Personal Statement Attempt

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
msm2011
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:39 pm

Personal Statement Attempt

Postby msm2011 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:52 pm

3.57 GPA and 166 LSAT

I've written a few completely different personal statements and I'm not happy with any of them. My pre-law advisor offered to help me, but apparently he's dropped off the face of the earth. TLS is my only hope for editing. I'm posting the attempt that least irritates me. Please offer some advice.

As a child, I idolized sports stars. They became my heroes because of their awesome athletic abilities. My decanonization of these figures, though once unfathomable, occurred during my college years. While the heroes faded from my memory devoid of my admiration, they did not leave behind a man with no one to admire. My former heroes were replaced by a new set of heroes, a set of heroes whom I revered because of their passion and dedication to furthering righteous causes. That set of heroes is my parents. Among the many lessons and principles I learned from my parents, one trait led me to pursue a law degree. Throughout my life, my parents have tirelessly advocated for people and causes in need of support. Their advocacy inspired me to devote my life to public service.
Advocacy changed my life. My older sister suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury when I was in first grade. My older brother and younger sister fight dyslexia and depression. I cannot remember a day in which my parents did not work to help one of my siblings overcome some aspect of their conditions. Long nights of homework, constant frustration and, most prominent in my mind, battles with our local school system were a regular occurrence. I witnessed my parents struggle to ensure that my siblings were afforded adequate educational opportunities. This led me to pursue a career in education. I wanted to make sure that people like my parents could spend less time as advocates and more time as mothers and fathers. I wanted to fix problems with the public education system from within. Most importantly, however, I wanted to make sure that children who are not blessed with supreme guardians have someone they can count on and trust- a teacher like me.
I still believe in the aforementioned causes. They are an important part of my future but do not constitute its entirety. As I student taught each of the last two semesters, I witnessed the ugliness of abuse, neglect and poverty. Injustices are not relegated to school systems and victims of inadequate education but extend to a much larger population. Law school affords me the opportunity to pursue my dream of devoting my life to public service. I want to attend law school because I want to improve the law. The law is a living body. I believe that the law should work for those whom it governs, not alongside them. Law school will allow me to shape a society where all citizens are not just guaranteed equal protection under the law, but receive equal protection under the law.


Thank you for your input.

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WhatSarahSaid
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:01 pm

Re: Personal Statement Attempt

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:02 pm

Less than half of this is about you. While this is a theme that you can definitely run with, you need to get more personal and less vague. "I want to fix the system" personal statements are already really common, and you can't afford to have most of your PS be about your parents.

Start asking yourself questions about why you want to get into law. Think of specific instances in your life when you were swayed into wanting to go into law, or when you were especially affected by the issues you bring up. Try to turn your experiences into a story. Your PS doesn't have to be that story, but that should at least shed light on what you're trying to do.

Good luck!

albanach
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Personal Statement Attempt

Postby albanach » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:03 pm

I think the first para is unnecessary, the second para sounds like your parents should apply to law school, and the third para is a bit dreamish.

I think it has the potential to become a strong PS. Skip the first para. Remove the bit about your parents and talk about how your sister's circumstances have shaped you - what you have done as a result.

I'm not convinced that your becoming a lawyer will result in "all citizens" receiving "equal protection under the law". Perhaps you could be a bit more realistic in your expectations. What public service work have you done thus far that would stand testament to your desire of continued public service?

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PinkCow
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:03 am

Re: Personal Statement Attempt

Postby PinkCow » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm

albanach wrote:I think the first para is unnecessary, the second para sounds like your parents should apply to law school, and the third para is a bit dreamish.

I think it has the potential to become a strong PS. Skip the first para. Remove the bit about your parents and talk about how your sister's circumstances have shaped you - what you have done as a result.

I'm not convinced that your becoming a lawyer will result in "all citizens" receiving "equal protection under the law". Perhaps you could be a bit more realistic in your expectations. What public service work have you done thus far that would stand testament to your desire of continued public service?



+1. It's a good start tough. Much better than my first one was.

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StillHerexxx
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:58 pm

Re: Personal Statement Attempt

Postby StillHerexxx » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:21 pm

You need to talk about yourself, what have you done to help or move towards your goals? Make your dreams and aspirations more concrete. Dreaming is nice, but if you don't act, dreams don't matter.

msm2011
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:39 pm

Re: Personal Statement Attempt

Postby msm2011 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:31 pm

I appreciate the suggestions offered. They were very helpful in generating a second draft. Further thoughts would be much appreciated.

Note- I changed city and school names to x. The last two paragraphs won't be used for schools that place a 500 word limit (GMU).

Next draft-

Advocacy changed my life. My older sister suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury when I was in first grade. My older brother and younger sister are afflicted with dyslexia and depression. My childhood is full of memories of my parents struggling to ensure that my siblings were afforded equal opportunities in life. Witnessing my parents struggle led me to pursue a career working with children and needy families. I wanted to ensure that people like my parents could spend less time as advocates and more time as mothers and fathers. More importantly, I wanted to ensure that members of these families are provided with opportunities for success.

I first worked with children as a senior in high school. I spent 500 hours interning at (school name) Middle School. There I taught classes, tutored children and sponsored after school programs. My experience validated my decision to serve youth. I began my undergraduate studies as an education major and decided to attend law school after receiving my degree. I concluded that this approach provided me with the best opportunity to help children lead fulfilling and productive lives. Upon graduation from law school, I will be equipped with tools for teaching and understanding children, along with knowledge of laws regarding social services.

During my tenure as an undergraduate student, I completed two teaching internships. In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I created a program at each of the schools in which I taught that connected students with marines serving in Afghanistan. The marines became role models for the children. In the summer of 2010, I was appointed Summer Camp Program Director for the City of (city name). In this position, I worked with a population of six to twelve year olds largely comprised of children placed by Department of Social Services. I developed service learning projects and collaborated with the surrounding community to create memorable experiences for the campers.

Up to this point in my life, I have worked to ensure that children whom I come in contact with are offered companionship and moments of happiness. I have been successful in this endeavor. My experiences have provided me with fulfillment, but I am not content. Beginning with my childhood and culminating with my teaching internships and time as camp program director, I worked with families needing legal assistance but lacking the financial resources and awareness of the law to obtain assistance. A degree in law allows me to take a binary approach toward providing services to those in need. First, I will be able to work directly with needy families to ensure that they are being provided with adequate opportunities for success. Second, I will be part of a profession that views the law as a living body designed to serve society. My inclusion in this profession necessitates that I work to shape a legal system where families receive affordable and accessible care without requiring the support of an advocate.

It is essential to me that I continue my studies at a university that is devoted to social causes. For this reason, (x) Law School is the perfect institution for me. (x) affords me opportunities that few universities can: a first rate education, real social work experiences and opportunities to interact with student and faculty populations that share my goals and dreams. These qualities excite me and I am equally excited by the qualities that I offer the school.

Progress and improvement have become a motif in my life experiences. I am committed to improving social conditions. I have progressed from an observer of advocacy to a staunch advocate. I have fostered growth in others and, in turn, grown in my own regard. My search for an institution that will allow these qualities to continue to flourish has led me to (x). I envision my enrollment at (X) as a lifelong commitment to learning rather than a three year learning experience. I am certain that my character will progress and I will become an improved legal scholar. I am also certain that my individual growth and progress toward achieving my goals will result in improvement and progress for the University of (X).




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