Applying to study law at Oxford University can be nerve-wracking. Writing a law personal statement for Oxford is one of several things to submit as part of your UCAS application, this guide will give you some tips on writing a standout piece.
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Before you write, it would be useful to look up the selection criteria page for Law on the university website. This page tells you exactly the qualities the admissions team looks for in a candidate. These qualities include your motivation to study law; reasoning ability; and communication. Also, it would be helpful to note that knowledge of the law is not necessary for admissions.
It is vital that you understand what the course you are applying for entails. For example, the Law (Jurisprudence) programme at Oxford, which is a BA equivalent to an LLB, is slightly different from an LLB at another university. While it prepares you for legal practice, the emphasis is on the theoretical aspect of any law subject, e.g. contract law and tort law. It is important that you show a genuine interest to study law in-depth at the university level.
Bearing in mind the qualities they are looking for, a large portion of your law personal statement for oxford should focus on your academic interests and any relevant achievements. There is no use in listing all sorts of achievements, only list an achievement that helps to demonstrate a quality relevant to studying law at Oxford. This can be winning a debate competition or participation in a political society at college, which helps to demonstrate your interest in the law and transferable skills such as analytical and reasoning ability.
If you have not studied law at A-Levels, do some research on the areas of the law that fascinate you. The admissions team is mostly interested in whether or not you have the potential to succeed in the course. Make sure you write about things that can demonstrate the qualities they are looking for in a candidate. These can be anything that you have done in high school, college or life experiences that show your motivation to study law. Writing about work experience is only recommended if it is relevant to legal study.
It is common to write about your ideal next step following a law degree to let them know how you will make use of the course. Most candidates write about their career aspirations, such as becoming lawyers, politicians and parole officers. Don’t worry if you haven’t figured out a defined career goal yet. As mentioned above, the most important thing is to show what interests you academically and what motivates you to study law.
The right tone is as important as the content you put in your personal statement. The best thing to do is to write straightforwardly, and not to sound overly complicated or pretentious. Also, make sure your use of sentence structure and punctuation is appropriate. It is better to write one idea per sentence and one major idea to any given paragraph. How careful you are in your writing shows how much you care about your application.
When you get invited to an interview at Oxford, the tutor might ask you to expand on a few things from your personal statement. It is important that everything you write is genuine so you can discuss the topics in more detail at the interview.
Also, it is not recommended to list anything that is already covered in another section on your application (e.g. grades), you will only be wasting word count when you can talk about something else.
Finally, don’t try to sound like someone you are not, the best thing to do is to be yourself!
Once you have written the first draft of your law personal statement for oxford, put it aside and take a break. When you read it again with fresh eyes, it will be easier to spot any grammatical errors and think of ways to improve your work. Don’t forget to let someone else read over your personal statement. The best person to proofread your work would be your college tutor or parents.
Still not sure whether Oxbridge Law is for you? Read our free Expert Insights into Oxford and Cambridge
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