Can you please help me brainstorm?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
BaileyBally
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:27 am

Can you please help me brainstorm?

Postby BaileyBally » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:44 am

I envy everyone who is even remotely content with their statements. I sit here with an ever-increasing bruise on my forehead from the continual head banging resulting from chronic writer's block. Please take pity on my soul - I NEED assistance brainstorming.

I have a lot swirling through my head and don't know what to include, what to cut, what to do! Eek. So my Stats: 3.9 undergrad, 3.9 grad, 170 LSAT.

About me: My dad was in prison through my teenage years - my mom was on welfare as a result, I am the first to graduate college, I went to graduate school and realized I could improve the world better with a law degree than a research degree. I am committed to public interest law (haven't settled on domestic or international yet), and I have resume experience to back it up. I started an organization in undergrad that provided assistance to individuals in Africa and southeast Asia. I have travelled to both locations, rounding out my total visited countries to 25 - mostly underdeveloped. My commitments are to social justice, human rights, and reforming disparity-creating policies. I currently work for a nonprofit that delivers educational services to Africa. I am a white female. I went to state college on scholarship, because at the time I could not afford private school. I still cannot afford private school ... haha... but loans are fine w/ me.

Diversity? Not exactly sure - I am probably one of the most compassionate and empathic people you will ever meet, and I was thinking of speaking to my ability to engage with all walks of life because I have experienced all walks of life - so that makes me a unique addition to the school - but I just don't know anymore.

I am pretty down in the dumps right now regarding my inability to get these completed. I submitted all application materials last month, and well admissions is just waiting on these lovely statements to be written.

Please help!
Last edited by BaileyBally on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Can anyone please help me brainstorm?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:50 am

Pick one event. Describe it to the reader, using plenty of detail and emotion. It could be something small that took an hour, it could be something that took years. Then connect that event to something larger that you would like to tell the reader about yourself.

totoro
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: Can you please help me brainstorm?

Postby totoro » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:01 am

It sounds like you have some good material to go off of. I'm sure you can think of some kind of story to tell from your life experiences. One idea is to write the general arch of your life story with most of the focus on a few specific events, gearing it towards why you pursue PI. If it's an event you remember vividly or moved you strongly, it will probably be easier to write about. Good luck! Also you sound kind of full of yourself, but I don't know if that's just the internet, anyway I would try to use a different tone in your essay.

cgw
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:06 pm

Re: Can anyone please help me brainstorm?

Postby cgw » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:06 am

BaileyBally wrote: I started an organization in undergrad that provided assistance to individuals in Africa and southeast Asia. I have travelled to both locations, rounding out my total visited countries to 25 - mostly underdeveloped. My commitments are to social justice, human rights, and reforming disparity-creating policies.


It seems obvious to me that this is what you write about. I think the most effective statements are those that discuss a particular experience in detail and then make the connection to why law and/or why that school. Don't try to tell your entire life story. What made you start the organization? What obstacles did you face? How did you overcome them? What did you accomplish? Do you still work on it/does it still exist? How did this experience change you? What skills did you develop? How did it influence/change your goals or attitude?

If you think the nonprofit work you're doing now is more significant to you, apply those questions to that instead; but, my impression is starting an organization in UG is more impressive, and I would guess it had a greater impact on you.

I feel for you, writing my PS was like chewing glass, but I didn't have anything nearly as interesting to write about. Just force yourself to write it, submit it, and then forget it. I couldn't bring myself to bullshit a DS though, so I don't have any advice there.

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dingbat
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Re: Can anyone please help me brainstorm?

Postby dingbat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:09 am

cgw wrote:
BaileyBally wrote: I started an organization in undergrad that provided assistance to individuals in Africa and southeast Asia. I have travelled to both locations, rounding out my total visited countries to 25 - mostly underdeveloped. My commitments are to social justice, human rights, and reforming disparity-creating policies.


It seems obvious to me that this is what you write about. I think the most effective statements are those that discuss a particular experience in detail and then make the connection to why law and/or why that school. Don't try to tell your entire life story. What made you start the organization? What obstacles did you face? How did you overcome them? What did you accomplish? Do you still work on it/does it still exist? How did this experience change you? What skills did you develop? How did it influence/change your goals or attitude?

If you think the nonprofit work you're doing now is more significant to you, apply those questions to that instead; but, my impression is starting an organization in UG is more impressive, and I would guess it had a greater impact on you.

I feel for you, writing my PS was like chewing glass, but I didn't have anything nearly as interesting to write about. Just force yourself to write it, submit it, and then forget it. I couldn't bring myself to bullshit a DS though, so I don't have any advice there.

This, but I'd add a diversity statement about how dad was in prison, mom on welfare and being first to go to college

BaileyBally
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:27 am

Re: Can you please help me brainstorm?

Postby BaileyBally » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:03 am

totoro wrote:It sounds like you have some good material to go off of. I'm sure you can think of some kind of story to tell from your life experiences. One idea is to write the general arch of your life story with most of the focus on a few specific events, gearing it towards why you pursue PI. If it's an event you remember vividly or moved you strongly, it will probably be easier to write about. Good luck! Also you sound kind of full of yourself, but I don't know if that's just the internet, anyway I would try to use a different tone in your essay.


eek! Thanks for your honesty. I hope its the internet creating the "full of yourself" vibe, I really really am not. Actually I deal with a bit a self-confidence issues, and this entire process is very intimidating to me, so I fear my frustration with myself may be coming across the wrong way. I will pay especial attention to this potential undertone in my statements. Thank you Totoro for your advise and input.

cgw wrote:It seems obvious to me that this is what you write about. I think the most effective statements are those that discuss a particular experience in detail and then make the connection to why law and/or why that school. Don't try to tell your entire life story. What made you start the organization? What obstacles did you face? How did you overcome them? What did you accomplish? Do you still work on it/does it still exist? How did this experience change you? What skills did you develop? How did it influence/change your goals or attitude?

If you think the nonprofit work you're doing now is more significant to you, apply those questions to that instead; but, my impression is starting an organization in UG is more impressive, and I would guess it had a greater impact on you.

I feel for you, writing my PS was like chewing glass, but I didn't have anything nearly as interesting to write about. Just force yourself to write it, submit it, and then forget it. I couldn't bring myself to bullshit a DS though, so I don't have any advice there.


Chewing glass is the perfect description cgw! And your advice is very much appreciated - your advice paired with dingbat's advice
dingbat wrote:
This, but I'd add a diversity statement about how dad was in prison, mom on welfare and being first to go to college


helped the lightbulb in my head begin to flicker. I am having a tough time writing two complimentary essays that don't overlap too much.

I really appreciate everyone's help! Nice that people will aid a person in crisis - when they have never met me and have nothing to gain in return. So thank you kindly!




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