Please help me with my statement!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Please help me with my statement!

Postby Captain Muscles » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:20 am

Personal Statement

It was 8:00pm backstage at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood and I was nervously sitting on the couch, surrounded by a frenzy of activity. I was about to play the biggest concert of my life. My band was slated to open up for a world famous band whose music I greatly admired. The opportunity to play with a well-respected band that had a worldwide following had been a dream of mine since I picked up the guitar at age 13.

However, as I sat on the dusty, beat up couch in the green room, I was not practicing guitar. I was studying biology, feverishly looking through my notes as I had my final lab exam the next week. This was my last semester at ******Community College and I really wanted to excel on the exam as I was transferring to ***** in the fall.

As we took the stage and proceeded to play our songs, the crowd came alive and cheered us on. I felt that my years of constantly practicing scales and carefully refining my technique were finally paying off. But while the energy of playing live music in the packed club was electrifying, a bittersweet sentiment swept upon me. I realized that this was going to be my last show with my band.

Leaving my bandmates to go to school was one of the toughest decisions I had ever made, but I knew that attending ****** provided me with a necessary opportunity to further my education in a dynamic and exciting place. Becoming a part of a vibrant academic community both challenged and inspired me; I found myself embarking in a new academic direction. Even though I had originally intended to study psychology, I eventually fell in love with the study of Politics, especially Political Theory.

To me, the similarities between my experience studying Political Theory and my experience studying music were profound. Just as I had enjoyed learning complicated musical techniques and incorporating them into the music that I wrote, I loved the challenge of having to decipher verbose texts and then applying the knowledge and theories into the papers I wrote. I was absolutely hooked and I made it a point to take every political theory class ***** offered. I studied everything from Plato’s Republic to Discipline and Punish by Foucault and the experience gained in solving each academic puzzle proved invaluable.

While my love for the study of Politics was a big part of my life at **** I never abandoned my interest in music. I still remained committed to growing as a musician. I took Music Theory and Jazz Improvisation classes to further expand my knowledge base. Having developed a reputation as a talented musician on campus, I had the opportunity to perform with many interesting and talented musical personalities who ultimately helped me become a more well-rounded and diverse musician.

Naturally, I still missed my old bandmates, but the determination, critical thinking skills, and teamwork I learned collaborating with these new friends allowed me to confidently create a new identity for myself in **** I was beginning to realize how seemingly separate threads in my life were now coming together in ways I could not have predicted; I understood that as I was constantly honing my craft on my instrument, I was also developing a strong self-discipline.

This turned out to be very beneficial, as during the winter quarter of my senior year, I needed to complete a 40-page paper on Nuclear Deterrence Theory. I was also taking a difficult Ancient Political Theory class and all in all, I had about 80 pages of writing to complete in 12 weeks. Although this seemed like a daunting task, I remembered how every song I ever wrote started off as a singular musical idea, which, when expanded upon, eventually became a whole song. By subdividing my work into small manageable pieces, I was able to complete the most rigorous academic quarter of my scholastic career with straight A's. Separate aspects of my creative life were beginning to work effectively together.

I had indeed, seriously considered going to Law School directly after college. However, I realized that I needed to gain some real world experience before I plunged back into life as a graduate student. Thus, after graduating from ******, I decided to return to Southern California. I started working full time at my family business, a ********specializing in *******. Working in the ******** was vastly different from life in ******* but was also very rewarding. Being able to provide ****** with a memorable experience was personally gratifying and gave me first-hand inter-personal communication experience with a diverse group of people.

Looking back on that phase in my life, I can say I fully enjoyed working in the family business. Not only had I learned the ins and outs of the various aspects of running the company, I felt a sense of pride in providing our customers with exceptional service. Moreover, in working in my family business, I was helping to continue the legacy of a company my father had successfully founded.

Yet, I had not forgotten my goal in putting my graduate studies on hold: to gain some real work experience before I would pursue a career in Law. As time passed by, I was becoming increasingly aware of how deeply I had been longing for the intellectual challenges that graduate school held in store for me. I realized it was time for me to move on to the next phase of my education: Law School, where I could fulfill my intellectual potential.

Writing this personal statement gives me the privilege of looking back at the journey I have made until now. My road from a musical performer, to a dedicated student and then a business executive, has finally led me to my next destination: A career in Law. I believe that Law is all encompassing. I also believe that everything is possible. I therefore, look to the future and plan to practice Entertainment Law, thus combining an old passion from my past with a new one.

It is with this unique background and desire for intellectual growth that I am applying to the JD program at *****. An education from your university would open up many doors for me by giving me an excellent opportunity to develop my analytical and critical thinking in the study and practice of law. I strongly welcome the challenge from your institution’s experts on law and the academic atmosphere that your school of law provides.

Bankhead
Posts: 1124
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:50 am

Re: Please help me with my statement!

Postby Bankhead » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:19 am

Better.

Keep playing with it. You don't need so many specifics regarding course selection and academics. That is available to the adcomms on your resume and transcript. Further, it doesn't make extremely interesting reading material. In my opinion, the statement is too long.

Aside from the subject matter, get an excellent writer to help you with the grammar/flow. You will become a great writer in law school, but right now you need a bit of help in making it sound professional.

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Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: Please help me with my statement!

Postby Cupidity » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:31 am

"My band was slated to open up for a world famous band whose music I greatly admired. The opportunity to play with a well-respected band that had a worldwide following "

I hate this line. It reads like an SAT expository writing assignment. Clean up, scale up, the language and perhaps use some specifics. "Greatly admired"--what does that really tell me? What does greatly really add to "admired", what is world famous? Name drop the band, add the specifics (a 1 liner) why they are your favorite band or why it is you admire them. Yes, economy of language is important, but right now this sentence puts a large distance between you and the reader, its impersonal.

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Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: Please help me with my statement!

Postby Cupidity » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:33 am

"but I knew that attending ****** provided me with a necessary opportunity to further my education in a dynamic and exciting place. Becoming a part of a vibrant academic community both challenged and inspired me; I found myself embarking in a new academic direction"

same as above, break out the can-opener, ya know? You wasted three lines to tell me nothing.

Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Re: Please help me with my statement!

Postby Captain Muscles » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:00 am

Thanks guys, I will keep plugging away!

I guess maybe I should name drop that I played with Morbid Angel?

I mean it was a really cool experience playing the show with them, hanging out with the band and playing Twisted Metal 2 on the tour bus.

It is a little bit of a gambit I suppose, but adcoms want to recruit a diverse class.

Bankhead
Posts: 1124
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:50 am

Re: Please help me with my statement!

Postby Bankhead » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:19 pm

Yeah, just do it. Without the name drop, the statement loses much of its... bravado.




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