PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby mrick101 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:23 pm

I received a few comments on my first PS, so here is draft two. I shorted it to 850 words and changed the beginning theme a wee bit. Still too long? Ending too cheesy? You be the judge! Any and all comments are greatly appreciated. Have a PS of your own and want to trade? Let's do it.

EDIT: Edited the PS to reflect the comments so far. Edited down to 752 words.


The first feeling of responsibility--a feeling of maturation beyond measured years. This was the feeling resonating through my nine-year-old self as I sat cradling a wailing bundle of blankets. I was holding my first nephew Stewie. Being the youngest brother to four older sisters, never before had I felt so grown up. This was my opportunity for someone to finally look up to me.

Proud as those moments were, the reality of the marriage between Stewie’s father Peter and my oldest sister soon spilled forward. The glowing uncle-nephew relationship image I had painted in my mind began to deteriorate. Peter would charm anyone to a smile, but behind closed doors would riddle my sister with bullets of contempt, vulgarities, and threats. My sister spiraled into depression, followed by anorexia and attempted suicide whilst the hateful strings-of-words from Peter continued. Stewie all the while was caught in the middle for every single moment.

I witnessed all from afar until finally my sister sought a divorce three years after the birth of my nephew. The divorce spurred forth a legal battle almost as bitter as the marriage it was ending. Stewie again lay in the middle as both Peter and my sister fought for custody. Both pumped thousands of dollars into various attorneys in which nothing constructive for the sake of my nephew seemed to be accomplished. At only twelve-years-old, I didn’t understand the exact procedure of the ensuing divorce, but I yearned to jump in and do something, no matter how vague the meaning of ‘something.’ After the divorce was finally settled, Peter emerged with full custody of Stewie. My sister subsequently moved to California and today is only able to see her son three to four times a year.

Peter did little to allow us to see Stewie after the divorce—excuses and flat-out refusals were something we were used to. This past summer marked the first opportunity I had to see Stewie in two years. He was twelve years old and looked as such, but soon I realized there was much more beneath his seemingly normal appearance. He was quiet, and although content, had a noticeable sullen aura about him. He appeared to be seventeen in a twelve-year-old body. There are no doubts that the conflicts he experienced through his parents’ marriage and the handling of the divorce directly impacted his personality and maturity as a twelve-year-old boy. I still feel the same yearning I felt before when thinking of Stewie’s life in wishing I could have made a difference in the outcome of the divorce. Throughout the divorce, Stewie was touted in the middle as a trophy to be won in a sort of materialistic possession. In reality, he was a little boy who needed caring parents, separate or apart.

Realizing that Stewie’s experience is not unique to him has shown me that I can take the spark originally developed for my nephew and still make a difference. There are thousands of similar cases happening at any one time across the nation. Today, that spark is the source of my drive to practice family law. Family law cases involving juveniles introduce a third party contained in the middle between the two arguing parties—a condition that adds another level of complexity to an already complex legal system. I believe there to be a moral obligation to maintain the absolute best interests of the juvenile involved in any legal case. The best interest of a juvenile is sometimes forgotten about in the pursuit of self-interest of each arguing party. I hope to one day specialize in divorce and custody conflicts and take a direct role in preventing the treatment of juveniles as mere objects fought over within a court room. As an attorney, I aspire to guide towards the best interest of the juvenile rather than the self-interest of the client.

For someone not even old enough to drive, the indirect impact of my nephew on my motivations are larger than he will ever know. What started as a simple yearning to do anything during the divorce has today matured into a well-guided passion to practice family law. I bring to the University of Nebraska College of Law a persistent work ethic and an undeterred drive to succeed fuelled by a specific purpose. The events leading up to this point are now a closed chapter in my life; however the pages beginning my days as a family law attorney are just starting to be written. When the pen is eventually laid down, it will be a new chapter worth reading.
Last edited by mrick101 on Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby getitdone » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:27 pm

seems rather longggg... also I dont know if the milk intro is as catchy as you think it is..

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby StillHerexxx » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:51 pm

I don't know if it is just me, but it seems too far away. You are discussing yourself as a small child through out the whole thing and then at the end say you want to practice law because of it. It doesn't really show anything about you, its all about your sister and her family. It is your chance to shine.

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby mrick101 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:04 am

Thank you both for your comments. I deleted the original beginning and made it more pertinent from the start. It's now shortened to 752 words, which seems to be in most people's idea of a respectable length.

What I'm trying to accomplish with this personal statement is discussing the origination and maturation of my interest in family law and why I'm interested. It was not meant to be an in depth look into any specific qualities of mine. Does that work?

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby mrick101 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:21 pm

daily bump.

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby JJDancer » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:09 pm

This might sound weird since the story is not a positive one but I like the story (or rather your use of it). Still, I think it can be condensed. You might be able to avoid seeming like you are jumping from being a child to being a lawyer by mentioning anything you have done post high school to help kids or families or anything like that. I know law school will help you create an impact directly but it seems disconnected/a little insincere if you truly haven't tried to do SOMETHING (anything) related to this issue until now. Even something as small as interacting with children re-affirming your desire to help them and ensure they have someone to advocate for their rights during divorce proceedings etc.

(Also I think PSs can be up to 1000 words without a problem as long as the school is ok with it.)

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby wdp » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:40 pm

i agree with the suggestions to shorten it. I found myself scanning instead of actually reading. I think it has the bones to be very powerful, just tighten it up a bit more.

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby maddox86 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:32 am

Ok, long or short, you are an exceptional writer.

But this essay isn't really about you. At the beginning I was introduced to Stewie (which conjured up images from Family Guy, LOL). Then Peter and your sister, then Stewie again, I felt bad for him.

Where are you? Except maybe marginally in the last paragraphs. This event in your life can serve as a marker in a narrative arc about YOU. Right now, it's about this family that went through a nasty divorce and you are a casual observer.

Also, I don't know if you've got your heart set on the University of Nebraska but statements like that always make me cringe, it sounds contrived. Do they have a strong family law program? If so and it's your top choice, start with that and use the story to point to a seminal event in your life that has solidified your commitment to this career choice.

EDIT: typos and whatnot.

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby WayBryson » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:55 am

You can obviously write, so this might not be an issue. However, your first sentence, is not in fact a sentence. In the context of the whole, I don't think this is a negative, but I can see where an adcom might roll his or her blood-shot eyes and start skimming at first glance.

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby mrick101 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:00 pm

Thank you all for your comments. Argh, no matter what I was trying to do, I see the point how 70% of my PS doesn't directly relate to me. I think I'll scrap this version completely and try something else. :|

Hopefully I'll be back!

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Re: PS Draft 2. Any comments= you're awesome. Thanks!

Postby DamnLSAT » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:49 am

I already started writing this when I realized you decided to scrap.

But I thought I'd throw in my two cents as well.

Focus on making YOU the central theme of the statement. As much as your background certainly qualifies you for an interest in law school, you need the evidence to support you directly -- not indirectly.

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