Personal Statement - first try, please give feedback

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Personal Statement - first try, please give feedback

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:26 am

I vividly remember that, after writing the LSAT, I felt as if I was on top of the world now that all those months of studying had paid off and I could enjoy the rest of my summer relatively stress-free. I had no idea that the very next morning I was to receive a phone call that would lead to one of the most stressful and mentally exhausting periods of my life; a period which would also lead to a meeting with a lawyer who helped to re-affirm my decision to pursue a career in the legal profession more than anything else in my life had done up to that point.

I woke up the morning after writing the LSAT to go to work at my uncle’s fledgling food services company. That morning, as I picked my uncle up on the way to the office, he began complaining that he had been suffering from severe stomach pains for several days now. I offered to drop him off at the hospital on the way to work and said that I would open up the office myself and let the other employees know that he would probably be coming in to work later than usual that day.

A few hours later, my phone began ringing and I noticed that it was a call from my uncle. I answered the call and, expecting him to request that I pick him up from the hospital, I was completely unprepared for what I heard next. In between sobs, my uncle informed me that he had been diagnosed with cancer and, seeing as the company did not currently have the funds to hire a full-time manager, I would need to direct the company’s operations for an indefinite period of time. The obvious emotional toll it took on me aside, I was blindsided by the fact that I would now need to run a company in an industry which I had almost no knowledge of. Over the next few months, I learned what it truly means to work hard. I vividly remember the 90-hour work weeks and the long, stressful nights worrying about all the issues that accompany running your own business. However, I will touch more upon that later.

At the time, besides owning the food services company, my uncle was also working for a grocery store as a manager in the produce department. When my uncle was diagnosed with cancer, his employer attempted to terminate his contract, arguing that my uncle’s inability to work for an indefinite period of time was placing the employer at undue financial risk. As my uncle was burdened with the costs of starting his own business, as well as being paid a below-average wage for his occupation at the grocery store, he did not have the financial means to hire a lawyer. I implored him to speak to a lawyer anyways and hope for a reasonable rate. He took my advice, and incredibly, one local lawyer offered to work pro bono in order to help my uncle receive an accommodation from his employer to cover the costs associated with his illness. In the end, this lawyer was instrumental in helping my uncle in having his employment re-instated and in continuing to receive a portion of his wages in order to help cover medical expenses. Although my uncle would still undergo one of the most emotionally and physically draining periods of his life during his battle with cancer, I know that his lawyer’s selflessness in working pro bono in order to help my uncle win financial aid for his medical bills helped to take a massive burden off of his mind.

Frankly, I had always been intrigued by the study of law because of my interest in trying to find the ambiguities which arise in daily life and how legal precedents and statutes interpreted these ambiguities. However, the actions of that one lawyer showed me that there is far more to the legal field than intellectualism and analytical reasoning. Just like that lawyer, I hope to one day speak up in a court of law for those who do not have the means or ability to speak up for themselves. Of course, I fully understand that the daily grind of a lawyer’s life is rarely as noble as that one example. As I mentioned before, running my uncle’s company gave me a thorough lesson on how hard you must work to succeed in your career. I’ve worked 90-hour work weeks, sitting at my desk at 10 PM while staring at e-mails from clients who complain about this, or want that delivered tomorrow by 7 AM tomorrow morning. I know for a fact I can also expect long hours and stressful work in the legal profession, but I feel as if it will all be worth it, because maybe one day I will be the one standing in my uncle’s lawyer’s shoes, helping someone who has suffered injury and indignity during the toughest time of their life, while simultaneously inspiring a future lawyer.

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Re: Personal Statement - first try, please give feedback

Postby MrSparkle » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:04 am

I just would not mention the LSAT at all. Most of the story is also more about your uncle's lawyer instead of about you. I'd focus more on the running of the business and 90 hour workweeks. Also, there's no real resolution to the story - what happened to your uncle?

Also, this is a "why law school" essay without a "why law school" since it's pre-empted by having already taken the LSAT and made the decision to go. Bottom line is, I'm confused as to what you're trying to convey to the reader about yourself.

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