The personal statement portion of a law school application is your opportunity to be creative, show your advocacy skills (by advocating for yourself), and prove that you can follow directions in a concise manner. This is the one section of your entire application that allows your personality to shine through. It also provides you with the opportunity to show the admissions committee that you are more than just numbers on a page, that being your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. Surprisingly, most students dread completing this portion of the law school application because it is a fairly open forum with little instruction on format and design.
Open a new document in your word processing program. Law school statements should always be typed and never handwritten. If you do not have access to a computer with word processing software, such as Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect, you will need to outline the entire format of your statement by hand and type it using a typewriter.
Format your header. Type your first and last name in the top left corner of the page. Create a space and type your social security number. These two items are essential in the event that your statement becomes disconnected from your main application. Create one more space and type the page number, for example, "Page 1." You may center a title for your statement two spaces below your header; however, this is more a personal preference than a requirement.
Skip two lines from your header or title and begin typing the body of your personal statement. Consult the law school's application instructions for precise requirements on length. Most law schools require that an applicant's statement be no longer than 500 to 1,000 words. Begin the first paragraph of your statement as a thesis that summarizes or at least clues the reader in on the main points that you wish to get across in your essay. Your remaining paragraphs should support your first paragraph while providing additional detailed answers as to why you want to be a lawyer, why you want to attend this particular school and why you would be a good fit at the school.
Close your personal statement with a short paragraph that adequately summarizes the points that you made in the body of your statement.
- Avoid opening and closing salutations such as "Dear Admissions Committee" or "Sincerely"---the personal statement is to be written in essay format, not letter format.
Krystal Wascher has been writing online content since 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from Thiel College and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2009.