Rough Draft of PS.. please help!!! I'm so lost!!!

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Rough Draft of PS.. please help!!! I'm so lost!!!

Postby cntruong » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:46 am

Last edited by cntruong on Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rough Draft of PS.. please help!!! I'm so lost!!!

Postby capitalacq » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:48 am

i dont have much time so i only briefly skimmed it.

the good news is that you've got material you can work with

i kind of feel like it's disjointed and that much of it is just a regurgitation of your resume. this is your chance to show the adcomm who you really are beyond what they already know. there's nothing wrong with focusing on a certain item/part of your resume if that's what you want the theme to be, but as of now it just seems like you're just ticking off what's already there (degree, GPA, your jobs, etc.)

You also just use a lot of blanket statements with no meaning/support to back it up.. nothing that gives any insight into your mindset. You'd have something much better if you didn't try to cover so much ground. Start working with something narrow (i.e the shooting, a specific story/series of encounters at the private law firm; serving as a mentor for specific youth [if you got to know someone really well/help them out, it could really be a great PS-- especially once you start going into detail into how you related to him/her], a certain case you worked on at the PD or a common theme you encountered that changed the way you think, etc.)

based on my skim, ive crossed out the paragraphs i dont think you should focus on at all when trying out new PS
cntruong wrote:This is my first time on the forum. I've read other posts but I've been too nervous to let others read my paper... I have no idea how it is, what I'm missing, or what I should change. Any thoughts on what I can change, add... basically ANYTHING would be appreciated!!! I'd be willing to read and give my thoughts on other peoples' PS too :).

p.s. I know there are grammar issues too...

My body was numb as I walked into the hospital to visit Cory after I received the phone call at five in the morning. Tears did not build in my eyes until I saw his calf wrapped in bandages because of the wound. “How is everyone else?” His next statement put me in shock. “Danny passed. He was shot. He’s dead.” The room began spinning and every breathe of mine became heavy and painful. I contacted other people and pieced together how the tragedy occurred. At an old high school friend’s party, one that I was supposed to attend, one of Danny’s friends was involved in an altercation with another male about a girl. This male and his friends followed Danny and his friends when they left and proceeded to fire a round of gunshots at them as they drove home. My friend Danny was in that car and died at the scene. It is this tragedy that completely changed how I view and live my life.

Four years earlier, I was naïve and rebellious. Although I loved school, I enjoyed going out just as much. I attended school full-time, worked around 35 hours a week, and went out when I could while retaining a decent GPA. Not realizing the possible dire consequences of my lifestyle, I thought, “What’s the worst that can happen? No one’s going to do anything to a girl.” I finally decided to somewhat get my life on track and think about possible careers when I transferred to UCI in January of 2008. Working at the law firm, I enjoyed helping our prominently Vietnamese clientele who lacked knowledge of the English language and their rights. I felt useful as I translated documents and spoke to insurance adjusters on behalf of my clients when they did not understand what was going on in their cases. I thought a career in counseling where I could help others was ideal for me. It would allow me to serve as a mentor for the youth that needed guidance but had working parents whom they rarely saw and spoke to, much like myself. I intended to gain my M.A. and understood that I needed to raise my GPA. Therefore, I concentrated on school and for the most part, stayed away from the drama that surrounded the area where I lived.

Home to the largest number of Vietnamese people outside of Vietnam, Westminster, and its surrounding cities is, and was, filled with gangs, gambling, and drugs. An eight-block radius that looked seemingly calm was filled with turf and drug sale battles. Children of immigrants struggling to make ends meet fought with each other, demanding respect through fights and drug customers through power gained from fights. I learned to brush them off and eventually grew immune to them. Danny’s death changed me. The danger I placed myself and my future into was finally put into perspective. I realized that it could have very well been me in the car the night Danny died. He was an innocent college student who was extremely intelligent and never fought or argued. I have a memory of him when he and I hid under a table during a fight. I told him, never be like them; and he never was. Unfortunately, he just met the wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time. Through social networking, I heard about the young man who allegedly killed Danny. It was said that he was “doing work” to get recruited into a gang. While others argued about whether he should get a life in prison sentence or death sentence should he be found guilty, I considered his circumstances. What type of family and social status did he come from? Was he ill? Was he literally heartless or brainless? Most importantly, did the young man arrested even do it? Or, is he just taking the fall to protect someone? Whatever the case was, I believed he deserved a fair trial. Although I was filled with hate, confusion, and anger, I remained somewhat impartial to the person who allegedly killed my friend.

Subsequently, I decided to look into a career in law. Instead of focusing on the prevention of problems with counseling, I wanted to help those with current problems and help prevent future problems. I finished my summer classes the best I could, and came back to school that fall determined to raise my grades as much as possible. In a crime and public policy class, I learned how the criminal justice system worked and the roots and remedies of violence. I examined the role social stratification played in our society and in the mind of a criminal. Statements like “What do I have to loose? I don’t have anything. At least I eat normally in jail” and “I gotta sell drugs. How else am I gonna help my mom pay the rent for his house while I’m in school? With this record, I can’t make close to what is enough to cover anything” are normal. These were not only textbook statements; they were real statements that I witnessed first hand.
As an unpaid intern at the Public Defender’s office the next quarter, I interviewed defendants and wrote reports for deputy attorneys to review. I met a slew of people awaiting trial for drug charges, assaults, and DUIs, each of whom had a different story to share. I talked to my clients not only as an interviewer but also as a understand person capable of recognizing an alcohol or drug addiction problem, and willing to help by advising the attorney of these problems so my clients may receive adequate help and not a sentence of increased time in prison and tattered criminal record that often leads to recidivism. My apparent passion for helping others led to the extension of a normal four-month internship to a seven-month internship.
Although I have not been in the same situation as many of the people I have interviewed and helped, I understand that what they are dealing with is important and possibly critical in their lives. I believe every person deserves to be heard and my goal is to allow each client to have a voice. I also believe I have the desire to succeed in law school and the experience to succeed as a lawyer. I would like to ultimately work at the Public Defender’s Office and represent clients who do not have the financial abilities to hire private criminal defense lawyers. Earning a J.D. from USD with a concentration in Criminal Litigation would allow me to achieve my goal.

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Re: Rough Draft of PS.. please help!!! I'm so lost!!!

Postby downing » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:57 am

The material you have to work with is good, and the first paragraph about Danny is compelling. I think you should work on shortening it. If it's more concise the impact of your story will likely be greater.

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Re: Rough Draft of PS.. please help!!! I'm so lost!!!

Postby cntruong » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:57 pm


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