2nd Draft

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

2nd Draft

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:05 pm

This is my second draft of my personal statement. I tried to shorten it some from the last draft, and leave only sentences I found to be important. The 3rd paragraph I feel has meaningful information, but just doesn't jive right. Would love feedbac, criticism, or anything. THANKS!

I grew up in a picture perfect house with the picture perfect family in the suburbs of Cincinnati. My parents worked good jobs, we went on lots of family vacations, and enjoyed a comfortable living style. This sounds the best childhood a girl could ask for, but this is only how it looked from the outside looking in. Once a person steps foot into the daily life of my family, it’s easy to see that we are far from perfect. Neither of my parents went to college and always had to work long, hard work hours to provide for our family and allow us do things that they only dreamed of doing in their childhood. I have a brother who has spent 20 years in and out of jail and drug rehabilitation programs. My parents fell victim to the economy crash and lost most of their savings because the small business they owned on the side went under. I spent my time in high school balancing playing three sports, working 20-30 hours a week, and taking college classes.. I knew that if I didn’t work hard and pay my way through college there was no way my parents would be able to financially support my earning of a college degree.

As long as I can remember, as I was growing up, my brother was never around. He’s been in and out of jail for upwards of twenty years. I have seen the inside of multiple attorneys’ offices, county jails and federal prisons, and courtrooms all over the country. When I was younger I didn’t understand why the police always had to take my brother away and the court made him seem like some sort of monster, but as I grew older I began to understand. I grew to appreciate the judges, police officers, and attorneys who had to spend their time convicting my brother of these charges. This is where my interest in pursuing law school first developed. Spending a lot of time with the lawyers our family hired, I became very interested in the legal system of our county and how it worked. My mom would run to the bathroom and come back and there I was asking our attorney 100 questions about his job and how he liked it. He couldn’t do anything but laugh at the very serious and inquisitive pre-teen who seemed to be cross examining him in his own office.

I was a sophomore in high school when my parents’ small limousine business went broke; they lost all of their savings, and were forced into bankruptcy. Once this happened, I knew I had no other choice but to get a job and take the classes I needed to succeed after high school without the financial backing of my parents. I picked up a part time job at a local restaurant to make the money I needed and began saving for college. High school was something that came very easy to me, so I decided to challenge myself my junior and senior year by taking classes at Miami University instead of my high school. This allowed me to grow and mature a lot faster than my fellow classmates. Somehow I managed to balance playing three sports, working 20-30 hours a week, and taking college courses.

After high school, law school was always in the back of my mind, but I also knew that I needed a degree that could stand alone if something happened and law school didn’t work out. I chose to attend the University of Cincinnati for a chemical engineering because it was a financially responsible decision for my future. Most people don’t understand how a chemical engineering degree goes together with a law degree, but for my personal interests these fields align perfectly. I plan on attending law school to specialize in patent law because this is a field I find myself to be extremely passionate about. I believe that law school will be a perfect fit for someone with my work ethic, determination, and passion to reach my goals of becoming a lawyer. I know that it won’t be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

Even though as I grew up I experienced a large range of emtions seeing my brother always being in trouble with the justice system, I have to view these negative experiences as something positive because they sparked my interest in the legal field. If I wouldn’t have spent all that time in courtrooms and lawyers offices’ I may have never thought about becoming a lawyer. My parents’ financial situation, although it wasn’t ideal, instilled a work ethic in me which is hard to be matched by others. I learned that if I was going to succeed and earn my college degree it was going to be on my own without the financial support of others. Knowing this I chose a perfect undergraduate major that would allow me to support myself without a law degree if worst came to worst. I grew to love engineering and the technical skills that it instilled in me and it inspired my dream career path of intellectual property law. All of these life experiences have led me to where I am today, which is exactly where I want to be; ready to move on and begin the next step of my life in law school.

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Steve2207
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: 2nd Draft

Postby Steve2207 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:24 pm

I grew up in a picture perfect house with the picture perfect family in the suburbs of Cincinnati.(I WOULDN’T USE “PICTURE PERFECT TWICE) My parents worked good jobs, we went on lots of family vacations, and enjoyed a comfortable living style.(WORDINESS, SAY “ MY PARENTS WORKED GOOD JOBS WHICH LEAD TO A COMFORTABLE LIFESTYLE WITH LOTS OF VACATIONS” OR SOMETHING SIMILAR) This sounds(LIKE?) the best childhood a girl could ask for, but this is only how it looked( REPLACE LOOKED FOR APPEARED) from the outside looking in. Once a person steps foot into the daily life of my family, it’s easy to see that we are far from perfect. Neither of my parents went to college and always had to work long,(NOT SURE YOU NEED THIS COMMA) hard work(DELETE SECONED “WORK”) hours to provide for our family and allow us (TO?) do things that they only dreamed of doing in their childhood (CHILDHOODS, ITS PLURAL). I have a brother who has spent 20 years in and out of jail and drug rehabilitation programs. My parents fell victim to the economy crash and lost most of their savings because the small business they owned on the side went under. I spent my time in high school balancing playing three sports (“BALANCING” FOLLOWED BY “PLAYING” SOUNDS AWKWARD TO ME, I WOULD SAY “MY TIME IN HIGHSCOOL WAS BALANCED BETWEEN…”), working 20-30 hours a week, and taking college classes..(DELETE SECOND PERIOD) I knew that if I didn’t work hard and pay my way through college there was no way my parents would be able to financially support my earning of a college degree. (THE END OF THIS SENTENCE SOUNDS WEIRD, NOT SURE THAT ITS WRONG BUT COULD BE WORDED BETTER, MAYBE “FINANCIALLY SUPPORT ME AS I CONTINUED MY EDUCATION” OR SOMETHING SIMILAR)

As long as I can remember, as I was growing up, my brother was never around.(YOUR OVERUSING COMMAS, TRY “FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER MY BROTHER WAS NEVER AROUND WHILE I WAS GROWING UP) He’s been in and out of jail for upwards of twenty years.(YOU’VE ALREADY SAID THIS) I have seen the inside of multiple attorneys’ offices, county jails and federal prisons, and courtrooms all over the country. (I WOULD CONSIDER MAKING THIS INTO TWO SENTENCES, THE COMMA STRUCTURE SEEMS AWKARD, ESPECIALLY WHEN USING TWO “AND”’) When I was younger I didn’t understand why the police always had to take my brother away and the court made him seem like some sort of monster, but as I grew older I began to understand. I grew to appreciate the judges, police officers, and attorneys who had to spend their time convicting my brother of these charges. This is where my interest in pursuing law school first developed. Spending a lot of time with the lawyers our family hired, I became very interested in the legal system of our county and how it worked. My mom would run to the bathroom and come back and there I was asking our attorney 100 questions about his job and how he liked it. He couldn’t do anything but laugh at the very serious and inquisitive pre-teen who seemed to be cross examining him in his own office.

I was a sophomore in high school when my parents’ small limousine business went broke; they lost all of their savings, and were forced into bankruptcy. Once this happened, I knew I had no other choice but to get a job and take the classes I needed to succeed after high school without the financial backing of my parents.(AGAIN YOU’VE ALREADY SAID THAT THEIR BUSINESS FAILED AND THEY COULDN’T SUPPORT YOU,THESE DETAILS ABOUT WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS SHOULD BE ADDED ABOVE WHEN YOU MENTION IT ORIGINALLY, OR NOT MENTIONED AT ALL) I picked up a part time job at a local restaurant to make the money I needed and began saving for college. High school was something that came very easy to me, so I decided to challenge myself my (‘MYSELF MY’ FEELS LIKE TO MUCH HERE, I WOULD SAY ‘MYSELF DURING’) junior and senior year by taking classes at Miami University instead of my high school. This allowed me to grow and mature a lot faster than my fellow classmates. Somehow I managed to balance playing three sports, working 20-30 hours a week, and taking college courses. (YOU ALREADY SAID THIS EXACT SENTENCE ABOVE, I WOULD EITHER DELETE IT HERE, OR DELETE IT IN THE OTHER PARAGRAPH)

After high school, law school was always in the back of my mind, but I also knew that I needed a degree that could stand alone if something happened and law school didn’t work out. I chose to attend the University of Cincinnati for a chemical engineering (DEGREE?) because it was a financially responsible decision for my future. Most people don’t understand how a chemical engineering degree goes together with a law degree, but for my personal interests these fields align perfectly. I plan on attending (TO ATTEND) law school to specialize in patent law because this is a field I find myself to be extremely passionate about. I believe that law school will be a perfect fit for someone with my work ethic, determination, and passion to reach my goals of becoming a lawyer. I know that it won’t be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

Even though as I grew up I experienced a large range of emtions (EMOTIONS IS MISSPELLED, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY THIS IS VERY WORDY, TRY “DESPITE THE LARGE RANGE OF EMOTIONS I EXPERIENCED GROWING UP” OR SOMETHING SIMILAR)) seeing my brother always being in trouble with the justice system, I have to view these negative experiences as something positive because they sparked my interest in the legal field. If I wouldn’t have spent all that time in courtrooms and lawyers offices’ I may have never thought about becoming a lawyer. My parents’ financial situation, although it wasn’t ideal, instilled a work ethic in me which is hard to be matched by others. I learned that if I was going to succeed and earn my college degree it was going to be on my own without the financial support of others. Knowing this I chose a perfect undergraduate major that would allow me to support myself (I WOULD END THIS SENTENCE HERE AND DELETE THE REST)without a law degree if worst came to worst. I grew to love engineering and the technical skills that it instilled in me and it inspired my dream career path of intellectual property law. All of these life experiences have led me to where I am today, which is exactly where I want to be;( I WOULD END THIS SENTENCE, AND THEN START A NEW ONE SAY “I AM READY…” THIS EMPAHISES YOUR ENDING MORE, AND DOESN’T SEEM AS WORDY) ready to move on and begin the next step of my life in law school.

Sorry for the caps, but I thought it would be easier to read my specific comments. Overall, I think you need some more work here. IMO it doesn’t flow very well. It seems like you are repeating yourself a lot, and using wordy sentences. Also, you are going back and forth with your points, you should restructure this in a way that flows like a story leading up to this point in your life. Honestly, (to me) the argument that your parents couldn’t support you going to college so you have a super great work ethic seems tacky to me because MOST kids don’t have parents to pay their way, and I think the ADCOMS are more than aware of this. I am not trying to be a jerk, just give you some advice that I hope is helpful. Good luck and feel free to PM me with any future version if you want another proofread.

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fruitoftheloom
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:38 pm

Re: 2nd Draft

Postby fruitoftheloom » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is my second draft of my personal statement. I tried to shorten it some from the last draft, and leave only sentences I found to be important. The 3rd paragraph I feel has meaningful information, but just doesn't jive right. Would love feedbac, criticism, or anything. THANKS!

I grew up in a picture perfect house with the picture perfect family in the suburbs of Cincinnati. My parents worked good jobs, we went on lots of family vacations, and enjoyed a comfortable living style. I would omit this sentence. It sounds kidn of smug, and you can just leave it at "I grew up in a picture perfect house". It sounds too privileged imo. This sounds the best childhood a girl could ask for, but this is only how it looked from the outside looking in. Once a person steps foot into the daily life of my family, it’s easy to see that we are far from perfect. Neither of my parents went to college and always had to work long, hard work hours to provide for our family and allow us do things that they only dreamed of doing in their childhood. I have a brother who has spent 20 years in and out of jail and drug rehabilitation programs. My parents fell victim to the economy crash and lost most of their savings because the small business they owned on the side went under. I spent my time in high school balancing playing three sports, working 20-30 hours a week, and taking college classes.. omit 2nd period I knew that if I didn’t work hard and pay my way through college there was no way my parents would be able to financially support my earning of a college degree. "earning of a college degree" is really awkward. I would just leave it at "I knew that my parents would not be able to finance my college education, and so I worked to support myself." or something like that.

As long as I can remember, as I was growing up, my brother was never around. He’s been in and out of jail for upwards of twenty years. I have seen the inside of multiple attorneys’ offices, county jails and federal prisons, and courtrooms all over the country. When I was younger I didn’t understand why the police always had to take my brother away and the court made him seem like some sort of monster, but as I grew older I began to understand. I grew to appreciate the judges, police officers, and attorneys who had to spend their time convicting my brother of these charges. This is where my interest in pursuing law school first developed. Spending a lot of time with the lawyers our family hired, I became very interested in the legal system of our county and how it worked. My mom would run to the bathroom and come back and there I was asking our attorney 100 questions about his job and how he liked it. He couldn’t do anything but laugh at the very serious and inquisitive pre-teen who seemed to be cross examining him in his own office.
"upwards of twenty years" sounds odd/country. I would maybe say "in excess of" or just "He has been in and out of jail as long as I can remember". It's also odd that you "appreciate" the judges who convicted your brother. Get rid of the "My mom would run to the bathroom part". I would just say "Every opportunity I had to interact with an attorney turned into a chance for me to pump that attorney for information about his career".

I was a sophomore in high school when my parents’ small limousine business went broke; they lost all of their savings, and were forced into bankruptcy. Once this happened, I knew I had no other choice but to get a job and take the classes I needed to succeed after high school without the financial backing of my parents. This is repetitive. You already stated that they are broke. I picked up a part time job at a local restaurant to make the money I needed and began saving for college. High school was something that came very easy to me, so I decided to challenge myself my junior and senior year by taking classes at Miami University instead of my high school. This is too humble-brag. Omit the part about high school being easy. Just leave it with "I decided to challenge myself.." This allowed me to grow and mature a lot faster than my fellow classmates. Somehow I managed to balance playing three sports, working 20-30 hours a week, and taking college courses. somehow? omit that word because it makes it sound like you have no idea how that worked.

After high school, law school was always in the back of my mind, but I also knew that I needed a degree that could stand alone if something happened and law school didn’t work out. I chose to attend the University of Cincinnati for a chemical engineering because it was a financially responsible decision for my future. Most people don’t understand how a chemical engineering degree goes together with a law degree, but for my personal interests these fields align perfectly. I plan on attending law school to specialize in patent law because this is a field I find myself to be extremely passionate about. I believe that law school will be a perfect fit for someone with my work ethic, determination, and passion to reach my goals of becoming a lawyer. I know that it won’t be easy, but it will definitely be worth it. Completely omit the part about wanting a degree that stands alone. Although it's true, I don't think it's valuable. Just say that you picked it because you like it / have a passion for it / always knew you wanted to work with patent law.

Even though as I grew up I experienced a large range of emtions spelling!! seeing my brother always being in trouble with the justice system, I have to view these negative experiences as something positive because they sparked my interest in the legal field. If I wouldn’t have spent all that time in courtrooms and lawyers offices’ I may have never thought about becoming a lawyer. My parents’ financial situation, although it wasn’t ideal, instilled a work ethic in me which is hard to be matched by others. I learned that if I was going to succeed and earn my college degree it was going to be on my own without the financial support of others. Knowing this I chose a perfect undergraduate major that would allow me to support myself without a law degree if worst came to worst. I grew to love engineering and the technical skills that it instilled in me and it inspired my dream career path of intellectual property law. All of these life experiences have led me to where I am today, which is exactly where I want to be; ready to move on and begin the next step of my life in law school.


Overall, I don't love your statement. It doesn't do a good job of introducing yourself to the reader. I can't think of a single unique quality about you that would make me want you in my school. If I were you, I would either focus on your interactions with the legal system because of your brother, or I would talk about overcoming your financial situation. Either way, keep the focus on you and what you have done. I think it would be good to talk about the negative experiences that you had with the legal system because of your brother, but how rather than being resentful, it sparked an interest in law / passion for law.

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

Re: 2nd Draft

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:22 pm

THANK YOU! I really appreciate the feedback!




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