First Draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Carly_anna
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:12 am

First Draft

Postby Carly_anna » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:20 am

I just whipped this up, seems like it needs a lot of work but I'm not quite sure what or where...

Looking for an objective take on this PS

“Mi hija, you are stubborn just like your mother. You will never get married with that kind of attitude. Why don’t you settle down with a nice man and start a family?” Not surprisingly, my proposal to pursue a career in law was met with disdain and contempt by my Grandfather. Being a single child in a Hispanic family is hard: especially if you have the misfortune of being a daughter. Although younger generations are changing the tide in our favor, women’s roles in Latino society are mostly delegated to the home. In other words, I am supposed to make babies, not think. (be a mother/not a student)
Growing up in a stereotypical Chicano family has revealed to me exactly what I don’t want for myself. My mother is a prime example of how women can be casualties of an uneducated way of thinking. My mother was taught that family takes precedence over career. Instead of going to college she married my father, suffered through seven agonizing years of a loveless marriage and lost a lot of self-respect. She and my father separated while I was still an infant and for my entire childhood Uncle Sam put food on the table. I can remember one remarkable Christmas where a wrapped box of Ding Dongs sat triumphantly under the tree in one of our ‘low’ years. As it turns out, a domesticated woman is more of a liability than an asset in the 21st century.
My mother was set up for failure when she traded in her aspirations for those of her father’s. Because she was unable to go back in time and start over, she encouraged me to pursue every academic and extracurricular avenue I possibly could. I started my first job at the age of 12 in order to pay for cello lessons. By the time I graduated high school I worked 30 hours a week, ran track, and played recitals around town. Today I run on an all-academic cross country team, hold two jobs, act as president of the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, play with the local symphony, and manage to accomplish it all with a fairly impressive GPA. As tiring as it sounds, I really don’t see how I could have done it any differently. These experiences have helped me to grow as a leader and as a well-balanced person.

I chose to pursue a career in law so that I could be the voice for people who, because of their circumstances, cannot speak for themselves. My mother has taught me so much in such a strange way. Her experiences are only a few out of many that have shown me how mentally and physically damaging passiveness can be. Although we were able to overcome the obstacles presented by our race and gender, there are thousands of people who need help facing their own unique challenges.

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lostjake
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Re: First Draft

Postby lostjake » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:14 am

Are you sure your major was in English? I'm seriously not sure if this was meant to be a flame or not, considering this was your first post, and this PS is just...

Anyway.

The good:
The reference to the ding dongs was good, brought up a picture in my mind.

Bad:
The quote in the start was laughable, but not in a good way. I could literally feel the Adcomms eyes rolling as they read this. With your major in English, I would expect you to write a GREAT PS. You shouldn't call out your GPA in your PS, they'll know what it is.
In other words, I am supposed to make babies, not think. (be a mother/not a student)


Thanks, I'm sure Adcomms won't feel that you also insulted their intelligence either.

I think you seriously need to sit down and give this thing a good 7 hours and then repost. Go back to the sticky and see what they've done.

Carly_anna
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:12 am

Re: First Draft

Postby Carly_anna » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:43 am

Jeez, thanks for being objective. :?
I asked you what you thought about my paper not personally attack me.
Last edited by Carly_anna on Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Carly_anna
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:12 am

Re: First Draft

Postby Carly_anna » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:45 am

Also, the reference to the "I'm supposed to make babies, not think" wasn't asserting my views but making a point about what my grandfather was saying. Is that how it comes across?

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lostjake
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Re: First Draft

Postby lostjake » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:19 pm

I meant that its obvious what you meant, and we didn't need the
(be a mother/not a student)

Carly_anna
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:12 am

Re: First Draft

Postby Carly_anna » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:38 pm

Oh sorry, should have mentioned I was undecided about which phrase so I posted both. It wasn't meant to be read as being redundant.

Jph408
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: First Draft

Postby Jph408 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:19 pm

Are you applying for next cycle? If you are applying for this cycle, I don't think you'll have enough time to revise the PS to law school standards.

Besides that, I think you are off to a good start.

The Bad
The bulk of the essay talks about your Mom's experience and not yours. I did like hearing about your family situation growing up. Maybe if you presented it in a different way, like specific situations you witnessed growing up that had a profound effect on you not wanting the old school female role.

I kinda like your intro, but there is one thing about it that bugs me. Your grandfather says you are just like your mother, but in the meat of your essay you said she gave up her dreams to get married and raised a family. How can you (who rejected the role) be like her?

I think the part where you list your achievements belongs in a resume. If you are going to include it in there, then you have to show how they are important to your growth and development as a person or how they lead to your discovery that you want to be a lawyer.

I didn't understand why you want to be a lawyer. You essay shows me why you don't want the traditional female latino role, but you should link that to why you want to be a lawyer.

The Good
Looks like you have a wealth of personal history to draw from.
It looks like you know the direction you want to take this PS. You just have to tighten it up


It looks like maybe you started off trying to write concisely. I think this is a bad idea. In your next draft just write as much as you want. Say everything you want to say. Then you can see where you could have been more precise and make the changes accordingly. The end result should be a more coherent essay.

I what lostjake said about you has merit - Your essay should be better written since you are an English major. Although this is just your 1st draft, it sounds amateurish. I would expect a certain level of sophistication from someone who majored in English. Most likely an ADCOMM would too.

In summary, needs a lot of work but a good start. This is definitely something you can build on. Don't be discouraged, it took me around 20 drafts before I was satisfied with my PS.

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acrossthelake
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Re: First Draft

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:12 am

I'm going to echo the others here and say that this essay needs a rewrite.

I can see the theme you're trying to get at, but it's not presented as elegantly as you need it to be presented, nor do I think it addresses the key question AdComs have:

"Why should we admit you to our law school?"

The way you describe your mother also seems to somewhat hold her in contempt, which is uncomfortable. Is it necessary to even specify that it's your mother in particular that you have seen suffer from the sacrifices that many women in her generation made as part of social expectations?
I get the point you're trying to make that it's really important for a woman to independent, particularly financially independent. I agree completely and this also drives me. However, I don't think it's a strong point to answer that question.

Why should we admit you?

Your essay's answer(though you may not intend it to be this way) is thus:
Because I believe women should be financially independent, think my mom is a loser and don't want to be one also, and oh because we should help other people.

Not exactly the answer you want to give the committee, so I'd consider perhaps reworking it or even thinking of a new answer to the question that can draw upon other aspects of your life experiences and personality.

Carly_anna
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:12 am

Re: First Draft

Postby Carly_anna » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:20 pm

Thanks guys. I agree it's a pretty terrible example of my writing skills- probably because I wrote it in 20 minutes after an all nighter for a Biology class. It's not anything I was planning on using for my actual PS statement. I was just wondering if the actual subject would be something I could work with or if most people would take it as just another generic "poor hispanic female empowerment" essay.

jdhonest
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:31 pm

Re: First Draft

Postby jdhonest » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:23 pm

From the sandra cisneros guide to law school admission?

Jetsetter
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:50 am

Re: First Draft

Postby Jetsetter » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:05 am

I agree with the person who suggested you find stories to tell that are more about you and your experiences.

I also think the attitude in the essay towards women who choose to be stay at home mom's or focus on child rearing comes across really condescending.

My pre-law advisor suggested sitting down and sketching out 10 stories. You don't have to flesh them out and then take ask people which story ideas appealed to them most. This is a good start to that brainstorming process.

blsingindisguise
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Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: First Draft

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:09 am

jdhonest wrote:From the sandra cisneros guide to law school admission?


TYFT

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lostjake
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: First Draft

Postby lostjake » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:30 am

Just as a serious note....

your PS says two things. And two things only.


1. You have great writing/thinking skills. This shows that although your GPA and LSAT are one thing, you can write and convince people of things, two things a good lawyer should have.

2. That you can learn things. LEARN from experience. Learn. people. learn. If you have a PS, you should have learned something.

Also, most schools are liberal as f.... So learn something to that extent. If you're on this forum you should know that.




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