Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
florentine
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Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby florentine » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:48 pm

So here is my PS and I feel like I'm almost done with it but let me know if there is something that should change! Thanks!

Thanks for all the help!!
Last edited by florentine on Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:00 pm

This essay will satisfy the law school application requirement of a personal statement, but it is unlikely to do much to bolster your application. The writing is okay, the organization of thoughts is excellent but the subject matter is better suited for a college application than for an application to an intellectually rigorous graduate school program.
On the positive side, the writing is clear & the tone positive and energetic.

florentine
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby florentine » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:05 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:This essay will satisfy the law school application requirement of a personal statement, but it is unlikely to do much to bolster your application. The writing is okay, the organization of thoughts is excellent but the subject matter is better suited for a college application than for an application to an intellectually rigorous graduate school program.
On the positive side, the writing is clear & the tone positive and energetic.


Thanks for the reply! Ya unfortunately when I tried to think of ideas this was the best I could think of so I really just tried to make it as interesting as possible with the language and structure

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Cromartie
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby Cromartie » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:11 pm

I think it's generally well-written but will probably not help your application very much. Having said that, it probably won't hurt your application significantly either.

My main take-away after reading this was that you traveled to Europe, studied a bit in London, (supposedly) learned a bunch of stuff about other cultures/perspectives, and (supposedly) learned to cope with "new and frightening" challenges. I stated "supposedly" because you say that you learned all these things, but I didn't find any concrete examples to back up your claim.

Also, keep in mind that with your chosen theme, your PS will probably be ranged against those of applicants who were born and/or grew up in foreign countries and immigrated to the US. They probably had to learn to cope with new and frightening challenges...

Again, this PS probably won't hurt you, but I don't see it helping you either.

florentine wrote:So here is my PS and I feel like I'm almost done with it but let me know if there is something that should change! Thanks!


The intoxicating smell and mesmerizing scene of morning rush hour in Rome, Italy, as vespas speed by dangerously weaving in and out of traffic at ever-increasing speeds, is nothing like anything I have ever experienced, and that is a good thing. I would have never imagined myself halfway across the world just a few months ago, but it was my extremely terrifying decision to try something new and challenge myself to adapt to new environments that helped me get to this amazing city. These motives for my summer trip to Rome created a domino effect and opened my life up to new experiences and opportunities that I could have never imagined without this tentative willingness to step outside of my bubble. This openness to adventure led to my decision to travel to the vast, yet homely, city of London, England for a semester to live and work and, again, challenge myself to adapt. These two experiences have had a profound effect on how I learn to cope with new and frightening challenges and how I adapt and react to new environments.

As I stepped off the plane at Leonardo Da Vinci Airport in Rome, I was immediately bombarded by “Ciao! Come stai?”, which only solidified the fact that I had come a long way on my own and it was time to see how I could manage. Walking alone through the airport, I thought of my apprehension to go to college great distances from home, which contributed to my decision to go to college only a half days drive from home. After a tough first semester missing home, I came back from Christmas break with a new outlook and started to enjoy my newly found freedom and decided to take it a step further and applied to go to Rome, Italy for a summer study abroad program. Even though I did not know anything about the culture or a word of Italian, I was extremely excited to begin my journey in Italy. This trip gave me the opportunity to see the world in a completely different light and interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds that gave me an expanded perspective on the world and its issues. This, in and of itself, was one of the most rewarding aspects of the trip and encouraged me to travel more and have conversations with people of which the only way we could communicate was through broken English and gestures. My trip to Rome convinced me that I could cope with the new challenges that I presented myself but it also gave me a deep, intense yearning to challenge myself more as it was both exciting and insightful, which eventually led to my decision to study in London for an semester.

While sitting in Hyde Park in London on my last day before my long journey home, I welcomed the first day of spring from an unusually harsh winter and I reminisced about my time in London. I thought about my first football, or as we Americans call it soccer, game and my awe-inspiring tour through British parliament. But the most rewarding aspect of my time in London though, was when I worked at a small, tightly knit advertising and promotions agency. At work I quickly integrated myself into the working environment and it was here that I learned the most about not only British culture, but also French and Scottish culture as I had colleagues from both countries that I worked very closely with everyday. It was something that I had never encountered before as all my previous work experiences were only with Americans, so it was amazing to be working so closely with such a culturally diverse group of people. Working in a foreign country was just another huge step forward in my never ending quest for knowledge and my need to experience new places and people.

As my plane roared over London on my way home I thought of not only the amazing experiences in London but also what had brought me to this point in my life, the willingness to challenge myself. This willingness and unending quest for knowledge and betterment of myself as a member of society are only some of the qualities that I plan to take to law school with me. In bringing these qualities to law school, I believe that law school will provide me with the challenges, the new environment, and will especially help me better my whole being that I strive for everyday.

florentine
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby florentine » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:25 pm

Thanks for the replies! Ya I know this isn't exactly a crazy PS that is super unique but it is was has shaped me the most so I tried to do my best to make it compelling. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

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esq
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby esq » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:41 pm

Adcomms might read it more like this:

"I thought of not only the amazing experiences in London but also what had brought me to this point in my life, privilege and wealthy parents."

Because, even with your work experience, there is really nothing in your PS that indicates self initiative. It honestly gives off a naive sense of accomplishment about events that really don't seem like you had to work for. I agree with the others, though, and if you can do your talking with a solid LSAT and GPA, it probably won't hurt your cycle too much. There are many people that come from backgrounds similar to yours that are applying to law school. It just won't help you to stand out.

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Marionberry
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby Marionberry » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:44 pm

I would rework some of the tone. As I read it it sounded like your study abroad trip was you "getting out of your comfort zone" and being willing to do something that was unfamiliar, challenging and uncomfortable. I haven't studied abroad, but it sounds badass and fun. The fact that you got to go on a trip to europe is a far cry from "overcoming an obstacle". But maybe that's just how I read it. As others have said, I don't think it would hurt your application, but it could be much better.

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LAWLAW09
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby LAWLAW09 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:05 pm

This essay's theme seems to be that you "learn[ed] to cope with new and frightening challenges."

My problem with your essay is that adcomms are going to be reading applications that are filled with essays that highlight uncontrollable experiences that are far more frightening than simply meeting new people on what some would consider a vacation. Let's assume adcomms don't hold this essay against you simply b/c it isn't as frightening as some of the other experiences they've been reading. If they're anything like me, they will be far more interested in wanting to know what your experiences have been before this trip. What is it about your background or upbringing that made this trip so frightening? Why after all these years are you just now being convinced that you can "cope with the new challenges?"

I think you'd have a far more interesting and convincing story if you can answer those two questions.

The most convincing statement you made to me wasn't even in your essay. It was:

florentine wrote: Ya I know this isn't exactly a crazy PS that is super unique but it is was has shaped me the most so I tried to do my best to make it compelling.


There's a degree of emotion in that statement that isn't present in your essay. Seems like that has more to do with what happened in your life before the trip, than during it.

Good luck.

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12AngryMen
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby 12AngryMen » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:13 pm

CHANGE: "deficit" to "deficient".

This is a very effective personal statement for two main reasons: you writing is clear & well organized & you show a willingness to grow. Law schools will like the possibility that they can greatly influence your development. The tone of your essay is genuine & sincere suggesting that readers will like you as presented in your writing.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:15 pm

Great advice, wrong essay.

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12AngryMen
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby 12AngryMen » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:22 pm

Pretty sure I meant what I said. Great, insightful PS my friend take full confidance in what I say.

florentine
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby florentine » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:44 pm

esq wrote:Adcomms might read it more like this:

"I thought of not only the amazing experiences in London but also what had brought me to this point in my life, privilege and wealthy parents."

Because, even with your work experience, there is really nothing in your PS that indicates self initiative. It honestly gives off a naive sense of accomplishment about events that really don't seem like you had to work for. I agree with the others, though, and if you can do your talking with a solid LSAT and GPA, it probably won't hurt your cycle too much. There are many people that come from backgrounds similar to yours that are applying to law school. It just won't help you to stand out.


Wow I definitely did not know that it had that tone and I'll have to look into that but just to clarify I did have a scholarship to go so that helped haha but thanks for the advice and I'll try to tone that down a bit. Thanks!

florentine
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby florentine » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:47 pm

LAWLAW09 wrote:This essay's theme seems to be that you "learn[ed] to cope with new and frightening challenges."

My problem with your essay is that adcomms are going to be reading applications that are filled with essays that highlight uncontrollable experiences that are far more frightening than simply meeting new people on what some would consider a vacation. Let's assume adcomms don't hold this essay against you simply b/c it isn't as frightening as some of the other experiences they've been reading. If they're anything like me, they will be far more interested in wanting to know what your experiences have been before this trip. What is it about your background or upbringing that made this trip so frightening? Why after all these years are you just now being convinced that you can "cope with the new challenges?"

I think you'd have a far more interesting and convincing story if you can answer those two questions.

The most convincing statement you made to me wasn't even in your essay. It was:

florentine wrote: Ya I know this isn't exactly a crazy PS that is super unique but it is was has shaped me the most so I tried to do my best to make it compelling.


There's a degree of emotion in that statement that isn't present in your essay. Seems like that has more to do with what happened in your life before the trip, than during it.

Good luck.


Thanks for the advice and I was trying to say that I had come out of my bubble at home when I came to college and furthered that through my experiences abroad. So maybe I should make that more clear? Should I go in a different direction from that?

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LAWLAW09
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby LAWLAW09 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:33 pm

Can't say what direction you should go in. We know nothing about the rest of your app so our advice is limited by default.

Make a list of qualities you want a reader to "see" in your application when they're done reading your essay. Give it to ppl that have no idea who you are or what your background is and ask them to grade each quality on some sort of scale (e.g. 1-5; 5 indicating the quality stands out in the essay, 1 indicating the quality can't be discerned in the essay). That might help you see where you haven't quite hit your mark.


I wish you the best.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:55 pm

florentine wrote:This openness to adventure led to my decision to travel to the vast, yet homely, city of London, England for a semester to live and work and, again, challenge myself to adapt.


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I thought about my first football, or as we Americans call it soccer, game and my awe-inspiring tour through British parliament.


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The intoxicating smell and mesmerizing scene of morning rush hour in Rome, Italy, as vespas speed by dangerously weaving in and out of traffic at ever-increasing speeds


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florentine wrote: It was something that I had never encountered before as all my previous work experiences were only with Americans, so it was amazing to be working so closely with such a culturally diverse group of people


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In my opinion, you need to find a more unique to relay these experience. There's nothing in the essay that separates you from a type, nothing that conveys individuality, really. You write well. Don't let that go to waste.

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maroonzoon
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Re: Please help me finalize my PS!! Thanks!

Postby maroonzoon » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:34 am

"everyday" should be "every day"




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