10 Law School Personal Statement Examples in November 2020

Updated: July 20, 2020

If you're struggling with your law school personal statement, review these excellent law school personal statement examples from past successful applicants and proven strategies from a former admissions committee member. 

Here is what you are going to learn:

A Law School Personal Statement Example That Got Accepted

What’s Great about this First Law School Personal Statement?

A Second Law School Personal Statement Example That Got Accepted

What’s Great about this Second Law School Personal Statement?

8 More Law School Personal Statement Examples

Why Most Students Get Rejected: The Law School Personal Statement 

Would you like us to help you with your law school personal statement?

(Limited spots available) 

Students are always asking how to write a personal statement for law school, particularly one that stands out from all the rest. After all, advice from most universities is vague at best. Take this zinger from the University of Chicago: “Write about something personal, relevant, and completely individual to you… Just be yourself.” For motivated students with the world at their fingertips, it’s a tough ask to narrow your character down into a few hundred words!

We'll show you an example of a great statement that is “completely individual,” but that also highlights the self-awareness, professional skills, and writing ability that law schools are looking for. Feel free to use it as a template for your own statement (but don’t plagiarize, of course!). 

Law School Personal Statement Example: #1

When I was a child, my neighbors, who had arrived in America from Nepal, often seemed stressed. They argued a lot, struggled for money, and seemed to work all hours of the day. One day, I woke early in the morning to a commotion outside my apartment. Police officers were accompanying my neighbors out of the building. They were being deported. In my teens, I was shocked to see that our kind, friendly neighbors had exhausted their last chance to stay in America as they lost a court appeal. 

Since that time, I have worked closely with the many immigrant families in my neighborhood, and now university town. I began by volunteering at a local community center. Together with social workers, I served food and gave out clothes to new arrivals. My diligent work ethic led to more responsibility, and I received training in basic counseling techniques, first aid skills and community services. Soon, I was tasked with welcoming new community members and assessing their health and social needs. I heard the many difficult stories of those who had traveled thousands of miles, often through several countries, risking everything to reach a safe, welcoming country. I was proud to contribute in some small way to making America welcoming for these individuals.

The community center is where I had my first formal contact with legal aid lawyers, who were a constant source of knowledge and support for those who needed assistance. I was struck by the lawyers’ ability to explain complex legal processes to nervous and exhausted incomers: law, I realized, was about more than procedure. I decided that I, too, would strive to balance a wealth of technical knowledge with my caring, compassionate personality.

As soon as I enrolled in university, I knew I had the chance to do so. In my very first week, I signed up to volunteer at the university’s legal aid center, where I worked closely with law professors and students on a range of cases. Academically, I have focused on courses, such as a fourth-year Ethics seminar, that would help me develop rigorous critical reasoning skills. More importantly, I knew that, given my experience, I could be a leader on campus. I decided to found a refugee campaign group, Students4Refugees. Together with a group of volunteers, we campaigned to make our campus a refugee-friendly space. I organized a series of events: international student mixers, an art installation in our student commons, and concerts that raised over $5,000 for the charity Refugee Aid. I am proud to say that my contributions were recognized with a university medal for campus leadership.

I have seen time and again how immigrants to the United States struggle with bureaucracy, with complex legal procedures, and with the demands of living in a foreign and sometimes hostile climate. As I plan to enter law school, I look back to my neighbors’ experiences: they needed someone who knew the law, who could negotiate with the authorities on their behalf, who could inform them of their rights—but they also needed someone who would provide a caring and compassionate outlet for their stresses. I know that Townsville University’s combination of academic rigor, legal aid services, and history of graduates entering labor and non-profit sectors will allow me to develop these skills and continue making contributions to my community by advocating for those in need.

To learn more about this technique, check out our video on "showing, not telling":

What’s Great about this First Law School Personal Statement?

It focuses on just one theme: justice for immigrants. Every paragraph is designed to show off how enthusiastic the student is about this area (click here to find out why this is so effective).

Personal statements - including those for law school - often begin with a personal anecdote. This one is short, memorable, and relevant. It establishes the overall theme quickly.

This personal statement focuses on showing, rather than telling. The applicant describes specific situations they were involved in which demonstrates the applicant's commitment to law.

It is confident without being boastful—leadership qualities, grades and an award, are all mentioned in context, rather than appearing as a simple list of successes.

It ends with a conclusion that alludes to why the applicant is suitable for the specific school to which they’re applying and points to their future career plans.

Check out our law school personal statement examples video below:


Here's Another Law School Personal Statement Example: #2

In my home community, the belief is that the law is against us. The law oppresses and victimizes. I must admit that as a child and young person I had this opinion based on my environment and the conversations around me. I did not understand that the law could be a vehicle for social change, and I certainly did not imagine I had the ability and talents to be a voice for this change. I regularly attended my high school classes because I enjoyed the discussions and reading for English and history, and writing came easily to me, but I wasn’t committed to getting good grades because I felt I had no purpose. My mindset changed as I spent time with Mark Russell, a law student who agreed to mentor and tutor me as part of a “high school to law school” mentorship program. Every week, for three years, Mark and I would meet. At first, Mark tutored me, but I quickly became an “A” student, not only because of the tutoring, but because my ambitions were uncorked by what Mark shared with me about university, the law, and his life. I learned grades were the currency I needed to succeed. I attended mock trials, court hearings, and law lectures with Mark and developed a fresh understanding of the law that piqued an interest in law school. My outlook has changed because my mentor, my teachers, and my self-advocacy facilitated my growth. Still, injustices do occur. The difference is that I now believe the law can be an instrument for social change, but voices like mine must give direction to policy and resources in order to fight those injustices.

Early in my mentorship, I realized it was necessary to be “in the world” differently if I were to truly consider a law career. With Mark’s help and the support of my high school teachers, I learned to advocate for myself and explore opportunities that would expand my worldview as well as my academic skills. I joined a Model UN club at a neighboring high school, because my own school did not have enough student interest to have a club. By discussing global issues and writing decisions, I began to feel powerful and confident with my ability to gather evidence and make meaningful decisions about real global issues. As I built my leadership, writing, and public speaking skills, I noticed a rift developing with some of my friends. I wanted them to begin to think about larger systemic issues outside of our immediate experience, as I was learning to, and to build confidence in new ways. I petitioned my school to start a Model UN and recruited enough students to populate the club. My friends did not join the club as I’d hoped, but before I graduated, we had 2 successful years with the students who did join. I began to understand that I cannot force change based on my own mandate, but I must listen attentively to the needs and desires of others in order to support them as they require.

While I learned to advocate for myself throughout high school, I also learned to advocate for others. My neighbors, knowing my desire to be a lawyer, would often ask me to advocate on their behalf with small grievances. I would make phone calls, stand in line with them at government offices, and deal with difficult landlords. A woman, Elsa, asked me to review her rental agreement to help her understand why her landlord had rented it to someone else, rather than renewing her lease. I scoured the rental agreement, highlighted questionable sections, read the Residential Tenancies Act, and developed a strategy for approaching the landlord. Elsa and I sat down with the landlord and, upon seeing my binder complete with indices, he quickly conceded before I could even speak. That day, I understood evidence is the way to justice. My interest in justice grew, and while in university, I sought experiences to solidify my decision to pursue law.

Last summer, I had the good fortune to work as a summer intern in the Crown Attorney’s Office responsible for criminal trial prosecutions. As the only pre-law intern, I was given tasks such as reviewing court tapes, verifying documents, and creating a binder with indices. I often went to court with the prosecutors where I learned a great deal about legal proceedings, and was at times horrified by human behavior. This made the atmosphere in the Crown Attorney’s office even more surprising. I worked with happy and passionate lawyers whose motivations were pubic service, the safety and well-being of communities, and justice. The moment I realized justice was their true objective, not the number of convictions, was the moment I decided to become a lawyer.

I broke from the belief systems I was born into. I did this through education, mentorship, and self-advocacy. There is sadness because in this transition I left people behind, especially as I entered university. However, I am devoted to my home community. I understand the barriers that stand between youth and their success. As a law student, I will mentor as I was mentored, and as a lawyer, I will be a voice for change.

What’s Great about this Second Law School Personal Statement?

Although the applicant expressed initial reservations about law, the statement demonstrates when the applicant's initial interest in law began and with real examples, shows how that interest turned into dedication and passion.

It is captivating from the beginning and takes the reader on a chronological journey through the applicant's life.

This personal statement focuses on showing, rather than telling. The applicant describes specific causes they were involved with which demonstrate that the applicant is genuinely committed to a career in the law.

It discusses challenges that were faced, such as the applicant's original feeling toward law, and the fact that they lost some friends along the way. However, the applicant shows determination to move past these hurdles without playing the victim.

It ends with a conclusion that alludes to why the applicant is suitable for the specific school to which they’re applying and points to their future career plans.

8 More Law School Personal Statement Examples

Law School Personal Statement Example #3

Click here to view the example.

Law School Personal Statement Example #4

Click here to view the example.

Law School Personal Statement Example #5

Click here to view the example.

Law School Personal Statement Example #6

Click here to view the example.

Law School Personal Statement Example #7

Click here to view the example.

Law School Personal Statement Example #8

Click here to view the example.

Law School Personal Statement Example #9

Click here to view the example.

Law School Personal Statement Example #10

Click here to view the example.

Why Most Students Get Rejected: The Law School Personal Statement

Every pre-law student blames their lack of success on the large number of applicants, the heartless admissions committee members, the high GPA and LSAT score cut offs. Check out our blog on law school acceptance rates to  find out more about the admission statistics for law schools in the US. Having taught more than a thousand students every year, I can tell you the REAL truth about why most students get rejected:

Most students don't do any form of planning for their applications. They scramble to complete their applications at the last minute, leaving their applications rushed and underwhelming. If you're applying to law school in Ontario, check out our OLSAS application blog for everything you need to know.

Most students don't formulate a strategy on WHAT to include in their personal statements, let alone HOW to present their ideas to their audience effectively. They just sit down and write their personal statement in one go.

Most students don't do any form of proofreading; if they do, they only revise their statement once or twice before throwing in the towel and declaring it "good enough". Quite frankly, "good enough" doesn't get you into law school.

Most students don't ask for expert feedback. They don't seek out someone who can provide them with a second set of critical eyes on their essays, because some random person in an online forum told them that they don't need professional editing, not realizing that everyone needs an editor. Even Hemingway had an editor. If Hemingway needed an editor, trust me, so do you (and so do I, for that matter!).

And this gets them in a vicious cycle of self-condemnation and rejection letters. 

The most savvy and successful students normally escape the rejection letter by:

  • Planning in advance
  • Proofreading their personal statement multiple times
  • Seeking expert feedback

If you do that, you can avoid the dreaded rejection letter, the ensuing headache, and the waste of time and money associated with the re-application process. If you're looking for even more advice, check out our blog for additional law school personal statement tips.

Right now, you have a big opportunity to schedule your FREE initial consultation with one of our admissions experts to find out how we can help make your application stand out before it's too late. 


(Limited spots available) 

Seize the moment.

About the Author:

Dr. Sarah Lynn Kleeb is an admissions expert at BeMo. Dr. Kleeb holds a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) from the University of Toronto where she examined the connections between Critical Theory and Liberation Theology. She brings 10 years of experience teaching, advising, and mentoring undergraduate students to her role as an admissions expert, having taught extensively at UofT. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting 

*Please note that our sample essays are the property of BeMo Academic Consulting, and should not be re-used for any purpose. Admissions committees regularly check for plagiarism from online sources.