Personal Statement and Essays

The place to tell them who you are, and why you are interesting.

Personal statements and essays serve as a replacement for a face-to-face interview. This means that they should reflect the applicant’s personality and values. They provide the opportunity to provide an idea of the kind of person the applicant is. As such, they may be the second most important component of your application.

When writing your personal statement or essay, applicants should ask themselves: what should selection committee members know about me that would make them consider my application? What makes my application different from the 50 others that they have been reviewing all day? In short: what makes me an interesting person?

Make it personal!

Your personal statement should not repeat information that the selection committee can find somewhere else (on your transcripts or resume). Your personal statement should illuminate and give meaning to the less “personal” pieces of your application file. It is your chance to provide a convincing narrative of your experiences, your previous achievements, and your vision of your future.

Take your time, and get some help!

It is crucial to write several drafts for your personal statement, and to get feedback from your Prelaw advisor before submission. You should plan on spending at least a month to get your personal statement finalized.

Edit, edit, edit, until it hurts!

Finally, check the grammar, spelling and punctuation of your statements and essays extremely carefully. Lawyers need to pay attention to details: it starts with proof reading. A good way to do this is to read them out loud, or even better: out loud and backwards!