Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Student Advising

Personal Statement

Law schools require applicants to write a personal statement as part of the application. The purpose of the personal statement is to gather additional information about the applicant outside of their academic performance, LSAT score, and extracurricular activities.

The most important consideration in writing personal statements, no matter what the topic, is the impression applicants create of themselves. The personal statement is an opportunity for an applicant to distinguish themselves from all the other applicants.

Some law schools will have additional essay requirements or optional questions. The Office of Preprofessional Advising recommends that applicants, if appropriate, answer all optional essay questions. Additional essays give the admissions committee more information about their applicants. Failure to submit optional essays may result in an applicant being viewed as uninterested in the school.

The Office of Preprofessional Advising staff members are available to give feedback on personal statements.  For current undergraduates, consultants are also available at the Undergraduate Writing Program, 310 Philosophy, to work with you one-on-one.  This is a free service.  Their telephone number is x4-3141 or you may email them.  You may also schedule an appointment online

Alumni/ae can receive feedback on their personal statements by sending their statement as a Word attachment (saved as Last Name, First Name Law School PS) to Niki Cunningham.  Please allow 7 business days for feedback and please do not send multiple drafts before receiving feedback. Please also include your name on document.

Tutors in the Undergraduate Writing Program are also available to assist CURRENT undergraduates in writing their personal statement. The service is FREE and is highly recommended, as the Office of Preprofessional Advising cannot read personal statements for current students.

During the fall, Preprofessional Advising and the Undergraduate Writing Program co-sponsor a personal statement workshop. The workshop is open to students and alumni/ae applying to law school that year. Applicants will receive an e-mail invitation.

Preprofessional Advising

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403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-6378

Fax: 212-854-2562

Office Hours
MondayFriday
9:00 a.m.5:00 p.m.

Walk-in Hours
MondayThursday
3:00 p.m.4:30 p.m.