Anyone care to edit/critique my personal statement?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
GoldenIL
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:51 am

Anyone care to edit/critique my personal statement?

Postby GoldenIL » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:56 pm

I am planning on applying in a few days and was wondering if anyone wanted to edit/critique my personal statement for me before i decide to submit my apps? Thanks!

I have two personal statements, feel free to comment on which one you think is stronger, don't be afraid to say neither if they're really that bad.

1. My eyes burned as I attempted to shield them from the sun’s burning rays. I was sitting in my grandfather’s beat up old ford, which hummed and rattled as if it was ready to fall apart from underneath our seats. Weeks earlier I had signed up to volunteer at my local library. As I sat in the car on my way to assist the librarians in shelving books and reading to toddlers I wondered why exactly I decided to volunteer. I was ten years old, yet here I was wasting valuable play time with my friends, none of whom even considered volunteering around the community. When my friends asked why I was volunteering all I could say was “I don’t know”. It was not until many years later when I was again engaged in community service that I came to understand what motivated me all those years earlier.
That motivation was civic duty. I had felt obliged to volunteer back then and every year since. Whether it was raising money for leukemia patients, organizing a breakfast for veterans in my community, helping out a neighbor with a problem, or contributing toward humanitarian organizations, I was always motivated by a sense of civic duty. I understand the hardships people have to endure. I saw them with my own eyes in my travels abroad as a child and heard them in the stories of my grandparents. People shouldn’t have to live like that, was what I always thought. When those around us suffer in this way, it makes it even more disheartening. I may not have organized a world famous humanitarian group or raised hundreds of thousand for the poor, but whenever I could I offered my services to people and causes that worked to create a better community for my fellow men and women. I did not have to think about it; in fact, it was not until later in my life that I truly understood my own behavior, it was all instinctual.
This is something I believe would make me an ideal law student. Practicing law is not about striking it rich or wining a big case, it is about people. It can be easy to lose sight of this fact while practicing law, or in any profession really. Having a strong inclination toward supporting those in the community is therefore an invaluable asset. Going to law school would give me the ability to be an even greater asset to those in my community.



2.I sat nervously in class averting my eyes away from the teacher’s gaze and praying that she would not call on me. Then I heard it, the dreadful sound of my name escaping the mouth of my first grade teacher’s mouth. I felt ill and my head began to spin with terror.
What exactly was I so afraid of? We were reading from a textbook in class and I was picked by the teacher to read the next paragraph. Unfortunately, I was behind the rest of the class in reading ability. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to properly read the passage my teacher asked me to recite aloud. I felt embarrassed and ashamed.
This was a problem I faced early in my youth, difficulty in reading at the level of my peers, and at the time it caused a horrible strain on my fragile confidence. I felt stupid and it was humiliating. It was not long before I was put into a remedial reading program that was filled with students who were in fact much farther behind than I was. Consequently, I was put into a situation where regardless of where I was placed, in a regular class or remedial program, I felt like I did not belong and was unable to solve my problem. Neither setting offered much in the way of providing a program that could help me. To make matters worse, I also lacked the sort of parental support that could have allowed me get the help I needed. My parents worked long hours and I was lucky to get an hour of help with my reading in any given night. Thus, the problem of catching up to the rest of class seemed like an impossible task. However, it only took me a few years to fully catch up to my peers and by the time I was in middle school, I was reading several levels above where I was expected to be.
This whole experience, this struggle, is a good representation of what my life has been. While the goal was to catch up to my peers in this example, the larger goal was to break the bonds of my own limitations, to accomplish things that, at the time, I felt to be impossible. That has been the central drive of my entire life. It was not so much to prove to others as to prove to myself, that I could accomplish great things, and that through hard work and determination, I could be proud of who I was.
For me, Law School is yet another hurdle to conquer. I realize that it will be hard, and that I will have my bounds tested once again, but I am more than confident that like the challenge of reading in first grade, that I can defeat this challenge.

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eliekedourie
Posts: 216
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: Anyone care to edit/critique my personal statement?

Postby eliekedourie » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:29 pm

The opening hooks of both essays are rough. Don't make the hackey mistake of trying to add some pizzaz to your PS by excitedly propelling your reader into your experience volunteering at the local library. Volunteering at the library is boring. We all know this. Don't try to pretend it's not. Same goes for being called on as a kid. Don't pretend you have a vivid memory of your your emotional state as a 6 year old. You don't. We all know this. This is not to say that neither subject should be used. Just be more honest. Don't try to make your story sound like every other boring PS on this site. The opening sentences on both turned me off so much I didn't even finishing reading the statements. You don't want this to be the reaction of adcomm members.

GoldenIL
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:51 am

Re: Anyone care to edit/critique my personal statement?

Postby GoldenIL » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:52 pm

You're completely right lol, thanks. I guess my problem is figuring out how to start these things, also I guess I could've tried to tie it back to the topic of why I want to go to law school. Thank you.




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