Being able to look at and evaluate examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a postgraduate degree course. After all, personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your application, and you can quickly learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.
But with so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?
Postgraduate personal statements should highlight relevant academic and practical experience, research skills and ambitions and their suitability for the course. This postgraduate personal statement example for Law clearly illustrates these three critical elements.
Studying master’s degree personal statement examples can be especially valuable. They’re sometimes referred to as personal mission statements or statements of purpose, so if you’re tasked with writing a personal mission statement, the following example will work for you.
I’ve broken down this personal statement example section by section, with a commentary on each element.
That way, you’ll see its strengths and weaknesses and get some inspiration for your own personal statement.
Once you’ve read the personal statement example and analysis, you’ll be able to download a pdf of the whole document, to use as inspiration for your own!
Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: Law
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
I decided to make law my lifelong field of study in high school after reading “The Case of the Speluncean Explorers” by Lon L Fuller. This was a fictional case in which five cavers were trapped by a landslide and drew lots to choose a victim whose flesh the others would eat to survive. After reading the judgments of the 14 judges in the book, I felt as though I had witnessed a harsh intellectual and moral adventure through the lens of the law. The different ranking of legal values behind the judgments, such as maximising the happiness of the greatest number of people or preserving the absolute value of every life, inspired in me a profound sense of contemplation and internal debate. As a result of this unique reading experience, I developed a strong interest in law and continued to examine the balance between different legal values throughout my ongoing studies. It is this commitment to understanding the inherent contradictions within the application of the law that motivates my application for this course.
Commentary and Analysis
This personal statement example begins with evidence of the writer’s long-term commitment to their subject. Whilst it isn’t a ‘rule’ to reference a book early in the application, doing so can add validity and depth to your personal statement, which is well-received by most admissions readers. The writer takes the time to elaborate on the moral and ethical issues raised by their research in a concise way, showing some depth of knowledge and vocabulary.
The study of Law requires candidates to consider balance in judgements and to take opposing sides in a debate, which this candidate references confidently, adding to their suitability. The introduction finishes with an affirmation to further study in the field, reinforcing the writer’s dedication and ambition.
If you’re struggling with your personal statement introduction, check out my article on how to write perfect opening paragraphs here.
Personal Statement Example: Academic Background 1
As an undergraduate, I developed my expertise in law and conducted an in-depth analysis of the validity of equity entrustment agreements as part of a Securities Law module. After reviewing relevant laws, regulations and judicial cases, I found that equity entrustment is more strictly limited in the field of listed companies than in the general commercial field. I believe this approach deserves affirmation, as the commercial behaviours of listed companies relate to the interests of an undetermined majority of potential investors, the public order of the securities market and the stability of the national financial environment. Consequently, a practical approach must be taken to ensure a higher standard for equity clarity.
According to my research, the judiciary often arbitrarily determines the invalidity of entrustment agreements by viewing the behaviour as ‘harming the public interest’. This is considered an abuse of judicial discretion and a violation of the legislature’s original intent. If the company’s founder holds the shares for the employee equity incentive, it is unfair to consider this decision to be ‘harming the public interest’. Therefore, the underlying reasons for equity entrustment should be discussed case by case. These cases made me reflect on whether it makes sense to sacrifice the interests of individual commercial subjects to maintain financial order and security and how one could balance the value between the autonomous will of commercial subjects and the regulation of commercial behaviour by law. This contradiction continues to fascinate me, and I am confident that completing my master’s studies at Marshall University will deepen my understanding of this and other related issues, enabling me to gain greater skills and knowledge in specialist aspects of the law.
Commentary and Analysis
The writer balances writing in a confident tone, evidencing relevant knowledge and offering an informed opinion. This lets the reader know that the candidate has a sound depth of understanding and can synthesise ideas from complex sources.
The second part of this section becomes less personal and more of a discourse into aspects of Law. Whilst it’s essential to show that you possess this skill, there’s probably a little too much description of the process here and not enough focus on the skills and knowledge held by the writer.
They finish by linking their ambitions to the potential content and outcomes of the course, but it is done quite generally, with little specific reference to distinct elements of the course.
If you’d like to learn more about how to structure your personal statement or statement of purpose, check out my awesome Personal Statement Template eBook here. It’s full of detailed examples of what to include!
Personal Statement Example: Academic Background 2
Studying modules such as Typical Case Analysis of Financial Innovation and Financial Law, Securities Law, Financial Law, Commercial Law and Legal English has given me a robust knowledge base in the fundamental tenets of the laws governing finance and commercial activity. Learning Formal Equity-Essential Debt, I realised that despite the importance of respecting the will autonomy of the parties, a judge is likely to take into account the status, cognitive abilities and relationships between the parties at the time of the contract and, according to the principle of fairness, decide in favour of the weaker party’s interests.
Studying trust law, I recognised that, in principle, family trust property is not enforceable by the court and can function as a risk avoidance mechanism. However, to prevent a trust from becoming an instrument of crime, it is often necessary to establish validity in terms of its purpose and effect. Similarly, commercial subjects prefer cross-shareholding as a model for establishing equity structures because it promotes inter-company cooperation and joint ventures whilst reducing acquisition risks and ensuring independent individual legal status.
Nevertheless, if the company and shareholders’ property combines, or if the company uses it to obtain money illegally or for debt avoidance, all of the commercial subjects involved must accept joint liability for the related debts, and the relevant transactions would be considered job-related crimes. The advent of numerous innovative financial products and the subsequent growth in prosperity through financial innovation means it is increasingly imperative that the will autonomy of any commercial subjects must respect the law, whilst the law must regulate the order of the financial market without harming its prosperity.
Commentary and Analysis
This section of this personal statement example shows how the writer’s academic background has informed their current understanding of the law. It works well, as a reader can discern both knowledge and potential. The writer clearly understands a wide range of aspects of current law, adding to the validity of their postgraduate application.
The problem with this approach is that it reads in a very impersonal style. It can appear to be far more like an essay about law than a personal statement that outlines the personality and skills of the applicant.
This personal statement would be improved if the writer wrote about the law in less descriptive terms and instead focused on how their skills and knowledge prepared them for specific aspects of the course they’re applying for.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience
During my internship at another local courtroom, my daily tasks involved the examination and prosecution of economic and financial crimes. I was deeply impressed by a contract fraud case in which the subject of the crime was a company. We held a multiteam discussion to prove that the company’s actions should be considered collective. We analysed various viewpoints before providing evidence, such as a resolution passed by the board of shareholders and different internal approval processes. As a result, I have recognised that due to the collective nature of its concealment, the process of conviction and sentencing concerning economic crime requires additional considerations. I have also learned that if companies achieve profits by entering into contracts and making investments, they must be careful to seek a balance between commercial freedom and legal order. Consequently, it is imperative to assess and control the legal risks of companies’ business management activities to prevent corporate criminal activity. The UK has a well-developed criminal compliance system, and gaining access to these advanced practices will enrich my overall knowledge. The Corporate Crime course in this programme will offer me a comprehensive understanding of how to identify and control legal risks and optimise a company’s business activities within the limits of the law.
Commentary and Analysis:
This critical example of much-needed industry detail adds depth and professional context to this personal statement. It shows that the writer not only understands the functional and logistical aspects of professional practice but that they have a sound knowledge of a range of legal procedures. This is a vital element of this law personal statement, as it shows that the writer has been considered suitable for an internship in a professional context.
This also gives the writer the chance to demonstrate a wide range of relevant vocabulary in a professional context, rather than relying entirely on academic constructs.
Moving into an area with a specific focus allows the writer to indicate a potential specialism or field of interest, and shows that they have an awareness of a broader range of topics. That’s a great way to relate the writing to a specific course and show depth as a candidate.
The one thing that all successful personal statements have in common is that they are concise, engaging and accurate in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Consequently, I always recommend Grammarly to my students and clients.
It’s an outstanding tool for ensuring your personal statement is rich with detail whilst hitting those all-important word limits. Check out the free version of Grammarly here, or hit the banner for more information.
Personal Statement Example: Conclusion
I consider Marshall’s rigorous curriculum and prestigious international reputation the ideal foundation for the next step in my career progression. I am particularly attracted to the diverse opportunities within the Law programme, and I am eager to participate in modules such as Financial Crime, Law of Corporate Finance and Securities Regulation, which will allow me to address my current academic interests. I find Professor Laura Minton’s research especially illuminating as it focuses on intermediated securities and the holding and transfer system. In her book “Acquisitions and Bonds”, she illustrates the rules governing transfers of securities, which are closely related to the validity of equity entrustment agreements. Studying this book widened the breadth and relevancy of my undergraduate studies. Consequently, I look forward to using the Law of Corporate Finance course to conduct in-depth research on issues such as setting stock issuance prices, designing share repurchase mechanisms, and protecting minority shareholders’ rights. In addition, interactive career development opportunities such as the Law Careers Panel and Life as a Barrister will provide me with inspiration and insight into future professional roles.
I aspire to work as a leading lawyer in securities and capital markets. This ambition demands an in-depth understanding of risk control and dispute resolution skills in securities trading. This program will allow me to gain exposure to cutting-edge research in the field of securities and corporate law, providing me with a solid foundation with which to meet my career goals. I believe that my intellectual aptitude, experience and passion for law clearly indicate my suitability for this course, and I am confident that I will flourish as a skilled graduate student within your respected faculty.
Commentary and Analysis
This is a personal statement example with an outstanding conclusion. The writer has linked their goals with the university offer and, critically, has referenced their research into specific faculty teaching and publications. This encourages the reader to form a strong connection between the writer and the institution, which is an outstanding tactic in a personal statement conclusion.
The final paragraph is a clear manifesto for professional ambition, which is convincing in its purpose and again links with the faculty they are applying for. By connecting their professional and academic goals with the quality of the institution, the writer is linking their success with that of the university, which is remarkably effective in any application.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
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Whether you’re looking for personal mission statement examples or an example of personal purpose statement, I hope this personal statement example has been helpful. Above all, I wish you every success in your academic career.
If you’d like to work with me to develop your personal statement 1:1 and write a powerful mission statement, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
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