This is my PS and addendum, tear them down... if you can.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Duramax80
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This is my PS and addendum, tear them down... if you can.

Postby Duramax80 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:30 pm

Character and Fitness Addendum

• In the summer of 2006, I was issued a citation for Failure to Maintain Lane in XXXXX. I lost control of my vehicle on a turn, hydroplaned, and slid into a ditch. I did not contest, and paid the fine, therefore completing all requirements for this misdemeanor.

• On December 5th, 2006, I was arrested for Minor in Possession of Marijuana, in XXXXX. After successfully completing six months of reporting probation, passing random urinalysis screenings, and paying a fine of $843.00, my charge was expunged from my record. It was the first and last time I consumed any sort of illegal drug, and I have been definitively drug free for the past six years.

• On May 17th, 2007, I was issued a misdemeanor citation for speeding, in XXXXX. I have completed all requirements associated with this charge.

• On December 12, 2007, I was arrested for DUI and Failure to Maintain Lane in XXXXX, citation number 030337. After being arrested, I enrolled myself into a defensive driving course on my own accord, which I completed. When I appeared in court, I was given the opportunity to plead guilty to reckless driving, and paid a fine of $ 1,271.00. Aside from the judicial fines, I was also forced to appear before the Student Judicial Board at my university. I completed an online alcohol education program as well as forty hours of community service. All of the requirements associated with my offense have been successfully completed.
o Looking back, being arrested for DUI is the most shameful and dishonorable experience of my life. However, it undoubtedly allowed me to recognize my faults and reevaluate my life and actions. Since that time, I have grown and matured as an individual, and I look back at that instance as a painful lesson learned. I no longer see operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol as an option, and if I do not have a safe method home, I abstain from drinking.

I fully realize the severity of my past actions, of which I accept full responsibility. Since 2007, both my criminal and driving history have remained free from any sort of violation or discrepancy whatsoever. After receiving a background check from the University Police Department, the document stated I had a clean record.



GPA ADDENDUM:
Starting college in 2006, I lacked direction in what field of study I wanted to partake in, causing me to essentially test out several different courses. Then, in 2008, I suffered from depression upon the death of two very close friends, which severely impacted my academic performance. The following semester, I was diagnosed with mononucleosis, and had to medically withdraw from all of my classes. Medical documentation can be provided upon request. However, after fully recuperating from both of these factors, I entered back into my undergraduate career to continue my education. In the spring of 2010, I enrolled into a law class, and found my drive and direction I had been lacking thus far. I transformed myself into a disciplined and motivated student, and committed myself to taking my studies seriously, which led to a significant improvement in my performance as a student, and which I believe, demonstrates my true academic capabilities.

PERSONAL STATEMENT:
Many universities face a common obstacle these days, as they are filled with young people with lots of talent but little direction, and thus, little motivation. When I started school, I drifted through my classes without a sense of who or what I wanted to be. However, I was pulled out of my vacillation and indecisiveness upon enrolling in a required Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure course, leading me to finally realize my purpose and potential.

After the first week of class, I felt that I had finally found my place, something that I had previously thought to be nonexistent. The course and the concepts it included were demanding, yet I was able to understand and successfully apply them in their entirety. The format of the class included in-class debate, critical problem solving, case and fact pattern analysis, strength assessment of potential defenses and hypothetical judiciary decisions, all of which significantly fueled my intellectual curiosity. I especially enjoyed reviewing historical cases and determining why each involved party acted in the way they did, ranging from the opening statements to the eventual jury decisions and judicial rulings. As the class came to an end, I continued to seek a strong foundation in legal education, enrolling myself in as many law classes as possible. I had found my drive that I had been lacking, ignited by a sincere interest in all aspects of law, and I knew from that point on that this was the field I wanted to be a part of. I began to take pride in my studies, and as my undergraduate career progressed, I tuned my passion and drive that I had unlocked in my legal classes to other aspects of my personal, and especially, my academic life. As time went on, scholarly life became incredibly enjoyable and rewarding, further fueling my desire to enter into the legal profession. The transformation that ensued was so significant, that in my final year, I earned my place on the Dean’s List honor roll. I had found where I belong, conquered my uncertainty, and therefore, conquered myself.

After graduating from University, ready to take on new challenges, I ventured out into the professional world in hopes of expanding my interest and foundation in law even further. I volunteered for an unpaid internship position at the XXXXX, a local law firm that specializes in several areas including business law, family law, divorce, bankruptcy, immigration and DUI. The wide range of specialties the firm worked within gave me the opportunity to develop and sharpen the skills necessary to successfully operate in vastly diverse and high stress environments. Taking hold of any opportunity that arose, I enhanced my ability to adapt to new situations, relate to people from different demographics, apply an objective approach to each situation, and view each case from beginning to end, including hypothesizing potential outcomes and rulings the case may generate in court.

Aside from the skills I developed behind the phones and desks, I realized the impact being an attorney had on people’s lives. Specifically, I remember speaking with a client, who after a divorce, endured wildly unsubstantiated accusations of child abuse and was denied any chance of visitation with his daughter. During our conversations, I could see just how exhausting this process had been for him, and the toll it took on his personal and professional life. Through negotiations with the opposing counsel, an agreement was reached, finally granting him visitation rights with his child in which he fully deserved. Even though I did not have a direct impact on the outcome of the case, I witnessed first hand the importance of practicing law. It was on that day that I fully realized, with no doubt in my mind, the calling I felt in my undergraduate law classes was justified. Not only did I have a passion and understanding of law, I saw the importance of practicing law and the extent to which it could improve the wellbeing of others, reinforcing my goal of law school and the life I want to lead.




...What would you improve if you could?

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NomNom
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:33 pm

Re: This is my PS and addendum, tear them down... if you can.

Postby NomNom » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:08 pm

I will start by saying I don't believe you need to list the minor traffic tickets (failure to maintain lane, etc). Reading the rest...

rebexness
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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:24 am

Re: This is my PS and addendum, tear them down... if you can.

Postby rebexness » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:08 pm

Last edited by rebexness on Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: This is my PS and addendum, tear them down... if you can.

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:12 pm

The PS is well-written but boring, and rehashes your GPA addendum and the list of classes on your transcript. I don't learn anything about you except which class you most enjoyed as an undergraduate. (Personally, I liked ballroom dancing and quantative chemical analysis. But that doesn't tell you much about me as a person.)

ETA: that's not to say I couldn't write a decent PS mentioning ballroom and quant. But it would need humanizing detail (many people use anecdotes or stories about specific incidents, moments, people, or situations to accomplish this). I would write about not being a terribly confident dancer, but enjoying the steps that required less precision, or enjoying the sensation of importance and professionalism I got when we were allowed to use the gas chromatograph or the spectrometer, or the attention to detail required to precisely titrate solution A into sample B to determine its chemical composition. Not just telling the reader "quantative analysis required attention to detail and fostered professionalism in the students," but showing them.

I'm also not a big fan of starting right off with a paragraph of negative self-deprecation. You should be trying to catch the reader's attention and draw them into your story, not suggest to them that they won't enjoy reading about you.

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Duramax80
Posts: 134
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Re: This is my PS and addendum, tear them down... if you can.

Postby Duramax80 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:28 pm

Okay, thanks everyone. Im getting to work on changing things. I have one question though, instead of starting off with a negative aspect about me, as I have done in paragraph 1, how would you suggest that I lead into paragraph 2 while providing the background of my situation?

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rinkrat19
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Re: This is my PS and addendum, tear them down... if you can.

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:34 pm

Duramax80 wrote:Okay, thanks everyone. Im getting to work on changing things. I have one question though, instead of starting off with a negative aspect about me, as I have done in paragraph 1, how would you suggest that I lead into paragraph 2 while providing the background of my situation?
Why do you have to say that you were lost and floundering to describe enthusiasm for one particular class? You can easily express "this class was awesome and inspired me" without preceding it with "I was a directionless idiot." (I paraphrase. :wink: )

Start with something small: a detail, something eye-catching, etc. I might start mine: "The gas chromatograph was worth $100,000, our professor had informed us, so it was with some trepidation that I slid the test tube contianing my unknown sample into the machine." (I can't remember how much the thing cost or whether it took test tubes, but you get the point.) Then I'd muse on how using that machine, and being entrusted with the individual drawers full of thousands of dollars of laboratory glassware, etc. gave us a taste of real chemistry and thus drove home the importance of meticulous work and attention to detail. Or something like that.

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Duramax80
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:34 pm

Re: This is my PS and addendum, tear them down... if you can.

Postby Duramax80 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:39 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
Duramax80 wrote:Okay, thanks everyone. Im getting to work on changing things. I have one question though, instead of starting off with a negative aspect about me, as I have done in paragraph 1, how would you suggest that I lead into paragraph 2 while providing the background of my situation?
Why do you have to say that you were lost and floundering to describe enthusiasm for one particular class? You can easily express "this class was awesome and inspired me" without preceding it with "I was a directionless idiot." (I paraphrase. :wink: )

Start with something small: a detail, something eye-catching, etc. I might start mine: "The gas chromatograph was worth $100,000, our professor had informed us, so it was with some trepidation that I slid the test tube contianing my unknown sample into the machine." (I can't remember how much the thing cost or whether it took test tubes, but you get the point.) Then I'd muse on how using that machine, and being entrusted with the individual drawers full of thousands of dollars of laboratory glassware, etc. gave us a taste of real chemistry and thus drove home the importance of meticulous work and attention to detail. Or something like that.



Awesome, I'll definitely get on this asap. I can see how starting off with my "directionless idiocy" may be a turnoff. :D

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hdivschool
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: This is my PS and addendum, tear them down... if you can.

Postby hdivschool » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:54 pm

This PS is run-of-the-mill. You need to add more of what distinguishes you from other applicants.

Show more, tell less. The PS is vague and a tad hyperbolic. I would add a anecdote from the class a la the case at the firm (some aspect of crim pro or con law, perhaps?) and eliminate some of the less meaningful language, e.g. "I began to take pride in my studies, and as my undergraduate career progressed, I tuned my passion and drive that I had unlocked in my legal classes to other aspects of my personal, and especially, my academic life." and "The wide range of specialties the firm worked within gave me the opportunity to develop and sharpen the skills necessary to successfully operate in vastly diverse and high stress environments."

You overuse subordinate clauses at the beginning of sentences. It tires the reader and muddles the writing. Switch a few out and begin the sentence with the subject instead.

Tighten it up. Cut out adverbs and adjectives and get your nouns and verbs to do the work instead. For example:

Aside from the skills I developed behind the phones and desks,At the firm, I realized the impact being an attorneys had have on people’s lives. Specifically, I remember speaking with a client, who after a divorce, I spoke with a divorced client who endured wildlyunsubstantiated accusations of child abuse and was denied any chance of visitation with his daughter. During our conversations, I could see just how exhausting this process had been for him, I saw the exhaustion on his face and the toll itthose accusations took on his personal and professional life him. Through negotiations with the opposing counsel, an agreement was reached, finally granting The attorneys at my firm were able to restore his visitation rights. Even though I did not have a direct impact on the outcome of the case,I witnessed first hand the importance of practicing law It was on that day that I fully realized, with no doubt in my mind, confirming the calling I felt in my undergraduate law classeswas justified.Not only did I have a passion and understanding of law, I saw the importance of practicing law and the extent to which it could improve the wellbeing of others, reinforcing my goal of law school and the life I want to lead.




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