personal statement! please help me

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
andreea7
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: personal statement! please help me

Postby andreea7 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:31 pm

I understand where you are going with this and don't take the criticism too hard because personal statements are difficult to write.
What is off about it in my opinion is the writing: it needs to be tightened, clearer, to the point, etc. It is difficult to show you what I mean without taking a stab at editing this. Anyway, if you would like some hands-on comments/opinions, send me the statement in a PM. It might be a little while before I get to it but I am guessing this is an application for next year? or is it for a school that has a really late deadline this year?

In terms of content, you need more. This is a nugget what you are giving them here which is useful to get people interested in you, but not enough of a message in itself.

HBK
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:29 pm

Re: personal statement! please help me

Postby HBK » Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:50 pm

I actually have no problem with the dollar. I think it's the only great and interesting part of the story.

I'd probably initially refuse the dollar, but if the person insisted I would take it.

"Here, thank you so much for the food and for carrying this out to my car. Thank you, and I really want to give you this."

"No, you're too poor. You need that dollar to buy new paper bags to wrap your baby in."

I mean, having to get old food handouts is dehumanizing enough. If they want to offer a small token of thanks, I think (depending on the situation) it would be offensive to refuse it.

HBK
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:29 pm

Re: personal statement! please help me

Postby HBK » Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:53 pm

Also, as was stated above, your personal statement does not need to be "What I Did on My Summer Vacation," or "The Time I was Attacked by a Bear," it doesn't have to be a story. I did mine on why I wanted to go to law school, what caused my decision, and what I wanted to do when I got out.

HBK
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:29 pm

Re: personal statement! please help me

Postby HBK » Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:55 pm

Sorry, one more nugget. I think a lot of people's first PS sucks. Mine did. I put it aside for a week, looked at it again, realized it sucked, and wrote another one. Write a couple different PS's with different topics and show them to teachers or colleagues to see which one other people like best.

Fsubuckeye
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: personal statement! please help me

Postby Fsubuckeye » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:04 pm

I think you are trying to force certain things. From the beginning I thought you were going to take the route of an abusive household; then you go in a completely different direction. You also say that no one wants to be a rebellious kid, but you are exactly that. Then you mention your parent's profession and the reader knows more about your parents than they do you. From what you give us, by the end of the second paragraph, you are not a very likeable person.

There is nothing that you overcame in this PS other than stereotypes; don't get me wrong, that's a great thing to overcome, but if I were you, I'd jump right into stereotypes and more on why this experience was so significant.

In all honesty, I don't believe this experience was all that life-changing for you. I do believe that you had a life changing experience at some point (at least I hope so) but this isn't it. I think you should find some time to really figure out why they should want you in their law school. Think about why you want to be a lawyer.

If you don't have it yet then don't try and force it. You have a little bit of time to do some soul searching. You should file this PS away and start fresh. Don't let some of these posters make you feel like crap, they (myself included) probably tried to appeal to what they thought would be a good sob story and fell into similar pitfalls.

If you need help or want to see mine, please PM me, I love personal statements!

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iShotFirst
Posts: 460
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:13 am

Re: personal statement! please help me

Postby iShotFirst » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:10 pm

The $1500 dollar guitar comment is a bit much as well. I think its alright to talk about how your upbringing sheltered you and what you saw outside etc etc but you don't have to list your possessions and their retail value to make the point.

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flyingpanda
Posts: 824
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:32 am

Re: personal statement! please help me

Postby flyingpanda » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:11 pm

This reads like a college ps... not a law school ps.

thetrashman
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:54 pm

Re: personal statement! please help me

Postby thetrashman » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:18 pm

I'm going to be straight up here, you begin with a salient issue - how your background and childhood didn't prepare you for some of the more disheartening realities of life. moreover, your experience in volunteering helped you see a bigger picture. however, you don't tie it together enough, and you don't show how it affected your college experience or your overall outlook on life. what happened in the next four years that built on this? give me the next ten words because i personally don't think people care simply about just a moving experience, no matter how moving it is. it's what you do with those emotions, those feelings, and how you change your behavior and attitudes (and manifest those changes) that matters. i think you can shorten this entire thing up into a few short paragraphs that delineate how your bubble upbringing and family situation turned you into, let's be honest, the stereotypical privileged little rich kid (full disclosure: i am also a dr's son). then go into how that summer made you refocus your attention on things, what it made you do differently.

in a nutshell, it doesn't really matter that mahatma gandhi felt terrible about the racism he saw and experienced in south africa, it's what he did to combat it there followed by the influence it had on his leadership in india that makes it an important topic in regards to his life. or, yes everyone felt sorry for bruce wayne when his parents were gunned down. it was a horrible thing to happen. but, then bruce wayne took what he felt and learned and created something of it. it's what he did with it that makes him a compelling individual, not simply a sad statistic.

same with you, i feel like you must have done something to build upon all of this and that that will make for a better essay.

knightrider2002
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:50 pm

Re: personal statement! please help me

Postby knightrider2002 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:47 pm

andreea7 wrote: This is a nugget what you are giving them here which is useful to get people interested in you, but not enough of a message in itself.

Is it at least a big fat golden nugget?




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