Law School Personal Statement Examples

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Personal Statement Examples

Law school personal statements take time to edit and finesse. It’s essential to devote time and energy toward writing a compelling narrative that makes you stand out. You may feel at a loss with where to begin. How do you condense your entire academic and life journey into one simple story or theme? What is superfluous information and what is crucial? 

Luckily, you don’t need to tell your life story in a personal statement. Instead, the best personal statements zoom in on a few major life events and themes that are relevant to law school. The way to make sure those events and themes stick with your reader is to weave together vignettes from your life, relatable stories that reveal who you are as a person and that show a trajectory to and through law school. Below you’ll find four excellent examples:

Example #1: A Clear Path to Law School

Undergrad: Woodbury University

Being a compassionate and sensitive soul, I have always been bothered by the injustices I witness around me. Even as a child, hearing news of violence or inequality made me uncomfortable. Although part of me wanted to turn away from what I saw, I made a point of studying injustice as an undergraduate at Woodbury University. As a member of the university’s Political Science Research Department, I interviewed teens and parents in the local community, and I soon lost count of how many cited gun violence as the most pressing issue in the community. I listened to their stories of terror and loss, and resolved to be a part of the solution. 

It was during this phase of reflection that I met Robert Perry – a criminal defense attorney. I was assigned to assist him with a case in which our client got into an automobile accident with a police cruiser. Even though the officer was clearly at fault, our client had been speeding – driving recklessly, according to the prosecutor – and the officer was injured. So, our client was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, carrying up to three years in jail and a felony strike under California’s Three Strikes Law. I helped Mr. Perry investigate the crash, and with evidence of the officer’s fault in the accident, Mr. Perry was able to secure a plea deal for our client of 120 days, and no felony strike. 

Through this experience as well as observing trials at the courthouse, I decided to pursue a career as a lawyer. I learnt how critical persuasiveness is to becoming a successful and competent lawyer, and I resolved to study the practical techniques and characteristics that great lawyers needs to possess in order to win cases. At Woodbury, I concentrated on taking courses that would prepare me for law school and was honored to be selected as a valuable part of Phi Delta Phi – the legal Honors Society. 

But I knew that another part of being a successful lawyer is maintaining a strong work ethic. I was only 16 when I first started working and successfully managed a team of 16 employees. Currently, at 21 years of age, I am a medical spa manager. Though I belong to an affluent family, I chose to work at a young age and consider it the best decision of my life. The experience of working with diverse populations has made me adaptive, sympathetic, and a positive influence. My dedication to work serves another important purpose: I am an introvert. Knowing that the law requires one to be communicative and outgoing, I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone, becoming friendlier and more open in the process. And although it may not be direct preparation for a career in the law, I have worked to deepen my piano playing, a talent I have cultivated all my life, and one which I have pursued professionally. Playing the piano requires commitment, willingness to practice, attention to detail, enthusiasm to learn, and staunchness; and so does being a lawyer. 

I have worked hard to prepare myself for this moment, and I know that I am ready for the next chapter which starts in August at UCLA School of Law. As a participant in the Trial Advocacy Program, I seek to share what I’ve learned about the law thus far while learning more from my professors and classmates. My passion for helping the vulnerable can be a valuable addition to the Youth Offender Parole Clinic. And I look forward to hearing more about opportunities to give back through UCLA Law. 

I am a strong believer in human rights, equal opportunity, and unbiased treatment under the law, and so, in the near future, I intend to use my legal education and experience to provide resources, legal and otherwise, to children in underserved communities. It is my dream to grow as a person and become the consummate lawyer during my time at UCLA, a renowned and respected Los Angeles institution, and I look forward to hearing from the admissions committee soon. 

Example #2: The Nontraditional Law Student

Undergrad: University of Georgia

My parents were surprised when I announced my decision to join the military. They expected me to go to college, but I had other plans. So, while my former classmates were busy deciding which college to attend, I was enlisting in the Army. While they agonized over which major to pursue, my mind was set on becoming an infantryman. While some questioned my decision, I believed in myself and walked across the stage with a big smile on my face. That day, I remember thinking to myself, “This is the best decision I ever made.”

Two months after graduation, I shaved my head and set off for boot camp at Fort Benning, Georgia. I remember the exhilaration I felt getting off the plane, but a soon as I was enveloped by southern summer humidity, I thought, “Oh darn”. Worse than the weather were the drill sergeants, “welcoming” us with looks that were equal parts nonchalant and menacing. Within the first hour, we were exhausted and drenched in sweat. A week into our training, each soldier was assigned a position in the platoon; I was named squad leader. A month in, the platoon was ambushed during a night mission. It was chaos. While our platoon leader was preoccupied micro-managing soldiers, I led my squad into the epicenter of battle executing our delegated tasks. In an instant, other squads showed collaborative effort to follow our lead and gained control of the situation. The following morning, I was named platoon leader. 

On graduation day, our senior drill sergeant gave a speech in our barrack and gave us a final order. As he spoke, he looked each soldier directly in the eye, one after the other, saying, “One of the hardest decision you will ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder. If you choose to walk away, then start walking without hesitation and never look back, especially with regret. If you choose to try harder, keep your chin up, eyes forward, and never look back, especially with doubt.” His previously menacing look was replaced with one of pride and might that day. After hearing those words, I felt like I had the world in my hand. I took his words to heart and recalled them often to guide me through difficult times.  

I was reminded of those words a few years later when I was a junior at UCLA, and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I agonized over whether to drop out to be with her. After days of contemplation and talking with her, I decided to continue my education. It was painful and difficult, but we agreed that my education was something I had to complete, both for myself and for her. True to my drill sergeant’s advice, I moved forward with renewed determination. On the day of graduation, the look of pride and joy I saw in my mother’s eye was well worth the sacrifice my family had to endure.

My time as a soldier taught me the importance of being circumspect in the decisions I made. I learned that I must prepare for foreseeable circumstances while facing the unforeseeable head on when necessary. When I made mistakes, I learned from constructive criticism which made me a better leader. With experience came success, and with success came greater responsibility. The most important responsibility I had was ensuring the safety and wellbeing of my troops. Before missions, I made sure we all had warm meals and proper equipment. When a soldier was wounded during a mission, it was my responsibility to request a medical evacuation, and most importantly, when soldiers lost their morale and wanted to quit, it was my duty to encourage and motivate them. These experiences helped me to shed the selfishness of youth and replace it with observance, empathy, and situational awareness-habits that I know will serve me well as a law student and lawyer. 

I am forever grateful to the military for instilling these principles in me. Now, it is time for me to build upon those principles in law school and beyond. In law school, I would like to focus towards criminal law and become a member of Loyola’s Criminal Justice Concentration Program and experience a comprehensive and unique understanding of criminal justice. Also, during my summers, I will integrate my legal knowledge and strive to work in the District Attorney’s office and get real life experience. I am proud to say that I have been serving our country since I graduated high school and want to continue serve, not as a soldier, but as a lawyer. As my drill sergeant once advised me, I will keep my chin up, eyes forward, and never look back, especially with doubt, on my decision to become a lawyer.

Example #3: An Environmental Focus

Undergrad: San Jose State University 

Grad school: UC Santa Cruz, PhD

My first love has been and always will be the ocean. Even when I was little, I would tell people I wanted to be a marine biologist so I could swim with the dolphins. I have pursued that dream my entire life. Every choice has brought me closer to the ocean. 

Studying zoology at San Jose State University, I was introduced to the idea of not just studying the ocean, but preserving it. The amounts of trash and pollution I witnessed dumped into the streets without care, were all eventually washed out to sea. While continuing to run after a degree in the marine sciences, I decided to take action. Joining a group called the Trash Punx, we spent our weekends cleaning up the city. We fought to keep our home from causing even more pollution. 

In 2012, I joined the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute for a 10-week internship under senior scientist Ken Johnson. Surrounded by a community of scientists so passionate about their jobs struck something inside me. They loved the ocean, wanted to know everything about it but were heartbroken at the active destruction they witnessed every day. They needed someone who would stand up against the onslaught while they continued to learn each secret the deep blue had to offer. 

When I started my graduate school studies in Ocean Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, I was encouraged to consider a global interdisciplinary approach. All of the world’s oceans are connected, one affects the other. The same is true for each different marine science discipline- they all affect one another. What they need is a few people willing to represent them all. People who are willing to listen to all the disciplines and step up to plate to combat the issues that scientists can’t. Issues that environmental lawyers are specifically trained to confront. 

I may love studying the ocean, but I want to preserve it even more. In order to do that, I first need to attend law school and then further my education in environmental law. I believe that Unity College is the perfect place to nurture my passion for protecting what I love. Science is a logic discipline that also requires a little creative thinking. These are invaluable skills that I have learned to apply to every aspect of my life and I believe will help me excel as an Environmental Lawyer. 

I have been truly fortunate to attend institutions that not only taught me how to problem solve, but also to stand for what I believe in. I look forward to taking the next step toward protecting our oceans with the law under the direction of Unity’s dedicated professors. 

Example #4: Righting Wrongs

Undergrad: University of South Dakota

Grad school: Wake Forest University M.A.

My story begins with a little girl we are going to call Jean. She lived next door to me for five years, none of which were very happy. Her parents fought daily and she was always caught in the middle. Eventually, the fractured family broke entirely with a divorce. The fallout was ugly, they couldn’t agree on anything, and they used Jean as a weapon against each other. She was just a kid, but no one-not even the divorce lawyers-tried to consider what was best for her. The injustice of it burned in my soul for years after. Was there anyone out there willing to protect children in these situations? I was just a kid myself; what could I do?

Fresh out of high school, I got a job at a daycare, where I saw the same scenario play out over and over again. Each instance reminded me of Jean and the injustice I felt on her behalf. I began to volunteer at the local Boys & Girls Club. It was a chance to give hurting kids a moment to feel loved with no strings attached. Very shortly after, I began studying for a bachelor’s degree in counseling, specifically to help children. 

All the way through my master’s program, I was sure counseling was where I could do the most good. A calm, safe presence where kids could feel safe, if just for a little while. The more situations I came across though, the more I was brought back to Jean and the pain I felt for her. I realized that in order to protect children in such deeply broken situations, I needed to start looking into family law. 

My counseling background has taught me mediation and de-escalation skills that will be invaluable working with families in and out of court. I have also studied child psychology extensively, allowing me to better help children in these situations. 

I know that Loyola Marymount University will be a place where I can not just learn but thrive. The law programs will allow me to learn the basics, as well as the specifics of family law. The supportive community is a refreshing bonus. As is the strong emphasis on volunteering and giving back to the community. I look forward to the prospect of learning and serving alongside students and faculty alike. 


As you can see from our law school personal statement examples, PSU will take the time to help you perfect your statement. Law schools are not looking for the next literary genius within your personal statement. You don’t have to be Shakespeare to get into law school. It is simply necessary to convince them that you are worth their time. 

PSU has streamlined a process that shapes an applicant’s background into a unique and eye-catching narrative. We help our students stand out from the crowd and get seen. Ask questions about our course or speak to our writing staff about your draft by contacting us today. 

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Branden is a 2011 graduate of UCLA School of Law. He’s practiced patent law and business litigation, as well as helping thousands of students crush the LSAT and the California Bar Exam.

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First Published: Feb 9, 2022

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Branden Frankel, Esq.

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