Personal Statement Advice... 713 words.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Personal Statement Advice... 713 words.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:39 pm

For me, law school is not just about learning the law. It is, instead, about learning how to use current bureaucratic institutions and judicial systems to benefit people whose problems are either not addressed or, even worse, adversely affected by the way they function. These next three years are an opportunity for me to learn how to identify problems, potential solutions and ultimately build bridges to underrepresented and disenfranchised peoples.
A strong desire to help others comes from an emotional battle that I had fought through as a child. The person I am today has been entirely shaped by alcoholism, a disease which consumed my father and, consequentially, my family. Around the time of my eighth birthday, my mother imposed a strict “three-strike” policy to my father’s drinking, essentially, if he had faltered three more times at his attempts at recovery then they would get divorced. A breathalyzer was bought, and what seemed more like a game of catch me if you can than a real solution to his increasingly troubling problem began. Quickly, I joined my father’s team in this game, certain that I could get him to stop drinking. My first ingenious idea was to have posters made of his face and strategically placed individually in every liquor store in town, warning cashiers and other consumers that allowing this man to buy alcohol would be allowing his family to be destroyed. Not a bad idea for an eight year old, but my first grassroots movement to stop his drinking died when it clashed head on with a lack of transportation to these stores, funding for the supplies and a basic understanding of how this proposition provided no benefits but me. While other kids were going camping, I was attempting to coerce my father into choosing his family over alcohol.
After unsuccessful attempts to cure him, my quest stopped and so did his masquerade as a “recovering” alcoholic. It was clear that his disease would prohibit him, in so many ways, from being a father to me. The years immediately following would lead him down a path of homelessness, rejected collect phone calls and random drives past our house, glimpsing at what his life used to be. While his life stopped, I continued to grow up fast. Having to deal with so much at a young age took its toll and by the time middle school came around all of my pent up frustration and sadness put me into depression. Therapy was ordered and relatively ineffective, having me write letters that my father would never read and looking at bright colors just did not do the trick. All of the help I needed came from friends and extended family, whose love I learned to appreciate and soak up as I matured.
This realization, that what I really needed to get better and improve was a good support group, made me want to provide that support for others. When it came time for college, it seemed obvious for me to go into psychology, become a therapist and help people in ways that my therapist could not help me. Then, two things happened. Two semesters into college it became apparent that the solutions therapists provide are largely in prescription form, lacking the emotional and physical support that led to my recovery. On top of that, while my liberal arts degree from Temple University is my formal education, the experience of living in Northern Philadelphia opened my eye and really taught me about life. It made me realize that my problems growing up were miniscule, run of the mill issues compared to the hunger, poverty and hopelessness that plagues the truly disadvantaged youth of America.
My upbringing gave me the desire to help others; my schooling showed me that this help needs to be focused on issues most of us do not regularly face. The most fundamental part of a society is its laws; I want to understand how I can make those laws work better for the people who they are failing. No longer do I want to become the person who provides help through an emotional low. Instead, I want to help people who have no reason to feel up, the people who have become part of a cycle that is rarely broken.

RodneyRuxin
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:08 pm

Re: Personal Statement Advice... 713 words.

Postby RodneyRuxin » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:52 pm

Too wordy.

Remember that good legal writing (and all writing for that matter) is simple, clear, and concise.

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

Re: Personal Statement Advice... 713 words.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:11 am

Rodney, first draft! I'll be sure to cut it down!

Is the premise/message good though, do you think?

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lhn5007
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Re: Personal Statement Advice... 713 words.

Postby lhn5007 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The person I am today has been entirely shaped by alcoholism, a disease which consumed my father and, consequentially, my family.


This was the line that made me interested. This was where your essay should have started. The beginning seems a little disjointed and impersonal. Everybody wants to go to law school to play superhero, adcomms must hear this a hundred times a day and probably assumes this is what most JD applicants will claim. What sets you apart is your struggle, I would focus on that because it is the most powerful aspect of your essay. Reading about your father and your family's fight with his alcoholism made me emotionally invested, this is what you want. Instead of having two paragraphs, one stating why you want to go to law school and the other about your father's alcoholism, I'm sure you can marry the two a lot better.

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szb5058
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Re: Personal Statement Advice... 713 words.

Postby szb5058 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:39 am

lhn5007 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The person I am today has been entirely shaped by alcoholism, a disease which consumed my father and, consequentially, my family.


This was the line that made me interested. This was where your essay should have started. The beginning seems a little disjointed and impersonal. Everybody wants to go to law school to play superhero, adcomms must hear this a hundred times a day and probably assumes this is what most JD applicants will claim. What sets you apart is your struggle, I would focus on that because it is the most powerful aspect of your essay. Reading about your father and your family's fight with his alcoholism made me emotionally invested, this is what you want. Instead of having two paragraphs, one stating why you want to go to law school and the other about your father's alcoholism, I'm sure you can marry the two a lot better.


I agree with lhn5007. That line should actually start your essay. It really brings you in immediately. It's impactful, and the reader is emotionally invested straight from the start.

I love an article by LawSchoolAdvice that details the best ways to attack the PS, and I highly suggest you take a quick look through it

You can check it out here: http://lawschooladvice.com/guides/personal-statements/


Good luck!!

blsingindisguise
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Re: Personal Statement Advice... 713 words.

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:41 am

It needs more paragraph breaks, and just for readability here, I would put a line space in between each paragraph. Otherwise I agree that the intro is weak and generic and should go. The alcoholism is a more interesting and personal angle.

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

Re: Personal Statement Advice... 713 words.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:44 pm

All of your advice will be taken. Thanks guys!




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