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

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Postby broo9339 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:34 pm

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have been writing and rewriting my personal statement since October and have yet to feel satisfied with it. This is essentially a rough draft based on feedback I've been given throughout this process.
-I'm wondering if this statement comes off as corny, cliche, wordy, lacking clarity, etc. Any constructive criticism is more than welcome!
-Any other thoughts, ideas, or comments would be very helpful!


Thank you :)

The words “lung cancer” fell through my body like a stone; they fogged my brain, made my heart race, and sent shivers across my skin, until they reached a home in the pit of my stomach. They would stay there for the three months my mother was sick and they linger today. By the time my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, it had metastasized to her spine, her limbs, and eventually, her brain. Tumors in her brain led to a stroke, which left half of her body paralyzed and devastated her ability to speak.
I was a junior in college and living 80 miles from home when my mother was diagnosed and began seeing doctors and undergoing treatment. She was initially expected to live for five years, but the disease had other plans. The stroke she suffered two months after her diagnosis, is not a typical symptom of cancer and the consequences were unforeseen by doctors. It had left her body so severely impaired that she was released from the hospital to hospice care, allowing her to pass in the comfort of her home. She could not afford a full-time nurse, so my sister and I were by her side constantly.
The memories I have of this time are some of my most painful and significant. I was amazed by the strength and grace of my mother and the generosity and compassion of my sister. Yet, what surprised me the most was my own transformation. I was patient, thorough, and confident in my care and gentle, calm, and respectful to my mother. I placed her needs above my own and it was the most exhausting, excruciating, and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I have never seen myself as one to thrive in difficult situations until the most difficult of all situations presented itself.
My connection with my mother allowed me to give her a voice when she was unable to speak. I believe my ability to empathize while maintaining composure in difficult situations would make me an inspired advocate for others whose voices need to be heard. I want to bring this strength and passion into a career that empowers others. I want to practice law.
I have always been drawn to the logic and eloquence of the legal profession. The ability of a good attorney to use reason as a tool for persuasion, captivate an audience with an impassioned speech, and directly affect the fate of others has entranced me since I was very young. I realize now that most of the things I had envisioned were illusions fed by glamorous television shows and an overall superficial view of what it means to be a lawyer. The reality is long hours, demanding work, difficult or ignorant clients, and disappointing conclusions. The real world is just that, real. However, I am finding that reality even more attractive than the façade. I know now that life’s truly great rewards are those that come with overwhelming dedication and unstinting self-sacrifice. They take time and effort and they come at a price.
Although my reasons for pursuing law school have changed, I am no less determined to reach my goal. Northeastern University has one of the best and most dynamic public interest law programs in the country. I have found myself fascinated by the stories I saw in Northeastern brochures. Young people motivated not by money or power, but by the opportunity to change the world by changing lives. I’m confident that this is where I belong.
My experience with my mother’s illness has not only shaped, but recreated my perspective on the world. In a span of two weeks, my understanding of humanity and human relationships was irreversibly molded. To sum it up simply, the most meaningful things we do in our lives are those that we do for others.

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