first attempt at a first draft...

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jtoppe2
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:41 pm

first attempt at a first draft...

Postby jtoppe2 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:27 am

at this point, i only care about the appropriateness of the content of the statement. i am not concerned so much with other (style/language/grammar, etc) aspects of the statement... that comes later. also, in critiquing what i've written, please refrain from douchbaggery... i've seen some ruthless responses to people's first drafts on tls. here it is:

My best friend, Abe, was the most intelligent person I have ever known. He would read Nietzsche and Plato for leisure. We would spend the majority of our time together arguing; the topics of discussion ranged anywhere from philosophy and moral principles to which video game system had the best games. He had an opinion about everything, and when he expressed that opinion to you, even if you didn’t initially agree with it, you would eventually concede to the fact that his opinion was the only correct one. This is why, when he committed suicide using a needle, a tourniquet and a bag of heroin, I was completely taken by surprise.
For a long time I blamed myself. I knew that he had once been addicted to heroin, though I thought he had overcome the addiction. I knew he was taking medication to treat his bipolar personality disorder. I genuinely thought that when he called me at two o’clock in the morning the night he killed himself, he was just trying to get together. I couldn’t have possibly known that he intended to harm himself. How could I? But still, my thoughts were consumed by “what ifs” and “should haves;” thoughts that still haunt me. Eventually I was convinced, through the support of my friends and family, that there was nothing that I could have done. The only person that could have helped Abe was Abe himself. People will only seek help if they want to be helped. But therein lies an inherent problem: what about the people who are too proud or embarrassed to ask for help? Certainly, Abe fell into that category. What, then, happens to them?
The exact day that I finally came to believe that I wasn’t to blame, I thought of how I could have helped Abe, a person who refused to show any sign that he was vulnerable. I decided to create a website geared towards people who want help, but can’t find the courage to ask for it. Over the past few months I have been working closely with my father, who has his Ph.D. in psychology, as well as with a few friends that Abe and I shared. We are putting together an anonymous online forum where people who need help can find it without hurting their pride. I want people to be able to help themselves, and if this is what it takes to achieve that goal, then this is what I’ll do. Though the website is far from complete, I feel that it has enough practical applications to help at least some people. And if it helps anybody, then I will feel as though I have attained what I had set out to achieve.
When I first gave thought to studying law, I had no idea why I wanted to become a lawyer: I just knew that lawyers made a lot of money and that I liked to argue. Then I started putting real, constructive thought into figuring out why I wanted to study law. I couldn’t come up with a reasonable or genuine justification for becoming a lawyer that didn’t involve substantial monetary gain. When I finally decided to look into studying public interest law, a field that I had dismissed as a possibility early on due to it being notorious for providing relatively low monetary incentives, I realized that the reason I want to study law is to help people that can’t help themselves. Being content as a lawyer wouldn’t require me to be rich; it would, however, require me to provide a service that works toward the betterment of society. Once I had this realization, I finally felt I had an appropriate answer to why I wanted to be a lawyer. The answer was completely void of any notion of money.
Upon earning a seat at [law school x], I plan on devoting my time to the study of public interest. The satisfaction I have thus gained from starting to develop this website has provided me with insight into my desired field of legal study. To best equip myself to not only succeed in life, but also to succeed in promoting social progress, I want to attend a university that has a reputation for providing our society with great and influential public interest lawyers, a requirement which your institution fulfills. And though I may not have scores and records typical of your university’s students, I have the will to succeed at [law school x] and the vigor to apply my success upon matriculation.

that's it.... for those interested, i have a 3.1/164.

and p.s. no... i didn't make any of this up (unfortunately)

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glitched
Posts: 1040
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 9:50 am

Re: first attempt at a first draft...

Postby glitched » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:32 pm

Its a good story with good transitions. I liked how you mentioned what you did our are planning to do with the forum. But a few suggestions - you said money like 10 times. If you want to mention money, say it once (i suggest not at all - no one is going to ask why you wanted to go to law school before public interest). You don't have to prove that you don't want money - everyone in the world wants financial independence and security. If you don't, you've either always have had money and never suffered from worrying about unpaid bills or you are comfortable being a leecher.

But overall it will work. Need to fix some grammar but like you said thats for later.

binarycode
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:36 pm

Re: first attempt at a first draft...

Postby binarycode » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:26 pm

leeronalda wrote:Its a good story with good transitions. I liked how you mentioned what you did our are planning to do with the forum. But a few suggestions - you said money like 10 times. If you want to mention money, say it once (i suggest not at all - no one is going to ask why you wanted to go to law school before public interest). You don't have to prove that you don't want money - everyone in the world wants financial independence and security. If you don't, you've either always have had money and never suffered from worrying about unpaid bills or you are comfortable being a leecher.

But overall it will work. Need to fix some grammar but like you said thats for later.


+1. You are working hard toward achieving a degree. It sounds like a waste of time if one does not get financial rewards in return.

I think the personal statement was really moving as a whole.

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DamnLSAT
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:14 pm

Re: first attempt at a first draft...

Postby DamnLSAT » Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:12 pm

I think your essay has great content and a phenomenal story, but you take too long making the connections. You also overuse the rhetorical question--use it maybe once or twice, but no more. Otherwise, it gets way too repetitive and stalls the reading.

The money thing has to go. Find something else that motivates you towards law, but leave the financial reward out of it - you sound spoiled and greedy (things I'm sure you are not, but I'm just being truthful with how it sounds from fresh eyes). It leaves little room for conjecture.

I think you should loop your life-changing experience with the desire to help those who cannot help themselves. Leave out the money, and try to demonstrate how your specific experiences qualify you as a great candidate for public interest law, or whatever you want to study.

Just my three cents. Would love a critique of my own. PM me.

jtoppe2
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:41 pm

Re: first attempt at a first draft...

Postby jtoppe2 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:21 pm

DamnLSAT wrote:I think your essay has great content and a phenomenal story, but you take too long making the connections. You also overuse the rhetorical question--use it maybe once or twice, but no more. Otherwise, it gets way too repetitive and stalls the reading.

The money thing has to go. Find something else that motivates you towards law, but leave the financial reward out of it - you sound spoiled and greedy (things I'm sure you are not, but I'm just being truthful with how it sounds from fresh eyes). It leaves little room for conjecture.

I think you should loop your life-changing experience with the desire to help those who cannot help themselves. Leave out the money, and try to demonstrate how your specific experiences qualify you as a great candidate for public interest law, or whatever you want to study.

Just my three cents. Would love a critique of my own. PM me.



the way you interpreted the "money thing" is not how i meant for it to be interpreted. does it seem like i'm trying to say that money is motivating me to become a lawyer? because i'm trying to say that money isn't necessarily motivating me. how can i clear that up? and send me a PM and I'll read it tomorrow.




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