Together with the information on your resume and any addenda that you include, the personal statement is your opportunity to articulate the voice, perspective, and contribution that you will make to Berkeley Law’s entering class.
The Personal Statement
A personal statement is required of all applicants. The statement can be up to four double-spaced pages. There is no required topic for the statement. It is your opportunity to describe the subjective qualities that you will bring to the study of law at Berkeley. We recognize that there are many personal factors not measurable by one’s academic record or test score and that these factors are important to consider when building a law school class. Some of these factors include leadership potential, integrity and accountability, intellectual curiosity, determination in the face of adversity, problem-solving skills, resiliency, motivation, compassion, creativity, and the ability to relate well with people. Implicit in the value of a Berkeley Law degree is the caliber of our classroom dialogue. That dialogue is a function of the voices that comprise the class. Thus your personal statement, first and foremost, should describe your voice. Because we do not interview applicants, the personal statement is your only opportunity to introduce yourself. Take advantage of this opportunity to describe your life journey, and what brings you to our door.
A separate, optional essays can be submitted so you can let us know why you wish to attend Berkeley Law in particular and/or how you might contribute to the diversity of the school. See the addenda section below for more information.
While review by others is acceptable, your personal statement and any other accompanying documents must be uniquely your own. If you plagiarize all or part of your personal statement, or intentionally misstate anything in your application, you may be disqualified for admission.
You may choose to attach a response to one or more of the following questions in addition to the required Personal Statement if you feel the information would be helpful to us when considering your application.
Diversity Statement: How will you (your perspective, experience, Voice) contribute diversity in our classrooms and community? (350 word maximum)
“Why Berkeley Law” Statement: Tell us more about your interest in Berkeley Law. What makes our school a good fit for you in terms of academic interests, programmatic offerings, and learning environment? (350 word maximum)
LSAT Addendum: If you do not believe that your standardized test score(s) accurately reflect your ability to succeed in law school, then you may tell us why and share what you believe indicates your potential. (250 word maximum). As per the application instructions, you must attach a copy of your SAT or ACT score report(s) to this essay.
Miscellaneous addenda: If you wish to explain anything in your application (e.g. trend in grades, academic record, health issues, gaps in education, multiple LSAT scores, etc.) you may attach an addendum. (350 word maximum)
Required addenda: If you answered “yes” to any of the three Character & Fitness questions or if you previously matriculated at a law school, you MUST submit an addendum to explain the circumstances.
Scholarship essays: If you are applying for the Berkeley Law Opportunity Scholarship (BLOS), Graduate Diversity Program (GDP) scholarship, or the Hyundai-Kia scholarship, you must submit an essay for each scholarship. The essay prompt for each award is listed in the scholarship section of the application and essays should be 1-2 double-spaced pages in length.
In addition to a personal statement we require that you include a resume. The resume may be of any length and should provide chronological information about your work experiences, extracurricular activities, honors and awards, volunteer experience, travels, and accomplishments. Your personal statement should not be a narrative version of your resume.