1st Draft of PS. Advice or insight please.

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rwhyAn
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:09 pm

1st Draft of PS. Advice or insight please.

Postby rwhyAn » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:14 pm

Hey guys and gals, I was wondering if you could give me some insight/pointers. I haven't written a final paragraph yet, as I intend to tailor that to the individual schools to which I apply. Here it goes:

It was December 3, 2008, and I was sitting in the Tenafly Police Department in New Jersey. The chief and two of the captains were there, asking me all types of questions. I could feel the sweat beginning to form on my forehead and in my palms. One mis-step and it was all over.

The process that eventually landed me at the police department on that December day had begun three months earlier. There were 190 of us in the Tenafly High School cafeteria on an early September evening taking the police officer entrance examination for only two available spots. The top forty test takers would move on to the physical assessment phase, and the top twenty from there would move on to the first round of interviews. From the top twenty, they would choose the top six candidates for the final round of interviews. It was from these final six candidates that they would hire the two newest officers. I was one of the six.

The day following the final interview, I received a phone call at work. It was Captain Regino from the department, and he was informing me that I was not one of the two that would be hired. I was heartbroken. I knew that I was smart enough, good enough, and capable enough for the job. While I did not know the reason that they did not choose me, I felt that one of the reasons might be that I had not finished college. So, the next day I re-enrolled in college, determined to finish my final 32 credits and never let my education, or lack thereof, stand between me and success.

This rejection inspired me. I had known that I wanted to become a lawyer, but since I had no college degree, and I didn’t know where I would find the time to finish school, I wanted to do something as closely related to law as possible and become a law enforcement officer. Now, this was all going to change; no longer was I going to settle for anything less than my dream. I knew that this pursuit was not going to be easy, but then again, nothing good ever comes easy. So, in January 2009, after a two and a half year hiatus, I was once again a student, but this time I was on a mission.

During my last 32 credits, I achieved a 3.91 cumulative grade point average all while managing a multi-million dollar business and working 50 to 60 hour weeks. There were many nights where I would get home late and be up until one or two o’clock in the morning studying and writing papers, hoping that I would be able to get a few hours of sleep before I had to go back into work the next day, only to do the same thing again the following day. This took a great deal of sacrifice, strength, responsibility, and sheer determination, all of which I will bring with me to law school.

Being an older and non-traditional applicant and having been in leadership roles throughout my working career, I feel like I would be a good role model for the younger members of the class, and while I sometimes wish that I could have started law school at an earlier age, I know that my work experience has proven invaluable by teaching me lessons in responsibility, time management, and hard work, that no amount of schooling could teach me and no amount of money could buy. As a result of knowing what it is like to grind out a hard day’s work, I know that I will appreciate this opportunity to pursue my dream more than most, and I will not let anything stand between me and the successful completion of my J.D.

The real reason I want to become a lawyer is that I want to see to it that everyone, no matter what differences he or she may have, is given equal and fair treatment under the law. I want to be able to make a difference in people’s lives and help out those that are less fortunate than I. I also have aspirations to become a lawmaker and serve the people of this great country, and I know that law school will provide a solid foundation and help me achieve my future endeavors.

jrb194
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:57 am

Re: 1st Draft of PS. Advice or insight please.

Postby jrb194 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:59 pm

A few things to think about

1) You use a lot of passive voice which makes your writing a but dull. Go back through and try eliminating "was, were, to be, have been." Couple examples everything in bold is passive-

change "The day following the final interview, I received a phone call at work. It was Captain Regino from the department, and he was informing me that I was not one of the two that would be hired." to "The day following the interview, Captain Regino called informing me that that my application was rejected." Now you only have one "was."

change "It was December 3, 2008, and I was sitting in the Tenafly Police Department in New Jersey." to "On December 3, 2008 while sitting in the Tenafly...." all passive voice eliminated.

change " being and older student..." to "as an older student"

2) In you last paragraph you say "the real reason I want to become a lawyer..." This comes off a bit awkward. Using the word "real" makes it seem like all the other reasons you have discussed are not genuine. Maybe replace it with "primary" or something like that.

Hope this helps. Have fun with your revisions!

sfamor
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:27 pm

Re: 1st Draft of PS. Advice or insight please.

Postby sfamor » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:22 pm

I think you're off to a great start. I did find the last paragraph came off a little cliche perhaps. I think you just need to back up some of your statements to make it more personal as those are the reasons that most people cite for wanting to be a lawyer.

rwhyAn
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: 1st Draft of PS. Advice or insight please.

Postby rwhyAn » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:28 pm

sfamor wrote:I think you're off to a great start. I did find the last paragraph came off a little cliche perhaps. I think you just need to back up some of your statements to make it more personal as those are the reasons that most people cite for wanting to be a lawyer.


Thanks. I was thinking the same thing about that last paragraph. I'm already at two pages also, and I'll have to trim it down a bit for some schools. Does anyone know if the schools are super strict about their page limits on personal statements?




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