Why michigan take 4, one more time...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
dabbadon8
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Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby dabbadon8 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:46 pm

Thank you to everyone who offered help in the previous threads. This is my first "why" essay, so I really appreciate the help and will use it for the rest of them. Length is at 443 words right now which I feel could be a little long. Let me know what you think overall. Thank you.

Since I was old enough to understand the concept of college, my cousin Larry has been extolling the virtues of the University of Michigan. “Larry, give it a rest, he’s only a kid,” my parents would say, thinking his ramblings would have been lost on a child of seven. As I began my search for a law school, I surprisingly remembered his passionate raves and made it a point to find out what had made such an impression. It turned out that what I found was my top choice for law school.

I intend to pursue a career in public interest that will allow me to utilize my background in psychology. I came to appreciate the tangible connection between the two fields after an undergraduate psychology course assigned “Social Science and the Evolving Standards of Death Penalty Law,” co-authored by Phoebe Ellsworth. As a result of the article and my internship experience in criminal law, I have become especially interested in the continuing development of death penalty policy. I believe that studying under professors like Phoebe Ellsworth, a preeminent scholar in psychology, law, and the death penalty in particular, would provide me skills and experience that would be invaluable assets in achieving my academic and career goals. I am also interested in participating in Michigan’s unique Innocence Clinic in order to build upon my background in criminal law. I believe I am an excellent candidate for this clinic due to my ability to provided alternative perspectives and insight gained through my experience as an intern with the felony division of the State Attorney’s Office. My first hand experience with criminal legal writing and knowledge of errors made in prosecutorial and investigative practices will allow me to help those individuals who cannot rely on biological evidence for exoneration.

In addition to academic factors, Michigan’s location and environment make the school an excellent personal fit. I attended undergrad in a small town and found that the focus on the university created a sense of community unlike anywhere I have ever lived. Ann Arbor’s collegial reputation and ability to draw in big city cultural and educational opportunities make it an ideal place to live. In keeping with the school's reputation, and after speaking with many current and past students, I would describe the student body as open minded, grounded and diverse. These qualities are crucial to varied intellectual conversation and are a major factor in my decision.

The appeal of Michigan’s impressive academics and attractive location are further augmented by the university’s rich history, architectural beauty, and national reputation. When all factors are taken into consideration, Michigan stands apart as my top choice for law school.
Last edited by dabbadon8 on Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dabbadon8
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:17 am

Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:20 pm

Anyone? I really would like to get a little more feed back before I move on to my other why essays. Thanks.

09042014
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Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:22 pm

Why not keep this all in one thread?

The uncle part is cheesy, but some people like that. I'd find a different way to describe your undergrad than "college town." It's belittling.

dabbadon8
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:17 am

Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:32 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Why not keep this all in one thread?

The uncle part is cheesy, but some people like that. I'd find a different way to describe your undergrad than "college town." It's belittling.


Thanks for the feed back. I kept it in the same thread before (for my PS), but people tended to give feed back on a previous version in the thread. I will try it again if I have to post any more drafts but I am hoping after this why essay I should be good to go on the rest.

09042014
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Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:34 pm

dabbadon8 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Why not keep this all in one thread?

The uncle part is cheesy, but some people like that. I'd find a different way to describe your undergrad than "college town." It's belittling.


Thanks for the feed back. I kept it in the same thread before (for my PS), but people tended to give feed back on a previous version in the thread. I will try it again if I have to post any more drafts but I am hoping after this why essay I should be good to go on the rest.


You should try to keep it in the same thread because it will show up on the feed of people who already commented.

dabbadon8
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:17 am

Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:36 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
dabbadon8 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Why not keep this all in one thread?

The uncle part is cheesy, but some people like that. I'd find a different way to describe your undergrad than "college town." It's belittling.


Thanks for the feed back. I kept it in the same thread before (for my PS), but people tended to give feed back on a previous version in the thread. I will try it again if I have to post any more drafts but I am hoping after this why essay I should be good to go on the rest.


You should try to keep it in the same thread because it will show up on the feed of people who already commented.


Alright, but what is the feed? (newb q)

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ArchRoark
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Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby ArchRoark » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:38 pm

Top right "View your posts"

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:42 pm

Thanks for fixing your rogue apostrophe. This was entirely stomachable!
If you're concerned about length, you have plenty of extraneous words that can be chopped(such as surprisingly, Larry, personal, or anywhere else where you use 2+ adjectives). Could also benefit from an English major/prof proofing for commas and adjectives modifying adjectives that require hyphens (first-hand, open-minded, big-city). Disclosure, I'm a scientist, so my grammar might be off.

Pgph 1: Might be illustrative if you say where you live. A kid from Detroit hearing about UM from cousin Larry doesn't have the same impact as a kid from Cameroon or wherever. In all, I like the paragraph, but also can see it as a nice and unique summary paragraph rather than the oft-used anecdote opener.

Pgph 2: You seem to be implying that Phoebe Ellsworth co-authored your course rather than an article. Your parenthetical statement about her is valuable to us readers who don't know her, but, it's extraneous to the AdComm. Secondly, your internship is mentioned but not expanded upon until later. Perhaps a bit of rearranging? Typo in '...ability to provided alternative...'

Pgph 3: I both like and dislike this - I understand that you want a collegial atmosphere, but it (forgive me) comes across a bit immature. When I re-read this without your mention of going to undergrad in a college town, it's less of an allusion to high-fives and tailgating.

Finally, if UM is your first choice, then say so. "Top choice" seems jargon-y.
HTH

Total Litigator
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Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby Total Litigator » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:44 pm

Who's Larry?

dabbadon8
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:17 am

Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:48 pm

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:Thanks for fixing your rogue apostrophe. This was entirely stomachable!
If you're concerned about length, you have plenty of extraneous words that can be chopped(such as surprisingly, Larry, personal, or anywhere else where you use 2+ adjectives). Could also benefit from an English major/prof proofing for commas and adjectives modifying adjectives that require hyphens (first-hand, open-minded, big-city). Disclosure, I'm a scientist, so my grammar might be off.

Pgph 1: Might be illustrative if you say where you live. A kid from Detroit hearing about UM from cousin Larry doesn't have the same impact as a kid from Cameroon or wherever. In all, I like the paragraph, but also can see it as a nice and unique summary paragraph rather than the oft-used anecdote opener.

Pgph 2: You seem to be implying that Phoebe Ellsworth co-authored your course rather than an article. Your parenthetical statement about her is valuable to us readers who don't know her, but, it's extraneous to the AdComm. Secondly, your internship is mentioned but not expanded upon until later. Perhaps a bit of rearranging? Typo in '...ability to provided alternative...'

Pgph 3: I both like and dislike this - I understand that you want a collegial atmosphere, but it (forgive me) comes across a bit immature. When I re-read this without your mention of going to undergrad in a college town, it's less of an allusion to high-fives and tailgating.

Finally, if UM is your first choice, then say so. "Top choice" seems jargon-y.
HTH


Thanks for the feedback! I will be having someone look over it who is obviously better at grammar and punctuation then I am. I appreciate you taking the time to give me some specifics to work with.

dabbadon8
Posts: 767
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:17 am

Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby dabbadon8 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:48 pm

Total Litigator wrote:Who's Larry?


Cousin of mine, went to Umich, met his wife there.

NonTradHealthLaw
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:50 pm

dabbadon8 wrote:Thanks for the feedback! I will be having someone look over it who is obviously better at grammar and punctuation then I am. I appreciate you taking the time to give me some specifics to work with.


You're welcome, had to prove i'm not always a sarcastic ass. Good luck!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:51 pm

Assuming that your prompt was "Why Michigan ?", then this essay is fine.

eh364206
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:19 pm

Re: Why michigan take 4, one more time...

Postby eh364206 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:25 pm

dabbadon8 wrote:Thank you to everyone who offered help in the previous threads. This is my first "why" essay, so I really appreciate the help and will use it for the rest of them. Length is at 443 words right now which I feel could be a little long. Let me know what you think overall. Thank you.

Since I was old enough to understand the concept of college, my cousin Larry has been extolling the virtues of the University of Michigan. “Larry, give it a rest, he’s only a kid,” my parents would say, thinking his ramblings would have been lost on a child of seven. As I began my search for a law school, I surprisingly remembered his passionate raves and made it a point to find out what had made such an impression. It turned out that what I found was my top choice for law school.



I think you really need to rethink this paragraph. "Since" as the beginning of a paragraph, let alone the beginning of an essay, bothers me a bit. This could be my own weird preference, but perhaps it's helpful to you just the same. I think your language tends to be a bit lofty, and it seems to be reaching for a higher level of prose than the actual construction of your paragraph will allow.

I wonder if you could explain what details about this paragraph are most important. I like the way it functions - I am a fan of anecdotes - but I think it would be a much better part of this personal statement if it had more power behind it. I feel like you are grasping at an anecdote just to have it (perhaps to please people like myself), but if you mean it, then you should think about WHY you need it. This will allow you to better emphasize the important details.

For example:

Is your uncle Larry the focus of this story? What are the virtues he "extolled" about UMich? Does your age matter? Why does it matter that his "ramblings" weren't lost on you? What, exactly, about his "raves" made you want to attend law school there? Did he go to law school there?

I don't know if this is helpful to you, but I think you are going in a good direction with your personal statement and merely need a little bit of narrowing. Once you focus on what really matters, you're going to be just fine. =]




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