Personal Statement called "Uncle Jack" Comments Please!!!!

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danvilledave4heisman
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:42 pm

Personal Statement called "Uncle Jack" Comments Please!!!!

Postby danvilledave4heisman » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:35 pm

This is the second draft of my personal statement. I'm about to send it in for its final check. I would really appreciate any advice or feedback of any kind! Thanks!


My home is the small town of Danville, Virginia. Located in Pittsylvania County in the Piedmont Region of Virginia along the border of North Carolina, Danville is home to around 50,000 residents. Today, Danville is not the proud town that many residents once knew.

Danville, Virginia is known historically as the “Last Home of the Confederacy.” To many Virginians, Danville also was the “Town of Churches” and the home to many lucrative industries in textiles, tobacco, and manufacturing. Much of this has changed. Many of the industries have changed dramatically or left the area. This has contributed to Danville having a very high poverty rate. This also has contributed to another problem: abuse of cocaine, marijuana, prescription drugs, and others is widespread in Danville.

My dad’s best friend when I was a child was a man named Jack Smith, “Uncle Jack” to me and my sister. Jack and my dad would do everything together and our families were very close. Jack was a great person, a hard worker, and would do anything for a friend. We first knew something was wrong when he started selling things from his home and asking to borrow money. We later realized that Jack had become addicted to cocaine and crack-cocaine. He turned his back on his family and friends. One time, Jack’s mother asked my dad to go check on Jack at his home because she knew he was struggling. My dad knocked on the door but no one answered so he used his key and went in. The place was an absolute wreck and Jack was so high that he started yelling and screaming at my father telling him to get out. Eventually, Jack’s addiction became so bad that his family left him, and he went to several rehabilitation programs. Today, Jack looks like twice his age, has barely any of his teeth, and has to donate plasma twice a week to make ends meet. He went from being a respected member of his community to not even being able to get a job at local fast food restraunts. He is no longer “Uncle Jack” but a man who calls my father every once in a while at late hours for money. Unfortunately, this is not a story that is unique to my family or even families in Danville but is something that many families across the United States have had to cope with.

In order to fight against illegal drugs, the United States will need talented and dedicated lawyers to fight in the court room. My goal is to become a prosecutor for three reasons. First, I want to fight to ensure that no one turns out like Uncle Jack. Second, I want to see that the innocent people who have been negatively affected by drugs see justice prevail. Lastly, I want to see that those who profit from the drug trade are held responsible for their actions. In order to be successful at this endeavor I will need a strong legal education. (*-Following this sentence or this paragraph I would address the strengths of their specific law school and how that would contribute to my goal of being a prosecutor*.)

Furthermore, I am confident that I have the skills and qualities necessary to succeed in law school and also as a prosecutor. The most basic skills that anyone in the legal profession needs are excellent reading and writing skills, which I have gained from a rigorous and demanding undergraduate program at Virginia Tech that had me constantly reading and writing. Also, through my coursework in political science, history, and other liberal arts courses I was able to acquire exceptional analysis and interpretation skills from the use of many different types of documents in assignments such as legal opinions, primary sources, and examination of other primary sources.

My time at Virginia Tech has also taught me that I am a problem solver and someone that people can turn to for help. For example, when I joined the Pi Sigma Alpha (the international political science honors society) in 2010 it was plagued with low membership problems. The faculty advisor asked me to address the issue. With the help of the advisor and one other member we designed and implemented a recruitment plan that attracted some of the best and brightest political science students as well as created a viable organization. Lastly, perhaps my greatest quality is my work ethic. A legal education is one of the most demanding professional degrees that someone can pursue. Such qualities will allow me to suceed as a law student and later as a prosecutor.

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matvei
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Re: Personal Statement called "Uncle Jack" Comments Please!!!!

Postby matvei » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:26 am

Hey Friend, just my two cents, but I think you can make some important changes that'll make this by far better.

First things first, I really like the story that you lay out. The effects of drug abuse are absolutely awful. But you have to consider, that as a prosecutor, you are punishing drug offenders who are likely addicted to drugs. I believe the admissions may counter this essay, saying that you'd be better off as a drug counselor or something similar. But I think if you reworked it it would help you a lot.

danvilledave4heisman wrote:This is the second draft of my personal statement. I'm about to send it in for its final check. I would really appreciate any advice or feedback of any kind! Thanks!


My home is the small town of Danville, Virginia. Located in Pittsylvania County in the Piedmont Region of Virginia along the border of North Carolina, Danville is home to around 50,000 residents. Today, Danville is not the proud town that many residents once knew.

Danville, Virginia is known historically as the “Last Home of the Confederacy.” To many Virginians, Danville also was the “Town of Churches” and the home to many lucrative industries in textiles, tobacco, and manufacturing. Much of this has changed. Many of the industries have changed dramatically or left the area. This has contributed to Danville having a very high poverty rate. This also has contributed to another problem: what problem? this part is grammatically awkward if not incorrect abuse of cocaine, marijuana, prescription drugs, and others is widespread in Danville.

My dad’s best friend when I was a child was a man named Jack Smith, “Uncle Jack” to me and my sister. Jack and my dad would do everything together and our families were very close. Jack was a great person, a hard worker, and would do anything for a friend. We first knew something was wrong when he started selling things from his home and asking to borrow money. We later realized that Jack had become addicted to cocaine and crack-cocaine. He turned his back on his family and friends. One time, Jack’s mother asked my dad to go check on Jack at his home because she knew he was struggling. My dad knocked on the door but no one answered so he used his key and went in. The place was an absolute wreck and Jack was so high that he started yelling and screaming at my father telling him to get out. Eventually, Jack’s addiction became so bad that his family left him, and he went to several rehabilitation programs. Today, Jack looks like twice his age, has barely any of his teeth, and has to donate plasma twice a week to make ends meet. He went from being a respected member of his community to not even being able to get a job at local fast food restraunts. He is no longer “Uncle Jack” but a man who calls my father every once in a while at late hours for money. Unfortunately, this is not a story that is unique to my family or even families in Danville but is something that many families across the United States have had to cope with.

I like the Uncle Jack story, but remember, this is YOUR personal statement, you need to make it by far more personal, do you have any experience that you could tie into your goal of becoming a prosecutor? If you do, definitely tie it in. Also, writing wise, try to use narrative to paint a more vivid picture, I believe Uncle Jack's struggle could be painted more vividly

In order to fight against illegal drugs, the United States will need talented and dedicated lawyers to fight in the court room. My goal is to become a prosecutor for three reasons. First, I want to fight to ensure that no one turns out like Uncle Jack. Drug counselor retort? Second, I want to see that the innocent people who have been negatively affected by drugs see justice prevail What kind of innocent people. Elaborate.. Lastly, I want to see that those who profit from the drug trade are held responsible for their actions. In order to be successful at this endeavor I will need a strong legal education. (*-Following this sentence or this paragraph I would address the strengths of their specific law school and how that would contribute to my goal of being a prosecutor*.)Overall try to be more passionate about it, how did seeing uncle jack like that affect you?

Furthermore, I am confident that I have the skills and qualities necessary to succeed in law school and also as a prosecutor. The most basic skills that anyone in the legal profession needs are excellent reading and writing skills, which I have gained from a rigorous and demanding undergraduate program at Virginia Tech that had me constantly reading and writing . Also, through my coursework in political science, history, and other liberal arts courses I was able to acquire exceptional analysis and interpretation skills from the use of many different types of documents in assignments such as legal opinions, primary sources, and examination of other primary sources. Probably not a good section to put in, as adcomms, they know what is required

My time at Virginia Tech has also taught me that I am a problem solver and someone that people can turn to for help Show, don't tell. It will make this way better . For example, when I joined the Pi Sigma Alpha (the international political science honors society) in 2010 it was plagued with low membership problems. The faculty advisor asked me to address the issue. With the help of the advisor and one other member we designed and implemented a recruitment plan that attracted some of the [s]best and brightest[s/] a bit cliche political science students as well as created a viable organization. Lastly, perhaps my greatest quality is my work ethic. A legal education is one of the most demanding professional degrees that someone can pursue. Such qualities will allow me to suc(e)eed as a law student and later as a prosecutor.


I really hope this helped, and I didn't mean to be harsh. Best of luck with everything!

danvilledave4heisman
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:42 pm

Re: Personal Statement called "Uncle Jack" Comments Please!!!!

Postby danvilledave4heisman » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:06 am

No, don't worry about it! I really appreciate it, I wish more people would post. This was exactly what I was hoping to get out of it. With the drug counselor response to my personal statement, I think that being a drug counselor is one way to go about addressing the issue. But you also need to have prosecutors who punish the predators who profit off of people like my Uncle Jack. Given my qualities and talents I can better contribute to addressing the issue by being a prosecutor. Do you think elaborating on a idea like the one above would be beneficial to my personal statement? Again, Thanks!

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matvei
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:25 pm

Re: Personal Statement called "Uncle Jack" Comments Please!!!!

Postby matvei » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:34 pm

danvilledave4heisman wrote:No, don't worry about it! I really appreciate it, I wish more people would post. This was exactly what I was hoping to get out of it. With the drug counselor response to my personal statement, I think that being a drug counselor is one way to go about addressing the issue. But you also need to have prosecutors who punish the predators who profit off of people like my Uncle Jack. Given my qualities and talents I can better contribute to addressing the issue by being a prosecutor. Do you think elaborating on a idea like the one above would be beneficial to my personal statement? Again, Thanks!


I mean, definitely elaborate on that. don't make it the focus, make YOU the focus




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