Short enough? Too short? Clumsy? Messy? Tear it apart...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
dmansh55
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:56 pm

Short enough? Too short? Clumsy? Messy? Tear it apart...

Postby dmansh55 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:05 pm

I know it needs a little work, but tell me what you think:




It is difficult to imagine a more beautiful commute than one that includes a fifteen mile stretch along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The eastern horizon provides the perfect setting for a sunrise, and the image’s reflection on the water offers comfort on even the coldest of Minnesota mornings. I can admit, however, that I am on the whole happy to roll out of bed and make my way to the North Shore Community School regardless of the scenery. I have worked as an AmeriCorps tutor in this elementary school nestled in the woods since last September. It has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life, but it has also provided me with an opportunity for both personal and professional growth. It has given me the confidence necessary to excel in law school, and has helped me reflect upon my desire to become an attorney.

Five months ago I was in a slightly different place. My AmeriCorps term was rapidly approaching, and I was beginning to ask myself if I was truly ready for the challenges I was about to face. I had never worked in education, and had not set foot in an elementary school since the day I graduated sixth grade. Fortunately I was able to focus on my desire to do something useful with my first year out of college. I concentrated on the fact that I wanted to make a difference in my community, and that I wanted to try something unfamiliar and exciting. I convinced myself that I was ripe for a journey out of my comfort zone, and registered myself for an AmeriCorps orientation

Though it was difficult at first, I jumped into my service term with both feet. I helped the teachers in any way I could, and did my best to acquaint myself with the students. In the beginning my inexperience was obvious; I was out of my element, and I am sure the students could sense my apprehension. I came into the program with a flexible attitude, however, and quickly began to recognize the strategies that would lead to success. I started to develop some of the skills necessary to contribute to the students’ learning, and began to feel more comfortable with the elementary school scenario in general.

After four months of experience, I have become a much more confident and capable member of the North Shore Elementary staff. I have looked at reaching the children as an exercise in critical thinking, and I have used my own set of knowledge and passions to determine where I can make the largest impact. In additional to working as a math and literacy tutor, I now run an after school homework program for at risk students, I am working on a project aimed at increasing environmental awareness, and I am planning to teach a guitar elective in the upcoming trimester. Though these additional aspects of my service have been accompanied by their own set of challenges, they have also allowed me to prepare myself for the obstacles of the future. No single experience throughout my life has been as essential in building character, and I am happy to be spending my days working with such a terrific group of young people.

While my term as an AmeriCorps member will end with the school year, I like to think of it as my first step in working towards a better world. I would like to follow the term by gaining the legal expertise necessary to continue making a difference. Specifically, I am interested in studying through Lewis and Clark’s dynamic program in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. As an avid outdoorsman and resident of the beautiful Duluth, Minnesota, I am passionate about protecting our natural resources. I want to use a law degree to help produce solutions to environmental problems, and I therefore feel that Lewis and Clark Law is the ideal venue for my legal education.

Long before I set foot in the North Shore Community School, I had a strong desire to do something meaningful with my life. As I matured, I focused this aspiration, and decided that I wanted to work with the law. My experiences as a tutor have strengthened this resolve, and have also enhanced my ability to compromise and think objectively. I have been forced to adapt, overcome frustration, and most of all gain confidence. I am certain that I am ready for the rigors of law school, and I look forward to further challenges. I truly believe I have a lot to contribute to the legal profession, and I would be honored to call myself a graduate of Lewis and Clark Law.

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

Re: Short enough? Too short? Clumsy? Messy? Tear it apart...

Postby LSATclincher » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:03 pm

Grammatical errors aside, the one thing that stood out here was the throw-in of Lewis and Clark. I chuckled when you mentioned you wanted to attend because of the landscape. You have to remove this entirely, or write a PS focused solely on L&C. I like your experience, but I think it should only be mentioned in a para or two. If you're going to center this PS solely around this experience, throw in some specific anecdotes to make it more personal.

Maybe mention a story of kid you rescued from child abuse, and taught him that education is a great escape from his current environment. Or make it law-related, and tell how you transformed a kid from juvenile hall to high school. You must have some stories to tell from your experience.




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