Emily Andrew, a Law (LLB) with Forensic Psychology student gives us some advice about writing your personal statement.
This blog will be quite law centred as that is my area of speciality. Although some tips will be transferable to other courses too:
Hi readers, Emily here – a third-year Law (LLB) with Forensic Psychology student here at Worcester! In this blog, I will be guiding you through those dreaded personal statements and giving you some of my top tips.
So, what is a personal statement? It is a short essay-style document that aims to give the University you are applying to a feel of who you are, why you want to study the course, and why they should pick you! Personal statements can be super scary, and very daunting! It can be really difficult to know where to begin – that’s where this blog comes in!
Where to start?
Start with a big piece of paper. When I wrote my personal statement in 2018 (…we won’t talk about how old that makes me feel) I started off by getting a big piece of paper and writing everything down. It can be really unmotivating to stare at a blank word document. This technique helped me figure out where to start.
Once you have got your big piece of paper, start thinking about why you want to apply for the course? Think about if there has been a particular law case, news item or a famous face that has inspired you. The University want to understand your motivations for studying. I began my personal statement with case law, setting out exactly how that had inspired me to study law.
What to write?
Think, what transferable skills do you have? People often say, ‘I don’t have any legal experience. At this stage, you don’t need it! It’s the transferable skills that are important. Write down where/when you have had the opportunity to utilise skills such as; leadership, communication, and teamwork. These skills are key for a Law personal statement! Some examples of these skills I used were positions of responsibility in school, my part-time customer service job, and sports teams. Don’t discredit your experiences because they’re not course-specific!
Emphasise your motivation as to why you want to study law. You could talk about a case that piqued your interest, as I did or a particular area of law that you have enjoyed researching! Remember, you don’t have to aspire to be a lawyer to study for a law degree.
Avoid generic statements, like ‘I am passionate’. Always back up what you’re saying with an example. This will help you cut your word count down and focus on the really important skills that set you out from the crowd.
Promote your best qualities. Self-promotion can be difficult but, this helps the University determine whether you will make a good fit for the course you are applying for. When thinking about your best qualities you may find it easier to ask your friends, family, and teachers for feedback. Additionally, I asked my tutor and my law teacher to check these elements of my personal statement.
I hope you have found this somewhat useful, and good luck!