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

Am I on the right start?

Kind of
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Postby esther0123 » Wed May 30, 2012 3:04 am

Thanks for all the comment! second draft posted!
Last edited by esther0123 on Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: overcoming adversity PS -- starting draft

Postby thelawschoolproject » Wed May 30, 2012 2:50 pm

Mmk a few things:

1). Off the top it feels like you're trying to focus on too many different aspects of your life. You obviously have a wealth of information to discuss, but you need to ensure that you focus on one event in your life, and that you really exploit that moment such that those reading your PS can experience it. You tend to glance past several different issues. You mention depression, the break-up, abusive family, socioeconomic difficulties, the halfway house, mentally-ill parents, poor schools, etc. While all of this most certainly made you who you are, it is my advice to really only focus on one of those.

2). With that said, you should be the focus of your personal statement. I feel like I know what you were intending to do with the first paragraph, but it detracts from you as a person. This becomes especially true when you use those three other people at the home as a frame story, by using them to introduce your information and to close it. Make sure that you are the focus.

3). You said that your PS wasn't complete. Well, if you plan on adding more paragraphs, just be mindful that most PSs are 2 pages long, double spaced. Now, it seems that you might be from Canada, so maybe their requirements are somewhat different. I'm not sure. But, it's something worth checking up on. Also, by making it longer, you're making it easier to jump around from topic to topic without ever immersing yourself into one topic.

4). As far as writing about why you want to attend law school is concerned, it's true that many applicants include that information in their PS, but that doesn't mean it's required. Sometimes it naturally fits. Sometimes it's easy to make it fit. The one thing you don't want to do is haphazardly toss in a paragraph about why you want to do law if it doesn't fit with the overall tone and content of the PS.

5). I think that you're on the right track. You're thinking about issues that have affected you in a significant way, and that's good. What you really want to show is how you changed from the experience. And, it's going to be important that in whichever way you changed, it makes you a good candidate for law school. This doesn't mean you have to come right out and say that, but try to make sure there's a new tangible asset that you have that other people might not because of the experiences you've been through.

Best of luck!

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Re: overcoming adversity PS -- starting draft

Postby cutecarmel » Wed May 30, 2012 5:36 pm

esther0123 wrote:Hi I just wanted to know if I was on the right track with this... I didn't want to come across like I was whining or trying to gain sympathy in any way. So please let me know if I'm on the right track! (clearly the draft isn't done!)



I was going to talk about my epiphany about different social class and its reality that I've experienced. Then I thought of discussing what I had learned about my academic potential during years of academic research, and how I became one of the elite students at my institution, achieving distinction only given to the top 5% of the faculty.

Would I need to discuss why exactly I want to do LAW? But then again, I won't know exactly until I get there...! So I'm a bit confused about this point.

Let me know if any part needs to be cut down or seems melodramatic... thank you all in advance.

1. Ok this is going to go way over the page limit. But the good thing is, you can cut out a lot of what you already wrote and still get the point across

2. As for the personal information: You can leave out your friends' names and their specific problems. This is about you not them. You could sum up with saying your friends were "delinquents, rejects, outsiders". Also I wouldn't mention your break up with your boyfriend (or your boyfriend at all for that matter....remember, this is about you), and especially that they may have triggered a suicide attempt. Law school is really tough and you definitely don't want anyone to think that you don't handle stress well. Honestly, it does sound very melodramatic (in a bad way)

3. I really like this:
People often ask me how I managed to still earn top grades and graduate as the top 2% of the class while I was living alone at such a young age. Largely, the bubble life that my boyfriend and I had created sheltered me from my gloomy reality back at home. But when that bubble popped, I was forced to face my reality: my dad was a criminal, my mom was mentally-ill and abusive, my brother was diagnosed with learning disability, ADHD, autism and needed constant supervision that my family could not afford. Ultimately, I was alone.

Behind the appearance of a stellar student, I was spiralling down the pit of depression. The academic achievements and scholarships throughout my school years felt arbitrary and powerless against the daunting reality. I was near the bottom end of the socioeconomic class, my family was non-existent, and good grades in school felt just as arbitrary as monopoly money. Faced with a dead-end reality and a sudden realization of my desolation led me to the darkest place I've ever been, and after a suicide attempt, my social worker placed me in Valley House.

Its powerful and grabs the readers attention. But I do think you need to make the majority of your PS about how you overcame this instead of focusing on the rough parts of your life.

4. I wouldn't mention your
"epiphany about different social class and its reality that I've experienced"
...mainly because I don't know what you mean by that.

5. Finally, you should mention something about why you want to study law. Unless you woke up one day and said "I guess I'll go to law school" there has to be some reason why you chose law school instead of another career path. Think about it. I think relating it to law school is really important. You don't have to go into detail, but you shouldn't leave it out.


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Re: overcoming adversity PS -- starting draft

Postby Bilqis » Wed May 30, 2012 6:29 pm

Definitely unforgettable and attention-grabbing.

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