Revised Personal Statement--- HUGE thanks if you can help!!

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

How much adjusting does this PS need?

Poll ended at Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:07 am

Complete Redo
0
No votes
Alot of reworking
2
40%
Moderate amount of changes
1
20%
Minor adjusting work needed
1
20%
Only grammatically
1
20%
 
Total votes: 5

CortninO
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:37 pm

Revised Personal Statement--- HUGE thanks if you can help!!

Postby CortninO » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:07 am

Hi guys,

I have tweaked my original submission to the site, which got some great feedback that helped me alot. I'm hoping to get some additional thoughts... good and bad please! Sincerely, anything that comes to mind helps.

Also, I was wondering if you guys had any thoughts or advice on the following. I removed a sentence from the last paragraph that mentioned some awards I had gotten in highschool for community service. I agree that that was unnecessary, but I was hoping to somehow establish that this was something deeply engrained in me, and not some fleeting application tactic. I did not put it elsewhere in my application since it was prior to attending college.

Anyway, thanks again!!!

Hearing the admittance bell buzz, I peered through the bulletproof glass to see who was hoping to enter. Recognizing the faceless, hooded visitor as a male, I knew not to allow him to enter. Turning him away, I felt justified and empowered, though there was an underlying stream of guilt as well. As a front desk volunteer at a women’s shelter, one of my duties was to use my discretion on who to allow into our safe haven, and who to refuse, with the caveat that all men are to be turned away, aside from emergency responders. Although it was possible that this man was seeking out help and a warm meal as the women we accommodated were, it was also possible that he came to us trying to find a woman that did not wish to be found.

When I began volunteering at a domestic violence shelter for homeless women in Chicago, I was blissfully unaware of how prevalent domestic violence is amongst the homeless female population. All of the women seeking our help had been physically or sexually assaulted and were staying with us, as their only other options were to return to their abuser or to live on the streets. Fortunately, I have never experienced the agony these women have, but hearing their stories and assisting them in overcoming obstacles they face has changed me tremendously. Some of these women were able to become independent and get back on their feet, however, most women that came through our doors would be in and out of the shelter for varying periods of time, before disappearing for good. Though I hope that these women too got the help they needed, many ended up going to prison or perishing, usually due to a drug overdose.

Through these relationships, I began to see another side of life that I had not previously been exposed to. It caused me to realize that not everything is clear-cut and black or white. When I began at the shelter, I felt that there were only victims and offenders. I now realize that there are two sides to any issue, and between the two extremes is a wide spectrum of gray. The women coming to us for help as victims were at times being sought after as criminals. The multiple roles and issues facing these women gave me a deeper understanding of human nature and a new appreciation for the integrity and application of the law.

Today I pride myself on my ability to see all sides of a situation; a trait which I feel will assist me greatly in law school. This is furthered through being a political science major, as I learn about many policies and theories, and must argue for both the opposing and supporting sides on a regular basis. I am attending law school with a passion for public interest that I have had for as long as I can remember. With a law degree I would be able to continue my volunteering even further, as legal services are always needed for the shelter’s occupants.


Oh, and the final paragraph will be spent discussing why I want to attend their particular law school.

User avatar
gdane
Posts: 12417
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Revised Personal Statement--- HUGE thanks if you can help!!

Postby gdane » Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:58 pm

This is furthered through being a political science major, as I learn about many policies and theories, and must argue for both the opposing and supporting sides on a regular basis.


Get rid of this. So youre a pol sci major? So are about a gagillion other law school applicants. I understand what youre trying to do, but this line is not a unique experience that you can play up. It's a weak attempt to further sell yourself.


You spend a little too much time talking about the victims. It's definitely important to establish this because otherwise your story has no "oomph", but at the same time you dont want to overdo it. You need to find the "gray" area because by the end of the essay I know more about the other women than I do about you.

On that note, I dont know much about you. You say that these experiences changed you, but from what? Give us a contrast between who you were and who you became after your work with the women's shelter.

With a law degree I would be able to continue my volunteering even further, as legal services are always needed for the shelter’s occupants.


While this is a very noble thing (I want to do something similar) to want, it's very naive to say. When you graduate with debt in the six figure range, you cant exactly volunteer your services. Say something like "A law degree would allow me to further empower these women as I would like to provide legal services to organizations that help them...". Something to that extent.

There is a lot of promise in this essay. One thing I like? It's short. I didnt get bored while I read it. I didnt rush through it. It's just right. Just keep working on it. Youre getting there.

Good luck!

CortninO
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:37 pm

Re: Revised Personal Statement--- HUGE thanks if you can help!!

Postby CortninO » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:05 pm

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I hadn't realized how little I actually tell about myself, so that's definitely helpful, as was your rewording suggestion and advice to take out the poli sci bit. I was skeptical about including that, but did want to demonstrate ability to argue more than one viewpoint. I'll have to think of another angle..


& I'm glad that you feel it's a good length and pace. I was really hoping for that!

Thanks again!!!

oliverdarcy
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:13 am

Re: Revised Personal Statement--- HUGE thanks if you can help!!

Postby oliverdarcy » Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:42 pm

I would spend only the first two paragraphs summarizing the shelter and then use the rest of the essay to focus on either:

1.) Why working there makes you a good law school applicant (dedication to service, leadership skills, etc.) or

2.) How this job has had an impact on your decision to study law.

I really don't feel that I got to know you very well in this essay. To be honest, it comes across that you are simply trying to sensationalize a bland volunteer experience for your personal statement. A lot of people volunteer at various shelters. How was this different and unique?

I think this can be a good personal statement if you focus on more on how this experience influenced you and why it was unique. That is what law schools are looking for in these essays.

CortninO
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:37 pm

Re: Revised Personal Statement--- HUGE thanks if you can help!!

Postby CortninO » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:22 pm

Great, okay. So I will definitely try to add in more about me and how this is different from other volunteering experiences. I'll also include more on how I am a good candidate. Thanks for all your input-- it really gave me some more to work with!

User avatar
icecold3000
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:50 am

Re: Revised Personal Statement--- HUGE thanks if you can help!!

Postby icecold3000 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:24 am

Change out the word "perishing" in the second paragraph. It sounds like you are comparing homeless people to spoiled groceries.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Revised Personal Statement--- HUGE thanks if you can help!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:00 pm

This is a very effective personal statement, in my opinion.

CortninO
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:37 pm

Re: Revised Personal Statement--- HUGE thanks if you can help!!

Postby CortninO » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:07 pm

icecold3000 wrote:Change out the word "perishing" in the second paragraph. It sounds like you are comparing homeless people to spoiled groceries.



LOL!!

& thanks CanadianWolf--that's reassuring to hear.




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