SOP For Law Student
An SOP for law student must have the legal interests, academic & work experience, skills, etc., of a candidate. Students with a Political Science, Social Studies or Journalism discipline wanting to study in top law schools like Harvard or Cambridge University must submit a good Statement of Purpose. To impress the admissions committee in universities abroad, learn how to write a stunning SOP for law programs using our samples, tips and PDFs.
A typical ‘statement of purpose’ contains your academic & professional background, area of interest, why you choose this course, university and country (if you’re an international student), future goals, etc. Since an SOP is crucial for universities abroad, this is the only way to convince the admission committee (AdCom) that you’re a deserving candidate.
How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Law?
To write a statement of purpose for Law, you must have life experiences (relevant), academic & professional background, co-curricular activities, volunteering or community services, reasons for this course, and how it helps to reach your career goals.
Ensure you’ve followed the word count, font (size), and margins as given in the university’s standard SOP format. Don’t copy from others as it leads to plagiarism and rejection of application. And, maintain formal sentences throughout with a positive tone.
In a statement of purpose (SOP), the introduction must talk about yourself and what made you inclined to Law. For instance, how has your experience with law enforcement agencies to curb social injustice eventually motivated you to acquire knowledge about Law and Justice? How is a master's degree in Law necessary for your career? How will it help you achieve your future goals?
- Start your introduction with a fascinating experience that dragged you into this field.
- Or give a problem statement which you might want to explore in your LLB (UG) or LLM (PG).
- Or give factual information about the present legal problems faced by the world and say how the International Law program will enable you to address them.
- The introduction must persuade the admission committee to know more about you and your background.
- The University of Oxford expects students to devise their statement of purpose with motivation to study Law, academic/research experience and practical knowledge. So you must focus these points on your law SOP.
|Example: As a law-abiding citizen of my country, I encounter my fellow citizens committing crimes irrespective of their social and financial background and living freely without any deterrence or punishment. To maintain social order and peace in society, I consider equipping myself with the required knowledge from experienced academicians and practitioners.|
In the second paragraph, briefly discuss relevant academic and life experiences. Explain how each of these experiences created curiosity and turned you into this field. Give a few examples to illustrate your interest in International Law, Criminal Law, Human Rights, etc.
- Talk about your experience in school and college through which you developed a certain interest in Criminology, IPC, CrPC, IEA, and more.
- Discuss your participation in various conferences, seminars and open talks about corporate law, legal literacy, NGOs, discrimination based on race, caste, religion, etc.
- Elaborate your project work or research carried out during the course. Ensure your experiences and skills match your interest in the Law program.
|Example: My academic background includes a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Madras. As a part of my curriculum, I had to publish a research paper on the “Current Judicial System in India.” At one of the international conferences, I had the opportunity to discuss my research paper and won first prize. Likewise, I embarked on similar programs and realised the significance of International Law and its scope.|
In the third paragraph, mention your setbacks or challenges that moulded you into a better individual. This is to supplement your experiences but not mandatory in your SOP.
- Discuss the unique setbacks or obstacles that challenged you and how you overcame them.
- Highlight the lessons learned from those experiences.
- If possible, tell about the change of mindset that led to a positive curve and reaped good results.
|Example: As an intern in a law firm, I read through numerous case files and gave suggestions. Since my senior advocate is well-versed in Finance law and management, she challenged me with some of my suggestions. Nevertheless, I took it seriously, referred to various law books, journals and judgements and produced my results. She was impressed with my insights and asked me to draft recommendations for new legislation.|
The fourth paragraph must highlight extracurricular activities undertaken at your school, college or community and your work experience (if any). Since universities look beyond your academics and professional life to know your interests, you must discuss them and your hobbies.
- Share the interests that align with the course.
- If you don’t have a hobby, then discuss how you will spend your leisure time.
- Briefly discuss your roles and responsibilities and move on to the work experience.
- If you didn’t work, discuss your role in the school, college or local community.
- Talk about the skills acquired, interesting anecdotes, takeaways, etc.
- Discuss how it helps you to reach your short-term and long-term goals.
|Example: As a hobby, I read books in libraries. Since the library gives a unique vibration, it soothes my mind and allows me to concentrate on deep subjects like History, Philosophy, and Arts. Meanwhile, I love playing basketball during my leisure time. When it comes to working, I practised law for two years under Mr. Fernandes, Advocate, High Court of Bombay. I appeared on behalf of my appellant and won a civil dispute case. My points and arguments were much appreciated and recognised. It took enough courage to fight against a senior lawyer and succeed.|
Here comes your reason for choosing this course and university. If you’re an international student, you must tell the committee why you want to study abroad, especially in this country.
- You can discuss the student’s life, support system, mentors, international exposure, etc.
- If you know anyone who has already studied, you can quote them as a success story.
- If you get any other reason relevant to this paragraph, you can add it.
- Highlight a few points about the country and its job market.
|Example: If I join this International Law program, I will gain an extensive knowledge about international relations, geopolitics, international business law, and more. Since the course description covers international challenges and contemporary issues, I will acquire that knowledge from various experts. Moreover, it will enhance my other skills like presentation, report writing, IT-related, and verbal communication.|
The conclusion is as important as your introduction. You must mention how this International Law course will equip you with adequate knowledge and capabilities.
- Mention the key points that enable you to make a valuable contribution to the university.
- Mention the activities, clubs, student associations, communities, groups, etc., that you are looking forward to.
- Finally, conclude with your expectations and how you look forward to receiving them at the university.
|Example: Overall, the MSc program in International Law offered by the University of Oxford is jam packed. It has various disciplines combined. The professors and supporting staff guide students in research. Other activities, like seminars, cultural, etc., will give them a platform to express their talents. Thus, this new branch of knowledge and experience will make a difference in my career and allow me to elevate to the next level personally and professionally. And yet, I am confident that through this course, I can add value to the institute and the criminal justice system.|
SOP For Law Student - Sample 1
In this contemporary world, everything is considered light. People from different parts of the world think that nothing amounts to a crime. On the contrary, from small minor crimes to organised crimes, the crime rate is ever-increasing worldwide. To understand the society at large, how judicial systems work, and how law enforcement agencies implement the law, a Master's degree in International Law would be the right choice for me.
At present, the criminal justice system is criminal-oriented, not victim-oriented. The system needs open-mindedness and out-of-the-box thinking. Since the international court system follows an age-old process, it needs young professionals to conduct speedy trials and justice for the victims. To meet such global standards, I have decided to equip myself with the right skill set, knowledge and experience. The MSc in International Law is a full-time 2-year Master's degree program offered by the University of Oxford, England. Since this entire course is purely designed for lawyers and other human rights advocates, it delivers the most relevant topics along with practical experiences. Moreover, working with renowned researchers would help me handle sensitive cases and eventually mould me into a successful international lawyer.
The MSc in International Law course is well-structured, allowing students to develop critical thinking abilities and analyse the work across boundaries. Here, students like me will gain diverse research experience, how to file a litigation, international court proceedings, and arguing skills. Apart from that, it focuses on various issues the world is facing. By the end of the first year, the students must have covered the coursework, examinations, and an official visit. It includes topics like advocacy, international and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government policies, the media, the armed forces, medicine and other allied fields. These much-needed topics will prepare me for the world of an international court. Above all, the practical experience will give deep insight into human rights, criminology, and psychology irrespective of different cultures, institutions, laws and business practices.
My academic background includes one Bachelor's degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice Administration and one Master's in Psychology from the University of Delhi. During this period, I published five research papers at national and regional conferences organised by the O.P. Jindal Law School, Haryana and was awarded the “Best Research Paper 2021.” And I gave a special lecture on "How organised crimes impact global economy?" to the Tamil Nadu Police Academy. Overall, I have gained knowledge about Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure, Indian Evidence Act, and other legislations for social protection in undergraduate and postgraduate. In Psychology, I learnt about topics like criminal psychology, delinquency, rehabilitation, reformation, etc. However, I must admit that I lack in areas that lead to combining all these fields and applying them in the present-day context.
If I join this International Law program, I will gain valuable skills, including verbal communication, excellent writing, time management and knowledge about law and legal procedures. Since the course description strongly emphasises international challenges and contemporary issues, I will acquire that knowledge from various legal practitioners. In addition, it will enhance my other skills like presentation, report writing, IT-related, and negotiation. And it will help me gain an advanced level of legal knowledge. On the other hand, it will allow me to do smartwork and team leadership, improve decision-making skills, and learn new technologies and technical suits like Microsoft office, design and writing.
Overall, this MSc program in International Law leverages one of the best study materials and resources for students. The comprehensive teaching and learning will ensure a good foundation for deserving candidates like me. Thus, this newer branch of subject, skills and experience will make me more enthusiastic and make a difference in my career. With that, I am sure I can carry a distinct approach toward learning and adding value to the discipline, university and the criminal justice system.
SOP For Law Student - Sample 2
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi.
In order to bring the change, I want to change myself in the first place. In this ever-evolving society, as time passes by, old crimes vanish, whereas new crimes arise. To tackle these new crimes, I consider myself equipped with the necessary knowledge and skill set.
Many undergraduates from law schools specialise in Corporate law, Criminal law, International law, Property & Tax law, Environment law etc., yet do not possess the adequate capacity to critically think and solve real-time problems. Thus, they are not able to make correct decisions. In spite of their good marks in academics, they find it hard when it comes to the legal world. Besides other professions, a lawyer or a legal expert requires reading, writing, deep research, planning, risk management and more. So I have decided to take up this master's program in Law and Government Program of Study to develop myself with the much-needed knowledge & expertise and achieve global standards. The Two Year Post Graduate program in law discipline offered by the Harvard Law School takes students from foundation to advanced level of training. It includes participation in a clinic set up for providing hands-on experience working as a lawyer representing the government or in a field of complex government regulation. Moreover, it explores the curriculum of the Kennedy School and other relevant campus departments. Thus, I’m sure it will help me to understand how government sectors and allied organisations work.
The MS in Law and Government Program of Study course is curated uniquely to make students research and analyse emerging crimes related to government undertakings and how to bring a tangible solution. On top of that, students must have studied regulatory fields like Animal Law, Bankruptcy, Food Law and Policy, Labour Law, Employment Law, Immigration Law, and International Trade & Law by the end of the first academic year. This diverse area of topics will provide me with a piece of extensive knowledge about White Collar Crime, Blue Collar Crime, Organised Crime and so on. Hence, irrespective of any country, ideology, culture, laws, rules and regulations, this postgraduate course will enable me to address legal problems.
My academic background comprises a Bachelor of Law (LLB or Legum Baccalaureus) from the Dr Ambedkar Government Law College, followed by a Master’s degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras. During this period, I have volunteered in social activities creating awareness about social injustice to women and children. I also participated in international conferences organised by the University College London and published a research paper regarding “How Brexit influenced the legal codes in the UK?” Similarly, I embarked on many regional and national conferences that opened my eyes and ears towards trade disputes between governments and international entities. It turned into a curiosity to discover the best courses across the world. Eventually, the course offered at the Harvard Law School is considered the best for its incomparable curriculum and pedagogical style to the students. This training program enables students to apply what they have learned in class and explore various prospects across the globe.
So far, I have gained substantial knowledge about court proceedings, Public Interest Litigation (PIL), evidence collection, arguments, and counter-arguments, in both undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG). In Defence and Strategic Studies, I understood how military types of equipment are traded between countries and how to manage different business prospects. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to interact with a Jawan from the Indian-China border who discussed the tussle between India and China and its impact. However, I must admit that I lack knowledge and expertise in combining all these fields and applying them to the contemporary world.
On the whole, this MS program in Law and Government is one of the sought-after courses in the US. The experienced lecturers and professors who teach Harvard’s 'Law and Government program of Study' are supportive. They guide students like me to research and explore various fields. Thus, this new scope of knowledge and experience will leap in my career and allow me to accelerate to new heights. And, I am confident that after this course, I can bring a significant change in the judiciary and add new values to society.
Download the Sample SOP for Law Student in PDF
Top 10 Tips to Make your SOP Perfect:
Now, let’s look at the following top 10 tips that guarantee you a perfect SOP.
- You must not write excessive words or paragraphs contrary to the university guidelines. For example: if a university prescribes 800 - 1000 words, stick to it.
- You must maintain a positive attitude throughout your SOP. For instance: if you faced a challenge in life, explain how it transformed you into a better person.
- You can write interesting facts about your academic, professional or personal life clearly and concisely.
- You must not repeat information from your Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume.
- You do not write irrelevant information like personal opinions, beliefs, or political views.
- You should not exaggerate any information or over-impress anything to the admissions committee.
- Since your character and personality are measured in Law SOPs, you must not give unverifiable information. Whatever is written must be authentic.
- You should ensure that all questions asked by the Law School are answered.
- You should look for common grammatical errors and proofread your SOP at least a couple of times.
- Finally, ask for suggestions from English experts, college or university professors and some law practitioners and incorporate them accordingly.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in your SOP for Law Programs
Since most Law Schools do not conduct interviews, they evaluate students based on their statement of purpose. To increase your chances of getting selected, get to know the common mistakes to avoid in your SOP for law programs.
- Do not write your name in your Law SOP as it’ll be already in your CV or application.
- Do not use friendly or informal tone throughout your SOP.
- Do not write extremely direct or casual.
- Do not follow any template from the internet. Instead strictly follow the university’s guidelines or any prescribed format.
- Do not procrastinate. If you write your SOP at the last minute, then you may make grammatical mistakes.
- Do not overly praise the university.
- Do not submit the SOP without proper structure and alignment.
If you avoid those mistakes, you can give your Law SOP truthfully and engagingly.
SOP Requirements of Top Universities for Law (LLB/LLM/JSD)
Top universities worldwide have different SOP requirements for different courses. Let's find out what they are.
|Name of the University||Requirement for Bachelor’s in Law||Requirement for Master’s in Law||Job Opportunities|
|University of Oxford||It comes as a part of the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application.||A personal statement of 200 words and a written essay of 3,000 words (maximum).||
|Harvard Law School||A statement with a maximum of two pages.||A personal statement with parts (A) and (B).||
|Stanford Law School||A personal statement written in two pages about unusual facts.||A statement of purpose (SOP) of two to three pages.||
|Yale University||Two essays needed. 1) a personal statement and 2) a 250-word essay||Two essays of 1000 words (written specially for scholarly research); A 250-word essay on how the LLM degree program would be beneficial for candidates to achieve their goals and aspirations.||
|London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)||It is a part of the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application.||The statement of purpose must be typed, not more than two sides of an A4 sheet. The word limit is between 1,000 and 1,500 words and not more than that.||
|Columbia University||A personal statement or essay is required.||An SOP with a maximum of three pages, 12-point font size, standard margins, black colour, and double-spaced.||
|New York University (NYU)||An essay must be submitted. The length and content is based on the applicant’s interest. No restrictions.||A personal statement must be written in one or two pages in length with a word count of 500 words.||
|The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)||One personal statement must have four double-spaced pages. Here, applicants must answer at least one out of six questions with word limits of a minimum of 250 and a maximum of 350.||One personal statement is written not more than three pages of double-spaced text.||
|University of Toronto||A personal statement and an additional essay (optional). For BSAP candidates, a BSAP essay is required with 5,000 characters (maximum) and 2,500 characters (minimum).||For master’s, a personal statement is needed, not more than a page.||
|University College London||It’s a part of the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application.||A personal statement 750 words long has 3,000 characters talking about the applicant's area of legal interest and contemporary relevance. The title must be 'Personal Statement.'||
|University of Auckland||A personal statement in 2 pages. A letter of motivation is optional.||A personal statement in 2 pages. A letter of motivation is optional.||
|University of Hamburg||A personal statement recommended by DAAD and the official websites.||An SOP is commonly referred to as Letter of Motivation (LOM). It’s usually 500 - 1000 words comprising your academic, work details, inspiration, etc.||
SOPs for Course-Wise:
Find out course-wise SOP samples in the links below to know what other programs look for in an SOP.
- SOP for Supply Chain Management
- SOP for MS in Civil Engineering
- SOP for Engineering Management
- SOP for MBA
- SOP for Mechanical Engineering
- SOP for MS in Computer Science
- SOP for International Business Management
SOPs for Country-Wise:
Check SOP samples here for different countries to know the country-wise university requirements.
Unlike other disciplines, Law is a highly professional course. To study Law in top-tier universities, you must know how to write an “SOP for law student.” By now, you would be aware of the main ingredients in Law SOPs, tips, strategies, etc. Nevertheless, always follow the SOP for undergraduates and postgraduates prescribed in the university guidelines to get through the admission process.
1. How do I write a law student SOP?
A statement of purpose is a formal document that introduces you to the university's admissions committee (AdCom) to convince them that you are a good fit for this program. This personal statement is crucial for the admission's purpose.
To write a law student SOP, include the following:
- Entire background (academic, professional, personal) details
- Past Academic and extra-curricular achievements
- Work Experiences Proofs (part-time/full-time)
- Motivation to apply for the Masters of Law degree
- The main reason to choose the particular Law School
- Your contribution towards the Law School
- Future Goals (personal and career)
2. How do I write an SOP for masters in Law?
In order to write an SOP for a master's in Law, you must do primary research about the country, university and course. Then, include the following information in your SOP clearly and concisely.
- Your interest in Law and legal subjects and how they evolved over time.
- Your motivation for choosing Law as postgraduate and further research studies.
- After successfully completing LLM, talk about your professional goals.
- Your professional experience pertaining to Law and the key takeaways.
- Your notable research papers, publications, presentations or conferences.
- Your success stories as well as challenges faced.
- Finally, mention how this degree course from that particular college/university will be helpful for your future.
3. What is the Statement of Purpose (SOP) for Law courses?
A statement of purpose (SOP) is self-declaration to the university admissions committee (AdCom) for Law courses. In this, you must talk about your important relevant facts like academics (marks obtained in school and college), professional experience (part-time/full-time), skills & abilities, etc.
4. What is a Statement of Purpose for a Law Undergraduate?
First, brainstorm about Law and its allied areas. Collect information from the respective university website and start writing a draft statement of purpose (SOP). Ensure you add all information such as your details, financial status, future goals, the reason for choosing this university and course, and so on. Lastly, give it to an English expert, law practitioner and professor to proofread.
5. Is a 1000 word SOP too long?
No. A 1000 word SOP is not too long. An ideal SOP would be around 800 - 1500 words. However, students are advised to follow the university’s standard SOP format and write accordingly.
6. What motivates me to study Law?
You can highlight the job opportunities, scope for research, and other prospects to study Law.
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