« on: September 07, 2007, 04:38:43 AM »
I am finding it difficult to write my personal statement. Give me a question regarding history, and I'll put forward a thesis and defend it with solid research and cogent writing. However, the PS seems to be a completely different beast in that it's, well, personal. I lean heavily toward privacy, but I realize that in order to craft a truly personalized statement I must open up and share myself with the audience. This has been notably challenging for me.
In some respects, I do have an interesting story to tell. For instance, I was born with a birth defect that presented--and continues to present--social difficulties for me, many of which I have since overcome, but some of which continue to tax me. The ongoing struggle with this issue, however, is not what I wish to express. Rather, I wish to convey how my circumstances and challenges have helped to shape the character I have today. I do feel we are, in many respects, a product of our experiences. I know that my struggles with my birth defect have undeniably had an effect on my life, as well as on my decision to enter law. But I cannot help feel as if it's somehow manipulative to include this, as if I am using this inherent obstacle as a vehicle for entrance into law school.
As if this weren't enough, another dramatic circumstance poses difficulty in presenting: the death of my teenage brother. Normally, I would think it inappropriate to include the death of others in a personal statement. What's the relevance? I have looked inward frequently as of late, however, and I wonder whether the circumstances of his death did not shape my sense of justice and my pursuit of law as a career.
My brother died en route to another hospital, after the original hospital neglected to treat his medical emergency. My parents successfully pursued a settlement with the hospital for neglecting to provide proper care to my brother. The death traumatized my family, as I'm sure many other families have experienced grief after losing loved ones. The circumstances of my brother's death and the resulting lawsuit, though, lent to me a certain understanding of how we pursue justice in this nation.
Furthermore, it taught me what grave consequences exist for the gross negligence of life--both in the emotional pain experienced by those who have lost and by those who are financially penalized for their negligence. That such a painful loss can be filtered through the relative civility of our legal system has given me a great admiration for law, and has imbued me with a sense of duty in maintaining its integrity. On the cusp of entering law school, I am already self-assured in my choice of health law as a professional focus, and I attribute this confidence largely to what occurred in the above lines.
Should I include these indelible but dramatic impressions?
Now that I am in the process of writing my PS, this remains a burning question. Have any others felt this way? I realize this may be an awkward post to respond to, but I'd appreciate insights, views, and recommendations.
Thank you for reading.