Please, Please Read - Submitting tomorrow - Final Draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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g-children
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Please, Please Read - Submitting tomorrow - Final Draft

Postby g-children » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:45 am

Personal Statement
PLEASE DONT QUOTE THE ENTIRE PS - AS I INTEND TO REMOVE IT ONCE IVE GOTTEN ENOUGH FEEDBACK


THANKS GUYS!



PLEASE DONT QUOTE THE ENTIRE PS - AS I INTEND TO REMOVE IT ONCE IVE GOTTEN ENOUGH FEEDBACK - PLS BE KIND :(

Thanks Guys - I am soooo nervous!!!!!!
Last edited by g-children on Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

jasonc.
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Re: Please, Please Read - Submitting tomorrow - Final Draft

Postby jasonc. » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:52 am

It reads like a cover letter to me. I think it would be better to focus on the content in the last paragraph about your upbrining

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Montevillian
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Re: Please, Please Read - Submitting tomorrow - Final Draft

Postby Montevillian » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:13 am

I really, really didn't like your first paragraph. I can't quite put my finger on what it is about it that turned me off so quickly, but I think it may be that you tried way too hard to make it sound like you think someone applying to law school would write. The bit about what you noticed the other debaters doing in the first paragraph, especially, made me gag a little bit. I agree with the previous poster- this is like a resume put into page form, and that's not really what they want. I suppose this isn't very helpful since you're planning on submitting it tomorrow.. But, being from a place like Cameroon, I assume you have had a wealth of experiences that American applicants have not. You shouldn't have crammed these into a summarized section at the end- it's much more interesting than debate team. MUCH more interesting. No one wants to know what you learned from being a Communication major, especially. We know what you needed to major in that. We also know that Comms Studies is one of the easiest majors out there (second only to PoliSci and the sort), so that doesn't help you at all.
Your last couple of paragraphs are more along the lines of what they will be looking for than the first few. The first few are cheesy, overdone, and, honestly, nothing special. I realize this isn't what you wanted to hear if you're applying tomorrow. If you can't rewrite this to be more personal and less resume-like, don't freak out. This isn't a terrible personal statement, and I highly doubt they will count against you for it. It won't get you past your numbers, but very few statements do. Perhaps someone with a little more experience than I can break it down what can help you better than this. Best of luck.

SortOfObsessed
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Re: Please, Please Read - Submitting tomorrow - Final Draft

Postby SortOfObsessed » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:28 am

I feel like you have an incredibly compelling story to tell and this current personal statement is not doing your story justice.

"My personal life experiences have also informed my passion for the legal career field. Growing up in a third world country characterized by excessive corruption and religious tensions which have often resulted in deadly riots that have caused hundred of lives; my future in Cameroon looked dismal. I knew that a good education could play an important role in determining one’s success. I wanted to excel and be successful but I did not believe that I could reach my full potential intellectually, academically or professionally in Cameroon. I studied and took the SAT, got accepted to a college and made the move. I had no idea how I would succeed, but I was determined to make it work. Upon arriving in the states, I worked extremely hard to put myself through college. I maintained a full time job while studying full time. Upon graduation, I worked at a non-profit agency providing financial counseling to financially distressed families. I also started a program at my local church to provide free financial counseling and advice for church members – majority were African Immigrants who have limited knowledge of how the credit system works in America."

^THIS PARAGRAPH is what your personal statement should be about. You should take this, and expand on how your life experiences "informed your passion for the legal career field" and give concrete examples. As it stands, your personal statement has no hook and is weak overall. The debate team experience is basically a few empty sentences which fail to support your claim that you can succeed as a lawyer. I think a much more powerful PS would start with "I grew up in the third world country of Cameroon, a place...-describe corruption, tension, rioting in a sentence-" Follow with how you left, then elaborate on your experience in the US going to school and working full time, starting the program at your Church, etc. etc. and how it guided you to a legal career.

I really feel like you've had an incredible journey and will contribute to any law classroom. Your personal statement should reflect that, and currently, it is not up to par. You have a lot of great material to work with and I'd hate to see you sacrifice what could be an amazing PS, just so you can submit it a few days early.

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The Gentleman
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Re: Please, Please Read - Submitting tomorrow - Final Draft

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:54 am

If you're submitting this tomorrow, then I'll limit my comments to grammar/wording etc.

- 2nd paragraph, 5th sentence: There's a random comma after "required".
- 2nd paragraph, last sentence: This sounds like a run on sentence.
- 3rd paragraph, 1st sentence: "legal career field" is a redundant phrase. (And again in paragraph 4)
- 3rd paragraph, 2nd sentence: change "in other" to "in order"
- 3rd paragraph, 5th/6th sentences: Consecutive sentences start with "Additionally"
- 4th paragraph, 2nd sentence: This sentence is a total mess.
- 4th paragraph, last sentence: change "majority" to "most of whom were African..".
- 5th paragraph, 4th sentence: delete the word "completely"
- 5th paragraph, 4th sentence: "I (AM) ready, willing, and able"
- You need to make your verb tense consistent throughout the essay
- The writing is awkward and pretentious
- And BTW, the above posts are all right-on. Your essay is not a PERSONAL statement. It's an attempt at a prose resume.

I may have missed some stuff or been too lazy point it out.

Good Luck OP!

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calvmpv
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Re: Please, Please Read - Submitting tomorrow - Final Draft

Postby calvmpv » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:58 am

SortOfObsessed wrote:I feel like you have an incredibly compelling story to tell and this current personal statement is not doing your story justice.


This. I feel like you potentially have 5 different (and really good) personal statements within one not-that-personal statement.

But since you are submitting tomorrow, I also just PMed you grammar/punctuation comments.

GL!

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g-children
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Re: Please, Please Read - Submitting tomorrow - Final Draft

Postby g-children » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:18 am

jasonc. wrote:It reads like a cover letter to me. I think it would be better to focus on the content in the last paragraph about your upbrining


Montevillian wrote:I really, really didn't like your first paragraph. I can't quite put my finger on what it is about it that turned me off so quickly, but I think it may be that you tried way too hard to make it sound like you think someone applying to law school would write.


SortOfObsessed wrote:I feel like you have an incredibly compelling story to tell and this current personal statement is not doing your story justice.... You should take this, and expand on how your life experiences "informed your passion for the legal career field" and give concrete examples. As it stands, your personal statement has no hook and is weak overall. I really feel like you've had an incredible journey and will contribute to any law classroom. Your personal statement should reflect that, and currently, it is not up to par. You have a lot of great material to work with and I'd hate to see you sacrifice what could be an amazing PS, just so you can submit it a few days early.


calvmpv wrote:This. I feel like you potentially have 5 different (and really good) personal statements within one not-that-personal statement. But since you are submitting tomorrow, I also just PMed you grammar/punctuation comments. GL!


I am working on all the suggestions you guys made right now. I will change the story in the first couple of paragraphs and look for something else more compelling to start with. I am just having major issues figuring out what is relevant and what is not. I do have another PS I wrote. I am attaching it below. The school I am applying to today wanted 2 essays. One PS and an option essay for scholarship. Something along the lines of why I think I am different. So I decided to use my primary essay for that and write another one. I didn't want to overlap details, so I tried very hard to focus on other aspects of my life. I am going to pick out a particularly interesting event and use it to replace the first part of my essay. But here is the second one. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.




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