Personal Statement Submission

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Personal Statement Submission

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:04 am

Ok, so I'm applying in the Fall just like most others and the idea for my PS just hit me. Please review. Not too concerned about the grammar right now more so than criticisms on the philosophy of what I'm writing and comments on the idea or its presentation.

Here it goes:

If you had told me two and a half years ago that I'd be sitting here writing a personal statement to (University of _________) I would've laughed and called you crazy. When I enrolled in college as a freshman, I had a love for law but I didn't choose that direction initially. I had heard from everyone my entire life that I would make an excellent lawyer. That notion offended me. Why could'n't I be an excellent doctor, musician, writer, scientist, or programmer? So I set out to prove everyone wrong. I enrolled in the hardest science and math classes I was allowed entry to as a freshman and began my quest. Spoiler: It ended in failure. For the first time in my life I had set out to be successful at something and failed miserably. That's also when I discovered that being a doctor wasn't in the cards for me. It wasn't that I didn't possess the intelligence, I just hated science. I still thought to myself that law was no option. During my freshman year, the markets were abysmal as a result of the recession and there were a lot of people discouraging college students from pursuing law because apparently a law degree had become 'worthless'. I embraced this philosophy and continued to avoid law until I had a conversation with a friend later that year that lead to the series of events that has me here typing this personal statement. She had just found out that she got the lowest score in her entire course section on her final chemistry exam. She told us all that she realized she wanted to be a lawyer anyway. I couldn't understand her confidence. I told her how horrible the market was for lawyers, how she could end up spending tens of thousands of dollars and she shrugged off each discouraging comment I made. Eventually she said, "You probably wanted to be a lawyer too. You just let the words of everyone else psyche you out and that's why you're trying to discourage me from doing it. I don't care what it takes, I'm going to do this." I never forgot those words because of the startling truth in them. From that day forward, I pursued law.


The following year I changed majors and started taking courses in political philosophy and law. I loved the courses and found myself excelling in them. However, by the end of junior year I noticed I was still unable to reverse the damage done from a tumultuous freshman year. I was just about ready to give up on law. What school would accept me with my GPA? The best schools only accept students with 4.0s and 180 LSATs who interned as personal assistants to Barack Obama, I thought. The summer before my senior year I became resigned to the idea that I would never be able to get into law school. However, that summer I ran into an old friend who had told me about her plans to go to law school. We talked for awhile and I told her how I wish I could go to law school too, but my GPA was too low. She told me that she had a similar GPA to myself and told me how foolish I was being. She told me how she was going to do everything in her power to go to law school and that I should do the same. She encouraged me in a way that I'm not sure I could ever do justice in my retelling of her words. When I left that conversation with her I was determined to bring out my full potential. That next semester I got straight A's, hosted my own benefit concert that raised over $2,500 for cancer, started a student organization and completed an internship and I had never done either of things before in my life. When I graduated, I decided to take a year to research everything possible about careers in law, different schools, tuition rates, life in different cities, everyday legal activities and different fields I could explore. I continued to live my life with that same passion and pursuit and that's what enabled me to score a 175 on the LSAT.

I write to you today no more sure of what this admissions' board will decide than I was two and a half years ago. What I am sure of though is who I am. These last two years were the most difficult of my entire life. Yet through every setback I continued to remain focused and hungry because I knew what I wanted and I had finally proved to myself what I was capable of. My numbers don't tell you the story of the nights I studied with tears in my eyes as I fought internally to persevere and not quit. My numbers don't tell you the story of my growth mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have never been more certain that I belong at ___________________________ and, if admitted, I'm sure you will feel the same.

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34iplaw

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Re: Personal Statement Submission

Postby 34iplaw » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:28 am

I am a bit tired and, at another time, can go through with a more detailed comb, but I think you are capable of a better statement. Your statement doesn't really offer much insight to you, and I just don't see it as a compelling representation of what literally *every* applicant has thought or weighed in their mind. Ultimately, I think you are doing a great disservice with this personal statement to what is an absolutely phenomenal LSAT score. I could try to be softer or more encouraging, but I really think you should not go forward with this statement. In the end, the redeeming part is your LSAT score...which they know...without looking at your statement.

What I would suggest is something along the lines of the following...

1 - Don't stress about your exact statement this moment.

2 - Write about things. Things that matter to you. It doesn't even need to be 300 words. Maybe it's just a paragraph or a few sentences.

3 - Extrapolate on things you write about in #2. See if they apply to why you want to go to law school and if they reveal your underlying characteristics and traits.

4 - When you have a concept you like, sit on it. Don't look at it for a few days. Before you look at it, rewrite it off the top of your head. You don't need to worry about specifics, but you may find new wording, better flow, etc. that you may prefer.

I really don't mean to be harsh. I just think that, with a 175, that you are capable of better and would do yourself a disservice with this sort of topic.

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Re: Personal Statement Submission

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:09 am

34iplaw wrote:I am a bit tired and, at another time, can go through with a more detailed comb, but I think you are capable of a better statement. Your statement doesn't really offer much insight to you, and I just don't see it as a compelling representation of what literally *every* applicant has thought or weighed in their mind. Ultimately, I think you are doing a great disservice with this personal statement to what is an absolutely phenomenal LSAT score. I could try to be softer or more encouraging, but I really think you should not go forward with this statement. In the end, the redeeming part is your LSAT score...which they know...without looking at your statement.

What I would suggest is something along the lines of the following...

1 - Don't stress about your exact statement this moment.

2 - Write about things. Things that matter to you. It doesn't even need to be 300 words. Maybe it's just a paragraph or a few sentences.

3 - Extrapolate on things you write about in #2. See if they apply to why you want to go to law school and if they reveal your underlying characteristics and traits.

4 - When you have a concept you like, sit on it. Don't look at it for a few days. Before you look at it, rewrite it off the top of your head. You don't need to worry about specifics, but you may find new wording, better flow, etc. that you may prefer.

I really don't mean to be harsh. I just think that, with a 175, that you are capable of better and would do yourself a disservice with this sort of topic.


I really appreciate that feedback and I'm going to take your advice and go back to the drawing board.

galadriel3019

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Re: Personal Statement Submission

Postby galadriel3019 » Sun Jul 10, 2016 5:13 am

I see based on your reply above that you are going back to the drawing boards, I just wanted to leave a few over points that might help you

1) It seems a number of deans are tired of the "everyone said I'd make a great lawyer" set up. Beware of going down that path, even though you say you fought back against it

2) Don't just repeat your transcript. They will see you took hard classes but then changed direction.

3) I agree with above poster about sharing more about who YOU are. Admissions officers will know the legal market was rough for a few years. What makes YOU tick?

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34iplaw

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Re: Personal Statement Submission

Postby 34iplaw » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:
34iplaw wrote:I am a bit tired and, at another time, can go through with a more detailed comb, but I think you are capable of a better statement. Your statement doesn't really offer much insight to you, and I just don't see it as a compelling representation of what literally *every* applicant has thought or weighed in their mind. Ultimately, I think you are doing a great disservice with this personal statement to what is an absolutely phenomenal LSAT score. I could try to be softer or more encouraging, but I really think you should not go forward with this statement. In the end, the redeeming part is your LSAT score...which they know...without looking at your statement.

What I would suggest is something along the lines of the following...

1 - Don't stress about your exact statement this moment.

2 - Write about things. Things that matter to you. It doesn't even need to be 300 words. Maybe it's just a paragraph or a few sentences.

3 - Extrapolate on things you write about in #2. See if they apply to why you want to go to law school and if they reveal your underlying characteristics and traits.

4 - When you have a concept you like, sit on it. Don't look at it for a few days. Before you look at it, rewrite it off the top of your head. You don't need to worry about specifics, but you may find new wording, better flow, etc. that you may prefer.

I really don't mean to be harsh. I just think that, with a 175, that you are capable of better and would do yourself a disservice with this sort of topic.


I really appreciate that feedback and I'm going to take your advice and go back to the drawing board.


Glad to hear. Feel free to PM me or post here and I'll take a look at whatever you do come up with. You're bound to have a good cycle.



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