First Draft of Personal Statement-- Your Thoughts?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ox1778
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:32 pm

First Draft of Personal Statement-- Your Thoughts?

Postby ox1778 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:48 pm

On a hectic Sunday afternoon last August, I found myself eating lunch at a Union Station restaurant with {Senator XYZ], his communications director, press secretary, and a few key [XYZ] Committee personnel. With the threat of government shutdown only hours away, the lunch provided an opportunity for our team to regroup and formulate a plan for the next twenty-four hours. My very presence at that table is a testament to how far I had come since arriving in Washington eight months earlier as a wide-eyed kid from suburban Atlanta. As a rule of thumb on Capitol Hill, interns are kept as far away from sensitive information as possible—especially on days as critical as this one. However, by that point I was no longer just another nameless intern wandering the halls of the Senate. My hard work, attention to detail, and eagerness to succeed had won me the respect of my superiors as a trusted member of [the office]. While the circumstances surrounding the meal were memorable in their own right, I will never forget that lunch because of a conversation that started when—in between bites of chicken salad—Senator [XYZ] arbitrarily asked, “[Jack], what gets you out of bed in the morning? What is it that you are so passionate about?” Stunned that he would express such curiosity in an intern at the height of the debt ceiling drama, I simply laughed and replied: “I am just trying to be like you, sir.”

I really was not trying to be funny. To tell the truth, I was terrified and only fell back on my wit to hide the fact that I had absolutely no clue what to say. I had always shown great interest in history, government, and economics, but those were merely things I enjoyed studying—I cannot say they ever “got me out of bed in the morning”. Troubled by my uncertainty, I spent the next few weeks contemplating the Senator’s question, trying to come up with an answer I could be proud of. Eventually, I kept returning to the same conclusion: that something terrible had happened to America and that I needed to do something about it. However, I was only able to recognize the symptoms of the problem until I took a course in political theory and uncovered the true source of my frustration: the downfall of truth in modern society—the splintering of one universal worldview into a thousand subjective interpretations of right and wrong. Once I knew what to look for, I began seeing evidence of this tragedy all around me. No longer is there any objective standard of morality, no unanimous agreement on what humans should value and what they should reject. Under the pretenses of tolerance and civil liberty, nihilism has come to dominate all facets of modern culture, much to the detriment of our society.

The problem is not limited to any one area of the country—I recognize the same problems plaguing Washington every day in [college town X]. You would think that if any one group remained unified under a common worldview these days, it would be a Southern fraternity full of affluent white kids; however, I can tell you first hand that nihilism has divided my fraternity just as severely as it has Congress. When I accepted my bid in the summer before my freshman year, I saw myself joining a noble organization built on virtue and propriety. However, it soon became clear that not everyone shared my vision of the brotherhood and two factions emerged: those of us who saw the fraternity as a means of creating better men and those who saw it as a place to drink recklessly and “haze” pledges whenever possible. From my time as Pledge Class President, I worked tirelessly with a select group of members to re-instate the founding ideals back into the brotherhood and get everyone moving together in the right direction. Though met with opposition every step of the way, our efforts improved the fraternity dramatically. In my pledge class alone, five of us have been inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa—widely regarded as the premier honor society at [College X]. Such an achievement would not have been possible had we not accepted the truth of a common worldview and worked with each other within those parameters to collectively reach our goals.

As I move on into the next chapter of my life, I seek to further defend the sanctity of truth in this world, and in times such as these, I see no endeavor more aligned with that goal than the study of law. Whereas centuries ago people consulted the Bible to differentiate right from wrong, modern secularism has rendered statutes, regulations, and court decisions the last commonly-held sources of truth and morality in our society. For this reason, I cherish the law and cannot wait to immerse myself in all of its intricacies. I want to understand how our laws evolved, how they work together to promote order, and how they may be improved to create a better tomorrow. With these objectives in mind, I believe that a legal education from {insert law school} would provide me with an unparalleled ability to continue upholding an objective standard of truth in society. {For reasons A,B,C, etc.}

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RareBreed
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:48 pm

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement-- Your Thoughts?

Postby RareBreed » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:58 am

Maybe it's because I can relate to it, but I really liked it. Where are you applying?

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement-- Your Thoughts?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:43 am

Interesting read. It is clear that you put substantial effort & thought into this writing. The ending hints at a touch of naivety as well as unrealistic expectations of law school, but overall this is an effective personal statement showing that you are searching for guidance. Nevertheless, while law school is not a cathedral & law is not a religion, it will serve you well to view judges as God & trials as Judgment Day.

ox1778
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:32 pm

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement-- Your Thoughts?

Postby ox1778 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:10 pm

Hey guys I really appreciate the input.

Canadian Wolf: I see what you mean with the last paragraph. I'm about to go back and revise it--a lot of the ending right now is just word vomit.

RareBreed: Thank, I put a lot of thought into it so I'm glad you liked it. My top choices are UVA, GULC, Duke, and Vanderbilt, but I'm applying just about everywhere.

Do you guys think it sounds authentic enough? Do you get a feel for who I am as a person?

Thanks for all your help!

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement-- Your Thoughts?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:12 pm

It seems sincere & genuine to me.




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