Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
E.Action
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:56 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby E.Action » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:09 pm

Hi, new on here, but I found it helpful reading many other personal statements. I have a question: I got 166, 3.8 gpa, and I'm applying to uva, duke, ucla as reaches, with a few other "safer" options. My application isn't complete, but should be within the next week. Does anyone have a feel as to whether applying in January will really hurt my chances? Thanks.
Here's a first draft of a Personal Statement, any feedback at all is great. TIA

I consider myself to be in the 99.99th percentile of luckiest humans ever to walk the earth. Born into history’s most prosperous economy, I have been educated in a country founded on the ideals of liberty and self-determination. I am the eldest son of two loving, diligent, intelligent parents who have provided most thoroughly in every way, and demonstrated humility and piety. I do not know why my luck is so, but the truth of it is compelling to me. I really don’t mean to be trite, but as I come of age under this realization I can only feel that I’ve been given a tremendous gift of opportunity. With this opportunity, I think an equal measure of responsibility follows; to maximize my own potential, and to be a force in the world that mirrors the fertile and supportive circumstances dealt to me.
I want to be a lawyer because lawyers are educated to be highly informed citizens, the most active citizens in shaping the nation’s present and future. Lawyers are uniquely positioned in society. They possess an invaluable skill set that is integral to any important facet of life, and are relied upon by individuals and the community. I do not anticipate single handedly saving the whales or bringing peace to the Gaza Strip; in fact I do not yet know where in the wide scope of law I will choose to make my career. But whether it is advocating for the seas, working in the business world, or practicing in a community, I want to approach a career as a lawyer with interest and integrity, so that I may have a working dimension to my life that is fully satisfying, profitable, and a worthwhile influence in the area of my work. I have carefully considered a career in law, and done plenty of research. I am convinced that a career in law is a fantastic way to expend one’s energies toward constructive and beneficent ends.
Science is my background, and there is much I enjoy about it. Education in biology and psychology, work in a lab doing biochemical assays on neurons in a dish, and field work manning a seine net and counting fish have instilled a true enthusiasm and respect for data. Equally sincere is my love for the natural world, in all it’s evolved, but, maybe also created glory. As my first paragraph alluded to I often wonder about existential questions, but I believe there is beauty in the scientific insistence on simple empiricism. And since the existential questions are the impossible ones to answer for sure, I try to bring the scientific virtues of objectivity, observation, and rigor to bear on the ways I may improve life and my surroundings.
Despite my altogether typical middle class upbringing, I think that I can bring diversity of thought to (COLLEGE) through my background in science. Through my employment since graduating from Virginia Tech I have been exposed to law through OSHA in the lab, following biohazard disposal regulations, and hazardous material protocols. I have seen a medical professor’s view of patent issues in novel drug development. Most interestingly, for me, was my involvement in monitoring the population of an endangered freshwater fish, the Roanoke Logperch. I worked with scientists for the Virginia Tech Department of Fisheries, ensuring that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers remained in compliance of the Endangered Species Act as they created flood-controlling bench cuts on the banks of the urban Roanoke River. I am fascinated by the myriad ways in which the law acts in support of the individual and the common, and at times frustrated where I feel it fails to adequately address those interests.
I believe that my background and my abilities, and hopefully my priorities, make me uniquely positioned to be effective in many areas of the law. I think that (COLLEGE) is a great (fit, foundation) for my goals, and that I can in turn be a credit to (COLLEGE).

Black-Blue
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:46 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Black-Blue » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:31 pm

Does anyone have a feel as to whether applying in January will really hurt my chances? Thanks.

Hopefully it doesn't matter too much, since I'm also a late applicant. I think January is probably fine for most schools, except maybe the top 3 and some of the T14 that have a habit of not liking late applicants. Half of all applications are submitted in January or later, and whether it's early or late January probably doesn't matter too much for schools with late deadlines, like UVA.

Some parts of your PS seems like a over-reaction to an assumed "abundance" of people who did not enjoy the ease of a middle class family.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:52 pm

Posted elsewhere, but figured I'd post here as an additional example.
--------------------

As the car rumbled down XXhighwayXX, it was still cold and dark outside. We were almost surely going to be late to our morning practice, and I was still half-asleep in the back seat. All that I heard was coming from the front seat - it was our team coxswain, XXnameXX. “You'll never do it XXmy nicknameXX,” he exclaimed to the car, rather than to me. I stirred as he made this statement and some discussion ensued for the rest of the drive. The vote of our carpool was 3-2, against me completing my self-imposed challenge. After practice, the discussion continued, and of the rest of our small team, no one thought I would be successful. My response was only “We'll see.”

Losing thirty pounds seemed like a mountain of a challenge – I was not sure it was possible for me. Moreover, I was definitely not sure that I could make an elite lightweight rowing team that summer, nor that I could make their “A” boat or win a national championship. I was at 188 pounds and I had to be below 160 pounds, and very strong, in order to complete my challenge. As any serious oarsman can attest, the sport of rowing makes one relish challenges, and I had chosen a difficult one that would require very strict discipline and hard work.

My expectations of my the difficulty of the task were not underestimated, but I was incredibly determined. The next months were grueling. I was hoping to lose most of the weight by Christmas Day so that I would be able to enjoy a large Christmas meal as a celebration. Each day, the calorie burn included our team's daily practice, between thirty minutes and an hour and a half on the rowing machine, usually about thirty minutes of stationary cycling, classes in weight training and core training to mix up the routine a bit, and whatever was on my circuit schedule for the day. The diet was a huge commitment as well. I love to eat – pretty much everything – but I was determined to lose the weight and make the team, and I restricted myself to a very low calorie diet consisting mostly of cereals and green vegetables.

The work and the diet soon began to pay off, and each week, more weight disappeared. I began to take a lot of pride in the fact that my workouts were inordinately longer than, arguably, everyone who visited the gym. I spent so much time in the gym every day during that time that I would see two or three cycles of people go into the gym and work out before I was finished. The baseball coach even asked me why I was in there for so long. By the end of winter break, I was an extremely trim (for me) 161 pounds, and over the next two months I slowed my weight loss and leveled off at about 158.

Shortly thereafter, I rowed my qualifying time to be considered for the team, and filed my application to row for the summer at XXteamXX. I soon received an e-mail from the coach at XXteamXX notifying me that I had been accepted into their program. I was ecstatic. After school came to an end, I flew to XXcityXX. My reward for all of the work I had completed was...well, a lot more work. But I didn't mind. I had achieved the first step toward my goal, and, as that summer wore on, I began to enjoy each additional day of pain on the water a little bit more. At some point, I started to appreciate the journey, and how far I had already come. After about four hours of practice one day, I was a physically miserable person – unshaven, shredded hands, sweating profusely in the middle of a XXcityXX summer, in a very shabby apartment, laying on a borrowed futon, and aching literally everywhere – and I was as happy as I've ever been (I thought to myself that I should remember the moment and took a picture of myself; I looked very beat up). Just then, I realized that whether or not we won anything that summer, it was the best time of my life. That summer, I ended up with a national gold medal and some memories, but even when I look at that medal, I don't really remember the race. I remember practices, my work in the gym, my teammates, and our coaches.

That year, I learned why challenge was good, why hard work was good, and how to take pleasure in simple things in life. Law school appeals to me for the same reasons as rowing, but in particular, I crave its challenge and how such a challenge can help me grow personally and help me be the best I can be. The reward for me is not a medal, but a career that challenges and fascinates me each day, and that allows me to contribute to society while doing something I enjoy. I ask that you grant me such an opportunity, and thank you for your time and consideration.

Priceless
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:07 am

Please help me!!! CRTITQUE and be as critical as necessary!!

Postby Priceless » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:28 am

:shock: :cry: At home is the place for me. Guiding my children into what they want to be … I hear these words all too often; day in and day out. Frankly, I am tired of hearing it, to say the least. Who says a single parent can not parent and educate herself simultaneously anyways?

As a teenager growing into a young woman, I remember having big dreams and visions and writing out a plan to make them happen. It was not customary for a person from my small town of 5000 in South Louisiana to actually go to college, obtain a Bachelor’s degree, and then continue on with further education. In spite of this knowledge, I set a goal to not only start and finish college, but also to start and finish law school; to become an attorney. To date and to my disappointment I have only accomplished one of these goals, but nevertheless, I am determined to see my plans come to fruition.

I embark upon the task of finding my place, and picking up from where I left off; though not without a fight. My history goes as follows. Being accepted into college was such a tremendous feat, I grabbed the “bull by the horns” and double majored in Political Science and Pre-Med, taking upon myself 21 hours of coursework my first semester of college, an error that I believe I am still experiencing after effects from. Needless to say, this one action caused a reaction that I find has haunted my academic record all too often. Moreover, my academic struggles are enveloped by a barrage of tragedies no one person should have to endure and definitely not within such a short period of time. Although I began college as a fully confident teen, I found myself in a game with no rules from the day I my parents drove away from campus. As a country girl new to city life, I found myself trusting every individual which lead to my being raped my first semester of college. Within two weeks of the attack, I received a phone call that my closest uncle succumbed to brain an unexpected brain cancer. However, being from a family that prides itself on follow-through, I knew that quitting was not an option. I made up in my mind that I would seek counseling after returning from the funeral services only to find myself hospitalized with an unknown illness causing me to miss 3 final exams and further digging an irreversible hole of academic destruction. As I look back, I realize that the challenges I have faced have enabled me to find a strong footing within a situation that was not altogether stable. My world of strong faces and “I am okay” finally came crashing to pieces when I received news that my father was tragically killed in a car accident. While I am aware that everybody faces obstacles in their lives, I also believe that surviving those obstacles is dependent on the foundation upon from which one comes and how solid and supportive it is. Nevertheless, immediately began grief counseling sessions and made the inevitable decision of transferring to a smaller more familiar environment, and in which I found such support and went on to complete college.

Despite my plans to go directly into law school, I found myself, embracing the realization of two things, 1) one of my criminal justice professors was right when she stated rape victims are twice as likely to be victimized a second time and 2) I was going to mother a baby as a result of a second rape. In spite of this, I decided that “taking time off” was not an option for me, so with a new baby in my arms, and a fresh Bachelor of Arts, I knew I could not put my life on hold and wait to get into law school. Once again, I tackled it head on and once again, I suffered the consequences of a character flaw; haste. After enduring many disappointments and heartaches of not being able to accomplish my life’s visions and goal, I decided that being an attorney was not for me after-all. For the last 3 years, I have resorted to retiring my visions, and decided to enter the workforce. First, I interned in my sister’s small family law practice, and enjoying every minute of it. After tiring of watching my vision become someone else’s reality, I moved forward and proceeded to render my services to my community by working as an Americorps VISTA, helping alleviate poverty in my community by assisting ex-offenders adjust to reentering society. Watching the faces and attitudes of these men, women, and youth, turn from that of despondency to that of optimism reignited that fire inside me that once burned intensely. Having been rejuvenated by my life’s course, I can certainly appreciate other individuals who have been victimized. I not only hear of the shame and overwhelming feelings these individuals encounter, but I have witnessed them firsthand. It is here that I have found my strength and for this reason, I have decided to prepare myself to continue my educational aspirations and be that voice for the ashamed and helpless. I now find myself staying the course with a slight bit of fear in my heart, but determination in my soul. I know wholeheartedly that in spite of my academic blemishes, my whole person speaks volumes of success, and when given an opportunity, my contribution to my community, my family, and myself will best be served as a practicing attorney, and I am fully and wholeheartedly prepared to give better than my best as a student at XXX Law School.

User avatar
NosferatuDracon
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:19 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby NosferatuDracon » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:36 pm

:shock:
Last edited by NosferatuDracon on Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mighty Boom
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Mighty Boom » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:49 pm

E.Action wrote:Hi, new on here, but I found it helpful reading many other personal statements. I have a question: I got 166, 3.8 gpa, and I'm applying to uva, duke, ucla as reaches, with a few other "safer" options. My application isn't complete, but should be within the next week. Does anyone have a feel as to whether applying in January will really hurt my chances? Thanks.
Here's a first draft of a Personal Statement, any feedback at all is great. TIA

I consider myself to be in the 99.99th percentile of luckiest humans ever to walk the earth. Born into history’s most prosperous economy, I have been educated in a country founded on the ideals of liberty and self-determination. I am the eldest son of two loving, diligent, intelligent parents who have provided most thoroughly in every way, and demonstrated humility and piety. I do not know why my luck is so, but the truth of it is compelling to me. I really don’t mean to be trite, but as I come of age under this realization I can only feel that I’ve been given a tremendous gift of opportunity. With this opportunity, I think an equal measure of responsibility follows; to maximize my own potential, and to be a force in the world that mirrors the fertile and supportive circumstances dealt to me.
I want to be a lawyer because lawyers are educated to be highly informed citizens, the most active citizens in shaping the nation’s present and future. Lawyers are uniquely positioned in society. They possess an invaluable skill set that is integral to any important facet of life, and are relied upon by individuals and the community. I do not anticipate single handedly saving the whales or bringing peace to the Gaza Strip; in fact I do not yet know where in the wide scope of law I will choose to make my career. But whether it is advocating for the seas, working in the business world, or practicing in a community, I want to approach a career as a lawyer with interest and integrity, so that I may have a working dimension to my life that is fully satisfying, profitable, and a worthwhile influence in the area of my work. I have carefully considered a career in law, and done plenty of research. I am convinced that a career in law is a fantastic way to expend one’s energies toward constructive and beneficent ends.
Science is my background, and there is much I enjoy about it. Education in biology and psychology, work in a lab doing biochemical assays on neurons in a dish, and field work manning a seine net and counting fish have instilled a true enthusiasm and respect for data. Equally sincere is my love for the natural world, in all it’s evolved, but, maybe also created glory. As my first paragraph alluded to I often wonder about existential questions, but I believe there is beauty in the scientific insistence on simple empiricism. And since the existential questions are the impossible ones to answer for sure, I try to bring the scientific virtues of objectivity, observation, and rigor to bear on the ways I may improve life and my surroundings.
Despite my altogether typical middle class upbringing, I think that I can bring diversity of thought to (COLLEGE) through my background in science. Through my employment since graduating from Virginia Tech I have been exposed to law through OSHA in the lab, following biohazard disposal regulations, and hazardous material protocols. I have seen a medical professor’s view of patent issues in novel drug development. Most interestingly, for me, was my involvement in monitoring the population of an endangered freshwater fish, the Roanoke Logperch. I worked with scientists for the Virginia Tech Department of Fisheries, ensuring that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers remained in compliance of the Endangered Species Act as they created flood-controlling bench cuts on the banks of the urban Roanoke River. I am fascinated by the myriad ways in which the law acts in support of the individual and the common, and at times frustrated where I feel it fails to adequately address those interests.
I believe that my background and my abilities, and hopefully my priorities, make me uniquely positioned to be effective in many areas of the law. I think that (COLLEGE) is a great (fit, foundation) for my goals, and that I can in turn be a credit to (COLLEGE).


Awesome statement.

brick295
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:28 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby brick295 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:31 pm

Hi, this is a first draft at a personal statement... I wrote this as an "intellectual autobiography" for my Sr. Writing Seminar and the professor was very impresses with it... I plan to change it to add more about why I want to attend law school, but I was hoping for some feedback on what fits/works and what doesn't...

ANY and ALL feedback is appreciated..

I am applying to mostly T3 and T4 schools due to a horrific GPA but I do have a 161 LSAT that puts me significantly above the 75% at almost every school I am considering

***************
I remember finishing the book Hello Moon and feeling a sense of accomplishment. That was the first book that I ever read and I had not yet begun kindergarten. It is my belief that reading is the single most important aspect in the development of one’s intellect and academic ability. Learning to read at a young age allowed me to begin to explore the world on my own, and by doing so I developed my intellect in a more rounded manner than simply reading, remembering and regurgitating the material taught in school. My current intellectual perspective is a product of years of reading books, magazines, and newspapers. The perspective gained from seeking out new knowledge is, in my opinion, extremely valuable as it allows one to think critically and independently rather than knowing only what you are told.
The greatest influences in the shaping of my intellect today were not part of any curriculum in school, but rather they came in the form of books on politics and history, articles in newspapers and magazines, and opinions expressed on TV and radio. These outside sources offer a different perspective than the traditional who what and where of a lesson taught in school, as they look at issues and events in a more critical and analytical light. It is this type of thinking that interests me the most, and I feel it gives a more complete understanding of the issue at hand. This analytical thinking has shaped my intellect, changing my outlook from time to time as new ideas and perspectives have influenced my way of looking at the world.
Like many other people, I have not held the same outlook on the world entire life. Early on, my perspective was limited and my view of the world and life was very narrow and simplistic. As I grew older and gained more knowledge in school and on my own, as well as gaining the experiences and perspective that come with time, my view has changed. Throughout high school, I thought that I knew a lot about the world, and to some extent I did, at least in comparison to most people my age, but, at the same time I did not understand the big picture of things the way I do now.
One of the specific catalysts to changing my way of thinking was my participation in a program called Youth and Government, which allows high school students to learn the legislative process through first hand participation. Students create a piece of legislation regarding a current issue of their choosing, and then debate and vote on legislation created by other students from across the state at a three day Model Legislature in the Capitol Building in Harrisburg. The Model Legislature fully replicates the Pennsylvania State Legislature, from committee meetings all the way up to the General Assembly in the House and Senate. In addition, the Model legislature culminates in the Youth Governor, elected at the previous years session, signing into laws the pieces of legislation that were passed during the session. By participating in this program, I got a chance to see how the government really worked. This new perspective increased my already growing interest in politics and made me want to learn more about them, eventually leading to my selection of Political Science as a major in college, and causing me to aspire to be a State Representative.
My perspective on the world has changed as I have grown older and as I have progressed through college. Watching the Presidential election of 2004 unfold as a freshman in college was, in my opinion, a very important experience. I have often thought of it as a unique situation, as the circumstances of the election such as, the War on Terror, the intense media focus, and the seemingly greater than ever partisanship in the country made for a memorable campaign during a formative part of my life. In a way it both strengthened my interest in politics and diminished it at the same time. The election piqued my interest due to the pomp and circumstance surrounding it, but also lessened it because of the same factors.
As I continued through college, I began to take a lot of history courses, somewhat unconsciously at first, then as an effort to complete a Minor, and finally as a Major. History interests me so much for the same reason Political Science does: the surrounding events and circumstances that caused something to happen the way that it did. Whether it be the Civil War, the Roman Empire, or The Cold War, I have always wanted to find out why it happened that particular way and how it affected what came after it. History has also helped to shape my outlook, as seeing the events that have played out across history repeat themselves, and kingdoms and empires coming and going makes everything that much easier to put into perspective.
My intellect has followed an indirect path to reach its current state. There was never really a plan on where to go, but rather it was shaped by a search for more information, and the course taken has been a result of each new piece of information influencing me in a different manner. I look back and wonder what I would be like and how I would think if I were never stimulated to learn as a child, how it would change me if I had never asked “Why?”, what I would think like if I didn’t read serious subject matter on politics and history as well as works of fiction from authors like King, Tolkien, Steinbeck and Orwell. I don’t know for sure how I would think or look at the world if I never did these things, but I do know that it would be in a far more narrow view.
**********

Thanks...

NDJ123
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:52 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby NDJ123 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:28 am

Ninad
Undergrad Average JD CAS - A + (Superior)
Grad GPA - 3.5
LSAT - Took in Feb, 2009

Please comment on my PS. This is the first draft. I am really not sure how to conclude. All suggestions are welcome.

I very vividly remember that November day. I was in the seventh grade. The results of the term-end examination had been declared. As usual I was among the top five students in the school. But I was not the topmost student. The continued disappointment of being so near, yet so far from that coveted numero uno position was really beginning to pinch me now. After lengthy introspection into what I seemed to be doing wrong, I decided to confer in my mathematics teacher. She asked me my motivation behind aiming that top spot. I replied I wanted to be the best so that my parents and relatives would praise me and my friends would hold me in high regard. After analyzing my predicament, the teacher concluded that my problem had nothing to do with me being intellectually inferior to those who had scored higher than me. Neither did it have anything to do with me failing to put in sufficient efforts.
It was a basic flaw in my approach. She told me that as long as I worked to prove something to others, I would never be the best. One’s only true competition is oneself. If you have the inner urge to keep on getting better and bigger, no sort of external competition can affect you and only the sky is the limit. If I succeed it is my success and if I fail it is my failure. Just like the Bhagvad Gita tells us that every individual alone is responsible and accountable for his own actions, I alone will enjoy the results of my actions. There are no companions on the road to salvation. This realization changed my approach to life. I now worked because I knew that I alone stand to gain from it. The results were evident soon enough. In the grade ten examinations, I topped my school and was placed seventeenth in Mumbai city from a group of over 150,000 candidates.
My childhood was nothing short of interesting. My father worked as an engineer in the merchant navy and my mother was a pathologist. On one hand the nature of my father’s job required that he stay away from home for over six months at a stretch, but on the other hand it ensured financial stability and a comfortable life. I even had the opportunity to sail with my father during the summer vacations. Before the advent of globalization in the Indian markets, foreign travel was not a common thing in India. Thanks to my father’s job, we had the opportunity to visit several foreign countries. With my father being away I grew closer to my brother, who was four years elder to me. My brother always aspired to join the Indian Army. In eighth grade, he entered military school and later graduated from the Indian National Defense Academy. He was commissioned into the Army as a Captain. With my brother moving out, I began to feel lonely and I turned to reading and pursued other activities like learning foreign languages.
After completing high school, I started my under graduation at the University of Mumbai majoring in electronics engineering. During my spare time, I studied Japanese and German. I actively participated in activities of the Indo-Japanese Society, organizing and managing cultural exchange workshops and speech contests. Although initially I embarked on this enterprise merely as a hobby, it was later on that I realized the competitive edge it had conferred on me. Even during the current recession, I was able to secure a job with a leading investment bank like BNP Paribas, Japan thanks partly to my knowledge of the Japanese language. The lessons I had learnt in the eighth grade helped me and I graduated in the top 1 % of my class.
I also completed an internship at a securities firm in Mumbai after my third year of under graduation and this experience was responsible for my choice of Finance as my graduate major at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the USA. After I had taken my first class in risk management with Dr. Michael Ong, former Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer for ABN AMRO and Credit Agricole, I was convinced that risk management was the field I wanted to pursue a career in. My under graduate training in mathematics and computer programming certainly allowed me to run complex simulations, but there was something amiss. As part of my credit risk course, I designed a rating system that would rate the different bonds in a bank’s portfolio and quantify the credit risk of the entire portfolio. My model was excellent, but it was not Basel II compliant. I realized that for any system to be marketable, it should not only be mathematically and computationally efficient, but also be compliant with guidelines set by the regulatory agencies.
This understanding has been reinforced ever since I have started working at BNP. Working in the credit risk department, a part of my job involves handling the workout of bad loans. The entire lending process seemed quite mundane at first, involving the obligor borrowing money and then making periodic interest payments and a final principal repayment to settle its obligations. There was hardly a quantitative side to that. If this procedure is so easy then why do the banks require highly qualified persons performing these operations? The more I delved into this matter I came to realize that it is not as simple. What are the steps to be taken in originating the loan? How does the creditor keep tabs on the repayments and monitor the financial health of the obligors and what is the appropriate recourse in case a loan goes bad? If all attempts at restructuring the debt or affecting some form of mutual compromise fail, forcing an involuntary bankruptcy on the obligor could be a viable option for the creditor to protect its rights. What is the proper Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that needs to be invoked? All my quantitative knowledge so far proved unsuccessful in answering the above questions. The last part of the puzzle was missing. I had no idea about the various legal procedures that need to be followed in all these financial transactions.
With the current recession just getting worse, governments all over the world are becoming involved in efforts to revive the credit markets. This crisis is no longer just financial, it has become political. Government intervention implies more stringent guidelines and closer monitoring of the markets as the taxpayer money is being used in bailing out the beleaguered financial institutions. It is no longer sufficient for the best finance professionals to know only the quantitative aspect of banking. The complete package would be someone who also knows the legal and regulatory aspects of banking. This is my prime motivation behind applying to law school and concentrate on business law.

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

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby nikkei325i » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:26 pm

I thought I posted already...

I was taking yet another typical trip to Orlando, Florida, accompanying my parents on a business trip; however, this time I took with me a “souvenir” unlike any other that would remind me of my parents’ legal dispute that changed my outlook on the meaning of homeownership.

My initial reason for coming along with my parents was due to curiosity of knowing what kind of troubles my parents were dealing with in Orlando and how they were going to get out of it. I have always heard my parents talking about their vacation home, but never bothered to question them about it until that day. After attacking my parents with several questions, I learned that they were involved in a legal dispute with their property management company. This company had entered into an agreement with my parents, taking on the responsibility of renting, occupying, and paying off all necessary taxes and payments for the term of two years on our vacation home. In less than a year, however, the company defaulted, failing to carryout the agreed upon responsibilities. The case still continues to this day, as do my parents’ worries.

It was this legal dispute that jump-started my interest in property law. Seeing my father’s mental anguish since the beginning of this battle left me in a frustrated mental state, yet at the same time I understood why he acted that way. These tangible objects we call “homes” are the most expensive purchases we ever make in our lives; my father, like millions of others, contributes approximately one-third of his life working for his home. But I believe that a home has a deeper meaning to it; it describes the significance, unforgettable memories, and sentimental value that a person establishes in these objects. Most immigrants’ reason for traveling to this country is to obtain the “American Dream;” that is, the traditional social ideal where one has the opportunity and freedom to own their home. The perseverance, dedication, and time essential to purchasing a home is enormous, and one would do everything in their power to keep it.

When looking at my father’s position the picture becomes clearer then for why the uncertainty of possibly losing your home at any moment can be distressing. After analyzing my parents’ situation, and realizing some of the potential consequences they faced, I was determined to find out how I could aid in salvaging not only my parents,’ but others’ homes that are lost, or are at risk of being lost, due to uncontrollable and unforeseeable events.

When I returned home, I immediately consulted my sister, who is in the mortgage business, about pursuing my desire. Luck was on my side as she had found and setup an internship for me with a property attorney. This attorney, due to the current economic situation, concentrates specifically on providing help to those individuals who are in danger of foreclosure. In my time working with the attorney, one specific client of hers caught my attention. I remember vividly how distressed this man sounded from the volatile tone of his words; most were soft and hesitant, and carefully reciprocated to every one of the attorney’s questions; others peaked to levels that gave off a clear sign of frustration. It reminded me of my father’s words and the expression on his face in Florida.

After their conversation the chance to expand on my curiosity became vacant, and it was here that my perspective on being a homeowner could really shine through. The attorney had turned the spotlight on me as she put me in control, by requesting that I propose a remedy. I began by analyzing her client’s problem: a man facing foreclosure on his home because of a sour marriage that resulted in a decline in his household income. Then I had to ask myself several questions: How severe is his situation? Is achieving a solution to his problem realistic? What are the factors preventing him from keeping his home? As I examined his financial statements I found that his expenses were moderate, and could be realistically solved. I followed up with him and took note of other factors affecting his circumstance such as support of four children, so childcare is essential. Moreover, he held a second job at night which showed that he was making an effort to cover his mortgage payment and also mentioned his efforts of rekindling of his marriage through counseling.

When formulating a method to resolve the client’s situation I wanted to create a solution that would not drastically shift his lifestyle away from his current one. The solution I came up with was playing-out-the-numbers as being the best bet to tackling the problem. By reviewing his financial statements and identifying expenses that I could reduce in targeted areas where amounts appeared overextended, while keeping in mind what his priorities I was able to create an effective measure for the client that would allow him to maintain his current lifestyle in a better position. Although the method alone was not enough to resolve the client’s problems, it played a significant role in assisting the attorney in formulating her own solution to getting her client on the right track.

It was during the 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. Although by working alongside the attorney I was able to gain a better understanding and become more involved in the legal process, my assistance was limited by how little I knew. To become a more effective advocate for troubled individuals such as my parents or the attorney’s client, I realized that law school is necessary.

overbored917
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:42 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby overbored917 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:55 pm

This is my rough draft. Feel free to critique the substance and structure of this essay.
ANY RESPONSE IS APPRECIATED.
“What can you do with a Philosophy degree?” they asked me. Friends and family wondered, sometimes I did too.
I sensed disappointment and confusion when they heard I majored in Philosophy. Till this day my father claims that my degree was a waste of time and money because it did not lead to a career. Does a college education have intrinsic value, rather, do those who question me value the intrinsic quality of a college education? For me, a four year degree equates to an education which is invaluable for a life time, but clearly, they do not agree. After dedicating four years of studies, it is disheartening that the people around me feel this way but I chose to major in philosophy because I enjoyed the nature of it’s study.
Often there is no right or wrong answer to some philosophical issues, such as, the existence of God or the definition of happiness. This proved to many of my fellow students as pointless and tiresome. I, on the other hand, embraced these kinds of arguments because it forced me to analyze and think critically-the basis of a sound argument. Each statement in an argument supports another statement and there is no space for groundless opinions. This concept has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the use of logic and reason.
It is not about which argument is right or wrong more than it is which argument is stronger. For me, formulating a “winning” argument from given facts using governing rules is more rewarding than arriving at the correct answer. Philosophy has honed my ability to argue a case more fervently, express myself more clearly and enabled me to take on different perspectives without influence of personal biases.
Travel has always been one of my passions, after college I seized the opportunity to journey the world to gain as much exposure and adventure as my pockets could afford. As I flip through my dense photo album and passport filled with custom stamps and visas, I reminisce about my visits to Sweden, Italy, Germany and many other European countries. These countries are rich in culture, tradition and history but the one place that impacted my mind, is the land where my parents were born and raised - India.
As I walk down the streets where my parents grew up, I witnessed widespread poverty, famine and disease. Countless numbers of people live in huts on streets , lacking a basic bathroom, made out of plastic and steel scrapped from garbage dumps. Fresh water is a scarcity so rainfall was an opportunity for a shower. Children begged me incessantly for money as soon as they noticed that I was a Westerner. Other homeless people suffered from primitive diseases such as polio and leporacy.
These are just a few examples of the challenges that people in other countries face and this experience made me realize why my parents constantly remind me how fortunate I am to be an American, not only for our civil liberties but because I would not have to suffer the same economic hardships they have when they were young. The indigence that surrounded my parents not only humbled me but also led me to believe that, as a second generation Asian American, opportunity to become whatever I aspire lies within my reach.
For the majority of my life, I “wondered” which career would be right for me but now I firmly believe that law school is the next step to my career. Philosophy and Law, at their cores, are similar. Both involve critical thought and analysis to arrive at a conclusion. I have always welcomed the challenge from interdisciplinary studies, a healthy and progressive debate, while enjoying the intellectual stimulation that follows.
Although I have taken the LSAT several times, my relentless determination to achieve a goal is a defining trait that cannot be seen through testing grades or GPA. My educational career thus far, as well my extensive travel experiences, both helped me to become a more rounded individual with maturity and a broader sense for perspective as well as understanding. I believe, these traits make me especially suited to a career in law. I do not regret my endeavors as a philosophy major but once I gain admission to law school, I hope to proudly answer that daunting question , “With a philosophy degree I will be a lawyer.”

Z.A.M.I
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:17 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Z.A.M.I » Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:24 am

overbored917 wrote:This is my rough draft. Feel free to critique the substance and structure of this essay.
ANY RESPONSE IS APPRECIATED.
“What can you do with a Philosophy degree?” they asked me. Friends and family wondered, sometimes I did too.
I sensed disappointment and confusion when they heard I majored in Philosophy. Till this day my father claims that my degree was a waste of time and money because it did not lead to a career. Does a college education have intrinsic value, rather, do those who question me value the intrinsic quality of a college education? For me, a four year degree equates to an education which is invaluable for a life time, but clearly, they do not agree. After dedicating four years of studies, it is disheartening that the people around me feel this way but I chose to major in philosophy because I enjoyed the nature of it’s study.
Often there is no right or wrong answer to some philosophical issues, such as, the existence of God or the definition of happiness. This proved to many of my fellow students as pointless and tiresome. I, on the other hand, embraced these kinds of arguments because it forced me to analyze and think critically-the basis of a sound argument. Each statement in an argument supports another statement and there is no space for groundless opinions. This concept has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the use of logic and reason.
It is not about which argument is right or wrong more than it is which argument is stronger. For me, formulating a “winning” argument from given facts using governing rules is more rewarding than arriving at the correct answer. Philosophy has honed my ability to argue a case more fervently, express myself more clearly and enabled me to take on different perspectives without influence of personal biases.
Travel has always been one of my passions, after college I seized the opportunity to journey the world to gain as much exposure and adventure as my pockets could afford. As I flip through my dense photo album and passport filled with custom stamps and visas, I reminisce about my visits to Sweden, Italy, Germany and many other European countries. These countries are rich in culture, tradition and history but the one place that impacted my mind, is the land where my parents were born and raised - India.
As I walk down the streets where my parents grew up, I witnessed widespread poverty, famine and disease. Countless numbers of people live in huts on streets , lacking a basic bathroom, made out of plastic and steel scrapped from garbage dumps. Fresh water is a scarcity so rainfall was an opportunity for a shower. Children begged me incessantly for money as soon as they noticed that I was a Westerner. Other homeless people suffered from primitive diseases such as polio and leporacy.
These are just a few examples of the challenges that people in other countries face and this experience made me realize why my parents constantly remind me how fortunate I am to be an American, not only for our civil liberties but because I would not have to suffer the same economic hardships they have when they were young. The indigence that surrounded my parents not only humbled me but also led me to believe that, as a second generation Asian American, opportunity to become whatever I aspire lies within my reach.
For the majority of my life, I “wondered” which career would be right for me but now I firmly believe that law school is the next step to my career. Philosophy and Law, at their cores, are similar. Both involve critical thought and analysis to arrive at a conclusion. I have always welcomed the challenge from interdisciplinary studies, a healthy and progressive debate, while enjoying the intellectual stimulation that follows.
Although I have taken the LSAT several times, my relentless determination to achieve a goal is a defining trait that cannot be seen through testing grades or GPA. My educational career thus far, as well my extensive travel experiences, both helped me to become a more rounded individual with maturity and a broader sense for perspective as well as understanding. I believe, these traits make me especially suited to a career in law. I do not regret my endeavors as a philosophy major but once I gain admission to law school, I hope to proudly answer that daunting question , “With a philosophy degree I will be a lawyer.”


Travel came out of nowhere... So now I don't want to read it. Also, its best that you stick to one topic, two topics/themes if they connect to one another. I liked the beginning, it's just not fluid.

G'luck.

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

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:02 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:Waiting anxiously in the *insert place* summer heat, I stared down at my simple black leather pumps, conservative gray skirt suit, and pearls. Others casually walked by in shorts and flip-flops, wishing me good luck and urging me to relax. This was the day of my oral examination, the exam that had determined whether or not I advanced to Ph.D. candidacy.

Hmmm Strange sequence of tenses. It was the day of the exam, that later HAD determined. Well, I guess its OK.


I had left the presentation room after briefly introducing myself, an oral exam tradition loathed by graduate students.

Seems like "Tradition..." is modifying "myself". I mean it cannot possibly modify "introducing". And why this obsession with past perfect??? "had left".

To pass the time before beginning my exam, I began to think about how I had come to be this nervous young woman on the path to a doctorate in organic chemistry.

I guess that concludes introduction paragraph and opens the door to something quite boring. I mean, path to the doctorate in organic chemistry cannot possibly be exciting. My dear reader, brace yourself. Reminisent mood. Always good.

Having grown up in a rural *insert place* town with a single, lonely stoplight, my initial interest in science began as a child who inquisitively explored the wonders of the surrounding nature.

Are you saying that your initial interest grew up in "insert place". And it began as a child. What an atrocious construction.

In high school and college, chemistry in particular piqued my interest because this discipline seemed to possess the ability to explain countless physical phenomena.

Damn, I believe your High School in a town with lonely stop sign saved a lot on a physics teacher. Last time I checked, physics explained physical phenomena. Countless at that.

While other students considered organic chemistry a necessarily evil, I enjoyed the subject material and its applications to pharmacology, motivating me to pursue research with an organic chemistry professor, Dr. S., at my small university.

Could it be "Motivating myself"??? And which applications to pharmacology you are talking about. I know you are trying to connect your scientific experiences to some potentialy "Patent" stuff, but well, not untill you strated your research you can talk about "applications to phatrmacology".
And why is "In my small university". What for?


Dr. S. introduced me to the world of academic research, which I quickly realized was vastly different than the chemistry coursework that had originally motivated this pursuit.

It was "different from". Ouuu Now I see, it was "subject material " that was "motivating you" in the previous paragraph. awwwwwkward...

Instead of consulting textbooks, I tapped into the seemingly endless number of original papers on the cutting edge of research.

What was that all about.?. are you trying to say that you are better then people who read the textbook. Or textbooks were bad??.. Why "Instead of consulting textbooks"???..

The goal of my project was deceptively simple – to more cost-effectively assemble tetralones, molecules that show promise as treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

After a year of running a multitude of chemical reactions, I traveled to New Orleans to present our results at an international gathering of over ten thousand chemists.

Damn what an awkward construction - "After a year of running reactions you travelled to New Orleans". I would expect that you had some results.

At the time, my two-hour poster session seemed insignificant compared to the lectures given by chemistry superstars and Nobel laureates.

And, I have to dissapoint you, It still seems insignificant, compared to NP laureats. Sorry to bring bad news.

However, this conference provided the opportunity to receive input from other chemists working on similar projects, and I also learned something much more valuable – that chemistry is not only an academic discipline, but also a scientific community.

Chemistry is a community??? I need to update a wikipedia article.

During my senior year, I continued to improve the tetralone synthesis with Dr. S., and also enrolled in several advanced level chemistry courses. My theoretical organic chemistry course was especially inspiring – introducing me to the applications of chemical theory and computational chemistry. I was fascinated by the way in which calculations could explain chemical phenomena, and realized why I had felt a vague frustration with experimental research: as long as the reaction gave the desired result, there was rarely a question of how or why that result was obtained.

I think you knew HOW the result was obtained. I mean you did it. Why - probably not.


Enthused about these chemical intellectual pursuits, the decision to attend graduate school was natural.


At this point I feel cheated on and defecated upon. What you did - and dont lie that you didnt, -You recylced you PS for graduate school. I mean you cannot possibly justify why all those details can be necessary for law school PS. You had a scientific project???? Big deal. Went to conference??? Good lord, Who didnt???. You thinking aboutwhy reaction was going the way it was can explain (poorly though) you interest in grad school. But hey, its over. You kinda need to sell other stuff here. No good.

Upon entering graduate school at *insert University*, I joined the *type of research* group of Professor X, where the questions of how and why were not only central to, but also the intrinsic goal of the research.

"Questions are not only central to but also a goal." I would make it parallel, but thats me.

Using quantum mechanical calculations to study organic reactions, I worked in collaboration with synthetic chemists to explain their puzzling results.

I can explain their puzzling results - sloppiness, loneliness and substance abuse. I dont need quantum mechanical calculations for that. But i digress


The choice of a topic for my oral exam had been particularly influenced by one project, the theoretical design of organocatalysts. Because these fascinating molecules have provided a new way to accelerate chemical reactions without using toxic chemicals, they are becoming important to the pharmaceutical industry for safe drug manufacturing.

You over use of "Fascinated" "Fascinating" is nausetaing. And I dont care much about current trends in pharmaceutical drug manufacturing. If I did I would consult someone who knows. But lets move on.

Scientific reminiscing proved to be an ideal relaxation technique. I re-entered the examination room and confidently proposed a novel way to purify and reuse these organocatalysts, fielding a variety of challenging questions and concerns from my committee.

It does seem like you came up with this "Novel way" while "reminiscing" (Damn, I sued that word in the beginning!!!). And huh, this sentence is so full of S. Confidently proposed, fielding a veriety of challenging questions... ahhhhhhh.

After celebrating my advancement to candidacy, I enthusiastically returned to my research, beginning several new endeavors and wrapping up other projects by preparing the results for submission to scientific journals. I so enjoyed writing the manuscripts that told the story of my research that I thought I was destined for a career in scientific writing or publishing.

Non no no no no no no. Please stop right there. Such an awkward way to imply that you are good at writing. The best way, you know, is "Show dont tell". And what you have shown so far, gives the reader completely opposite idea. I mean dont go into the world of writing. Enjoyment should be mutual - that of a writer and that of a reader. Or at lest just reader's one. So far - no luck.



However, a seminar series that hosted guest speakers who were entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and intellectual property attorneys introduced me to a whole new idea – the business that is behind science.

Seems like you are a little bit of a flake. You are introduced to new ideas every 4 years and you are jumping right on them. I mean, you spent good 90% of this PS on nothing else but explaining your fascination with chemistry and justifying (poorly) your transition into computational research. And now you bring Patent stuff in a concludong paragraph. And it wasnt really your decision - Some guys lectured you and you got interested. I mean If you meet Jehova witnesses - run away. It seems like you can be easily influenced.


This was my first formal introduction to the important role that law plays in bringing a technology to market. As a guest speaker, the university’s Vice Provost of Intellectual Property advertised an internship program at the *insert University* Office of Intellectual Property.

Now I feel that You Grad School PS was recycled in a Cover Letter to this internship. And Then Cover Letter was recycled into LS PS. Oh well, at least enviromentally friendly.

Through the writing of invention summaries, strategic marketing in search of licensees, and prior art searches, this internship gave me the opportunity to play an integral part in technology commercialization and protection.

The internship was writing summaries??/ Hmmmmmmm.. Is canadian grammar very different from (from, not then) American???

The exposure to a wide variety of state of the art technologies was truly exciting. In addition, I have recently begun to prepare for the patent bar exam, giving me a deeper look into the intricacies of the function of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Who cares???.. Seriously, Law School is where you study law. If you can do without - Why bother wasing 3 years???.. You can work and study for patent bar. Unles of course you had problems finding employment.

Bringing a technology to market is a more complicated process than I had ever previously imagined, requiring careful application of technologies without stifling innovation.

Thats an interesting statement. What it tells about you. Really nothing. And why did you put it here??? So that your PS will snugly fill the whole page???

For these reasons, I look forward to the study of law and to having a legal career, while still remaining a scientist at heart.

For what reasons???




Well Now my reader probably wants to ask me questions - are there any positive sides of this PS??, Can we lear from this PS??, Are you single ???

The answers are Yes, Yes A lot, and Not relevant. And it was me who ended that.

The best part of PS is undoubtedly the very beginning-

Stats:
In - NYU, Berkeley, Penn, Cornell, Georgetown, UCLA, UT, USC, GW, Santa Clara
WL - ?
Out - ?
Still Waiting: Columbia, HYS
LSAT - 168
GPA - 3.93

Attending - TBD


With sub 170 LSAT, the poster managed to get into NYU and Penn. And not from waitlist. So this should be a guidance for all aspiring lawyers - Go to Bumble F*** university, pul a 3.9X and bright fututre awaits you.

The unexpected positive side of that PS is that it tells the reader that OP will be very well suited for patent litigation. Its a boring subject and it seems that OP doesnt really look for excitement.

What can we learn from that. A lot. OP got into NYU. And LSAT <170. And PS is described above. So, anytime you think of posting thread like "Is it OK to use the word F*** on the PS" and trying to justify such atrocity with retarded comment that your PS will be much more interesting - stop yourself.

PS function is not to be interesting , but to get you an acceptance. OP got it with hers (thats why we can rate this PS A-/B+), and if you use "F***" in you r PS, or "N*****", or mention "50 babes in bikinis" (Those are all real examples from here), you will entertain a reader, but probably wont get into LS.

Action Jackson
Posts: 328
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Action Jackson » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:36 am

I have to be perfectly honest with you Amy, this isn't a very good PS. JD is being extremely abrasive, but he's sort of right about the points he makes. Your opening paragraph alone has a couple of grammatical mistakes, and you introduce your interest in patent law at the very end without any set up or logical flow into it. How JD made his comment were, I believe, inappropriate, but they shouldn't be discounted outright (unfortunately).

Honestly, Amy, I wouldn't share this PS. I don't think there's any way this added positively to your application package.

sbalive
Posts: 399
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby sbalive » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:16 pm

Wow. What strange people show up on this thread. Well, I think that Amy can defend herself, and she's got enough great acceptances to show off anyway. But, I will write this to tell prospective PhDs to disregard the previous comments and use this as a model for a well-written PS that brings in your scientific interests in a way that can appeal to an admissions officer. Also, it highlights how taking advantage of opportunities like the tech transfer office internship can be really powerful.

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frank_the_tank
Posts: 229
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby frank_the_tank » Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:20 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:
sbalive wrote:Wow. What strange people show up on this thread. Well, I think that Amy can defend herself, and she's got enough great acceptances to show off anyway. But, I will write this to tell prospective PhDs to disregard the previous comments and use this as a model for a well-written PS that brings in your scientific interests in a way that can appeal to an admissions officer. Also, it highlights how taking advantage of opportunities like the tech transfer office internship can be really powerful.


Glad someone likes it, so thanks, but I understand that a lot of this is just personal preference, and I can respect other people's opinions. I don't really feel the need to defend myself, as it really is just a thread on a law school forum, and I was under the impression that this is a place where people share their PSs. And it is pretty simple: If you don't like it, don't use it as a model. If you do like it, feel free to get ideas from it. :)



Thank you for posting your PS, Amy.


If people are going to critique it, I think that is great. Just try to be respectful and appreciate that she didn't post it for her own benefit...only to help others that are stuck and maybe looking for ideas.

Action Jackson
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:46 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Action Jackson » Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:32 pm

frank_the_tank wrote:
amyLAchemist wrote:
sbalive wrote:Wow. What strange people show up on this thread. Well, I think that Amy can defend herself, and she's got enough great acceptances to show off anyway. But, I will write this to tell prospective PhDs to disregard the previous comments and use this as a model for a well-written PS that brings in your scientific interests in a way that can appeal to an admissions officer. Also, it highlights how taking advantage of opportunities like the tech transfer office internship can be really powerful.


Glad someone likes it, so thanks, but I understand that a lot of this is just personal preference, and I can respect other people's opinions. I don't really feel the need to defend myself, as it really is just a thread on a law school forum, and I was under the impression that this is a place where people share their PSs. And it is pretty simple: If you don't like it, don't use it as a model. If you do like it, feel free to get ideas from it. :)



Thank you for posting your PS, Amy.


If people are going to critique it, I think that is great. Just try to be respectful and appreciate that she didn't post it for her own benefit...only to help others that are stuck and maybe looking for ideas.

My concern, and the reason I made my comments, is that this shouldn't be used as a model, because there are several things wrong with it. Not wrong in a subjective way, but wrong in a very objective way. It has grammatical and structural problems. Amy might not care, and hopefully these problems either won't affect her in law school (where writing ability does matter), but these are real problems nonetheless.

Well, I think that Amy can defend herself, and she's got enough great acceptances to show off anyway

This is the other reason I made my comments: the fact that Amy has a PhD in chemistry means she's being judged very differently than most candidates. That's why I said there's no way it helped her app package. If you DON'T have a PhD in chemistry this is not a PS you should be looking at to get you into Penn or NYU.

There are a couple people on this board who's softs are so outside the norm that they shouldn't be categorized with the rest of us. Amy is one of those people. Those softs are what got her all of her wonderful acceptances, not this PS. Just keep that in mind.

User avatar
JustDude
Posts: 354
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:07 pm

Hey There.
No need to be ofended. Its all in good fum.
Amy is not a n00b, she know I talkS***.


But:


1. I gave a statement a B+/A-. I said it there. It wasnt D or C+. So it shows that not everything is bad. Some parts though were. The PS could be better, but it was still Good enough.


2. The main point of my answer was (In the end) That you willl be better off writing something like that, then trying to "Show off" and include inappropriate conent.

But, I will write this to tell prospective PhDs to disregard the previous comments and use this as a model for a well-written PS that brings in your scientific interests in a way that can appeal to an admissions officer.



I kinda though that prospective PhD's can decide for themselves. I mean they are doctors after all...



Also, it highlights how taking advantage of opportunities like the tech transfer office internship can be really powerful.


It could be powerful, no doubts. But story about that would belong to UCLA career center website.

passitback
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:14 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby passitback » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:30 am

3.95 - NYU
150 - LSAT

Applied to NYU, Columbia, Cornell, Fordham, St. John's, Brooklyn, Cardozo, Illlinois, BU, BC, Pace
Accepted: Rutgers-Newark (waiting on decisions from everyone but Rutgers)

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Each of us is empowered to invoke change. Looking back at the negative role my dad played in my life and the detrimental effect of his behavior on my emotional well-being, I have been determined, since age eight when he walked out of my life, to be an agent of positive change. I vowed to break the legacy he left - the chronic alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, and physical abuse. Positive change would start with me.

I married young, and when I learned that my wife was pregnant, I was determined to be the father I never had, setting a precedent for our future. I would break the succession of fatherless generations that adversely affected my family. For me, as an eighteen year old parent, failure was not an option. With a young family depending on me and only a high school diploma, I could not offer them a better future unless I pursued my dream of earning a college degree. To ensure my family’s well-being, I would need to make sacrifices. In spite of my educational limitations, I realized that I needed a job that would allow me to both support my family and save for college. I chose to work among educated people with diverse views and learn about their lives and opinions, which would ultimately edify my objectives and clarify my path.

Working as a chauffeur, I learned the value of higher education from many of my clients. My investment in a degree would soon introduce me to a career I would love. Thus, for three years I worked overtime, saved my tax returns, and adjusted my budget to be able to afford to go to college. In January 2001, I enrolled at Bronx Community College and, only a week into the semester, I recognized that I could only succeed with impeccable time management skills and the ability to multi-task. I graduated in five years from NYU, using every available moment of that time to maximize my academic experience.

For the past three years, I have been a high school English teacher and Youth Advisor. I watched young people grow, change, and evolve as responsible people with enhanced communication and critical thinking skills. Each young person I have helped toward maturity counts as my personal success. Through the educational experience, these students have gained an understanding of the ways to break the cycle of poverty and become contributing members of society. As an educator and mentor, I have helped many adolescents transition more responsibly into adulthood. My professional responsibilities extended beyond the classroom into the offices of school administrators, community organizations, government, local businesses, and not-for-profit organizations.

Working as an advocate and advisor, I discovered that my true calling is a career in law. I want all people, regardless of ethnicity, economic or societal position, to be well represented and know their rights. Through a career in law, I can be an agent of the change I want to see in the world in the words of Gandhi. Now, my life takes me to a fork in the road (as Yogi Berra said of a fork in the road, “Take it”) as I choose to take on an even greater challenge in life - the challenge of law school. My long-term goals include preserving and protecting the public interest as a litigator, perhaps as district attorney, part-time college law professor, and, in the long-term, as a justice of the court.

TigerHill007
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:44 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby TigerHill007 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:32 am

I can't wait to finish my personal statement after reading all the advice and tips you all have given out. Lord willing I will be able to knock out an epic one (fingers crossed). Thanks to everybody who contributed to this topic!!

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Jim_Stansel
Posts: 109
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Jim_Stansel » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:37 pm

3.32 / 174

In: University of Virginia, George Washington
Out: Texas
Waitlist: Georgetown, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Penn
No news yet: NYU, Columbia, WUSTL, Minnesota

My interest in the natural world began when I was very young and was partially shaped by my father, a project manager of financial computer systems during the week, an avid birdwatcher on the weekend. Participating with him on a survey tracking the population distribution of various bird species at the age of ten, I started to develop a rudimentary understanding of how science works. When my father introduced me to the theory of biological evolution, I remember being fascinated by the thought of all life on Earth being descended from a single, simple organism.

My curiosity about the complexities of the natural world drove me to learn more. I read the writings of respected evolutionary biologists such as Ernst Mayr and Stephen Jay Gould. Ultimately, I would major in biology in college and work on several different research projects addressing ecological issues such as invasive species and climate change.

I partially attribute the blooming and development of my interest in biology, and more generally science, to a desire to know reality, to understand the world around me. I also attribute it to an attraction to the process itself. We have all heard or learned about the scientific method at one time or another. Observations are made, hypotheses proposed, experiments carried out, data analyzed and interpreted. It is a disciplined and efficient, yet flexible, means of discovering truth, or at least of making sense of that which we can observe. Experiments are reproduced, research is peer reviewed before being published, and every fact and theory, no matter how strongly supported, is always open to rebuttal. This process, which holds reason in the highest regard, is what greatly appealed to me.

Surrounded by snow-laden pine and spruce trees in the quiet, isolated section of the Canadian boreal forest where I worked on a climate warming experiment over a year ago, I had ample time to think about my life and future. Although I gained satisfaction from participating in research that was both intellectually interesting and expanded the collective knowledge of important ecological problems, I soon realized that I did not want to stay confined to the field and laboratory. Law had always been something that appealed to me. Nevertheless, some people who know me were surprised when I, a student of biology, broke the news that I would be applying to law school. But while they were surprised, I was not. Some of those fundamental qualities of science: using reason and evidence to try and uncover truth and address complex questions, intellectual engagement, have clear parallels in the field of law.

The study of law appeals not only to my analytical nature, but also to my desire to work on a regulatory level. Although I want to enter law school with an open mind and explore different fields, one area that interests me is environmental law. I see it as a great opportunity to meld my interests and work at the intersection of science and society. Instead of producing scientific knowledge, I can be a part of the process that, in part, uses that knowledge to better inform our laws and policies concerning environmental matters. Whatever field I ultimately specialize in, I anticipate with excitement the opportunity to learn more and tackle complex legal and regulatory issues, and have confidence that my scientific perspective will better enable me to do so.

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bizjunkie4
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby bizjunkie4 » Thu May 14, 2009 12:41 pm

LSAT: 162
GPA: 3.8
Daily newspaper editor and reporter since 1998 (but still looking to improve as a writer.)
Accepted: Indiana-Bloomington, Northeastern, Lewis and Clark, Louisville
Waitlisted: Washington & Lee, Boston College, UConn
Priority Hold: University of Oregon
Rejected: Virginia

At the home-improvement store, I buy the smallest boxwood bushes and the most expensive light bulbs. My diminutive boxwoods don’t require pruning, and after a few years they turn into beautiful landscaping borders. Similarly, compact-fluorescent bulbs use less energy and last far longer than their cheaper incandescent cousins. These two purchasing decisions reflect my commitment to long-term investments. And while the circumstances may vary, I have applied the same long-term strategy to the most demanding challenges from my four years as a small business owner and my 11 years as a professional journalist. Sticking to this long-term strategy requires discipline, but I have found it produces superior results. Over the next three years, I hope to continue this philosophy at Washington & Lee University.
Here’s an example of a difficult choice that yielded solid long-term results: Two years ago, I renovated a 150-year-old house in one of Louisville’s historic urban neighborhoods. I did much of the work myself on evenings and weekends, but also hired skilled contractors and a crew of high school students. One of my best decisions was to hire Doug, a teenager with developmental disabilities who had never held a paid job. Doug was a risk, and I worried he might compromise safety on the job site. However, he was so enthusiastic during a one-day trial that I gave him a spot on our crew doing general labor. A few weeks later, four of us were standing in the home’s basement, straining as we pushed on a set of floor joists hanging above our heads. For this task, the only thing I asked of Doug was to encourage the rest of us. He shouted and cheered as we inched the joists into their pockets, and when it was over all five of us erupted in laughter. The moment turned into a rallying point for everyone, including our other high school workers who often needed motivation. Doug never learned how to do many of the complicated tasks required for the job, but our other employees worked harder when he was around. After a year of restoration work, I sold the house and made a modest profit.
Here’s another example of long-term decision making: Several years before the renovation project, I moved to Salem, Oregon, for the second of my three jobs in journalism. One of the first things I noticed about the area was its large population of first-generation Hispanic immigrants. To learn more about this group, I studied Spanish for a year and later helped launch a program at the newspaper that allowed other reporters to do the same. But my best decision was more unorthodox. Early one morning before work, I jogged to a local park where Hispanic soccer players held practices. There was only one player on the field that morning. I motioned to him with my hands to pass the ball, and he sent it skipping across the wet grass. Then, in broken English, he invited me to return in the afternoon. I eventually joined the team, and was its only Anglo player for several years. I used the relationships from this experience, along with my language skills, to produce a year-long series of stories in the newspaper about the area’s growing racial and ethnic diversity. The project was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists in 2002 as one of the best examples of diversity reporting in the Pacific Northwest.
In the 11 years since I received my bachelor’s degree, my ability to navigate difficult situations has been tested repeatedly. I've had the privilege to sit face to face with numerous governors, members of Congress and the executives of some of the nation's largest companies. I've also faced tough decisions as a part-time real estate investor, such as whether to evict tenants who are pregnant, mentally ill or breaking the law. One of the qualities I most admire in lawyers is their ability to carefully examine a situation, and choose the best course of action for a client. I have much to learn in this respect, but I believe my experience as a veteran journalist, business owner and community leader will be an asset in law school. I am firmly committed to the study of law, and look forward to the intellectual rigors of the next three years at Washington and Lee University. Like the incandescent light bulb or the boxwood bush, the long-term results will justify the investment.

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Kares
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Kares » Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:35 am

soooo I have written multiple statements... I think I may post one and see what you all think? if you don't mind reading or give some comments I'd really appreciate it... after the June LSAT I want a good PS :)

I was a tiny little girl when I dug my toes into the Georgia red clay; I was not budging. I had spent the better part of a day watching my family plant a field of okra, corn, and pumpkins: I wanted to see the seeds grow. My father told me I was stubborn. I knew better; I told him I was spunky. I believe what I meant to say was that I was tenacious.
Fifteen years later and I was at a standstill on I-85 northbound, my mother’s shaky voice sped along on the other end of the phone. It was dementia; my father was fifty four. I gritted my teeth and let the tears fall silently. I would not believe that, my father, the most accomplished and proud man I knew was going to become dependent and incapable.
Now, three years have passed, I am 21 years old. In these years I have been through and denied more emotions than I thought I was capable of feeling. I have watched my family fight legal battles to garner my father the funds to which he was entitled through disability benefits. The practical aspects of law have never been so apparent to me. I have never faced potential adversity so contingent to the success of law. Law, which had previously been impersonal and an occupational inclination, has become an intense passion and my desired career path. I have, through a personal struggle, determined a field which stokes my interest and in which I feel I can have an impact. I am determined to become an attorney.
I would like to conjoin this determination with the reasoning skills I have developed as an undergraduate and continue my pursuit of a career in law. I want to overcome the obstacles I have faced recently and develop them towards their most constructive purpose. After all as I noted to my father in less eloquent terms years ago; I am tenacious.

mgoblue2008
Posts: 9
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby mgoblue2008 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:45 pm

pinkelephant wrote:Note from Ken: The following thread has hundreds of law school personal statement samples in many different styles all contributed by TLS readers. For more personal statement samples and an analysis of those personal statements view Personal Statement Examples. For an entire article on properly writing a law school personal statement view TLS Personal Statement Advice. For more sample essays and writing advice from the best service for personal statement editing view essayedge.com.


LSAT - 174
GPA - 4.0
Accepted: everywhere I applied


I peered over my toes at the water streaming fifty feet down to the muddy pool below me and felt a queer beat in my stomach. For half an hour I had hiked a steep incline up to the cliff in flip-flops. Clinging tenaciously to the footpads, I skipped across small creeks, pulled myself up with the aid of jutting rocks and tree roots, and swung across gaps in the path on branches. But as I stood on the cliff, barefoot now, I forgot my strenuous climb and remembered that every step was taken for one reason - to jump. So I stilled the fear bouncing in my stomach, counted to three, hurled my body into the air, and fell.

I have been climbing uphill in flip-flops all my life. While I am aware that everybody climbs hills and faces obstacles in their lives, I also believe that the success of those battles may well be based on the foundation upon which one walks - how firm and supportive it is. As I look back, I realize that the challenges I have faced have enabled me to find a strong footing within a situation that was not altogether stable.

As a ten year old I grappled with panic attacks and even ulcers, a physical manifestation of the fear, guilt, and anxiety I felt primarily as a result of my father, an alcoholic, manic depressive, and sexually abusive man. Though I do have a few positive childhood memories of our motorcycle rides and camping trips, they are unfortunately surrounded and superseded by the majority of my experiences with him. Before I attended therapy and biofeedback sessions in fifth grade, the best way I knew to cope with my intense and disturbing feelings was to imagine them away. Every night before falling asleep I would fold my body tightly together and construct a world in which my father did not exist. He disappeared in a variety of ways - a chance fire, a freak accident, an unexplainable vanishing. In his place would appear a new gentle and supportive father. With these images I wooed myself to sleep every night, but the following morning I would again awake to the reality of my life. Eventually my coping mechanism became insufficient, and I began seeing a counselor.

Quickly this woman taught me to transform my paralyzing fears into a determined drive for success. With this skill learned, my life and my feelings about it improved immeasurably. My relationship with my father changed dramatically resulting from both a change in his behaviors and a change in my responses. Now, my drive for success is no longer fueled by a need to transform my life into something more positive, but rather a desire to continue its trajectory. I am the first person in my immediate family to attend and graduate from college, which I was able to do with the assistance of various academic scholarships. Due to my 64 hour/week job working with developmentally disabled individuals, I have been financially independent from my mother since my first step onto campus. In addition I have been able to financially assist my younger sister who now attends college. Most importantly, I have developed into a woman I am proud of -thoughtful, determined, compassionate, and forgiving, even of my father. I know now that though he has left an indelibly negative imprint on my life, he has also prompted a positive one.

After so many struggles, I'm now emotionally and mentally ready for new hills to climb and new pools to jump into, one of which I hope will be law school. I believe that with my now developed determination I will be able to successfully complete law school and with my heightened sense of compassion I will be able to assist those who, like me, perhaps began life with a shoddy foundation. As for me, my footwear is finally more supportive and sturdy. I've transformed my flip-flops into hiking boots.



"Most important," not "most importantly"

sorry, this is a pet peeve of mine

LoveSaltLife
Posts: 47
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby LoveSaltLife » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:16 pm

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Last edited by LoveSaltLife on Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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worldtraveler
Posts: 7664
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:31 am

FYI-
This isn't the thread for either critiquing a PS or for posting yours to be critiqued. It's the sample thread, so it's for finished PSs to be an example for other posters to use for ideas.

If you post one here and want feedback, people who are willing to do that generally aren't checking this thread. It's better to make your own thread.




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