Doesn't feel like it's coming together...

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

Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:03 am

Doesn't feel like it's coming together...

Postby bnaidu » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:36 pm

So I've been revising this all week and it still feels like something is missing, plus i need to trim some fat to reduce to 700 words...its at 717. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Six years ago, all I ever dreamed of being was an F/A-18 pilot. I began my military career as a member of the Navy ROTC, pursing a life as a Naval Aviator. Prior to joining the military, I used to state that I would never be a Marine, nor did I think I could meet the demanding challenge and standards the Marines must endure. However, life has a funny way of allowing us to realize our true callings even at the expense of our original dreams…

After the first six months of joining the Navy, having been exposed to military life with both Navy and Marine Corps members, I realized that I was not comfortable “playing it safe” with – what I felt to be – the less competitive standards the Navy required. My Executive Officer, Lt. Colonel Coble, was not so eager to simply allow a Navy midshipman to easily cross-over to the Marine Corps. “To be a Marine”, he said, “you have to prove yourself to me and to the rest of the Corps”. Over the next 3 months, I trained exhaustively – both physically and academically – to prove that I had what it took to represent the Few and the Proud, and be accepted as a fellow Marine. At the end of the 3 months, Lt. Colonel Coble addressed me, in front of all the other Marines, and presented me with my new Marine Corps uniform. I had done it.

Fast-forward two years. A routine physical had detected superfluous amounts of protein discharge in a urinalysis, which halted the approval for my full academic scholarship. By February of 2007, the Department of Defense returned with their verdict; I was no longer physically cleared to serve in the military. Three years of hard work, determination, and training towards being a Marine Corps officer and aviator would never be realized.

While the experience of having my military career so abruptly terminated was disheartening, I used the opportunity to reevaluate my academic and career goals and utilize my military training to my advantage. I began further exploring my economics degree, taking more challenging classes, including studying Hindi and Urdu. In my senior year, I took an upper division and highly demanding Business Law class, which tested my academic abilities and sparked my initial interest in legal studies. The class focused on studying basic business law statutes, Supreme Court case studies, and was my first exposure to the Socratic teaching method.

My study of economics developed a fascination with international business and the growing global economy, especially concerning relations with the United States and South Asia. I decided early on to write my master’s thesis on The Asian Financial Crisis with respect to Malaysia; the country from which my father emigrated. While researching the history of the Crisis, the social and economic struggles of Malaysia, and the country’s current course of action, it was apparent that much of the problems stemmed from an economic-model philosophy versus creation of legal solutions. Specifically, one of the greatest weaknesses in the Malaysia economy leading up to, and during, the Crisis was the over-deregulation of controls on mobile capital. In turn, this left Malaysia international businesses defenseless against speculative attacks, which would inevitably impair the economy. It appeared to me that, there was a lack of legal cooperation between the Malaysian and foreign governments, and their financial relationships with domestic and foreign investment firms, to create a system of mobile-capital safeguards for both parties. I further expanded my research to the long-term ethnic discrimination and its legal standing within Malaysia and how these factors impacted economic health. I discovered something about myself while writing my thesis; I was intrigued about how law and economics work cohesively, specifically on an international level.

Friends and family have asked me, “why would you switch studies after already completing a master’s degree; why not just begin a professional career?” I do not consider law a switch, in fact, quite the contrary. I believe that law is the beginning of my professional career; coupled with my master’s degree in economics, it is the quintessential element that will allow me to make my true potential a reality. I believe that the last six years of my life, the challenges and triumphs, have all contributed – sometimes inadvertently – towards my future in law.


Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:42 pm

Re: Doesn't feel like it's coming together...

Postby alicen » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:35 am

a couple broad thoughts:

1. you say everything in the past six years contributed to your desire to go to law school, albeit inadvertently, but you don't really say how the marine corps stint connects at all.
2. too much focus on your master's thesis topic. pulls the reader out of the personal story, and your personal statement as a whole is not an academic one.
3. grammar/punctuation check

i think the marine corps part is probably a more compelling story, and one you can really sort of sink your teeth into, story-wise. maybe make that more of a focus?


Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:44 pm

Re: Doesn't feel like it's coming together...

Postby zahunter » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:35 am

I too had that dream once.

Your first second third and sixth paragraph need rewording. Specifically, in the 1-3 paragraphs your grammar is too, eh like you're still in ROTC. Try loosening up a little. And try to make them flow a little better.

The last paragraph has sort of the same language although I don't think it's as bad. It seemed like you started to feel it a little beginning with the fourth paragraph. Try to keep the same kind of flow you have in the forth and fifth paragraphs throughout.

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