[Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
cgjeon
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[Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby cgjeon » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:35 pm

Hello folks,

Okay, well please disregard my arrogant subject. It was just a way for me to bring you guys into my thread, because why? I want your constructive criticisms and good feed backs. I just finished writing my paper and this is very rough rough draft of my personal statement, so please keep that in mind as you flame me. ;)
Other than that this essay shouldn't be too hard to comprehend. Here it goes!

Thank you in advance!

--------------------------------------


My mother was crying. I have never seen her bawling so hard since my grandfather passed away. It was odd for me to see her like this, because she always reminded me that in order to succeed in this world, I should be able to control my emotions and learn to promptly adapt to changes. But she was out of control. Something was wrong. She was holding tightly onto her phone, not wanting to hang up the disconnected call. “Beep… beep… beep…” I stared at her speechlessly, not knowing if I should lend a hand or not. Her shoulders were heavy as if they were loaded with bricks. I took a step closer to her.

“What is wrong ma?”

From her trembling lips, she said, “I think I lost my company.”

My mind was beeping.

The unexpected happened. My mom woke up early in the morning the next day. In her flowery sunflower apron smiling, she gave me the hand gesture to sit down for my favorite breakfast menu, Kimchi Soup. Wrinkles formed around her eyes whenever she smiled as if they were telling me, “This is her genuine smile.” I was relieved she felt better by the next morning, and in order not to remind her of the yesterday’s incident, I refused to bring up the subject. The Kimchi Soup could not have been better. Obviously then, I did not catch the true emotions she was going through–an emotion of misery and hopelessness, disguised by the flawlessly-made smile to bring back the feeling of stability in our family.

I woke up to a conversation at 1 A.M. next to my room. Living in a fairly old apartment, the fragile walls between the rooms gave us no privacy. A sound would echo through the wall and it was inevitable for someone to eavesdrop on the conversation they were having on the other side of the room. I heard my mom on the phone with her friend. The blinds on my window were clashing into each other by the breeze; as the moonlight dimly illuminated the darkness in my room, I overheard the entire story.

The company was not bankrupt but she was discharged from her own dental company by a manipulative co-founder. When my mom was signing a contract with this co-founder, he had left out a specific document that would have allowed her to become an official executive board member. All this time, she had thought that she was on the board, but in actuality, she was no different than an ordinary employee. The official executive board members decided to dismiss her due to slow business. My mom no longer continued her story, but ended her phone call saying, “The law can protect a person, but this time, it has protected the wrong one.”

This experience highlights an extremely emotional and change of direction in my life. My curiosity about the developing global economy has lead me to major in Economics at University of California, Irvine. This curiosity has transformed into an interest in the business world and luckily, it has allowed me to pursue further education through Concordia University’s Master of Business Administration program. However, through the experience I had with my family, I have realized that there is something much more influential than business itself: The law. We live in a society where almost everything is dictated by the law. What good is it if we are not familiar with the system that we live by? Perhaps, there might be more victims like my mom by those selfish individuals who need to fix the system in order to gain what they want. I do not want to go through this experience again, nor do I want it to repeat in any other individual. I want to represent the people who are mortified by these greedy people. I want to give these people their equal opportunity to fight for their rights and to speak for their mind. The law is there to protect the right person, and I believe it is fully capable of that.

This is simple. The law is essential to us. It is not a luxury, but a necessity. I want to learn and practice these needs. Although I know changing the entire world is not a feasible plan, I feel a strong passion to make the biggest difference in people who live under the law. With my background in business, I am confident that I will not only bring diverse and unique contributions to my colleagues, but also it will benefit me to be exceptionally marketable upon graduation. Above all, it is my desire to be of service to people who have once felt hopeless like my mom, to infuse the breath of hope in their family. I want to help make a just and fairer society tomorrow than today. I no longer want to stand speechlessly. I want to make a difference. I want to be a lawyer.

cgjeon
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby cgjeon » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:25 pm

Any takers?
Bad? Mediocre? Good?
What kind of person do you me as when you read this personal statement?

Connor Benz
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby Connor Benz » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:33 pm

You went to Irvine? Sweet! I went to UC Berkeley! UC FOR LIFE!

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Ramius
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby Ramius » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:32 am

This wasn't a horrible PS, but your story combined with your background combined with your supposed goals just don't add up to me. You try to tell a heart-wrenching tale of how your mom was muscled out of her own company, then move on to talk about your interest in business and economics, then go on to discuss how you want to help the helpless in the law. The flow of the statement isn't disjointed, but the message you're sending feels disjointed to me. It isn't necessarily that all of the stuff you talk about can't be a cohesive message, but the way it's portrayed here, I mostly don't believe everything you're saying. When I read this, I feel you trying to manipulate me as the reader, and that's definitely not a good thing. The PS does need to be manipulative in that you want to drive the reader to your intended conclusion, but you need to make sure they don't feel you doing it.

Just a thought or two on how to do this:
1. Really ask yourself whether the anecdote of your mom had any impact on your eventual career aspirations. If it did, absolutely use it. If you just think it's something the reader would want to read about an applicant, you need to reengage the use of it. One of the worst impressions you can give with your tone is that you're being disingenuous. If you're going to use this anecdote, I would cut out everything in the middle and toward the end about your experience in business and education, because discussing that background doesn't jive with the rest of your "I just want to help people" message in the rest.

2. Personally, I would get rid of the entire middle section about your education and decision to get an MBA. It reads like you're restating your resume, which you should never do. It does nothing to help you in this statement.

3. Your concluding paragraph needs some work. The whole thing about changing the world not being feasible, so I just want to make the biggest difference I can thing comes off as, "I know changing the entire world seems lofty, but f*** it, I believe I can." I know your phrasing is trying to convey that you don't feel that way, but ironically it does just that. The people reading this are going to be smart and very experienced at reading things like this and they can spot when the writer is speaking with any amount of subtext.

Like I said to begin with, this isn't a horrible PS, but it wasn't particularly strong either. You have some solid elements to it, but until you clean up the underlying tone of it, no amount of structural changes will help it IMO.

GL!

cgjeon
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby cgjeon » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:15 pm

Thank you, Matthewsean86

I definitely agree with you on somethings especially about describing how I wanted to acquire a MBA degree. I knew it was restating my resume, yet I wanted to show and tell the adcomm that although I might not have any work experiences or classes that are relevant to law, the experience I had with my mom was the primary factor in switching my career path from business to law. I thought I should state that because I was thinking maybe adcomm will be like, "This dude has no background in law, no work experience related to law, why all of a sudden law?" etc...

And I agree that although this was a true story, i think I did make the tone a bit too dramatic. I wanted to make sure the reader is experiencing what I experienced. I guess I need to tailor it to make this personal statement sound more realistic yet still convincing.

I guess I need to work on the underlying tone like you said. Any more suggestions after reading my explanations? Let me know! But really, Thank you!

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tofuspeedstar
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby tofuspeedstar » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:58 am

cgjeon wrote:Thank you, Matthewsean86

I definitely agree with you on somethings especially about describing how I wanted to acquire a MBA degree. I knew it was restating my resume, yet I wanted to show and tell the adcomm that although I might not have any work experiences or classes that are relevant to law, the experience I had with my mom was the primary factor in switching my career path from business to law. I thought I should state that because I was thinking maybe adcomm will be like, "This dude has no background in law, no work experience related to law, why all of a sudden law?" etc...

And I agree that although this was a true story, i think I did make the tone a bit too dramatic. I wanted to make sure the reader is experiencing what I experienced. I guess I need to tailor it to make this personal statement sound more realistic yet still convincing.

I guess I need to work on the underlying tone like you said. Any more suggestions after reading my explanations? Let me know! But really, Thank you!


Re bolded: The personal statement doesn't have to necessarily be "why you want to go to law school" It has been tossed around several times on here.

The beginning is kind of dramatic...

I am still working on mine personally, but, here is a piece of advice I got from a family member (who is a practicing attorney) regarding PS writing:

Starting the essay with a dramatic, unexplained sentence designed to grab the startled reader’s attention. (In fact, what it does to the reader (member of the adcomm) is produce a dismayed feeling of, “Oh no, not another one of these.”). Continuing this dramatic episode for a short paragraph without tipping off its relevance to the application. Beginning the next paragraph by switching to expository style and informing us of what you were doing in this dire situation and how it was part of the background that makes you a special applicant to law school. Developing why you are so special in the rest of the statement. Then concluding with a touching statement returning to the opening gambit, about how now, after law school, you can really help the world. It's a transparent style of PS writing that can easily bore the reader. Start off with something meaningful instead, and then tie it in to the rest of your statement.


Also would cut out the part regarding your acquisition of your MBA, that can be clearly seen on your resume. But it's been stated above by mattsean86. It could be misinterpreted by an adcomm as a sign of arrogance even. But, that's highly unlikely but you never know..

Hope this helps. Best of luck!

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Sourrudedude
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby Sourrudedude » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:34 pm

tofuspeedstar wrote:
cgjeon wrote:Thank you, Matthewsean86

I definitely agree with you on somethings especially about describing how I wanted to acquire a MBA degree. I knew it was restating my resume, yet I wanted to show and tell the adcomm that although I might not have any work experiences or classes that are relevant to law, the experience I had with my mom was the primary factor in switching my career path from business to law. I thought I should state that because I was thinking maybe adcomm will be like, "This dude has no background in law, no work experience related to law, why all of a sudden law?" etc...

And I agree that although this was a true story, i think I did make the tone a bit too dramatic. I wanted to make sure the reader is experiencing what I experienced. I guess I need to tailor it to make this personal statement sound more realistic yet still convincing.

I guess I need to work on the underlying tone like you said. Any more suggestions after reading my explanations? Let me know! But really, Thank you!


Re bolded: The personal statement doesn't have to necessarily be "why you want to go to law school" It has been tossed around several times on here.

The beginning is kind of dramatic...

I am still working on mine personally, but, here is a piece of advice I got from a family member (who is a practicing attorney) regarding PS writing:

Starting the essay with a dramatic, unexplained sentence designed to grab the startled reader’s attention. (In fact, what it does to the reader (member of the adcomm) is produce a dismayed feeling of, “Oh no, not another one of these.”). Continuing this dramatic episode for a short paragraph without tipping off its relevance to the application. Beginning the next paragraph by switching to expository style and informing us of what you were doing in this dire situation and how it was part of the background that makes you a special applicant to law school. Developing why you are so special in the rest of the statement. Then concluding with a touching statement returning to the opening gambit, about how now, after law school, you can really help the world. It's a transparent style of PS writing that can easily bore the reader. Start off with something meaningful instead, and then tie it in to the rest of your statement.


Also would cut out the part regarding your acquisition of your MBA, that can be clearly seen on your resume. But it's been stated above by mattsean86. It could be misinterpreted by an adcomm as a sign of arrogance even. But, that's highly unlikely but you never know..

Hope this helps. Best of luck!


Berkeley would agree with your family member: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/5188.htm

NYstate
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby NYstate » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:47 pm

Please don't say your mind beeped.

That's as far as I got.

moralsentiments
Posts: 169
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby moralsentiments » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:20 pm

I agree with the above criticisms. If I may add a few things that I think are pretty easy to fix. Not to be rude by any means, but the grammar is terrible. Mostly toward the end, but a quick few references to what I mean:

1.
My mother was crying. I have never seen her bawling so hard since my grandfather passed away. It was odd for me to see her like this

Here you jump from past tense to present tense back to past tense. It would be better if it were written something along the lines of: "My mother was crying. I had never seen her bawl so hard since my grandfather....it was odd for me...." You can see the consistency of past tense here. I would also add that the word "bawl" comes off kind of immature. It wouldn't hurt to say "cry" again. Say the sentence out loud and see what you think, it's your style, your call.

2. Just a stylistic suggestion. You use a lot of adjectives describing your surroundings and trying to paint the picture for the reader. This is good, but to me, it came off that you were describing less than significant parts of the story. For example, I don't care that you saw the moonlight in your room as you were overhearing your mother's phone call. Rather you could describe the emotion in her voice. Also you go into ZERO significant details about how the guy who screwed your mom over is greedy or why he did what he did. I actually have no clue what really happened. Did your mom not read the paperwork she signed? I'm inclined to believe that there is more to the story (his side) that we are supposed to assume is evil/greedy/etc. If it is, explain how/why. Perhaps you could clean this part of the story up by removing some of the space you dedicated to discussing your econ/MBA stuff.

3.
Obviously then, I did not catch the true emotions she was going through–an emotion of misery and hopelessness

"Catch" is not the best word to use here. Perhaps "grasp", "comprehend", etc.

4.
This experience highlights an extremely emotional and change of direction in my life.

This word isn't needed here. Just omit and you should be fine. Assuming you will keep the portion of your statement with your econ/MBA stuff in it, which I would recommend against.

5. The last two paragraphs need to be re-written for grammatical purposes. Sentence structure is poor. It won't require much work, but it might be in your best interest to take it to the writing center at UCI or a "grammar policeman" to be thoroughly edited.

As other posters have mentioned, coming off as a "reach for the stars" type of person can be persuasive just as easily as it can be disingenuous. When you are writing, imagine you are talking to an admissions committee member in an interview. Be honest. Adcoms can see right through bullshit. That's not to say that your story is bullshit by any means, but if it's presented disingenuously, it can come off that way.

P.S. Im a UCI Alum...ZOT ZOT ZOT!!! Good luck with your cycle!!!

cgjeon
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:25 am

Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby cgjeon » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:43 pm

Sourrudedude wrote:
tofuspeedstar wrote:
cgjeon wrote:Thank you, Matthewsean86

I definitely agree with you on somethings especially about describing how I wanted to acquire a MBA degree. I knew it was restating my resume, yet I wanted to show and tell the adcomm that although I might not have any work experiences or classes that are relevant to law, the experience I had with my mom was the primary factor in switching my career path from business to law. I thought I should state that because I was thinking maybe adcomm will be like, "This dude has no background in law, no work experience related to law, why all of a sudden law?" etc...

And I agree that although this was a true story, i think I did make the tone a bit too dramatic. I wanted to make sure the reader is experiencing what I experienced. I guess I need to tailor it to make this personal statement sound more realistic yet still convincing.

I guess I need to work on the underlying tone like you said. Any more suggestions after reading my explanations? Let me know! But really, Thank you!


Re bolded: The personal statement doesn't have to necessarily be "why you want to go to law school" It has been tossed around several times on here.

The beginning is kind of dramatic...

I am still working on mine personally, but, here is a piece of advice I got from a family member (who is a practicing attorney) regarding PS writing:

Starting the essay with a dramatic, unexplained sentence designed to grab the startled reader’s attention. (In fact, what it does to the reader (member of the adcomm) is produce a dismayed feeling of, “Oh no, not another one of these.”). Continuing this dramatic episode for a short paragraph without tipping off its relevance to the application. Beginning the next paragraph by switching to expository style and informing us of what you were doing in this dire situation and how it was part of the background that makes you a special applicant to law school. Developing why you are so special in the rest of the statement. Then concluding with a touching statement returning to the opening gambit, about how now, after law school, you can really help the world. It's a transparent style of PS writing that can easily bore the reader. Start off with something meaningful instead, and then tie it in to the rest of your statement.


Also would cut out the part regarding your acquisition of your MBA, that can be clearly seen on your resume. But it's been stated above by mattsean86. It could be misinterpreted by an adcomm as a sign of arrogance even. But, that's highly unlikely but you never know..

Hope this helps. Best of luck!


Berkeley would agree with your family member: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/5188.htm


Maybe his family member wrote this? ;)

cgjeon
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby cgjeon » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:44 pm

NYstate wrote:Please don't say your mind beeped.

That's as far as I got.


Got it!
Thank you!

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tofuspeedstar
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby tofuspeedstar » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:46 pm

Sourrudedude wrote:
Berkeley would agree with your family member: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/5188.htm



:lol: oh well. I probably would have never found it had he not copied/pasted that to me in an e-mail. It does make sense though.

cgjeon
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:25 am

Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby cgjeon » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:48 pm

moralsentiments wrote:I agree with the above criticisms. If I may add a few things that I think are pretty easy to fix. Not to be rude by any means, but the grammar is terrible. Mostly toward the end, but a quick few references to what I mean:

1.
My mother was crying. I have never seen her bawling so hard since my grandfather passed away. It was odd for me to see her like this

Here you jump from past tense to present tense back to past tense. It would be better if it were written something along the lines of: "My mother was crying. I had never seen her bawl so hard since my grandfather....it was odd for me...." You can see the consistency of past tense here. I would also add that the word "bawl" comes off kind of immature. It wouldn't hurt to say "cry" again. Say the sentence out loud and see what you think, it's your style, your call.

2. Just a stylistic suggestion. You use a lot of adjectives describing your surroundings and trying to paint the picture for the reader. This is good, but to me, it came off that you were describing less than significant parts of the story. For example, I don't care that you saw the moonlight in your room as you were overhearing your mother's phone call. Rather you could describe the emotion in her voice. Also you go into ZERO significant details about how the guy who screwed your mom over is greedy or why he did what he did. I actually have no clue what really happened. Did your mom not read the paperwork she signed? I'm inclined to believe that there is more to the story (his side) that we are supposed to assume is evil/greedy/etc. If it is, explain how/why. Perhaps you could clean this part of the story up by removing some of the space you dedicated to discussing your econ/MBA stuff.

3.
Obviously then, I did not catch the true emotions she was going through–an emotion of misery and hopelessness

"Catch" is not the best word to use here. Perhaps "grasp", "comprehend", etc.

4.
This experience highlights an extremely emotional and change of direction in my life.

This word isn't needed here. Just omit and you should be fine. Assuming you will keep the portion of your statement with your econ/MBA stuff in it, which I would recommend against.

5. The last two paragraphs need to be re-written for grammatical purposes. Sentence structure is poor. It won't require much work, but it might be in your best interest to take it to the writing center at UCI or a "grammar policeman" to be thoroughly edited.

As other posters have mentioned, coming off as a "reach for the stars" type of person can be persuasive just as easily as it can be disingenuous. When you are writing, imagine you are talking to an admissions committee member in an interview. Be honest. Adcoms can see right through bullshit. That's not to say that your story is bullshit by any means, but if it's presented disingenuously, it can come off that way.

P.S. Im a UCI Alum...ZOT ZOT ZOT!!! Good luck with your cycle!!!


Nice! Getting a good feedback from a fellow UCI Alum feels good ;) Go Zot Zot!!
But yea, thank you for all the constructive criticisms. I definitely agree with you and maybe I should really take it to the writing center at UCI. Been feeling kinda lazy ;(
Thank you for the superb feedback Moralsentiments!

cgjeon
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:25 am

Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby cgjeon » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:50 pm

tofuspeedstar wrote:
Sourrudedude wrote:
Berkeley would agree with your family member: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/5188.htm



:lol: oh well. I probably would have never found it had he not copied/pasted that to me in an e-mail. It does make sense though.


He probably wanted you to go to Berkeley Law ;)

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tofuspeedstar
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby tofuspeedstar » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:02 pm

cgjeon wrote:
tofuspeedstar wrote:
Sourrudedude wrote:
Berkeley would agree with your family member: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/5188.htm



:lol: oh well. I probably would have never found it had he not copied/pasted that to me in an e-mail. It does make sense though.


He probably wanted you to go to Berkeley Law ;)



:lol:

poke800ash
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby poke800ash » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:20 pm

It answers the question why you would like to be a lawyer very elaborately. On top of that I really like the sincerity of essay. That being said, I don't really see how it reflects you abilities to be a better lawyer/law student than the next person.

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john1990
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby john1990 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:39 pm

I think it is a good personal statement but somewhat depressing. You should take a more friendly tone in your paper

kritarch
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Re: [Easy Read] I bet you can't top my PS. Try me.

Postby kritarch » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:52 pm

A good personal statement provides a coherent narrative of what has brought you to this point (in your life, of applying to law school, or a combination of these two). What this narrative consists of will depend on the person writing it. For some, it may focus on their upbringing or cultural background. For others, it may be an intellectual journey, where certain ideas or courses influenced you. And for others it may be one or several experiences, personal or professional, that were meaningful. Whatever the narrative is, the reader gets an idea of the major events, turning points, influences, or experiences that make up who you are. This personal statement functions essentially like an on-paper interview -- it's kind of like a glorified cover letter, in fact. We get an idea of who you are, what's gone on in your life, and -- implicitly or explicitly -- why you applied to law school. (http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... 0/p-s.aspx)

I think it is a mistake to describe a dramatic event in your mother's life involving law unless that event was essentially to the major events, turning point, influence, or experience that makes up who you are.

Anyone, if they give it enough thought, can locate those events, people, books, classes, and teachers whose influence fundamentally altered the fabric of their personality. But your mother's loss of her business does not seem like it had that effect on you -- it merely "highlights an extremely emotional and change of direction" in your life (What does that mean?).

Law school does not have to have been a lifelong dream -- but for one reason or another at this moment in your life it seems like the next most promising step -- one that will require three years and significant financial and emotional commitment. It is not something you are just drifting into -- it must be designed to serve some ultimate purpose in your life. What is that purpose? What makes it the next logical step for you?

Right now your statement devolves into a series of bromides about the power of law and how you "want to make a difference." These platitudes are not, in themselves, weak, but they require some support to give them life. What makes you think being a lawyer more than, say, being a teacher will "make a difference" or "change the world"? A person you met? A person you admire? A course you took? A book you read? An experience you had?

The worst thing you can do is lie of course, and if you are just tossing out catch-phrases that sound like what you think the adcomms want to hear it won't hurt you -- but like about 95% of personal statements it won't help you either.




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