PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
thoth06
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PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby thoth06 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:14 pm

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR EVERYONE's input back to the "woodshed"
Last edited by thoth06 on Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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glewz
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby glewz » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:18 pm

mm, you need to rewrite a lot of it...it sounds like a resume, and the entire first paragraph has no place in your essay. (or conversely, the last 4 paragraphs) Your ideas and paragraphs aren't connected together at all.

Edit: don't mean to be too harsh/discouraging. just giving you my honest opinion. i think many others will agree with my comment.

thoth06
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby thoth06 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:24 pm

Thank you i need as much critical feedback as possible @glewz

bhan87
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby bhan87 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:32 pm

From the 3rd grade to the 12th grade Until college, I thought I was arguablythe best Cellist in the state of Tennessee. I was selected to an all-state musical competition and I was the principal chair in all orchestral programs I participated in. I even played with the world renowned and arguable the bestcellist in the world, Yo Yo Ma. I judged myself as the best because I never challenged above my playing level so in a sense I was the best by comparison to all cellist who played at a lower level than me. In college I received a scholarship to play in the school orchestra. Then it happened; I was stripped of my self proclaimed title on my first day of orchestra practice the conductor moved me to the position of the fourth chair cellist. (You really need to rewrite these sentences... There are a number of flagrant grammar mistakes and they don't flow very well) You see what I had not accounted for in my years as a cellist is that my measurement of being the best was not ambitious enough. I only looked for challenges where victory was certain. If I had not suffered this minor setback I would have never truly understood what it takes to pursue a legal education or for that matter have the vision to use my legal education to help others who are otherwise incapable of helping themselves. (This is a pretty big leap in logic. How does learning to properly challenge yourself -> understanding what it takes to pursue a legal education)


I am interested in the ¬¬¬¬_________ College of Law because of the programs leadership and character development driven curriculum. Through my research of the program there is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and responsibility. In addition, the law program promotes social responsibility through effective leadership. (You repeat yourself a lot here, and a lot of this fluff is pretty useless. What are these programs you're talking about? Which parts of the curriculum do you want to take advantage of?) These are all qualities that I have acquired in my involvement with community service as well as extra-curricular activities throughout my academic career. It is my goal to use the enhanced knowledge that I would acquire in law school to serve the public from a legal perspective. (Wrong paragraph. Reword and combine this part with the next paragraph)


Community first! This is a principal that I apply in all of my altruistic endeavors. While I was in college I chaired several fundraising events of a national service organization. In this capacity I raised funds that generated close to $12,000.00 in revenues. The proceeds of these funds have benefited several non-profit organizations in the community and provided scholarships to college students. Additionally the procurement of these funds was annually contributed to the Martin Luther King National Memorial fund in Washington D.C. (You're just listing your resume... Pick a specific story / experience that demonstrates your altruistic endeavor.)


A law degree from _______ College of Law will further advance my career as I continue to be called upon to make crucial decisions.(??? What type of decisions??) My legal education with this school will allow me to expand my dedication and commitment while enhancing the lives of others. (In what way???) It is my desire to use the insight and the legal education that I will receive at _____ College of Law to provided assistance others.


I have no lofty notions of trying to save the world. My desire in wanting to become an attorney stems from my desire to protect the rights of those with little or no knowledge of law from being usurped. (By this point you sound like you're ranting... this just sounds like more of the same from the previous paragraph) At times there is an imbalance of justice in our society; and the law attempts to establish balance in an otherwise chaotic social matrix. It is my desire to practice law in order to contribute to this stability and fulfill my desire for fairness to all under the law.



You're in need of some serious work. It sounds like you have something to say, but your PS just devolves into listing your resume and ranting on about social justice. I never get a real sense of what type of person you are, why you would thrive at X Law School, or how your goals match a legal education.

cubswin
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby cubswin » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:35 pm

thoth06 wrote:I am getting ready to complete some apps and need another critical eye. thank you in advance


From the 3rd grade to the 12th grade I thought I was arguably the best Cellist in the state of Tennessee. I was selected to an all-state musical competition and I was the principal chair in all orchestral programs I participated in. I even played with the world renowned and arguable the best cellist in the world, Yo Yo Ma. I judged myself as the best because I never challenged above my playing level so in a sense I was the best by comparison to all cellist who played at a lower level than me. (Revise the previous sentence considerably.) In college I received a scholarship to play in the school orchestra. Then, it happened; I was stripped of my self-proclaimed title on my first day of orchestra practice the conductor moved me to the position of the fourth chair cellist. (Revise previous sentence.) You see, what I had not accounted for in my years as a cellist is that my measurement of being the best was not ambitious enough (calling a measurement "ambitious" is awkward. think of a different way to express this thought.). I only looked for challenges where victory was certain. If I had not suffered this minor setback, I would have never truly understood what it takes to pursue a legal education (a bit out-of-the-blue with the jump to law stuff, I think) or for that matter have the vision to use my legal education to help others who are otherwise incapable of helping themselves.

I am interested in the ¬¬¬¬_________ College of Law because of the program's leadership and character development driven curriculum (this is terribly banal.). Through my research of the program (idiotic start to this sentence. it sounds like you are claiming your research is causing the strong emphasis on critical thinking and responsibility. Furthermore, this is a boring thing to say, since critical thinking and responsibility are inherent in any legal education. I would drop this entirely.), there is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and responsibility. In addition, the law program promotes social responsibility through effective leadership (too vague. too cliche.). These are all qualities that I have acquired in my involvement with [color=#0000FF](heretofore, unmentioned) community service [/color] as well as extra-curricular activities throughout my academic career. It is my goal to use the enhancedknowledge (awful puff phrase) that I would acquire in law school to serve the public from a legal perspective.

Community first! (AH!) This is a principle that I apply in all of my altruistic endeavors (are they truly altruistic if you're bragging about them to try to get into law school? kind of a lofty claim. just stick with the idea that you're volunteering.) . While I was in college, I chaired several fundraising events of a national service organization. In this capacity I raised funds that generated close to $12,000.00 in revenues. The proceeds of these funds have benefited several non-profit organizations in the community and provided scholarships to college students. Additionallythe procurement of these funds were annually contributed to the Martin Luther King National Memorial fund in Washington D.C.

A law degree from _______ College of Law willfurtheradvance my career as I continue to be called upon to make crucial decisions. My legal education with this school will allow me to expand my dedication and commitment while enhancing the lives of others. It is my desire to use the insight and the legal education that I will receive at _____ College of Law to provided assistance others.

I have no lofty notions of trying to save the world. (It sure sounds like you do.) My desire in wanting to become an attorney stems from my desire to protect the rights of those with little or no knowledge of law from being usurped. At times there is an imbalance of justice in our society; and the law attempts to establish balance in an otherwise chaotic social matrix. (Not always.) It is my desire to practice law in order to contribute to this stability and fulfill my desire for fairness to all under the law.


The best advice I can give you is to start over from scratch. The cello shit has nothing to do with the rest of the essay. There's no structure, and you're thematically inconsistent. Try again.

whymeohgodno
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby whymeohgodno » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:38 pm

Start from scratch. This PS is just bad. There's no flow and it's very awkward. You also resort to just listing your resume. It seems like it was written in 15 minutes.

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Leira7905
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby Leira7905 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:39 pm

thoth06 wrote:I am getting ready to complete some apps and need another critical eye. thank you in advance


From the 3rd grade to the 12th grade I thought I was arguably the best Cellist in the state of Tennessee. I was selected to an all-state musical competition and I was the principal chair in all orchestral programs I participated in. I even played with the world renowned and arguable spelling fail and redundant since you used that word two sentences ago the best cellist in the world, Yo Yo Ma. I judged myself as the best because I never challenged above my playing level so in a sense I was the best by comparison to all cellist who played at a lower level than me. Awkward sentence In college I received a scholarship to play in the school orchestra. Then it happened; I was stripped of my self proclaimed title on my first day of orchestra practice the conductor moved me to the position of the fourth chair cellist. Run-on sentence You see, what I had not accounted for in my years as a cellist is that my measurement of being the best was not ambitious enough. Awkward I only looked for challenges where victory was certain. If I had not suffered this minor setback I would have never truly understood what it takes to pursue a legal education or for that matter have the vision to use my legal education to help others who are otherwise incapable of helping themselves. Was it really a setback? And what does this experience have to do with your pursuing a legal education?

I am interested in the ¬¬¬¬_________ College of Law because of the program's leadership and character development driven curriculum. Through my research of the program there is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and responsibility. In addition, the law program find another way of saying "the program"promotes social responsibility through effective leadership. These are all qualities that I have acquired in my involvement with community service as well as extra-curricular activities throughout my academic career.Thought we were reading about a Cellist. Now you're all over the place. It is my goal to use the enhanced knowledge that I would acquire in law school to serve the public from a legal perspective. That's what we're all doing. What makes you different?

Community first! CornyThis is a principal that I apply in all of my altruistic endeavors. While I was in college I chaired several fundraising events of a national service organization. In this capacity I raised funds that generated close to $12,000.00 in revenues. The proceeds of these funds have benefited several non-profit organizations in the community and provided scholarships to college students. Additionally the procurement of these funds was annually contributed to the Martin Luther King National Memorial fund in Washington D.C.
It's admirable that you were a part of this, but I think it would be better addressed in your resume. Lots of LS candidates participate in these types of activities. You need to write about something that makes you stand out.
A law degree from _______ College of Law will further advance my career as I continue to be called upon to make crucial decisions. No. Just, No.My legal education with this school will allow me to expand my dedication and commitment while enhancing the lives of others. It is my desire to use the insight and the legal education that I will receive at _____ College of Law to provided assistance others.
Orly? Again, this is what lawyers do.
I have no lofty notions of trying to save the world. My desire in wanting to become an attorney stems from my desire to protect the rights of those with little or no knowledge of law from being usurped. At times there is an imbalance of justice in our society; and the law attempts to establish balance in an otherwise chaotic social matrix. It is my desire to practice law in order to contribute to this stability and fulfill my desire for fairness to all under the law.

Not good.


Look, there are a number of problems with this PS. You need to write about something that makes you unique and demonstrates to the adcomm that LS is a good fit for you. This statement doesn't do this. This is extremely generic and vague. If I were you, I'd scrap it and start over. Think about an important experience or accomplishment in your life that you can somehow tie into your interest in studying law, and go from there. I spent several months working on my PS on and off. It's not something you can write in one day.

whymeohgodno
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby whymeohgodno » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:39 pm

Leira7905 wrote:
thoth06 wrote:I am getting ready to complete some apps and need another critical eye. thank you in advance


From the 3rd grade to the 12th grade I thought I was arguably the best Cellist in the state of Tennessee. I was selected to an all-state musical competition and I was the principal chair in all orchestral programs I participated in. I even played with the world renowned and arguable spelling fail and redundant since you used that word two sentences ago the best cellist in the world, Yo Yo Ma. I judged myself as the best because I never challenged above my playing level so in a sense I was the best by comparison to all cellist who played at a lower level than me. Awkward sentence In college I received a scholarship to play in the school orchestra. Then it happened; I was stripped of my self proclaimed title on my first day of orchestra practice the conductor moved me to the position of the fourth chair cellist. Run-on sentence You see, what I had not accounted for in my years as a cellist is that my measurement of being the best was not ambitious enough. Awkward I only looked for challenges where victory was certain. If I had not suffered this minor setback I would have never truly understood what it takes to pursue a legal education or for that matter have the vision to use my legal education to help others who are otherwise incapable of helping themselves. Was it really a setback? And what does this experience have to do with your pursuing a legal education?

I am interested in the ¬¬¬¬_________ College of Law because of the program's leadership and character development driven curriculum. Through my research of the program there is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and responsibility. In addition, the law program find another way of saying "the program"promotes social responsibility through effective leadership. These are all qualities that I have acquired in my involvement with community service as well as extra-curricular activities throughout my academic career.Thought we were reading about a Cellist. Now you're all over the place. It is my goal to use the enhanced knowledge that I would acquire in law school to serve the public from a legal perspective. That's what we're all doing. What makes you different?

Community first! CornyThis is a principal that I apply in all of my altruistic endeavors. While I was in college I chaired several fundraising events of a national service organization. In this capacity I raised funds that generated close to $12,000.00 in revenues. The proceeds of these funds have benefited several non-profit organizations in the community and provided scholarships to college students. Additionally the procurement of these funds was annually contributed to the Martin Luther King National Memorial fund in Washington D.C.
It's admirable that you were a part of this, but I think it would be better addressed in your resume. Lots of LS candidates participate in these types of activities. You need to write about something that makes you stand out.
A law degree from _______ College of Law will further advance my career as I continue to be called upon to make crucial decisions. No. Just, No.My legal education with this school will allow me to expand my dedication and commitment while enhancing the lives of others. It is my desire to use the insight and the legal education that I will receive at _____ College of Law to provided assistance others.
Orly? Again, this is what lawyers do.
I have no lofty notions of trying to save the world. My desire in wanting to become an attorney stems from my desire to protect the rights of those with little or no knowledge of law from being usurped. At times there is an imbalance of justice in our society; and the law attempts to establish balance in an otherwise chaotic social matrix. It is my desire to practice law in order to contribute to this stability and fulfill my desire for fairness to all under the law.

Not good.


Look, there are a number of problems with this PS. You need to write about something that makes you unique and demonstrates to the adcomm that LS is a good fit for you. This statement doesn't do this. This is extremely generic and vague. If I were you, I'd scrap it and start over. Think about an important experience or accomplishment in your life that you can somehow tie into your interest in studying law, and go from there. I spent several months working on my PS on and off. It's not something you can write in one day.


I actually wrote mine in one day and my cycle went exactly as my numbers would predict. But even my PS wasn't this bad.

bhan87
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby bhan87 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:41 pm

Leira7905 wrote:Look, there are a number of problems with this PS. You need to write about something that makes you unique and demonstrates to the adcomm that LS is a good fit for you. This statement doesn't do this. This is extremely generic and vague. If I were you, I'd scrap it and start over. Think about an important experience or accomplishment in your life that you can somehow tie into your interest in studying law, and go from there. I spent several months working on my PS on and off. It's not something you can write in one day.


The truth. I must've spent a month just on figuring out how to open the PS properly and another month to figure out how to close it.

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Leira7905
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby Leira7905 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:43 pm

whymeohgodno wrote:I actually wrote mine in one day and my cycle went exactly as my numbers would predict. But even my PS wasn't this bad.


Some people do get away with this for sure, but it's generally not a good idea.

thoth06
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby thoth06 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:50 pm

You guys are awesome. Thank you for the feed back it puts a lot of things in perspective and gives me direction on how I need to correctly approach my PS. Keep tha feedback coming

kublaikahn
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:46 pm

This is a good and workable theme introduced, albeit poorly, in the first paragraph. Gut the resume and why law? BS and build on that theme.

thoth06 wrote:The cello became a part of me at the age of eight. I sat first chair in every orchestral progam in which I participated, won all-state honors, and even played with the preeminent, Yoyo Ma. By the time I finished high school I was convinced, I was the finest cellist in all of Tennessee. Winning a full arts scholarship, I knew I would continue my winning ways in college. My first day of orchestra practice, however, remanded me back to earth. My conductor instructed me to take my new position--fourth chair. From the 3rd grade to the 12th grade I thought I was arguably the best Cellist in the state of Tennessee. I was selected to an all-state musical competition and I was the principal chair in all orchestral programs I participated in. I even played with the world renowned and arguable the best cellist in the world, Yo Yo Ma. I judged myself as the best because I never challenged above my playing level so in a sense I was the best by comparison to all cellist who played at a lower level than me. In college I received a scholarship to play in the school orchestra. Then it happened; I was stripped of my self proclaimed title on my first day of orchestra practice the conductor moved me to the position of the fourth chair cellist.

[Paragraph 2-3: Now discuss how you handled being knocked down a peg or two and the lessons you learned. Hint: It ought to be more than you need to challenge yourself. You should include ideas like, starting at the bottom and working your way up, raising the bar opens your eyes to other limits you see in society,being motivated as much by failure as success, surrounding yourself with talented people, etc.]

[This is your lesson learned and should follow the paragraph above about the action you took to face your "setback", but obviously this needs to be rewritten as well] You see what I had not accounted for in my years[Too colloquial, do not write the way you speak (e.g "You see")] as a cellist is that my measurement of being the best was not ambitious enough. I only looked for challenges where victory was certain easy. If I had not suffered this minor setback I would have never truly understood what it takes to pursue a legal education or for that matter have the vision to use my legal education to help others who are otherwise incapable of helping themselves.[Not sure how this follows, but you will have to explain it if you want to use your "setback" as somehow providing the wisdom about the rigors of law school. This is a very weak why law? IMO]

[Cut this stuff. It is nice to know what diffentiates the LS, but this is gratuitous and out of context for your PS. Focus on your theme] I am interested in the ¬¬¬¬_________ College of Law because of the programs leadership and character development driven curriculum. Through my research of the program there is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and responsibility. In addition, the law program promotes social responsibility through effective leadership. These are all qualities that I have acquired in my involvement with community service as well as extra-curricular activities throughout my academic career. It is my goal to use the enhanced knowledge that I would acquire in law school to serve the public from a legal perspective.

[Cut the resume and use the real estate to build on your theme (cellist seeking to swim in larger waters)] Community first! This is a principal that I apply in all of my altruistic endeavors. While I was in college I chaired several fundraising events of a national service organization. In this capacity I raised funds that generated close to $12,000.00 in revenues. The proceeds of these funds have benefited several non-profit organizations in the community and provided scholarships to college students. Additionally the procurement of these funds was annually contributed to the Martin Luther King National Memorial fund in Washington D.C.

A law degree from _______ College of Law will further advance my career as I continue to be called upon to make crucial decisions. My legal education with this school will allow me to expand my dedication and commitment while enhancing the lives of others. It is my desire to use the insight and the legal education that I will receive at _____ College of Law to provided assistance others. [Do not use this vague, "help me help others" rhetoric. If you can be specific about how the character and skills you present in your cello story along with a law degree leads you to help others, a specific discipline, etc. than use it. Otherwise, this is a no no.]


I have no lofty notions of trying to save the world. My desire in wanting to become an attorney stems from my desire to protect the rights of those with little or no knowledge of law from being usurped [usurp means to take illegally and/or by force, not through ignorance]. At times there is an imbalance of justice ["injustice", resist the urge to try to sound profound] in our society; and the law attempts to establish balance in an otherwise chaotic social matrix. [Be careful telling lawyers the purpose of law and justice, they may have a better grasp of that than you do. IMO, steer clear of terms like chaotic social matrix. Speak in normal, concise English.] It is my desire to practice law in order to contribute to this stability and fulfill my desire for fairness to all under the law.

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canes
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Re: PERSONAL STATEMENT PLEASE BE CRITICAL

Postby canes » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:24 pm

kublaikahn wrote:This is a good and workable theme introduced, albeit poorly, in the first paragraph. Gut the resume and why law? BS and build on that theme.

thoth06 wrote:The cello became a part of me at the age of eight. I sat first chair in every orchestral progam in which I participated, won all-state honors, and even played with the preeminent, Yoyo Ma. By the time I finished high school I was convinced, I was the finest cellist in all of Tennessee. Winning a full arts scholarship, I knew I would continue my winning ways in college. My first day of orchestra practice, however, remanded me back to earth. My conductor instructed me to take my new position--fourth chair. From the 3rd grade to the 12th grade I thought I was arguably the best Cellist in the state of Tennessee. I was selected to an all-state musical competition and I was the principal chair in all orchestral programs I participated in. I even played with the world renowned and arguable the best cellist in the world, Yo Yo Ma. I judged myself as the best because I never challenged above my playing level so in a sense I was the best by comparison to all cellist who played at a lower level than me. In college I received a scholarship to play in the school orchestra. Then it happened; I was stripped of my self proclaimed title on my first day of orchestra practice the conductor moved me to the position of the fourth chair cellist.

[Paragraph 2-3: Now discuss how you handled being knocked down a peg or two and the lessons you learned. Hint: It ought to be more than you need to challenge yourself. You should include ideas like, starting at the bottom and working your way up, raising the bar opens your eyes to other limits you see in society,being motivated as much by failure as success, surrounding yourself with talented people, etc.]

[This is your lesson learned and should follow the paragraph above about the action you took to face your "setback", but obviously this needs to be rewritten as well] You see what I had not accounted for in my years[Too colloquial, do not write the way you speak (e.g "You see")] as a cellist is that my measurement of being the best was not ambitious enough. I only looked for challenges where victory was certain easy. If I had not suffered this minor setback I would have never truly understood what it takes to pursue a legal education or for that matter have the vision to use my legal education to help others who are otherwise incapable of helping themselves.[Not sure how this follows, but you will have to explain it if you want to use your "setback" as somehow providing the wisdom about the rigors of law school. This is a very weak why law? IMO]

[Cut this stuff. It is nice to know what diffentiates the LS, but this is gratuitous and out of context for your PS. Focus on your theme] I am interested in the ¬¬¬¬_________ College of Law because of the programs leadership and character development driven curriculum. Through my research of the program there is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and responsibility. In addition, the law program promotes social responsibility through effective leadership. These are all qualities that I have acquired in my involvement with community service as well as extra-curricular activities throughout my academic career. It is my goal to use the enhanced knowledge that I would acquire in law school to serve the public from a legal perspective.

[Cut the resume and use the real estate to build on your theme (cellist seeking to swim in larger waters)] Community first! This is a principal that I apply in all of my altruistic endeavors. While I was in college I chaired several fundraising events of a national service organization. In this capacity I raised funds that generated close to $12,000.00 in revenues. The proceeds of these funds have benefited several non-profit organizations in the community and provided scholarships to college students. Additionally the procurement of these funds was annually contributed to the Martin Luther King National Memorial fund in Washington D.C.

A law degree from _______ College of Law will further advance my career as I continue to be called upon to make crucial decisions. My legal education with this school will allow me to expand my dedication and commitment while enhancing the lives of others. It is my desire to use the insight and the legal education that I will receive at _____ College of Law to provided assistance others. [Do not use this vague, "help me help others" rhetoric. If you can be specific about how the character and skills you present in your cello story along with a law degree leads you to help others, a specific discipline, etc. than use it. Otherwise, this is a no no.]


I have no lofty notions of trying to save the world. My desire in wanting to become an attorney stems from my desire to protect the rights of those with little or no knowledge of law from being usurped [usurp means to take illegally and/or by force, not through ignorance]. At times there is an imbalance of justice ["injustice", resist the urge to try to sound profound] in our society; and the law attempts to establish balance in an otherwise chaotic social matrix. [Be careful telling lawyers the purpose of law and justice, they may have a better grasp of that than you do. IMO, steer clear of terms like chaotic social matrix. Speak in normal, concise English.] It is my desire to practice law in order to contribute to this stability and fulfill my desire for fairness to all under the law.



Take this advice. A lot of people pay professionals for what was accomplished in this post.
Last edited by canes on Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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