Seeking feedback on personal statement for returning from leave of absence Forum

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Post Reply

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2022 3:46 pm

Seeking feedback on personal statement for returning from leave of absence

Post by humanstory10 » Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:43 am

Hi everyone,

I took a leave of absence from 1L year when I developed a substance abuse problem. I'm petitioning to return to school and I have to write a personal statement explaining the circumstances leading up to my leave, my progress and my readiness to return.

I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

In the Fall of 2018, I was given an opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to study at ***** Law School. However, I developed an unhealthy dependence on THC cartridges at the start of school to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. It severely impacted my ability to study, form friendships, and engage in extracurricular activities. I took a medical leave of absence in order to fully get back on track, acquire healthy tools and strategies to cope with stress, and be well again.

Enrolling in Kaiser Permanente's chemical dependency program taught me various tools to cope with stress and anxiety in a productive manner. Being prescribed Prozac helped lift the fog of depression out of my head and allowed me to engage in the healthy pursuit of hobbies (meditation at the park, trail walking, Salsa dancing) and interests (museum tours, language exchange, foodies) on to meet people and make friends. I’ve also learned that incorporating rigorous exercise (swimming) into my morning routine works wonders for building self-esteem and confidence.

In addition, working as a customer service agent at a fintech company’s call center where I had to constantly field phone calls while keeping meticulous track of members’ financial information to facilitate money transfers gave me valuable opportunities to practice managing stress and anxiety in real-time. One of the most rewarding aspects of the job was helping senior citizens learn how to use the latest digital tools available to them. I found similar joy in helping immigrants navigate their way through the U.S. judicial system as a volunteer interpreter for attorneys working on pro bono cases.

I was also able to hone my communication skills from my time working with college-bound students as a reading and writing instructor for *****. Because every session was rated and reviewed by the students and the ratings were directly tied to pay rate, I grew accustomed to treating each pupil as my boss and supervisor, always striving to attain 5-star reviews at the end of each interaction.

While volunteering at an animal shelter in *****., I discovered the incredible joy of canine companionship. I found that all my worries melted away whenever four-legged furry friends leaped to lick my face while wagging their tails. I also found it particularly meaningful to hand out pet foods to people in need through the Pet Pantry Program to alleviate the “food desert” situation in *****.

From these experiences, I’ve learned valuable coping skills and strategies that allow me to deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy manner. I no longer rely on THC cartridges to alleviate them. Instead, I begin my day with twenty laps of freestyle swimming. I listen to meditation music on my way to work and eat fruits for lunch. I end the day by taking leisurely walks with shelter dogs. On the weekends, I attend various groups to meet people who share my interests and hobbies. I’ve never been healthier in body and spirit in my life. And as such, I’ve never felt more confident than now about completing my studies at *****.

User avatar

Posts: 7937
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Seeking feedback on personal statement for returning from leave of absence

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 20, 2022 10:29 am

The statement seems fine in general, but some details are confusing. How long did the school give you for a leave of absence? Did you complete a semester of 1L? And what tier of school is this?

In other words, is there a reason you're focusing on returning to this specific school four years later instead of just applying to law school again?

Post Reply

Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”