First Draft of my PS.

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First Draft of my PS.

Postby JerrySeinfeld » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:26 pm

If anyone could review my PS, I would really appreciate it. It's my first draft, so it's going to have issues.

Please be constructively critical of it! (edited because of brief mark-ups)

On a quiet Saturday afternoon, the piercing and distinctive ring of my telephone has engraved itself in my memory. “Andrew, someone has a handgun in the building, what do I do?” Those twelve words whispered by one of my fellow resident assistants will live with me for the rest of my life. I turned nineteen years old two days earlier and suddenly I found myself in a life or death situation. When I was hired to become a resident assistant, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my resident assistants who so graciously helped guided me during my daunting freshman year. I never could have anticipated how ambiguous and broad the term “help” truly is. I want to practice law in order to help others, because I know from first-hand experience that helping others fulfills me.

My fellow resident assistant was sitting in the main lobby with her large, swollen eyes staring down at the floor. We both feared this was the next Columbine or Virginia Tech. As I called University Police, whispering to ensure no one could hear what I was saying, I felt confident and able. I was not allowed to fear, not afforded the luxury of “what if”. When the officers arrived, I informed them of everything I knew and directed them to the room. The officers discovered a hand gun, numerous bullets and, to my incredible relief, apprehended the individuals and resolved the conflict. As I slowly walked back to my room, I laid down in my bed, put the pillow over my face, and screamed. As I found myself imagining every possible scenario, I came to the realization that I made a difference for one simple reason; none of my residents discovered what happened that Saturday afternoon. This, however, was not the end of my involvement in crucial situations.
After a lack of a serious problem for approximately one month, I received another call on my room telephone. I was informed that a male resident was crying in the women’s bathroom. Upon reaching the bathroom, he looked at me with incredible sadness and begged me not to compel him to return to his room. When I asked why, he told me he was going kill himself and that he tried to do so the previous night but failed. He did not want me to be his resident assistant; he simply wanted me to be his friend. I brought him into my room and for four hours we discussed life. For those four hours, I developed a genuine interest in his life and therefore he did the same for himself. For the past year, every Sunday at noon, he comes into my room to watch football. We have never discussed that night and we probably never will, but when he walks into my room at the same time every Sunday, it’s all the communication about that night we will ever need.

Unfortunately, crucial incidents were still prevalent in my dormitory that same year. The next semester another resident attempted to commit suicide. A female resident locked herself in her room after taking a considerable amount of anti-depressant pills. This situation, however, was different in many regards. I gained a significant amount of situational knowledge from dealing with that resident six months prior. After a struggle to persuade her to leave her room and obtain medical help, the police officers and I finally convinced her to do so. One of my fellow resident assistants asked me how I was able to remain calm and relaxed during the confrontation. The answer was simple, I was a different person and I was stronger and better at helping.

My position as a resident assistant has allowed me to experience the benefits of lending a hand to those who need one. Situations which seem like a burden can have the greatest impact. I have discovered that helping someone is a reciprocal process. When I applied to become a resident assistant, I never expected it to become one of the defining aspects of my personality. If accepted into ¬¬¬_______, I am positive that ¬¬______ will allow me to practice the law in a style that utilizes my experiences as a resident assistant to the greatest extent.
Last edited by JerrySeinfeld on Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First Draft of my PS.

Postby JerrySeinfeld » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:41 pm


Honest and constructive criticism needed!

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Re: First Draft of my PS.

Postby plenipotentiary » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:21 am

Honestly, I'm wondering whether you wrote this with a thesaurus in your lap. You're using "big words" where they don't belong, and it just brings attention to fact that you're not comfortable using them. More importantly, it makes reading your PS feel like a slog.

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Re: First Draft of my PS.

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:40 am

Hey JerrySein,

I think your PS has potential. It seems like you have some concrete examples of adversity that make you an interesting candidate for law school. But, you don't do a very good job communicating these experiences. If I were you, I would go back over your statement very carefully and make grammatical, syntactical and diction-related (word choice) edits. Cut out the fluff (esp. the parts about the sound of your phone, your leaps down the stairs, unnecessary descriptors like "quaint, "previously aforementioned," "distinct" and "distinctive"...etc.) and make your content strong and clear.

Then, I would show the fresh PS to either a pre-law advisor (if you're still in school) or to someone else in academics, and re-post on TLS. You've clearly got an interesting experience. You just need to continue to revise and refine your writing.

Also, to me, the connection between personal growth and law school seems weak. By default of your existence, you will grow as a person. You don't need law school for personal growth. You make it seem like you've put no thought into attending law school and are simply hoping for the best:

"The aspect of law school that I look most forward to is not the pay check or the title, but the potential for personal growth. I am incredibly excited to divulge myself in a situation where the outcome is not known. Law school will allow me to grow in such a manner that I cannot fathom. If accepted into ¬¬¬_______, I am positive that ¬¬______ will cultivate my growth in a reciprocal fashion so that helping can become"

I wouldn't stress that you want to dive (not "divulge," which means "to disclose or reveal something private, secret, or previously unknown") into something where the outcome is unknown. This is weak. You conflate "personal growth" and "helping others," without showing how personal growth comes with/from helping others. What do you intend to show? Nonetheless, the main message -- the reason that you are equipped to attend law school; the reason why you are suited to attend -- isn't clear.

Perhaps you are tying to make a connection between your willingness to help others (demonstrated through your RA experience) and practicing the law. If so, maybe your "thesis" should be: I want to practice law in order to help others, because I know from experience that helping others fulfills me.

If so, focus on that idea and refine your essay.

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