SKYDIVE PS REWRITE! PLEASE JUDGE THE FINAL (hopefully) CUT

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

How does it work?

BAM! All Done!
1
25%
On the right track, just a little more to do
1
25%
Crap.... straight crap, trash it
2
50%
 
Total votes: 4

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

SKYDIVE PS REWRITE! PLEASE JUDGE THE FINAL (hopefully) CUT

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:46 am

Ok, so I posted my PS on here earlier tonight and got really mixed review about using a story to bookend the bread and butter of my personal statement. You can see the original and all the comments here http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=138045. So I reworked it and completely cut the skydiving and I like what came out of it.

Please tell me what you think, and compare it to the previous if you are feeling ballsy. Again, PLEASE write a response if you vote. And I'll swap PS with anyone who will critique mine, just PM yours. Thanks for the look

Change is never easy, but sometimes it is exactly what a person needs to get moving with their plans again. This is one of the major lessons that I learned from my mother throughout her life. When I was nine years old my mother decided that our family needed a change to broaden our horizons, so in December of 1994, she took a job with the Department of Defense and moved us 4,500 miles from upstate South Carolina to southern Germany. At the time I hated the idea of leaving my family and friends to move to a country where I could not even speak the language, but I would spend the next nine years learning new languages; making friends across cultural boundaries; and developing a thirst for knowledge that comes from experiencing arts, architecture, and other works that many people only get to read about.

It was this thirst that originally led me to study economics in college and led me to want to pursue a career in law. However, after college this dream quickly dissipated when I discovered the cost of law school and realized I was not in a position to take on anymore debt. Instead, I entered the workforce after graduation and began to search for a new career path. But after working for a year or so, I had a conversation with a family friend who worked as an international trade lawyer in Washington, D.C. As he discussed some of his old cases with me, I felt my passion for law reignite and I began to revisit my dormant dream. I opened up to my mother about it in October of 2009, and, to my surprise she pushed me to realize my dream at any cost. She even went as far as to buy me two LSAT preparation books and had them delivered to me without my knowledge. The books arrived on November 1st, and my mother passed away on November 15th in Germany.

On the morning of the 15th, I had to catch an early flight to a training program for a new job that I had recently started. After I checked in for my flight, I decided to give my mother a call, since we had not spoken in a week or so due to the time difference and my new job. After six rings, her boss unexpectedly answered her phone and turned my life upside down with a ten minute conversation. The next few months were a complete blur for me, with her memorial and a four day trip to Germany set in the middle of the holiday season. As the calendar changed to a new year, I felt the grief reducing me to a shell of my former self. But in February, a new problem suddenly came to the forefront.

Due to the complexities of the German and American probate codes, my brother, who lives in Portland, Oregon, and I were potentially liable for almost $600,000 of debt between real estate and medical bills in Europe that threatened to consume our mother’s estate in the United States. Since I had volunteered to act as the executor of her estate, I took responsibility for solving this problem. I began spending hours after work in the library reading German and American legal code, I worked with German consulates in Portland, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; and Greenville, South Carolina; and consulted lawyers in South Carolina; Washington, D.C.; and Frankfurt, Germany. With their help, I was able to discover a method where we could dispose of the German liabilities without affecting the estate in the United States.

With the rush that I felt from solving this complex international problem, I again felt my drive to study law return and on March 23rd, I registered for the June LSAT. I realize that even though dealing with my mother’s death will continue to be difficult, at least the loss forced me to put my plans for my life into action and pursue my passions. So, using this new found eagerness as fuel, I finally went home and sat down with my mother’s last gift to me, the LSAT preparation books. With determination, I began studying for the upcoming exam confident in my new direction.

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: SKYDIVE PS REWRITE! PLEASE JUDGE THE FINAL (hopefully) CUT

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:00 am

really, a crap response and no critiques... way to be, champ, way to be

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gbpackerbacker
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Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 12:13 am

Re: SKYDIVE PS REWRITE! PLEASE JUDGE THE FINAL (hopefully) CUT

Postby gbpackerbacker » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:08 am

PM'd

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2807
Posts: 579
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:23 pm

Re: SKYDIVE PS REWRITE! PLEASE JUDGE THE FINAL (hopefully) CUT

Postby 2807 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:10 am

Ok. I read it. It is good. You managed to get a lot in there:

-- First, we lead off with the power of change, and your mothers influence, then we are off to Germany, then we are an econ major, a family friend, a return to law, your mom's passing (ouch, sorry friend), and then the legal issues, finally the LSAT.

Although it is working, I wonder if you really refined it-- what would you drop? It is not bad, and it is your voice and your PS, but others I have read had a bit more of a theme and a focus. Yours is more of a timeline. Not that that is wrong, I am just wondering if you realized that?

If you were trying to have a focused message supported by incidents, I think it is weak (because I did not finish knowing what that message is)

If you were giving a vignette of your life and how you got here... then it is actually pretty good!

Which one are you trying to do?

edit: Maybe you could re-do the last sentence or two to tie it back into the "change" is valuable from the begining. That would give you the "theme" and work quite well. You kind of did, but I would really lay it out there at this point. It would be stronger to make it a clear bookend.

Ok, one more edit: The transition from P1 to P2 is not-so-good. From art and culture to..... economics? Hmm, find a way to link that better if possible.
Last edited by 2807 on Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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aesis
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:26 pm

Re: SKYDIVE PS REWRITE! PLEASE JUDGE THE FINAL (hopefully) CUT

Postby aesis » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:54 am

I liked the last part of your other PS better, the thing about nothing stopping you from pursuing blah blah blah.

The theme of change needs to be reinforced -- it's inferred, but it doesn't stand out. Overall I think it just needs a little bit more work. The unifying thread is missing, some reflections on change. Otherwise, it's what the above poster said. A chronological vignette that brings us to the present-you.

Nailjohnj
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 am

Re: SKYDIVE PS REWRITE! PLEASE JUDGE THE FINAL (hopefully) CUT

Postby Nailjohnj » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:37 am

ok, so what's the verdict, go back to the previous statement with the skydiving or bring this one around to create a theme of change? Thoughts?

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capitalacq
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:42 am

Re: SKYDIVE PS REWRITE! PLEASE JUDGE THE FINAL (hopefully) CUT

Postby capitalacq » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:20 am

haven't read/dont have time to read your last one, but I wouldn't use this one. There's no central theme, the story is all over the place, there's a bunch of redundant stuff, and most importantly, I feel like it gives almost no insight into who you are as an applicant. I wouldn't use it (it seems more akin to a response to a 4th grade prompt asking what you did this weekend rather than a PS).

Just find a theme. They don't care about your LSAT preparation or where you worked with consulates. You've got a lot of potential PS themes within this one, just focus on one and write and see where it takes you. (living in/adapting to Germany, dealing with your tragedy, etc.). Also it seems like you're really trying to focus this on being a lawyer/relating it to the law, but you don't have to mention either of those things. Just make who you are shine.




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