Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
fable2
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:08 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby fable2 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:35 pm

JustDude wrote:
. In my very first year, I found myself in an English class where I found myself asking critical questions about race, gender, and oppression, questions that made a lot of the people I had grown up around and the general social atmosphere of my home seem pretty ignorant.


I think this is the best sentence in the whole PS.


Well if you're going to take it out of context, obviously the statement is going to sound pretty stupid/arrogant. Overall, I thought the PS was actually quite strong. I liked it.

calilaw08
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Re: Personal Statement Examples

Postby calilaw08 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:27 am

I have a very rough draft and I was wondering if someone could look at it and give me a critique. Mostly just topic and flow.

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labellavita
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Re: Personal Statement examples

Postby labellavita » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:06 am

wallaw, sorry, but I don't like your PS at all. :? I don't mean to be harsh, just honest. It's boring and unoriginal. I know your family makes up a lot of who you are, but at the end, I am left without knowing much about YOU. What makes you unique? Can you tell this story in a more compelling way?

wallaw
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:45 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby wallaw » Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:54 am

ya I understand- that was my main concern while writing it and its good to get confirmation from an outsider. Thanks for your input

AMH83
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Re: Personal Statement examples

Postby AMH83 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:23 pm

I have been working on my personal statement and wanted to get some feedback. If yall could take a look at it and tell me what you think. I haven't edited it for grammar yet.This is just my first draft and I am going to add a paragraph at the end specific to the law school I am applying.

Exerting a tremendous amount of energy I struggled to stay on my feet as the powerful Chilean winds blew against me. I had dismounted the horse I rented for the day and began to walk toward the foot of Torres Del Paines. These three towers of granite were a majestic site and were the finale of a surreal two week trip traveling through Patagonia. As I sat adjacent to the river admiring the serene natural environment around me, I began to reflect on the experiences of the past year that had led me to this moment. What started out as a catastrophe resulted in a life changing experience that allowed me to develop many new friendships with an eclectic assortment of people from many different cultural backgrounds.
It was hard to believe that only a year prior I was sitting on my cousin’s couch in Jackson, Mississippi watching the news and witnessing the chaotic devastation that had befallen New Orleans. After a lifetime of constant close calls I sat helplessly as my city was battered. As the levees were breached by the surge brought on by Katrina I couldn’t help but worry about many of my close friends that refused to evacuate and also what the future would hold for me. I decided to travel north through Tennessee, Kentucky, and ending in Ohio to visit aunts and uncles that I hadn’t seen for many years. Since I ended up in Cincinnati at my aunt’s house I decided to attend Ohio State for the semester.
After three and a half months in Ohio I was eager to return to New Orleans and finish my last two semesters at Loyola. Although my expectations of the cities recovery were not unrealistic I was amazed at how little progress had been made. When I entered the house I grew up in it was in shambles and unrecognizable. Driving around with my best friend I couldn’t believe how bad the damage actually was. When I returned to school I just couldn’t focus on my studies resulting in my worst semester of college. Disillusioned I decided to seek employment in Buenos Aires, Argentina as an English teacher. My uncle who lived there agreed to let me stay at his house and put me in touch with some of his friends who helped me find a job.
When I arrived I was extremely nervous and unsure about my decision. I had not seen my uncle in over a decade and had no idea what to expect. I was surrounded by people who spoke a language I did not understand and a culture I knew very little about. In order to better understand my students and enable my trip to go more smoothly I enrolled in intensive Spanish classes. The classes were in a small building that was formerly the house of an Argentine opera star. The choice to attend these classes was one of the best decisions I could have possibly made. It was in these classes that I not only learned enough Spanish to survive but also received a crash course in international relations. The people I met there were so completely diverse that it was amazing to me how well we all got along. The classes included people from Iceland, Norway, England, Canada, and the Netherlands. After class many of us would get lunch together and talk about the countries we were from and practice our Spanish. Not only were these people from different cultural backgrounds but many different professions as well. Many nights we would also convene for dinner and go out to some of the local bars.
During these social outings we discussed many topics. I came to find out that four of the people I had become friends with through this school were attorneys. Two were from England, one from Buenos Aires, and one was from Wisconsin. I would listen to there conversations about the profession with intense interest. It was fascinating to hear them speak about the legal systems of these different countries and it amazed me how similar they really were. These conversations in Argentina rekindled my interest in the law. Since I was a child I had always been interested in obtaining a legal degree. My grandfather was a successful attorney for Jones Walker and I always admired his knowledge of the law and the respect he had obtained by almost everyone who encountered him. These new friendships made me absolutely certain that I wanted to obtain a legal education.
It was these five months in South America that were responsible for the reemergence of my interest in the legal field. As I sat looking up at Torres Del Paines, I could not help but be grateful for the circumstances that had brought me to this point in my life. I not only had many fond memories to look back on but I also had a renewed sense of what it was that I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

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badfish
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby badfish » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:25 pm

^ Not crazy about it dood. It is pretty well written and you certainly do a good job talking about your experiences (it is interesting) but I don't get the feeling the adcomms will be crazy about the fact that a couple of conversations you overheard between attorney's taking a Spanish class in Argentina rekindled your interest in the law. Maybe you want to talk more about what you want to do with the degree as opposed to how you came to be interested in the subject?

fable2
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:08 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby fable2 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:45 pm

Wow, w00512, I really liked your essay. Really well written and it says a lot about your character.

bhut13
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:52 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby bhut13 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:44 pm

meh, I'll bite. Very rough draft, feedback would be appreciate nonetheless.

-----

I peered through the windshield into the horizon, made hazy from the weightless snow and its accompanying breeze. The morning sun beamed down upon the icy road, reflecting a blindingly intolerable radiance. The car surrendered its grip to the road with an astonishingly gentle grace, spinning uncontrollably as the two ton machine seemingly floated across the arctic median. Slam on the brakes; no response. Shift down; nothing. Straighten out the steering wheel; hopeless. I froze – the world was in slow motion as I accepted my fate. An eight foot ditch awaited my 50 M.P.H. mistake. The car flipped, landing on its rooftop. My head was in my lap, arms wedged between the shattered windshield and rigid steering column. I couldn’t maneuver myself out of the wreck. Bystanders quickly approached the car, and forcefully dragged me out.
The hospital offered bleak news. My right shoulder suffered a posterior dislocation, resulting in a severely torn rotator cuff. My neck was extensively disjointed, which the neurologist later informed me could have resulted in paralysis, but due to a rare deformity in the shape of my vertebrae, this potentially debilitating injury was somehow avoided. I soon came to learn that my two biggest passions in life, baseball and snowboarding, were now in great jeopardy. I was actively recruited in high school for pitching and was also a sponsored snowboarder throughout my late teenage years. My sustained injuries from that cold December morning quickly robbed me of my dreams. My parents relentlessly encouraged me and insisted that I was lucky just to not have been more critically injured – I didn’t seem to agree.
Stripped of what I thought was my “life,” I suffered to find new meaning or purpose. I was now stuck in what I viewed as a perpetual grind. Go to school, go home to the family, do homework and go to bed. Rinse and repeat. I had more time than usual now to ponder things I previously failed to consider, and as time progressed I came to the realization that the accident wasn’t some random, perverse incident – it was a chance to take a break from what once consumed my life. I learned more about my family and life in the following months than I had in my previous 17 years of existence.
Did I know my older brother was a homosexual? Of course. Was I aware he had faced some discrimination as a result? Sure. Did I know while attending Chiropractic College, he was assaulted, verbally and physically, on numerous occasions? Did I have any idea that he was seeing a therapist and battling depression? What did I know of his internal struggles? Honestly, nothing. I’m glad I don’t pitch anymore.
What about my sister? Did I know she had severe epilepsy and dyslexia? By all means, but I didn’t really understand it. Did I know she had difficulty in school? Obviously, but was I sympathetic? No, I had practice. Did I know she wrestled with even more problems including bipolar disorder and various acute learning disabilities? Borderline retardation? What? Did I know she was pregnant with no father in the picture? No job? Me, an uncle? Maybe fresh powder isn’t so special.
(insert additional paragraph here further explaining changes in myself?)
I felt as if I learned more in the few months following my accident than I could in a lifetime. Who was I to think my life was “over” because I lost baseball and snowboarding? Until the accident, I realized that my “passions” prevented me from being selfless or empathetic at the mere expense of competition and blinded self-fulfillment. I realized the importance of listening – of learning – to those whom I value most. In some way, I am glad that my tires lost the battle because ultimately, I did. The veiled blessing was worth it.

-----

The only major thing I am considering doing is adding an another paragraph to further or more clearly explain how it changed me...at this point I'm not sure if it says enough about how I've changed, so I'll probably be adding another paragraph

wallaw
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:45 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby wallaw » Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:28 pm

bhut13 wrote:meh, I'll bite. Very rough draft, feedback would be appreciate nonetheless.

-----

I peered through the windshield into the horizon, made hazy from the weightless snow and its accompanying breeze. The morning sun beamed down upon the icy road, reflecting a blindingly intolerable radiance. The car surrendered its grip to the road with an astonishingly gentle grace, spinning uncontrollably as the two ton machine seemingly floated across the arctic median. Slam on the brakes; no response. Shift down; nothing. Straighten out the steering wheel; hopeless. I froze – the world was in slow motion as I accepted my fate. An eight foot ditch awaited my 50 M.P.H. mistake. The car flipped, landing on its rooftop. My head was in my lap, arms wedged between the shattered windshield and rigid steering column. I couldn’t maneuver myself out of the wreck. Bystanders quickly approached the car, and forcefully dragged me out.
The hospital offered bleak news. My right shoulder suffered a posterior dislocation, resulting in a severely torn rotator cuff. My neck was extensively disjointed, which the neurologist later informed me could have resulted in paralysis, but due to a rare deformity in the shape of my vertebrae, this potentially debilitating injury was somehow avoided. I soon came to learn that my two biggest passions in life, baseball and snowboarding, were now in great jeopardy. I was actively recruited in high school for pitching and was also a sponsored snowboarder throughout my late teenage years. My sustained injuries from that cold December morning quickly robbed me of my dreams. My parents relentlessly encouraged me and insisted that I was lucky just to not have been more critically injured – I didn’t seem to agree.
Stripped of what I thought was my “life,” I suffered to find new meaning or purpose. I was now stuck in what I viewed as a perpetual grind. Go to school, go home to the family, do homework and go to bed. Rinse and repeat. I had more time than usual now to ponder things I previously failed to consider, and as time progressed I came to the realization that the accident wasn’t some random, perverse incident – it was a chance to take a break from what once consumed my life. I learned more about my family and life in the following months than I had in my previous 17 years of existence.
Did I know my older brother was a homosexual? Of course. Was I aware he had faced some discrimination as a result? Sure. Did I know while attending Chiropractic College, he was assaulted, verbally and physically, on numerous occasions? Did I have any idea that he was seeing a therapist and battling depression? What did I know of his internal struggles? Honestly, nothing. I’m glad I don’t pitch anymore.
What about my sister? Did I know she had severe epilepsy and dyslexia? By all means, but I didn’t really understand it. Did I know she had difficulty in school? Obviously, but was I sympathetic? No, I had practice. Did I know she wrestled with even more problems including bipolar disorder and various acute learning disabilities? Borderline retardation? What? Did I know she was pregnant with no father in the picture? No job? Me, an uncle? Maybe fresh powder isn’t so special.
(insert additional paragraph here further explaining changes in myself?)
I felt as if I learned more in the few months following my accident than I could in a lifetime. Who was I to think my life was “over” because I lost baseball and snowboarding? Until the accident, I realized that my “passions” prevented me from being selfless or empathetic at the mere expense of competition and blinded self-fulfillment. I realized the importance of listening – of learning – to those whom I value most. In some way, I am glad that my tires lost the battle because ultimately, I did. The veiled blessing was worth it.

-----

The only major thing I am considering doing is adding an another paragraph to further or more clearly explain how it changed me...at this point I'm not sure if it says enough about how I've changed, so I'll probably be adding another paragraph



Awesome introduction and transitioning, but my concern is if ...(and this is just an opinion of mine) . You talk about pitching and snowboarding taking up your life and distracting you from what matters most, I dont know how adcoms will take that since Law profession at times will take up your life as well.

fable2
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:08 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby fable2 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:56 pm

bhut13 wrote:meh, I'll bite. Very rough draft, feedback would be appreciate nonetheless.

-----

I peered through the windshield into the horizon, made hazy from the weightless snow and its accompanying breeze. The morning sun beamed down upon the icy road, reflecting a blindingly intolerable radiance. The car surrendered its grip to the road with an astonishingly gentle grace, spinning uncontrollably as the two ton machine seemingly floated across the arctic median. Slam on the brakes; no response. Shift down; nothing. Straighten out the steering wheel; hopeless. I froze – the world was in slow motion as I accepted my fate. An eight foot ditch awaited my 50 M.P.H. mistake. The car flipped, landing on its rooftop. My head was in my lap, arms wedged between the shattered windshield and rigid steering column. I couldn’t maneuver myself out of the wreck. Bystanders quickly approached the car, and forcefully dragged me out.
The hospital offered bleak news. My right shoulder suffered a posterior dislocation, resulting in a severely torn rotator cuff. My neck was extensively disjointed, which the neurologist later informed me could have resulted in paralysis, but due to a rare deformity in the shape of my vertebrae, this potentially debilitating injury was somehow avoided. I soon came to learn that my two biggest passions in life, baseball and snowboarding, were now in great jeopardy. I was actively recruited in high school for pitching and was also a sponsored snowboarder throughout my late teenage years. My sustained injuries from that cold December morning quickly robbed me of my dreams. My parents relentlessly encouraged me and insisted that I was lucky just to not have been more critically injured – I didn’t seem to agree.
Stripped of what I thought was my “life,” I suffered to find new meaning or purpose. I was now stuck in what I viewed as a perpetual grind. Go to school, go home to the family, do homework and go to bed. Rinse and repeat. I had more time than usual now to ponder things I previously failed to consider, and as time progressed I came to the realization that the accident wasn’t some random, perverse incident – it was a chance to take a break from what once consumed my life. I learned more about my family and life in the following months than I had in my previous 17 years of existence.
Did I know my older brother was a homosexual? Of course. Was I aware he had faced some discrimination as a result? Sure. Did I know while attending Chiropractic College, he was assaulted, verbally and physically, on numerous occasions? Did I have any idea that he was seeing a therapist and battling depression? What did I know of his internal struggles? Honestly, nothing. I’m glad I don’t pitch anymore.
What about my sister? Did I know she had severe epilepsy and dyslexia? By all means, but I didn’t really understand it. Did I know she had difficulty in school? Obviously, but was I sympathetic? No, I had practice. Did I know she wrestled with even more problems including bipolar disorder and various acute learning disabilities? Borderline retardation? What? Did I know she was pregnant with no father in the picture? No job? Me, an uncle? Maybe fresh powder isn’t so special.
(insert additional paragraph here further explaining changes in myself?)
I felt as if I learned more in the few months following my accident than I could in a lifetime. Who was I to think my life was “over” because I lost baseball and snowboarding? Until the accident, I realized that my “passions” prevented me from being selfless or empathetic at the mere expense of competition and blinded self-fulfillment. I realized the importance of listening – of learning – to those whom I value most. In some way, I am glad that my tires lost the battle because ultimately, I did. The veiled blessing was worth it.

-----

The only major thing I am considering doing is adding an another paragraph to further or more clearly explain how it changed me...at this point I'm not sure if it says enough about how I've changed, so I'll probably be adding another paragraph


Excellent PS. I do think that you need to to insert a paragraph further elaborating on how the accident change you as a person and how you have acted upon those changes. Otherwise, outstanding.

w00512
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Re: Personal Statement examples

Postby w00512 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:32 pm

I hate to be a pest but can I get a little more feedback? Thanks to those who have already commented.

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SpAcEmAn SpLiFF
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Re: Personal Statement Examples

Postby SpAcEmAn SpLiFF » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:26 pm

im not sure im getting this...
a large majority of the personal statements ive read here (i read every single one) are either about some difficulty the person overcame or some profound experience they had (teaching, volunteering in a 3rd world country, etc).

while this stuff is impressive, should they not tie in directly with how law school or a legal career would be suited to you or how you would be suited to the overall student body?

is this all supposed to be implicit just by the fact that someone overcame a difficult obstacle (ie my parents had a messy divorce and it made me appreciate my brother more, therefore id be great for your school)? i feel like there should be some explicit paragraph that points out why you would be a good fit for a legal career, or would enhance the overall student body...

bhut13
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:52 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby bhut13 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:32 pm

there does not need to be an explicit tie to the law (school) per se...a lot of the best essays (imo) don't even mention the law, but one should be able to see at least implicitly why that person has become better suited to go to law school.

dieselandcoco
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Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:04 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby dieselandcoco » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:48 pm

Hi everyone, long time lurker, new poster.

I would like some feedback on my personal statement. If anyone would like to swap me with me, for some serious editing, PM me. My concern is that it's a little (okay, a lot) long, and maybe the tone is too negative?

Of all the places in the world, “on a rickety old bus in urban Greece” is not one I would have chosen for the setting of my life-changing moment. But, just as we cannot choose what those lessons are or when they strike, we cannot select a more poignant setting in which these pivotal moments occur.
The moment that changed my life occurred four weeks into my study abroad session on the island of Lesvos. At the time, I was a junior in psychology at Michigan State University, where I lived with my best friend since the 6th grade, who was a journalism major. We signed up for the study abroad in Greece because it fit both of our degree programs, and also because it would be great adventure for us. Having been inseparable for the past eight years, we were so in tune with each other that we often finished each other’s sentences, and other people told us we “shared the same brain.”
One sweltering Sunday evening, just like any other, we took the bus into town to visit the internet café. The bus was empty except for us and the driver, and we were chatting happily away as the bus cruised through the cobblestone streets. Suddenly, a small car darted out of an alley, cutting of the bus, and the driver was forced to slam on the brakes and swerve. Fortunately, there was no accident, but we were thrown from our seats into the aisle. We picked ourselves up and brushed each other off, laughing nervously. The driver immediately pulled over and went into a convenience store to have a break, and we were left alone on the bus, chatting as though nothing had happened.
Suddenly, my best friend stopped in mid-sentence, and her eyes rolled back into her head. She started shaking violently, and began to turn blue. She had never had a seizure before, and in fact, I had never seen a seizure before. Her head began banging backward into the bus windows, and I knew I had to do something. I got up out of my seat and straddled her, holding her head away from the window, until the shaking diminished. She still wasn’t conscious, so I gently laid her down sideways across the seats, then sprinted down the steps and onto the sidewalk. I had no idea what was happening or whether she was dying, but I did know that the fact that she was blue was not a positive sign. At that point I realized that I didn’t speak any Greek besides “hello” and “thank you,” but I sprinted down the street screaming “Does anyone speak English! Please someone call an ambulance!” I don’t know whether no one understood me or no one was willing to help, but at this point I was in tears and frantic. I turned around and ran back to the bus at the same time to bus driver was returning from his break. I was out of breath but tried explaining to him that he needed to take us to the hospital, my friend had just had a seizure. He just looked at me and kept saying “But this bus does not go to the hospital!” Sometime during all of this, my friend woke up and started asking where we were, at which point I turned to comfort her and the bus driver flagged down a passing car. He came back on the bus and announced that this stranger would drive us to the hospital, then he loaded us into the car and we took off. The entire way there I was staving off a panic attack in the back seat, while my best friend sat in the front seat and kept asking where we were and where we going. I’m sure the Greek man that was driving us was very confused, but nonetheless he drove us to the hospital, and walked us in to ensure that we reached the emergency room.
I called my Greek professor and collapsed in a sobbing heap on the floor, so relieved that my friend was receiving the medical attention she obviously needed, and also that someone was coming to take over. I was finally allowed to lose my composure.
They ended up admitting my friend, who quickly felt fine, where she spent the night and was put through countless tests, CAT scans, and MRIs. Although healthcare is free there, the rules in Greek hospitals are much more lax than they are here, and we spent the evening eating souvlaki from the shop down the street and watching DVDs on her laptop. We ended up sleeping together in that tiny twin bed, and in the morning the doctors had gone over the test results and concluded that she was fine. What they told us, and this was later confirmed by her American doctors, is that everyone is allowed “one free seizure” before they are deemed to have a seizure disorder like epilepsy. They had concluded that she had suffered the seizure as a stress response to the near-accident, and that she probably would not have another seizure.
Although the story had a happy ending, I definitely consider it one of the most life-changing moments I have ever experienced (thus far, anyway). In those terrifying few minutes, alone in a strange land with a language I didn’t speak, I was more frightened than I can ever remember, being petrified that my best friend was going to die, literally in my arms. It may sound cliché, but since that day I have made a tremendous effort to really live each day to its fullest, and to value my loved ones, because you truly never know what the next moment brings.

AbsolutLax
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby AbsolutLax » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:51 am

Let me preface this by saying I don't mean to offend you. With that said.

I don't really see how tells anying about you as a law school applicant- your friend had a seizure, which was horrible no doubt, but she was fine in the end. You don't discuss how this situation affected you as person at all, or what you learned from it. Did it make you want to attend law school? If you are going from the stand point that you were studying abroad so you can add diversity to the LS class, then wake up. I can't tell you how many people are going to be writing about their study abroad experience- I mean I studied abroad in Dubai, giving a business presentation to the Vice-President himself- everyone's going to have a story, but personal i'm going to pass and write about something more revealing then the fact I could study something in a foreign country.

If you want to use this event then really show the adcomms how it changed you and what you learned- they need to see the wheels cranking up there. Find a way to make yourself stand out. If you haven't already read Iveys book and the particular pages regarding the PS, I suggest you do a search in google books for "Law school Personal statement", her book should come up under the searches and you can read through the majority of it (I saved the 20 or 30 bucks that way). Anyways, take it or leave it dieselandcoco.

P.S. Greece is beautiful, i've never been to Lesvos though

shiloh26
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby shiloh26 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:36 pm

Thanks, fable2, for the feedback.

Did anyone else read it? Seriously I don't know what I'm doing... I'd love any comments on it

dieselandcoco
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:04 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby dieselandcoco » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:40 pm

AbsolutLax wrote:Let me preface this by saying I don't mean to offend you. With that said.

I don't really see how tells anying about you as a law school applicant- your friend had a seizure, which was horrible no doubt, but she was fine in the end. You don't discuss how this situation affected you as person at all, or what you learned from it. Did it make you want to attend law school? If you are going from the stand point that you were studying abroad so you can add diversity to the LS class, then wake up. I can't tell you how many people are going to be writing about their study abroad experience- I mean I studied abroad in Dubai, giving a business presentation to the Vice-President himself- everyone's going to have a story, but personal i'm going to pass and write about something more revealing then the fact I could study something in a foreign country.

If you want to use this event then really show the adcomms how it changed you and what you learned- they need to see the wheels cranking up there. Find a way to make yourself stand out. If you haven't already read Iveys book and the particular pages regarding the PS, I suggest you do a search in google books for "Law school Personal statement", her book should come up under the searches and you can read through the majority of it (I saved the 20 or 30 bucks that way). Anyways, take it or leave it dieselandcoco.

P.S. Greece is beautiful, i've never been to Lesvos though


Absolut - thank you, that's exactly what I wanted :)

No, this isn't my diversity statement - I'm a bisexual native american, so that's a whole different story, LOL! My study abroad experience isn't really the point - yeah, it made me a better person, but I was more trying to show how the experience (having an emergency, exacerbated by the fact that I was completely alone in this foreign country), changed me, and made me more appreciative. I guess if that didn't come through, then I need to re-work my focus. Or do you think i should just abandon it altogether? I dont necessarily think it relates directly to wanting to go to law school or anything like that, more of how it changed me as a person, but I thought that Ivey said you didn't really need to? The Tattoo Tom essay she cites doesn't really relate directly to law school, unless I misunderstood.

I have Ivey's book, btw, which I felt was invaluable. It was only $14 at Borders, so I felt it was a good investment.

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gk101
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby gk101 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:49 pm

dieselandcoco wrote:
AbsolutLax wrote:Let me preface this by saying I don't mean to offend you. With that said.

I don't really see how tells anying about you as a law school applicant- your friend had a seizure, which was horrible no doubt, but she was fine in the end. You don't discuss how this situation affected you as person at all, or what you learned from it. Did it make you want to attend law school? If you are going from the stand point that you were studying abroad so you can add diversity to the LS class, then wake up. I can't tell you how many people are going to be writing about their study abroad experience- I mean I studied abroad in Dubai, giving a business presentation to the Vice-President himself- everyone's going to have a story, but personal i'm going to pass and write about something more revealing then the fact I could study something in a foreign country.

If you want to use this event then really show the adcomms how it changed you and what you learned- they need to see the wheels cranking up there. Find a way to make yourself stand out. If you haven't already read Iveys book and the particular pages regarding the PS, I suggest you do a search in google books for "Law school Personal statement", her book should come up under the searches and you can read through the majority of it (I saved the 20 or 30 bucks that way). Anyways, take it or leave it dieselandcoco.

P.S. Greece is beautiful, i've never been to Lesvos though


Absolut - thank you, that's exactly what I wanted :)

No, this isn't my diversity statement - I'm a bisexual native american, so that's a whole different story, LOL! My study abroad experience isn't really the point - yeah, it made me a better person, but I was more trying to show how the experience (having an emergency, exacerbated by the fact that I was completely alone in this foreign country), changed me, and made me more appreciative. I guess if that didn't come through, then I need to re-work my focus. Or do you think i should just abandon it altogether? I dont necessarily think it relates directly to wanting to go to law school or anything like that, more of how it changed me as a person, but I thought that Ivey said you didn't really need to? The Tattoo Tom essay she cites doesn't really relate directly to law school, unless I misunderstood.

I have Ivey's book, btw, which I felt was invaluable. It was only $14 at Borders, so I felt it was a good investment.


No, your PS doesn't necessarily have to answer the why law question. However, after reading your PS, the adcom should have an idea if you have the character to succeed in law school. You do not show that in your PS enough. All I got from it was that you were faced with a difficult situation in a foreign country and now you appreciate life more. I never got an idea of what exactly you did other than trying to calm yourself down and asking for help in a language no one understood. In the Tattoo Tom example, I had a very good sense of the author's character. Your current PS reads too much like a short story with no personality. I hope this helps

jawsome
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:05 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby jawsome » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:02 pm

.
Last edited by jawsome on Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

meerap
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 10:50 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby meerap » Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:20 am

Can somebody PLEASE PLEASE critique my PS?? Any comments would be helpful!


I was so hungry from all the shopping I did that I stopped off at the nearest vendor on the street to pay a mere sixty rupees for a meal of old eggplant and cold hard naan, and almost found it to be appetizing. I had taken a few bites when I looked down at my feet to find a teenage girl in rags with dirt piled into her hair and bags under her young tired eyes. I was startled at first, expecting it to be the usual stray cat brushing up against my leg, and instead to find another human being clinging to my leg. She was begging me for my food, and strangely, at first, I was reluctant to give it to her, being the selfish, possessive American that I am. Then I suddenly realized that while I had hesitated to even buy the food, scared that it might make me sick or it just might not be up to par with my standard of food, this young girl was literally begging me for just one bite and she did not even know what was on my plate. From that day on, my leisurely family vacation became quite different from the prior three weeks which consisted of shopping, indulging, and sightseeing. In the last of my four weeks in India, I began taking notice of every beggar on every street and they seemed to be everywhere.

I had heard about India’s local non-governmental organizations for hunger relief and asked around to find the nearest meeting place. Many of the locals were thrilled to see my enthusiasm for the issue, and personally guided me to where the NGO meetings were held. I was warmly welcomed by members of this organization, known as Action Aid India, to listen in on their discussion and future plans. To my surprise, the dingy, old meeting hall was so packed with concerned townspeople that I could not even find an open seat. As the meeting went on, I came to learn that in the last year over 3,000 bodies were found in the streets of New Delhi, every single one of them dead because of a lack of shelter and food. As I looked around the room, I found myself to be the only one wide-eyed and mouth gaping; nobody else was shocked to hear these statistics, a thing I found to be even more astonishing. The townspeople had come up with elaborate plans to significantly reduce these numbers. I came to see that government intervention was not necessary to create public interest within the community itself, and that a local organization could have a greater impact than I ever imagined. And this is the inspiration I took back home with me.

When I arrived back in America, my whole perspective had changed. I finally read the homeless man’s sign on Michigan Avenue who I must have driven past a thousand times. I gave my leftovers to homeless people searching through garbage cans for a crumb of food. But I soon realized that these small acts were not enough; I wanted to help more and I knew it was necessary to get involved in my community and on my university campus. Upon my return to school, I created an organization at my university called Feeding the Hungry, whose main purpose was to eradicate hunger in Chicago, on a small scale, by having food drives and fundraisers to deliver food to the less fortunate in the poorer areas of the city. Delivering food to some of the most poor and broken down areas of Chicago was an eye-opening experience. It showed me the stark realities of people trying to survive in sub-zero temperatures with sometimes less than one meal a day. Along with many others, I was ignorant to believe that these problems are only rampant in third-world countries and rarely occur in America. Initially, I had set up the organization so as to deliver food to only a few areas of the city that I believed were the major areas of homelessness. My ignorant beliefs were soon amplified as we visited more and more areas of Chicago that were stricken with severe cases of homelessness and poverty.

As graduation slowly began to approach, I knew I wanted to continue my work to eradicate hunger, and although I had been accepted into pharmacy school through a guaranteed acceptance program straight out of high school, I was becoming uninterested in what it had in store for me. I found myself becoming more interested in and performing better in courses that discussed world politics and law and society. With my newfound interest from my trip to India and starting my organization, I realized that law school would be a better place for me to hone my skills to learn about and fight a world problem that was slowly turning into a personal mission of mine.

After much debate and carefully weighing my options, I made the decision to take some time off between graduating and attending law school. In January of 2009, I will be taking with me my deep rooted desire for helping people as I leave for Bihar, a state in India that has been struck with severe floods that led to the displacement of over three million people. By volunteering at community camps and shelters where the displaced people will be housed for the next several months, I am certain that my support and aid will help those people who have unfortunately lost their homes, businesses, and families. And though I myself may not have been one of those so unfortunately displaced from my home or deprived of proper nutrition, my reward is in knowing that my fervor for these human rights issues will advocate change towards a society where common tribulations of homelessness and hunger no longer reside. It is this belief that I strongly possess which leads me directly down the path for law school. I know that there is no better place than law school for me to apply my skills and dedication to becoming a devoted supporter of change, and for this reason I am confident that (law school) will mold me into an avid and successful lawyer.

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

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby AbsolutLax » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:57 am

Ivey says stay away from this topic, unless you can back up your desire with lots of experience in the field- Yes, you are going to Indian to do volunteer work and you mention that, but it still left feeling like you are a bit naive about the issue. I think my opinion would change if you could reshape the beginning of your statement- it comes off kinda snobby.

User avatar
Other25BeforeYou
Posts: 503
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:19 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:20 pm

meerap wrote:Can somebody PLEASE PLEASE critique my PS?? Any comments would be helpful!


I was so hungry from all the shopping I did that I stopped off at the nearest vendor on the street to pay a mere sixty rupees for a meal of old eggplant and cold hard naan, and almost found it to be appetizing. I had taken a few bites when I looked down at my feet to find a teenage girl in rags with dirt piled into her hair and bags under her young tired eyes. I was startled at first, expecting it to be the usual stray cat brushing up against my leg, and instead to find another human being clinging to my leg. She was begging me for my food, and strangely, at first, I was reluctant to give it to her, being the selfish, possessive American that I am. Then I suddenly realized that while I had hesitated to even buy the food, scared that it might make me sick or it just might not be up to par with my standard of food, this young girl was literally begging me for just one bite and she did not even know what was on my plate. From that day on, my leisurely family vacation became quite different from the prior three weeks which consisted of shopping, indulging, and sightseeing. In the last of my four weeks in India, I began taking notice of every beggar on every street and they seemed to be everywhere.

I had heard about India’s local non-governmental organizations for hunger relief and asked around to find the nearest meeting place. Many of the locals were thrilled to see my enthusiasm for the issue, and personally guided me to where the NGO meetings were held. I was warmly welcomed by members of this organization, known as Action Aid India, to listen in on their discussion and future plans. To my surprise, the dingy, old meeting hall was so packed with concerned townspeople that I could not even find an open seat. As the meeting went on, I came to learn that in the last year over 3,000 bodies were found in the streets of New Delhi, every single one of them dead because of a lack of shelter and food. As I looked around the room, I found myself to be the only one wide-eyed and mouth gaping; nobody else was shocked to hear these statistics, a thing I found to be even more astonishing. The townspeople had come up with elaborate plans to significantly reduce these numbers. I came to see that government intervention was not necessary to create public interest within the community itself, and that a local organization could have a greater impact than I ever imagined. And this is the inspiration I took back home with me.

When I arrived back in America, my whole perspective had changed. I finally read the homeless man’s sign on Michigan Avenue who I must have driven past a thousand times. I gave my leftovers to homeless people searching through garbage cans for a crumb of food. But I soon realized that these small acts were not enough; I wanted to help more and I knew it was necessary to get involved in my community and on my university campus. Upon my return to school, I created an organization at my university called Feeding the Hungry, whose main purpose was to eradicate hunger in Chicago, on a small scale, by having food drives and fundraisers to deliver food to the less fortunate in the poorer areas of the city. Delivering food to some of the most poor and broken down areas of Chicago was an eye-opening experience. It showed me the stark realities of people trying to survive in sub-zero temperatures with sometimes less than one meal a day. Along with many others, I was ignorant to believe that these problems are only rampant in third-world countries and rarely occur in America. Initially, I had set up the organization so as to deliver food to only a few areas of the city that I believed were the major areas of homelessness. My ignorant beliefs were soon amplified as we visited more and more areas of Chicago that were stricken with severe cases of homelessness and poverty.

As graduation slowly began to approach, I knew I wanted to continue my work to eradicate hunger, and although I had been accepted into pharmacy school through a guaranteed acceptance program straight out of high school, I was becoming uninterested in what it had in store for me. I found myself becoming more interested in and performing better in courses that discussed world politics and law and society. With my newfound interest from my trip to India and starting my organization, I realized that law school would be a better place for me to hone my skills to learn about and fight a world problem that was slowly turning into a personal mission of mine.

After much debate and carefully weighing my options, I made the decision to take some time off between graduating and attending law school. In January of 2009, I will be taking with me my deep rooted desire for helping people as I leave for Bihar, a state in India that has been struck with severe floods that led to the displacement of over three million people. By volunteering at community camps and shelters where the displaced people will be housed for the next several months, I am certain that my support and aid will help those people who have unfortunately lost their homes, businesses, and families. And though I myself may not have been one of those so unfortunately displaced from my home or deprived of proper nutrition, my reward is in knowing that my fervor for these human rights issues will advocate change towards a society where common tribulations of homelessness and hunger no longer reside. It is this belief that I strongly possess which leads me directly down the path for law school. I know that there is no better place than law school for me to apply my skills and dedication to becoming a devoted supporter of change, and for this reason I am confident that (law school) will mold me into an avid and successful lawyer.



Yeah...you really didn't come off as likable in this.

Also, don't say that you're confident such and such law school will mold you into a successful lawyer. That's not the law school's job. You'll only get out of law school what you put into it.

FakeProfile
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:55 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby FakeProfile » Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:06 pm

Re working.
Last edited by FakeProfile on Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

puddleglum
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:05 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby puddleglum » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:03 pm

FakeProfile, i think your statement is risky in this sense: taking meds brings you difficultly in memorizing information, and i don't know if i was thoroughly convinced that not taking the meds will not impede the future stability of your metal health... maybe in part because of this line: "a good level of mental stability had finally been set"... i worry as a reader if "a good level" is sufficient for law school... not that i doubt you'd be able, personally.

i don't know if you can sound more convincing there. but i will say the tangible results at Dell Canada were important factors for me in deciding whether you'd be able at law school. so good job there. i would also stay away from such words as "mental anguish", in terms of chronology, because at this point in the essay you're trying to redeem yourself and make yourself sound competent.

i know it's obvious, but it's not just what you say, but how you say it: using words like "mental anguish" at this point might resonate and overshadow your competency. i can't be sure, but that's me.

FakeProfile
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:55 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby FakeProfile » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:12 pm

puddleglum wrote:FakeProfile, i think your statement is risky in this sense: taking meds brings you difficultly in memorizing information, and i don't know if i was thoroughly convinced that not taking the meds will not impede the future stability of your metal health... maybe in part because of this line: "a good level of mental stability had finally been set"... i worry as a reader if "a good level" is sufficient for law school... not that i doubt you'd be able, personally.

i don't know if you can sound more convincing there. but i will say the tangible results at Dell Canada were important factors for me in deciding whether you'd be able at law school. so good job there. i would also stay away from such words as "mental anguish", in terms of chronology, because at this point in the essay you're trying to redeem yourself and make yourself sound competent.

i know it's obvious, but it's not just what you say, but how you say it: using words like "mental anguish" at this point might resonate and overshadow your competency. i can't be sure, but that's me.



The dilemma with the medication part is that if you do say you're taking medicatoin, or let hem assume that is the case, then you open up the door to "Yea, so he's a loon on meds". If you say you aren't taking medicatoin, you look strong, but risky.

"good level" will be changed. I stayed very conservative so as to not sound like a loose-cannon talking about all this achievements.

"mental anguish"...I meant to say that I had been through a lot and I it was finally over, wrong placement. I spotted that too.

Lastly, when you mention "how to say it". What do you mean? Was the flow or rhythm askew? Or were you still referring to chronology?

Thanks for the reply. I really need to have this thing flawless before I send it out.




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