Okay, here's what I got!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
GythaOgg
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:00 am

Okay, here's what I got!

Postby GythaOgg » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:02 am

This is my personal statement thus far- the activism I wrote about because it is the most important of all my volunteer activities. I'd appreciate your thoughts and contributions.

EDIT: This is not the first statement but the updated version as I've been editing it- thus its not what your seeing initially replied to.

****

I was 16 when the Massachusetts State Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, and I‘ll never forget the weeks following that ruling. I attached myself to the television and the computer, obsessed with the news coverage, pouring over every image, listening to and reading all of the commentary I could come. Although I was aware that I was gay the concept of same-sex marriage had never occurred to me before. Sure, I knew marriage existed, my parents were married, couples in the TV shows I watched were married, but until that point marriage was something straight people did- I understood it as something that just didn’t apply to us. But that had changed, and with it my awareness of how my government treated people such as myself.

I remember when that ruling came down, there were images of couples on television and in the newspapers- men holding hands alongside each other, smiling, talking about their mundane lives, and how long they'd been together. It was the first time I’d seen gay adults, men and women like me, whose lives were as normal and productive as everyone else. It occurred to me that someday I might be someone’s spouse, that I may want to get married. But, hearing that I was somehow dangerous or a threat to the children and families in my neighborhood was appalling. I wanted to do something, to not just watch history happen but to be a part of it.

But I wasn’t in Massachusetts, I was in Leavenworth, Kansas- which compared to New England may as well be a different planet. I lived in a military town, was the son of a retired Lt. Colonel, and my family was relatively conservative. Only a few close friends even knew I was gay. Perhaps because of the community I lived in these issues were more apparent to me, or maybe it was my personality, but as time went on I became more and more frustrated at being just an observer of things that were of tremendous impact to me.

That changed in 2006 when, by word of mouth, I attended a Democratic candidate’s speaking engagement in my hometown. Her name was Nancy Boyda, and she was running for congress in my congressional district. She was sharp, smart, a no-nonsense, levelheaded mother worried not about what I was doing in my bedroom but instead about what was happening in the kitchen. It became clear to me that the simplest and immediately available way to make a difference was to vote, volunteer, and campaign for candidates who shared my values.

I bought a ‘Nancy for Congress!’ shirt at that event, gathered some campaign fliers, and led my own door to door canvassing campaign in my neighborhood. Two weeks before the election polling data was published and a race that wasn’t even on the state or national radar became the talk of the regional political sphere, with a serious prospect for an upset. Election night came and we won. Up until that night I had never felt more proud. I was hooked.

I joined the Leavenworth County Democratic Party, first as a volunteer, and was eventually appointed by the Chairwoman to the position of Precinct Committeeman, to later be elected to that position in the following primary. I volunteered on multiple campaigns, phone banked from home, organized candidate meet and greets, and engaged in my fair share of door to door.

My activism has taught me the most valuable of life traits- hard work, perseverance, and dedication. More than anything I want to make a difference in the lives of others, to help people when they are the most vulnerable and in their greatest time of need. My interests lay in criminal and family law where I feel I can make the biggest contribution.

I may not be the next Theodore Olson or David Boies, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t who you are, or where you come from- any person can make a difference.
Last edited by GythaOgg on Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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WannaGo
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:12 pm

Re: Okay, here's what I got!

Postby WannaGo » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:55 am

You have some weird punctuation issues you’ll want to iron out before you go final, but overall, I liked it. One thing I would recommend is to remove the clichés and rethink your phasing on the boldfaced words below - with the caveat that some of these are personal style preferences that I think take away from the eloquence of the rest of your essay and quite simply, I think you have the talent to write something better.

Also, I’m a bit of an economy of words gal, so I would also recommend tightening up some of your wording. Don’t say it in ten words if you can say it in two – read your essay with what I've one lined and make your own decisions. As a friendly suggestion though, ask yourself if the word really adds anything to the power of your message. If not, it should go. I recognize you want to keep it conversational and to your style, just remember that each word takes valuable space so you want to make every word count.


Good luck!



****


I was 16 years oldwhen the Massachusetts State Supreme Court ruled tolegalize same-sex marriage and I‘ll never forget the weeks following that ruling. I attached myself to the television and the computer, obsessed with the news coverage, pouring over every image, listening to and reading all of the commentary I could come across. Although I was decidedly aware at that point in my life that I was gay the concept of same-sex marriage had never occurred to me before, it wasn’t something that had even blipped on my mental radar. Sure,I knew marriage existed, my parents were married, couples in the TV shows I watched were married, but until that point marriage was something straight people did- I had understood it as something that just didn’t apply to us. But that had changed, and with it my awareness of how my government treated people such as myself.

The one thingI remember the mostwhen that ruling came down, there were was theimages of the couples on television and in the newspapers- the men holding hands alongside each other, smiling, talking about their rather mundane lives, and how long they’d been together. It was the first time I’d seen gay adults, men and women like me, whose lives were as normal and productive as everyone else. It occurred to me then that someday I might be someone’s better half. That in the future I may be in a relationship with a partner I might want to marry, and the idea that that right shouldn’t extend to me incensed me. Even at that age hearing that I was somehow dangerous or a threat to the children and families in my neighborhood was appalling. I wanted to do something, to not just watch history happen but instead to be a part of it.

But I wasn’t in Massachusetts, I was in Leavenworth, Kansas- which when compared to New England may as well be a different planet. I lived in a military town, was the son of a retired Lt. Colonel, and my family was relatively conservative. Only a few close friends even knew I was gay. Perhaps because of the community I lived in these issues were more apparent to me, or maybe it was just my personality, but as time went on I steadily became more and more frustrated at being just an observer of things that were of tremendous impact to me.
Butthat changed in 2006 when, by word of mouth, I decided toattended a Democratic candidate’s speaking engagement in my hometown. Her name was Nancy Boyda, she was running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional district, and I was completely blown away by her. She was sharp, smart, a no-nonsense, levelheaded mother worried not about what I was doing in my bedroom but instead about who may or may not be eating in the kitchen. It became clear to me that the simplest and immediately available way to make a difference was to vote, volunteer, and campaign for candidates who shared my values.

So,I bought a ‘Nancy for Congress!’ shirt at that event, gathered some campaign fliers, and did door to door all over my neighborhood for weeks. Two weeks before the election polling data was published and a race that wasn’t even on the state or national radar became the talk of the regional political sphere, with a serious prospect for an upset. Election night came and we nailed. Upuntil that night I had never felt more proud of myself. I was hooked.
I joined the Leavenworth County Democratic Party, first as a volunteer, and eventually was appointed to the position of Precinct Committeeman by the Chairwoman, and later elected to that position in the following primary. I am veryproud to say that I was no paperweight when I was a member of that organization, I volunteered on multiple campaigns, phone banked from home, organized candidate meet and greets, and did an insurmountable amount of door to door campaigning over the years.

My activism has taught me the most valuable of life lessons (these aren't lessons, they're traits)- hard work, perseverance, and dedication. What I want to do with my potential legal career, more than anything, is to make a difference in the lives of others, to help people when they are the most vulnerable and in their greatest time of need. As such, my interests lay in criminal and family law where I feel I can make the biggest contribution.

Now,I make no claim to be the next (or I may not be the next) Theodore Olson or David Boies, but whatI know for sure isthat it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from- any person can make a difference.[/quote]
Last edited by WannaGo on Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

GythaOgg
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:00 am

Re: Okay, here's what I got!

Postby GythaOgg » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:59 am

Reading through your changes and applying edits I agree with now,

Also, I think you misread the part about the Chairwoman, I may reword that though to make sure no one else does either. It says, 'and eventually was appointed to the position of Precinct Committeeman by the Chairwoman', thus the Chairwoman appointed me.

Thank you so much for responding! O/!!

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WannaGo
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:12 pm

Re: Okay, here's what I got!

Postby WannaGo » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:01 am

GythaOgg wrote:Reading through your changes and applying edits I agree with now,

Also, I think you misread the part about the Chairwoman, I may reword that though to make sure no one else does either. It says, 'and eventually was appointed to the position of Precinct Committeeman by the Chairwoman', thus the Chairwoman appointed me.

Thank you so much for responding! O/!!



Haha - I misread....would recommend taking it out in that case. I really hope that helped. If you have another version, would love to give you feedback if you're interested.

GythaOgg
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:00 am

Re: Okay, here's what I got!

Postby GythaOgg » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:03 am

What I will probably do is take everyone's suggestions, in and out of the forum, and make the final edit out of that, and shorten as necessary for schools that have abnormally small word count requests. Out of curiosity though, why do you come on this forum and volunteer your time to help people with this stuff? I really can't extend my thanks enough.

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WannaGo
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:12 pm

Re: Okay, here's what I got!

Postby WannaGo » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:07 am

Of course!

Well, I don't know if it's really helpful, but I hope it is. TLS has been incredibly helpful to me so I’m just trying to pay it forward.

GythaOgg wrote:What I will probably do is take everyone's suggestions, in and out of the form, and make the final edit out of that, and shorten as necessary for schools that have abnormally small word count requests. Out of curiosity though, why do you come on this forum and volunteer your time to help people with this stuff? I really can't extend my thanks enough.

GythaOgg
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:00 am

Re: Okay, here's what I got!

Postby GythaOgg » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:25 am

Here's what I've edited out to,

***

I was 16 when the Massachusetts State Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, and I‘ll never forget the weeks following that ruling. I attached myself to the television and the computer, obsessed with the news coverage, pouring over every image, listening to and reading all of the commentary I could come. Although I was aware that I was gay the concept of same-sex marriage had never occurred to me before. Sure, I knew marriage existed, my parents were married, couples in the TV shows I watched were married, but until that point marriage was something straight people did- I understood it as something that just didn’t apply to us. But that had changed, and with it my awareness of how my government treated people such as myself.

I remember when that ruling came down, there were images of couples on television and in the newspapers- men holding hands alongside each other, smiling, talking about their mundane lives, and how long they'd been together. It was the first time I’d seen gay adults, men and women like me, whose lives were as normal and productive as everyone else. It occurred to me that someday I might be someone’s spouse, that I may want to get married. But, hearing that I was somehow dangerous or a threat to the children and families in my neighborhood was appalling. I wanted to do something, to not just watch history happen but to be a part of it.

But I wasn’t in Massachusetts, I was in Leavenworth, Kansas- which compared to New England may as well be a different planet. I lived in a military town, was the son of a retired Lt. Colonel, and my family was relatively conservative. Only a few close friends even knew I was gay. Perhaps because of the community I lived in these issues were more apparent to me, or maybe it was my personality, but as time went on I became more and more frustrated at being just an observer of things that were of tremendous impact to me.

That changed in 2006 when, by word of mouth, I attended a Democratic candidate’s speaking engagement in my hometown. Her name was Nancy Boyda, and she was running for congress in my congressional district. She was sharp, smart, a no-nonsense, levelheaded mother worried not about what I was doing in my bedroom but instead about what was happening in the kitchen. It became clear to me that the simplest and immediately available way to make a difference was to vote, volunteer, and campaign for candidates who shared my values.

I bought a ‘Nancy for Congress!’ shirt at that event, gathered some campaign fliers, and led my own door to door canvassing campaign in my neighborhood. Two weeks before the election polling data was published and a race that wasn’t even on the state or national radar became the talk of the regional political sphere, with a serious prospect for an upset. Election night came and we won. Up until that night I had never felt more proud. I was hooked.

I joined the Leavenworth County Democratic Party, first as a volunteer, and was eventually appointed by the Chairwoman to the position of Precinct Committeeman, to later be elected to that position in the following primary. I volunteered on multiple campaigns, phone banked from home, organized candidate meet and greets, and engaged in my fair share of door to door.

My activism has taught me the most valuable of life traits- hard work, perseverance, and dedication. More than anything I want to make a difference in the lives of others, to help people when they are the most vulnerable and in their greatest time of need. My interests lay in criminal and family law where I feel I can make the biggest contribution.

I may not be the next Theodore Olson or David Boies, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from- any person can make a difference.

****

I think that's much cleaner!

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WannaGo
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:12 pm

Re: Okay, here's what I got!

Postby WannaGo » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:17 pm

A few more minor edits, but you are going to have to go through a couple of drafts before it is really ready.

Again, some of these come down to personal style so use as you see fit.

GythaOgg wrote:Here's what I've edited out to,

***

I was 16 when the Massachusetts State Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. and Iwill never forget the weeks following that ruling. I attached myself to the television and the computer, obsessed with the news coverage, pouring over every image, listening to and reading all of the commentary I couldcome. Although I was aware that I was gay, the concept of same-sex marriage had never occurred to me before. Sure, I knew marriage existed; my parents were married, couples in the TV shows I watched were married, but until that point, marriage was something straight people did. I understood it as something that just didn’t apply to us. But that hadchanged, and with it, my awareness of how my government treated people such as myself like me.
I remember when theat ruling came down. There were images of couples on television and in the newspapers- men holding hands alongside each other, smiling, talking about their mundane lives, and how long they'd been together. It was the first time I had seen gay adults, men and women like me, whose lives were as normal and productive as everyone else. It occurred to me that someday I might be someone’s spouse, that I may want to get married. But, hearing that I was somehow dangerous or a threat to the children and families in my neighborhood was appalling. I wanted to do something, to not just watch history happen but to be a part of it.

But I wasn’t in Massachusetts, I was in Leavenworth, Kansas- which compared to New England may as well be (sounds funny because you're talking about the past and this is present comparison....maybe something like "could have been mistaken for another planet" or something) a different planet. I lived in a military town, was the son of a retired Lt. Colonel, and my family was relatively conservative. Only a few close friends even knew I was gay. You have the space now to expand on this....Why did only a few people know? Paint a picture for the reader...what was the significance of living in your town as a male, gay, teenager? If possible, give a personal story example of how your status in your town impacted you and motivated you to be involved in the political process of advocating for your own rights. Perhaps because of the community I lived in these issues were more apparent to me, or maybe it was my personality, but as time went on, I became more and more frustrated at being just an observer of things that were of tremendous impact to me.

That changed in 2006 when, by word of mouth, I attended a Democratic candidate’s speaking engagement in my hometown. Her name was Nancy Boyda and she was running for congress in my congressional district. She was a sharp, smart, a no-nonsense, levelheaded mother worried not about what I was doing in my bedroom but instead about what was happening in the kitchen. I may just be uninformed...but you keep comparing the bedroom and the kitchen but I'm not sure to what you are referring. What is with the kitchen reference? It became clear to me that the simplest and most immediately availableway to make a difference was to vote, volunteer, and campaign for candidates who shared my values.

I bought a ‘Nancy for Congress!’ shirt at that event, gathered some campaign fliers, and led my neighborhood's own door to door canvassing campaignin my neighborhood. Two weeks before the election polling data was published, and a race that wasn’t even on the state or national radar became the talk of the regional political sphere, with a serious prospect for an upset. Election night came and we won. Up until that nightI had never felt more proud. I was hooked.

I joined the Leavenworth County Democratic Party, first as a volunteer, and was eventually appointed by the Chairwoman to the position of Precinct Committeeman, to later be elected to that positionin the following primary. I volunteered on multiple campaigns, phone banked from home, organized candidate meet and greets, and engaged in my fair share of door to door.

My activism has taught me the most valueable of life traits- hard work, perseverance, and dedication. Armed with these traits and a passion for equality, I am both inspired and prepared to successfully study and practice law. ...or something - some tie in. More than anything I want to make a difference in the lives of others, to help people when they are the most vulnerable and in their greatest time of need. My interests lay in criminal and family law where I feel I can make the biggest contribution.

I may not be the next Theodore Olson or David Boies, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from - any person can make a difference.

****

I think that's much cleaner!




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