Be honest.....{but nice} PS 1st draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Be honest.....{but nice} PS 1st draft

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:28 am

I grew on the small island of [name of country], in a modest home in a rural village with eight siblings and a single parent mother. My mother worked full time in the city as a house keeper for wealthy families. As the second youngest of my siblings, I grew up under the supervision of my elder brothers and sisters, particularly my second eldest brother [brother's name].

[brother's name] had [name of disease] an inherited muscular disorder which results in gradual muscle degeneration and eventual death. He was forced to drop out of school at the age of thirteen as he lost mobility in his legs, I was four years old at the time. When he left school he became my tutor, he ensured that my home work was completed on time, that I got up early for school on mornings and that I was fully prepared for every exam.

When I was eleven years old, [brother's name] and I decided that I should become a lawyer. At first, our decision was superficial and based on frivolous characteristics and traits that I exhibited such as my penchant for arguing with my older siblings or my ability to successful negotiate with my usually unwavering mother. As I grew older, I became more interested in the law. I would immerse myself in the details of popular international cases. Often, I would use my basic understanding of the rulings on those cases to attempt to resolve disputes between my friends and family to their amusement.

With my family’s support, in 2009 I became the first member of my family to graduate from University. I graduated from the [name of school] with a Honors degree in Management Studies with minors in Economics and Finance.

Over the past few years, my life has changed drastically. I completed [name of qualification], a professional finance qualification and worked at [name of company]. During my time at [name of company], I witnessed firsthand the collapse of several banking and insurance institutions due in part to a lack of internal compliance policies and regulation and a general lack of accountability. My work experience thus far has shown me that there is a great need for lawyers with investment and financial backgrounds that can assist companies and ultimately help mitigate risk that can, in the long run prove detrimental.

Although my brother passed away in January 2010, I am sure that he would be proud of me for pursuing my dream of attending law school. I believe that [name of school] is the ideal place for me, with courses such as [list a few of their Corporate Law courses] I can gain the necessary knowledge required to successfully merge my passion for law with my background in finance. Additionally, with experienced professionals such as [name of head of faulty/well known lecturer], I would gain hands on knowledge from leaders in the industry. I look forward to the opportunity of starting my legal career at [name of school].

User avatar
Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: Be honest.....{but nice} PS 1st draft

Postby Ramius » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:43 am

I'm not entirely sure if this is the case, but it seems like English is a second language for you. In either case, your English needs some work. There are quite a few instances where punctuation is missed, words are missing, phrases are pretty awkward and things are just flat-out spelled incorrectly. That's not the end of the world, but it might be easier to have someone you know who is strong in English go through this and mark up the statement with all the necessary corrections. I wouldn't say I'm strong enough to do so and I don't really want to take the time, so if someone else wants to take a shot, they are more than free. Just understand that this ultimately needs to be done.

Additionally, this reads a little too much like a resume dump toward the end. You start with this story from childhood that really tells me nothing about you and then just start effectively listing off the things you've done in/since college. That's a really ineffective way to write a PS. Effective PSs dig deeper and do more to show something about you that can't be seen elsewhere in your application.

As a whole, I'd honestly recommend scrapping this and starting over with a few different things in mind. First, this needs to really show and not tell me something about you. Second, it needs to showcase a positive quality you think a law school would see as beneficial. Third, I'd really focus heavily on how you're writing the statement, because tone, voice and flow are crucial in conveying the message you've decided on. Lastly, make sure once you've written something that what you're writing about is truly genuine. Disingenuous writing in this can be seen pretty easily once you read as many of these as an ADCOM has. I don't foresee that being a problem in your case, but others I've seen around here have sadly resorted to such a tactic.

For the record, I would leave the childhood story out altogether unless you can make a substantial tie with it to who you are today. The version you used here didn't do that and I'm not sure you'll be able to in the end. That might just be my preference though, so you have to make the decision about whether or not your brother was that important in your formation as a successful adult and promising law school candidate.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Be honest.....{but nice} PS 1st draft

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:00 pm

Hi thank you for the feed back... its seems honest... but nice which is what I wanted :D :D

matthewsean85 wrote:I'm not entirely sure if this is the case, but it seems like English is a second language for you. In either case, your English needs some work. There are quite a few instances where punctuation is missed, words are missing, phrases are pretty awkward and things are just flat-out spelled incorrectly. That's not the end of the world, but it might be easier to have someone you know who is strong in English go through this and mark up the statement with all the necessary corrections. I wouldn't say I'm strong enough to do so and I don't really want to take the time, so if someone else wants to take a shot, they are more than free. Just understand that this ultimately needs to be done.


English is my first writing...lol in any case I do agree that my English needs some work (I plan to work on that before I start LS). I have always been told that my English is horrible (both spoken and written) its a touchy issue for me....thank you very much for highlighting my number 1 insecurity :roll:.....I do plan on having some people I know (with Communication/English backgrounds) re-read it for punctuation, spelling etc. It would of been nice if you picked it apart...every lesson in a learning lesson imo.. :)

Anonymous User wrote:For the record, I would leave the childhood story out altogether unless you can make a substantial tie with it to who you are today.


I get what your saying, if I am going to use that topic I need to show how it has shaped me into the individual I am today..food for though! Thank you :)

matthewsean85 wrote:Additionally, this reads a little too much like a resume dump toward the end. You start with this story from childhood that really tells me nothing about you and then just start effectively listing off the things you've done in/since college. That's a really ineffective way to write a PS. Effective PSs dig deeper and do more to show something about you that can't be seen elsewhere in your application.


I understand what your saying but I read somewhere online (cannot remember where exactly) that you should mention where you have worked and talk about your job experience in your ps.... Also I don't want to seem flighty in moving from finance to law..I want the reader to know that my decisions were planned..i.e I wanted a finance background/work experience before going into law.

matthewsean85 wrote:As a whole, I'd honestly recommend scrapping this and starting over with a few different things in mind. First, this needs to really show and not tell me something about you. Second, it needs to showcase a positive quality you think a law school would see as beneficial. Third, I'd really focus heavily on how you're writing the statement, because tone, voice and flow are crucial in conveying the message you've decided on. Lastly, make sure once you've written something that what you're writing about is truly genuine.


Fortunately (or unfortunately depends on how you look at it :wink: ), I had a very colorful childhood......days by the river/growing up in an improvised neighborhood/incest/murder of family members/robbery etc its just that the only topic that means something to me is the one about my brother :(

User avatar
Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: Be honest.....{but nice} PS 1st draft

Postby Ramius » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:28 pm

I understand what your saying but I read somewhere online (cannot remember where exactly) that you should mention where you have worked and talk about your job experience in your ps.... Also I don't want to seem flighty in moving from finance to law..I want the reader to know that my decisions were planned..i.e I wanted a finance background/work experience before going into law.


This is absolutely untrue. Your resume will discuss your work experience, so doing it again would be redundant unless it adds something substantive to your overall narrative. The Adcom won't care whether your decision was planned, they only care to see that you're going to be a quality law student and future lawyer. You won't seem flighty for shifting from finance to law, they have a lot of interconnection in certain fields.

What you should want the reader to do is come away from your PS having seen an interesting third dimension, not rehashing things that leave you flat and listless as a candidate. It can be emotional, passionate, heavily analytical, creative, or focused and determined and it can be a quality PS. Take the time, figure out who you are and who you want the Adcom to see you as and find something in your past that informs me about that person. Until you've fleshed that out, you probably shouldn't even start writing. The introspection prior to starting your PS is the key to writing a quality PS.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.