Tips on personal statement/ real world exp for lowtier law

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
jack3618
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Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:03 am

Tips on personal statement/ real world exp for lowtier law

Postby jack3618 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:13 am

Personal Statement: I am looking for any tips on a strong conclusion. I am also looking to improve cohesiveness in my essay, any tips are appreciated on this rough draft. Thank you.

Early in the summer for 2007 I began attending community college and was hired on as a roofing laborer for a local construction company. It was in many ways a wakeup call for me; roofing was both arduous and well paying. This created a dilemma which served to introduce me to my first realizations about adult life. Though the work was hot and could sometimes be labeled as miserable it was a lucky find and paid well if you were willing to work. This first taste of cash was addicting , but carried with it a heavy warning of life to come. The work had me questioning just how bad I wanted to attend college. The entire idea of college, to most of my family, was a foreign concept. No one had ever gone to college or really ever entertained the notion of doing so. I find it strange how it happened, that it was the basic labor of construction, and one man in particular I met there which served to drive me most strongly towards an education. During my years with this crew I got to know the men and most of their stories, but one in particular struck me. Chris was a stocky bald man in his early thirties with a work ethic which I had never seen falter, even on the most trying of jobs. What stood out to me was not so much the Chris that I saw, but the Chris I knew I never would see. Certain convictions in his past now severely limited his job opportunities, and Chris would talk from time to time about his dream of being a park ranger, and though he and I both knew that the reality of this happening had already passed ,it was a topic that was visited occasionally. His record effectively prevented him from ever becoming a ranger. Chris knew this, and no amount of work ethic or wishing could turn his life around. Though this was Chris’ mistake and his consequences, the idea scared me. Despite his best efforts, the mistakes Chris made as a youth followed him into adulthood, eliminating his job opportunities and significantly hindering his future, and as I reflected on his situation I pitied him.
Even though I felt as if I bonded with Chris during the year I worked on the crew I always kept a distance between us. The more I saw similarities between our lives the more I became uncomfortable, and even anxious about my own future. Through the year I worked with the crew Chris would fall in and out of jail, and each time I saw him I wondered if he had changed. Eventually I came to the realization that his moment of truth, the time in which he would have been most likely to change, was long past. It had taken place in a courtroom years ago. Continuing to wonder, I fixated on how his life would be different if there had been someone to genuinely help Chris at that juncture. Though it’s unfortunate, the moment of truth for many disadvantaged youths comes in a courtroom, at which point help is scarce. Many of these youths likely started like me, they may have been subject to more difficult circumstances or for a myriad of reasons ended up in a courtroom instead of a college classroom. I began to feel a passion for people like Chris and kept asking myself “Why couldn’t it be me in that courtroom helping that young man?” My situation, finances, and family told me it couldn’t, I had discovered a passion, a goal which I could pursue. Why couldn’t it be me sitting in a courtroom waiting for my mistakes to hamstring my life? It could have been. Why couldn’t it be me sitting in a courtroom helping a new, younger Chris get back on track, helping get his life back? It can be.
This realization served to give me a goal, but did not make its attainment any easier. Working construction during my degree supported me, but also provided me with time constraints, an additional challenge to the college process. Though some would consider this a disadvantage, I feel that it provided me with a resourcefulness that will continue to be invaluable as a law student and as a lawyer. Though I have never considered myself the most naturally gifted or talented, I have been unwavering in the pursuit of my goal, and have overcome manifold obstacles to get to this point. At University of Idaho Law my resourcefulness and tenacity will continue to help me perform and thrive.

Total Litigator
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Re: Tips on personal statement/ real world exp for lowtier law

Postby Total Litigator » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:55 am

I've read T14 personal statements and, at least on an emotional level, I think this is one of the best I've seen. Sure you can't wait a year, retake, and possibly aim for the first tier?

jack3618
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:03 am

Re: Tips on personal statement/ real world exp for lowtier law

Postby jack3618 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:10 am

Thanks mate, I am really just aiming for University of Idaho law and I took twice , getting a 151 each time :S , studies like hell second time. This is a rough draft but I appreciate your comments, any pointers or tips for a conclusion?

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Sinra
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:15 pm

Re: Tips on personal statement/ real world exp for lowtier law

Postby Sinra » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:01 am

jack3618 wrote:Thanks mate, I am really just aiming for University of Idaho law and I took twice , getting a 151 each time :S , studies like hell second time. This is a rough draft but I appreciate your comments, any pointers or tips for a conclusion?



You don't want to try and retake? That's a great story. Get that up to 160+. It can totally be done. Follow pithypike's method (it's stickied on the LSAT board). This is a great story. Don't waste it on a school that's too low for you. You don't have to study MORE, just better.

Total Litigator
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Re: Tips on personal statement/ real world exp for lowtier law

Postby Total Litigator » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:58 pm

Well, if you are set on applying to Idaho, even a 151 will put you at a disadvantage. Although I did see a few grammatical errors (lack of a comma / run on sentence for the most part) a basic tip I have is that this paper would be more powerful if you could tie it in more with lawyering. Maybe you could go drop in at a trial downtown and describe your reaction to it?

Anyway, you come across as intelligent in your essay, which I think is one of the most important aspects of a successful PS.
I know it can be very expensive, but you might benefit from an LSAT class. Most of the mainstream courses have "higher score or your money back" guarantee, and a lot of the lesser known ones have even better guarantees (I think one is 165+ or your money back).




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