Which PS to go with? Pros and Cons. Please Help!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
Posts: 339614
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Which PS to go with? Pros and Cons. Please Help!!

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:34 pm

Hi All- I am working on finishing my personal statement and submit to LSAC. I have written two as I couldn't decide which route to take and would like to get your advice. Below are the outline for both and background and my pros/cons of each.

1) PS 1
-Discuss my dad immigrating to America
-Working for years to reach his goal of owning a business "American Dream"
-Eventually got his business and worked well for a couple of years
-Due to an addiction problem, family almost lost the business when he went to rehab
-Lawyers helped restructure portfolio and save the business
-Dad recovered and business was again running well
-During my senior year in undergrad- dad passed away in a car accident
-I had to learn how the ins and out of the business and worked with lawyers to restructure portfolio so my mom is able to handle business alone

- I want to become a lawyer to help families just as mine was helped. I would also like to help businesses succeed as we were helped.

2) PS 2
-Grew up in a very small country town and was often bored so looked for something creative to challenge me
-Started DJing at 13 and started my own business
-Grew the business slowly locally and then regionally once in college
-Decided I didn't care for DJing anymore and enjoyed the business/legal aspect more so started an entertainment booking agency
-Started my company ground up. Within 1 year I was able to work with Billboard artists, universities, corporations, charities, etc on booking concerts and shows.
-Worked with artists' legal teams and the buyer's legal teams on show contracts and negotiations.
-Graduated and went to work for a consulting firm.
-Again realized I liked the legal aspect of the deal making more and found myself working with GCs and legal teams to work on contracts, MSAs, etc.

- I want to become a lawyer to help others succeed in their businesses to reach their goals.

My opinion:
1) I like this because it's genuine and an interesting story that shows overcoming adversity with a mix of legal/business. I don't like it because I feel as if an admissions committees read statements like this a dozen times a day. But what stands out is losing a parent while in college and had to work with lawyers to restructure a multi million dollar portfolio. I played a significant role as my mom is also an immigrant and doesn't speak perfect English.

2) I like this one because it's what I've been doing the past 11 years of my life and it's not really common to hear a story like this. I don't like it because it's not exactly a "touching" story and I also don't want the reader to not be interested if they don't enjoy the entertainment space. It does show that I have a little experience with lawyers and business experience but I don't want it to read as a resume. I do have a degree in finance and accounting.

Thank you so much!!!

User avatar

Posts: 139
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 8:35 am

Re: Which PS to go with? Pros and Cons. Please Help!!

Postby TripleM » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:27 pm

As you've drawn these out, I favor number 2, but with about 40% of the bullets edited out. I also don't like the part about helping businesses succeed. That's not a good reason to go to law school. If you want to help others succeed use your finance degree and go into commercial banking. What do you like about the law? How did you realize that you liked that part? You could address the "not personal enough" part by doing a good job coloring in the boredom of your small town. You also need to overcome something in this story. Was there a competing business? Did people dismiss you because of your age?

I think #1 has potential, but not as you've drawn it here. The problem, as I see it, is that it's too much about your father (I struggled with the same issue with my PS last year). I do think it has more potential if you focus on your role in the restructuring, particularly the struggles involved. How old were you? Were you confused by the language? Were you intimidated by sitting in a room with lawyers? How did you overcome these challenges? How did that growth change help lead you to your decision to go to law school.

Either way I think you want to go with a classic hero's journey. You paint a brief picture of yourself and where you were (in life, not geographically), you face some sort of challenge (boredom, bankruptcy, intimidation), you overcome that challenge, you grow from the process (be specific and personal), and then loosely tie that into your vision for law school or law practice.

Anonymous User
Posts: 339614
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Which PS to go with? Pros and Cons. Please Help!!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:43 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to give a thorough response. Definitely helpful. I will incorporate your feedback while refining my statement.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Posts: 29296
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Which PS to go with? Pros and Cons. Please Help!!

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:49 pm

I agree with a lot of the above comments. I agree that number 1, as described, comes across as too much about your father, though I also agree with the suggestions about how to refocus it on you, if you choose that route. I like number 2, in part because I think it is a little less common, and I think it's fine to say that you want to help businesses succeed; a lot of lawyers do that (like with the contracts side of things that you mention).

I also don't think you *have* to center number 2 around overcoming something; I really dislike the idea that every PS has to be about overcoming an obstacle. That's an easy way to create a narrative arc, and if it fits your narrative and works for you there's nothing wrong with it at all, but it certainly isn't required in every PS.

Return to “Law School Personal Statements�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.