SOP for Law in USA – Guidelines for Top Universities

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Srishti Chatterjee
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Sep 1, 2022 17:52 IST

It is known that the US, being the foremost preferred study destination for international students, is stringent towards its admission process. It is also known that the Statement of Purpose (SOP) is a crucial part of your application when applying to universities abroad. A discipline like Law requires its students to be very precise while writing their SOPs for the US Schools. This article will discuss the guidelines for writing an SOP to the top US universities for admission in their Law programmes.

SOP for Law in USA – How to write?

Your SOP must be a combination of the following:

  • Introduction: Write an intriguing introduction to captivate the admission committee (Ad Com); start with a strong hook while summarizing your overall approach to the field of Law.
  • Topic of discussion: Divide the SOP into short paragraphs and create a topic of discussion. Make sure that the topic is in line with the instructions provided by the Law school; try to select a topic that interests you too.
  • Knowledge: Showcase that you have great knowledge of the chosen subject. Reflect your interests in the Law school while establishing that you are aware of the dedication and expectation of the programme and the school.

Before you begin, you may refer to the following:

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SOP for Law in USA – Guidelines for Top Universities

Now, let us discuss the guidelines at a few top business schools:

SOP for Law at Harvard Law School

  • Document required: Personal Statement
  • Approach: Straightforward
  • Length: Two pages
  • Formatting: 11-point-font, double space, 1-inch margin
  • Font style:  Times New Roman or another basic serif font

Harvard Law School also looks for the following aspects in its LLM Statement of Purpose:

    • Do not talk only about academics: Cover that information about yourself, which is not disclosed elsewhere
    • Pick a good topic for discussion: Students may talk about their journey to Law School, or any personal story which impacted their life significantly. Reflect on your individual self to make the SOP a captivating read

SOP for Law at Stanford Law School

  • Documents required: Personal statement
  • Cover the major academic and professional learning, with skills you have developed
  • Include personal experiences
  • Do not talk about personal life in more than 15% context of the complete SOP
  • Write about the reasons behind your desire of being a part of the Stanford Law School community
  • Highlight your future goals and career plans after completing the programme
  • Wrap up the SOP within 2 pages in single-spaced text

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SOP for Law at Yale Law School

  • Documents required: Personal statement along with a 250-word essay
  • The personal statement should highlight the individual qualities that you would bring to the classroom
  • Skillset and strengths that you have gained so far, including your academic and professional experiences
  • The 250-word essay should cover your personal and professional struggles
  • Essays do not have to be completely law-related
  • You may incorporate aspects that you feel are essential for your application

SOP for Law at Columbia Law School

  • Documents required: Personal essay
  • Length: Maximum three pages
  • Formatting: 12-point font size, double-spaced, standardised margins
  • Discuss your academic interests, personal and educational background,
  • Describe the course curriculum and your interest in subjects and modules
  • Cover your specific experiences, special interest, and talent relating to professional goals and career expectations

SOP for Law at Berkeley Law School

  • Documents required: Personal statement
  • Length: Maximum four pages
  • Formatting: 12-point-font, double-spaced, standardised margins

Important points to note:

  • Not all Law schools in the USA conduct a personal interview for LLM candidates
  • The complete application, including the supplementary documents, is the sole criterion for admission to Law courses
  • The SOP serves as your virtual presence for the Ad Com that conveys the essence of your individuality
  • While all the other admission documents are absolutely professional, an SOP is the only document that can reflect your personality to connect with the Ad Com
  • While highlighting your achievements, you must provide insight into your recent struggles and learning experiences

Pro Tip: As US Law schools do not conduct interviews, you have the scope to make mistakes as many times as you need, unless you are completely satisfied with your SOP. Thereafter, with utmost precision, conduct a final check on your SOP, before sending it to the school.

Check out the other related guidelines for Law School SOPs:

Good luck!

About the Author
Srishti Chatterjee
Study Abroad Expert

Srishti has spent six years in the Education industry helping study abroad aspirants draft their application documents for their dream universities. Experienced in creating impressive SOP, LOR, and Essays, she knows... Read Full Bio


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