Please ignore.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Please ignore.

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:35 pm

Started a different thread for the new version.
Last edited by gregthomas77 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:03 am, edited 11 times in total.

User avatar
MrPapagiorgio
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:36 am

Re: Gonna write my statement today

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:41 pm

gregthomas77 wrote:9. Suggestions?


Don't go. If I had a college professorship, I would definitely stay with that. Work towards your Ph.D. (which I'm assuming you don't have because you mention a masters) and then tenure. Finishing law school at 36 with 120K+ debt as well as a family to support? That is just not good decision-making, especially with a job as a college professor already in hand.

mandaleni23
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Gonna write my statement today

Postby mandaleni23 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:42 pm

gregthomas77 wrote:Snow day - no work. I am going to spend the day writing my personal statement. What kind of stuff should I highlight/discuss?

Stuff to choose from (in no particular order):

1. 33 years old
2. College professor (Communication) for the past 5 years (2 years at a private school, 3 at a state HBCU)
3. College debate coach for the past 6 years (1 year as a graduate assistant at a western state university, 2 years at a private school, started a program and have coached for three years at a state HBCU)
4. College debater before that (fairly successful, at the private school mentioned above)
5. Married with children
6. Explain poor UGPA (2.75)?
7. Talk about much higher Grad GPA (3.65, I have a masters, +40 additional hours)?
8. Redskins and Knicks fan (for the pity factor)
9. Suggestions?


First, are you still planning on applying for this cycle? IMO it's a little late to get started on applications. You might be more successful applying early next cycle.

I think I would focus a personal statement around significant experiences from #4 & #3 (chronologically) that led you to your desire to attend law school.

#5 & #1 are good topics for diversity statements.

I would write an addendum about #6 using #7 to explain it.

Hope this helps you get started!

User avatar
Adjudicator
Posts: 1108
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:18 am

Re: Gonna write my statement today

Postby Adjudicator » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:44 pm

As a previous poster said, you're pretty late for this cycle. You're not going to get the results you're hoping for this cycle.

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: Gonna write my statement today

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:45 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:
gregthomas77 wrote:9. Suggestions?


Don't go. If I had a college professorship, I would definitely stay with that. Work towards your Ph.D. (which I'm assuming you don't have because you mention a masters) and then tenure. Finishing law school at 36 with 120K+ debt as well as a family to support? That is just not good decision-making, especially with a job as a college professor already in hand.


I am about half way through my doctoral program. I will more than likely stick with what I am doing. However, I would like to apply and see what my choices are. That being said, any suggestions on the statement?

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: Gonna write my statement today

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:47 pm

Added first draft.

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:39 pm

bump for draft

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:06 pm

This is not a good personal statement for one seeking admission to law schools. Too verbose. Too long. Too repetitious. A bit too negative (raises maturity issues). Lacking in insight. Not well constructed. Not convincing.

Overall, except for the presumption that you are an AA applicant, this essay may harm your chances of admission to highly competitive law schools.

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:09 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:This is not a good personal statement for one seeking admission to law schools. Too verbose. A bit too negative (raises maturity issues). Lacking in insight. Not well constructed. Not convincing.

Overall, except for the presumption that you are an AA applicant, this essay may harm your chances of admission to highly competitive law schools.


Please explain? I am curious what you mean. What specifically would you change?

Also, not an AA applicant.

mmy789
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:10 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby mmy789 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:19 pm

First thing I would do is get rid of the "when I was 5..." stuff. What could you know at the age of 5? It suggests that you have an unrealistic view of what a legal career/education might actually mean. With your age I am willing to bet that your view is realistic but saying this suggests otherwise. Kinda see what I am getting at?

mmy789
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:10 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby mmy789 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:23 pm

Second thing I would do is get rid of the paragraph listing what you have done and include a resume. It adds needless length.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:23 pm

To be blunt, I would scrap the whole essay, read Anna Ivey's book, maybe read Ann Levine's book & start over. Other than that, I thought my critique was pretty clear. Try to write about a more mature theme in a succinct manner in crisp, clear sentences.

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:32 pm

mmy789 wrote:First thing I would do is get rid of the "when I was 5..." stuff. What could you know at the age of 5? It suggests that you have an unrealistic view of what a legal career/education might actually mean. With your age I am willing to bet that your view is realistic but saying this suggests otherwise. Kinda see what I am getting at?


I see what you are saying. I didn't actually say since 5, i said that is what my mom suggests. We all know how moms are. But, i see whay you mean about being realistic.

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:34 pm

mmy789 wrote:Second thing I would do is get rid of the paragraph listing what you have done and include a resume. It adds needless length.


Obviously i will attach a resume, but which paragraph were you suggesting to cut?

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:36 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:To be blunt, I would scrap the whole essay, read Anna Ivey's book, maybe read Ann Levine's book & start over. Other than that, I thought my critique was pretty clear. Try to write about a more mature theme in a succinct manner in crisp, clear sentences.


I think your statements are clear, they just would have been more useful with examples. I appreciate what you are saying but i would Like to improve this essay instead of scrapping it.

mmy789
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:10 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby mmy789 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:43 pm

I kinda agree with the previous comment. There is a lot of work needed if you really want to use this.

Maybe you write an essay SOLELY about HOW mentoring people has made you fantastic at listening, gently helping frustrated and scared individuals through difficult times, and helped you develop other traits that would make you a good/compassionate lawyer and law student. You could make cut the length down and make it more cohesive and effective that way maybe?

cut this one
" In my three years at my current institution, I have accomplished many things. As a junior faculty member, I serve on many committees (including the faculty senate, my departmental grant writing committee, and chair of the university core communication advisory committee), I have written and had a SACS (accreditation) prospectus approved to start a new Journalism program in our department, I have high teaching ratings from my students, and I coach a successful (for its age) debate program that is often the talk of our campus. I have even started on a doctoral degree (an EdD in Educational Leadership) through my university and to anyone you could ask I seem to be on the track for tenure soon after I complete this degree. Seemingly everything is perfect, which leads me back to where I started this story."

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:44 pm

mmy789 wrote:I kinda agree with the previous comment. There is a lot of work needed if you really want to use this.

Maybe you write an essay SOLELY about HOW mentoring people has made you fantastic at listening, gently helping frustrated and scared individuals through difficult times, and helped you develop other traits that would make you a good/compassionate lawyer and law student. You could make cut the length down and make it more cohesive and effective that way maybe?

cut this one
" In my three years at my current institution, I have accomplished many things. As a junior faculty member, I serve on many committees (including the faculty senate, my departmental grant writing committee, and chair of the university core communication advisory committee), I have written and had a SACS (accreditation) prospectus approved to start a new Journalism program in our department, I have high teaching ratings from my students, and I coach a successful (for its age) debate program that is often the talk of our campus. I have even started on a doctoral degree (an EdD in Educational Leadership) through my university and to anyone you could ask I seem to be on the track for tenure soon after I complete this degree. Seemingly everything is perfect, which leads me back to where I started this story."


Ok, I could see possibly going at it from that way.

mmy789
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:10 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby mmy789 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:48 pm

Another thing (sorry I have so many comments...I just know how sucky this process is and deeply sympathize so tell me if I'm too overbearing.) When I read this I was left with this thought:

"This guy is obvs awesome at what he is doing now yet he claims that law is his big dream. He doesn't give a whole lot of reason for me to think that this is true outside of the fact that he says it is his dream. "

I guess what I am trying to say is maybe you should explain why you want to go to law school. Are you interested in any specific area? Why that area? Any experiences that have made that the case?

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:51 pm

mmy789 wrote:Another thing (sorry I have so many comments...I just know how sucky this process is and deeply sympathize so tell me if I'm too overbearing.) When I read this I was left with this thought:

"This guy is obvs awesome at what he is doing now yet he claims that law is his big dream. He doesn't give a whole lot of reason for me to think that this is true outside of the fact that he says it is his dream. "

I guess what I am trying to say is maybe you should explain why you want to go to law school. Are you interested in any specific area? Why that area? Any experiences that have made that the case?


Wow, that rings true. You would believe how many people seem to think i am being dumb. I guess an explanation of why i am doing what i am doing would help.

mmy789
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:10 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby mmy789 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:05 pm

for sure! You have a lot of really good material just be prudent in what you throw in. One last piece of advice. If you haven't done it already check out the TLS dean interviews. In the interviews, TLS asks the deans for any PS advice. There is some good stuff in there. Good luck!

User avatar
verklempt
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:59 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby verklempt » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:20 pm

The tone of this PS is apologetic. It almost sounds as though you are applying on a whim, given that your desire wasn't rekindled until last month.

As I have pointed out before on this forum, the generic PS is not a "why law school." If adcomms wanted you to write that essay, they'd give you that prompt. Instead, think of this as your opportunity to talk about who you are, what you value, what you care about, what excites you.

Since debate is a recurring theme in your life, that might be a great topic. But talk about it not in terms of a timeline but by describing how debate transformed your life, and the gratification you achieve from working with students and encouraging them to grow and flourish through debate. You could demonstrate some great self-awareness ane empathy here!

Also, vis a vis some of the other comments made here, I can understand how you feel as though time is passing you by, and your dreams are slipping away, especially when you compare yourself to an undergrad. But your kids must be young, and I can only imagine the kind of challenges you would face trying to juggle everything. (I have four kids too No way could I have gone back to law school when they were babies.) Not saying it can't be done because I know people with multiple kids who have, just that family life gets a lot easier in many ways once your youngest gets into kindergarten. You have a long career ahead of you. Maybe it would be good to put together a 10-year plan and see where education, family, and work fit best.

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:33 pm

verklempt wrote:The tone of this PS is apologetic. It almost sounds as though you are applying on a whim, given that your desire wasn't rekindled until last month.


I guess I could see how it sounds that way. I probably should avoid that.

As I have pointed out before on this forum, the generic PS is not a "why law school." If adcomms wanted you to write that essay, they'd give you that prompt. Instead, think of this as your opportunity to talk about who you are, what you value, what you care about, what excites you.

Since debate is a recurring theme in your life, that might be a great topic. But talk about it not in terms of a timeline but by describing how debate transformed your life, and the gratification you achieve from working with students and encouraging them to grow and flourish through debate. You could demonstrate some great self-awareness ane empathy here!

Also, vis a vis some of the other comments made here, I can understand how you feel as though time is passing you by, and your dreams are slipping away, especially when you compare yourself to an undergrad. But your kids must be young, and I can only imagine the kind of challenges you would face trying to juggle everything. (I have four kids too No way could I have gone back to law school when they were babies.) Not saying it can't be done because I know people with multiple kids who have, just that family life gets a lot easier in many ways once your youngest gets into kindergarten. You have a long career ahead of you. Maybe it would be good to put together a 10-year plan and see where education, family, and work fit best.


Thanks for the suggestions.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:48 pm

Is attending part-time law school while retaining your job an option ? The reason that I ask is that your proposed personal statement is not convincing that you are a good candidate for law school.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gregthomas77
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:49 am

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby gregthomas77 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:51 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Is attending part-time law school while retaining your job an option ?


Possibly. I know North Carolina Central (about an hour away) has a night program. I think that's it.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First Draft -of Personal Statement - Can I get a critique?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:57 pm

"Not only will the readers [of one's law school application personal statement] consider the substance and execution of your statement, but they will also evaluate your choice of what to write about." From The Best Law Schools' Admissions Secrets by Joyce Putnam Curll former Dean of Admissions at Harvard Law School.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.