Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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drmguy
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Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby drmguy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:17 pm

Thanks...
Last edited by drmguy on Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LSATclincher
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby LSATclincher » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:39 pm

One grammatical error stood out right away -- a misplaced preposition....

Frightened, I grasped the rope ON WHICH MY LIFE DEPENDED, and reflected, “What am I doing here?”

The PS as a whole seemed a bit disorganized. Your opening anecdote is fine, and I liked it. I felt the 3rd para was unnecessary. It served no purpose. The 4th para should be up top in your opening anecdote. The transition to your student organization seemed to be abrupt. And your conclusion seemed a bit weak.

I'd combine para 1, 2, and 4 into one or two para's to open the PS with your great anecdote. Then you need to transition into, perhaps, how your life prior to that event lacked direction. Then transition into a new direction filled w/ leadership. Then cite examples of your leadership. Your organization story is nice. Add something else, too. Then conclude by tying in the anecdote at the end, stating that moment shaped your life and will be your motivational memory the rest of your life.

lawschooliseasy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby lawschooliseasy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:41 pm

Cut "intentionally" from the first paragraph. You moved your foot. Of course it was intentional. It is redundant.

lawschooliseasy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby lawschooliseasy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:45 pm

I also really like the anecdote. Its a good story, but surely you can tie it into something more than an ambiguous notion of "greatness." It sounds kind of like pretentious drivel to me. I would focus on something more specific, less arrogant and directly tied to your study of law.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:45 pm

Boring & awkwardly constructed. Although you write clearly your storyline does not follow a natural progression.

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drmguy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby drmguy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:48 pm

lawschooliseasy wrote:I also really like the anecdote. Its a good story, but surely you can tie it into something more than an ambiguous notion of "greatness." It sounds kind of like pretentious drivel to me. I would focus on something more specific, less arrogant and directly tied to your study of law.



Such as?

lawschooliseasy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby lawschooliseasy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:54 pm

drmguy wrote:
lawschooliseasy wrote:I also really like the anecdote. Its a good story, but surely you can tie it into something more than an ambiguous notion of "greatness." It sounds kind of like pretentious drivel to me. I would focus on something more specific, less arrogant and directly tied to your study of law.



Such as?


I don't know, you'd have to draw concrete examples from your life. Without knowing you it is hard to say. A near-death experience seems like it could teach you a lot of things, iron out what your priorities are, etc. I think you can turn this into a very good piece. However, simply calling yourself "great" (which I would use in the same breath as FDR, Gandhi, Mandela, etc., not an aspiring law student) portrays you as arrogant and unimaginative.

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Cade McNown
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby Cade McNown » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:58 pm

Classic story over substance. How committed to this topic are you? I think that adcomms will look at this and wonder how almost dying on a mountain = law school. Why not tell them more about yourself? Surely you have other worthwhile experiences & attributes worth discussing. IMO this is a waste of the only opportunity to really present yourself.

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drmguy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby drmguy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:03 pm

LSATclincher wrote:One grammatical error stood out right away -- a misplaced preposition....

Frightened, I grasped the rope ON WHICH MY LIFE DEPENDED, and reflected, “What am I doing here?”

The PS as a whole seemed a bit disorganized. Your opening anecdote is fine, and I liked it. I felt the 3rd para was unnecessary. It served no purpose. The 4th para should be up top in your opening anecdote. The transition to your student organization seemed to be abrupt. And your conclusion seemed a bit weak.

I'd combine para 1, 2, and 4 into one or two para's to open the PS with your great anecdote. Then you need to transition into, perhaps, how your life prior to that event lacked direction. Then transition into a new direction filled w/ leadership. Then cite examples of your leadership. Your organization story is nice. Add something else, too. Then conclude by tying in the anecdote at the end, stating that moment shaped your life and will be your motivational memory the rest of your life.


Do we agree with this?

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drmguy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby drmguy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:05 pm

Cade McNown wrote:Classic story over substance. How committed to this topic are you? I think that adcomms will look at this and wonder how almost dying on a mountain = law school. Why not tell them more about yourself? Surely you have other worthwhile experiences & attributes worth discussing. IMO this is a waste of the only opportunity to really present yourself.



By following the advice I quoted I could condense the story and talk more about myself.

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drmguy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby drmguy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:09 pm

I obviously need to change the greatness thing.

Should I give more attention to first gen college?


I see some agreement that I need to concentrate on something other than "greatness." Should I concentrate on a lawyer skill or what?

lawschooliseasy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby lawschooliseasy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:43 pm

drmguy wrote:I obviously need to change the greatness thing.

Should I give more attention to first gen college?


I see some agreement that I need to concentrate on something other than "greatness." Should I concentrate on a lawyer skill or what?


It doesn't have to be a lawyerly skill per se. Put yourself in the position of an ad comm. If they read your personal statement right now they're going to think, "Wow that sounds like an amazing experience this kid had... but why should I let him into law school?" The issues that should be central to your personal statement are a description of your as a person and what motivates you to go to law school. The mountain story is very, very cool, but it should take a secondary role to the former.

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drmguy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby drmguy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:56 pm

Defnitely trash the paragraph order?

Do we not like the "what am I doing here?" paragraph?

Should I completely ax the third paragraph or condense and move all the mountain story together and put that right after the end?

lawschooliseasy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby lawschooliseasy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:26 pm

drmguy wrote:Defnitely trash the paragraph order?

Yes, just restructure/rewrite the whole thing.

Do we not like the "what am I doing here?" paragraph?

I would actually combine the majority of what you have now into one paragraph. Its a very good story, but shouldn't eclipse the larger message of your personal statement which should be who you are, why you want to go to law school and why you will kick ass once you are there.

Should I completely ax the third paragraph or condense and move all the mountain story together and put that right after the end?


See previous.


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drmguy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby drmguy » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:06 am

Anyone else?

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drmguy
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Re: Almost Final Draft...Please Shred

Postby drmguy » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:57 pm

New condensed intro-


As daylight waned, Troy and I made the decision to traverse a 100-foot snow wall, the last obstacle between us and the safety of camp. Just feet from the crest, I made one long step, embedding my crampon’s steel teeth deep into a rock crevice that would serve as my only foothold. With my hands in reach of the top, I tried to pull myself up. I soon realized I was stuck, and if I dislodged my foot with nothing to hold on to, I would surely plummet to my death.

It didn’t take long to realize that my only chance of avoiding the fall was for Troy to pull me up using the rope buried deep at the bottom of my pack. After he retrieved the rope from my pack Troy lowered it down and I secured it around my waist. Troy’s first fierce jerk dislodged my foot and the rope, which now seemed like a thread, became my only source of support. What happened next, I will never forget. Troy briefly released the rope to adjust his grip, but then was unable to slow the sudden surge of force. I fell beyond his line of sight and when he finally stopped the rope, my inertia thrust him forward. He was nearly thrown off the cliff, and his feet cast a rain of rocks down on me. Though nearly blind with terror, I calmly instructed him to use a hand-over-hand technique, so that tension would be maintained in the rope. Slowly but surely, Troy was able to pull me up, concluding the most terrifying situation of my life.




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