Loyola University Chicago

Pre-Law Advising

Division of Student Academic Services

Tips for the Personal Statement

  • Keep it simple and direct.
  • Keep it brief...the typical statement should be two pages, double spaced.
  • Write about actual accomplishments. The most effective statement is a thoughtful, impressionistic explanation of the crucial events that have shaped you into the person you are.
  • Write a statement that focuses on one or two experiences that have related to your preparation for law study.
  • Explain how you've overcome weaknesses and obstacles in your life and how that has prepared you for law school.
  • Develop the personal statement in a structured form. Begin with an introduction that sets out your theme and the sub-points you will develop in the subsequent paragraphs. Devote one paragraph to each sub-point. Make sure you use transitions between paragraphs. Make sure that each paragraph relates to the one before and after so that the essay hangs together as an integrated story. End with a concluding paragraph in which you explain briefly why you want to attend this particular law school.
  • WRITE, REWRITE AND TRY AGAIN. After reading the statement, you should ask yourself: "Have I told the reader who I am? Is the reader convinced that I am capable of doing well in law school?"
  • Play up the experiences that have shaped your life -- foreign study, producing a book or play, responsible employment. Explain your intellectual development, noting how your academic interests have grown and changed.