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"help me bring a unique and distinctive perspective" Law School Personal Statement


kkhanb 1 / 2  
Jul 16, 2010   #1
Hey guys, I will be applying to Law Schools this fall and was hoping for some feedback on my PS. Let me know what you guys think!

I was born and raised in a small village in Northern Pakistan. I can recall my childhood years playing with dolls that my mother had sewed for me using old, worn-out clothes. Even more prominent than my memories of growing up in Pakistan, I remember the most momentous and life-altering change: leaving my Urdu-speaking country to start anew in Virginia. I cannot begin to understand how my parents came to such a life-altering decision without first considering their circumstances. My father worked at the only factory in the area, a flour distributing company, while my mother taught third grade. Growing up with five sisters, my father knew the lack of opportunities available for education women. Pakistan, to this day, is a very gender stereotypical country; all girls are either teachers or nurses. Having raised six girls, my father wanted us all to be something we wanted to be, not something society expected us to be. My parents recognized that a choice had to be made and shortly before my seventh birthday, they decided to leave everything they knew as home, in hope to build a new and better life.

After a month of living with my uncle, my father had earned enough money, working day and night as a taxi driver, for us to move into a small two-room apartment in Alexandria for the eight of us. While my parents worked, my father as a taxi and bus driver and my mother as a baby-sitter, I attended elementary school. I entered my third grade classroom with the excitement of a typical eight year old, but my anticipation quickly dissipated into fear. The language and cultural differences made it difficult for me to learn new subjects and communicate with other students. Determined to succeed, I began to learn as much as I could about the American culture and English grammar, focusing solely on the educational aspect of the school system. After changing two schools in the span of a year, I realized that although grades were important, being involved in the school was crucial. By participating in various organizations, such as joining the Debate Club in 10th grade which ultimately sparked my interest for law, I came to appreciate the intellectual value of objectivity while at the same time enhancing my ability to argue and research different sides of an issue. I believe all my experiences have contributed to shape my identity as a stronger and more secure individual.

After graduation, I decided to attend George Mason University with the understanding that it would not be a pinnacle of my academic pursuits, but rather a stepping-stone to future opportunities. Though my fascination with law undoubtedly dates back to high school, I never had the chance to fully develop this interest before college. Academically, I have taken classes that not only heighten my passion for becoming a lawyer someday but have also helped me find a connection between law and other areas of the criminal justice system. Interestingly, I think that I have learned as much about law through my participation in student organizations and jobs as I have through my classes.

My success so far is not only a testament to my intellectual ability, but also the strength of my determination. I consider my past a means of shaping me into the individual I am today and I feel that my personal experiences will help me bring a distinctive perspective to X Law School.
cbsmallville 4 / 9  
Jul 16, 2010   #2
I really liked and enjoyed your essay, i thought it was well written. one thing i want to mention is this sentence might be missing a word "After graduation, I decided to attend George Mason University with the understanding that it not be a pinnacle of my academic pursuits, but rather a stepping-stone to future opportunities" shouldn't it be "it is not a pinnacle of my academic puirsuits". Overall this is a great essay and good luck.
linmark 2 / 328 7  
Jul 18, 2010   #3
You jump from highschool graduation with honors to the concluding paragraph with no mention of what you did at GMU. Would help to include highlights of undergrad experience and why you decided to apply to Law School. Also, caught this mistake:

.

I realize I am more fortunate than most to have learned andexperienced the value of hard work, and understand theunderstood that perseverance to endure is necessary in order to and succeed.

or perseverance and endurance is necessary for success
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jul 19, 2010   #4
Change has been the most influential learning experience of my life.

Okay, I think this should say it has been a theme, not an experience. Of course it is an experience, but change is such an abstract and inclusive term, it needs to be spoken of as a theme.

hyphenate:
year-old

I cannot begin to understand how my parents came to such a life-altering decision without first considering their circumstances. -- I think what you mean to say is that you need to explain their circumstances in order to explain why they made the decision to move.

I cannot begin to convey the reasons for my parents' life-altering decision until I describe their circumstances.

...as home, bringing what little they had in hope to build a new and better life. --- I think you should revise this sentence to tell the main point. What is the main point of the paragraph? My parents chose change over complacency, because they knew that change was a prerequisite for progress.
OP kkhanb 1 / 2  
Jul 27, 2010   #5
thank you to all of you that have commented, i have been looking over it for the past few days and have made some changes. I would really appreciate it if you can let me know how it sounds now:

READ ABOVE
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jul 29, 2010   #6
After a month of living with my uncle, my father had earned enough money, working day and night as a taxi driver, for us to move into a small two-room apartment in Alexandria for the eight of us .

This is an excellent sentence. It's very well-constructed. I think the fact that the apartment had to accommodate 8 people should be mentioned in a separate sentence so that this one does not get too confusing.

I consider my past a means of shaping me into the individual I am today and I feel that my personal experiences will help me bring a distinctive perspective to X Law School.

This last sentence.. I think you can do something better. I could not come up with a suggestion, but I think if you catch that wave of inspiration you can tell something specific at the end here.
OP kkhanb 1 / 2  
Aug 3, 2010   #7
Thank you for your feedback

Another option for last paragraph:
My success so far is not only a testament to my intellectual ability, but also the strength of my determination. I understand fully the rigors associated with studying law, and I am prepared to dedicate as much time as it takes to understand its theories and practices. I believe that certain qualities distinguish a superior law school graduate: dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, the ability to argue and defend an opinion, and the ability to plan, research, and present a watertight case. These qualities are vital to law and can also reap extensive rewards in many other areas of life. I am ready, willing, and able to accept the challenges that I will face during law school, and I look forward to forging a successful career, both as a student and as an attorney. I look forward to law school as an opportunity to develop my most cherished personal characteristics. My analytical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills will help me become a competent attorney, and I am anxious to embark on this next stage of my career at X Law School.

im not sure how to combine this all in a few sentences. any suggestions?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Aug 5, 2010   #8
This paragraph is very good, as you probably already know.
I see a cliche, though! I am ready, willing, and able to accept the challenges...
simpler is better. :-)

And you said 'law school' too many times, so I'll cross it out here:
I am ready to accept the challenges that I will face during law school , and I look forward to forging a successful career, both as a student and as an attorney.

I like it!!


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