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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ceereeus420
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:01 am

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Postby ceereeus420 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:06 pm

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Last edited by ceereeus420 on Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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TommyK
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:08 pm

Re: Any advice on this personal statement?

Postby TommyK » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:16 pm

Are you applying to law school straight out of high school? If not, why is everything in this personal statement about high school.

Also, I lol'd at:
I was elected by my peers to be the captain of my high school’s wrestling team. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration for me to refer to myself as a warrior.


Yes it is. It absolutely is. It so ridiculously absolutely is an exaggeration.

You say you're passionate about helping the Latino community - what have you done aside from taking a few courses in high school? Have you volunteered? Interned at a hispanic community center? You'll need to show some continuity of passion for me to buy that you have a deep desire to practice law on behalf of your brown brothers from other mothers.

Also, seemed like no transition between your Latino Passion and your Wrestling Warrior parts. I would definitely drop the wrestling stuff. Your PS is the opportunity to make one, maybe two, compelling points about yourself. Dig deep and try to figure out what makes you a compelling candidate.

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esq
Posts: 571
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:59 pm

Re: Any advice on this personal statement?

Postby esq » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:56 pm

This is TLS not TUGI - Top Under Grad Institution. I agree with the above poster. This statement makes it seem like you are coming straight out of high school, and is much more appropriate to applying to an under grad institution. You have had at least 3 years time between High School and Law School, so why are you relying on your High School experiences? This statement makes it seem like the only common thing that you share with the Latino population is the ability to speak their language. If you were truly interested in helping them, and becoming involved in their culture, I would imagine that you should have some volunteer or cultural involvement experiences that could show this. If not, I would suggest going another route because it seems extremely dishonest to tie yourself to URM status when you have nothing to talk about that truly shows your interest in helping this segment of the population. Find something interesting that you can use to highlight your capabilities, list yourself as bi-lingual on your app, and make sure that your experiences highlight accomplishments that are post high school.

ceereeus420
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:01 am

Re: Any advice on this personal statement?

Postby ceereeus420 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:12 pm

I never did any volunteer work. I have work experience during undergrad in predominantly hispanic communities. The following paragraph was actually edited out to include the wrestling because I wanted to touch on more than one topic, and I wrestled for 10 years so I thought it to be a big part of who I am.

While in college, I began working for a large banking institution in a predominantly latino area. While there, I took on the self-imposed obligation to ensure the non-english speaking customers were not being exploited in a system which they knew little about. As the only manager that spoke Spanish, I made it a primary duty of mine to examinine all accounts of non-citizens to ensure proper documentation was retrieved, and effectively handle any instances in which there was potential that a customer may have been mislead by a rouge employee. What resulted from these unfortunate instances was the emergence of my embedded passion to assist this vulnerable populace, as well as the epiphany that I have the ability to help this unguarded group realize they are not defenseless on a much larger scale, in the legal commune.


You guys think anything about adding that paragraph in? I spent most of undergrad working, and all my accomplishments outside of college would be reflected on my resume, that's why I shy away from writing in detail about being promoted and selected to committees.

I appreciate all of your advice FYI.

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TommyK
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:08 pm

Re: Any advice on this personal statement?

Postby TommyK » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:43 pm

You have a way of writing where it comes off like you're trying to make it sound much more grandiose and important than it really was. Have some humility and put your accomplishments into perspective. When you talk about being a warrior, it sounds ridiculous. When you're talking about being a protector against rogue employees, I hear cheesy superhero theme music in the background and I do this -> :roll: For all I know, you were the caped crusader for our chicano compadres, but if you were, you'll need to get into details of what you actually did that was of such significance. IMHO, it's not enough to say that you were always vigilantly on the lookout for the misdeeds of unethical coworkers.

From what I read, your main pieces of information you want to get across are:
- You have a passion to help those in the Latino community
- You have an understanding that undocumented Latinos often do not get a fair shake with the judicial system.
- You also understand that many first-generation Latinos are disproportionatly disadvantaged (whether through malice or unintentionally) in a number of ways

So say that. Start with an anecdote, a powerful story of how you realized Latinos were disadvantaged on the aggregate more than non-Latino counterparts.

Then talk about your background with the Spanish language, and your affinity for many of the Latin cultures.

Then talk about your work experience and how this fueled your desire to do more - not only act as a small safeguard and ensuring all customers had an equitable experience - but to become an attorney and act on the behalf of your clients.

You can talk about how this could lead into immigration law, or a thousand different type of government work, or something else I'm not thinking about.

These bulletpoints should frame a much stronger PS. Just get your thoughts down. It sounds like you're trying to edit as you write, which is the best way to make it come out poorly. After it's all done, review it and see if it's saying what you want it to say. After you finish the building, then you can start painting the walls.




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