totally lost on personal statement...any help appreciated.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:58 pm

totally lost on personal statement...any help appreciated.

Postby leap_your_bar » Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:15 pm

Hey guys,
I'm totally lost on any ideas for a personal statement. I've pretty much wanted to be a lawyer my entire life. Honestly, I think I decided when I read the Firm when I was like 11. Obviously this is no good. I can't decide if I have anything worthwhile or I'm just an average guy...leaning on the latter.

Here are *some* interesting points of my life though.

-first generation college student (I'm an international)
-worked 60 hours a week rebuilding a malfunctioning corporation during undergrad...lots and lots of interesting stuff. its largely accountable for my low GPA. I know this is taboo but I really, truly hated my undergraduate institution.
-my dad was dirt poor growing up. my grandpa was an immigrant, served and was injured in the war and subsequently worked low paying jobs. my dad wanted to be a lawyer but couldn't afford a graduate degree and went on to be a fairly high ranking federal government official.
-I was recruited to work for our national police force at the age of 21...decided to pass on the offer when a friend of mine who was going to go to law school had a stroke, spent five days in a coma and can't move the left side of his body (I was going to work to pay for law school, but this made me want to speed everything up). Also during the same time,a police corruption scandal that stressed one of my parents out big time made me rethink getting involved in policing.
-a friend of mine had his car broken into by a homeless man while he was in it, got out and beat the guy to death, drove away and is on friends stood behind him (the local paper did as well), I couldn't get on board (I still think he should go to jail). just to clarify, my friends and many other people made it out to be the guy who died at if being homeless and committing a crime warranted the death penalty. this made me feel like my ethics/values were far different from my friends and made me feel pretty isolated as well, I could play this angle.
-I've always wanted to be American...ever since I was a kid, I envied America and always felt stifled where I live.

Any ideas or input would be appreciated for sure. I'm really at a loss here guys. Thanks again.

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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:45 pm

Re: totally lost on personal statement...any help appreciated.

Postby RTFM » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:34 pm

Sounds like you have a lot going on.

The main thing you should try to focus on is YOU. A lot of these ideas make for incredibly interesting stories and make you interesting by association, but you do not want to write a PS that doesn't talk about your strengths.

I think that a better way to go about thinking about your PS is brainstorm a list of your strengths that you would want an adcomm to see. What skills and attributes do you have that would make you a law school candidate? After you have that list, THEN pick a topic that will let you showcase it. That might mean combining several of the ideas you listed, or it might mean picking something totally different.

The other piece of advice that I have is that the easiest way to go about showing adcomms your skills and attributes is by setting up a problem you've encountered in your PS and then showing how you solved it. (There are, of course, other ways to write a PS but I really think that this is the easiest one and you might as well start there if you are stuck!)

Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:58 pm

Re: totally lost on personal statement...any help appreciated.

Postby leap_your_bar » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:13 am

Thanks man! I think I've got some ideas that would incorporate my strengths with some of these experiences then.

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Re: totally lost on personal statement...any help appreciated.

Postby teaadntoast » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:17 am

I think either Option Two (work experience) or Option Four (homeless man) best allow you to showcase your strengths while telling an interesting story.

Thoughts on being a first-generation grad and international would make for a better diversity statement.

Would be careful discussing your dad's desires, lest someone get the impression that you're applying to make him happy, rather than yourself.

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