Law School Application: Personal Statements

Personal Statement - Tips

Admission to law school is competitive and applicants to a particular school may have similar grades and LSAT scores. The personal statement is your opportunity to differentiate yourself, make an impression, show your diverse interests, and explain why you are a strong candidate for admission.  Since the personal statement is such a crucial part of the application, here are some tips on how to write a personal statement: 
  1. Start early.
  2. The statement establishes an application theme – what is your theme? If you have varied experiences which seem scattered, find a common thread.
  3. Make it personal – let your personality shine.  Ask yourself: what diverse or unique characteristics do you bring to law school? 
  4. Do not recapitulate your resume.  Include in your personal statement anecdotes and stories so the admissions committee can learn something about you that is not apparent from the other pieces of information you provided. 
  5. What passion do you bring to law school?  What will you do at law school and beyond?  What will you get out of a law school education?
  6. Weaknesses may be mentioned – but do not dwell on the shortcomings.  They are best left to be addressed in a brief addendum to the application if necessary.  Your personal statement should highlight your strengths.  Mention weaknesses to the extent that you faced an adversity and that you learned from and overcame it.
  7. Focus your writing.  Do not ramble. Try not to cover too many subjects. 
  8. Avoid fancy vocabulary and legalese.  Lawyer jokes and stereotypes can be cliché in law school personal statements.  Humor can be effective (although sometimes difficult to get across in writing).
  9. Make sure you follow the instructions.  Some schools want a general personal statement and some may ask a more specific question.  Answer the question asked. 
  10. If you tailor the statement to each law school be certain that the appropriate statement goes to each school!
  11. Brevity and conciseness are the hallmarks of good (legal) writing – practice them early!  Write clearly and coherently.
  12. Unless specified by the school, use a standard font (12 point, Times New Roman).  Stay within the word or page limit set out in the application.  If one is not included, a good rule of thumb is 1.5 – 2 pages or approximately 750 words.  If your essay is longer than that, condense.
  13. Imagine you are the reader – is your final statement interesting, unique and reflective of who you are? 
  14. Proofread, proofread, proofread! 
  15. Have multiple people review your personal statement.  Include someone who knows you personally as they will be able to determine if your statement is a true and complete reflection of who you are.  Also include someone who can review the statement for grammar and can give you feedback based strictly on reading the essay.  Perhaps also give to a third individual who does not know you at all.  When they have finished, ask them what they came away with from reading the statement.  If that is not the idea of yourself you are trying to get across, think about revising the statement.
  16. Be genuine.  Admission committees have read a lot of personal statements over the years.  They can easily tell when you are putting forth a puffed-up version of yourself.  If a school does not offer interviews (which most do not), this is your only chance to introduce yourself.  Make sure you are showing them the real you and what a great addition you will be to their class!
  17. COVID-19 has presented challenges to all of us, and you may be tempted to write about those challenges in your essay. That’s understandable – but do remember that you will not be alone in taking this approach. In fact, you might be one of many candidates writing about experiences with the COVID-19 crisis. Sincerely reflect on whether you have a unique perspective or truly compelling story to share.

Office of Admissions

Quinnipiac University
North Haven Campus
370 Bassett Road
North Haven, CT 06473-4201

(203) 582-3400

Mailing Address
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518-1908

Follow Us