Final Draft - Maybe?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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cardinals03
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:04 pm

Final Draft - Maybe?

Postby cardinals03 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:47 pm

See what you think. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

I love statistics, particularly baseball statistics. In what other application can a success rate of between thirty and forty percent be considered an overwhelming achievement? As a young child, I would spend hours poring over my favorite player’s stats until I had committed them to memory. However, as much as I enjoyed statistics, I was also consumed with the notion of becoming one. Growing up in a small southern town, the options were very limited to those without family resources. Unfortunately, I fell into that category. Moreover, I was one of the few children in my neighborhood that did not have what was considered to be a “nuclear family”. My biological father left my mother when I was born, claiming that having a child did not fit into his future plans. I believe it would have been rather easy, and honestly predictable, for someone of my upbringing to simply accept the inevitable and move on, never reaching past what was expected. However, I made a promise to myself long ago to constantly be aware of the implications of letting those types of negative thoughts determine my path in life.

I attribute much of the success I have had up to this point in my life to a determination to rise above my circumstances. For the majority of my youth, I used academia as an escape from the reality of a revolving door of physically and mentally abusive stepfathers. Often times, I would shut myself off to the plethora of screaming and fighting, an all too common occurrence in my home, by escaping into the worlds of literature, science and mathematics. I knew that knowledge could be my great equalizer in the uphill battle to remove myself from the unhealthy lifestyle I had been subjected to. I quickly found that I fed off of academic success, relishing in the accomplishments that neither money nor privilege could buy. For the first time in my life, I had a sense of accomplishment that made me stand out from the crowd. However, I knew that failure was always lurking around, looking for someone like me to attach to; consequently, my drive only intensified as I progressed through the years. In high school, I maintained a 4.0 GPA while working full time to help support my newly single mother. This sacrifice, although it came with a price, was one of the greatest gifts I have ever had the pleasure of giving. The rigors of getting off of work at 10 p.m. and studying until 2 a.m. paled in comparison to the assurance that I would not be coming home to a mother that had been on the wrong end of a drunken rage.

After high school, I initially went to college until my mother’s ongoing battle with cancer called me home. Fortunately, she was able to recover and today is cancer free. During that time, I found a well paying job and met a wonderful woman who would later do me the honor of becoming my wife. Nevertheless, I knew there was something missing. After the birth of our second son, my wife and I sat down and reevaluated our life and the direction we were going in. Although we had created a comfortable life for ourselves, neither of us felt like we were fulfilling our purpose. We had become complacent, all too comfortable within the confines of our own security, without taking into account what we really wanted to accomplish. Immediately, she and I recognized the need to continue our education. My wife left her job and began pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a registered nurse. I, in turn, diligently began work to complete my bachelor’s degree. Somehow, we found a way to make it work. I once again found myself studying until 2 a.m., but the benefits always outweighed the negatives. When I stand before the crowd in May and have my name called for graduating Summa Cum Laude, the smiling face of my mother will surely resonate deeply within that moment, for she, more than anyone, has shared in the personal tragedies and disappointments that plagued both of us for far too long.

As I embark on the next chapter in my life, I reflect on the circumstances that have led me to this point and molded me into the man that I am today. I am excited and enamored with the prospect of fulfilling my dream of practicing law. I will bring a unique and mature perspective to The University of XXXXXXX. My personal and professional goals, shaped by my values and ethics, will help me stand apart and succeed. I genuinely believe that I have the drive and resilience to withstand the rigors of law school and promote the practice of law in a manner consistent with the high standards set forth by The University of XXXXXXXX.

I still love statistics. In fact, I have found great pleasure in helping my eldest son begin to compile his collection of baseball cards and watch his unbridled passion for the hobby. However, I no longer fear of becoming a statistic, I actually look forward to it. The only difference is that now I will be on the positive end of those numbers. It’s time for me to step up to the plate.

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cardinals03
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:04 pm

Re: Final Draft - Maybe?

Postby cardinals03 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:23 pm

Any thoughts?

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shanshan333
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:09 am

Re: Final Draft - Maybe?

Postby shanshan333 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:49 pm

A couple general things. Be aware of the fact that you cover a lot of ground in this short statement. I, personally, felt a little overwhelmed while you jumped from your childhood upbringing to your mother to your wife to your son. I know law schools have a limit of 2pgs and a lot of us feel pressure to squeeze our lives into a small amount of space, but just look it over and consider how much you really want to throw at someone. It takes time for readers to digest information and are you really doing it all justice by just weaving it in and out? The answer to this question may be 'yes,' I'm not suggesting that you take a different approach. My suggestion: take this into consideration and be aware that you are covering a lot. Also, be careful about saying that you used school as an escape. Again, not saying to take it out... Just be aware it may seem like you are successful and good at school because you are running away from something. You want admissions councils to think that you genuinely love learning and are excited about attaining knowledge. The only other thing I can say is that writing a lot of times is about showing rather than telling. I feel like you have a few lines in here that aren't necessary. You don't need to tell law schools that you are a mature candidate. With a 4.0 GPA I'm sure you are applying to some great schools that don't want to be demeaned and spoken to as if they are incapable of making logical deductions. You also want to come across unique and throwing out qualities like maturity isn't really the best way to go about doing that. They'll know you're mature from you supporting your mother, having a wife, and having a child. Finally, think about how you're portraying your mom. The questions that went into my head is why didn't she support herself. It seems as if she is almost dependent on men.... I'm really, really not trying to be insulting. I'm just saying that that is how it is coming across from what I read and if this is or isn't the case you need to discuss that. If she had a problem where she was unable to get a job or seems to have attachment issues to men that are not the best for her, you may want to confront that head on so people don't have to play guessing games. Women's issues are touchy subjects, but it's worth addressing.




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