Is this TOO personal?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Is this TOO personal?

Postby prelawgal413 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:08 am

Hi everyone,

I have a quick question regarding personal statements. I'm concerned that the topic I'm considering is a bit too personal... and I wouldn't want it to reflect badly on the rest of my application.

To put it bluntly, I have two alcoholic parents. Though they are "functioning alcoholics" with successful careers, etc, their addiction has certainly had a profound impact on my life. Ultimately, I want to discuss how growing up in this situation has contributed to my maturity, ability to handle situation, and has ultimately pushed me to succeed. There's a lot more to the story, but that's the gist of it.

So, what do you guys think? Too personal? Thanks in advance for your advice.

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Re: Is this TOO personal?

Postby mbusch22 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:24 am

I don't think thats too personal. Work it to your advantage.

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Re: Is this TOO personal?

Postby PDaddy » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:30 am

Great topic. In fact, work in the specifics of how your having dealt with alcoholism has made you sympathetic towards others. Discuss how it makes you see issues from multiple angles. For example, many people who have never dealt with substance abuse or alcoholism do not understand addiction and feel that it is completely a "choice".

While addicts must choose to get clean and sober, they do not choose the level of difficulty of the road they must travel, and each individual addict has his own road. Discuss how the individual circumstances in your family (specifics of career, the family makeup, finances, crimes and offenses such as DUI, etc) made your circustances unique, and how you dealt with it.

Do you see where I am going with this? Make a "case study" pout of the story, but keep it focussed on YOU. Discuss your parents but make it like a case. As a law student, you learn quickly that no two cases are alike, and that is the way life works.

And discuss the obstacle from the perspective of "perseverance" rather than "victimhood". Be vulnerable enough to tell the story honestly, yet tough enough that the adcoms know you can handle anything your legal education throws your way. .

Make a prognosis for the future, and do not forget to relate your story to your goals (choice of law school, specialty, geography after graduation, etc.), if possible.

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