Feb 09, 2018

Written By Coventry University Careers Centre

Nine Top Tips: Law Personal Statements

Feb 09, 2018

Written By Coventry University Careers Centre

These nine personal statement tips from the Careers Advisory Service at Coventry University will help you create a successful UCAS application to get on to the law course you wish to study.

To fast forward to find out what course options are out there, head over to our Law degree courses section.

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1. Follow all application instructions closely…

Read the UCAS advice for completing personal statements. Check any extra guidelines that are offered by the universities that you are interested in applying to.

2. Appropriate time management is essential…

Give yourself enough time to write your statement properly. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to sit down and get it done in an hour.

It’s not unusual for people to have done 10-20 drafts before they feel totally happy with their statement.

3. Brainstorm and make notes…

Before you start jot down a few notes on the things you’ll need to consider:

- Why do you want to study law?

- What personal qualities qualities, interests and experience do you possess that demonstrate that you are suited to studying law at university?

4. Know your audience – what do admissions tutors want?

What type of institution are you applying to? Are they likely to appreciate a famous quote in your statement or an attempt at humour? If in doubt, leave them out!

Using famous quotes and humour in is a really risky strategy. Remember to think about who will be reading your personal statement and what they want to see in it.

Admission tutors usually have a checklist of things they are looking for, such as:

- Is the student suited to law?

- Are they academic high achievers? Can they communicate well on paper (at application stage) and verbally (interview stage)?

- Do they possess the right qualities to be successful on a law degree and to practice law? Are they conscientious, hardworking, determined to succeed, and able to perform under pressure?

- Has the student demonstrated a desire to learn and a genuine interest in law? Have they have taken the time to research the course properly?

5. Plan it out…

Creating a plan for your personal statement will help you decide on an appropriate structure and help with the coherency of your writing and the flow of your argument.

6. Get the tone right…

Be confident, but not arrogant or precocious. Avoid clichés such as “I have wanted to train to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember…”

7. Less can often be more…

It is perfectly acceptable for candidates not to use the entire 4,000 character word allocation, as it’s preferable to have a shorter and well written statement than a long, tedious and irrelevant one.

The majority of admissions tutors would rather read 42 lines of well crafted, relevant and considered writing rather than 47 lines of unstructured drivel.

8. Proof reading your personal statement is essential…

Once you are happy with what you have written, read through your statement slowly. It might help to read it out aloud.

Pretend that you are the admissions tutor: is your personal statement conveying the qualities they want to see? Have you under or oversold yourself?

Check the content. Does it make sense or contain any obvious omissions? Scrutinise your spelling, consider the flow of your writing and fix any grammatical errors.

Have you used a varied vocabulary and have you managed to avoid starting every sentence with the word ‘I’?

The next stage involves giving the statement to other people you trust to read and check for you.

You may wish to ask a few people to get a range of different opinions, e.g. your careers advisor, a teacher, a member of your family, trusted friends, or employers.

9. Write to impress...

Your statement aims to represent you on one single piece of paper. Consequently, if you feel that the content or structure of your statement fails to do this properly, then work on it until you've got it right. 

You need a strong beginning (to capture the reader’s interest), a good middle (to sustain that interest), and an appropriate ending (to make them remember you in a positive light).

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Law Personal Statement