Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
kollegekid
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:58 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby kollegekid » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:32 pm

I NEED HELP, I am having a block when it comes to writing the conclusion. Critiques are appreciated along with suggestions. I want to tie in the fact that I want to work with divorce and family law. Rough draft by the way..


California. Florida. Connecticut. South Carolina. Washington D.C. Nebraska. Washington. Moving every two years is one of the trademarks of a Navy family, my family was no exception. My mom remarried when I was only three, at that time helping us move forward past the life of fish sticks and macaroni and cheese for dinner most nights. My mother, having me at a very young age chose to forgo college and floated from job to job doing what she could to support her and myself. My new stepfather told us that putting in the time that the Navy required would result in more permanency in our life, but moving every two years became a normal habit for my family. The uncomfortable first days of a new school, trying to make new friends, saying goodbye to old friends, this all became second nature for my siblings and I as we grew up.

As time went on, the catholic schools, the birthday parties, the Sunday church, and the Navy cookouts in the park couldn’t cover up the lies and pain that my stepfather brought to our family. The façade that was put on to the outside world about how happy our home seemed was not enough to cover up the adulterous affairs and tailspin our family was in. “For the kids” was a term my mother used quite often as she stayed with my stepfather for thirteen years and through two affairs. In reality, my mom had nowhere else to go; although a stay at home mom raising four children, she hadn’t technically had a job in over ten years, and I knew that the life we had become accustomed to was something she was not eager to change, especially for her kids.

The culmination of lies and deceit finally peaked during the first few months into my senior year of high school. By this time dialogue between my mother and stepfather had become nonexistent. I found comfort in school, and in my siblings, who were now old enough to understand that the reason mom and dad didn’t talk much wasn’t because they were “busy”. With the coming of another expected move to Virginia my family broke apart. My mother stayed in Washington with my siblings and me while my stepfather went off to Virginia.

My mother’s life was her children; she had always been there, at every wrestling match, each soccer game. Always there to support us every time we came home from those so many first days of school. My stepfather had been living a double life, using the internet and fake trips to help cover his tracks. I thought that there was no way the court would give custody to my stepfather, but I was wrong. During my senior year I watched as my mother lost custody over my siblings.

sluggo
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:01 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby sluggo » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:41 pm

above poster,

semi colon instead of a comma in the first actual sentence

littleboyblue
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:12 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby littleboyblue » Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:12 pm

kollegekid wrote:I NEED HELP, I am having a block when it comes to writing the conclusion. Critiques are appreciated along with suggestions. I want to tie in the fact that I want to work with divorce and family law. Rough draft by the way..


California. Florida. Connecticut. South Carolina. Washington D.C. Nebraska. Washington. Moving every two years is one of the trademarks of a Navy family, my family was no exception. My mom remarried when I was only three, at that time helping us move forward past the life of fish sticks and macaroni and cheese for dinner most nights. My mother, having me at a very young age chose to forgo college and floated from job to job doing what she could to support her and myself. My new stepfather told us that putting in the time that the Navy required would result in more permanency in our life, but moving every two years became a normal habit for my family. The uncomfortable first days of a new school, trying to make new friends, saying goodbye to old friends, this all became second nature for my siblings and I as we grew up.

As time went on, the catholic schools, the birthday parties, the Sunday church, and the Navy cookouts in the park couldn’t cover up the lies and pain that my stepfather brought to our family. The façade that was put on to the outside world about how happy our home seemed was not enough to cover up the adulterous affairs and tailspin our family was in. “For the kids” was a term my mother used quite often as she stayed with my stepfather for thirteen years and through two affairs. In reality, my mom had nowhere else to go; although a stay at home mom raising four children, she hadn’t technically had a job in over ten years, and I knew that the life we had become accustomed to was something she was not eager to change, especially for her kids.

The culmination of lies and deceit finally peaked during the first few months into my senior year of high school. By this time dialogue between my mother and stepfather had become nonexistent. I found comfort in school, and in my siblings, who were now old enough to understand that the reason mom and dad didn’t talk much wasn’t because they were “busy”. With the coming of another expected move to Virginia my family broke apart. My mother stayed in Washington with my siblings and me while my stepfather went off to Virginia.

My mother’s life was her children; she had always been there, at every wrestling match, each soccer game. Always there to support us every time we came home from those so many first days of school. My stepfather had been living a double life, using the internet and fake trips to help cover his tracks. I thought that there was no way the court would give custody to my stepfather, but I was wrong. During my senior year I watched as my mother lost custody over my siblings.



maybe you have an interesting story but this doesn't really tell very much about you as a person.

kritarch
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:44 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby kritarch » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:02 am

Advice/Comments Appreciated!
---

I have spent every Sunday morning since the second semester of my freshman year opening and working behind the help desk in [my college]’s library. Since few patrons are in the library on Sunday mornings and fewer still pay particular attention to the help desk, I can say with all honesty that the most rewarding part of my four year career as a desk assistant has been the opportunity to read the Sunday New York Times in its entirety. I will admit that it was never my intention to undertake such a project, and in fact, outside of my occupation I do not actively seek out the Sunday Times. Yet when my boss realized how little help was actually sought from the help desk on Sunday mornings, he deftly assigned me the task of meticulously separating the paper into its aggregate sections: Metro, Business, the New York Times Fashion Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and the New York Times Magazine each and every Sunday morning for the past four years.

For a long time, I tried desperately to resist reading each of the sections, but with their zippy headlines and brightly colored photographs, I would inevitably dive in and begin reading away in earnest. In time, I admitted I could not stop myself and have read the paper thoroughly ever since.

This long anecdote has an illustrative purpose. For instance, it demonstrates that I can read. But taken a step further, it admits into your consideration a microcosm of the aspects of my character which emerge from every corner of my application. I am helplessly curious about things: about the world, the role of people within it, even the little enjoyable details tucked away on page A7. The story reveals that I am dependable – after all, four years of unbroken work for the same boss is a pretty good record. Working at the help desk has also been a work-study job, meaning that, in addition to admitting a law student you are also almost surely recruiting a great new member of your library staff, as I do not expect my status (“financially challenged”) to change soon.

Consistently reading the Sunday New York times all these years has done something else for me, though. It has taught me that you are made who you are far more by the sum of the little actions in your life that seem inconsequential than by big epiphanies, and that announcing an achievement is not the same as having been transformed by the process of achieving. I did not just read the Sunday times. I am a different person because I read that paper. I think more critically, examine more thoughtfully, and know more generally than I ever otherwise would. I became an economics major just so I could understand the business section! (ok, that last part was a lie). In all seriousness though, I would not think as I do without my little tradition, and my little traditions, like all of our little traditions, are something unique to me.

For instance, for four years I have attended the Federalist Society National Convention. Not because I am particularly partisan, mind you, but because I read about it in the Times when John Roberts was being vetted for the Supreme Court and thought to myself, What sort of vicious cabal could this possibly be? I cannot emphasize enough how strange it was, two months out of high school, never before on the East Coast, to board a plane and fly to a conference in Washington, D.C. on my own, for no reason other than my curiosity. The event proved exhilarating all the same. I will never forget hearing, in reply to an assertion by a particularly opinionated gentleman that no law had ever been rightfully declared unconstitutional, the retort “I think we can all agree that LAX v. Jews For Jesus was decided correctly. You remember this? The issue presented in the case was whether a resolution banning all "First Amendment activities" at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) violated the First Amendment”. Moments like that one have shown me the humor and humanity in the law. When Clarence Thomas described his experiences in law school, I saw how wonderful an opportunity it could be: “When I was in law school we’d go get beer on Thursday, a dollar a pitcher […] It was so wonderful to argue about things, to talk about them, to debate.” – Who could turn down three years of that?

When I began writing, I never thought I would wax eloquent about reading the newspaper. After all, there is so much more to tell you about: why I am a white member of the President’s Council on Black Affairs, what four years with [my college] Improv was like, my favorite cheese, etc. Honestly I wrote about it because, strange as it is, it meant something to me; in some sense, it does not get more personal than that.

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Haribo
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:47 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Haribo » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:33 am

I can't tell if the last paragraph is part of the essay or not, but I'd probably drop it if so. I liked some of your humor (in particular, the line about being able to read) but I think you might want to tone it down (the sentence about majoring in econ for ex)

I thought it started out pretty well, but loses some steam in the final 2 paras.


kritarch wrote:Advice/Comments Appreciated!
---

I have spent every Sunday morning since the second semester of my freshman year opening and working behind the help desk in [my college]’s library. Since few patrons are in the library on Sunday mornings and fewer still pay particular attention to the help desk, I can say with all honesty that the most rewarding part of my four year career as a desk assistant has been the opportunity to read the Sunday New York Times in its entirety. I will admit that it was never my intention to undertake such a project, and in fact, outside of my occupation I do not actively seek out the Sunday Times. Yet when my boss realized how little help was actually sought from the help desk on Sunday mornings, he deftly assigned me the task of meticulously separating the paper into its aggregate sections: Metro, Business, the New York Times Fashion Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and the New York Times Magazine each and every Sunday morning for the past four years.

For a long time, I tried desperately to resist reading each of the sections, but with their zippy headlines and brightly colored photographs, I would inevitably dive in and begin reading away in earnest. In time, I admitted I could not stop myself and have read the paper thoroughly ever since.

This long anecdote has an illustrative purpose. For instance, it demonstrates that I can read. But taken a step further, it admits into your consideration a microcosm of the aspects of my character which emerge from every corner of my application. I am helplessly curious about things: about the world, the role of people within it, even the little enjoyable details tucked away on page A7. The story reveals that I am dependable – after all, four years of unbroken work for the same boss is a pretty good record. Working at the help desk has also been a work-study job, meaning that, in addition to admitting a law student you are also almost surely recruiting a great new member of your library staff, as I do not expect my status (“financially challenged”) to change soon.

Consistently reading the Sunday New York times all these years has done something else for me, though. It has taught me that you are made who you are far more by the sum of the little actions in your life that seem inconsequential than by big epiphanies, and that announcing an achievement is not the same as having been transformed by the process of achieving. I did not just read the Sunday times. I am a different person because I read that paper. I think more critically, examine more thoughtfully, and know more generally than I ever otherwise would. I became an economics major just so I could understand the business section! (ok, that last part was a lie). In all seriousness though, I would not think as I do without my little tradition, and my little traditions, like all of our little traditions, are something unique to me.

For instance, for four years I have attended the Federalist Society National Convention. Not because I am particularly partisan, mind you, but because I read about it in the Times when John Roberts was being vetted for the Supreme Court and thought to myself, What sort of vicious cabal could this possibly be? I cannot emphasize enough how strange it was, two months out of high school, never before on the East Coast, to board a plane and fly to a conference in Washington, D.C. on my own, for no reason other than my curiosity. The event proved exhilarating all the same. I will never forget hearing, in reply to an assertion by a particularly opinionated gentleman that no law had ever been rightfully declared unconstitutional, the retort “I think we can all agree that LAX v. Jews For Jesus was decided correctly. You remember this? The issue presented in the case was whether a resolution banning all "First Amendment activities" at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) violated the First Amendment”. Moments like that one have shown me the humor and humanity in the law. When Clarence Thomas described his experiences in law school, I saw how wonderful an opportunity it could be: “When I was in law school we’d go get beer on Thursday, a dollar a pitcher […] It was so wonderful to argue about things, to talk about them, to debate.” – Who could turn down three years of that?

When I began writing, I never thought I would wax eloquent about reading the newspaper. After all, there is so much more to tell you about: why I am a white member of the President’s Council on Black Affairs, what four years with [my college] Improv was like, my favorite cheese, etc. Honestly I wrote about it because, strange as it is, it meant something to me; in some sense, it does not get more personal than that.

j99usa
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:10 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby j99usa » Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:17 pm

kritarch wrote:Advice/Comments Appreciated!
---

I have spent every Sunday morning since the second semester of my freshman year opening and working behind the help desk in [my college]’s library. Since few patrons are in the library on Sunday mornings and fewer still pay particular attention to the help desk, I can say with all honesty that the most rewarding part of my four year career as a desk assistant has been the opportunity to read the Sunday New York Times in its entirety. I will admit that it was never my intention to undertake such a project, and in fact, outside of my occupation I do not actively seek out the Sunday Times. Yet when my boss realized how little help was actually sought from the help desk on Sunday mornings, he deftly assigned me the task of meticulously separating the paper into its aggregate sections: Metro, Business, the New York Times Fashion Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and the New York Times Magazine each and every Sunday morning for the past four years.

For a long time, I tried desperately to resist reading each of the sections, but with their zippy headlines and brightly colored photographs, I would inevitably dive in and begin reading away in earnest. In time, I admitted I could not stop myself and have read the paper thoroughly ever since.

This long anecdote has an illustrative purpose. For instance, it demonstrates that I can read. But taken a step further, it admits into your consideration a microcosm of the aspects of my character which emerge from every corner of my application. I am helplessly curious about things: about the world, the role of people within it, even the little enjoyable details tucked away on page A7. The story reveals that I am dependable – after all, four years of unbroken work for the same boss is a pretty good record. Working at the help desk has also been a work-study job, meaning that, in addition to admitting a law student you are also almost surely recruiting a great new member of your library staff, as I do not expect my status (“financially challenged”) to change soon.

Consistently reading the Sunday New York times all these years has done something else for me, though. It has taught me that you are made who you are far more by the sum of the little actions in your life that seem inconsequential than by big epiphanies, and that announcing an achievement is not the same as having been transformed by the process of achieving. I did not just read the Sunday times. I am a different person because I read that paper. I think more critically, examine more thoughtfully, and know more generally than I ever otherwise would. I became an economics major just so I could understand the business section! (ok, that last part was a lie). In all seriousness though, I would not think as I do without my little tradition, and my little traditions, like all of our little traditions, are something unique to me.

For instance, for four years I have attended the Federalist Society National Convention. Not because I am particularly partisan, mind you, but because I read about it in the Times when John Roberts was being vetted for the Supreme Court and thought to myself, What sort of vicious cabal could this possibly be? I cannot emphasize enough how strange it was, two months out of high school, never before on the East Coast, to board a plane and fly to a conference in Washington, D.C. on my own, for no reason other than my curiosity. The event proved exhilarating all the same. I will never forget hearing, in reply to an assertion by a particularly opinionated gentleman that no law had ever been rightfully declared unconstitutional, the retort “I think we can all agree that LAX v. Jews For Jesus was decided correctly. You remember this? The issue presented in the case was whether a resolution banning all "First Amendment activities" at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) violated the First Amendment”. Moments like that one have shown me the humor and humanity in the law. When Clarence Thomas described his experiences in law school, I saw how wonderful an opportunity it could be: “When I was in law school we’d go get beer on Thursday, a dollar a pitcher […] It was so wonderful to argue about things, to talk about them, to debate.” – Who could turn down three years of that?

When I began writing, I never thought I would wax eloquent about reading the newspaper. After all, there is so much more to tell you about: why I am a white member of the President’s Council on Black Affairs, what four years with [my college] Improv was like, my favorite cheese, etc. Honestly I wrote about it because, strange as it is, it meant something to me; in some sense, it does not get more personal than that.


Honestly, the story is cute and certainly anecdotal, but that is not what the admissions representatives are looking for. The humor too, must go. I find your story endearing and fun to read, but it does not provide a good indicator as to why you want to go to law school and even suggests that you may not be prepared. "I am helplessly curious about things" The implication that you are helplessly curious, for example, suggests that you are unable to focus on the task at hand and when presented with a large volume of work will be easily distracted and unable to hone in on the desired points.

I suggest you start over with a different story and when done writing, set it aside for a few days. Then ask a few strangers to read it and see what they have to say.

aus
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:08 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby aus » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:20 am

as someone not going through the process (i'm a fourth yr law student in australia...somehow discovered this site), interesting to see what you lot have to go through.

having just applied for clerkships, one thing i've found is that people really appreciate straight out honesty. try to relate an anecdote which presents you as an interesting person who will have something to offer the law school, and the field more generally. but i reckon admitting that you have something to work at will be quite refreshing. future employees (and presumably law schools) are more interested in people capable of growth than people who think they have already made it.

best of luck to all of you. and once you get in: be prepared for a long, hard slog!

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JustDude
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:39 pm

kritarch wrote:Advice/Comments Appreciated!
I have spent every Sunday morning since the second semester of my freshman year opening and working behind the help desk in [my college]’s library. Since few patrons are in the library on Sunday mornings and fewer still pay particular attention to the help desk, I can say with all honesty that the most rewarding part of my four year career as a desk assistant has been the opportunity to read the Sunday New York Times in its entirety.


Most rewarding part of the job that is designed to help people was dicking around with a tabloid. Ok… This is a good start.

kritarch wrote:I will admit that it was never my intention to undertake such a project, and in fact, outside of my occupation I do not actively seek out the Sunday Times. Yet when my boss realized how little help was actually sought from the help desk on Sunday mornings, he deftly assigned me the task of meticulously separating the paper into its aggregate sections: Metro, Business, the New York Times Fashion Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and the New York Times Magazine each and every Sunday morning for the past four years.


Damn, I need to see this paper. I want to try to METICULOUSLY separate it into sections. In summation, you would be dicking around with something else, but your boss DEFTLY assigned you a task. Speaks volumes about motivation. And emphasis on 4 years is relevant when you were teaching inner city school, or worked in in Africa, etc. You know, doing something difficult.

kritarch wrote:For a long time, I tried desperately to resist reading each of the sections, but with their zippy headlines and brightly colored photographs, I would inevitably dive in and begin reading away in earnest. In time, I admitted I could not stop myself and have read the paper thoroughly ever since.


So brightly colored photographs attract you. Ok… I see. So your choice of reading is based on photographs rather then content. And degree of brightness.

kritarch wrote:This long anecdote has an illustrative purpose.


I can assure you it served it well.

kritarch wrote:For instance, it demonstrates that I can read.

It also demonstrates how you can write. In general, I would avoid this pattern in PS: First giving a story., Second telling adcomms what their understanding of the story should be. First part is OK, but second is a bit imposing.

kritarch wrote:But taken a step further, it admits into your consideration a microcosm of the aspects of my character which emerge from every corner of my application.


I belive it was a postal empkloyee that admitted into adcoms consideration a blah blah blah your application. With the second day delivery.

kritarch wrote:I am helplessly curious about things: about the world, the role of people within it, even the little enjoyable details tucked away on page A7. The story reveals that I am dependable – after all, four years of unbroken work for the same boss is a pretty good record.


“Unambitious”??. I just made up this word BTW. But it fits better then “dependable”. Again, let them draw their own conclusions.

kritarch wrote:Working at the help desk has also been a work-study job, meaning that, in addition to admitting a law student you are also almost surely recruiting a great new member of your library staff, as I do not expect my status (“financially challenged”) to change soon.

You should rewrite: “Dicking around with a tabloid has also been a work-study job”.
Librarian and law student. I have to disappoint, but they need either one or the other.


kritarch wrote:Consistently reading the Sunday New York times all these years has done something else for me, though.


First thing I can think of is permanent brain damage. Seriously, is it similar to San Francisco Chronicle??/..

kritarch wrote:It has taught me that you are made who you are far more by the sum of the little actions in your life that seem inconsequential than by big epiphanies, and that announcing an achievement is not the same as having been transformed by the process of achieving.


I am at a loss here. I want to say something, But I don’t have words.

kritarch wrote:I did not just read the Sunday times. I am a different person because I read that paper.


If it bears similarity to San Francisco Chronicle, I am ready to believe that

kritarch wrote:
I think more critically, examine more thoughtfully, and know more generally than I ever otherwise would.


Dude, in this little sentence you just limited you development to tabloid. You effectively said that you real life was minuscule compared with the paper. It crossed out years of education. Also in the beginning you said that “outside of my occupation I do not actively seek out the Sunday Times.” So, this thing is important to you, it shaped your world, but somehow you don’t care about it. Hmmmmmmm.

kritarch wrote:I became an economics major just so I could understand the business section! (ok, that last part was a lie).


This just have to go, sorry.

kritarch wrote:In all seriousness though, I would not think as I do without my little tradition, and my little traditions, like all of our little traditions, are something unique to me.


That does sound creepy.
kritarch wrote:
For instance, for four years I have attended the Federalist Society National Convention. Not because I am particularly partisan, mind you, but because I read about it in the Times when John Roberts was being vetted for the Supreme Court and thought to myself, What sort of vicious cabal could this possibly be? I cannot emphasize enough how strange it was, two months out of high school, never before on the East Coast, to board a plane and fly to a conference in Washington, D.C. on my own, for no reason other than my curiosity.
The event proved exhilarating all the same. I will never forget hearing, in reply to an assertion by a particularly opinionated gentleman that no law had ever been rightfully declared unconstitutional, the retort “I think we can all agree that LAX v. Jews For Jesus was decided correctly. You remember this? The issue presented in the case was whether a resolution banning all "First Amendment activities" at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) violated the First Amendment”. Moments like that one have shown me the humor and humanity in the law. When Clarence Thomas described his experiences in law school, I saw how wonderful an opportunity it could be: “When I was in law school we’d go get beer on Thursday, a dollar a pitcher […] It was so wonderful to argue about things, to talk about them, to debate.” – Who could turn down three years of that?


So you want to go to Law School to drink beer and participate in debates.

kritarch wrote:When I began writing, I never thought I would wax eloquent

And you never did. Oooops I am horrible, simple horrible.

kritarch wrote: about reading the newspaper. After all, there is so much more to tell you about: why I am a white member of the President’s Council on Black Affairs, what four years with [my college] Improv was like, my favorite cheese, etc. Honestly I wrote about it because, strange as it is, it meant something to me; in some sense, it does not get more personal than that.


Just like malena I am at a loss – Is it a part of PS or not. Wow, it’s amazing but it could be both ways.

ANON3333
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:13 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ANON3333 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:37 pm

If you seriously believe reading the NYtimes to somehow be an epitomic display of the ability of critical thought, you've been seriously underexposed in your undergraduate education. the adcomms will probably think you are crazy for spending so much time on this. IMO

wwwong
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:21 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby wwwong » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:01 pm

PM Me Malkin, if you get it before the end of work i can give you some feedback.

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ShelleyVA
Posts: 74
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ShelleyVA » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:14 pm

I scrapped my first idea. This is round three. Thoughts?

If you were to ask my friends for a list of words to describe me, some of them might say I am stubborn. There have certainly been times in my life when I have had a hard time admitting I was wrong, but I prefer to think of it as being determined. With few exceptions, I have been able to accomplish most of the goals I have set for myself thus far. There have been disappointments along the way, but it was my determination that got me through them. I was not always as able to overcome adversity as I am now. I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by others who refused to give up on the things that were important to them and they passed on that determination to me.

I have distinct memories of most of my childhood, some of them less pleasant than others. One such memory was the night I almost lost my sister Kelly. I was 12 years old at the time and she had just turned 16. I remember the phone ringing late at night. A woman on the other end of the line informed me that she was calling from the local hospital and that my sister had just been admitted after being involved in a car accident. Having previously lost one sister to a car accident, my heart sank. I quickly woke my parents and they rushed out the door to be with Kelly.

The following morning I learned that Kelly had been involved in an accident with a drunk driver. The most severe injury was to her spine. That morning, Kelly’s doctors took her into a surgery that lasted well over 5 hours. They inserted metal rods and screws into her lower back. Following the surgery, the doctors were not sure she would walk again.

Despite being in a severe amount of pain, Kelly refused to believe that doctors were right. As soon as it was possible for her to do so, she began physical therapy. She was transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to a physical rehabilitation facility. During her rehabilitation she suffered a number of setbacks, but she would not let that stop her. She attended the first day of her junior year of high school in a wheelchair, but by the end of that school year she was on her feet. She still experiences some pain as a result of the accident and she probably always will, but she has not let the accident or any pain she feels stop her from accomplishing any of the things she has wanted to do.

I spent a countless number of hours in the hospital with Kelly during her recovery. It was scary to watch her suffer as much as she did. We had our fair share of sibling arguments, but I had always looked up to her. I still do. Since her recovery, I have gone through some things in my life that were challenging, but I have been able to draw on her experiences to get me through mine.

Just before my senior year of college, I got some bad news from the financial aid office that made it seem like I would have to drop out of school. I had one parent who was unwilling to help me and one parent who was unable to help me. I thought about what the reality of leaving school at that time meant. I was less than a year away from a degree. Rather than dropping out, I became determined that I would find a way to make it happen. I enrolled in classes and I quit my job to find something that would give me more hours. Throughout my senior year, I worked up to 3 jobs at a time. There were weeks that I worked up to 60 hours, but I still made it to my classes and completed my course work. I worked every day of the week. While my friends were out partying and enjoying their last year of college, I was at home writing papers or getting some much needed sleep. I finished my classes in March of 2007. I know that what I experienced was nothing comparable to the challenges that Kelly faced after her accident, but her ability to overcome her setbacks was an inspiration to me during my last year of college. With the emotional support of my family and others close to me and my own determination, I completed my degree.

I know that attending law school will present me with more challenges. I have no doubt that there will be times where I feel like quitting, but I also have enough confidence in myself to know that even if I feel like giving up, I won’t. I have wanted to go to law school for several years now. This is one goal that I will not allow myself to fall short on. It is with determination that I proceed into the next stage of my life.



Ugh.... I'm having a hard time ending it. I already don't like it. Let me know what you guys think.
Last edited by ShelleyVA on Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AbsolutLax
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:14 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby AbsolutLax » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:53 pm

"I decided I wanted to go to law school when I was about 13 years old."

I realize you are having a hard time finishing it, but it feels like you just threw this statement out there. It is very cliché unless you provide more support.

"I know that my determination will help me to accomplish this goal."

Your PS is based much on your determination to overcome obstacles, but there will be hundreds of other applicants leaning on determination as their strength in their PS- make yourself stand out, you only have so many words to do it in.

With all respect, although your sister’s accident was no doubt hard, it takes up space- I think if you spun the situation with you almost having to leave school in the right light it would be a much more powerful PS.

I think you are on the right track, but with some more work it could be even better.

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ShelleyVA
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ShelleyVA » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:58 pm

Thanks for the input. Anything helps at this point. I typed that up in about 15 minutes before I posted it, so I realize it needs some work. Taking out some stuff about my sis and adding more stuff about me I guess. I used her accident because a) it really has inspired me in a lot of ways. Sometimes when I find myself whining about how unfair life is, I think about what she has been through and try to stop being such a baby and b) because the schools I'm applying to ALL suggest about writing about someone important to me and how they changed my life.

And you're right about the conclusion. It sucks. I'm working on it.

google
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby google » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:00 pm

Are you guys single or double-spacing after each period in your PS?
:wink:

AbsolutLax
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby AbsolutLax » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:13 pm

single

prophecybysnakes
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby prophecybysnakes » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:43 pm

I have the rough draft of this bad boy done. Would anyone like to comment? I would appreciate it.
Last edited by prophecybysnakes on Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

prophecybysnakes
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby prophecybysnakes » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:48 pm

asadio---I agree that your personal statement is kinda disjointed but I like the way you set up and explain your time in India...What really struck me was the quote that was like, "I won't wax on about the disadvatages...." (sorry, I am paraphrasing from memory) because I DID wax on about these things in my own essay and now I am thinking about taking it out...so, thanks for the indirect help!

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ShelleyVA
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ShelleyVA » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:05 pm

Prophecybysnakes:

Overall, I liked your statement. It has a "hook" with the flight attendant thing. It indicates that you are well traveled and independent. I liked the ending too, but it does give the whole "If you let me into law school I'm going to change the world" feel, which I've heard we should avoid. Other than that, the only specific thing I would change is this sentence:

"I became very aware of how articulate I had become..."

I think it just reads a little strange because of the use of became and become in such close proximity.

prophecybysnakes
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby prophecybysnakes » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:12 pm

Thanks Shelley...I was thinking about that whole change the world vibe (which I am trying to avoid while still indicating I don't want just a huge paycheck from law school) and I am pretty sure I am going to restructure that last paragraph. Also, that sentence you pointed out is pretty bad...I will definatly replace it. Thanks!

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JustDude
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:34 pm

He collapsed onto the floor of the galley as I was preparing my cart for service. He moaned quietly on the floor, his face white, his face distorted. I heard him fall and spun around. “Can you call a doctor?” he whispered. For a second I was frozen, spiraling through some joint-locking limbo, but my training quickly kicked in and I rushed to secure my cart in the galley and unlock the first aid kit, emergency medical pack and the AED machine. I was working a flight from Detroit to Amsterdam as a newly minted flight attendant for Northwest Airlines. I had been out of training for only two months. I quickly grabbed the equipment and rushed to his side. By this time another co-worker of mine came over and, assessing the situation, called for a doctor over the PA system. Thankfully a doctor soon arrived and took over the emergency care for the man. I was left shaken and introspective, but informed the flight deck of the situation and asked them to have emergency responders greet the flight at the behest of the doctor. As I watched the doctor calm his patient and provide life saving care, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own chosen career. I loved traveling and the fast pace work environment inherent in being a flight attendant but I wanted to make a greater contribution than just providing great customer service. Traveling the world was a highlight but after each international trip I felt increasingly compelled to do more than just sightsee.


So trite to introduce your interest in Law in first paragraph. Why not build up a story and then to make a conclusion, etc.,???.. Also, I would guess that this experience would compel you to become a doctor, rather then a lawyer.


My whole life has revolved around traveling. My parents weren’t wealthy but when my dad was sent to Germany for a job he decided to take the whole family. We spent time in Cologne and Rome and this trip changed my life. I was eighteen and for the first time I was exposed to a world beyond the two coasts of my own country. For the next six years I spent every extra dollar on traveling. When I was nineteen I spent two weeks backpacking by myself through England, Scotland and Wales. A year later I participated in my first of two study abroad trips. The first was a two week study tour through Fiji with an art professor at ____ Community College. We spent the majority of our time at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture at the University of the South Pacific where I got to learn and create alongside some of Fiji’s most revered artists. As much as I learned about Fijian art what really struck me was the dichotomous difference between the island natives and the majority population of immigrants from Indo-China. The native Fijians were living in a noticeably sub-standard socioeconomic stratum than their Indo-Chinese peers who occupied the higher echelons of that scale. The prejudices and social tension was palpable in the air. I came back from Fiji with such an expanded view of the world I quickly realized I wanted to do something to change some of the inequalities I had seen there. But I wouldn’t begin to consider law until I started at the University of ____.


Again this shit heh. Do we need to end each paragraph with this connection to law.?.

I entered ____ as a junior without the benefit of knowing anybody on campus. My best experience as an undergrad was the semester I spent abroad in Florence, Italy.


Just say you were anti-social. It’s would be the same. But it’s not a quality LS ‘s are looking for in applicants.

Of course in Florence I found new perspectives on the development of the Renaissance but what was most instructive were the qualities that I myself possessed.


Puzzled here.

I found that I was resourceful and independent. I could walk around that cosmopolitan city and not only have an inner dialogue about the stylistic developments of Giotto but, more importantly, I could do it by myself and be content doing so.


Oopps anti-socialism again (and not in the sense of being a capitalist)..

The new outlook I gained by spending four months in a foreign country only further encouraged me to continue studying foreign relationships.


As I gathered there were no relationships…. Oppps I am horrible…….

It was then that I realized I wanted to study international and comparative law.


Not this shit again.

I was content with my major however because I felt it had already given me such useful communicative tools which I knew were paramount in the pursuit of law.


Was you major good or bad??? If it was good you don’t need this explanation. However being content with crap speaks volumes about you. The sentence is horrible. Just the very thing “I am content with…” is horribly weak.

I became very aware of how articulate I had become because art history stresses verbal critical analysis of paintings and sculptures. This field also requires both good analytical abilities when comparing different works, which could come from different countries and from different time periods, and exceptional research skills in order to cohesively put together an effect examination of an artist or an artistic movement.


Yada-yada-yada © Scienfield

These international experiences have made me intellectually curious and have fueled my interest in international law. I’ve spent the last year working amongst other young people and I feel like I haven’t found the same satisfaction in my work as they have.


In a crappy jobs people usually find satisfaction in excelling at them or learning from them. Well, only those who are later accepted to LS of course. Horrible sentence.

I have had many exciting jobs but they have not been enough to keep me intellectually engaged. As much as I crave new information, the real reason I want to attend law school is that I truly believe I can make a difference by studying international and comparative law.


Not this shit again

I’ve had just a few small tastes of the inequalities the rest of the world experiences during my travels,


You are saying that your travels really disturbed the whole world??? Hmmmm…

but it’s been enough to convince me that studying law


Not this shit again

is a path that will ultimately lead me to a career that will both satisfy my intellect and my sense of social responsibility. I feel that by going to law school I can help provide essential rights for all citizens and I hope ___ Law School can teach me the skills necessary to do so.

prophecybysnakes
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby prophecybysnakes » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:07 am

It still needs a lot of work so thanks for that polite reminder. I bet your personal statement is just beyond awesome.

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JustDude
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:11 am

prophecybysnakes wrote:It still needs a lot of work so thanks for that polite reminder. I bet your personal statement is just beyond awesome.


As a matter of fact it is.

prophecybysnakes
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby prophecybysnakes » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:18 am

Doubtful honey. Why don't you post it here and we can find out?

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JustDude
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:21 am

prophecybysnakes wrote:Doubtful honey. Why don't you post it here and we can find out?


"Doubtful honey". This should be a name for a book, that you can write about your first encounter with transvestite.

prophecybysnakes
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby prophecybysnakes » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:35 am

I am a transvestite...I wrote my diversity statement about it. Would you like to critique that as well?




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