Applicants must submit a 500 word essay referred to as the Personal Statement.
What is the purpose of the Personal Statement?
The Personal Statement is your moment to showcase the unique aspects of your motivations, your background, and your personality that make you a compelling candidate for our program.
The Admissions Committee relies on the Personal Statement to understand the factors that motivate you to pursue a legal education, the particular meaning that the study of law holds for you, and the reasons for your interest in our program. In addition, your Personal Statement shows the Admissions Committee your writing style, your ability to present your ideas in English and/or French, and your maturity and judgment as shown through your writing.
What is the Admissions Committee looking for in reading your Personal Statement?
The Admissions Committee is interested in hearing why you want to study law, why you are interested in McGill in particular, and what you will bring to our learning community. The Committee looks for indicators of intellectual curiosity, community engagement, political/social insight, leadership skills, ability to work with others, openness to diversity (cultural, linguistic and otherwise), maturity, judgment, and potential for development through opportunity or adversity.
The Personal Statement should be a product of your own reflection. We truly value a wide range of backgrounds, identities, and future aspirations. Whether you wish to become a practicing lawyer or you have other ideas about your career path following a legal education, your application, and specifically your Personal Statement, should show thoughtful consideration of your reasons for studying law, and at our Faculty in particular.
Do some research on our law faculty and others. Law faculties all tend to have their own strengths and particularities. Doing some research may help you identify and articulate why you are interested in studying at McGill in particular.
Read our Admissions Policies to get a sense of what we look for in our admitted students.
Before writing, reflect critically on your motivations, your interests, and your convictions, and their connection to our program. The Personal Statement should not be used as a vehicle for narrating or repeating your CV. You have a limited amount of writing space; make it count. Do not repeat aspects of your candidacy that the Committee will see in other documents unless these aspects are directly linked to your interest in studying law at McGill. Be authentic. Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to be original, but be careful not to sacrifice substance.
You may submit your Personal Statement in English, French, or both. It is important that you write the statement in whatever of the two language(s) you are most comfortable expressing yourself. It is not recommended to use the Personal Statement as a way to establish your bilingualism unless you are very comfortable expressing yourself in the other language.