Non-Traditional PS. I'm happy to swap as well.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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SMUDallas2010
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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:00 pm

Non-Traditional PS. I'm happy to swap as well.

Postby SMUDallas2010 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:53 am

Thanks in advance.

I just completed my 5th full year of selling residential real estate. Even in our currently sluggish real estate market 2009 will go down in the books as my most successful sales year in my career. I also finished in the top 1% of all agents in the country in sales production. Despite this success I am left feeling dissatisfied with my career and my profession. I began considering law school back in the fall of 2008 when I realized I am nothing more than a purveyor of customer service and will never be a negotiator in the truest sense of the word. I know every real estate contract like the back of my hand yet I am prohibited from explaining it’s legal ramifications or adding any legal verbiage that may assist in my client’s negotiating position. I have grown tired of these limitations and I don’t feel as though I am living up to my professional capabilities. I want to do more for clients. More importantly, I can do more for them.

I imagine negotiating residential real estate is much different than most other business negotiations since emotion is involved on a much deeper level. Market analyses mean nothing to a seller who feels his or her house is worth much more than what the numbers might say. Numbers also mean very little to a buyer who is looking for a deal. It’s also not uncommon for my clients to instruct me how to negotiate deals because they “participated in negotiation competitions in college”. I have learned to accept these clients as occupational hazards. On the other hand, I have many clients that rely on my advice and opinion to structure a deal that they are happy with. To me, these clients are the most fulfilling because they allow me to utilize my true talents and problem solving skills. Probably the most aggravating aspect of my current career is the lack of a professional standard when it comes to other real estate agents. The professionalism spectrum runs far and wide which is to be expected when the only requirements to sit for a real estate exam is a GED and to be 18 years of age. One week I can be negotiating a smooth transaction with an agent who sells 100 homes a year and then watch a deal fall apart the next because the other agent sells 1 home every 2 years. Unfortunately in both of these scenarios a successful transaction doesn’t come down to a battle of wits.

After receiving my law degree I see myself going in three possible directions. First, I could see myself becoming a real estate attorney at a law firm in Dallas. My professional background would certainly help me in this scenario and I can utilize all of the first hand experience I have gained over the past 6 years selling real estate. Second, I could see myself becoming a civil litigator. Many of my close friends are litigators for law firms in Dallas and after many conversations with them I could see myself enjoying this career path. I also like the fact that SMU has a Civil Litigator Clinic where I can get my feet wet and see if it is going to be a potential career. Finally, I may decide to simply continue to operate my real estate business and expand by hiring associates and growing my own brokerage. It’s frightening how quickly real estate disputes can become lawsuits and having a broker who is also a licensed attorney can be invaluable to those associates working within the brokerage. To my knowledge there are no brokers in Dallas who are also licensed attorneys. I have already started this process by getting my broker’s license and I will be forming my own brokerage in the coming months. While I can see myself going in any of these three directions I am perhaps most excited about the overall exposure law school will offer into the many areas of law I am not aware of but may develop an interest in.

Given my work experience and my graduate school experience I have developed a confidence in my abilities I did not have when I was younger. Now I know (thanks to graduate school) that I am capable of achieving a 4.0 GPA if I study hard and actually put in the hours required to be academically successful while working 40 hours a week. I know what it’s like to spend 2 months putting together a comprehensive business plan and then execute it successfully. I know that it is more important to go with your gut instincts even if you fail because owning your own failures makes owning your successes that much sweeter. It is these successes and failures that have made me a successful real estate professional and they will also make me successful in law school.

Attending SMU’s evening program will allow me to continue selling real estate during law school. I have 2 associates that will assist my clients should conflicts arise with class. They will also assist during the weeks leading up to finals. I have already developed a business plan for 2010 that includes starting law school in August. I am confident I will be able to balance both work and school. While I anticipate the academic rigor and difficulty to be far greater than my graduate school experience I am no stranger to working 80 plus hour weeks to achieve a desired goal and law school will not be an exception. My first-hand experience with real estate contracts and my (limited) understanding of real estate law will allow me to add a unique real-world perspective to the classroom. My work experience along with my age has mellowed me out quite a bit from my intense younger days. I tend to be more objective and I have learned to listen and absorb before speaking. I’m not sure how much this will contribute to the classroom experience but it has assisted me in my everyday life and is something I continue to work on.

I'm aware I don't have a conclusion and would welcome any advice.

Go easy on the grammar and punctuation. Not my strong suit and will be fixed. Interested in the impact it makes on you. Do you feel like you know a lot about me? What else do you want to know that I can answer here that will show you I'll be successful in law school?

Thanks again. Shoot me an email if you want to swap. jeff@duffeyhomes.com.

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booboo
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:39 pm

Re: Non-Traditional PS. I'm happy to swap as well.

Postby booboo » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:04 am

PM'd.

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SMUDallas2010
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Non-Traditional PS. I'm happy to swap as well.

Postby SMUDallas2010 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:27 am

Thanks Booboo. Any other tips that jump out at anyone regarding my structure? Any ideas come to you for a conclusion?

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Sauer Grapes
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:02 am

Re: Non-Traditional PS. I'm happy to swap as well.

Postby Sauer Grapes » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:35 am

....
Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SMUDallas2010
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Non-Traditional PS. I'm happy to swap as well.

Postby SMUDallas2010 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:05 pm

Thanks for the tips. The 2nd paragraph is definitely coming out. You're the 3rd person to mention that. Appreciate it.

mattymatt
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:58 pm

Re: Non-Traditional PS. I'm happy to swap as well.

Postby mattymatt » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:53 pm

Your situation is a bit different from mine, and from most it seems. Applying to the Evening program after working in the real world for six years has different implications as far as your qualifications and a PS topic go. That being said, all I can gather from this PS is that you're really into real estate, and that you want to go to law school to supplement your work in real estate. One of the few things I learned about you from your PS that might not be apparent from your application file in general is what you might do after you get the degree, but I don't think that's quite as "personal" as a PS should be.

Also, it's good that you have a business plan to make the balance between work and school happen, but I'm not sure if your PS is the right place to talk about it.

Overall, it reads more like a career plan than a PS.

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SMUDallas2010
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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Non-Traditional PS. I'm happy to swap as well.

Postby SMUDallas2010 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:29 pm

Thanks MattyMatt. I appreciate the feedback. The SMU application also has another (optional) essay that is for scholarship purposes. That is where I am planning on discussing more personal issues. Then they also require a separate paragraph regarding my interest in the part-time program. I only mention that to give some background into what the application is asking of me.

My thought process is to:

1. discuss why and want to go to law school and what I plan on doing there. (My personal statement.)

2. Discuss more personal topics about my social growth in college and how I'm now a huge academic supporter which was not the case when I was in college. (Optional Scholarship Essay)

3. Explain why the PT program and SMU in particular makes the most sense for me. (The PT program essay)

My hope is that when one person reads all 3 of these they will have a more well rounded sense of who I am.

You thoughts on this are also welcomed.




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