Law Personal Statement
You’ll need to write a law personal statement whether you’re applying for undergraduate LLB or other types of law degrees via UCAS. You will also have to write one if you’re applying for the Legal Practice Courses (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Courses (BPTC).
When preparing a law school personal statement for your UCAS application, 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.
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What is a Law School Personal Statement?
A law personal statement is essentially your big chance to promote yourself to universities. Given the limitations on the number or words/characters you can use when creating one, 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 Personal Statement Include?
Broadly speaking, your personal statement for law 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 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
Law School Personal Statement Format
There is no obligatory format for a Law School Personal Statement. It’s purely 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)
- 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)
- Conclusion (motivation)
Need last-minute tips for writing your personal statement? Read this >>
How Many Words is 4,000 Characters?
When writing your law personal statement you might be wondering ‘how many words is 4,000 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 to Writing the Best Law School Personal Statements
- 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 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.
- Upload and submit. Transfer the final version from a word document onto your UCAS/LawCabs/BarSAS application form.
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