Personal Statement Feedback (1st Draft)

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

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Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:14 pm

Personal Statement Feedback (1st Draft)

Postby AnthonyT » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:30 pm

Hi everyone--
I would appreciate any feedback you may have on the first draft of my personal statement and I'm open to making big changes. The general idea is presenting challenges that I have faced (socioeconomic/family) and how I have overcome them. I wanted to avoid making the whole statement a "why law school" essay and instead share my background. Currently I think I might be trying to cover too many topics in two pages, but I'm not sure what would make an interesting read. Hopefully at least some of it is usable...Please let me know what you think. :)

Feeling hated by my family, particularly by my father, is one of my earliest memories. As the son of a conservative preacher growing up in rural Appalachia, coming to the realization that I am gay was terrifying. It was clear to me that sharing this part of myself publicly would mean betraying not only my family, but also my church, and community. Nevertheless, during my freshman year of high school, I did just that.
As is usually the case, I knew I was different from a fairly young age, but I could not fully understand what it meant to be gay. My household was extremely homophobic, and I would regularly hear my father angrily exclaim that, “homosexuals should be arrested and stoned.” Since everyone around him would nod in agreement, or shout a supportive “Amen!”, I began to think he must be right. As I grew older, I struggled with my identity and it became progressively more difficult to pretend his comments were not hurtful. I began searching for any way to escape my situation, and I began to see attending college as the only option.
As neither of my parents obtained even a high school education, I had no resources at home to help me achieve my goal of becoming a first-generation college graduate. Being able to afford a college education seemed to be the more challenging obstacle. Since my father was disabled during a mining accident and my mother did not work outside the home, I knew I could not depend on their financial support. Fortunately, I was introduced to the Upward Bound program which gave me resources and advice during the college application process. While I did achieve my goal of becoming a first-generation college student, unlike many of my peers I had no financial support from my family and no safety net. As a result, I worked at least part-time to not only support myself, but to occasionally help my parents.
While I do feel working during college divided my attention and put me at a disadvantage, I value the leadership experience and time-management skills I developed outside the classroom. Despite working roughly 35 – 40 hours each week during the latter half of college, I maintained focus on my coursework and completed two bachelor’s degrees in four years. Beyond standard course work, I was awarded the opportunity by my campus TRIO program to study Spanish language and culture at the University of Salamanca. Given my background, studying at one of the oldest Universities in Europe was surreal and transformative. Throughout college I became more confident, motivated, and learned to accept myself as I am.
I cannot overstate the impact higher education has had on my life, and I am aware of just how few people from my socioeconomic and regional background will never attend college. I have done a small part to encourage others from similar circumstances to overcome their own obstacles and continue working diligently on their own education by volunteering over 600 hours with AmeriCorps Energy Express. In the program, I served as a mentor to underprivileged elementary aged children in West Virginia for an 8-week period. Each child in the program is at risk of falling behind their peers due to a lack of resources at home, potentially affecting their future academic performance. Most importantly, the program provides resources and positive role models that may otherwise have been absent from their lives.
In continuation of my academic goals, I am applying to law school to follow my interest in the law as it applies to business activities and the securities industry. My desire to attend law school was reinforced during business school as I learned more about the rules that govern the world’s financial markets and how those rules protect consumers. After obtaining an MBA, I achieved my goal of passing the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam, administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in an effort to gain a basic understanding of operations within the industry. If I am accepted to ___, I will seek out opportunities to grow personally and professionally to achieve my goal of working in this area of the law.

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Re: Personal Statement Feedback (1st Draft)

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:04 am

You're right that it's trying to do too much. As a result, I can't tell what your main theme is.

Pick a single topic: I'd recommend an Americorps experience or the importance of higher ed (maybe through the lens of a study-abroad experience?). I would save the family stuff for your diversity statement.

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