Rough Draft #1, fire away

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
SuperCool23
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:56 am

Rough Draft #1, fire away

Postby SuperCool23 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:13 am

*This is a rough draft, please read and critique to your liking. I'm not sensitive to criticism so please fire away but always tel me some positives too. Also, I took out personal information like school name, etc.

Sitting there eagerly smiling across from the short distance sectioning labeled the “Defendant Section”, I caught the eye of a familiar face that I have come to recognize. He gazed into my eyes as I sat there excited to see his face; we smiled at each other. For over a year now we've been fighting this battle for his freedom. The voice of woman called, “Bother’s Name”, he stood next to his public defender in which he was assigned by the court, and he patiently waited as the judge reads the list of charges he has been charged with. I listened at the judge harder than I've ever listen to anything in my life, more than a professor, more than my favorite song; I was tuned in. My mother, sister, and I have been impatiently been waiting for this to finally arrive, “sentencing”, this decision would go on and affect my life for years to come. The judge spoke with authority but yet in the lightest tone stated “15 years” and my brother dropped his head as the tears rolled down his eyes. My mom grabbed her chest as if she was having a heart attack but she was just struck with pain for the loss of her son. Already facing traumatic medical issues, her tears express the fear that she won’t live to feel the warmth of her sons face ever again. My sister held my mom with tears of confusion and pain in her eyes, as I sat there emotionless. Feeling as I was a man and I had to be strong, my eyes wouldn't allow a tear to fall. Throughout this commotion my mom was allowed to address the court about the sentencing and with a shattered voice filled with tears she stated “you sentenced a 19 year old to 15 years, and you think he will come out reform and an upstanding citizen? You've just created a monster!!” The judges face change as she made this statement so did the court as if they just realized how his decision would go on and affect an entire family and not just the defendant.

But I’m sure he knew this when he took up his occupation. I left the court room that day, traveling an hour on the transit bus system back to my campus, as I step foot off the bus and it pulled away I feeling of over being whelmed took over and tears flowed down my eyes as I keeled down in the dirt field. I had this feeling because my entire ride from the court house all I could think of is my twin brother, the loss of his love that I won’t get feel or enjoy the company of his voice for 15 years but then we will be two different men. That feeling of helpless not being able to do anything for him while sitting in the court room, as I felt his public defender did nothing to help, was the determining factor in me wanting to become an attorney. So I have dedicated myself to the institution (College name) and have become change maker in my community by becoming a member of (Fraternity name). I wanted to be role models for other African American man who have come from economical deprive communities and high crime rated cities in America, because I know how the effects of these types of environments can mentally hinder individuals when crime & drugs are served for breakfast every morning and injustice is served for dinner. Now I live by fraternity motto, “(Frat Motto )”, I live to serve my community and to prevent others from going through the same heat break that my family has endured for the over the course the years.

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UOI4430
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:29 pm

Re: Rough Draft #1, fire away

Postby UOI4430 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:11 am

I think that your PS should focus more on your strengths. The narrative about your brother seems to be a poor choice for a PS that should be about you.

You seem to be writing a PS about how your brother was a victim of the legal system, but you do not tell us what he had done nor what he was charged with. Honestly, you shouldn't. You state that the public defender did "nothing" to help your brother, and the judge was nonchalant when sentencing a young man to 15 years in incarceration. You even go so far as to say, "injustice is served for dinner." You cast lawyers in a negative light which is probably going to rub the admissions committee at a LAW SCHOOL the wrong way.

Perhaps you should frame your PS to show how you and your brother faced similar difficulties and made different choices. In doing so you show the adcomms how you overcame the adversity that so negatively affected you brother. To be clear, you need to eloquently describe the issues that permeate your community, and show that you have reflected on their many causes and outcomes. As it stands now, your PS asks the reader to assume what the problems in your community are (poverty?, crime?).

Instead of saying that you are a "change maker," actually explain something that you have done to affect change (i.e. community service, internships, etc.). The only thing that the adcomms know from your PS is that you are a college student in a fraternity. You need to provide more than that. As well, make sure that you come across as likable, affable. Keep in mind that adcomms have to read thousands of statements every cycle about how cruel the world is.

Just my two cents. Good luck with your applications.

glyn
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:00 am

Re: Rough Draft #1, fire away

Postby glyn » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:59 am

As a reader, I would be more interested in you and your life experiences growing up with a twin and what made your brother end up where he did and you where you are today. I felt it was overly critical of the justice system as a whole, which isn't a good position to take at this time or in this way. I found it a bit too angry at times and overly descriptive with emotions that were not yours. Keep yourself as the focus. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.

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bretby
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:15 pm

Re: Rough Draft #1, fire away

Postby bretby » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:14 pm

I completely agree with what people have said. It could make a really interesting personal statement if you talked about how you and your twin have ended up in such different places in life, despite growing up in the same circumstances. I don't think you need to totally eliminate your take on the legal system as unjust, particularly for minority youth, but I would perhaps offer one concrete suggestion as to how you, as a lawyer who is intimately familiar with what young men such as your brother faced, can contribute in some small way to making the system more just.

Unrelated point: your verb tenses are odd. I would write in past tense when relating the past rather than trying to do narrative present.

SuperCool23
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:56 am

Re: Rough Draft #1, fire away

Postby SuperCool23 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:59 pm

Thank you all for your feed back, I took it into consideration of Rough Draft#2


Sitting there eagerly smiling across from the short distance sectioning labeled the “Defendant Section”, I caught the eye of a familiar face that I have come to recognize. He gazed into my eyes as I sat there excited to see his face; we smiled at each other. For over a year now we’ve been fighting this battle for his freedom. The voice of woman called, “Bother’s Name”, he stood next to his public defender in which he was assigned by the court, and he patiently waited as the judge reads the list of charges he has been charged with. I listened at the judge harder than I’ve ever listen to anything in my life, more than a professor, more than my favorite song; I was tuned in. My mother, sister, and I have been impatiently been waiting for this to finally arrive, “sentencing”, this decision would go on and affect my life for years to come. The judge spoke with authority but yet in the lightest tone stated “15years” and my brother dropped his head as the tears rolled down his eyes. This moment changed my life forever. My brother and I grew up in the same economical depriving communities and high crime rated cities, where not having money to eat or your living conditions aren't that livable forces people to make decisions that morally are not right. The only symbol of wealth that we saw were the drug dealers that stood out on the corners with their rubber bands of cash, so the choices we had were to commit crimes or go to school. And in my neighbor school did not pay off quickly as the committing crimes. But I wanted more for myself and I wanted more for my daughter I had at 16, life should not be like this for her. 2008 after graduating High School I decided to go to college and purse a degree, my High school diploma was already higher than most of the people in my family had received, college was just the icing on the cake. While in college, I read many autobiographies on millionaires and billionaires and taught myself about contracts, then I begin to negotiate contracts on behalf of my fraternity; I had a knack for negotiations and pushing the limits and this push me into law. I wanted to understand the nature of contracts and become an advocate for people in community like the one I grew up in. Becoming a good negotiator allowed me to generate $10,000 to help my fraternity get out of debt within two months instead of a few years. I use my fraternity as a plat forum to help me bring my community together and combined my ideas with some of my fraternity’s nationally programs. While being community advocate in college, I hosted several programs to help bring about awareness on social issues among different ethical backgrounds and social classes to bridge gaps within my community. Having the chance to bring people together people from different back grounds showed me how alike we all really are, and we all face some of the similar problems. Throughout these past few years, I have learned that it’s really not the hand you were dealt but how you play your cards. If you look at my hand you would say I was supposed to loose, however I was able to maneuver my way through society and use education as a way enhance my abilities to a winning hand. This is why I feel I am a great candidate for law school and I will thrive not only in the classroom but in my community as well. I will preserve and I will reach my goals, no matter the circumstances.




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