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 (5000 for Part A and 2000 for Part B).

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 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?
You are asked to separate your narrative in to two distinct parts. Part A (5000 characters), is a free-flowing section, where you can tell us what you want us to know (suggestions are provided). In Part B (2000 characters) you are asked to select and answer ONE of five questions. Two separate text boxes are provided for this purpose in the OLSAS online application. Access and Indigenous applicants may submit an additional statement (in a Part C text box, maximum 1000 characters). Access applicants should provide details about the disadvantage or barrier that may have affected academic performance or LSAT score(s), including the relevant timeline. Indigenous applicants should discuss their ties to their Indigenous community. 

Do you have any tips for the writing of the personal statement?
Yes. We offer the following “DOs” and “DON’Ts”:

Tell us about you.
Be sincere and authentic.
Make your statement interesting from the very first paragraph.
Consider it your “interview on paper.”
Provide specific examples to illustrate your statements.
Highlight the positives.
Explain anomalies in your academic work if applicable.
Create visuals for your reader.
Tie the introduction and conclusion together.
Be concise.
Be meticulous about spelling, grammar, phrasing, and word choice.
Ask someone to proofread your work.
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 and you run the risk of plagiarizing.
Use fancy language or "legalese".
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!

Please also see tips for writing personal statements at Western's Student Success Centre.