First Draft -

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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First Draft -

Postby inmans » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:30 pm

Last edited by inmans on Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Captain Muscles

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

Re: First Draft -

Postby Captain Muscles » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:00 am

inmans wrote:I plan on applying to UVA ED

From their website:
"Include with your application a personal statement that will give the Admissions Committee any information you believe relevant to the admissions decision that is not elicited elsewhere in the application. The statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself. It may address your intellectual interests, significant accomplishments, obstacles overcome, personal or professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective, viewpoint, or experiences will add to the richness of the educational environment of the School of Law or to the diversity of the academic community."

So, I didn't really write a traditional "why law school" essay... Let me know what you think

I walked into the locker room with my teammates and sat down. I appeared cool [calm and collected], but my emotions would have told a different story. It was the fall of my senior year and our coach was about to announce the lacrosse team captains for the upcoming season.

Throughout my career at XXX, it had been [a]tradition for the players to nominate their captains at the end of each season. The players would submit their nominations and the coaches would then use that input to make their decisions.

The locker room grew quiet. My coach announced the captains. My name wasn’t among them. I was surprised. But eager to appear modest, I feigned a smile and clapped along with those around me. Even so, I couldn’t help but feel resentful. Why not me?

Later, I thought of all that I had been through: my father’s job loss, my family’s bankruptcy, my mother’s battle with breast cancer. My coach knew how far I had come. Didn’t my resilience count for anything? Feelings of bitterness and betrayal plagued me for the rest of the day.

Later still, I resolved myself to find the reason for the doubts of my peers. What had I lacked in their eyes? I thought of the past three seasons. I had played well, had been a solid contributor, even leading the team in several key statistics. Then it dawned on me. Statistics. My attitude had betrayed me. After every game, I rushed to check my own statistics. After every game, my singular focus was on me; the team was an afterthought. This habit, this rush to self, was surely seen by my teammates as reason for doubt. I then realized that my teammates’ judgement of my character may have been “spot on” after all.

Three months later, I found myself in a conversation with my father. He asked how I expected the team to perform in the upcoming season. I talked about the strides we had made in practice, the success we had experienced in our fall tournament and the overall improvement in team morale. Then, he asked how I was playing. I think you need to explain the change in your attitude a little bit better. Maybe make a comment about how your teammates noticed your new attitude and appreciated your new found commitment to the team.

“Fine,” I responded without any detail. The truth was, I hadn’t really focused on myself in the last few months. My chief concern was the team’s improvement. I had come a long way. I had come to a realization that leaders are those who help others improve; leaders are those that consider the group before they consider themselves.
What caused this realization?

On my resume, my participation in athletics takes up a single line. That single line cannot communicate the commitment the sport had required; it cannot communicate the lessons that the sport has taught. That single line cannot communicate lessons of humility and of leadership. Experiences like this have shaped my ability to lead both in law school and, then, beyond.

I cannot say that this particular experience, my XXX lacrosse team experience, led to a revelation central to my desire to attend law school. In fact, becoming a lawyer has been my goal for as long as I’ve had career aspirations. But my experiences on the lacrosse field will not remain independent of my future; rather, they will shape it. Work ethic, leadership, communication: these are the lessons that my sport has taught me, and they are the lessons that will shape my legal career.


I like this statement. I am going to make a couple of suggestions in bold. Feel free to use them or disregard them.

Either way, good luck.

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