Please help critique my personal statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
chardy
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Please help critique my personal statement

Postby chardy » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:41 pm

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Last edited by chardy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TTTennis
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby TTTennis » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:52 pm

In my opinion, your paper focuses more on how bad your life was, rather than how you overcame those obstacles and the lessons you learned from them. You want to show the adcomms that despite adversity you achieved something. Obviously, by graduating from college (with the experience you went through), you achieved something great. However, your essay does not focus on this. Concisely and briefly explain some of the adversity you went through, then use the rest of the essay to show (not tell) everything you have accomplished and how you went about doing that.

eudaimondaimon
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby eudaimondaimon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:06 pm

Wow. Sounds like you've had a rough time and have really struggled to get where you are now. A thousand kudos for that.

However, I'm honestly a bit put-off by the tone of the statement. It places too much emphasis on the negatives, and just overwhelms with the tragic details. Include some if you want, but only if they really speak to your character. As it stands I don't really see you in the statement. I see a terribly unfortunate situation, but I'm not particularly moved by it, nor impressed, nor even made feel a great deal of empathy. These could all be achieved better by focusing on your accomplishments. You hardly even mention working for the Senate, which should be featured much more in your piece.

What I would do upon rewriting it is:

a) Mention your accomplishments in your introduction. Impress me first.
b) Then mention the hardships you had to overcome. This will make your accomplishments only more impressive.
c) Integrate lessons you have learned in the face of your difficulties into an argument for why you would be successful as a lawyer.
d) Focus on your future, not your past. Biographical information in these statements is only useful as far as it implies your success in things to come.

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JordynAsh
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby JordynAsh » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:10 pm

Read the first two paragraphs. Tone is off, a bit melodramatic and perhaps a bit whiny. Focus on what you've done, not how freaking amazing it is that you've done it. Your overcoming obstacles is great, but not if you bash adcomms over the head with it.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:20 pm

I would really recommend you don't make this a biography of the trials of your life.
Focus on one event, one thing that made you who you are and set you up to be a successful lawyer, and don't make this about 'resilience,' or at least don't specifically say it's about resilience. This is what about 80% of applicants write about. Be down to earth. Don't sensationalize. Make sure that when someone reads your PS, they don't just get this moody, dark, cloudy feeling, but really feel the positive, ambitious and competent aspects of your personality.

chardy
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby chardy » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:43 pm

Wow. Thanks a lot so far for all of your comments. They are extremely helpful as I had a feeling that it would read like this. What I'm struggling with, however, is how to elaborate on myself when I feel like I've all done really is graduate college. I've haven't done much outside of the fact that I worked really hard in college to do well. Is there a suggestion at all on how to distinguish myself even though I haven't done anything extraordinary, like volunteer work, etc. Thanks again for everyone's help.

eudaimondaimon
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby eudaimondaimon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:50 pm

chardy wrote:What I'm struggling with, however, is how to elaborate on myself when I feel like I've all done really is graduate college. I've haven't done much outside of the fact that I worked really hard in college to do well. Is there a suggestion at all on how to distinguish myself even though I haven't done anything extraordinary, like volunteer work, etc. Thanks again for everyone's help.


Honestly, I'm in the same boat as you. Consider it a test of making the best you can out of what you've got. That is, essentially, what they're looking for anyway.

chardy
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement (UPDATED)

Postby chardy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:52 am

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Last edited by chardy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Zannie1986
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby Zannie1986 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:05 am

I'd say this redraft is 10x better than the original, the way you're framing things, citing your growth and maturity through chaos, i think is really a lot more profound/moving.

eudaimondaimon
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby eudaimondaimon » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:36 am

Awesome rewrite. 1,000x better.

chardy
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby chardy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:52 am

Thank you very much for your help. eudaimondaimon's comments in particular were extremely helpful so thanks.

william wallace
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby william wallace » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:59 am

It's much better now. No one mentioned this, but you did it anyways. It seems you mention a different brother in your second draft. I was going to advise you not to mention your older brother in the first draft. Not that he's a bad person, but because he is not you. It just seems irrelevant that he is in law school. That's just me. Anyways, you took him out and used your other brother's example to tell why you are interested in helping others. Great. Are you done with this or still looking for more suggestions?

chardy
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby chardy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:21 am

Thanks william wallace for your comments. No I am not done as I plan to send my applications this weekend so any other comments would greatly be appreciated.

eudaimondaimon
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby eudaimondaimon » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:26 am

chardy wrote:Thanks william wallace for your comments. No I am not done as I plan to send my applications this weekend so any other comments would greatly be appreciated.


FYI: You've a pm.

william wallace
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Re: Please help critique my personal statement

Postby william wallace » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:03 pm

okay then i would try to expand on the UG years. I see you did balance a tough load. Maybe describe your part-time job and class load for a specific, hard semester. That way you would show in more detail your multi-tasking abilities. It may be in your resume or transcripts already so I don't know.

Overall it looks great to me, so I will see if I can come up with anything else.

Glad you have overcome hardships in your life.




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