Check it out and give it a rip, please!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Horchata
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:09 pm

Check it out and give it a rip, please!

Postby Horchata » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:57 pm

Any constructive feedback would be great. I think I wrote a pretty good DS, so if anyone needs me to look it over theirs, I will. Btw, at the asterisk, please read the addendum below the PS. That is how I want it to be read. Thank you in advance.

Personal Statement:
As I walked across the stage to accept an award for a thesis I voluntarily undertook, I knew my future promise and past transgressions parted for good. After an incident with the law among other things,* I made a commitment to change the direction of my life and how I lived it. During weeks of self-reflection, I came to a conclusion: learn all you can and always continue to grow personally. This commitment transformed my approach to my intellectual development and ultimately focused my attention on a specific area of law.

Although this conclusion might seem obvious, I never held myself to such standards. Throughout high school and the beginning of college, I regarded education as a means to some indeterminate end. Finally, I shook off a mental-straitjacket of sorts. With my newfound curiosity about the world I began to read everything I could get my hands on: newspapers, scholarly magazines and journals, history books, and literature; most especially essays by R.W. Emerson. I immersed myself in my studies, trying to learn the concepts and information as best as I could, which consequently improved my grades; and sparring daily on the debate team developed my mind to think critically about different political and philosophical issues. Although I now differ from the ideologies of my entire family, I continue to stand for what I believe, yet have learned from my family to always support my arguments and to be tolerant of differing opinions.

This new appreciation for learning enhanced my studies to a level of gratification I never experienced in school. In particular, by acting on my curiosity I grew to be engrossed with international matters through my major and an internship at a transactional law firm. As luck would have it, the Chair of the International Law section of the San Diego Bar responded to a general inquiry for a law internship I made in Hispanic magazine. I was fortunate enough to participate in high-level business meetings and to receive daily seminars on law at the office, ranging from the “ins-and-outs” of the business to theoretical topics. During that summer, I found a career interest where I will be challenged, but will also find fulfillment and purpose. After this realization, I wanted to delve deeper into the subject because I knew I only scratched the surface. In fact, the pursuit of this interest led me southward, to Mexico.

At an internship in a Mexican law firm, which mainly deals with agrarian law – a unique area of law –, I am receiving a crash course in Mexican and international comparative law. I relate issues to public policy and laws in the U.S. and Mexico by drawing on the legal challenges facing clients at the two firms. I specifically remember at the San Diego office when a Mexican attorney solved an issue in a project that only he – a person on the Mexican side of the deal – could handle. On my first day at the office in Guadalajara, it hit me: I would be learning about how to solve similar types of problems as that Mexican lawyer. Instances like this, where I observe the interaction of distinct legal systems operating together and how they can complement one another, enhance my initial legal training to a level that will bring a unique perspective to my legal education and classes at your school. I can barely contain my excitement for the chance to begin.

Even after my short time here in Mexico I could now assist my mentor, a recognized expert in the field, with issues in his area of law. I feel like after I set my mind on a goal and put all my effort into achieving it, I am directly affecting the world around me and not the other way around – and it is a wonderful feeling; it seems as though the universe is giving me gifts that I only hope I can pay forward in the future. My good fortune is only possible because of the love and support of my family and my unwavering pursuit of knowledge for the sake of helping others.

In this pursuit I am truly taking advantage of an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow and learn by communicating with different types of people about Mexican society. I am learning about issues that very few Americans understand: how drug traffickers or “narcos” operate, Mexican business culture, how and why corruption reigns, and the vast business opportunities awaiting for those willing to take a chance on a wonderful, yet still developing country. Indeed, because of these new and old experiences I am interested in studying the main source of problems in Latin America – immigration, foreign direct investment, and the rule of law – to help the development of societies in this area of the world. If accepted, I would definitely take advantage of ___X program________ to further my knowledge and help enrich the school's scholarship on these issues. (1 more specific sentence about a school). My liberal arts education and personal experience living in a Spanish-speaking society, combined with a legal education, will provide a solid formula to pursue (specific degree program)/my academic and professional interests.

My journey of self-transformation is probably not the normal route to this profession – but, to each his own. I cannot help but think of what Louis D. Brandeis once said, “Happiness includes…that satisfaction which can only come through the full development and utilization of ones’ faculties,” and pondering the meaning in the context of my life. Though I have made great strides in becoming the man I want to grow to be, I have yet to reach the consummation of this maxim. Accordingly, I wish to continue pursuing my happiness and the development of my faculties at __________school__________.

Conduct Addendum:
*During my freshman year, I violated a school alcohol code and another prohibiting unsupervised guests in the university dormitory. The school placed me on non-academic probation for one year. During this time, I did not violate the policies again nor any other university regulations and was removed from probationary status after this year.
The particular incident mentioned in the personal statement was when the police charged me with a misdemeanor for serving alcohol to minors at a party during my sophomore year.
At my hearing, my public defender immediately advised me to plead guilty to a misdemeanor after reviewing my case for a few minutes. Thankfully, I had the ability to call a criminal lawyer my father met only one month before the hearing. She was the second lawyer I ever spoke to after my public defender. This lawyer spoke to my public defender on the phone in the courtroom and instructed him how to structure a resolution in my best interest. To my amazement, the judge reduced the charge to an infraction.
While waiting in the courtroom after receiving my verdict, I felt a great sense of relief, but I still knew something didn’t feel right. My feeling stemmed from a realization that individuals convicted of crimes have to use lawyers that often times have incomplete legal knowledge. I made a commitment to study law and to learn and improve a profession that had such a profound impact on my life and has on the lives of all people. I dedicated myself to be the most knowledgeable and able lawyer in my particular field of law so my clients would always face their legal issues with the best attorney at their side. I feel this sense of duty even more so towards helping the Hispanic community, who, viewing from personal experience, often are not afforded their rightful legal representation in the U.S. justice system. This commitment enabled me to turn the page on this part of my life and to choose a career in law, focusing particularly on the relations and issues between the U.S. and Mexico.

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blackwater88
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:40 pm

Re: Check it out and give it a rip, please!

Postby blackwater88 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:01 pm

As I walked across the stage to accept an award for a thesis I voluntarily undertook, I knew my future promise and past transgressions parted for good.


What is this thesis about? If it was so important that it helped you vindicate you from your past aggressions, you should probably spend more time explaining what the thesis was about. Also, the sentence after the coma sounds off, it sounds like you're saying that both your future promise and past aggressions parted from your life.

sparring daily on the debate team developed my mind to think critically about different political and philosophical issues. Although I now differ from the ideologies of my entire family


What exactly are these ideologies you're speaking of? How are they better than your family's? Why should you embrace those ideologies instead of the ones your family holds?

During that summer, I found a career interest where I will would be challenged, but will would also find fulfillment and purpose. After this realization experience, I wanted to delve deeper into the subject because I knew had I only scratched the surface.


On my first day at the office in Guadalajara, it hit me: I would be learning about how to solve similar types of problems as that Mexican lawyer.


Even after my short time here in Mexico I could now assist my mentor, a recognized expert in the field, with issues in his area of law. I feel like after I set my mind on a goal and put all my effort into achieving it, I am directly affecting the world around me and not the other way around – and it is a wonderful feeling;


How exactly were you able to affect the world around you? For all we know, this was just a run-of-the-mill internship where you served coffee and made copies, what was so great about your contributions to the law firm?

n this pursuit I am truly taking advantage of an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow and learn by communicating with different types of people about Mexican society. I am learning about issues that very few Americans understand: how drug traffickers or “narcos” operate, Mexican business culture, how and why corruption reigns, and the vast business opportunities awaiting for those willing to take a chance on a wonderful, yet still developing country.


This sounds very interesting but again, you're talking in very general terms. Talk about drug trafficking or Mexican business culture, and explain what exactly did you learn in your internship? It's very easy to say that you did this and that, but to actually relate to the reader what you learned, I think that's what you should be aiming for.

If accepted, I would definitely take advantage of ___X program________ to further my knowledge and help enrich the school's scholarship on these issues. (1 more specific sentence about a school). My liberal arts education and personal experience living in a Spanish-speaking society, combined with a legal education, will provide a solid formula to pursue (specific degree program)/my academic and professional interests.


This sounds pretty good, but it'll sound more convincing if you cease to talk in general terms.

I think your PS goes all over the place, you should narrow it down more to the point where you can take a single experience (be it writing your thesis or doing the internship in Mexico) and explain in detail how it changed your life, how that experience has inspired you to pursue the legal profession.

Also, sometimes you switch between past and present tense where it turns kinda confusing. Like with the internship, at the beginning you're talking as if you were currently working on it, and then it sounds as if it has already ended.


I think if you make it tighter and not as general, you'll have a strong PS.

Echale ganas!




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