Here's a rough draft of my personal statement. Please assist me with improving it. I know it has potential in being a compelling story, I just lack the skills to convey it in such a way. Thanks to all.
Until recently, my whole life has been controlled by fear. Fear prevented me from telling my ailing father that I love him, prevented me from participating in class presentations, kept me in unpleasant situations, and stopped me from defending myself when ridiculed by others. My decision to pursue a career in law directly relates to my desire to overcome my fears. For many, the desire to pursue a legal career is realized at an early age. However, my passion for law emerged while sitting in a jail cell.
One night, while sitting in my cell, I grew frustrated and angry at the situation that I had created for myself. Tears poured down my face as I realized the severity of my circumstance. I was an African American male, without a high school diploma, no aspirations in life and consequently, no future. Not only that, but my father had recently died, and as I was sitting there, the image of my father lying in bed, foaming at the mouth, was constantly being replayed in mind. In the midst of reflecting on everything that had transpired in my life thus far, entered this voice from within. The word that was repeated in my mind was lawyer. I have never entertained the thought of me becoming anything in life, let alone an attorney. As I tried to wrap my mind around the idea of being a lawyer , my body instantly became infused with emotion and passion as my hands started to tremble and my feet began to shake. I felt a sense of joy as I leaped up and looked into the mirror. I cleared my throat, adjusted my imaginary tie, and said”your honor, my client is innocent and I shall prove his innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt.” For that brief moment, I saw myself in a courtroom as a lawyer fighting for justice. I was elated because I knew that I was destined to become an attorney.
This experience changed my life and ignited a passion within me that I did not know existed. I did not know exactly why I wanted to be a lawyer, I just knew that I had to become one because this experience was inspiring. I was able to view the world through a set of new lenses. I saw the injustices in the world, poverty, and the effect that this had on society. Hearing stories, both from loved ones and friends as well as the local news, of the wrongfully accused being convicted, the increase in crimes in my neighborhood, the abuse of young children, as well as other issues, fueled my passion even more and provided me with reasons to pursue a legal career more eagerly. Armed with a new look on life, upon my release, I enrolled into adult school, received my diploma and enrolled into (school omitted) community college.
While at the community college, I was adamant about becoming an active participant on campus. I wanted to let go of all my inhibitions while staying focused on my goals of self betterment and bettering the lives of others. With this notion in mind, I sought out opportunities that would place me in a position to do so. I noticed that many of my fellow students were in dire need of academic assistance, so I volunteered as a tutor and peer adviser. I witnessed the level of homelessness and poverty that plagued the surrounding area, so I decided to donate my time in caring for the homeless and others who were less fortunate. I saw how frustrated the students were with various issues pertaining to our campus and community, so I created a debate club to serve as a forum where students would be allowed to address important issues by debating with others.
When I transferred to the (school omitted), I resumed my role of providing service to my community and students alike. I helped students with disabilities develop comprehensive study plans, provided tutoring services to my fellow student and community members, and served as a family law facilitator intern at a nearby courthouse.
Until recently, I had always allowed fear to control my life. It was because of fear that my father died without ever knowing that I love him,why I allowed myself to be bullied and belittled by others, and why I was unable to speak in front of audiences. With the rigorous and competitive nature of law school, one may allow fear to prevent one from applying. Fear was my ultimate inhibitor however, I will not allow fear to defeat me once again. As an African American male, with my experience and background, I feel confident that I will add value to the law school community and diversity to the student population.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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I would focus more on how your experience in particular drew you to law. Get rid of the stuff about "I didn't know why I wanted to become a lawyer." You said that you wanted to fight for social justice, that has potential. Instead of focusing on the emotional experience elaborate on the intellectual process that drew you to law. Did you have an interaction with your lawyer that inspired you? Law schools will be more attracted to a candidate who has a well thought out plan.
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