personal statement topics

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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northwood
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personal statement topics

Postby northwood » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:48 pm

i am having difficulty thinking of a good topic for my personal statement. I have been lucky to not have experienced any major obstacles or challenges in my life. I am not a member of a minority group, or have done anything totally exceptional. I have also never been in a major castastrophe- is. natural disaster, car accident, or anything similar) I whave been lucky enough to only consider having a teacher and school counselor advise me to drop out of school ( which I replied with a string of cuss words and did not do)

here are some ideas that I have been bouncing around in my head:

I have worked at a small company ( family owned) since I was 15. I am responsible for hiring and training new employees, I oversee a crew of 2 other employees, talk to customers to get feedback, set work schedules, and maintain equipment

I went to college, got a degree in special education. Got a job working with emotionally disturbed children. Taught for a whopping 6 months, and hated every minute of it( in addition to working for the family business in the summers and weekends in fall/ spring). Realized after my 3rd day that I enjoyed law, and that I really wanted to study law. Wrote my expereinces in a journal- realized taht all allong my desire was to study law. this eperience has made me grow as a person. know the value of doing something that you like over somethign you dont like, but are qualified to do.


any other ideas would be gratly appreciated

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Canarsie
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Re: personal statement topics

Postby Canarsie » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:45 pm

Why do you want to study law? What do you see yourself doing with it?

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rdcws000
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Re: personal statement topics

Postby rdcws000 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:51 pm

northwood wrote:i am having difficulty thinking of a good topic for my personal statement. I have been lucky to not have experienced any major obstacles or challenges in my life. I am not a member of a minority group, or have done anything totally exceptional. I have also never been in a major castastrophe- is. natural disaster, car accident, or anything similar) I whave been lucky enough to only consider having a teacher and school counselor advise me to drop out of school ( which I replied with a string of cuss words and did not do)

here are some ideas that I have been bouncing around in my head:

I have worked at a small company ( family owned) since I was 15. I am responsible for hiring and training new employees, I oversee a crew of 2 other employees, talk to customers to get feedback, set work schedules, and maintain equipment

I went to college, got a degree in special education. Got a job working with emotionally disturbed children. Taught for a whopping 6 months, and hated every minute of it( in addition to working for the family business in the summers and weekends in fall/ spring). Realized after my 3rd day that I enjoyed law, and that I really wanted to study law. Wrote my expereinces in a journal- realized taht all allong my desire was to study law. this eperience has made me grow as a person. know the value of doing something that you like over somethign you dont like, but are qualified to do.


any other ideas would be gratly appreciated


Just remember every personal statement does not have to be an account of hardships. I think it is very common and while doing my PS research 4 out of 5 PS's were based on the theme of overcoming adversity. This is obviously a strong point for URM applicants, and for those who have overcome REAL adversity (chronic disease, grew up in foster home, etc.) but all too often I read statements suffering from what many on these forums call "The Unique Snowflake" syndrome. "my dad was mean", "I was the first in my family to graduate college" (This is WAY more common than people think in the US) and "I travelled to X third world country and witnessed poverty and it changed my life" in my opinion are worse bets than having overcome no adversity at all.

What makes you interesting? What do you want to do with a law degree? What sets you apart?

Also, what are your numbers? Frankly, the more outstanding your numbers are the less you have to worry about a knockout PS. You can take risks in your statement if you have a 175 LSAT, with a 159 you'll need to compensate...

(no insult there, I had a 159 and I had to consider my PS as a very relevant factor to my admission.)

CanadianWolf
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Re: personal statement topics

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:01 pm

How & what did you feel when your teacher & school counselor told you to quit school ?

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northwood
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Re: personal statement topics

Postby northwood » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:08 pm

It was the third day of my senior year in high school. I failed course 3 math, and was also signed up for a physics class. After 2 days, I knew that phyics was going to be a struggle, and that I would most likey need significant assistance, since I failed the year in math. When I told the guidance counselor that I wanted to drop math and science and fill them in with a lifeskills cooking class, and the history of the holocaust/ psychology course, thats when she told me to drop out. She claims that she was joking, due to having a rough day, but regardless I was very upset- and told her in some unflattening words what i thought of her. I had no intention of quitting school, and wrote off anything that the counselor said as worthless after that point.

ze2151
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Re: personal statement topics

Postby ze2151 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:09 pm

For my PS, I didn't waste a lot of time thinking about telling a compelling story. Instead, I made a simple pitch as to why I show exceptional promise and why I belong at the school I am writing to. Granted, I might be a little older than you are (I have no idea, and I don't mean to sound condescending regardless), so I approached it the same way I approached building relationships in business: it's about selling. I didn't make a fancy pitch. I thought I had the goods, so I let them speak for themselves. I think adcomms respect that. I think it hurt me for some schools (I was WL'd at a few places that I would have numerically been right in the sweet spot for), but I think it really helped me at the places I really wanted to be accepted (I either was waitlisted or offered with $$$, nothing in between).

My advice would be, topics are like masking agents. In my opinion they are distracting. Bring the goods. Also (if you haven't taken the LSAT already), get a super score. That's way more important.

CanadianWolf
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Re: personal statement topics

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:16 pm

My most recent post above was intended to be a suggested topic. Reread how you answered my question. Would you admit that student ? Any topic that can get raw honesty expressed in an appropriate fashion should get attention from the admissions officers reading your application. Now that you have their attention make sure that you present your thoughts in an intelligent & mature manner.
Your reaction reminds me of a current case which caused an experienced attorney to be disbarred. Every time he lost a case he turned the judge into the state judicial standards commission. Not reasonable nor mature. If you use the topic, please rethink your response.

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northwood
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Re: personal statement topics

Postby northwood » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:31 pm

i see your point. i think I will backburner that topic for a while and see if I can come up with another

LateNight
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Re: personal statement topics

Postby LateNight » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:53 am





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