Professional Traits

A professional is a person able to act equitably with integrity and accountability to self, others, and the organization.

  • Maintain a positive personal brand in alignment with organization and personal career values
  • Be present and prepared
  • Demonstrate dependability
  • Prioritize and complete tasks to accomplish organizational goals
  • Consistently meet or exceed goals and expectations
  • Have an attention to detail, resulting in few, if any errors in their work
  • Show a high level of dedication toward doing a good job
Career & Professional Education


Pre-Law students are encouraged to seek internships with law practices to become familiar with the legal profession. It is a great opportunity to practice professionalization skills: communication, writing, office manners, time-management, and learning office culture. You are representing not only yourself but those professionals who have endorsed you and the school as well.

  • First impressions are lasting impressions
  • Always arrive at least 10 – 15 minutes before any appointment or job start time
  • Have your transportation options worked out at least two days prior to any appointment or job site, and have alternatives planned in case of late connections, road closures, etc.
  • Dress appropriately for the office setting: business casual at a minimum 
  • When sending email, use appropriate salutations and closings. Be sure to say “Thank you”

Law schools want to recruit people who are qualified for reasons beyond grades and scores.

The essay or personal statement is your opportunity to tell the committee what sets you apart from others.

An essay on actual experiences and past accomplishments has more value to the committee than speculation about future accomplishments.

Any noteworthy personal experience or accomplishment may be an appropriate subject but be sure to do more than just state it. Describe your experience briefly but concretely and explain why it had value to you (LSAC).

Tips from Georgetown University Law

  • Discuss possible personal statement topics with your pre-law advisor (or someone else) before you invest a lot of time writing.
  • Read the application carefully. Most law schools allow you to choose a topic, but some will require you to address a specific question. Follow whatever instructions are provided.
  • Proofread. Ask several people to proofread your essay. Grammatical or mechanical errors are inexcusable. Choose a narrow topic. Offer details about a small topic rather than generalities about a broad topic. Focus on a concrete experience and the impact it has had upon you.
  • Be yourself. Do not tell law schools what you think they want to hear — tell them the truth.
  • Pay special attention to your first paragraph. It should immediately grab a reader’s attention. Reviewers are pressed for time and may not read beyond an uninteresting opener.
  • Keep it interesting. Write with energy and use the active voice. You do not have to explain how your experience relates to your desire to attend law school. Tell a story. Paint a vivid picture. The most interesting personal statements create visuals for the reader, which make your personal statement more memorable.
  • Keep it simple and brief. Big words do not denote big minds, just big egos. Choose your words with economy and clarity in mind, and remember that your reader has a huge stack of applications to read. A personal statement generally should be two to three double-spaced pages.
  • Consider your audience. Most admissions evaluators are professors, third-year law students, or admissions professionals not long out of law school. Therefore, you want to come across as an attentive student, interesting classmate, and accomplished person. Again, consider what you most want them to know, beyond the information provided in the rest of your application.
  • Other Helpful Sites:
    SUNY - University at Buffalo: Law School Resume Templates
    SUNY - University at Buffalo: Pre-Law Advising - Personal Statement
    University of California: Pre-Law Advising
    Law School Expert