Please help with personal statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ufo0001
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:01 am

Please help with personal statement

Postby ufo0001 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:20 pm

Please be as honest as possible. I need all he help I can get

IPods, trendy clothes, gold watches, shoes, designer handbags, jewelry; all items designed to say “look at me”, in short, designed to sell. I had to hand it to my Mother; she had an uncanny eye for what was “in” for someone who was out of the pop culture loop. The above-mentioned goods laid in a warehouse floor somewhere in Fort Worth, Texas, totaling about $10,000 of hard-earned money my mother had worked to save. That was the last time we would see them, as it was all gone in an instant, seized by the United States Customs. This set up a chain reaction that would apex in losing the family dollar store business, a financial disaster my family and I are still trying to recover from.
Contrast that day, that moment, with another, on blah blah date, this time the location was Dallas; on perhaps the most important day for me since emigration to the United States from England in 1996. My family was about to take the Oath of Allegiance, and become full-fledged American citizens. Sunday’s best was the required attire, a blithe countenance revealed our feelings, which gave way to jubilation and relief once the ceremony was done. To put it in perspective, only graduating from college was a happier event in my life.
The common thread between these two sets of events was the interplay between the law of the United States and our lives. In the case of the former, my mother had unwittingly violated the law, as she had not cleared the goods through the proper channels, and the latter, we had followed the letter of the law to a T and were rewarded for it. In both situations, the reasoning behind these laws and why they applied to our situation were foreign to us, we only knew how to follow and unwittingly violate.
This is a very common problem for people arriving to the United States for the first time. The laws governing their home country and those of the States is often very different, so much so that adjusting to the legal climate can a difficult one, an ordeal I have experience. I understand the importance of having a working knowledge of the judicial system and a law degree will help me do that. This understanding will enable me to become an active participant who can in turn influence the system, a feature that America is revered for. This will then in turn better position to serve this growing clientele.
Furthermore, the international and comparative law program Duke University offers will enable me to explore the role American policies resonate internationally, a subject that has fascinated me.

sibley
Posts: 2983
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:38 pm

Re: Please help with personal statement

Postby sibley » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:26 pm

This is a better topic than the other one you posted, but it still needs work. I'm not much for editing so I'll let someone else handle that.

ufo0001
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:01 am

Re: Please help with personal statement

Postby ufo0001 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:27 pm

Ok. Thanks for that. I would like more elaboration on where its weak. I don't know exactly where it needs work.

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cinefile 17
Posts: 257
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:32 pm

Re: Please help with personal statement

Postby cinefile 17 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:53 pm

I agree that this one is much better than your other one. In this one, you need to talk about YOU more. I think you should find a way to talk more about how being an immigrant has shaped your life, why taking the Oath of Allegiance was such a happy moment for you, and how your identity as an immigrant can give you a unique perspective that will benefit the law school environment of any law school you attend. This is information that will allow adcoms to learn more about who you are and why you would be a good addition to their school.

I do also like this paragraph though-
ufo0001 wrote:The common thread between these two sets of events was the interplay between the law of the United States and our lives. In the case of the former, my mother had unwittingly violated the law, as she had not cleared the goods through the proper channels, and the latter, we had followed the letter of the law to a T and were rewarded for it. In both situations, the reasoning behind these laws and why they applied to our situation were foreign to us, we only knew how to follow and unwittingly violate.
This is a very common problem for people arriving to the United States for the first time. The laws governing their home country and those of the States is often very different, so much so that adjusting to the legal climate can a difficult one, an ordeal I have experience. I understand the importance of having a working knowledge of the judicial system and a law degree will help me do that. This understanding will enable me to become an active participant who can in turn influence the system, a feature that America is revered for. This will then in turn better position to serve this growing clientele.


I think you should do this
1. Start by talking about you and how being an immigrant has shaped who you are as a person and effected you as a person
2. Connect your experiences as an immigrant to the law (this you already do well)
3. Make the connection between these first two things and the future career you hope to have stronger. How do you want to influence the system? Do you actually want to go into immigrant law? If so, explain this more. Don't just name drop Duke in the last sentence like that. If you're going to list a school like that, elaborate more (even putting the schools name at the beginning of the last paragraph rather than at the very end will do wonders as far as making it seem like you didn't just throw that in there at the end).

I know this seems like a lot to do in one personal statement, but by writing more concisely and using your whole two pages, I think you could accomplish it.

ufo0001
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:01 am

Re: Please help with personal statement

Postby ufo0001 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:47 pm

Ok thanks for the insight. I'm going to rework it tonight and have it posted tomm. I would appreciate it if you would review it




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