New Personal Statement - Critiques & Opinions Needed

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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New Personal Statement - Critiques & Opinions Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 12, 2013 12:50 pm

I scrapped my previous statement and wrote one I feel is a bit more personal and easier to connect with. All constructive feedback is much appreciated...

The summer of 2009 was a key turning point in my life. I was an 18-year-old high school dropout and had no real motivation in life. The only thing I considered to have going for me was that I didn’t inherit my father’s addiction to alcohol. My days in high school were rocky at best; bad grades, poor attendance, no desire to do well, and an overall lack of caring. I officially dropped out the moment I turned 18 and it seemed that I was at rock bottom. At a point where many people would have given up and accepted the life their mistakes had provided them, I picked myself up thanks to, what I consider, the best sources of inspiration I could have asked for!

The key to all my inspiration was discovering that I would become a very young father. Finding out that my fiancé was pregnant with our daughter, XXXXX, was a very happy moment but it also posed the concern of how I was going to take care of my family at such a young age. As a soon-to-be teenage parent, I knew I was going to have to work a job to provide financially and to also get an education for a better future. This is exactly what I did. Since becoming a father, I have worked and attended school full time, earned an Associate’s degree with honors, received a well-paying job, and started a business of my own. I am also one semester away from earning a Bachelor’s degree and in the process of applying to law school. Most importantly, I have become the person and parent that I wanted to become. Just a few short years ago, there weren’t many people who thought that I’d be where I am today. While it’s great to prove the naysayers wrong, the most rewarding feeling is the pride that comes from knowing my daughter has a father she can be proud of.

While I thank my daughter for forcing me to realize my true potential, I have to thank my parents for shaping my core values, although for completely opposite reasons from one another. My father was an abusive alcoholic that embodied everything I NEVER wanted to be. While it is the only thing for which I am thankful to him, I will always be grateful that he provided me with such a clear image of the person I wanted to ultimately become (the opposite of him). My mother raised my sister and I on her own. She had no education beyond high school and struggled to support two kids alone. Finally, when it reached a point where she was just barely keeping a roof over our heads, let alone putting food on the table, she refused to let her kids suffer anymore. She sacrificed her dignity and worked jobs that she was not proud of to ensure that my sister and I had a warm place to call home and food to eat. Seeing my mother put the well being of her kids over her dignity is something I will forever be proud of and I cannot thank her enough for instilling in me her tireless work ethic and natural compassion.

I have been interested in a legal career for a number of years. Previously, I always wanted to purse Intellectual Property as a specialty because of my interest and experience in technology. However, my professional goals have been shifting to reflect my personal missions. Recently, I have learned (both first and second hand) of women being terminated from their place of employment upon notifying management of pregnancies and, thus, being left to worry about caring for their child with no income. Obviously, cases are not typically as black and white as this but the reality is that this appalling act is something that happens. A primary motivation for pursuing a career in law is my unyielding desire to prevent this from happening and helping those who have been truly victimized because of certain statuses or conditions.

My life’s experiences have undoubtedly shaped me into a compassionate person who yearns to protect people from wrongdoings and help them achieve peace of mind. However, these experiences in no way limit me from achieving my personal and professional ambitions. The same resiliency that has helped me to attain my past goals will certainly assist me in my determination to practice law. Even though I have had to take a few steps back along the way, no obstacle has prevented me from accomplishing my dreams and I am confident that this will continue to remain the case. Although my experiences have not been entirely unique, my response to these challenges definitely sets me apart. I consider my past a means of shaping me into the individual I am today. I realize that attending [School-Name] will provide many more obstacles. Nevertheless, I welcome the difficulties and I know that these barriers will help to mold me into the lawyer I will be tomorrow.

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Re: New Personal Statement - Critiques & Opinions Needed

Postby Ixiion » Mon May 27, 2013 9:16 am

Right off the bat, I'd say you need someone to edit your PS to correct grammatical errors. I'll be honest and say I only skimmed it (I'll come back and re-read the whole thing when my brain decides to wake up), but I could immediately spot some errors.

Secondly, there's a difference between PS-informal and slang. For example, "have going for me" is more slang than informal for the purposes of a PS. Yes, they want it to be conversational and informal in the sense that you don't sound like a prick who used a thesaurus for every single word including the word "the". But on the other hand, it should display your writing ability -- which "have going for me" does not.

Thirdly, I'd suggest changing your first sentence. It's not exactly attention-grabbing, because it's going to be a very common starting sentence that the adcomms have read 10,000 times over. I'd try to give you an example, but as I said, my brain isn't exactly here right now. Maybe something like "One moment, I was a careless teenager. The next, an expectant father. That moment, that terrifying yet beautiful moment in the scorching summer of 2009, changed everything about me." Or, "Seconds are fleeting, but you only need one to change your entire life. The second that changed mine was when I discovered I was to be a father." Again, sorry, brain dead, but I hope that illustrates my point.

LASTLY, try to work on your transitions more. The entire thing should flow. It's not just about technically linking, which you did with "inspiration" to "inspiration", but about the power of that link. Ugh I wish I could explain myself, haha.

HTH! :)

ETA: I read somewhere in some interview with a Dean of a T14 school that the random little "[enter School Name]" sentence in the PS does more harm than good, because it's blatantly obvious that it's just an editable sentence in which you toss any number of schools' names, and that it is pretty much useless. HOWEVER, since I can't remember where, who, or what that came from, I'd just take that as an anecdote and not something to actually edit unless someone can provide a source.

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