Help! Don't know exactly where I'm trying to go with this.

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laurgirl
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:53 pm

Help! Don't know exactly where I'm trying to go with this.

Postby laurgirl » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:22 pm

Morning always came too quick. Every Saturday I would reluctantly crawl out of the guest bed, making my way toward the kitchen for a bowl of Nana’s porridge. Saturday morning had become a familiar routine: drop Grandpa off at “the mysterious, big stone chapel”, run errands with Nana, make my way through the McDonald’s play place while Nana sipped on coffee with Gina the pilot, and then retrace our steps back to the chapel. Only when I was older did it begin to strike me as odd that my grandfather had been going to church on Saturday, a day early.
It turns out he was not there to worship. Instead, he was part of a group that would help convicted criminals get back on their feet. While his group provided food, shelter, and employment opportunities, for the most part he was there to talk to them about change. The diverse spectrum of individuals ranged from those with drug charges to, to others with battery charges, but he presented a message that they could all relate to.
The image of my very religious, yet often times comical grandfather, surrounded by ex-cons may have been hard to picture, but it was quite easy to understand. He possessed and would subsequently instil in myself two beliefs: the first being that everyone was capable of making wrong choices but that you should always try to “see the good in people”, and the second being that you should always help people.
Throughout my life, I have always strived to live by his advice which has been responsible for a subsequently sparked interest in criminal law. I’ve become intrigued by the idea of standing up for those who perhaps do not have the proper knowledge, voice, or means to do so themselves. ...........don’t really know where to go with it from there....
Last edited by laurgirl on Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

theaether
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:17 am

Re: Help! Don't know exactly where I'm trying to go with this.

Postby theaether » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:55 pm

much of the beginning beginning sounds superfluous to me. i'm sure you can get to the important work your grandfather did more directly.

what is meant by "would help both convicted criminals" it sounds like he's helping himself, and someone else, both convicted criminals, get back on their feet

comma splice after "ranged from those with drug charges to,"

don't understand the jump from "hard to picture" to "easy to understand"

some repetition of syntax like "subsequently"

to do this essay you would need to put yourself more concretely in the events. how did he instill in you those two beliefs? what made you accept them? etc

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

Re: Help! Don't know exactly where I'm trying to go with this.

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:22 am

This could be interesting. But why do you write like that. Is that one idea worth four tiny paragraphs? Also people don't have drug charges, they have drug convictions. They face charges, but I assume these people are past that stage.

HBK
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:29 pm

Re: Help! Don't know exactly where I'm trying to go with this.

Postby HBK » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:22 am

theaether wrote:much of the beginning beginning sounds superfluous to me. i'm sure you can get to the important work your grandfather did more directly.

don't understand the jump from "hard to picture" to "easy to understand"

some repetition of syntax like "subsequently"

to do this essay you would need to put yourself more concretely in the events. how did he instill in you those two beliefs? what made you accept them? etc


I like the juxtaposition of "hard to picture" and "easy to understand." It makes you think about it. My grandfather was a very conservative, middle class person. Not the type of person you'd imagine hanging out with criminals. But, if it was for his church, I could totally see it. For me, it drew me in and related to me personally.

Also, I like the build-up. You're telling a story, and unlike most PS's on this site, it's actually well-written and draws the reader in. If there were one thing I'd cut it would be the "By now" before "Saturday morning."

kublaikahn wrote:This could be interesting. But why do you write like that. Is that one idea worth four tiny paragraphs? Also people don't have drug charges, they have drug convictions. They face charges, but I assume these people are past that stage.


It looks different when you put it on a page. After reading your post, I copied/pasted it into a word doc, double spaced, it's almost an entire page. I don't think the paras are too short.

OP, regarding your PS. Was your grandfather a reformed criminal? It is ambiguous in your statement.

"but he presented a message that they could all relate to."

I'd try not to end a sentence in a preposition. It may fly in your creative writing classes, but when applying to LS, you're dealing with lawyers, not writers. They may be staunchly opposed to sentences like this. "but he presented a message that transcended class distinctions" or something. I'd work on that sentence.

As far as where to go with it, do you have any experiences with reformed criminals? Do you have an anecdote from one of your grandpa's meetings? Maybe explore the topic of criminals being able to change their lives with a good role model like your grandfather, or through new found faith (but I'd stay away from going too preachy). Maybe just finding something good that turned their life around.

If there's not a story like that to share, why did your grandfather go? Can you share his empathy with the lost souls?

If your grandfather were a reformed criminal, this could go a half a dozen different ways and turn into an awesome PS. "The law provides rights to those otherwise disregarded by society due to past mistakes. It provides them the ability to reform, to become better people, and to have a positive effect on those around them." Something like that.

Good luck

laurgirl
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:53 pm

Re: Help! Don't know exactly where I'm trying to go with this.

Postby laurgirl » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:35 am

No, he wasn't a reformed criminal. He was a very religious and conservative man, however, not judgmental at all. I guess what I'm trying to convey is that he had a big heart and, crazy or not, he really believed that there was good in these criminals and that they were capable of change. As for how it relates to me: I was quite close with him, and a lot of his beliefs have been instilled in me, so I have a similar perspective to him on criminals. I just don't know exactly how to express this, or how to tie it directly into my desire to pursue criminal law. (Also, I don't want it to come off entirely about me hoping to free guilty clients from their charges, therefore I'm a horrible person...hah).




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