Your goal in brainstorming a personal statement is to find a core idea around which the statement will be centered. What will be the take away for admissions committees reading the statement? The take away should not be a list of your experiences or accomplishments. Go deeper. The take away should concern something more: key characteristics, skills, or abilities; lessons learned; personal growth; passions pursued; the impact of certain experiences; or qualities about you that indicate readiness for law school.
If you are having difficulty developing the core idea for your personal statement, consider these brainstorming ideas.
- Write down memorable episodes (even minor) from your life, then select those that best demonstrate something positive that you want to convey.
- Read the list of characteristics identified by the Center for Pre-Law Advising as ideal characteristics for successful law students. Which most closely describe you? What anecdotes best demonstrate those characteristics?
- Describe yourself in 6 words. What is it about you that comes to mind?
- Review your resume and think about the impact of each experience on your personal growth.
You can also check out CPLA’s “Brainstorming Exercises” for more suggestions on how to get started!