Would you kindly look over my addendum?

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phantom1412
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:06 am

Would you kindly look over my addendum?

Postby phantom1412 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:15 am

just for reference, I have a 2.5 GPA and 170 LSAT, did undergrad at UCBerk. I got crap grades in lower div courses but got A's and B's in upper div courses. i would appreciate any sort of feedback. thank you very much in advance for taking the time helping out a fellow applicant!



If I can summarize the first few years of my college career in one word, it would be "chaotic".

At the start of my college years, my family declared bankruptcy and we were forced to move out of our home. At the same time, my grandparents became very ill to a point where they could not physically support themselves. It became my responsibility to travel back and forth from San Francisco to Los Angeles frequently to take care of them while trying to support myself financially. Another factor in my poor academic performance was that I lacked a vision of what I wanted to achieve with a university degree. Without a clear goal in mind, I lost direction in determining what I am passionate about and lost interest in my studies.

I can assure the admission committee that all of the aforementioned issues have been resolved and I am now ready for the challenges of law school. My unique professional experience has instilled two critical values that I lacked as an undergraduate student: a clear purpose and passion. I can confidently assert that my undergraduate academic performance is not the true representation of my intellectual prowess and if given the chance, I will tirelessly strive for excellence at [name of school].

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Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: Would you kindly look over my addendum?

Postby Ramius » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:27 am

The family financial issues and the travel to take care of your ailing grandparents in your early years are great reasons for an addendum, but you lose me when you start talking about how you lacked vision and focus. That's pretty much every college freshman. What you basically did here was make me think you have a legitimate reason for your poor grades early on, but then go on to make me think you're just using those as excuses to cover up for immaturity in your early years. I'm not saying that's you, but that is how this addendum reads.

I think you should probably cut out that part about focus and passion and focus more how those tough times with your grandparents and financial situation morphed you into becoming a more mature and focused student because that adversity taught you about prioritizing your time and effort for your greater good.

The best way to showcase that those problems won't continue to be problems is if you can show how those previous issues are no longer affecting your academic performance. That means explaining how you overcame the issues or if the issues were resolved (parents fixed finances, grandparents' health improved or if they sadly passed away). The purpose of an addendum is to give a legitimate reason for subpar performance and show how the reasons for the problems are no longer a problem.

If the real reason your grades suffered early on was because you lacked maturity (which you sugarcoat as passion and focus), then I wouldn't even bother with an addendum.

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nothingtosee
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 12:08 am

Re: Would you kindly look over my addendum?

Postby nothingtosee » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:55 am

phantom1412 wrote:just for reference, I have a 2.5 GPA and 170 LSAT, did undergrad at UCBerk. I got crap grades in lower div courses but got A's and B's in upper div courses. i would appreciate any sort of feedback. thank you very much in advance for taking the time helping out a fellow applicant!



If I can summarize the first few years of my college career in one word, it would be "chaotic".

At the start of my college years, my family declared bankruptcy and we were forced to move out of our home. At the same time, my grandparents became very ill to a point where they could not physically support themselves. It became my responsibility to travel back and forth from San Francisco to Los Angeles frequently to take care of them while trying to support myself financially. (This is good, it merits the addendum) Another factor in my poor academic performance was that I lacked a vision of what I wanted to achieve with a university degree. Without a clear goal in mind, I lost direction in determining what I am passionate about and lost interest in my studies.

I can assure the admission committee that all of the aforementioned issues have been resolved and I am now ready for the challenges of law school. My unique professional experience has instilled two critical values that I lacked as an undergraduate student: a clear purpose and passion. I can confidently assert that my undergraduate academic performance is not the true representation of my intellectual prowess and if given the chance, I will tirelessly strive for excellence at [name of school]. You should show me evidence of your maturity here, don't just tell me. State when the caregiving ended, then hopefully your gpa went up. Something like "After my responsibilities ended, I achieved a 3.85 GPA junior and senior year. Then state what you did professionally, and give one example of you being responsible and successful.

phantom1412
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:06 am

Re: Would you kindly look over my addendum?

Postby phantom1412 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:56 pm

Thank you very much for your advice! I didn't realize that little part could actually weaken the addendum. Here is a revised version, do you think this is better? :

At the start of my college years, my family declared bankruptcy and we were forced to move out of our home. At the same time, my grandparents became very ill to a point where they could not physically support themselves. It became my responsibility to travel back and forth from San Francisco to Los Angeles frequently to take care of them while trying to support myself financially.

Starting in 2010, we were able to recover financially after my parents were able to get new jobs. My grandparents moved in with my uncle, who continues to provide the appropriate care for them. Once these issues were resolved and some of my familial responsibilities were relieved, my academic performance also recuperated. I successfully finished my junior and senior year with a 4.0 and 3.5 GPA respectively. As a government official working with accounting standards, I have had the unique opportunity to hone my analytic ability by supervising the publication of a research paper that is being used as an important guideline in implementing the IFRS in developing nations. I would like to reassure the admission committee that I am prepared for the challenges of law school and will continue to strive for excellence at [school name].

rstahl
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:15 pm

Re: Would you kindly look over my addendum?

Postby rstahl » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:27 pm

At the start of my college years, my family declared bankruptcy and we were forced to move out of our home. At the same time, my grandparents became very ill to a point where they could not physically support themselves. It became my responsibility to travel back and forth from San Francisco to Los Angeles frequently to take care of them while trying to support myself financially.

Starting in 2010, these issues began to resolve, as my parents were able to get newsecured jobs and my uncle took over caring for my grandparents , who continues to provide the appropriate care for them. As a result, my academic performance recuperated. I successfully finished my junior and senior year with a 4.0 and 3.5 GPA respectively. I believe this is more indicative of my potential for academic success, and as such, I humbly request that the admissions committee review my transcript with this in mind.As a government official working with accounting standards, I have had the unique opportunity to hone my analytic ability by supervising the publication of a research paper that is being used as an important guideline in implementing the IFRS in developing nations. I would like to reassure the admission committee that I am prepared for the challenges of law school and will continue to strive for excellence at [school name].

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residentemma
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:54 pm

Re: Would you kindly look over my addendum?

Postby residentemma » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:58 am

^this. It's short, to the point, and not braggy. I don't think you have to talk about professional experiences (they're on your resume anyway).




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