PS critique, please

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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PS critique, please

Postby jimbo1220 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:13 pm

Background: applying for a joint degree in engineering/law. Thank you in advance for your feedback.
Last edited by jimbo1220 on Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PS critique, please

Postby glitched » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:20 pm

After reading this, I really have no idea what you are talking about. I don't know if it is because I don't know any engineering, but I just didn't get what you were talking about. maybe you could make it more clear for a non-engineering reader. :)

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Re: PS critique, please

Postby jasonc. » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:31 pm

Really bad. I think you should write a new was boring and not at all personal.You. Need to make it readable for the lay person.

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Re: PS critique, please

Postby HowdyYall » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:47 pm

my eyes glazed over by "structuring"'re obviously smart, just make it easier for a layperson (dean of admissions) to figure that out

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Re: PS critique, please

Postby gamblera » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:22 am

i actually really like it....

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Re: PS critique, please

Postby SortOfObsessed » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:01 am

Coming from someone who's taken courses in econ and law, behavioral economics, game theory and knows what economic (litigation) consulting is, your PS is tough reading. You obviously come across as very intelligent, however, lawyers are quite a different breed from engineers and economists so you're going to have to modify your personal statement for your audience.

Your reason for wanting to study law is well stated. The rest of your personal statement needs to be as clear.

Now is not the time for your "transition probabilities on a Markov decision process". Part of being a lawyer is being able to communicate with a client, a peer, a court system, etc. An admissions committee may question your ability to write effectively if you're only able to write for someone with your depth of knowledge about the field.

My advice: rework it until it's more accessible to a law school admission committee. You're intelligent and your reason for wanting to go to law school sounds legitimate. This is your opportunity to prove it.

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Re: PS critique, please

Postby ahduth » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:44 am

Wow. Your essay makes me want to read your research into game theoretic modeling of how court systems handle their cases. But in terms of a personal statement for a law school application, it is quite bold in terms of the impact you imply you will have on the legal profession. It almost strikes me as more appropriate for a JSD application rather than a JD application. In that sense, I might actually disagree with SortofObsessed when they say your reason for wanting to study the law is well stated. I'm left with the impression that you view the law as an object of study rather than a profession in which you see yourself as a practitioner. That may be appropriate however - I don't know within what context you are pursuing a joint law/engineering degree. This might be just me, but I feel like you need to be much clearer about what your objective is. If you're objective is to "design litigation risk modeling software for the insurance industry," that might give us a clearer understanding of how the engineering degree and the law degree tie together?

As far as the density of the language, I don't have a problem with it, and I think the admissions committee will be interested to hear whatever you put forth. The problem is that a goodly portion of the personal statement is simply your resume. The key thing to realize is that, inasmuch as it is a personal statement, you're free to make assertions like, "I am interested in XYZ," without providing any kind of back up whatsoever. It reads as though some of the verbosity is driven by an interest on your part to make sure everything is fully "supported," when this is in fact not necessary for the purpose of introducing yourself to the law school. In that sense, the whole algorithm/Markov chain business is probably unnecessary - it really doesn't tell us much, if anything, about you, and in fact probably obscures your point unnecessarily.

After saying all this, the main thing I want is more "you." The essay may be fine, in the sense that they'll clearly remember you as "the guy with the really dense personal statement." I would just be concerned that you're liable to catch the reader at two in the morning after they've been reading dozens and dozens of these, and the point which you've so deeply embedded here, will be lost on them. Hell it's almost one in the morning here, maybe I'll try reading it again tomorrow. :D

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