Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Samirpatel12
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:18 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Samirpatel12 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:24 pm

Great work guys and gals.

lawschool2014hopeful
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:48 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:19 am

GoIggles wrote:It was just about this time last year that I began to put real effort into my personal statement. So, for those of you who find yourselves at the PS writing stage now, I hope this helps. I know this thread was a great resource for me while I was writing.

GPA: ~3.95
LSAT: ~175
Admissions Decisions: In everywhere I applied

This is a story about stories. It’s a story about my grandfather, a master storyteller, and me, his apprentice. It’s a story about the last and most important lesson he taught me—a lesson not about how to tell good stories, but about the good that telling stories can do.

My apprenticeship began just moments after I was born. As my mother tells it, my grandfather plucked me from her tired arms in the delivery room and immediately commenced my first tutorial: cradling me in his left arm, his right keeping time with the rhythm of his tale, my grandfather charmed the medical staff with the story of how I came to be named [name]. Over the years that followed, I spent hours taking mental notes as I watched similar scenes unfold. Neighbors we ran into at the grocery store, waiters taking our order at restaurants, friends who came over to play—all of them were audience members as far as my grandfather was concerned. And no one ever walked away from one of his performances disappointed, least of all me.

As I entered college nearly two decades later, I thought my apprenticeship had come to an end. I was no longer the small child sitting spellbound at the foot of my grandfather’s rocking chair, no longer the gawky teenager asking for advice as I wrote stories for my school newspaper. By then, I had grown into someone with whom my grandfather could sit on his porch and swap stories, equal-to-equal. After eighteen years of lessons from my grandfather, I thought I had become a storyteller in my own right.

So when I got to [college], I sought out a venue in which to practice my art. And I found it in collegiate mock trial—a trial advocacy competition for undergraduates. This, I told myself, was what my grandfather had trained me for; if I worked hard and put his lessons into practice, I was certain that I’d find success. And I did. But, to my dismay, racking up victories, winning individual awards, even the storytelling itself—it all left me feeling unfulfilled. My most painstakingly prepared, most passionately delivered closing arguments brought me only a shadow of the joy that my grandfather radiated while telling his stories. I couldn’t understand or explain it, but something was clearly missing.

That’s when my grandfather came through with one final lesson for his apprentice. It started with a panicked phone call from my mom. My grandfather was sick with cancer, she said, and he didn’t have much time left. From then on, I spent as many weekends as possible by my grandfather’s bedside. In all those painful visits, it was never clearer that he was slipping away than the day when his hospice nurse asked to hear one of his famous stories. Naturally, he agreed, jumping into his favorite about the hospital he’d helped build in England while in the Air Force. But he had to quit halfway through. Mid-telling, he realized he no longer had the strength to finish; he realized the disease that had stolen his health was now stealing his stories too.

As he trailed off with the heavy hurt of loss spreading across his face, I took his hand. And I did what he had spent years training me to do. I told a story—his story. For the first time in months, I told a story not because I wanted a trophy or a plaque. I picked up where my grandfather left off and finished his story because I loved him and couldn’t stand to see him hurt anymore. When I turned back to him to ask whether I’d gotten all the details right, his cheeks were shining with tears. He squeezed my hand hard, smiled, and winked as he said, “Now that's a story, [name].”

That’s when it clicked. That’s when I realized why mock trial felt so hollow—why the stories I had been telling brought me only an ounce of the satisfaction that my grandfather’s stories brought him. With no real client to fight for, with only trophies on the line, I was telling stories just because I wanted something out of them. But my grandfather told his stories because he knew they would mean something to others, to the people with whom he shared them. As I sat there holding his hand, I thought of all the times he had brightened someone’s day with a story, of all the smiles and laughs his storytelling had inspired. That, I realized, was my grandfather’s real legacy—not the stories themselves, but the good he had done with them. And in finishing his story to spare him more pain, I was finally starting to live up to that legacy.

My grandfather is gone now. But his lessons—especially the final one—remain. And ever since I helped tell his story, I’ve been striving to live those lessons. I lived them as I continued with mock trial, telling stories to help my teammates reach the goals they’d worked so hard to achieve. I lived them as I volunteered at [college town] Legal Aid, relaying my clients’ stories to win them the assistance they needed. Now, I plan to live my grandfather’s lessons as an attorney. I can imagine nothing more fulfilling than standing in front of a jury, telling the stories of those who have suffered injury and indignity, faithfully, convincingly, passionately. And when I’m done, when I’m returning to counsel table after telling the tale of someone who’s suffered, I’ll look to the back of the courtroom. I know he won’t be there, but I’ll hope to see him anyway. My friend, my mentor, my grandfather—smiling, winking, and then silently mouthing, “Now that’s a story, [name].”



Wow, that is all I can say. You are certainly right, that IS A STORY.

User avatar
Pishee77
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:14 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Pishee77 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:37 pm

jimmierock wrote:
GoIggles wrote:It was just about this time last year that I began to put real effort into my personal statement. So, for those of you who find yourselves at the PS writing stage now, I hope this helps. I know this thread was a great resource for me while I was writing.

GPA: ~3.95
LSAT: ~175
Admissions Decisions: In everywhere I applied

This is a story about stories. It’s a story about my grandfather, a master storyteller, and me, his apprentice. It’s a story about the last and most important lesson he taught me—a lesson not about how to tell good stories, but about the good that telling stories can do.

My apprenticeship began just moments after I was born. As my mother tells it, my grandfather plucked me from her tired arms in the delivery room and immediately commenced my first tutorial: cradling me in his left arm, his right keeping time with the rhythm of his tale, my grandfather charmed the medical staff with the story of how I came to be named [name]. Over the years that followed, I spent hours taking mental notes as I watched similar scenes unfold. Neighbors we ran into at the grocery store, waiters taking our order at restaurants, friends who came over to play—all of them were audience members as far as my grandfather was concerned. And no one ever walked away from one of his performances disappointed, least of all me.

As I entered college nearly two decades later, I thought my apprenticeship had come to an end. I was no longer the small child sitting spellbound at the foot of my grandfather’s rocking chair, no longer the gawky teenager asking for advice as I wrote stories for my school newspaper. By then, I had grown into someone with whom my grandfather could sit on his porch and swap stories, equal-to-equal. After eighteen years of lessons from my grandfather, I thought I had become a storyteller in my own right.

So when I got to [college], I sought out a venue in which to practice my art. And I found it in collegiate mock trial—a trial advocacy competition for undergraduates. This, I told myself, was what my grandfather had trained me for; if I worked hard and put his lessons into practice, I was certain that I’d find success. And I did. But, to my dismay, racking up victories, winning individual awards, even the storytelling itself—it all left me feeling unfulfilled. My most painstakingly prepared, most passionately delivered closing arguments brought me only a shadow of the joy that my grandfather radiated while telling his stories. I couldn’t understand or explain it, but something was clearly missing.

That’s when my grandfather came through with one final lesson for his apprentice. It started with a panicked phone call from my mom. My grandfather was sick with cancer, she said, and he didn’t have much time left. From then on, I spent as many weekends as possible by my grandfather’s bedside. In all those painful visits, it was never clearer that he was slipping away than the day when his hospice nurse asked to hear one of his famous stories. Naturally, he agreed, jumping into his favorite about the hospital he’d helped build in England while in the Air Force. But he had to quit halfway through. Mid-telling, he realized he no longer had the strength to finish; he realized the disease that had stolen his health was now stealing his stories too.

As he trailed off with the heavy hurt of loss spreading across his face, I took his hand. And I did what he had spent years training me to do. I told a story—his story. For the first time in months, I told a story not because I wanted a trophy or a plaque. I picked up where my grandfather left off and finished his story because I loved him and couldn’t stand to see him hurt anymore. When I turned back to him to ask whether I’d gotten all the details right, his cheeks were shining with tears. He squeezed my hand hard, smiled, and winked as he said, “Now that's a story, [name].”

That’s when it clicked. That’s when I realized why mock trial felt so hollow—why the stories I had been telling brought me only an ounce of the satisfaction that my grandfather’s stories brought him. With no real client to fight for, with only trophies on the line, I was telling stories just because I wanted something out of them. But my grandfather told his stories because he knew they would mean something to others, to the people with whom he shared them. As I sat there holding his hand, I thought of all the times he had brightened someone’s day with a story, of all the smiles and laughs his storytelling had inspired. That, I realized, was my grandfather’s real legacy—not the stories themselves, but the good he had done with them. And in finishing his story to spare him more pain, I was finally starting to live up to that legacy.

My grandfather is gone now. But his lessons—especially the final one—remain. And ever since I helped tell his story, I’ve been striving to live those lessons. I lived them as I continued with mock trial, telling stories to help my teammates reach the goals they’d worked so hard to achieve. I lived them as I volunteered at [college town] Legal Aid, relaying my clients’ stories to win them the assistance they needed. Now, I plan to live my grandfather’s lessons as an attorney. I can imagine nothing more fulfilling than standing in front of a jury, telling the stories of those who have suffered injury and indignity, faithfully, convincingly, passionately. And when I’m done, when I’m returning to counsel table after telling the tale of someone who’s suffered, I’ll look to the back of the courtroom. I know he won’t be there, but I’ll hope to see him anyway. My friend, my mentor, my grandfather—smiling, winking, and then silently mouthing, “Now that’s a story, [name].”



Wow, that is all I can say. You are certainly right, that IS A STORY.
This was beautiful.

lawschool2014hopeful
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:48 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:01 pm

Istayedhere wrote:Hey guys. I hope this helps you as much as TLS has helped me.

(FYI: Duke's Dean Hoye noted by hand on my acceptance letter in post-script: "Your personal statement was very well done!")

Accepted: Columbia, NYU, Chicago, Penn, Duke (all with some $)
WL: Harvard, UMich (withdrew), UVa (withdrew)
Rejected: Berkeley, Stanford, Yale

I wrote the following PS thinking I needed to explain the 5-6 years of work experience after grad as well as the huge drop in GPA in junior and senior years of UG. It doesn't say much of why I want to attend law school. I made that sacrifice to keep the essay on topic. Some versions for specific why-law topics had an added paragraph of me wanting to teach law and stuff. Enjoy.

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


I drop a pen on the floor and say, “This pen has not hit the floor.” Obviously it has, and my students glare at me like I am trying and failing to hypnotize them. I would have an easier time peddling a bottle of miracle-cure-for-acne to these skeptical high school and college students. But I push on: I lift the pen theatrically, letting it hover mid-air, and ask, “The pen crossed the halfway point between my hand and the floor, right?” I wait till I see a few reluctant nods and then kneel. “And halfway of the remaining distance? And halfway of that halfway? And halfway of that?” I look around as I slice the air with my pen, and I know I’ve got a few of them. I have learned to reserve the most revealing line until the end: “What happens when you keep dividing a number in half?”

That is my dramatic interpretation of Zeno of Elea’s dichotomy paradox, dating back to approximately 450 BC. I’m sure I am one in a long series of lecturers who have knelt to illustrate this paradox of motion. The seconds you took in reading this paragraph so far is about how long I wait to answer the above question, for dramatic effect, and in consideration for the slower few: “That’s right. The answer approaches zero, infinitely, but never arrives at zero. The pen never hits the floor!”

So what? That is the sobering question, usually from a bright skeptic I almost always find in every “Paradox and Infinity” workshop, thankfully. This time it is Andrew, the clever ice hockey player in Grade 11. Now he is my target, and my objective is to convince him of the mindboggling implications of the paradox. Here is my repertoire developed after about a dozen deliveries: I start with the physical, noting how I can never leave the room because I would infinitely approach the door but never arrive. Likewise, I can never eat, drink, speak, or move at all. No one can. I cannot hear because sound waves never arrive; nor do light waves, and I cannot see. I am bound in a philosophical prison, and I can only think. Or can I? Synapses never finish firing, and neurons never arrive, and I exist alone, senseless and thoughtless.

There is nothing like solipsism to depress teenagers, besides perhaps nihilism or absurdism (another workshop, another story). I would be an evil man to leave them there, so I switch the discussion to infinity. I tell them that if a thing never arrives but approaches infinitely, then it is moving infinitely, like the pen toward the floor. This can be a beautiful concept: everything is moving and happening infinitely. I am still being born, never stopped being born; still taking my first walk; still, paradoxically, learning my first English word; and falling in love, infinitely, eternally, for the first time. And, in a sense, I will never finish this sentence, and you will never finish reading it. But obviously you have, and that is the paradox.

I teach for money (let us get that out of the way.). I have been teaching for money because my family has been in debt, and a son does not stand and watch his father declare bankruptcy. His business failed in my junior year in college, and the final two years’ tuition was the log that broke his back. Those were tough times. I shelved my plan of attending law school and stopped fiddling with the idea of a Ph.D. in philosophy. Instead, I took a teaching job in ABC, where I could look after my parents and help pay off the debt.

Things improved gradually, and I moved back home to DEFG. Since then, I have been as busy as should be a man with debts and dreams. At first, the dreams were obstacles in getting things done; as hard as I worked, I could not stop myself from reserving time for my interests in philosophy, photography, poetry, and languages. In time, I have found that the act of teaching is not so different from the sharing of interests, and students respond better when I forget that I am teaching, as I often do when I roll a marked frisbee around the desk to illustrate Aristotle’s Wheel Paradox, or break a Starbucks stir stick repeatedly to imitate Zhuangzi’s infinite spear-breaking.

Now I teach mostly what I want to teach (is this what seniority and tenure must feel like?). For three years, I taught reading and writing and test preparatory courses that students asked for, but now I share with my students my readings of Jorge Luis Borges, Ted Hughes, J. M. Coetzee, Billy Collins, Thoreau, Beckett, Bukowski, and of other giants who happen to be trampling on my mind at the time. Though he has passed away before I had a chance to hear his lectures, Borges has been living with a foot on my head for a while. Many of my students share my love for his love for labyrinths, dreams, and infinity.

I try to do what I wish someone had done for me during high school, when I struggled to learn philosophy and poetry on my own. I know most students like Andrew the Hockey Player move on to study something more practical, like chemistry, economics, business, or dentistry, but I sometimes do get e-mails from former students saying they have decided to take a philosophy course (and earn a sadistic chuckle from me).

This essay signals the end of my six-year teaching career. As of late last year, I have been debt-free and started saving for school. I began this essay with my paradox workshop because I did not want to seem ungrateful by beginning with misfortune. That is not how I feel. Had I the choice to attend law school six years ago, you would have read an idealistic essay by a philosophy student eager to learn of the Truth of things for his own sake. This is and is not that essay.



Lol, this was very cute and intelligent.

ggghei
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:14 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby ggghei » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:22 pm

.
Last edited by ggghei on Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
bohemiandaisy
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:57 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby bohemiandaisy » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:28 pm

jimmierock wrote:
Istayedhere wrote:Hey guys. I hope this helps you as much as TLS has helped me.

(FYI: Duke's Dean Hoye noted by hand on my acceptance letter in post-script: "Your personal statement was very well done!")

Accepted: Columbia, NYU, Chicago, Penn, Duke (all with some $)
WL: Harvard, UMich (withdrew), UVa (withdrew)
Rejected: Berkeley, Stanford, Yale

I wrote the following PS thinking I needed to explain the 5-6 years of work experience after grad as well as the huge drop in GPA in junior and senior years of UG. It doesn't say much of why I want to attend law school. I made that sacrifice to keep the essay on topic. Some versions for specific why-law topics had an added paragraph of me wanting to teach law and stuff. Enjoy.

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


I drop a pen on the floor and say, “This pen has not hit the floor.” Obviously it has, and my students glare at me like I am trying and failing to hypnotize them. I would have an easier time peddling a bottle of miracle-cure-for-acne to these skeptical high school and college students. But I push on: I lift the pen theatrically, letting it hover mid-air, and ask, “The pen crossed the halfway point between my hand and the floor, right?” I wait till I see a few reluctant nods and then kneel. “And halfway of the remaining distance? And halfway of that halfway? And halfway of that?” I look around as I slice the air with my pen, and I know I’ve got a few of them. I have learned to reserve the most revealing line until the end: “What happens when you keep dividing a number in half?”

That is my dramatic interpretation of Zeno of Elea’s dichotomy paradox, dating back to approximately 450 BC. I’m sure I am one in a long series of lecturers who have knelt to illustrate this paradox of motion. The seconds you took in reading this paragraph so far is about how long I wait to answer the above question, for dramatic effect, and in consideration for the slower few: “That’s right. The answer approaches zero, infinitely, but never arrives at zero. The pen never hits the floor!”

So what? That is the sobering question, usually from a bright skeptic I almost always find in every “Paradox and Infinity” workshop, thankfully. This time it is Andrew, the clever ice hockey player in Grade 11. Now he is my target, and my objective is to convince him of the mindboggling implications of the paradox. Here is my repertoire developed after about a dozen deliveries: I start with the physical, noting how I can never leave the room because I would infinitely approach the door but never arrive. Likewise, I can never eat, drink, speak, or move at all. No one can. I cannot hear because sound waves never arrive; nor do light waves, and I cannot see. I am bound in a philosophical prison, and I can only think. Or can I? Synapses never finish firing, and neurons never arrive, and I exist alone, senseless and thoughtless.

There is nothing like solipsism to depress teenagers, besides perhaps nihilism or absurdism (another workshop, another story). I would be an evil man to leave them there, so I switch the discussion to infinity. I tell them that if a thing never arrives but approaches infinitely, then it is moving infinitely, like the pen toward the floor. This can be a beautiful concept: everything is moving and happening infinitely. I am still being born, never stopped being born; still taking my first walk; still, paradoxically, learning my first English word; and falling in love, infinitely, eternally, for the first time. And, in a sense, I will never finish this sentence, and you will never finish reading it. But obviously you have, and that is the paradox.

I teach for money (let us get that out of the way.). I have been teaching for money because my family has been in debt, and a son does not stand and watch his father declare bankruptcy. His business failed in my junior year in college, and the final two years’ tuition was the log that broke his back. Those were tough times. I shelved my plan of attending law school and stopped fiddling with the idea of a Ph.D. in philosophy. Instead, I took a teaching job in ABC, where I could look after my parents and help pay off the debt.

Things improved gradually, and I moved back home to DEFG. Since then, I have been as busy as should be a man with debts and dreams. At first, the dreams were obstacles in getting things done; as hard as I worked, I could not stop myself from reserving time for my interests in philosophy, photography, poetry, and languages. In time, I have found that the act of teaching is not so different from the sharing of interests, and students respond better when I forget that I am teaching, as I often do when I roll a marked frisbee around the desk to illustrate Aristotle’s Wheel Paradox, or break a Starbucks stir stick repeatedly to imitate Zhuangzi’s infinite spear-breaking.

Now I teach mostly what I want to teach (is this what seniority and tenure must feel like?). For three years, I taught reading and writing and test preparatory courses that students asked for, but now I share with my students my readings of Jorge Luis Borges, Ted Hughes, J. M. Coetzee, Billy Collins, Thoreau, Beckett, Bukowski, and of other giants who happen to be trampling on my mind at the time. Though he has passed away before I had a chance to hear his lectures, Borges has been living with a foot on my head for a while. Many of my students share my love for his love for labyrinths, dreams, and infinity.

I try to do what I wish someone had done for me during high school, when I struggled to learn philosophy and poetry on my own. I know most students like Andrew the Hockey Player move on to study something more practical, like chemistry, economics, business, or dentistry, but I sometimes do get e-mails from former students saying they have decided to take a philosophy course (and earn a sadistic chuckle from me).

This essay signals the end of my six-year teaching career. As of late last year, I have been debt-free and started saving for school. I began this essay with my paradox workshop because I did not want to seem ungrateful by beginning with misfortune. That is not how I feel. Had I the choice to attend law school six years ago, you would have read an idealistic essay by a philosophy student eager to learn of the Truth of things for his own sake. This is and is not that essay.



Lol, this was very cute and intelligent.


AMAZING! :) :) :)

rpollock11
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby rpollock11 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:35 pm

GPA: 3.35
LSAT: Waiting
Applying: Michigan State, Loyola, ASU, Arizona

This is a rough draft. Critiques are much appreciated!

My last day of college started off just like any other. Driving down a black asphalt street lined with blooming trees and freshly cut grass, I notice the familiar upscale restaurants and neat neighborhood shrubbery that I have come to expect from the start of my daily twenty-five minute commute to school. As I continue down Eight Mile Road into Detroit, I observe the changes to the picturesque scenery in my suburban hometown of Livonia, MI with a deep sense of sadness. The road starts to become bumpy and cracked. The signs become dirty and bent. And the houses become vacant and dilapidated. More and more, Detroit starts to unfold and the beauty of the suburbs fades into nothing.
My journey down Eight Mile Road represents a powerful metaphor for my own personal life journey. As someone that grew up in a suburb of Detroit, I, like many of my peers, was told that going downtown was to be avoided at all costs. Most of what we heard and saw about the city consisted of short news stories describing a homicide or the latest developments of a political scandal. While some of this was, in fact, true reporting of a dangerous city, I had a feeling that there was more than one angle to the story. So, having a curious and investigative mind, I jumped at the opportunity to attend school in an area where I would be interacting with the severely underprivileged on a daily basis. Initially, I saw it as a challenge and a learning opportunity. What I didn’t predict was that in addition to those things, I would gain something greater: a deep sense of compassion and a call for service to the poor.
What makes me particularly unique in my application to law school is that I bring a sense of understanding for the less fortunate in society and a deeply ingrained philosophy for serving the poor. The Catholic Jesuit education that I have been taught has allowed me to grow in this philosophy and strive to become what the Jesuits refer to as a “Man for Others.” Whether it be delivering food to the needy through Focus: Hope, volunteering at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, or assisting preschool teachers through the Head Start Program, I have learned that giving back is an important part of my life. In addition, my exposure to both sides of the socio-economic and cultural divide has given me an exceptional perspective on the situation. I intend to use that knowledge and experience with the less fortunate, coupled with the skills gained through law school, to greater serve my community and help those that are the most in need of assistance.
Not much has changed in the past eight years of driving to my Catholic Jesuit high school and college. It saddens me to know that there is still the same number of homeless, drug-addicted, and mentally unstable people that roamed the streets when I started high school in 2005. Many people fear the very people that need our help the most. But what other people have come to fear, I have come to embrace with a sense of charity and compassion, not only for the disadvantaged of Detroit but for the poor and needy everywhere. I am ready to embark on another chapter of my life with my application to law school, and with that I will start a new journey down a new road. As I reflect on the time I spent driving down 8 Mile Road to Detroit and my future journey, the question that I ask myself is this: Is the journey going to be down a road towards my own gratification, or is this road going to lead to a greater purpose? I hope to inspire others to bridge the gap between the two divides and take the journey into the unknown.

Arcticlynx
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:36 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Arcticlynx » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:41 pm

Rpollock, if you are looking for a critique than you are probably going to want to start your own topic in the personal statements forum. This thread is more for people who have completed their personal statements and want to post them as examples.

I think you'll get better results if you go to: viewforum.php?f=18 and hit the button that says "New Topic."

Amelia101
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:12 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Amelia101 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:02 am

Hello friends,

Please give me your valuable comments on my SOP:

“By 2030, India's diabetes burden is expected to cross the 100 million mark as against 87 million earlier estimated.” When I read the headline in the newspaper, I was unmoved. As someone who had just begun working as a legal professional, I thought the issue was more for medical professionals to worry about. However, two years since that incident, after co – founding a company and collaborating with local health officials, I have gained a new perspective. I believe that XYZ School of Law will be the most ideal springboard to understand the working of laws in United States of America.

I learned the nuts and bolts of legal practice as an intern at XYZ & Co., a prestigious law firm. While working there, I prepared cases and represented clients in the Mumbai High Court. This brought forth the need to work with a diverse group of individuals including the clients, high court bureaucrats and other fellow colleagues. This helped me develop excellent inter-personal as well as communication skills. Even though I enjoyed the work, I realized that as an advocate, I only get to use my legal skills after a violation has taken place. I was interested in a more proactive manner in which I could use my skills to ensure legal compliance.

For this reason, I completed the Company Secretary examination conducted by the Indian Institute of Company Secretaries. Since its establishment in 1981, there are only 31000 Company Secretaries in India. It makes me feel really honored that I belong to such a small group of professionals.

After landing a job at XYZ Group in Mumbai, one of the oldest and reputed family run business houses in India, I felt I had arrived. However, even though I enjoyed the work and challenges it brought forth, I always felt at the back of my mind that there was something missing that would enable me to utilize my training and skills in a more constructive and far reaching way.

I am applying to XYZ School of Law to pursue an LLM with special focus on heath and corporate laws. I strongly believe that studying law under the guidance of Professors X will equip me with the understanding of the health care system and the legal, policy, economic and ethical issues surrounding it. I want to study health laws so that I can work in a law firm in India which has American companies as clients. My knowledge of health and corporate laws would be beneficial to the American companies planning to invest in the Indian market.

My work experience, academic background, and personal effort make me an ideal candidate for your law school. I am prepared to accept the responsibility and work hard. I am honored to be considered for admission to the XYZ School of Law.

*Times of India, December 14, 2011 – figures as provided by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

whatisnormal
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby whatisnormal » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:01 pm

First time posting. Please tear my essay apart (give it to me straight, the good, the bad). This is a very early draft, so I am continually revising but want to know if the story line is good or if I should completely change it. Thanks for all of your help!!!

Learning to be outgoing and social has always been a personal challenge since I can remember. Growing up I did not have many friends, but rather just enjoyed spending time with my sisters. But as the years went by my siblings began to spend more time with their friends, leaving me alone. I craved their outgoing spirits and ability to talk freely with friends, but I content with finding activities that I could do alone. High school was a difficult time for me as both of my siblings have moved out of the house and I was the only one left, no one to watch TV or play games with me. With few friends and being the only child at home, I began to become depressed. I never wanted to do anything and I became disinterested in the things I was once loved.

Everyday I had the same routine, wake up, go to school, come home to do homework, and then I would just sit in my room alone and think. Following this spiral staircase down to the depth of depression, one day when talking with my parents I knew that I wanted to change, I wanted to have a life like my sisters and others around me. So I began to go to therapy, where I was able to talk freely and not be judged. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was self-conscience about what others thought of me, so I would not speak freely and I my actions were, as my teachers used to say “very mature for my age.” I tried not to stand out or draw attention to myself, but this all began to change one afternoon when I was talking with my therapist. It was the six or seventh session and I had become comfortable enough to really open up.

Just as I was beginning to become comfortable, my life was about to change drastically as I was one week away from moving into the dorms and starting college. This was one of the most daunting experiences of my life because I was still unsure of myself and unable to be myself around people. But I made it a personal goal to try to change all of this; I viewed college as a new beginning. As the weeks and months passed, I was slowly beginning to become myself around my roommate, dorm mates, and classmates. Still, I was shy and knew there was many things I could continually do to make friends and not be afraid to ask for help.

Thus, my last semester of college had come in what felt like just one year and while searching for jobs following college, I explored different options, but knew that there was only one option. That option was one that would force me to interact with people o a constant basis and have people gain my trust. So I found an opportunity at ****** where I would be interacting with multiple people on a daily basis as a financial controller. I remember my first month there, I was terrified to pick up the phone and call the managers at the airports whose financials I monitored. Then came my first business trip, where I went out to ***Airport to discuss their budget for 2014 operating year. I was terrified because I did not want to send the wrong impression and I started to become very self-conscience on the airplane. Once I had arrived, I was greeted by one of the assistant managers, my voice was shaky and my hands clammy. During the next two days we continually worked around the clock to get the items completed, and as I sat on the plane ride back home I reflected on the trip.

It was that one trip that changed my life for the better, I became more confident in my abilities and myself, and more importantly I began to recognize how others would accept me for who I am. I would not have to put on a false face, but rather just be myself. My coworkers and friends accept my quirkiness and oddities, but it took me nearly 22 years to discover that everyone has oddities and there is no “normal”. For me, discovering this idea I was able to finally begin to be the person I always wanted to be, one who is outgoing and not afraid to make mistakes.

User avatar
bourgeois
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:35 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby bourgeois » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:40 pm

LSAT:162
GPA 3.14
Applied (and waiting): Northwestern, UVA, University of Minnesota, Vanderbilt, University of Miami, Boston College, Boston University

Honestly, a bit terrified with my hard numbers and my chances at some of the schools I applied, but aww well you miss a 100% of the shots you don't take! Here is my PS.


Communication is key. I have felt this way ever since high school, during which time I became a peer counselor. More often than not, I have found that by providing advice, relating to frustrations, or just by acting as a sounding board, I have been able to help many find a solution, or see things from a different perspective. It is something that I want to harness in order to help others on a larger scale - whether it be through resolving conflict in the legal setting of a courtroom, or speaking on behalf of a constituency in public office.

However, my aptitude for communication wasn’t always so natural. About 21 years ago, a doctor explained to my multilingual parents that they exposed me to too many languages at once, which resulted in my inability to speak any of them. He recommended that they expose me to only one language: It took a painful while, but eventually, by the age of three, I could easily converse with my parents (and all who would listen).

Unfortunately, as soon as I started stringing together my first sentences, there was evidence of a speech impediment. I would say “thoup” instead of “soup,” and “thalad” instead of “salad.” In addition to the lisp, my thoughts outpaced my ability to articulate them; words would fly out incoherently as I tried to express myself, which resulted in people often scratching their heads in confusion. I was so often corrected on pronunciation, or asked to repeat myself, that a persistent feeling of embarrassment set in. What was first just an impediment also became an insecurity as incidents with classmates, teachers, and family became the norm. Even with speech therapy throughout middle-school, - helping me overcome these obstacles, the nagging insecurity was ever present.
Fast-forward to my collegiate career: I avidly debated in Model UN, and was often the first to speak up in all of my classes, indicating that my difficulty with communication was in the past – at least with regards to English. However, the mind-wracking anxiety, and fear of embarrassment, manifested as an inability to communicate in other languages, mainly Spanish. Speaking Spanish in middle and high school had been about as difficult as speaking English before receiving speech therapy. Partially of Cuban descent, and now in college, failing to speak Spanish in a beginner’s class with other people that had never even heard it spoken thoroughly humiliated me. I was ready to resign from attempting to learn it – had it not been for my grandfather.

Due to his advanced age, my grandfather had reverted to speaking in his native Spanish. This was very difficult for me because it was around this time that I began to become curious about the history of his native Cuba, and his escape from Castro’s persecution. When I asked my grandfather about the past, it pained me to hear him pour his heart and soul out to me and not be able to understand a single word. It was then that my father suggested going abroad to Spain for a semester. His argument seemed sound: immersing myself in a country where Spanish was the primary spoken language would be better than learning it in any classroom. Success studying abroad would require me to conquer a deep-set anxiety about learning another language, but the outcome would mean that I'd be able to speak with my grandfather about Cuba. Conversely, the prospect was terrifying: failure, which past experience showed to be more likely outcome, promised anxiety and humiliation in what seemed to be yet another Spanish-language classroom. Except unlike a normal classroom, my Spanish-speaking immersion would effectively be 24/7 for an entire semester - and leaving wasn’t an option. To me, it was the ultimate sink or swim decision. With time running out and my grandfather ailing, something had to be done.

In the end, I decided to spend the fall semester of my junior year in Granada, Spain. The program involved living with a host family that only spoke Spanish, and attending classes that were similarly all in Spanish. My grandfather passed away about a year after I returned, but not before I was able to share several memorable conversations with him in his native tongue. In many ways, it wasn’t too different from one of my high school peer counseling sessions. For my grandfather, sharing his life experiences in Cuba to an interested grandchild was cathartic and comforting towards the end of his life; for me, being able to understand and converse with him in Spanish helped to remove the last vestiges of a lifelong anxiety. Most importantly for both of us, we felt a mutual sense of fulfillment at being able to relate to one another.

Since then, my convictions about the importance of communication in any language have only grown stronger. When I reflect on what I was able to gain through a simple conversation with my grandfather, I feel inspired by the numerous possibilities of how else communication can be applied. Today’s world can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming with the many problems that my generation is likely to face. Do I think that communication will be the panacea to all these problems? Not a chance. But I do think it’s the best place to start. Whether it be arguing a case for environmental change, or representing the needs of a constituency, communication is key.

dreamofNYC
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:25 pm

Re:

Postby dreamofNYC » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:28 pm

StanfordHopeful wrote:With my cycle drawing to a close I thought I would post mine...

3.41/159

In: UCLA (24k), USC, Texas (33k), Fordham, Temple (36k), Howard (60k)
WL: Duke, Cornell, Georgetown
Rej: UVa, Michigan, Boalt

Have not heard from: Stanford, Harvard, Penn

Attending: NORTHWESTERN!!!!!!!

I never really paid much attention to the signs placed in front of the homeless and the less fortunate as I walked past them on the streets of New York. These were the thoughts running through my head as I considered what my own sign should read. Certainly, no one was going to read it. I had just spent the night in the ATM area of a desolate Citibank branch trying to get some sleep. I had no money, no phone and no hope of getting back to school in Boston. I think I came down with the worst case of writer’s block that morning as I tried to come up with a compelling message that would entice some level of compassion from a complete stranger. Having entertained the idea of a sign for a brief moment, I put the whole notion to rest, my pride simply would not allow for it. I used my gift for gab to convey my circumstances to the bus driver and garnered some sympathy towards my cause. I had to put my Discman up as collateral in order to get a seat on the next bus heading back to Boston which seemed like a small price to pay in exchange for a piece of my dignity as I avoided having to use a sign. The next four hours on that bus were filled with intense scrutiny and contemplation. I did not need my Discman after all. The biggest question I kept asking myself was ‘how did I get here?’

I was in my third year of undergraduate studies at Northeastern and I was barely able to make ends meet financially. Being the first member of my family to attend college was both a gift and a curse. I always excelled in the realm of academia and this was a great source of pride and joy for my parents. As a member of the schools Dean’s List and a number of different clubs and organizations, I gave my family something to cheer for. At the same time, being the first family member to attend college really called for financial resources that were beyond my parents’ modest income. Like a deep-sea diver venturing into an infinite ocean with inadequate supplies, I dove in headfirst. I knew that my acceptance into Northeastern was not something I could put aside because of money. My family shared the same sentiments and agreed that this was something that needed to happen. Completing my college education and attaining that degree was a must.

However, as each year passed it became increasingly difficult to maintain a financial foothold on my college education. No longer able to keep my head above water, I found myself completely submerged and gasping for air. By my third year, I was skipping meals or simply eating candy bars that I had shaken out of vending machines for dinner. I knew I could not last long. When I voiced my fears to a concerned listener on the other end of the phone, I thought a solution might have been reached. The plan was to go back home to NY and meet up with him. I agreed to serve as a runner, transporting drugs between a contact in New York and a contact in Boston. The money seemed justifiable and the risks seemed manageable. I was completely focused on the ends and not the means at this point. I used my last twenty dollars on a bus ticket and a dream and found myself spending the night on the floor of a Citibank branch. This cold and dirty floor, like the bed of a vast ocean, was the bottom.

Fortunately, no one showed up that night. I spent the whole night reflecting on how and why I was there to begin with. I could not believe I had even considered partaking in such activities just to generate some income. I would later find out that my real dad, whom I never met, suffered the same fate. My mom shared the story of how my father lived a life as a drug dealer only to be murdered while she was pregnant with me. It was at this point that the fire was lit inside of me and the thought of what I needed to do to make my college aspirations a reality became clearer. I realized I wanted to be a different person with clear and attainable goals for my academic and professional career. I transferred to a smaller college in New York where tuition was more affordable and I moved back home with my parents. I set my ego aside and worked full time as I put myself through school working forty-hour weeks by day and attending classes by night. No longer satisfied with my easily attainable but mediocre B’s and B+’s I studied diligently and completed my undergraduate degree with ‘A’s almost totally across the board. This afforded me a spot on a national honors society in recognition of my efforts.

There are two types of people in this world, those who take and those who make. Some people resign themselves to their fate and accept the hand which was dealt to them. That was me, nonchalant and absolutely content with any grade I received, apathetic about my lack of progress. As rough and as painful as a night in the cold and on the streets felt as it was occurring, I knew I only stood to learn from it in the long run. Now I am the protagonist in my own life instead of just being an idle spectator. My ambitions for law school have been cultivated by this vision of making things happen, not only for me but also for the sake of others. My younger sisters have both followed suite as they too have a roadmap drawn up to help them attain their college degrees. I have led by example, showing them that anything is truly possible if you want it bad enough and work hard for it. That whole experience has taught me a number of valuable lessons. I learned how to remain humble and to not let pride obscure my perception of what is important in life. I learned about resilience and about being steadfast in the face of adversity. I also became more tenacious as a result of that night. Now when I see something I want, I lock onto it like the jaws of a famished pit bull, not letting go until I devour and conquer what I set out to achieve. I know all of these qualities will help me excel in the study of law just as they have helped me arise triumphant in my turbulent undergraduate years as well as my professional career after College. This work ethic and newfound vision has transcended beyond my Bachelor’s degree and into the world of finance.

For the past year I have been working as an analyst with Morgan Stanley. My ability to make quick decisions and to think analytically is essential when dealing with a multitude of multi-million dollar trades. In order to work out various trade discrepancies I serve as a liaison between brokers, traders and various sales desks on the front end. This has allowed me to hone my communication skills. Getting my point across in a concise and comprehensible manner is crucial for the company’s financial goals. I know that these skills will help me to be a better law student and I’m excited at the prospect of sharing and learning with my future classmates and professors. Now when I look back at my undergraduate years and my professional career the question is no longer “how did I get here?” instead it is “where am I going?”


This is really good! Thank you for sharing :)

dreamofNYC
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:25 pm

Re:

Postby dreamofNYC » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:26 pm

Kompressor wrote:See, that's where I'm stuck now too but I think there's going to be a part of it that sounds cliche no matter what. Schools want you to say certain things so there are bound to be some sections of your essay that sound like everyone else's. Just try to make sure that there's another aspect to it that sounds personal. At least, that's what I'm telling myself now. For some background, I'm white, from a middle class family, and from Maine. I haven't had any awful tragedy strike my life, so I can't write about that either. My best advice to you is to give the honest answer as to why you want to go to law school. Even if it seems cliche to you, it may not be to the reader.


Yes, I think the key is in formulating and wording it in a beautiful way. No matter what it is. You can pick the most common thing, but if it is described in a beautiful way, it's enough to make it special and different. ;)

janetdoe
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:13 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby janetdoe » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:10 am

Mr.Binks wrote:
AndrewCraig wrote:Her rumpled rainbow socks winked at me through the window; I winked back. She smiled slyly and I waited for the castle drawbridge to lower. I was a gallant knight storming the castle walls and she a scrappy maiden awaiting rescue. Two wooden boards flopped onto the ground and I bravely stuck my toe out over the deadly moat. A small minnow stared up at me, a reminder of the dangers lurking in the deep. I collected my courage and hurried onward. Who knew what terrors lay ahead? With my cardboard sword, I fought through spider-web traps and invisible guards, I slayed a medium-sized dragon and a rather wimpy troll. I reached the stairway short a few fingers, but with high morale. I had forgotten my map, so I hoped this was the right room. I charged up the stairs and burst through the door to find her sitting cross-legged on the floor.
Persis Pennington had wild green eyes and red hair that grew like a tangled shrub from her small round head. A toothy grin lit up her face when she saw me and she motioned for me to sit down. I sheathed my sword and removed the over-sized cooking pot from my head. She gave me a serious look and said in a whisper,
“I need you to promise me something and you can’t tell anyone in the whole world.”
I nodded solemnly.
“Promise me you’ll always be a knight and that you’ll always believe in magic and dragons and evil wizards.”
I looked up into her fierce green eyes; imagination and belief lit up her features. Several strands of her fiery red hair had fallen across her face and moved a little as a breeze flew in the open tower window.
“The warlock will be here soon,” I whispered back.
“Promise me. You have to promise me.”

She lived in a world of pure imagination. In that grove of oak trees, just beyond Sander’s creek, over the tall green hedge and through the prickly thicket, anything was possible.

My rumpled rainbow socks poke out from beneath a blanket as I lay on a couch in a room far away from castles and dragons. They are worn and faded and do not wink much anymore; instead they wear a sad smile. They remember that once, many years ago a fair maiden waited for a knight who never stormed through the castle gates to save her. He had grown to old to see the castle walls and to cross the deadly moat. He packed his things into boxes and moved away. His mother cleaned out his room and threw away his sword and placed his helmet back on the shelf.

I am no longer a knight; I am not brave or dashing. Sometimes I wish I had made a promise to a fiery maiden in a cardboard castle at the top of a tower.


What the fuck did I just read?


^ lawlz. this
not really sure abt the essay's direction. unclear who the girl is and why she matters / this matters to writer's life.

jgrobmyer
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:00 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby jgrobmyer » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:09 pm

A little about me, I'm a nontraditional 34 year old student. I just completed my undergrad with the help of the GI Bill, and I didn't consider law school until late last year (2013) so I was behind, by traditional convention, at the outset. The only LSAT I took was Feb, 14.

LSAT:158
UGPA: 3.3

Accepted: Mizzou ($$), Washburn ($$$$), South Texas
Waiting on: Illinois, Ole Miss, Stetson.

(I don't want a BigFirm job, so I don't care about rankings that much. I picked the schools based on my own matrix).

This was my second to last draft before finalizing it.

“The Reaper”
My greatest fear has always been that I would find the purpose of my life too late, or worse, not at all. After high school and a difficult year of college, I tried my hand at a variety of different professions; however, at twenty-four, I found myself homeless, jobless, broke, and without a direction in life. On the advice of my brother, who already had several years in the service, and against my intuition that the military life was not for me, I joined the Marines. The focus, drive, and discipline I discovered within myself during my time in the Corps would finally give me the direction in which I could take my life, and it all started with a mountain nicknamed the Reaper—the final obstacle and the culmination of a recruit’s training during boot camp.

The mountain loomed on the horizon, its peak covered in the early morning haze like a gray cowl pulled close to ward off the December wind. Even with several more miles to go to reach its base, it looked massive and unforgiving. The anticipation that had been building since the beginning of my journey to become a Marine had reached its climax, and now the literal end was waiting at the top of that mountain. When I stood at the base of the behemoth, I felt equal parts awe and determination. Forgotten was the hunger and exhaustion of the previous three days of little food and sleep. Ignored was the bitter chill of the breeze of the early morning. Pushed aside were the pain of blisters and a stress fracture from countless miles of hiking—including ten that morning—with almost an extra hundred pounds of gear. I was eager to conquer the Reaper, whose scythe is a half-mile climb to the 700ft high summit, to finally earn the title Marine. It was one of my greatest achievements, and one that I will remember for the rest of my life.

That was ten years ago, and I have been moving forward ever since. Upon the end of my enlistment, I had the singular goal to finish my undergraduate degree. Changes in the GI Bill made this goal easy to start; hard work and determination allowed me to accomplish it. I chose to study philosophy and political science because I love social, political, and especially legal theory. However, I also realized that theorizing is not enough for me; I want to put theories into practice. Plus, the practice of law combines several aspects of philosophy that appeal the most to me: logical reasoning, critical thinking, and argumentative discourse. Furthermore, it is my opinion that if society is to be formed around institutional laws, then those laws ought to be just. I would rather, borrowing the words of Teddy Roosevelt, be the “man in the arena…who strives valiantly” to see that is the case, however small my contribution may be, than the bystander in the crowd who can only criticize. These are just a few of the reasons I want to go to law school instead of pursuing other graduate study options.

Now, in the 35th year of my life, I am ready once again to conquer a reaper of a different sort, law school, whose scythe is long hours of study, intense competition, and absolutely no guarantee of success. I understand the risks and accept them because this is what I want, and I am willing to work hard and make that arduous climb in order to achieve greater heights. I truly think XYZ school of law would be the best place for me to take that first step. (add specific reasons why depending on school).

User avatar
tfinndogm
Posts: 445
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:54 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby tfinndogm » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:12 am

Pishee77 wrote:
jimmierock wrote:
GoIggles wrote:It was just about this time last year that I began to put real effort into my personal statement. So, for those of you who find yourselves at the PS writing stage now, I hope this helps. I know this thread was a great resource for me while I was writing.

GPA: ~3.95
LSAT: ~175
Admissions Decisions: In everywhere I applied

This is a story about stories. It’s a story about my grandfather, a master storyteller, and me, his apprentice. It’s a story about the last and most important lesson he taught me—a lesson not about how to tell good stories, but about the good that telling stories can do.

My apprenticeship began just moments after I was born. As my mother tells it, my grandfather plucked me from her tired arms in the delivery room and immediately commenced my first tutorial: cradling me in his left arm, his right keeping time with the rhythm of his tale, my grandfather charmed the medical staff with the story of how I came to be named [name]. Over the years that followed, I spent hours taking mental notes as I watched similar scenes unfold. Neighbors we ran into at the grocery store, waiters taking our order at restaurants, friends who came over to play—all of them were audience members as far as my grandfather was concerned. And no one ever walked away from one of his performances disappointed, least of all me.

As I entered college nearly two decades later, I thought my apprenticeship had come to an end. I was no longer the small child sitting spellbound at the foot of my grandfather’s rocking chair, no longer the gawky teenager asking for advice as I wrote stories for my school newspaper. By then, I had grown into someone with whom my grandfather could sit on his porch and swap stories, equal-to-equal. After eighteen years of lessons from my grandfather, I thought I had become a storyteller in my own right.

So when I got to [college], I sought out a venue in which to practice my art. And I found it in collegiate mock trial—a trial advocacy competition for undergraduates. This, I told myself, was what my grandfather had trained me for; if I worked hard and put his lessons into practice, I was certain that I’d find success. And I did. But, to my dismay, racking up victories, winning individual awards, even the storytelling itself—it all left me feeling unfulfilled. My most painstakingly prepared, most passionately delivered closing arguments brought me only a shadow of the joy that my grandfather radiated while telling his stories. I couldn’t understand or explain it, but something was clearly missing.

That’s when my grandfather came through with one final lesson for his apprentice. It started with a panicked phone call from my mom. My grandfather was sick with cancer, she said, and he didn’t have much time left. From then on, I spent as many weekends as possible by my grandfather’s bedside. In all those painful visits, it was never clearer that he was slipping away than the day when his hospice nurse asked to hear one of his famous stories. Naturally, he agreed, jumping into his favorite about the hospital he’d helped build in England while in the Air Force. But he had to quit halfway through. Mid-telling, he realized he no longer had the strength to finish; he realized the disease that had stolen his health was now stealing his stories too.

As he trailed off with the heavy hurt of loss spreading across his face, I took his hand. And I did what he had spent years training me to do. I told a story—his story. For the first time in months, I told a story not because I wanted a trophy or a plaque. I picked up where my grandfather left off and finished his story because I loved him and couldn’t stand to see him hurt anymore. When I turned back to him to ask whether I’d gotten all the details right, his cheeks were shining with tears. He squeezed my hand hard, smiled, and winked as he said, “Now that's a story, [name].”

That’s when it clicked. That’s when I realized why mock trial felt so hollow—why the stories I had been telling brought me only an ounce of the satisfaction that my grandfather’s stories brought him. With no real client to fight for, with only trophies on the line, I was telling stories just because I wanted something out of them. But my grandfather told his stories because he knew they would mean something to others, to the people with whom he shared them. As I sat there holding his hand, I thought of all the times he had brightened someone’s day with a story, of all the smiles and laughs his storytelling had inspired. That, I realized, was my grandfather’s real legacy—not the stories themselves, but the good he had done with them. And in finishing his story to spare him more pain, I was finally starting to live up to that legacy.

My grandfather is gone now. But his lessons—especially the final one—remain. And ever since I helped tell his story, I’ve been striving to live those lessons. I lived them as I continued with mock trial, telling stories to help my teammates reach the goals they’d worked so hard to achieve. I lived them as I volunteered at [college town] Legal Aid, relaying my clients’ stories to win them the assistance they needed. Now, I plan to live my grandfather’s lessons as an attorney. I can imagine nothing more fulfilling than standing in front of a jury, telling the stories of those who have suffered injury and indignity, faithfully, convincingly, passionately. And when I’m done, when I’m returning to counsel table after telling the tale of someone who’s suffered, I’ll look to the back of the courtroom. I know he won’t be there, but I’ll hope to see him anyway. My friend, my mentor, my grandfather—smiling, winking, and then silently mouthing, “Now that’s a story, [name].”



Wow, that is all I can say. You are certainly right, that IS A STORY.
This was beautiful.


just stumbled across this... and now I'm crying in my cubical.

Jack_Sheridan
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:47 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Jack_Sheridan » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:50 am

Thank you so much for sharing all these examples and samples. I am currently researching on personal statements. As soon as my research will be finished, I will share the draft with all.

Beasty0219
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:26 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Beasty0219 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:43 pm

tfinndogm wrote:
Pishee77 wrote:
jimmierock wrote:
GoIggles wrote:It was just about this time last year that I began to put real effort into my personal statement. So, for those of you who find yourselves at the PS writing stage now, I hope this helps. I know this thread was a great resource for me while I was writing.

GPA: ~3.95
LSAT: ~175
Admissions Decisions: In everywhere I applied

This is a story about stories. It’s a story about my grandfather, a master storyteller, and me, his apprentice. It’s a story about the last and most important lesson he taught me—a lesson not about how to tell good stories, but about the good that telling stories can do.

My apprenticeship began just moments after I was born. As my mother tells it, my grandfather plucked me from her tired arms in the delivery room and immediately commenced my first tutorial: cradling me in his left arm, his right keeping time with the rhythm of his tale, my grandfather charmed the medical staff with the story of how I came to be named [name]. Over the years that followed, I spent hours taking mental notes as I watched similar scenes unfold. Neighbors we ran into at the grocery store, waiters taking our order at restaurants, friends who came over to play—all of them were audience members as far as my grandfather was concerned. And no one ever walked away from one of his performances disappointed, least of all me.

As I entered college nearly two decades later, I thought my apprenticeship had come to an end. I was no longer the small child sitting spellbound at the foot of my grandfather’s rocking chair, no longer the gawky teenager asking for advice as I wrote stories for my school newspaper. By then, I had grown into someone with whom my grandfather could sit on his porch and swap stories, equal-to-equal. After eighteen years of lessons from my grandfather, I thought I had become a storyteller in my own right.

So when I got to [college], I sought out a venue in which to practice my art. And I found it in collegiate mock trial—a trial advocacy competition for undergraduates. This, I told myself, was what my grandfather had trained me for; if I worked hard and put his lessons into practice, I was certain that I’d find success. And I did. But, to my dismay, racking up victories, winning individual awards, even the storytelling itself—it all left me feeling unfulfilled. My most painstakingly prepared, most passionately delivered closing arguments brought me only a shadow of the joy that my grandfather radiated while telling his stories. I couldn’t understand or explain it, but something was clearly missing.

That’s when my grandfather came through with one final lesson for his apprentice. It started with a panicked phone call from my mom. My grandfather was sick with cancer, she said, and he didn’t have much time left. From then on, I spent as many weekends as possible by my grandfather’s bedside. In all those painful visits, it was never clearer that he was slipping away than the day when his hospice nurse asked to hear one of his famous stories. Naturally, he agreed, jumping into his favorite about the hospital he’d helped build in England while in the Air Force. But he had to quit halfway through. Mid-telling, he realized he no longer had the strength to finish; he realized the disease that had stolen his health was now stealing his stories too.

As he trailed off with the heavy hurt of loss spreading across his face, I took his hand. And I did what he had spent years training me to do. I told a story—his story. For the first time in months, I told a story not because I wanted a trophy or a plaque. I picked up where my grandfather left off and finished his story because I loved him and couldn’t stand to see him hurt anymore. When I turned back to him to ask whether I’d gotten all the details right, his cheeks were shining with tears. He squeezed my hand hard, smiled, and winked as he said, “Now that's a story, [name].”

That’s when it clicked. That’s when I realized why mock trial felt so hollow—why the stories I had been telling brought me only an ounce of the satisfaction that my grandfather’s stories brought him. With no real client to fight for, with only trophies on the line, I was telling stories just because I wanted something out of them. But my grandfather told his stories because he knew they would mean something to others, to the people with whom he shared them. As I sat there holding his hand, I thought of all the times he had brightened someone’s day with a story, of all the smiles and laughs his storytelling had inspired. That, I realized, was my grandfather’s real legacy—not the stories themselves, but the good he had done with them. And in finishing his story to spare him more pain, I was finally starting to live up to that legacy.

My grandfather is gone now. But his lessons—especially the final one—remain. And ever since I helped tell his story, I’ve been striving to live those lessons. I lived them as I continued with mock trial, telling stories to help my teammates reach the goals they’d worked so hard to achieve. I lived them as I volunteered at [college town] Legal Aid, relaying my clients’ stories to win them the assistance they needed. Now, I plan to live my grandfather’s lessons as an attorney. I can imagine nothing more fulfilling than standing in front of a jury, telling the stories of those who have suffered injury and indignity, faithfully, convincingly, passionately. And when I’m done, when I’m returning to counsel table after telling the tale of someone who’s suffered, I’ll look to the back of the courtroom. I know he won’t be there, but I’ll hope to see him anyway. My friend, my mentor, my grandfather—smiling, winking, and then silently mouthing, “Now that’s a story, [name].”



Wow, that is all I can say. You are certainly right, that IS A STORY.
This was beautiful.


just stumbled across this... and now I'm crying in my cubical.


Yep, I'm crying. So beautiful.

LFCNY9
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:22 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby LFCNY9 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:20 pm

GoIggles wrote:It was just about this time last year that I began to put real effort into my personal statement. So, for those of you who find yourselves at the PS writing stage now, I hope this helps. I know this thread was a great resource for me while I was writing.

GPA: ~3.95
LSAT: ~175
Admissions Decisions: In everywhere I applied

This is a story about stories. It’s a story about my grandfather, a master storyteller, and me, his apprentice. It’s a story about the last and most important lesson he taught me—a lesson not about how to tell good stories, but about the good that telling stories can do.

My apprenticeship began just moments after I was born. As my mother tells it, my grandfather plucked me from her tired arms in the delivery room and immediately commenced my first tutorial: cradling me in his left arm, his right keeping time with the rhythm of his tale, my grandfather charmed the medical staff with the story of how I came to be named [name]. Over the years that followed, I spent hours taking mental notes as I watched similar scenes unfold. Neighbors we ran into at the grocery store, waiters taking our order at restaurants, friends who came over to play—all of them were audience members as far as my grandfather was concerned. And no one ever walked away from one of his performances disappointed, least of all me.

As I entered college nearly two decades later, I thought my apprenticeship had come to an end. I was no longer the small child sitting spellbound at the foot of my grandfather’s rocking chair, no longer the gawky teenager asking for advice as I wrote stories for my school newspaper. By then, I had grown into someone with whom my grandfather could sit on his porch and swap stories, equal-to-equal. After eighteen years of lessons from my grandfather, I thought I had become a storyteller in my own right.

So when I got to [college], I sought out a venue in which to practice my art. And I found it in collegiate mock trial—a trial advocacy competition for undergraduates. This, I told myself, was what my grandfather had trained me for; if I worked hard and put his lessons into practice, I was certain that I’d find success. And I did. But, to my dismay, racking up victories, winning individual awards, even the storytelling itself—it all left me feeling unfulfilled. My most painstakingly prepared, most passionately delivered closing arguments brought me only a shadow of the joy that my grandfather radiated while telling his stories. I couldn’t understand or explain it, but something was clearly missing.

That’s when my grandfather came through with one final lesson for his apprentice. It started with a panicked phone call from my mom. My grandfather was sick with cancer, she said, and he didn’t have much time left. From then on, I spent as many weekends as possible by my grandfather’s bedside. In all those painful visits, it was never clearer that he was slipping away than the day when his hospice nurse asked to hear one of his famous stories. Naturally, he agreed, jumping into his favorite about the hospital he’d helped build in England while in the Air Force. But he had to quit halfway through. Mid-telling, he realized he no longer had the strength to finish; he realized the disease that had stolen his health was now stealing his stories too.

As he trailed off with the heavy hurt of loss spreading across his face, I took his hand. And I did what he had spent years training me to do. I told a story—his story. For the first time in months, I told a story not because I wanted a trophy or a plaque. I picked up where my grandfather left off and finished his story because I loved him and couldn’t stand to see him hurt anymore. When I turned back to him to ask whether I’d gotten all the details right, his cheeks were shining with tears. He squeezed my hand hard, smiled, and winked as he said, “Now that's a story, [name].”

That’s when it clicked. That’s when I realized why mock trial felt so hollow—why the stories I had been telling brought me only an ounce of the satisfaction that my grandfather’s stories brought him. With no real client to fight for, with only trophies on the line, I was telling stories just because I wanted something out of them. But my grandfather told his stories because he knew they would mean something to others, to the people with whom he shared them. As I sat there holding his hand, I thought of all the times he had brightened someone’s day with a story, of all the smiles and laughs his storytelling had inspired. That, I realized, was my grandfather’s real legacy—not the stories themselves, but the good he had done with them. And in finishing his story to spare him more pain, I was finally starting to live up to that legacy.

My grandfather is gone now. But his lessons—especially the final one—remain. And ever since I helped tell his story, I’ve been striving to live those lessons. I lived them as I continued with mock trial, telling stories to help my teammates reach the goals they’d worked so hard to achieve. I lived them as I volunteered at [college town] Legal Aid, relaying my clients’ stories to win them the assistance they needed. Now, I plan to live my grandfather’s lessons as an attorney. I can imagine nothing more fulfilling than standing in front of a jury, telling the stories of those who have suffered injury and indignity, faithfully, convincingly, passionately. And when I’m done, when I’m returning to counsel table after telling the tale of someone who’s suffered, I’ll look to the back of the courtroom. I know he won’t be there, but I’ll hope to see him anyway. My friend, my mentor, my grandfather—smiling, winking, and then silently mouthing, “Now that’s a story, [name].”


Beautifully written piece for any medium, let alone a ps. Best I have seen.

sarahtaylorusa
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:12 am

MObile Development

Postby sarahtaylorusa » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:17 am

spam

Goldchain
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:29 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby Goldchain » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:33 pm

GoIggles wrote:It was just about this time last year that I began to put real effort into my personal statement. So, for those of you who find yourselves at the PS writing stage now, I hope this helps. I know this thread was a great resource for me while I was writing.

GPA: ~3.95
LSAT: ~175
Admissions Decisions: In everywhere I applied

This is a story about stories. It’s a story about my grandfather, a master storyteller, and me, his apprentice. It’s a story about the last and most important lesson he taught me—a lesson not about how to tell good stories, but about the good that telling stories can do.

My apprenticeship began just moments after I was born. As my mother tells it, my grandfather plucked me from her tired arms in the delivery room and immediately commenced my first tutorial: cradling me in his left arm, his right keeping time with the rhythm of his tale, my grandfather charmed the medical staff with the story of how I came to be named [name]. Over the years that followed, I spent hours taking mental notes as I watched similar scenes unfold. Neighbors we ran into at the grocery store, waiters taking our order at restaurants, friends who came over to play—all of them were audience members as far as my grandfather was concerned. And no one ever walked away from one of his performances disappointed, least of all me.

As I entered college nearly two decades later, I thought my apprenticeship had come to an end. I was no longer the small child sitting spellbound at the foot of my grandfather’s rocking chair, no longer the gawky teenager asking for advice as I wrote stories for my school newspaper. By then, I had grown into someone with whom my grandfather could sit on his porch and swap stories, equal-to-equal. After eighteen years of lessons from my grandfather, I thought I had become a storyteller in my own right.

So when I got to [college], I sought out a venue in which to practice my art. And I found it in collegiate mock trial—a trial advocacy competition for undergraduates. This, I told myself, was what my grandfather had trained me for; if I worked hard and put his lessons into practice, I was certain that I’d find success. And I did. But, to my dismay, racking up victories, winning individual awards, even the storytelling itself—it all left me feeling unfulfilled. My most painstakingly prepared, most passionately delivered closing arguments brought me only a shadow of the joy that my grandfather radiated while telling his stories. I couldn’t understand or explain it, but something was clearly missing.

That’s when my grandfather came through with one final lesson for his apprentice. It started with a panicked phone call from my mom. My grandfather was sick with cancer, she said, and he didn’t have much time left. From then on, I spent as many weekends as possible by my grandfather’s bedside. In all those painful visits, it was never clearer that he was slipping away than the day when his hospice nurse asked to hear one of his famous stories. Naturally, he agreed, jumping into his favorite about the hospital he’d helped build in England while in the Air Force. But he had to quit halfway through. Mid-telling, he realized he no longer had the strength to finish; he realized the disease that had stolen his health was now stealing his stories too.

As he trailed off with the heavy hurt of loss spreading across his face, I took his hand. And I did what he had spent years training me to do. I told a story—his story. For the first time in months, I told a story not because I wanted a trophy or a plaque. I picked up where my grandfather left off and finished his story because I loved him and couldn’t stand to see him hurt anymore. When I turned back to him to ask whether I’d gotten all the details right, his cheeks were shining with tears. He squeezed my hand hard, smiled, and winked as he said, “Now that's a story, [name].”

That’s when it clicked. That’s when I realized why mock trial felt so hollow—why the stories I had been telling brought me only an ounce of the satisfaction that my grandfather’s stories brought him. With no real client to fight for, with only trophies on the line, I was telling stories just because I wanted something out of them. But my grandfather told his stories because he knew they would mean something to others, to the people with whom he shared them. As I sat there holding his hand, I thought of all the times he had brightened someone’s day with a story, of all the smiles and laughs his storytelling had inspired. That, I realized, was my grandfather’s real legacy—not the stories themselves, but the good he had done with them. And in finishing his story to spare him more pain, I was finally starting to live up to that legacy.

My grandfather is gone now. But his lessons—especially the final one—remain. And ever since I helped tell his story, I’ve been striving to live those lessons. I lived them as I continued with mock trial, telling stories to help my teammates reach the goals they’d worked so hard to achieve. I lived them as I volunteered at [college town] Legal Aid, relaying my clients’ stories to win them the assistance they needed. Now, I plan to live my grandfather’s lessons as an attorney. I can imagine nothing more fulfilling than standing in front of a jury, telling the stories of those who have suffered injury and indignity, faithfully, convincingly, passionately. And when I’m done, when I’m returning to counsel table after telling the tale of someone who’s suffered, I’ll look to the back of the courtroom. I know he won’t be there, but I’ll hope to see him anyway. My friend, my mentor, my grandfather—smiling, winking, and then silently mouthing, “Now that’s a story, [name].”


Wow! My PS couldn't hold a candle to this and I thought mine was good.

GOODWORKSTE
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:33 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby GOODWORKSTE » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:40 pm

GoIggles wrote:It was just about this time last year that I began to put real effort into my personal statement. So, for those of you who find yourselves at the PS writing stage now, I hope this helps. I know this thread was a great resource for me while I was writing.

GPA: ~3.95
LSAT: ~175
Admissions Decisions: In everywhere I applied

This is a story about stories. It’s a story about my grandfather, a master storyteller, and me, his apprentice. It’s a story about the last and most important lesson he taught me—a lesson not about how to tell good stories, but about the good that telling stories can do.

My apprenticeship began just moments after I was born. As my mother tells it, my grandfather plucked me from her tired arms in the delivery room and immediately commenced my first tutorial: cradling me in his left arm, his right keeping time with the rhythm of his tale, my grandfather charmed the medical staff with the story of how I came to be named [name]. Over the years that followed, I spent hours taking mental notes as I watched similar scenes unfold. Neighbors we ran into at the grocery store, waiters taking our order at restaurants, friends who came over to play—all of them were audience members as far as my grandfather was concerned. And no one ever walked away from one of his performances disappointed, least of all me.

As I entered college nearly two decades later, I thought my apprenticeship had come to an end. I was no longer the small child sitting spellbound at the foot of my grandfather’s rocking chair, no longer the gawky teenager asking for advice as I wrote stories for my school newspaper. By then, I had grown into someone with whom my grandfather could sit on his porch and swap stories, equal-to-equal. After eighteen years of lessons from my grandfather, I thought I had become a storyteller in my own right.

So when I got to [college], I sought out a venue in which to practice my art. And I found it in collegiate mock trial—a trial advocacy competition for undergraduates. This, I told myself, was what my grandfather had trained me for; if I worked hard and put his lessons into practice, I was certain that I’d find success. And I did. But, to my dismay, racking up victories, winning individual awards, even the storytelling itself—it all left me feeling unfulfilled. My most painstakingly prepared, most passionately delivered closing arguments brought me only a shadow of the joy that my grandfather radiated while telling his stories. I couldn’t understand or explain it, but something was clearly missing.

That’s when my grandfather came through with one final lesson for his apprentice. It started with a panicked phone call from my mom. My grandfather was sick with cancer, she said, and he didn’t have much time left. From then on, I spent as many weekends as possible by my grandfather’s bedside. In all those painful visits, it was never clearer that he was slipping away than the day when his hospice nurse asked to hear one of his famous stories. Naturally, he agreed, jumping into his favorite about the hospital he’d helped build in England while in the Air Force. But he had to quit halfway through. Mid-telling, he realized he no longer had the strength to finish; he realized the disease that had stolen his health was now stealing his stories too.

As he trailed off with the heavy hurt of loss spreading across his face, I took his hand. And I did what he had spent years training me to do. I told a story—his story. For the first time in months, I told a story not because I wanted a trophy or a plaque. I picked up where my grandfather left off and finished his story because I loved him and couldn’t stand to see him hurt anymore. When I turned back to him to ask whether I’d gotten all the details right, his cheeks were shining with tears. He squeezed my hand hard, smiled, and winked as he said, “Now that's a story, [name].”

That’s when it clicked. That’s when I realized why mock trial felt so hollow—why the stories I had been telling brought me only an ounce of the satisfaction that my grandfather’s stories brought him. With no real client to fight for, with only trophies on the line, I was telling stories just because I wanted something out of them. But my grandfather told his stories because he knew they would mean something to others, to the people with whom he shared them. As I sat there holding his hand, I thought of all the times he had brightened someone’s day with a story, of all the smiles and laughs his storytelling had inspired. That, I realized, was my grandfather’s real legacy—not the stories themselves, but the good he had done with them. And in finishing his story to spare him more pain, I was finally starting to live up to that legacy.

My grandfather is gone now. But his lessons—especially the final one—remain. And ever since I helped tell his story, I’ve been striving to live those lessons. I lived them as I continued with mock trial, telling stories to help my teammates reach the goals they’d worked so hard to achieve. I lived them as I volunteered at [college town] Legal Aid, relaying my clients’ stories to win them the assistance they needed. Now, I plan to live my grandfather’s lessons as an attorney. I can imagine nothing more fulfilling than standing in front of a jury, telling the stories of those who have suffered injury and indignity, faithfully, convincingly, passionately. And when I’m done, when I’m returning to counsel table after telling the tale of someone who’s suffered, I’ll look to the back of the courtroom. I know he won’t be there, but I’ll hope to see him anyway. My friend, my mentor, my grandfather—smiling, winking, and then silently mouthing, “Now that’s a story, [name].”



Amazing essay. While we've never met, I feel as though I know you. Even though your #s are excellent, I'm sure this was the icing on the proverbial cake.

User avatar
MikeSpivey
Posts: 2615
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:28 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:21 pm

Here is one for everyone:

http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/homeru ... statement/

I should have more coming soon. Enjoy!




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