Revised PS draft. Critique please!

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Deuce
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Revised PS draft. Critique please!

Postby Deuce » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:30 pm

After much writer's block, I have finished my first (extremely rough) draft of my PS. However, I would prefer to keep it off the general threads... please respond if you wouldn't mind taking a look at it in a PM, I would appreciate it very much!

Edit: I have added my revised draft as a reply to this post. I consider this draft 1b, as I virtually gutted the first one to shift the scope. Please let me know what you think!

Edit: Revised again in a comment.
Last edited by Deuce on Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Deuce
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Re: Just finished my first draft.... pleeeease critique!

Postby Deuce » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:03 am

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Last edited by Deuce on Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: Just finished my first draft.... pleeeease critique!

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:13 am

I love how you found a way to work "equivocation" into your PS. Hilarious.

There's nothing bad about this essay. There's nothing memorable either. I would like to see more personality, more insight. The reader should know you, and how you think after reading your PS. It's not coming through here.

Georgetown51
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Re: Just finished my first draft.... pleeeease critique!

Postby Georgetown51 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:24 am

These are my thoughts. You write pretty well, so after a couple of revisions you'll be fine on that front. As to other critiques, I hope these help.

1. I think the premise that you became interested in the law because of your parents divorce rings hollow. If it is in fact true, then it is just a somber premise. Generally something that starts with a sad premise like that will conclude with a story of triumph, but your PS doesn't really go that direction.

2. Which leads into my second point - it seems disjointed. The first part is about you bouncing around and your parents getting divorced, the second about your interest and preparation for law school.

3. Generally, I don't like PS about i) why you want to be a lawyer ii) why you would be a good lawyer iii) or why you really want to go to law school. I don't think any of these topics say anything insightful or unique about you, which is ultimately what you want to do. EVERY applicant wants to be a lawyer, thinks they will be good, and wants to go to law school.

4. You bouncing around a lot and facing uncertainty is the most interesting and insightful thing in your PS. I would focus on that aspect and write about how this has formed you are as a person, irrespective of anything related to the law or law school.

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straxen
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Re: Just finished my first draft.... pleeeease critique!

Postby straxen » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:38 am

A few thoughts as it is:

I agree that the PS should show who you are now more than it does, while you are linking your experience to your interest in law, your current personality doesn't really shine through.

I'm also having difficulty placing this in context, were you 8, 12, 17? Something about that feels relevant to me about how I should feel about your situation. For example, if you were 17 years and 6 months old---as a reader (and child of divorced parents) I'm not really going to care and will feel like you're trying to come up with a BS reason for your interest in law. Also, why on earth did you see the divorce document? I know that's not particularly relevant to the theme of the PS but it was a nagging question in the back of my mind as I was reading it. I'm assuming you happened upon it, but the words "I found accidentally" or something to that effect would be helpful to me.

Ildeuce wrote:Ultimately, the deal fell apart and I was able to remain in my hometown moving sporadically between apartments, condos and homes until graduation.


I felt betrayed by this sentence as I was reading it, it doesn't seem like the divorce was the real issue, rather your transience. I understand you're trying to set up your emotions at seeing the document, but the initial reaction is...well then what was the point of everything I've just read before since you weren't ultimately pulled away?

I don't think the transition between the second and third paragraph is very good, and the third paragraph is kinda boring and gets into a resume recitation a bit. It also suddenly goes from personal to impersonal. I also think the third and fourth paragraph concepts of linking to your experience to your legal aspirations can be whittled down significantly...a bit too "why law"-y.
Last edited by straxen on Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Just finished my first draft.... pleeeease critique!

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:45 am

I am in total agreement with Georgetown 51 & straxen. I also felt betrayed by the same sentence. The first two paragraphs are strong, then the tone changes when you write about law school & why you want to be a lawyer.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Deuce
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Re: Just finished my first draft.... pleeeease critique!

Postby Deuce » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:47 am

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Last edited by Deuce on Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Just finished my first draft.... pleeeease critique!

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:49 am

But the "Why law ?" answer doesn't have to be expressed in detail. Better to let the reader make the connection. Show 'em, don't tell 'em.

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Deuce
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Re: First draft: round 2. Critique please!

Postby Deuce » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:29 am

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Last edited by Deuce on Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Total Litigator
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Re: First draft: round 2. Critique please!

Postby Total Litigator » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:04 am

Honestly I just read this and go huh? What did I just read and why did I just read it?

That being said, my PS was very to the point and probably 90% why law/why my professional and educational experiences relate to the law, and I didn't make it into any of my reaches (although I was waitlisted at one).

Sorry I can't be more help.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: First draft: round 2. Critique please!

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:54 am

Very strong statement - says a lot about you.

Pgph 3, sentence beginning "Where I once thought..." has so much potential but a couple extraneous words "for myself" derails it into virtual unreadability.

Pgph 4, first two sentences are redundant to the entirety of Pgph 3. Starting with sentence 3 continues naturally from your closing statement of Pgph 3. Striven - yes, it's used correctly, but feels awkward. Likewise, try to avoid "you" in any essay as to me, the reader, I think "me, really?"

Although you don't explicitly saw "why law" it feels like you imply an interest for public defense and therefore have said more than enough reason. I, personally, don't think a person needs to say "why law" unless their decision reflects a changing of careers or are out of school for a prolonged period.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: First draft: round 2. Critique please!

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:00 am

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Last edited by ShuckingNotJiving on Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Deuce
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Re: First draft: round 2. Critique please!

Postby Deuce » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:18 am

Thank you all for the advice, I just returned from a mini vacation and will be working on round 3 over the next 24 hours. I really appreciate it!

arewhyaen
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Re: First draft: round 2. Critique please!

Postby arewhyaen » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:18 pm

I would actually disagree with the poster above me, and I would contend that this personal statement makes you come off as partially selfish. Undoubtedly, this is probably a very personal experience for you and I completely understand that. But the most important part of this personal statement is in the end when you state that you realize how important it is to help others and that is why law school is for you. I would rather see you focus on an event that shows you helping others, rather than reducing it to a sentence. If this event happened when you were fifteen, what have you done to help others since then? At the moment, I feel the statement comes off as, "I dont want to move because I want to stay with my friends." In addition, you kind of just leave your mom behind in favor of not being uprooted from what is comfortable to you. In no way am I critiquing your actions, as we all have our reasons. But do you really want this message coming off toward adcomms? I say focus on the divorce and how it changed you and what YOU did about it, or focus on a subject in which you begin to help others in response to your father helping you. Regardless, you are a good writer, you just need to find a more clear message. Cant wait to read your next draft! :wink:

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: First draft: round 2. Critique please!

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:38 pm

To arewhyaen --

-The OP was fifteen during his/her parent's divorce, at that age social life can be important. Perhaps that's the mindset he/she was channeling when he/she wrote about moving away from his friends. Changes in routine can be fairly traumatic experiences for adolescents, let alone leaving behind a life you are familiar with.
-I'm not seeing anything in this draft that can be even remotely connected to selfishness. The ending is rushed, he /she attempts to conclude on an idea that isn't fleshed out in the essay. Is that what is selfish to you?
-How can you first admit that the writer is attempting to convey a personal experience then tell him /her that his feelings aren't justified?

Basically, I didn't understand any of your critique. Just unconnected sentences, no clear message. It's funny how that's what you maintained is wrong with this essay.

arewhyaen
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Re: First draft: round 2. Critique please!

Postby arewhyaen » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:08 pm

ShuckingNotJiving wrote:To arewhyaen --

-The OP was fifteen during his/her parent's divorce, at that age social life can be important. Perhaps that's the mindset he/she was channeling when he/she wrote about moving away from his friends. Changes in routine can be fairly traumatic experiences for adolescents, let alone leaving behind a life you are familiar with.
-I'm not seeing anything in this draft that can be even remotely connected to selfishness. The ending is rushed, he /she attempts to conclude on an idea that isn't fleshed out in the essay. Is that what is selfish to you?
-How can you first admit that the writer is attempting to convey a personal experience then tell him /her that his feelings aren't justified?

Basically, I didn't understand any of your critique. Just unconnected sentences, no clear message. It's funny how that's what you maintained is wrong with this essay.


-To your first point, that didn't come through, and they shouldn't leave that to be assumed. In addition, what growth did they get from this, aside from them just getting what they want. Once again, I acknowledge the personal nature of this narrative, but I must ask if this is the best story to portray him in the light of a future lawyer?

-To your second point, I just feel like the OP should be taking more advocacy in his personal statement. Yes his father did something for him, but what did the OP do in response to it? And with nothing but a sentence said about what he did in response to it, it does come off as things happening FOR the OP, and the OP not taking advocacy to do something to gain a result. Basically, I want to know more about the OP. If this is not partially selfish, then I admit fault, but I contend that an inherent flaw still exist.

-To your third point, I never said their feelings were not justified. As I said, this was a very personal experience for the OP. There is no doubting that. But why are these feelings justification for admission into a law school? I feel like saying you want to help people in a few sentences at the end of a personal statement is a cop-out. Maybe focusing less on the divorce, and more on how the divorce affected the OP in their later actions would better serve the OP. And as I originally suggested, despite the emotional attachment to this story, if the story cannot serve the purpose of showing why law school, then maybe another experience can.

-Lastly, I feel like attacking me is completely unnecessary, and does nothing to further either of our arguments. The OP chose to make their personal statement public. I hope my advice could help, but they, in no way, need to take it.

I hope this helps your qualms about my original post. :wink:

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Deuce
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Re: First draft: round 2. Critique please!

Postby Deuce » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:30 pm

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Last edited by Deuce on Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Deuce
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Re: Revised PS draft. Critique please!

Postby Deuce » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:38 pm

No takers? I've got a long flight coming up in the next 24 hours.... c'mon guys :lol:

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Snoring Meatball
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Re: Revised PS draft. Critique please!

Postby Snoring Meatball » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:03 pm

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Last edited by Snoring Meatball on Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Revised PS draft. Critique please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:37 pm

I loved your personal statement. Very effective. This should help your law school applications.




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