disregard

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
nwkultra
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:48 am

disregard

Postby nwkultra » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:51 am

removed
Last edited by nwkultra on Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jasonc.
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Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby jasonc. » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:57 am

Don't like it. Reads like a philosophy paper.

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WhatSarahSaid
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Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:04 am

You need to dramatically change this.

Remember: show, don't tell. You talk so much about what you think the law is and what's wrong with the law that the reader never really sees you. It seems like you're trying to write a treatise, but what you should try to do with a PS is much closer to telling a story.

I'm not sure exactly what you can change, but you really have to back off of the idea that you completely understand everything about what it takes to succeed in law. You mentioned that your father is an attorney, and maybe that's the place to start. You talk about rooting for underdogs, and maybe that's a theme you can work with (but be wary, it's a common one). Whatever you do, try to let some of your below arguments become fleshed out by your PS instead of being explicitly stated over and over again.


I have studied how the legal profession will fit with my life goals. I have natural aptitudes in the area; I am an issue spotter and I find myself recognizing fallacies in opponents’ arguments. Public speaking is unquestionably my strong point and I have excelled in discussion-based courses since high school. I have a natural appreciation of the structure of law as [add "an" here] unconditional force governed by logic ["unconditional force"? Are you willing to stand up and defend the idea that law is a completely unconditional force? This sounds more like a flowery phrase that you wrote because it sounds good rather than something you firmly believe]. Law is the equalizer between the strong and the weak, and its legitimacy depends on even application of the law on all parties. As I matured I began to develop my own conception of unjust laws, the cynicism I felt when I saw the disadvantaged lose against the mighty turned into a desire to pursue a legal career. [this sentence is kind of weird. I think you want a semicolon]

At this point (I write these in-text comments on the first read), I'm terrified. You don't want to tell the person reading this, who has almost certainly gone to law school and who has probably done all sorts of things in the legal world, that you know exactly what it takes to succeed in law. Your paragraph also leaps wildly between why you would do well at law, what you think law is, and why you want to do law.


I have always naturally identified with the underdog; I have always been drawn to the idea of rooting for the little guy. [you just repeat yourself here] The practice of law is a careful, contemplative practice. It requires skills beyond rote memorization of legal facts; the expertise requires consideration of all the possibilities of a situation. Law is more than an intelligence contest; the realization that at its core is resolution of conflict drives my concern for justice and equality [even if you don't count my correction at the end of the prior paragraph, this is your fourth semicolon. That's too many. Find other ways to structure sentences].

Again, if I'm someone who has been in law for 30 years, I'm probably going to think that you're really naive for telling me exactly what it takes to succeed in law. You also aren't telling the reader very much about you.


The intrinsic weaving of law and society has always fascinated me, and I attempt to remove my own ego and presumptions as I attempt to understand the viewpoints of others [your tenses shift wildly in this sentence. Keep it all in the past or all in the present]. Continued self-study of world politics and social issues has afforded me a deep appreciation for the subtleties and gray areas of law. In my sophomore year of undergraduate study at University of ___________ , I began to actively pursue my interest in law by taking law-based courses. I chose to seek a dual degree in preparation for my journey to acquire a JD. Although I have a long path ahead of me, these undergraduate courses, specifically courses regarding mass media law and censorship, have helped shaped my conception of legal theory. The experiences and lessons I take from these courses give me confidence in my ability to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Progress and personal improvement have become a motif in my life experiences; I pursue knowledge for the goal of self-improvement.

The legal profession needs more good lawyers to restore the respectability of the law and restore societal confidence in the system. The rule of the law has to apply to everybody equally, regardless of social stature. However, countless individuals in society are intent on taking and profiting from the legal system; there are far less ["fewer"] with the desire to strengthen and legitimize the organization of law. The social trends are not encouraging, and the only thing that will save our society ["save our society" is a little dramatic here] is respect for and adherence to equal application of the law. I want to play a positive role in society, and as a lawyer, the opportunity is there.

Law has always been a part of my life. Growing up as an only child with an attorney father, I regularly conversed with him about the implications of rulings and the intricacies of the practice. I have a clear understanding of the difficulties and all-consuming intensity that accompanies the profession, and am confident that I have the personal characteristics to bring honor and dignity to the practice. The legal profession is more than a 9-5 job; it is a lifestyle that requires realism, pragmatism, and a degree of humility. I am confident that the skills I honed in my undergraduate and self-study provide me the opportunity to excel at ________ University.

FPL
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:52 am

Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby FPL » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:22 am

Your first paragraph needs to be entirely rewritten. Rather than saying "I am" this or "I do that," show us. You could use your last sentence in the the first paragraph as a springboard for a completely restructured and rewritten PS. Give us an example of when the disadvantaged lost to the mighty and write about that as a motivating factor. Be specific.

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Fresh
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Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby Fresh » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:26 am

I read "I have studied how the legal profession will fit with my life...." and stopped reading. I doubt this will hook ad comms

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JazzOne
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Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby JazzOne » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:25 am

I agree with OP that the PS genre is exceptionally difficult to master, even for a good writer. However, this cracked me up:

nwkultra wrote:I am an issue spotter

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ach24
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Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby ach24 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:06 pm

.
Last edited by ach24 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:26 pm

This may be a record setting essay for the number of times the word "I" is used.

Who told you that you were a "strong expository writer" ?

Overall this personal statement suffers from pointless repetition & a lack of mature or meaningful insights. As fluff, this writing makes the impression that you have little of substance to offer the reader--and that is not a good thing with respect to law school admissions.

dddhhh
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Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby dddhhh » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:37 pm

The PS is a great place to insert your personality and give "color" to your application. Like others have said this is a bit dry and you possibly may want to start over.

Share a story with them; what makes you unique, an experience that made you realize you wanted to be in the legal field; an ethical dilemma and how you reacted; a challenging experience; how you spend your free time.

Really sit down and think about what you can bring to the table.

Good luck :D

nwkultra
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Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby nwkultra » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:12 pm

I scrapped the statement and started over. I appreciate those who had something constructive to say about my first draft. You guys are absolutely right.

Who told you that you were a "strong expository writer" ?

Drink bleach.

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verklempt
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Re: I humbly present to you the first draft: Rip it apart please

Postby verklempt » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:14 pm

Way too high level. Am I going to read this and feel like I know you? Feel as though I care about you? Get cozy with your reader instead of keeping her/him at arm's length.




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