I believe i am getting close to my final draft...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

I believe i am getting close to my final draft...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:29 pm

Other than going trough for grammar several times I think i am close.


There are moments in life that test us and bring out our character. Growing up in Chicago the only goal was to finish high school and find a job. My mother was pregnant at 16. My father went to work straight out of high school. We couldn't afford college, so I never thought about going. Then the football recruiters started calling and suddenly I felt like I had options. I was no longer bound to graduating high school and going to work bread as I did every summer. College was like being in a foreign land for me; not only am I the first person in my family to graduate from college, I am the first person to go. Scholarships helped with tuition but I couldn't afford the books. I felt like the kid who couldn't afford his lunch all over again. I felt like I didn't belong. Embarrassed I buried myself in sports and hid myself away from my academics.

Eventually I found myself out of school. I laid awake every night thinking about how I got where I was. I had deep doubts about my place at college. Wrestling with my doubts, I thought about the example I was setting for my younger siblings. I didn't want them to think that college wasn't for us. I made the choice not to surrender. Even if the odds were against me, I would find a way.
This story is not meant to illustrate an excuse for my past, but to show the character for strength I possess. My past stands a reminder of what I am fighting for. Overcoming obstacles I was born into and ones I placed in my own path, I refused to surrender even when everyone had given up hope for me. My resilience comes from my struggles. Throughout my life I have leaned on my struggles to develop my strengths. My experiences early in my college career brought me to the understanding of my responsibilities to myself and others. I emerged a stronger and more dedicated student with an increased desire to have an effect on the world around me

When I chose to continue my degree in History I was unsure what career path was right for me. After working in a museum, I recognized that simply working with history was not for me. When I decided to look into law, I stumbled onto Mock Trial. Leaving that encounter I knew one thing, I wanted more. For the first time I found a career I was passionate about. Once again hanging over my head was a past that could have made me feel like I didn’t belong. However this time was different, my thirst for law and desire to attend law school strengthened my resolve. I satisfied my craving to learn more about law through my studies. When I was assigned to write and present a case brief on capital punishment in a course on The Bill of Rights I discovered where I wanted to make my mark. I found myself fervently arguing in opposition to the death penalty, challenging the views of the majority of my class. Issues on criminal law and the effect of social inequality had entangled me. I learned how law can be the voice and protection for those who are subjugated to unfair practices. Growing up as an inner city kid from a low income family gave me a personal connection to these issues. This is why I want to study Criminal Law. As a lawyer I can assist people who, like me, have been adversely affected my social inequalities.
[tie into specific law school]

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

Re: I believe i am getting close to my final draft...

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:46 pm

Honest opinion:

First 2 paragraphs 2/10

I couldnt even get to the 3rd

You laid out your paragraphs to be full of "lessons/positive traits" without any sort of concrete examples/stories for any readers to believe/latch on to. This is no better than a resume on prose.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273395
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: I believe i am getting close to my final draft...

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:18 pm

I wanted my drastic change in grades and involvement to speak for themselves. Not hit them with my resume in my personal statement.

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

Re: I believe i am getting close to my final draft...

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:28 am

No one is asking you to write a resume on prose

Almost every good personal statement I have read are strong themes/lessons embedded within a very personal anecdote, which you lack.

You dont have to believe me.

theonyxhotel143
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:45 am

Re: I believe i am getting close to my final draft...

Postby theonyxhotel143 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:15 pm

First of all, you don't have a different paragraph for each idea. Its okay to have multiple short paragraphs; just make sure each main idea has its own paragraph. Further, the flow is off. Granted, that is partly because your paragraphs are not segregated by idea, but using internal transitions can help with this as well. Also, you should have a separate introduction and conclusion that are distinct from the substance of your essay.

Second, you don't have an anecdote to exemplify what you are talking about. Everything seems abstract and theoretical. Further, while I don't doubt that this is your personal story, it is still too generic. You're not the only person who was first in their family to go to college. No doubt, that's a good achievement--but you need to include more that sets you apart. The best advice I ever received while writing my own personal statement is that stuff like that can be incorporated but you also need specific details so that no one else in the world can say that personal statement applies to them. So, make sure your statement is personal enough that it only really applies to you and isn't some cookie-cutter answer.

I'll share a bit about my personal statement to provide an example. I came from a broken home with an abusive father. I mentioned this. But then I dove deeper and explained how it changed my perspective about the world and impacts choices I make. I then provided an anecdote of a major event in my life (spinal injury) that tested those convictions.
Now, you don't need some emotional tear-jerking story (despite the sad topic, mine actually wasn't). But you need it to be personal, hence the name. Tell an actual story about something that happened to you. Rarely do schools interview, so this is the admissions committee's only chance to know you as an individual, so make it count.

The end of your third paragraph shows some promise. But work on developing that further; you can make that the main focus of your statement if you like.

Last, you need to work on concision. Not only is this important for writing in general, but even more so if you want to go into the legal profession. There is a lot of "fluff" in your writing here. If you can say something in five words, don't use ten. This allows more room for substance--which is what really matters.




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