Second Draft of Personal Statement-- Critiques please!!

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

Second Draft of Personal Statement-- Critiques please!!

Postby rpollock11 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:04 pm

LSAT: 163
GPA: 3.31
Applying: Boston U, Arizona State, Mich State, Georgia, Loyola Chicago

Please tell me if it comes across as arrogant at all, last post had a comment about that. And if so, please be specific as to which lines need changing and such. Thanks!

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 XXXX 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, when my parents mentioned going to XXXXXX, I jumped at the opportunity to attend school in an area where I would be interacting with the 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.” 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 party 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 I can be.
The type of attitude needed in helping people is one of charity and compassion, not only for the disadvantaged of Detroit but for the poor and needy 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. As I reflect on the time spent driving down 8 Mile Road and how it has changed me, the question I ask myself is: What exit do I take from here?

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kirbyb
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Re: Second Draft of Personal Statement-- Critiques please!!

Postby kirbyb » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:47 am

It starts off well but your writing shifts from flowy to factual in between the second and third paragraph (i.e., you went to showing us to telling us about you).

You invoke the 8 mile metaphor but you don't bring it up again until the very last sentence. I was wondering how your life went from picturesque to a bumpy and cracked road to nothing.

I don't know about arrogance (maybe your comment made me look for it) but I got a "rich, white lady has to help poor people" vibe á la The Blind Side or The Help, especially from this part:

I jumped at the opportunity to attend school in an area where I would be interacting with the 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.


Are you saying your fellow students were poor and you thought it'd be a good learning opportunity for you? Or you were volunteering in the area? Because one sounds nice and the other... wow

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

Re: Second Draft of Personal Statement-- Critiques please!!

Postby rpollock11 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:22 pm

First of all, thank you so much for taking the time out to read my PS!

To answer your question, I didn't actually go to school with the underprivileged, my school was a private school located in a very bad area of Detroit. Most of the interaction I had with the underprivileged that I was trying to explain happened through volunteering (my school was very involved in this aspect) and just my daily commute, extracurriculars, etc.

And I guess the metaphor of 8 Mile was more of a descriptive representation of the cultural and socioeconomic divide that is Detroit and its suburbs, meant to explain that I have been exposed to both sides and those varied viewpoints will help me thrive in law school. My two main selling points that I'm trying to get across is that going to school in Detroit has taught me to understand multiple viewpoints and has taught me deep compassion to the poor.

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nothingtosee
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Re: Second Draft of Personal Statement-- Critiques please!!

Postby nothingtosee » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:28 pm

I would also switch from language of "service to" and towards language of "working with." You are applying to be a lawyer, not a religious.
Last edited by nothingtosee on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Second Draft of Personal Statement-- Critiques please!!

Postby rpollock11 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:46 pm

Hmm what if I'm a religious lawyer? :lol:

I will check but I don't think I used the word underprivileged in my ps. I used "disadvantaged" once now that I look at it, better or worse? I would think about the same, but that's my opinion. Underprivileged can be seen as kind of an overused catch-all word.

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nothingtosee
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Re: Second Draft of Personal Statement-- Critiques please!!

Postby nothingtosee » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:08 pm

rpollock11 wrote:Hmm what if I'm a religious lawyer? :lol:

I will check but I don't think I used the word underprivileged in my ps. I used "disadvantaged" once now that I look at it, better or worse? I would think about the same, but that's my opinion. Underprivileged can be seen as kind of an overused catch-all word.


Oops my bad.

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

Re: Second Draft of Personal Statement-- Critiques please!!

Postby rpollock11 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:47 pm

No worries, I appreciate the input!




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