University Career Center

An effective personal statement is based on sound self-assessment. To help you reflect on some of your accomplishments, interests, personal traits and characteristics, ask yourself:

You

  • What’s your background, your values? (first generation college student, parents' occupation, role models, spirituality, social justice, etc.)
  • Who have been the most influential people in your life and why?
  • If applicable, reflect on the diversity/uniqueness that you bring (culture, age, major, special life experiences and perspectives.)
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would your professors, employers, family members, classmates and friends describe you?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What keeps you motivated? Why?
  • What kind of learner are you?
  • How do you re-energize?
  • What are your greatest assets?
  • What is it that you would like for a law school to really know about you?
  • Why should a law school want to have you as a student?

Your experiences

  • Think of your proudest moment. Why was that accomplishment particularly meaningful to you?
  • What skills are you learning in your classes, research experiences, and other academic endeavors that are relevant to the legal profession?
  • What are you learning about yourself through your experiences inside and outside of the classroom?
  • Reflect on your extracurricular experiences: remember critical incident moments, "revelations" etc.
  • Ponder about one or two particular events that deeply affected you. Why did these people/events have such a profound impact on you?
  • How have you demonstrated leadership?
  • What kind of hurdles did you have to overcome in your life?
  • What cocurricular activities have broadened your horizons?
  • What experiences have enabled you to interact with people of different backgrounds and cultures?

Your plan

  • How have you formed your own opinion/perception of the nature of legal practice and the daily demands placed upon lawyers and their families?
  • What kind of lawyer would you like to be and why?
  • What impact do you want to have on your community? In what ways have you already started this process?
  • What are your goals for the future, both personally and professionally?

Bottom-line points

  • Why do you want to become a lawyer? Be as sincere as you can
  • What experiences have confirmed your career choice? Be as specific as you can
  • What do you want law schools to know about you beyond what is stated in your application?