Second draft, almost there!

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

Second draft, almost there!

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:03 am

This is the longer version for schools asking for 3 pages.

The smell of disinfectant fills a cold white room. Beeping from various machines and the swoosh of air brings about an unusual sense of calm. I stare down at what can only be considered a silhouette of the man I admire most in the world. I let my mind wander playfully to the rhythmic sounds of the machines keeping my father alive. Suddenly I am dragged from the shelter of my thoughts by howls of pain from the room’s other occupant, a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. It’s at this exact moment when I realized that my life would not be continuing as planned.

As I sat next to my father I heard a familiar voice on the haphazardly mounted television in the room. It's a well-known interview with Bruce Lee. His philosophies have had a large influence on my father’s life. Many times in the past my father would share with me philosophical anecdotes from his martial arts idol using his horrible Bruce impression and I would laugh or roll my eyes. But this time it was different. Hearing those words, in that room; they shook me to my core.

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” The removal of half of my father’s left lung to rid his body of cancer drastically limited his ability to take care of himself. At the time I was a senior in high school and it was hard for me to come home and see this man I admired greatly writhe in pain for months, occasionally emptying his drainage bags and feeding him mashed foods that should not be enjoyed mashed. It changed me. I took on more responsibilities at home and I matured quickly. Instead of going out on weekends, I maintained the house. When my friends would have parties, I was fixing toilets, lights and floors. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I was grateful that I could spend time with him and learn from him.

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” That summer I was shocked when my family confessed that my father had been laid off, was having difficulties finding another job and that they could not make the monthly bill payments. The roof over our heads was in jeopardy. It was a profound feeling not knowing what was going to happen next. Instead of making excuses and not doing anything to better the situation, I decided to be proactive and contribute towards a solution. Finding a well-paying job was proving to be difficult so instead I planned for the long-term. With my knowledge of computers and some technical help from my father, I opened a phone, internet and video surveillance small business. The physical limitations in addition to my father not being able to find another job forced me to become the breadwinner, solely running the labor intensive business myself.

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” During those first couple of years in college I focused on expanding my business with fairly decent success. I taught myself technical skills and applied the concepts I learned from my business/finance courses to a real world setting. As my reputation grew I established meaningful and long term contracts with local business owners and larger more substantial contracts with the JCC and Army recruitment offices. I also managed to hire dependable employees that count on me to make a living and support their families. Having an impact on others’ lives for the better has been fulfilling but stressful work and I value them just as much, if not more than they value me.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” With all of these changes happening at a pivotal point in my life, I was forced to adapt and make sacrifices. My heavy emphasis on working was detrimental to my school grades. I was put on academic probation and transferred to a college closer to home. I ended up graduating B student, but I would say my experiences in life make my college years more distinguished than my transcripts illustrate. The skills I developed during those years will benefit me for the rest of my life. At the time I was ashamed of myself for essentially failing out of my first college but now I look back on it as one of the best classes I have ever taken, Real World 101.

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” It’s been a long seven years since that day in the hospital. I value all of the hardships I endured and treasure the good times. My father is cancer free and my business is successful. All though I never desired to start a business, I did what I had to do to survive. Now I have the luxury of time to finally pursue the expansion of my education. I want to attend law school. Through my business dealings and speaking to friends who have become attorneys, it seems like the right fit. I appreciate the thought process one develops in law school and want to immerse myself in an environment that challenges me intellectually and morally. With my willingness to work hard, desire to help others and experiences with adversity I believe I am a strong candidate for LAW SCHOOL.

“Water can flow, or it can crash.” In my relatively short time on this planet I’ve had to make some big decisions, experienced what it means to be relied on and learned how to adapt to my circumstance. I am much stronger now than I would have been if I followed along the path I had planned those seven years ago. With father now healthy enough to take over my business and with my family’s blessing, I am ready to attend law school. I’m prepared to dedicate all my time to my education but am still willing to adapt.

“Be water, my friend.”

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

jac101689
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:10 pm

Re: Second draft, almost there!

Postby jac101689 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:11 am

Write an addendum if you want to talk about academic failures and bad grades.

Scratch that: if you can demonstrate a real change that flowed from a realization/realizations you had from such failures, give it a try. Here, you fail to demonstrate any kind of growth or depth of interest in the legal profession; the "why law" piece reads like an afterthought.

I would suggest rebuilding your essay around the paragraph starting with:

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

It's your strongest case for having succeeded in service-oriented work: having had an impact and having grown from it. That's the story you want to tell.

Oh, and if you want to write an addendum on bad grades, still demonstrate growth and reform.




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