Personal Statement First Draft, need some input

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

Personal Statement First Draft, need some input

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:47 pm

Thanks for the input, trying to incorporate it in my next draft.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

efeinste
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:32 pm

Re: Personal Statement First Draft, need some input

Postby efeinste » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:44 pm

(1) There are a number of punctuation and grammar issues. You should have someone proofread this.
(2) Generally, your essay is too vague (more on this below).
(3) It's striking that you're writing in first-person plural. This is supposed to be a personal statement. Speaking at length about humanity or other abstractions will not win you any points with the admissions officers reading your paper.
(4) Perhaps most importantly, you're trying to talk about too many things. This isn't a resume. This is a personal statement. It shouldn't read like a list. Instead of enumerating various experiences you feel are relevant to your argument, try limiting your discussion to just one or two (but really one) experiences. Describe them in detail. Paint a picture. Provide anecdotes. Offer insight, self-reflection, analysis. Doing so will improve your essay in a number of ways.
(5) Your argument that "moving outside of your comfort zone is a good thing" is too broad and slightly cliche. However, once you address (4) and narrow your discussion to just one or two experiences, you should have an easy time crafting a more engaging, more original argument. That said, if you do decide to keep the "comfort zone" argument, then you should at least consider doing away with the your explicit discussion of the "comfort zone." To put it another way, try doing a little more showing and a little less telling.

I hope this helps.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273551
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Personal Statement First Draft, need some input

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:01 pm

Tried to focus more on specific events, let me know what you guys think



Living in a single parent household was something that was completely foreign to me until my sophomore year of high school.
The news that my mom had to deploy to Iraq could not have come at a worse time; my sister was just over four-years-old and my dad had recently taken a new job that required him to work longer hours than he had previously.

Prior to my mom’s deployment my childhood was not terribly unique. The single family home I grew up in was tucked away in a neighborhood reminiscent of the one from The Truman Show. I had the opportunity to go to one of the better private schools in the area, and spent most of my free time playing sports with my friends or reading books.

The weight of having to take on many of the responsibilities left by my mom sunk in immediately. My everyday routine was turned inside out as my previous periods of free time were devoted to taking care of my younger sister and helping out with chores around the house.

As time passed I started to establish a routine; in the mornings when I woke up I would pack lunch for my sister and me, and then help her get ready for school. When I got home from school I would pick my sister up from the neighbors house and begin cooking dinner for when my dad arrived home later that night. After dinner, if we were lucky we would talk with my mom on the phone, I would do my homework, and my dad and I would take turns reading my sister bedtime stories, something that was once done exclusively by my mom. Eventually, story time grew into a sort of ritual, a way to take our mind off of the stresses of the day and spend time together as a family. What I am most grateful for is the time I was able to spend with my sister, playing games with het, reading to her and helping her with her homework.

Throughout all of it I always remember my dad telling me “everything happens for a reason”. Looking back I remember writing this off as just another one of the many seemingly irrelevant adages that my dad would spout out when things seemed especially difficult. Not until reflection much later did I begin to realize that the responsibilities and hardships that I had taken on that year were paramount in shaping me into who I am today. I guess one of his other favorite saying, “The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get” had some truth to it too.

During that year I learned a great deal about independence, but also saw how important of an impact I can make on those around me. Seeing the positive impact that spending time with my sister opened my eyes to the importance of dedicating my time to helping others. Without realizing this I would have never gone on to volunteer as a youth soccer coach and later as an intern at the Prince George’s County Public Defenders Office. Throughout these opportunities no matter how difficult or hard the work seems to be it was always worth it when you were able to see the positive impact that you had made on someone else’s life.
Growing up I never pictured a lawyer as particularly principled, however during my time at the Public Defenders Office I gained an appreciation for the dedication that the lawyers had to providing the best defense they could to their clients. After working extensively with a number of the lawyers I gained an even greater respect for their devotion to making sure that only the guilty are convicted, and the sacrifices that they make to provide quality representation. Although their work was both emotionally and mentally exhausting there were numerous times when I realized how rewarding a career in public service could be. During this time, I was exposed to the selfless side of the legal profession, and realized how meaningful of an impact can be made through a career in law.

Law school will certainly provide a unique set of challenges, yet I look forward to the opportunity of achieving my full potential. With a degree in law I hope to be able to use my experiences and education to dedicate my career to having a positive impact on the surrounding community.

efeinste
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:32 pm

Re: Personal Statement First Draft, need some input

Postby efeinste » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:51 am

Much improved and a pleasure to read. I would spend at least a little more attention to the application of the lessons learned, character developed, etc. You do a great job explaining when, where and how you came develop an appreciation for and an ability to take on responsibility, etc. You may want to expand a little on your discussion of how you applied all of this as a soccer coach, intern, etc. In other words, in what specific ways did these lessons learned and character traits gained benefit you in your roles as coach, intern, employee...and similarly in what ways will they enable you to thrive in law school and beyond? Other than that, and aside from some grammatical errors, I think this is a pretty solid piece.




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