Critique please, hoping to send out soon.

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

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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:18 pm

Critique please, hoping to send out soon.

Postby rgdavis2 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:16 pm

I saw it coming, but it caught me off guard. A dull thud resonated throughout my body from my solar plexus and the wind was knocked out of me momentarily as I staggered backward from the sudden impact. My assailant stared at me with a wide, toothy grin while gauging my reaction to his projectile. As I recovered on my feet I was reminded by a roaring voice that I had, indeed, asked for this. My would-be assailant’s name is Jim. A cerebral palsy patient, Jim can scarcely control his legs but has built considerable upper-body strength through many years of walking on crutches. He was sitting a few feet away from me with a ten pound medicine ball in his hands when I requested a brisk chest pass that found its target much sooner than anticipated. The resulting impact is more distinct in my mind than any from college rugby because it represented, to me, the culmination of patience, hard work, and self-confidence that will be vital to success in any future pursuit, especially law school.

Jim and I have become friends through my volunteer work of running physical education programs for people with special needs, yet I still habitually underestimate his physical and mental strength. When I started working with Jim his exercise routine consisted of stretching and walking on a tread mill. He now blazes through an advanced routine that I am certain many people would struggle with and is able to do so because he started small and devoted himself fully to every exercise. Despite his disability he posses a zeal for life that allows him to overcome obstacles that would prove insurmountable for many more able bodied people and has truly inspired me.

I too, started out small. Growing up in a rural --- farm town taught me that there are many opportunities and lessons to be learned from any person or situation if they are approached with an open mind. Graduating high school with less than forty classmates meant that enthusiasm for new challenges was key as I adapted to a class size of over seven thousand at the University of ---. Devoting myself fully to the task at hand is a skill I have acquired out of necessity during my four years in college. For all four years I have held part time employment during the school year while completing two majors and occasionally taking weekend-long bus trips around the country as a member of the University of --- Rugby Football Club. I do not view these commitments as burdens but rather opportunities that have helped engender the gradual personal growth I have experienced during my college career. Involvement in diverse activities has taught me the value of time management and further demonstrated the utility of keeping an open mind, two qualities that I expect to aid me in my pursuit of a career in law.

I view my work with Jim as a microcosm of my life leading up to law school. Working diligently and patiently to achieve a series of small goals, I believe my progression mirrors that of Jim in many ways. From my discussions with him I have also become familiar with the myriad ways that people who may be viewed as weak by the state can be harassed without access to adequate counsel and defense. Both he and his live-in girlfriend face legal issues related to social security and he has expressed to me multiple times that they feel they are not paid adequate attention by their lawyers because they are both disabled. I wish to pursue the study of law in order to make a difference in the lives of disabled and disenfranchised people, not because I feel sorry for or take pity on them but because I realize that every person deserves someone to take a stand against authority in a way that lawyers are able to do. I do not, however, seek to simply study law and represent the disenfranchised, but to do so with a zeal that strikes people like a medicine ball.


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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:27 am

Re: Critique please, hoping to send out soon.

Postby mich08 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:05 pm

I think it looks really good. I found it easy and interesting to read, and I like the parallel you made to Jim with starting off small to reach your goals. Something about the last paragraph, however, seemed a little awkward. I think it might be the transition from the first two sentences to the third...the discussion of Jim's legal problems and why you want to help people like him comes a little suddenly and ends a little abruptly. With a little tweaking in the concluding paragraph, this will be a great PS.


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Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Critique please, hoping to send out soon.

Postby LSATclincher » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:51 pm

This is quite an original statement. I still say there's not enough about you. I get the comparison w/ Jim, but it still seems lacking w/ content of you. It's a great story; I'm just not sure it's complete for a law school PS. The last para is also a bit too ambitious. I cringe at PS's that state what type of law someone wants to do. In these times, it's very difficult to decide that, and it shows you might not have a realistic concept of the legal profession.

I'd say tone it down about and identify the skills you have developed that show you will succeed in a legal career.

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