Very rough first draft. If anyone can help me out with style, content, and grammar, I'd appreciate it. Trying to get everything I can going for me that I can control due to having a crappy GPA
FWIW: I removed the name of where I worked because the person himself is largely irrelevant imo.
I started as a punk. Going in to university, I had an unflinching attitude about me. Political and impassioned, I wanted to take part in the storied history of campus activism. I would influence my area's politics through sit-ins and direct action, megaphones and placards. But over the course of four years, I matured into something quite different.
As a freshman, I joined the new Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). We worked for leftist causes through flyering, speeches, and very visible protests. The very first project I took part in proved to be my proudest moment with the group. We organized a large protest in opposition to the war in Iraq and I held the responsibility of writing the press packets and contacting the media about the event. Following this, though, SDS fell into what I believed to be self-serving actions. Though I still took part, I grew disillusioned with the prospect of bothering students about eating at Chik-Fil-A. By the end of my first year, I realized that our actions ceased to be effective and became exercises in extremist movements. People actually spoke proudly about shoving a cop simply because he asked us to remain on the sidewalk during a protest. Still, I cynically believed that the 'system' offered me no recourse in achieving my political goals.
For a bit, I lost touch with campus and local politics. I watched the news, of course, and kept up with the 2008 election season, but I did not keep up my direct involvement. That is, until I started to miss it. I enjoyed talking to people about the issues and working towards what I believed in. The heart of what we did in SDS was pure even if the motives were not. So I did something that my Freshman self would not have done; I looked up candidates for office. I saw an underdog running for Congress that resonated with me. (REMOVED)'s platform was nothing short of relentless. He embodied my ideal candidate and I resolved myself to work for him. In that first election, we overcame the odds in the primary and (REMOVED) won a close general election to become the first Democratic congressman in the district since 1983.
I rode the high of that victory and, as soon as I had the time, applied for an internship at his local office. Before I knew it, I woke up at six AM, caught the early bus downtown, and put on a tie in the morning. I, who had a mohawk as a Freshman, became 'domesticated'. But in all seriousness, the work we did in the office made me proud. I saw the disadvantaged actually receiving help from a politician. We paid attention to the issues and complaints. We were not this unforgiving and faceless machine; we had a humanity about us that made me optimistic. So when I got the call to join the second campaign in an elevated role, I jumped at it.
Throughout that midterm election cycle, I ran into old friends from SDS at parades or other events. We talked and reminisced but I sensed an air of disappointment, that they thought less of me in working for a politician. To them, the government was inherently unjust and to work with it was tantamount to treason. But I witnessed the people I once stood with still struggling to achieve that which they set out to do. Their goals were too lofty. Their strategy, too inflexible. They resorted to direct action instead of discussion, confrontation instead of communication. Yet, they failed to adjust in the face of adversity.
And this is precisely why I'd not only be a strong law student, but a strong lawyer. I possess the ability to adapt, to assume different roles depending on the situation, to mature and be molded. I have grown from being a brash and young protest kid, hopelessly devoted to some rigid notion of an 'ideal', into a person involved in my area's politics and cognizant of the fact that compromise is not dirty but a necessity. I have not lost my gumption, however. Instead, I have learned to funnel my passion towards productive ends and law school provides me with the best opportunity to meet those ends. I think back through American history and while, yes, some people affected serious change as outsiders, the majority did it through ingraining themselves in the system and working it to their advantage. It is that company that I want to keep and those people I want to follow.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
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- Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:11 pm
I like it. Your PS follows the KIS method and eschews the use of flowery language and descriptions and maintains its focus on you. You show you've got moxie, drive, and ambition. The only real criticism I have is that it's not terribly exciting, but I think discretion might be the best approach here. I don't think this would get you rejected, but it does not leave me screaming,"Yes, let this one in to law school!"
- Posts: 132
- Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:56 pm
Can you make a couple suggests about how to make it more exciting? It seems like a universal criticism was to change the first sentence which I agree will improve it. I'm also going to expand the part about my internship slightly but truthfully, I don't know how to make it more immediate for that sort of factor. I've spent a couple days thinking and while I could write a little bit about the campaign and what I did (which would sort of rehash the resume just in more detail), I'm not sure that it keeps on the topic of demonstrating my growth from Freshman year. Would it be towards my benefit to include a couple short examples of people we helped during my internship and describe the situation that a couple people were in? I wouldn't rehash their case but maybe create an image of how they were feeling and how we helped?
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