Personal Statement Samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by thederangedwang » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:55 am

twentie4hrs wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:
private_ryan wrote:
Eichörnchen wrote: Am I going crazy, or is this supposed to be a SAMPLE THREAD? GTFO with your asking for people to edit your essay and stop critiquing people's essays here. THERE IS A WHOLE FORUM AT YOUR DISPOSAL FOR CRITIQUING. This thread was an awesome idea, and would be an awesome resource if it was not inundated with this crap. STOP IT.

On that there anyone out there that can assist me ?
.....that's the pt i'm trying to tell you....NO...not in this thread..


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by karlthomas » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:40 am

I'm guessing that with an intellect like that, twentie4hrs should stay away from professional school...or if his heart is set on it, perhaps he can manage at Widener Law.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by twentie4hrs » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:12 pm

karlthomas wrote:I'm guessing that with an intellect like that, twentie4hrs should stay away from professional school...or if his heart is set on it, perhaps he can manage at Widener Law.

Wow... dude, I was asking for some help and and new to this site--99% of the time there are D***S like you out there, don't write stuff just to get you post #'s up.



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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by karlthomas » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:24 pm


The forum is called 'Personal Statement SAMPLES'. It is the title. It is the theme of the forum. Samples of Personal Statements can be found here. That is what people post here. People find this forum by searching google for samples of Personal Statements.
The OP provided evidence that you were not the first to ask for help or critique on a personal statement.
At this point, 99% of people deduce that they are welcome to submit their paper for critique and request help or assistance on a forum that has been set up for that purpose. Most, when confronted with the statement from the OP, will realize this is not the place for which to request help.
You changed your approach from requesting 'help' to requesting 'assistance'.
Clearly, you need both.

I found your Diversity Statement over on the forum with the title 'Diversity Statement Samples'. You posted it to that forum AFTER you were told that the 'Samples' forums are for SAMPLES and not for critiques.
Regardless of your inability to learn from mistakes, I will PM you with my suggestions for your Diversity Statement.

Of course, now I am no better than you, for I also have taken up several posts on this forum, each time failing to submit a new Personal Statement. I blame myself for indulging in the fun of razzing you.

Perhaps some are interested in post count. I am not. I do enjoy messing with people like you. Call it a slow day at work.


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My Personal Statement

Post by Yardieatty » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:05 pm

I received so much guidance from TLS samples during my application cycle. Wanted to share my personal statement. Hope this helps. My diversity statement is also posted on the diversity board.

LSAT: 161
GPA: 3.98
Accepted Full Scholarships: Cardozo, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John's (attending)
Accepted Partial Scholarship: Brooklyn, Hofstra
Rejected: NYU, Fordham
Withdrew: Columbia, Duke

I never understood or even questioned why reports of police shootings of unarmed victims moved me the way that they did. However, in drafting this statement, I had what is arguably one of the most profound revelations of my life to date. Perhaps the main reason such injustice affects me so strongly, is because my mother, then five months pregnant with me, had to bury my father who was unjustly killed by police officers in our homeland of Jamaica. No criminal charges were ever filed against the police officers who were involved in my father’s killing.

Although I accepted that corruption and injustice existed in my homeland, I was once blind to the reality of present day injustice in America. When I moved to America at 13 years old, one of the first things I was taught in school was the pledge of allegiance. The pledge, which I recited dutifully at the start of every school day, promised equality for all. I wholeheartedly believed that promise. However, eight years ago, a flurry of media reporting of unjustified police shootings caused me to question if such equality was real. How could it be real when report after report detailed victims being killed by police officers who were eventually exonerated of any criminal wrong doing?

My heart ached for the families of those whose lives had been cut short. Despite the community’s vociferous expressions of outrage, the shootings continued. I wanted to put an end to them.

I organized a group of people who were as eager as I was to work toward ending these shootings. Believing that success ultimately depended on enlisting the help of persons who were either knowledgeable of, or had access to those who were experienced in bringing about social reform, I attempted (admittedly naively) to gain the support of prominent social figures. I drafted a letter and sent it to every prominent social figure I knew. Months later, the sole response I received was from a booking agent who advised me that the person I had written to only did paid engagements.

I felt defeated. I had supporters who were prepared to take action but did not know where to take the cause. After much thought, I realized that, as in many previous fights against injustice, simply organizing supporters and demanding change would not be enough. I wanted to understand why the implicated police officers were cleared of wrong doing. I wanted to learn the law. I wanted to change the law. I wanted to go to law school.

At the time however, I could not attend law school as I had not even completed my first year of college yet. Seven months after graduating high school, I gave birth to my daughter and left college during my freshman year. Five years later, as a single mother with a full-time job, I had still not been able to re-enroll in traditional college classes. My quest to attend law school prompted me to explore alternative methods of attaining my undergraduate degree.

My research led me to enroll in independent study courses at [College A]. Taking classes in this way allowed me to work full time and pursue my degree while maintaining my presence in my young daughter’s life. My career in Human Resources and my studies in Business allowed me to address other social issues that troubled me. Realizing that many people I knew lacked basic career and financial skills, I provided this training to them. As an off-shoot of the job training that I provided in my personal life, I eventually created and oversaw a program through my employer that provided internship and career training opportunities to disadvantaged students at a local high school. The success of this program helped buoy my employer’s application for a New York state grant that allowed my company to expand the job training we provided. Although I did not have experience in grant writing at the time, I coauthored the grant which ultimately won funding.

In [year], I learned that I would be laid off due to my company’s closure. Although knowing it would be a struggle, I decided to attend school full time rather than to seek new employment. I took my first ever law class (business law) during my first semester at [College B] and my fervor to become a lawyer magnified. I worked hard to position myself as a worthy law school candidate, eventually graduating from [College B]Summa Cum Laude with a 3.98 GPA.

Although it took eight years, I am finally in a position to devote myself to the rigors of law school. My daughter, for whom I had delayed my schooling to care for, will be a teenager when I begin law school. She has matured into a socially conscious, responsible young lady who is now far less dependent on me than I care to admit. My vision has matured as well. I no longer believe it necessary to garner the support of prominent activists or to amass throngs of volunteers to fight for a cause. I am confident that the knowledge I will gain from attending law school, along with the network I will develop while in law school, will be sufficient to poise me to help to bring about the change I envisioned eight years ago.

Reports of police shootings are now down from their peak. They continue none-the-less. Although time has served to mature my vision, it has not served to alleviate the pain that I feel whenever I hear of such shootings. I believe that my father would be proud of the job his widow did in raising his children, and, of the adults that his children grew up to be. I often wonder how different my life would have been, had my father not been killed unjustly by police officers. My goal is to prevent other children from wondering what their lives may have been like had their father and family not faced the same situation and struggles that mine did.

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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by baylorbear89 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:50 pm

I am a Baylor undergraduate.

October 164, December 171

Accepted to George Washington and Georgetown, applied mid February
applied using early binding with Georgetown


Personal statement:

Music majors tend to love self-deprecating jokes. One of my favorites begins, “What’s the difference between a pizza and a euphonium player?” For those unfamiliar with the instrument, a euphonium is basically a small tuba with a smooth, pleasant tone. It is also somewhat useless outside of wind ensembles, hence the punch line: “A pizza can feed a family of four.” I laughed along when I first heard this joke, but the humor faded when I began seriously doubting a career in music during my freshman year. I had always meant to keep my options open, but it seemed like all of my hours were taken up by music courses. Thankfully, through the Honors College, I was able to take a course that profoundly affected my college career: Power, Morality, and International Relations with [my professor].

The course was an intersection of philosophy, faith, law, and real-world issues, with international relations as the unifying theme. It was like nothing I had experienced before. We studied Michael Walzer on just war, which led me to take a course on the Just War Tradition and to write my undergraduate thesis on the topic. We read a book by William Easterly on the failures of international development aid, which sparked my interest in economics and shook my understanding of foreign aid. The course also introduced me to Reinhold Niebuhr, who showed me that faith and realism are not mutually exclusive. [my professor’s] course and others like it came as a shock; I hadn’t realized before how little I knew. This realization was tough for someone who was the ‘smart kid’ in high school. Before, I had seen college as simply pre-career preparation. After my first semester, I began to understand college as a time set aside purely for learning.

This change resulted, first, in my decision that I was neither talented nor interested enough in music to continue studying it. I switched to University Scholars, an Honors program which let me bypass core requirements and concentrate my studies more narrowly. I chose to focus in International Studies because I was attracted by its blend of history, political science, economics, and philosophy. I began to choose courses not because they were easy, or because they would look good on my transcript, but because of what I could learn. I took some courses simply because I trusted the professor to teach well. Such was the case, for instance, with my courses on Social Philosophy with [professor] and Great Texts in Christian Spirituality with [professor]. I even forced myself to sign up for courses that terrified me, such as Foreign Exchange Markets and Spanish, understanding that they were important for me to know. Though I occasionally miss playing the euphonium, I have no regrets about the transformation which made me leave it behind.

Isaac Watts wrote that it is the responsibility of every person “to improve his understanding, to inform his judgment, to treasure up useful knowledge, and to acquire the skill of good reasoning.” This philosophy drove me to leave music and focus in international studies, and it is pushing me to attend law school. It is also why I find it difficult to explain to others the reason I want to study law. I try to describe how law school will help me to think and write better, and how I’m interested in law but not yet sure of my focus. I also explain that a law degree would be extremely useful in the fields I’m considering, including national security, foreign affairs, and politics. Most people, understandably, just want to hear what kind of lawyer I want to be. Soon I will be able to answer their question, but at the moment I am only confident in the fact that I have much more to learn.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by sayanything » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:32 pm

random question but does anyone know how long schools keep a copy of our applications? Forever? Does it matter if they deny or accept us? Would one need to call the indiv schools to find out or is there a general policy for destroying them/keeping them.

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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by AncientMarinade » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:41 pm

160 LSAT, 3.5 GPA
Accepted to William Mitchell and Chicago-Kent

Finally, I’m done!” My words rang out over my high school graduation. From behind me I heard “Now, now, turkeys are ‘done’, people are ‘finished’”, a familiar childhood admonition from my grandmother. Whether grammar, grades or my mother’s guidelines, there is always a proper way for how everything should be done – at least according to my family. But before I followed them out I had to thank my teacher and friend, Mr. Lyons. Walking up to the man who had inspired and cultivated my bourgeoning interests in the law and politics, I gave him a high five as the student I used to be, and shook his hand as the adult I was going to become.

I was born into a lower class family which meant that instead of worrying about minivans or mortgages we were constantly moving around trying to find a place that we could afford. Nevertheless, my mother made literature and learning paramount around the house. I knew about Homer’s Odyssey before Homer Simpson and my papers didn’t decorate the fridge unless they were A’s. But as an only child and often the “new kid in class”, my developed desire for stability created an introverted self-reliance. Definitions became much more than practical, they were comforting and reassuring. Classmates saw my nose buried in books as pretentiousness, my incessant curiosity in classes as an annoyance. In true sophomoric logic, it made more sense to learn about the world around me than to meet people whom I would only know until I moved again in a year or two. While beneficial, learning for me was more of an escape than an adventure.

It was in high school when this started to change. I began to internalize my questions and my education took on direction. Joining Mock Trial on a whim – and perhaps under my mother’s suggestion for meeting people – was the catalyst for breaking away from my childhood. As a child, the ‘Law’ is a monolithic code you follow just because you should follow it, yet here it was: accessible, malleable, an intricate combination of literature, politics, definitions and decisions. Following Mock Trial, I attended Boy’s State which was a week-long exercise in creating and running a mock government. Then in a fusion of my interests I attended the Close Up program in Washington D.C. with Mr. Lyons. Spending that week meeting senators, representatives, attorneys and judges offered incalculable experience, but also a glimpse into what I wanted to do with my life. While I always had a desire to learn as a child, it was in our nation’s capitol that I found my bearings and realized my passion. Having known me for years, Mr. Lyons witnessed this transformation. On the plane ride back home, he took off his headphones, leaned over, and simply said: “You can be the person you were when we left, or you can be the person you were in D.C.”

I entered college no longer the student who high-fived teachers, but as the person who shook Mr. Lyons’ hand. The arbitrary nature of what I had been doing was replaced by function and purpose. Through philosophy, knowledge took on a new meaning and application. I wasn’t just reading books and writing papers; I was examining my own life and authoring how I wanted to live. Studying political science in the classroom and as a volunteer at a detention center framed my future not as a part of the system, but as an advocate for the system. The numerous classes I took concerning law provided insight, while the opportunity to travel through Italy, Germany and France with my grandmother offered a broader perspective. And, in a synthesis of my experience and passions, my continued participation in Mock Trial galvanized my desire to go into law. What began as blanket curiosity during my childhood has now become a passion fueled by experience and the need to define myself in the world.

Ever since I sheepishly walked into that classroom joining some after-school program called Mock Trial, the nexus of my schooling has always been the desire to find myself in front of a judge, jury or even a stack of papers, “advocating for the proper way that it should be done”. The University of Minnesota Law School’s century of producing successful and intelligent graduates is impressive, but it is also the school’s ability to combine the practical along with the theoretical to realize a depth of the law that draws me to apply. I have personally worked with attorneys and alumni from the law school and have seen the skills and knowledge that await me as a graduate. Having spent over two decades moving and living across Minnesota, I look forward to how I can continue to define myself here and as a representative of your school. As the next piece of my formal education, The University of Minnesota can give me the knowledge and confidence to once again proudly shake hands with my future.

Sure, UMN didn't accept me, but I wasn't expecting it. Still turned out well enough.

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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by softsgalore » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:25 pm

I've received a few more requests for this, this year, and at this point I feel okay posting it publicly. Here was what my admissions cycle looked like:

170, 3.49

A bunch of waitlists, both at schools where that was kind of a "wow, I'm flattered," and "what the hell?" They weren't really YP schools, either -- I suspect that this personal statement simply turned a number of schools off. For reference, WL at Chicago, Penn, UVA, Cornell, UCLA, Vanderbilt, and University of Washington.

Denies from Yale, Stanford, Michigan (well, a girl with a fee waiver can dream, right?).

In with a bunch of money at Illinois, in with a bunch of money at Georgetown, in with some money at Wash&Lee and Emory and Wake Forest and probably a couple I'm forgetting. The big surprise was getting into Boalt. If you want to know what kind of weird personal statements get you put in the "faculty review" pile and get chosen from that pile, this would be a pretty good example. I strongly suspect my GPA was in the bottom 10 for admits at Boalt. I knew when I wrote this personal statement that submitting it would be a significant risk to my admissions cycle; I also didn't really care.

It's hard to know how close you are to rock bottom until you actually get there. I knew I'd arrived in late February of 2002. I was sitting in my shower, with all my clothes on, while the water poured down scalding hot – and I wanted to die. I'd given $2100 to the landlord just a few minutes before, in twenty-one crisp $100 bills, money for back rent and the new month's rent. Nine more green copies of Benjamin Franklin's face stared at me from the bathroom sink. When I got out of the shower, I took one of the bills aside for groceries, and I put the rest into the toilet and pulled the handle. I didn't care what the next month brought: I wouldn't spend any more of those hundred dollar bills.

The night before, I had done something that I'd been doing for almost two months, starting soon after I'd run away from home to Southern California. I'd arranged to meet with a man for dinner, drinks, and – it was assumed, though unspoken by both parties – sex. For this, I would receive three hundred dollars. I owed back rent and had just finished paying for car repairs, but this three hundred dollars would mean a reprieve from my landlord and maybe even some food for my pantry. A year before, I had dreamed of attending law school. That night, stomach growling, I dreamed of having enough to eat.

I was supposed to have met this man once already, two weeks before, but my instincts kept me away. Something hadn't been right. Days later, he contacted me again and wanted to set up a new time. Alarm bells went off, but I needed the money more than I trusted my instincts. When I met him, he seemed witty, charming – and for a few minutes, my fears were gone. We went from our prearranged meeting place at the Huntington Beach pier to his apartment, and when he shut the door behind him, he locked it. I laughed a little nervously and my trepidation came back. I couldn't keep ignoring my instincts. I made some excuse about needing to leave, and I moved toward the door to unlock it.

He didn't let me. He had a knife.

When it was over, four painful and slow hours later, his demeanor changed. Now he was laughing and smiling, to all appearances a man on a date. He took me to his car and back to my neighborhood, chatting as if nothing had happened. I replied with automatic laughs or stunned silence, saying only as much as I had to, hoping only to get home. Visions flashed in my head on the way back: television morgues where Jane Does lay on cold steel. Imagining them, I shivered. When we got to my apartment, he pulled over, got out of the car, and opened the door for me like a perfect gentleman. As I got out, his hand went back into his pocket, pulling out a wad of hundred dollar bills and stuffing it, awkwardly, into my hand. I ran back to my apartment and realized how much money he'd given me: three thousand dollars, ten times what we'd agreed on. The next morning, when I flushed the last eight hundred dollars down the cheap toilet in my barren apartment, I knew I was as low as I would ever get in my life. Defeated, sobbing, I picked up the phone.

The phone call was to friends, not to my family. It wasn't pride that had kept me from calling home – it was fear. My mother had beaten me until I was purple with bruises, called me unprintable names, and threatened to kill me if I ever exposed her as an abuser. When I was caught by police while running away the first time, I demanded to be held in a juvenile detention center for as long as the law would allow. Anything – jail, prostitution, even rape – seemed better than returning to the house I had grown up in. But I was, in many ways, lucky. I wasn't just one of the thousands of underage prostitutes who line many of the streets in Los Angeles and its surrounding counties. I'd graduated high school, even gone to a semester of college before my mother pulled me out. I had been given opportunities and lived a middle-class upbringing that gave me immense privilege compared to other runaways.

I left home with delusions of invincibility. When my savings dwindled and my car broke down, I had too much pride to ask my friends for help and too much self-preservation to go back to my mother's house. I sold off my possessions, all the while assuming it would have to get better soon: first my CDs were pawned, then my movies, then my computer. Finally, I had only one thing left to sell: my body. With it, I sold my pride, my dignity, my dreams. That night in February of 2002, I realized: there was a time for pride – and then there was a time to ask for help. I didn't want to be a statistic, a Jane Doe with a toe tag and a burial no one would attend. I called my friends. I didn't tell them why I needed help, just that I was in trouble. Within two weeks, I was living in a different house, among friends who helped me to get a new job in journalism, a career I would stay in for five more years.

I had worked as a journalist in my hometown, part-time, and my first journalism job led to others, including working as an associate opinion editor for a daily newspaper with a circulation of almost 100,000 – and making well-researched arguments for a living was my dream job. However, as journalism jobs began to become scarce, I decided to change my life for the better yet again by finishing my college degree.

While job security concerns and a longtime love of teaching initially motivated me to major in education, my journalism experience gave me a background in conducting in-depth research, and I began presenting the results of my original research in history and education at national and international conferences. As college continued, I became involved in my university's Mock Trial Team. On that team, I quickly began winning awards as both a witness and attorney, using rhetorical and persuasive skills gained through my journalism jobs, and was elected into a leadership position. My love of research and argument led me, once again, to the law.

Even with my interest in the legal profession, I didn't think I'd be able to enter law school. I had heard there were ethics reviews, and I heard I would have to admit anything in my past that might have broken the law. I thought I would end up in a history Ph.D. program, and while that didn't trouble me (after all, by my junior year, I was creating a new world history curriculum with one of the professors at my school), it didn't excite me as much as the study of law, either. One night, in a late strategy session for mock trial, my teammates discussed their law school chances. “I'd love to go,” I said, but quietly added, “I just don't think anyone would let me in.” When they asked what I meant, the whole story came out, and the room was silent. “[Name],” my team captain, [Friend's Name], said, “you need to apply.” With my choice to sell my body, I was sure I had given up on a dream I had held close for years: my hope to attend law school. Nearly a decade has passed since then, and today, I reclaim that dream and that hope.

I have learned and grown so much since the time that I was 17 that my lost, terrified teenage self seems very distant now. However, nine years later, I talk about my time as a prostitute to a number of people, because I don't want to be a party to the conspiracy of silence about sex work, poverty, and runaways. Every experience in my past, even the most traumatic and difficult, helped to make me into the person that I am today. I know, from my experiences in Los Angeles, not to judge people who have fallen into hard times, or jobs that society regards as disgusting or immoral. I know to ask for help when I need it. Most importantly, I know what it feels like to hit rock bottom and return, kicking and screaming, to the surface for air.

When I went to college the first time, I was abused and scared, and both legally and emotionally a child. Since then, I have become a woman, with a strong sense of empathy and justice. As a lawyer, I intend to use my hard-won skills to advocate for sex workers who are in situations that may feel hopeless. My past has taught me that no one is ever beyond hope, and I know that sometimes, hope can make the difference between a life resigned and a life redeemed. My life's story will always have these chapters, and I would never tear out these pages to make the narrative less painful or more palatable. I have come full circle in ten years – and I do not regret a single day of that decade.

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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by lilmissallyful » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:52 am

In at: STCL, UC Hastings, USF ($$), UH ($$), and UT ($$). In retrospect, I probably should've applied to more places but I got into my first-choice school so I'm happy with the outcome.

The last place I would ever see my grandfather was in a Chuck-E-Cheese’s, surrounded by blinking arcade games and screaming blurs of children as they ran past him. I knew that he was sick and the deep crevices along his face were testament to his age but he was the only one who knew how much his health had deteriorated. That day, instead of running off with us, he stayed behind and gave my father advice regarding each of his grandchildren. For me, he told my father, life would be an uphill battle as I internalized and subsequently attempted to conquer all of the injustices that would cross my path. There was no denying the truth in his statement. I was stubborn, argumentative and spent my shooting star wishes on things like fairness. When he passed away three days later, there was no doubt that he was proud of his family and confident in our ability to become the people he always knew we could be.

There are times when I can’t clearly remember just how supportive he was but I know he believed in my potential the way some people believe in God. As I grew older, it pained me that I had never asked him who he was or from where he had come. My innocent imagination could only muster fleeting images of what his hometown must have been like, how great his struggles must have been to force him to leave his home and enter a life of hardship. I had lost the opportunity to truly know the man who had believed in me so much.

Regret transformed into curiosity that drove me to learn more about Mexico and ultimately the Americas as a whole. My first course of action was to become fluent in Spanish in order to successfully communicate with the remaining members of my family who had lacked the opportunity to learn English. I then became heavily involved with Model Organization of American States in high school and pursued this passion throughout my college career. Through Model OAS, I was able to learn about the struggles of people in Latin America. I adopted their issues as my own and debated countless resolutions on topics ranging from rights of children and the elderly to the role of Civil Society Organizations in flourishing democracies. I was able to travel to Peru and El Salvador, meeting students who will undoubtedly be the future diplomats of their respective countries. Finally, I have fostered the growth of my research and writing skills through the development of my senior thesis that explores human rights violations in Guatemala and Argentina.

I know that I have only just scratched the surface. It is my intention to further my knowledge of international law and American foreign policy during my law school career with the ultimate goal of working in an international capacity, whether it is in diplomatic, humanitarian or corporate fields. Allowing those with radically different backgrounds than I to influence my life has resulted in a bicultural perspective of the world and an understanding of international law composed not only from relevant academic materials but also from personal stories and experiences. Through my travel and research, I have now seen the injustices and, much like my grandfather predicted, I will attempt to remedy as many as possible to the best of my abilities.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by Stephedh » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:06 pm

LSAT 166 GPA 3.69

Admitted: Emory $$$$, William and Mary $$$, Tulane $$$, University of Colorado $$, Indiana University $, Fordham $, University of Washington, UC Davis

Hold/Waitlisted: Northwestern, Georgetown, George Washington

Rejected: NYU, U. of Pennsylvania, Berkeley, U. of Virginia

Attending: Emory

Home. What is it and where? Is it made up of the wood and nails, brick and mortar, or friends and family? Do you leave it behind or build it where you are? Most importantly, will you know it when you find it? These questions have plagued me over the past years. They were shadows of questions as the airport escalator took me out of view of my family when I joined the Peace Corps. They solidified as I shored-up the walls of my wooden house, dug my latrine, and hauled manure for my garden-to-be. They shook me when, two-and-a-half years later, I found that same garden in shambles and a cement foundation the only remnants of my house. They weighed a heavy burden as I traveled around South America with most of my worldly possessions on my back, worrying about the future. They nearly broke me when I returned to the United States, a stranger to my own culture.

On my 26th birthday I took a tally. Since the age of 18 I had spent an equal amount of time in South America as I had in the United States, which begged the question: Which culture was “home?” More than that, I have been fortunate enough to have studied in and traveled through vast tracks of world. I studied democracy at the University of Buenos Aires, I have held discussions with Arab-
Israelis on Israel battlefields, and have peaked mountains on four different continents. I learned about current infringements of indigenous rights in the midst of the Quilmes ruins and witnessed the deadly lack of regulation in Bolivian mines. I am fluent in Spanish and Guarani and learned traveler's Portuguese and Swahili. I spent two years living in the Paraguayan countryside, working with the local farmers and becoming part of their community and their families. I have cleared fields with nothing but a machete, picked cotton by hand in 100 degree heat along side ten-year-olds. I have witnessed extreme rural and urban poverty, bribery, and corruption.

With every experience my understanding of the world grows, as does my commitment to being a positive force of change. As I look around at my own country I think of all the people I have met that dream of coming to the United States and I wonder: "Can this truly be the country of bounty and promise that so many people desire?" I enjoy the comforts of life in a “developed” nation but I also see the homeless on the street corners. I hear the prattle of bickering politicians, witness endemic racism, unavoidably partake in environmental destruction and I think: "There is still so much work to do here!"

I was born privileged into a world of vast inequalities and was raised to understand that it is my obligation as a global citizen to help in whatever way I can. It is this guiding moral compass that pushed me to do service work – volunteering in high school and college, the Peace Corp, and now translating for the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, where I literally give a voice to the voiceless. My experiences have given me a fresh view of my own culture's struggles to rectify the injustices plaguing our marginalized populations, and the strong parallels between these domestic programs and international development.

As I look at the world around me – the environmental destruction, poverty, and war – it is clear that many of the problems and the solutions lie in the legal and social constructs societies establish. It is a bridge between the theoretical and the actual; it occupies the space between idea and implementation. I plan to continue on my path of working towards social, economic, and environmental justice and to do so in a legal capacity. Making a positive impact – however large or small – through the legal profession is absolutely within my grasp.

It took coming back to the United States to rediscover my home. I have not found it in the drywall and insulation, nor even in old friends and family; instead I have found my home in the likeminded individuals fighting to leave the world in a better place. I want to study the law alongside other members of that community. So as you put this application aside and turn to the next of thousands, let
me assure you that I know where I will be in five years: I am only at home when I am working to build a better world and I will continue to build it everywhere I go.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by jtweissbrot » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:51 am

LSAT 169
GPA 3.2 (10 years out of school)
Accepted: UBaltimore 75% scholarship, UMD 40% grant, UCONN
Waitlisted: AU (application 1 day late)
Haven't Heard: Suffolk (after they extended the deadline and sent me a fee waiver *sniff*)

Each one had a slightly different final sentence flattering the school. Hey, why not? :) Times New Roman, 12 pt, 1.63 line spacing fit to 2 pages.

What’s next? Law School!
“What’s Next?” is something I’ve come to anticipate, and mostly enjoy, along the path which has turned the 17-year-old confident music conservatory violist and confirmed future bachelor I once was into the 33-year-old father, husband, award-winning radio journalist, and confident law student I intend to be this fall.
I believe in planning; I believe in examining all available evidence for a situation, finding a solution, and extrapolating and following the best course to that solution. I also know that the “best” course demands a detailed inspection now and then. As a 17-year-old cocky conservatory viola student, I was dismayed to find out that I have degenerative osteoarthritis; obviously, my plan to take the symphonic world by storm needed some short-term tweaking and a long-range overhaul. So, “What’s Next?”
That first “What’s Next?” luckily happened to be sharing a room with me: my freshman year roommate was enrolled in a 5-year comprehensive program that combines music, math, science, and engineering classes at multiple Johns Hopkins University campuses into a high-tech artistic career path in Recording Arts and Audio Engineering. Joining that program would involve hard work (an average of 21.5 credits per semester for the first four years) and dedication (my class graduated six of the original thirteen matriculated students), and would require convincing two professors who expected excellence that neither my viola playing, nor my academics, would suffer for the other.
I convinced them; I made my own arrangements to catch up on prerequisites for the double major program, I made arrangements with the Recording Arts professor to take the first two years of his classes concurrently, and I made arrangements with my pillow for us to see a lot less of each other (but our time together was of very good quality). I saw more sunrises than I would have liked to during my early undergrad years; thankfully many were shared, sometimes with late-night friends, but more often with late-night study partners or early-morning inter-campus shuttle bus riders. Classes, routine, friends, and a co-principal orchestra chair were in place for the short term, and world domination of Audio Engineering Technique was planned for the long term, so, “What’s Next?”
The next “What’s Next?” was driven by that most prosaic of concerns: money. Between my second and third college years, my family’s once-comfortable middle-class budget suddenly got tight. I worried about having to leave school; I lobbied my professors for support; they came through, including with additional work-study money. I spent those extra work-study hours behind the recording console, getting hands-on training recording live events like symphony concerts, chamber music, and student recitals, and running studio sessions for international competition audition tapes, student bands, a Lilith Fair Talent Search finalist, and an up-and-coming R&B/Jazz trumpeter/rapper.
Those extra studio hours not only laid the groundwork for my final three years of school, they also established an entire decade of a bachelor’s life. I wound up working closely with the music agent who promoted that trumpeter/rapper, as studio engineer, live-sound engineer, violinist/violist, and sometime bookkeeper. My versatility in recording such varied performances helped me land a fascinating job post-graduation as audio engineer/sound designer/radio journalist for the longest running documentary series on public radio.
On June 28th, 2008, I was a weekend gigging musician, sound-guy, and violin teacher, with a patent in audio electronics and a journalism day-job that had sent me to Antarctica, was about to send me to Siberia, and was sniffing possibilities in Zambia.
On June 29th, 2008, a brand new “What’s Next?” walked into my life; on March 21st, 2010, I married her; on February 7th, 2011, our pearl of light was born. No more trips to isolated scientific outposts in uninhabitable climes, and no virus-hunting expeditions to the Congo for this family man, thank-you-very-much, so, “What’s Next?” I’m technically oriented; I’m artistically inclined; I’m an experienced researcher; I have the engineer’s drive to find facts and develop solutions. While I enjoy sharing knowledge through journalism and teaching, I prefer to use it; knowledge is not just facts, but a tool for achievement. I believe that the legal profession embodies that mindset, I know that my demonstrated skills in seeking, finding, and tweaking solutions will help me be a noteworthy law student and successful legal advocate, and I am excited by the prospect of studying and practicing law at the University of Maryland, a school with a stellar local and national reputation, which is, very luckily for me, not three miles down the road from my home, in the city and state I’ve called home for nearly sixteen years.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by Istayedhere » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:33 am

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.
Last edited by Istayedhere on Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by No13baby » Thu May 03, 2012 3:17 pm

171/3.6, non-URM

Accepted: Penn ($, attending), Michigan ($$), Northwestern ($$$), GULC, Vanderbilt ($$$), USC, WUSTL ($$$$), U Washington ($)
Deny: Stanford (quelle surprise)

I prepared two PSs: a "safe" one about studying abroad and how it shaped my career goals, and this one. I'm happy I ended up submitting this instead.

On paper I am the baseline against which diversity is measured. Like most residents of my small hometown of TOWN, California, I’m white, heterosexual, liberal, agnostic and upper-middle-class. Each time I’ve returned home as an adult, though, I have felt less connected to TOWN, but not through any demographic change on the town’s part or mine.

I’m a beer person.

TOWN is located in California’s “wine country,” a region which produces wines regarded as the best in America. By some estimates, over half its economy is dependent on viticulture. As I grew up my parents dragged me to countless wineries and offered me Chardonnay or Shiraz with dinner, but these failed to instill the seemingly requisite love for wine. Then, the summer after my twenty-first birthday, my father invited me to a beer-tasting dinner hosted by a local microbrewery.

I’ve forgotten that night’s menu. I only remember what I drank: a crisp pilsner served in champagne glasses; a citrusy, astringent pale ale; a stout so dark it was almost opaque, poured over ice cream for dessert. I was amazed by the flavors, aromas and textures beer had to offer and began hunting for obscure breweries and unique styles.
I soon realized I wasn’t like the average craft beer devotee. “You’re the youngest person we’ve seen,” marveled one brewery’s tour guide. “Your dad must be so proud,” bartenders told me after I ordered. My father did embrace my interest, but for questionable reasons. “You’ll make a great wife someday,” he said as I lingered over the supermarket beer aisle.

Though I looked unfamiliar to the guides and bartenders, this situation was very familiar to me. Throughout my life I’ve relished taking on challenges that made me conspicuous and been rewarded with knowledge and success. The appeal of achieving difficult or unusual goals inspired me to learn Chinese when I could have taken Spanish instead, undertake a language-intensive study-abroad program in which I learned sixty to eighty new characters per day, and help to start a college debate league in which students now compete nationally. For me, the optional thesis offered in my major was anything but. I was thrilled to find an interest that let me pursue creativity, novelty and specialized knowledge, and the more I was told beer wasn’t a normal pastime for a young woman, the more determined I became to prove my expertise. The skepticism didn’t convince me to leave beer to the men. Instead, it inspired me to buy a homebrewing kit.

For a year now, I’ve found the challenge I sought in brewing. A skilled brewer must be meticulous - too much or too little heat, exposure to air, or boiling time will ruin a beer. Although I spent hours planning, cleaning and setting up before my initial attempt, mishaps ensued nonetheless. I broke my thermometer in the brew kettle, then hastily re-boiled the whole batch after accidentally stirring it with an unsterilized spoon. The result was mediocre but nontoxic, and as soon as I finished I reviewed my mistakes and made plans to brew another batch the next weekend. Since that ill-fated first batch, I’ve become a confident brewer and have graduated from changing and adding ingredients to inventing my own recipes. As with my academic and extracurricular activities, challenging myself has not only proven internally rewarding but led to recognized success. The more risks I’ve taken, the better the beer: my most recent batch, the first made with a recipe I created myself, was selected for entry in a statewide homebrewing competition.

Although most young adults view beer only as a social lubricant, I’ve learned a lot from the world’s oldest drink. Brewing has honed my organizational and problem-solving abilities while teaching me to experiment and trust my instincts. I’m proud of not only cultivating an unusual interest, but taking the production of something I’m passionate about into my own hands. My love for brewing has proven that the best responses to a challenge are enthusiasm, tenacity and a hunger for knowledge – traits which will serve me equally well as an attorney. I hope that your school will give me the opportunity to bring these skills and my drive to succeed to the study of law.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by Swimp » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:31 pm

Istayedhere wrote:

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.
The last paragraph seals it--best personal statement I've ever read. Congrats on the acceptances, man, and thanks for posting.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by NinaSimone » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:43 pm

Last edited by NinaSimone on Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by lynch » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:43 am

“I want to be a lawyer, I want to be a lawyer!�, is the phrase mostly heard from my child and adolescent self every time the age old question, “what are you going to be when you grow up?� was asked. I certainly had no idea the level of rigor included in reaching that somewhat lofty goal, but the dark suits and big money meant more as a child. Since then my goal has not wavered. The idea that a lawyer is the glamorized position epitomized by every John Grisham novel is gone, and a more realistic one lays in its wake. My reasons for wanting to be involved in the field of law have also shifted to more morally acceptable ones.
My reasoning now for wanting to be a lawyer is both realistic and idealistic at the same time. My idealistic self believes lawyers of any variety have the potential to do good. I do recognize some lawyers do not do good, and merely coast by, but it is my ideal that lawyers should help society to some degree. The very qualitative nature of the term good is what draws me to this field. There are so many different fields and capacities of which I could serve in law that there exists never ending possibilities to forge strong relationships with people, and genuinely help them. Now on a perhaps more realistic scheme the field of law fits what I want in a career. When I look at possible careers I look at what jobs I could hold that will keep me satisfied both fiscally and personally. As someone who is critical, almost exhaustively so, of the world around him, I feel law gives me a chance to explore some of those problems and see if on individual cases there isn’t opportunities to find a way around something, or change something I feel unjust.
Had I been asked right out of high school if I would succeed at Law School my answer would have been a misleading, “YES�. I would have been wrong, and thankfully due to a number of circumstances I went out in the real world and postponed my post secondary education. When I began my post secondary education I was a completely different person, with a personal drive to achieve my aspirations. Three years off of school, toiling in the day to day drudgery that is manual labour, made me realize two very important things: that manual labour cannot keep me mentally stimulated, and it also taught me the value of a hard day’s work.
Upon returning to my studies I became a student that I feel your university is constantly seeking. I became someone who was both proud, but without ego. Understanding the differential between the two is something that any success I have will be directly owed. I realize the importance of professors is to educate, and that they are a resource to be used to its fullest, they are not holding personal vendetta’s. So instead of letting my ego get in the way I now am someone who judicially takes advantage of office hours, If not for direct information just for stimulating conversation. I used to take criticism as a personal insult, whereas now I view them as invaluable advice.
As far as the potential culture shock that could be associated with studying at your university, I have no fear to that affect. I spent two of my three years playing Junior hockey throughout Canada, where I was forced daily to meet new people and perform even in these foreign surroundings. Scholastically I also spent my first year of post-secondary studies at two colleges within the United States. At those two institutions I managed to keep a 3.825 grade point average and play collegiate lacrosse.
As I hope I have shown I am someone who does not enjoy mulling about in the mundane. I am someone who loves challenges, and I actually perform better in their presence. I would expect nothing less than a daunting challenge from the law program at your university but I feel I have shown I am up to the task. These along with multiple other examples are why I feel I am ready, now, to take on the rigors of law school.

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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by Lenahan3 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:32 pm

Does anybody check this blasted thread anymore? I think it should be reignited for us new recruits.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by kjohnso3 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:30 pm

LSAT 152 -- Retaking in Dec.
GPA- 3.1

Applying to South Texas School of Law and Baylor

Below is my rough draft of my PS. Any suggestions?

It was June of 2008 when I was awoken by a phone call with an Ohio area code. Before June of 2008 I had, for the first time, entered into the realm of campaigns by joining the Barack Obama team during the Texas Primary. I picked up the phone; "This is Katy" I answered a bit confused as to who was on the other side. "Good Morning Katy, this is Brynne from the Ohio for Obama Campaign. I'd like to talk to you a little bit about some opportunities we have for you here in Ohio." And like that, I took the plunge into a new world I had never been in before. At 20 years old, I hugged my mom and dad goodbye and drove up to Cleveland, Ohio to work for then Senator Barack Obama's campaign for President.

It wasn't that I was living outside Texas for the first time and jumping into an a tireless work environment or staying up late doing homework to send to my professor so I could receive college credit, but it was the characteristics that working on a campaign brought out that existed inside me my whole life. In three words: adaptability, independence and perseverance became the characteristics that defined who I was. Since 2008, I have applied these three characteristics to every aspect of my life; whether it be in my professional and academic career or in my personal life, I have done what I can to become fiercely independent and show tireless endurance to any challenge presented tome.

When I came back to Texas in November of 2008, I came back not a different person, but renewed, ready to face anything in front of me and correct anything that I had previously seen as something that could hold me back. In my first year as an undergraduate, I found myself lost in the classroom, and that is obvious as the grades which have left their visible scars on my transcript. But as someone who is unwavering in her dedication to hard work, I joined many study groups, attended every test review, and drove my professors crazy by visiting every office hours opportunity there was. In fact, I'm convinced there was at least one professor who reduced his office hours schedule to avoid me going over yet another homework assignment. And as a result of my endurance and dedication, I graduated with a GPA I could be proud of, as I had brought it from a 1.33 my first semester to a 3.1 when I graduated.

And in 2010, like so many undergraduates, I found myself yet again thrown out into the world of real life, waiting tables at the local Chili's Bar and Grill but hopeful that a job opportunity was around the corner, because like so many others, I stuffed my resume full of internships and extracurricular so I would be a viable candidate out of college. Over 150 applications, resumes and cover letters later, I was offered my first position as a Legislative Director with a State Representative within the Texas House; with very little training in drafting and vetting legislation. Regardless of my lack of training, I learned to adapt and pick up the legislative process as quickly as possible. Quickly, I put a team in place and established new systems that allowed us to pass more bills than any other of the 150 members and get through the a session with billions in cuts and political stalemate.

As a candidate to your law school, I could tell you about my resume and why that makes me a viable candidate to your law school. Or I could write about what kind of law I would like to practice. But you've seen my resume, and let's be honest, the chances of me knowing what type of law I'm going to practice will probably change over the course of law school. What I hope I have been able to convey to you and what I hope you'll walk away with is that I've been training for law school since I was able to say, "Mom it's just not fair"; which is why she's told me throughout the years I'd make a great lawyer. Yes, my experiences in college and my career choices have helped me hone the skills I need to get through law school; but more importantly my experiences have proven and sharpened the characteristics I have which are necessary for survival in law school. It is my endurance, my refusal to ever give up and ability to adapt to any situation which makes me a viable candidate to your law school; for it is these characteristics that (blank law school) not only teach but possess as well.


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by thederangedwang » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:27 pm

^^^wrong thread to post this in. If you want feedback, post it in the general PS forum, not in this thread. Its reserved for actual finished PS that were used by applicants


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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by Burne182 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:41 pm

I had no business getting into the schools I did based on my numbers, so I thought I'd post in this forum.

I decided to wait a year to start school. For this cycle I revised my military experience into a diversity statement and wrote a different PS.

LSAT: 156/158
GPA: 2.66
Accepted: Indiana-Bloomington, Richmond, Michigan State, Louisville, Marquette, Villanova, Cincinnati
Denied: Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State

To be honest, if you—the admissions council—have made it as far as my personal statement I applaud your open mindedness. My LSAT score is nothing more than average and my undergraduate grade point is much lower than the vast majority of my fellow applicants. I wish I could tell you that I was deathly sick the day of the test or that I had a learning disability throughout college that was only recently corrected, but I cannot. I can, however, tell you that the 18 year old student I was and the 27 year old student I will be are two entirely different people.
Eighteen year old (my name) had an extreme case of naivety. When choosing an undergraduate institution, my priorities landed in the following order: 1) Being able to play Division I Basketball, 2) Leaving the Midwest, and 3) Going to an institution ranked higher than any of my friends or family. The US Naval Academy checked all three categories, and though I knew from well before Induction Day I planned on attending law school eventually, I really thought the power of my alumnus status would outweigh and overshadow my grade point. In addition, I held a colossal chip on my shoulder as a liberal arts student at an engineering institution. Since I had no interest in thermodynamics or weapons systems engineering, I devoted only minimal interest to those courses (and my transcripts certainly reflect that.)
Finally, varsity basketball at a Division I level is a year round sport. I made excuses for my poor academic performance by comparing my academic and athletic workload to the athletes at other schools who rarely graduate in four years and certainly were not required to carry a course load so full of math and science unless that was their major. That is not the case, of course. Student athletes all over the country excel in academics and athletics at tougher schools with further taxing course loads and more strenuous schedules. Had my degree not carried with it a five-year service obligation, I really cannot tell you if I would have succeeded in law school or any other career. I can tell you without hesitation, though, that the last four and a half years have truly changed my work ethic, mindset, and perseverance.
My first tour onboard USS XXXXX in Japan absolutely renovated my view of a tough workday. My ship went underway for a four-month cruise off the coast of South Korea immediately after a change in leadership. The Commanding Officer was not confident in many of my peers, so I was forced to stand a total of 17 hours of watch each day spread between engineering and navigation. Learning to eat, sleep, finish paperwork, and communicate with family in a mere seven hours each day proved to be extremely taxing. To round out this trying time, I was studying to qualify as “Engineering Officer of the Watch,” a watch station normally held only by those with more than ten years experience in diesel engineering compared to my eight months. I found a quality in myself I had never before recognized: I love learning. I had very little interest in diesel engineering, lubrication and exhaust systems, or water purification, but I found that I was very proud to become knowledgeable in a new area- no matter the subject. I thrive in environments where my success is dependent upon perseverance.
Upon returning to America after my tour in Japan, I was abruptly confronted with the harsh reality of military life when our country is at war. I was slated to serve on an amphibious squadron staff based out of Norfolk, Virginia when my Commodore informed me that I had been assigned to an Individual Augment tour in Baghdad, Iraq. He also told me that there were many ways to avoid this deployment, should I decide it would be more than I could handle having just returned from overseas. I am ashamed to say I thought about his offer to escape this deployment and continue working for the traditional sea-based Navy that I signed up for. In the end, though, that is not who I am.
Iraq was a beast all its own. My platoon was made up of nineteen enlisted personnel. As their Commander I was placed in charge of all of them (thirteen of whom were older and more experienced than I.) I did not have the luxury of losing my composure, and all the leadership lessons I was given at the Naval Academy were put to the test. We worked six and a half days per week for ten months, running three to four convoys per week through Baghdad and surrounding areas while running the postal and finance sections of forward operating bases throughout the region. Incoming rockets and mortars were close enough to leave shrapnel in our doors, loud enough to leave us partially deaf for days, and frequent enough to give some members of my platoon nightmares. Living in a warzone and finding a path towards peace of mind taught me more about stress management and perspective than I could have learned anywhere else in the world. Looking back on the times I was overwhelmed by such trivial factors in my life, I am not entirely embarrassed of my naivety and immaturity but rather proud of the personal growth that is evident just a few years after graduation.
We returned as a platoon in March and though sudden, loud noises at times still give me pause, I returned to my normal self. I will be leaving the military a rather decorated Lieutenant with experiences, both good and bad, that have irrevocably shaped my character. Citing the toughest challenges and most trying times in my life, I have never failed—thought I admittedly stumble from time to time I always find a way to succeed. I know that I certainly do not fit the mold of XXXXXX Law Students. Every portion of your review criteria is probably screaming at you to deny my admission (and you would be more than justified in doing so.) But please believe me when I tell you that I am neither my grade point nor my LSAT. I am extremely capable, very hard working, and I guarantee I will succeed in XXXXXX if you give me the opportunity.

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Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by essayexperts » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:26 pm



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Post by mastahodang » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:50 am

AR75 wrote:3.98 / 178
In at HYS.

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


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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:33 am

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by AndrewCraig » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:35 am

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.


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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Personal Statement Samples

Post by thederangedwang » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:19 am


Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


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