So...I just finished my first draft ever. Don't hold back?

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

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So...I just finished my first draft ever. Don't hold back?

Postby TpetersenDBC » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:54 pm

Hey all,

So, I've been lurking the TLS forums ever since I decided to go to law school, this is one of my only posts, now that it's time to really start applying. I have NO idea what I'm doing when it comes to personal statements, but it's starting to become a bit more clear. In all honesty, I can't say I faced much adversity in my life, so I decided to use the theme that could sort of be categorized as personal growth...it's a bit of a funny way of showing it, but I think that it's also unique enough to set me apart. Anyways, I'd be incredibly appreciative if you could be brutally honest about my PS...if you think the entire theme is trash tell me so I can think of another one, if you think an entire paragraph is pointless I'd be glad to hear about it. Thanks for any critique, no matter how harsh...




I dreamed of being a rapper. I would spend hours at night writing to instrumental music I had found on the Internet. I would conceptualize the theme of my imaginary album, and turn over wordplay and double entendre over in my mind, the way a chef might contemplate notes of flavor when tasting their dish. It was a passion that nobody knew I had, until I decided to abandon all trepidation and post a video of myself rapping on Facebook.

I had dropped out of college in 2009 because, to put it plainly, I didn’t want to be there. I had no passion. I had no idea what I wanted out of life other than independence and happiness (which at the time was naively mistaken with basic pleasure). There wasn’t any specific career that infatuated me the way creative writing and performing did, so I left college in order to pursue that infatuation.

I had never been that dedicated to anything up to that point. For the majority of my life I was what you could refer to as a “coaster”. I’ve always been a fairly intelligent person, but to quote at least a third of my high school instructors, I never applied myself. I figured the occasional A’s and B’s were good enough to keep my parents off of my back, and that was my primary motivation during those high school years. Yet when I read the responses to my videos, or stepped in to a group of MC’s at a party and saw the looks of amusement and approval on the surrounding faces, I was driven to see this dream of mine through.

While my friends certainly provided moral support, I would be lying if I said they actively helped me. I built a recording booth in my basement, I filled it with secondhand equipment, and I began to go to every Chicago hip-hop show I could, I did all of this by myself. I Eventually made some in-roads with a couple of artistic collectives who would record me from time to time, and was even able to tentatively book a release party for my future project at a clothing boutique in the south loop due to this networking.

From 2010 to 2012 I wrote, recorded, re-wrote, and re-recorded music. I learned to mix and master tracks and even create my own beats from scratch. In a nine-month span, I independently released two digital albums, and booked my own show at a local venue. I was the talent, the manager, and the agent of my act, and while I never become that rap star I dreamed of, I was able to experience what it felt like to have a true passion.

In 2012, I was sitting on my front steps talking to one of the hardest working, most driven people I have ever met in my life. She was entering her first year at law school and told me she had always thought I was going to take that same path. I thought about it, realizing how many different opportunities a Jd. would provide me with, and I began to feel that intrinsic encouragement, that passion that I had felt before, only this time my dream was to attend law school and put myself in a position do provide assistance to those who need it most.

Many people laugh now when I tell them that I was a rapper at one point. I don’t go in to detail about what pursuing that dream did for me, and I may not have considered it fully until writing this statement, but if I had never felt that passion I would have never known what is required of to truly dedicate myself to a cause. It is because of my dreams of rap super stardom that I am able to write this letter, apply to your school, and confidently say that I am not only willing but entirely capable of dedicating myself fully to becoming an civil rights attorney with the department of justice, and ensuring that all Americans receive equal protection of the laws of this country.

TpetersenDBC

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Re: So...I just finished my first draft ever. Don't hold back?

Postby TpetersenDBC » Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:09 pm

(I now realize there are a few typos I made upon rewording some sentences)

texaschic

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Re: So...I just finished my first draft ever. Don't hold back?

Postby texaschic » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:42 pm

I think you need to expand on "why law" and why you would be a good fit for law school. From the gist of what I read, all I got was "my friend told me about law school so now I think I want to go to law school". You need to sell the idea that you have the passion and desire to pursue this. Your essay left me wondering why you suddenly had to motivation to attend law school. Maybe give clarity on that, such as what aspects of law interests you and how your history in rap/music/art relates to that. Speak on your curiosity and creative talents and how that will translate into a legal career. Hope this helps a little!

TpetersenDBC

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Re: So...I just finished my first draft ever. Don't hold back?

Postby TpetersenDBC » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:57 pm

texaschic wrote:I think you need to expand on "why law" and why you would be a good fit for law school. From the gist of what I read, all I got was "my friend told me about law school so now I think I want to go to law school". You need to sell the idea that you have the passion and desire to pursue this. Your essay left me wondering why you suddenly had to motivation to attend law school. Maybe give clarity on that, such as what aspects of law interests you and how your history in rap/music/art relates to that. Speak on your curiosity and creative talents and how that will translate into a legal career. Hope this helps a little!



Yeah after letting it sit and going back I realized I need to balance it out. The main point is to highlight the growth of my work ethic, my perseverance, and the results of dedication/hard work and how I've come to understand it's significance.

I think I need to focus more on what led from considering law school to desiring law school...that part's pretty much wholly left out...

thanks.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: So...I just finished my first draft ever. Don't hold back?

Postby Mr. Archer » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:20 pm

You should think about how some of your statements come off to a reader. When you talk about being a "coaster" and not applying yourself, it makes you look bad. There's no need to talk about how high school teacher's thinking you had poor work ethic. Instead of the statement showing work ethic growth, it can come off as showing you didn't work hard in high school, quit college because it wasn't fun, rapped because it was fun, and then quit rapping for law school because a 1L said she thought you would be a lawyer. Is that what you want a law school to think? Also, stating you think you're intelligent comes off strange.

Think about how you frame your story. Put yourself in the best light. Did you embark on a rap career because you didn't like anything else and fell back on it? Or, were you brave enough to forego the traditional career path for something you love? Also, you've got to go into more detail about deciding on the law. Right now, the statement really doesn't make clear why you leave a career you worked so hard on to be a lawyer.

Good luck.

TpetersenDBC

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Re: So...I just finished my first draft ever. Don't hold back?

Postby TpetersenDBC » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:35 pm

Mr. Archer wrote:You should think about how some of your statements come off to a reader. When you talk about being a "coaster" and not applying yourself, it makes you look bad. There's no need to talk about how high school teacher's thinking you had poor work ethic. Instead of the statement showing work ethic growth, it can come off as showing you didn't work hard in high school, quit college because it wasn't fun, rapped because it was fun, and then quit rapping for law school because a 1L said she thought you would be a lawyer. Is that what you want a law school to think? Also, stating you think you're intelligent comes off strange.

Think about how you frame your story. Put yourself in the best light. Did you embark on a rap career because you didn't like anything else and fell back on it? Or, were you brave enough to forego the traditional career path for something you love? Also, you've got to go into more detail about deciding on the law. Right now, the statement really doesn't make clear why you leave a career you worked so hard on to be a lawyer.

Good luck.


Appreciate the feedback, this really helped. I'll be spending this week really focusing on that.

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ArtistOfManliness

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Re: So...I just finished my first draft ever. Don't hold back?

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:12 pm

Call me pretentious, but I read "I dreamed of being a rapper," and I'm immediately viewing the application in a negative light. Might be fine for TTT, but if you're looking into T-14, I'd consider a different PS theory.



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