PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

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OKBOUND
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:07 pm

PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

Postby OKBOUND » Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:01 pm

Well, here it is. I'm an English major applying to T2 schools. I am going for a coming of age/ maturity story as I have a minor criminal addendum. 164 LSAT, 3.4 GPA. Be brutal. Thanks, your help is greatly appreciated. I'm trying to cut around 3-4 sentences bc it is slightly over 3 double spaced pages.

Immediately, I was struck with the smell of radiator fluid and hot oil. I had been going too fast, and now I was going to have to pay for it. A car accident has a strange way of putting life circumstances into perspective. The next year would be fraught with the challenges of surviving without a car, more importantly however, I would find myself extricated with a renewed sense of purpose and drive. Throughout my childhood, and throughout high school, I was a model student. My first two years of college however, while not academically horrendous, were not my best personally or as a student. Going without a car put me in a position I was unaccustomed to. I had to be humble and rely on others for assistance, something I was used to providing others, even more importantly I had to take responsibility for my actions and work harder than ever before to secure a bright future for myself.

It was during the months immediately following the car accident that I moved within walking distance to campus and began taking action to forge a new path for myself. Indeed, my entire attitude on life changed, in many respects back to the way I felt before college ever began. I could do anything I put my mind and my action to. One of the first things I noticed was that classes were a lot easier if I attended every class session. I began applying myself wholly to school. Instead of commuting forty-five minutes to class and at the end of the day forgetting my obligation to myself through my studies, I began spending nearly all of my free time either at the library or at home with a novel in hand. My priorities changed. Instead of working full time while attending school simply to provide a higher standard of living for myself, I realized that my education is more valuable than any loft apartment or big screen TV. I could live meagerly, and I would. The lingering question that everyone likes to ask fine arts people began to burn hot in my mind: “Just what are you going to do with an English major after college?” My return quip usually involving starving and writing a novel on the back of brown paper bags began to run cold though my veins. I began taking the question and my future seriously.

Back in high school and indeed throughout my childhood I was always engaged in political arguments with my father in particular, and anyone else who would take the time to hear what someone who couldn’t vote thought about things like the U.S.S. Cole bombing, or later, the impending war in Afghanistan. I would often choose the side opposite of whomever I was discussing politics with simply to work out my opponent’s view of an issue. My father would wonder in amazement how I could argue the side of Al Gore during the 2000 election scandal, when I would just as often advocate for future President Bush’s policy agenda. I have always preferred examining both sides of an issue and have been known to play devil’s advocate on regular occasion. My close friends don’t know for sure who I voted for in the 2008 election. I like to keep them guessing simply to bring politics into everyday conversation.

Indeed, after the car accident I decided to rededicate myself to my studies and it wasn’t long before the thought of law school, and more importantly, the task of being an attorney entered my daily vocabulary. Not only do I believe that law school will prepare me to fulfill a profession that I will find truly rewarding on moral and intellectual levels but will provide me the opportunity of advocating for justice. The profession will be both mentally challenging and provide the opportunity of helping others in very real and physical ways. These realities attracted me to the prospect of law school, and within a few months I began drafting a plan of attack, a “mission” if you will, of how to make that dream a reality.

Shortly after the car accident, my father and I began planning our own “mission” to bring my first car, a twenty-five year old sports car, across the country from my parent’s home in Seattle to mine in Texas. The car was in a state of disrepair. Such a mission to bring the car home would require a great deal of planning. Luckily, my father has always been a great planner, a skill he instilled in me at a young age, and together he and I planned the delicate details of the repairs and precautions necessary to bring the car home safely. For nearly a year we planned and excitedly awaited the day we could make the journey together.

By the time we took our journey across the country I was well into the process of accomplishing the many goals I had set out in a plan for myself with the intent of fulfilling my dream of making my contributing to society as an honest and outstanding attorney. Knowing that I am what is considered a “splitter” I literally studied for the LSAT twenty plus hours a week for six months leading up to the exam. I worked hard in my spare time to join the *** Moot Court Team, of which I quickly became one of the most active members. I joined the Student Conduct Committee and met the difficulty of interpreting justice both serious and rewarding. Indeed, I was in the process of meeting the goals of my “mission” when my father and I made our perilous journey across the country.

During our trip, in addition to solving all the world’s problems, my father and I listened to 1776 by David McCullough on CD. The history of the birth of our nation is undeniably fantastic. Our young country’s novice military leaders showed determination and sheer in securing victory over the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. One thing that struck me most was a discussion of the play “Cato: A Tragedy”. George Washington used from it as a motto:

"Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more Sempronius, we'll deserve it."

To me this means that we cannot simply command what we wish. I cannot make a plan to attend law school and simply wish the fulfillment of that plan into existence. In order to succeed in my “mission” I must take action. I realized this while my father and I were in the midst of fulfilling our own “mission” to bring my car across the country. Having a plan of attending law school or bringing my car across the country wouldn’t command success. Only through mortal action upon those plans is the possibility of fulfilling our dreams even an option.

With the LSAT being only 42 days away, (Yes, I was counting the days), and in light of the effect this quote and the subsequent discussion my father and I had over it, I rededicated myself to taking action in order to hopefully enjoy the successful completion of my “mission”.

A lot has changed since my car accident. It is strange, the way a near death experience can put life circumstances back into perspective. My coming of age has come full circle. Today, I am ready to not only plan to meet the challenges of the future, but tackle them in action.
Last edited by OKBOUND on Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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esq
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Re: PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

Postby esq » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:35 am

A lot has changed since my car accident. It is strange, the way a near death experience can put life circumstances back into perspective. My coming of age has come full circle. Today, I am ready to not only plan to meet the challenges of the future, but tackle them through action.


I'm not sure that you have shown anything significant has changed in your life.

Crashing your car and having to bum off of your friends, who also had cars, for a few months until your parents purchased a campus accessible apartment for you doesn't qualify as humbling - I sure hope that you don't get an academic that is versed in minority and immigrant issues reading your PS.

I think also that you need to be careful about what you list as accomplishments. Most people don't consider showing up to class an accomplishment, that is one of the most basic requirements to receive and education. Reading novels, spending time in the library, and studying for the LSAT doesn't qualify as a big accomplishment either. Do you think that these sort of minor tasks that are common among all law applicants are going to impress the adcomms? I strongly doubt that they will. In fact, I think that mentioning these as accomplishments might make them think that if you consider something like just showing up a big deal, you might not be prepared for the rigors of a career in law -where you are expected to not only show up, but devote almost every waking moment to your career.

Also, how to you think any person reading this statement is going to feel about you when you seek sympathy by mentioning that you didn't work, which was an inconvenience to you because everyone else's parents could buy them big screen TVs and loft apartments, while poor you, your parents could only afford room and board. You would have to work for these extra niceties. Others of us had to pay our own way entirely, which means that we were working for bare necessities. Forget big screen TVs and loft apartments, I'm talking about keeping the lights on and feeding yourself.

And your big moment of growth was driving a car home and scheduling repairs? Please. Try purchasing a $1000 dollar Geo Metro, and then teaching yourself how to install a radiator and a rebuilt engine that you were lucky to find for another $300 when it bummed out on you six months later.

I don't want to sound like an old crank, but I'm sorry, I just don't see any maturity or growth in this statement. In fact, this statement is one of the most immature I've seen on TLS. Scrap it. Find a better topic. This might be blunt, but I really think that it will help you.

Edit:
During our trip, in addition to solving all the world’s problems, my father and I listened to 1776 by David McCullough on CD.


OK, now I get it. This whole statement was just a big joke.

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2807
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Re: PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

Postby 2807 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:07 am

Ok, ok, ok. What we need here is to slow down and FOCUS. You are really all over the place in this. I recommend that you do this:

1. Say what your point is. "I was involved in a major car accident, and surviving that affected me in the following way _______________, this will benefit me as a law student because _________________. (this is overly simplified, but I think you need this as a template).

2. If you can do #1 in a manner that sounds like a solid approach to the PS, then write it. Keep it near 2 pages double spaced, and come on back! As you write it, refer to #1: if a sentence is veering off of #1, STOP, erase, and re-focus. Stay on target and see what you come up with. Less is more.

The truth takes very few words. Just say it. When you are all over the place it starts to look very forced and insincere.

The car crash and emergence as a more grounded and effective adult, aware of your mortality, and the fragility of it all, can be a good PS. But you did not convey that. Would you like too? If so, refer to #1 and get going!

You can obviously write, so you just need to focus. My first PS was a disaster too... Just relax, re-group, keep calm and carry on.

OKBOUND
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:07 pm

Re: PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

Postby OKBOUND » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:00 am

Scrapped.

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12AngryMen
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Re: PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

Postby 12AngryMen » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:20 am

I quite enjoyed it in fact. It does show growth IMHO and that you live a well balanced family life. I think that it highlights a solidly lead upbringing and a clear mind full of determination, grit, and candor. I would work on it a lil like pointed out but esq is to harsh. It says allot about you.

7ED
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Re: PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

Postby 7ED » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:35 am

Im pretty sure the OP is joking with this ps... read the line on David McCullough.

OKBOUND
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:07 pm

Re: PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

Postby OKBOUND » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:40 am

esq, I see what you are saying. In fact the car is a complete pos, I bought it for 1600 dollars and have had to learn to do everything but a complete engine rebuild. I have literally a thousand hours of blood and work in the pos car. As far as loft apartments and TV's go, I was trying to show that I have completely altered my priorities in order to focus on what is truly important. For six months straight I have spent 20+ hours a week preparing myself for the LSAT, and I'm on campus more than 12 hours a day. Perhaps these are things I should mention. I failed to accomplish my goals and I appreciate your candor.

2807, again thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my PS. I had a complex theory in mind for all the themes I wanted to get across and realize I have failed in at least some aspects. I wanted to parallel preparation for the LSAT with my 'mission' to get the car home. Thanks for your input, I'll definitely be trying a completely different, less complicated route.

12AngryMen, I believe you highlight the positive aspects of my PS that I hope to incorporate in a future draft. Thank you for taking the time to read my PS. I'll probably do a completely separate draft in addition to trying to clarify this one and then make a decision as to which one is better.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:52 am

Sidenote: I don't think that a 164 LSAT score and a 3.4 GPA qualifies one as a "splitter". Probably a 170+ LSAT score with a 3.4 GPA would be considered a "splitter".

OKBOUND
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:07 pm

Re: PS Draft 2.0 any critique will recieve great appreciation

Postby OKBOUND » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:43 pm

maybe at T1 schools, but at the T2 schools I'm applying to I am above the 75th percentile in LSAT and around 25th percentile in GPA. If that's not a splitter then I don't know what is. It's a relative term!




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