Will my opening offend the adcomms?

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

Offensive?

Yes
12
26%
No
32
70%
Use f*g instead
2
4%
 
Total votes: 46

screenname123456789
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Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby screenname123456789 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:17 pm

“God hates [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.],” read just one of the many homophobic picket signs held by the members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) as they protested what they considered “one of the most ‘gay enabling’ states in the nation.” The WBC is a militant christian group that traverses the United States protesting whatever aspect of society they deem immoral. In response to WBC’s picketing, a group of counter-protesters formed across the street holding signs of their own and chanting refrains of equality. Instead of feeling disgusted by the inhumanity of the WBC across the street, I felt a great sense of encouragement and pride as I looked around at my fellow counter-protesters. I was encouraged by the fact that our numbers more than tripled those of the WBC and how passersby honked and yelled shouts of support for our cause. I felt proud to be out in public doing something for a cause in which I believed, and I was glad I had the voice to do so.

jarofsoup
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby jarofsoup » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:21 pm

Maybe Washburn University. They are all lawyers. Sad huh?

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Lawquacious
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby Lawquacious » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:26 pm

Because it is in context I really doubt using the word will be a problem.. Modifying it might take some of the 'strikingness' out of the opening if they have to try to figure out for even a second or two what it means.. Just my IMO

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arism87
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby arism87 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:32 pm

Lawquacious wrote:Because it is in context I really doubt using the word will be a problem.. Modifying it might take some of the 'strikingness' out of the opening if they have to try to figure out for even a second or two what it means.. Just my IMO


+1

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cahesu
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby cahesu » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:34 pm

screenname123456789 wrote:
“God hates [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.],” read just one of the many homophobic picket signs held by the members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) as they protested what they considered “one of the most ‘gay enabling’ states in the nation.” The WBC is a militant christian group that traverses the United States protesting whatever aspect of society they deem immoral. In response to WBC’s picketing, a group of counter-protesters formed across the street holding signs of their own and chanting refrains of equality. Instead of feeling disgusted by the inhumanity of the WBC across the street, I felt a great sense of encouragement and pride as I looked around at my fellow counter-protesters. I was encouraged by the fact that our numbers more than tripled those of the WBC and how passersby honked and yelled shouts of support for our cause. I felt proud to be out in public doing something for a cause in which I believed, and I was glad I had the voice to do so.


This part seems a bit hypocritical.

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twert
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby twert » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:36 pm

personally, i don't think the opening is striking. It makes me cringe. Using words like that to get attention seems rather high schoolish. On the other hand, i think adcoms are mature enough to not be offended by it.

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AreJay711
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:39 pm

Nobody likes WBC and they are famous for that slogan (and saying that "a dead solider is a good soldier" or something like that). I think if anything they will like you for protesting that as long as it ties into the rest of your PS (Edit: so it is there for more than just shock value). Those bastards even protested Michael Phelps' parade in Baltimore after the Olympics with that filth.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:46 pm

isn't that the church where all the members of the congregation are related to the pastor?
that man is NOT a christian. Not in any way, shape or form. Sometimes the Christian message can be offensive (most wolrd-views are) but please tell me where in the Bible it says we're meant to hate each other?
..
sorry, sidetracked by my own rant.

The word is okay, because it's an accurate depiction of the event, but be careful you don't come across as a christian-hater or i like protesting person. (not that from the intro it does come across that way- i just dont know what the rest of your PS is like)

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MattThiessen
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby MattThiessen » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:00 pm

Yes, if you are applying to Regent University and Liberty University.

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AreJay711
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:10 pm

MattThiessen wrote:Yes, if you are applying to Regent University and Liberty University.


The WBC aren't really baptists. I could start a church tomorrow called the Baltimore Catholic Church where we have drunken orgies as our form of worship but the real Catholic Church wouldn't have an issue if someone protested us.

rapstar
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby rapstar » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:22 pm

adcoms might think you're making up this personal account given that WBC just went to the supreme court over this type of protesting. i always think it's iffy for students to essentially argue for one side of a legal issue when they don't really have any training to do so. thus, i think you should be careful not to argue, but just say how you feel passionate about this and you hope to receive the training so that you can argue for or against this type of protesting in the future...

rapstar
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby rapstar » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:26 pm

^^^^^
or just read the transcript of the oral arugments from the case and then throw in a few questions that the justices asked and you'll seem like you are already a well-trained legal mind lol. well, you'll either seem like that or seem like you plagarize and can't make arguments on your own. one of two though.... just hope the adcomms haven't read the transcripts, i guess

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:28 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
MattThiessen wrote:Yes, if you are applying to Regent University and Liberty University.


The WBC aren't really baptists. I could start a church tomorrow called the Baltimore Catholic Church where we have drunken orgies as our form of worship but the real Catholic Church wouldn't have an issue if someone protested us.

+1000000

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northwood
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby northwood » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:30 pm

without having read the rest of the statement its hard to judge how adcoms will react.

However, this is very stongly worded, and the verbage makes me tend to belive you are radically against them. The stregnth and tone of the opening paragraph may make some people stand back, or take offense. Be careful with this!

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magicman554
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby magicman554 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:39 pm

Don't apply to Pepperdine or George Mason. J/K, you'll be fine.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:48 pm

cahesu wrote:
screenname123456789 wrote:
“God hates [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.],” read just one of the many homophobic picket signs held by the members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) as they protested what they considered “one of the most ‘gay enabling’ states in the nation.” The WBC is a militant christian group that traverses the United States protesting whatever aspect of society they deem immoral. In response to WBC’s picketing, a group of counter-protesters formed across the street holding signs of their own and chanting refrains of equality. Instead of feeling disgusted by the inhumanity of the WBC across the street, I felt a great sense of encouragement and pride as I looked around at my fellow counter-protesters. I was encouraged by the fact that our numbers more than tripled those of the WBC and how passersby honked and yelled shouts of support for our cause. I felt proud to be out in public doing something for a cause in which I believed, and I was glad I had the voice to do so.


This part seems a bit hypocritical.

I thought that too... and I think the reason it seems hypocritical relates to one of the other comments you're getting here: you've described the WBC as basically just another religious group. I think you could avoid this by making sure to differentiate the WBC from all the more respected religious groups that do also believe gay people are going to hell but don't go around picketing people's funerals (like the Catholic Church). I don't know if the WBC is technically "militant," but you're going in the right direction with that kind of adjective. Call them, like, a "hate group" or something.

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NZA
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby NZA » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:59 pm

twert wrote:personally, i don't think the opening is striking. It makes me cringe. Using words like that to get attention seems rather high schoolish. On the other hand, i think adcoms are mature enough to not be offended by it.


I agree.

Could you maybe use another example of the WBCs signs? "God Hates Dead Soldiers?"

I mean, I realize that may sound kind of callous (implying that, "God hates [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.]" is somehow less offensive than "God hates dead soldiers"), and I'm not trying to say that that example is somehow less hurtful. What I am saying is that the substance, rather than the style, is transmitted.

You know? Like, you want to grab the adcoms attention, but the thing that should grab their attention is you, not your words.

Does this make sense? :? Feel free to ignore this advice.

screenname123456789
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby screenname123456789 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:08 pm

NZA wrote:
twert wrote:personally, i don't think the opening is striking. It makes me cringe. Using words like that to get attention seems rather high schoolish. On the other hand, i think adcoms are mature enough to not be offended by it.


I agree.

Could you maybe use another example of the WBCs signs? "God Hates Dead Soldiers?"

I mean, I realize that may sound kind of callous (implying that, "God hates [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.]" is somehow less offensive than "God hates dead soldiers"), and I'm not trying to say that that example is somehow less hurtful. What I am saying is that the substance, rather than the style, is transmitted.

You know? Like, you want to grab the adcoms attention, but the thing that should grab their attention is you, not your words.

Does this make sense? :? Feel free to ignore this advice.


Well my PS goes on to talk about my coming out and how important gay rights are to me (a link if more context would help viewtopic.php?f=18&t=139308)

So I feel as though the sign I mention is most important. I would use another less offensive sign, but I would want it to say something specifically about their homophobia. As offensive as it is, they don't seem to have anything else less offensive that I could find.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:22 pm

The opening doesn't offend me (I'm unoffendable) but saying '[HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.]' also isn't necessary or worth the risk if you're concerned. My DS also included a potentially offensive word which I replaced with a caret. Following that option, yours would be "God hates <insert gay slur>" which, though adcomms know WBC and their agenda, you don't risk offending someone who might turn to stone upon seeing the word on a 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper.
Last edited by NonTradHealthLaw on Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NZA
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby NZA » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:22 pm

screenname123456789 wrote:Well my PS goes on to talk about my coming out and how important gay rights are to me (a link if more context would help viewtopic.php?f=18&t=139308)


In that case, absolutely keep it the way it is! :) Capitalize "Christian," though.

....that our numbers more than tripled those of the WBC and how passersby honked and yelled shouts of support for our cause...


And this is just me, but maybe try, "...that our numbers were three times [threefold?] those of the WBC, and how passersby honked, encouraging us in our cause."

"...yelled shouts of support..." seems a bit redundant, since, well, yelling and shouting are fairly similar. :)

EDIT: Sorry, forgot you already used "encouraged." Maybe just, "supporting." :P

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cahesu
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby cahesu » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:30 pm

BaiAilian2013 wrote:
cahesu wrote:
screenname123456789 wrote:
“God hates [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.],” read just one of the many homophobic picket signs held by the members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) as they protested what they considered “one of the most ‘gay enabling’ states in the nation.” The WBC is a militant christian group that traverses the United States protesting whatever aspect of society they deem immoral. In response to WBC’s picketing, a group of counter-protesters formed across the street holding signs of their own and chanting refrains of equality. Instead of feeling disgusted by the inhumanity of the WBC across the street, I felt a great sense of encouragement and pride as I looked around at my fellow counter-protesters. I was encouraged by the fact that our numbers more than tripled those of the WBC and how passersby honked and yelled shouts of support for our cause. I felt proud to be out in public doing something for a cause in which I believed, and I was glad I had the voice to do so.


This part seems a bit hypocritical.

I thought that too... and I think the reason it seems hypocritical relates to one of the other comments you're getting here: you've described the WBC as basically just another religious group. I think you could avoid this by making sure to differentiate the WBC from all the more respected religious groups that do also believe gay people are going to hell but don't go around picketing people's funerals (like the Catholic Church). I don't know if the WBC is technically "militant," but you're going in the right direction with that kind of adjective. Call them, like, a "hate group" or something.


Good points. In my opinion, the reason the statement is hypocritical is that the OP is using the word "inhumanity," which can mean cruelty or lack of compassion but derives its meaning from the implication that the conduct of an inhumane actor is not commensurate with the qualities of being human. Does the OP intend to imply that the members of the WBC lack the qualities of humanity just as the WBC protesters imply that gays lack the qualities of humanity? OP, you need to choose your words carefully. Perhaps you could be disgusted by their "intolerance," "bigotry," or "ignorance."

Incidentally, the Catholic Church's views are a bit more nuanced than this. I don't agree with them (nonreligious), but [if gay, then go to hell] is simply not an accurate assessment of the Church's position.

screenname123456789
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby screenname123456789 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:57 pm

I see what you guys are saying. Would "appalled by their bigotry" be more apt?

foxtrottortxof
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby foxtrottortxof » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:00 am

Just FYI (from Berkeley's website)

SOME PERSONAL STATEMENT ADVICE FROM A PAST FACULTY ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE MEMBER
The following was written by a member of the Berkeley Law faculty (and past member of the Admissions Committee) in response to trends they were seeing in personal statement content and tone. We offer this feedback for you to consider when developing your personal statement:

"The statement should avoid simply summarizing what is in the resume. It should avoid simply asserting how able, accomplished, and well suited for law school the applicant is. It should avoid uninformed attempts to ingratiate oneself through exaggerated claims of one’s interest in Boalt...For instance, more than a few applicants stressed how much they want to work with named individuals who are at best passingly related to a Center or the like and aren’t even members of the faculty; these claims make one doubt the applicant’s due diligence...

The statement should avoid self-absorbed autobiography. What we need is something that doesn’t simply assert, a.k.a brag about, how qualified and impressive the applicant is, but rather demonstrates it through the substance of what is said in the personal statement. If it is going to be autobiographical, I for one would prefer it to generalize a bit; that is, instead of, 'How I changed as a result of this experience and now am so special,' it should talk about how and why such experiences can affect people.

“I felt the cold, sharp edge of a knife at my neck.” “ ‘You rich Americans are all alike,’ she screamed.” “I’ve never been so scared in my life.” “The child’s belly was swollen and scabbed.” You get the picture. Starting the essay with a dramatic, unexplained sentence designed to grab the startled reader’s attention. (In fact, what it does to the reader is produce a dismayed feeling of, “Oh no, not another one of these.”). Continuing this dramatic episode for a short paragraph without tipping off its relevance to the application. Beginning the next paragraph by switching to expository style and informing us of what you were doing in this dire situation and how it was part of the background that makes you a special applicant to law school. Developing why you are so special in the rest of the statement. Then concluding with a touching statement returning to the opening gambit, about how now, after law school, you can really help that little girl in rags.

It is very clear that many applicants have been coached by someone that this is how to write a compelling personal statement...This format is transparently manipulative, formulaic, and coached. Except for the occasional novelist we admit, none of our students or graduates is going to write in this style again; none, thank goodness, is going to begin a brief with, “He stood frozen in fear as the gunman appeared out of the darkness.” So, this artifice is irrelevant to law and counter-productive: Once it ceases to surprise – and it did so more than 10 years ago – it just becomes a cliché which really ought to be held against the writer. Not only using clichés, but also having been coached ought to, in an ideal world, discount an application. Needless to say, however, I did not hold these statements against the writers. Often the bulk of the statement does report on impressive activities that are relevant to admission. But it is transparent when essay formulas have been coached, and we (should) strongly advise applicants to write in their own voice and style and without trying to dramatize what they have to say in order to attract our attention."

maddox86
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Re: Will my opening offend the adcomms?

Postby maddox86 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:39 am

I don't really see why they would be offended, I mean it is basically the slogan of the WBC. It really would be silly if they held it against you.

In any case, it really depends on your own level of comfort and what you see that quote adding to the piece.




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