2nd draft of personal statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Jackieb0688
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:00 pm

2nd draft of personal statement

Postby Jackieb0688 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:23 am

I sat for weeks, thinking of the perfect way to express my thoughts, for reasons why I wanted to become a lawyer. I found this task to be unusually hard. How could I express myself in a way that let my reader know how serious I was about taking this next step in my life. More over, how could I sum up my desire to become a lawyer, as if it had been just one event that triggered my passion, instead of a lifetime of learning, and growing, to make this decision?
I remember when I was five, and I witnessed my four year old nephew be hit and killed by a speeding car that jumped the curb. He died on the day of his pre-school graduation. The man who was driving the car walked away from the crime after only serving six months in prison. As I became older, I wondered how a child's life could be disregarded at such a tender age. I did not know then that my experience would follow me throughout my journey in life, and help me make decisions. When my nephew died the car literally stopped 2 feet in front of me. I have always thought of him as my guardian angel because, I felt as though he saved my life. That experience has taught me to live my life with no regrets, and to seize every opportunity to be a better me. Going to law school has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, it's very important to me that I try and make this dream a reality. As I got older everything I do I dedicate to him. I feel like I am not only living for me, but for him as well. One thing I always promised myself is that I would always follow my dreams, because he did not have a chance to follow his.
During my undergraduate years, I was required to take a business law course, that I thought would be the death of me. Surprisingly, it was the best class that I had ever taken throughout my entire time at Howard University. It was hard, and complicated, but it evoked thought, that went beyond just memorizing some things out of a textbook. I learned to be diligent, tenacious, as well as to tap in to my intellectual curiosity. I loved every minute of it. This one class helped me to magnify the skills needed to be an exceptional law student. In the class I learned to explore my intellectual abilities, and become more confident in myself as a top student. I was eager to expand my knowledge, and over come obstacles. I refused to give into defeat on hard cases, and determined to understand every aspect of what we learned. Being able to understand the law, and apply it to everyday life is amazing. More importantly, knowing and understanding my rights, helping others do the same speaks volumes to my soul. When taking the business law class I often thought about my nephew. Although we didn't cover criminal law in the class, it still made me feel a connection to him, and what happened. I want to go to law school because it will bring out the best qualities in me. It will allow me to leave a very impactful legacy in helping to change the lives of others. It's one of those things that just brings passion to my life, by the mere thought of all the possibilities that can come from me taking this journey.
Someone once told me to find something you enjoy in life, then find a way to turn that into a career. Over the past few years, one thing I have found that I am absolutely passionate about is helping people. Another thing that has never left my mind is getting a law degree. What better way to enjoy life, than by helping people with something that they will need in their everyday life. Whether my career choice be following in the footsteps of lawyers who became professors, or helping the public by going into the non profit sector, or being a prosecutor to make sure justice is served, I know that getting my law degree is a missing piece to my puzzle. I want to take an opportunity to be a part of helping to shape the lives of others in a way that can be solidified in history.

Jackieb0688
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: 2nd draft of personal statement

Postby Jackieb0688 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:24 am

My ps is four paragraphs I'm not sure why its not showing that way

User avatar
pylon
Posts: 929
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:58 pm

Re: 2nd draft of personal statement

Postby pylon » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:33 am

I think the first paragraph is unnecessary, but overall it's pretty good.

mcleemz
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:36 pm

Re: 2nd draft of personal statement

Postby mcleemz » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:11 am

Pylon is right, the first graf is unnecessary and you should definitely cut it.

You need to read this out loud. Law school statements demand slightly more formal language than this, and this is written with the cadence of someone who's thinking out loud and transcribing it. There are also several amateur mistakes, like errant commas, and "over come" instead of "overcome."

I would strongly consider asking a capable writer to review this with you in person and show you basic ways you can make this read better. Law schools will expect you know how to write already, and I know it's a draft, but this doesn't give that impression.

I would tone down the cliches like "no regrets" and "follow my dreams." Something like "seeing my nephew's life cut short inspired me to make the most out of my own."

Lastly, the story of your nephew's death is a good impetus to practice law, but make sure you stay focused on seeking justice, not avenging your brother's death. Speak more specifically about how you think you might do that as a LAWYER. Not just "I want to help people." You don't need a law degree for that.

Jackieb0688
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: 2nd draft of personal statement

Postby Jackieb0688 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:20 pm

Thanks for the feedback I did some editing .......



I remember when I was five, and I witnessed my four year old nephew be hit and killed by a speeding car that jumped the curb. He died on the day of his pre-school graduation. The man who was driving the car walked away from the crime after only serving six months in prison. My life was forever changed, witnessing such a horrible act at five years old. Not being able to do something then, makes it more important that I help be apart of the change that I want to see now.
Becoming a lawyer will allow me the chance to become a staple in history. I can take my tragic experience and turn it into inspiration. Changing laws, creating new ones, speaking for people who seldom have a voice, and being able to inspire someone to do better, those are all achievements that I want to make as a lawyer. As I became older, I wondered how a child's life could be disregarded at such a tender age. My family has to live with a lifetime of pain, while this man walks the streets with a second chance as if justice had been served. I did not know then that my experience would follow me throughout my journey in life, and help me make decisions. When my nephew died the car literally stopped 2 feet in front of me. I have always thought of him as my guardian angel because, I felt he had saved my life. Seeing my nephew's life cut short inspired me to make the most of my own.i want to seize every opportunity to be a better me. Going to law school has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, it's very important to me that I try and make this dream a reality. As I got older everything I do I dedicate to him. I feel like I am not only living for me, but for him as well. One thing I always promised myself is that I would always follow my dreams, because he did not have a chance to follow his.
During my undergraduate years, I was required to take a business law course that I thought would be the death of me. Surprisingly, it was the best class that I had ever taken throughout my entire time at Howard University. It was hard, and complicated, but it evoked thought that went beyond just memorizing some things out of a textbook. I learned to be diligent, tenacious, as well as to tap in to my intellectual curiosity. I loved every minute of it. This one class helped me to magnify the skills needed to be an exceptional law student. In the class I learned to explore my intellectual abilities, and become more confident in myself as a student. The class taught me that knowledge is a process, and as long as you are willing to learn there is no glass ceiling. I was eager to expand my knowledge, and overcome obstacles. I refused to give into defeat on hard cases, and determined to understand every aspect of what we learned. Being able to understand the law, and apply it to everyday life is amazing. More importantly, knowing and understanding my rights, helping others do the same speaks volumes to my soul. When taking the business law class I often thought about my nephew. Although we didn't cover criminal law in the class, it still made me feel a connection to him and what happened. I want to go to law school because it will bring out the best qualities in me. It will allow me to leave a very impactful legacy in helping to change the lives of others. It's one of those things that just brings passion to my life, by the mere thought of all the possibilities that can come from me taking this journey.
Someone once told me to find something you enjoy in life, then find a way to turn that into a career. Over the past few years, one thing I have found that I am absolutely passionate about is helping people. Another thing that has never left my mind is getting a law degree. What better way to enjoy life, than by helping people with something that they will need in their everyday life. Whether my career choice be following in the foot steps of lawyers who became professors, or helping the public by going into the non profit sector, or being a prosecutor to make sure justice is served, I know that getting my law degree is a missing piece to my puzzle. I want to take an opportunity to be a part of helping to shape the lives of others in a way that can be solidified in history.

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

Re: 2nd draft of personal statement

Postby UOI4430 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:26 pm

I am sorry for your loss. The death of a family member in such tragic circumstances is undoubtedly difficult to cope with. It is wonderful that you have turned such a troubling loss into motivation to pursue your goals. However, I think this is the wrong way to tackle your PS. Keep in mind that adcomms have to read hundreds of statements each cycle about how cruel the world is (each PS seemingly more tragic than the last). The personal tragedy essay structure won't make you stand out from other applicants.

I don't doubt your sincerity, but writing a PS that begins with "I suffered a tragedy" and concludes with "I want to help people" is banal at best. Your PS comes across a bit too cliche IMO.

Furthermore, you have an inordinate number of cliches in your PS.
"Not being able to do something then, makes it more important that I help be apart of the change that I want to see now."
"Becoming a lawyer will allow me the chance to become a staple in history."
"I can take my tragic experience and turn it into inspiration."
"Seeing my nephew's life cut short inspired me to make the most of my own."
"as long as you are willing to learn there is no glass ceiling."
"i want to seize every opportunity to be a better me."
"It will allow me to leave a very impactful legacy in helping to change the lives of others."
"find something you enjoy in life, then find a way to turn that into a career."
"getting my law degree is a missing piece to my puzzle."
"I want to take an opportunity to be a part of helping to shape the lives of others in a way that can be solidified in history."
You must eliminate these from your PS.

I would drop the part about your nephew entirely. Focus your PS on your maturation as a student. A PS should be formal, but that doesn't mean that it has to be deathly serious. IMHO a PS should be used to show that you have strong qualities (leadership, work ethic, insightfulness, etc.) which are not reflected in your resume/transcript and that you personally are likable/affable. If you can convey these two pieces of information then you PS will be a success.

It seems that you are applying pretty late in the cycle. Do you mind if I ask where you are applying or have already applied? It might be advantageous to wait until the next cycle (not that I know your personal situation).

Just my two cents. Good luck with your applications.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.