Law School Discussion

Please critique this PS

Please critique this PS
« on: March 04, 2010, 11:09:53 AM »
Any help is appreciated. (This is a first/rough draft; please do not comment on typos and grammar.)

A combination of alcohol abuse and immaturity has left my earlier transcripts horrible. After suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the summer of 1997, I refused to be treated for the resultant depression. While my course work in high school did not falter, I was not prepared for the rigors of undergraduate collegiate studies. I should not have been in college at the time, but my immaturity kept me from getting the help that I needed. My performance at Minnesota State University-Moorhead was extremely poor, but I refused to seek treatment even after academic probations following the Spring 2000 and Spring 2001 terms. My last term at MSUM Spring 2003 also resulted in another academic probation.
   Under the advice of my father, I enrolled in a diploma program for electrical powerline. I had still not received treatment for depression or alcoholism, and as a result I performed poorly but nevertheless passed all the coursework. After working in the industry for ten months, I realized that I could not pursue a career in the electrical industry and I became even more depressed. I was subsequently arrested for a driving under the influence (my third such offense), and it was this mistake that was the catalyst for a change in my life.
   Under court orders, I received treatment for alcoholism. The program I was enrolled in consisted of three-hour classes, four nights a week, for five months. I also made the decision to see a psychiatrist. Not surprisingly, I was diagnosed with depression, most likely the result of the TBI I suffered. I was prescribed medicine, enrolled at Ridgewater College in Willmar, and did well. After completing my Associates of Arts, I transferred to St. Cloud State University where I have accumulated a 3.72 GPA and received a scholarship for overcoming difficulties in life. My academic record prior to the Summer 2007 semester is shameful, but it also a clear demarcation between when I had not received treatment and when I had completed the classes.

Re: Please critique this PS
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 11:11:56 AM »
Actually, that's an academic addendum. Wow, that would be the worst personal statement in the history of law school applications...

Re: Please critique this PS
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2010, 09:59:19 PM »
It's a little redundant. You've already stated your reason once. Maybe give reasons as to why you refused your treatments? You talked about your immaturity- what has made you more mature from before? It is my understanding that your addendum should only be 1 paragraph briefly stating why.


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Re: Please critique this PS
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 01:38:00 PM »
Indeed, this statement reads more like a contextualizing addendum versus a personal statement.  Remember, the tone of the statement should positively and proactively, instead of excusatory.  You can center it around a top such as alcoholism, but be sure to articulate how the experience helped you evolve as a person, showcase your ability to overcome the obstacle, and how this experience drove your pursuit of a JD. 

As a former admissions officer, it is key to submit a compelling statement that illustrates you in the most dynamic light - it is indeed your first impression, and your "interview on paper."

If you need more involved help with your personal statement, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Kal, Write Track Admissions