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Thanks for the advise, i have changed it accordingly. This helped a lot and i love what you are doing for students out there. Thanks

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UCAS Questions & Answers

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Studying law and starting my perosnal statement

sahram
Q: hi there im currently studying my as levels inclduing english lang and lit, history and sociology and welsh bac. Gcses included 2 a*, 4 a, 4 B i was wondering : i have been predicted A B A A is there any chance of me getting into Oxford, Lse or Kings or cardiff to study law? I was also wondering a unique way to start my law personal statements ? also what extra curricular activites should i be involved in by this stage?
Answer:

As you will probably guess, it will be a tough call. The fact that you are studying English and History is good news. You will need A grade predictions in both subjects. Your AS marks will also be critical, since the universities now see the scores - it will be helpful if you have collected an A grade on every paper at the first sitting. Law is among the most competitive subjects at university, and the conditional offer at the top universities, if one is made at all, is nowadays AAA. Most also use some form of Law Aptitude/Studies Test as a screening device, and so you must consult the websites of your chosen universities, and see exactly what they require. Practice papers are then of course essential.

Obviously the things admissions tutors are looking for will differ but in general they are asking themselves "Do we want this student on this course?" And "Do we want this student at this university?" - so the purpose of your personal statement is to make it almost impossible for them to reject you (so long as your academic qualifications/predictions are seen as good enough). Individual universities and departments often publish information on applying and writing personal statements, so surfing the admissions part of their website should turn up more specific information on exactly what they're looking for. Also, you need to consider what you have achieved or done, relevant to Law, that is unique and no one else is likely to put down - in other words, you need to get across what makes you so special. You are right to think that an eye-catching opening paragraph/sentence is important, but so also is a demonstration that you have sought to find out more about the Law, both in your reading (including cases in a quality broadshet newspaper such as The Times) and through pratical experience.

Reference to specific issues often works well. For example, one Personal Statement started:

The spectre of global terrorism is prevalent. Fundamental civil liberties are under threat, not only by those who seek to destroy our society, but also by those who have been charged with the task of safeguarding it. We are possibly entering a period of momentous constitutional change and legislative upheaval. Therefore, it seems that the 21st century looks set to be both an exciting and crucial time in which to embark upon legal study.
 
Or, another began:

My desire to study Law stems from a growing fascination with world events, as well as with the minutiae of our day-to-day existence. As Helena Kennedy QC states 'The Law is the bedrock of a nation; it tells us who we are, what we value, who has power, and who hasn't. Almost nothing has more impact on our lives,' ('Just Law', 2004): this, I believe, defines the importance of Law.

Or, another started:

I am stimulated by contemporary ethical considerations which may impact upon the legal framework of this country: Everyday Law (Aviva Golden, 2000), for example, stipulates that marital union may take place only between two, consenting adults of the opposite sex; yet, when marriage harbours civil as well as religious implications, is it right to discriminate? How is it possible for anyone to reliably arbitrate the point at which abortion should be deemed illegal? Both are among issues which I find perplexing and fascinating in equal measure. I am interested also in the fundamental components of legal practise - the exposition of complex drafts (such as marriage or business contracts) is something which I feel would be facilitated by a firm and comprehensive grasp of the English language.

Or, yet another began:

My interest in Law stems from a fascination with resolving conflict and the important contribution it makes to our society. Academically, I have always been a very determined individual, which explains why I knew that a degree at University would be the next step. I have a broad interest in many subject areas yet feel drawn towards a law degree. The wide range of subjects that I have chosen has helped me to become more open minded, has taught me how to adopt a more logical approach to argument, and has improved my knowledge of modern society and international political affairs.

Key extra-curricular activities should include public speaking and/or debating. Hence, for example:

I am involved in the school debating society. The experience has taught me to use my own initiative in writing speeches and developed my skills of public speaking and diplomacy.

Indeed, ECAs should focus on the development of skills relevant to Law - thus, for example:

My extra-curricular activities have demanded a significant degree of sustained commitment, integrity and competence; in addition, they have afforded me the opportunity to develop administrative skills, computer literacy, and the ability to communicate ideas to people under a variety of circumstances. I have acquired valuable skills and experience as a result of these ventures; qualities which I hope would contribute significantly to a career studying Law at university.

And, of course, you must have arranged appropriate Work Experience - for example:

My work experience with the Crown Prosecution Service in XXX really fired and reinforced my enthusiasm for a career in Law. I had the opportunity to shadow administrators, solicitors and office clerks, observing critical procedures at every level: from case-work and preparation, all the way through to the excitement of litigation in the Crown Courts. This enabled me to lay to rest any sensationalised preconceptions (such as those arising from TV dramatisations) in favour of a more rounded insight into the legal field. It has also invested me with some notion of what to expect from the very wide range of career opportunities currently available within the legal domain.

I hope this is helpful. Get cracking!

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