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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?

General advice

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.

Be specific

  • 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.

Avoid clichés

  • 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 .

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Steps to Draft a Quality LPC Personal Statement Sample

Table of Contents

Are you applying for a Law Practice Course (LPC) and need guidance on writing the perfect personal statement? Writing an impressive LPC personal statement can be challenging. With the right approach, it is possible to craft a statement that stands out from the rest.

In this blog post, we will provide helpful tips and an LPC personal statement sample to guide you in writing the perfect one.

What Is an LPC Personal Statement?

An LPC personal statement is a written document that outlines your reasons for applying to a Law Practice Course. It shows why you think you’d make an ideal candidate . It should demonstrate your passion, commitment, and enthusiasm for the field of Law. And also highlight any relevant experience or attributes that could strengthen your application.

How to Write an LPC Personal Statement Sample

1. brainstorm.

Before writing, think about your experiences and skills that could help you stand out from other candidates. This can include accomplishments, roles in extracurricular activities, or volunteer work.

2. Research the Course & Institution

Take some time to research the LPC course and institution you are applying for. This way, it’s clear why this particular course is suitable for you.

3. Outline Your Statement

Start by outlining two to three key points discussed in your personal statement. Do this before adding further detail and fleshing out each point with specific examples.

4. Keep It Concise

Your statement should be no more than 500 words, so keep it concise and avoid rambling.

5. Proofread

Ensure you thoroughly proofread your statement before submitting it. Check for typos, grammatical errors, and other mistakes that could weaken your application.

LPC Personal Statement Samples

book lot on black wooden shelf

I am a highly motivated and hard-working individual with a strong interest in the legal field. My passion for Law was sparked by completing my A-Levels in Law at High School. It further developed through extracurricular activities such as debate clubs, voluntary work at a local charity. And also by attending an internship program at a local solicitors firm. During this time, I learned invaluable skills that have set me up well for a career in Law.

Following on from my studies, I worked full-time in the corporate sector for two years. This time I gained a wealth of transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving, and leadership. This experience has shown me the value of effective teamwork and professionalism in any organization.

Completing an LPC course would provide me with the knowledge and expertise required to pursue my dream career in Law. It will be equipping me with the tools needed to succeed in today’s competitive legal environment. Upon graduating from the course, I plan on taking up a training contract at a legal firm. This is where I can continue to develop and apply my knowledge and skills to practical projects.

My enthusiasm, commitment, and dedication will make me an ideal candidate for your LPC program. I look forward to joining your esteemed course and contributing to a successful outcome for everyone involved.

I have always had a keen interest in Law, and this passion has driven me to pursue an LPC course. The knowledge and skills acquired through this course will provide me with the necessary tools to succeed in today’s competitive legal environment.

Throughout my studies, I have been actively involved in extracurricular activities such as debate clubs, volunteering at a local charity, and attending internships. This experience has enabled me to develop valuable skills, such as problem-solving, communication, leadership, and teamwork, which can be applied professionally. In addition, I worked full-time in the corporate sector for two years. This is where I developed further invaluable skills that are highly sought after by law firms.

Upon graduating from the LPC course, I plan to take up a training contract at a law firm. I would apply my knowledge and skills to practical projects. I aim to become an effective legal professional, and this course will provide me with all the necessary resources to accomplish this goal.

My enthusiasm, commitment, and dedication make me an ideal candidate for your LPC program. I look forward to joining your esteemed course and contributing to its success. Thank you for choosing to consider my application.

What to Avoid in Your LPC Personal Statement Sample

When writing your statement, avoid using overly complex language or flowery phrases. Please keep it simple and focus on highlighting your strengths in the course you are applying for. Additionally, ensure that you use only generic, copy-pasted statements from other sources, as admissions tutors can often spot these quite easily. Finally, do not include negative comments about yourself or anyone else – even if it’s in jest.

This blog post has helped you write an impressive LPC personal statement . Remember to be honest, confident, and concise when writing yours and highlight any relevant qualifications or experiences. Good luck!

Steps to Draft a Quality LPC Personal Statement Sample

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Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of the lpc board.

The role of the LPC Board is to determine whether applicants are eligible for registrations or licenses and to investigate accusations of illegal, unethical, or inappropriate practice of mental health counseling or marriage and family therapy in Louisiana. State laws and  Board Rules govern our actions. We are not able to advise individual licensees or registrants regarding their practices. Legal questions should be directed to attorneys and questions regarding interactions with agencies or companies should be directed to administrators within those entities.

 What professional titles are recognized by the LPC Board?

The only titles recognized by the LPC Board are Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), LPC-Supervisor (LPC-S), Provisional Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (PLMFT), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and LMFT-Supervisor (LMFT-S). The LPC Board does not recognize the titles Mental Health Professional/MHP, LPC Intern/LPC-I, LMFT Intern/LMFT-I or any variation thereof.

How do I file a complaint against a licensee?

You may fill out a  Complaint Form .

When does my paperwork need to be submitted to the Board for review?

Traditional: Applicants can find the dates of the currently scheduled application review dates on the LPC Board calendar. The submission deadline is seven days prior to the meeting date. Applicants are encouraged to check the website calendar often, as meeting dates are subject to change. Applicants will be notified via the online dashboard.  All correspondence regarding licensure or denial of licensure will be sent out within 2 weeks of board review. 

  Expedited: To apply for expedited processing, the applicant must submit all necessary application materials along with the Expedited Processing Application and expedited processing fee of $60. The applicant will receive a response from a Board Staff member within five (5) business days of receipt of their completed application informing the applicant of the status of their application.    *Please note that all applicants whom Board staff determines should be denied or reviewed by the Board must be presented to the Board at the next regularly scheduled Board Meeting.

*Please click here to watch a tutorial on how to apply for licensure

How do I change my name on file with the Board?

You can find the Name Change Request Form on your Dashboard by logging in and navigating to "Forms" > "Name Change Form." In the online name change form, you will attach documentation of your legal name change in the form of a copy of your driver's license or social security card and an updated Declaration/Statement of Practices and Procedures reflecting your new legal name to the Board Office. 

Please be advised that you must notify the Board of any and all contact information changes within 30 days of the change pursuant to Chapter 1, Section 111 of the Board Rules  or you will be required to pay the $50 Failure of Notification fee.

§111. Notification of Change 

A. Every licensed or provisional licensed professional counselor and every licensed or provisional licensed marriage and family therapist shall immediately notify in writing the Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners of any and all changes in name, address, and phone number. Failure to comply with this rule within 30 days of change will result in a fine as set forth in §901.C.

How do I update my contact information with the Board?

You may update your contact information on your dashboard after logging into your account. If you are updating a work address, you must email, mail, or fax an updated Statement or Declaration of Practices and Procedures to the Board Office as well as upload this to your online dashboard under the Employment tab.

Please be advised that you must notify the Board of any and all contact information changes within 30 days pursuant to Chapter 1, Section 111 of the Board Rules . Otherwise, you may be subject to a fine.

A. Every licensed or provisional licensed professional counselor and every licensed or provisional licensed marriage and family therapist shall immediately notify in writing the Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners of any and all changes in name, address, and phone number. Failure to comply with this rule within 30 days of change will result in a fine as set forth in §901.C.  

How do I request testing accommodations?

Testing accommodations MUST be on the doctor’s official letterhead (not the NBCC accommodation request form, as the procedure for accommodations request has since changed). On the doctor’s/qualified professional’s (licensed physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist) official letterhead , the testing accommodations request must:

-Be dated within five years of the request; -Include the candidate’s full name , date of birth , diagnosis , and recommended accommodation(s) ; and -Be signed by a licensed, qualified professional , including credentials (licensure or certification).  

You may mail, email, or fax this documentation to the Louisiana LPC Board.

-Mailing address: 11410 Lake Sherwood Ave North, Ste. A, Baton Rouge, LA 70816 -Email: [email protected] -Fax: 225-295-8448

TELETHERAPY

What is teletherapy.

Teletherapy is defined as a method of delivering mental health counseling, psychotherapy, and marriage and family therapy services as prescribed by R.S. 37:1101 and R.S. 37:1116 using interactive technology-assisted media to facilitate prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental, emotional, behavioral, relational, and addiction disorders to individuals, groups, organizations, or the general public that enables a licensee and a client(s) separated by distance to interact via synchronous video and audio transmission.

Who can provide Teletherapy? 

Any individual licensed or provisionally licensed by the LA LPC Board may provide Teletherapy services if the individual has met all of the requirements in Chapter 5, Section 505 of the  Board Rules and their professional training has been approved by the Board.

Is Teletherapy a Privileging Designation?

No, but it is a Specialty Area/Area of Expertise and it does require Board approval. Licensees who wish to provide Teletherapy must provide the Board with documentation of completion of training in accordance with the requirements in Chapter 5, Section 505 of the Board Rules  and an updated Declaration or Statement of Practice reflecting their Teletherapy qualification.

What kind of professional training do I need to achieve in order to provide Teletherapy? How can I be approved to provide Teletherapy?  

Licensees who wish to provide Teletherapy must provide the Board with documentation of completion of the following:

Professional training with a minimum of three asynchronous or synchronous clock hours in teletherapy. The training shall meet continuing education standards established by the board. Teletherapy education/training shall include but is not limited to:

i. appropriateness of teletherapy; ii. teletherapy theory and practice;

iii. theory integration; iv. modes of delivery; v. risk management; vi. managing emergencies; vii. legal/ethical issues; viii. HIPAA compliance.

(Note:  Board Staff may request additional documentation to determine that all Teletherapy training requirements have been fulfilled.)

How can I be approved to provide Teletherapy?

1.  Log in to your Dashboard and upload certificate of completion of your Teletherapy training (in accordance with Teletherapy training requirements in Section 505 of the  Board Rules ; see above) to the CEH Tab of your Dashboard. 

2.  Submit a Declaration/Informed Consent for Teletherapy services that includes information regarding all of the following items (see Chapter 5, Section 505.F of the Board Rules ):

a. mode and parameter of technology-assisted media(s), and [protocol to follow in the event of] technical failure

b. scheduling and structure of teletherapy

c. risks of teletherapy

d. privacy and limits of confidentiality

e. contact between sessions

f. emergency plan [specifically for clients receiving Teletherapy services]

g. consultation and coordination of care with other professionals

h. referrals and termination of services

i. information and record keeping

j. billing and third-party payor [whether these differ for Teletherapy services  from that for in-person services, and any other pertinent information]

k. ethical and legal rights, responsibilities, and limitations within and across state lines and/or international boundaries.

Specifically, please see the following from Section 505.D of the Board Rules :

"Licensees shall provide services consistent with the jurisdictional licensing laws and rules in both the jurisdiction in which licensee is physically located and where the client is physically located. Licensees providing teletherapy services to clients outside of Louisiana must comply with the regulations in the state in which the client is located at the time of service . The licensee shall contact the licensing board in the state where the client is located and document all relevant regulations regarding teletherapy. A nonresident of Louisiana who wishes to provide teletherapy health services in Louisiana must be licensed by the board."

(Note:  You may either include this information in a section of your Declaration that you provide to all of your clients, or may wish to include this information regarding Teletherapy in an Addendum to your Declaration.)

**Click here for a Teletherapy Addendum sample (this must be included with your email and continuing education).

If you are a LPC/LMFT please upload the Teletherapy Declaration/Informed Consent Addendum to your Online Dashboard > Employment > Submit Declaration of Practice and email  [email protected]  and request review of your Teletherapy materials. 

If you are a provisional licensee please email your Teletherapy Declaration/Informed Consent Addendum to [email protected]  and request review of your Teletherapy materials.

Teletherapy requests are reviewed and processed by Board Staff on a monthly basis. Once Teletherapy materials have been reviewed and approved, licensees will receive correspondence from Board Staff stating whether he/she is approved to practice Teletherapy. The online dashboard may reflect approval before you receive correspondence. 

Without Board approval to practice Teletherapy, licensees should NOT practice Teletherapy Services (see Chapter 5, Section 505 of the Board Rules ).

What is an LPC's Scope of Practice?

Licensed Professional Counselor —any fully licensed person (i.e. one who may practice independently as specified in R.S. 37:1107(A)) who holds oneself out to the public for a fee or other personal gain, by any title or description of services incorporating the words "licensed professional counselor" or any similar term, and who offers to render professional mental health counseling/psychotherapy services denoting a client-counselor relationship in which the counselor assumes the responsibility for knowledge, skill, and ethical consideration needed to assist individuals, groups, organizations, or the general public, and who implies that he/she is licensed to practice mental health counseling.

Mental Health Counseling/Psychotherapy Services —rendering or offering prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, which includes psychotherapy of mental, emotional, behavioral, and addiction disorders to individuals, groups, organizations, or the general public by a licensed or provisional licensed professional counselor which is consistent with his/her professional training as prescribed by R.S. 37:1107(A)(8), and Code of Ethics/behavior involving the application of principles, methods, or procedures of the mental health counseling profession. However, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to authorize any person licensed or provisionally licensed hereunder to administer or interpret tests in accordance with the provision of R.S. 37:2352(5), except as provided by LAC 46:LXIII.1702.E, or engage in the practice of psychology or to prescribe, either orally or in writing, distribute, dispense, or administer any medications.

What are the requirements for LPC Licensure?

You must have completed a minimum of 3,000 supervision hours, remained under active Board-approved supervision for at least 24 months, and have passed the NCE or NCMHCE exam in order to apply for LPC licensure. To apply, you must submit your  Documentation of Experience Form(s) signed by you and your Board-approved supervisor(s), a LPC licensure application, an updated Declaration of Practices and Procedures , a $200 licensure application fee, official NCE or NCMHCE test scores (sent directly from the NBCC ), and a photo. You can access the LPC Application and application instructions  here.

I already submitted an application when I applied for Provisional Licensure as a PLPC. Do I need to submit another application for LPC licensure? 

Yes. You must submit the LPC Application and submit all necessary application materials in addition to paying the application fee. Click here to watch how to apply for licensure.

Can I apply additional graduate coursework toward my 3,000 hours of supervised experience toward LPC licensure?

Yes. For every 30 hours of additional graduate coursework earned beyond the required 60-hour master's degree, you may earn 500 hours of indirect client contact hours. You may earn up to 1,000 indirect client contact hours through additional coursework. The Board must approve the graduate coursework to be counted as part of your supervised experience hours. Additional coursework can only be reviewed at the time of submission of the PLPC Application or LPC Application. You can find more information about this provision in Chapter 6, Section 605 of the  Board Rules.

Which examination does the LPC Board accept for LPC Licensure? Do I have to take the test prior to applying for Provisional Licensure?

The National Counselor Examination (NCE) and National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) are the only tests currently accepted by the Board for LPC licensure. These exams  do not have to be taken prior to PLPC application, but either exam must be attempted at least once per PLPC renewal period until a passing score is achieved. The Board must be in receipt of official exam scores sent directly from the  NBCC  for provisional licensure renewal. An official passing score report must be received by the Board for applications for LPC Licensure.

How do I register to take the NCE or the NCMHCE? 

Interested applicants should visit the National Board of Certified Counselor's (NBCC)  website  or contact them at (336) 547-0607 to register and gather other information about the exam. The LPC Board does not offer registration for any LPC licensure exams. 

Exam Registration link:  http://www.nbcc.org/Assets/StateForms/Reg/LA.pdf 

How do I apply for the LPC license in Louisiana if I currently hold an LPC license (or equivalent) in another state?

In order to apply for licensure, you will need to submit an  LPC Licensure by Endorsement Application , a $300 non-refundable application fee,  a criminal records checks with the forms provided, a  Declaration of Practices and Procedures , and a recent photo. The length of time you have been licensed as an LPC in another state will determine what additional information we will ask you to submit for review. You may review our Out-of-State licensing requirements for LPCs  here.

Licensed Less Than 5 Years:  

Those out-of-state applicants who have not been licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor for at least five years must request a copy of their entire LPC licensure file to be sent to the Louisiana LPC Board. The file copy should contain graduate transcripts, documentation of post-graduate supervised experience hours, and NCE or NCMHCE scores. Additionally, the State Board where you are currently licensed must provide  verification of current licensure.

The state where the applicant is currently licensed must have licensure, academic and supervision experience requirements deemed substantially equivalent to those of Louisiana.    Licensed 5 or More Years: 

Applicants who have been licensed for five or more years do not have to meet all of the substantial equivalency requirements for licensure, academic or supervision requirements. In addition to the above materials, these applicants must provide a letter from a colleague or supervisor indicating that they have been actively practicing for five or more years, hold a current LPC license, and have passed either the NCE or the NCMHCE. Applicants must also provide the Board with documentation of forty (40) continuing education hours in accordance with the requirements in Chapter 7 of the  Board Rules.

Is there a special designation for Appraisal Privileges?

Yes. You can find our LPC Appraisal Privileging Designation application and application instructions on your account dashboard under "Forms".

How often must an LPC renew his/her license?

LPCs must renew their license every two years by June 30th in order to practice mental health counseling lawfully in Louisiana. Renewal requirements for LPCs are listed in Chapter 7 of the  Board Rules . Licensees who do not submit a completed renewal application by the deadline will be automatically audited.  Audits also require a criminal record check and a $60 late fee.

What does it mean if I am Audited?

10% of licensees renewing each year will be randomly audited. If audited, Board staff will review the 40 continuing education hours that you submitted to ensure that they are in accordance with the requirements in Chapter 7, Section 707 of the  Board Rules.

Do I need to upload documentation of my Continuing Education Hours if I am not Audited?

Yes. Licensees must upload documentation of their CEHs with their renewal application in order to renew their license. You may refer to Chapter 7, Section 707 of the  Board Rules  for types of documentation needed for verification.

Please click here to watch how to submit CEHs

What kind of documentation of Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) do I upload?

Types of documentation needed for Continuing Education verification per Chapter 7, Section 707 of the  Board Rules :

1.) copy of certificate of attendance for workshops, seminars, or conventions;

2.) copy of transcript for coursework taken for credit/letter of attendance from instructor for courses audited;

3.) home study verification form or certificate issued by NBCC/ACA/LCA;

4.) letter from workshop/convention coordinator verifying presentations;

5.) copy of article, cover and editorial board page for publications;

6.) letter from counseling mental health professional verifying number of hours in counseling as a client;

7.) letter from the faculty member or researcher verifying number of hours in research;

8.) letter or certificate from the LPC Board of Examiners, or from the board-approved counseling service organization, verifying number of hours of service.

How do I apply to become an LPC-Supervisor (LPC-S)?

Individuals interested in becoming an LPC-Supervisor must hold a current LPC license and have a minimum of 3 years of post-licensure experience. LPC-Supervisor applicants must provide the Board with documentation of training in supervision that occured within the last 5 years and a letter from a colleague or supervisor verifying their practice. The LPC-S Application and application instructions can be accessed here. .

Additionally, if you wish to list any areas of expertise or specialization on your Declaration of Practices and Procedures and the Board’s website, you must provide documentation (e.g., transcripts, certificates, letter from supervisor) with your LPC-S application for Board review. Otherwise, you should refer to these areas as “areas of focus".

What is an LMFT's Scope of Practice?

Marriage and Family Therapy —the professional application of psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the prevention, diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in an individual and relational disorders in couples and families.

Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy —the rendering of professional marriage and family therapy and psychotherapy services, limited to prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental, emotional, behavioral, relational, and addiction disorders to individuals, couples, and families, singularly or in groups, whether such services are offered directly to the general public or through either public or private organizations for a fee, monetary or otherwise in accordance with professional training as prescribed by R.S. 37:1116 and the code of ethics/behavior involving the application of principles, methods, or procedures of the marriage and family therapy profession.

What are the requirements for LMFT licensure?

You must have completed a minimum of 3,000 supervision hours, remained under active, Board-approved supervision for at least 24 months, and have passed the National Marriage and Family Therapy Examination (NMFTE) in order to apply for LMFT licensure. To apply, you must submit your  Documentation of Experience Form(s) signed by you and your Board-approved supervisor(s), an updated Statement of Practices and Procedures , an LMFT licensure application, a $200 licensure application fee, official NMFTE test scores, and a photo. You can access the LMFT Application and application instructions  here .

I already submitted an application when I applied for Provisional Licensure as a PLMFT. Do I need to submit another application and fee for LMFT licensure?

Yes. You must submit the LMFT Application and include all necessary application materials in addition to payment of the application fee. 

How long do I need to be under Board-approved supervision before I can apply for LMFT licensure? 

Provisionally Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists must remain under active Board-approved supervision for no less than two years, but no more than six years. Please be advised that PLMFTs must remain under active supervision until licensed if they are providing Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy services—even in the event they have completed the minimum requirement of 3,000 supervised experience hours and/or passed the NMFTE.

How do I register to take the National Marriage and Family Therapy Examination (NMFTE)?

You must submit a request in writing to the LPC Board via email ([email protected]) stating your name and your wish to register for the NMFTE. If approved, ProExam will then contact you with information regarding confirmation of your registration and testing date information.

How do I apply for the LMFT license in Louisiana if I currently hold an LMFT license (or equivalent) in another state?

In order to apply for licensure, you will need to submit an  LMFT Licensure by Endorsement Application , a $300 non-refundable application fee, a criminal records check on the forms provided by the board, a Statement of Practices and Procedures , and a recent photo. The length of time you have been licensed as an LMFT in another state will determine what additional information we will ask you to submit for review. You may review our Out-of-State licensing requirements for LMFTs  here.

Licensed Less Than 5 Years:

Those out-of-state applicants who have not been licensed as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for at least five years must request a copy of their entire LMFT licensure file to be sent to the Louisiana LPC Board. The file copy should contain graduate transcripts, documentation of post-graduate supervised experience hours, and NMFTE scores. Additionally, the State Board where you are currently licensed must provide  verification of current licensure.

The licensure, academic and supervision experience requirements must be substantially equivalent to those of Louisiana.

Licensed 5 or More Years:

Applicants who have been licensed for five or more years do not have to meet all of the substantial equivalency requirements for licensure, academic or supervision requirements. In addition to the above materials, these applicants must provide a letter from a colleague or supervisor indicating that they have been actively practicing for five or more years, hold a current LMFT license, and have passed the NMFTE. Applicants must also provide the Board with documentation of forty (40) continuing education hours in accordance with the requirements in Chapter 35 of the  Board Rules.

How often must an LMFT renew his/her license?

LMFTs must renew their license every two years by December 31st in order to practice mental health counseling and use the title of “Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist” lawfully in Louisiana. Renewal requirements for LMFTs are listed in Chapter 35 of the Board Rules . 10% of those renewing each year will be randomly audited. If audited, you will be required to submit documentation of 40 continuing education hours in accordance with the requirements in Chapter 35 of the Board Rules. Licensees who do not submit a completed renewal application by the deadline will be automatically audited and assessed a late fee.

Those licensed marriage and family therapists who hold another license that requires continuing education hours may count the continuing education hours obtained for that license towards their LMFT CEU requirements. Of the 40 CEUs submitted, at least 20 hours must be in the area of marriage and family therapy with an emphasis upon systemic approaches or the theory, research, or practice of systemic psychotherapeutic work with couples or families including three hours of ethics specific to marriage and family therapy.

What kind of Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) do I need to renew my LMFT license? 

LMFT CEH requirements can be found in Chapter 35, Section 3503 of the  Board Rules . LMFTs must earn 40 CEHs, including 6 in Diagnosis and 3 specific to LMFT Ethics. Those Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists who hold another license that requires continuing education hours may count the continuing education hours obtained for that license towards their LMFT Continuing Education requirements. Of the 40 CEHs submitted, at least 20 hours must be in the area of marriage and family therapy with an emphasis upon systemic approaches or the theory, research, or practice of systemic psychotherapeutic work with couples or families including three hours of ethics specific to marriage and family therapy.

10% of licensees renewing each year will be randomly audited. If audited, Board staff will review the 40 continuing education hours that you submitted to ensure that they are in accordance with the requirements in Chapter 35 of the  Board Rules.

Do I need to upload documentation of my Continuing Education Hours if I am not Audited?

Yes. Licensees must upload documentation of their CEHs with their renewal application in order to renew their license. You may refer to Chapter 35, Section 3503 of the  Board Rules  for types of documentation needed for verification.

How do I change LPC Supervisors?

PLPCs changing Board-approved supervisors must submit the PLPC Change/Add Supervisor Application , a $50 application fee, a  Documentation of Experience Form  documenting the hours accrued with their current Board-approved supervisor, and an updated  Declaration of Practices and Procedures.   PLPCs must remain under the supervision of their current Board-approved supervisor until their new Board-approved supervisor has been approved. If supervision with their current Board-approved supervisor is terminated before a new supervisor is approved, they must discontinue practicing mental health counseling until a new supervisor is approved. 

Please click here for a list of board approved supervisors (LPC-S)

Can I have more than one LPC Supervisor?

Yes! Please fill out the  PLPC Change/Add Supervisor Application .

What do I have to do to become licensed as an LPC?

In order to be eligible for LPC licensure, PLPCs must remain under active Board-approved supervision for no less than two years, but no more than six years. PLPCs must pass the NCE or the NCMHCE and document a minimum of 3,000 hours of post-masters supervised experience in mental health counseling under a Board-approved LPC Supervisor. Licensing requirements for LPCs can be found in Chapter 6 of our  Board Rules .

When and how do I renew my provisional license?

PLPCs must renew their provisional license every two years by October 31st in order to practice mental health counseling lawfully in Louisiana. Renewal requirements for PLPCs are listed in Chapter 6, Sections 609-611 of the  Board Rules , and a brief description of the renewal process can be found  here.

You will need to submit the PLPC Renewal Application located under "Forms" on your dashboard, the $85 Renewal Fee, documentation of 20 CEHs, an updated Declaration of Practices and Procedures,  and an official NCE or NCMHCE score report issued directly from the  NBCC to the LA LPC Board. 

What does it mean if I am audited?

10% of renewing licensees will be randomly audited. If audited, the board staff will manually review the documentation of 20 continuing education hours in accordance with the requirements in Chapter 6 of the Board Rules .

Licensees who do not submit a completed renewal application by the deadline will be audited,  required to submit a criminal records check on board approved forms (found under Forms) and assessed a $60 late fee. 

What kind of Continuing Education do I need and how often do I need it?

PLPC continuing education requirements can be found in Chapter 6, Sections 609-611 of the Board Rules .

PLPCs must accrue a minimum of 20 CEHs (Continuing Education Hours) each renewal period (two years) including a minimum of 1.5 hours in Ethics and 1.5 hours in Diagnosis (assessment, diagnosis, and treatment under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5, as published by the American Psychiatric Association). A generic ethics course is not acceptable.

What kind of documentation of CEHs do I upload?

Types of documentation needed for verification:

1.     copy of certificate of attendance for workshops, seminars, or conventions;

2.     copy of transcript for coursework taken for credit/letter of attendance from instructor for courses audited;

3.     home study verification form or certificate issued by NBCC/ACA/LCA;

4.     letter from workshop/convention coordinator verifying presentations;

5.     copy of article, cover and editorial board page for publications;

6.     letter from counseling mental health professional verifying number of hours in counseling as a client;

7.     letter from the faculty member or researcher verifying number of hours in research;

8.     letter or certificate from the LPC Board of Examiners, or from the board-approved counseling service organization, verifying number of hours of service.

What if I just took the NCE/NCMHCE and the scores have not been released yet, but I need a score report to renew my PLPC license?

In lieu of an official score report and for the purpose of renewal ONLY , the Board Office will accept an email directly from the  NBCC to the LA LPC Board verifying your name and the date that you sat for the exam.

How do I register to take the NCE or the NCMHCE?

Interested applicants should visit the National Board of Certified Counselor's (NBCC)  website  or contact them at 1-336-547-0607 to find out information about the exam and registering to take the exam. The LPC Board does not offer registration for any LPC licensure exams. 

I need to renew my PLPC license and I have not taken the NCE/NCMHCE yet. Can I renew without taking the exam?

Attempting either the NCE or NCMHCE is a requirement for renewal. PLPCs must attempt the exam at least once every renewal period until a passing score is achieved. If all renewal materials are not received by the Board by October 31st, then your provisional license will lapse. Please be advised that it is unlawful to provide mental health counseling services with a lapsed or expired license. 

I let my PLPC license lapse. Can I still renew?

Yes! You will need to submit all regular renewal materials to the Board including the $60 late renewal fee. Please be advised that all late renewals are audited. Provisional licensees have a 90-day lapse period in which they can renew late. If the Board Office does not receive all late renewal materials by January 31st, then your provisional license will expire. 

I let my PLPC license expire. Can I still renew?

No. You must  reapply  for the PLPC license under our current licensing requirements. 

If I allow my provisional license to expire and reapply, am I able to retain my supervised experience hours?

No. Once you allow your provisional license to lapse, all previously accrued supervised experience hours are forfeited. You must apply for a new provisional license. 

LCA FAQ: PLPCs working with Medicaid

Please see  this statement from the Louisiana Counseling Association for LCA FAQs regarding PLPCs and working with LA Medicaid.

What is a LMHP?

The LMHP must hold a current unencumbered license in their area of practice from the appropriate licensing board of the State of Louisiana.  One must be licensed in the State of Louisiana and practice within the scope of all applicable state laws and their professional license.  An LMHP includes individuals licensed to practice independently and regulated thru the various behavioral health licensing boards:  Physicians (Psychiatrists), Medical Psychologists, Licensed Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs), Licensed Addiction Counselors (LACs), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) note: an APRN must be a nurse practitioner specialist in Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health, and Family Psychiatric & Mental Health, Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health, and Child-Adolescent Mental Health and may practice to the extent that services are within the APRN's scope of practice.

What is a PLPC's Scope of Practice?

Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor —any person by title or description of services incorporating the words "provisional licensed professional counselor" and who, under board-approved supervision (i.e. may not practice independently), renders professional mental health counseling/psychotherapy services denoting a client-counselor relationship in which the licensee assumes the responsibility for knowledge, skill, and ethical consideration needed to assist individuals, groups, organizations, or the general public, and who implies that he/she is provisionally licensed to practice mental health counseling. 

Mental Health Counseling/Psychotherapy Services — rendering or offering prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, which includes psychotherapy of mental, emotional, behavioral, and addiction disorders to individuals, groups, organizations, or the general public by a licensed or provisional licensed professional counselor which is consistent with his/her professional training as prescribed by R.S. 37:1107(A)(8), and Code of Ethics/behavior involving the application of principles, methods, or procedures of the mental health counseling profession. However, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to authorize any person licensed or provisionally licensed hereunder to administer or interpret tests in accordance with the provision of R.S. 37:2352(5), except as provided by LAC 46:LXIII.1702.E, or engage in the practice of psychology or to prescribe, either orally or in writing, distribute, dispense, or administer any medications. 

Active Supervision —the process by which a supervisee receives one hour of face-to-face supervision with his/her board-approved supervisor for every 20 hours of direct client contact or at least once every three-month period.

  PLMFT

How do I change LMFT Supervisors?

PLMFTs changing Board-approved supervisors must submit the PLMFT Change/Add Supervisor Application , a $50 application fee, a  Documentation of Experience Form  documenting the hours accrued with their current Board-approved supervisor, and an updated  Statement of Practices and Procedures .   PLMFTs must remain under the supervision of their current Board-approved supervisor until their new Board-approved supervisor has been approved. If supervision with their current Board-approved supervisor is terminated before a new supervisor is approved, they must discontinue practicing mental health counseling and marriage and family therapy until a new supervisor is approved. 

How do I change my practice setting or add a new one?

Please fill out the  PLMFT Change/Add Practice Setting Application  and email, mail, or fax a copy of your updated  Statement of Practices and Procedures  to the Board Office. 

Please be advised that if this documentation is not received within thirty (30) days of your initial employment date, you will be subject to a fine of $50 and will forfeit all supervised experience hours accrued at your practice setting. Furthermore, if the Board does not approve your new practice setting as appropriate, you will forfeit all supervised experience hours previously accrued at said practice setting.

Can I have more than one LMFT Supervisor?

Yes! Please fill out the  PLMFT Change/Add Supervisor Application .

What do I have to do to become licensed as an LMFT?

In order to be eligible for LMFT licensure, PLMFTs must remain under active Board-approved supervision for no less than two years, but no more than six years. PLMFTs must pass the NMFTE and document a minimum of 3,000 hours of post-masters supervised experience in marriage and family therapy under a Board-approved LMFT Supervisor. Licensing requirements for LMFTs can be found in Chapter 33 of our  Board Rules . 

When and how do I renew my PLMFT license?

PLMFTs must renew their provisional license every two years by October 31st in order to practice mental health counseling and marriage and family therapy lawfully in Louisiana. Renewal requirements for PLMFTs are listed in Chapter 33, Section 3315 of the  Board Rules , and a brief description of the renewal process can be found here .

You will need to submit the PLMFT Renewal Application located under "Forms" on your dashboard, the $85 Renewal Fee, documentation of 20 CEHs, an updated Statement of Practices and Procedures,  and an official NMFTE score report issued directly from the PTC to the LA LPC Board.

10% of renewing licensees will be randomly audited. If audited, you will be required to submit documentation of 20 continuing education hours in accordance with the requirements in Chapter 33 of the Board Rules .

Licensees who do not submit a completed renewal application by the deadline will be automatically audited and assessed a late fee. 

PLMFT continuing education requirements can be found in Chapter 33, Section 3315 of the Board Rules .

PLMFTs must accrue a minimum of 20 CEHs (Continuing Education Hours) each renewal period (two years) including a minimum of 1.5 hours in LMFT Ethics and 1.5 hours in Diagnosis (assessment, diagnosis, and treatment under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as published by the American Psychiatric Association). The required training in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment under the DSM-5 may be specific to a particular condition and/or may be general training in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. A generic ethics course is not acceptable.

I let my PLMFT license lapse. Can I still renew?

I let my plmft license expire. can i still renew.

No. You must  reapply  for the PLMFT license under our current licensing requirements. 

What kind of documentation of CEHs do I need to upload?

Types of documentation needed for continuing education:

2.     copy of transcript for coursework taken for credit/audit;

3.     letter from workshop/convention coordinator verifying presentation;

4.     copy of article plus the table of contents of the journal it appears in, copy of chapter plus table of contents for chapter authored for books, title page and table of contents for authoring or editing books, letter from conference coordinator or journal editor for reviewing refereed workshop presentations or journal articles.

How do I register to take the NMFTE?

You must submit a request in writing to the LPC Board via email ([email protected]) stating your name and your wish to register for the NMFTE. If approved, ProExam will then contact you with information regarding confirmation of your registration and testing date information.

What if I just took the NMFTE and the scores have not been released yet, but I need a score report to renew my PLMFT license?

In lieu of an official score report and for the purpose of renewal ONLY , the Board Office will accept an email directly from the PTC to the LA LPC Board verifying your name and the date that you sat for the exam.

I need to renew my PLMFT license and I have not taken the NMFTE yet. Can I renew my license without taking the exam?

Attempting the NMFTE is a requirement for renewal. PLMFTs must attempt the exam at least once every renewal period until a passing score is achieved. If all renewal materials are not received by the Board by October 31st, then your provisional license will lapse. Please be advised that it is unlawful to provide mental health counseling services and marriage and family therapy with a lapsed or expired license. 

What is a PLMFT's Scope of Practice?

Provisional Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist — any person by title or description of services incorporating the words "provisional licensed marriage and family therapist" and who, under board-approved supervision (i.e. may not practice independently), renders marriage and family therapy denoting a client-therapist relationship in which the licensee assumes the responsibility for knowledge, skill, and ethical consideration needed to assist individuals, groups, organizations, or the general public, and who implies that he/she is provisionally licensed to practice marriage and family therapy. 

Marriage and Family Therapy ?the professional application of psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the prevention, diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in an individual and relational disorders in couples and families 

Active Supervision —the process by which a supervisee receives one hour of face-to-face supervision with his/her board-approved supervisor for every 20 hours of direct client contact or at least once every three-month period. 

What’s the difference between an LPC-S and a Board-approved LPC-S?

Although you may be an LPC-S, this does not mean that you may begin supervising PLPCs. In order to comply with the  Board Rules , LPC-Supervisors must be approved by the Board as the Board-approved LPC-S for each PLPC they wish to supervise. PLPCs are required to remain under the active supervision of their Board-Approved LPC-S while they are providing mental health counseling services until they are independently licensed as an LPC.

How do I apply to become a LPC-Supervisor?

Individuals interested in becoming an LPC-Supervisor must hold a current LPC license and have a minimum of 3 years of post-licensure experience. LPC-Supervisor applicants must provide the Board with documentation of training in supervision and a letter from a colleague or supervisor verifying their practice. The LPC-S Application and application instructions can be accessed  here.

Additionally, if you wish to list any areas of expertise or specialization on your Declaration of Practices and Procedures and the Board’s website, you must provide documentation (e.g., transcripts, certificates, letter from supervisor) with your LPC-S application for Board review. Otherwise, you should refer to these areas as “areas of focus.”

My PLPC wants to change supervisors. What paperwork and documentation should I submit?

I want to terminate my supervisory relationship with my plpc. what paperwork and documentation should i submit.

If you with to terminate supervision with a PLPC, you must submit a Documentation of Experience Form . Additionally, please submit in writing the reason for the termination and the date of your last meeting with your supervisee. Until the Documentation of Experience form is received, you are responsible for the PLPC and they will remain on your list of current supervisees. 

If my PLPC has completed his/her supervision hours, but has not passed the NCE or the NCMHCE, does he/she have to remain under supervision?

Yes. A PLPC must remain under supervision of their LPC-S not only until they pass the NCE or NCMHCE, but until they are officially approved for LPC licensure. It is unlawful to practice any type of mental health counseling as a PLPC unless you are under the active supervision of a Louisiana Board-approved supervisor.

What's the difference between a LMFT-S and a Board-approved LMFT-S?

Although you may be an LMFT-S, this does not mean that you may begin supervising PLMFTs. In order to comply with the  Board Rules , LMFT-Supervisors must be approved by the Board as the Board-approved LMFT-S for each PLMFT they wish to supervise. PLMFTs are required to remain under the active supervision of their Board-Approved LMFT-S while they are providing mental health counseling and marriage and family therapy services until they are independently licensed as an LMFT.

How do I apply to become a LMFT Supervisor Candidate (LMFT-SC)?

Individuals interested in becoming an LMFT Supervisor Candidate must be licensed as a LMFT for at least two years and provide documentation of a one-semester graduate-level course in Marriage and Family Therapy Supervision OR a 30-hour course of study approved by the Marriage and Family Therapy Advisory Committee. You can access the LMFT-SC Application and application instructions  here.

LMFT Supervisors and Supervisor Candidates may refer to the LMFT Supervisor Handbook under "Supervison"  here.

Can LMFT Supervisor Candidates supervise PLMFTs?

Yes, but you must first be approved by the Board to do so. Failure to comply will result in a PLMFT's inability to count client contact/supervision hours accrued under your supervision toward licensure and possibly disciplinary action. 

How do I apply to become a LMFT-Supervisor (LMFT-S)?

Individuals interested in becoming an LMFT-S must be licensed as a LMFT for at least two years and provide documentation of a one-semester graduate-level course in Marriage and Family Therapy Supervision OR a 30-hour course of study approved by the Marriage and Family Therapy Advisory Committee and verification of 36 hours of supervision-of-supervision OR  Verification of AAMFT Supervisor Status . 

LMFT Supervisors and Supervisor Candidates may refer to the LMFT Supervisor Handbook under "Supervison"  here

My PLMFT wants to change supervisors. What paperwork and documentation should I submit? 

PLMFTs changing Board-approved supervisors must submit the PLMFT Change/Add Supervisor Application , a $50 application fee, a  Documentation of Experience Form  documenting the hours accrued with their current Board-approved supervisor, and an updated  Statement of Practices and Procedures .   PLMFTs must remain under the supervision of their current Board-approved supervisor until their new Board-approved supervisor has been approved. If supervision with their current Board-approved supervisor is terminated before a new supervisor is approved, they must discontinue practicing mental hea

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lpc personal statement word count

Feb 04, 2019

Written By Billy Sexton

LPC applications

If you’ve read our article on what the LPC is, you’d know that it’s mandatory for those who wish to become a solicitor and will take up one year of your time if you study full-time, or two years if you study part-time. You can only start a training contract once you’ve passed the LPC.

LPC options

Just when you thought you’d left the UCASes of the world behind, you’ll have to get back into the swing of ordering millions of prospectuses and choosing a provider. Some of you may have already landed a training contract , with your firm instructing you which provider to choose. This is handy as it saves you time and could save you money as the firm could cough up the costs of the LPC too!

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lpc personal statement word count

If you haven’t got a contract, it may be useful to check where firms send their trainees. This will allow you to mould yourself into an ideal trainee.  If you haven’t got a training contract secured, there are fees to consider, unfortunately. With a minimum cost of around £10,000, choosing to study the LPC is not a decision to be taken lightly. Remember, there’s no guarantee of securing a contract. 

Having said that, there are numerous ways to cover the costs of an LPC. Although student loans now exist for postgraduate study, the LPC counts as a diploma and so is not eligible. You could look into scholarships or get yourself a career development loan.

LPC application process

Before you can apply for an LPC, you need to register with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and provide your personal details and what route you took through education. Like your undergraduate degree, you don’t apply to universities directly when applying for the LPC. There’s a neat little tool called LawCabs that everyone has to use. Once you’ve filled out all your personal details and other admin-y stuff such as listing your qualifications and employment history, you can choose up to three LPC course providers.

lpc personal statement word count

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LPC personal statement

Then comes the juicy bit. You need to provide a personal statement of up to 10,000 characters explaining why you chose your first choice of institution. You should also include information on why you’re applying for the course, what interests and motivates you and your career goals. There’s also room to talk about skills, achievements, hobbies and work experience. As you did with your undergraduate personal statement, clearly refer to the course in some way.

After the personal statement, you’ll be asked for details about how you’re planning to pay for your course, details of your references and a declaration to confirm you haven’t told any lies.

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LPC application tips

We’re sure you don’t need help filling out your personal details, but when it comes to the personal statement, you wouldn’t turn down a bit of advice here and there.

As with your UCAS application, we recommend you don’t just bash out 10,000 characters in the online application form. Copy and paste it from a Word document, allowing you to do all the necessary spelling and grammar checks. With regard to what to include in the personal statement, here’s a handy bullet point list:

  • Why you are applying for the LPC
  • What interests you about the course
  • What motivates you
  • Where you see your future career heading
  • Your skills, achievements and hobbies
  • Your work experience.

As you’re limited on characters, don’t include absolutely every hobby you’ve ever had throughout your life and understandably, some areas deserve a bit more TLC than others, such as why you’re applying and what interests you about the course. You should also merge your ideas together rather than writing your personal statement as a list.

It’s worth talking about why you want to become a solicitor rather than barrister and which areas of law  you’re keen to practice in. Your achievements don’t have to be your 100% attendance certificate from year 7 either, you can mention how getting a first in your undergraduate degree was a great success, given how hard you worked. Including hobbies tells the institution a little bit more about yourself. “I like to listen to music” isn’t likely to add any weight to your application, but mention that you’re part of a band and what this has taught you in terms of teamwork, commitment, organisation and patience.

LPC applications are necessary for any soon-to-be solicitor but they’re not something to be feared. Rather, you should see them as a way to showcase your skills and desire for a career in law. 

  • Can I get a job while doing the LPC?
  • Choosing an LPC provider
  • Excelling on the LPC
  • How hard is it to get a training contract after doing the LPC?
  • Is the LPC compulsory?

lpc personal statement word count

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How long should a personal statement be.

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Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 08/17/23

Unsure about the length of your personal statement? Below, we’ll answer your questions about word count and what you could do to satisfy the requirements!

A common misconception is that achieving excellent grades and test scores alone can land you a spot in a high-ranking university. While academic performance is important in the admissions process, applicants must effectively tell schools who they are and what they hope to achieve once accepted.

And here’s where the personal statement comes in. Not to be confused with the statement of purpose , a personal statement accounts for your achievements, talents, interests, and goals. Needless to say, how your personal statement is written can give your application a major boost. 

The length of a personal statement plays a significant role in its effectiveness. In this article, we’ll go over the ideal length your personal statement should be!

How Long Should Your Personal Statement Be?

You will usually submit a personal statement 2-3 pages long, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, using Times New Roman font in 12-pt font size. While there are no concrete length or formatting rules, generally, statements are between 500 to 650 words long and follow the above formatting guidelines.

Put simply, the length of your personal statement depends on the application service (or university, if you’re not applying through the Common or Coalition Applications ) you use! These are the personal statement word limits for each application: 

To provide a more in-depth answer, your response should fall within close range of these suggestions without using unnecessary filler words or repeating ideas! Stay focused, keep concise, and know you do not have to meet the maximum word count! 

If you’re applying to MIT , Georgetown , or any school in the UC system , you’ll apply using each’s school-specific portal. Keep in mind, these schools don’t require personal statements; instead, you’ll write a handful of shorter essays (comparable to supplemental essays ) to highlight your candidacy. 

How Long Should a Personal Statement Be If There is No Limit Specified?

The length of a personal statement depends on the application platform you use. However, in cases where there are no specific requirements given, you may need to decide for yourself. The bottom line is you need to ensure your personal statement achieves its purpose. 

If no word limit is given, it’s still best to aim for around 500 – 650 words, which works out to about two to three pages double-spaced. This length gives you ample space to paint a well-rounded picture of your experiences, achievements, and qualifications without overwhelming the reader. 

Regardless of the word count, aim for clarity and concision in your writing. Each word should work towards presenting a clear and compelling picture of who you are, leaving a lasting impression on the admissions committee.

Tips to Write a Personal Statement With an Ideal Length

Here are key tips to help you write an effective personal statement that’s just the right length. 

Don’t Bluff or Fluff

It’s a common mistake when writing a personal statement to be tempted to present yourself as an “ideal candidate” to impress the admission committee. 

However, it’s important to remember there’s no such thing; each person is unique, and the admissions committee wants to see the real you. So if you truly want to write an impressive personal statement, staying true to yourself is your best bet.

Don't make things up or exaggerate life events to make them appear more “spectacular.” The admission committee can easily see through false claims, which will only detract from your application. Instead, embrace your individuality and show them the steps you’ve taken to grow and learn. 

Be confident in your own potential and what you have to offer. Your stories make you unique, so don’t be afraid to share them in your personal statement. 

Stay Relevant

When writing your personal statement, it’s crucial to keep the content relevant and focused on the prompt you’re responding to. Avoid going off track and straying too far from your main topic —whatever it may be. This will help your personal statement length stay within the word limit. 

Do Not Repeat Yourself

It’s important to ensure you’re not repeating information already found in other parts of your application.

For example, don’t talk about your GPA or test scores. To make the most use of the word count, focus on sharing information and experiences that can’t be found anywhere else, like passion projects you’re proud of or defining moments in your academic career or personal life.  

Write With Purpose

Even if you have a 650-word limit for your personal statement, ensure each word counts and is carefully thought out! Start with an engaging hook to draw your readers in, follow it with concise and valuable personal insights, and end your essay with a bang to leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee! 

Don’t Be Vague

When composing your personal statement, steer clear of ambiguity. Vagueness can lead to confusion. You’re applying to college for a reason! You should have some direction of what your careers aspirations are and what you plan on doing after college ! Share these specific goals with the committee. 

Being specific when discussing your experiences can greatly enhance the clarity and impact of your writing. It’s also a great way to ensure you adhere to word count restrictions. 

Avoid simply rehashing all of the extracurriculars you participated in, listing your highest grades, and the impressive awards you won along the way. Share what makes you, you! What inspires you? What are you passionate about? What do you hope to change or improve?

3 Examples of Personal Statements That Worked

Let's see how these tips and tricks come together, and review a few examples of successful personal statements :

“In the summer of [YEAR], my sister was graduating college. My family and I drove to [CITY] to give our unconditional love and support and to celebrate. We ate dinner at a beautiful restaurant together and shared an amazing cake the day before. Unfortunately, it became the most tumultuous time in my life.
The 8 hour drive back was brutal on my workaholic dad; he neglected his health to keep a bright future for me and my sister. A few days after coming home, my dad went to the doctor with aggravating chest pain.
Soon after, the doctor dropped the news: my dad suffered a heart attack. I was [AGE], the youngest in my family, and refused to believe that my dad’s life could be cut short. Around this time, I was irresponsible and jaded; uncomfortable being empathetic, and always wishing problems to go away. 
The news weighed heavily on my shoulders. As I studied my dad’s condition, I soon realized and understood the great lengths he had worked to provide me a better future. Ultimately, I knew I had to change to be better for myself and for my dad. 
Post procedures, my dad returned home. Consequently, I was more empathetic, open to being vulnerable, and affectionate towards family which I had previously been too afraid to express. I would regularly hug my family members, didn’t hesitate to speak up if I was feeling scared or frustrated, listened to my dad more attentively, and I smiled more. Over the summer, I took care of my dad: I paid attention to his sodium intake, made sure he drank enough water, started doing his laundry, and slept in his room in case anything happened. There was nothing else that mattered more to me. 
I’m proud to say I can be vulnerable and act on my insecurities. I became an amicable, self-aware, and social person gaining respect and friendship amongst teachers and peers. Throughout college, I make sure to spend time with my family by cooking dinner for them once a week, sending them silly texts of cute animals, or just giving them a call. My transition to becoming more open has ultimately led to my career path as an [JOB TITLE] - creating better lives for marginalized communities. Understanding what other people go through and being susceptible will allow me to properly achieve my goals and assist those in need. 
It’s [YEAR], and my dad is in the best shape of his life. I show my gratitude by accompanying him during his checkups and scolding him for trying to eat poorly.”

Why It Works

Here’s what this personal statement does well: 

  • Engaging narrative : The essay begins with a relatable and engaging story that immediately catches the reader's attention. The use of a significant life event creates an emotional connection and sets the tone for personal growth.
  • Character development : There is a clear arc of personal development. The writer admits to being irresponsible at first but experiences a transformative journey towards empathy, vulnerability, and greater appreciation for family.
  • Relevance to career goals : The essay effectively connects the personal story to the writer's aspirations and career goals.
  • Word count : At only 429 words, this essay still gets a strong and impactful message across, attesting to this students’ ability to stay concise and use their words wisely!

Overall, this personal statement stands out due to its emotional resonance, clear development of character and meaningful reflection!

“Short, delicate strokes of paint, form a story of a beautiful soul to be displayed on a canvas. All the unexpected, yet perfect details add character and life to the figure, drawing viewers closer and enveloping them in a tale of curiosity, hardship, and triumph. Just as the work of the mighty painter ever progresses, so too does the painter. Neither the depicted young female nor the painter is yet to finish her transformation to a woman. Every stroke a new day, every color a new era, to create the masterpiece that is life and experience: my life and my experience.
The eyes, white spheres with green splashes that have seen both too much pain and too little of the world. They harness a piece of the spirit of the forever curious girl who hopes to change the world. The girl who grew up admiring the world’s brightest engineers and most talented artists, hoping to one day grow into one of these awe- invoking figures. Thinking, perhaps, she too could be a name in a history book because of the good she created. Whether that means protesting for [CAUSE], supporting efforts to protect the [CAUSE], or helping [PEOPLE] in need, she will do what it takes to help others and make a meaningful impact.
With these big dreams, she also has scars as the girl who has been hurt many times before. Each event leaving a mark in creation of who she would one day become. Although the scars hurt in the beginning, she would not be the same without them. A large strike along her throat, from when she was shut down. A horrendous mark about the chest in an attempt to destroy her heart. Bruising and scrapes among her abdomen, from the gut wrenching events that took away those she loved. And, an abundance of carvings across her back, from events that hurt her most. To the viewer, the marks are invisible; through her candid disposition, no one can observe the pain she has endured. But, in asking her how she feels about the scars, she would not reference them as disfigurations, rather they are enchanting, incredible, and reveal her maturation and strength. She treasures them because they prove her resilience and conquest.
Her hair, wild and seemingly untamed to others, but to her a masterpiece. Years and years of worrying about perfection. Is it straight? Is it smooth enough? Only to realize her authentic, curly hair is a part of her own beauty and uniqueness, similar to the chaotic perfection of a Jackson Pollock. Growing up she molded herself to what she believed others thought she should be, without giving a single thought to what she truly can and should be: herself. To her, her hair symbolizes and brings forth the ferocious lion inside her comparatively small self.
The girl’s lips are half sutured. As she works to rip out the heavy stitchwork, she finds her voice. To her surprise, although the voice remains developing, her words and ideas already begin to inspire individuals to be themselves. She will forever use her voice for good, however subtle it may be. As the painting is finished, there will be no trace of the once-conforming thoughts that held her back. One day, everyone will hear her, loud and clear.
Unlike the painting, however, the story of my beautiful, bewitching, bold soul continues to be unfinished. For I have the power to paint, ponder, and develop my story, despite what unexpected details life may put in my way. I have the power to paint my adventure, to keep placing those short, delicate strokes, to develop my character and champion my story.”

Let’s review this essays’ most impressive features:

  • Creative metaphor : The student uses a creative metaphor of painting to symbolize their growth and journey. 
  • Vivid imagery : The writer's use of descriptive language paints a vivid picture, both of the physical image of a painting and their emotions to engage the reader and help them feel more connected to the narrative.
  • Consistency and unity : By maintaining a consistent theme and narrative thread from beginning to end, the student creates a cohesive and well-structured essay.
  • Word count : The essay effectively stays within the recommended word count (at 611 words) without being repetitive or veering off topic. While it is a longer essay it does not include repetitive information or unnecessary language. 

This is a captivating essay from beginning to end, and should inspire you to think outside of the box and get creative with your own personal statement! 

“Standing on the volleyball court in April of my junior year, I look at my teammates before what could be the final serve. This game will determine whether my team receives a bid to Junior Nationals, the highest-level competition for a junior volleyball player. As our fans in the arena cheer us on, I feel the pressure, but I’m feeling joyous just to be part of the team.
The experiences leading to this moment were not all positive. My initial years of volleyball were difficult. I was placed on a team with a group of seemingly very motivated girls, however, I struggled with my teammates constantly criticizing each other, their only goal to look good individually to the coach. I was terrified of making a mistake and having my self-esteem crushed by manipulative teammates looking for someone to blame for another loss.
I realized I did not thrive in this combative environment and if I wanted to become a strong and confident player, I would have to make a change. I gathered the courage to try out for one of the most accomplished teams in northern [STATE]. I was offered the final spot on this team and worked as hard as I could to succeed. The new team’s atmosphere of support and positivity, where no one is afraid to fail, allows experimentation with new techniques which improved my game to the point where I was given a starter position. As my new mindset and leadership were recognized, I was presented with the opportunity to be a captain by the second season.
As team captain, I learned to be aware of what my teammates were experiencing and what their different needs were. I felt personal responsibility to keep the team optimistic even in the backdrop of COVID. I emphasized positivity and encouraged these girls to be successful by both helping and relying upon each other. I led by having fun.
This experience of positivity spilled over into other parts of my life. I now try to be a positive, supportive person at all times. I use my voice to create results instead of shying away from uncomfortable situations. I applied my new skills as a coach and mentor for new volleyball players who had the goal of making the high school volleyball team. I emphasized positivity and encouraged these girls to rely upon each other. Their attitude, talent, and hard work paid off and they all made the junior varsity team, something I’m very proud of. In addition, my positive attitude contributed to my confidence on the court which made me a much stronger player, and I was named All League in the [LOCAL] Conference.
The ref blows his whistle and signals the ball can now be served. The chemistry, spirit, and faith my team has in each other permit a perfect execution of the play and give us the final point we need to qualify for the spot at Nationals. What a journey it has been.”

Here’s why this essay works:

  • Compelling introduction : The essay begins by placing the reader in a high-stakes moment on the volleyball court which draws the reader into the narrative.
  • Specific examples : The student provides concrete examples of their actions, such as trying out for a different team, becoming a captain, and coaching new players. These examples illustrate the writer's progress and impact.
  • Connection to personal values : The writer's values of positivity, teamwork, and leadership are consistently woven throughout the essay. 
  • Impactful ending : The essay concludes by bringing the narrative full circle, returning to the opening scene and revealing the positive outcome to leave a strong impression on the reader.
  • Word count : This is another relatively short but sweet essay (492 words) that gets straight to the point, satisfies the reader nonetheless, and stays concise! 

To recap, all of these examples of personal statement were engaging, insightful, and reflective! Implementing these qualities into your own essay will undoubtedly elevate it!

FAQs: Length of a Personal Statement

Still have questions about the best length for personal statements? Don’t worry; check out these FAQs instead!

1. How Strict Are Word Counts?

We advise you not to exceed word limits or ranges. Following the word count shows you can follow instructions. If there’s a word limit, it’s there for a reason! 

2. Are 200 Words Enough for a Personal Statement?

Typically, 200 words aren’t enough for a personal statement, but supplemental essay word limits tend to fall in this range. 

3. Can a Personal Statement Exceed 500 Words?

It’s quite common for college personal statements to exceed 500 words – the Common, Coalition, and QuestBridge Apps all recommend or cap personal statements at 650 words.

4. Can a Personal Statement Be 1,000 Words?

Excluding special cases, 1,000 words is typically too long for a personal statement.

5. Are Two Pages Too Long for a Personal Statement?

This depends on what the application or school requests, so ensure you double-check any requirements for personal statements. 

6. What is the Typical Recommended Length of a Personal Statement?

Recommended personal statement lengths typically range from 500 to 650 words. 

7. Are 600 Words Too Much for a Personal Statement? 

Not at all! All three main college application services recommend (or limit) personal statements to 650 words. 

Final Thoughts

So, how long should a personal statement be? That depends on the application portal you choose. Remember, your personal statement is all about you. It’s your chance to shine and let yourself be known to admission committees as an aspiring applicant. Happy writing!

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How to write a great personal statement

Crafting a personal statement that stands out is an important part of the UCAS process. However, it can be hard to know exactly what to include, how to write it, and how to stand out. With this in mind, we caught up with Student Recruitment Manager Richard Palmer for his tips on writing a great personal statement.

By Cara Fielder . Published 13 October 2021. Last updated 12 January 2024.

Why is a personal statement important?

Your personal statement is about much more than just meeting the grade requirements and needs to tick a few boxes to stand out. These statements are a top factor when it comes to consideration for admissions experts – but don’t see it as a chore, your personal statement provides an opportunity to communicate your unique skills and strengths 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 will need 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.

Our nine tips for writing your personal statement

Map out the structure.

A great way to approach this is visually: create a diagram splitting the personal statement into sections. Firstly, you want a strong opening 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 conclude with a concise summary of the points you’ve made.

Whilst the whole statement needs a good deal of work, a robust opening can hook the reader and make all the difference to an application. It’s an opportunity to briefly cover everything you’ll discuss in greater detail throughout your statement. Consider why you want to study the course, your passion for the subject, where you hope it leads and why it’s right for you.

Similarly, a strong closing paragraph can leave a positive and lasting impression. Try and consolidate what you’ve covered in your statement and reinforce why you would make a great candidate for the course.

Transferrable skills

When discussing your suitability, share how the content and skills learned from your current or previous study relate to your chosen course, and how they will help you succeed. For instance, if you studied A Level Business and apply to study accounting and finance try and highlight how your current learning will influence your degree choice.

Of course, there are many degrees where it might not be possible to study the subject before university, so you’ll need to be a little more creative and think outside of the box. For those subjects which aren’t directly related to your chosen course consider any crossover and highlight those links. For example, if you’ve chosen to study criminology and studied A Level Geography you could discuss globalisation, green crimes, or illegal pollution.

You should also discuss the wider skills you’ve developed. Consider how a variety of teaching environments, coursework, and creative projects have provided you with relevant skills to succeed in a degree such as organisation skills, time management, communication, and 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.

Be original

While it might be tempting to copy your friends or take inspiration from example personal statements online, avoid it 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. Don’t let this worry – if you honestly write an original statement and the software still picks it up by fluke the university will know what to do.

Consider your strengths

Follow this simple framework:

  • What are you good at?
  • How can you demonstrate that skill?
  • Keep it positive

For example - “I was a debate team captain and lead in making arguments” is good, but it could have something added to it to make it pop. A great way to do this is to 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. 

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.

Start writing it as early as possible and be aware of all the 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.

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. Double and triple check your work, keeping an eye out for typos. Getting family or friends to proofread your personal statement will also help to ensure that it sounds authentically you.

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.

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.

If you’re still considering which degree to apply for, check out our range of undergraduate courses in law , business , criminology , policing , psychology and computer science . 

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How to Keep Your UCAS Personal Statement Within the Character Limit

The perfect law personal statement will by its very nature include all the skills, experience and knowledge to highlight a true passion for the subject. However, the problem with such an in-depth statement is that it almost always goes over the UCAS character count.

It can be frustrating that your statement can only be 4,000 characters when you feel like you have so much more to say. Being concise is key. You can still include all the most valuable content without surpassing this limit. Let me show you how.

Have Someone Else Read it

After your own personal first proofread to cut out anything unnecessary, you should ask someone else to have a look over it. If you can get more than one person to look at it, that’s even better. The benefit of this lies in objectiveness. Your mum, dad, sister, aunt, history teacher or best friend will be able to pick out must faster than you can if you are repeating the same ideas, explaining something badly or in too many words or being cliché.

It is completely natural to look at any piece of work you have completed and struggle to know what the less important parts are but an objective third party will not be as tied to the work. This step is especially helpful if you have gone over the word count substantially.

Make Sure it’s Relevant

Half of the reason why your personal statement can end up so long as it’s very easy to waffle as you try to order your points coherently. However, in general, most “waffle” is not relevant.

The best way to highlight what is relevant is to ask the “so what?” question. That is, as you are reading each sentence of your personal statement, ask yourself “so what?” Does the information I have provided help the admissions tutors at my chosen universities conclude that I am suitable for this course, and have I shown why it makes me a good candidate? If the answers are no, then the point is probably irrelevant and should be removed.

Moreover, this is a brilliant strategy to use once you know your points have value to ensure that you have properly reflected on and explained why this particular extra-curricular or experience makes you suitable for the course.

Separate Your Sections

The risk when it comes to cutting down your personal statement is that you will cut down too much in one section and keep too much of another. Often, personal statements are set out to include your experience of the subject you are applying for, your school experience and relevant extracurriculars and wider reading of the area.

It’s a good idea to begin writing your personal statement in sections – even taking a new word document for each one at the beginning. Then when it comes to editing and removing characters to get yourself down to the word limit, you will be able to see which section is using up most of your precious characters. Then if there is no good reason why one section is much longer than the rest, that is the right section to begin cutting down.

Throw Out the Flowery Language

You are going to be a university student, so that means you must start using “adult” academic words right? Wrong! try to keep your language simple and concise. Although many aspects of a law degree will introduce you to long words, Latin, and complex concepts, you do not have to start now. In fact, it will be most preferred by admissions tutors if you skip the flowery language and keep your points clear, simple and concise. It will be much more impressive if your personal statement demonstrates your interest in the subject without over-complicated language.

However, if you have got the odd long or incredibly intellectual sounding word in a sentence and you want to keep it in as it helps make your point, please do not feel that you have to go and delete it now. The number one rule is to make sure every word you use, you understand.

Assess Your Use of Commas, Adverbs and Conjunctions

Finally, you are getting there! You are no longer leaps and bounds over the character limit and now just have to find a way to cut those last 50-100 characters. So here is what to do next. Start with removing ands, buts and in some places commas where you can. Conjunctions and heavy comma use tend to elongate sentences and removing them in favour of a full stop will turn the one sentence into two crisper sentences. Alternatively, shortening the sentence altogether will not only make your writing clearer but remove extra pesky characters.

Another tip I admittedly only learned a few months into my university course is that you don’t need adverbs and adjectives as much as you think you do. These descriptive words often merely fill up sentences and fail to add value to the purpose of the point. When you are only a few characters away from a perfect statement, it is helpful to go through and pinpoint whether the adverb or adjective is helpful or just using up words. More often than not I found the sentence stood alone just as well without using them.

Words: Alicia Gibson

How to Structure Your Personal Statement for Law

  • Things to Avoid in Your Personal Statement for Law
  • Expert Advice for Your Personal Statement

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FAQ: Writing your graduate school personal statement

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Writing a personal statement for graduate school can feel overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be. Instead of viewing your essay as a challenge or another obstacle on your way to earning your degree, start thinking of it as an opportunity.

What’s the one thing you wished the admissions committee knew about you? Why is it important that you get accepted into this master’s program in particular? What really inspired you to pursue a career in counseling? Your graduate school personal statement is your chance to fill in gaps in your resume and explain why you’re a good fit for this program.

As you’re writing your essay, you still might have a few questions. Below, find our answers to a few of the more common ones we hear from applicants to our online master’s in clinical mental health counseling .

How long should a personal statement be?

Many universities and colleges will explicitly state how long they need your personal statement to be. Some schools also have restrictions on what kind of font, font size and line spacing your essay needs to be, so carefully read the admissions requirements to make sure you don’t make a bad impression before anyone reads the first word.

Generally speaking, your personal statement should be more than one page but no more than three. You want to answer all of the prompts given to you, thoroughly and completely, but you also want to make sure you do it without being long winded.

A great way to start is by creating an outline of all of the talking points you want to cover. Organize them in a way where they logically flow from one thought to another. This can act as a helpful guide as you write your personal statement. If you’re at the bottom of the second page, but you have only worked halfway through your outline, you might need to look for areas to trim.

What should I write about in my personal statement?

Before you start writing your personal essay, it’s important to take the time to decide what you will be writing about. Many programs will give you specific prompts to cover. For example at Marquette University, we ask applicants to focus on why they’re interested in the program and what makes them suited to the counseling profession.

Your personal statement should be a reflection of you and the program you are applying to. Be sure to research its admissions requirements, curriculum and faculty before you start writing. Be specific as you outline what stands out about the program to you and what seems relevant to your career goals.

Speaking of, this is also the perfect opportunity to discuss why you want to pursue this career and what you hope to accomplish. Explain how a past personal experience led you to this profession, or how volunteering at a local nonprofit set you on this career path. Again, it is important to be specific. That will help your personal statement stand out and allow the admissions committee to get to know you as a person and future counselor better.

This is another reason to create an outline before you start writing the essay itself. It gives you the time to reflect on what you want to say about yourself or your background and how you want to do it. It’s important not to rush through this process or quickly throw something together. Because you have a limited space, you want to make sure you’re not wasting any of it.

Should I be worried about grammar and spelling?

You should absolutely take grammar seriously as you’re writing your personal statement.

Through your personal statement, you want to show the admissions committee how important this opportunity is to you. That means showing them that you are putting in the additional work and are taking the application process seriously. When faculty and administrators read a personal statement, they want to see true excitement and a strong level of professionalism. For them, that is a strong sign that you will be a committed and successful student in the program.

If you are worried about your grammar skills, ask a friend or trusted colleague to read through your essay. A fresh set of eyes can help you catch any misspelled words or confusing sentences. They can also identify any areas where you might have missed a key part of the prompt or did not explain yourself very well. If you are struggling with a certain section, talking through it can be a big help. Sometimes talking through your thoughts and then writing them down can make the process a whole lot easier.

Find your opportunity at Marquette.

The most important thing to do as you write your personal statement for graduate school: Read the prompt carefully. Make sure you don’t accidentally skip a question or fail to meet the required word count. Your personal statement is an essential component of your application, so this is not the place to make small and very avoidable mistakes.

If you’re ready to apply to the online master’s in clinical mental health counseling at Marquette University, start with our admissions page . Here you will find all of the required application materials and upcoming deadlines. Start your application today!

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  • Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • TCOM Office of Medical Student Success

Writing Your Personal Statement for Residency

Tips to convey “ why you for residency specialty”, use your personal statement to introduce yourself to your interviewer..

  • Include topics that help the interview go smoothly.
  • Be sincere and help the interviewer know what’s important to you.
  • Include only the information that you want to discuss.

Write a focused essay, four or five paragraphs in length, that covers the basics.

  • The first paragrap h could introduce the reader to you and could focus on what led you to a career in medicine, more importantly your specialty. The tone of the first paragraph sets the tone for the rest of your personal statement.
  • The second paragraph should let the reader know how you arrived at your choice of the specialty. (Personal experiences from rotations, leadership activities, work, volunteer, community service, studying abroad, background and/or life/ family experiences).
  • The third/fourth paragraphs should confirm why you think this choice is right for you AND why you are right for the specialty. This is an opportunity further distinguish yourself.
  • The  close/final paragraph could inform the reader what you see as your long-term goals and/or how you see yourself in this specialty. Also, avoid spending too much content on “ What I want/seek/am interested in from a residency program …” The focus should be more on why they should choose you over other candidates

Questions to ask when approaching your Personal Statement:

  • What are the reasons for choosing the specialty?
  • What are your key attributes?
  • What contributions can I make to the specialty and the residency program?
  • What are your career plans and how will your background/additional education contribute to the field?
  • What makes me unique enough to stand out among other candidates?

Your goal should be to write a well-crafted statement that is both original in its presentation and grammatically correct. Articulate your personal drive in as eloquent language as you can provide. The writing should flow. No one expects you to be a novelist. The most important thing is to write a concise, clear statement about why you?

Don’t spend a lot of time providing information about you that programs will generally assume to be true for most competent medical students; “I want to help people”, “I love medicine”, “I want to match into a residency program where I can learn”

If you explain your reasons for entering the field of medicine, do so to inform the reader of points beyond the career choice. Avoid spending too much time on “Why I Wanted to Go into Medicine.” How did you arrive at your specialty choice and what experiences support how you arrived at the specialty choice?

Support your strengths and skillset with examples . Most medical student personal statement list similar strengths, “hard worker/will work hard”, “good communication skills”, “relate to/interact with patients” – so if you provide strengths that are common among medical students or even unique to you, it will be important to provide evidence to support your claims, directing programs to come to their own conclusion about your strength.

I f you repeat accomplishments already listed on your CV , they should be relevant to your personal/professional growth. You want the emphasis to encourage the reader to bring this up in the interview.

Use your own words rather than rely on quotes; your own thoughts are more powerful. If you can make it work, great, but don’t dwell on quotes. With only 800 words or less…it is favorable to make them all your own.

Do NOT plagiarize your personal statement.

Length ; Since one page in length in a Word Doc is not the same as what one page will equal one page in ERAS for personal statement formatting, the key is stick to 750-850 words for your ERAS/residency application personal statement. One page in ERAS equals nearly 1,200 words, however most programs preferences for a typical personal statements in terms of Word Count will be within range of 650-850 – this will be acceptable for most residency programs.

Need a review of your personal statement…professional review and editing?

  • Melva Landrum , TCOM Residency Counselor will provide thorough feedback through an evaluation form that breaks down your entire personal statement including: content, grammar, structure, flow and overall impact. You can email your personal statement to [email protected] within one week.
  • The Career Center can also review personal statements and Center for Academic Performance (CAP) office can provide feedback mostly on grammar and structure.

This page was last modified on November 10, 2023

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UCAS Personal Statement Length Checker

Please note: The line count may differ than the number of lines in the textbox above but when copy and pasted will match the line count on the UCAS application.

UCAS Personal Statement Requirements

  • No longer than 4000 characters.
  • No longer than 47 lines.
  • Each line can be no longer than 94 characters. (Our character counter above already has a max line length of 94 characters unless otherwise noted.)
  • Characters include spaces, carriage returns, and punctuation.

To see additional features including word count, paragraph count, space count and more use the character counter on our home page.

How to write your UCAS personal statement

The UCAS personal statement scares most high school students. Writing a perfect personal statement is a strenuous and unavoidable process. With roughly about 6 million university applications each year, officials need a method for filtering stronger applicants from everyone else.

As challenging as this task may appear, it is also your only chance to share your personality and eligibility for the degree program you have chosen. Follow our practices given, and you can absolutely make your personal statement up to the mark.

Start with a plan

Each year thousands of applications are received for the best degrees in the world and are best focused on the goal of making their application stand out from the rest.

Thus, planning out what you want to say prior to writing your UCAS statement makes it easy to write a convincing personal statement. Start off by making a rough draft, answering some questions like

  • What subjects do you want to study?
  • Why have you particularly chosen this path for yourself?
  • What makes you think that you are best suited to study this degree program at the college?

Some of these points will form the backbone of your personal statement, so write them in a manner that makes sense to you.

Sometimes you want to create simple bullet points or use mind maps. No matter what you decide; your goal is the same. You want to clarify why the university should provide you with a spot.

Bigger Picture of the Degree

Talk about the course that you have applied to. How did you learn about it in the first place? What means did you use to deepen your interest and knowledge in this area?

It would be a huge plus to list the books you read and the meetings you have attended regarding the subject.

Please elaborate on your academic attitude towards the degree. What are your goals after graduating? What role will it play in helping you achieve your greatest ambitions? What sort of vocation plans do you have after graduation?

Write about your work experience and achievements

Your previous achievements are an essential part of your personal statement. Think about all the accolades you have received and the contests you have participated in. These can be in-school, national or international. Both academic and sports awards can greatly help emphasize your commitment.

Write about the important skills and experiences acquired elsewhere (such as hobbies) that can be chained to the degree of your choice.

Remember, you are searching for experience that shows why you need to study the subject that you have chosen. You are not just writing an essay about what you are doing in your high school syllabus.

Extracurricular Activities

Your extracurriculars ought to likewise be included in the personal statement. Whether it be a MUN or a cross country race, they pass on the message that you love participating in different events.

Likewise, it is really smart to discuss any expertise you have acquired through extracurriculars.

Discuss any leadership roles you could have held, as they improve your capacity to appreciate people on a profound level and put you across as a pioneer.

Community service is a plus in the UCAS statement as it shows a promise to a reason bigger than oneself.

You can link all these activities to your selected course in the best case. Be careful not to elaborate too much on extracurricular activities.

UCAS Character Count

There are some specific instructions for your personal statement that you can never ignore.

First, it must not exceed 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including blank lines), whichever comes first. If you do exceed this, the university will not get your entire statement.

So make sure your personal statement has a solid and decisive ending. It will look bad if you cut it off in the middle of a sentence after realizing that you have exceeded the text limit.

Instead, give each section proper attention, time, and character to plan your essay thoroughly.

However, while you are getting everything rolling, you ought to overlook these restrictions.

Tips for reducing the character count

From the get-go, you simply need to jot down all that you feel is significant. You will probably wind up with something very lengthy, but that is okay.

This is where you get to do some polishing and trimming. Maintain the focal point of your piece on the course you are applying for, why you want to do it and for what reason you are impeccably fit for it.

Glance through what you have composed until now - do you have the right balance? Cut off whatever continues a little to far, as you want to keep each point crisp and concise.

It is a difficult process to try to keep as much content as possible while keeping the character count low, so here are some simple ways to make it easier for you.

Avoid quotes

Read your personal statement and eliminate platitudes if there are any - for instance, 'I've wanted to study psychology since I was young'…The same goes for the quotations: except if they increase the value of your statement (which they don't most of the time!), it is really the best practice to remove them.

Make sure everything is concise

For each sentence in your piece, use the "so what?" rule. Does this sentence appear to be more reasonable for the course? If not, cutting it is best. This frequently happens when individuals write too much about their extracurriculars in a frantic endeavour to fit everything in.

Colleges, notwithstanding, need to see a reflection and what you have extracted from your encounters; this implies it is normally better to simply discuss a few extracurriculars than to list many things that the reader is likely to skim.

Also, note that you don't have to use hospital or volunteer location names. This further allows you to remove the last few characters from the count.

Use colour coding

An easy way to see where you are losing most of your characters is to highlight the sections of your statement with different colours.

Check your language

We frequently invest a great deal of energy looking up big words with the expectation that it will make our work impressive. However, this isn't generally the best practice. It is, in many cases, best to cut these words for fundamental and engaging sentences.

I hope the process will now be transparent, and it will be more exciting for you as you embark on your writing.

How to use our UCAS personal statement checker

To use our tool simply copy and paste your personal statement into the text-box above.

At the top, you will see two metrics displayed. The first metric on the left is the total characters you've typed out of the limit of 4,000 characters.

The second metric on the right is the number of lines your text contains out of the max of 47 lines. The UCAS allows a maximum of 94 characters per line, which our line count feature already takes into consideration.

To make it easier you can click the green "copy text" button to copy the text in the text box. You can also click the red "clear text" button to delete all the text in the text-box.

Why use an online UCAS personal statement checker?

Reason number one: The character count feature in Microsoft Word will not give you an accurate reading. The reason is that Word does not count the carriage return (also known as the enter key) as a character while UCAS does count it as a character.

The problem is that this will cause Word to underestimate the character count. This could cause your essay not to be able to submit when you try to upload it. If anything it would be better to overestimate the word count on Word that way it will fit.

Our personal statement checker however will give you the same character count as UCAS unlike the Microsoft Word character count.

It can be helpful to see the character count in real-time as you are typing your personal statement. This way you are constantly reminded of how long your essay is.

If you are not paying attention it can be easy to lose track of how long your essay is and go over the limit.

Our tool makes it easier to be aware of the length and easy to cut back if necessary.

How many characters in a personal statement?

UCAS requires 4,000 characters in their personal statement. Use our personal statement checker above to see if your essay meets the requirements.

How many words in a UCAS personal statement

UCAS has a character limit of 4,000 characters. This equates to about 615 to 800 words.

How many words is 4000 characters?

4,000 characters is about 615 to 800 words. For more Characters to Words conversions, check out our Characters To Words Converter .

Does the personal statement character limit include spaces?

Yes, it does include spaces as well as carriage returns. Check your statement with our personal statement checker above.

Thanks for using our UCAS personal statement checker!

We appreciate you taking the time to check your personal statement using our webpage. As you know, this is a very important college application essay to get into British universities. UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and is what the UK uses for the college application process. Good luck on your personal statement!

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COMMENTS

  1. How to write an LPC personal statement (with example)

    Updated 13 April 2023 If you follow the traditional academic pathway to qualify as a solicitor, you're likely to complete the legal practice course (LPC). A routine part of an application for this course is to write a personal statement.

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    1. Think About Your Career Goal: Why Do You Want to Do the LPC? Don't forget that an LPC helps you develop the legal skills and knowledge to become a successful trainee and future solicitor. So it is important to convince the providers that you know you are applying for the right course.

  3. University of Law Personal Statement : r/uklaw

    r/uklaw • 1 yr. ago dead1ynightshade University of Law Personal Statement I am just exploring my options to procrastinate and noticed U Law require a 4,000 word personal statement. I thought they were fairly lenient and accept any law graduate with the funds or TC.

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    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.

  5. Steps to Draft a Quality LPC Personal Statement Sample

    1. Brainstorm Before writing, think about your experiences and skills that could help you stand out from other candidates. This can include accomplishments, roles in extracurricular activities, or volunteer work. 2. Research the Course & Institution Take some time to research the LPC course and institution you are applying for.

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    You can write up to 10,000 characters, which works out at about 1500-2000 words. This is a lot more than you were allowed when you were applying for your undergraduate degree, but don't think this makes it easier! You have significantly more you'll need to discuss, and you'll need to avoid rambling off about something irrelevant.

  8. LPC Applications: How To Apply For The LPC

    Submit a law personal statement of up to 10,000 characters as part of your CAB application - see our dedicated guide to writing an LPC personal statement. CAB applications are released to Legal Practice Course Providers on a rolling basis. Your application will only be submitted to your chosen institutions if: Your CAB application is fully ...

  9. LPC applications

    LPC personal statement. Then comes the juicy bit. You need to provide a personal statement of up to 10,000 characters explaining why you chose your first choice of institution. You should also include information on why you're applying for the course, what interests and motivates you and your career goals. There's also room to talk about ...

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  11. How Long Should A Personal Statement Be? What You Need to Know

    ‍ Unsure about the length of your personal statement? Below, we'll answer your questions about word count and what you could do to satisfy the requirements! A common misconception is that achieving excellent grades and test scores alone can land you a spot in a high-ranking university.

  12. How to write a personal statement

    10 mins read Crafting a personal statement that stands out is an important part of the UCAS process. However, it can be hard to know exactly what to include, how to write it, and how to stand out. With this in mind, we caught up with Student Recruitment Manager Richard Palmer for his tips on writing a great personal statement. By Cara Fielder.

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    I put three main things: 1) work experience and how it made me want to be a solicitor, 2) extra-curricular/positions of responsibility, 3) independent travel. It's really easy to get an LPC place. Don't stress the personal statement part, it's only like 1500 characters or something. 2 small paragraphs! 16 years ago A emmings

  14. How Long Should Your Personal Statement Be?

    For large supplements like UChicago's Extended Essay that don't offer a hard word count, we'd generally recommend aiming to keep it under 650 (same as the main personal statement). You can go over, but you'll have to justify doing so with some really strong writing. Tips for Writing Your Personal Statement

  15. Personal Statement: Keeping Within the Word Count

    The perfect law personal statement will by its very nature include all the skills, experience and knowledge to highlight a true passion for the subject. However, the problem with such an in-depth statement is that it almost always goes over the UCAS character count. It can be frustrating that your statement can only be 4,000 characters when you ...

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    25 medical school personal statement examples, plus a step-by-step guide to writing a unique essay  ... at your college's premed counseling office, or from friends who applied to med school a year or two ago. ... (Word count: 835; Character count: 5,223)

  17. FAQ: Writing your graduate school personal statement

    Find your opportunity at Marquette. The most important thing to do as you write your personal statement for graduate school: Read the prompt carefully. Make sure you don't accidentally skip a question or fail to meet the required word count. Your personal statement is an essential component of your application, so this is not the place to ...

  18. Personal Statement Format + Examples

    Fortunately, colleges and application systems usually give you specific personal statement word counts. The Common Application and Coalition Application, which are the most prevalent applications, will give you a word count of 650 words for your main personal statement, but will usually give a smaller word count for school-specific supplemental ...

  19. How important is the personal statement? : r/uklaw

    But anyways, I've written my first draft for my personal statement for the LPC. I'm applying to every LPC provider in London plus two others outside of London for part time. I'm getting it double checked by some people at the uni, but I did want to ask because I'm hearing mixed things about the personal statement's importance.

  20. Writing Your Personal Statement for Residency

    Length; Since one page in length in a Word Doc is not the same as what one page will equal one page in ERAS for personal statement formatting, the key is stick to 750-850 words for your ERAS/residency application personal statement. One page in ERAS equals nearly 1,200 words, however most programs preferences for a typical personal statements ...

  21. Law school personal statement word count : r/LawCanada

    In University there was a "suggested" word count for essays where if you went over you would be penalized (obviously no different for personal statements) but it was heavily implied and sometimes explicitly stated that you should be getting as close as possible to the word count.

  22. PDF Division of Graduate Studies Personal Statement Worksheet

    Step 1: Research • Look up the school and program Mission/Vision/Values statements. • Read up on the faculty in each program and their research specialties. • Talk to people in the field you are interested in pursuing. Step 2: Brainstorm: pre-writing/freewriting. • Get it all out on the page.

  23. UCAS Personal Statement Length Checker

    0 / 4000 0 / 47 Please note: The line count may differ than the number of lines in the textbox above but when copy and pasted will match the line count on the UCAS application. UCAS Personal Statement Requirements No longer than 4000 characters. No longer than 47 lines. Each line can be no longer than 94 characters.