List a personal statement that you think is good.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
letsdoit1982
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List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby letsdoit1982 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:04 pm

I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of good personal statements. Most of the ones I have read seem to fall into one of two categories - horrible and typical. I have, however, come across a couple decent ones.


Here's my contribution to this thread (this is not my personal statement, just one that I think stands out): viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4353 It's the first one.

letsdoit1982
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby letsdoit1982 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:05 pm

bump

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cherryalamode
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby cherryalamode » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:09 pm

On the second page on that very thread is a PS by Stanford Hopeful. It's the best one I ever read (though admittedly, I haven't read that many).

letsdoit1982
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby letsdoit1982 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:19 pm

cherryalamode wrote:On the second page on that very thread is a PS by Stanford Hopeful. It's the best one I ever read (though admittedly, I haven't read that many).


Thanks for showing me that one. I've never read it before. Lucky for him/her he had a good story and good writing, which got him into UCLA with a 159 LSAT.

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JustDude
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby JustDude » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:38 am

I have seen several really good PS's. Unfortunately all of them were sent to me privately, so I cannot share them.

One that I really liked from Ken's free book of PS's:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/personal-statement-examples.html

4. Happy Camper

To one extent or another, I think that everyone who grows up in this country is indoctrinated in a world-view of which this nation is the center and the rest of the world is at the periphery. In such a culture where priority is placed on the individual, it is natural to consider your experience at the very center and marginalize the rest.

Children are naturally self-centered, and probably are more so if growing up in a sheltered environment, as I did. Coming from a traditional, well-off nuclear family, my childhood experience was focused by my innate ideas about the world and my place in it. Even so, I think I was more open about new experiences and travel than the other kids I grew up with. Thanks to my family’s love of camping as our primary recreation, I had visited every state in the country and most southern provinces in Canada by the age of 16. Although this is something of a uniformly North American experience, it did foster in me an appreciation of change, a sense of mobility, and even a certain degree of restfulness. Indeed, it was probably the experience of camping in rural Québec—and not being able to communicate with the campground owners, who spoke only French—when I was 10 years old that touched off my desire to learn the language and travel to France.

As a result, I have been a confirmed Francophile for many years now. Yet, despite growing up in the state with the largest percentage of Hispanics in the country, I never made any effort to either learn Spanish or get to know the culture—much less befriend anyone of a different background than my own. And this attitude persisted until this June.

Motivated mainly by the desire to learn a highly useful Romance language, I went to Mexico this summer—and fell in love. The people, the food, the attitudes, and the language itself, all inspired me to open my mind towards this culture I had previously dismissed, with the result that now, back in Oklahoma, I am continuing my studies in Spanish and making every effort to involve myself with groups on campus as well as individual students I meet with Latin American backgrounds.

I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon after beginning to study the Russian language this year. Most of my life I have had a vague, undefined and poorly understood contempt for communism, Soviet Russia, and anything related that was supposedly threatening to our way of life. But since beginning to study the language, the country’s history, and the people, I have discovered an equal passion for this culture. I speak Russian whenever I can, to the consternation of my family and friends, and spend many hours talking with the Russian students I’ve met through my student job.

While travel and broadened knowledge of other parts of the world may not be the only way to develop a more affectionate viewpoint of other people, societies and cultures, it certainly serves to destroy these preconceived notions we grow up with. My experiences have both made me a better person and helped me to reach out to others in a similar fashion. International law offers me an opportunity both to use my passion for new experiences and to be a part of a rapidly changing process. I am motivated both to learn more about this process and as well as the prospect of someday influencing it. Although one benefit of my travel experiences has been to broaden my personal scope, I know that what I have seen and done represents only a tiny slice of what our world has to offer. I’m ready to participate in more of it.




My grade for it is A with half plus. There are few things that I would change (such as dropping the first sentence alltogeher), but overall solid A. With half plus.

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cherryalamode
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby cherryalamode » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:49 am

That was very well written but there's barely anything in there to do with law. There was one sentence. So I'd give that a B. or B+.

But I'm also a harsh critic, lol.

letsdoit1982
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby letsdoit1982 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:00 am

cherryalamode wrote:That was very well written but there's barely anything in there to do with law. There was one sentence. So I'd give that a B. or B+.

But I'm also a harsh critic, lol.



It's good, but it's also a little left-leaning IMHO.

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JustDude
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby JustDude » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:08 am

cherryalamode wrote:That was very well written but there's barely anything in there to do with law. There was one sentence. So I'd give that a B. or B+.

But I'm also a harsh critic, lol.


Thats my critique: I didnt really like the opener. She generalizes and talks not so favorably about the whole population. And she does have this attitude - I am better. She can safely skip those two sentences.

To understand the good qualities of this PS we need to read it keeping in mind her numbers (4.0, 180). Perfect numbers. The potential drawback for applicant with those numbers is that the applicant can be perceived as being somewhat anti-social, studying all time. This is not the type of person AdComms like. The writer here is trying to portray herself as a very communicable and social person and she is doing that with great success. She describes how she went an extra mile (to learn a foreign language) in order to communicate with people. This is the main theme of her assay and it is incredibly convincing. She hints on her ability to deeply understand different cultures, describing her changed attitude towards Soviet Russia. She hints on her great intellectual potential as well (in addition to her 4.0 and 180), by mentioning that she partook Russian language (her forth) and that she was able to communicate with russian students extensively ("to consternation of her family"). This is not an easy thing to do, to learn an incredibly difficult language and to be able to use it so extensively. She is genuinely excited about different cultures, and, more importantly, she doesn’t take favorites and treats them "equally". This unbiased approach is a very important quality for anyone who wants to work in international law. She finishes with mentioning that she is interested in international law, a conclusion that an attentive reader already has in mind. She is not being defensive about her choice; rather she boldly states something that we already know.

This is an extraordinary well-written assay that emphasizes all points the applicant wants to deliver. It is very positive, memorable and very easy to read.

Every sentence and every word here is filled with meaning and substance. Consider her three lines about russian language. Last year started - Changed attitude towards Soviet Russia - Use extensively - Equally enjoy. Just this sequence shows her as intellectually curious (learned culture), capable (Last year started, able to communicate extensively), breaking stereotypes (understood Soviet Russia), communicable (talk to students to consternation), and unbiased (like this culture and previously studied one equally).

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T14_Scholly
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby T14_Scholly » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:54 am

JustDude wrote:
To understand the good qualities of this PS we need to read it keeping in mind her numbers (4.0, 180). Perfect numbers. The potential drawback for applicant with those numbers is that the applicant can be perceived as being somewhat anti-social, studying all time. This is not the type of person AdComms like.


Pretty sure you pulled that one out of your ass.

This PS is great and all, but obviously not everyone knows 3 languages that they can write about. Most of the examples of great personal statements I see, including ones that schools give on their websites, are from people who have some extraordinary and very rare achievement/story to tell about.

letsdoit1982
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby letsdoit1982 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:35 pm

T14_Scholly wrote:
JustDude wrote:
To understand the good qualities of this PS we need to read it keeping in mind her numbers (4.0, 180). Perfect numbers. The potential drawback for applicant with those numbers is that the applicant can be perceived as being somewhat anti-social, studying all time. This is not the type of person AdComms like.


Pretty sure you pulled that one out of your ass.

This PS is great and all, but obviously not everyone knows 3 languages that they can write about. Most of the examples of great personal statements I see, including ones that schools give on their websites, are from people who have some extraordinary and very rare achievement/story to tell about.


While I think a good story definitely helps, 90% of the quality of a PS comes from the applicants writing ability. It's better to have a personal statement with an average story and superb writing as opposed to a great story and sub-par writing. Incidentally, this person combined both.

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JustDude
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Re: List a personal statement that you think is good.

Postby JustDude » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:08 am

letsdoit1982 wrote:
While I think a good story definitely helps, 90% of the quality of a PS comes from the applicants writing ability. It's better to have a personal statement with an average story and superb writing as opposed to a great story and sub-par writing. Incidentally, this person combined both.


Make it 100%, not 90%. The way you write is most important. Unfortunately (or not) a lot of applicants are trying to "impress" AdComms with some real or imagenary hardships, adversities or accomplishments.


The very best PS I read was about visiting mudeum and playing footbal as 12 year old. I wish i could post it here (it was private message, sorry). I hated the guy, and when he send it to me I was like "I will rip you another one"!!!.. But after I read it, I realized how wrong I was and how much I respect him as a person. There was NOTHING extraordinary there.




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