Law School Discussion

Personal Statement 1st Draft...PLEASE offer suggestions

Personal Statement 1st Draft...PLEASE offer suggestions
« on: November 01, 2010, 11:05:53 AM »
I was 16 years old, free of worries and free of responsibility.  When my little brother and I heard the news, I knew that freedom was a time of the past.  Our idol, our hero, our dad was gone forever.  The times of me coasting through life without a real responsibility in the world would never return.  I was the new idol and hero of my eleven year old brother and the rock my mother would have to lean on and I could not and would not let them down.  Ever since that fatal tragedy struck our family, I accepted and relished the role of leadership and responsibility.  I have been leading my little brother and assisting my mother every day since that cold wintery night and will bring those valuable qualities to the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law.   
   This misfortune allowed me to develop essential leadership skills at an early age.  I love being a leader, solving problems, and helping those in need in whatever role I can.  These traits burn deep inside of me and I strongly believe that becoming a lawyer will allow me to lead and assist others through countless venues.  Becoming a lawyer has been a goal of mine for 5 years now and I intend on doing anything I have to do to make this dream become a reality.  I am very determined and ambitious and believe that I can be a valuable piece to the 2011 class at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. 
   I have led others in many different ways throughout the past couple of years.  I have organized a monthly cleanup of a local animal shelter in Little Rock, through my fraternity at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  I was elected Vice President of my pledge class in 2007 and after becoming a member, was elected as the social chair and intramural sports chair.  As social chair, I organized numerous social events that greatly increased social interest among the campus, which enlarged our yearly pledge class numbers by 25%.  During the summer of 2007, I participated in a ‘Vacation Bible School’ at a local church by teaching youth classes and acting out many roles in various skits and plays.  I greatly enjoyed leading and assisting the youth at the church throughout the week.  I participated in remodeling and landscape work on homes for the elderly at my church in Vilonia.  This was a great experience that I value deeply, assisting those in need.  Also, I prepared a local highway cleanup effort with my church through my hometown of Vilonia.  We had over 15 people pick up trash and clean up along Highway 64 in Vilonia.  These are just a few examples of me using my leadership skills in ways that assist other people and I believe that the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law can help me improve upon these skills in ways that can prove to be very beneficial to local communities as well as people needing assistance of any kind.  Also, it is my strong belief that if given the opportunity to attend UALR, I will put forth more than enough effort that is required of me and will exceed expectations through hard work and motivation. 
   The UALR William H. Bowen School of Law greatly interests me, because Little Rock is a remarkable city and I have future career goals of practicing law in the private sector in Little Rock.  Although, the private sector is my eventual goal, I would love to work in public interest law for a while here in Little Rock.  I truly believe that UALR can help me develop my leadership skills in ways that can greatly assist the public interest of Little Rock.  Another goal of mine, if given the chance, is to be very active in many different student organizations.  The UALR William H. Bowen School of Law has an extraordinary writing program and it would be an honor to be able to be involved in the school’s Law Review.  Also, it would be an honor to be a part of the Christian Legal Society, Federalist Society, and the Bowen Athletic Department.  I could bring intellectual and ethical ideas to any student organization and would thrive to be as involved as possible.
   In conclusion, since the unfortunate night that I was thrust into becoming a real leader, I have realized that leading, solving problems, and helping others is something I want to do forever.  I strongly believe that this experience helped mold the person I am today and that I can continue to grow at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law.  I would be able lead, provide assistance, and solve problems for the 2011 entering student class.  Also, I would be involved and provide leadership for numerous student organizations.  Gaining admittance to this school would propel a dream of mine into a reality and would not be taken for granted. 

Re: Personal Statement 1st Draft...PLEASE offer suggestions
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 06:45:10 PM »
Hi  :),

I think you have a good start! I have a few suggestions:

First, focus more on how your life experiences and community work shaped you as an individual and lead to your interest in law. Don't use the reason, "I want to help people" as a basis for pursuing a law degree. After all, if you want to help people you can always work at a homeless shelter, charity org., etc. instead of a law firm.

Second, focus less on what UALR WHB school of law can do for you and focus more on what you can do for the school. Put yourself in the admission committee's shoes. Would you accept a student who doesn't necessarily bring anything to your school or would you accept a student whose presence, intelligence, background and experience benefits the school? Admission Committees look for the latter student. And please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you don't have anything to offer. You clearly do but you need to be more specific.

Third, focus on something that makes you unique from other law school applicants. You mention how you lost your father (RIP), so how does that separate you from other applicants? Go into more detail about how you help/ed out your mother and how you were/are a mentor for your younger brother. Does any particular experience stand out as a focal point for wanting to purse a law degree? Or how does your position in the family provide the kind of experience deemed necessary or essential to pursue a law degree?

I hope my suggestions are of some help. Good luck to you.  :)


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Re: Personal Statement 1st Draft...PLEASE offer suggestions
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 08:47:43 AM »
Hi Lakers13,

I think your statement is indeed personal and does a good job conveying your leadership and how you have moved forward since the passing of your father.  But remember it is key that you do not appear divisive in your statement.  Discussion of religion, while it is important to you, should done with the utmost sensitivity and where you are welcoming of other faiths, as your class will likely be made up of many different believers or non-believers.  Also make sure to visit Bowen's website ( which has some fantastic information which makes it unique i.e. class size (15:1 student/faculty ratio) etc.  Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Re: Personal Statement 1st Draft...PLEASE offer suggestions
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 06:05:01 PM »
One minor quibble: I wouldn't repeat the full name of the school more than once at the beginning. Call it UALR afterward, the adcomm already knows where you're applying.