Does this work as a Personal Statement? [Deleted]

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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danitt
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Does this work as a Personal Statement? [Deleted]

Postby danitt » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:51 pm

[Deleted].

I thank everyone for their constructive input.
Last edited by danitt on Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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john1990
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Re: Does this work as a Personal Statement?

Postby john1990 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:14 pm

I WAS not supposed to want to be a lawyer. In my old neighborhood growing up, people were appointed lawyers by the court. They did not attend law school and they certainly did not become lawyers. My neighborhood was very tough. As the only daughter of a single mother who seemed far too focused on education in the eyes of some of my neighborhood peers, I learned quickly that I had to be on my guard at all times because my mere presence in some areas was a risk in and of itself. It is because of this neighborhood and these experiences however, that I now have an interest in the law and legal systems.

At an early age I learned to distinguish the sound of gunshots from the echoes of fireworks. I learned to see but not see. I learned that self-preservation was about not making eye contact with the drug dealer on the corner. I learned that if I did hear gunshots that I was not to look outside so I could not be asked anything as a witness. I learned the phrase “lockdown”. I learned what a semi-automatic rifle looked and sounded like. I learned which addicts were dangerous and which ones would allow me to go on my way without trouble. But most of all I learned that the poor and disadvantaged were the most vulnerable, not just financially but within the legal system that had been constructed in my country.

I had become accustomed to raids performed by joint military and police tactical units early in life. The police visited the neighborhood frequently in search of drugs, guns and wanted criminals. Residents would be required to remain in their homes while these teams conducted their exercises. No questions were asked, and those who dared to protest would find themselves summarily detained as well, whether that individual was an innocent bystander asserting their rights or a known troublemaker.

Human rights violations were rampant and no one seemed to have the necessary cache to fight the system, so there was acceptance and even more abuse of power. It was not unusual for someone to be arrested ostensibly on suspicion of a charge, with no evidence forthcoming, and detained in jail for undisclosed periods of time within which files would be lost, prisoners transferred and families would spend months not knowing when they would see their loved ones again. It is understood that the poor would always pay for their crimes while the wealthier in society would be allowed to go free. This created a level of discontent and disenfranchisement within depressed communities that continues to exacerbate criminal activities.

My upbringing in this neighborhood - bearing witness to all of these violations - has deeply influenced my decision to attend law school. I do not accept the notion that someone should be meted out the justice that they can afford rather than the justice that they deserve. Everyone deserves adequate representation before the courts and no one should have their rights violated simply because their neighborhood is considered depressed and invaluable.



I like your personal statement, and I think that the topic of overcoming adversity works well. You might want to include a specific event as an example if there is something that strikes out as particularly changing in your life that you don’t mind sharing. That would be far more powerful than a summary, although, this is still a very memorable personal statement.
I corrected your spelling of neighborhood throughout, you use that word seven times, and you might want to put the words, town, or community in a few spots instead. Also, I don’t think that the final sentence is necessary, most people avoid putting that on at the end. It creates more problems when people mix up school names.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Does this work as a Personal Statement?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:22 pm

OP: Your spelling is correct & preferred, but the above poster is also correct in that the Americanized spelling is different.

P.S. Your essay misuses the word "invaluable" which means "having a value too great to be measured".

P.P.S. CHANGE: "and even more abuse of power" to "enabling further abuses of power".

Overall this is an excellent & effective law school personal statement essay, in my opinion.

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danitt
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Re: Does this work as a Personal Statement?

Postby danitt » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:09 pm

Thank you both for your input and I will definitely tighten it up.

john1990 there are several events that I could talk about, I just erred on the side of caution because I didn't want the PS to come off as too much of a sob story. It's such a fine line!

laurgirl
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Re: Does this work as a Personal Statement?

Postby laurgirl » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:38 am

I think this is excellent.

my only suggestion:
"whether that individual was an innocent bystander asserting their rights or a known troublemaker. " should be "whether that individual was a known troublemaker or an innocent bystander asserting their rights". More effective IMO.

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GirlStop
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Re: Does this work as a Personal Statement?

Postby GirlStop » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:49 am

This is a great PS; It gets to the point and demanded my full attention.

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danitt
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Re: Does this work as a Personal Statement?

Postby danitt » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:58 pm

Thanks everyone for your help. I do have a follow up question. Given that I have chosen to write this type of PS do you see the need for an additional diversity statement as I am a URM?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Does this work as a Personal Statement?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:03 pm

Yes, since the diversity statement would allow you to share a specific experience or influence without messing-up an already strong personal statement essay.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Does this work as a Personal Statement?

Postby laxbrah420 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:16 pm

i really liked this essay and I almost think it's more interesting because you don't specifically mention your ethnicity. the other essays I've read here written by URMs all say something like, "I'm a first generation Asian so I know what is like to face adversity..."... you let your experience stand on its own and it's all the better for it. speaking from absolutely zero authority, i say disregard the diversity statement




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