuesday demonstration, speaking from the sundial. “And here I am begging my university to at the bare minimum use the word Palestinian in its emails.”
In a statement on Wednesday, a Columbia spokeswoman, Samantha Slater, said that the university was committed to providing student groups space to debate and protest, but within certain bounds.
“The university will not apologize for enforcing its policies and procedures that are in place to create a safe campus community in which core university activities can be conducted without interruption,” the statement read.
Claire Fahy reports on New York City and the surrounding area for The New York Times. She can be reached at [email protected]. More about Claire Fahy
Our Coverage of the Israel-Hamas War
Hostage and Cease-Fire Deal: The Israeli government and Hamas agreed to a brief cease-fire in Gaza that would allow for the release of 50 hostages Hamas captured during its Oct. 7 attacks. Hamas said Israel would release 150 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.
Electronic Warfare: Radio frequency interference in the Middle East and Ukraine, a tactic used to disrupt the satellite signals used by rockets, drones and other weaponry, is affecting civilian air travel far from the battlefields .
Al-Shifa Hospital: Israel is trying to produce evidence for its claim that Hamas has been using tunnels under Gaza’s largest hospital as a command center. Palestinian officials and doctors at Al-Shifa have denied Israel’s accusations.
Looking Back: Thirty years ago, Palestinians and Israelis were on the cusp of a peace deal. Its failure reveals why the conflict remains so intractable .
The Conflict’s Global Reach
In New York City: Members of the city’s Jewish community, spurred by messages on social media, turned out in droves to support a coffee shop owner in Manhattan who had said that his employees had walked out to protest his company’s support for Israel.
BRICS Summit: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa held a summit on the war, articulating divergent positions on the war . A joint statement released by the group called for a humanitarian truce and the release of all civilians who were being illegally held captive.
Hollywood: Two actresses, the Academy Award-winning veteran Susan Sarandon and Melissa Barrera, a relative newcomer, were dropped by Hollywood companies after comments they separately made about the Israel-Hamas war drew criticism.
Red Sea Hijacking: Yemen’s Houthi militia released a video showing its forces hijacking a ship in the Red Sea. The group said it had seized the vessel as a demonstration of support for “the oppressed Palestinian people.”
Social Media: As the war floods social media with violent content and false information, some people have accused platforms like TikTok and Facebook of promoting biased posts. But the sites’ role in spreading hate online is becoming hard to assess .
Stanford student hit by SUV in suspected hate crime calls on others to denounce bigotry
A Stanford University student who was struck in a hit-and-run that authorities are investigating as a hate crime called on others Sunday to “collectively denounce hatred, bigotry, and violence.”
Abdulwahab Omira, who is Arab Muslim, shared the message from a hospital bed. The driver, who Omira said was a white man in his mid-20s, made eye contact and accelerated toward him Friday afternoon, striking him as he shouted “f--- you and your people” out a window of his Toyota 4Runner, the university in Northern California said Saturday in a public safety alert .
Omira said he was walking to campus when he was hit. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the Stanford Department of Public Safety said .
“As I lay in my hospital bed, grappling with a reality I had never imagined, I reflect on the importance of spreading love, kindness, and compassion in a world that seems to be steadily succumbing to hatred and prejudice. This ordeal has solidified my resolve to advocate for love, understanding, and inclusivity,” Omira wrote in a statement.
He also denounced what he called a slow response from the university, saying that the school’s “belated response came six hours later” and that the subsequent communication downplayed the severity of the incident.
Omira claimed it took “a multitude of emails and a cry for acknowledgement” to get the university’s administration to respond personally. In response to the claim, Dee Mostofi, the school’s assistant vice president of external communications, said the university issued a notice as soon as there was enough information from the California Highway Patrol to do so.
Stanford President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez said in a joint statement Friday that they were “disturbed” about “potentially hate-based physical violence on our campus.”
“Violence on our campus is unacceptable,” they said. “Hate-based violence is morally reprehensible, and we condemn it in the strongest terms. We want to express our deep concern for the student who was injured, and for all affected by this incident.”
Authorities are still looking for the driver, who was described as having short, dirty-blond hair and a short beard. He was reportedly wearing a gray shirt and round framed glasses. The university’s Public Safety Department said he fled in the black SUV, model year 2015 or newer, which had an exposed tire mounted to the rear.
Omira said the “emotional scars” of the attack are likely to linger, and he called on others to denounce hatred and celebrate diversity.
“I implore everyone reading this: let us collectively denounce hatred, bigotry, and violence. Let us take the time to understand one another, to celebrate our diversity, and to stand united against the forces that seek to divide us,” he said. “There is immense power in love and understanding, enough to overshadow the darkness of hatred.”
Omira’s is not the first incident of hate to break out on a college campus in the U.S. since Hamas militants launched their Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel, prompting a war . A student at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, was federally charged last week with making antisemitic threats toward his classmates.
Rebecca Cohen is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.