Apr 02, 2023

Written By Ella Jenkinson

How Do You Lay Out a Personal Statement For a Law Degree?

Apr 02, 2023

Written By Ella Jenkinson

Drafting a legal personal statement can be a challenging task. However once mastered, it can be an excellent way for you to stand out amongst other applicants. It is easy to fall into the trap of making grand, unsubstantiated claims that have no real meaning behind them, therefore try and be as unique as possible! When writing a personal statement a clear structure is needed. This article will help frame your answer and serve as a checklist to ensure you have hit all the key criteria.

Importance changes to the UCAS personal statement

It is crucial to note that all students applying for university in 2023/2024 for courses starting in 2024/2025 will still be required to submit a UCAS personal statement as normal and the following information and advice still apply. However, from 2025 onwards, changes are being made to the UCAS application process and it is expected that students will no longer be required to fill out a personal statement. Instead, students will be asked to answer several questions.

Why is a personal statement so important?

Law is a competitive subject to apply for. Especially at top universities, good grades may be a given for candidates. The admissions team will use your statement to differentiate you from another candidate that has similar grades and experiences. Therefore a personal statement should convey your unique skills and qualifications, to secure your place at your dream university.

Beginning your personal statement

The start should contain your motivations for studying law. It is important to include something authentic that really drew you to the subject in the first place. It can be anything, however this interest should be a consolidated one, and not a whim. This will help you demonstrate you want to continue studying the subject for the next three years.

If you can, try and think of an interesting law-related experience you’ve had, that sparked your passion for law. This will really attract the reader's attention. It doesn't have to be something conventionally impressive such as “when I interned at a Magic Circle firm…”. As long as it is authentic. Try to avoid cliches like ‘I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was four.’

A common pitfall here is for students to get ahead of themselves and demonstrate their interest in relation to a law career, not a law degree. You should focus more on the theoretical aspects of law you’ll be studying, and include a sentence or two about how a law degree will help you in your future career.

Writing the middle section

The middle can be split into two parts. Firstly, your education and then your wider experiences. This should form the majority of your personal statement. Ultimately law is an academic subject, which will require many hours of study. You need to think about what A-Levels you have studied and whether they have any relation to the subject of law. Don't worry if you have not studied law, most people haven't yet! If you studied Politics, for example, you could discuss how different political systems interact with their legal systems and how they compare across different jurisdictions.

Make sure to include any additional examples that demonstrate your interest in the law. This can be from a variety of things: online courses, books, or the news. For example, if you were to talk about cryptocurrency, steer away from its commercial implication and look at the recent changes it has brought into case law, as demonstrated in CMOC v Persons Unknown.

Practical experience can be an excellent way of demonstrating your interest in this subject. This could be anything from an insight day at a law firm to witnessing a court trial. Whilst legal experience is desirable, it is not essential by any means. You can draw upon any of your work experiences as long as you can demonstrate how it will make you a desirable future legal student.

If you have completed an EPQ this is an excellent example to include, even if the topic is not law. It involves many core skills that are related to a law degree. Skills to be looking out for in your experiences are writing, critical thinking, debating, analysis and reasoning. It’s a good idea to provide an example of how you’ve put these skills into practice.


How to end your personal statement

Your final concluding sentences should be as meaningful, yet simple. Avoid waffling at this point or adding new information, instead summarise why you are pursuing a law degree and why you are the best applicant. Highlight the skills and experiences you have that make you the best candidate. Try to include something memorable if you want to create a lasting impact.


Law Personal Statement