Law Personal Statement
Whether you’re applying for undergraduate LLB law degrees via UCAS, Legal Practice Courses (LPC) via LawCabs or Bar Professional Training Courses (BPTC) via BarSAS, you will be required to provide a law personal statement.
When preparing a law personal statement, the aim is to persuade the reader that you are a great candidate to study and/or practise law. This page includes some key information on how to write a law personal statement before offering a step by step guide on what you need to do to get ahead.
Get Your Personal Statement Reviewed
What is a Law Personal Statement?
A law personal statement is essentially your big chance to promote yourself to universities (in the case of UCAS) and law schools (in the case of LawCabs and BarSAS). Given the limitations on the number or words/characters you can use when creating a law personal statement, it is vital that you are precise and use your unique selling points as well as you can to gain an edge over the competition.
What Should My Law Personal Statement Include?
Broadly speaking, your law personal statement needs to cover three main strands:
- Motivation – Why do you want to study/practise law?
- Exploration – What have you done to learn about it?
- Suitability – Why are you a great fit for it?
Your law personal statement needs to be written in a clear and precise way. Why not take a look at our Law Personal Statement Writing Style Guide for more hints and tips?
Take a look at our Law Personal Statement Tips: Do’s and Don’ts blog post!
Law Personal Statement Tips: Dos and Donts
Structuring Your Law Personal Statement
Of course, this is a matter of personal preference. But you need to make sure you have a clear and logical framework. We would suggest that following the guidance below gives you a strong foundation on which to showcase your attributes. In brackets, we state the main function of each segment.
- Why you want to study law and for the purposes of Lawcabs and BarSAS why you want to be a solicitor/barrister respectively (motivation)
- Law work experience – first-hand experience shows you have taken time to explore the legal profession and that you have a genuine interest in the law (exploration)
- Volunteering, for example pro bono work (which involves offering free legal advice) shows you have gone above and beyond to find out more about the law and the legal profession generally (exploration)
- Wider reading and study (exploration)
- Extracurricular activities – for example, mooting and debating experience and any other experiences which have helped you to develop skills which are key to the study and/or practise of law. You can visit our page on What Makes a Good Lawyer? for more information (suitability)
Law Personal Statement: How Many Words is 4000 Characters?
One commonly asked question when writing a personal statement is ‘how many words is 4000 characters?’ This is the character limit for personal statements, and is also sometimes defined as ’47 lines’.
Whilst this entirely depends upon what you’re writing and the length of words used, the number of words this (very approximately) equates to is 500-600 words.
However scary this may seem, characters can often be easier to cut out than whole words – try swapping adjectives for shorter descriptions, or taking them out altogether. Writing an overly descriptive personal statement can often be a mistake many students make, thinking longer vocabulary will make them stand out.
Sometimes, the simplest personal statement is the most effective.
Step by Step Guide: Writing a Law Personal Statement
- Keep your reflective diary up to date. You can do this by using your free personal portfolio. This will prove to be a goldmine of material for your law personal statement.
- Plan your structure properly. This might follow our guidelines above but it doesn’t have to. Just make sure it is clear.
- Start drafting. Make notes for each section in your structure. Don’t worry if you are writing too much – you can always edit it down to the best bits later.
- Edit and refine. Begin honing your draft down into something resembling the final form in the appropriate writing style.
- Get advice. When you’re fairly happy with your personal statement for UCAS/LawCabs/BarSAS, give it to parents, tutors, friends and family. Get feedback and make improvements.
- Get a law personal statement review. Send your personal statement for university (UCAS) or law school (LawCabs/BarSAS) to The Lawyer Portal for professional feedback. Incorporate this feedback and repeat step 5.
Get Your Personal Statement Reviewed
- Upload and submit. Transfer the final version from Word onto your UCAS/LawCabs/BarSAS application form.