(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:01 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1st Draft PS. Tear it apart.

Postby papercut » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:00 am

I'm gonna give you feedback on just a part of this. You can generalize the advice to the rest.

Since I was a young child, setting goals and accomplishing them has been important to me.

This is a difficult way to start off. Children aren't very serious, nor do they worry about what's important. It's a tough sell. I'd drop it. In general you want to avoid making conclusions, because you'll need to support them. Giving this support is very hard in 2 page PS.

You want to use very few adjectives. Instead of "young child," just say "child." Young is just a vague as child in terms of age, so it doesn't add anything.

They could be as small as just reading more or as big as choosing my career choice.

"[C]hoosing my career choice." Read that out loud. Sounds terrible right?

How about:

They could be as small as reading more or as big as a career choice.

This is headed in a bad direction. It's extremely difficult to argue that you knew what you wanted to be for sure as a child. Also, no one really cares. The reasons children have for making career choices are not as important as the reasons adults have.

I have been fortunate enough to have very few hardships in my life to deter me from my goals and the hardships I went through weren’t going to be used as excuses.

First, there's absolutely no reason to tell us about this. Second, do you think people who've had hardships use them as "excuses?" Finally, it's poorly worded and long winded.

How about:

I have been fortunate enough to have very few hardships in my life.

One of my first goals that I attempted was to have perfect attendance from kindergarten through my senior year in high school. As with most goals, I hit my fair share of bumps in the road. I missed family members’ funerals and other family events that were out of town, because I couldn’t miss class. My sophomore year, I had pneumonia and was told to stay home. While most high school students would have loved a reason to stay home, I was not going to let my goal end so late in the process.

This makes it seem like you have real issues prioritizing, understanding that things aren't just black and white, and seeing yourself as someone who has responsibilities outside of yourself. Maybe it was really important to your family for you to attend the funerals? Maybe it hurt your parents? Maybe you could have died from pneumonia? Maybe you could have infected other students at your school?

As a general rule of thumb: it's a bad idea to write about ancient history. What have you done lately? High school is a bad idea to write about.

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