Need someone to read my near final PS, please :)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Need someone to read my near final PS, please :)

Postby capscapscaps » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:49 pm

thanks for your help!
Last edited by capscapscaps on Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Need someone to read my near final PS, please :)

Postby LSATclincher » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:58 pm

I thought the first half of this was boring. I think a PS that discusses school is a waste. They already have your entire transcript. Assuming your a woman, I do feel you can mention your private school experience, but only briefly. The fact that you went to to partake in public school studies seemed to tell us nothing. I'd imagine 1/2 the applicants have done the same.

The second part is when this gets very good. You some great real-world experience that can separate you from the rest. Discuss this more.

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Re: Need someone to read my near final PS, please :)

Postby rebexness » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:21 pm

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

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Re: Need someone to read my near final PS, please :)

Postby lcw » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:32 pm

capscapscaps, I think you're off to a nice start with your personal statement. In contrast to the authors of the previous comments, I think it's perfectly acceptable to write about experiences from high school and college so long as the way in which you describe those experiences is in sync with the overall message you are trying to convey in your p.s.

Here are a few suggestions that may help refine your personal statement. Some are just nit-picky and some are based in personal writing style and preference. Feel free to embrace or wholly disregard any of my suggestions as you see fit. In full disclosure, I'm currently a 1L at a top 30 law school who's had some time to reflect on his own application experience and is trying to help pave a smoother road for subsequent law school applicants.

1. Try to begin your personal statement with an overarching thesis sentence that captures the subjects of each of your paragraphs. I know you're trying to create a narrative of how you have come to enjoy open dialogue and debate in the marketplace of ideas, but I would prefer to be told that upfront so I know what to expect as a reader. Personal statements, and legal writing in general, is no place for surprise twists, turns, and intrigue. You should tell the reader up front, as specifically as possible, what you are about to tell them in more detail.

2. Similar to number 1, try to begin each paragraph with a specific thesis that captures the main subject of your paragraph. Ideally, I should be able to read the first sentences from your paragraphs and be able to grasp what you're trying to say. Presently, I think your first sentences are a bit too vague. "Attending a small private xxx school from first through eighth grade affected me in profound ways." What are those profound ways? Tell me upfront instead of making me wait. You can still elaborate on them at greater length in the following sentences. Again, in your second paragraph, you say "After leaving xxx to attend a public high school, I quickly realized what empowered and motivated me." What is it that empowered and motivated you? Try making the thesis more specific by saying, "After transferring to a public high school, I found myself empowered and motivated by the school's _____, ______ and _______.

3. In general, I think you can compress your first three paragraphs into two (or maybe even one) paragraph. I would expand your fourth paragraph as much as possible as that is really the meat of why you want to go into law. It sounds like you have a lot of fantastic experience and it shows that you're dedicated to law as a career. Emphasize that as much as possible.

4. Don't have a thesis sentence that weakens the significance of what you're about to discuss. For instance, the way you start your fourth paragraph really takes the force out of the very awesome things that you've been able to do so far. There's no need to measure up to landmark scotus cases; just speak of the impactful work that you have done.

5. You start several sentences with "While." Try to change up your sentence structure a bit as you used "while" enough times for me to notice the pattern.

6. In your last paragraph, do you mean "socially conscious individual" instead of "socially conscience"?

Good luck with your application process.

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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:41 pm

Re: Need someone to read my near final PS, please :)

Postby capscapscaps » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:41 am

Thanks a lot for the commentary! I realize I talk about high school/education, but my education is a big part of who I am so I feel it necessary to mention. Thanks lcw, I don't think your advice is nit-picky at all; it's very helpful. And per #6, yes I meant conscious, thanks for mentioning that :) I haven't had anyone else really read this yet so everyone's advice means a lot to me.

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