Personal Statement Topic: Too Much/Risky?

chacohgoechacohgoe Monthly Member

I wanted to write a PS that details abuse I suffered during childhood. Is this too much for admissions committees/will they report it to anyone? Sorry if these are dumb questions, I just want everything on my application to go well.


  • HopefullyHLSHopefullyHLS Alum Member
    445 karma

    I am not an admissions committee member, so please take whatever I write with a grain of salt:

    Based on my understanding, the question should not be whether it will be "too much" for the admissions committee, but whether it serves the purpose of a Personal Statement. The purpose (or, at least, part of the purpose) is not to demonstrate that you had/have challenges in your life, but that you overcame them.

    Therefore, I would not spend too much space in analyzing the details of the actual abuse you suffered. Instead, I would focus on what challenges this experience has brought into your life and what the likely underlying mechanism has been (e.g. detrimental effects on your mental health --> difficulty to trust people in general --> struggling to make friends / collaborate in work environment etc.), how you managed to overcome them, and how that positive outcome is reflected (e.g. achievements in areas where you previously struggled precisely because of that challenge).

  • andrew.rsnandrew.rsn Alum Member
    831 karma

    I absolutely agree with @HopefullyHLS - Your personal statement should highlight your own personal journey in a way that shows your values and strength. Definitely make the bulk of the PS about how you persevered and how this fueled your desire to enter the field of law. I'm assuming that there is a connection.

  • galacticgalactic Yearly Member
    690 karma

    I think you can include it in your essay, but I would focus more on the progress you have made in your adult life to overcome and become a better person. Echoing @HopefullyHLS and @"andrew.rsn".

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    If you have some doubts, maybe consider a topic change, or at least ask some people to read it before you submit.

  • daviddubosejrdaviddubosejr Alum Member
    24 karma

    I wrote my statement on my struggle with addiction and went over it with my pre law advisor and he said it was great. Just tell your story without trauma dumping on them. Explain what it was how it affected you and what you did to overcome it and how it has made you the person you are today.

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