Reworked Rough Draft, Please Take a Look

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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ZachOda
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Reworked Rough Draft, Please Take a Look

Postby ZachOda » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:09 pm

Edit: PM me if you would like to read it
Last edited by ZachOda on Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Reworked Rough Draft, Please Take a Look

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:31 pm

This is a very effective personal statement in the respect that it lets the reader understand much about you that does not appear elsewhere on law school applications.
Consider deleting the final paragraph as it really seems to be a catch-all afterthought that seeks pity. Insight into experiences that have significantly affected your intellectual & emotional development are appropriate for a personal statement but a simple listing of hardships without meaningful insight is not. I also find your last paragraph redundant as you made it very clear that your life has had severe hardships which you have overcome in an admirable fashion.
P.S. Great first paragraph!
P.P.S. The last paragraph suggests that you may be worn out from all of your suffering, and that will not help your goal of gaining admission to law school. Hardship reveals character & builds compassion. End on a positive note by deleting your last paragraph.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Reworked Rough Draft, Please Take a Look

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:41 pm

You don't think it's possible the amount of detail combined with this subject might just make admissions officers uncomfortable? I am very curious because I've heard advice from some really connected intelligent people both ways

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legalease9
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Re: Reworked Rough Draft, Please Take a Look

Postby legalease9 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:45 pm

Yep, last paragraph has got to go.

Other than that, I would like to see a little bit more on why this experience makes you want to practice law. Your reasons why, while solid, need expansion and more explanation. You want to be there for people and give them a fighting chance, but why a lawyer, not a doctor or a politician. You need a clear explanation of why you think the path of law is undeniably the best way to achieve your goals.

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legalease9
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Re: Reworked Rough Draft, Please Take a Look

Postby legalease9 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:47 pm

s0ph1e2007 wrote:You don't think it's possible the amount of detail combined with this subject might just make admissions officers uncomfortable? I am very curious because I've heard advice from some really connected intelligent people both ways


I'd say so long as the last paragraph is cut it should be fine. There is enough explanation of perseverence to balance the sadness of the intro. This plus adding more about a passion for law will create a good balance.

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oshberg28
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Re: Reworked Rough Draft, Please Take a Look

Postby oshberg28 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:51 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:This is a very effective personal statement in the respect that it lets the reader understand much about you that does not appear elsewhere on law school applications.
Consider deleting the final paragraph as it really seems to be a catch-all afterthought that seeks pity. Insight into experiences that have significantly affected your intellectual & emotional development are appropriate for a personal statement but a simple listing of hardships without meaningful insight is not. I also find your last paragraph redundant as you made it very clear that your life has had severe hardships which you have overcome in an admirable fashion.
P.S. Great first paragraph!
P.P.S. The last paragraph suggests that you may be worn out from all of your suffering, and that will not help your goal of gaining admission to law school. Hardship reveals character & builds compassion. End on a positive note by deleting your last paragraph.


I actually agree - effective statement, but the last paragraph did seem to be seeking pity. Stick with your initial story - everybody has felt the effects of the recession, so there's little reason to mention that. The story with your father is powerful enough. Overall, it's good.

DreamShake
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Re: Reworked Rough Draft, Please Take a Look

Postby DreamShake » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:43 am

I like the idea; certainly, the essay has a lot of potential. My reactions:

-Ditto the above sentiments on the last paragraph.
-The anecdote provided to explain your interest in law is weak; your answer to your friend's question doesn't actually answer why you should be that "someone." Moreover, relating the giving of support to becoming a lawyer is...silly. Social workers, shrinks, grief counselors...these people provide support. As you seem to recognize, lawyers provide an avenue for remediation and self-protection; support does not enter into the equation, unless you make some abstract leap in qualifying "support."
-Needs to be proofread for grammatical errors (e.g., "continue that on as a lawyer")
-I don't know if a sleep-deprived adcomm will catch this...but the initial description you give in the first paragraph ("threw myself in front of the doorframe....I stood my ground; I could not let him past me.") conflicts with the latter description ("With an innocent and boyish grin[,] he stated that he were going out for ice cream--his treat...I had to be the one to say no. After some coaxing, I sat with [him]...explaining...that he should leave. With a defeated look, my father walked out."). The language in the initial paragraph suggests an air of confrontation or desperation--a potential for violence--that is utterly absent in the later recounting. No other indication is ever given that he had previously been violent, either, so it seems a little melodramatic for you to be "throwing" yourself in his way. Frankly, I felt a little betrayed as a reader--it seems as if you embellished the intro. I'm not calling you a liar, but you do need to maintain coherency within the essay.
-More generally, parts of this essay genuinely made me roll my eyes. Some parts, (e.g., "When my older sister attemted to move...I pulled her back in.") were worse than others. There's a fine line between the touching/inspiring (being your mother's confidant) and the absurd (attributing so much credit to yourself--a middle schooler). I got a sense of hero-complex when I read the essay, though that reaction may certainly be unique to me. You have a moving story, and a great deal to be prouf of, but try not to 'toot your own horn' too much.




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