PS Second Draft

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

PS Second Draft

Postby freefaller2006 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:59 am

This is the second draft of my statement. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
As I sat in an American Politics class absorbing this idea, I would have laughed at anyone who told me that Churchill’s words would lead me down a path toward a legal education. I was two years into college, and seemingly on a crash course. Schoolwork was never a struggle for me. I graduated from high school in the top ten percent of the state of Washington, and I did so with little effort. As I entered college, I was both blessed and cursed with the knowledge that I could succeed with only modest exertion.

By the end of my sophomore year, lack of academic enthusiasm left me misplaced and without direction. I was no longer successful by my own standards. For the first time in my life I realized that my friends had drifted away from me, my family had grown apart as the result of a lengthy divorce, and I was truly alone and on track for failure. I felt that I was given the gift of a powerful mind, but began to realize I was childishly misusing it. That was when the words of Winston Churchill became more than just a quote taped to my desk; they became a source of inspiration and drive to succeed. Looking back I feel surprisingly blessed to have been temporarily depressed and hindered by 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, focusing mostly on Criminology courses. While very few fields of academia had caught my interest in the past, the progressive nature of Sociology proved to be instinctive to me. During my first semester in Utah, 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 had tapped into a previously undiscovered source of self-motivation, and I was rewarded with great success in my classes. I realized I not only enjoyed research, but I possessed an undeniable talent for it. Writing for school no longer felt like a chore as it had before, but rather an exciting opportunity for exploration and innovative thinking. My courses in Criminology triggered a pressing curiosity in the field of law that I have since been eager to pursue. White Collar Crime exposed me to high-profile legal cases, and my overwhelming curiosity and involvement proved that I was destined for a career in law. My experience in Utah was literally life changing. Rather than continuing school as a shy and indifferent individual, I became a socially aggressive scholar, absorbed by schoolwork and striving to be a master of my trade.

My academic rebirth was met with a significant personal transformation when I began to volunteer for a non-profit organization called Camp Hobe; a camp for children currently being treated for cancer. Extensive involvement in fundraising and various philanthropic events proved rewarding as I gained experience in leadership and dealing with various professional organizations, but even greater was the exposure to the world of volunteer work. I continue to explore volunteer opportunities, and look forward to becoming a member of the Pro Bono Initiative at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.

In the fall of 2010, S.J. Quinney became the obvious first choice of my potential law schools. I was able to visit the campus, meet with faculty, and examine the school to ensure it was right for me. In November I met with Reyes Aguilar, and the interaction was a breath of fresh air. Aguilar’s passion for the school truly excited and inspired me. I also met with my former Sociology professor, Dr. Theresa Martinez, who encouraged me to attend S.J. Quinney, and spoke well of Amos Guiora. As I researched Guiora I was thrilled to learn that his expertise lay in International Law and Terrorism, subjects that various Criminology courses have guided my interest toward. I feel that the S.J. Quinney College of Law is a perfect fit for me, and that it is an environment in which I will flourish, offering much in return.
I attended college with the ideal of obtaining a rewarding career, but instead I graduated into the discouraging reality of an unwelcoming job market. 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. My interest and passion remain in law, so I eagerly await another chapter in my life of academic commitment. In the spirit of Churchill, the inevitable challenges of law school will not be seen as difficulties, but as opportunities. There will be opportunities to push my boundaries and reach out of my areas of comfort. I know that it will be difficult and even discouraging at times, but I will have the potential to enhance my knowledge and use my skill set to accomplish tremendous things, and for this I am exceptionally grateful.

MCRemix
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: PS Second Draft

Postby MCRemix » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:09 pm

On first read through I get the impression that you tried working and it didnt work out, therefore law is a second choice. Whether its true or not, you might want to eliminate or change the first part of your last paragraph to make it stronger.

Also, in your second paragraph youmention being no longer successful by your own standards, then mention loss of friends/family, then no mention of them again in the paper. If they're critical, talk about them, if not, keep it focused on your realization that coasting doesnt cut it in college and that transformation. As is it sounds like they're most important to you, but never referenced again, so I'm left conflicted on who you are.

Good luck!

Firework11
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:41 pm

Re: PS Second Draft

Postby Firework11 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:16 am

Never start with a quote.

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

Re: PS Second Draft

Postby LSATclincher » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:44 pm

I'm against mentioning a quote, and especially referring back to the quote throughout the PS, unless it's a quote from someone who is very close to you: a parent, deceased grandmother, fallen friend, etc.

I would delete the first 3 para's. I nearly stopped reading. All I could think of was that you are rather boring, a bit confused, smart yet rather inept. Luckily, I kept reading and got to some neat stuff w/ the volunteer experience. And it does transition nicely into a why x law school para.

Then it got VERY awkward. Delete all of this: "I attended college with the ideal of obtaining a rewarding career, but instead I graduated into the discouraging reality of an unwelcoming job market. 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. My interest and passion remain in law, so I eagerly await another chapter in my life of academic commitment. In the spirit of Churchill, the inevitable challenges of law school will not be seen as difficulties, but as opportunities. There will be opportunities to push my boundaries and reach out of my areas of comfort. I know that it will be difficult and even discouraging at times, but I will have the potential to enhance my knowledge and use my skill set to accomplish tremendous things, and for this I am exceptionally grateful."

Overall, you'll need to find some personal words to show who you are. Simply being smart is not enough (that's what the gpa/lsat is for). This PS requirement is a chance to show you're not all about books, but other neat stuff. Tell the adcomms what you can bring to the class.




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