feedback please....submitting Nov. 1

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:04 am

feedback please....submitting Nov. 1

Postby humean » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:58 am

It is a strange thing to schedule a fight. Knowing that, in a few short weeks, I’d be expected to show up ready to exchange blows with a stranger. The physical preparation is the easy part. What is tough is proceeding despite the rational inner-voice that tells one to avoid fisticuffs at all costs. I grew anxious and increasingly nervous as the date of my first fight approached. Unsure of what I had got myself into, I easily summoned a dozen or so believable excuses as to why I should pull out from the fight. But I could never bring myself to withdraw. A big part of me needed to see this thing through. No matter how ugly it got. No matter how ugly I got (which was a big fear considering the likelihood I would be punched repeatedly in face during the event). I had to know if I was a fighter.

At 25 years old, I had never been in a fight. I had never been in a street fight, a bar brawl, or even a shoving match. I’ve had numerous chances to sucker punch some poor fellow, but my affable personality and my natural inclination to avoid jail-time have usually served me well in diffusing potential hostilities. However, I have had a lifelong interest in combat sports and martial arts. The big attraction was the ultra-competitive aspect of fighting as well as the emphasis on individual excellence. I can trace my competitiveness back to Pee-Wee wrestling. I started wrestling at five years old, goaded on by my collegiate state-champion father. I lost my first wrestling match, but won every subsequent match until I stopped wrestling my second year of high school. Excellence on the mat was expected and earned. My father would force me to wrestle with him without any easing up. I would desperately push and pull at an arm or a leg in a futile effort to overcome the 30-year age difference and the 150 pounds of weight he had on me. Maybe my dad was a bit of a bully, or maybe he was teaching me something. Even though in the days and hours before a match I would feel sick with butterflies, I always showed up ready to wrestle, ready to win, and convinced I could win.

While in college, I participated in a few intramural sports but was perpetually vexed by the recreational mindset of the other students. One can only take co-ed soccer on a ¾ -size field so seriously before the other players give start giving you that ‘is this guy for real’ look. It was by accident that I discovered a sport that offered the same level of competition that I had so enjoyed when I was wrestling. After only one session, I was hooked on Mixed Martial Arts. MMA is commonly known by its more sinister and trashy moniker: cage fighting. To the uninitiated, Mixed Martial Arts is a regulated combat sport that employs boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and judo together in a unified competition, and often occurs inside a caged ring. Much like wrestling as a kid, I thrived in the competitive environment of martial arts training and liked to delude myself that maybe one day I would take a fight. Well, it seems that one can only train for so long before the lure of the real thing outshines the verisimilitude of sparring. As strange as it may sound, I wanted to know how I would react in a fight. Would I wilt, or would I press through the discomfort and come out the other side? After many hours in the gym and at least as many hours spent wondering how I might fare, I made the decision that I would fight.

The day of the fight came and went. I lost. With the loss, I was made to face my true reasons for fighting. Had I won, I am sure I would have hung up the gloves and ended my career with a perfect record. But in the weeks after the fight, I realized that it was the outcome that I feared, and not the fight itself. During a fight, instinct and training take over which makes for little time to worry. Bruises will heal and cuts can be stitched up, but I will never forget that loss. A month or so passed and headed back to the gym. Still unsure of what my future held in the way of fighting, I started training again just to exercise. Soon enough, I began to see what mistakes I made during the fight. I knew I could do better than I had on that day, I knew I still had another fight in me. Two more fights to be precise, both of which I won.

I don’t fight anymore. I still train, but I don’t take fights. Part of why I haven’t had a fight in two years is because my employer frowns upon black eyes and cauliflower ear. The substantial financial investment (i.e. college degree) in my brain has also been a major motivator in avoiding the repeated head trauma. But, as one of a rare breed—a cage fighting philosophy major—I can say that my unique perspective has allowed me to see a fundamental connection between fighting and what I believe will lead me to success in and after law school. The qualities that make me a good fighter are the same qualities that make me a good candidate for law school. The only factor I have control over in a fight is how prepared I am. A fighter needs to be surrounded by a strong team of coaches and trainers. Fighting requires one to train for seemingly endless hours for an event that may last no longer than 15 minutes. And though I enter the ring by myself, I am supported by those who have trained and educated me for this moment. The effort that is put into training is what pays dividends on fight night. This is the same attitude that I will bring to law school and the legal profession. I prepare like I am going to be in a fight.

User avatar

Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:02 pm

Re: feedback please....submitting Nov. 1

Postby soaponarope » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:24 am

I didn't read through your whole statement, but here are some quick observations.

#1. You need to work on fixing some of the grammatical issues.
i. sentence fragments
ii. some poor choice of words
iii. overall flow
iiii. avoid contractions

#2. Your personal statement should illustrate WHYyou want to be a lawyer, and WHY you will be successful in the pursuit of your J.D.. The statement you wrote is 3/4 about some silly fight that really (at least in my subjective opinion) paints you as some Ultimate Fighter, and a non intellectual. Furthermore, all I learned about you was that you never fought until you were 25, and then you wanted to, and that experience will help you "fight" through law school. If that's your story, and it's what you want to depict, so be it...

I would advise not getting caught up in an attempt to write an AMAZING STORY. A P-statement is pretty much a non-factor in the admissions process. It's there for two reasons. #1. Ensure that you can at least write somewhat coherently, and #2. the rare occasion that ADCOMS will use it for students with very similar Apps.

That being said, if you come across as a douche, your PS can hurt you. Just remember, when you're drafting and re-drafting your statement... keep asking yourself...WHY do I want to be a lawyer, and WHY will I be successful. CONVEY THAT TO THE ADCOMS, and sell yourself! Be succinct. Write at a high level. Draft, Draft, and Draft. Don't be cliche, i.e. I was a fighter, so I can fight through law school. That's just... lame.

One final tip... if you have your heart set on a particular law school research the law school. Find out what professors that are featured, or prominent. Mention them... tell the ADCOMS how you would be ecstatic to learn from said professor. Research what the law school specializes in... mention how much that interests you, etc... Those are often the most effective PS, however, they require some extra work. That said, you're going to the big leagues now... so put forth your best effort.

Good Luck.


Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:44 pm

Re: feedback please....submitting Nov. 1

Postby antonin » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:11 pm

I do not like this essay. Ok, maybe I am using too many stereotypes, but I think it is important to remember that a lawyer is appealing to an audience (judge, jury, client). He should be able to present in a concise manner information to that audience and he should also be liked by the audience.
The law school essay is related to that in that you are also appealing to an audience. As interesting as your cage fighting is, I do not think it is something that appeals to an audience of law admissions. I love soccer, and I am pretty good at it, but I think it would be a poor choice of me to write about soccer to such an audience.
Also, you show yourself as a bit too competitive, example when you withdrew from soccer cause it was not serious.

Return to “Law School Personal Statements?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.