Another personal statement?! YES!!! [second rough draft]

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

Another personal statement?! YES!!! [second rough draft]

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:22 pm

I posted this recently but have since made substantial changes. I think my conclusion still needs help as I have yet to figure out how to make it come full circle Please read and destroy! :)

The prompt states that the purpose of the PS is "...to provide you with as flexible an opportunity as possible to submit information that you deem important to your candidacy. You may wish to describe aspects of your background and interests--intellectual, personal or professional--and how you will uniquely contribute to the school community and/or the legal profession." If you have any suggestions as to how to better answer this prompt, please tell me!!

Additional Q's: What font and font size should I use? The prompts say no more than two pages. Currently my PS is at exactly 2 pages in Calibri size 11.

The horizon was dark as we stood in silence along the remaining bulkheads. Warm breath struck the cold November air as we held tall cups of coffee – the heat slipping through the plastic lids. The lights were out across the bay. The bayside beach, playground, gazebo, dock, and boardwalk were destroyed. Houses were boarded-up; some were lopsided after having been thrown from their foundations or pilings, others were battered beyond recognition, but the hardest hit were no longer standing – swept to the sea. Flood lines scarred the surviving structures. I could hardly imagine what was happening on the other side of the water, where the National Guard was on non-stop patrols. The hum of distant generators and the rhythmic hush of the current lapping against the bulkheads grew louder on that solemn night as the eerie scene bore a permanent place in our memories. Our Jersey Shore was devastated in the wake of Super Storm Sandy.

I went home Thursday night to see the damage for myself and volunteer with a local church that was set-up as an impromptu shelter. Few had power, stop lights were out, and police checkpoints were scattered throughout the town and Ocean County to prevent people from entering the devastated water-front neighborhoods. The church sent volunteer crews with supplies throughout these areas in the township and neighboring communities to help in clean-up efforts. My group, including some friends, was sent to X, Y, and Z, where we cleaned muck out of homes, removed debris, and stripped houses of nearly everything but their wooden skeletons. Piles of wet sheet rock, debris, and memories grew into mountains, some at least two stories tall, as homeowners listlessly moved forward.

Everyone was thankful. I was happy to help but I wanted to do so much more but could not help the clean-up while I was away to school. My undergraduate institution took pride in the ardent service and leadership of its students, imploring everyone to bring change to the world and embody the community-oriented focus of the university. As I returned to school that weekend, I realized it was my time to “ignite” change in my tattered Shore community.

My notebooks were soon strewn with ideas, leading me to use of my artistic talent. I drew an apparel design with the phrase “Restore the Shore!” accompanied by the Barnegat Lighthouse, called “Ol’ Barney” by the locals. I created a computer rendering of the design and t-shirt mock-ups to see if anyone would be interested. Next, I opened a Facebook page for the project, hoping to gain support from interested buyers and clothing companies to support the project. Within a few days, it gained the support of thousands with tens of thousands requests for shirts -- but clothing companies were not interested. Nonetheless, I did not waiver and continued pressing for support.

Though it did not catch the attention of any clothing companies, the Facebook page caught the attention of a local business leader, who was impressed by my work. He was a member of the Rotary Club and advised me to seek the organization’s support. Within a week, my project had the support of the Rotary Club of Y, and together, we collaborated to create t-shirts and sweatshirts featuring my designs. The apparel sold at local business and one hundred percent of the proceeds went toward helping people affected by Sandy, such as through the purchase of furniture and appliances. All in all, my project raised over $10,000 for Sandy recovery. I am proud to have helped so many people and truly “ignited change” at home.

About a month ago, I was with my friends again at that same bayside beach. The bulkheads were repaired and the scarred flood lines faded into memory. The lights stared back this time. The sun peaked over the horizon, casting a bright glow over the Shore. In a breath, we are back to that November night and its unnerving darkness that reached across the bay and into our hearts, but now we know that the Shore is recovering. The Storm had different lessons for all us: in the wake of disaster, we came together and helped each other after the Shore’s darkest hours. My creativity, passion, patience, and persistence are not limited to a classroom, as without them the project may have never come to fruition. The Shore is recovering and Ol’ Barney beams brightly over the sea as the sun rises on a brighter future – as a student and even more so as a person.

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

Re: Another personal statement?! YES!!! [second rough draft]

Postby efeinste » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:49 pm

Very engaging. I do share your concern, though, as to the essay's responsiveness to the prompt. I'd be interested to know what your thinking is, that is, how exactly you are "submit[ing information that you deem important to your candidacy." Clearly, this experience is significant to you, but is it relevant? Whether you keep this particular statement should hinge on your ability to address the handful of questions the admissions officers want answered: what relevant skills and experiences does this person have? how have these experiences shaped this candidate's character, maturity, beliefs, etc.? why does this person want to go to law school and practice law? what distinguishes this candidate from others with similar numbers? If you can't at least implicitly answer these questions without stretching the truth, you should probably write a different personal statement. If you can manage to at least implicitly answer these questions while remaining faithful to your experience (and I hope you can because I like this piece), then you should tweak your statement accordingly. I imagine it will be difficult introducing a greater sense of personal agency into this piece as I'm sure - and I base this largely on the self-effacement in your current draft -you don't want to run the risk of exploiting tragedy for personal gain, and this is perfectly understandable, admirable, virtuous, etc. But you need to sell yourself in your personal statement, and with your current draft you risk stating too much about Super Storm Sandy and its devastating aftermath and too little about yourself.

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

Re: Another personal statement?! YES!!! [second rough draft]

Postby efeinste » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:53 pm

On the other hand, your statement may be so well written and engaging that the admissions officers won't care what questions you answer.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273154
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Another personal statement?! YES!!! [second rough draft]

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:18 pm

Thank you.

If I post an updated version in this thread will anyone read it?

Also, would it benefit me to include a picture of the design in the PS?




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