Posted Nov. 12, 2018
You might feel that your academic record and work experience are the most important part of your LLM application.
However, your LLM personal statement is a vital part if the process of applying to an LLM course and you should give it time and effort to make sure it's right. But why is it so important?
Here we outline how you can use your LLM personal statement to the best of your advantage.
You can explain any gaps
If you've got a few spaces in your work history or a job that ended poorly, then the LLM personal statement is your chance to explain what happened and what you learnt from the experience. An unhappy or bad experience can be a significant learning experience and might have provided you with additional skills or motivations that will make you able to contribute to the course in a unique or significant way. Many law schools encourage students to explain any career gaps.
Provides insight into your motivation
It's important that your motivations for applying for and doing the LLM course match with the law school's ethics and ethos. Your personal statement is your chance to show that you are a good match for the law school and the LLM course. Explain your reasons for wanting to do this course and why you are passionate about the law or the particular part of the law you are planning on studying. You can show what you will bring to the course and why you will be an asset to the law school.
Make yourself stand out
A popular LLM course at a prestigious law school will receive many more applications than spaces on the course. Everyone apply to that course will have an excellent academic record and a wealth of work experience. Your personal statement might make the difference between being accepted onto the course and not. Make yourself stand out with the language you use, but don't over do it and explain the finer details of your experience and why you've chosen to attend this course at this particular law school.
Important part of the law school’s decision making
89% of universities use the LLM personal statement to make their decision about applicants. This means the time you spend on your personal statement is important. Try and get some other people to read through your statement and offer their advice/opinion, especially if you know someone who has completed the LLM course recently. Make sure that your personal statement is your own work and that any revisions you make on the recommendation of others don't change your personal statement beyond recognition and lose the essence of you.
Prove you can follow instructions
There will be guidelines and advice provided by the law school or university, like these from the University of Sussex, which will help you write your LLM personal statement. Use these instructions to prove that you can easily follow directions. It's also an opportunity to show off your written English skills, if English is not your first language, especially if your English test scores are not what you would like them to be. So be sure to read through the instructions thoroughly and also make sure your written English is as good as it can be.
The first chance for potential professors to meet you
Finally, your LLM personal statement is your introduction to your future law school professors and the people who you might connect and reconnect with throughout your career. If you're accepted onto the course, then the people who you learn from and your fellow students will be part of your future career. View your personal statement as the first introduction to this new part of your future network.
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