Law School Discussion

optional statement-advice please!

optional statement-advice please!
« on: October 23, 2013, 02:19:39 PM »
This is a draft for an optional statement, the prompt asks you what life events or experiences have had the greatest influence on your character and why. limit 500 words. I really wanted to write about running because it has had a hug impact on my life (added info on my resume-ran two years at BC, run for Boston Track Club, have completed 5 marathons) but now I think this just sounds stupid and generic, does anyone have any thoughts? Is this an okay direction or should I scratch it for something else? Thank you!!

A lot of things have happened in my life. My parents got divorced and family members and friends have died. I lived in Spain and re-built houses in rural West Virginia. All my experiences have contributed to who I am. But running has been a continual life journey that has had the greatest influence on my character. I have run every day for nine years. The skills and insight I have gained from running have allowed me to learn and grow from everything that I have been through. Running has shaped my personality and sharpened my best qualities; it stretches my curiosity for exploring places and ideas and improving myself.

The discipline and accountability I developed through running has translated into my academic and work performance. I have learned to achieve goals with both physical and mental endurance. Dedication is difficult, especially in the face of failure. I have been injured multiple times. I have finished last in races. My freshman year, I did not make the Boston College Cross Country team. During these trials I built the determination and confidence to pick myself up and try again. I developed an unwavering faith in tomorrow, in the next run and the next try. This mindset allowed me to not only earn a spot on the BC team my sophomore year, but also to overcome obstacles and excel in school, jobs, and service. My success in running is a reflection of my ability to sustain tolerance for a prolonged period of time. Growing as a runner has allowed me to grow in patience towards myself and those around me. I have worked with people who are difficult and people close to me have let me down. I approach these situations with an internal strength to resolve issues, help others, and thrive with continued passion and understanding. 

Running has altered my perspective of the world and has given me an overwhelming sense of appreciation. Few people have the privilege of running everyday, and each run acts as a reminder of the countless blessings in my life. I interact with other people and communities with the knowledge that I come from a position of tremendous opportunity and owe those around me everything I have. When I run, I am completely in the moment. The ability to be present in every moment allows me to fully give myself to others.
Training with talented runners and racing in marathons among thousands of people has given me a deep sense of humility. It easy to get caught up in myself. I have my own agenda and I have accomplished a lot. Running has taught me that life is not about me. Someone else is going to win the race, and countless will beat me. Very few people will know what school I go to or the success I have. But running has taught me to strive towards my best in spite of that, because I will make a difference in someone’s life, and that is enough.

Re: optional statement-advice please!
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 09:28:43 PM »
I actually think it is quite good it could use a few tweaks here and there, but I felt like I could identify with you and part of being a lawyer is being able to pick yourself up and deal with difficult situations. Athletics are often very good at teaching these qualities and many athletes turn out to be excellent lawyers.

If you want to personal message me I can do a track changes of the statement for a few minor tweaks, but I really think you have a solid statement here.

However, as an FYI the personal statement/optional statements do not help tremendously in law school admission decisions. They are used as a tie-breaker and 95% of the decision will rest on your GPA/LSAT.

If you want additional information about law school and the legal profession there are some solid posters on this board and I encourage you to use it.