personal statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
katiebk
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:07 pm

personal statement

Postby katiebk » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:14 pm

Just finished my personal statement, would really appreciate / really need critiques.

“Your father is very lucky and blessed to be alive” the doctor told my family as we waited for my father’s X-ray results. In the spring semester of my sophomore year, my father, a construction worker for over 20 years, fell from the second floor of a building on to the concrete basement floor below. Being the only English speaker in my family it was my responsibility to translate everything for them. As much as I wanted to hide and pretend that his accident was not real, it was my responsibility to make sure that my parents understood both its medical and legal ramifications.
As my father’s accident occurred while he was on-the-job, issues of worker compensation and negligence arose, and my family hired attorneys. The whole process was frightening. Not understanding the legal complications of the accident left us feeling helpless. The attorney explained my father’s rights and his legal options. A positive outcome to the suit was the only way that my family could ensure that my father, now no longer able to work in the field of construction, would have the financial resources to pay what would be significant medical bills. Thankfully my father’s suit settled out of court, but it made me realize how important lawyers and the concept of law can be in the lives of individuals and families.

I majored in psychology because I wanted to delve into a field that questioned and challenged my own ideas about human behavior. Studying psychology helped me understand human development and how it affects our choices and actions. However , after my father’s accident I decided to explore the concept of law. I believe that there is a strong link between the two fields. While psychology works to explain the reasons and rationales behind our choices and behaviors, law represents society’s response to such choices.

I began my study of law naïve to what it means to be a lawyer. On my first day in my criminal law class, the professor described a homicide case to the class and asked how many of us thought the defendant was guilty; my hand was raised in an instance. I was dismayed to later learn that the defendant was set free. On the surface the defendant seemed guilty but as I learned the complexity of law, I realized that unfortunately there was not enough evidence in the case. As my studies of law continued, and I learned more about the theoretical underpinnings and practical application of the law, I realized that to be an attorney one must properly be able to connect the theory and the application to each new set of facts that arises .

Eager to gain professional experience in the summer of my junior year I interned at the Monroe County’s District Attorney’s office. I began learning the importance of understanding the law in a classroom setting but I wanted to witness firsthand how to apply and connect it in actual practical use. During my internship I shadowed an assistant district attorney. Through shadowing him, I gained a great insight into what it means to develop a case from its beginnings to its culmination . I learned how integral research, both legal and factual, is to the practice of law. Every detail could play an important role and every detail should be questioned. I also learned how law grows on itself, and how crucial precedent is. Knowing your case becomes irrelevant if you don’t know and understand all the previous relevant information, including the outcomes and applications of previous similar cases. I was able to work on the important concept of concise legal writing during my internship, and learned how the intricacies of language affect interpretation of statutes, contracts and rulings. In legal writing there is no room for interpretations .

I believe that UC Hastings College of Law is the institution that will best prepare me for my future career. By attending UC Hasting College of Law, I hope to not only gain legal knowledge and expertise, but also build on to my personal perspective of law and integrate it into the local legal community. I am driven to attend UC Hastings specifically for the school’s highly regarded simulation courses and criminal practice clinic, which will allow me to build and refine my lawyering skills and thus complement my classroom learning. Having done research during my undergraduate career, I believe it plays an important role. By participating in the Hasting Law Journal I would hope to explore and contribute to the important connection of psychology and law.

I have come a long way since my first day of criminal law class and my eagerness to find guilt. My father’s personal experience in the justice system led me to my interest in law, but it is the challenges and complexities of law and its practical use that drives me to attend UC Hasting and move forward in my legal career.

katiebk
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:07 pm

Re: personal statement

Postby katiebk » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:54 pm

I am not sure whether to take it as a positive thing that they are no critiques or negative that it is that bad that no one is willing to comment . ?

hooma
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:33 pm

Re: personal statement

Postby hooma » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:06 pm

I liked the first paragraph, but you may consider changing a few words
(
katiebk wrote:“Your father is very lucky and blessed to be alive” the doctor told my family as we waited for my father’s X-ray results. In the spring semester of my sophomore year, my father, a construction worker for over 20 years, fell from the second floor of a building on to the concrete basement floor below. Being the only English speaker in my family it was my responsibility to translate everything for them. As much as I wanted to hide and pretend that his accident was not real, it was my responsibility to make sure that my parents understood both the medical and legal ramifications of what had happened.
As my father’s accident occurred while he was on-the-job, issues of worker compensation and negligence arose (delete comma) and my family hired attorneys. The whole process was frightening. Not understanding the practical implications of the accident left us feeling helpless. The attorney explained my father’s rights and his legal options. A positive outcome to the suit was the only way that my family could ensure that my father, now no longer able to work in the field of construction, would have the financial resources to pay what would be significant medical bills. Thankfully my father’s suit settled out of court, but it made me realize how important lawyers and the concept of law can be in the lives of individuals and families.

I majored in psychology because I wanted to delve into a field that questioned and challenged my own ideas about human behavior. Studying psychology helped me understand human development and how it affects our choices and actions. However , after my father’s accident I decided to explore the concept of law. I believe that there is a strong link between the two fields. While psychology works to explain the reasons and rationales behind our choices and behaviors, law represents society’s response to such choices.


The rest, I think, reads too much like a resume.

pret
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:07 pm

Re: personal statement

Postby pret » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:42 pm

I was told by adcomms to NEVER begin a personal statement with a quote, although I'm not sure if the quote in this context would be okay. One went so far as to say he's NEVER admitted an applicant whose PS began with a quote. Still, I personally wouldn't risk it.

no debt please
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: personal statement

Postby no debt please » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:44 pm

pret wrote:I was told by adcomms to NEVER begin a personal statement with a quote, although I'm not sure if the quote in this context would be okay. One went so far as to say he's NEVER admitted an applicant whose PS began with a quote. Still, I personally wouldn't risk it.


This doesn't even need to be in quotes. -The doctors told us he was lucky to be alive.- should work.

Otherwise I liked it. It read well. You could maybe thin out the last two paragraphs of the body. It is set up well, but drags on a bit.




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