Help on short PS

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

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Help on short PS

Postby bport hopeful » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:12 am

Wrote this really quick so its kind of shitty, but im having a real hard time with this.

I could rattle off a list of reasons why I want to attend law school. Some of them are philosophic, some are academic, some are noble, and others are financial. But if I was forced to give one reason, it would be that it suits my personality.

I have been a competitive person my entire life. As a child, I was always good at baseball. In little league, I was always one of the better players on my team, but I was never content with myself. I would beg my dad to come into the backyard and hit me grounders and pop flies. I would do that for hours, always trying to get better.

In high school, my competitive nature persisted. I became a three sport athlete in baseball, basketball, and football, and also played in three summer baseball leagues. Sports dominated my life. Most of my friends today are people that I played sports with in high school. I worked hard to improve and excel in athletics. Twice I was picked for second team all county selection in my league and was once named the player of the week.

After high school, I was forced to find new outlets for competitive needs. I continued to play in summer baseball leagues, found a recreation center basketball league to play in, and about twice a week I play pickup basketball to get my fix. I also coach a baseball team of thirteen and fourteen year olds. I took this responsibility very seriously and found myself upset when we lost.

Now I know that most people play sports at some time in their lives, but my competitive nature goes beyond sports. When I was young, one of the family jokes is that “Michael is going to make a great lawyer one day.” This generally came in response to some small argument in which I relentlessly backed my views. Truthfully, I have always prided myself on my argumentative abilities and even though the family joke was at my expense, I always saw it as a compliment because it meant that I had won and successfully conveyed my thoughts.

In many ways, I see law school as a competition where the most apt students are the winners. Because of this, I know that wherever I end up going, I will succeed. My personality would never allow me to do otherwise. I am never content, I never settle. My best is my norm and I will treat law school like I have treated the rest of my life, working my hardest to rise above the competition.

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Re: Help on short PS

Postby fundamentallybroken » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:23 am

"I like to argue." One of the first things to avoid in a PS for law school - it says nothing about how you possess qualities that will actually allow you to cope and succeed in law school. "I'm competitive" is just a derivation.

Pick an experience that cause you to grow as a human being. Tell a story about a challenge you overcame. Anything but "I'm competitive, and therefore MUST succeed in LS."

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Re: Help on short PS

Postby verklempt » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:23 am

Michael, having seen two of your efforts now, I'd say that "why I should be a lawyer" is not working so well for you as a PS theme.

Your PS does not need to be about law! If that's what schools wanted, they would say so, don't you think? You're much better off finding a topic that matters to you, and then conveying to the reader why that matters. I have read successful essays that covered all sorts of themes, including one about pickles. (You laugh, but it was one of the most moving essays ever submitted by an applicant to our program.)

There are other threads here that talk about coming up with ideas. I don't know how long you've spent working on your PS, but it feels as though you're kind of flailing around. Maybe you need to spend more time thinking about it before you begin writing?

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