Critique? Hoping to knock out my applications this week

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

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Critique? Hoping to knock out my applications this week

Postby Berchild05 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:58 am

Looking back at it now, I remember spending a good amount of elementary and middle school in tears and upset at my older brother. At the time, I was sure that everyone was out to make my life miserable. However, after years of maturing and finding myself in my current position I realize that my young childhood wasn’t an example of sibling bullying, but instead the result of both my father and older brother making huge sacrifices for myself and our family. Being raised by the two of them has led me to try to live my life with similar values and an adherence to serving others before myself. My name is "blank" and I’m applying to “insert law school” as I believe the professors, curriculum, and mission of the school would best allow me foster the value of selfless service as I prepare for a career of helping the less fortunate.

Being a single parent of three young children my father was forced to make multiple sacrifices in order to provide a sense of normalcy for mine and my siblings’ childhoods. He gave up his entire personal life, worked overnight shifts, and switched between multiple jobs so he could put food on the table and make us feel no different than those we went to school with. For him to do this he needed my older brother of two years to help raise me and my younger sister while he was away at work. Therefore, from the age of nine throughout high school my brother sacrificed most of his social life to help our dad by watching us, making dinner, and ensuring we got our schoolwork done. The efforts of both of them are directly responsible for not only giving me the foundation I needed to make it in college but also inspired me to make my own sacrifices and serve others as often as possible.

The majority of my direct service throughout college has been as a member of Students Today Leaders Forever or STLF. STLF is an organization that shapes leaders by putting them in service positions and having them lead other students through large service projects. The program culminates over spring break when buses of forty-five college students go on a weeklong service trip across the country. My freshman year I was only a participant. My sophomore year I led one of the spring break buses where I was tasked with planning, organizing, and leading my bus in committing over 1200 hours of community service. This year I’ve served as the president of the organization where I’ve had to work with both the bus leaders, manage our finances, and coordinate with the national chapter. Come May, I will have helped coordinate and prepare our university’s chapter to complete over 3000 hours of service. Being a member and leader of this organization has both helped me serve the public while also showing the impact one person’s service can have. Besides this service, I made perhaps my biggest sacrifice when I decided to join the army.

One of the largest reasons I chose to join the military because I felt it necessary to serve a larger cause, and none are much bigger than your country. I made this decision with full understanding that I would be sacrificing most of my young adult life for a career that could move me to any corner of the world, at any time, for any reason. Fortunately, the army has been well worth it. My military training throughout college has further strengthened my work ethic, leadership ability, and passion to serve others. This spring I will commission into the US Army Reserves as a 2nd Lieutenant. After attending law school, I will hopefully become an active duty JAG officer. This position would allow me to protect and ensure the rights of those who have made the same sacrifice as I, an opportunity I greatly desire.

Through my experiences in my college education, military service, and STLF I’ve emerged as a selfless serving leader that looks to help the unfortunate and those needing assistance. I’ve committed the majority of my college experience to these causes and look to expand on them further throughout law school and my eventual career. I’ve used my motivation, hard work ethic, and commitment to these values to facilitate these actions. I’m confident in the belief that attending “insert law school” would not only provide me an excellent legal education but also prepare me for a lifetime of selfless service.

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Re: Critique? Hoping to knock out my applications this week

Postby thelawschoolproject » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:36 pm


1). Scrap the entire first paragraph. It's not necessary and doesn't add anything to your PS. Be more economical with the limited space you're given.

2). I don't feel like you focus on you enough--if at all. You tell us about your dad and about your brother and about your college organization and about the army, but we never see you. In fact, I think I was three paragraphs in before you said anything about you and not about someone/something else. The focus of your PS should be on you. This one simply isn't.

3). You are trying to tell us that you are a leader, but it would be much more effective to show it to us. Don't say you did X and then joined Y, show us something that you actually did that establishes you as a leader. Give us some story that happened to you--that presented some form of a challenge. Then, show us how you overcame that with your leadership ability or with some other characteristic or trait that sets you apart from the rest of the pack. Right now you're just listing things that you've done--almost resume style--you can do better than that.

4). I also feel like you're trying to fit too much in. You have three kind of separate topics--hard life/single parent childhood, public interest work in UG, military experience. I would really suggest that you focus on one of these, otherwise you aren't going to be able to delve down deep enough to pull out a really effective PS.

Good luck.

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Re: Critique? Hoping to knock out my applications this week

Postby cinephile » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:51 pm

You're applying for this cycle? It's a bit late.

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