"Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
babul
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:20 am

"Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby babul » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:20 am

Please! Mmm, any advice? Is it good or bad? Any help with editing would be really appreciated. I have no one to help me, lol. They all are in spring break. I still need to finish the last paragraph. Is the length of the statement good or do I need more?

Thank in advance.
..............................
Seven years ago, at the age of 17, I sat inside a juvenile hall facility charged with several criminal charges and booked as a Sureno gang associate. As I sat inside a booking cell, the legal consequences of my actions as well as the educational suicide seemed to hit rock bottom as I stared through a small window in the huge metal door. If prior to my arrest my future was unknown after the arrest I had no future. I had lost control of my life; the criminal justice system would decide a punishment and my future.

Several weeks after my arrest, I returned to juvenile court for sentencing. It was during sentencing that I knew I was a criminal. Never had I stolen anything nor harmed another human being before, yet the prosecutor furiously insisted I was a threat to the community. There I sat at trial, observing a Caucasian male using and abusing the law to accuse me of a heinous crime when I was only guilty of poorly choosing friends and of a common symptom at that age- immaturity. At the end, I was punished for possessing a metal knuckle weapon and sentenced to one year probation.

Throughout several months, I struggled to adapt to a totally different educational environment- court school. I was sent to Teilman and Ashjian Community School where the worst of the worst are sent by the juvenile court system. Schools were students are search by police officers and teachers for weapons and drugs every single day. Schools were students are forced to wear black and white. Schools were staring at the wrong person or simply being you can result in a beating. Schools were peace is nonexistent and violence the bread of the day.

Every day I was outnumbered. I had no friends. I sat alone during lunch. I was constantly confronted by rival gang members. They tested my bravery. They searched for a sign of weakness. I was their scrap. I remember being surrounded at lunch by 5 Bulldog gang members barking and flashing gang signs as I tried to eat during lunch. It is difficult to swallow food when one is expecting a punch or kick from any direction. Yet, I wanted to get out of the hole not get in deeper.

Seven years have passed; I am a Fresno State graduate with an accumulative GPA of 3.34 and a major GPA of 3.78. I am the first in my family to graduate from high school and graduate from college. I am the only one of all my high friends to graduate from college. I am not a criminal.

My life’s experiences have undoubtedly shaped me into a compassionate person concern with the present and future of juvenile minority groups trapped in our criminal justice system.

User avatar
KMaine
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby KMaine » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:26 am

You do know how to spell "where," right? Congratulations on all you have accomplished and overcome. Statement needs some work.

BlueDiamond
Posts: 953
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby BlueDiamond » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:29 am

"It was during sentencing that I knew I was a criminal."

"I am not a criminal."

Is this getting at the Shawshank version of "everyone in the joint is innocent" theme?

I would get rid of all of the talk about being on probation - I feel this should be explained in an essay other than a personal statement and in a more straightforward fashion

Also, dont go to law school - thats just my standard advice

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby shoeshine » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:32 am

Umm it sounds like you may have some C&F issues. I would look into them before investing a lot of time applying to law school.

User avatar
gaud
Posts: 5790
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:58 am

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby gaud » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:36 am

babul wrote: I am the only one of all my high friends to graduate from college.


I wouldn't say this.

bmore
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby bmore » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:26 am

I like your topic in general but it needs some serious rewriting. Espescially the "it wasn't my fault" vibe. There are many grammatical and spelling mistakes. If English is not your first language, you should get some help. A few examples:

"as well as the educational suicide seemed to hit rock bottom"
"If prior to my arrest my future was unknown after the arrest I had no future." Commas can be your friend.
"There I sat at trial, observing a Caucasian male using and abusing the law to accuse me of a heinous crime when I was only guilty of poorly choosing friends and of a common symptom at that age- immaturity. At the end, I was punished for possessing a metal knuckle weapon and sentenced to one year probation." Hmm sounds a little racist. Possession of a weapon is not choosing friends poorly. Take responsibility for your actions or this will not be well received. What heinous crime???????
"were" is "where"
You say you were surrounded by rival gang members which leads me to believe you were in a gang. Yet your PS seems to deny your "wrong doing". You final statement seems to again sday it is not me/their fault.

Your personal statement needs to let the admissions people why you would make a good law student at their institution. You don't seem to address this anywhere.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby sunynp » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:48 am

This can be good. I would refocus it more on overcoming. Actually to me, the most moving part was how you managed to stand your ground while being taunted by the other gang. That was very powerful. But you maybe don't want to say gang - I would avoid mentioning gang affiliation.

But I am confused, where did you go to school before court school? Were you in jail then or do you just go to school at the court? You need a sentence or two explaining where you were before you got arrested.
You could keep the first sentence (although I would drop the part about several criminal charges and a gang member) and then add something like -[ just the day before I had been a kid in my neighborhood high school. I had planned to be the first in my family to graduate from high school and go to college. But as I sat in the booking cell I realized that ....]

I also wouldn't place the blame on the prosecutor - it makes it sound like you had no part in this. You need to focus on where you are now and what you have learned, not seem to blame someone else. What you experienced and the unfairness of it might be your secret motivation, but you don't have to spell that out.

Remember this is your chance to sell yourself to the admissions committee. You need to frame it more as - you were determined to change despite your surroundings and you did it.

I would also explain why that gave you a drive to stay in school and to become a lawyer.

Sorry if this is rambling, I have to leave now - but this afternoon I will look at this again. You have a style that can be good if it is cleaned up, you need to stick to your own words and then have us look at it.

Can I ask, are you applying now? Isn't it too late? And what is your LSAT?

Are you sure your criminal past won't hurt you in getting admitted to the bar?

I agree with the above poster that you need to explain why you will be a successful law student. You want to convince them to admit you.
Last edited by sunynp on Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby sunynp » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:03 am

I'm making this in another post because I am not sure you would see it if I posted in your other thread.

OP - Are you serious about going to law school? I read your other posts. You seem confused about what to do between law and medicine. You have to give up your plan of going to an unaccredited school, it will not get you where you want to be.

If you want to do medicine, you can still go to school for something in that field instead. I honestly think that medicine is a better field than law. Even if you have to go back to undergrad, your time will be better spent.

babul
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:20 am

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby babul » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:04 pm

sunynp wrote:I'm making this in another post because I am not sure you would see it if I posted in your other thread.

OP - Are you serious about going to law school? I read your other posts. You seem confused about what to do between law and medicine. You have to give up your plan of going to an unaccredited school, it will not get you where you want to be.

If you want to do medicine, you can still go to school for something in that field instead. I honestly think that medicine is a better field than law. Even if you have to go back to undergrad, your time will be better spent.


Thanks! Honestly I only worked on it for about 2-3 separate days. It is my first draft. I haven't really dedicated much time to it. To the other poster, yes! I know the differences between were and where.

I was in regular high school. After being arrested, I was expelled from my school district. No other school wanted to take me. Except, of course, for court school. Even in high school, I wasn't a good student. I believe I had a GPA of 1.5.

I'll work on it a little and try to re-post in the afternoon. I kind of felt the same way as you do. Ah, believe me, it was a living hell at times. Even female gangsters joined the fun. All I could do was smile, I knew I couldn't do anything about it.

I haven't taken the LSAT. I will this June. Honestly, I haven't dedicated as much time as I should. I have only studied a bit, but I am confident I'll get at least a 150. As for my criminal record, I only have a misdemeanor. Ah, they have a rolling admission process. I am sure yet, if fall or spring would be best, I don't have money to pay for classes... Maybe I can afford 2 classes.

Mmm, I have no interest in medicine. I only want to work. Anywhere. Any field. It is really frustrating to be unemployed after graduation.

The law school I seem to be aiming at is a calbar school, apparently. I know the ABA vs Calbar. Ahh, but it is a lot cheaper and many lawyers from my area graduate from it. It is too expensive to go elsewhere. I know it will be really difficult. I simply don't want to be overwhelm with a huge financial burden all my life, or at least part of it.

Thank you! I'll have an improve draft later on. Again, thank you very much.

babul
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:20 am

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby babul » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:16 pm

shoeshine wrote:Umm it sounds like you may have some C&F issues. I would look into them before investing a lot of time applying to law school.


Whats C&F?

User avatar
shoulinpandas
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:31 am

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby shoulinpandas » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:27 pm

:D
Last edited by shoulinpandas on Sun May 20, 2012 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
loblaw016
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:57 am

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby loblaw016 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:31 pm

babul wrote:
shoeshine wrote:Umm it sounds like you may have some C&F issues. I would look into them before investing a lot of time applying to law school.


Whats C&F?

Character & Fitness

User avatar
danquayle
Posts: 1108
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:12 am

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby danquayle » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:46 pm

bmore wrote:I like your topic in general but it needs some serious rewriting. Espescially the "it wasn't my fault" vibe. There are many grammatical and spelling mistakes. If English is not your first language, you should get some help. A few examples:

"as well as the educational suicide seemed to hit rock bottom"
"If prior to my arrest my future was unknown after the arrest I had no future." Commas can be your friend.
"There I sat at trial, observing a Caucasian male using and abusing the law to accuse me of a heinous crime when I was only guilty of poorly choosing friends and of a common symptom at that age- immaturity. At the end, I was punished for possessing a metal knuckle weapon and sentenced to one year probation." Hmm sounds a little racist. Possession of a weapon is not choosing friends poorly. Take responsibility for your actions or this will not be well received. What heinous crime???????
"were" is "where"
You say you were surrounded by rival gang members which leads me to believe you were in a gang. Yet your PS seems to deny your "wrong doing". You final statement seems to again sday it is not me/their fault.

Your personal statement needs to let the admissions people why you would make a good law student at their institution. You don't seem to address this anywhere.


Agree 100%. I would show a little more contrition. Especially as it comes to C&F (Character and Fitness), you have to demonstrate that you've completely eliminated the elements that caused the C&F episode to begin with. Show that this was a formative moment in your life. You were presented with a fork in the road, one short and easy but with a dead end, and one hard and challenging but with a pay out. You took the hard way and pulled yourself out of a bad situation. Kudos.

But the only way to do that is to effectively show that gut check moment is to admit that you had some role in getting yourself to that crossroads moment to begin with. You had to actively change the way you were living, change your habits, your friends, your goals... that's not easy task. I also think owning up a bit more need not undermine your "railroaded" by the system theme, as I have no doubt you were. This same story probably plays out hundreds of times with a less inspiring outcome, and I've no doubt the system is callous to the circumstances of each person and indifferent towards their futures. However, that is all just setting and not everyone responds the way you did. That's the difference, that's your story. That's what makes you Andy Dufresne and not Brooks Hatlen.

In short, I think you need to make this essay about your success at self creation as manifested by your college graduation, rather than about some Manichean evil force you fell narrowly dodged.

I'd also take out the Caucasian part, it seemed kind of cheap. Of course I am a Caucasian male, so I'm probably sensitive.

User avatar
Always Credited
Posts: 2509
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:31 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby Always Credited » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:55 pm

lol @ prosecutor "abusing the law" to convict you. Leave that in so the adcomm can share my lulz.

User avatar
danquayle
Posts: 1108
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:12 am

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby danquayle » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:11 pm

Oh and DON'T GO TO SAN JAQUIN or whatever that school was you were considering. If you're not ready to move for law school, wait til you are.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby rad lulz » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:17 pm

.
Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Jaeger
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby Jaeger » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:21 pm

rad lulz wrote:Bro you sound totally unrepentant and mad at some white dude. You committed a crime. Own up to it. You're taking zero personal responsibility.


Totally.

There I sat at trial, observing a Caucasian male using and abusing the law to accuse me of a heinous crime when I was only guilty of poorly choosing friends and of a common symptom at that age- immaturity.

It's not common to be charged with these crimes or to run with a gang. You sound racist (why even mention Caucasian?) and unrepentant. I would totally throw your application out.

User avatar
mattviphky
Posts: 1117
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:43 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby mattviphky » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:23 pm

Jaeger wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Bro you sound totally unrepentant and mad at some white dude. You committed a crime. Own up to it. You're taking zero personal responsibility.


Totally.

There I sat at trial, observing a Caucasian male using and abusing the law to accuse me of a heinous crime when I was only guilty of poorly choosing friends and of a common symptom at that age- immaturity.

It's not common to be charged with these crimes or to run with a gang. You sound racist (why even mention Caucasian?) and unrepentant. I would totally throw your application out.


Yep. Focus far less on being a gangster, and much more on being an underpriviledged minority. What is your lsat score, and where do you intend on applying?

JasonR
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:09 am

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby JasonR » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:13 am

rad lulz wrote:Bro you sound totally unrepentant and mad at some white dude. You committed a crime. Own up to it. You're taking zero personal responsibility.


+1

I'd ding your app about 15 seconds after I started reading it.

User avatar
geoduck
Posts: 890
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:29 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby geoduck » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:07 am

Sup vato. Make sure to check your eñe. Sureños.

User avatar
geoduck
Posts: 890
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:29 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby geoduck » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:08 am

Jaeger wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Bro you sound totally unrepentant and mad at some white dude. You committed a crime. Own up to it. You're taking zero personal responsibility.


Totally.

There I sat at trial, observing a Caucasian male using and abusing the law to accuse me of a heinous crime when I was only guilty of poorly choosing friends and of a common symptom at that age- immaturity.

It's not common to be charged with these crimes or to run with a gang. You sound racist (why even mention Caucasian?) and unrepentant. I would totally throw your application out.


Guero.

User avatar
geoduck
Posts: 890
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:29 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby geoduck » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:10 am

danquayle wrote:I'd also take out the Caucasian part, it seemed kind of cheap. Of course I am a Caucasian male, so I'm probably sensitive.


Poor oppressed Caucasian males.

User avatar
Jaeger
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby Jaeger » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:15 am

geoduck wrote:
Jaeger wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Bro you sound totally unrepentant and mad at some white dude. You committed a crime. Own up to it. You're taking zero personal responsibility.


Totally.

There I sat at trial, observing a Caucasian male using and abusing the law to accuse me of a heinous crime when I was only guilty of poorly choosing friends and of a common symptom at that age- immaturity.

It's not common to be charged with these crimes or to run with a gang. You sound racist (why even mention Caucasian?) and unrepentant. I would totally throw your application out.


Guero.


Probably darker than you, mang. And despite how it sounds, it's the objective truth.

User avatar
geoduck
Posts: 890
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:29 pm

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby geoduck » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:21 am

Jaeger wrote:
geoduck wrote:
Jaeger wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Bro you sound totally unrepentant and mad at some white dude. You committed a crime. Own up to it. You're taking zero personal responsibility.


Totally.

There I sat at trial, observing a Caucasian male using and abusing the law to accuse me of a heinous crime when I was only guilty of poorly choosing friends and of a common symptom at that age- immaturity.

It's not common to be charged with these crimes or to run with a gang. You sound racist (why even mention Caucasian?) and unrepentant. I would totally throw your application out.


Guero.


Probably darker than you, mang. And despite how it sounds, it's the objective truth.


Probably, since I've been in a cave in Minnesota for the last 7 months. Soooooo damn pale.

However, I'd contend that, contrary to your response, older insecure white people might feel they owe him one. That's kind of sort of part of the whole idea of getting more representation in the legal community.

User avatar
tyro
Posts: 648
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:23 am

Re: "Gangster" Personal Statement- Advice.

Postby tyro » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:44 am

This has some potential but it seems like you didn't spend enough time thinking about how other people will view you.

It's way too transparent. I see someone who has come pretty far but has a long, long way to go. You seem like someone who is obsessed with trying to be cool and just can't get enough of it. Have you really learned from your mistakes or are you just wanting law school because you think it's cool? After spending four long years in college, what have you learned about yourself?

Also, look at the way you posted this thread. You're trying to get attention and you're challenging people on here just like you challenged the 'caucasian' dude in your essay.

I suggest you take a year off and try to slow down a little bit with this aggressive thing. When I read your essay and your post, I see someone who needs to relax and stop caring so much about being a thug.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.