Winning Personal Statement Topics for Law School
If you are struggling to find the right thing to write about in your personal statement, start by considering what you think your weaknesses are and then think of examples from your life that demonstrate that the opposite might really be true. I talk about this a lot in Chapter 10 from The Law School Admission Game (listen to an excerpt here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ann-levine/2013/05/08/law-school-personal-statement-tips) but here are some examples:
Is your resume scattered? Do you have experiences that range from public relations to interning on Capitol Hill, volunteering at the hospital, and majoring in Chinese Mythology? If so, use this opportunity to emphasize your vast curiosity, passion for engaging with people, and/or diverse interests (because certainly, most lawyers practice in several different areas of law and not just one).
Are you a non-traditional applicant to law school? Do your 15+ year-old grades fail to show how seriously you would take your studies at this point in your life? Show that you bring military experience, law enforcement experience, years as a parent advocating for a disabled child, or teaching experience, how this will help inform the perspective of a law school class, and how your experience has led you to want to become an attorney. (See this post, an oldie but goodie, for law school applicants over the age of 30: http://lawschoolexpert.com/application-tips/over-30-and-applying-to-law-school/ )
Did you have an upward trend in your grades or an otherwise rough start to college? Then maturity, personal growth, seriousness of purpose and focus are great things to emphasize in your personal statement. (These are great themes for non-traditional applicants as well).
Are you afraid that your personal statement will sound like a recounting of your resume? Go deeper by exploring what you learned from difficult situations, how you took on responsibilities that taught you the nuances of the industry/profession, and developed skills and interests that will help you as you make decisions about your future.
Remember that your personal statement doesn’t have to be unique – you don’t have to be working in orphanages in India or brokering peace in Syria to have a stand-out law school personal statement. You just have to show insight into who you are, the decisions you’ve made, and that you are a thinking, productive, capable person.