About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
stad2234
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:35 pm

About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

Postby stad2234 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:29 am

out of paranoia about having my PS on the web during admission cycle
Last edited by stad2234 on Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rw2264
Posts: 314
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:59 am

Re: About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

Postby rw2264 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:43 am

edit.
Last edited by rw2264 on Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rw2264
Posts: 314
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Re: About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

Postby rw2264 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:51 am

also, i'd love a crit if you have time. if not, please don't worry about it. i've just been posted on the board all day and only gotten a couple responses :(

I always used to dream that the trajectory of my life would be similar to that of a novel: filled with dramatic twists, sudden life changes, villains and saviors. It would conclude with an exciting climax, leaving every onlooker stunned and awed. This vision has not come to pass. What I was dealt was not the stuff of fantasy, but a series of obstacles that demanded personal drive to overcome.

I was self-aware enough as a child to know the panic attacks and general anxiety I suffered were abnormal. I also knew the constant fighting between my parents and the invalidating atmosphere in my home were damaging to me. Only later did I learn the words needed to correctly describe the situation: my father was an alcoholic, my mother was emotionally abusive, and my home environment was completely devoid of emotional support. So I delved deeply into my schoolwork at a young age, finding refuge in books and words, and I excelled at schoolwork beyond the expectations of anyone. My motivation paid off as I academically succeeded enough to attend private school on the East Coast and escape the dispiriting environment of my home life. Going to Barnard for me was a double-edged sword: I was away from the negative forces at home which sought to starve me of my ambition, but I was surrounded by people who couldn't seem to relate to my life's circumstances. My parents, of course, didn't understand why I needed to go to a private school so far away instead of community college or a state school in California. Neither of them went to college, and though they were proud of me, the concept was mostly lost on them.

Though I was geographically far away from home, I knew I would never escape my parents, nor my love for them despite all they had put me through. Things started to fall apart the summer between my second and third years of college; my father, who had been sober for almost three years, began drinking again and revealed that he had a drug addiction. That winter, my father took his own life. I was devastated, but I was also filled with a sense of relief, knowing my father was finally at peace after a lifetime of unhappiness. It was a cathartic moment for me, as if the pieces of my past were falling away and leaving me free to finally walk the earth as I was meant to: freely, without fear or inhibition. I had forgiven my father for his shortcomings long before his death, but it was then that I was truly able to move on from that aspect of my past.

My family is not what I would have wished for nor will it ever be, but my experiences have shaped me into a driven person. I have been able to accomplish what I have so far out of an often terrible sense of urgency that I no longer feel. My ambition is now an asset, not a defense mechanism, and the success I enjoy in the future will be all my own doing. My past has also taught me that the most important thing in life is to show compassion and understanding to others, because it is impossible to know the origins of peoples' personal motivations. This empathy and depth of understanding has allowed me to build my own family out of all of the supportive people who now surround me.

My past self would probably be disappointed that my life hasn't been as exciting as I'd initially hoped. My life mostly lacks harrowing twists and turns, but is instead filled with nuance and depth. No character is purely good or evil, blameless or guilty. There is no true climax or defining moment to pinpoint. And the resolution? It is quiet and satisfying, marked only by a change in myself. I could not be more content with the balanced path it has laid before me, nor more eager to see what the future will bestow onto me.

stad2234
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

Postby stad2234 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:12 am

thanks for the edits on my PS! I'll definitely sit down and look over yours this week and make a few edits-looked pretty good when i skimmed it though. Also, the thing about taking a week to decide whether we would add in a sentence was something that actually happened that I thought most lawyers and adcomms might find funny :lol: . Thanks again

Sourpunch
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:23 am

Re: About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

Postby Sourpunch » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:19 am

@OP: I LOVE your statement. One of the best I've seen. But please, delete the last line. It is a gimmick that makes your entire statement look like shit.

@rw2264: my corrections/suggestions are in bold.

[strike]I always used to dream that the trajectory of my life would be similar to that of a novel: filled with dramatic twists, sudden life changes, villains and saviors. It would conclude with an exciting climax, leaving every onlooker stunned and awed. This vision has not come to pass. What I was dealt was not the stuff of fantasy, but a series of obstacles that demanded personal drive to overcome.[/strike]

This opening is a gimmick and ruins your PS.

I was self-aware enough as a child to know that the panic attacks and general anxiety I suffered were abnormal. I also knew that the constant fighting between my parents and the invalidating atmosphere in my home were damaging to me. Only later did I learn the words needed to correctly describe the situation: my father was an alcoholic, my mother was emotionally abusive, and my home environment was completely devoid of emotional support. So I delved deeply into my schoolwork at a young age--finding refuge in books and words-- (I suggest using --x--when the tense of the verb changes, in this case,from "delved" to finding, it allows you to do so without ruining the flow of the essay.) and I excelled at schoolwork beyond the expectations of anyone. My motivation paid off as I academically succeeded enough to attend private school on the East Coast and escape the dispiriting environment of my home life. Going to Barnard for me was a double-edged sword: I was away from the negative forces at home which sought to starve me of my ambition, but I was surrounded by people who couldn't seem to relate to my life's circumstances. My parents, of course, didn't understand why I needed to go to a private school so far away instead of community college or a state school in California. Neither of them went to college, and though they were proud of me, the concept was mostly lost on them.

Though I was geographically far away from home, I knew I would never escape my parents, nor my love for them despite all they had put me through. Things started to fall apart the summer between my second and third years of college; my father, who had been sober for almost three years, began drinking again and revealed that he had a drug addiction. That winter, my father took his own life. I was devastated, but I was also filled with a sense of relief, knowing my father was finally at peace after a lifetime of unhappiness. It was a cathartic moment for me, as if the pieces of my past were falling away and leaving me free to finally walk the earth as I was meant to: freely, without fear or inhibition. I had forgiven my father for his shortcomings long before his death, but it was then that I was truly able to move on from that aspect of my past.
Very good!

My family is not what I would have wished for nor will it ever be, but my experiences have shaped me into a what kind of driven person..for example, goal-driven? driven person. I have been able to accomplish what I have so far out of an often terrible sense of urgency that I no longer feel. My ambition is now an asset, not a defense mechanism, and the success I enjoy in the future will be all my own doing. My past has also taught me that the most important thing in life is to show compassion and understanding to others, because it is impossible to know the origins of peoples' personal motivations. This empathy and depth of understanding has allowed me to build my own family out of all of the supportive people who now surround me.

My past self would probably be disappointed that my life hasn't been as exciting as I'd initially hoped. My life mostly lacks harrowing twists and turns, but is instead filled with nuance and depth. No character is purely good or evil, blameless or guilty. There is no true climax or defining moment to pinpoint. And the resolution? It is quiet and satisfying, marked only by a change in myself. I could not be more content with the balanced path it has laid before me, nor more eager to see what the future will bestow onto me.

Final advice: I like the conclusion. It is powerful and moving. I think the paragraph before this, however, wrap up your experiences by indicating on how all of that will make you an asset to law schools. Probably you could use the "gave me ambition" angle to show how that ambition will propell you to success in law school. Also, first paragraph is gimmicky and you should just open with your second paragraph- much stronger. This is often a mistake in story telling. You don't realize that an opening line that gets right into it is VERY CAPTIVATING...nobody is pulled into a story by the "my life should have been like a novel but isn't" gimmick.


stad2234
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

Postby stad2234 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:31 am

OP: I LOVE your statement. One of the best I've seen. But please, delete the last line. It is a gimmick that makes your entire statement look like shit.

HAHA....I was debating whether or not to put that in there. Thanks for the advice :D

Sourpunch
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:23 am

Re: About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

Postby Sourpunch » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:52 am

Just make sure to proof read your PS and remove some of the obvious grammatical errors that the other guy pointed out (as well as others). Try to make it shorter where it can be and you're set. If I were you, I would do all this now and send my apps within the hour.

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rw2264
Posts: 314
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:59 am

Re: About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

Postby rw2264 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:11 am

if i cut the first paragraph its too short. i don't mind a little gimmick. i don't think it destroys all the valuable information my PS holds.

i will be cutting it for GW though since its too long for them.

thanks for the edits.

Sourpunch
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:23 am

Re: About to submit applications and need reviews of my PS!!

Postby Sourpunch » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:28 am

Then re-write and make a new one? How long does GW's PS have to be, isn't it about 2 pages.




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