First Draft of PS, PLEASE CRITIQUE

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
rpollock11
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:43 pm

First Draft of PS, PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby rpollock11 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:50 pm

GPA: 3.35
LSAT: Waiting (Dec)
Applying: Mich State, Loyola, George Mason, ASU, Arizona

My last day of college started off just like any other. Driving down a black asphalt street lined with blooming trees and freshly cut grass, I notice the familiar upscale restaurants and neat neighborhood shrubbery that I have come to expect from the start of my daily twenty-five minute commute to school. As I continue down Eight Mile Road into Detroit, I observe the changes to the picturesque scenery in my suburban hometown of Livonia, MI with a deep sense of sadness. The road starts to become bumpy and cracked. The signs become dirty and bent. And the houses become vacant and dilapidated. More and more, Detroit starts to unfold and the beauty of the suburbs fades into nothing.
My journey down Eight Mile Road represents a powerful metaphor for my own personal life journey. As someone that grew up in a suburb of Detroit, I, like many of my peers, was told that going downtown was to be avoided at all costs. Most of what we heard and saw about the city consisted of short news stories describing a homicide or the latest developments of a political scandal. While some of this was, in fact, true reporting of a dangerous city, I had a feeling that there was more than one angle to the story. So, having a curious and investigative mind, I jumped at the opportunity to attend school in an area where I would be interacting with the severely underprivileged on a daily basis. Initially, I saw it as a challenge and a learning opportunity. What I didn’t predict was that in addition to those things, I would gain something greater: a deep sense of compassion and a call for service to the poor.
What makes me particularly unique in my application to law school is that I bring a sense of understanding for the less fortunate in society and a deeply ingrained philosophy for serving the poor. The Catholic Jesuit education that I have been taught has allowed me to grow in this philosophy and strive to become what the Jesuits refer to as a “Man for Others.” Whether it be delivering food to the needy through Focus: Hope, volunteering at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, or assisting preschool teachers through the Head Start Program, I have learned that giving back is an important part of my life. In addition, my exposure to both sides of the socio-economic and cultural divide has given me an exceptional perspective on the situation. I intend to use that knowledge and experience with the less fortunate, coupled with the skills gained through law school, to greater serve my community and help those that are the most in need of assistance.
Not much has changed in the past eight years of driving to my Catholic Jesuit high school and college. It saddens me to know that there is still the same number of homeless, drug-addicted, and mentally unstable people that roamed the streets when I started high school in 2005. Many people fear the very people that need our help the most. But what other people have come to fear, I have come to embrace with a sense of charity and compassion, not only for the disadvantaged of Detroit but for the poor and needy everywhere. I am ready to embark on another chapter of my life with my application to law school, and with that I will start a new journey down a new road. As I reflect on the time I spent driving down 8 Mile Road to Detroit and my future journey, the question that I ask myself is this: Is the journey going to be down a road towards my own gratification, or is this road going to lead to a greater purpose? I hope to inspire others to bridge the gap between the two divides and take the journey into the unknown.

lawschool2014hopeful
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:48 pm

Re: First Draft of PS, PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:58 pm

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

This is like a perfect "meh" personal statement

A typical social crusader sort of agenda with a strong sense of idealism

At some point one could almost read a sense of arrogance, that you are bettering the school by attending it? Because you come from a wealthy background

I would personally write something else, or focus on a specific event that got you started on this whole idealistic journey of helping the poor (This is a really, really hard topic to write well on, similar to the I like arguing statements (demonstrated by my debate club etc)).

rpollock11
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: First Draft of PS, PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby rpollock11 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:50 pm

Thank you for the input. here is an updated version, I kept the general message but modified it a bit. Tell me what you think.


My last day of college started off just like any other. Driving down a black asphalt street lined with blooming trees and freshly cut grass, I notice the familiar upscale restaurants and neat neighborhood shrubbery that I have come to expect from the start of my daily twenty-five minute commute to school. As I continue down Eight Mile Road into Detroit, I observe the changes to the picturesque scenery in my suburban hometown of Livonia, MI with a deep sense of sadness. The road starts to become bumpy and cracked. The signs become dirty and bent. And the houses become vacant and dilapidated. More and more, Detroit starts to unfold and the beauty of the suburbs fades.
My journey down Eight Mile Road offers a powerful visual that’s representative of the divide between Detroit and its suburbs. As someone that grew up in a suburb of Detroit, I, like many of my peers, was told that going downtown was to be avoided at all costs. Most of what we heard and saw about the city consisted of short news stories describing a homicide or the latest developments of a political scandal. While some of this was, in fact, true reporting of a dangerous city, I had a feeling that there was more than one angle to the story. So, when my parents mentioned going to U of D Jesuit, I jumped at the opportunity to attend school in an area where I would be seeing Detroit in it’s true form. I predicted that I would be inundated with new ideas and viewpoints, and I was absolutely correct. What I didn’t predict was that in addition to this, I would be inundated with something else: a deep sense of compassion and a call for service to the poor.
What makes me particularly unique in my application to law school is that I bring a sense of understanding for the less fortunate in society and a deeply ingrained philosophy of service to those in need. The Catholic Jesuit education that I have been taught has allowed me to grow in this philosophy and strive to become what the Jesuits refer to as a “Man for Others.” In addition, my exposure to both sides of the socio-economic and cultural divide that is Detroit and its suburbs has given me an exceptional perspective on the situation. This perspective will benefit me in law school and beyond because it gives me the ability to see an issue from multiple points of view, and with that view I can synthesize the information and come to a solution. I believe good lawyers need to be informed on a wide swath of outlooks and schools of thought because client representation necessitates a complete understanding of the people being represented, and many different kinds of people need legal assistance. That is where I think I will shine. I intend to use that knowledge and experience with different perspectives, coupled with the skills gained through law school, to greater serve my community, help those most in need, and be the best lawyer possible.
The type of attitude needed in helping people is one of charity and compassion, not only for the disadvantaged of Detroit, but for the disadvantaged everywhere. My uniquely informed perspective and compassion for my fellow human being propels me to desire something more from the world than just money or power. They propel me to fight for justice and protect those that need protection more than anything. That’s why I am ready to embark on another chapter of my life with my application to law school, and with that I will start a new journey down a new road. And as I look back on Eight Mile Road, it serves as a constant reminder to me that in order to close the divide, sometimes we only need to start the car and go.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: First Draft of PS, PLEASE CRITIQUE

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:23 pm

My last day of college started off just like any other.
When you start an essay like this, it usually tells the reader, something unusual is about to happen. Of course, your day ends like every other day.

The first paragraph is a waste, though vividly written. But your real problem is the thesis. I have read about all the sacrifices Mother Teresa has made and the suffering she has seen. I have heard her story. And I think, "that ... is a compassionate woman." I would be less convinced if I had no facts, but she just told me, "I am super compassionate."




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.