Most law schools require a personal statement. A law personal statement is the final step in your UCAS application. A good law personal statement brings your interest in the legal profession to life, and demonstrates to university admissions teams why they should offer you a place on one of their law degree courses.
If a lot of students applying for law degree courses have achieved the basic entry requirements, university admissions teams use UCAS law personal statements to decide who is more suited to their learning programme. Some universities take this a step further with, for example, the LNAT, which is taken into consideration alongside your personal statement.
Some law schools will read every personal statement and score them. They then use this score alongside your qualifications and grades to decide whether to offer you an interview. Other law universities don’t give as much consideration to personal statements and will only use them to decide between students who have borderline entry requirements.
Law schools may refer to your personal statement on results day if you don’t get the grades you need. A good law personal statement could be the difference in securing a university place if you don’t get the grades you hoped for.
Your UCAS personal statement can be up to 4,000 characters long – approximately 550 – 1,000 words with spaces. This means that to write a law personal statement, you have to be concise, and tell your story in a way that stands out.
A personal statement for law students is the one opportunity to grab the attention of university admissions teams, a chance to tell them who you are and why they need you on their course. The structure of your personal statement and the content you include are crucial to ensuring that admissions teams get to know your personality and why you want to study law.
The opening lines of your personal statement are the foundation for a strong start. Right from the beginning, you need to grab the attention of university admissions teams and sell yourself to them. Your opening paragraph should be filled with positive adjectives that describe your motivation, determination, and commitment to law, while revealing aspects of your personality.
Next, you need to tell your story; the one that put you on the path to studying law. University admissions teams will be keen to know why you chose law. Not only should you tell them what inspired you, but why you were inspired.
Perhaps it was a podcast, a TV programme or film. Maybe you researched law as a profession and decided it was the right career path for you. Have you been shadowing someone already in the legal profession, which inspired you to pursue a career? Or, do you want to study law to help tackle social issues that matter to you.
Within your story, you need to demonstrate that you have the skills and competencies to study law. Law degrees are demanding and rigorous, and university admissions teams are looking for you to show times in your life where you have shown determination, resilience, self-motivation, initiative and problem solving skills among others. These are key attributes of a lawyer.
It’s important that you expand beyond saying ‘I am determined’ or ‘self-motivated’, you need to show evidence. You can use examples from everyday life, your education, extracurricular activities or work experience placements, to highlight your key skills and competencies.
Finally, you need a big finish, a strong concluding statement that leaves university admissions teams with no option but to enrol you. Tell them what will make you a great student, why you chose their university, and how you plan to put your law degree to use once you graduate.
Make sure you check your personal statement before you send it. The care you put into the presentation of your statement is just as important to university admissions teams as the content it contains. Ensure that you stick to an active tense to keep the reader engaged and strike the right balance with your tone. Don’t be too informal or overly formal.
Your grammar, sentence structure, and paragraphing say a lot about you, so it might be worth having your personal statement checked by a professional to ensure it’s well-structured and flows.
The University of Law has a useful guide on how to write an effective personal statement.
Also, watch this video from Solent University Law School, Southampton, which is packed with great tips on how to write a strong personal statement for law.
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