Is my PS good to go?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
granger
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:35 pm

Is my PS good to go?

Postby granger » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:16 pm

Hoping to submit sometime this week. I'd really appreciate any feedback!!


My story starts with an officer inside a black Lincoln parked by a dumpster between the two sides of Jumano Court in Suffern, New York. Every afternoon, my friends and I would play ball on the lawn behind this dumpster. One afternoon, the officer appeared. We were fascinated. Several times someone was dared to approach the car and cowered. That night, when my mother left to pick up my father, the officer followed her and arrested my father at the bus stop.
My father and his law partner misappropriated escrow funds. He was sentenced to ten months in prison. Within a year, my parents filed for bankruptcy and divorced.
Friends told me they could no longer speak to me. Classmates announced my father’s arrest. Already selling our home, my mother decided we should change towns. At the closing of our home, a second cousin in attendance as a creditor sat in the lobby near me and my sister and ignored us.
My parents’ guidance was the only shield my sisters and I had from an uprooted life. We knew nobody but each other in Connecticut. My mom, sisters, and I would wait for my father's hilarious nightly phone calls (despite divorce, my parents remain very close friends). We went to Knicks games and concerts together. We cooked together, experimenting with new meals every Friday.
My father often tells me and my sisters how impressed he is by how loyal and strong we remained during his incarceration. What I most admire, meanwhile, is the combination of love and earnestness my parents exhibited. They did not hide my father's arrest or their divorce, and instead guided me and my sisters through the process with constant support. Despite divorce, my parents did not argue. They were not protecting me and my sisters from the reality of their relationship; they were protecting us from further instability by overcoming their issues and remaining collaborative parents. My parents turned a potential debacle into a springboard for my family's unity and my growth. When friends had their own problems, I realized how helpful I could be, having been on their end in the past.
I was a freshman in college when my friend X, a Peruvian immigrant, told me that his father lost thousands of dollars to an immigration attorney who never even filed an application for renewed status. His father, afraid of deportation, did not want to talk with the police. Weeks later, Y, another close friend, came to me in tears; his mother had unexpectedly decided to divorce his father.
Both friends came to me because of what my family had been through. I told them about how much love my parents gave me, how lucky I was to have my friends, how the process seemed a lot scarier than it actually was, but I felt like an impostor. Their fear was so genuine, and my words were so generic.
But I cared, and I did everything I could to help my friends. I asked my mom, an immigration attorney, to give X advice on how to earn legal status. I told Y about how close my family became, and he has told me often that he and his brother became much closer by supporting each other through their parents’ divorce.
My advice was essentially a retelling of how lucky I was to have such a close and loyal family. But I understood the feeling of isolation inherent to personal problems, and expressed to my friends the importance of leaning on and communicating with a support system. X’s situation revealed to me that support is not limited to friends or family, and furthermore, that the law has the potential to factor significantly.
I understand that lawyers are not friends who confide in each other during difficult times. Yet I have seen firsthand that an attorney can provide the same sense of hope and security that my mother provided for my family. And I was led to revisit the law’s role in my childhood, and again, the law revealed its room for compassion: although my father agreed to serve sixteen months in prison, the presiding judge, seeing my father's remorse, sentenced him to just ten.
I will bring to law school compassion and sensitivity with the hope of using the law to help others, whether through an amicable divorce, an application for legal status, or a fight to protect civil rights for all citizens. I know how important it is to provide security and support in times of despair.

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Marionberry
Posts: 1302
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:24 pm

Re: Is my PS good to go?

Postby Marionberry » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:36 pm

I like it, though keep in mind that no matter how good it is or how many times you revise it if you show it to people on here they are going to suggest changes. Some of it is just the subjective nature of writing quality, and some of it is just that we on TLS are all in love with ourselves, and will take any opportunity to give out advice, whether it's needed or not.

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samsonyte16
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:52 pm

Re: Is my PS good to go?

Postby samsonyte16 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:53 pm

I like it as well. This is one of the better essays I've read here. One piece of advice - change your opening sentence. The "my story starts..." intro is unnecessary words and would be more powerful if you just described what happened. I don't have much else. Congratulations - good job.

granger
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:35 pm

Re: Is my PS good to go?

Postby granger » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:24 pm

Thanks a lot for the feedback so far.

GettingReady2010
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:40 pm

Re: Is my PS good to go?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:47 pm

I'm not going to comment on the quality of your PS, because I have no idea what adcomms consider good and bad personal statements.

I will say that your PS is one of the few that I actually have read all the way through, because I found it interesting. The beginning engages the reader, and your entire PS is very easy to read - An indication of being a good writer. Your story seems quite unique and hopefully that will make it pop out to adcomms. Good luck.

granger
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:35 pm

Re: Is my PS good to go?

Postby granger » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:32 pm

Looks like I'm going to submit then. Thanks guys!

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Marionberry
Posts: 1302
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:24 pm

Re: Is my PS good to go?

Postby Marionberry » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:59 pm

Good luck on your cycle!




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