Need Some Critiques for Fall 2012 Hopeful!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
EmiDi
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:58 am

Need Some Critiques for Fall 2012 Hopeful!

Postby EmiDi » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:04 am

Hi Guys,

I just finished the first draft of my personal statement last night. I need some tough critics to let me know how it is! :D

My nose has been buried in a book – any book, every book – as long as I can remember. Growing up, my parents would religiously load my sister and me into the family mini-van and cart us over to the public library each week so we could cram as many books as we could into our pink beach bags. This weekly ritual ultimately developed my unbound excitement for learning. Stories provided ideas, ideas led to thoughts, and these thoughts became my motivation to learn more. Reading a story about a dinosaur would trigger my inevitable return to the library the following week in pursuit of books about dinosaur anatomy or the history of dinosaurs. This motivation did not simply linger in my childhood, but has grown immensely throughout my young adult life.

My desire to learn has set me apart from my peers for most of my academic career. Going to school and engaging in class has always been somewhat of a thrill for me. This desire, however, was not outwardly apparent in my early schooling days, as I lacked the confidence in myself that remains imperative to excel. When asked questions aloud by teachers throughout grade-school, I remember intentionally answering, “I don’t know,” regardless of whether I actually knew the answer. This practice allowed me to avoid the humiliation guessing ensued, and at the same time shielded me from stuttering or mispronouncing a word, both of which proved to be more traumatic than simply not knowing. Nevertheless, the coveted confidence took root in the coming years. I attribute this to a blooming maturity, coupled with a commitment to take myself less seriously. (So what if I slur a word? People giggle and life goes on.)

Amed with confidence and a strong desire to learn, I entered college searching for a calling, or a sign at the very least. No decision has ever been more vital, yet challenging. My curiosity significantly stalled the decision-making process, resulting in multiple switched majors – a naturally frustrating situation. Law school had been on my radar for a couple of years, but I had never been completely certain. The challenging problem solving and constant learning lawyers experience truly appealed to me, but I did not know much about the profession. How is one to know the specifics of any career without hands-on experience? Also weighing heavily on my mind was the immense debt-load which generally accompanies law school. My father, having been unemployed nearly two years, constantly warns of the dangers debt inspires, which has given me a keen appreciation of debtless and stable living. With everything seemingly weighing against law school, I began to seek alternative career paths.

Despite extensive career-centered research, however, nothing seemed to excite me more than the prospects of practicing law. Consequently, I understood that discovering what the profession actually entails was imperative. A quick email to a local judge resulted in an unexpected shadowing opportunity two days later. In addition to experiencing multiple hearings in the Courtroom, I was privileged enough to meet several lawyers throughout the day, and interrogate them about their profession. One particular lawyer extended a job opportunity to me on the spot! Not everyone believes in fate, but this opportunity solidified my conviction.

Working at McCoy & Montgomery Law Office has reaffirmed my ultimate goal to become a lawyer, and I am excited for what the future holds. Bearing a thirst for knowledge, indispensable confidence, and the understanding of the magnitude of my decision, I will continue my journey, one step at a time.

Thanks a ton!!!

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

Re: Need Some Critiques for Fall 2012 Hopeful!

Postby dani_burhop » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:30 am

"How my life developed into a decision to apply to law school" essays generally don't work (you'll find a number of examples of this type of essay posted in this forum, matter o' fact).

What have you done more recently that you are proud of? Or, if you want to stick with the bookworm theme, how can you make it more thoughtful and mature? This is cute, and cute won't win you points -

best, Dani

EmiDi
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:58 am

Re: Need Some Critiques for Fall 2012 Hopeful!

Postby EmiDi » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:05 am

But I AM proud of that job. And I'm proud of my grades. I'm not a super interesting person, and I'm really average. I've never traveled abroad, had a close relative die, saved someone's life, etc. I'm average. I go to school, work a job, TA a class, etc. :|

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

Re: Need Some Critiques for Fall 2012 Hopeful!

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:44 am

This is a good first draft which presents you in a mature & conscientious light. Enjoyable to read. Needs further editing, however (e.g. "Armed", not "Amed").

EmiDi
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:58 am

Re: Need Some Critiques for Fall 2012 Hopeful!

Postby EmiDi » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:47 pm

Thanks a bunch, CanadianWolf! :)

User avatar
5ky
Posts: 6344
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Re: Need Some Critiques for Fall 2012 Hopeful!

Postby 5ky » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:52 pm

My desire to learn has set me apart from my peers for most of my academic career.


I don't like this line, it's a bit too boastful. The rest was pretty good, though I might suggest starting to incorporate your experience working in the law office a bit earlier (thus cutting down some of the judge shadowing stuff) -- right now it's an awkwardly tacked-on line at the very end, when, in reality, very few people applying to law school have worked in a legal capacity before. It's not terribly helpful substantively, but it is if you can say you've worked closely with lawyers and didn't come out of it wanting to down a fifth of scotch every night.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Need Some Critiques for Fall 2012 Hopeful!

Postby kublaikahn » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:26 pm

EmiDi wrote:But I AM proud of that job. And I'm proud of my grades. I'm not a super interesting person, and I'm really average. I've never traveled abroad, had a close relative die, saved someone's life, etc. I'm average. I go to school, work a job, TA a class, etc. :|


Hitler was a super interesting person (although so was Albert Einstein). What matters is you are an excellent writer. Here's my problem. I believed everything you said up to "Armed with confidence..." You know how I know the rest was bullshit? Because your writing went down hill. You stopped writing confidently. Get rid of it and continue your piece from there.

Truth is, I think you should start over, b/c the bookworm thing is way overdone, especially for a stutterer, English language learner, etc. But if you do want to stick with this topic, turn it on its head. I love to learn, but not to express. Say, "but at some point I realized that knowledge is useless if you do not share it. I sought out opportunities that required me to build this new muscle group." Just an idea.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.