Revised personal statement. Please critique!

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jeff4304
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:55 pm

Revised personal statement. Please critique!

Postby jeff4304 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:20 pm

Revised personal statement. Still not in love with my third paragraph/conclusion. Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions on how to wrap it up.

Thank you!


The summer air was stifling. One hundred ten degree heat, dust, and the weight of a flak jacket with full combat load is enough to make anyone feel as though they’re standing in an oven. As sweat beads ran down my face I could feel my undershirt saturating even as I sat in the hold of the CH-47 Chinook, anxiously awaiting take off. The flight from Al-Qaim to Al-Asad, Iraq was scheduled to take just over an hour, but each minute seemed to drag on for hours. On any normal occasion I would have been ecstatic to be traveling by helicopter; after all, I love flying and it sure beats walking or sitting in the driver’s seat of a cramped HMMWV for hours on end. Then again, this day was anything but typical. The date was August 3, 2007; my charge was to be the armed escort for the body of a fallen Marine over the first leg of his long trip home. I was struck with simultaneous feelings of immense pride and profound sorrow as I prepared to undertake the most difficult and rewarding task I had, and still have yet to complete.

Seated adjacent to the flag-draped body bag, I felt extremely indebted to and awed by a Marine whom I had never met, but had given what President Lincoln referred to as the last full measure of devotion. My thoughts soon drifted to the young Marine’s family, whose lives would never again be whole, and to the thousands of military families, akin to my own, living with the ever-present fear of losing a loved one to a conflict on the far side of the globe. I began to consider just what it means to be a citizen, a serviceman, and a patriot, as well as how the course of my own life would be inextricably linked to my experiences of war and the military. I did not decide that I wanted to be a lawyer that day. However, I did come to the conclusion that although I would one day take off the uniform, my commitment to service would not end with my enlistment, but would continue for as long as I could still contribute meaningfully.

Eventually, the day did come that I decided to trade in my camouflage and rifle for textbooks and pens. As I embarked on the considerable challenge of transitioning from active duty Marine to full-time college student, I longed for the camaraderie and shared sense of purpose inherent in the military lifestyle. While I did enjoy the freedoms of college life, I deeply missed the feeling of serving the greater good. To fill the void, I began voraciously reading non-fiction books based on current events and found myself much more engaged than I had been prior to joining the service. Through my extensive reading, I also began to recognize that an understanding of laws and their application is fundamental to an understanding not only of domestic issues, but international and foreign policy issues as well. Thus, my interest in pursuing a legal career was born. While I do not yet know exactly which type of law I would like to study, my belief is that a legal career affords me the best opportunity to remain engaged and achieve my long-term goal of having a meaningful, positive impact on the health and well-being of my community and my country.

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bcbias
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:12 pm

Re: Revised personal statement. Please critique!

Postby bcbias » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:10 am

The main critique I can see is that you should display more skills to the reader. You have served our country and obviously a strong commitment to service. But you should talk about how your service helped you succeed in college. Your transition from service to wanting to practice law seems rather fast to the reader, even though it wasn't in your life. They want to know more about what happened between then. If you can tie your service to academic success, you'd seriously be on to something great! Also the statement about your interest in pursuing a legal career being born is honestly pretty cliche. You could infer it by going more in depth and using your reading as a springboard.

xmbeckham
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:36 pm

Re: Revised personal statement. Please critique!

Postby xmbeckham » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:44 am

Second the previous poster.
Your military experience is good, but please tell us more about how that experience shaped your ideas, your ambitions, and your personality. What made you want to study law? Just because you miss school? That's not compelling enough. Maybe you can start by thinking about any injustice you saw in war and your newly developed interest in international law (just an example), something like that. Hope that helps.

jeff4304
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:55 pm

Re: Revised personal statement. Please critique!

Postby jeff4304 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:09 pm

Thank you both for the feedback, I appreciate it!




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