PS: a lot of topics to cover, but which ones?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
reaisan
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:15 am

PS: a lot of topics to cover, but which ones?

Postby reaisan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:59 am

Hello all,

I have been writing PS that now seem like DS and vice-versa. I'm trying to separate "this is why I'm diverse" and "this is an example of how I would be in the classroom."

I am a queer, British-American female of Jamaican descent. Raised by adoptive grandmother. I do comedy, spoke word, LGBTQ research, and extensive travel in Asia and Hawaii. An abusive relationship hurt my GPA-- I think I have a lot of stories and accomplishments to choose from, but what's relevant in a PS?

Is it a place for "overcoming adversity" or "here's what I'd be like as a student?"

I'll post drafts as the ideas come to me. Thanks a lot in advance!

tourdeforcex
Posts: 428
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:19 pm

Re: PS: a lot of topics to cover, but which ones?

Postby tourdeforcex » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:59 am

in my opinion, a PS can cover a range. as for your case, i think it would be ideal as a place for "overcoming adversity" while foreshadowing/hinting at "here's why i would like to go to law school" and if some specific qualities don't really support the "overcoming adversity" very strongly, save it for the DS.

hope this helps.

reaisan
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:15 am

Re: PS: a lot of topics to cover, but which ones?

Postby reaisan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:28 pm

Sounds like a good plan! I will be crafting one soon and should have it posted up tonight for critique. Thanks!

cubswin
Posts: 618
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: PS: a lot of topics to cover, but which ones?

Postby cubswin » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:41 pm

reaisan wrote:Hello all,

I have been writing PS that now seem like DS and vice-versa.


I'm trying to separate "this is why I'm diverse" and "this is an example of how I would be in the classroom."

I am a queer, British-American female of Jamaican descent. Raised by adoptive grandmother. I do comedy, spoke word, LGBTQ research, and extensive travel in Asia and Hawaii. An abusive relationship hurt my GPA-- I think I have a lot of stories and accomplishments to choose from, but what's relevant in a PS?


Focus your DS on how you would bring diversity to the student body, and use your personal statement as an opportunity to to discuss other things. Stay away from the abusive relationship in the PS. If anything, attach a brief GPA addendum explaining the circumstances of your anomalous semester. Stick to your other activities in the personal statement.

Is it a place for "overcoming adversity" or "here's what I'd be like as a student?"


Everybody and their mother seems to think it is a place for overcoming adversity, but the most refreshing personal statements I have read eschew that theme. I suppose it's a matter of taste, but I've read interview with consultants and ad-comms that would agree with me.

Here's what I'd be like as a student sounds like it would be a vague, dull, and mostly hypothetical essay. I know Michigan offers a prompt like that for their supplementary essays, so maybe you can address that there. But it seems like a lame idea for a personal statement, IMO. You're speculating. You don't know what law school is like yet. Why waste your opportunity to talk about yourself discussing something you haven't done yet?

reaisan
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:15 am

Re: PS: a lot of topics to cover, but which ones?

Postby reaisan » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:59 pm

cubswin wrote:Here's what I'd be like as a student sounds like it would be a vague, dull, and mostly hypothetical essay. I know Michigan offers a prompt like that for their supplementary essays, so maybe you can address that there. But it seems like a lame idea for a personal statement, IMO. You're speculating. You don't know what law school is like yet. Why waste your opportunity to talk about yourself discussing something you haven't done yet?

I agree. Thanks for reviewing my first draft, too!
I think I can turn what I sent you into a PS after some revision. I won't really elaborate on my hardships, but for focus on what I've accomplished-- like you suggested! I still need help with transitioning, a conclusion and a stronger hook.

Here it is:
The middle school “scared straight” program, sure emphasized on straight. Twenty of us held hands, formed a line, and treaded dimly lit hallways. Inmates slammed on their cell windows, yelling “rape.” Two inmates walking past stared a boy down, snickering about jungle fever. While packed in a holding cell, we learned about dropped soap. The most unusual part of the story was that I went to a pre-law middle school in the ghettos of South Florida. A school’s desire to churn out heterosexual students, however, is routine. The hetero-normative pressure is exemplified in the recent bully-induced suicides. I was not close to being one of those cases. Still, coming-out to British-Jamaican parents, who played songs about burning gays, petrified my vocal chords.

Thanks to a surprisingly supportive family, I have coordinated pride programs and researched LGBTQ rights in Florida, Georgia, Japan, Hawaii and Korea. Gainesville Florida’s first Queer Ball in ten years, under my direction, was dubbed “second-chance prom” by the ball queen. Her hand trembled holding mine, while telling the crowd she could not attend her high school prom because she was transsexual. The ball was part of Pride Awareness Month. On the executive board I oversaw 22 events, ensuring they were free by seeking and partnering with local businesses.
Not sure if I should keep elaborating.

In terms of rights, I joined the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Hawaii. I fought against the Florida constructional ban on homosexual adoption. From early voting periods until election day, my voice echoed on campus, informing students about the complementary ride to the polls.
The ban was put in place, but has since been reversed in the court of appeals... should I mention the outcome? A sentence about how it made me feel?

Currently, I encourage queer teens in weekly discussion at YouthPride in Atlanta. Hearing a positive coming-out tale from an adult greatly impacts a child's self-esteem.
Should I elaborate?

In Asia and Hawaii, I interviewed ex-patriots, pestered natives and read studies on queer rights and culture. What was initially knowledge for my own safety will now debut in the University of Florida's undergraduate research journal.
I need a transition to what I want to do with my degree. Here's an unfinished attempt below:

What I do now helps demystify the rumors ingrained from middle school, but I want more responsibility. Brown v. Board of Education is an example of ways to make large-scale change.




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