PS Second Draft for U of Utah. Advice?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
freefaller2006
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:46 pm

PS Second Draft for U of Utah. Advice?

Postby freefaller2006 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:45 pm

Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

It was the spring of 2008 in an American Politics class when I first read these inspirational words. Two years into my college education, I felt completely disoriented and without direction. Schoolwork was never a struggle for me. I graduated from high school in the top ten percent of Washington State, and I did so with little effort. As I entered college, I was cursed with the knowledge that I could succeed with only modest exertion. This inevitably led to making decent grades in uninteresting classes, with very little passion or desire to go above and beyond. As my second year of college came to an end, lack of fervor had left me in a regretful situation. Given the gift of a powerful mind, I began to realize I was childishly misusing it. As I sought advice and support, I realized for the first time in my life that my support system had long ago dissipated. The friends that I had once valued greatly had drifted away from me. My small family had grown apart as a result of a lengthy divorce and relocation, leaving the family desensitized and unaware of my personal struggle. That was when the words of Winston Churchill grew from just a quote I had taped on my desk to a vessel flowing toward a new beginning. As difficult as that part of my life was for me, I look back and feel truly blessed to have been presented with such personal challenges. The overpowering discouragement I experienced was nothing more than a disguised opportunity. It was a chance for a fresh start; a chance to find something I was fascinated by and pursue it.

This opportunity led me to the University of Utah where I studied Sociology with a strong focus in Criminology. While very few fields of academia had caught my interest in the past, the progressive nature of Sociology proved to be very intriguing to me. I felt that the field of Sociology was developing and maturing so quickly that it seemed to be an art that I could perfect and potentially affect the future of. The content I was exposed to in my first two semesters at the University of Utah truly moved me. The classes of White Collar Crime and Juvenile Delinquency completely captivated my interest. I experienced numerous sleepless nights packed with hours of optional reading, and for the first time in my life I realized I was truly excited to learn. I began to apply myself in my studies and work to my full potential. I was rewarded with great success in my classes. I discovered that I possessed a noteworthy talent in writing, and in my two years in Utah, I wrote as much as possible. My experience in Utah was entirely different than my first two years of college. Instead of continuing as just another college student doing the minimal amount of work to pass a class, I became I Sociologist and a Criminologist; a master of my trade.

Just as I found a new beginning in my education, I experienced a major personal transformation in Utah. In the fall of 2008 I began to volunteer for a non-profit organization called Camp Hobe, a summer camp for children currently being treated for cancer. I was extensively involved in fundraising and various philanthropic events for the organization. The experience itself was great, but even greater was that it opened my eyes to the world of volunteer work. A noble passion was something I lacked, and by filling that hole with volunteer work I have come to feel more rounded and personally successful. I remain as involved as possible in various volunteer opportunities, and look forward to becoming a member of the Pro Bono Initiative at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.

S.J. Quinney had a place on my list of potential law schools from the beginning, but it was not until the fall of 2010 when it became my obvious first choice. My close proximity to the school proved to be a valuable resource. I was able to visit the school, meet with faculty, and get a feel for how the school operates. In November I met with Reyes Aguilar, and the interaction was a breath of fresh air. Aguilar’s passion for the school truly excited me. I also had the privilege to meet with a faculty member at the University of Utah who gave me insight on particular professors. Her enthusiasm toward one professor in particular, Amos Guiora, made me eager for the potential opportunity to study under him. His expertise in the fields of International Law and Terrorism match my strong desire to pursue those subject matters. I feel that there is a lot I will gain by attending the S.J. Quinney College of Law, and that it is an environment in which I will flourish, offering much in return.

Graduating from college into an extraordinarily unwelcoming job market has marked another key obstacle in my life. I attended college with the ideal of graduating into a rewarding job, but instead met a discouraging reality. However, with the “never give up” outlook I have adopted from the powerful words and actions of Churchill, I have accepted my situation as simply another difficult opportunity. Finding work at a Healthcare Investment Firm has been a welcome relief and an excellent learning opportunity, but I know it is not my vocation. Instead I look forward to another chapter in my life of academic dedication. The inevitable challenges in gaining a legal education will not be seen as difficulties, but opportunities. There will be opportunities to push my boundaries and reach out of my areas of comfort. There will be opportunities to enhance my knowledge and use my skill set to accomplish tremendous things. I know that it will be difficult and even discouraging at times, but it will be an opportunity for challenge and a chance to excel, and for this I am exceptionally grateful.

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

Re: PS Second Draft for U of Utah. Advice?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:51 pm

Too long & too verbose. Terrible concluding paragraph that implies that you are applying to law school because you have nothing better to do. In the spirit of Winston Churchill's quote--this is an opportunity to rewrite your personal statement in a more concise manner.

freefaller2006
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: PS Second Draft for U of Utah. Advice?

Postby freefaller2006 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:57 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Too long & too verbose. Terrible concluding paragraph that implies that you are applying to law school because you have nothing better to do. In the spirit of Winston Churchill's quote--this is an opportunity to rewrite your personal statement in a more concise manner.


I appreciate the criticism and would also appreciate advice. Any particular parts that need to be cut back more than others? Any idea on how to rework the conclusion to make it more clear? Maybe I will include something about how Soc/Crim triggered my interest in law so it doesn't seem like I just picked law randomly. Sometimes is hard to pick the weaknesses out of my own writing, especially when I am the subject, so I appreciate your help.

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

Re: PS Second Draft for U of Utah. Advice?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:03 pm

Unfortunately, this essay is in need of major revision if it is to be salvaged. Do you have a pre-law advisor available to you ? A writing center ? An English professor willing to help ? This website, Top-Law-Schools.com (TLS) has a section on personal statements which you should read. Law school admissions books by Anna Ivey & other such books are available at Borders or at Barnes & Noble bookstores. This writing needs too much work & probably should be scrapped entirely.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.