This is my personal statement please rip it apart.

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

This is my personal statement please rip it apart.

Postby Captain Muscles » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:37 am

Personal Statement
It was 8:00pm backstage at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood and I sat on the couch, surrounded by a frenzy of activity. I was about to play the biggest concert of my life. That night my band, ******, opened for Morbid Angel, a band whose music I greatly admired. I always dreamed to play with a well-respected band that had a worldwide following 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 I had prepared for my upcoming lab exam. This was my last semester at ******** 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.

As I performed with my bandmates for the last time, I reflected on all the memories we had shared. We had been together for six years and these guys were my best friends. We played Death Metal, a highly orchestrated style of music that required precise technical execution. We worked very hard at perfecting our craft and we operated like a finely tuned machine. Having played shows with many of the top bands of our genre and having recorded an album together, the band was an immense source of personal pride.

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 an excellent opportunity to further my education in a dynamic and exciting environment. I realized that if I wanted to be happy at ****, I would have to channel all of the energy I had devoted to my band towards this new endeavor. I decided to dive head first into my studies and become the best student I could be. I soon developed a strong interest in Politics, especially Political Theory.

Studying Political Theory provided me with many of the same satisfactions that I had enjoyed while creating music with my band. 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 studied everything from Plato’s Republic to Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault and the experience gained in solving each academic puzzle proved invaluable. Studying Political Theory, just like playing music, was a collaborative effort and I greatly benefited from the spirited and insightful conversations I had with my Professors, fellow students and TAs.

While my love for the study of Political Theory was a big part of my life at *****, I never abandoned my interest in music. Although I no longer had my band, 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, and teamwork skills I learned collaborating musically and academically with my 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. As I constantly honed my craft on my instrument, I also developed a strong self-discipline.

After graduating from *******, I returned to Southern California where I worked full time at my family business, a company specializing in ***** *. Although I always dreamed that I would be a rock star when I was younger, I sold ****** and while my work provided me with a paycheck, I was not happy. As the years went by, I realized that the only way I would ever be fulfilled is if I embarked on a new career path that would allow me to fully utilize my creativity and my analytical skills.

At this point in my life, I need a challenge. I could continue working in my family business indefinitely but being comfortable is simply not good enough for me anymore. While I can fondly look back on my time spent playing music and attending ******, I must now look to the future and aspire to be the best person I can be. Although I do not know what Law School will hold in store for me, I do know that I will try harder than anyone has ever tried in the history of trying.

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.
Last edited by Captain Muscles on Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kchuck
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:49 am

Re: This is my personal statement please rip it apart.

Postby Kchuck » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:10 am

I absolutely loved it, until the final three paragraphs.

I thought detailing the similarities that you drew between studying pol. theory and music were stellar. With that said, however, I thought that the last three paragraphs were weak, at least in comparison to the rest of the statement. For starters, the statement "I do know that I will try harder than anyone has ever tried in the history of trying." seems kind of soft and pretty Tim Tebow-ish. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sGv2Zw-WQw)

Aside from that, I sincerely enjoyed this statement. I will admit I did roll my eyes after I read that you were in a death metal band; by the end of the statement, however, it helped me to understand who you are. I believe this is a quality that will make your application stand out. So, my useless advice would be to rework the end of your statement and try to strengthen the portion where you discuss your reasons for wanting to attend Law School.

Best of luck to you.

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

Re: This is my personal statement please rip it apart.

Postby Captain Muscles » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:34 am

Kchuck wrote:I absolutely loved it, until the final three paragraphs.

I thought detailing the similarities that you drew between studying pol. theory and music were stellar. With that said, however, I thought that the last three paragraphs were weak, at least in comparison to the rest of the statement. For starters, the statement "I do know that I will try harder than anyone has ever tried in the history of trying." seems kind of soft and pretty Tim Tebow-ish. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sGv2Zw-WQw)

Aside from that, I sincerely enjoyed this statement. I will admit I did roll my eyes after I read that you were in a death metal band; by the end of the statement, however, it helped me to understand who you are. I believe this is a quality that will make your application stand out. So, my useless advice would be to rework the end of your statement and try to strengthen the portion where you discuss your reasons for wanting to attend Law School.

Best of luck to you.


Yeah, the whole "I do know that I will try harder than anyone has ever tried in the history of trying." was a joke, inspired by Tim Tebow.

And I agree with you that the last three paragraphs of the statement need work. I just need to find a bridge between graduating school, working for 8 years in a job I did not particularly enjoy and wanting to go to law school.

Anyways, thanks for your input!

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

Re: This is my personal statement please rip it apart.

Postby Captain Muscles » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:23 pm

Anyone have any advice how I can incorporate my desire to go to law school in the last paragraph? I believe it is implied in the entire statement but maybe I need to make it more explicit.

Also how can I incorporate my band in the final paragraph?

Or should I?

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jonas586
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:21 am

Re: This is my personal statement please rip it apart.

Postby jonas586 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:29 pm

I also enjoyed your personal statement up until the final three paragraphs. The reason for this is because the first part is personal; it's unique, upbeat, and impressive (all of the qualities of a good PS). The reader can hear you as if you're in the room with them, telling them that you're an intellectually developed, death metal, philosophical fucking badass and they believe it; they like how you sound on paper. And then, your final three paragraphs turn into a trite, vapid story adcoms have probably heard a million times about how you are in need of a new challenge and don't know what law school has in store, but you swear to god you'll work hard etc, etc etc.

I think a lot of people ruin good personal statements by making sure they establish what their feelings about law school are, or why they want to become a lawyer. In my opinion, this is not always a good idea, and in your case, I think these things overshadow the best part about your PS: you.

In my opinion, I think you could take out the two paragraphs before the last and then revise the last paragraph a bit to tie in the rest of your PS and it would be great. Of course, this is just my advice and overall I think you have a great personal statement regardless. Good Luck.




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