PS Third Draft- feedback?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
jamespageiv
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:20 pm

PS Third Draft- feedback?

Postby jamespageiv » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:39 pm

Here is my third draft of my personal statement. Please let me know what you think.

Knee pads, check. Wrist guards, check. Skateboard, check. I was ready to go to work. Not my job, no, I was only seven years old. I was off to work with my father, the second shift custodian at ****** ******* Community College. I don’t remember the circumstances exactly or why I was at work with him but this image is engraved in the memory of my youth. I can still picture the miniature version of myself slowly rolling down the slight incline of the smooth sidewalk while my dad doing whatever it took, working in a local factory and going to school at the very institution that hey was a custodian in at night, to improve his and his family’s lot in life. He knew that that hard work he was putting in would pay ten-fold in the future. This work ethic and appreciation for what an education can do for a person has been the foundation for which I have built a life upon.

My father was the first person in his family to ever graduate from high school. He then went on to receive his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in History and Education and became an instructor at the school he was once a custodian. Although my father has never mentioned the idea of a degree in law he has always insisted that an education was the best way to improve oneself. Now that I have completed my own Master’s Degree I feel the proper way to finish my formal education would be with a Juris Doctorate degree from **********.

Because I have seen how strong of an impact an education can have on a person and I believe a law degree will be essential in fulfilling my personal and career goals. Since 2004 I have worked in higher education institutions and have grown passionate about the legal and governmental issues that affect how we educate our public. From the ability for underrepresented groups to even attend college to the legal responsibility we have with these students once they are on our campus. I feel that with my experience in higher education and my passion and interest in the law I will be able to have a positive impact in the future of higher education in America.

I have been fortunate enough to deal firsthand with some legal issues in my positions of over the past few years. As a member of the Student Conduct Hearing Board at ****** I was a hearing officer on many cases that decided the fate of a student’s college career. I sat on hearings that involved student violence, rape, binge drinking, and academic integrity issues. Through these hearings I had to put myself constantly in the shoes of the student lives we were judging. I had to balance what our University’s policies were with what the claimed offense was and how the sanctions would affect the students development. These days, sometimes spending up to 7 hours deciding on a single case, were some of the most difficult moments in my professional career. At the end of the day I know that the decisions we made were thoughtful, well intentioned, and based in the idea of helping students help themselves to become better individuals.

My goal is to combine my passion for public education and the law into a position as general counsel for a university. In this situation I would be able to use my experience in higher education along with a greater understanding of the law to help a university navigate complex legal issues and to keep them out of trouble when unforeseen circumstances arrive. The variety of experience I have obtained while working full time for the past six years will allow me to bring a mature, experienced perspective to law school. I will be dedicated to learning about the law and will bring my enthusiasm to the classroom every day and continue my academic excellence I showed while gaining my Master’s Degree. I believe attending _______ Law will give me the best opportunity to reach my goal of being a University Counsel.

d34d9823
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: PS Third Draft- feedback?

Postby d34d9823 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:42 pm

Sorry if my harshness offends you, but I suspect you'd rather have an honest assessment.

jamespageiv wrote:Here is my third draft of my personal statement. Please let me know what you think.

Knee pads, check. Wrist guards, check. Skateboard, check. I was ready to go to work. Not my job, noI expect a period here, but then the 7yo part is awkward. Rephrase, I was only seven years old. I was off to work with my father, the second shift custodian at ****** ******* Community College. I don’t remember the circumstances exactly or why I was at work with him but this image is engraved in the memory of my youthNot that bad, but somewhat cliche. I can still picture the miniature version of myself slowly rolling down the slight incline of the smooth sidewalk while my dad doingyour verbs are not in agreement here. while=did whatever it took, working in a local factory and going to school at the verypretentious institution that hey was a custodian infor at night, to improve his and his family’s lot in lifeThis is a ginormous sentence and phrasing is cliche. He knew that that hard work he was putting in would pay ten-folddividends etc. in the future. This work ethic and appreciation for what an education can do for a person has been the foundation foron which I have built amy life uponuse active voice when possible.
more evocative imagery of your past, less cliche "better your lot in life" phrases

My father was the first person in his family if you must have the ever, it should be here to ever graduate from high school. He then went on to receive his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in History and Educationare both of these in History and Education or was it sequential? clarify and became an instructor at the school he was once a custodian.this is way too cool of a story for such a boring one sentence description Although my father has never mentioned the idea of a degree in law, he has always insisted that an education wasis, but still awkward the best way to improve oneself. Now that I have completed my own Master’s Degree I feel the proper way to finish my formal education would be with a Juris Doctoratepretentious, don't even say JD in here. also, you need a better catch than "finish my formal education." is that really why? that's a sucky reason. draw from inspiration from your father or your own life experiences degree from **********don't target unless it reflects a knowledge of the school. Adcoms know about copy and paste.

Because I have seen how strong of an impact an education can have on a person and I believe a law degree will be essential in fulfilling my personal and career goalsthis is a fragment. Also, the because/since list loaded with reasons always runs out of gas before you make your point. Do like this: insight -> conclusion, insight -> conclusion. Not like this: insight, insight, insight -> convoluted conclusion. Since 2004, I have worked in higher education institutionssay where, talk about them to add color to your experience. you need specific stories, not vague platitudizing and have grown passionatereally cliche about the legal and governmental issues that affect how we educate our publictoo long, still cliche. From the ability for underrepresented groups to even attend college to the legal responsibility we have with these students once they are on our campusfragment. also, from/to as a lead-in needs to be short enough that you have room for the main thought of the sentence. I feel that with my experience in higher education and my passion and interest in the law I will be able to have a positive impact in the future of higher education in Americaand and and?? everyone applying will say they have these things. you need specific examples of how you showed them in this context (education). also, i have no clue what you want to do to education. give me some concrete passions or ideas..

I have been fortunate enough to deal firsthandsomewhat cliche with someseveral, but i would rather see a rephrase - say something like you encountered several situations that piqued your interest in law legal issues in my positions of over the past few years. As a member of the Student Conduct Hearing Board at ****** I was a hearing officer on many cases that decided the fate of a student’s college careerwhat happened? i'd rather have one good story than 6 generic things you did. doesn't have to be this one, pick the one that best illustrates the law interest piqueing we talked about. I sat on hearingsthis seems wrong that involved student violence, rape, binge drinking, and academic integrity issues. Through these hearingsthis does too I had to put myself constantly in the shoes of the student lives we were judging. I had to balance what our University’s policies were with what the claimed offense was and how the sanctions would affect the students developmentwhat? I need a catch, not a mental exercise in abstraction. These days, sometimes spending up to 7 hours deciding on a single case, were some of the most difficult moments in my professional career. At the end of the day I know that the decisions we made were thoughtful, well intentioned, and based in the idea of helping students help themselves to become better individualscliche cliche cliche. again, show, don't tell. say what you did that demonstrated these things, let adcoms draw their own conclusions, conclude with how this changed your view of the world (real, gritty, not cliche).

My goal is to combine my passion for public education and the law into a position as general counsel for a universitythis is awkward. are you synthesizing such a position in a lab?. In this situation, I would be able to use my experience in higher education along with a greater understanding of the law to help a university navigate complex legal issues and to keep them out of trouble when unforeseen circumstances arriveI'm not even going to try to figure out where the commas should go. This should be three sentences and you should have specific stories of how your experience informed your thoughts on this. Ideally, you would use the stories that you're going to include above to make your points here.. The variety of experience I have obtained while working full time for the past six years will allow me to bring a mature, experienced perspective to law schoolshow, don't tell, this would be a good spot to recap your experiences. "as I learned from dealing with vampire students, arbitrating meatball fights, etc.". I will be dedicated to learning about the law and will bring my enthusiasm to the classroom every day and continue my academic excellence I showed while gaining my Master’s Degreeyou're going up against people with PhDs, MDs, significant research achievements, etc.. if you want to tout this as your signal accomplishment, you need to tie in to some depth of courage or determination that got you here. the opening paragraph with the skateboard and your father would be an excellent place to flesh out why this was a significant accomplishment. I believe attending _______ Lawsame comment as above about not copy pasting will give me the best opportunity to reach my goal of being a University Counsel.is this the official title? i would be damn sure to get it right. also, this needs to be a strong ending that feeds off the building intensity of your experiences that you're going to describe. right now, it's boring and bland.

jamespageiv
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:20 pm

Re: PS Third Draft- feedback?

Postby jamespageiv » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:15 am

thanks, that's what I needed. I've been tooling around with this same thing, you gave me some good direction. I appreciate the time you put into it.




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