Comment on my topic idea

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

Comment on my topic idea

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:42 pm

Hi, I'd like some feedback on my topic idea for my personal statement.

The topic is about my experience with familial identity theft and outright theft. My parents used my name to create back accounts that they subsequently overdraw + I had a few months of rent go missing + they may have stolen some school grant money from me because they obtained access to my bank account. Now I'm somewhere between 5k to 10k in debt and now in the process of paying it all off. This happened a few years ago and by the time my application is submitted everything should be taken care of. I want to focus on the incident, how I handled it (by planning ahead and paying it off through a lot of hard work), and how it gave me an appreciation for the difficulties in obtaining legal advice when you are of low income and do not have the social networks to find out what options you have.

Now, I see a few problem areas with this. First, I didn't turn my parents in to the creditors. I could have disputed everything and let the creditors press charges but I wasn't able to make myself do it. Also, while it may seem like they were malicious in their actions, it's a bit of a complex history and perhaps I'm biased, but I honestly believe they meant to pay me back before I was the wiser (probably through other illegal means, admittedly) but had hit the bottom of the money barrel with me at the bottom.

I'm wondering, will adcomms see this as bad judgment? Turning them in was the advice I got from a lot of people but, for what ever reason, I couldn't do it. I'd seen them in jail before and I don't think they could handle it again and since it was within my power to prevent that, that's the option I chose. I don't think by doing this I did anything illegal (I basically just accepted their bad debt as my own). Also, can I use this story as a way to explain my interest in extending legal services to people in similar situations and tangential (low-income) ones? I know that seems pretty vague... and possibly played out (I feel like a lot of people may try to say they have the same focus but I could be wrong), but it would work well with my current job history and volunteer work. So, tell me what you guys think, don't be afraid to be critical (if need be), I don't want to run into a serious mistake come this fall when I submit.

Redfactor
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:52 pm

Re: Comment on my topic idea

Postby Redfactor » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:11 pm

There isn't enough here to really gauge. It's worth writing out and then you can decide if it's strong enough to be a PS, in my opinion.

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WhiteyCakes
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:38 pm

Re: Comment on my topic idea

Postby WhiteyCakes » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:17 pm

Feel free to PM a draft to me

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Needajob1
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:05 pm

Re: Comment on my topic idea

Postby Needajob1 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, I'd like some feedback on my topic idea for my personal statement.

The topic is about my experience with familial identity theft and outright theft. My parents used my name to create back accounts that they subsequently overdraw + I had a few months of rent go missing + they may have stolen some school grant money from me because they obtained access to my bank account. Now I'm somewhere between 5k to 10k in debt and now in the process of paying it all off. This happened a few years ago and by the time my application is submitted everything should be taken care of. I want to focus on the incident, how I handled it (by planning ahead and paying it off through a lot of hard work), and how it gave me an appreciation for the difficulties in obtaining legal advice when you are of low income and do not have the social networks to find out what options you have.

Now, I see a few problem areas with this. First, I didn't turn my parents in to the creditors. I could have disputed everything and let the creditors press charges but I wasn't able to make myself do it. Also, while it may seem like they were malicious in their actions, it's a bit of a complex history and perhaps I'm biased, but I honestly believe they meant to pay me back before I was the wiser (probably through other illegal means, admittedly) but had hit the bottom of the money barrel with me at the bottom.

I'm wondering, will adcomms see this as bad judgment? Turning them in was the advice I got from a lot of people but, for what ever reason, I couldn't do it. I'd seen them in jail before and I don't think they could handle it again and since it was within my power to prevent that, that's the option I chose. I don't think by doing this I did anything illegal (I basically just accepted their bad debt as my own). Also, can I use this story as a way to explain my interest in extending legal services to people in similar situations and tangential (low-income) ones? I know that seems pretty vague... and possibly played out (I feel like a lot of people may try to say they have the same focus but I could be wrong), but it would work well with my current job history and volunteer work. So, tell me what you guys think, don't be afraid to be critical (if need be), I don't want to run into a serious mistake come this fall when I submit.


I think possibly take it from a "how people in desperate situations do desperate things approach" and then lead into your interest in helping people in similar situations. It's called public interest and many schools offer great scholarships for that. Take all negatives out and stay away from any legal should haves or could haves. Explain how seeing your parents have to take this desperate measure to support your family only made you have compassion for the lack of resources people have access to.
Explain how this has driven you! Good luck and sorry you had to be disappointed by parents, but I believe they probably planned on a different outcome also and didn't intend to burden you with debt.

y2zipper
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:45 pm

Re: Comment on my topic idea

Postby y2zipper » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:09 am

I think it's got potential, but I wouldn't position it as interest in making a difference unless you've made a difference in other times and can show it.

Instead, I'd write about the things you learned from the experience that could help you succeed in law school and as a lawyer, like managing the debt, hard work, planning ahead, handling the stress and maybe learning how to expand your professional network to get those resources you mention. You don't have to talk about not turning your parents in or any of the coulda woulda shoulda.

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

Re: Comment on my topic idea

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:17 pm

y2zipper wrote:I think it's got potential, but I wouldn't position it as interest in making a difference unless you've made a difference in other times and can show it.

Instead, I'd write about the things you learned from the experience that could help you succeed in law school and as a lawyer, like managing the debt, hard work, planning ahead, handling the stress and maybe learning how to expand your professional network to get those resources you mention. You don't have to talk about not turning your parents in or any of the coulda woulda shoulda.


I had that thought because I hear so much about "making a coherent narrative" and to me that sounds like "show that you have specific career interest in mind", which I only have vaguely. I am interested in Public Interest, but I haven't been able to find a specific Public Interest field that I 'know' I want to do.

Also, as for the 'making a difference' thing. I do have a bit of volunteer experience with helping people gain legal access and charity work. Not sure if that adds to any sort of credibility.

y2zipper
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:45 pm

Re: Comment on my topic idea

Postby y2zipper » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:26 pm

It's not exactly the same thing. My worry is that the making a difference personal statement is overdone and most people can't do it. Having a coherent narrative just means staying on point and not adding stuff that doesn't belong. You really don't have to mention a specific career or law school at all, really. You just need a central theme you can stick to and this experience can provide that. It's just hard to evaluate without a statement, so write it out.




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