Personal Statement Draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Soretsu
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:46 pm

Personal Statement Draft

Postby Soretsu » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:52 am

I'm applying to a T4 school for spring entry. Though I haven't taken the LSAT yet, practice tests show that I'm around average for other applicants and my GPA is also about average for the school. I intend on pursuing a concentration that isn't super popular on campus, but I'd like to make my intentions known, as I am trying to also get some money from the school for that. So, any help on my PS would be helpful.

Thanks.

It was three in the morning when the knock sounded on my door. It was barely enough to wake me up. Three of my residents were in conflict with a fourth housemate. I had noticed that this had been an ongoing, slow-boiling problem. As a peer educator, you learn how to put an ear to the ground and gauge those under your supervision and care. I had never planned on this happening so late at night, though. But, as a residential assistant during my senior year in college, I had to be available to residents in their time of need. Unfortunately, this meant that sometimes sleep had to wait. What I didn't know is that sleep would be a long time in coming.

Facilitating mediation was not a major part of my training, and yet I anticipated it. I was excited about the prospect, and truthfully, it was one of the reasons I had applied for the position. When I sat down with the apartment of four to go over the issues that had arisen, I was cool and collected. After we all got seated, the residents of the apartment immediately took sides; unevenly, at that. I did what I felt necessary. At first, I listened. Grievances were flung unevenly, all aimed toward one particular resident – one I knew had been a problem earlier in the year. From there, I went into action.

The three AM meeting with my residents forced me to act quickly. I began to spin my words, one of the gifts I had, and calm the group. Though tempers flared, I remained quiet, simply playing the part of referee. When all was said, and all hands were laid out on the table, it was time to weave things together in order to get everyone to work together. I explained that compromise would be a necessity for resolving the conflicts at the root of this situation. Having been in a similar situation the year before, I drafted together what would be needed for the apartment to work out peacefully. With reluctance, all three agreed to the new code of rules in the apartment, and I felt as though my work was done.

It was during the events of this night which I felt I found my true calling. Before the early-morning's events, and getting the position as a residential assistant, I had been questioning just what I would do for a career. I knew I wanted to work with people, but in what context? I was at an odd stalemate with myself, torn between a career that might have been beneath me and graduate school, which I was becoming less-and-less impassioned about. I had the opportunity to work in a law firm recently, and it was here I discovered a new interest, and that of law.

Law began to appeal to me more and more as I worked that summer. It was not just a foundation of our society, as I understood it, but also an intriguing aspect of life which had since eluded me. Sure I had watched a few episodes of Law and Order, and sat in a room for jury selection, but I had no idea just exactly how the law worked. As I learned more from my boss, and read briefs and various court documents, I immersed myself in a new world.

Tort, however, would not be where I wanted to place myself in a legal career. I did research and studied what else was out there in the legal world. Upon discovering mediation, it felt like the thing I was made for. Alternate dispute resolution was something that seemed to me a field where I would be able to use many of the abilities I’ve honed over the years.

My role in this meeting, though passive, was integral to the troublesome quartet’s working out their problems. It was an uneasy peace that followed; however, I felt that it was something that would take getting used to. Four people, enclosed in a single space, were bound to create problems with one another. My experiences early that morning allowed me to demonstrate to myself the skills that I possess required to calm people, and work out their problems in a peaceful manner. Though each of these residents could have filed complaints with the housing office, and had opportunities to move, they all wanted to work together and, through me, come to a peaceful conclusion of a particularly nasty fight.

Though legal mediation is not quite the same as tending the careful balance of power in a household of college students, I feel as though it is a field that I would fit into. Navigating a mixture of social and legal roles, listening to complaints, and being something of a referee to the parties with complaints, is something very appealing to me.

sarahh
Posts: 610
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: Personal Statement Draft

Postby sarahh » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:29 pm

I like it. Sorry, I don't have any specific suggestions for improvements.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Personal Statement Draft

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:36 pm

Hahahaha I'm a RA too! Tut tut... having a mediation at 3 in the morning when everyone was tired and frustrated with each other, and coming up with the solution yourself (In legal disputes, like everywhere else, people usually follow agreements when they came up with their own solutions rather than have one imposed on them which is the point of mediation and alternative dispute resolution).

Anyway here are my suggestions:

"Facilitating mediation was not a major part of my training, and yet I anticipated it."

-Anticipated can mean a few different things. From the sentence I thought it meant you were nervous... or foresaw in training that you would need to use it so prepared you self. From the next sentence it is clear but the reader may already be thinking in a different direction. Maybe you should say "Facilitating mediation was not a major part of my training, yet I knew would be a large part of my job." or "Facilitating mediation was not a major part of my training, and yet I was excited for it. Truthfully, it was one of the reasons I had applied for the position."

"I began to spin my words, one of the gifts I had, and calm the group."

-The phrase spin your words makes you sound like a used car salesmen or some kind of trickster. Just point out that you calmed the group. The rest of the paragraph is good except that you told them what to do. That's not really how its done in legal mediation. you might want to say i gave them insight about a similar situation I had been in.

"It was during the events of this night which I felt I found my true calling"

-Which shouldn't be used in this sentence. it should read "It was during the events of this night that I felt I found my true calling". You use which when the clause after is non-essential to the sentence. like this- It was during the events of this night which I felt I found my true calling, which is dispute mediation.

"I was at an odd stalemate with myself, torn between a career that might have been beneath me and graduate school, which I was becoming less-and-less impassioned about."


-Drop the "beneath you" it makes you sound like an arrogant college prick. I work construction over the summer and I have a lot of friends that do as a career. Are we beneath you? Idk your major but you could also offend someone on the admissions committee in the same way. Say your major is secondary education and history as an example. The spouse of the dean of admissions very well may be a high school history teacher. And what about the secretary that organizes the admissions files? Basically you don't gain anything from this wording but can scrap your whole application. Instead "a career that I would feel bored in" or whatever your particular aversion to you major may be. You might want to be careful, law can be boring from what I hear, though mediation does seem to be the juicy stuff.


"I had the opportunity to work in a law firm recently, and it was here I discovered a new interest, and that of law.

This is kind of weird to be here. Your true calling was mediation, maybe end the paragraph with something about that. But this begs the question what kind of mediator, which you explain in the next paragraph with you growing interest in law.


Tort, however, would not be where I wanted to place myself in a legal career. I did research and studied what else was out there in the legal world. Upon discovering mediation, it felt like the thing I was made for. Alternate dispute resolution was something that seemed to me a field where I would be able to use many of the abilities I’ve honed over the years.

You already said that mediation was your true calling... and that you had already determined that that was your true calling.
Throw away the first sentence and merge the two paragraphs. Also edit "Upon discovering mediation, it felt like the thing I was made for." Your story as an RA already hammered that home. You should have something like this:

Law began to appeal to me more and more as I worked that summer. It was not just a foundation of our society, as I understood it, but also an intriguing aspect of life which had since eluded me. Sure I had watched a few episodes of Law and Order, and sat in a room for jury selection, but I had no idea just exactly how the law worked. As I learned more from my boss, and read briefs and various court documents, I immersed myself in a new world. I did research and studied what therewas out there in the legal world. I discovered that lawyers preformed mediations and I could merge my two interests. Alternate dispute resolution was something that seemed to me a field where I would be able to use many of the abilities I’ve honed over the years.

My role in this meeting, though passive, was integral to the troublesome quartet’s working out their problems.

-Your role wasn't passive... but it could have been (wink wink). I'm now a big fan of the phrase "troublesome quartet ". They were aggravated, pissed offed, and offended college students. Maybe try to reword it in a way that conveys that they were these things. As a lawyer doing mediation emotions are going to run high the same way.

"My experiences early that morning allowed me to demonstrate to myself the skills that I possess required to calm people, and work out their problems in a peaceful manner."

-Sure they demonstrated it to yourself but in writing it you have demonstrated it to everyone. "allowed me to demonstrate to myself" should be "demonstrate that I posses". Of course it makes the timeline confusing to me. As it is worded I wonder if maybe you were at the law firm before your incident as an RA. I didn't get that anywhere else though so it if that is the case then maybe say earlier how you had thought that dispute resolution was interesting before and AFTER the experience you knew you had found you calling. make it clear if it was.

"I feel as though it is a field that I would fit into"

- Personal thing: I dislike it when people use the word "feel" when they use think, especially in writing. Admissions committed members might not care but you are not a jedi using the force to "feel" the path you should take, you tare a rational human being thinking about it. Anyway, it might be better to say here instead something like "... but I think I can use many of the same skills" or "... but I think I would still enjoy many of the same challenges". The second one actually plays into the next sentence rather well.

Good Luck!




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