PS take two

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

PS take two

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:31 pm

As I sit in the secluded office twiddling my thumbs, I feverishly go through old documents, editing them to match new formats. I took no time noticing the stacks of transmittals and messages needing answered and completed. It is 9:00 AM and my first shift without my supervisor was underway. The office, children, adults, judges, attorneys, and all of the innocent victims of the county were counting on me. Making a mistake was not an option; lives could be taken, homes could be lost, victims devastated once more. This was my responsibility. Before she left, my supervisor told stories, of the happenings when she leaves; the devastating crimes that take place and the horrors our victims encounter. Two hours in, the phone rings. With the sweat beading off my brow; my hands shaking, self-doubt filling my head, and my heart perceivably in my throat, I answer.

I began volunteering at the Monongalia County Victim Assistance Program during my junior year of college. It was a wonderful experience. I was able to interact with people from all walks of life. I gained valuable insight into the day to day proceedings of the criminal justice system. I was able to make a difference. When I answered the phone that day I spoke with a former sexual assault victim. He told me his life story; about how no one ever cared. How he was shunned by his family and made out to be the black sheep. How he constantly felt that he didn’t belong. All my life I had felt the same way. The transcription of the phone call was the most important thing I have ever written in my lifetime. This man was now able to charge his assaulter and obtain closure.

During my younger years I was troubled child. My family didn’t know what was wrong with me and they thought I didn’t respect authority. I was constantly told I was a disappointment and I was the black sheep. They didn’t know for some time I was ADHD; only needing extra time to play and express myself. I was always getting yelled at and told I was a bad child; even being physically thrown across the room and tossed outside to freeze in the cold West Virginia winter. Later on my brother became the troubled one as I excelled in school and athletics. He turned to drugs and a lifestyle filled with negative influences. During my sophomore year he was with his “friends” on the way back from a party and crashed his car. As a result of this accident he was in a coma for a week. The crushing pain my family and I experienced was debilitating. I didn’t want anyone to feel this pain. It led me to want to make a difference in the world. From being abused to my brother’s transgressions I was naturally inclined to apply with the Victim Assistance Program.

After my experience at this organization I no longer felt like a failure. I no longer disappointed anyone. I made myself and my boss proud. I brought pride to the office of Victim Assistants. Most importantly, I had given someone a voice. I accomplished my goal. I had made a positive difference in the world. This one change is not enough for me, however. I want to pursue a career where I can consistently change the world. My experience with this organization as well as subsequent conversations with judges, attorneys, and court staff has solidified my belief in becoming an attorney.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: PS take two

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:22 pm

bump

PhoenixWright
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:56 pm

Re: PS take two

Postby PhoenixWright » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:25 pm

First paragraph has multiple changes in verb tense from present to past and back.
Twiddling thumbs is inactivity, feverish action is exactly the opposite - which is it?
To take a life is to kill... maybe "lives could be destroyed" instead?
No comma after "stories" in ¶1. Don't use a semicolon without what could be a complete sentence after it.
Does the sweat bead off your brow, or on it?
What is the difference between your heart perceivably in your throat, and just your heart in your throat?

¶2 is very staccato - short bursts of sentences with little pause or flow.
Another semicolon without an independent clause.
Was what you wrote during your very first call really the most important thing you ever wrote in your lifetime?

You were *a* troubled child.
In ¶3, sentence 2, maybe a comma after "and".
Two more semicolons.
"Later on", comma...
"It led me to want to make a difference" is pretty convoluted - maybe "It inspired me to make a difference"?

¶4 is staccato again.
"conversations... have solidified"
Do you believe you can/will become an attorney, or do you desire to become an attorney? Don't believe in becoming.

After reading this, I understand that you want to help the disadvantaged and make a difference, but I don't see why you are qualified to become an attorney, nor why you would make more of a difference as an attorney than as a social worker.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: PS take two

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:52 pm

PhoenixWright wrote:First paragraph has multiple changes in verb tense from present to past and back.
Twiddling thumbs is inactivity, feverish action is exactly the opposite - which is it?
To take a life is to kill... maybe "lives could be destroyed" instead?
No comma after "stories" in ¶1. Don't use a semicolon without what could be a complete sentence after it.
Does the sweat bead off your brow, or on it?
What is the difference between your heart perceivably in your throat, and just your heart in your throat?

¶2 is very staccato - short bursts of sentences with little pause or flow.
Another semicolon without an independent clause.
Was what you wrote during your very first call really the most important thing you ever wrote in your lifetime?

You were *a* troubled child.
In ¶3, sentence 2, maybe a comma after "and".
Two more semicolons.
"Later on", comma...
"It led me to want to make a difference" is pretty convoluted - maybe "It inspired me to make a difference"?

¶4 is staccato again.
"conversations... have solidified"
Do you believe you can/will become an attorney, or do you desire to become an attorney? Don't believe in becoming.

After reading this, I understand that you want to help the disadvantaged and make a difference, but I don't see why you are qualified to become an attorney, nor why you would make more of a difference as an attorney than as a social worker.


Thank you for your advice. I know what "taken" means, yes if I messed up certain documents protective orders could be taken away. In domestic violence situations this could lead to someone dying. I don't think anyone is qualified to become an attorney until they go through law school?

PhoenixWright
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:56 pm

Re: PS take two

Postby PhoenixWright » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:15 am

Ok, leave it as taken - it's no skin off my teeth.

As for qualifications - no, you're not expected to be able to be an attorney on Day One, but why should the school pick you over all of the other people who want to do good in the world? Did you major in philosophy, and thus you can understand the frameworks and theories of different ethical and legal systems? Did you do hard sciences, or soft sciences, or history/politics/literature? What strengths, studies, or knowledges might you bring?

If you are relying purely on your LSAT, GPA, and transcript to tell the story of your academic qualifications, that is fine, but it is even better if you can weave it into your PS. Also, only the last two sentences of your statement actually have anything to do with being a lawyer, and even then they don't spell out the presumable connection that you either want to be influential and change the rules to help the underprivileged, or to represent the underprivileged in their struggles. I totally get what your values are and admire you for them, but the vagueness in your description of what those judges, attys, and court staff said to you makes me wonder what the story there is.

So in conclusion, I would edit and pare down the first 90% of the essay, and expand that last 10% to somehow say why you would make a good lawyer, or what you think will appeal to you about the profession (other than the idea of making a difference), or what inspired you about the legal people you spoke with, or why you are going to study law for the next three years instead of doing community organizing or politics or starting a charity.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273521
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: PS take two

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:12 am

PhoenixWright wrote:Ok, leave it as taken - it's no skin off my teeth.

As for qualifications - no, you're not expected to be able to be an attorney on Day One, but why should the school pick you over all of the other people who want to do good in the world? Did you major in philosophy, and thus you can understand the frameworks and theories of different ethical and legal systems? Did you do hard sciences, or soft sciences, or history/politics/literature? What strengths, studies, or knowledges might you bring?

If you are relying purely on your LSAT, GPA, and transcript to tell the story of your academic qualifications, that is fine, but it is even better if you can weave it into your PS. Also, only the last two sentences of your statement actually have anything to do with being a lawyer, and even then they don't spell out the presumable connection that you either want to be influential and change the rules to help the underprivileged, or to represent the underprivileged in their struggles. I totally get what your values are and admire you for them, but the vagueness in your description of what those judges, attys, and court staff said to you makes me wonder what the story there is.

So in conclusion, I would edit and pare down the first 90% of the essay, and expand that last 10% to somehow say why you would make a good lawyer, or what you think will appeal to you about the profession (other than the idea of making a difference), or what inspired you about the legal people you spoke with, or why you are going to study law for the next three years instead of doing community organizing or politics or starting a charity.


Thank you. That is much more useful. I am going at the application process blind because I don't know anyone in law school or applying. I will add on my reasons and post an edited draft later. Thanks for the help




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