Help would be much appreciated for PS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
nu501
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:29 pm

Help would be much appreciated for PS

Postby nu501 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:35 pm

When my mother told me my father was suing her, my world fell apart. It was a lot to take in since I was only 15 years old when she told me. In high school, a relatively normal 15 year old teenager would worry about homework and avoiding detention. I wasn’t that relatively normal 15 year old teenager because homework and avoiding detention were far from my mind after my mother told me that my own father was suing her for money. It was at that point when I gave myself a goal to strive for, that I would become everything my father wasn’t. At 15 years old, I had no idea this would lead me to the legal profession.
My father had abused my mother ever since we moved to the United States when I was four years old. I remember feeling helpless to do anything about because I was a child and afraid. All of it eventually cumulated to one night when my mother called the police and eventually divorced him. After all those years of feeling helpless, not only for myself but unable to help my mother as well, I began to entertain the idea of becoming a police officer after my mother divorced my father. As high school began, it eventually became my goal because it was the police that helped abolish my feelings of fear and uselessness. It shocked me to feel useless again after I found out that my mother needed to hire an attorney in response to him suing her. I had no knowledge of the legal system and did not even know how to hire an attorney. As my father’s lawsuit continued to drag on, the emotional impact of it drove myself to become everything I imagined he was not. Impartial, empathetic, reasonable, and responsible were just some of the qualities I struggled to attain. Ethical was my most sought after quality, I needed to know how to determine right from wrong so that I would avoid making the wrong decisions that would hurt people; the opposite of my father. I still wanted to be a police officer as I continued to model myself as the opposite of my father but it was because of my step-father that my career choice would change.
When I was 17 years old, my mother had married my stepfather while I was away at an academic SAT preparation camp. It was uncomfortable for me to have a second father and it was especially uncomfortable for me to know that my mother had married him after only a few months of knowing each other. My mother was happy though so I did not pursue the matter. Unfortunately my mother had divorced him as well and I later learned that while they were married, she allowed him to co-own real estate that she had owned in South Korea. He took that real estate in the divorce, all of it worth around $400,000 and it didn’t take long for us to realize that it was the reason he had married her in the first place. The feeling of helplessness returned after that divorce and I came to the conclusion that becoming a police officer wasn’t enough. A police officer couldn’t make this right and I wouldn’t know what could until after I enrolled at -------- University.
At ----- University, I continued with my plan as a police officer as it was the only plan I had and majored in Forensic Criminal Investigation. The first day of classes included Dr. James in Introduction to Criminal Justice. Dr. James became an instant role model for me; he was candid and honest yet thoughtful and comedic. The very sort of person I still think my father never was. He soon invited me to join the ------ University Mock Trial Team and I instantly accepted. It didn’t take long to learn how to see both sides of a case and to use the facts for either side, but also to do so in a manner that is fair. My coaches taught me to use my passion in my closing arguments but to never step over the line from facts and into falsehoods. After three years of Mock Trial and under the tutelage of the best mentors and role models I could ask for, I am no longer that helpless young man hiding from his father. Those three years of traveling to tournaments, earning new friends, and learning the qualities of an ethical human being has helped me to find my answer of how to help people who were like my mother and myself, people who are afraid to call the police and helpless against abuse. My answer is that a lawyer can help those people, that a lawyer can protect people from being taken advantage of like my step-father did with my mother.
I know there are many paths that could help people like my mother, but being an attorney is the best answer for me. Being any attorney isn’t enough for me either, I want to embody the qualities that set me apart from my father and make me stronger. Empathy, responsibility, and ethical are just a few of them and I embrace them because without them, I am not me. Just as they have been my goal to avoid being my father they have become a part of me as well. With those qualities, I want to help correct in others’ lives what was wrong in my life. I want a law degree that I earned hanging from my wall as I set things straight one person at a time.

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

Re: Help would be much appreciated for PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:01 pm

Your personal statement is convincing, but not well written. You need to refine your thoughts into a more succinct essay. Start by eliminating repetitive thoughts. Try to write in clear, concise sentences.

dani_burhop
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: Help would be much appreciated for PS

Postby dani_burhop » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:45 pm

This reads like an undergraduate application essay to me. You need to bump up the age and maturity level to convince me you're ready for the rigors of law school. This also veers into diary territory. Have any other topics at hand? You don't want to come across as an angry teen here - Best, Dani

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

Re: Help would be much appreciated for PS

Postby thederangedwang » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:03 pm

dani_burhop wrote:This reads like an undergraduate application essay to me. You need to bump up the age and maturity level to convince me you're ready for the rigors of law school. This also veers into diary territory. Have any other topics at hand? You don't want to come across as an angry teen here - Best, Dani


good thing he doesnt need to convince you

jcarsen
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:45 am

Re: Help would be much appreciated for PS

Postby jcarsen » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:22 am

You have an incredibly compelling story to tell here, and that will only work in your favor, as will your frank honesty about your life.

I agree with some of the other posters that you need to condense it down a bit--the facts should lead from one topic to another in the direction of a clear conclusion. Right now, there isn't enough continuity in the story.

I would streamline some of the facts about your childhood, which will leave you more room to discuss your progression to a criminal justice program, and then to your law school goals.

Best,
Jen Carsen
Law School Statement Editor
http://www.spam.com

User avatar
kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Help would be much appreciated for PS

Postby kwais » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:37 am

you need to clean this up. there are so many repetitive little phrases that it becomes difficult to read. But, like CW said, this is a compelling story. I disagree with Dani that you need a new topic, you simply need someone to whip your writing into shape. best, kwais

dani_burhop
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: Help would be much appreciated for PS

Postby dani_burhop » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:50 am

Mock trial and family abuse stories are astonishingly common law PS topics - these won't set you apart in a pack of a hundred essays, unless you get specifics in there that add dimension for the reader. I maintain that too much focus on your pre-college years works against you, even if the topic seems relevant to an eventual interest in law.

I recommend reading your essay drafts aloud, or having someone read your work back to you; this will help you edit. Ears are better editors than eyes - Best, Dani




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