Third Revision

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Third Revision

Postby nickbentley » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:06 pm

I grew up in a very religious family immersed with a strict moral code by which I was expected to live. The code of morality was based on strong marriages, chaste relationships, and the avoidance of drugs and alcohol. My siblings and I were trained daily to live strict Christian standards that would help us to be happier individuals. This moral code had developed in my young mind, into an internal prejudice against people who did not adhere to the code of ethics that I had been taught. I had been taught to work hard and had always been given great opportunities to be successful. In my mind, I was living the perfect life.

While I was in high school, my perfect life began to change dramatically. My oldest brother, my best friend, revealed that he is gay. My foundation of my socially conservative family was immediately shaken. My parents disagreed about how to handle the situation. My mother and father had differing views on whether or not being gay was a choice. This conflict caused me to feel torn in half between each side. While our religious leaders told us that same-gender-attraction can be “fixed” and that it is a choice, I felt that my brother was born as a gay individual. Although my religion taught me that marriage is between a man and a woman, it also has a doctrinal foundation based upon the ability for mankind to have the freedom to choose. After years of cognitive dissonance and family turmoil, it eventually became clear to me that I would not be able to remain a fence-sitter on this issue. Regardless of my religious views toward the gender issue of marriage, I had developed an overshadowing belief that all people deserve the right to the pursuit of happiness regardless of sexual orientation. Although my mind was at peace regarding my views on homosexuality, my parents were never able to reconcile their differing opinions. Through this situation of conflict and many others, my parents have determined to terminate their marriage.

The family conflicts that I have been through have been difficult. Yet, the experiences that I have encountered have caused a paradigm shift to occur in my life. As a young person with an unintentional prejudice, I was shocked to recognize that my own family had become people that I was formerly been biased against.

As a freshman, I was in a large religion course that consisted largely of people who had been indoctrinated with the same moral code that I had been. During a class, California’s Proposition 8 was brought up in class and the discussion became quite heated. After what felt like hours of listening to misinformation and hatred regarding the subject of homosexuality, it was clear that intervention was needed. I felt compelled to share my developing understanding and perspective on this controversial issue. My viewpoints were obviously not well received as the attendance in the class had dropped by a third within a minute or two of sharing my thoughts. The discussion quickly shifted from a discussion of my viewpoints to defending the core of my religious conviction as a supporter of individual rights. After forty-five minutes of defusing arguments and resolving the anti-gay sentiment, I had decided that the discussion would not end in that room. From that point forward, I have invested my time representing those without a voice in a number of social and civil venues. Through my experience working closely with minorities, the impoverished and other groups of under-represented people, the direction of my life was positively changed.

While my representation of others has been limited to the scope of social matters, my resolve to attend law school stems from a desire to protect the liberty of any person who, for whatever reason, cannot be effectively represented alone. In a broader sense; I aspire to become an attorney so that I will be enabled to protect the rights and liberties of others. Having lived a life that has equipped me with enthusiasm for representation and defense, I am confident that I will prove to become a successful attorney after my legal studies at “School X”.


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Re: Third Revision

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:12 pm

Your earlier version that we worked on was much better written & much more effective at creating a positive impression upon the reader. Don't be afraid of subtlety.
P.S. DELETE: The last sentence of this version as it destroys the impact of your essay.

Your second paragraph needs substantial revision. Your earlier version was far better.

DELETE: The talk of a "paradigm shift" which is a much overused phrase.

DELETE: "...positively changed." This indicates that you view your growth & inner turmoil as being resolved, which is not necessarily a good development for one beginning law school.

Much more revision is needed. This is far inferior to your most recent effort which we worked on together. Try to think in terms of the recommended theme of growth, maturity & a continued willingness to learn & grow.

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Re: Third Revision

Postby maroonzoon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:03 am

"my parents have determined to terminate their marriage." is passive. "My parents terminated their marriage" is active.

Yes, delete that last attempt to flatter adcom egos.

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