Critique, please and thankyou.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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dibs
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:15 pm

Critique, please and thankyou.

Postby dibs » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:03 pm

I don't know what a personal statement should look like, no matter how much I read about them.

I've written many personal statements to a variety of law schools, but none yet to the law school in my hometown. I'm Canadian and not to many of you will be familiar with it, so I'll have to lay out some context.

The University of Calgary Faculty of Law has a pretty harmonious relationship with the Oil and Gas industry and Corporate Calgary, however it is also well known for being a more mature school who takes a holistic approach to applications. Work experience, diversity, maturity, community involvement, public intrest, etc. are all considerable factors. Indeed the average age is somewhere around 26-28.

Since it is my hometown school, and given that I work in Oil and Gas here, AND knowing what I know about their applications, I wanted to create a very passionate statement that connects me to the city, and why that is important for a smaller law school.

It is very different in tone and style from what I've written before, so I'm apprehensive and would really appreciate an unbiased perspective. I haven't had the 500 word limitation yet, so that has also presented some difficulty relating to background information.

This is a first draft. Be gentle:

Calgary is my home. I was born here in 1983 to parents who came to this city for its growing opportunity. This is the ‘Heart of the New West’, driven by a pioneer spirit, relentless determination, and a vibrant culture of success.

My Dad came here from Thunder Bay, my Mom from Winnipeg. Both had very diverse backgrounds, educations, and experiences. Yet both ended up this booming industry and both become attached to the big city that felt like a small town.

The same electricity which drew them across the country exists in me. Living here for 27 years has instilled within me a desire make an impact; on my community and on my neighbours. A Calgarian is not someone who sits by and watches life as a keen observer, or someone who accepts a status quo not agreed with. We are the arbiters of change, infused with passion and the perseverance to ensure it.

This spirit of Calgary has manifested itself in the way I have lived my life, through athletics and community outreach, and through academic struggles and personal tragedy. I have been a part of teams and initiatives, personal or professional, which have accomplished many wonderful things.

My involvement with SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) has allowed me to give back to the home which has given me so much, developing and implementing projects of financial literacy, economic sustainability, and hope. Partnering with Junior Achievement has allowed me to kindle the same excitement amongst the forthcoming generation, so that they may continue and grow upon the strides we have made. Spending every Halloween throughout school going door-to-door for the Inter-Faith Food Bank has allowed me to connect with my neighbours and put a face on those who we Calgarians refuse to let suffer.

I have taken this perspective with me into the workforce, so often lost amidst ‘Corporate’ Calgary, and I have waved the flag. Working in Supply Management has allowed me to create and administer a great deal of contracts and participate in numerous negotiations. It is absolutely essential that the integrity of all relationships and transactions is preserved, and I both understand and appreciate the importance the law plays in this. It is also essential that the integrity of my involvement is preserved, and to that end I give thanks to the city of Calgary. It has shaped who I am, what I believe, and how approach every day.

There is a saying that has been quoted and referenced throughout history, as it is an integral principle to building the foundation of the future. Nanos gigantum humeris insidentes. Dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants. I stand upon the shoulders of the citizens of Calgary who came before me, from Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, and across the world, and I will be an important part of Calgary’s future.

zaw
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:04 pm

Re: Critique, please and thankyou.

Postby zaw » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:42 pm

What I gathered from your statement:
Why Calgary is an amazing place with a lot of history.

What I did not gather from your statement:
Why you should be admitted to law school.

Also, on a much smaller note, electricty doesn't draw things in as much as magnetism does. I suggest fine tuning your metaphor.

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dibs
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:15 pm

Re: Critique, please and thankyou.

Postby dibs » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:53 pm

thanks, zaw. my biggest problem with it as well. i also should note that the UofC website metnions the statement should be written about why i want a legal education, so i guess i completely missed the boat.

i'll update tomorrow with something totally different.

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dibs
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:15 pm

Re: Critique, please and thankyou.

Postby dibs » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:39 am

As promised. It is only 368 words, so there are 132 words with which to expand the statement if necessary. Maybe by adding a little bit of the Calgary connection at the end? Maybe some more detail around the example? Please comment. Thanks.

What is Force Majeure? Company Right to Defend? What about Termination for Cause? I have asked these questions, and many more, throughout the course of my career.

I work in Supply Management in Calgary’s Oil and Gas industry, in keeping with my undergraduate education. Supply Management is an important part of any organization, driving costs out of the bottom line through operational management. It is multi-faceted and embraces many disciplines. The function with which I am involved goes hand-in-hand with the application of the law. I work with the negotiation, development, and implementation of contractual obligations between my company and its clients and customers.

Last year I found myself in a senior position, suddenly responsible for an entire category of spend throughout North American Operations. This challenge has been a very important learning experience for me, but while I have successfully evolved in the position, the process led me to discover that I want to return to my education.

My involvement entails both a micro and macro understanding of legalities. I perform detailed analysis of terms and conditions, their implications, and expansive discussions surrounding proposed contracts. I correlate these with the big picture of the company, its environment, and the marketplace.

During one of numerous negotiations, I remember sitting across from a sales representative, flanked by two members of his company’s legal counsel, and feeling overwhelmed. Yes, I had my own legal representatives present, but to hear them talk and dissect contractual minutiae was intimidating. I understood the generalities of the terms and the relative meanings, but I didn’t really understand why. Not at the core. Not as someone with a legal education would understand them.

As I engage in my daily work, executing the same processes with different parties and different circumstances, I learn a little more about how the law affects the integrity of all transactions and relationships. I know now that I would I like to know it more intimately, and ultimately represent the companies I will possibly work for as their legal counsel.

I will further my education. I believe the most effective and relevant way for me to do so is by graduating from the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary.
Last edited by dibs on Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dibs
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:15 pm

Re: Critique, please and thankyou.

Postby dibs » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:23 pm

*bump*




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