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

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Postby lawschoolhopeful98 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:53 pm

My goal is to get it to be more cohesive and really grab their attention. My GPA is a little weak so I have to come in strong with my LSAT and personal statement :D .

When I was 17, my mother, sister, and I became homeless. I remember us staying up all day and all night packing our whole lives into boxes, only for it to be seen a few times a year in a storage facility. I remember trying to decide what to pack, picking the few shirts I could keep and agonizing over which books I'd have to part with. I remember watching the door close behind me for the last time. I remember standing next to my family, knowing that we no longer had a home.

Although my grandparents had made room in their living room for the three of us and gave us a place despite the lack of space, we lost every piece of ourselves in the process. Every day we pushed through so that we could find a sense of stability. During this time, I was still choosing where I would like to go to college, but I knew I couldn’t go far and leave my family in an unpleasant situation only for me to go and live my life away from the chaos. When considering the circumstances, I decided to go to the college in my area so that I could work and help out my mom. Seeing my mom provide and do everything on her own was also another factor that helped make my decision easier. Growing up raised by a single mother has given me the strength I never knew I needed. Seeing her work and find motivation despite what she was facing inspires me every day.

When going through college and meeting friends, I always felt weird or out of place when talking about my home life. For a while, I had thought that I was less than because I didn’t have a stable home life or a place to go at the end of the day that was for me. When it came to coming home at the end of the day, my mom and sister were the only ones who were supportive of my going to college. My grandma would do anything she could to hinder my ability to work and thrive in college, from refusing to let me use the lights in the house to continuously pulling me away from my work. Living with my grandparents and family in a small place has broken me and put me back together many times. I have been altered by my situation of losing my home, and I have seen how life is when you have nothing. I have gained a new perspective on the world, and it showed me that I was living in a bubble secluded from real-life situations. When that bubble popped, I learned how to live life in reality, not with my head in the clouds.

What got me through my difficult times was for the hope of creating a better life for my family. Being a first-generation college student and going through homelessness will always be the event that changed my life’s trajectory. It was tough to navigate by myself, but it allowed me the knowledge and strength to go out and fight for my opportunities. It gave me this push that I didn’t have before; I used to be complacent and content with whatever came my way. Seeing how my mother struggled so I could be the first in my family to earn a college degree has allowed me to set standards for myself and how I want my future to be. Noticing the change in how I viewed myself and how I portrayed myself from when I started college to now is an incredible change. I see that I am more than my situation and that my potential unending.

My goals in life have changed, and I know that I need to spend my career advocating on behalf of the public. Being able to fight for them and give them hope for their future like someone did for me, pushed my interest in law further. I could see myself making a significant impact through public interest law and more specifically working with the underrepresented population. I feel this area of law will allow me to participate in a subject matter I am passionate about and have a personal tie to. The past few years opened my eye and showed me that I can overcome my current situation and still have a passion to work and pursue higher education. Being homeless has made me empathetic, has taught me perseverance and has shown me that I can achieve success regardless of the situation at hand. I know that when I enter the doors of law school, I will continue to have the fearlessness and determination that I have shown thus far and when I leave I will be advocating and making a change in my community.

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Re: Feedback?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:34 pm

Overall, this seems like a good general theme to work with. But you should probably scrap this version of the statement and start from scratch. A few thoughts (in no particular order):

-Grammar and syntax are bad throughout the whole piece. It's not just one or two mistakes; almost every sentence has issues. If you're still in undergrad, I strongly recommend going to your school's writing center and/or taking a writing course. If this much made it through your editing process, there's a wider problem that needs to be addressed.

-The statement is too broad as it stands. Like I said, the theme is fine. But you need to find a specific anchor for the piece. It might be a specific story from when your family was evicted, from school, or from living with your grandparents. But right now, you're trying to tell the reader everything, and the result is that we get a very unfocused statement. You're skimming the surface.

-Don't pump yourself up too much. This is a hard line to walk, but you're glossing over your vulnerabilities and flaws to paint this picture of the perfect, strong, fearless candidate. No one expects you to be perfect. Honesty makes your statement much more powerful than overselling.

-If you want to talk about your desire to go into public interest (not required), be more specific. Working with an "underrepresented population" or "the public" isn't a specific goal.

So I'd go back to the drawing board with this one. But working on your writing should be a priority over fixing this specific statement.

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Re: Feedback?

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:17 am

Agree broadly with cav except that I like the first paragraph a lot.

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