Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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worldtraveler
Posts: 7662
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:32 am

Edited
Last edited by worldtraveler on Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

jd-mba
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby jd-mba » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:08 am

Can we please go back to posting stats + personal statement please? As much as I would like to read all the personal statements posted here and give feedback, I think many people will agree that it was the original intention of this thread to contain ONLY stats, personal statements, and acceptances/WLs/rejection so that future applicants like myself can benefit from the information. PS drafts seeking advice could be established as separate threads, I think your PS draft would less likely be lost among all the different posts.

Thanks!

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Lily
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:01 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Lily » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:53 pm

I am posting this here just so folks have a chance to see more actual personal statements. I am somewhat of a nontraditional student, as I have worked for over six years since obtaining my undergraduate degree. My PS seems long, but it was within the specified limit for the school. Always be sure you are following the guidelines of the school to which you're applying. Good luck! And, yes, I know my PS is pretty corny. I didn't post it here for comments, but rather because folks have been asking for more actual final personal statements and I like to be helpful. (:

Also, in my opinion, you should worry more about your GPA and your LSAT.

Undergraduate GPA: 3.0
LSAT: 163
Applied to Florida State University.
Accepted.

Sometimes, it takes years to discover what you are really good at; some folks know right away. You've read the statements of countless applicants who have a story about their lifelong love of law and their desire to continue the legacies of their fathers, but my story is not one of those. My story begins with a seed, a fortune cookie, which, at the time I opened it was like some kind of bad joke. "You would make a good lawyer." Living in bohemian New Orleans as a creative writing major, I cracked open my cookie, read these words, and considered it a cosmic insult. I did not recognize until years later—after having worked several years in the legislative arena—the eerie prescience of the cookie's message.

When I could no longer afford my tuition at Loyola University New Orleans, I relocated to Tallahassee, and Florida State University, in order to take advantage of the available Bright Futures money and in-state tuition. As a student in Tallahassee, I had not spent a great deal of time considering what went on inside the gigantic Capitol building or the other bland government buildings downtown. I was a poet, trained in creative writing; however, as you may be aware, employment in the field is hard to come by, particularly in a town the size of Tallahassee, and so I accepted a position at the Clerk's Office of the Florida House after graduation. It is dumb luck that I found an available editing job, as they, too, are in short supply. I considered myself in much better shape than most of my creative writing peers, in that I was being hired into a position in which I would be encouraged—required, even!—to use one or two of the skills I had acquired in college. I was well aware that English majors often accepted the first salaried office job they were offered, regardless of what paper-pushing drudgery it represented. I was lucky.

I didn't know my editing job would turn into anything more than that. At first, I considered it a placeholder. This was 2003. The position was temporary, scheduled to last for just one legislative session. The Master Plan was to earn that paycheck while looking for a more creative position, but as John Lennon observed, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Luckily, the Florida Legislature had several special sessions in 2003, which extended my temporary position long enough for me to realize the huge opportunity I had been given and my ability to excel in the field; seeing the behind-the-scenes work that goes into producing quality legislation gave me a deep respect for the good that government can do, when enabled by capable public servants. When a higher-level position opened up, I applied. I moved fast. I was promoted repeatedly, eventually becoming the editorial supervisor in the Office of the Clerk.

My work is tedious—some might say "mundane," but I would not—and requires a meticulous and analytical mind. Supervising the production of the legal record of the Florida House, the Journal, demands attention to detail not common in most office work. I have found joy in the precision of my work, becoming increasingly fascinated with the intricacies of legal writing and research. My mind has always been one given to curiosity and problem-solving. Crossword puzzles and word games alone once sated me; as an adult, I have grown to appreciate statutory and constitutional puzzles for their complexity and for the mere fact that there may be multiple acceptable solutions, if those solutions are argued competently. I have come to understand that one may express creativity and passion in ways that have nothing to do with art.

My creative writing skills have been put to good use in my career, however. In 2006, when Clerk [xxxxx] retired his position and the Office of the Clerk was split in two parts, my unit was moved and housed under the newly created Office of the Parliamentarian. The loss of Mr. [xxxxx]'s leadership was a strain on the office; however, my new work situation created another opportunity for me. My new direct supervisor, Parliamentarian [yyyyyyy], recognized and employed my ability to communicate ideas effectively. He allowed me to participate heavily in the writing of several publications. The most daunting of these is Principles, Practices & Priorities: A Handbook on Parliamentary Practice in the Florida House of Representatives, which explores not only the practices of the Legislature, but also the intersections the Legislature must necessarily have with the other branches of Florida's government. The project required extensive research and fact-checking, in addition to writing and editing, and through this process, I expanded my understanding and appreciation of the Florida Constitution. Completion of the Principles book was pivotal for my professional career, because the research I did in order to flesh out this book revealed my desire to participate more fully in the process of government. While I had begun my career with the Florida House in 2003 as a recent college graduate just trying to get a paycheck and blend in, by 2006, a larger picture had started to emerge and I began to see myself as a valuable part of that picture.

The study of law represents a three-way intersection at which the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government meet; I am drawn to this convergence. To better understand the work I have been doing for the past six years, I must approach this work from a different angle. Where I sit, at my desk, I can see some things that a law student might not see: I am involved in and understand the engrossing of amendments into bills, my grasp of parliamentary practice is sound, I have a deep respect for the necessity of preserving official documents and records, I have direct experience working with others in an office setting. But these qualities do not give me a complete view of how law works. I can see how a bill is perfected over time and I can evaluate the arguments of those who have interest in the bill, but I cannot intimately understand how the statute enacted in the bill might impact the real world. Such understanding is vital if one is to even consider drafting a bill. Repeatedly, the Representatives who impress me with their grasp of the effects and consequences of new laws (or changes to laws) are those who are attorneys or who have studied law. Yes, a Representative who is a farmer is likely to understand the effects of a bill relating to agriculture; however, a Representative who is an attorney has a broader picture than others, because he or she has had direct interaction with the laws previous Legislatures have enacted. I seek a broad philosophical understanding of how laws interact with one another and how, through their interpretation in courts, govern a society.

I am applying for admission to the Florida State University College of Law in order to gain the formal training required to practice law in the state of Florida in the service of the public. I believe my background and experiences make me a competitive candidate, particularly when compared to more recent college graduates. My work experience has given me a solid foundation upon which to build. I am intimately acquainted with long hours and difficult work; legislative sessions are quite demanding, often requiring that I work many 16-hour days consecutively. I have achieved a high level of personal confidence by producing quality work on a consistent basis and have developed the maturity and focus required of a successful first-year law student. Additionally, my experience in writing, editing, and managing the production of publications has caused me to value precise language as an effective communication tool. I urge you to take these unique qualities into consideration when determining the makeup of your 2009 first-year class.

I am not superstitious nor do I believe a fortune cookie has the power to predict or determine the future. An idea: You would make a good lawyer. It is a seed that I am asking you to let grow. I will do the work. I need you to allow me to plant the seed.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Shaggier1 » Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:22 pm

Worldtraveler: Fantastic personal statement. One of the more moving, substantive essays I have ever seen. Congrats on your great acceptances and good luck in LS.

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

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Haribo » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:27 pm

Stats: 3.68/180
In: Harvard, Stanford (attending), Columbia, Chicago, Berkeley, Michigan, Georgetown
Out: Nowhere!

A lot of my acceptance letters commented on my personal statement; re-reading it I think there are some problems, but it served its purpose. I don't think this is the final-final draft, so there may be a grammatical error or two.


Maria Teresa was stirring a copper vat full of boiling, light-yellow cream. A sweet-smelling steam obscured her face as she explained how to heat goat milk to make cajeta, a traditional Mexican caramel. While outlining the recipe, passed down from her great-grandmother, she hinted at her aching back and the many hours she spends in the kitchen. Still, her face was radiant when she spoke of adding rum or vanilla to those century-old recipes to subtly change the flavor. In her words, I heard a refrain later repeated by other candy-makers I would interview around the globe: success requires hard work and a willingness to take risks and tweak traditional recipes for new and innovative results.

Over the past ten years, I've demonstrated these same values. At MIT and in the workplace, hard work and the ability to surmount obstacles, to think through problems, and to develop solutions are mandatory. In college, whether waking up at "Oh-dark-thirty" for Air Force officer training courses or staying up all night to program a ball-gathering robot, there was never enough time. Struggling to understand was normal - thermodynamics, my kryptonite. One dropped class, two years, and many late nights spent finishing problem sets eventually led to success in a subject I thought I would never understand.

These lessons served me well later, when the pressure was intense to design, program, test and certify an operating system for the next generation of general aviation cockpit displays. Avionics software development is a bit of a tightrope walk. On one hand, you must upgrade the code to meet new requirements. On the other, every change must be weighed with the corresponding expense of certification, a costly process required by the FAA to ensure all critical aircraft software is safe. Every day, I made decisions that set this balance. Despite the challenge, I was not happy. As a woman I found the atmosphere difficult. In nearly four years, I worked with another female engineer only twice. I wasn't marginalized, but I was isolated. With no one to turn to for advice on balancing life and career and left out of many male-only bonding experiences, the aerospace industry was not a permanent option.

In spite of these misgivings, my decision to leave a secure job to travel was unexpected to many people. Engineers are taught to abhor risk and to design and test it away, instead aiming for stability and safety. Yet, I left for 18 months of uncertainty. Something I’d dreamed of became possible when a documentary film-maker chose to sponsor me on my travels. My entry was selected from hundreds in an combination essay/interview competition because my reasons for travel – to learn all that I can of the history, production, and consumption of candy internationally – were interesting and innovative and above all, unique. My earliest memories include trying chewing gum for the first time and starting up an elementary school candy business; the memory of boot camp that has remained most intensely alive to me is the sweetness of an ice cream sandwich after weeks without sugar. I travel not just to see new sights and meet new people, but also to explore a fascinating, delicious, and at times unsettling aspect of human history. From the use of slave labor in sugar cultivation to international corporations forcing the closure of local businesses and pushing eating habits that lead to diabetes and tooth decay, candy can have an unsavory core. However, it can also bring comfort and celebration, no matter where we are. This balance of the good and the bad has long been part of the history of candy.

While traveling, I focus on writing and on viewing what I see with a reporter’s eye. I will have covered more than thirty countries by the time the trip is over, and each day brings forth something new to explore. In Belize, I made chocolate from the seeds of the cacao plant, grinding the beans by hand and roasting them on a roaring fire. Seeing Chinese and American imports crowding traditional Nicaraguan sweets out of the market led me to a deeper understanding of the effects of globalization on candy markets. In Mexico, the impact of Spanish convents on the development of candy mirrors the more obvious colonial influences of the past 500 years. Studying sweets has given intellectual depth to my travels and a more humanistic way of looking at the world after nine years as an engineer. Additionally, with solo, low-budget, independent travel comes patience, a valuable global perspective, and the knowledge that risks and innovation can pay off in big ways.

Perhaps it is silly to compare the experiences of candy-makers with a future law student's. Still, success in any endeavor is usually brought about by a combination of hard work, craftsmanship, and finding the right balance between what has worked in the past and what should be changed for the future. The law is no different. With my background in engineering and software development and a long-standing interest in the impact of technology, Internet law is a natural fit. The laws in this field are newly developing; the balance between the old and the new is still being set. How do traditional rights to privacy and freedom of expression extend to the Internet? Who owns the data online, and who determines how to disseminate it? How can we apply laws to a medium as global as the Internet, where boundaries of jurisdiction are unclear? I want to combine the tools and techniques I've learned over the past twenty-seven years with a law degree to help answer these questions. Like Maria Teresa, I want to work to set the balance.

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Kiersten1985
Posts: 784
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:36 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Kiersten1985 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:55 pm

Haribo wrote:Stats: 3.68/180
In: Harvard, Stanford (attending), Columbia, Chicago, Berkeley, Michigan, Georgetown
Out: Nowhere!

A lot of my acceptance letters commented on my personal statement; re-reading it I think there are some problems, but it served its purpose. I don't think this is the final-final draft, so there may be a grammatical error or two.


Maria Teresa was stirring a copper vat full of boiling, light-yellow cream. A sweet-smelling steam obscured her face as she explained how to heat goat milk to make cajeta, a traditional Mexican caramel. While outlining the recipe, passed down from her great-grandmother, she hinted at her aching back and the many hours she spends in the kitchen. Still, her face was radiant when she spoke of adding rum or vanilla to those century-old recipes to subtly change the flavor. In her words, I heard a refrain later repeated by other candy-makers I would interview around the globe: success requires hard work and a willingness to take risks and tweak traditional recipes for new and innovative results.

Over the past ten years, I've demonstrated these same values. At MIT and in the workplace, hard work and the ability to surmount obstacles, to think through problems, and to develop solutions are mandatory. In college, whether waking up at "Oh-dark-thirty" for Air Force officer training courses or staying up all night to program a ball-gathering robot, there was never enough time. Struggling to understand was normal - thermodynamics, my kryptonite. One dropped class, two years, and many late nights spent finishing problem sets eventually led to success in a subject I thought I would never understand.

These lessons served me well later, when the pressure was intense to design, program, test and certify an operating system for the next generation of general aviation cockpit displays. Avionics software development is a bit of a tightrope walk. On one hand, you must upgrade the code to meet new requirements. On the other, every change must be weighed with the corresponding expense of certification, a costly process required by the FAA to ensure all critical aircraft software is safe. Every day, I made decisions that set this balance. Despite the challenge, I was not happy. As a woman I found the atmosphere difficult. In nearly four years, I worked with another female engineer only twice. I wasn't marginalized, but I was isolated. With no one to turn to for advice on balancing life and career and left out of many male-only bonding experiences, the aerospace industry was not a permanent option.

In spite of these misgivings, my decision to leave a secure job to travel was unexpected to many people. Engineers are taught to abhor risk and to design and test it away, instead aiming for stability and safety. Yet, I left for 18 months of uncertainty. Something I’d dreamed of became possible when a documentary film-maker chose to sponsor me on my travels. My entry was selected from hundreds in an combination essay/interview competition because my reasons for travel – to learn all that I can of the history, production, and consumption of candy internationally – were interesting and innovative and above all, unique. My earliest memories include trying chewing gum for the first time and starting up an elementary school candy business; the memory of boot camp that has remained most intensely alive to me is the sweetness of an ice cream sandwich after weeks without sugar. I travel not just to see new sights and meet new people, but also to explore a fascinating, delicious, and at times unsettling aspect of human history. From the use of slave labor in sugar cultivation to international corporations forcing the closure of local businesses and pushing eating habits that lead to diabetes and tooth decay, candy can have an unsavory core. However, it can also bring comfort and celebration, no matter where we are. This balance of the good and the bad has long been part of the history of candy.

While traveling, I focus on writing and on viewing what I see with a reporter’s eye. I will have covered more than thirty countries by the time the trip is over, and each day brings forth something new to explore. In Belize, I made chocolate from the seeds of the cacao plant, grinding the beans by hand and roasting them on a roaring fire. Seeing Chinese and American imports crowding traditional Nicaraguan sweets out of the market led me to a deeper understanding of the effects of globalization on candy markets. In Mexico, the impact of Spanish convents on the development of candy mirrors the more obvious colonial influences of the past 500 years. Studying sweets has given intellectual depth to my travels and a more humanistic way of looking at the world after nine years as an engineer. Additionally, with solo, low-budget, independent travel comes patience, a valuable global perspective, and the knowledge that risks and innovation can pay off in big ways.

Perhaps it is silly to compare the experiences of candy-makers with a future law student's. Still, success in any endeavor is usually brought about by a combination of hard work, craftsmanship, and finding the right balance between what has worked in the past and what should be changed for the future. The law is no different. With my background in engineering and software development and a long-standing interest in the impact of technology, Internet law is a natural fit. The laws in this field are newly developing; the balance between the old and the new is still being set. How do traditional rights to privacy and freedom of expression extend to the Internet? Who owns the data online, and who determines how to disseminate it? How can we apply laws to a medium as global as the Internet, where boundaries of jurisdiction are unclear? I want to combine the tools and techniques I've learned over the past twenty-seven years with a law degree to help answer these questions. Like Maria Teresa, I want to work to set the balance.


The best I've read by far. Many congrats.

Alythezon
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:35 pm

Re:

Postby Alythezon » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:07 pm

AR75 wrote:3.98 / 178
In at HYS.

"As I was driving to my shitty job this morning, I realized I drive a really shitty car. This is why I want to go to your law school. I don't want to drive a shitty car anymore. See you this fall."


LMFAO
elegant in its brevity.

xeoh85
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 5:06 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby xeoh85 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:57 am

Hi all, it's been a long time...

I recently came across my personal statement from my transfer application from a little over a year ago. Since I feel that a personal statement for a transfer applicant should differ significantly from the personal statement of a 0L, I figured I'd throw up my example.

In my opinion, a successful personal statement for a transfer application should convey, by example, the following:

1) An experience that took place during your 1L year. The adcoms do NOT want to see an essay that could have potentially been recycled from your original law school applications.

2) Your continued diligence, motivation, and success as a law student.

3) Your love for the study of law.

4) A specific and compelling reason for wanting to transfer to the particular school you are applying to; and

5) An inspirational story of reflection that looks toward the future.


UG GPA: 3.84 (engineering)
LSAT: 161, 169
1L GPA at UCLA: 4.091 (Rank 1 of 320ish)
Transfer Acceptances: H, Y, and S (attending)
___________________________________________________________________________

The Last Man Standing
by X

My hands felt the coldness of stone as I groped blindly along the nearest wall. Though engulfed in darkness, I felt oddly at home. Stumbling upon the line of a dozen light switches, I used my forearm to flip them all at once. A series of industrial “bangs” resonated from above as row after row of fluorescent bulbs flickered to life, their dingy white light spilling over the ceiling-high stacks of books that graced the long corridor of the UCLA Law Library’s second floor. Finding the publication I sought, I walked to the nearby balcony to survey the main hall below. The maintenance and security crews had gone. The large room that once bustled with diligent students was now vacant, utterly silent. It was 11:45 pm on Friday, May 30th of 2008. Summertime was in full swing, and I alone remained.

Late nights in the law library had become second nature to me. Within those peaceful confines surrounded by the works of great jurists, my mind roamed free. On this occasion, I had come to the library after work, seeking to wrap up my first cite-checking assignment for the UCLA Law Review. Since the library was officially closed, I let myself in through the “secret door” via the Law Review’s exclusive key. For the first time, this grand academic playground was entirely my own.

In search of the next publication on my source list, I proceeded to the third floor. Upon exiting the elevator, I paused briefly in front of the familiar eight-person corner conference room. The large study now lay dark and deserted, a few stray words still visible on the room’s half-erased whiteboard. I had come to know that whiteboard well over the past year, for I had organized and led group-outlining sessions in that room every Friday evening like clockwork. These meetings provided an essential foundation for our legal education. To a computer engineer like me, discovering a simple yet comprehensive solution to a complex problem is a thing of beauty. True to form, I focused these outlining sessions on distilling the seemingly insurmountable quantity of law and policy material into a clear and concise algorithm that could be easily used to analyze every legal issue that might be raised on a given subject. I valued quality over quantity; creativity over regurgitation; simplicity over convolution. In short, I sought beauty.

Turning away from the conference room, I continued the hunt for my next source. As I wandered the halls of the library’s vast third floor, each desk and every enclave recalled countless late nights of concentrated effort. I had long believed that every challenge in life could be overcome with dedication, hard work, and a logical approach. After one’s goal was clearly conceptualized, the only task that remained was to analytically map-out and execute the precise steps necessary to achieve it. With this perspective, I approached law school in its totality as if it were a large and complex engineering problem. I extensively researched the workings of the legal education system prior to ever stepping foot in a classroom. Rather than making the mistake of simply attacking each class and assignment as it came, I sat down and devised a detailed roadmap that would guide my studies over the course of my entire first year. I decided that there were four main pillars crucial to academic success: 1) effective time management within and across subjects; 2) full comprehension and synthesis of the material; 3) a deep understanding of the purpose behind the essay-based exam; and 4) a keen familiarity with each professor’s teaching and testing style. With this macro view laid out, I then analyzed each pillar at lower levels of abstraction, devised detailed schedules and strategies, and then wove the pieces together to form a comprehensive plan for success.

Locating the final publication on my source list, I returned to the library’s main hall to resume cite-checking. Due to my engineering background and interest in intellectual property, I had been assigned a fascinating article that proposed the adoption of a heightened “enablement” requirement for patent applications (the requirement that an invention be disclosed in sufficient detail as to enable a person having ordinary skill in the art to make and use it without undue experimentation). The article’s subject-matter made cite-checking both more enjoyable and time consuming, for I preferred to use the source publications as light reading material rather than as mere tools for quotation verification.

I came to law school with a clearly envisioned path: I would strive to become a leader at the forefront of the fusion of law and technology. Ever since I first began tormenting my parents as a six-year-old boy by dismantling and rebuilding their electronic appliances, I have continued to be happiest when working on the cutting-edge. With this passion, and after much research and personal reflection, I have realized that my ideal path forward would be to continue my legal education at Stanford Law School. In Stanford’s Program in Law, Science, and Technology, I would be provided with an unparalleled opportunity to study and contribute to this rapidly evolving area of law. In beautiful Silicon Valley, the epicenter of modern technological advancement, I would be well positioned to take advantage of Stanford’s unique clinical programs that offer invaluable real-world experience. I am eager to be part of the Transatlantic Technology Law Forum, helping to bridge the gap between technology law in the United States and the European Union. I look forward to helping find new applications for technology to enhance the quality and efficiency of our legal system at CodeX: Stanford Center for Computers and Law. I also appreciate the opportunities that the Cyberlaw Clinic would provide to work on technology-related litigation. With the depth and breadth of Stanford’s offerings in this field clearly distinguishing it from all other law schools, the possibilities for intellectual growth and exploration seem limitless.

Even as these thoughts gathered in my mind, I glanced down at the pile of books and papers that lay before me. Countless footnotes and quotations awaited my editing attention. I silently reminded myself that, while I have a million dreams, I am more than merely a dreamer. Gathering my willpower, I channeled my focus on the task at hand.

* * *

I glanced at my watch: 1:32 am. After gathering 223 source publications and editing 103 footnotes, I had completed my first cite-checking assignment for the UCLA Law Review, well ahead of schedule. Extinguishing the fluorescent lights in the wings, I returned the library to its peaceful slumber. As I exited the library and headed down the vacant, dimly lit corridor of the law school’s main hall, I smiled as I heard the sound of my footsteps reverberating crisply off the smooth granite walls. Swinging open the doors of the school’s main entrance, I stepped out into the cool night air and inhaled a deep breath of rejuvenation. I relished late nights like these, for they were the true tests of my will and determination. When I was the last to exit those doors, I emerged into the night with renewed strength, because for those fleeting moments — after all the demands, rigors, triumphs and joys of a day in the world of legal academia — I was the last man standing.
___________________________________________________________________________

-X

everythinglaw
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:14 pm

Re:

Postby everythinglaw » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:29 pm

AR75 wrote:3.98 / 178
In at HYS.

"As I was driving to my shitty job this morning, I realized I drive a really shitty car. This is why I want to go to your law school. I don't want to drive a shitty car anymore. See you this fall."

wow, are you serious? i am sorry...what does HYS stand for?

clever_username
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:15 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby clever_username » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:52 pm

HYS = Harvard, Yale, and Stanford

yankeescov41
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:06 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby yankeescov41 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:39 pm

ANY CRITIQUE WOULD HELP....BE MEAN IF NECESSARY LOL I WANT AN HONEST OPINION.

“Strength”
Strength of mind, strength of heart, and a passion for life in general; these are key ingredients to the recipe of perseverance, all of which have made me into the man I am today. I am ready for the great challenge of law school not just because of who I am, but more of who I strive to be. My interest in law stems from a past experience, and although it is a somber tale, of which you probably read many, this story is about the tremendous strength derived from it.
When I was eleven years old, my parents divorced. As you can imagine, it was hard for me to deal with mostly because at that age I did not understand the situation. The fact of the matter is that even when my parents were together my father was never truly there for me, and as time went on he was there even less. His lack of respect for me and my family became more evident with each passing day, and through time I grew less confused and less hurt by his cold actions. I became resilient, and gained a passion for life and everything in it. It took me quite a few years, but as I got older I began to see what makes my father the man that he chose to be. He is cowardly, selfish, manipulative, and throughout my life has done nothing but cause my family and I pain and anguish. Although he has provided an indelibly negative impact on my life, I have learned a great lesson; my father is everything I never want to become. That is where I have gained my strength; knowing that if I work hard, keep my head on my shoulders, and always fight for what is right in this world, I can become a better man and a better father than he ever was.
My life is better having been through the challenges I have faced. Adversity breeds strength in those who know how to persevere, and that is exactly what I have done. Throughout high school I worked immensely hard in my studies and learned the value of diligence from being a member of the track team. I graduated near the top of my class, and moved on to Monmouth University, and there in my freshman year I quickly became a leader in the Student Government. My strong work ethic has also allowed me to take on the challenge of a student of the Monmouth University Honor’s School and will graduate with an honor’s degree as well as having written a full Honor’s Thesis paper. My work ethic does have a downfall though as, unfortunately, the need to work full-time forced me to give up the Student Government just as it forced me to give up track in high school. I understood this to be a part of life, however, and I have the strength of heart to work full-time and attend school full-time because it is what I need to do. Working in combination with school has taught me how to prioritize, how to work together with those around me even in the most turbulent of situations, and how to lead by example when everyone around you seems unsure of the right thing to do. I know the value of hard work all too well, and in times of great pressure I am someone you would want in your corner.
I want to attend law school because I know it is another challenge that I need to meet. It is a challenge I am strong enough to face, and when I do I will achieve great things just like I always have, and always will. I will take the lessons learned there and fight for those who are fighting through hardships of there own. I want to make sure that the men and women out there who choose the path my father has taken, assume responsibility for their actions. I want to make the world a better place by sharing my gifts, gained from life’s unwavering tests, with others, and law school is exactly the place to help me to achieve that.

Gonzod23
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:45 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Gonzod23 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:37 pm

GPA: 3.75
LSAT: Have not taken it yet. (I am Averaging 160 on practice tests)

Please Help!!! I am in need of some major feedback.

************************

“Go David, hurry, do something before it gets worse!” I quickly jolted from my sleep, jumped out of bed, put on my shoes and ran out the door. My goal: to save my mother from being beaten and killed by my abusive, alcoholic father. I ran three blocks down the street, to the convenient store and called the police. They were the longest three blocks of my life. Thankfully, after night’s end, my goal was accomplished. The police took him away and my mother finally decided, after having a gun pointed at her in front of her five young children, that she had endured enough abuse. She finally left him for good. I was only ten years old. From this point forward, my life completely changed. I realized from an early age that achieving any goals in life would require dealing with extremely challenging obstacles. All I had to do to achieve these goals was keep running. Fifteen years later, I run relentlessly.

Suddenly, my mother was tasked with raising me, my three brothers and sister all alone. Consequently, we all grew up in a world full of hardships. I watched each of my older brothers drop out of high school and learning from their mistakes, I yearned to be different. I wanted to be a positive role model not only for my younger sister, but for my entire family. Filled with self-determination and fighting all the odds, I did it: I was the first in my family to graduate from high school. As tough of a challenge as this was, I believed I had the potential to do much more. That is why my next run would be towards the United States Marine Corps.

As a seventeen-year-old, entering Marine Corps boot camp was no easy feat. But soon, I began to excel. Merely a teenager, I was chosen to be the first squad leader out of a 90-man platoon. This involved leading other men who were much older than I throughout the many challenges we faced together in boot camp. I remember helping them solve their military and personal problems alike, listening to them during hard spells, and most importantly, motivating them to persevere. As young as I was, I knew I could make a difference and I did. In the end, we all walked the parade deck on graduation day, serving as the Honor Platoon of the entire Battalion. But my running did not stop there. Two years later, after joining my platoon with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, I was deployed to Iraq to help fight our nation’s war against terrorism.

Again, I found myself running and running hard. This time it was to save the lives of the men and women in my platoon. Clearly, this was no easy task. On a weekly basis, our platoon faced incoming mortar fire onto our base. Improvised explosive devices on the roads during our convoys to other cities added to the constraint of always working under strenuous and perilous conditions. Despite these daunting challenges, my discipline, composure and motivation never wavered. As the Sergeant of my platoon, during such hazardous events I had the responsibility of ensuring all of my marines were accounted for. This physically involved my running from truck to truck or workstation to workstation, under duress, to make certain my Marines were safe. After doing so, I would inform my superior officers of the situation and would be given instructions to standby alongside my Marines until further notified.

Each day was always something new. However, by following orders, giving orders and receiving the help of others, my goal was accomplished: eight months later my platoon and I returned home alive in October 2005. It was the most gratifying day of my life! Several weeks after we got back, I again quickly found myself seeking a greater challenge -- a more grueling run-- I wanted to further my education and obtain my college degree. After four years of honorably serving my country, I turned this desire into reality.

In 2006, I eagerly began my academic career in pursuit of my degree. Midway through my junior year in college, I realized graduation day was rapidly approaching and I would soon have to obtain another job in the field of criminal justice or continue my work as a Transportation Security Officer with the Department of Homeland Security. Although the prospect of remaining with the Department of Homeland Security was appealing, as it ultimately meant job security and the opportunity to rise within the ranks of the organization, I was not completely satisfied. Again, after all these years, I wanted so much more for myself. I needed something that would challenge me more every day, something that would help me use this fire I have to succeed, something that truly fits my personality, but most importantly, something that will always keep me running.

I am convinced this something, is law school. By having the opportunity of attending (XXXX) law program, I will finally accomplish what I have been striving for my entire life. Ultimately, I believe it is my desire of finding something that challenges me every single day and where I must run to achieve every goal I set forth. Looking back at my short but eventful life, I suppose my aspiration for greater heights is the core reason behind my ambitious goals. I’ve transformed my life tremendously from that innocent 10-year-old boy running to save his mother’s life. From serving my country in foreign lands, to finding creative ways to put myself through college and ultimately to continuously want more from my life: such a law degree. I have always had this innate motivation to succeed and am now ready to sprint into a boundless career in law. I am confident I will be able to use this drive to show people who have struggled in life that anyone is capable of running.

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clem21
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:36 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby clem21 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:51 am

first draft deleted.
Last edited by clem21 on Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Scuzzlebutt
Posts: 23
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Scuzzlebutt » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:38 pm

-------------------------------------
Last edited by Scuzzlebutt on Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

tsub
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:36 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby tsub » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:05 pm

Moved
Last edited by tsub on Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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worldtraveler
Posts: 7662
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 pm

I'm going to post this again because people are not looking:

THIS THREAD IS NOT FOR DRAFTS. THIS IS FOR FINISHED PERSONAL STATEMENTS ONLY.

Okay. I feel better now.

abates3
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:24 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby abates3 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:29 pm

Moved.
Last edited by abates3 on Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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joshikousei
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:38 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby joshikousei » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:32 pm

worldtraveler wrote:I'm going to post this again because people are not looking:

THIS THREAD IS NOT FOR DRAFTS. THIS IS FOR FINISHED PERSONAL STATEMENTS ONLY.


Okay. I feel better now.


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jsoell
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby jsoell » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:43 pm

+1

fcomith
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:14 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby fcomith » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:16 pm

Wow, gonna copy and paste one of these. Thanks for the free essays

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WhiskeyGuy
Posts: 376
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:34 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby WhiskeyGuy » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:56 am

fcomith wrote:Wow, gonna copy and paste one of these. Thanks for the free essays


Make sure you pick an essay written by someone of the same sex, UG institution, age, and with the same work and life experience.

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bstrunk
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:26 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby bstrunk » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:16 pm

WhiskeyGuy wrote:
fcomith wrote:Wow, gonna copy and paste one of these. Thanks for the free essays


Make sure you pick an essay written by someone of the same sex, UG institution, age, and with the same work and life experience.


+1

kevin261186
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:45 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby kevin261186 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:42 pm

First draft of PS. Any comments very welcome. Thank you.

I have recently moved to the USA from Scotland, where I was born, raised and educated. Like my forefathers I have come to seek enlightenment in the home of the top seats of learning in the world. I have battled against all kinds of adversity in my life; but the two most notable cases are; being born blind in one eye, and the financial hardship which forced me to work throughout university in the aftermath of my parents’ divorce.

Lyndon B Johnson is often quoted as saying that; “every man is either trying to make up for his father’s mistakes, or live up to his expectations”. The former of these applies to me. My father was often unemployed and an alcoholic. My mother, a school teacher is the polar opposite, and they divorced in 2004. When he declared bankruptcy a year later my mother was pursued for his debt as he had disappeared by then. She is still working two jobs to repay this debt and keep the family home. For this reason she is the most influential person in my life. She works tirelessly and selflessly. She never complains, she just gets things done. These traits have thankfully passed to me.

The hardship that she faced as a single mother with three sons has forced me to appreciate what I had and ensured I never felt any sense of entitlement. I would not change my experience, despite many unhappy times; for it has led me to the point where I have gained two full years of work experience, attained a top degree and risked all by moving to the USA to pursue a legal education. Hardship has made me hungry for success in my own life. This hunger is exemplified by my attainment of an MA (with honors) from the most competitive course from a top ranked University in the UK. More than this, I prize my inherited ability to conquer problems in spite of adversity. I do not blame my father for his mistakes. With little chance for formal education he has shown me that education leads to security in all areas of life and has solidified my opinion that each generation’s goal should simply be to make things better than your generation had.

My experience of working in a law firm has shown me that the principles most sought after in this profession, and which I have worked so hard to maintain in my own life, are those which best equip me for a career in law. I believe that honesty, dedication and dogged persistence are the best way to overcome problems. Many people have the ability to succeed, but it is only the few who have the desire and work ethic to do so against the odds; perfectly encapsulated by Edison, who, in 1903, said that “genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration”. Success is a function of the traits with which I have been endowed; and this endowment is as important for success as financial support. I see my education as a long-term investment, the benefits of which I will to recover over the course of a challenging and rewarding career in law. I thank my mother for giving me her work ethic and honesty; I know it will serve me well in law school.

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lepradillo
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby lepradillo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:32 pm

fcomith wrote:Wow, gonna copy and paste one of these. Thanks for the free essays


let us know how that works out for you

:roll:

karmicgruve
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:54 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby karmicgruve » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:24 am

My family’s journey as United States immigrants drives my ambition to study law. I desire to utilize my experiences combined with a juris doctorate to help immigrants navigate the complexities of our American legal system in their own journeys toward citizenship. I hope to empower them with sufficient knowledge enabling them to make informed legal decisions while avoiding the pitfalls inherent within the system.

I was born in the Philippines, the product of a multiracial union between an Irish father and a Spanish/Filipino mother. Early in my life we lived in Tokyo where my parents earned a modest living teaching English. At five we moved to Chicago where I quickly experienced my first taste of alienation when members of my predominately white neighborhood hurled slurs like “Spic” and “Wetback” because of my dominant Hispanic features or “freak” because I mixed Japanese, English and Tagalog in sentences when I spoke.

My life as a new immigrant grew more complex when my parents divorced shortly after our arrival. Left alone to support us, my mother was relegated to multiple, minimum wage jobs requiring her to work 12-15 hour days. Though well educated, possessing a master’s degree in education, more highly paid, skilled positions were beyond my mother’s reach because employers would not recognize her foreign degree. She suffered fatigue and hypertension, the result of stress from six-day, 70-hour work weeks and at only 40 she had her first heart attack. No insurance offered only the prospect of more financial turmoil. It was difficult for my well educated mother who felt shame as we turned to public aid to help keep us afloat.

In subsequent years my mother’s countless attempts at petitioning her siblings were hindered by an inability to navigate the many complexities of our U.S. immigration system mired by inefficiencies and a lack of funds to retain a credible attorney to aid in the process. Her experiences were rife with offers from unscrupulous individuals making fruitless promises to expedite the process or illegally arrange contract marriages in exchange for exorbitant fees.

My family’s experiences have given me an intimate knowledge of the desires that help to define the greater immigrant population In the United States: cultural assimilation, education, and an improved quallity of life. I have matured with a heightened awareness of the myriad challenges faced by countless immigrants: alienation, discrimination, and the injustices of being denied many basic legal and socioeconomic opportunities many Americans take for granted. I desire to dedicate my service to address these injustices and advocate broader policy change that may help ease immigrants’ already difficult transitions and allow them one day to proudly identify as Americans.

I firmly believe expressing one’s American identity and holding onto one’s cultural identity are not mutually exclusive endeavors. It is my hope to engender thought, encourage dialogue, and foster greater understanding between immigrants and the greater American public; to communicate the intrinsic value exposure to a rich, culturally diverse population holds for our social and economic wealth.




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