Please critique my PS and DS, many thanks.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
kevin261186
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:45 pm

Please critique my PS and DS, many thanks.

Postby kevin261186 » Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:12 pm

Personal Statement

Lyndon B. Johnson noted that “every man is either trying to make up for his father’s mistakes or live up to his expectations”. The former applies to me; a fact which has crystallized upon turning my gaze inward. My drive to make up for his professional and personal mistakes is epitomized by my emigration to the USA in pursuit of a legal education and further attainment.

My parents’ divorce was an important moment in my adolescence. In my most vivid memory I am sixteen, sitting in my modest bedroom in rural Aberdeenshire (Scotland) and I can overhear a familiar argument from the kitchen. My father is in a long streak of unemployment with no end in sight, and his alcoholism is depriving emotional and financial support from his three sons. My father would be gone in less than a month and has since offered no support to the family he left. Shortly after this departure he was forced into bankruptcy. Still unemployed he saddled my mother with re-payments and a lengthy legal battle to keep her home. I had to take responsibility for my own finances and take moral guidance from my mother; who has dedicated her life to teaching high school children, living honestly and responsibly. It is from her I take my work ethic and sense of right and wrong.

The year after the divorce I graduated from high school as head prefect (class president equivalent) and went to work in government finance. Primarily it was a means to raise money for my university education, which I had deferred for a year, thus alleviating the financial burden from my mother. However, it became a great opportunity to gain work and life experience before moving away from home. I grew up immeasurably in this year; learning how to handle my own finances, and help to support my broken family. Postponing my education was the only option open to me, but in retrospect it would have been the best decision irrespective of constraints.

Paying for university was out of the question for my mother; so I worked a variety of jobs while attending. On top of this I played middle hitter for the top tier University Volleyball Team (captain in 08-09). By my senior year I was working full time, and maintaining an upward grade trend. This was no burden as I have never felt any sense of entitlement; everything I have achieved has been worked for. The effects of relying on my self have been unanimously positive.

My recent move from Scotland to America has also come of my own hard-work. Securing employment in America after graduation was difficult enough, but I also worked through my final exams and graduation in order save the necessary money to take this risk. Furthermore, I had to familiarize myself with American immigration law when applying for my work visa. I juggled final exams, full-time work and navigating through the maze of immigration simply to be in the position of applying to law school.

Revisiting that memory has forced me to reflect on the changes I have made and the challenges I have risen to. My independent journey through university and subsequent move to the USA, though fraught with obstacles, has shown me that mistakes of the past need not impinge upon future generations. My aim is clear and the means familiar. The work ethic and honesty taken from my mother will serve me well as I pursue a career in law; both qualities I know are highly valued by xxx law school and the legal profession. Attending Law School will ensure that the qualities my mother passed to me continue to be put to the best possible use.

Diversity Statement

When I was born in Aberdeen, Scotland there was no hint that I had any abnormalities. But as I grew older it became apparent that my vision was not as it should be. By the age of two doctors had diagnosed a rare, irreversible condition, whereby the retina of my right eye had not connected to the eyeball, leaving me completely blind in that eye. This was of huge concern to my parents who were convinced that this would reduce my abilities to perform every day tasks. They were also concerned about the strain this would place on the one remaining ‘good eye’.

As I grew older I adapted; the taunts from my brothers (one likening me to 'Cyclops') gradually ceased, and although the lack of depth perception remained I outperformed my peers in several sports while remaining dedicated to my studies. Both of the aforementioned were encouraged by my mother, a lifelong P.E. teacher. Sports were backbone of my extra-curricular life until my final year of high school; when I put myself through the rigors or peer review and was named ‘head prefect’ (the equivalent of class president); a testament to my strength of character.

After I left high school I kept up with sports and education, conquering my affliction to play middle hitter all four years for my University’s men’s volleyball team (captaining the team in the 2008 season), maintaining a single figure golf handicap, and playing soccer every weekend. At this time I was also attaining the most competitive degree at the No.1 ranked University in Scotland (maintaining a steady upward grade trend). This pursuit of attainment was my personal response to the disadvantage with which I was born.

I maintain the attitude that my disability will not prevent me from attainment, and although I have learned to live with my partial sight, it will always be there. I have proved that the obstacles created can be overcome with determination. I have long accepted my disability; but I will not accept that it might hinder my chances of success.

md;jdwannabe
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:30 am

Re: Please critique my PS and DS, many thanks.

Postby md;jdwannabe » Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:10 pm

Well written, but who are you and why law school? why not a social worker, physiciain or one who wokrs with disabled people. Show me the passion for the law and how your experiences take kyou down that particular road.
That's my two cents worth.
VB, M.D.

Cale39
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:34 pm

Re: Please critique my PS and DS, many thanks.

Postby Cale39 » Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:45 pm

You truly have an awesome story, I actually wanted to continue reading the essays. I hope the best for you.

I think they are both well written, if anything, is the PS bordering on too long? I'm not sure. Are you purposely not mentioning something about your eye in your PS? I think that's a huge part of who you are, (unless I missed it), maybe consider putting it in your PS (And, this is assuming that not all of your schools will get your DS, but if they do, then ignore that comment)

kevin261186
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:45 pm

Re: Please critique my PS and DS, many thanks.

Postby kevin261186 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:06 pm

thanks for the input. any other comments greatly appreciated.

kevin261186
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:45 pm

Re: Please critique my PS and DS, many thanks.

Postby kevin261186 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:18 pm

bump.

kevin261186
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:45 pm

Re: Please critique my PS and DS, many thanks.

Postby kevin261186 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:19 pm

bump.




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