Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
IceAero
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:00 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby IceAero » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:08 am

JustDude wrote:
ColtonDLong wrote:
riccardo426 wrote:Colton, I'm really sorry to say all of this, because you're a good guy and hope you do well, but


This isn't a PS, unless your dad is applying to law school. This needs to be as much about you as it can. What you have so far is about 370 words on your dad, and about 70 about yourself.

You need to cut to the chase a lot quicker than this, talking about specifically how your father affected YOU, anything pertaining to just him is superfluous.

My suggestion for a place to start would be some of the hardships your family endured to save money so you can get an education. Maybe pick one specifically (say you missed christmas, for example) and elaborate on that, how it felt, but how you think it helped make you who you are.

Also, remember to try to tie everything into you today, as an adult. Things about your life prior to college should really only be tangential, as you are surely a different person now than 4 years ago.


Thanks. Like I said, this is a rough draft, and not near to the end at all. It will all be tied in, but the point is that this experience has shaped who I am. I'm happy with it so far.


Well dude you are full of shit. You come here asking for advice. You are getting one that is very valid and your response is basically "Shut up I know what is better for myself". Well, if you know, do you need what??? Validation??? that everythingg os cool???

Heh. And Your PS is a complete douchbaggery as well for all reasons riccardo said. Also, I would never write and emphasize that I want top attend LS not for money.

If you want to do public interest (which is OK), you need to have experiences to substantiate that claim. However, besides the fact that your father took a job in college, so he can save on college tuition for 3 kids (Damn, thats selflessness, I bet he gave up a CEO position for GM for that) doesnt count for you devotion to public interest.

Pretty high concentration of douchbaggism in 370 words.


Sometimes, at night, I browse this forum just to see what JD has written lately.

User avatar
ColtonDLong
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:04 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ColtonDLong » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:23 am

JustDude wrote:
ColtonDLong wrote:
riccardo426 wrote:Colton, I'm really sorry to say all of this, because you're a good guy and hope you do well, but


This isn't a PS, unless your dad is applying to law school. This needs to be as much about you as it can. What you have so far is about 370 words on your dad, and about 70 about yourself.

You need to cut to the chase a lot quicker than this, talking about specifically how your father affected YOU, anything pertaining to just him is superfluous.

My suggestion for a place to start would be some of the hardships your family endured to save money so you can get an education. Maybe pick one specifically (say you missed christmas, for example) and elaborate on that, how it felt, but how you think it helped make you who you are.

Also, remember to try to tie everything into you today, as an adult. Things about your life prior to college should really only be tangential, as you are surely a different person now than 4 years ago.


Thanks. Like I said, this is a rough draft, and not near to the end at all. It will all be tied in, but the point is that this experience has shaped who I am. I'm happy with it so far.


Well dude you are full of shit. You come here asking for advice. You are getting one that is very valid and your response is basically "Shut up I know what is better for myself". Well, if you know, do you need what??? Validation??? that everythingg os cool???

Heh. And Your PS is a complete douchbaggery as well for all reasons riccardo said. Also, I would never write and emphasize that I want top attend LS not for money.

If you want to do public interest (which is OK), you need to have experiences to substantiate that claim. However, besides the fact that your father took a job in college, so he can save on college tuition for 3 kids (Damn, thats selflessness, I bet he gave up a CEO position for GM for that) doesnt count for you devotion to public interest.

Pretty high concentration of douchbaggism in 370 words.


Wow. Seriously fuck you. What I wrote means a lot to me, and I took heed in the advice. All I said was that it was a rough draft and it is still in progress. And what I said is true. Once again, fuck you.

kritiosboy
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby kritiosboy » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:29 am

Colton, I think you're heading in the right direction.

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

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:42 am

jessicaw wrote:Looking for some feedback with my personal statement- constructive criticism, please. I dont have any amazing life-changing stories, i've never had the opportunity to work abroad... i'm just trying to communicate who i really am, and why i think i'd be a valuable student. Its just a beginning-

Awesome

I grew up in the mountains, far removed from the suburban sprawl of my Northern Californian hometown. After school each day, I came home to a vast, remote world where my closest companions were my dogs and my thoughts. My father, an earth scientist, taught me to value my surroundings, to embrace nature enthusiastically and but also with humility. From a very early age, I had a powerful sense of just how small and inexperienced I was. Everything was so miraculously complex—much of it beyond the comprehension of even the most brilliant scientists—and I had a great deal to learn.


I am not sure what is that all about. I mean Its cool, you understand that while you were a child, but i dont see connection to later stuff. You basically are relaying you childhood thoughts. Time to grow up???


This sense of perspective, combined with the rural isolation of my childhood, made me tremendously introverted. I was shy and thoughtful, inclined to observe and absorb my surroundings, rather than express myself within them. While other children were on the playground, I often spent my time reading or just watching them, pondering our differences. My teachers loved me, but my peers thought I was “weird”. Their disapproval only heightened my shyness, made me more reluctant to speak.

That seems more relevant to later narrative


During high school, as our nation was transformed by its new presidency, the events of 9/11 and the Iraq War, I was partially drawn out of my introverted bubble. With some friends, I formed a group: Students for Information and Action, or as we jokingly called it: the S.I.A. It was my first opportunity to project myself outwardly, and thus to develop a sense of myself in a social context. I found that I was a political junkie, a young activist and a fiercely righteous woman.

Dont send this to UT Austin. Also, I would avoid any association with 9/11 conspiracist. Being activist is one thing, Being 9/11 conspirasist (like you suggesting in this paragraph - 9/11 and then students for information and action) is different. Even UC Berkeley could be reluctant rto admit another weirdo - They have a homegrown bunch.

During this transformation, however, I remained behind-the-scenes, helping my activist friends to write speeches and plan protests, but never taking the podium myself. I observed many of them as they cried for peace and denounced the institutions, and found that my own opinions were still too complex and tentative for such certitude.

When it was time for college, I left my mountain home for the big city of Los Angeles. At first I was overwhelmed by the massive size of UCLA; the sheer number of students in each classroom was daunting for someone so shy. My grades reflected my anxieties during that first year, and I strongly considered transferring to a smaller institution.

Save poor grades for addendum. Smaller institution -??? Do I smell some losers insinuations. You dont want to write that.

Determined to discover my voice, however, I persisted—I choose a major which fully engaged my passion for international politics, I immersed myself in reading and research and other scholarly pursuits, and I began to enroll in upper-division courses, with more opportunities to interact with both my peers and professors.

Back off back off. You were an introverted child. Then 9/11 truther... ... Now we have passion for international politics??? Dont see it. Hmmm...



Whereas the other motivated students thrived on classroom competition and leadership opportunities, I flourished on ideas.

Thats what all liberals do.

My introverted self found a perfect niche in scholarship, which demanded constant, keen observation and the perpetual deconstruction of concepts. Equipped with sharp analytical skills and an abundance of knowledge,

And Modesty. You were equipped with modesty too. You know, its very weird. You wrote that asa child you were mature enough to realise that you dont know anything about the world. Now you speak shamelessly about aboundance of knowledge. Its weird. Usually its other way around. The more people learn, the more they see that what they know is a small fraction of all knowledge. One philosopher said - "I am knowledgable wnaf to see that I know nothing"

I soon became a leader in many of my classes.

Modesty s kicking again. You souted the loudest during hte protests???

My shy childhood self was disappearing, and in her place emerged a well-educated and confident young woman.

And modest


It was with this newfound confidence that I began my first internship with an international NGO, Global Partners for Development, which provided financial assistance for grassroots development projects in East Africa. Although my primary task was research, I quickly found that my ideas—as young and inexperienced as I was

Lets not forget how well educated and knowledgeble you were at that point.


—were highly valued by my employers.

No shit

For example, my suggestions for streamlining the project application process improved the organization’s efficiency, allowing them to review more project requests than before. For the first time in my life, I genuinely felt that I was an agent of change.

Also, If the person that takes the last cup of coffee will make a new pot - Time can be saved too for everyone. Include that.

During my time at Global Partners, I developed strong opinions

Just like all liberals you developed stong opinions way before/

about the nature of donor involvement in international development. Eager to voice those opinions,

Yep, You guys are loud.

I returned to UCLA and embarked on an honors research project, in which I further explored the advantages and disadvantages of having an outside organization facilitate “community-driven” development. I began as I have always begun—the quiet observer and meticulous researcher. Wading through rivers of rhetoric, deconstructing hundreds of project reports, I soon discovered my own unique and highly critical perspective. Most donors, I argued, had failed to produce an environment where local communities were actually in control of their own development projects. Examples like Global Partners, whose involvement was limited to facilitating and financing projects, were the exception.

Please........Dont describe your thesis here. OK?????

The final paper, a year's worth of research and drafting,

And not worth of reading.... Just kidding... Just kidding. I know it was good...

was one of my proudest achievements. Not only was it a worthy piece of scholarship,

But also written by a modest author... I really like this expression "piece of scholarship". I totally LOLed. But please, no humour in PS.

but it was also a tangible embodiment of my perspective, projected outward into the world for all to see.

For all. Like really All

Since having finished that paper and graduated in June, I've continued to discover new ways of expressing myself and impacting the world around me.

Let me guess....You bought a huge loudspeaker??? That would impact the world and allow you to express yourself...

I initiated a Political Action Committee to combat the construction of a Las Vegas style Casino resort in my home county, which would have disastrous ecological and social impacts.

You did the research, or you just think so???... Thats what I thought...


Although I’m the youngest member of this group,


And probably the most modest one.


I have taken a commanding voice in committee discussions and a great deal of responsibility as treasurer. I've also just gone back to work for Global Partners, now as an associate rather than an intern, and am excited about the year that I will spend there. Most of all, I am eagerly anticipating my future legal education, so that I can further sharpen my analytical and oral skills, and more precisely develop my voice.

I am ready to take the podium.

No, thank you


I am ready for _______ Law School.

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

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:44 am

ColtonDLong wrote:
Wow. Seriously fuck you. What I wrote means a lot to me, and I took heed in the advice. All I said was that it was a rough draft and it is still in progress. And what I said is true. Once again, fuck you.


I thought you were happy with what you wrote...


hahahhaaa

User avatar
ColtonDLong
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:04 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ColtonDLong » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:23 am

JustDude wrote:
ColtonDLong wrote:
Wow. Seriously fuck you. What I wrote means a lot to me, and I took heed in the advice. All I said was that it was a rough draft and it is still in progress. And what I said is true. Once again, fuck you.


I thought you were happy with what you wrote...


hahahhaaa


I'm happy with the direction it is headed, I'm far from done though. I just don't like rude pricks, that is all. Not to say you don't mean well. You're probably the kind of cynical ass I'd get along with in person, but as long as we're on here try not to be such a dick. When a critique gets personal, then it becomes problematic to me.

WestCoastGuru
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:48 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby WestCoastGuru » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:37 am

okay guys and gals I need a LOT of help. Like everyone I've had a heck of a time deciding what I want to write on so I finally decided to just sit down and write. Now this is very rough, and the end is not completed because I didn't even know if it was worth finishing. I know there are a lot of grammatical errors. I feel as if that is the least of my worries right now. Honestly, how off am I. Should this just go straight to the dumpster?
_______________________________________________________________________________

The sun beamed through the canopy of the trees above as the Boy Scouts came around the corner, sweat beaming down their faces after the long trek through Mt. Hood. It was the beginning of another week at Camp Baldwin and a new group of scouts had just arrived. By this time, it was the middle of my first summer working at the camp and I had gotten into the grove of things.

For the last several weeks I had taught a number of scouts the Pioneering merit badge, one of the hardest ones to earn at camp because of the requirement to tie twenty different knots. However, with a little practice and some patience, almost everyone was able to achieve it. That was until Jesse arrived. Jesse came to me on the first day of camp grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of earning the Pioneering merit badge. He had always wanted to build a fort and hide from his little sister he told me.

After watching me walk him through how to tie the knots, Jesse sat on the bench and began to painstakingly memorize the steps. He would always get half way done and then suddenly forget. Dumbfounded, he would look at the rope as if it were a foreign object that he had never seen before. It wasn’t until later that week that I learned that Jesse had a learning-disability which inhibited his long-term memory.

After several days of little progress, I became frustrated, not necessarily at Jesse, but at myself for the failure that I felt as a teacher. I was surprised by how overwhelmed being in this situation made me feel. One night while we were working, Jesse threw down the rope in frustration and began sobbing in his hands. He was obviously agitated and just wanted to succeed. Jesse’s determination pushed me forward and together we devised a plan to teach Jesse the knots. Determined to succeed at his goal, we spent numerous hours over the next couple of days practicing those knots until by the end of the week he had successfully completed all but one of the knots. Although he left that summer without the merit badge, we both felt as if he had accomplished something meaningful.

When I returned to work at the camp the next summer it was only a couple weeks into the season when Jesse returned. He rushed up to me, a smile beaming across his face. As he ran, he shouted “I’ve been practicing and I’m ready.” He held in his hands a string of rope, which was noticeably destroyed from hours of practice and begin to tie his final knot. When he was done he held the rope up to me and declared, “I did it.” He had earned the merit badge.

Spurred by my interactions with Jesse, when I returned to school, I became interested in disability rights and its social movement. Over the last two years I have spent numerous hours researching the progress of the disability rights movement and the role the Supreme Court has played in this progress.

____________________________________________________________________________

If this is headed in the right direction then I would continue to talk about the disability research I've been doing while in school and talk about my interest in possibly doing disability law.

User avatar
chilerelleno
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:26 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby chilerelleno » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:33 am

ColtonDLong wrote:
JustDude wrote:
ColtonDLong wrote:
Wow. Seriously fuck you. What I wrote means a lot to me, and I took heed in the advice. All I said was that it was a rough draft and it is still in progress. And what I said is true. Once again, fuck you.


I thought you were happy with what you wrote...


hahahhaaa


I'm happy with the direction it is headed, I'm far from done though. I just don't like rude pricks, that is all. Not to say you don't mean well. You're probably the kind of cynical ass I'd get along with in person, but as long as we're on here try not to be such a dick. When a critique gets personal, then it becomes problematic to me.


coltondlong,

i feel like everytime i've ever replied to you in this forum, multiple times, it's to you as if i don't exist--even when i'm backing up what you say or answering your questions. to be honest, it can come off as self-absorbed. i wouldn't say everything the other guy said, but you kind of are a wee self-indulgent. i think your essay was sincere, and i do think you can still keep that first paragraph. i feel it can be very solid, it just can't continue in the same fashion, you have to whip it around and then make it all about you.

User avatar
muddywaters
Posts: 477
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:59 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby muddywaters » Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:01 pm

it is tough to hear harsh criticism on something so dear to one's heart....i get it.

i do think there should be a way for justdude to be less of an asswipe, but i don't see it happening.

User avatar
ColtonDLong
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:04 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ColtonDLong » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:54 pm

chilerelleno wrote:
ColtonDLong wrote:
JustDude wrote:
ColtonDLong wrote:
Wow. Seriously fuck you. What I wrote means a lot to me, and I took heed in the advice. All I said was that it was a rough draft and it is still in progress. And what I said is true. Once again, fuck you.


I thought you were happy with what you wrote...


hahahhaaa


I'm happy with the direction it is headed, I'm far from done though. I just don't like rude pricks, that is all. Not to say you don't mean well. You're probably the kind of cynical ass I'd get along with in person, but as long as we're on here try not to be such a dick. When a critique gets personal, then it becomes problematic to me.


coltondlong,

i feel like everytime i've ever replied to you in this forum, multiple times, it's to you as if i don't exist--even when i'm backing up what you say or answering your questions. to be honest, it can come off as self-absorbed. i wouldn't say everything the other guy said, but you kind of are a wee self-indulgent. i think your essay was sincere, and i do think you can still keep that first paragraph. i feel it can be very solid, it just can't continue in the same fashion, you have to whip it around and then make it all about you.


Hey there,
I'm not trying to be self-indulgent, I apologize, but I do think it is unfair criticism for a forum :roll: Anyway, don't take my lack of responses personally, I'm just not good at following every forum I write in or checking every PM. I've been trying to help as many people on this forum as possible. I give advice and tips on studying, and I"ve been helpping critique people's PS when I'm able. If you've sent me a PM and I didn't respond, it is probably because I'm absent minded. Not trying to be self-absorbed, but I'll try to be more organized on the forum. Please feel free to PM with a question or comment, I love to talk to people on here, I just have trouble following up on everything I write.

rnelson5
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:50 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby rnelson5 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:51 am

Hey all, guess we're down to the last week before Oct. LSAT results. As such I've been at my 3rd PS. I was hoping for some criticism, red ink, the works, just rip it apart. If you do it now, hopefully Admissions won't have to. Thanks!

A mentor once told me, “It’s how we endeavor through life’s challenges that sets us apart as people.” For myself, his proclamation, and the conversation that ensued, validated a part of me that I had been at odds with since I was a child. My whole life I had struggled to break through the intangible walls that separated the world of my parents from the world of my ambitions, and in so doing, attempt to find a balance between my history and future. It was this journey that has set me apart, and, synergistically, initiated me on the path toward law school.
Socioeconomic status isn’t a thought that crosses the mind of every seven year old boy. No matter how many times I was told “No” when I asked for a toy, it was difficult to grasp that “we can’t afford it” translated into “some people could afford it.” For some reason, regardless of the overuse of the excuse, I couldn’t fathom the literalness of the phrase. Nevertheless, life catches up eventually, and the well defined limitations of one’s family divulge themselves accordingly. As a bright eyed fifteen year old, I couldn’t help but explain the unravelings of the world to my parents. Aside from my daily bit of Science Jeopardy, I was amazed by the fact that, as I saw it, anyone could be successful if they worked hard and went to college. After outlining my plan to implement my newfound guide to success, I faced an unforeseen bump in the road: my father. Apparently he did not share my youthful optimism. “Son, I dropped out of high school, and I drive truck for a living. The only way you’re going to college is if you find a way to pay for it. We simply can’t afford it.”
I couldn’t comprehend how the same justification previously used to deny my G.I. Joe craze could be used to impede my education. While not the first instance of its usage, affordability was a key term during my adolescence. In an environment plagued by ignorance, and spurred by the uneducated, my family truly pushed me to excel academically. Nevertheless, the road out of La Pine was only frequented by a military bus headed for boot camp, and recruiters were always more than willing to entertain notions of education by the use of the ever marketable G.I. Bill. Not signing my enlistment papers scared many of the people around me, but I can’t help but believe that it was I who was the most terrified. Passing over a sure thing in favor of an opportunity without guarantees was taxing, without a doubt, but it was the only thing I was ever sure of.
My sure thing however came with unpredicted nuisances. The beautifully simple approach to buying dorm food on a point system shared one important characteristic with an allowance: it was never enough. With dorm food being hand in hand with cafeteria food one would think that it would be fairly cheap. Evidently, I was quite mistaken. Consequently, a stressful Friday night studying before an Organic Chemistry final was typically compounded by my customary bouts with hunger. In my corner were the cookies my mother had mailed me, but my opposition was the fact that I was still out of food until Monday. Despite all of the academic discoveries that I made during college, it is quite true that many of my greatest lessons took place outside the classroom. While I forced myself to overcome my own mistakes, academic or otherwise, I took special offense from the mistakes I did not commit yet paid for nonetheless.
Looking back through a decade of experiences brings about much reflection, but also a deep sense of pride. Every obstacle that arose throughout my life was a test of my strength and character. With every academic honor that I earned there exists an imprint upon my memory of what it took to bring it about. The summers in which I retired my scientific inclinations in favor of a shovel and a hard hat stand as tokens of my devotion to the pursuit of accomplishment. No financial deficit or unanticipated pitfall could ever rob me of the future I foresee for myself. I have come too far, and have gone through too much to allow anything to get the best of me.
It is my driven nature that has pushed me closer and closer to law. I have always fought for what I believe in, and for every underdog friend that has graced me throughout the years. Science honed my aptitude for analysis, and when complemented by my experiences, I have been able to ascertain and overcome every obstacle placed before me. Honestly, I enjoy the challenges initiated by difficulty, and define myself by my struggles. Yet at the same time, I have retained a clear perspective of where I have come from. Growing up unable to afford the “new” or pay someone else to fix my mistakes taught me to make the best of what I have while taking responsibility for myself. I have been pitted against the socioeconomics of the world my entire life and have not only remained standing, but have climbed even higher. For this reason I cannot begin to think of a career for which I am better prepared. In no other field can tenacity and intellect unite to produce such an impact, and thus, there is no cause for which I am better suited than in service to the law.

User avatar
Ken
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:22 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Ken » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:03 am

The tough part about JustDude's critiques is that they are framed in an adversarial (but admittedly funny) way. Thus, it is hard to listen to the critique because it is bundled up with so many insults. But once the dust settles, usually the feedback is valuable.

Colton, I think you are on the right track with your personal statement after thinking about and implementing some edits.

JustDude, you are hilarious and a prolific contributor to TLS and this thread in particular, but please do your best to convey your insightful thoughts in a "kindler, gentler" manner if you can. While your main goal may be humor versus conveying knowledge, but if part of your goal is to have others benefit from your edits they would be better received in a less adversarial, sarcastic tone.

User avatar
ColtonDLong
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:04 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ColtonDLong » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:35 am

Ken wrote:The tough part about JustDude's critiques is that they are framed in an adversarial (but admittedly funny) way. Thus, it is hard to listen to the critique because it is bundled up with so many insults. But once the dust settles, usually the feedback is valuable.

Colton, I think you are on the right track with your personal statement after thinking about and implementing some edits.

JustDude, you are hilarious and a prolific contributor to TLS and this thread in particular, but please do your best to convey your insightful thoughts in a "kindler, gentler" manner if you can. While your main goal may be humor versus conveying knowledge, but if part of your goal is to have others benefit from your edits they would be better received in a less adversarial, sarcastic tone.


Thanks for the encouragement Ken! I have heeded to a lot of the groups advice (even JD's), and I think I'm making good progress. Ken, would you like to have a read of it? Let me know...you can always PM me. Thanks for all the feedback guys! Let me know if you'd like some help with yours and/or would be willing to read mine. I'm glad to help.

juliawobbe
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:54 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby juliawobbe » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:46 am

Can i get some comments.... PLEASE!!!!??? like maybe at least ONE comment? I would really appreciate it.


From Diversity to Perspective

Helsingborg is a historical, scenic city with many antique houses located in southern Sweden. Helsingborg was the last city I would live in before flying more than five thousand miles across the Atlantic Ocean to a foreign country. I come before you as a strong individual with a diverse background that will allow me to succeed in law school and provide several different perspectives to the study of law.

I was born and raised until I was fifteen years old in Sweden before I moved to the United States in 2002. My father was a Swedish professional chef serving our family daily dinners with modern, French influenced, gourmet food. My mother grew up in a life of constant struggles, poverty, and neglect from her parents, living in northern Vietnam until she married my father and moved to Sweden. At age 8, I was fluent in Swedish and Vietnamese. I traveled to Vietnam several times when I was young, rode on elephants, ate fresh food from food vendors on the streets, and slept in beds covered in mosquito net. I continued to speak Swedish and Vietnamese fluently until my mother divorced my father when I was in second grade and we moved to live with her new boyfriend. In her own regrets, she stopped speaking Vietnamese with me in respect for her boyfriend who could not understand a word of Vietnamese. I slowly started to forget the language and ever since, my mother feels embarrassed every time her Vietnamese friends ask if I can speak my mother’s native language.

My upbringing was very rough for me yet turned out very rewarding. I was constantly moving around to different cities, going back and forth between my parents and an only child until age nine. I was never able to retain long term friendships due to the constant moving, though I had, sadly missed, great ones. I had to learn to adapt so often to new environments that it became a natural habit. I was never personally close to either one of my parents because they were constantly verbally fighting with each other indirectly through me. I distanced myself from my parents and turned to friendships to fill my void of the emptiness that I felt from my parents. It taught me to become a very independent and strong person. I never had any family members to talk to or turn to when in need. Instead, I either turned to myself or my friends. I became very self-motivated, constantly building my mental strength to overcome the emptiness I felt deep inside. I have learned to face every fall, every mistake, and every obstacle with appreciation and learn something positive from each of those experiences.

Today, my mother and I still have strong language barriers. I was taught English since early elementary school in Sweden. After just six months living in the United States, I was thinking, dreaming, and speaking in English - as if it was my native language. Knowing the risks of forgetting your language, I continue to speak Swedish with my mother and write in Swedish to my father and my best friend who still lives in Sweden through countless emails and letters. Though my mother and I can still speak to each other in Swedish, a great distance exists between us because we cannot speak to each other in my mother’s native language. My mother has often cried and told me how regretful she is that she did not continue to speak Vietnamese with me as I grew up.

When I turned twenty one years old, I made some very important decisions about my life. I told my mother that I made a decision to learn Vietnamese and that I were seriously considering studying law abroad in Vietnam. I had never seen her so happy. She shed tears of joy and hugged me cheerfully tight. She told me she had finally found me. Finally, I felt connected to my mother and just as she found me, I found myself.

I found my niche when I was sitting in my first undergraduate law class - Law of Crimes - at the California State University of Sacramento taught by professor and pre-law advisor Laurie Kubicek. We read and briefed Supreme Court cases for the whole semester and discussed the interpretations of the law in class. I found the various interpretation of the law fascinating and very stimulating. The fact that the law was so complex and not simply black and white, was a challenge I wanted to thrive on. My passion and ambition only increased after each law class that I took in college reaffirming that this was the subject I wanted to study - the study of law.

I realize justice is an ideal we all want to achieve, but I will never put in less effort to try to achieve it. My ultimate goal is to serve the international community at my best ability by incorporating my diverse background and my language abilities to affect people in different countries.

My diverse background has given me several different perspectives that I can apply to the study of law. I recognize that there will be a lot of work and challenges in law school but I am eager to challenge myself and apply myself to the several multifaceted class discussions I am sure to face in law school. I seek to advance my niche and personal growth in law school through practicing my critical thinking, attention to detail, and passion for law. My law professors, my classmates, my debate teammates, my family and friends have each inspired me in one way or another towards my passion in the law. By pursuing a law degree, I intend to enter a profession that uses reasonability, logic, and analytical thinking to serve the best interest of the people in promoting justice and fairness. I have a passion for the law and I hope that you considered me as distinctive candidate for XYZ School of law.

rnelson5
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:50 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby rnelson5 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:35 pm

juliawobbe

Post subject: Re: Personal Statement Samples Reply with quote
Can i get some comments.... PLEASE!!!!??? like maybe at least ONE comment? I would really appreciate it.


From Diversity to Perspective

Helsingborg is a historical, scenic city with many antique houses located in southern Sweden. Helsingborg was the last city I would live in before flying more than five thousand miles across the Atlantic Ocean to a foreign country. I come before you as a strong individual with a diverse background that will allow me to succeed in law school and provide several different perspectives to the study of law.

I was born and raised until I was fifteen years old in Sweden before I moved to the United States in 2002. My father was a Swedish professional chef serving our family daily dinners with modern, French influenced, gourmet food. My mother grew up in a life of constant struggles, poverty, and neglect from her parents, living in northern Vietnam until she married my father and moved to Sweden. At age 8, I was fluent in Swedish and Vietnamese. I traveled to Vietnam several times when I was young, rode on elephants, ate fresh food from food vendors on the streets, and slept in beds covered in mosquito net. I continued to speak Swedish and Vietnamese fluently until my mother divorced my father when I was in second grade and we moved to live with her new boyfriend. In her own regrets, she stopped speaking Vietnamese with me in respect for her boyfriend who could not understand a word of Vietnamese. I slowly started to forget the language and ever since, my mother feels embarrassed every time her Vietnamese friends ask if I can speak my mother’s native language.

My upbringing was very rough for me yet turned out very rewarding. I was constantly moving around to different cities, going back and forth between my parents and an only child until age nine. I was never able to retain long term friendships due to the constant moving, though I had, sadly missed, great ones. I had to learn to adapt so often to new environments that it became a natural habit. I was never personally close to either one of my parents because they were constantly verbally fighting with each other indirectly through me. I distanced myself from my parents and turned to friendships to fill my void of the emptiness that I felt from my parents. It taught me to become a very independent and strong person. I never had any family members to talk to or turn to when in need. Instead, I either turned to myself or my friends. I became very self-motivated, constantly building my mental strength to overcome the emptiness I felt deep inside. I have learned to face every fall, every mistake, and every obstacle with appreciation and learn something positive from each of those experiences.

Today, my mother and I still have strong language barriers. I was taught English since early elementary school in Sweden. After just six months living in the United States, I was thinking, dreaming, and speaking in English - as if it was my native language. Knowing the risks of forgetting your language, I continue to speak Swedish with my mother and write in Swedish to my father and my best friend who still lives in Sweden through countless emails and letters. Though my mother and I can still speak to each other in Swedish, a great distance exists between us because we cannot speak to each other in my mother’s native language. My mother has often cried and told me how regretful she is that she did not continue to speak Vietnamese with me as I grew up.

When I turned twenty one years old, I made some very important decisions about my life. I told my mother that I made a decision to learn Vietnamese and that I were seriously considering studying law abroad in Vietnam. I had never seen her so happy. She shed tears of joy and hugged me cheerfully tight. She told me she had finally found me. Finally, I felt connected to my mother and just as she found me, I found myself.

I found my niche when I was sitting in my first undergraduate law class - Law of Crimes - at the California State University of Sacramento taught by professor and pre-law advisor Laurie Kubicek. We read and briefed Supreme Court cases for the whole semester and discussed the interpretations of the law in class. I found the various interpretation of the law fascinating and very stimulating. The fact that the law was so complex and not simply black and white, was a challenge I wanted to thrive on. My passion and ambition only increased after each law class that I took in college reaffirming that this was the subject I wanted to study - the study of law.

I realize justice is an ideal we all want to achieve, but I will never put in less effort to try to achieve it. My ultimate goal is to serve the international community at my best ability by incorporating my diverse background and my language abilities to affect people in different countries.

My diverse background has given me several different perspectives that I can apply to the study of law. I recognize that there will be a lot of work and challenges in law school but I am eager to challenge myself and apply myself to the several multifaceted class discussions I am sure to face in law school. I seek to advance my niche and personal growth in law school through practicing my critical thinking, attention to detail, and passion for law. My law professors, my classmates, my debate teammates, my family and friends have each inspired me in one way or another towards my passion in the law. By pursuing a law degree, I intend to enter a profession that uses reasonability, logic, and analytical thinking to serve the best interest of the people in promoting justice and fairness. I have a passion for the law and I hope that you considered me as distinctive candidate for XYZ School of law.


Ok here's some feedback, just opinion, but feedback nevertheless. I honestly like the heart of the essay. Your diverse background and experiences are good points to capitalize on. However, I feel as though everything is simply "stated" nothing is really "shown" if that makes sense. I mean an example of how the language barrier between you and your mother affected you would be more moving. Also, I think a finer look at the difficulties surrounding your constant moving as a child might reflect upon your strength and ability to adapt more. The same could be said for how you dealt with the personal isolation generated by your constant moving. All in all I really like it. I just think you could strengthen it a bit by taking a slightly different perspective on your major points. Good luck!!

okylish
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:32 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby okylish » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:08 pm

...
Last edited by okylish on Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
TrampsLikeU$
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:05 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby TrampsLikeU$ » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:22 am

I think you should stick to the part about South Africa, and only briefly mention the fact that you had experiences in other countries before that. For example, start out with "When I moved to SA at age 15 to begin studying in (city), I thought it would be easy. I was born in Korea, but lived for several years in Scotland as a child before moving back to my home country. Each of these transitions had been easy for me, and I thought South Africa would be no different. I was wrong."

Then talk about your difficulties in South Africa and how you overcame them, segue into international relations, etc. Right now the beginning of your statement sounds awkward and, to be honest, while it is cool that you have been to so many countries, I don't think law schools will think it is that big of a deal. Just stick to how the experience in Africa was different, and how it shaped what you want to do with your life.

Leahg
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:56 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Leahg » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:18 pm

So here's my statement so far...any help, any help AT ALL, would be greatly appreciated!!!!! It still needs a stronger conclusion paragraph to tie it all up though.

In the early 1990s, a vast array of personal and financial problems forced my parents, two college educated individuals, to declare bankruptcy and go on welfare. Although I was only in elementary school at the time, the memories of this bleak period are still fresh in my mind. I can clearly recall the trips across Jacksonville on the city bus to methadone clinics with my dad and being dragged along by my mother and her friends to the smoke filled bars on Third Street. However, against the odds my parents cleaned themselves up and got their lives back on track. My mother put her nursing degree to use again, becoming a workman’s compensation case manager, and my dad finally followed through on his teaching credential. In the summer of 1995 my parents decided to leave behind our tumultuous lives in Jacksonville, Florida and to start life over again in Oakland, California. We packed up our Ford Aerostar van, said our goodbyes to friends and family, and began the long drive to California.
Although my parents had left their old lives behind, I was never able to rid myself of the painful memories of my childhood. As the years passed, I found it increasingly difficult to respect either of my parents and blamed them and their shortcomings for all of my own mistakes or problems. By high school, my mother and I fought incessantly; our relationship had hit rock bottom. My self esteem and grades greatly suffered as well. Pleasing my parents or myself with a high GPA was not exactly at the top of my list of priorities. However, upon starting college, I, like my mom and dad had done years before, managed to set myself back on track, established goals and focused on my studies with a new found vigor unimaginable just a year before.
I had finally come to see my parents’ transformation in a more positive light and was able to extract a valuable lesson from their experience; that everyone deserves a second chance to succeed. I matured, realized that resentment would get me nowhere, and came to view my undergrad years as my second chance. Determined to fulfill my new found goals and aspirations, I took advantage of as many opportunities San Francisco State University had to offer while still working an average of thirteen hours per week. One such opportunity, and perhaps most enlightening of all, was my participation in a judicial externship program during my senior year.
Through the program, I interned for ten hours per week with juvenile Hearing Officer Adrienne Miller at the San Francisco Superior Courthouse. Over the course of the semester, I assisted Mrs. Miller with numerous tasks and became familiarized with many aspects of juvenile law. Most significantly, I took advantage of the opportunity to speak with her about her experiences as a dependency attorney. Mrs. Miller described dependency law as a legal practice in which the interests of the children involved must hold priority over all else. This central tenet led her to defend many parents whom she believed deserved a second chance at parenthood.
Although it has been my goal since my sophomore year of college, it was not until this internship that I was able to solidify my interest in studying the law and to discover a facet of the law that, considering my own life experiences, proved so appealing. As my exposure to the study of law is limited at best, I can by no means conclusively determine the area in which I will choose to practice upon graduation from law school. However, the complete turnaround my parents accomplished coupled with my own drastic improvements have led me to conclude that I would be apt to study, if not eventually practice family, juvenile or public interest law.

ardaturan
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:16 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ardaturan » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:49 am

Didn't see this thread.
Still needs some changing. Any suggestions would help. Thanks.

As I glanced over the counter, I saw a young man pacing frantically from one end of the lobby to the other, his chin visibly perspiring, his face completely flushed, his suit soaked in sweat, as he was vainly trying to get himself together. Ahmet had just immigrated to Canada from Turkey about a month ago, and was applying for refugee status. He had fled from Turkey with his wife and two kids due to his Kurdish background and hoping that Canada would yield greater opportunities for he and his family. Unfortunately, he came here with little or no money, he didn’t speak a word of English, and he was terrified of being sent back to Turkey, a country that he believed he had rid himself of for good.
At the age of 17, with my fluency in both French and Turkish, I had been newly promoted to the position of translator at the law office I had been working at, and Ahmet was the first person I was to apply for refugee status with. It consisted of basically a few standard questions which I was be asked by the representative, and I would forward to Ahmed in his native tongue. While this was the first time I had worked personally with a client, I was well-prepared. For a year prior, my occupation focused around paper work and filing, and therefore I was quite aware of the process.
Once approved, Ahmet was in a state of euphoria. He could now look for employment, and begin to attend school to help him learn English. The fact that with my help, Ahmet and his family were able to remain in Canada made me ecstatic. For as long as I can remember now, I have always had a vested interest law, but ever since this defining moment, I had been certain that this was the profession I wanted to be involved in for the rest of my life.
I very much empathized with Ahmet as his situation was extremely similar with my own. At the age of 2, I had immigrated to Canada from Turkey with my Kurdish father and Turkish mother, which certainly produced its share of hardships and adjustments. My father, being a Kurdish activist, and being critical of the Turkish government, believed it would be in our best interest if we moved to a new country with new opportunities.
While Canada is known for its multiculturalism which is exemplified in its attitudes, laws and constitution, and for the opportunities it has available for newly landed individuals, it definitely does not come without its difficulties. Moving to Canada, not knowing the language, the different lifestyle, and not having any friends of relatives made it exceedingly difficult for my family early on. Not only did my parents, who had professional employments back home, have to apply for social assistance and find new employment, I had to quickly learn the English language so I could adequately integrate myself in public school and not fall behind in class.
This is why I believe that with the experience I can gain at a LAW SCHOOL HERE, with a proven pedigree, I can focus on help individuals in a similar position to my family and Ahmet. It seems as though Turkish, and particularly Kurdish lawyers are underrepresented in Canada, therefore many people in positions similar to those of my family do not know where to go when they have emmigrated to Canada.
When newly arriving to Canada, individuals must often apply for refugee status, find a place of residence, seek legal aid, apply for welfare, open a bank account and so forth. These are all things that my family had to go through when they first came to Canada as refugees, which is why I was especially committed in helping individuals in this particular situation at the law office that I’ve been employed at part-time for the last four years.
For the majority of my undergraduate program, which consists of an Honours BA in Political Science, with a minor in Philosophy, I have also worked at the Office of Research Services. This has given be a different perspective, whereby in this case I have worked much closer with professors, research officers and faculty members. I have also been an active member of my school’s Model United Nations, where we have traveled to conferences, which have incorporated institutions from dozens of countries around the world.
Other than Turkey, which I visit by-annually, I have been to countries such as Holland, Germany, Jamaica, Cuba, and Mexico, and I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to gain incite on these cultures and the people that live there.

User avatar
takingmytime
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:13 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby takingmytime » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:12 pm

ardaturan wrote:For the majority of my undergraduate program, which consists of an Honours BA in Political Science, with a minor in Philosophy, I have also worked at the Office of Research Services. This has given be a different perspective, whereby in this case I have worked much closer with professors, research officers and faculty members. I have also been an active member of my school’s Model United Nations, where we have traveled to conferences, which have incorporated institutions from dozens of countries around the world.
Other than Turkey, which I visit by-annually, I have been to countries such as Holland, Germany, Jamaica, Cuba, and Mexico, and I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to gain incite on these cultures and the people that live there.


No need to say all of this, it should all be in your resume.
ardaturan wrote:This is why I believe that with the experience I can gain at a LAW SCHOOL HERE, with a proven pedigree, I can focus on help individuals in a similar position to my family and Ahmet.


If you can put "LAW SCHOOL HERE" in your essay, then there is no need to actually include the law school name.

I take it that the main idea is: my family went through the immigration process and I know how it works, so I'd be great for helping other people in the same situation. This is all quite laudable. However, I don't quite buy your claim that you are particularly suited for law school becasue of this. I would suggest talking more about your experience with Ahmet with a heavy focus on what you learned. Right now I don't see why you would be any better to help with immigration than someone else who also cared and learned Turkish (or hired a translator such as yourself). I suggest really showing them your experience.

Hope that helps a bit.

User avatar
takingmytime
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:13 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby takingmytime » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:21 pm

Leahg wrote:One such opportunity, and perhaps most enlightening of all, was my participation in a judicial externship program during my senior year.
Leahg wrote:it was not until this internship that I was able to solidify my interest in studying the law and to discover a facet of the law that, considering my own life experiences, proved so appealing

IMO that's the heart of your essay but it takes up less space than talking about your parents.

The whole opening section about your parents doesn't really tell me much about you. If it is there to serve as an analogy then it can be cut by a lot so you can spend more time talking about your internship and helping others get back on the right path. If it's an exuse for not taking high school seriously then it doesn't need to be there at all

User avatar
DallasJosh
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby DallasJosh » Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:50 pm

Any grammar/punctuation nazis out there want to take a peek at my PS?

It's finalized, but I have a tendency to use too many commas and dashes, and I don't want to look like an idiot. I would say really nice things about you if you were to help a brother out...

nikkei325i
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:45 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby nikkei325i » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:27 pm

Hey guys!
I just want to get some feedback on what I am writing in my PS. I am not even close to my final draft so I refuse to post it in this thread to be trashed apart. Moreover, it does not even sound as appealing or sophisticated as most of the PSs on here. Anyways, so I want to get into real property law, and to show how I came to that conclusion I want to talk about my experience in dealing with a legal dispute between a property management company and my parents in regards to a couple of their condominiums located in Orlando, FL. I had experienced first-hand part of the legal dispute by going along with my parents to Orlando and listening to them talk about the technicalities of the case. I know this does not talk about me much, so I am weary about putting this information into my PS. So from my experience in Orlando I then wanted to talk about how I became so interested in real property law that I interned for a real estate attorney. The bottom line is my interest in real estate law kept growing since my trip to Florida. What do you all think? How can I consistently talk about my self while telling the story of the legal dispute at the same time?

User avatar
Feathers
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:34 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Feathers » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:36 pm

Here's my two cents.

Start with a description of a pivotal moment in the dispute
Give a quick summary (or nutgraph)
Back into the meat of the story (emphasizing your interest)
Merge into and end with your interest in law

(Good luck.)

nikkei325i wrote:Hey guys!
I just want to get some feedback on what I am writing in my PS. I am not even close to my final draft so I refuse to post it in this thread to be trashed apart. Moreover, it does not even sound as appealing or sophisticated as most of the PSs on here. Anyways, so I want to get into real property law, and to show how I came to that conclusion I want to talk about my experience in dealing with a legal dispute between a property management company and my parents in regards to a couple of their condominiums located in Orlando, FL. I had experienced first-hand part of the legal dispute by going along with my parents to Orlando and listening to them talk about the technicalities of the case. I know this does not talk about me much, so I am weary about putting this information into my PS. So from my experience in Orlando I then wanted to talk about how I became so interested in real property law that I interned for a real estate attorney. The bottom line is my interest in real estate law kept growing since my trip to Florida. What do you all think? How can I consistently talk about my self while telling the story of the legal dispute at the same time?

nikkei325i
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:45 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby nikkei325i » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:16 pm

Feathers: Thanks! I am trying my best to whip up a great PS although I am sort of on a time crunch because I need to submit it to my professors so that they can write me a letter of recommendation. Bah! Time to get going!




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.