Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Sequoia90
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:22 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Sequoia90 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:49 am

kevin261186, this should be in the "Swap PS" page or a new post if you want comments.

Sequoia90
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:22 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Sequoia90 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:51 am

GPA: 3.28
LSAT: 173

Accepted: T-14
Most applications still pending, I will update towards the end of the cycle.

At the start of each year at [XYZ ELEMENTARY] School, every student is required to take a reading assessment. My fifth grade student, Eduardo, began with a book at a second-grade reading level. I expected that this outgoing, sociable student would have no trouble. A few minutes into the book and many pauses later, Eduardo stopped reading. He whispered letters under his breath, trying to pronounce the next word, “butterfly.” He glanced up, peered directly into my eyes and said, “I can’t do it, Mister. I give up.”

Education equality has been a passion of mine since college. Throughout my years at [COLLEGE], I lobbied state officials and worked with the university administration to make higher education more affordable and accessible to traditionally under-represented groups. Despite my efforts, lower-income students were applying in smaller numbers and had a lower rate of retention once enrolled in the university. I began to see that barriers to higher education start long before high school seniors fill out applications. These problems are rooted in the nation’s education achievement gap: students who never learn to adequately read have little chance of success in a rigorous high school or college curriculum. This realization motivated me to enter the classroom through Teach for America.

As a charter school, [XYZ ELEM SCHOOL] does not have the resources of a traditional public school. With no standard curriculum, teachers are required to develop their own unit and lesson plans. My struggle to find adequate resources made it difficult to create engaging, informative lessons. I did my best, but by October, my students were still struggling with the material. Like Eduardo, I felt like giving up.

Things began to turn a corner in November when the class was reading a portion of our social studies textbook out loud. “Eduardo, could you read the second paragraph?” I asked. His eyes widened in fear as he looked up at me. Nevertheless, he took a deep breath and began to read. Whenever the words were too challenging, we worked through them together. Although the text was three years beyond his current reading level, he was determined to read it aloud—even if it meant asking for my help.

That day, I realized that I too needed to ask for help from those around me. I followed Eduardo’s example and reached out to my support networks to improve my curriculum. My Teach for America coordinator helped me refine my year-long unit planning, and my on-site coach provided more resources. I collaborated with my fellow fifth grade teacher to develop lesson plans that we could both use.

I implemented a challenging, yet attainable curriculum with resources that I scraped together from the Internet and various textbooks. My lesson plans were more coherent and leveraged my students’ strengths. By March, my initiative began to pay off as my students greatly improved their assessment performances. I managed to free up an hour to work with Eduardo one-on-one after school a few times a week. I pinpointed his trouble with syllabication, a skill that allows students to read chunks of words instead of letter by letter, and implemented a plan to help him master it. Eduardo’s face reflected a new-found confidence when he completed the year-end reading assessment. He left my class at a fifth grade reading level, remarkably demonstrating more than two years of progress.

I look back at this experience, grateful for an opportunity for personal growth. I learned how to flexibly approach multi-pronged problems and solve them using a variety of resources. I actively engaged a national problem at a local level by working personally with students and parents. Overall, the most fulfilling aspect of this experience was watching my students overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges; it is my great hope for them that they will approach future obstacles with similar confidence.

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destroyer
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:06 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby destroyer » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:53 am

..........................................................
Last edited by destroyer on Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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123xalady
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby 123xalady » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:59 pm

destroyer wrote:Help please...I need some input if possible!

When I found out we were leaving the Dominican Republic to live in the United States my face dropped, I could not even imagine leaving my friends and life as I knew it for a new life in a different country. Now, I must admit that moving to the United States was a wise decision from my parents.

Even though we do not enjoy many luxuries and are facing many economic hardships, I could not even try to imagine how different my life would have been otherwise. I enjoy my life as a college student and I am looking forward to future challenges such as law school. I believe I can have a great time in college, while being a model student. However, it has not always been easy. I always try to excel at everything I do, but my first year in college was not an easy one, due to all the difficulties I faced as a new student in a new environment, in a different country. Perhaps the most challenging barrier I would have to overcome would be to master a new language.

I knew my former command of English was not going to help me too much in college, especially if I wanted to someday go to law school. My first few months in college were very demanding as I continued facing difficulties while adjusting to a new way of life and improving my English, realizing I not only needed to speak English well, but also write it. After receiving my first graded writing assignment the second week of school, on which the professor stated that if I wanted to be successful in college I was going to have to greatly improve my writing skills, I realized that I had a long road ahead of me, therefore the first thing I did after receiving my writing assignment was to go tell my professor, about my aspirations and how I wanted to someday go to law school. I ended up asking him for his advice, which he was happy to give, and which proved to be of much help. I definitely showed determination and willingness for improvement; because, a month before my first semester was over, I received a perfect score in a writing assignment and a personal note from my professor saying my essay had been perfectly written and how impressed he was by it. I knew I still had to get better at many aspects of writing. Therefore, I kept working hard to get better.

I was motivated to work harder than everyone else in class. My hard work and dedication have proved to be worth it; I received an A+ in every single writing assignment and made the Dean’s List during my junior year of college, and this year will be the same or even better as I continue my path to being the best student I can be.
Adapting to a new environment was not an easy feat, but I was ready for it, ready to try my best at whatever situation I could find myself in. I realized I had to take advantage of the opportunities I had in this great land, opportunities I had never enjoyed before in my life. I started to contemplate how many opportunities I did not have while living in the Dominican Republic; I decided that it was time for me to start appreciating the opportunities I had at the moment.



I have realized how being part of a minority group and living in a different culture than the one I grew up in has helped me understand better than ever the unique opportunities I have and how I far I can go. The liberties and opportunities I now enjoy give me hope to someday become a lawyer. I wish to help other people who also shared my cultural background understand the law I am trying to study and how every human being deserves the same opportunities as anyone. Many aspects of the law have fascinated me throughout my college years. I have had many classes that dealt with the law in one way or the other, from criminal and business law to learning about civil rights in constitutional law, and I am confident my interest in the law will only become stronger during my law school years.


this belongs in the swapping thread

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writetrack
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby writetrack » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:09 am

Hi destroyer,

I looked over your Personal Statement and it seems that you have a lot to work with in terms of your identity, hardships you have overcome, and why you want to go to law school. However, it lacks that unique touch that will allow it to resonate with the admissions committee. You need to have a stronger introduction to capture their attention, and work through the essay in a way that better explains the hardships you faced through a creative narrative rather then simply blocks of information.

Best,

Hamada

123xalady wrote:
destroyer wrote:Help please...I need some input if possible!

When I found out we were leaving the Dominican Republic to live in the United States my face dropped, I could not even imagine leaving my friends and life as I knew it for a new life in a different country. Now, I must admit that moving to the United States was a wise decision from my parents.

Even though we do not enjoy many luxuries and are facing many economic hardships, I could not even try to imagine how different my life would have been otherwise. I enjoy my life as a college student and I am looking forward to future challenges such as law school. I believe I can have a great time in college, while being a model student. However, it has not always been easy. I always try to excel at everything I do, but my first year in college was not an easy one, due to all the difficulties I faced as a new student in a new environment, in a different country. Perhaps the most challenging barrier I would have to overcome would be to master a new language.

I knew my former command of English was not going to help me too much in college, especially if I wanted to someday go to law school. My first few months in college were very demanding as I continued facing difficulties while adjusting to a new way of life and improving my English, realizing I not only needed to speak English well, but also write it. After receiving my first graded writing assignment the second week of school, on which the professor stated that if I wanted to be successful in college I was going to have to greatly improve my writing skills, I realized that I had a long road ahead of me, therefore the first thing I did after receiving my writing assignment was to go tell my professor, about my aspirations and how I wanted to someday go to law school. I ended up asking him for his advice, which he was happy to give, and which proved to be of much help. I definitely showed determination and willingness for improvement; because, a month before my first semester was over, I received a perfect score in a writing assignment and a personal note from my professor saying my essay had been perfectly written and how impressed he was by it. I knew I still had to get better at many aspects of writing. Therefore, I kept working hard to get better.

I was motivated to work harder than everyone else in class. My hard work and dedication have proved to be worth it; I received an A+ in every single writing assignment and made the Dean’s List during my junior year of college, and this year will be the same or even better as I continue my path to being the best student I can be.
Adapting to a new environment was not an easy feat, but I was ready for it, ready to try my best at whatever situation I could find myself in. I realized I had to take advantage of the opportunities I had in this great land, opportunities I had never enjoyed before in my life. I started to contemplate how many opportunities I did not have while living in the Dominican Republic; I decided that it was time for me to start appreciating the opportunities I had at the moment.



I have realized how being part of a minority group and living in a different culture than the one I grew up in has helped me understand better than ever the unique opportunities I have and how I far I can go. The liberties and opportunities I now enjoy give me hope to someday become a lawyer. I wish to help other people who also shared my cultural background understand the law I am trying to study and how every human being deserves the same opportunities as anyone. Many aspects of the law have fascinated me throughout my college years. I have had many classes that dealt with the law in one way or the other, from criminal and business law to learning about civil rights in constitutional law, and I am confident my interest in the law will only become stronger during my law school years.


this belongs in the swapping thread

Miracle
Posts: 929
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:25 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Miracle » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:26 pm

lepradillo wrote:
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:


integrity? I wonder what happened to it.

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Celibidache
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Celibidache » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:32 pm

Here's my contribution.

Lincoln was a tall man, much in the way that Andre the Giant was also tall, and with the same sideways heart and thick bones that made Andre the Giant look so much like a giant, and made Lincoln look like a guy who shouldn't have been photographed wearing that tall hat which made him look even taller, kinda like a chef only the wrong color, which for the times of his life, were taller even than if he lived today, in which case the hat wouldn't be a problem because it wouldn't exist, and some think and I might agree that he grew that beard because a little girl told him to because the more of that face that was covered up, the better, and you know it's bad if a little kid can't stand it, and we all know which one was took out by a southerner with three names, just like the guy who blew Teddy Kennedy's brain to pieces in the middle of the parade, and which one was killed by a crazy actor leaping from the stage onto the balcony to climax the scene with something not exactly in the script but which would read DEATH all in red caps if it was, and Andre the Giant has a small and dainty wife which must have made their personal lifes interesting to say the least, and Lincoln's wife was a spendthrift nutter, but at least Andrew the Giant got to drop dead naturally instead of be took out by ham actors with guns or book salesmen, but the Morphine Syndrome which made them both so tall and thickboned also caused their death before their old age began, and pretty much ended both the Civil War and any chance of a Princess Bride sequel.

summer_daze95
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:38 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby summer_daze95 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:44 pm

This is an early draft, I would appreciate any feedback:

I always knew that I wanted to study science. Then a highschool assignment as an introduction to a class led me to study the work of Stephen Lewis. While science was appealing to me, this project made something click. Science might allow me to study objects in the world and understand how they work together but studying law and politics would allow me to study the people who live in this world and how they work together and that which governs their interaction. What impacted me most was Mr. Lewis’s declaration that, “The world desperately needs your voices.” This assignment introduced me to more than the class, it introduced me to the field I belong in. As the class continued, this assignment was forgotten in the face of the steady stream of new papers and projects, but Mr. Lewis’ message stuck with me and has driven me to become more; more involved, more concerned, more passionate and more inspired.
Growing up in a small town afforded me with a special insight into the importance of involvement. My rugby coach was also my boss at the ski hill I taught at, my alpine race coach, my future roommate’s father and a local businessman. As President of my high school’s Student Athletic Council I worked with a city employee in the Recreation Department who was also my boss at the local pool, coordinator of the local summer camps and a friend of my parents. There is a sense of community and connectedness in a small town which can easily be taken for granted but not easily achieved, for it requires extensive involvement and participation by members to function.
My four years of undergraduate studies have afforded me many opportunities to become involved and help me build my voice. Paying my way through school required me to work two part time jobs, teaching me to manage my time and work well under pressure. Running the Big Buddies program taught me dedication and the ability to think on the spot. One of the most enlightening experiences of my undergraduate career was taking part in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Simulation. Being selected to serve as my school’s delegate on the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees further developed my ability to formulate an argument and work with others to reach solutions. The hard work that earned our delegation the award of “Distinguished Delegation” at the International simulation in New York also enlightened me to many of the issues in the world today needing addressed, and the need to question what is going on around us, a realization which began during my involvement in awareness campaigns with the Global Issues Congress, and will pass on to this year’s NMUN delegation in my capacity as Head Delegate. I received another taste of political activity while serving as the student representative from the social science department on an Ad Hawk Senate Committee mandated to discuss the possibility of a new core curriculum for all Arts and science students. Running the campus bar was the culmination of skills I had acquired after four years. It required dedication to the daunting task of running a business as well as to maintaining a full course load and academic scholarships, which necessitated time management skills as never before. This responsibility also involved marketing and event planning, which helped to improve my creativity and organization. Managing a full staff and coordinating with the school’s administration and the students body forced me to develop extensive communication skills which will serve me well in the legal profession. Furthermore, this job has taught me that you cannot succeed without hard work, with my hard work rewarding me with becoming the first manager the bar has ever had to break even and begin to make a profit. All of these things enabled me to become more involved in and therefore connected to the community I was studying in.
The pursuit to be more involved has led me in many enriching and rewarding directions, and most recently it has taken on an international aspect. Having worked with children in the communities I have lived in, whether it be running summer camps, or teaching swimming or skiing, I learned the value and merits of building teamwork and self-esteem in a fun environment. With this in mind, myself and five of my peers have founded a camp with the assistance of a USA based non-governmental organization, The Children of Uganda, that will operate for three weeks of summer in Mukono, Uganda at the Sabina House. This camp will strive to empower the orphans of Sabina House and the surrounding community and build a sense of community while working on literacy and other skills. While this summer will be the first for the camp, it will hopefully continue for many years and benefit as many children as possible, helping them to build their own voices.
My desire and drive to pursue a career as a lawyer has been reaffirmed by my experience working at a law firm in my hometown. Working with two lawyers, each who specializes in different area of law, has helped me to develop an appreciation of what practicing law involves and the impact these individuals have on a community. If laws are the pillars of society, lawyers are the architects, engineers and construction workers. These lawyers showed me more than the correct way to file documents with the Court Clerk or write an Affidavit, they showed me how they could use their office to make a difference in the community. Whether it was donating time and resources to a Charity Golf tournament for the local hospital, working through the Office of the Children’s Lawyer with Child Services to make sure a child stays in a good home and out of a bad one or helping to find work for a client so she could maintain custody of her children, they were able to combine their passion for and knowledge of the law and their involvement in the community to make a positive contribution to the society they live in. This reiterated my confidence that this is the field I am meant to be in.
In my life I have refused to be a passive observer. I have strived to be an active citizen, whether it be in my school, my community or something larger. Obtaining a law degree from XXXX will help set me on the right path to use my voice, and allow me the opportunity to further pursue my commitment to become involved, wherever I may end up.

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sternc
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:07 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby sternc » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:38 pm

167
3.86


After two weeks at Gilber’s home, I had learned Costa Rican roosters did not come with snooze buttons. It was an hour when reasonable people, and farm animals, were sleeping, yet that damn rooster wanted me up. There was no use trying to sleep through it, so I threw off my blankets, went outside, and jumped into the ice-cold shower. Maybe a minute later I was out, not very clean, but certainly awake. Still shivering, I dressed, making sure to check if any tarantulas (big enforcers of trespassing codes) had decided to make my boots home for the evening. After a quick breakfast, it was time for the day’s work.
The nature of the work was visible through Gilber’s hands. After many years, his once useful and vigorous tools had deteriorated into the fifty-year-old antiques hanging by his sides. They were calloused and cripplingly arthritic. The pain was obvious in his eyes whether he was picking coffee beans, repairing a neighbor’s shed, or butchering a sow, but his work never slowed. Not once did he complain. As I worked beside him, constantly reminding myself of my supposed youth and vigor, I was moved.
I vividly remember looking down at my own pair. Dirty from working outside, but below that initial layer of dirt lay smooth hands. I realized the closest thing I had to a callous was where my pen sat between my thumb and forefinger. I was ashamed. The more I watched and got to know Gilber, the more I realized his hands, old and tired as they were, were symbols of his all-around approach to life.
Yes, his hands were the physical manifestation of a passionate dedication to his work, but they also represented the similar steadfast approach he took in all aspects of his life, including family, God, and community. He approached his faith, being a husband, father, brother, friend, and neighbor the same way his hands approached another day in the field, determined, regardless of the pain and personal sacrifice, to do what needed to be done, do it to the best of his abilities, and to go about it the right way.
My mother and father have all the aforementioned values, and they worked to instill them in all of their children. While they succeeded to an extent, there was something about seeing another example of such complete and absolute dedication, up close and personal. Maybe it was being a few thousand miles away in a place as different culturally as Costa Rica, or maybe I had finally reached a level of maturity where I was able to comprehend and put into perspective the things my parents had always done. Whatever the case was, Gilber's hands and actions left an indelible mark on me. I know my hands will never look like Gilber's, but I can embrace the things he embraced, the things that his hands represented. He helped me realize how important it is to live a life full of passion, dedication, love, family, and faith.
I had got into the habit of keeping a journal of my days in Costa Rica, and any given entry might detail a day or two’s events over the course of a page or so. Looking for inspiration for this essay, I was recently flipping through the journal when I got to an entry dated February 14th, 2007. Squeezed between two much longer and detailed entries were two underlined words: “his hands”. Though I had forgotten about the journal entry, the message behind it remains a vital part of my character. I know I have shortcomings, but just a moment thinking about Gilber and all his hands represented gives me the inspiration to be the best person I can. When I left for Costa Rica I was skeptical that I would have the life changing moment that people describe after a trip abroad. I never had such a moment, but a man and his hands did impact me in ways I could never have imagined.

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sternc
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:07 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby sternc » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:42 pm

167
3.86


After two weeks at Gilber’s home, I had learned Costa Rican roosters did not come with snooze buttons. It was an hour when reasonable people, and farm animals, were sleeping, yet that damn rooster wanted me up. There was no use trying to sleep through it, so I threw off my blankets, went outside, and jumped into the ice-cold shower. Maybe a minute later I was out, not very clean, but certainly awake. Still shivering, I dressed, making sure to check if any tarantulas (big enforcers of trespassing codes) had decided to make my boots home for the evening. After a quick breakfast, it was time for the day’s work.


The nature of the work was visible through Gilber’s hands. After many years, his once useful and vigorous tools had deteriorated into the fifty-year-old antiques hanging by his sides. They were calloused and cripplingly arthritic. The pain was obvious in his eyes whether he was picking coffee beans, repairing a neighbor’s shed, or butchering a sow, but his work never slowed. Not once did he complain. As I worked beside him, constantly reminding myself of my supposed youth and vigor, I was moved.


I vividly remember looking down at my own pair. Dirty from working outside, but below that initial layer of dirt lay smooth hands. I realized the closest thing I had to a callous was where my pen sat between my thumb and forefinger. I was ashamed. The more I watched and got to know Gilber, the more I realized his hands, old and tired as they were, were symbols of his all-around approach to life.


Yes, his hands were the physical manifestation of a passionate dedication to his work, but they also represented the similar steadfast approach he took in all aspects of his life, including family, God, and community. He approached his faith, being a husband, father, brother, friend, and neighbor the same way his hands approached another day in the field, determined, regardless of the pain and personal sacrifice, to do what needed to be done, do it to the best of his abilities, and to go about it the right way.


My mother and father have all the aforementioned values, and they worked to instill them in all of their children. While they succeeded to an extent, there was something about seeing another example of such complete and absolute dedication, up close and personal. Maybe it was being a few thousand miles away in a place as different culturally as Costa Rica, or maybe I had finally reached a level of maturity where I was able to comprehend and put into perspective the things my parents had always done. Whatever the case was, Gilber's hands and actions left an indelible mark on me. I know my hands will never look like Gilber's, but I can embrace the things he embraced, the things that his hands represented. He helped me realize how important it is to live a life full of passion, dedication, love, family, and faith.


I had got into the habit of keeping a journal of my days in Costa Rica, and any given entry might detail a day or two’s events over the course of a page or so. Looking for inspiration for this essay, I was recently flipping through the journal when I got to an entry dated February 14th, 2007. Squeezed between two much longer and detailed entries were two underlined words: “his hands”. Though I had forgotten about the journal entry, the message behind it remains a vital part of my character. I know I have shortcomings, but just a moment thinking about Gilber and all his hands represented gives me the inspiration to be the best person I can. When I left for Costa Rica I was skeptical that I would have the life changing moment that people describe after a trip abroad. I never had such a moment, but a man and his hands did impact me in ways I could never have imagined.

Miniver
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:13 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Miniver » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:18 pm

...
Last edited by Miniver on Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tommytahoe
Posts: 548
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby tommytahoe » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:37 am

OK, I'm breaking the rules, in that I don't yet have acceptances or rejections. But I don't need critiques or PS swapping either; the applications are in and I'm just waiting until I need to send out LOCIs down the road. This is just to contribute to the pool.
(this is the 3 - 4 page version many schools were Ok with; another 2-pager exists out there.)

163
3.78
Applied to 18 schools, from hopeless reaches like UVA, to safe bets like CUNY - Queens. Will add info later this year when I know wassup.

The Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against me in April 2006. The proceedings were terminated in May 2009, but their impact was lasting. They tested my emotional strength, taught me lessons about the law’s complexity, and sparked my drive to pursue law as a degree and a long-term career. I know that my route to law school has not been the conventional one, and I am proud of it. My personal experiences in law gave me the maturity and practical wisdoms that would bring a unique perspective to Blank Law School, and would make me a standout addition to your rising class profile.

I am a resident alien. Born in England thirty-seven years ago to a Welsh father and an Australian mother, I moved here with them and my siblings before I had learned to talk. This meant I could forego that odd transformation of accent that befalls so many an expat who moves to the States. I enjoyed a rich childhood and a full, dynamic education. And I soon came to appreciate that my international roots were a boon, and had broadened my world perspective. But I like baseball, not cricket, and I spent a good part of my childhood quietly distancing myself from the finer points of All Things British my parents held so dearly. I had always felt as if I were a real American, and having a green card allowed me to live as if I were one. I never once suspected that my alien status could affect me adversely.

A drug possession felony in 2003 would later expose this mistaken belief. This serious transgression was the culmination of two years of irresponsibility, and a symptom of my deeper sadness. Without an anchor, or a sense of purpose, I had fallen to a low, humiliating place to which I have vowed never to return. I was fortunate to have the felony expunged under California law after eighteen months in an outpatient treatment program, when I began the slow repairing of self-image and pride I had somehow lost along the way. In treatment classes I confronted stark truths about the fragility of the human spirit, and the power of second chances. Some men, brought face to face with the damages of their years, were reduced to sobbing openly. Some spoke with zest over their new sobriety, but I would see them months later, disheveled and gaunt, walking Oakland sidewalks in search of that same illusory escape. Moments like those haunted me, and I shared in the pain of those around me. I had come to know that I was a flawed man, but I was also surprised to find out how certain I was that I would endure this process. Many of those around me represented the path I could have taken. I knew exactly how close I had come to a fate far worse than mine, and did not need to be shown twice.

Before long I had left those days behind me. I built up savings for university, formed sustaining friendships, and discovered a love of cycling. I emerged from the experience with a richer respect for the rule of law, and a resoluteness of character, qualities that would complement your school well. I have spent every moment since 2003 deeply committed to taking advantage of the opportunity for change the law has given me.

So when I was told upon return from vacation in Australia that I was to appear at immigration court, I was thrown completely off balance. I had worked hard to clear my name under California law, but was now faced with the distinct threat of removal from my home of over thirty years. Those in recovery circles preach the value of “taking it one day at a time.” Removal proceedings forced me to live on a day-to-day basis —informed by a simmering sense of insecurity, and the frank knowledge that any time soon I may be told to leave. How does one prepare for this event, when even life’s short-term plans may be made moot by sudden circumstances?

As the case progressed, I decided to return to university to finish my Bachelor of Arts degree, searching for the intellectual discovery that ten years as a waiter had not given me. It is the best decision I have ever made. I set a new path for my future, at a time when that future remained very much in doubt. And, along the way I became increasingly drawn to the internal world of law. I had lived criminal law up-close, and had felt its power to punish, and to forgive. I was now blessed with an excellent immigration attorney who worked assiduously on my case, protecting my future in America. For three years, in ongoing emails, she explained the facts of my case in thorough detail, even as my questions became increasingly complicated. I now see that it was in those emails that my fascination with the law began to take hold. It was then, also, that I chose to pursue a law degree, to give to others some of what I had been given myself.

The past three years have given me a compelling inside look at immigration law, and a sophisticated understanding of the many competing interests at stake. With removal proceedings over, I came to Washington as part of an intern-study program, to explore immigration law in greater depth. Interning at the ABA Commission on Immigration, I quickly had to grasp some of the labyrinthine procedures of immigration law, and apply them to the lives of individuals. This investigative process engrossed me: for every legal layer I peeled away, several fascinating ones lay beneath it. For my research seminar, I wrote a 30-page paper examining due process rights in three key immigration law cases, presenting my findings before a panel led by a Department of Justice attorney. The paper was an intellectual challenge, requiring that I wade deep into constitutional debates to which I had had little previous exposure. I came away from Washington with a nuanced appreciation for the theoretical and practical applications of law, and a discovery that immigration law is an important and complicated field that cries out for serious legal reform.

My main duty at the ABA was to read and respond to daily letters from noncitizen detainees writing to ask for legal aid, or even sympathy. I often came across mail from a detainee who wrote that I was the only one who had responded to her letters. I was constrained by the fact that our office did not provide legal advice, and it is sobering to know that the materials I sent them may have had no real impact on their removal cases. Yet still I felt a powerful sense of professional responsibility to those who asked for my aid. Not because my circumstances were ever as dire as theirs, but because I understand what it is like to go to the wrong side of the law. And I know that when we do, it can become much harder to seek out the law’s protections. Access to counsel is the greatest obstacle noncitizen detainees face and, if acquired, can make all the difference. I approach law school with first-hand knowledge of the fundamental value skillful counsel can give someone who needs it, and the determination to extend that same quality of service to my own noncitizen clients once I graduate.

My path to this point has not been the traditional one. But while I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone else, it has provided me with a unique and varied perspective of the law, from the inside out. These past years have given me strength, and wisdom, and I am absolutely a better man because of it. As I look to continue my legal education, I see my moral lessons and my practical insights as invaluable assets that would provide depth and character to BLANK Law School, and would make me a dedicated member of your graduating class of 2013.

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druss3ll
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby druss3ll » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:23 pm

LSAT: 165
GPA: 2.7 (i know, i know, still wondering if I should include an explanatory addendum or not)
I'm applying to a broad mix from badass top schools that I'll never get into all the way down to some super safeties. Here's to hoping.

Feedback would be appreciated, just for my peace of mind, or lack thereof, while I wait for replies.

Thanks!

-----------------------------------

Around me was a world of blue: the sky as it can only be appreciated from the inside, nearly 6,000 feet up. In stark contrast, under my feet lay the barren moonscape of Mount Washington's famous Tuckerman's Ravine trail, all sharp gray gravel and granite boulders pockmarked by lightning scars. Every rise in the trail promised a glimpse of the summit's radio towers but delivered only another mound of tantalizing rocks. However, far from being disheartened, I was grateful for the prolongation of my journey. The serenity of solitude and the tangible, physical goal of struggling toward a summit were providing a soothing backdrop to a great moral struggle. I was slowly determining to escape my life in a cult.



As newly converted catholics, my parents had been easy prey for an organization characterized by eager youthful faces and couched in the trappings of Catholicism. So I was sent off with the Legion of Christ at the tender age of twelve to dedicate my life to the priesthood at a seminary in distant New Hampshire. For the first two years I was content, a young boy living in a whirlwind schedule of sports and school with sixty like-minded peers, but as I matured I began to realize that my closely regulated world was not what it seemed.



In my third year, in typical teenage fashion, I began questioning the fundamental rules of the organization. Why were we not allowed unsupervised communication with our peers? Why was there no free time in the schedule? Why was incoming and outgoing mail screened? Their response was to link the way things were done to "god's will" and promise that deviations therefrom would guarantee me a spot in hell. I was thus held in place by a powerful combination of guilt and fear.



But motivated by my increasing unhappiness under this regime, I took note of their inconsistencies. For example, preaching about the importance of conscience was followed immediately with directives about how we should allow ourselves to feel about specific situations. We were told that humility was paramount, but the leader, supposedly a living saint, had established his birthday as a celebration on par with Christmas and Easter. Under the weight of many discrepancies such as these I was finally able to break the stranglehold on my conscious and conclude that I was simply being manipulated, leading to the hardest decision I could face.



Separation meant leaving behind everything I knew in the world. And though I had logically dissolved my belief in their authority, the emotional guilt and fear linger strongly. However, I had inadvertently been given the tools I needed to complete my exit by the very methods meant to help contain me. Through all the physical exertion, hiking, calisthenics, and grounds work they had put us through to keep us too busy and tired for questions, they had ingrained in me an exceptional determination. With growing confidence in my conclusion that I was being manipulated, I finally brought my physical determination to bear on my moral dilemma and after five years, I mustered the courage to escape.



Back on Mount Washington, the radio towers did eventually come into view, followed by the weather station, the cog railway, Vermont, Maine and Canada. But like the tantalizing mounds of rock along the trail, the summit proved different than expected. Much more than a destination, it was an opportunity to gain perspective on the smaller surrounding mountains to be climbed next. I am grateful everyday to have escaped, but I do not regret the experience of battling my way out. Now, with nearly ten years between myself and that struggle, I can appreciate the lessons and skills that it taught me and use it to keep the fresh challenges of life in perspective.



I entered my freshman year of college scared out of my mind. I was potentially the only entering freshman who had not had an unregulated conversation with a peer in five years, who could not name a single movie, fashion, or artist from the same period. I was like a foreigner without a mother country for support. But with the never-despair attitude and self-confidence I had gained I set myself wholeheartedly to the task of integrating myself with American culture and emerged from college with friendships I would not trade for the world. As a patent researcher my mind, trained by ignoring the noise of false manipulative arguments, helped me separate irrelevant details and get to the crux of my projects. I began working in patent law because I enjoy the convergence of analysis, strategy and technology that make up its core. But when I had the opportunity to speak directly with inventors and witnessed the passion they had invested in their work, it was my own experience of the suppression of my rights and freedom that made real to me the importance of protecting theirs.

placencia
Posts: 55
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby placencia » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:34 am

Here's my statement, for what it's worth.

Zero wins, fifteen losses. That’s how my first season began four years ago coaching men’s high school soccer. I had worked hard to become a successful middle school coach and social studies teacher, but I had always relished the prospect of taking over a high school program, and this was not a good start. Two state champions came from our conference, so to say it was an uphill battle was an understatement, but competing against the best was the only way to become better. Cummings High School had never been known for its soccer teams. Basketball, football, track, yes; in those sports, the school had 24 state titles. In thirty years of soccer, the history was less glorified, as they had made the playoffs only once. If I wanted a challenge, I clearly had one. I love teaching, coaching, and law because they provide the opportunity to use mental acumen to overcome obstacles, allowing you to think your way to success, and when you do succeed, it can change people’s lives. But I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

I began by setting strict behavior and academic standards, ensuring my players would maintain themselves with class at all times. Some couldn’t meet those standards, and so we played the first season with only ten players, but I was proud that they were unanimously awarded the conference’s Team Sportsmanship Award by the other coaches. After that season, a new problem arose. One of my seniors never received his diploma because he didn’t complete his Senior Project, a requirement for graduation. Over the next few years, I began confronting the issue of my athletes’ academic disengagement more often. Most of my players were Hispanic, and there were many opportunities within their environment to get them off track, including gangs, drugs, and even impending fatherhood. I realized they needed more than just a coach, they needed a mentor. In the offseason, I played with them in an adult indoor league, in summertime pickup games, and helped them with their Senior Projects. They began to realize that it was everything we did, not just what happened on game day, which determined success, and building the right mentality was the first step. We did have positive notes to build on, and after my second season I was proud to have the first soccer player in the history of Cummings High School sign his letter of intent to play collegiate soccer. But I still wondered if we could turn the right attitudes into success on the field.

As focused as I was on soccer, I was soon presented with an issue that reminded me it was only a game. Mrs. Barrett, one of the teachers on my grade level, was diagnosed with cancer. The other teachers and I wanted to find some way to help our students understand, so we created an interdisciplinary unit about cancer. They studied how cancer affects the body, learned about the effects of atomic bombs, and folded thousands of paper cranes. According to Japanese legend, one who folds a thousand paper cranes is granted a wish. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is the story of a girl who developed cancer from the atomic detonation in Hiroshima, and if she had succeeded in folding enough, her wish was to be free from cancer. Our wish was that the same could happen for Mrs. Barrett. We also staged a cut-a-thon, with over 50 students and teachers donating their hair, and with shoulder length hair, I was the last head shaved. The students raised awareness of an issue dear to them, taking a personal role in learning, and raised several thousand dollars to help with the financial burdens of those with cancer.

We planned to present the results of our project to Mrs. Barrett, but the day before the event, she passed away. The students had done something wonderful, though, and made a donation in her name to a local cancer society. One of the most important lessons I learned from that is the value of human life, and how vital it is to pursue your dreams. Already galvanized by other events to go to law school, this confirmed it. Life was so tenuous that to not follow my passion could leave me looking back, wondering “What if…?” As much as I enjoyed impacting the lives of my students, I needed more to be fulfilled. Law was the one arena that I wanted to pursue with the same gusto that I attacked teaching and coaching.

Soccer is one of the most difficult things for me to give up, because after spending so much time working to build something, my efforts are finally beginning to pay off. For the fourth year in a row, a player is graduating in the top ten in his class. Three players were chosen for All-Conference and All-Region teams. More importantly, I did everything possible to establish a program that would last beyond my years as a coach. This year, for only the second time, the Cummings Cavaliers made it to the state playoffs in soccer, and I feel secure knowing the proper foundation is in place for future success. I realize there is only so much I can do in the realm of education, and I want to make an impact on a larger scale. Those who master the rules of any game shape the world around them, and the ultimate rules of the world are written in the code of law. My passion, drive, and desire to create and become something greater have now shifted fully into that field, and based on the results I have had in other areas, I know I will succeed.

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JohnnyTrojan08
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JohnnyTrojan08 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:11 pm

I'm in the process of posting my entire personal statement writing process on my blog. I thought it might be helpful for people to not only see the finished product, but what I did to get there. I'm a current Teach For America corps member, and wanted to tie my teaching experience into my interest for intellectual property law. I'll update with how my applications go once I find out. :roll:

nikkei325i
Posts: 60
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby nikkei325i » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:33 pm

This is probably a stupid question, but where are we supposed to submit our personal statements on the LSDAS? I am worried about finalizing my PS to submit a copy to my professors so that they can write my LORs, but what happens after that? Do they send a copy to the law schools? I don't get it because I don't see anything on the LSAC.org website pertaining to that, but then again I am not yet ready to submit my applications so maybe somewhere in there I can upload my PS? I ask because certain law schools will only take 2-page PSs while others take 3-page ones. Someone please help me out!

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Grizz
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:40 pm

nikkei325i wrote:This is probably a stupid question, but where are we supposed to submit our personal statements on the LSDAS?


You upload them into the apps on the LSAC website. Also you are in the wrong thread.

tee2
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby tee2 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:54 pm

A popular saying goes “Without change, there is no growth.” This is indeed true, however, without change there is also no decline, only stagnation. The possibility and reality of change carry with them the fear of failure as well as the excitement of success and growth. For me, I believe change is in and of itself an adventure and we all have to live out this adventure everyday because life is all about change – physical, emotional, spiritual, significant, and insignificant changes. I have rejoiced in my successes as well as survived and learned from my failures and hurts brought about by change, by embracing its challenges and learning how to deal with its inevitable occurrence.
I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. After graduating from high school at the age of 15, I moved to the United States of America to meet my father and three of my siblings whom I had not seen in 7 years. Apart from the anticipation I felt in seeing most of my family for the first time in many years, there also existed the fear of leaving the only home I ever knew. It was without question the biggest and most critical adventure yet of my life so I decided to put everything I had into it. I overcame the fear of having a new home with the support of my family and with the resolution that I would make the most of everything new and different that came my way. It took a few months, but I eventually adjusted to my new surroundings. I learned to enjoy Rhode Island’s winters after my 15 years in 95 degree weather, I learned to make new friends by sharing cultures and experiences, and soon enough, the United States became home.
My interest in studying law was sparked by the broken legal system in Nigeria, which lacks adequate structure, organization and professionalism. With this in mind, I anticipated pursuing a career in the legal system. At my undergraduate level at Rhode Island College, I majored in communications, with a concentration in mass media and a minor in theater arts. I chose to study mass communications not only because I found it exciting, but because of its diverse, cultural, legal and moral context. Studying mass media helped me boost my research, oral, written and visual communication skills. For example, I had a class project in which I worked in a team of two and we shot and edited a short documentary on the gay and lesbian community on campus. I also took a logical reasoning class and a couple of history and literature classes outside my major which not only helped develop my cognitive and moral skills, but strengthened my ability for critical and analytical thinking.
In my sophomore year of college, I developed a personal interest in entertainment law after taking a class in Communications, Law and Regulation. I have a passion for the entertainment industry and I find the legislation governing the industry very interesting and challenging. My aim is to work within the legal profession as an entertainment lawyer by providing help and protecting the rights of artists, companies and individuals involved in the entertainment industry. Furthermore, as an entertainment lawyer, I plan on assisting the rapidly developing entertainment industry in Nigeria which is more or less the largest in West Africa .There are copyright laws in place, however , the industry does not have the ability to enforce those laws to protect the works of their artists, authors or inventors because of the broken legal system.
While in college, I participated in extracurricular activities. I was an active member of the communications club and often contributed with projects that were to be done. For example, I assisted with organizing Rhode Island College’s communications day program, which enables students who pursue a career in communications to meet and network with real professionals in the field of communications. I was also an active member of the women of color student organization, which recognized the diversity amongst women, and helped build awareness about the changing roles, and contributions of diverse women in our society.

During my final year at Rhode Island College, I had the opportunity to do a summer internship with WPRI FOX News in Providence, Rhode Island. I assisted assignment editors, producers, reporters, video editors, and photographers with important projects. I also performed administrative duties, attended press conferences and conducted interviews with people who were put on the news. I was also given the opportunity to write news stories with the assistance of my intern supervisor. Working amongst real professionals boosted my confidence and gave me the opportunity to gain practical experience to rise to a big challenge. It also helped me grow in preparation for life after graduation. I also received good feedback from my intern supervisor as a result of my hard work and dedication. With the knowledge I have gained so far, I believe I am armed with the tools to succeed in law school through hard work and determination. I feel more confident as I embark on the next phase on the road to law school. Being a lawyer requires perseverance, dedication and determination and these are attributes I possess.



PLS READ AND GIVE ME FEEDBACK THANKS.

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CardinalRules
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby CardinalRules » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:42 pm

On second thought, I don't really feel comfortable posting my PS in public. If you would like me to send it to you via PM or send yours to me by a PM, I would be more than happy to oblige. :D
Last edited by CardinalRules on Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JustDude
Posts: 354
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:16 am

managamy wrote:LSAT: 178
GPA: 4.1
Accepted: HYS, CLS-Hamilton, several others

On second thought, I don't really feel comfortable posting my PS in public. If you would like me to send it to you via PM or send yours to me by a PM, I would be more than happy to oblige. :D


So you just made this post in order to brag about your numbers and accceptances. Well make them your signature, let the world know.


Impressive by the way, Not bad at all. Is it self tar? Are you up for some coffee in Palo Alto area?

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CardinalRules
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby CardinalRules » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:52 am

JustDude wrote:
managamy wrote:LSAT: 178
GPA: 4.1
Accepted: HYS, CLS-Hamilton, several others

On second thought, I don't really feel comfortable posting my PS in public. If you would like me to send it to you via PM or send yours to me by a PM, I would be more than happy to oblige. :D


So you just made this post in order to brag about your numbers and accceptances. Well make them your signature, let the world know.


Impressive by the way, Not bad at all. Is it self tar? Are you up for some coffee in Palo Alto area?


Sorry, I should have edited out the stats part. The first post that I wrote included the actual text of the PS, and it looked as though others were including their stats. I forgot to go back and fix the rest once I replace the text with the comment.

No, it's not a self tar.

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JustDude
Posts: 354
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:09 am

managamy wrote:
JustDude wrote:
managamy wrote:LSAT: 178
GPA: 4.1
Accepted: HYS, CLS-Hamilton, several others

On second thought, I don't really feel comfortable posting my PS in public. If you would like me to send it to you via PM or send yours to me by a PM, I would be more than happy to oblige. :D


So you just made this post in order to brag about your numbers and accceptances. Well make them your signature, let the world know.


Impressive by the way, Not bad at all. Is it self tar? Are you up for some coffee in Palo Alto area?


Sorry, I should have edited out the stats part. The first post that I wrote included the actual text of the PS, and it looked as though others were including their stats. I forgot to go back and fix the rest once I replace the text with the comment.



I am just being an a**.


No, it's not a self tar.



I will be honest neither is mine.

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CardinalRules
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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby CardinalRules » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:13 am

JustDude wrote:
managamy wrote:
JustDude wrote:
managamy wrote:LSAT: 178
GPA: 4.1
Accepted: HYS, CLS-Hamilton, several others

On second thought, I don't really feel comfortable posting my PS in public. If you would like me to send it to you via PM or send yours to me by a PM, I would be more than happy to oblige. :D


So you just made this post in order to brag about your numbers and accceptances. Well make them your signature, let the world know.


Impressive by the way, Not bad at all. Is it self tar? Are you up for some coffee in Palo Alto area?


Sorry, I should have edited out the stats part. The first post that I wrote included the actual text of the PS, and it looked as though others were including their stats. I forgot to go back and fix the rest once I replace the text with the comment.



I am just being an a**.


No, it's not a self tar.



I will be honest neither is mine.


In a word: good.

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

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby JustDude » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:16 am

managamy wrote:In a word: good.


In a word: Yawn

tnguy03
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 7:08 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby tnguy03 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:27 pm

I'll throw in my PS to help any semi-splitters.

G.P.A. 3.05 (1 F, 1 D) - No Addendum regarding grades.

Attending: Michigan (transfer)

I love video games. When I tell people this, their facial expressions make me wonder if they conjure up images of me in an old, dark, and damp basement furiously mashing away on the buttons of an Xbox 360 game controller. Nervously, I react to their raised eyebrows with, “but I don’t play video games much anymore,” or “I do have a vibrant social life,” my voice cracking with the transparent embarrassment I was trying to hide. I have derived success from my passion, but to truly explain why I have a deep connection with video games requires mentioning my troublesome childhood. My past and my inspiration became interlocked early on, and I realize that the insecurity I feel from this admission about video games draws upon my own past shame from my upbringing.

Growing up in an abusive and impoverished single-parent home where English was rarely spoken was hardly ideal, and I desperately wanted to escape that world from the time I was able to read. Reading was my first outlet. Whisking my mind away to the world of Terry Brooks, a fantasy author, became a common delight. With an insatiable mind, I hungrily looked for more from a wider range of genres. From dreaming about the historical trade routes of the Far East to imagining that I was the scientist authoring the passage in the Scientific American journal on cosmological forces, I spent my childhood looking to a world outside my own with weary eyes. Although I would continue to be a “prodigious reader,” as one of my high school teachers later put it, at the age of 13 I found my ultimate outlet - Starcraft.

Starcraft, a real time science-fiction strategy computer game, became a stabilizing force in my unstable environment. Weathering the mental stresses of my adolescent life with Starcraft created an iron-tight bond between video games and my place of imaginative refuge. Starcraft provided me a focus in my ghetto when my path was tested daily. Pressured by peers to assault a teacher? Starcraft. Friends going to juvenile hall? Starcraft. Mom gambling with our meager funds again? Starcraft. Starcraft kept my life intact during those tumultuous years. However, by the time I reached college and escaped that destructive environment, video games also became a symbol of my past. It did not matter that I started an online video game business while attending school full-time during my first year of college, netting over $120,000. It did not matter that video games offered me a successful lifestyle unfathomable to me a year earlier. All that mattered in my mind was that I came from an undesirable background and that video games were a part of that background.

It was not until I had a frank discussion with my first sociology professor at UCLA that I truly began to think that perhaps I did not need to live with such shame. We discussed how best to address income inequalities in the United States. After verbally jabbing back and forth about what created these inequalities and whether or not the causes were structural or individual, I brought up the story of my own upbringing. I finally inquired: “But Professor Lupher, if income inequality is due in part to personal choices, how can I help uproot these people out of poverty?” His response was direct and refreshingly simple, “By setting yourself as an example.” I did not fully realize the impact of his words that day, but by the end of my college career I realized what he tried to convey. Leaders do not let factors beyond their control shackle them to their fates. Instead, they lead through their actions to create their own destiny. By setting myself as an example, I will let kids from neighborhoods like mine know that it is okay to come from a humble background. It is what we do with our future that counts. Our pasts do not define our worth; only our passions and determinations do.

My passion led me to my current firm, Activision-Blizzard, the largest third-party game publisher in the world. Throughout my junior and senior years at UCLA, I averaged over 50 hours a week at my customer support department. During my demanding junior year, a course on business law offered me my first academic exposure to legal studies. My work at Activision-Blizzard provided me with the practical experience to link my legal studies to the real world. Intellectual property and licensing problems arising from the success of our Guitar Hero franchise, a music-based game that utilizes licensed songs during game play, tug at my curiosity. Consumer contract issues pique my interest about the purpose behind consumer laws. Studying law will both satisfy my intellectual curiosity and build a strong foundation for furthering my career in the video game industry.

In addition, studying law will bolster the message I want to send to my community and other similar low income communities. By example, I will show families in my neighborhood that my past did not bind me to a fate I did not want, and neither should theirs. I will tell adolescents like the ones at my high school that we are limited in our lives only to the extent of our passions. I will demonstrate to them that an advanced degree from a premier institution is within our grasps, and we only need to grab onto it. Finally, I will confidently look them in the eyes and say without qualification or reservation, “I owe it all to my love for video games.”
Last edited by tnguy03 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:26 am, edited 4 times in total.




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