Personal Statement 1st draft - need help in trimming it

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Anonymous User
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Personal Statement 1st draft - need help in trimming it

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:52 pm

Hey Everyone!

So this is my 1st draft, and obviously it is too long - right at 3 1/2 pages double spaced. Problem is, I don't know how to shorten the background anymore than I have without it sounding like I'm a complete idiot. Do you think I could get away with this length? Also, names and cities have been changed, obviously. Be as brutal as you can.

Thanks!

"The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving."
- Albert Einstein

I remember a crushing feeling. It had only been about five minutes since we arrived downtown, but I felt as though I had been waiting for hours. It was pretty late at night, probably around 9 pm or so. I sat in the front seat of a Sheriff’s Dodge Charger with the same outfit I had worn the entire day: a white button-up shirt with blue jeans. The ride from my house to the jail was pretty decent, the sheriff deputy went in to great length about his career in the military and previous problems he had with some of his ex-girlfriends. He told me that he could tell that I wasn’t a violent person, which is probably why he let me ride in the front seat with nothing to bind my hands. I was in a perpetual state of confusion. None of it made sense; I had thought everything was resolved two days ago. The deputy came back with a Denver police officer in tow, “time to get you processed.”

I have always been a bit direct with my significant others. Perhaps this was a fault given to me at birth, but I feel it is better to tell them what you are feeling rather than keep it hidden. In the case of my ex-girlfriend Kirsty, that probably wasn’t such a good idea. As I was driving home for fall break during my freshman year in college, I thought it might be a good idea to call my girlfriend of almost six months and let her know that I just wasn’t interested in seeing her anymore. I felt as though we had grown apart and there were just too many differences between us to really keep things going. She began to bawl. Despite my best attempts at calming her down, I inevitably had to end the conversation with her condition little changed because my cell phone’s battery was dying.

When I arrived to my house, Kirsty was waiting for me in my bedroom. She had broken in when no one was home and proceeded to wait until I got there. Naturally, I was a bit frightened to find her sitting in my bedroom when I opened the door. Apparently she wanted to talk face-to-face before we ended things, so I proceeded to accommodate her. The conversation quickly devolved into an argument as she grew increasingly furious that there was nothing she could do to make me stay with her. To make matters worse, she took a taxi to my house, which at the time was about forty-five minutes away from her apartment, because her car had broken down. I offered to take her home if she would pay me gas money, as I was extremely short on money at the time.

When we arrived at her apartment she directed me to come inside as she did not have cash on her. When we got inside, she proceeded to stall and tried to get me to stay the night with her, asking me not to make up my mind about breaking up until the morning. I was uneasy at this point, as she was acting erratic and obviously was not accepting that I had no interest in being with her anymore. Instead of waiting for her to give me gas money I decided to leave her apartment, as I didn’t feel safe anymore. Before I had a chance to reach the door, Kirsty tackled me to the ground and held on to my feet. I managed to break free and started to run to my car. Kirsty pursued me and prevented me from backing out by standing in the back of my car. At this point all I wanted to do was get back home and forget what happened. I wasn’t concerned about calling the police on Kirsty or anything of the sort.

An apartment security guard saw the struggle and immediately drove over to see what was going on. Upon arriving, he directed me to stay put and pulled Kirsty aside to talk to her. After he was done with Kirsty, he then came over and talked to me. I told him the situation and that I was just trying to get some gas money. He radioed his partner over. When his partner arrived, instead of saying a word to me, he immediately went to Kirsty and began asking her questions. After he was through with Kirsty, and without talking to me, he called the police to handle the situation. The police officer arrived and, after speaking with the both of us, directed Kirsty to give me gas money. Apparently Kirsty had told him that I had broken in to her apartment and assaulted her while stopping her from calling the police. He told me that he could tell she wasn’t telling the truth and that she was just hurt from the break up. He then told me to go home and that nothing else would come from the episode.

All of this happened on a Friday. Two days later, a wake county sheriff deputy investigator called me saying he has some questions about what happened that night, and if he could come over to talk with me. Being entirely confused to the situation, I of course said he could come over as soon as he was able. He quickly arrived and began asking questions of what happened and my side of the events. My mother became a little suspicious and asked him why he was here if everything was resolved. He then told us that Kirsty had brought out charges against me for misdemeanor assault on a female, misdemeanor breaking and entering, and misdemeanor interference with emergency communications, and that he was there to arrest me and take me downtown.

Despite this terrible situation, it would ultimately help me find the one person who would inspire me to give back and help others. Neither I nor my parents could afford to pay for a private attorney, so we were forced to apply for appointed counsel. Sam Thorn was assigned to be my public defender. A young, short, slim, but severe looking woman, she did not waste any time in telling me her opinion of the case or her recommendation with what I do with it. “First, I am required by state law to tell you of the plea deal by the prosecution: 30 days in jail, a couple hundred dollars in fees, as well as participation in a two year program meant to address domestic abuse. Now, I recommend you do not take this deal. In my opinion, this is an open and close case. Kirsty’s statements do not add up.”

The level of understanding, enthusiasm, and work that Sam put into my defense was humbling. She was not getting paid richly for her services by the state, nor was she getting any additional compensation if she won the case, yet there wasn’t one instance where she buckled under pressure or lost that vigor to help me. Sam was able to find the officer that responded the night of the conflict as well as the security guards who called him, which resulted in them pledging to testify on my behalf. She also explained the holes in Kirsty’s statements to the District Attorney. All of this culminated in the charges being dropped before trial.

To Sam, it wasn’t about the money, it was about achieving justice. She would tell me about her time in law school, when she first experienced what it was like to be a public defender, and the workload that would eventually land on her desk when she was hired. But what really put the sparkle in her eyes was talking about all of the people – people that she helped, who otherwise would have had nowhere else to go. Sam helped me to find my calling in life, to help others that were just like me that night in the deputy’s car – scared, shocked, and confused, and wanting for help. To me, it’s not about the money – it’s about helping others.

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

Re: Personal Statement 1st draft - need help in trimming it

Postby fruitoftheloom » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:05 pm

I'm sure you've heard this before, but I think this is a bad idea for a personal statement. I really, REALLY do not think "hey, I was involved in an alleged domestic dispute situation, had a public defender, and now want to go to law school" is compelling. Domestic violence is SO TOUCHY that I think it would work much, MUCH better if this were burglary, assault, anything else [okay - not ANYTHING else.. but this is not good]. Another problem is that DV charges are dropped all the time, even when they're legit.

If you're going to keep this, you have a tonnnn of stuff you can cut. We don't care about it being 9 pm or the sheriff telling you his background, or why you were breaking up.. you can omit all of this information without affecting the story.

I can tell you've put a ton of time into this, but I strongly recommend that you scrap it and address it only in a CF statement.

Only my 2C.

coldweather
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:43 am

Re: Personal Statement 1st draft - need help in trimming it

Postby coldweather » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:23 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:I'm sure you've heard this before, but I think this is a bad idea for a personal statement. I really, REALLY do not think "hey, I was involved in an alleged domestic dispute situation, had a public defender, and now want to go to law school" is compelling. Domestic violence is SO TOUCHY that I think it would work much, MUCH better if this were burglary, assault, anything else [okay - not ANYTHING else.. but this is not good]. Another problem is that DV charges are dropped all the time, even when they're legit.

If you're going to keep this, you have a tonnnn of stuff you can cut. We don't care about it being 9 pm or the sheriff telling you his background, or why you were breaking up.. you can omit all of this information without affecting the story.

I can tell you've put a ton of time into this, but I strongly recommend that you scrap it and address it only in a CF statement.

Only my 2C.


+1

The details of the incident don't reveal anything about you as a person. It wastes precious space.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273099
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Personal Statement 1st draft - need help in trimming it

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:56 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:I'm sure you've heard this before, but I think this is a bad idea for a personal statement. I really, REALLY do not think "hey, I was involved in an alleged domestic dispute situation, had a public defender, and now want to go to law school" is compelling. Domestic violence is SO TOUCHY that I think it would work much, MUCH better if this were burglary, assault, anything else [okay - not ANYTHING else.. but this is not good]. Another problem is that DV charges are dropped all the time, even when they're legit.

If you're going to keep this, you have a tonnnn of stuff you can cut. We don't care about it being 9 pm or the sheriff telling you his background, or why you were breaking up.. you can omit all of this information without affecting the story.

I can tell you've put a ton of time into this, but I strongly recommend that you scrap it and address it only in a CF statement.

Only my 2C.


But wouldn't this have the same effect in the CF section? At least I have the chance to elaborate upon it in the PS and show what good came from it. I am at a loss for why this is a bad idea.

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rinkrat19
Posts: 13910
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Personal Statement 1st draft - need help in trimming it

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote:I'm sure you've heard this before, but I think this is a bad idea for a personal statement. I really, REALLY do not think "hey, I was involved in an alleged domestic dispute situation, had a public defender, and now want to go to law school" is compelling. Domestic violence is SO TOUCHY that I think it would work much, MUCH better if this were burglary, assault, anything else [okay - not ANYTHING else.. but this is not good]. Another problem is that DV charges are dropped all the time, even when they're legit.

If you're going to keep this, you have a tonnnn of stuff you can cut. We don't care about it being 9 pm or the sheriff telling you his background, or why you were breaking up.. you can omit all of this information without affecting the story.

I can tell you've put a ton of time into this, but I strongly recommend that you scrap it and address it only in a CF statement.

Only my 2C.


But wouldn't this have the same effect in the CF section? At least I have the chance to elaborate upon it in the PS and show what good came from it. I am at a loss for why this is a bad idea.
Because you're using most of your valuable PS space to talk about something that at best has neutral effect, at worst has a negative effect, and either way doesn't tell the adcomms anything about YOU as a person. It reads only slightly more personal than an official statement to the police.




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