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University personal statements

When applying to study law at university, as part of your application you will be required to write a personal statement.
Student sat at a laptop looking at a paper document in their hands

What should you write in a law personal statement?

Bringing your interest in law to life is key. If you’re already studying law (for example at A-Level), then you might want to talk about topics you’ve enjoyed and any wider reading you’ve done. There is not a requirement to have studied law previously however.

Here are some ways to demonstrate your engagement with law:

A book you’ve read that had a legal dimension to it.

Work experience, which could be in a solicitor’s firm or a mini-pupillage, but equally could be shadowing at your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), some charity work, or even your Saturday job.

Visiting your local magistrates’ court, the Crown Court, or your nearest employment tribunal.

Join a debating club, or start your own. If you have the opportunity to conduct a personal project or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), consider giving it a legal focus.

But don’t simply list what you’ve done. Write about relevant experiences in your statement in a reflective way. What did you see? What did you learn? Why did it enhance your interest in law?

What else to include in your law statement

Why you want to study law: bring this to life by focusing in on aspects of law that are of particular interest to you, how it relates to your current studies, and what additional reading you’ve embarked on. But keep it concise – three or so paragraphs is probably fine.

How your skills fit: demonstrate that you have, or are developing, the skills needed for success in law – from public speaking to persuasive writing, or your meticulous attention to detail when writing essays.

Current affairs: universities like applicants who keep up-to-date with current affairs and who are interested in the legal implications of the latest news stories.

Good written English: sentence construction, spelling, and punctuation are absolutely vital, and sometimes a cause for rejection.

Combined course applications: if you’re applying for law in combination with a different subject, make sure you demonstrate something relevant to the other subject too.

What you’ve drawn from extracurricular activities: this is another good way to demonstrate your motivation, skills and enthusiasm for the course.

Try to avoid the overuse of quotations, universities prefer to read your own thoughts.

Also try to avoid the use of clichés: including overuse of the word ‘passion’ or the phrase ‘law is all around us’. Don’t just say it, demonstrate it in a personal, concise way.

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