Personal Statement Topic Choice

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
sharpnsmooth
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Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby sharpnsmooth » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:47 pm

I have 3 things I could touch on for my personal statement, as all could possibly give me an edge and definitely play a factor in my decision to attend law school.

1.) I had a stutter through childhood and teenagehood that although not a big influence socially was greatly misunderstood by educators and even myself (i would be hesitant to speak in class, etc.) yet was still able to get into what's considered a top university with a scholarship.... in college, i eventually grew out of this shell and let myself stutter openly in large forums of 200+ people until i gradually stopped stuttering to the point it's pretty much a non-issue. my current income requires strong public speaking skills (instructing a large classroom, managing employees, etc). through training my vocal folds to overcome a physical issue that most people with it would not, i garnered the desire to debate publicly as i am a sucka for life challenges, and thought about law in passing moments.

this led to:

2.) i did withdraw for a year in college because my dad had a nervous breakdown after being laid off and became obsessed with video games. i came home as the oldest to help my mother, and needed to bring in money. although i was a cab driver during the day and bartender at night at the beginning while studying for the LSATs, 3 months in i was able to start a small business that helps cover the bills until this day. somewhere in becoming the man of the house, and my day to day interactions with people in running a business, i realized i wanted to be a lawyer.

3.) i studied film at quote-on-quote the top college for it, and still am involved in it but realized you only get to employ the ethical values you personally believe in if you have the status of a spielberg or scorsese.

i feel like 1 and 2 are more likely to get more of an emotional reaction, and indicate that i'm not your typical stuck up rich art fart kid, which i have always prided myself on not being. the thing with 1 is i don't want to seem like a whiny wuss. the thing with 2 is i don't want to disgrace my father as my last name would be attached to the essay.

i do, however, both of these describe my interest in law profusely and give insight in what they can expect from me with regards to the legal issues i will be concerned most with as well as my work ethic.

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TruffleMomma
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby TruffleMomma » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:15 am

Keep in mind that your personal statement might help you get into school, but the person(s) who read it will also have that personal knowledge of you in the future. When I applied to schools, I received offers from schools I never should have gotten into with my numbers. My personal statement included a blurb about my daughter and husband being killed in a car accident and overcoming this tragedy. Had I not included it, it would have been in the recommendations as several of my professors made reference to it in that material, so I figured there was no harm.

Here is the thing- in retrospect, I don't really like that the people in charge of my law school success (the administration) has access to that much personal information about me. I don't know if I really thought out the fact that I would be seeing these people on an almost daily basis. The professors talk amongst themselves and while only one has been insensitive about the topic, it is an odd feeling.

Would I have gotten into UA-Fayetteville without the statement? I don't know. I know there are a lot of others I would not have been accepted to. It is a choice... just be sure when disclosing personal facts that you really don't mind that being your identity for your law school career.

sharpnsmooth
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby sharpnsmooth » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:12 am

TruffleMomma wrote:Keep in mind that your personal statement might help you get into school, but the person(s) who read it will also have that personal knowledge of you in the future. When I applied to schools, I received offers from schools I never should have gotten into with my numbers. My personal statement included a blurb about my daughter and husband being killed in a car accident and overcoming this tragedy. Had I not included it, it would have been in the recommendations as several of my professors made reference to it in that material, so I figured there was no harm.

Here is the thing- in retrospect, I don't really like that the people in charge of my law school success (the administration) has access to that much personal information about me. I don't know if I really thought out the fact that I would be seeing these people on an almost daily basis. The professors talk amongst themselves and while only one has been insensitive about the topic, it is an odd feeling.

Would I have gotten into UA-Fayetteville without the statement? I don't know. I know there are a lot of others I would not have been accepted to. It is a choice... just be sure when disclosing personal facts that you really don't mind that being your identity for your law school career.


Nothing I can write about would be close to as moving as what you experienced... I don't think you're using it as a "crutch" to get ahead in law. It seems logical that could transition into an interest in pursuing justice against reckless driving, etc. It's also not a sob story, but indicates a winning personality. In our society, we tend to feel strongly for people who overcome tragedy to pursue a respectable goal.

Also, only the administration sees it, not your professors or peers. Additionally, these are people who work with others all day. I doubt that on average their social skills are so heinous, they really sum you up as the "girl whose family died in a car accident".... if they do, they're dicks, plain and simple. I can see that happening maybe if your behavior on campus was hypocritical in juxtaposition to what you wrote in your letter, but is it possible you're just a little paranoid about it?

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SouthernMagnolia
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby SouthernMagnolia » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:09 am

Personally, I love this idea. I was a stutterer myself when I was younger (sometimes it creeps back). People who don't stutter never understand it, but it is so much more detrimental than people think.

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holydonkey
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby holydonkey » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:15 am

1 is definitely the best topic. Then 2...............................Then 3.

klt7560
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby klt7560 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:20 pm

1. is a good topic for your P.S.; go for it! I agree with TruffleMomma though and wish I hadnt been so revealing in my P.S.....

sharpnsmooth
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby sharpnsmooth » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:42 pm

klt7560 wrote:1. is a good topic for your P.S.; go for it! I agree with TruffleMomma though and wish I hadnt been so revealing in my P.S.....


This said, I don't want schools to assume that it will prevent me from being able to argue effectively. While I know this would be a violation of The Civil Rights Act, schools don't have to worry about this as it's virtually impossible to prove that'd be why i didn't get in. If only there was a way to reveal to schools that I'm 8-0 in traffic court since I started studying for the LSAT, despite overwhelming evidence (i.e. police officer reports i was speeding, red light cameras)

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Montevillian
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby Montevillian » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:34 pm

sharpnsmooth wrote:
klt7560 wrote:1. is a good topic for your P.S.; go for it! I agree with TruffleMomma though and wish I hadnt been so revealing in my P.S.....


This said, I don't want schools to assume that it will prevent me from being able to argue effectively. While I know this would be a violation of The Civil Rights Act, schools don't have to worry about this as it's virtually impossible to prove that'd be why i didn't get in. If only there was a way to reveal to schools that I'm 8-0 in traffic court since I started studying for the LSAT, despite overwhelming evidence (i.e. police officer reports i was speeding, red light cameras)


As long as you emphasize, very strongly, how far you've come with the stutter and how it's not really an issue anymore, it should be okay. That is a bit of a gamble you do take, however.

GossipGirl2002
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby GossipGirl2002 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:53 am

sharpnsmooth wrote:
klt7560 wrote:1. is a good topic for your P.S.; go for it! I agree with TruffleMomma though and wish I hadnt been so revealing in my P.S.....


This said, I don't want schools to assume that it will prevent me from being able to argue effectively. While I know this would be a violation of The Civil Rights Act, schools don't have to worry about this as it's virtually impossible to prove that'd be why i didn't get in. If only there was a way to reveal to schools that I'm 8-0 in traffic court since I started studying for the LSAT, despite overwhelming evidence (i.e. police officer reports i was speeding, red light cameras)


Why are you applying to law school? You already sound like a lawyer/politician! Where can I send in the campaign contribution money?

HyeMart
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby HyeMart » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:15 am

why are you in so many traffic cases....

sharpnsmooth
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby sharpnsmooth » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:35 pm

GossipGirl2002 wrote:
sharpnsmooth wrote:
klt7560 wrote:1. is a good topic for your P.S.; go for it! I agree with TruffleMomma though and wish I hadnt been so revealing in my P.S.....


This said, I don't want schools to assume that it will prevent me from being able to argue effectively. While I know this would be a violation of The Civil Rights Act, schools don't have to worry about this as it's virtually impossible to prove that'd be why i didn't get in. If only there was a way to reveal to schools that I'm 8-0 in traffic court since I started studying for the LSAT, despite overwhelming evidence (i.e. police officer reports i was speeding, red light cameras)


Why are you applying to law school? You already sound like a lawyer/politician! Where can I send in the campaign contribution money?


hahaha, i wish. being well versed on laws is not the same as being a lawyer or politician, but it is my dream to one day following law school to be a politician. however, i most certainly am nothing but a BFA at this time. this all said, i would certainly love to have campaign money... send away!

sharpnsmooth
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby sharpnsmooth » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:38 pm

HyeMart wrote:why are you in so many traffic cases....


i am a genuinely nice guy, but am a naturally overly testosterone filled individual. whether it's in speeding, boxing or debating, i can sometimes inadvertently rub others, notably cops, in the wrong way.

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CG614
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby CG614 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:41 pm

HyeMart wrote:why are you in so many traffic cases....


haha... definitely don't mention the 8-0... :roll:

sharpnsmooth
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby sharpnsmooth » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:47 pm

CG614 wrote:
HyeMart wrote:why are you in so many traffic cases....


haha... definitely don't mention the 8-0... :roll:


never lol

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rdcws000
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby rdcws000 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:33 pm

sharpnsmooth wrote:
CG614 wrote:
HyeMart wrote:why are you in so many traffic cases....


haha... definitely don't mention the 8-0... :roll:


never lol


#1 is a slam dunk. Emphasis on the part about how you force yourself to challenge your stutter with debate. I think that is unassumingly powerful.

P.S. I worked with a guy with a pretty viscious stutter, who also happened to be pretty brilliant. I think this is a major obstacle to overcome, and this guy would fight through words, never deterred by a sometimes crippling stutter. It didn't take me much time to realize that at the end of every sentence that began with a stutter I was about to get my world rocked with some Grade A intellect.

sharpnsmooth
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Re: Personal Statement Topic Choice

Postby sharpnsmooth » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:13 pm

rdcws000 wrote:
sharpnsmooth wrote:
CG614 wrote:
HyeMart wrote:why are you in so many traffic cases....


haha... definitely don't mention the 8-0... :roll:


never lol


#1 is a slam dunk. Emphasis on the part about how you force yourself to challenge your stutter with debate. I think that is unassumingly powerful.

P.S. I worked with a guy with a pretty viscious stutter, who also happened to be pretty brilliant. I think this is a major obstacle to overcome, and this guy would fight through words, never deterred by a sometimes crippling stutter. It didn't take me much time to realize that at the end of every sentence that began with a stutter I was about to get my world rocked with some Grade A intellect.


gonna do that 1, thanks! i did well on the LSAT, but idk if i'm brilliant... doesn't surprise me that your friend is, though. according to a neuroscientific hypothesis being experimented, stuttering is the result of different parts of the brain that are supposed to work together working at different speeds. it's possible your friend had an exceptionally fast left brain, and that his cerebellum was much slower. confidence seems to play a role as well. celebrities like johnny damon, marilyn monroe, winston churchill, albert einstein and moses all stuttered at the beginning of their respective years only to have it faded.

anyway, if it isn't something that turns law schools off, according to your comments i'm in good shape. i have this baby structured (beginning, middle and end) to reveal a lot about me through a coherent story.




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