First Draft, Please Critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
mike6018
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:29 pm

First Draft, Please Critique

Postby mike6018 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:31 pm

On some level, I always believed that a person could accomplish anything with the proper motivation and effort. I was born with a condition known as biradial ulnar synostosis, meaning that both elbows are dislocated and fused, resulting in an inability to rotate my forearms and wrists. Unpredictably however, the biggest way that this condition has changed my life is not by limiting my ability to do certain activities, but instead by developing a deeply ingrained sense of potential. I truly felt that regardless of odds and obstacles, I could beat out anyone who was not handicapped simply by outworking them. Anytime someone laughed or doubted, I internalized their criticism and used it to drive me. However, it is a sad truth that often people see disabled people overcome adversity and greatly respect their endeavors but never realize that the true handicap is often that they are driven solely by spite rather than the true motivation of the heart.

As I got older, I began developing a very tangible sense of right and wrong. I was raised in an Inupiaq village in Alaska called Ambler, population 309, where my parents were missionaries. From a very young age I witnessed poverty and people being born into alcoholism. Moving to California was very eye-opening in that I explicitly saw that it is easy for people to ignore suffering that they do not see. I decided at this point that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people, and decided to become a police officer. Doctors had in the past told me that I would not be able to lift weights or be extremely active but again I was focused on proving them wrong. My entire college experience was dedicated to this singular goal. However, after college an event happened that shook my belief system to the core and led to a serious maturation of my beliefs.

Upon graduating, I applied for a job in law enforcement. I went to the physical after dedicating my life to this goal and met with the doctor. He said, “It’s very impressive what you have been able to accomplish, but I don’t think that we can accept you due to your condition.” Years of work in overcoming obstacles were thrown away due to one sentence from the doctor. I was crushed but I was still convinced of my theory that one could accomplish anything with enough dedication. I petitioned my congressman to do what they could to get my application through. I saw other doctors to try to get refuting statements. I had hit a wall. Up to this point I thought I had overcome obstacles regarding my disability. In reality, although I had overcome many people’s doubts of my ability, I had never encountered a brick wall obstacle like this one before.

I fell into a state of depression as not only my dream was crushed, but my entire view on life had been turned on its head. I got an entry level job at a major corporation and decided I would head straight to the top. Indeed, I began moving up and assuming responsibility very soon, and ended up managing a staff and an entire region in the logistics industry. However, during this time my thinking matured regarding my past. I had been volunteering working with the homeless and being in a leadership role in a college age group in the community, and the more I worked to help people, the less I wanted to compartmentalize my life into working to help myself, and then helping others on the side. My passion had ultimately never changed from when I wanted to be a police officer. My passion is to help those in desperate situations. I heard of a nonprofit organization called International Justice Mission, who are dedicated to providing legal aid to combat sex trafficking both domestically and internationally and they were looking for people willing to help. The idea that I could still dedicate my career and life to helping others in a major way had been rekindled in my mind.

Of course I still have my characteristic intensity and will do anything required to go to a law school and work for public interest and human rights. I believe that the intellectual rigor of practicing law is a better fit for me than being a police officer was. I believe in my abilities, and I believe that my heart for helping people, intellectual ability, professional experience, and desire to work in public interest will make me a successful law student.

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: First Draft, Please Critique

Postby LSATclincher » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:04 pm

I liked this up until the end. The second to last para is overloaded. Just stick w/ your new job in logistics and cite your leadership skills and accomplishments. Then conclude on a general note without mentioning law too much. You don't need to explicitly state "why law" Adcomms will infer that from your gpa, lsat, and this wonderful PS.

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: First Draft, Please Critique

Postby LSATclincher » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:06 pm

A few grammar issues: Last sentence in para 1 is too long. Don't use the word "depression." Law School is for the mentally tough. Don't let the adcomms assume you might get "depressed" after your 1st semester or something.

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berto24
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:07 pm

Re: First Draft, Please Critique

Postby berto24 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:28 pm

LSATclincher wrote:A few grammar issues: Last sentence in para 1 is too long. Don't use the word "depression." Law School is for the mentally tough. Don't let the adcomms assume you might get "depressed" after your 1st semester or something.


I had the same two comments when I finished reading - fix the last sentence of the 1st paragraph and don't say "depression" Your story is inspiring. Work on the grammar. Also, expand on your connection with the International Justice Mission and how has affected your choice to go to law school.

mike6018
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:29 pm

Re: First Draft, Please Critique

Postby mike6018 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:03 pm

Thank you all for your help!




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