First Draft Personal Statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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First Draft Personal Statement

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:03 pm

Editing. Thanks, everyone.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ramius
Posts: 2005
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Re: First Draft Personal Statement

Postby Ramius » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:54 pm

This was a really solid PS. You were relatable, had a clear voice and message, gave a good connection between you and the law and showed compassion with decent humility. I don't have any strong critiques against this because I genuinely liked it. That being said, I have little to no idea whether this will merely put you on par with the average HLS applicant or do as you hope and set you apart.

Either way, I liked it and I would think ADCOMs would too! GL!

Skooky
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Re: First Draft Personal Statement

Postby Skooky » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:38 pm

I'm a fan

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thewaves
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Re: First Draft Personal Statement

Postby thewaves » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:08 pm

+1 good PS

Andrewabrams
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Re: First Draft Personal Statement

Postby Andrewabrams » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:01 am

I rarely disagree with matthewsean85, he comments on almost everyone's posted personal statements and always says something noteworthy. With that said I do not think this is a solid personal statement. I think the topic is wonderful but there are a number of problems. Here is what I get from your PS: I helped out a friend who was unfortunate enough to have a difficult childhood similar to mine, I was a bit more fortunate than my friend since i had an awesome aunt and enough money for tuition private education, I work for an immigration attorney and i love helping people.

Before i start you may want to consider posting this on SPAM (see bellow).

Firstly, its not (for lack of a better work) deep enough. I have a story similar to yours and when I read this I'm not particular moved. I may be wrong but from personal experience I'm going to assume your mother is in some ways absolutely insane, a bit irresponsible, but the most amazing sweetest wholehearted caring mother you could ever ask for. Growing up in that sort of environment affected you on a much deeper level than you convey in this PS, I suggest you grab a glass of wine, or whatever your drug of choice is (beer, water, tequila, nature, etc.) and take some time to think deeper about what parts of you (specific personality traits, grades, attitudes, perspectives, etc.) were affected by your upbringing and how they have make you into the person you are today. Then choose which a few and describe then in your PS to show the ADCOM who you really are.

Secondly, I think you should spend less time talking about ####. It makes for a great introduction to your topic but use it as more of a short transition to your story, I wouldn't mention #### past the first paragraph unless you can work it back in some creative way in the conclusion.

Thirdly, immigration was not what i was expecting, i would expect family law if nothing else, perhaps you can find a smoother transition as to why you choose immigration as apposed to something that fits more into your story.

Fourthly, "I never feared not having a place to go, and we never relied on the government for a place to stay," im not sure what to make of this, does it pride you that you were more fortunate than #### and didn't have to stay in motels? I understand your intentions in the context of the paragraph but there may be more graceful ways of getting your point across (perhaps I can benefit from my own advice).

Lastly, here is a quote another user, manofjustice, wrote on this forum a few days ago. please pardon the potentially offensive language.

Surprisingly, when people start writing personal statements, they forget all their actual reasons and feelings and descend into descriptive masturbation.

I had a guy turn a terrible personal statement that actually made me despise him a bit into the best one I ever read just by adding a few sentences. His was a "why law school" personal statement and his few sentences...well, what do ya know, were just plain-English, unpolished recitations of his actual reasons and feelings for going to law school. You might try something similar. Our internal lives are more dramatic and inspiring than we realize, without the bullshit filter. Just tune in to yourself and be willing to share.


I do not mean to be harsh for you seem like a very sweet lady but i do hope this helps, Good luck!

One last thing, as stated above you can also post this on SPAM, its a free PS swap website, and its super awesome. You read someones posted PS and review it and in return another user reviews yours, its also a good way to keep your PS relatively private. Try it out, i prefer the privacy so i posted mine on their earlier, if you care to read it again i can PM you when i post up a revision.

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lastsamurai
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Re: First Draft Personal Statement

Postby lastsamurai » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:01 pm

I think it's solid, but I would tone down the emphasis on your little or mentee or whatever you want to call her. It doesn't do much to make your situation look hard by saying that hers was harder, but that's just my two cents. Also, read thoroughly for grammar.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Draft Personal Statement

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:16 pm

Ha, I am a little surprised. I was expecting more comments like Andrewabrams' after reading this forum and inviting people to rip it apart. Thank you to everyone who read my personal statement. I appreciate both the positive and the negative feedback!

Andrewabrams, I am not sure if it's from my lack of clarification or from confusion caused by removing identifying information, but the person in my statement identified as "####" is not my "friend," but a little girl I mentored as part of a mentoring program. I was not trying to "take pride" in being slightly less disadvantaged as her as a child. I was trying to relate the disadvantages that I have overcome to the ADCOMs without simply complaining about my messed up childhood, and at the same time show that I am aware of the world around me. I will work on that.

Wow - you really did hit the nail on the head about my mom though. Either you're really good at Freudian analysis or we have a lot in common. But I don't really see how talking about my mother's character flaws will show the admissions committee that I am prepared to go to law school. The worst thing she ever did to me was marry my former step-father.

I will try to focus more on "my story" than the girl I mentored. Back to work.

Thanks again!

Andrewabrams
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: First Draft Personal Statement

Postby Andrewabrams » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:28 pm

No it was clear that you were mentoring ###, I was just assuming you were also friends. I thought I was more personal of a relationship so assumed it was also a friendship.

Regarding your mother, I'm no psychologist but life teaches you a thing or two and I'd like to think I'm a good judge of character. More importantly, it's reasonable to assume that the people on the adcoms are too a great judge of character and will read into your ps as I did. Wishing you had written about something more substantive than one mentoring experience.

I don't even know your name but I do know there is a lot more to you than what's in the ps, especially with a mentor, or mother, like yours. You're going to need to exploit that to make this ps more appealing to hls.

Lastly, you're wrong when you say you don't see how your mom flaws shows your ready for law school. Whether you admit it or not one of the main reasons your going to law school, that you care about hls, the lsats, your ps, your career, etc. is because of your mother... the person she is, the decisions she has made, the life she has lived, etc. has ALL (the horrible flaws but also the amazing things she does which you've come to appreciate with age) lead you to be the responsible, careful, studious, and caring person you are today. A large majority of people who come from mothers like ours end up following their footsteps, or do worse. Very very few are able to distinguish right from wrong and dedicate themselves to their education, careers, and a better life for themselves their children and ultimately also their mothers. That shows maturity, we aren't applying to law school because our parents are wealthy and have paid for expensive tutors, (insert other things smart or wealthy parents do for their children to get them into great schools here), and guided us to be the perfect "Ivy league" law school applicant, those people have nothing on us. We know what it's like to sleep in a car and to truly struggle we are going to do this one way or another because we have had a taste of what waits for us if we don't, and we don't have the safety net of our parents good fortune. We got the "fire." :). Read the quote I cited above and the think about what you really want to write about. Ill stop now and like I said check out [Hi, I'm trying to spam you!], if you post the revision on there ill read and critique it on there this time.

If I have insulted anyone with my comments I apologize. Good luck everyone!

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

Re: First Draft Personal Statement

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:11 pm

I did not mean to imply that my mentee and I did not have a friendship. I just thought you misinterpreted who I was talking about. We had a very close mentor-mentee relationship that lasted the entire time I was in college, and we still talk today.

Although I did find your comments a bit inflammatory at first, I do think that what you've said about kids who were raised like us is very true, and I will try to incorporate that topic more into my statement. Most of my initial attempts at a PS just seemed way too depressing and whiny, so I tried to tone it down. Maybe I toned it down too far.

I do intend to stick to this topic in general, because being a mentor was a really important aspect of my time in college and I do think that it plays into why I want to be a lawyer. I like helping people. I know that everyone can use an extra hand sometimes. You don't always have to be helping the same type of people. Helping immigrants is a lot more closely related than you may think.

Luckily, kids like us are also a little tougher-skinned so it's hard to offend me. :wink:

Andrewabrams
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: First Draft Personal Statement

Postby Andrewabrams » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:03 pm

I like helping people.
I know that everyone can use an extra hand sometimes.


So do a lot of other people applying to law school, there was a PS this very same forum no more than a few days ago about someone who taught swimming classes in a bad neighborhood and decided he wanted to help people, and only a few days before that another user posted a PS with a similar topic about helping people as a mentor and then volunteered on a hotline. Those are real posted PS on this website within only the past few days, you can check it out yourself if you dont believe me, if im getting tired of the same "i like helping people" story imagine how ADCOMS feel... catch my drift? That story is not going to set you appart from the others especially at schools like HLS. But what do i know?

Luckily, kids like us are also a little tougher-skinned so it's hard to offend me.


I know, that comment wasnt for you. :P




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