Personal Statement- Brief, easy to read....PLEASE CRITIQUE

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Personal Statement- Brief, easy to read....PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby jdiego » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:54 pm


This is the first draft of my personal statement. English is not my primary language, so don't expect a very elaborate PS. Feel free to comment.


Law school has been my dream since I was a kid. In the 2nd grade I can remember talking with my friends and telling them that after college I would become a lawyer. Some of them said that it was their dream too and that in 20 years we would establish a private practice, but now these same people are engineers, accountants, teachers, scientists and psychologists. Going to court, wearing a suit, having briefcases, debating with another lawyer, defending someone else’s rights and the idea of being a judge was just an amazing scenario in my mind. 15 years later, I'm still holding on to this dream and now the opportunity has risen and the accomplishment is near.

Holding on to this dream certainly hasn't been easy, since I have had a couple of major setbacks that have threatened not just the chance of studying and practicing law, but the studying of anything at all. 7 years ago I decided to travel to Europe for two weeks, a trip that proved to be a determining one in my life. Excitement and comfort were the total opposite description of the journey, since pain and sleepless nights were an every day thing while I was there. When I came back to Puerto Rico doctors examined me and found a problem in my intestines and a partial blockage had to be surgically removed immediately. 3 days later, on the 4th of July doctors removed 1/3 of my big intestine that was blocked and it was the cause of my pains. A couple of days later I received the most shocking and life changing news of my life when I was diagnosed with a chronic disease known as Crons. There is no cure for it and patients have to change their whole life style in order to achieve a normal one. At just 15 I faced my first big challenge; it threatened my chances of going to a normal school, practicing any sport or having a family of my own.

After countless diet changes, exercise, medicines, doctors and examinations I managed to achieve a healthy lifestyle and school, friends and parties were now every day things. Life surely was better after this, but a couple of years later yet another challenge emerged: my girlfriend told me she was pregnant. Frustration, happiness, sadness and disbelief were just some of the feelings that rapidly consumed me but after crying and accepting it I was suddenly aware that a plan had to be made. There I was an Accounting student with no work experience in any field or scheduled interviews, with only a couple of dollars saved and 3 years left in my bachelor’s degree. The first step in my plan, logically, was to find a job. Since I had no work experience I decided to apply to a governmental tax program which gave students the opportunity to take tax related courses in order to work for the department and prepare tax returns for citizens. Even though it was a "pro bono" program I decided to apply in order to obtain work experience and drastically improve my resume. 2 weeks later I received a phone call and a lady told me that I was accepted for the job. A clear path now surfaced in my life. A couple of months passed and after giving my resume to a couple of recruiters I was lucky enough to obtain a paying job in the financial industry in which I had the opportunity to prepare and analyze commercial loans proposals for emerging businesses and thanks to this my family now had a stable source of income.

My law school dream was threatened by these experiences and it almost ended, but I endured them all and succeeded in managing a job, 20 credits per semester at school, the Law School Admission test, a family, friends and community service activities. Perseverance, discipline and good advice and support from my parents and professors helped me through the journey that got me here. I’m now a full time worker for a Health Plan, raising a family, with a Bachelors degree in Accounting hoping to approve yet another task of passing the Certified Public Accountant tests before going to law school in the fall of 2012.

All of these experiences changed my life tremendously and they differentiate me from others, they prove how focused I am in achieving my goal of studying law and they prove that there’s no impossible task as long as you work hard at it. More importantly my love for discussion, reading, history, foreign culture and utopic need of justice and equality are what qualify me for law school.

As I was preparing my law school applications, I read many articles, books and private forums that advised prospective students of only choosing law as a career if there is a genuine interest for it. I’m so sure that law school is the right choice for me that I will leave the island that has been my home for 22 years , my family, culture, son and I even rejected a full time job from a prestigious accounting firm because it delayed the start of my studies. But this time it's not some malignant chronic disease, an unplanned pregnancy or having to work for free, now I will be achieving my dream. Studying law in the United States will be the culmination of an era in my life and I'm waiting anxiously for the moment, so that in the future my grand kids can listen to my story and develop an even more optimistic and determining attitude.
Last edited by jdiego on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Personal Statement- Brief, easy to read....PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:55 pm

all i know is, i read the title of this thread and saw the post...and now feel lied to

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Re: Personal Statement- Brief, easy to read....PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby dani_burhop » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:07 am

"I've always wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid" is a very overdone PS theme, and it doesn't work very well, truth be told - I'd scrap that idea, or leave it as a side note.

The Crohn's disease part would make for a good DS. For a PS, it would need to be something like: Diagnosed at 15, changed diet and lifestyle completely, became an advocate and spoke out about the disease and published essays and toured with Mike McCready from Pearl Jam to talk about it with the public.

...or whatever. The point is, focus more on one story in your PS, and choose one that shows your ambition and drive and commitment. As it is, the Crohn's would work better as a DS topic because right now it sounds like it's just about hardship, and has no relationship to your ambitions or successes.

...and the baby. Hmm. That could be a read flag for adcomms - I don't know if I'd tip them off about that. It's hard to say, but anything that sounds like it will distract you from committing to law school fully might make you sound like a potential 1L drop out.

Best, Dani

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Re: Personal Statement- Brief, easy to read....PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:14 am

I would just ever so slightly suggest not to mention TLS in your personal statement. If you've included your user name in your resume, I would also probably remove that bit. Just a couple pennies from me to you.

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Re: Personal Statement- Brief, easy to read....PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby jdiego » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:33 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. :)

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