HELP ME!! Open please!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
jazzellc
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:40 pm

HELP ME!! Open please!

Postby jazzellc » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:45 pm

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Last edited by jazzellc on Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dbalkaran
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Re: HELP ME!! Open please!

Postby dbalkaran » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:16 pm

jazzellc wrote:So I recently started on my personal statement for law school, and need some suggestions on how everything is flowing. I wrote about a particular experience during my childhood that shaped my desire to pursue a career in law. However, the story is extremely long and I'm stuck. I need help !!!


There's a quote by Matshona Dhliwayo that states “Beautiful souls are shaped by ugly experiences." At the tender age of three years old my mother abandoned me, I was raised by my grandmother who was fighting with breast cancer for the second time. My grandmother did the best she could to keep the household afloat and protect my cousin and I from the environmental dangers surrounding our housing project. However, despite her efforts a situation would soon arise that she could not shelter us from.

When I was in sixth grade, my older cousin was taken from high school and forced into sex trafficking by a classmate. This tragedy was hard on everyone in my family especially me, because of our close relationship. Over the course of three years my family worked diligently to find her, even forgoing necessities of housing to pay for a private investigator because the police didn’t do anything to find her. They assumed she was black and from the projects and had left on her own. I was angry that more was not being done to bring my cousin home and for justice to be served. When my cousin finally returned home, the healing process started. During this healing process my grandmother went to court everyday for Tiffany’s case. At the age of fourteen I witnessed the trial my family worked hard for, and the justice that was too long delayed.
This traumatic experience fueled my desire to pursue a legal career.


This is pretty rough so far...but that's not a bad thing. I would try and get all of your ideas out first and then polish it up. Don't worry so much about length at this point, get all your thoughts out and organized and then refine. Sounds like you have a pretty unique experience to share so you want to take your time and make sure you express how it relates to your desire to practice law effectively.

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34iplaw
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Re: HELP ME!! Open please!

Postby 34iplaw » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:59 am

Some general thoughts...

1) I'm not really a fan of quoting someone else for your personal statement. Some people may have done it well, and others may have their own thoughts on it. This piece of advice is solely my opinion.

2) It's rough, and you need the statement to be more about you. You can even focus on your grandmother, but we need to learn about you through how you talk about her beyond learning that you have a profound respect for family. There's nothing wrong with it being rough. My final statement actually ended up being a blend of several different narratives I had originally written, and I am quite happy with it overall.

3) You need to be careful with 'failure of the justice system' based on what I have read... I don't actually know the veracity of this, but my statement didn't touch on it. Just some advice I've heard from sources I trust on here.

4) I would pick one of the narratives to pick. I actually don't think you need to mention your mother leaving you. It will be strongly implied (in one way or another) by the fact you are describing this experience you underwent with your grandmother.

5) You will also need to be weary of a statement that comes across as too depressing. Some of my initial drafts were as well.

This is how I would structure it based on what you've written. Again, this is just to see a different structure. I made some assumptions based on what you've written (i.e. had to forgo housing -> often homeless), and I apologize if any are incorrect or misrepresentative. This is basically my rough draft version of your rough draft.

When I was in sixth grade, my grandmother and I were often homeless. My grandmother, battling cancer for the second time, and I had to forfeit this basic necessity, among others, to afford a private investigator to help locate my older cousin, Tiffany. She was taken from high school and forced into sex trafficking by a classmate. The local police had made assumptions based on Tiffany's race and socioeconomic background that they felt absolved themselves from putting adequate effort into searching for her. I was upset; I was angry. {{what you and grandmother did with the PI, how you helped, how you grew}}

Eventually, my cousin was found and returned home, and the healing process began. My grandmother and I continued to fight for Tiffany's case (you may need to better describe what this is...civil/criminal against her...against the state for being jackasses...etc.) {{what you and grandmother did, how you helped, how you grew, what you learned}}

This terrible experience has fueled my desire to go to law school because Tiffany's case is not unique. {{something about how this experience makes you uniquely capable to help people who have suffered similar cases or from similar injustices}}

(dump this sentence/general idea IMO... possible you could word it in a good way, but this isn't it) This tragedy was hard on everyone in my family especially me, because of our close relationship.

(dump this sentence/quote IMO) There's a quote by Matshona Dhliwayo that states “Beautiful souls are shaped by ugly experiences."

jazzellc
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:40 pm

Re: HELP ME!! Open please!

Postby jazzellc » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:26 am

OMG !! I cannot thank you enough. I'm really struggling with my personal statement but this helped a lot !!

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bitter_melon
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Re: HELP ME!! Open please!

Postby bitter_melon » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:01 am

If you are going to start off with a quote, and I'm not sure you should, there are much better ways to introduce it. Instead of

>There's a quote by Matshona Dhliwayo that states “Beautiful souls are shaped by ugly experiences."

You could say something like

>When I reflect upon the day that my mother abandoned me, I console myself by recalling Matshona Dhliwayo's mantra that "beautiful souls are shaped by ugly experiences."

Something like that. Rather than just introduce some generic quote, first introduce a life experience that relates to the quote and then use that as a segue. But that isn't to say that starting with a quote is necessarily a great idea.

clshopeful
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Re: HELP ME!! Open please!

Postby clshopeful » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:44 am

"My grandmother did the best she could to keep the household afloat and protect my cousin and I from the environmental dangers..."

It should be "My grandmother did the best she could to keep the household afloat and protect my cousin and me from the environmental dangers"

The rule is, if you remove the other party, it should make sense. Example: 'My friends and I are going to the store.' --> I am going to the store.
'This is my mom and I in the picture'' doesn't work since it doesn't make sense --> ''This is I in the picture''




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