Seeking DS critique (Version 2.0)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Justathought
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Seeking DS critique (Version 2.0)

Postby Justathought » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:57 pm

Thanks folks!
Last edited by Justathought on Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:15 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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MrSparkle
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby MrSparkle » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:39 pm

I'm not sure how to critique this...the whole thing is (no offense) incredibly boring. There is a lot of unnecessary fluff about the state of our country and other such unimaginative generalizations. Nothing really captures my imagination (no juicy imagery) and nothing really pulls me into your point of view. The entire thing is basically you describing your neighborhood. The main idea itself isn't what's bad, it's just presentation and focus.

I'd revamp it and put some focus into it, create a central thrust and build from there.

Brownadam26
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby Brownadam26 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:46 pm

The first paragraph is awesome. I stopped reading because it started getting boring.

bmore
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby bmore » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:48 pm

List of foreign dignitaries? Not really. Why are you talking about parents of younger applicants? Not really adding to your Diversity statement. Isn't this about your diversity, not the diversity of Queens. Watch the typos "decent/descent"!
Just a few things.

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lolschool2011
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby lolschool2011 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:54 pm

Damn, this does seem pretty "uneventful" to say the least. To be honest, this makes Queens sound less, well, interesting than I thought. I'd scrap the Queens hyperbole altogether. Focus on your being Puerto Rican and those cultural experiences, and so forth. Just my few cents.

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Justathought
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby Justathought » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:48 pm

bmore wrote:List of foreign dignitaries? Not really. Why are you talking about parents of younger applicants? Not really adding to your Diversity statement. Isn't this about your diversity, not the diversity of Queens. Watch the typos "decent/descent"!
Just a few things.


Okay, I'm going out for a beer, but thank you (everyone), for the feedback thus far. I quote you, bmore, because I do agree with your take on the "parents of younger applicants" aspect of that statement. I wrote it as a subtle joke and to highlight the amount of freedom my youth afforded me, not to imply a better methodology for parenting, but the point is very valid, and I can see it coming across that way. I'll rework that.

Things I want to come across in my diversity statement:

I'm racially/ethnically mixed.
I'm 30.
I'm from an incredibly diverse community which lends to the practice of law in a shifting cultural landscape. The narrative of a childhood which exposed me to said diverse community seemed like a solid way to convey this.

These three things should paint an accurate picture of a candidate who is diverse in racial/ethnic identity, non-traditional in age, and raised in an environment which is fairly unique in terms of its cultural makeup.

What I don't want to come across:

A sad story- that's what the GPA addendum is for, I want this to remain positive.
A story of overcoming adversity. See above comment.
A list of achievements. Of course the PS and resume explore the glory that is me! :P

Also: I hate the foreign delegate sentence too, its been reworked a few times already. I will lose that in favor of something else.

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Justathought
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby Justathought » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:13 pm

Also, because I'm sick and can't stop writing, despite the fact that friends are waiting for me, more critiques are invited an appreciated.

A question for those who already commented:

Given the short length of a diversity statement, what is your advice for marrying intrigue with information?

I don't want to come across as boring, but I also don't want it to be a roller-coaster ride of diverse excitement that fails paint a picture of a mature candidate who recognizes the benefit his diversity brings to a law school, and equally important, what that diversity can contribute to the legal profession.

Of course, I could be way off base with all this!

Okay, I'm done, for reals.

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MrSparkle
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby MrSparkle » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:27 am

I'd be very curious to see what a "roller coaster ride of diversity" looks like haha. I wrote a one-page statement that was very detailed, wasted no space, and offered a glimpse of me that wasn't anywhere else. Razor focus and a lasting image are more important than coming across as "mature," IMO. Be careful not to equate "mature" with "boring."

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Justathought
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby Justathought » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:59 pm

Hey folks, I'm in the process of a substantial rewrite. I'll have the next draft up tomorrow morning. Please check back and offer up a critique. Since the initial response was one of utter boredom, I have added more excitement, everything short of car chases and explosions. :wink:

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lolschool2011
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby lolschool2011 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:01 pm

Justathought wrote:Hey folks, I'm in the process of a substantial rewrite. I'll have the next draft up tomorrow morning. Please check back and offer up a critique. Since the initial response was one of utter boredom, I have added more excitement, everything short of car chases and explosions. :wink:


The people want excitement. Give the people what they want!

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Justathought
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Re: Seeking DS critique

Postby Justathought » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:36 pm

lolschool2011 wrote:
Justathought wrote:Hey folks, I'm in the process of a substantial rewrite. I'll have the next draft up tomorrow morning. Please check back and offer up a critique. Since the initial response was one of utter boredom, I have added more excitement, everything short of car chases and explosions. :wink:


The people want excitement. Give the people what they want!



Here it is, now with more Dragon Boats and less walking to school! (its in the opening post)

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lolschool2011
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Re: Seeking DS critique (Version 2.0)

Postby lolschool2011 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:22 pm

Justathought wrote: I hope law school will seem like one of the countless neighborhoods I traversed in my youth, a place to be taught and teach; an opportunity to contribute to yet another strong community through the underlying threads which bind us together.


This is really great... much better. The only line I'm not sure of is the last. I just don't think it's a good idea to end on a hope of what law school will seem like, because an adcom might think you'd be dissapointed with the reality of what law school really is/feels like. It's going to be a grind in many ways... especially relative to the rich cultural experiences you've had that helped shape who you are. I'd finish with something else... maybe a tie-in between diversity and law and the perspective you'll bring to your LS class. Law schools are all about building diverse classes, so it's better to convey something that they want vs. something that you hope it'll feel like. Other than that, I think this is a fantastic PS.

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Justathought
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Re: Seeking DS critique (Version 2.0)

Postby Justathought » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:36 pm

lolschool2011 wrote:
Justathought wrote: I hope law school will seem like one of the countless neighborhoods I traversed in my youth, a place to be taught and teach; an opportunity to contribute to yet another strong community through the underlying threads which bind us together.


This is really great... much better. The only line I'm not sure of is the last. I just don't think it's a good idea to end on a hope of what law school will seem like, because an adcom might think you'd be dissapointed with the reality of what law school really is/feels like. It's going to be a grind in many ways... especially relative to the rich cultural experiences you've had that helped shape who you are. I'd finish with something else... maybe a tie-in between diversity and law and the perspective you'll bring to your LS class. Law schools are all about building diverse classes, so it's better to convey something that they want vs. something that you hope it'll feel like. Other than that, I think this is a fantastic PS.


Thanks very much for all the help thus far. Glad to see this version is already being received better. I'll see what I can do with that last sentence, I think your point on "hopes" for law school is solid.

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MrSparkle
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Re: Seeking DS critique (Version 2.0)

Postby MrSparkle » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:13 pm

A lot better. Personally, I'd be interested in how cultures bled together more than how separate they remained. In my experience, ethnic enclaves are almost never exactly like the places they represent.

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Justathought
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Re: Seeking DS critique (Version 2.0)

Postby Justathought » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:23 pm

MrSparkle wrote:A lot better. Personally, I'd be interested in how cultures bled together more than how separate they remained. In my experience, ethnic enclaves are almost never exactly like the places they represent.


First, thanks for the continued feedback. The honest critiques have, without question, strengthened this project.

As to this latest suggestion, I think the answer to how these enclaves differ from the international cites I mentioned, is in part defined by the enclaves proximity to one another. For example, in looking at a globe, we can see how far Mumbai is from Santo Domingo. However, in Queens, Jackson Heights and Corona are neighboring towns, and the differing cultures, as a result, are in close contact at all times. What I tried to allude to in my essay, I hope via the Buddhism Catholicism story, is that this proximity forces residents to explore new cultures. The result is a chance to gain insight into not only our differences, but also, the things we all share in common. I guess you could call these universal truths, or whatever, but my point would be that understanding these "underlying threads" is a valuable tool for the practice of law in the 21th century, because, Mumbai and Santo Domingo are, in fact, getting closer together, due of course to things like global commerce, etc.

Perhaps if I can figure out how to eloquently phrase that sentiment in the last line or two, my focus would be even sharper. Remember, this is a diversity statement and not a personal statement, so I feel as though I can't elaborate much more, since I am trying to craft something very succinct.

Thanks for the thoughts, and any additional feedback is welcome.




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