PS too risky?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
slg123
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PS too risky?

Postby slg123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:45 pm

This is just something I was kicking around. I kind of like it, but I'm wondering if it's too risky. I made this account to see what you all think, so let me know!


*deleted
Last edited by slg123 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

trudat15
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby trudat15 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:50 pm

This tells me a lot about George, Bob, Harry and Tom, but not enough about you. If this was a GBHT Statement, you'd be good. But it's personal.
Last edited by trudat15 on Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby Jack Smirks » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:53 pm

Honestly OP, I would scratch this idea. A personal statement is meant to be personal and all I read was a story about four other individuals. If I were you, I would focus on this:
I came from a family in which I was largely neglected because of my parents’ addictions to drugs and alcohol. I had to figure out a lot life’s idiosyncrasies on my own

Take this as your general theme and go back to the drawing boards.

slg123
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby slg123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:05 pm

haha.. well I've been writing about myself for weeks and thought I'd write about my perspectives of other people for a change. Just wanted to see if anyone thought it could work. It's so much harder to write about myself ;)

slg123
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby slg123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:07 pm

trudat15 wrote:This tells me a lot about George, Bob, Harry and Tom, but not enough about you. If this was a GBHT Statement, you'd be good. But it's personal.

Would you mind editing out my PS? I'm going to delete it eventually, and would appreciate it! Thanks.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby Jack Smirks » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:09 pm

slg123 wrote:haha.. well I've been writing about myself for weeks and thought I'd write about my perspectives of other people for a change. Just wanted to see if anyone thought it could work. It's so much harder to write about myself ;)

I will edit your PS if you have something previous to the above or if you plan on rewriting with the concept that I quoted for you (or something else).

beautyhide
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby beautyhide » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:19 pm

I like the way it's written, but have to agree that it does not reveal enough about you.
If you shortened the part where you talk about the four man and elaborated on how your life story
relate to these four men, it could be strengthened. The passage also seems to suggest that you have been
a waitress for a long time, which I'm quite certain the law schools do not value highly (no offense).
I would touch briefly on waitressing and focus on a more solid professional experience.

Bankhead
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby Bankhead » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:39 pm

This could be the worst PERSONAL statement I've ever read. As a statement, it's fine. But it sure as hell ain't personal.

EDIT: Nevermind, I read it again, I like it.

2nd EDIT: I really really like it. You won me over. I'd send this.
Last edited by Bankhead on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby Jack Smirks » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:39 pm

beautyhide wrote:I like the way it's written, but have to agree that it does not reveal enough about you.
If you shortened the part where you talk about the four man and elaborated on how your life story
relate to these four men, it could be strengthened. The passage also seems to suggest that you have been
a waitress for a long time, which I'm quite certain the law schools do not value highly (no offense).
I would touch briefly on waitressing and focus on a more solid professional experience.


I'm sorry but I'm going to have to disagree. A personal statement only affords you two pages to convey your personal experience and uniqueness. In order to be successful at this you need to be concise. OP should not waste valuable real estate by mentioning how his life relates to people he met while working in a diner. If OP is extremely crafty he could maybe mention one of these individuals but I would highly suggest against it.

Also, I think your comment about being a waiter/waitress is pretty off base as well. If OP gained valuable life experience while working there he should feel free to mention it just as he would any other profession. However again I would advise against this as this information is likely to be found elsewhere in his application and should probably be left out altogether.

slg123
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby slg123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:51 pm

naterj wrote:
beautyhide wrote:I like the way it's written, but have to agree that it does not reveal enough about you.
If you shortened the part where you talk about the four man and elaborated on how your life story
relate to these four men, it could be strengthened. The passage also seems to suggest that you have been
a waitress for a long time, which I'm quite certain the law schools do not value highly (no offense).
I would touch briefly on waitressing and focus on a more solid professional experience.


I'm sorry but I'm going to have to disagree. A personal statement only affords you two pages to convey your personal experience and uniqueness. In order to be successful at this you need to be concise. OP should not waste valuable real estate by mentioning how his life relates to people he met while working in a diner. If OP is extremely crafty he could maybe mention one of these individuals but I would highly suggest against it.

Also, I think your comment about being a waiter/waitress is pretty off base as well. If OP gained valuable life experience while working there he should feel free to mention it just as he would any other profession. However again I would advise against this as this information is likely to be found elsewhere in his application and should probably be left out altogether.



I am a woman ;) Also, people have told me not to bother putting the waitessing on my resume... It was just one of many jobs I worked while in college (I did far more relevant work as well)..do you disagree?

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Jack Smirks
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby Jack Smirks » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:59 pm

slg123 wrote:I am a woman ;)

My deepest apologies.

slg123 wrote:Also, people have told me not to bother putting the waitessing on my resume... It was just one of many jobs I worked while in college (I did far more relevant work as well)..do you disagree?

It depends on how brief/long you worked as a waitress. If it was for less than 6 months you could probably leave it off.

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Shooter
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby Shooter » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:01 pm

For what it's worth, I completely disagree with everyone on this thread. I loved this personal statement (seriously). I've read dozens of these things over the past several weeks and this is by far one of the best.

This statement says a lot about you, it just doesn't spell it out in big, stupid letters. It says that you are a very personable and reflective person. It also says that you don't whine about your personal struggles. You mention them briefly, but you aren't defined by them, and you certainly aren't bitter or resentful.

Aside from that, you're a great writer.

Not trying to blow smoke up your skirt, but I'm not sure everyone commenting on this thread "got" it. It would be a terrible thing if you turned this thing into a typical "I" statement.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:18 pm

some may read this as Shooter has.

others, myself included, may read this and see a woman who hasn't yet come to terms with the dysfunction of her family. why are you hiding behind the stories of these men? this is undoubtedly good writing, and would work if you were submitting this for some type of publication, but not for a personal statement. character sketches can work, but only if there is some context, some connection. you don't have any of that here.

you have these points of self-revelation:

Both of them were older than me and clearly closer as sisters than I am to mine


Sometimes I wished my father smiled at me quite so contentedly.


I came from a family in which I was largely neglected because of my parents’ addictions to drugs and alcohol.


that come -- perhaps strategically --between stories of the characters. but i'm wondering, why bring them up if you're not going to focus on them? to me, those points seem like the story you're yearning to tell, but can't / or won't because the wounds haven't healed. it might be a good idea to think about what your thesis is here.

slg123
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby slg123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:19 pm

Shooter wrote:For what it's worth, I completely disagree with everyone on this thread. I loved this personal statement (seriously). I've read dozens of these things over the past several weeks and this is by far one of the best.

This statement says a lot about you, it just doesn't spell it out in big, stupid letters. It says that you are a very personable and reflective person. It also says that you don't whine about your personal struggles. You mention them briefly, but you aren't defined by them, and you certainly aren't bitter or resentful.

Aside from that, you're a great writer.

Not trying to blow smoke up your skirt, but I'm not sure everyone commenting on this thread "got" it. It would be a terrible thing if you turned this thing into a typical "I" statement.


I appreciate this, as it was exactly what I was going for. I wonder, though, if the adcomms won't get it either, thus making it risky.

slg123
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby slg123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:26 pm

ShuckingNotJiving wrote:some may read this as Shooter has.

others, myself included, may read this and see a woman who hasn't yet come to terms with the dysfunction of her family. why are you hiding behind the stories of these men? this is undoubtedly good writing, and would work if you were submitting this for some type of publication, but not for a personal statement. character sketches can work, but only if there is some context, some connection. you don't have any of that here.

you have these points of self-revelation:

Both of them were older than me and clearly closer as sisters than I am to mine


Sometimes I wished my father smiled at me quite so contentedly.


I came from a family in which I was largely neglected because of my parents’ addictions to drugs and alcohol.


that come -- perhaps strategically --between stories of the characters. but i'm wondering, why bring them up if you're not going to focus on them? to me, those points seem like the story you're yearning to tell, but can't / or won't because the wounds haven't healed. it might be a good idea to think about what your thesis is here.



I have worked for many years to not let the struggles define me, which is why I think I find it very difficult to write about them. It may seem like a cop-out of sorts, but it may also just be a style? maybe one I did not convey well enough.

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Shooter
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby Shooter » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:27 pm

I totally understand your concern.

The idealist in me says: If the adcoms hate it, you probably won't jive with the culture at the school they represent anyways.

The realist in me says: You're a good writer. Draft up a safety (something more typical) that no one will find objectionable.

Your numbers also play a big role. If you are on the low end of the schools you are applying to, I would take the risk. If you meet both medians, go with the safety. If you're at the high end, it doesn't matter.

Just my 2c.

AP-375
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby AP-375 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:30 pm

slg123 wrote:
Shooter wrote:For what it's worth, I completely disagree with everyone on this thread. I loved this personal statement (seriously). I've read dozens of these things over the past several weeks and this is by far one of the best.

This statement says a lot about you, it just doesn't spell it out in big, stupid letters. It says that you are a very personable and reflective person. It also says that you don't whine about your personal struggles. You mention them briefly, but you aren't defined by them, and you certainly aren't bitter or resentful.

Aside from that, you're a great writer.

Not trying to blow smoke up your skirt, but I'm not sure everyone commenting on this thread "got" it. It would be a terrible thing if you turned this thing into a typical "I" statement.


I appreciate this, as it was exactly what I was going for. I wonder, though, if the adcomms won't get it either, thus making it risky.


Maybe you're just looking for what you want to hear. While the previous responses have reflected an LSAT-worthy false dichotomy, here is an alternative perspective: As the good writer that you are, you have the capability of keeping this interesting theme (which you seem quite attached to) and reworking it, making it much more about you than about these other men. If I were you, I would spend 75% less space telling each man's life story (which contributes nothing) and instead spend that space talking about their individual impacts on you and the consequences of those relationships. If you can do that, you've got a unique, interesting, and most importantly, effective PS.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:32 pm

slg123 wrote:I have worked for many years to not let the struggles define me, which is why I think I find it very difficult to write about them. It may seem like a cop-out of sorts, but it may also just be a style? maybe one I did not convey well enough.



you can write about something and not have it define you. style it is indeed but this isn't purely creative non-ficiton, you also have the task of presenting to law school adcomms who you are or why you are a good candidate for law school. i can't say you've done either of those things with this.

i won't deny that it's a good piece of writing. i will say that i'm unsure as to whether it constitutes a personal statement.

again, i'm wondering, what is your thesis here.....

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Jack Smirks
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby Jack Smirks » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:33 pm

OP, what is your central theme or thesis in this statement?

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Shooter
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby Shooter » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:36 pm

I wouldn't call it a thesis, necessarily, but this is definitely the main idea: "They have given me a perspective not taught in school, and provided many a lesson about life and how to live it the best I can."

slg123
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby slg123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:43 pm

ShuckingNotJiving wrote:
again, i'm wondering, what is your thesis here.....


naterj wrote:OP, what is your central theme or thesis in this statement?



I would say that it is that I have taken the time to gain perspectives of many different kinds of people; perspectives that go beyond my schooling and my family. I also wanted to reveal my personal view as I learned about these men in particular, and, to a lesser extent, how it is similar/different to the view I already have from my family. I have to agree that the difficulty I am having articulating the thesis is a sign about how the paper could be made better. If I keep this, I will definitely work on that.

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birdlaw117
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby birdlaw117 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:45 pm

I have a feeling OP got this idea from the 55 Successful Harvard Law School Application Essays book. There is an essay in there that is remarkably similar to this idea. However, it is a risky topic, IMHO. It could be done well, and I agree with others saying that it would need to be strengthened in the personal aspect of it. If you have other solid ideas, I would avoid this one (especially since Adcomms have likely read the "55 Successful..." that this is so similar to).

My $.02

slg123
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby slg123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:45 pm

AP-375 wrote:Maybe you're just looking for what you want to hear. While the previous responses have reflected an LSAT-worthy false dichotomy, here is an alternative perspective: As the good writer that you are, you have the capability of keeping this interesting theme (which you seem quite attached to) and reworking it, making it much more about you than about these other men. If I were you, I would spend 75% less space telling each man's life story (which contributes nothing) and instead spend that space talking about their individual impacts on you and the consequences of those relationships. If you can do that, you've got a unique, interesting, and most importantly, effective PS.


I like where you're going with this.

slg123
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby slg123 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:49 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:I have a feeling OP got this idea from the 55 Successful Harvard Law School Application Essays book. There is an essay in there that is remarkably similar to this idea. However, it is a risky topic, IMHO. It could be done well, and I agree with others saying that it would need to be strengthened in the personal aspect of it. If you have other solid ideas, I would avoid this one (especially since Adcomms have likely read the "55 Successful..." that this is so similar to).

My $.02


Actually, I got this idea from reading a different book talking about character sketches. It talked about trying to write about myself by writing about what I've learned from/how I see other people. I thought I would give it a try.

trudat15
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Re: PS too risky?

Postby trudat15 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:52 pm

Shooter wrote:For what it's worth, I completely disagree with everyone on this thread. I loved this personal statement (seriously). I've read dozens of these things over the past several weeks and this is by far one of the best.


I'm not saying it's not well written, and I think OP is a good writer. But the problem is that she tells you things about her, but it none of the points are driven home and are weaker without examples/anecdotes.

Through Harry we learn that she is a hard worker (her parents instilled that in her). But what's better, showing you are a hard worker, or mentioning that my parents instilled in me a hard work ethic, so I have one.

I would also say that the time she spent with Tom tells me nothing except that she hopes to "live life," which isnt saying much.

The time with Bob tells me not too much , except that she wished her father smiled at her like that.

I think the format can actually work, but I need to learn much more about HER and less about the guys that inspired her.
slg123 wrote:Would you mind editing out my PS? I'm going to delete it eventually, and would appreciate it! Thanks.


Whoops - sorry. Deleted it.
Last edited by trudat15 on Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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