The Personal Statement
Does Western Law require a personal statement as part of the application package?
What is the maximum length?
7000 characters including spaces.
Where can I find details about the requirements for Western’s personal statement?
In three places:
1. in our PDF, which is downloadable here: Western Law personal statement;
2. on the OLSAS website, more specifically in the Western University section; and
3. in the online OLSAS application itself, more specifically in the “Help” box on the page where applicants prepare their personal statement.
How does Western’s personal statement differ from requirements in the past?
Applicants are asked to separate their narrative in to two distinct parts: Part A (5000 characters), which is a free-flowing section, where applicants can tell us what they want us to know (suggestions are provided); and Part B (2000 characters), where applicants are asked to respond to a fact scenario. Two separate text boxes are provided for this purpose in the OLSAS online application. Access and Aboriginal applicants may submit an additional statement (in an additional Part C text box, maximum 1000 characters) for Access applicants to provide details of the disadvantage or barrier that may have affected academic performance or LSAT score(s), or for Aboriginal applicants to detail their ties to their Aboriginal/Indigenous community.
Do you have any tips for the writing of the personal statement?
Yes. We offer the following “Dos” and “DON’Ts”:
Make It interesting from the very first paragraph.
Tell us about you.
Consider it your “interview on paper.”
Provide examples to illustrate your statements.
Highlight the positives.
Create visuals for your reader.
Tie the introduction and conclusion together.
Be meticulous about spelling, grammar, phrasing, and word choice.
Ask someone to proofread your work.
Explain anomalies in your academic work if applicable.
Find the right balance between humility and self-confidence.
Repeat what’s in your autobiographical sketch or resume. Instead highlight key items.
Use cliché phrases.
Make blanket statements without further detail.
Tell us what you think we want to hear when it’s not sincere.
Use other personal statements as templates. They only distract you.
Permit rewriting or excessive editing by others. It is your personal statement.
Be ingratiating or overbearing.
Write it at the last minute. Instead revise, revise, and revise until it’s perfect!