new personal statement - help me please!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
jtoppe2
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:41 pm

new personal statement - help me please!

Postby jtoppe2 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:51 pm

i trashed my old one cuz it was terrible. and i'm pretty sure this one is terrible too. you can be honest. thanks.

I know someone who was a sniper for the U.S. Marines. His job was, literally, to kill people – people someone somewhere had determined deserved to die. He is a decorated war hero. Befriending him made a huge difference in my life in that through him I learned that things can be relative. He did something that would land most people in jail or worse. Killing someone is wrong, unless the killer happens to be in the military or on the police force or a member of some other group of people who are exempt from our society’s usual norms.

And this fascinates me, how moral issues can be relative, how they can have an “it depends” attached to them. This is one reason I studied psychology as an undergraduate, so I could better understand how people draw lines between good and bad, right and wrong, and other similar concepts.

Let me give you another example. Two people, similar in all respects, break into different pharmacies on the same night. One steals drugs to sell to support a drug habit, the other steals drugs that his sick daughter needs. Both are arrested, charged with the same crime. In an absolute way, each is guilty as charged. But in a relative way, one is more guilty than the other. One deserves a different kind of punishment. So the line between right and wrong is relative.

I guess we could find something that is always, without question, wrong. It seems to me that we could all agree that, for example, child pornography is always wrong. And maybe there are other areas in which there is universal agreement in something’s badness or wrongness. But to me, it seems most things are relative.

That’s the connection I see between psychology and law: one has to understand why something was done and the context it was done in before being able to make an judgment on its goodness or badness. It is the understanding of motivations and situations that makes for good law, in my opinion.

Jetsetter
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:50 am

Re: new personal statement - help me please!

Postby Jetsetter » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:03 pm

A personal statement should contain stories about you. The admissions people want to get to know you, who you are, what qualities you have, why you want to go to law school. You are headed in the wrong direction here. Refocus on you.

cavebat2000
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:08 pm

Re: new personal statement - help me please!

Postby cavebat2000 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:11 pm

Jetsetter wrote:A personal statement should contain stories about you. The admissions people want to get to know you, who you are, what qualities you have, why you want to go to law school. You are headed in the wrong direction here. Refocus on you.



agreed.

It's called a "personal statement" for a reason. Make it about you. Musings are fun to read but that doesn't give them an idea of who you are, have been, want to be, etc.

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bees
Posts: 310
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:50 pm

Re: new personal statement - help me please!

Postby bees » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:18 pm

I think you have the right idea here, but the actual writing doesn't work. Your reason for wanting to study the law is a legitimate one and can be interesting to read about. But like the other poster said, this PS says nothing about you other than that you're interested in moral relativism. Try and find a way to show how a skill or experience you have would make you a desirable student. Tie your interest in right and wrong to an experience you've had (knowing a sniper is sort of an experiece, but not one that I think works).

If you choose to continue with the subject of weighing good versus bad in judging people's actions, you have to be careful not to be preachy. Adcoms already know everything you wrote in your PS (minus the initial story). Don't do any explaining. Don't tell them how right and wrong are relative, show them (and not with the overused breaking into a pharmacy story - try picking an issue that intrigues you and, even better, one that you can relate to). The sniper story might not have worked too well, but it was the best part of your PS, because you were relating this fascination you have to something you experienced in your life (even if it was vicariously).

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$1.99
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:49 am

Re: new personal statement - help me please!

Postby $1.99 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:26 pm

lol is this serious? i think this is a flame

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dudester
Posts: 344
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:23 pm

Re: new personal statement - help me please!

Postby dudester » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:44 pm

jtoppe2 wrote:i trashed my old one cuz it was terrible. and i'm pretty sure this one is terrible too. you can be honest. thanks.

I know someone who was a sniper for the U.S. Marines. His job was, literally, to kill people – people someone somewhere had determined deserved to die. He is a decorated war hero. Befriending him made a huge difference in my life in that through him I learned that things can be relative. He did something that would land most people in jail or worse. Killing someone is wrong, unless the killer happens to be in the military or on the police force or a member of some other group of people who are exempt from our society’s usual norms.

And this fascinates me, how moral issues can be relative, how they can have an “it depends” attached to them. This is one reason I studied psychology as an undergraduate, so I could better understand how people draw lines between good and bad, right and wrong, and other similar concepts.

Let me give you another example. Two people, similar in all respects, break into different pharmacies on the same night. One steals drugs to sell to support a drug habit, the other steals drugs that his sick daughter needs. Both are arrested, charged with the same crime. In an absolute way, each is guilty as charged. But in a relative way, one is more guilty than the other. One deserves a different kind of punishment. So the line between right and wrong is relative.

I guess we could find something that is always, without question, wrong. It seems to me that we could all agree that, for example, child pornography is always wrong. And maybe there are other areas in which there is universal agreement in something’s badness or wrongness. But to me, it seems most things are relative.

That’s the connection I see between psychology and law: one has to understand why something was done and the context it was done in before being able to make an judgment on its goodness or badness. It is the understanding of motivations and situations that makes for good law, in my opinion.

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Spaceman Spiff
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:59 pm

Re: new personal statement - help me please!

Postby Spaceman Spiff » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:00 pm

$1.99 wrote:lol is this serious? i think this is a flame

I call flame as well. Besides the mention of child pornography and the use of the word "badness," it's maybe 350 words. That said, as terrible as this is, I read worse in peer review in undergrad.

jtoppe2
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:41 pm

Re: new personal statement - help me please!

Postby jtoppe2 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:50 pm

$1.99 wrote:lol is this serious? i think this is a flame




yes it is serious. and no it's not a flame... but thank you for making me feel like a complete idiot after writing my first draft. i posted here cuz i want advice, not because i want to be made fun of.

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CG614
Posts: 825
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:26 am

Re: new personal statement - help me please!

Postby CG614 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:57 pm

jtoppe2 wrote:
$1.99 wrote:lol is this serious? i think this is a flame




yes it is serious. and no it's not a flame... but thank you for making me feel like a complete idiot after writing my first draft. i posted here cuz i want advice, not because i want to be made fun of.


Seriously, don't end sentences in prepositions. Also, don't post a PS that you wrote in 5 mins and expect people on this forum to make it good for you. Good luck!

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JustDude
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: new personal statement - help me please!

Postby JustDude » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:56 am

jtoppe2 wrote:



yes it is serious. and no it's not a flame... but thank you for making me feel like a complete idiot after writing my first draft. i posted here cuz i want advice, not because i want to be made fun of.


Thats sucks. I like to make fun. But you requested advice.

1. Liked the idea. Military guy, different standards on murder. New, fresh. Its a plus.
2. Drop the child pornography. You already made a sortee into a risky zone with a military/murder story. Thats enaugh.
3. For Yale 250, it is (I gess) Ok to base your PS on what you believe in. Its impossible to introduse a good story. Drop the child porn, refine language and style and good to go.
4. For regular PS you need a 1K words. Write a story about yourself. But you can base it around this military guy. Its a new and interesting concept.
5. Follow your heart.




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