Personal Statement: Be harsh.

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alanrickman
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:26 pm

Personal Statement: Be harsh.

Postby alanrickman » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:02 pm

Here's my rough draft of my personal statement. Any feedback is more than welcome. Names, the law school and places have been changed.

It was mid-afternoon on a hot August day, sweltering even for Florida standards. After trekking through the heat, I was heading upstairs in the now-memorable Happy Building to my first “get-to-know-you” as a new graduate student in Economics. Until that point, I had managed to maintain a rather high-degree of anonymity among my fellow classmates, mostly because I wanted my academic and personal lives separated. I felt like this was going to be just another yawn session, with nobody actually remembering anybody’s name or where they were from. How boring.
Immediately upon reaching the top of the stairs in the central atrium, Dr. Bob Loblaw turned the corner and beckoned us into a very poorly lit classroom. I was in awe of the complex equations covering the walls. However, there was a tiny problem: there weren’t enough chairs for everybody. Being the last to enter the classroom, I was the only one without a seat. My original feeling of boredom had completely been replaced by a feeling of awe at the sight of the equations, only to quickly be overcome with dread. As I stood by the door I began to zone in on the fact that I was one of only two people standing. Dr. Bob Loblaw ignored me and immediately went into a seemingly memorized spiel about how the people around us will become both our best friends and our biggest enemies throughout the next few months. He couldn’t have been more right.
The first two semesters of the program were incredibly hectic. We were graded based on how well we stacked up against each other on presentations and on examinations. This both provoked and fostered intense competition. As somebody who had taken very few mathematics courses as an undergraduate, at times I felt overwhelmed. Never before had I used calculus to this degree. From discovering the optimal rates to charge both gym rats and weekend warriors for the same workout facility to predicting future pop star status from early record sales, the math was very involved. We were effectively forced to form small cliques in order to survive. As a result, I started spending all of my free time with a conservative law school dropout and very liberal former appraiser. The other cliques referred to us as “team politics.” Even though I was feeling overwhelmed by the course load at times, I was the happiest I had been since beginning college. I felt like I was actually accomplishing something worthwhile. Even though we were competing with each other, I never felt like I was competing against my “team.” The drama that circulated around the graduate lab was a welcome alternative to the previous separation that I had placed between academic and personal lives. I knew the names, ages, backgrounds, and dreams of every student in the program. It was great.
With the month of May came the long dreaded “applied project”, a thirteen-week professional consulting report. My team analyzed the economic impact to the state of Florida of a recently passed law designed to attract the film industry. Every day, until the end of July, we met and worked on this project. Throughout the summer I communicated with every state’s department of revenue and film office to obtain pertinent information for analysis. Not every group fared as well as ours, with a few students dropping the program entirely. In the end, our report was over two hundred pages long and filled with equations and analysis that only a few months prior could have passed for hieroglyphics. It was immensely satisfying to have completed a project of this scope. If somebody had told me a year prior that I would author a report of this size I would have chuckled at them and considered them insane.
What started as a casual interest in law as an undergraduate has expanded into a burning passion. I find myself desiring law school largely based on the experiences I had while in the Master’s program. To me, law school is characterized by very similar enriching qualities, including the opportunity to transcend my academic and personal lives while presenting challenges in a healthy competitive environment. I see myself one day serving as counsel for a financial corporation or state government, being able to specialize in fields reliant on economic backings and utilizing my sharpened analytical skills, such as in anti-trust or mergers and acquisitions. I firmly believe that my experience in graduate school and the specialized economic consulting knowledge gained there make me a unique candidate. I will bring a positive perspective to the overall diversity at Cooley. In my mind, after deep personal reflection, the natural extension to my education, abilities, and interests is law. Law, as I see it, will allow me to fully utilize my analytic and written abilities while offering me the immense challenge that I crave.

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Tanicius
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Re: Personal Statement: Be harsh.

Postby Tanicius » Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:05 pm

tag

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alanrickman
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: Personal Statement: Be harsh.

Postby alanrickman » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:13 am

I promise to review anybody's that reviews mine!

perspective
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:02 pm

Re: Personal Statement: Be harsh.

Postby perspective » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:22 am

I was confused about how this experience make you want to pursue law. I think you need to transition a bit more into that realization. I think the topic is good. Maybe make it a bit stronger about how you hope to use your law and Economics degrees in combination.




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