How to Write a Compelling Personal Statement for Emory University School of Law

Learn how to craft a powerful personal statement that will impress the admissions committee at Emory University School of Law.

Posted May 12, 2023

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One of the most important parts of your application to Emory University School of Law is the personal statement. This is your chance to showcase your unique qualities, experiences, and skills to the admissions committee and demonstrate why you would be a good fit for the program. However, writing a compelling personal statement can be a challenging task. In this article, we will guide you through the process of writing a winning personal statement for Emory University School of Law.

Understanding the Purpose of the Personal Statement

The personal statement is an opportunity for you to communicate your story and goals to the admissions committee. This essay gives you a chance to showcase your motivations, strengths, and experiences in a way that is not reflected in other parts of your application. Your personal statement should highlight the unique qualities and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for Emory University School of Law and allow you to express your passion for the field of law.

It is important to note that the personal statement is not just a summary of your resume or academic achievements. Admissions committees are looking for applicants who can bring diversity and unique perspectives to their program. Therefore, your personal statement should also demonstrate your ability to think critically, problem-solve, and communicate effectively. Use this opportunity to showcase your personality and demonstrate why you are a good fit for Emory University School of Law.

Researching Emory University School of Law's Values and Mission

Before you start writing your personal statement, take some time to research Emory University School of Law's values and mission. This will help you tailor your essay to the school's specific expectations and demonstrate your fit with the program. Visit the school's website, read about the faculty, the curriculum, and any special programs that may interest you. Make sure you understand the school's values, mission, and priorities before you begin writing.

One important aspect to consider when researching Emory University School of Law is its commitment to social justice. The school has a strong tradition of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, and encourages its students to use their legal education to make a positive impact on society. This is reflected in the school's curriculum, which includes courses on civil rights, human rights, and public interest law.

Another key feature of Emory University School of Law is its emphasis on experiential learning. The school offers a range of opportunities for students to gain practical experience, including clinics, externships, and pro bono projects. These experiences not only provide valuable skills and knowledge, but also allow students to make meaningful connections with the legal community and explore different areas of law.

Identifying Your Unique Qualities and Experiences

The key to writing a successful personal statement is showcasing your unique qualities and experiences. Emory University School of Law wants to see what makes you stand out as an individual and how your personal experiences have shaped your perspectives and goals. Think about your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, volunteering, work experience, and any other relevant experiences that contribute to your candidacy.

It is important to note that your personal statement should not simply be a list of your accomplishments. Instead, focus on how these experiences have influenced your personal and professional goals. For example, if you volunteered at a legal aid clinic, explain how this experience sparked your interest in pursuing a career in public interest law. By providing specific examples and demonstrating your passion for the field, you can make a compelling case for why you are the ideal candidate for Emory University School of Law.

Choosing a Theme for Your Personal Statement

Now that you have identified your unique qualities and experiences, it's time to choose a theme or central idea for your personal statement. The theme should serve as a unifying thread throughout your essay. It could be a significant experience that influenced your decision to pursue law, a challenge you overcame, or a passion that you want to pursue through a legal career. Choose a theme that reflects your individuality and that will help you stand out from other applicants.

It's important to keep in mind that your theme should also align with the values and mission of the law school you are applying to. Research the school's website and mission statement to get a better understanding of what they are looking for in their applicants. This will help you tailor your theme to fit their expectations and increase your chances of being accepted.

Outlining Your Personal Statement

Once you have a theme, you can start outlining your personal statement. Create an outline that includes a clear introduction, body paragraphs that showcase your experiences and qualifications, and a conclusion that ties everything together. Your outline should also include any specific points that you want to make sure you cover in your personal statement.

When outlining your personal statement, it's important to keep in mind the audience you are writing for. Consider the values and mission of the institution or organization you are applying to and tailor your personal statement accordingly. This will show that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in being a part of their community.

Another important aspect to consider when outlining your personal statement is the tone you want to convey. Do you want to come across as confident and assertive, or more humble and reflective? Think about the message you want to send and make sure your tone aligns with that message.

Crafting an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

Your introduction is your chance to hook the reader and make them interested in reading more. You could start with an anecdote, a quote, a question, or a bold statement that highlights your theme. Make sure your introduction is clear, concise, and engaging and sets the tone for the rest of your essay.

Another effective way to craft an attention-grabbing introduction is to provide some background information on the topic you are discussing. This can help the reader understand the context of your essay and why it is important. For example, if you are writing about the effects of climate change, you could start by explaining what climate change is and why it is a pressing issue.

It is also important to remember that your introduction should be relevant to your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the main argument of your essay, and your introduction should provide a preview of what you will be discussing in your essay. This will help the reader understand the purpose of your essay and what they can expect to learn from it.

Highlighting Relevant Experience and Skills

The body of your personal statement should focus on your experiences and qualifications that demonstrate your fit for Emory University School of Law. Elaborate on your accomplishments, and provide specific examples of how they demonstrate your abilities and preparedness for law school. Do not just list your accomplishments, but provide a detailed explanation of how they relate to your legal aspirations.

Additionally, it is important to highlight any relevant skills that you possess. These skills can include critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership abilities. Provide examples of how you have utilized these skills in your past experiences, and explain how they will benefit you in law school and in your future legal career.

Furthermore, consider discussing any relevant legal experience you may have, such as internships, volunteer work, or legal clinics. Explain how these experiences have shaped your understanding of the legal field and how they have prepared you for law school. If you do not have any legal experience, discuss any experiences that have helped you develop skills that will be useful in law school, such as research or writing experience.

Addressing Any Weaknesses or Gaps in Your Application

If there are any weaknesses or gaps in your application, it's important to address them in your personal statement. Explain any low grades or test scores, and provide a context for any extracurricular activities or employment gaps. Also, do not forget to explain how these weaknesses changed you and made you stronger so that you don’t come across as someone making excuses.

Demonstrating Your Fit with Emory University School of Law

Show the admissions committee that you understand Emory University School of Law's ethos and that you share the same beliefs. Emphasize how the school's curriculum, mission, faculty, and community will help you achieve your legal aspirations and how you are excited to contribute to the school's culture. Be specific about particular programs that you are interested in so that the admissions committee can see that you have done your research.

Writing with Clarity and Conciseness

Make sure your essay is well-organized, easy to read, and free of any grammatical errors or typos. Follow the guidelines provided by Emory University School of Law. Also, avoid using jargon or overly complicated language and be concise. Adhere to the word count, but at the same time, do not leave out crucial details that may impact your candidacy.

Editing and Proofreading Your Personal Statement

Once you have completed your first draft, it's essential to revise and proofread multiple times. Take breaks, so you can approach your essay from a fresh perspective. Ask trusted friends, family members, professors or former bosses to read your statement and provide feedback. Asides from making sure the statement is error free, this also ensures that your essay reads well to all audiences and not just you.

Tips for Standing Out in a Competitive Applicant Pool

Competition for a spot at Emory University School of Law is tough, and you need to stand out from other applicants. Highlight what makes you unique and emphasize accomplishments that truly differentiate you. Don't be afraid to showcase your personality, passion, and determination in your essay. Be confident but, at the same time, humble and honest.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Writing a Personal Statement

Avoid making common mistakes that can hurt your personal statement. Do not use cliches, plagiarize or sound arrogant. Do not forget to follow guidelines and write for the specific school and programme. Address any weaknesses or challenges directly and do not skim over admissions areas that may be negative. Keep in mind that this is an essay about who you are so everything should be framed around your experience and qualifications.

Examples of Successful Personal Statements for Emory University School of Law

Looking over successful personal statements can give you an idea of what works and what doesn't. Examples of successful statements can guide you, but they should not be plagiarized or copied. Use those examples only to draw inspiration and craft an essay that reflects your unique story and personality but remember to be authentic and truthful.


Writing a winning personal statement takes time, effort, and attention. But the rewards can be great if you follow the guidelines provided here. Remember to research Emory University School of Law, choose a theme, outline, and organize your essay, and demonstrate your unique qualities and experiences that make you an exceptional candidate for this program. Formatting and presentation are of the utmost importance, and so, revise, proofread and edit thoroughly to ensure the final product is one that Emory will be proud to accept. You can do it!

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