Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
SalsaLaw
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby SalsaLaw » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:29 am

Autarkh - Wow. Thanks for noticing the "foster" slip up. Definitely not intended.

Appreciate your comments. I'd ask the same thing I asked earlier of Bees about my tone. Was it out of control? I deliberately changed it twice (thus creating 3 separate tones). Is it not obvious this was my intent? I don't have a problem with the tone shifts...I would have a problem with an adcomm not recognizing that I was doing this on purpose.

Thanks again.

Dan - Does your comment mean you made it past 'Tis? Or was that all she wrote?

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autarkh
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby autarkh » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:39 am

Salsa,

For the second "foster" let me suggest "catalyze," which I think conveys your meaning and calls back to the chemistry class.

As for tone, I don't know. The essay is well-written enough that it seems deliberate -- but it does also feel a little "out of control". I'd ruminate on it. There's no way to complete the final draft in one sitting. You need some temporal distance before you can look at it again objectively.

SalsaLaw
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby SalsaLaw » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:46 am

Agreed. It's 4:45 am here and I'm running on 2 hours of sleep from the night before anyway (I have an addiction to poker and skydiving...poker consumed me last night). I'll look at it more tomorrow. I probably shouldn't have written it on so little sleep to begin with. Thanks for the catalyze suggestion. I'm going to let it marinate. Have a good one.

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beef wellington
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby beef wellington » Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:10 am

It's good enough once you get past all the bullshit up front. Seriously, you're not as clever as you think you are. Get rid of the entire first graph, it's obnoxious and masturbatory.

The rest is good though. But get rid of the last two sentences, they make no sense and you're not cute.

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Genki
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby Genki » Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:42 am

beef wellington wrote:But get rid of the last two sentences, they make no sense and you're not cute.


+1

This might have worked if it tied into a story or theme used in the paper, but it doesn't. get rid of it.

Also, this story took place years ago with no connection to you today. It is a touching story, but not told well to help me learn about you as a person. Too focused on other things. You spent as much time talking about your farther as you did about yourself. I understand why you wrote the first sentence, the contrast in mood between the first and second paragraphs emphasizes the weight of the situation. However, I still feel like the space could be used more effectively. Although the mood of the first sentence serves a purpose, I didn't feel that the content of the paragraph added to the paper.

DanInALionsDen
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby DanInALionsDen » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:07 am

SalsaLaw wrote:
Dan - Does your comment mean you made it past 'Tis? Or was that all she wrote?


I read the whole thing. If you agree to lose the 'Tis, then read on:

I like the present tense. Keep it I say.

Lose the "Now," in "Now this is not my world." It's superfluous.

It needs to be longer. Talk more about your exchanges with the lawyers, and what about them so inspired you, since that's your whole schtick here.

Also expand on the part where you discuss having always been interested in law, and how your experience regarding your father informed, guided, or crystallized that desire. As it is now, the last bit where you say that you were always interested in law diminishes or even overturns the impact of the rest of the statement. It reads like: "And in conclusion, I was always going to be a lawyer anyway, so everything I just said was bullshit. I just wanted to present you with a sentimental story in order to pretend that it had led me into the study of law, when in fact I was going to be a lawyer either way."

That's all I've got for now.

DanInALionsDen
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby DanInALionsDen » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:10 am

Just kidding, I've got more.

Lose the part where you talk about dancing on the law and not adhering to it. You need to be more careful about the implication of your words. You make it sound like you plan to try to bend the law to your own desires, even at the risk of perverting it.

The salsa bit is stupid and has no relevance to anything, so don't worry about losing some really creative metaphor by dropping the last few lines. :wink:

engineer
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby engineer » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:30 am

This is a wonderfully engaging piece of prose, but...

I don't know why you want to be a lawyer. Moreover, I don't know why X law school should admit you. All this statement does is show that an extrinsic factor is propelling your interest in law. Not to downplay the seriousness of what you and your family are going through, but this statement almost feels contrived. I don't mean for a second to sound disdainful, but I just feel like if you want to go this route, you should try to illustrate how this situation has changed you and how it makes you perfectly suited for a legal career.

Right now, this shows that you can write, and that's certainly something they're looking for. However, I think this would be better used as the 250-word piece that Yale asks for (in addition to a personal statement). Your personal statement is your chance to show them that you're more than a number.

For what it's worth, I took a similar approach with my PS. If you want to read it, I can PM it to you.

narkizopoint
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby narkizopoint » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:09 am

'Tis wasn't due when Dickens was using it.

You keep asking if the "tone" was out of control after a couple posters mentioned it did not work. I will say it flatly, yes, it is out of control. Only the most adroit writers can successfully mix tones effectively to advance their objectives. It does look like you mixed in too much MW2, like you wrote a little-got stuck-played some games and then went back to it. Now that you have a solid rough draft together with some really constructive criticism, try to sit down and write a cohesive piece of prose that is uniform and clear.

Good luck.

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$1.99
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby $1.99 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:02 pm

"you are not as clever as you think you are"

i think this is what the adcoms will think when they read it

Big Dog
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby Big Dog » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:15 pm

This reminds me too much of a trite essay: I threw the game winning touchdown (undergrad college), and a family member got sick so I want to go to med school (well, prior to the "aforementioned" sickness, I also wanted to be a doctor).

Look at it another way, since you were fighting with the government, this essay could just as easily be written for 'Why I want to attend the (Kennedy school of) Public Policy', or 'Why I want to go into politics'.

Gah.

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beef wellington
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby beef wellington » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:18 pm

I happen to think the topic is fine. Not every PS has to be a Why Law School or Why School X essay. Sometimes when you're doing one of these about overcoming hardship there's just no good way to integrate the whole Why Law School thing in there. OP's actually does it better than most. If you do have really concrete reasons and goals for going to law school then it's likely a good idea to do your PS on that. But not every 0L knows exactly what kind of law she wants to practice. If you're one of us, I think a well-written PS that gives a sense of who you are as a person is just fine.

lawschoolstudent85
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby lawschoolstudent85 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:28 pm

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Last edited by lawschoolstudent85 on Tue May 11, 2010 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nyjag22
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby nyjag22 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:47 pm

Despite what some say, I liked your PS. I would get rid of "aforementioned" because if you simply say "this experience" we all know to which one you are referring. I would also fix up the last few lines to further show how this experience has emboldened your desire to become an attorney. Nicely done though, your piece was memorable.

p.s. I would eliminate 'Tis

icydash
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby icydash » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:06 pm

Gotta be honest, the entire first paragraph sounded like something from a creative writing class (i think someone previously said this).

["'Tis another day in 10th grade Chemistry Honors class. Stoichiometry and I have decided to spend some time together – a date perhaps. She has some insight as to why Oxygen thinks Hydrogen is so nice, that it seeks it twice. This juicy tidbit is going to have to wait.[...]..Opening the door to the front office, I am certain there will be plenty of time for us to get reacquainted. Soon enough, the jest, as well as everything else I am certain about, will change. "]

This is honestly really bad....for a few reasons. The rhyming and the obvious "trying way too hard" style of writing; it makes your essay sound like a joke. It's to the point that adcoms may even think you're making fun of the personal statement. It's immediately apparent this is not your typical style of writing, and you're trying to be someone else in your essay. Nobody writes like this. You shouldn't either.

DanInALionsDen wrote:
SalsaLaw wrote:
So far there is an overwhelming amount of hate on T'is. I'm fairly certain I've never used it before. I thought it was due. No?



No. I get that you're trying to develop a voice here, but this is a personal statement, not some bullshit short story for a freshman year intro. to creative writing class.
+1

It also doesn't serve any purpose in your overall theme. I'd pretty much cut the entire first paragraph to one sentence. Also, some of your word choice makes it seem like you wrote the paragraph in Word, then right clicked on words here and there and replaced them with their synonyms (ie jest? aforementioned?).

$1.99 wrote:"you are not as clever as you think you are"

i think this is what the adcoms will think when they read it
+1


Your essay didn't tell me much as an adcom. It briefly explained --one reason-- you want to pursue law... but in the essay you mentioned you wanted to pursue law before this whole event, so it's not even your "aha!" moment. It just doesn't tell me a lot about you. What I suggest you do is work backwards. Make a list of all your most admirable traits that will --help you to succeed in law school.-- Then, using this story/event as a guide, show (don't tell) how you acquired/used those traits to make you who you are today.

What adcoms are usually looking for are three things: (1) why does this person want to study law (2) how can he/she bring a diverse point of view to the classroom (3) does he/she have any qualities that make us believe he/she can be successful when taking on the intense rigors of law school and beyond (success in your professional life).
^^edited to be female friendly for Bees.

Get inside the minds of the committee, understand what they're looking for and how to portray these things throughout your essay, and it will be infinitely stronger in the end.
Last edited by icydash on Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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bees
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby bees » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:09 pm

icydash wrote: What adcoms are usually looking for are three things: (1) why does this person want to study law (2) how can he bring a diverse point of view to the classroom (3) does he have any qualities that make us believe he can be successful when taking on the intense rigors of law school and beyond (success in your professional life).


No women in law school. Ever.

icydash
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby icydash » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:15 pm

bees wrote:
icydash wrote: What adcoms are usually looking for are three things: (1) why does this person want to study law (2) how can he bring a diverse point of view to the classroom (3) does he have any qualities that make us believe he can be successful when taking on the intense rigors of law school and beyond (success in your professional life).


No women in law school. Ever.


lol edited my original post to be female friendly for you. Didn't realize people where so sensitive.

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rikkitikki
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby rikkitikki » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:50 pm

-good material to work with, but needs some thematic and structural work.

-your dad's blood and sweat 'literally' put a roof over your head? It's ambiguous which figurative statement you are referring to, if not both, so unless your roof was 'literally' made of your dad's blood and sweat, I would lose the 'literally'.

-you describe what must have been a very intense emotional experience, but you seem to connect more with the lawyers than with the experience of your father's malady. instead of just saying "I changed", show how the event emotionally affected you in a way that led you to study Agent Orange, dedicate your life to law, etc.

-lose the "I want to defend others who can't defend themselves." It's cliche and, I assume, totally overused in law school PS's. If you really believe this, say HOW you will do it, not that you intend to do it.

-The first paragraph is a good set-up for the intense drama that follows, but it goes on too long and is too fanciful. I got bored.

-Lose the 'tis. Seriously. I 'literally' rolled my eyes and took the PS less seriously as soon as I read that. Don't handicap yourself with the first word.

lawhawk
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby lawhawk » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:58 pm

It's interesting I dont really know if it's good or bad, but its unique. One thing I recommend is that if you're going to be creative you've got to be quick. The longer you write funny the more of a chance the reader wont like it. Try to limit your paper to 450-500 words. I think you can do that, too. Be brief and your voice will really POP (which is what you want!)

CMDantes
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby CMDantes » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:15 pm

DanInALionsDen wrote:I got to "T'is" then stopped reading.

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Gefuehlsecht
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby Gefuehlsecht » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:57 am

Cut the thirst and the T'is. You aren't Dracula. Actually, the whole chemistry bit is useless and not that engaging. Get rid of the Salsa, too. Find another way to end this since the evolution part is a bit clunky to say the least.

Leave the part about your father and how you deal with that situation. That's good.

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Relientkate
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Re: Bit of a risk...But not shy. Let me have it.

Postby Relientkate » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:35 pm

Gefuehlsecht wrote:Cut the thirst and the T'is. You aren't Dracula. Actually, the whole chemistry bit is useless and not that engaging. Get rid of the Salsa, too. Find another way to end this since the evolution part is a bit clunky to say the least.

Leave the part about your father and how you deal with that situation. That's good.

+1




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