PLEASE READ THIS!!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Acumen
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 10:01 am

PLEASE READ THIS!!!

Postby Acumen » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:32 pm

I need feedback on my person statement. This is my first draft and I need to know how it is. I am a AA male, 1st male college grad in my family, 2.75 GPA, and a 148 LSAT. I am retaking the LSAT in October and practice testing in the 160-165 range. Well, let me know what you think about the PS. Thank you.
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Through my loss I won. In my junior year I held the office of Vice President of Academic Affairs, the second highest office a student can hold, for my University’s SGA (Student Government Association). When our yearly election time came back around many of the faculty, staff and student organization leaders encouraged me to take my rightful seat on the thrown as President of SGA. After mulling it over for a month I decided they were right. I, Alex Montgomery Smith, would run for the highest office a student could hold. My plan was to combine methods used in my Vice Presidential run and those used during my Homecoming King run, which were both very successful, to win this highly coveted office. I was a political machine, working day and night attending events and taking campus campaigning to all new heights. Finally the election was over, and as the SGA Adviser stood to read the final ballot counts I smiled because I was more than certain my methods to win were as certain as death and taxes. Thirty minutes later I was shaking the hand of the other guy, the one that won my thrown.

I was completely flabbergasted, but I was too busy to take pity for myself. At the time I was working 30 hours a week as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service, and raising money to travel to El Salvador in a few weeks as a volunteer in the Fuller Center’s annual “Blitz Build” focused on building homes for less fortunate families. My trip abroad was more enriching than I could have ever imagined. In the midst of my 2nd day in El Salvador digging trenches and pouring foundations for future homes I found myself unable to overcome the mental anguish of my Presidential defeat. The harder I worked the harder I thought and the more I realized that I had never lost at anything in my life.

I began relating my experience on the SGA campaign trail and in El Salvador to my motivations and desires on campus and in life. I asked myself “why was I running for President or putting efforts into being a public servant; what was I looking to accomplish?” From this question I gathered three conclusions; 1) I was determined to leave a lasting legacy, 2) I wanted to be the leader of a people who focused on making life better for others, and 3) I wanted to achieve heights that no male member of my family ever attained. At that moment I made a promise to myself that I will meet my goals, one step at a time.

That summer going into my senior year I built a base of student and faculty supporters, called upon friends from universities such as; University of Georgia, University of Kansas and Harvard School of Business, and drafted a detailed constitution to start a new campus organization. In two months I received an official charter establishing Black Student Union (BSU) as a new organization on my campus. By BSU’s second semester on campus it had risen as the premier organization for minorities on the campus. I utilized my organizational capacity, personal relations skills, and most of all my personal drive to build an organization that is fundamentally built to be impacting the lives of students long after my college days are done. Though I did not win my bid for president I was successful in reaching my underlying goals.

Although I spent a year interning under 4 attorneys and 2 paralegals it was not until my latter college years that I truly became fascinated with the legal profession. The legal profession gives me the abilities to meet challenges, make decisions that have the ability to positively change lives, be faced with scenarios that will require renaissance level thought, and exhibit my drive to never quit.

Through my collegiate experiences I learned more than just what is between the front and back covers of a book. I learned how to be different and rely on the skills that I am equipped with to get where I want to be. If selected to attend your legal program I will use all of my skills to become a successful legal student and thereafter a successful litigator.

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

Re: PLEASE READ THIS!!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:34 pm

"Throne", not "thrown".

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

Re: PLEASE READ THIS!!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:39 pm

Your personal statement essay is little more than a poorly written rehashing of your resume. It lacks substance which makes you seem superficial. Try to focus on an aspect of your life that allows you to share deeper insights into your thoughts & development.

LawSchoolChampion
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:41 pm

Re: PLEASE READ THIS!!!

Postby LawSchoolChampion » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:18 pm

I generally recommend against using the word flabbergasted.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: PLEASE READ THIS!!!

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:51 am

It's not good. You really need some serious outside help. I would suggest your friends (who are good at writing, and I don't mean your bff who "claims" to be an awesome writer, but actually a buddy of yours who gets A+ in writing-intensive classes), and then work your way up to school career counselors and other professional advisers.

I hate to be this blunt but I'm just going to be honest here. After reading your ps, you are not going to be able to pull off a good PS by yourself.

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ThomasMN
Posts: 300
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:38 pm

Re: PLEASE READ THIS!!!

Postby ThomasMN » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:35 am

Think of it like this, you are trying to sell yourself in your personal statement. Your biggest paragraph is about your losing an election. You should be spending more words on your involvement in bringing BSU to your campus. You might make your personal statement a narrative of how you came to found your school's chapter of BSU.

I came out of your statement wondering these things: What is BSU? What did you actually have to do to bring it on campus? Why was it difficult to do what you did?

Things to watch out for: The line where you say that you want to achieve heights that no male member in your family has attained. I don't think you mean ill of women, but I could see some professional women taking some offense to that. Either the women in your family have done rather well for themselves ( not a bad thing ) or you come across as not really counting their achievements in your legacy. For all I know you don't, but be aware that some people could take this the wrong way. An easy fix would be to simply say that you want to achieve things that no one in your family has achieved.

Another issue, you write about the presidency of the SGA as something you were entitled to, which is not going to endear you to a lot of people. If you talk about the sting of defeat you should frame it along the lines that you worked so hard, but didn't achieve what you set out to do. How you had to get back up, brush yourself off, and get back on the wagon.

Don't tell us that the trip to El Salvador blew you away, show us. Describe in detail what you saw and experienced there. Then show the reader through your future actions how this changed you. I think that would be a more powerful statement.

Finally, your tag on at the end about how you want to be a lawyer because of x really seems well.. tagged on the end. You should either not have it in there ( not all schools require you to say why you want to be a lawyer) or tie it into the narrative. How would you help the people in El Salvador as a litigator. Is that even why you really want to be a litigator or are you just trying to sell yourself as a nice guy?

Acumen
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 10:01 am

Re: PLEASE READ THIS!!!

Postby Acumen » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:54 am

Thank you all for the feedback. This was my first complete draft, and I needed to pick a topic and start writing. I have quite a few topics that I could explore that makes me look like a disadvantaged black male; however, I don't want to play that card. I really want to sell myself as a person that helps that community an specifically the black community.

I will take the advice I have been given here and provide more detail to what I am saying. Also, I might cut out the El Salvador trip because it might be kind of lengthy to explain while also explaining my founding of BSU.

What word count should I keep in mind while writing my PS?

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Moomoo2u
Posts: 349
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 3:38 am

Re: PLEASE READ THIS!!!

Postby Moomoo2u » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:24 am

no word count, 2 pages for most schools and 1 page for diversity statement/other addenda.




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