2nd Draft - Please review and criticize!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
cincygal
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:11 pm

2nd Draft - Please review and criticize!!

Postby cincygal » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:30 pm

My parents taught that hard work was difficult, yet important in life. They raised their children to be strong and independent adults. They did this by allowing us to succeed through our own means. This meant working from the age of 13, saving to buy a car and figuring out how to finance college. They believed that when you work towards a goal independently, you will further appreciate the reward. There were days, weeks and months in college when juggling school, a full time job and extracurricular activities made me curse my parents’ ideals. Nevertheless when I finally graduated, I was immensely grateful. I not only achieved something great academically, I also began a professional career from a young age.

I began at Lerner, Sampson and Rothfuss as a liaison between the firm’s attorneys and clients. I was successful in this position and was promoted after just four weeks. I adapted well to the pace of the firm, relished the long hours, trained new employees and volunteered for projects. In recognizing my accomplishments, the firm gave me the responsibility to create a new department to handle files in Hawaii and Maine for one of our foremost clients. The position meant 12 to 14 hour days, constant communication to ensure counsel was adhering to policies, learning native Hawaiian language, researching judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures and solely handling hundreds of cases. I was given little direction from management, yet I created efficient procedures and guidelines. Further, I built strong relationships with counsels from both states, designed a training manual and laid the initial foundation to expand the department. The department was able to develop from one individual to a team a five to handle the workload.

It was in coordinating this project that strengthened my interest in law. I took pleasure in researching state legalities, differentiating the types of pleadings, conferring with counsel and analyzing client records. Following the setup of this assignment, I worked to obtain more experience on the legal side rather than the client side of the firm. I was further promoted to the Kentucky Caseload Paralegal team. I became the youngest person to be hired on to this team, and the only member still to be working towards an undergraduate degree. I was extremely honored and humbled to be elevated to this position, and I strived to advance my skills. In this department, I came to realize that my passion laid in law. I enjoy researching case history, statutes, county laws and federal guidelines. Moreover, I understood the importance of an undergraduate degree. Beforehand, I would take several night classes and put in minimal effort. It was not laziness or unintelligence, I just did not think class mattered as much and work always came first. However, once I gained momentum, I went to class unfailingly and worked hard to finish my degree.

On the day I received my diploma, I remember being proud, wistful and content. I knew that I had struggled and failed at some points, yet I alone was able to overcome those obstacles and succeed. The values that my parents instilled in me laid a strong foundation for me to grow into a resilient, successful, independent young woman. My favorite authoress, Ayn Rand, stated, “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.” I am not paving a new road as many have come before me, yet I know that my persistence, work ethic and leadership will greatly contribute to XX School.

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: 2nd Draft - Please review and criticize!!

Postby LSATclincher » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:26 pm

If you're applying this cycle. You need to get this out tonight. This is an ok statement that will not hurt you. If your #'s are borderline, however, you need to make adjustments to turn this into a plus PS.

The language in the 1st para was poor. You talk about stuff your parents did/taught, but none of it really stands out. This intro para is VERY boring. It sets the stage for the rest of the piece, and takes away from the piece, generally.

The 2nd para is fine. I'd eliminate "I was successful in this position and was promoted after just four weeks." Stay confident, but don't boast. Also, convert the numbers to words "twelve" not 12.

The 3rd para starts out well. But I'd delete all of this: "In this department, I came to realize that my passion laid in law. I enjoy researching case history, statutes, county laws and federal guidelines. Moreover, I understood the importance of an undergraduate degree. Beforehand, I would take several night classes and put in minimal effort. It was not laziness or unintelligence, I just did not think class mattered as much and work always came first. However, once I gained momentum, I went to class unfailingly and worked hard to finish my degree. " The first 2 sentences in quotes is a restate. The last part can be stated as "My real-world legal experience motivated me to refocus my attention on my studies."

The conclusion is dreadful. We all received diplomas, so that experience need not be mentioned. You again cite your parents, but I don't feel them important enough for another citation. If you began with some clever anecdote telling us who your parents were and how they inspired you, then I'd feel this citation would be relevant. I love Ayn Rand, but keep any slight reference to your political ideology out of this PS. In your last sentence, the terse blurb about X law school is an insult.

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: 2nd Draft - Please review and criticize!!

Postby LSATclincher » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:30 pm

My suggestion would be to throw a personal anecdote about your or your parents in para 1. Then transition to para 2 to discuss a bit about your background and what sparked you to enter the law firm. Keep the legal experience references, and how they sparked an interest in law. Just tighten up that transition. Come back in the conclusion, and really nail it. Develop a confident tone showing how your roots and experience is an asset to ANY law school.

cincygal
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:11 pm

Re: 2nd Draft - Please review and criticize!!

Postby cincygal » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:56 am

Thank you LSATclincher for your feedback! I agree about my conclusion, and I have been working on it over the weekend.

Thanks again!

bmore
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: 2nd Draft - Please review and criticize!!

Postby bmore » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:10 am

I agree with the above posters. Some of the grammar and tenses seem off. Is this correct? "my passion laid in law". I really don't like it.

dddhhh
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:55 pm

Re: 2nd Draft - Please review and criticize!!

Postby dddhhh » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:48 am

I think your experience at the law firm should take the forefront and the undercurrent should be how you were raised. Also, in the first paragraph please don't say "made me curse my parents’ ideals". Instead, maybe consider saying their ideals were difficult to execute or follow.

Also, make it clearer that this project was done during undergraduate, I read it as you graduated (end of 1st paragraph) and started working at LSR firm...it was not until I read "the only member still to be working towards an undergraduate degree" that I realized you were referring to an experience that happened during UG. Maybe this was a RC fail on my part but I think that transition could be made cleaner.

Make your conclusion stronger. How do these experiences translate into the type of law student you will be/what you can offer to the school? Really make that last paragraph shine and make them want you at their LS!

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The Gentleman
Posts: 670
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:25 am

Re: 2nd Draft - Please review and criticize!!

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:26 am

Not bad, but not good either. At this point in the cycle, you just need to send it out and let the chips fall where they may. It's simply too late to worry about the minutia.


But if you wanted some feedback, then my suggestion would be to make it read less like a narrative resume and more like a story. Instead of talking about your responsibilities in a broad and impersonal way, pick one anecdote that illustrates the point you're trying to get across. And axe the first paragraph. It's totally unnecessary IMHO.

Like I said though, any boost you might get from rewriting your essay would be negated by applying even later. Submit this thing and don't look back.

Good luck OP!

cincygal
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:11 pm

Re: 2nd Draft - Please review and criticize!!

Postby cincygal » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:34 pm

Thank you dddhhh and the gentleman for your posts, both were very helpful!




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