personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
solo
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:54 pm

personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby solo » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:10 pm

The breeze that day carried the scent of salt; an aroma that one comes to love when living by the Ocean. It filled me with warm memories of pleasant trips up and down the California coastline as a child. As I stood on the soft emerald green grassy knoll, I thought if there was any landscape in California that deserved to be on a postcard, it was this one. Nestled somewhere between the congestion of Los Angeles and the hills of San Francisco lay Santa Barbara, the location for this year’s Western Collegiate Model United Nations. As I exhaled, I thought to myself “This is utterly breath taking.” I figured the warm weather was a sign of things to come. “This will be an interesting conference”, I said aloud while adjusting my tie and donning my coat. The Model United Nations was here at last.

This year would be different than the last. There was always a sense of new beginnings at these conferences. Sometimes you would see a few old faces but what made the conferences exciting were seeing the new faces that walked the halls. Some faces were remarkably calm, others were stern in memorization, but the one thing they all had in common was a fearful apprehension of the events to come.

I couldn’t help but laugh a little. I remembered how my first conference had fared. As the World Health Organization delegate for China, I failed to broker an agreement on increased funding against the rising threat of HIV infections. Maybe it was due to nerves. I had convinced myself later that the threat of HIV infections isn’t really a problem China faces, at least compared to other nations.

As I walked further through the conference I realized my days as a delegate were over. I had learned how to research country positions, how to negotiate and foster compromises, how to diplomatically progress on issues with opposing countries, and even how to sit still and be polite though wanting to scream aloud. This year I was preparing for a new role as a defense lawyer in our mock representation of the International Criminal Court, or ICC for short. I tried to tell myself to relax; that “this would be exactly like last year” but my relaxed demeanor was a façade. I couldn’t rid myself of the creeping apprehension that sank to the bottom of my stomach as I tried to understand my role in what was the world’s first International Criminal court mock trial for a national MUN conference.

Greetings were done. The first two days would be research while the third would be the mock trial of Joseph Kony. “Joseph Kony?” I asked myself. This guy had thirty three counts of combined crimes against humanity and war crimes levied against him and my duty was to defend him against these charges. It was looking like an uphill battle. “Is there anymore coffee?” I asked while researching principles of International law relating to human rights, and searching through legal writings such as the Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Rome Statute. At this point, I was running purely on caffeine. My partner had tried to convinced me that nothing else could be done but some people can’t take no for an answer. I am one of those people. I stayed up all night, two nights straight, looking for legal precedence that could be used as a defense but this proved difficult and elusive. As I prepared the best case I could to find my defendant acquitted, I entered the courtroom. Needless to say, Joseph Kony was found guilty on all charges.

No one likes losing and some abhor it. I am the latter but the Director of my committee Lisa Runyen, now a practicing Attorney, reminded me that the whole point isn’t about winning or losing but rather about representing my client’s interest wholeheartedly and to the best of my abilities. It was a hard lesson learned but lessons such as these have fueled my desire to attend law school and to be a voice for those who are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

As I finish my undergraduate degree, I now stand on the precipice of law school and I look out at a scene more beautiful than that of the Santa Barbara coastline. I find myself on a hill looking outward but instead of being on a grassy knoll, I now find myself on the stage of Graduation breathing in the aroma of success. The Ocean that once lay in the distance is now a sea of the future; a sea of my fellow graduates, and as I peer out into this future I do so with the knowledge that I bring with me the hard lessons learned and the skills needed to succeed in law school.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:16 pm

This is a very good essay that needs proofreading. It is not necessary to capitalize "ocean" or "graduation". "Convince" not "convinced" in the fifth paragraph. "Presumed innocent" not "assumed" in the sixth paragraph.
P.S. "breathtaking" is one word.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

solo
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby solo » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:44 pm

thanks for the reply. I will change the grammatical mistakes. I'm concerned with the structure and the flow. Could you comment on those aspects? Also, when reading did you zone out or find the PS uninteresting? I appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:50 pm

I enjoyed reading your personal statement, plus I love Santa Barbara.

solo
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby solo » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:00 pm

I've noticed that quite a few people have at least viewed my personal statement. Even if its only a one line critique could some of you please comment. I'm trying to make my personal statement as strong as possible and I know some of the smartest minds are on this forum. Please.

User avatar
Excellence = a Habit
Posts: 1021
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:15 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:30 pm

I think it could use some work. Overall, I think you need to get to the meat of the statement sooner and stay there longer. If your overall thesis is "My struggle defending this dude in a mock trial has taught me important lessons and prepared me for law school," then you need to talk about that struggle in more detail. I would include substantially less than a paragraph at the beginning waxing poetic on the beauty of the California coast. Hope this is helpful!

User avatar
homestyle28
Posts: 2312
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:48 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby homestyle28 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:43 pm

I don't think the first paragraph is useful, given the theme of your PS. It's hard to imagine that adcoms see a lot of Model UN themed essays, so I like that aspect.

solo
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby solo » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:23 pm

Thank you. I appreciate the candid advice. My concern was that I wanted to paint an alluring opening scene that would hook the reader into the beginning of the conference. Do you think that opening scene should be shortened? I don't know how many admissions reps hear about model United Nations, so I wanted to spruce it up with vivid details of location in the first paragraph.

solo
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby solo » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:28 pm

This is my revised personal statement. I took many of the critiques of my friends and others on this forum into mind and so far have gotten to this statement. I would appreciate any feedback that could make it even stronger. Thank you.


The breeze that day carried the scent of salt; an aroma that one comes to love when living by the Ocean. It filled me with warm memories of pleasant trips up and down the California coastline as a child. As I stood on the soft emerald green grassy knoll, I thought if there was any landscape in California that deserved to be on a postcard, it was this one. Nestled somewhere between the congestion of Los Angeles and the hills of San Francisco lay Santa Barbara, the location for this year’s Western Collegiate Model United Nations. I figured the warm weather was a sign of things to come. “This will be a great conference”, I said aloud while adjusting my tie and donning my coat. The Model United Nations was here at last.

This year would be different than the last. There was always a sense of new beginnings at these conferences. Sometimes you would see a few old faces but what made the conferences exciting were seeing the new faces that walked the halls. Some faces were remarkably calm, others were stern in memorization, but the one thing they all had in common was a fearful apprehension of the unexpected events to come.

I couldn’t help but laugh a little. As I walked through the conference I realized my days as a delegate were over. The previous year, I had learned how to research country positions, how to negotiate and foster compromises, how to diplomatically progress on issues with opposing countries, and even how to sit still and be polite though wanting to scream aloud. This year I was preparing for a new role as a defense lawyer in our mock representation of the International Criminal Court. I tried to tell myself to relax; that “this would be exactly like last year” but my relaxed demeanor was a façade. I couldn’t rid myself of the creeping apprehension that sank to the bottom of my stomach as I tried to understand my role in what was the world’s first International Criminal Court mock trial for a national MUN conference.

Greetings were done. The first two days would be research while the third would be the mock trial of Joseph Kony. “Joseph Kony?” I asked myself. This guy had thirty three counts of combined crimes against humanity and war crimes levied against him and my duty was to defend him against these charges? It was looking like an uphill battle. “Is there anymore coffee?” I asked while researching principles of International law relating to human rights.

At this point, I was running purely on caffeine. While looking through legal writings such as the Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Rome Statute, my partner tried to convince me that nothing else could be done to prepare for this case but some people can’t take no for an answer. I am one of these people. I stayed up all night, two nights straight, looking for any kind of legal precedence that could be used as a defense but this proved difficult and elusive. As I prepared the best case I could to find my defendant acquitted, I entered the courtroom. Needless to say, Joseph Kony was found guilty on all charges.

No one enjoys losing but some abhor it. I am the latter but the Director of my committee Lisa Runyen, now a practicing Attorney, reminded me that the whole point isn’t about winning or losing but rather about representing my client’s interest wholeheartedly and to the best of my abilities. It was a hard lesson learned but lessons such as these have fueled my desire to attend law school and to be a voice for those who are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This conference did not satiate my intellectual curiosity, but instead it left me rapacious to learn more. The conference gave me skills ranging from filing motions and proceeding through arguments in a courtroom to raising rebuttals and presenting evidence. I gained an invaluable set of knowledge into International law, which is the law I wish to study, by reading and dissecting the Rome Statute, the Geneva Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While these skills are important, the most important skills that I learned from that conference were tenacity and hard work. Needless to say, I took the mock trial very seriously and through this experience I gained an unshakeable foundation to promote my desire to go to law school.

As I have finished my undergraduate degree, I now stand on the precipice of law school and I look out at a scene more beautiful than that of the Santa Barbara coastline. I find myself on a hill looking outward but instead of a grassy knoll, I am on the stage of graduation breathing in the aroma of success. As I walk across this stage that symbolizes the threshold of my undergraduate work with my diploma in hand, a smile on my face, and pride in my heart, I know that this marks the end of a milestone. The ocean that once lay in the distance is now a sea of the future; a sea of my fellow graduates, and as I peer out into this future I do so with the knowledge that I bring with me the hard lessons learned and the skills needed to succeed in law school.

solo
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby solo » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:31 am

Well, I'm thinking that since the view count rises everyday and no additional comments are being placed that my personal statement must be pretty good. Since I am a skeptic, I doubt this. If anyone can give feedback on my personal statement, positive or negative, I would truly appreciate it and would be willing to return the favor.

ck3ku
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:22 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby ck3ku » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:08 pm

yeah, i don`t know about this.

i feel like the intro`s pretty good and the context is interesting, but it needs to come out stronger.

usually when you're beginning/ending with a reflective and calm scenery/state, there needs to be a seriously dramatic series of events topped with an overwhelming climax, but your ps seems to be relatively stable the entire time.

maybe if you were more descriptive about the vehement battle against the majority and your unwavering stance despite the obvious outcome, it might help--i don`t know.

good luck :D

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:23 pm

Delete the attorney's name & don't capitalize attorney or ocean as used in your essay.

WhirledWorld
Posts: 331
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:04 am

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby WhirledWorld » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:12 pm

.
Last edited by WhirledWorld on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

solo
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: personal statement: Please critique and give any feedback

Postby solo » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:02 pm

thank you for the feedback. Time to go back and revise. I want to make this as strong as possible, so I will try my best to incorporate all these ideas into my statement. Thank you again.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.