Could really use some guidance - appreciate it!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Could really use some guidance - appreciate it!

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:31 am

GPA: 2.82
LSAT: 175

Haven't applied yet. Aiming for top 50 (possibly ending around #20) because of my GPA...I tried my best to not write it like an addendum. I also feel like I restated my resume; but I can't help but feel they were pivotal to my understanding of what it REALLY means to be in the world of law. There's a lot of in between jobs I had that I believe also greatly contributed to my being where I'm at (academically, mentally, & personally). Really concerned with that GPA (been through some rough patches - so have a lot of people though). Would be helpful to get some much needed guidance.

"Despite a lot of failures, I consider myself a success story. Not because I gained some cliché internal sense of peace. More accurately, I dove into an industry I was initially not qualified to talk about nor thought capable of thriving in. I was also held up, in my early years, because of an underdeveloped sense of purpose. Directionless, I didn’t see myself in a position to even consider going to law school. For the longest time, I was even uncertain about the reputation of lawyers; let alone seeing myself as potentially becoming one. However, everything changed the moment I put myself in that world. Here is my story of how I fulfilled my goals for the singular purpose of hoping to become a trusted legal advisor.

One of my first exposures, towards getting me onto the path of law, was when I joined [XYZ Volunteer Org]. As a student volunteer, I knew that for me to understand what I was getting into, I had to have hands-on experience. I also lacked some key elements in what constituted a valued contributor to society. For one, I had almost no official experience outside of volunteering. I thought to myself, “This experience is going to be different”. XYZ Volunteer Org was (is) a renowned organization and I wasn't paid monetarily. I was, instead, given a grand opportunity and tools to experience the professional world (far more valuable in my opinion).

We would give presentations, with specific instructions, on how our ‘customers’ would be able to successfully fill out their respective forms for either separation, custody, or divorce. You can imagine we saw many unhappy people. For one of the few times in my life, I felt accomplished in a way that many of my past activities was unable to help me feel. No matter how much money I made as a bartender, financial advisor, or sales executive, it was all pap. Giving people a better sense of direction and seeing their demeanor change was invaluable.

After [XYZ Volunteer Org], I joined [XYZ Firm]. As a Junior Paralegal, my task was to help expedite the visa timeline for the engineers, directors, and other key figures of our corporate clients' list of foreign national employees (some clients included Motorola/Lenovo, Zebra, Intel, HP, Cisco). I conferenced for long periods of time with some of the brightest minds in the world, to guide them through the rigorous process of filling out their citizenship forms. I learned so much from the human being beyond the earpiece. It was crucial I was efficient in these long phone calls to ensure every form was filled out correctly. The importance of the visa packages also required adhering to unforgiving deadlines; which taught me how to maintain a strict but realistic daily work schedule (something I struggled with before entering the world of law). Through interactions with diverse groups of people from around the world, each with a unique story and problem to solve, my ability to take on unfamiliar tasks, converse with unfamiliar people, and multi-task grew. I was able to reaffirm my love for serving people; another instrumental lesson. At this time, my dad was stricken with complications stemming from his diabetes, even still, I found I was capable of establishing some semblance of work-life balance. I grew in profound ways I never knew I could.

Unbeknownst to me, my true test was when I arrived at [XYZ Firm]. The first month was probably one of the biggest learning curve periods in life. My first time in a top tier law firm, I immediately realized difficult times awaited. Was I prepared for the challenge? As a legal assistant to a number of attorneys, my primary tasks were administrative and research oriented. For the most part, I was tasked to sort through corporate related documents, conversations logs for labor & employment interviews, and other case files for clients ranging from multi-billion dollar automobile manufacturers to highly successful biopharma companies from the US and Asia. Any major error, and I could have easily been let go. Toward the end of my tenure at the firm, I eventually became trusted as the sole handler for new client intakes and engagement letter creation for my entire office.

All told, I was overwhelmed. Yet for all the reasons I felt I wouldn’t make it through that hump, I found ways to adapt. I had a good group of attorneys. People for whom I would gladly bend over backward; who knew I had limited resources. I had great support staff in the secretaries/paralegals and their abundant patience with me. I will cherish that experience forever. During this time, it’s solidified my belief that I have the capacity to perhaps be an attorney, keep pace with the demands of other incredibly busy attorneys, and return quality work of which I could be proud.

And I am proud of myself. If someone told me I ought to apply to law school before all my opportunities, I’d be a fool to say yes. I’m quite certain I’d have inadequate maturity, life & professional experience, to be a proper fit in an ever-changing legal world. I’ve come so far. I’ve got so much further to go. I’m ready to take on the challenges of law school and transform my ability to serve others."

cavalier1138

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Re: Could really use some guidance - appreciate it!

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:09 pm

Back to the drawing board.

I don't see anything in this statement that I couldn't figure out from looking at your resume. Your writing style is fine, but the substance is extremely vague. You'd do better to pick a specific story from one of those jobs (or better yet, not from a job at all) and use that as a jumping-off point for exploring your character. Right now, it's all generalized statements along the lines of "I'm a [insert adjective here] person, and you can tell that because I had [job in the legal sector]." Show, don't tell.

RCR1442

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Re: Could really use some guidance - appreciate it!

Postby RCR1442 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:36 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:Back to the drawing board.

I don't see anything in this statement that I couldn't figure out from looking at your resume. Your writing style is fine, but the substance is extremely vague. You'd do better to pick a specific story from one of those jobs (or better yet, not from a job at all) and use that as a jumping-off point for exploring your character. Right now, it's all generalized statements along the lines of "I'm a [insert adjective here] person, and you can tell that because I had [job in the legal sector]." Show, don't tell.


Thank you for this fantastic and honest feedback. I'm trying to write in a way which doesn't seem overly depressing...but one of the primary reasons why I want to get into law is because it's depressing. There are many essays like that already. Any thoughts? And thanks again for your time.

cavalier1138

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Re: Could really use some guidance - appreciate it!

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:56 pm

RCR1442 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Back to the drawing board.

I don't see anything in this statement that I couldn't figure out from looking at your resume. Your writing style is fine, but the substance is extremely vague. You'd do better to pick a specific story from one of those jobs (or better yet, not from a job at all) and use that as a jumping-off point for exploring your character. Right now, it's all generalized statements along the lines of "I'm a [insert adjective here] person, and you can tell that because I had [job in the legal sector]." Show, don't tell.


Thank you for this fantastic and honest feedback. I'm trying to write in a way which doesn't seem overly depressing...but one of the primary reasons why I want to get into law is because it's depressing. There are many essays like that already. Any thoughts? And thanks again for your time.


You already work in the legal field. You don't need to write a "Why Law?" essay. Write about an important personal experience. A hobby. Anything except a rehash of your work in legal services.

Npret

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Re: Could really use some guidance - appreciate it!

Postby Npret » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:31 pm

Please don’t emphasize your failures. You need to start over completely.



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