Sample Law Personal Statement
When it comes to writing a personal statement, a lot of applicants simply over-obsess. There is no perfect platonic ideal of a personal statement. Its role informs its qualities: the admission tutor wishes to assess your motivation for Law, your ability to use critical judgement in pursuit of an argument, and your written communication skills.
It is important to balance the personal aspect – the statement must be backed with evidence. At the same time, the use of evidence must be logical: you are attempting to a write persuasively. Therefore, a logical structure is of absolute importance.
You should adopt sections (paragraphs), which isolate certain qualities you wish to convey to the tutor. For example, it is sensible to start a personal statement, which outlines some factors motivating you to pursue Law at University. Then, you may choose to continue reporting on your academic achievements, which add realism to your motivation. The gel between the sections will be the sentences that serve as analysis, evaluation, or reflection.
If you are just starting to write your Law Personal Statement, it is a good idea to research the qualitative criteria applied by each University. What skills, qualities and attitudes are the tutors looking for? Such approach may then inform the structure of your personal statement. From there, you should list your achievements/qualities/experiences that may serve as evidence for the points you wish to make. But be aware: Personal Statement is not a listical. Focus on your strongest and impressive points (5-8) and develop them.
A good thing about writing a personal statement for Law admissions is that you have a relatively free rein. You have not experienced Law at school (and you shouldn’t anyway!). It is rather your academic ability that should point you towards study of Law – it is one of the most intellectually stimulating courses. Therefore, consider mentioning the books you have read outside of your studies, the debates you have engaged in, the ideas that are dear to your heart, the major questions you seek answers for, your definition of Law etc.
Your personal statement should channel a sense of conviction when it comes to Law, with an attitude of open inquiry (rather than any emotive morality fever).
Below, you will find an example of a successful Personal Statement, which is a bit unusual in that it comes from a candidate who transferred whilst at University. It is far from ideal (some of the sentence structure is confusing, at times it could benefit from a succinct expression of points, be less key-wordy). However, it clearly conveys a mature and tested conviction for the study of Law, with a logical structure that entertains a variety of captivating and inter-linked ideas. Don’t try to emulate it – your personal statement must be subjectively unique. Instead, do an exercise in analysis: what do you like about it, are there any strategies employed that may translate to your personal statement, what could be improved?
Personal Statement from Oliver, 2nd Year Law Student
“What attracted me to the idea of studying Law is its unyielding adherence to reason. The intellectual uniqueness of legal reasoning lies in its inclusion of diversified approaches, yet maintaining a unified aim of answering issues concerning philosophy, ethics, economics. Hence my fascination is two-fold: the diversity allows for a “marketplace of ideas” but ruled by rationality of arguments. I view joining the said “marketplace” as an intellectual pursuit of the highest order; one that will give me immense satisfaction. That view dictates that studying Law at undergraduate level will be the best start of the process for me – with the hope of igniting lifelong achievement through academia.
Now in 3rd Year, I have been studying Medicine at King’s College London and graduating in 2016 with BSc in Medical Sciences. Whilst study of Medicine satisfied my scientific curiosity and installed propensity for sustained hard work, it left me longing for learning that prioritises: critical thought with ideation, debating questions whose answers cannot be assumed as set in stone, evaluation of arguments, precision of semantics. The realisation that study of Law embodies such academic ethos spurred engagement in certain activities, reaffirming my judgement.
Reading Nozick’s ‘Anarchy, State and Utopia’ allowed me to reflect on ideas of liberty. Knowing Hayekian perspective, whose consequentialist approach opposed Nozick’s natural-rights one, left me perplexed: both advocated similar ends, yet using different modus operandi for argumentation. Hayek’s approach saw the rule of law as subservient to the free market, whereas Nozick’s (one I consider stronger) saw relationship as such: free market was a compatible result of his entitlement theory. This struck a chord with me: rights and duties of individuals precede further analysis of the society. If one is to agree with Terence’s notion: “I consider nothing that is human alien to me”, would not study of Law be the answer? I consider Nozick’s book a catalyst in that endeavour.
Although, my initial interest in Jurisprudence lead me to consider more theories, it inspired me to experience other areas of Law. Over the summer, I undertook an internship at a law firm in Brussels, showcasing how Public Health Law is formed based on a dialogue of policy makers/scientists/advocacy groups. However, I noticed the dialogue devoid of something rather crucial: among the awe of empiricism championing the effectiveness of policies, the sense of whether the means to an end are just was lost. Can law be used to curtail personal choices when activity does not harm others? Is legislation, when action produces externality, the sole method to internalise it? At times, I felt the idea of individual choice being side-lined.
My internal debate was not soon to be over. Whilst at university, I supplement passion for Law and its related subjects by attending evening lectures at LSE/UCL. Seeing Prof. Sunstein recently defend legal and moral basis for instituting default choices (Nudge Theory) made me think about the key principles differing prohibition and ‘nudging’. Is restricting alternatives that arise through justified exercise of rights and duties that different?
I explore my appreciation for language and debate in numerous ways. The involvement with KCL’s DebatingSoc allowed me to foster a group of friends that can criticise my arguments. Less conventionally, hosting a show at KCL Radio requires timely improvised retorts, otherwise facing a disappointed audience on campus. In my spare time, I engage in startup projects ranging from medical software to data analysis.
Law is a filter, a litmus test of ideas. The filter is not fixed, but it should always be led by reason and judgement. The ability to study in depth and develop the skill set of a legal scholar would be a joy to me. So it is with humility and resolve that I hope to enter this pathway of lifelong intellectual challenge.“
Arbitio Personal Statement Help
If you are stuck with your Personal Statement, and wish to get some advice, one of our subscription models (Coming soon) includes detailed feedback from our tutors. We will not write the personal statement for you, because that defeats the whole exercise. However, we provide objective criticism – this is the best method to write a personal statement. Write a draft, and continue to improve it under guidance.