Final Draft P-statement.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
soaponarope
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:02 pm

Final Draft P-statement.

Postby soaponarope » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:19 pm

Please critique. Anything I should change, or grammar errors that jump out? Oh, and special thanks to Yeff, and Phoenix! They've been a tremendous help!!!

My parents watched in tears as I packed my belongings. I could feel my stomach flutter with excitement and anxiety. I was about to travel over a thousand miles away from my family to attend Florida State University. I chose Florida State because I loved the school and it allowed me to experience an independent life. My ambition for independence led me to do things I never dreamed of doing, and it altered my perspective on the world. In moving to Florida I found that the law is my desire and passion in life. Ultimately, the experiences I had and the people I met along the way inspired me to pursue a career in public interest.

When I first arrived in Tallahassee I was friendless, and without a job. It was a time in my life where I was maturing into a young man. Was I scared? Absolutely! At the age of twenty-two I did not want to burden my family financially and decided to pay for college myself. However, the responsibilities of the “real world” came fast. I needed to obtain a job, file a declaration of domicile, and register to vote, amongst a myriad of other things. This was significant because for the first time in my life I was leading myself, and I had nothing to rely on but my own sense of urgency. As I learned the value of leading a pro-active life, rather than a reactive one, I began to find myself interested in law. I was curious as to why different state legislatures required a three month declaration of domicile as opposed to a twelve month declaration. I wanted to know the reasoning behind laws designed to acquire residency in the State of Florida. As I learned more about the law, I began to feel empowered. These new life lessons I experienced gave me the confidence to pursue a career in law, and helped prepare me to manage school and work.

As I proceeded through my undergraduate courses, I began to develop a fascination with the law’s impact on society. My curiosity led me to take classes that dealt with public policy, conflict, and injustice, especially dealing with minorities. I was interested in how our society perceived itself, and more importantly, how the legislative system functions within our society. Through my studies I learned that the underprivileged in society have an uphill battle in our justice system. I was inspired to help those who were less fortunate and make a difference in their lives. In order to gain first-hand experience with assisting the underprivileged, I began volunteering at the Tallahassee Homeless Shelter.

My volunteer work was a humbling experience. Spending time at the homeless shelter gave me insight into the lives of the less fortunate. I was able to see how laws affected certain demographics of society. The people that worked alongside me were often there as part of a court-ordered program. Their stories only furthered my interest to pursue a career in law. One day at the shelter I met a young black man named Carl, who came from a single-parent home and was involved in drugs. Eventually Carl was arrested for distribution of a controlled substance. The first day I worked with him, I could sense that deep down he was a good person traveling down the wrong path. When we spoke, Carl would always complain that he could not obtain a legal job when he had a clean record, so he resorted to selling drugs. Unfortunately, I could relate to Carl’s frustration because I had seen previous employers disregard a person’s application based on race. I felt badly for the young man. I knew what he did was wrong, but I felt he was a decent person who deserved a second chance and I wanted to help him. Nonetheless, Carl would complain that he never felt in sync with his public defender. Carl felt as if his attorney’s effort was the bare minimum and I remember wishing I had the resources and the knowledge to counsel him. Carl and I both realized that our judicial system needs more attorneys that are willing and passionate to fight for the underprivileged. As an attorney, I intend to fill the role of helping those with less.

My undergraduate and volunteer experiences have afforded me the tools necessary to understand and relate to the underprivileged in our society. By studying law I know that I can be a great asset for those who have less. Additionally, my journey through life certainly had its own tumultuous moments, but the lessons I learned are priceless. I have learned to be composed in the face of adversity, how to lead a balanced life, and to finish what I start. These lessons, coupled with the knowledge of our judicial system, will allow me to completely and compassionately assist those who are less fortunate. It would be with great honor to study law at (insert University) where I can craft my passion into reality.

User avatar
lostjake
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Final Draft P-statement.

Postby lostjake » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:31 pm

Advice: Start over.

User avatar
soaponarope
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:02 pm

Re: Final Draft P-statement.

Postby soaponarope » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:40 pm

lostjake wrote:Advice: Start over.



What is wrong with the statement? If you're going to take the time to read it at least post something constructive as opposed to "start over".

User avatar
fl0w
Posts: 1404
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:46 am

Re: Final Draft P-statement.

Postby fl0w » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:59 pm

lostjake wrote:Advice: Start over.

this. I'll try to explain why, but it's hard.

Basically your PS comes off as a chronological recounting of you moving and getting a job. Moving to a new state and growing up (registering to vote, getting a job, paying bills) is not unique. This is something that almost everyone has to do, and you haven't expressed anything that made this particularly difficult for you. You then make the stretch in paragraph two, indicating that your curiosity of why you had to go through a process for residency led to your interest in law. That's pretty weak support, and I would choose a different example.

The place where you BEGIN to talk about a unique experience that got you interested in law is paragraph 3. So up until now I feel like I've gotten nothing of real substance. This does server as a nice lead in to what should probably be your primary driver in paragraph 4.

I get that in paragraph 4 you want to say that you are interested in pursuing law to help those less fortunate. But in your example you basically say that Carl is a victim of racism. You don't have any evidence to support that. Carl may have just not gotten a job because he had no skills, or because he dropped out of school and didn't have the education required. I'm not sure how you would be able to help him as his public defender. He was selling drugs. If you get him off the hook, he probably still will not be able to get a job because of his lack of skills. You haven't solved the problem (or really contributed to any steps toward a solution). Like I said, I sort of get where you wanted to go, but the support is disjointed and you aren't clearly conveying what you actually wanted to do for Carl.

In the last paragraph you talk about having your own tumultuous moments, but you haven't spoken about anything tumultuous about your life in the essay. The three lessons you say you've learned, you haven't mentioned or clearly demonstrated how you've learned them in the essay.

the (insert university) clause is gimmicky and doesn't add anything. Only mention the university by name if you've done research and are discussing specific programs of theirs.

Your PS has a little potential. You may not have to start completely over. But really you want to focus on experiences that have clearly shown you've learned the lessons you've mentioned (because your essay is targeted around why your experience makes you good for law school).

HTH

User avatar
lostjake
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Final Draft P-statement.

Postby lostjake » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:02 pm

soaponarope wrote:My parents watched in tears as I packed my belongings. I could feel my stomach flutter with excitement and anxiety. I was about to travel over a thousand miles away from my family to attend Florida State University. I chose Florida State because I loved the school and it allowed me to experience an independent life. My ambition for independence led me to do things I never dreamed of doing, and it altered my perspective on the world. In moving to Florida I found that the law is my desire and passion in life. Ultimately, the experiences I had and the people I met along the way inspired me to pursue a career in public interest.


Everyone who is applying to law school went to college, the first paragraph of your PS should set you apart from everyone else. Unless you're applying to FS (and even if you are) I'd drop it, who cares that you went to FS? As for law being your passion, you never really addressed why that is, as in a good reason to why a school should accept you rather than someone else.

soaponarope wrote:
When I first arrived in Tallahassee I was friendless, and without a job. It was a time in my life where I was maturing into a young man. Was I scared? Absolutely! At the age of twenty-two I did not want to burden my family financially and decided to pay for college myself. However, the responsibilities of the “real world” came fast. I needed to obtain a job, file a declaration of domicile, and register to vote, amongst a myriad of other things. This was significant because for the first time in my life I was leading myself, and I had nothing to rely on but my own sense of urgency. As I learned the value of leading a pro-active life, rather than a reactive one, I began to find myself interested in law. I was curious as to why different state legislatures required a three month declaration of domicile as opposed to a twelve month declaration. I wanted to know the reasoning behind laws designed to acquire residency in the State of Florida. As I learned more about the law, I began to feel empowered. These new life lessons I experienced gave me the confidence to pursue a career in law, and helped prepare me to manage school and work.



Again, everyone goes to college, and most people who are starting college in a new town don't have a job. Don't ask and answer questions in a PS, SRSLY. How exactly did you learn to live a pro-active life? Because you signed up to vote? Like 150 million other people in this country? Why exactly did you have a sense of urgency? You felt empowered because of a domicile law?... So because you signed up to be a resident of FL and you signed up to vote you now had the confidence to pursue a career in law???

soaponarope wrote:

Through my studies I learned that the underprivileged in society have an uphill battle in our justice system.


Did you take a snooze during High school?

soaponarope wrote:

My volunteer work was a humbling experience. Spending time at the homeless shelter gave me insight into the lives of the less fortunate. I was able to see how laws affected certain demographics of society. The people that worked alongside me were often there as part of a court-ordered program. Their stories only furthered my interest to pursue a career in law. One day at the shelter I met a young black man named Carl, who came from a single-parent home and was involved in drugs. Eventually Carl was arrested for distribution of a controlled substance. The first day I worked with him, I could sense that deep down he was a good person traveling down the wrong path. When we spoke, Carl would always complain that he could not obtain a legal job when he had a clean record, so he resorted to selling drugs. Unfortunately, I could relate to Carl’s frustration because I had seen previous employers disregard a person’s application based on race. I felt badly for the young man. I knew what he did was wrong, but I felt he was a decent person who deserved a second chance and I wanted to help him. Nonetheless, Carl would complain that he never felt in sync with his public defender. Carl felt as if his attorney’s effort was the bare minimum and I remember wishing I had the resources and the knowledge to counsel him. Carl and I both realized that our judicial system needs more attorneys that are willing and passionate to fight for the underprivileged. As an attorney, I intend to fill the role of helping those with less.


How did you help poor ol' Carl? Did you guys just sit and talk about being pushed around by the man? Did you actually help anyone or learn anything here? Something more profound than talking to your drug selling co-worker?

soaponarope wrote:My undergraduate and volunteer experiences have afforded me the tools necessary to understand and relate to the underprivileged in our society. By studying law I know that I can be a great asset for those who have less. Additionally, my journey through life certainly had its own tumultuous moments, but the lessons I learned are priceless. I have learned to be composed in the face of adversity, how to lead a balanced life, and to finish what I start. These lessons, coupled with the knowledge of our judicial system, will allow me to completely and compassionately assist those who are less fortunate. It would be with great honor to study law at (insert University) where I can craft my passion into reality.


Expand on that, and usually its frowned on to have an insert university line. What happens if you mixed up the apps?

User avatar
fl0w
Posts: 1404
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:46 am

Re: Final Draft P-statement.

Postby fl0w » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:06 pm

lostjake wrote:stuff lostjake said


looks like we wrote our responses @ the same time, but i see we are basically in agreement.

User avatar
soaponarope
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:02 pm

Re: Final Draft P-statement.

Postby soaponarope » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:30 pm

thanx guys! Appreciate the feedback!




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.