Completed first draft, advice, help, or insults please?

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

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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:14 pm

Completed first draft, advice, help, or insults please?

Postby chalhou1 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:17 pm

Lost deep in the crowd, hidden beneath my own skin, I was trapped. No matter how hard I tried to tune them out, the whispers of my classmates surrounded me. Too afraid to make my presence known, I kept to myself. I longed to have friends, speak my voice, and be involved, but my fears were stronger than these desires. I had a voice; I was just too afraid to speak. Year after year, I continued to concede to my social anxiety; shyness became my life.

Ever since an early age, I have been shy. Going to school became a chore and I dreaded the everyday occurrence of the recess bell. I spent much of my time eyeing my classmates in envy while they engaged in games of hopscotch and four-square. Time after time my parents attempted to improve the social skills of their quiet and timid child, but much to their dismay, the attempts were unsuccessful. My shyness was only exacerbated as I began high school. My hands shook with fear. I knew what was coming. I would be selected by my teacher to read a passage. Illiteracy was not the issue; it was the idea of speaking publically. The words left my lips in a quick stuttering fashion as I hoped to get through the unbearable embarrassment. Recurring experiences such as this made school agonizing for me and hindered my education.

Despite these obstacles, I hung onto my dream of becoming an attorney. Once in high school, I began to idolize prosecutors often seen on crime dramas. Their ability to use discretion towards which individuals and their actions are charged intrigued me. Their ability to put together and argue a case against defendants fascinated me. The amount of control they possessed enthralled me. There was one evident predicament in my case and my guidance counselor made it known. Nobody would believe that I had the innate ability or personality to succeed as an attorney due to my successful invisibility that I worked so hard to maintain. As my counselor rambled on about other professions she found more fitting, I once again became silent. I arrived at the realization that becoming an attorney meant overcoming shyness and improving my abilities and personality.

Accomplishing this daunting task meant placing myself in situations that would improve my abilities and confidence. During my first semester at Michigan State, I was enrolled in a class titled Criminal Procedure. At the start of the class, we were separated into groups and our objective for the semester was to dissect different Supreme Court cases and create case briefs for each case. Knowing that leadership breeds confidence, I volunteered to be the group leader. Throughout the semester, I gathered the group together, corrected all grammatical errors on briefs, and filled in for the group members who missed their assignment. This experience was an enormous improvement for the shy kid who rarely spoke.

I continued to grow and improve throughout college but no experience summed up my learning experience better than my time at the Michigan House of Representatives. I arrived at the internship ready to make an impact but was underwhelmed to discover that I would be assigned to secretarial duties for the time being. I had to demonstrate that I was able to take initiative and use my intellectual ability to contribute to the office. It was a normal uneventful day when the phone rang; I spoke to a man suffering from epilepsy and he was unable to fill out his bills due to his disability. I proceeded to compile a list of resources that could help the constituent with his problem and he was happily satisfied. Upon completion of this task, I took initiative once again and compiled an extensive list of disability resources for the office to use. Mr. Amash and the legislative assistant were pleased to see me take initiative and I was given more projects to assist constituents during my internship. Building on my confidence, I was also able to demonstrate my intellectual ability during each committee session. Each week I began to read the bills that were up for debate during committee meetings. Effectively reading each bill gave me the opportunity to discuss the bills with the representative and as I continued to demonstrate my abilities, voting recommendations.

For the majority of my life, I was afraid to speak and act due to a lack of confidence in myself and my abilities. My fascination for the law and attorneys provided me with motivation to overcome this common social disorder. Throughout my time as an undergrad, I was able to improve my personality and confidence, demonstrate my hardworking and self starting skills, and my intellectual ability. I fully believe that I’m ready to apply these abilities towards law school and a career in law.


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Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:47 pm

Re: Completed first draft, advice, help, or insults please?

Postby Saltqjibo » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:46 pm

I'll bite.

As someone who has struggled with bouts of social anxiety this statement captured my attention. I think you pulled it off pretty well into the end, showing self awareness and intelligence (i.e. you don't come off as the shy weird kid - which could be a worry).

My real complaint is at the end you need to be more convincing that you've conquered what was holding you back. This is the time to show and tell. Say "I took this initiative" but also maybe something like "though I may never feel completely at home speaking in front of a group of people, I now look at it as an enjoyable challenge rather than as an occasion for dread"

Really emphasize that you are sociable, comfortable and ready for law school to offset the deficits you show early on. Remember, law schools want people who are going to be able to interview well enough to land some good jobs.

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