Personal Statement (Second Draft)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Personal Statement (Second Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:03 pm

...
Last edited by 3|ink on Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:15 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:32 pm

That bad?

bhan87
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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby bhan87 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:45 pm

My general impression is this PS heavily focuses on the story of Mr. H, but doesn't apply that to how it affected you. It seems this information is only introduced in the last paragraph, but I don't get a sense of how this story shows you will be a great attorney. You discuss how this story affected your understanding of bankruptcy law. Now explain how this new understanding translates to your ability to be a good lawyer.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:50 pm

bhan87 wrote:My general impression is this PS heavily focuses on the story of Mr. H, but doesn't apply that to how it affected you. It seems this information is only introduced in the last paragraph, but I don't get a sense of how this story shows you will be a great attorney. You discuss how this story affected your understanding of bankruptcy law. Now explain how this new understanding translates to your ability to be a good lawyer.


Thanks for your response.

Why would I have to demonstrate that I'd be a good lawyer? I'm trying to demonstrate that I'd be a good law student. Many law students never even practice law.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby bhan87 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:55 pm

3|ink wrote:
bhan87 wrote:My general impression is this PS heavily focuses on the story of Mr. H, but doesn't apply that to how it affected you. It seems this information is only introduced in the last paragraph, but I don't get a sense of how this story shows you will be a great attorney. You discuss how this story affected your understanding of bankruptcy law. Now explain how this new understanding translates to your ability to be a good lawyer.


Thanks for your response.

Why would I have to demonstrate that I'd be a good lawyer? I'm trying to demonstrate that I'd be a good law student. Many law students never even practice law.


I suppose that depends on what you define as "practicing" law. However, admission councils want to admit students that will go on to do something great and thus increase the reputation of the school.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby Flips88 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:09 pm

I feel like the title of this would be "The Curious Case of Mr. H". The story was more focused on him than you. All I got out of it was that you were a paralegal, fascinated by bankruptcy law, who didn't love foreclosing on people's homes, but didn't seem to hate it. And while you show some empathy towards Mr. H's circumstances, I don't think you show enough. Does someone that got cancer, lost their health insurance, and lost their job really deserve to be homeless? There's no justice in that. I think you need to rework it to put the focus on you some more and paint a more appealing picture of yourself.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:24 pm

Flips88 wrote:I feel like the title of this would be "The Curious Case of Mr. H". The story was more focused on him than you. All I got out of it was that you were a paralegal, fascinated by bankruptcy law, who didn't love foreclosing on people's homes, but didn't seem to hate it. And while you show some empathy towards Mr. H's circumstances, I don't think you show enough. Does someone that got cancer, lost their health insurance, and lost their job really deserve to be homeless? There's no justice in that. I think you need to rework it to put the focus on you some more and paint a more appealing picture of yourself.


Thank you for your feedback. I should mention that my school has a 500 word limit, though they say they'll permit more than that. I guess the idea is that we do our best to keep it short.

I was trying to convey that I loved doing work similar to an attorney's. I had no passion for taking people out of their homes. I'll try and convey that better.

Regarding the second point, I was trying very hard to express that I did not judge Mr. H in any way even though I understood the judge's reasoning. I'm told that a rule of thumb behind the law is to never judge your client. I suspect this same rule applies to the adverse party. Making judgments about people is a good way to distort an objective perspective. Besides, I represented the interests of the bank. Empathizing with Mr. H could have been a conflict.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby Hedwig » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:26 pm

I don't really get a sense of who you are from this. I felt like we were just waiting to understand what Mr. H's deal was.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby op-ti » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:44 pm

bhan87 wrote:My general impression is this PS heavily focuses on the story of Mr. H, but doesn't apply that to how it affected you. It seems this information is only introduced in the last paragraph, but I don't get a sense of how this story shows you will be a great attorney. You discuss how this story affected your understanding of bankruptcy law. Now explain how this new understanding translates to your ability to be a good lawyer.



I don't believe it is your place to explain/demonstrate to adcom. your ability to be a good lawyer in a PS. Why? Because rather than taking all that real-estate to talk about how YOU believe you will be a good lawyer (what do you really know about law in the first place to make that judgment)--it is better to show the adcom. who you are instead. I think they know how to read different characters and spot those they believe will thrive at their school.

3|ink, I think this a GOOD first draft PS. It actually answers the most basic question most adcom. want to know in the first place: what made you want to apply to law school? or Why law school? BUT to make it an excellent PS, you need to put the focus back on you like Flips88 mentioned above.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:50 pm

eit wrote:I don't really get a sense of who you are from this. I felt like we were just waiting to understand what Mr. H's deal was.


op-ti wrote:
bhan87 wrote:My general impression is this PS heavily focuses on the story of Mr. H, but doesn't apply that to how it affected you. It seems this information is only introduced in the last paragraph, but I don't get a sense of how this story shows you will be a great attorney. You discuss how this story affected your understanding of bankruptcy law. Now explain how this new understanding translates to your ability to be a good lawyer.



I don't believe it is your place to explain/demonstrate to adcom. your ability to be a good lawyer in a PS. Why? Because rather than taking all that real-estate to talk about how YOU believe you will be a good lawyer (what do you really know about law in the first place to make that judgment)--it is better to show the adcom. who you are instead. I think they know how to read different characters and spot those they believe will thrive at their school.

3|ink, I think this a GOOD first draft PS. It actually answers the most basic question most adcom. want to know in the first place: what made you want to apply to law school? or Why law school? BUT to make it an excellent PS, you need to put the focus back on you like Flips88 mentioned above.



Thanks to both of you. Do you think I could save the Mr. H story by putting more in the PS about myself? I realize now that I was so concerned with staying within the word limit that I didn't write as much about myself as I originally planned. However, since the word limit is tentative, I think I'll be safe going a little over.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby op-ti » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:10 pm

I certainly liked the Mr. H story...dont start all over, just amend here and there to add more about your self. I strongly agree with this guy.

Flips88 wrote:I feel like the title of this would be "The Curious Case of Mr. H". The story was more focused on him than you. All I got out of it was that you were a paralegal, fascinated by bankruptcy law, who didn't love foreclosing on people's homes, but didn't seem to hate it. And while you show some empathy towards Mr. H's circumstances, I don't think you show enough. Does someone that got cancer, lost their health insurance, and lost their job really deserve to be homeless? There's no justice in that. I think you need to rework it to put the focus on you some more and paint a more appealing picture of yourself.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:15 pm

op-ti wrote:I certainly liked the Mr. H story...dont start all over, just amend here and there to add more about your self. I strongly agree with this guy.

Flips88 wrote:I feel like the title of this would be "The Curious Case of Mr. H". The story was more focused on him than you. All I got out of it was that you were a paralegal, fascinated by bankruptcy law, who didn't love foreclosing on people's homes, but didn't seem to hate it. And while you show some empathy towards Mr. H's circumstances, I don't think you show enough. Does someone that got cancer, lost their health insurance, and lost their job really deserve to be homeless? There's no justice in that. I think you need to rework it to put the focus on you some more and paint a more appealing picture of yourself.


Thanks again.

I realize that one should strive to minimize personal criticism in a personal statement, but I wanted this to be believable. I can't help but feel that admissions counselors get sick of reading all pros and no cons. It's one thing to say you're disorganized and lazy, but it's something else to say that you obsess over your work.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby Flips88 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:17 pm

op-ti wrote:I certainly liked the Mr. H story...dont start all over, just amend here and there to add more about your self. I strongly agree with this guy.

Flips88 wrote:I feel like the title of this would be "The Curious Case of Mr. H". The story was more focused on him than you. All I got out of it was that you were a paralegal, fascinated by bankruptcy law, who didn't love foreclosing on people's homes, but didn't seem to hate it. And while you show some empathy towards Mr. H's circumstances, I don't think you show enough. Does someone that got cancer, lost their health insurance, and lost their job really deserve to be homeless? There's no justice in that. I think you need to rework it to put the focus on you some more and paint a more appealing picture of yourself.



And to be clear, I thought the story was great, well written, and constructed well too. I just think it seemed a bit lacking in telling me about you. Yes, you were an agent in the story, but it seems like Mr. H is the main character. You should be the main character. Maybe add about what you learned more, like a greater understanding of the nuances of law or something. I think the story has promise, but you need to play up your part some more.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby crazner » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:15 am

I also think this is a great PS. One thing that I was a little disappointed with was the end, though. It felt pretty sudden, and I feel like you should develop it to explain more of why this was such an important experience for you.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:58 am

I really enjoyed reading your essay. It is well written, interesting & revealing.

CONSIDER: "I remain curious, nonetheless."

Your final sentence should be redone. CONSIDER: I look forward to further humbling experiences over the next three years. (Point being that you are willing to learn & grow.)
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby justadude55 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:03 am

it's good. it's like the first thirty minutes of a strange erotic movie.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:05 pm

crazner wrote:I also think this is a great PS. One thing that I was a little disappointed with was the end, though. It felt pretty sudden, and I feel like you should develop it to explain more of why this was such an important experience for you.


CanadianWolf wrote:I really enjoyed reading your essay. It is well written, interesting & revealing.

CONSIDER: "I remain curious, nonetheless."

Your final sentence should be redone. CONSIDER: I look forward to further humbling experiences over the next three years. (Point being that you are willing to learn & grow.)


justadude55 wrote:it's good. it's like the first thirty minutes of a strange erotic movie.


Thank you, thank you and thank you. Working on a revision.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby cubswin » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:29 pm

Some of the criticism you are getting for focusing on Mr. H too much seems misguided to me. Not only are the parts focused on him essential to tell the story, but we find out a lot about you from your descriptions of him.

I do agree that the ending came a little abruptly, though your explanation of the 500 word limit explains this. If you are applying to other schools, I think you should make it a bit longer and draw the ending out a little bit.

All that said, I think it's a very good personal statement. It could probably use a bit of polish, but I don't think you need to radically revise it.

I don't much like this line, though:
3|ink wrote:Although I had suddenly come to appreciate the true depth of this field, everything I thought I knew about the law was compromised.

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Re: Personal Statement (First Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:11 pm

cubswin wrote:Some of the criticism you are getting for focusing on Mr. H too much seems misguided to me. Not only are the parts focused on him essential to tell the story, but we find out a lot about you from your descriptions of him.

I do agree that the ending came a little abruptly, though your explanation of the 500 word limit explains this. If you are applying to other schools, I think you should make it a bit longer and draw the ending out a little bit.

All that said, I think it's a very good personal statement. It could probably use a bit of polish, but I don't think you need to radically revise it.

I don't much like this line, though:
3|ink wrote:Although I had suddenly come to appreciate the true depth of this field, everything I thought I knew about the law was compromised.


Thank you. This was very helpful. Thanks to your adivce, my new draft has a stronger ending (so I think).

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Re: Personal Statement (Second Draft)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:27 pm

The first version was better, in my opinion. The last two paragraphs of your second draft are not as good as the conclusion in your original draft.

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Re: Personal Statement (Second Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:48 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:The first version was better, in my opinion. The last two paragraphs of your second draft are not as good as the conclusion in your original draft.


Doh! I was afraid of that. I trimmed things up in observance of the word count. Here's what I originally had for those two paragraphs:

Realizing that Mr. H was not the formidable opponent I expected, I came to a humbling conclusion. Though I had never made judgments about Mr. H, I had compromised my objectivity by viewing his case as an affront to my intellectual vanity. A professor of mine once said that it was better to have no good qualities than to let any go to waste. I had taken this his advice too far by applying my abilities to my cases without restraint. I was so eager to test my inquisitive nature that I let my pride get the best of me. Since that day, I have adopted a more disciplined approach to my work.

This experience was a chilling reminder that no matter how far I have come, I still have room to grow. Though I have tamed my curiosity since meeting Mr. H, there remains an itch in the back of my mind waiting to be scratched. I want to continue to develop my intellect in pursuit of a law career. With the help of your esteemed institution, I hope to be humbled again someday soon.

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Re: Personal Statement (Second Draft)

Postby hawaii » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:55 pm

“Before we begin,” he said as seated ourselves, “I’d like to give you a little background.”


I think it should be “Before we begin,” he said as we seated ourselves, “I’d like to give you a little background.”

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Re: Personal Statement (Second Draft)

Postby 3|ink » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:58 pm

hawaii wrote:
“Before we begin,” he said as seated ourselves, “I’d like to give you a little background.”


I think it should be “Before we begin,” he said as we seated ourselves, “I’d like to give you a little background.”


Whoops. Thank you :) Fixed.




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