Personal STatement...please help!!!

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

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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:14 pm

Personal STatement...please help!!!

Postby law_addict » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:32 pm

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes." They will say, "Women don't have what it takes." ~Clare Boothe Luce

I am a many-faceted individual: a daughter, a sister, a student-but my identity as Pakistani Muslim woman has had the strongest impact on my life and aspirations. I was born in Pakistan and lived there till I was 8. Growing up in poverty helped me value the inner gifts that nobody can take away. Growing up as a Muslim woman made me determined to grow beyond the traditional roles that my culture laid out for me. By obtaining a law degree I will find a way to facilitate the progress of other underrepresented people. I want to be a symbolic figure for all other Pakistani women; I hope to show them that they can be more than mothers and wives. I tend to challenge myself to reach my own potential.
Growing up, I came to see that women had very limited opportunities in the Pakistani community. In Pakistani culture, a woman is only portrayed as a daughter, a sister, a wife, and then a mother. But where is the woman herself in all these responsibilities she fulfills? I do not mean to diminish the roles that women play in society, but I want to have just as many doors of opportunity open for me as a man might have. I have seen how my parents differentiated between their daughter and son. They never held high expectations for me because I am a woman and were not sympathetic to my desire to pursue higher education and work alongside men. My parents constantly told me, “You are a woman and you do not need to get a great deal of education. Your husband would provide for you.”
I gathered the strength to reply that just because I am woman does not mean that I can’t go far in life. I have worked to be an ideal daughter and sister, and I am sure I will do just as well when I become a wife and a mother. However, I want to have something of my own. They are coming to terms with my ambitions now, since I graduated both High School and College in three years, something that not every average student is able to do. I was lucky to have the opportunity to show everyone that I have the potential to achieve the goals I have set for myself. I have taken each challenge and worked out a rational plan to overcome it. I had to break the English language barrier when I came to America; as an ESL speaker and fluent English speaker, my capabilities have been put to test on every account. I have never been afraid to face the unknown, but people’s expectations and assumptions about me as a Muslim woman here in the United States mean I still always feel I need to do a little extra just to show that I am capable.
I want to accomplish my dreams. I want to stand up and tell the world that I have achieved my own success because I persevered and I worked hard. By attaining a law degree, I would not be only achieving my dream, but I will be taking a step forward to help the rest of my community. I have to go the extra mile to prove myself, but I am proud to take the journey with determination and dignity. I will be proud to tell the people around me, who doubted that a woman could go so far, that I have done it.

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Re: Personal STatement...please help!!!

Postby HugerThanSoup » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:53 pm

1. Don't start with a quote. It shows that you don't know how to capture the reader's attention on your own. If you want to use the quote (which is compelling and provocative, both of which are perfect for a PS), work it in later in the statement.

2. Change many-faceted to literally anything else - it sounds weird and doesn't evoke the proper image for an opening line. More importantly, you shouldn't have to say that you are "many-faceted"; that fact should come through from the way you portray yourself through your writing.

Consider redrafting the first paragraph as follows:

I am a daughter, a sister, and a student; but it is my identity as a Muslim woman that has had the strongest impact on my life and aspirations. Born and raised in Pakistan, I came to the United States when I was eight years old. Having grown up in a culture that is resistant of woman who attempt to break from traditional social roles, I learned how to value my inner gifts and talents from an early age. By obtaining a law degree, I will be able to help other underrepresented peoples in progressing beyond oppressive legal structures. Above all, I hope to stand as a symbol for other Pakistani women—to show them that they can be more than just mothers or wives.

The rest of the essay should be similarly structured. Minor changes can make a big difference in how the statement is received by the reader.

I like your story; try editing it down a bit and you'll have something much stronger.


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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: Personal STatement...please help!!!

Postby law_addict » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:53 pm

Thank you. I really appreciate your editing and it certainly does sound better. I will follow it through the rest of the essay.


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Re: Personal STatement...please help!!!

Postby Plan2008 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:02 pm

Didnt read through whole PS, but heres what I have so far.

Do you plan to returnn to Pakistan? If so this becomes much more compelling. If so, I would add that. If not, you should talk a bit about how even here, Muslim women are not encouraged to actualize their potential.

I would start with a story about your life in Pakistan that incorporates the background you just spill out in the first two paragraphs. It would be more interesting. Tell us something about your life there that indicates the poverty, restrictions on women, family roles, etc. And then, shift us to the states and your growth from that starting point in life.

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