Ideas for personal statement topics?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
livelovelaugh49
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:10 pm

Ideas for personal statement topics?

Postby livelovelaugh49 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:50 pm

So, I have written up a number of personal statements thus far, but can't seem to find "the one" that works best. I grew up fortunate enough to not have to face emotional, financial or physical struggles that many others have expressed in their personal statements. I did not have anyone overly close to me pass away or get in a life changing accident, which I am very lucky for. I always had a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes to keep me warm, but I'd like to point out I never once took that for granted. Here is my point: I have noticed (by no means am I down grading others statements because they are amazing and truly touching), but many of them highlight events in their lives, such as a death in the family, being raped, being poor, etc. and how it has affected their life and how they have overcome those challenges. I am unable to do that.

I have though achieved many things in my life due to my determination-- I gained a full ride division I athletic scholarship and I graduated from a predominate undergraduate program with cum laude honors to name a few. Is talking about the goals I have achieved throughout my life a good topic? If so, how do I highlight them without it coming across as an essay format of a resume?

Any other ideas of good topics to write about? Any advice would be great!! Again, I wasn't trying to take a jab at those who have had a tragedy happen in their life, I just wanted to highlight how I can make my personal statement just as good if I fortunately did not have the same struggles. Thanks ahead of time! :)

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Gymnast0206
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:16 am

Re: Ideas for personal statement topics?

Postby Gymnast0206 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:59 pm

I'd stay away from topics about you earning your scholarship/awards etc. That is, unless you can write it in such a way that shows why it makes you more prepared for/a better law school applicant. It's already in your resume and repeating it isn't usually the best way to go.

I suppose that I'd think about why you want to go to law school in the first place. Think about things about you as a person that make you stand out. What makes you qualified? You don't have to have had a serious life trauma to write an effective, truly personal essay. You just need to dig deeper.

Hope it all works out.

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theadvancededit
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Re: Ideas for personal statement topics?

Postby theadvancededit » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:20 pm

Gymnast0206 wrote:I suppose that I'd think about why you want to go to law school in the first place. Think about things about you as a person that make you stand out. What makes you qualified? You don't have to have had a serious life trauma to write an effective, truly personal essay. You just need to dig deeper.


+1

It's a common misconception that you have to have either gone through a traumatic life event, volunteered for 6 months in a third world country, or self-started an NGO to have a good personal statement.

It's good that you're starting to think of your awards and goals that you have in your life as possible statement topics; this is the kind of brainstorming that you will need to do to cultivate a good topic. You should also start thinking how some of your work/school/life experiences have driven you to this point, or what it is that you're hoping to gain out of law school. Also, you can start to think about particular experiences that are somehow indicative of how you will fare as a law student.

Here are some more thoughts on the subject: http://theadvancededit.com/admissions/c ... ent-topic/

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

Re: Ideas for personal statement topics?

Postby dani_burhop » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:38 pm

High-achieving athletes often do well in law admissions. If you can build a solid narrative with strong prose based on your experience, you'll have a decent PS.

Best, Dani

vkgarrett
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Re: Ideas for personal statement topics?

Postby vkgarrett » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:05 pm

Hi there! I have a very similar background to you. I can relate to finding a difficult time to choose a topic. Basically, I finally decided to discuss how my experiences have developed me as a person, bringing in athletics as well as other active things I have become involved in. Each of those things is almost a "balance" that I bring some kind of quality that I have learned from and relate it back to qualities necessary to succeed in law school/as a lawyer.

Maybe you can use something with your athletics?? Were you a leader as an athlete?

livelovelaugh49
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:10 pm

Re: Ideas for personal statement topics?

Postby livelovelaugh49 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:41 pm

vkgarrett wrote:Hi there! I have a very similar background to you. I can relate to finding a difficult time to choose a topic. Basically, I finally decided to discuss how my experiences have developed me as a person, bringing in athletics as well as other active things I have become involved in. Each of those things is almost a "balance" that I bring some kind of quality that I have learned from and relate it back to qualities necessary to succeed in law school/as a lawyer.

Maybe you can use something with your athletics?? Were you a leader as an athlete?


Sorry it has taken me so long to respond... it has been a while since I have been on this forum. Great advice though, I definitely feel I can use my athletics to my advantage like you have mentioned. I feel that being a leader is a necessity when it comes to a team sport and I fell into that role a number of times, so I can highlight on that. Thanks for the advice!

livelovelaugh49
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:10 pm

Re: Ideas for personal statement topics?

Postby livelovelaugh49 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:42 pm

All of you provided a lot of really great advice-- thanks for that! Hopefully this last draft will be the final one! Crossing my fingers :)




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