Applying to law school soon please review my statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Applying to law school soon please review my statement

Postby atorr060 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:16 pm

It was the bottom of the seventh inning in the 2008 National Junior College Athletic Association Softball District Championship; my team was down one and the tying run was on first. It seems like a story line right out of a movie, there was one out and the batter before me managed to get on base advancing the runner and now putting the winning run on second base. It was my rookie year at Miami Dade College, so I knew I had something to prove to my coach and my teammates. Before I even had time to completely digest the situation I was up to bat, overtaken with nerves and excitement I walked up to the plate looked over at my coach and I was ready for the challenge.

I quickly adjusted myself and before I knew it the umpire called strike one. My coach called me over off to the side and in his desperation to clench the title of District Champs he decided to call for a simple hit, a bunt. As I looked up at him, my eyes began to tear up knowing that I could give my team more than that. I simply told him to trust me that I would not let my team down. Stepping back into the plate, eyes watering up, strike two was called.

I stepped out of the batters box took a deep breath and at that instant I wiped away all the tears, blocked out the crowd. For that split minute it was just the pitcher and I battling against each other. I knew that all that was needed was to bring in the players on base and we would be name the new 2008 District Champions. Then came the wind up and the pitch, and as I pulled my bat around the two made contact. I used all the power and technique that I had acquired over my career, and as I was rounding first I quickly noticed that we had won the game. I had managed to hit one over the fence driving in the two runs needed to leave our opponents with a face of disbelieve out on the field causing an overflow of excitement throughout. At that moment it was as if nothing could bring me down and that is how I have lived my life, aspiring for moments that reassure me that anything is possible.

I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico where I lived till the time I was five. Although I did not live there too long, Puerto Rico is in my blood and I am proud of where I come from. I grew up in a family of five; my childhood consisted of family ventures to the baseball park supporting my older brother Emanuel at his numerous baseball tournaments. Since the time I can remember sports have always been in my life and they have become a major part of who I am today. I consider myself an athlete at heart. I believe that through sports I have acquired very important life skills. On the field I learned the meaning of determination, hard work, responsibility, self-confidence, teamwork, and dedication. I have been able to take these skills off the field and apply them to my everyday life.

By the end of my rookie season on the Miami Dade College Softball team I suffered a knee injury that was required for me to have surgery. Before my sophomore year, I endured months of physical therapy hoping that I would be able to join my teammates on the field for another astonishing season. Despite the doctor’s recommendations to not play again, I knew that with hard work I could carry on with my injury. However, while working to get back to the game, I began to realize that I was never going to be able to play with the same intensity. Immediately after graduating Miami Dade College I moved on to Florida International University, where I made one of the toughest decisions of my life; to stop playing softball because in the long run I knew it would be better for my physical health.

I am truly certain that being involved in sports most of my life has placed me in a position and above all prepared me to pursue a career as a lawyer. Throughout the years, I have been able to fully develop the skills I acquired through sports and now it is time to apply them in law school. Determination, hard work, responsibility, self-confidence, teamwork, and dedication will help me to excel in my new role as a law school student. I would like to use my knowledge and enthusiasm for sports to study sports law, because it will help me to better connect with my clients and establish a trusting relationship on a common background.

One of the greatest coach in American football, Vince Lombardi once said, “the price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand,” and I intend to do just that when taking the next major step in my life just like I have tackled every other obstacle presented to me. Law school is a new beginning and I sincerely believe in my abilities to surpass all expectations and master the job at hand. I am ready to challenge myself academically and professionally and embrace this opportunity of personal growth.


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Re: Applying to law school soon please review my statement

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:53 pm

Condense the fourth paragraph. Consider deleting the entire final paragraph.

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Re: Applying to law school soon please review my statement

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:17 am


I find the sports motif a little played out, but the way you've done it kind of works.

Personally, I think you should start with your background in Puerto Rico, then go into the baseball story. People start at the climax almost all the time, and the context for you getting into sports might be more unique, and more telling of who you are.

The part about you getting injured isn't really relevant to your LS argument. It's totally relevant to your life, but I'm not sure you really need to waste your time trying to spin it in into an asset. If you wanted to apply the analogy to law school, what happens when you run into difficulty in LS? Are you going to make the decision to quit then too? I doubt that's the line of thought you were trying to evoke. Get rid of the injury and talk more about your motivation to face challenges.

Finally, your grammar and mechanics need work. Your first paragraph includes an unnecessary semicolon and an egregious shift in tense. I'd review the whole essay for each type of common grammar mistake. Worry about this stuff last, but it's the first thing that caught my eye.

Happy revising, and happy new year!

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Re: Applying to law school soon please review my statement

Postby thelawschoolproject » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:30 am

Just a few general thoughts:

* You tend to shift tenses. In the first paragraph you switch between the past and present tense. Also your grammar and punctuation need assistance. Consider visiting your university's writing center if you're still an UG.

*It's hard for me to buy into the idea that playing sports has really prepared you for the rigors of law school. I can go along with the hard work and the dedication, but it hasn't helped with your writing ability, or your ability to reason. Your sports situation just doesn't seem important enough to me. Moreover, I think you could pick a topic that would show more of who you are. Talking about how you helped to win a game that in all honesty has no bearing on the real world isn't very effective.

*You need to show the adcomm's what you can bring to the table. You want to show them why you would be an asset to their educational community and the legal field at large. This could be some kind of diverse perspective, challenging life experience, or tangible difference that you've made in some kind of setting. IMO, your topic of choice doesn't do this. I would suggest that you look into your past and see if you can find something more dynamic to use.

*Don't quote Vince Lombardi in a law admissions essay.

Best of luck on your cycle!

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Re: Applying to law school soon please review my statement

Postby outsidethescope » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:12 am

Great start. You've got a good narrative to work with, which can be the hardest part.

1. Take out all of the adverbs (most of them end in ly) and most of the adjectives. Try to cut 20% of your words out.
The fewest words you can use to make an argument, the more powerful the argument is. Besides, good descriptions comes from
compelling verbs, not adverbs or adjectives.

2. Take out the "sports taught me xyz" section
It's a classic example of telling, not showing. I can tell you that I am an organized human being, and you could believe
me. However, it's easy enough to lie and say I'm organized when in reality my life is a complete and total mess. If, on the other
hand, I show you that I keep only three items on my desk--a basket for unopened mail, a container for pencils and a vase with one
fresh flower that I change weekly, you're much more likely to come to the conclusion that I am organized, if only because you as
the reader come to the conclusion yourself. The more the reader concludes, the better likelihood your personal statement sounds
genuine. This is best done through showing, not telling. I would also consider cutting the why law school part and focus on your
sports story. Unless your essay prompt specifically asks, "Why law school," there is no reason to include it in your essay.
Especially if it is unrelated to/takes away from the actual story. Besides, it's more telling.

3. There are some grammar mistakes. PM me if you cannot find them, or want them explained.

Good job; keep up the awesome work. Writing a personal story is tough!

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