Too preachy/impersonal?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
greenfairy
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Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby greenfairy » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:33 pm

I'm having a hard time trying to communicate my passion for animal rights in an organized, logical way, considering it is such an emotional and intense issue for me. But I'm worried that the first half of my PS isn't personal enough. It just seems off to me. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! (BTW- the second half is about how I plan to use the study of law to practically help animals, even if indirectly, and the challenges I know I will face.)



There are very few things in my life that I am unwilling to compromise on. One of those very few things is also something I hope to make a career of: fighting for the rights and lives of those who are unable to speak for themselves, for animals.

I have spent much of my life getting to know the endless issues that threaten the rights of animals. My travels to India, a country that supposedly has a high regard for non-human animal life, gave me a personal insight into some global threats to animal rights. The performing monkeys that are a fixture at any and all tourist hot spots show the lengths people are willing to go in order to make a quick buck at the expense of an animal’s welfare. The tourists’ willingness to eat up this cheap form of entertainment ensures the continuance of such practices. Also, seeing middle-aged, thinning dogs wander the streets as a result of their owners no longer wanting to foot their veterinary bills is a daily occurrence in cities of all sizes throughout India.

In addition, my month-long trip to China opened my eyes to further abuses of animals on an international scale. A Saturday afternoon visit to the Beijing zoo, a supposed respite from out grueling academic studies, according to my professor, opened my eyes to the low standards for animal care in this region of the world. Kept in small, concrete cages, the animals are subject to further discomfort from small children and adults alike throwing sticks and rocks through the bars of these cages, never giving the animals a moment’s peace.

Knowing the prevalence of such issues on a global scale can be daunting, but I choose to take such experiences as motivation to keep working toward my goal. For example, my work at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary this past summer has given me a deep insight into the effects of abuse on millions of companion animals in the United States alone. Unlike my experiences abroad, my work at Best Friends has at least given me a chance to work directly with animals that have been wronged. At times it would certainly seem easier to run away from these problems and simply ignore the horrors that millions of animals experience around the world, but having interacted with these animals myself and knowing their innocence and vulnerability, I have instead made the decision to devote my life to the study of law in an effort to improve the conditions of animals on this planet.

CanesaLuva
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby CanesaLuva » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:31 pm

So what are your feelings on MIchael Vick?? j/k j/k j/k

rebexness
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby rebexness » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:48 pm

Last edited by rebexness on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Michaela
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby Michaela » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:56 pm

It isn't necessarily preachy, but I don't like it. Follow the multitude of TLS advice concerning political views and personal statement writing; it is possible to convey your experience and why you want to be a lawyer without sounding "preachy".

On another note, my biggest grammatical pet peeve is ending sentences with prepositions. You do some of this, try to clean that up along with some of the other, redundant language.

greenfairy
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby greenfairy » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:02 pm

Thanks, Michaela, those are some good critiques. Any suggestions on how to make it less political? It's difficult for me to be unbiased when it comes to this stuff, but that's not the way I want to come across.

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Michaela
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby Michaela » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:36 pm

greenfairy wrote:Thanks, Michaela, those are some good critiques. Any suggestions on how to make it less political? It's difficult for me to be unbiased when it comes to this stuff, but that's not the way I want to come across.


I get that, especially since I dealt with some of the same things with my own PS. I guess what I ended up doing was focusing on what I did and how it pertains to the law more than (although I did touch on it) why I did that particular activity. Of course you have to frame how/why you got involved, but what you did and how it will help you succeed at whatever law school is more important.

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TommyK
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby TommyK » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:54 pm

You're trying to take something that's personal and emotional and make it into something that's antiseptic and logical. Why? There's a way to make a passionate case for why you want to practice law without sounding irrational.

I don't like the first paragraph. It sounds awkward.

There are very few things in my life that I am unwilling to compromise on. One of those very few things is also something I hope to make a career of: fighting for the rights and lives of those who are unable to speak for themselves, for animals.


You end the first sentence in a preposition

You make it sound like you're willing to compromise most of your principles, which may not be atypical and may not be bad per se, but it rubs me the wrong way.

Tell me right off the bat why you're writing this. Either lead off with a story or just pop out and say "I have a passion for animal welfare"

I like animals, but the stories you mention aren't that compelling to me. A monkey who claps cymbals? That sounds awesome, not abject animal torture.

You don't want to disgust your reader, but I would want the reader to at least feel sympathetic to my beliefs even if he/she were a meat-eating, gun-toting hunter.

Now at the end, I would want to see how law school would help this. How does law school prepare you to impact animal abuse on an international scale? Is this not something that you could do just by working for an organization and playing Sarah McLaughlin songs really loud? I'm actually not asking rhetorically. Will this prepare you better to affect change?

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TommyK
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby TommyK » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:59 pm

Also...
The tourists’ willingness to eat up this cheap form of entertainment ensures the continuance of such practices


Avoid idioms like this

greenfairy
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby greenfairy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:37 pm

Thanks, TommyK, also some good critiques... I'm thinking I'm going to scrap this first draft and start over. This time I'm going to include just one anecdotal experience (Best Friends) and talk more about how being a lawyer will help my work with animals.

LSATclincher
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby LSATclincher » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:16 pm

I strongly advise against a PS describing what type of law you want to practice. It's too ambitious and often unrealistic. Many times, attorneys fall into specific areas of law throughout their careers. Stick to a general "why law" or just stick to describing why you're an interesting person who can contribute to your class.

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TommyK
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby TommyK » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:20 pm

LSATclincher wrote:I strongly advise against a PS describing what type of law you want to practice. It's too ambitious and often unrealistic. Many times, attorneys fall into specific areas of law throughout their careers. Stick to a general "why law" or just stick to describing why you're an interesting person who can contribute to your class.


I disagree. The adcomms know that most people change their mind, but going in with a plan is absolutely fine. Personal statements are supposed to be an authentic look at you outside the numbers. To give anybody advice of avoiding what makes them _them_ is silly and flies in the face of what a PS is supposed to accomplish.

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eaglemuncher
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby eaglemuncher » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:28 pm

Animal abuse is smething that Americans, in particular, are very emotional about (Mike Vick). This is a topic that if written correctly should be very moving. This is not. I was not moved AT ALL after reading this. Little kids throwing peanuts at elephants doesnt really make me want to rush to send PETA a hefty donation.

greenfairy
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby greenfairy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:32 pm

I know. That's why I scrapped this one and posted a new one.

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eaglemuncher
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby eaglemuncher » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:33 pm

sorry, where is it? i want to read it

greenfairy
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Re: Too preachy/impersonal?

Postby greenfairy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:43 pm

No problem. It's under the heading "New (and hopefully improved) introduction." Thanks for reading.




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