I need help!!!! Please help! (first draft)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Coldwinters13
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:06 pm

I need help!!!! Please help! (first draft)

Postby Coldwinters13 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:18 pm

Okay, so here is my first draft. I really need some feedback. I'm having trouble with wrapping it up towards the end. Any suggestions? Thanks!





“It takes a village to raise a child” is the quote that my mother always uses when describing the young woman I’ve grown to be. I never really took note of the phrase, because unfortunately for me, I didn’t always have a village with both parents, and a dependable community.

It never really occurred to me that refusing to stop and show an identification card would result in me being physically assaulted by an administrator at my new high school. These were not some of the things that you would think about, as a transfer student with hopes of beginning of a new life. I didn’t exactly grow up in one of the most promising environments, and it was only a matter of time before my mother sent me to another school. It was my second semester, and I was now a senior getting ready to graduate. I arrived to school early that morning with anticipations of attaining my lost id that the assistant principle found the day before. I made it all the way to my locker, and before I could get to the main hallway I got stopped by a teacher who was wondering where my id was. In a hurry, I tried my best to briefly explain the situation to her. Instead of letting me go, she decided to call an administrator on her walkie-talkie. By that time, I began to walk and I thought, “If I could only get to the assistant principle and prove to them that I was just following orders, I could be out of all of this mess.” They were now both following me, and I saw no way out. My heart, beating a million times harder now, and my feet beginning to run, I started to cry. The next few minutes were filled with me being pulled from behind, and pushed against the wall multiple times until the police came and put me in handcuffs. Before I could appeal to the Principal, he was already convinced that the allegations of me assaulting a teacher were true. As I was ordered to leave the premises, and to go straight home, the biggest question that I kept asking myself was, “How did this happen?”

The next few weeks were spent at a psychiatric ward because of my inability to deal with the depression and suicidal thoughts. I couldn’t decipher what happened or why this happened to me. Each day, as I sat in that same white room with only a bed and a pillow, I remembered who I was before this traumatizing experience. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was only 5 years old, and although life seemed like a never ending race, I’d also overcome so many obstacles and exceeded in everything my doctors told me I couldn’t do. As the days went by, I no longer felt repentant, because I knew that this was yet only another hurdle that I would jump over to get to the finish line. I wouldn’t have graduated on time; I would have even gone to alternative school, if it weren’t for the public interest lawyer who believed in me.

I bought my fascination with law and public service to college, and spent majority of the time attempting to impact and make things possible for less fortunate individuals, like that special lawyer did for me. I immediately got involved in organizations serving those in need. The death of my father at such a young age, attracted me to inner-city youth with incarcerated parents. They appealed to me because whether my father was dead or incarcerated, I had the same empty feeling inside and could relate. I worked with juveniles at a detention center for a while until it became clear to me that after I left the visitation room, there was nothing I could do for them. Many of them, abused by the system, without any hope, reminded me of what my life could have been like.

I know that I can succeed in law school, because I have the fearlessness and determination to fight until you can no longer fight. I felt like I failed many of the children and young adults that I worked with because I didn’t have the skills and knowledge to work hard enough for them. I know that law school will provide the training and discipline to better ensure me that I’ve done everything I could do.

Looking back at my mother’s favorite quote, I’ve finally found my village, with higher learning. My village is different from others, because it wasn’t given to me, but gave me another chance at life. I had to work extremely hard to overcome many milestones and obstacles in order to see my true potential and purpose at life. Going through college, I found my passion, my calling from God.
Last edited by Coldwinters13 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Re: I need help!!!! Please help! (first draft)

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:34 pm

Your first & last paragraphs are the strongest. The intervening paragraphs, however, need to be revised. In addition to correcting a few spelling errors, your content should be more carefully worded. Assaulting teachers, running from police & spending time in a psychiatric ward--while interesting--are not likely to help achieve your goal of law school admission.

If you are currently enrolled in a college or university, then contact the school's writing center for guidance. Otherwise, maybe another poster would be willing to offer a sample rewrite to direct your efforts toward creating interest, not fear or caution, in admissions officers thoughts' when reading your essay. A possible concern, for example, might be that the pressure of law school might trigger an extreme reaction. Try to rewrite your personal statement as one capable of handling law school & of helping others rather than as one in need of help.

P.S. You have a compelling story to share & a lot of experienced insight that could help others. Your insights & goals need to be expressed differently, however.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Coldwinters13
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: I need help!!!! Please help! (first draft)

Postby Coldwinters13 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:41 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Your first & last paragraphs are the strongest. The intervening paragraphs, however, need to be revised. In addition to correcting a few spelling errors, your content should be more carefully worded. Assaulting teachers, running from police & spending time in a psychiatric ward--while interesting--are not likely to help achieve your goal of law school admission.

If you are currently enrolled in a college or university, then contact the school's writing center for guidance. Otherwise, maybe another poster would be willing to offer a sample rewrite to direct your efforts toward creating interest, not fear or caution, in admissions officers thoughts' when reading your essay.


Thank you so much! I see what you mean, and how the content could be misconstrued.

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

Re: I need help!!!! Please help! (first draft)

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:45 pm

CHANGE: "determinacy" to "determination".

CHANGE: "principle" (which is an idea) to "principal" (which is the title of a school official).

The second sentence of the fourth paragraph needs to be rewritten. CONSIDER: " I immediately got involved with organizations serving those in need."

Edit your original post to reflect the above suggested changes so that other posters can offer more in-depth advice.

Coldwinters13
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: I need help!!!! Please help! (first draft)

Postby Coldwinters13 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:56 pm

So, do you think i should leave the whole story out? Because the last thing i would want to do is scare the admissions department. I do, however want them to see the capacity of how the event changed my life and allowed me to want to reach out to others.

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

Re: I need help!!!! Please help! (first draft)

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:50 pm

No, don't leave the whole story out. Just adjust your current essay keeping in mind that you want to persuade admissions officers that your life experiences will add to the class in a positive fashion. Show that you have dealt successfully with challenging events & circumstances in your life that have led to mature growth, an unusual perspective & a desire to help others.

Coldwinters13
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: I need help!!!! Please help! (first draft)

Postby Coldwinters13 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:24 pm

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! I will take these suggestions into account when making my second draft. I really appreciate your insight.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.