When you’re trying to get accepted onto a Master of Laws program, your personal statement is the best way to make your application stand out, especially when the LLM course you're aiming for attracts many more applicants than spaces available.
The LLM personal statement is extremely important in determining your success when applying for an LLM course, and here we take a look at what is involved in the process of writing one, highlighting some key strategies to employ to ensure success.
What information should you include?
It is important to outline the reasons why you want to study this particular course. Is it because your previous study and work experience have all lead in the direction this course will take you? Or is it a complete change of career for you? How did you become interested in this field? Why are you suited to this institution? Is it because you thrive in the intimate atmosphere of a specialised college or do you enjoy the busy environment of a large institution?
How can you make it personal?
You need to reflect and include any relevant information like volunteer experience or extra-curricular activities that have inspired you and your career choices. The admissions team want to understand the personal reasons why you want to study this particular course. This means you should include any other personal life experiences that have encouraged you to pursue the particular LLM you are applying for.
You'll want to pick a referee who can provide you with a good academic reference, so choose a tutor and lecturer that you got on well with and who will remember you from your undergraduate studies. Including your employer as a referee is a good idea if your current job is relevant to the course or include someone you did relevant work experience for. Obviously, you will need to ask them before you submit your application and don't forget to thank them when you are accepted onto the course as well.
Take your time
It's best not to rush an important document like a personal statement. If you don't have the ideal grades, then your personal statement might make all the difference. You'll want to use a formal and professional tone but don't show off your legal language knowledge just yet. Try to avoid clichés like saying you've always wanted to be a Maritime Lawyer if you are applying for an LLM in Maritime Law. Make sure you follow the guidelines set out by the university, as it will discredit your application if you don't and you wouldn't want your application rejected because your personal statement is in the wrong format.
Get a second (or even third) opinion
You should check your personal statement for tone and flow by getting a couple of trusted friends or family members to read it through for you. Anyone who is great at spotting bad grammar and spelling mistakes should be your first port of call as computer spell checks can only go so far. A friend or family member who has completed an LLM is a good person to call on to read through your personal statement, as they must have written a successful one themselves.
Remember, the key to writing a great LLM personal statement is to keep it personal and to also keep it professional in tone at the same time.