Comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
pnt07
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:50 pm

Comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

Postby pnt07 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:16 pm

This is my first draft, so any comments on overall theme issues, grammar or anything else are welcome. I want to try to have my PS done by sometime this week so constructive criticism would be great!!!

During my first semester at [XXX] State University I took what was to become one of my favorite classes, Ethical Issues and Life Choices taught by Dr. [X]. The discussion based class dealt with a variety of contentious topics such as the moral implications of abortion, capital punishment and homosexuality. Debating sensitive issues on which most students hold strong opinions, one way or the other, was extremely thought provoking. We were challenged to come up with a valid means of supporting our own views while seeking out the flaws in the opposing side’s logic. It was a somewhat inappropriate comment said during this class that set me on the path to law school.
Our class was discussing an article which posited that homosexuality is immoral. It took the stance that the function of genitals is reproduction and as homosexual contact does not seek to achieve this function it is inherently wrong. The class immediately picked up on a discrepancy; heterosexual couples frequently engage in sexual acts which are not intended for reproduction and are not considered immoral. Dr. [X] conceded that though it not as good as reproductive intercourse, such contact could be said to be permissible as it has the potential to eventually lead to procreation. He had effectively neutralized our counterargument. Suddenly I was struck by inspiration. I raised my hand and said “What about a threesome? If a gay couple was to have intercourse and then finish off with a member of the opposite sex, there would be gay sex that led to procreation.” I was attempting to show that if there are certain situations under which homosexual contact is acceptable, even if not optimal, then it can not be said to be inherently immoral.
Dr. [X] looked flummoxed; the class went momentarily silent and then burst into uproarious laughter. Although the class had been able to maintain a certain level of maturity when discussing the merits of different sexual acts, my allusion to multiple partner intercourse was apparently too much to handle. Once the class settled down Dr. [X] admitted that he did not have an answer to the question that I had raised. Soon afterward the class ended, and we were free to leave. As I left I worried that the reaction of the class was an indication that I had said the wrong thing. I was outside the building and had managed to cross the street by the time I heard my name being called out. I turned and saw Dr. [X] jog up to me. I was sure that I was going to be reprimanded, told that though our class had developed an atmosphere of open discussion and camaraderie I had crossed some unspoken line. My worries turned out to be baseless. He had sought me out to congratulate my imaginative response and inquire into whether I had considered becoming a Philosophy major. Honestly I had not, but the prospect of continuing to take courses in which unconventional thinking is applauded appealed to me.
At the time I was an Exploratory major, my university’s designation for undecided, but I was leaning towards Criminology. I wanted to take courses where I would learn about the motivations of offenders and perhaps work in the criminal justice field in some capacity. However, as I did not know what capacity that should be, I decided to keep my mind open to different prospects. Following Dr. [X]’s suggestion I began to contemplate the merits of a Philosophy degree. Initially, I had the same reservations about Philosophy that I did about Criminology. I knew I wanted to gain knowledge about the subject, but I was uncertain about my career options and was therefore unwilling to commit.
After a good deal time spent researching I came across information about Philosophy majors and law school. Specifically, the field of criminal law piqued my interest. Criminal law would give me an opportunity to blend both areas of my interest. I would be able to use the skill set I developed as a Philosophy major and see the theories that I learned as a Criminology major in action. With the goal of law school in mind, I made the decision to double major. Although my secondary goal has been to eventually go into criminal law I must concede that my interests could change. It is entirely possible that a certain class or professor will shift my interest to a field that I have not yet considered. Just as one comment in one ethics class set me on a previously unconsidered path, so too could the same occur in the future.
Honestly, I have not wanted to be a lawyer since I was two years old. Nor did I have an epiphany that I would spend my life correcting societal ills while volunteering in an impoverished area. My desire to practice law instead comes from an evaluation of my interests and goals, coupled with extensive research. One of the main problems with this method is my experience with the law is more academic than practical. I have spent numerous hours on the internet looking up different schools, clinics and programs, I have talked to law students and current lawyers, and I have sat in on a court case. However, I am aware that such experiences do not necessarily reflect the realities of what practicing the law entails. The moment that I am responsible for drafting a motion or arguing a case before a courtroom I will learn whether or not my decision to become a lawyer was correct. Before that occurs I would like to spend at least one semester in a law clinic, affording me the opportunity to practice law in a structured environment.

User avatar
aguaman13
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:57 am

Re: Comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

Postby aguaman13 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:40 pm

pnt07 wrote:This is my first draft, so any comments on overall theme issues, grammar or anything else are welcome. I want to try to have my PS done by sometime this week so constructive criticism would be great!!!

During my first semester at [XXX] State University I took what was to become one of my favorite classes, Ethical Issues and Life Choices taught by Dr. [X]. The discussion based class dealt with a variety of contentious topics such as the moral implications of abortion, capital punishment and homosexuality. Debating sensitive issues on which most students hold strong opinions, one way or the other, was extremely thought provoking. We were challenged to come up with a valid means of supporting our own views while seeking out the flaws in the opposing side’s logic. It was a somewhat inappropriate comment said during this class that set me on the path to law school.
Our class was discussing an article which posited that homosexuality is immoral. It tookThe author took the stance that the function of genitals is reproduction and as homosexual contact does not seek to achieve this function it is inherently wrong. The class immediately picked up on a discrepancy; heterosexual couples frequently engage in sexual acts which are not intended for reproduction and are not considered immoral. Dr. [X] conceded that though it not as good as reproductive intercourse, such contact could be said to be permissible as it has the potential to eventually lead to procreation. He had effectively neutralized our counterargument. Suddenly, I was struck by inspiration. I raised my hand and said “What about a threesome? If a gay couple was to have intercourse and then finish off with a member of the opposite sex, there would be gay sex that led to procreation.” I was attempting to show that if there are certain situations under which homosexual contact is acceptable, even if not optimal, then it can not be said to be inherently immoral.
Dr. [X] looked flummoxed; the class went momentarily silent and then burst into uproarious laughter. Although the class had been able to maintain a certain level of maturity when discussing the merits of different sexual acts, my allusion to multiple partner intercourse was apparently too much to handle. Once the class settled down Dr. [X] admitted that he did not have an answer to the question that I had raised. Soon afterward the class ended, and we were free to leave. As I left I worried that the reaction of the class was an indication that I had said the wrong thing. I was outside the building and had managed to cross the street by the time I heard my name being called out. I turned and saw Dr. [X] jog up to me. I was sure that I was going to be reprimanded, told that though our class had developed an atmosphere of open discussion and camaraderie, I had crossed some unspoken line. My worries turned out to be baseless. He had sought me out to congratulate my imaginative response and inquire into whether I had considered becoming a Philosophy major. Honestly I had not, but the prospect of continuing to take courses in which unconventional thinking is applauded appealed to me.
At the time I was an Exploratory major, my university’s designation for undecided, but I was leaning towards Criminology. I wanted to take courses where I would learn about the motivations of offenders and perhaps work in the criminal justice field in some capacity. However, as I did not know what capacity that should be, I decided to keep my mind open to different prospects. Following Dr. [X]’s suggestion I began to contemplate the merits of a Philosophy degree. Initially, I had the same reservations about Philosophy that I did about Criminology. I knew I wanted to gain knowledge about the subject, but I was uncertain about my career options and was therefore unwilling to commit.
After a good deal of time spent researching I came across information about Philosophy majors and law school. Specifically, the field of criminal law piqued my interest. Criminal law would give me an opportunity to blend both areas of my interest. I would be able to use the skill set I developed as a Philosophy major and see the theories that I learned as a Criminology major in action. With the goal of law school in mind, I made the decision to double major. Although my secondary goal has been to eventually go into criminal law I must concede that my interests could change. It is entirely possible that a certain class or professor will shift my interest to a field that I have not yet considered. Just as one comment in one ethics class set me on a previously unconsidered path, so too could the same occur in the future.
Honestly, I have not wanted to be a lawyer since I was two years old. Nor did I have an epiphany that I would spend my life correcting societal ills while volunteering in an impoverished area. My desire to practice law instead comes from an evaluation of my interests and goals, coupled with extensive research. One of the main problems with this method is my experience with the law is more academic than practical. I have spent numerous hours on the internet looking up different schools, clinics and programs, I have talked to law students and current lawyers, and I have sat in on a court case. However, I am aware that such experiences do not necessarily reflect the realities of what practicing the law entails. The moment that I am responsible for drafting a motion or arguing a case before a courtroom I will learn whether or not my decision to become a lawyer was correct. Before that occurs I would like to spend at least one semester in a law clinic, affording me the opportunity to practice law in a structured environment.


I was definitely surprised by your source of "inspiration". I liked the story, but would be concerned that certain people may be offended by the nature of the story. Like I said, I didn't mind, but I'm a progressive twenty-something.

The only other advice, besides more careful proofreading, is that you are ending on a somewhat negative note. "Not", "nor" and "problems" are all negative words in the context which you use them. I would speak more about your intellectual curiosity and law being the ideal forum for this, and leave out any doubt about being an attorney. You are supposed to be selling yourself, and this conclusion is not a compelling argument to "buy" your potential as a law student. Use as many positive words and sentences as possible, so they end by thinking of you in positive terms.

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

Re: Comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:23 pm

Essentially, your writing concludes with a self assessment that you are not yet ready for law school. Even if this is attempted "reverse psychology", it is not the best approach to marketing yourself to law schools.
Additionally, this personal statement portrays you as one who is easily influenced as well as one who is still searching & curious.

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SMA22
Posts: 275
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:42 am

Re: Comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

Postby SMA22 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:33 pm

This is one of those personal statements that will get a perfectly qualified candidate rejected. Please, do not turn this in--the topic is not appropriate, and adcomms are going to read this as poor judgment on your part. Focus on criminology, not arguments for or against sex acts.

pnt07
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:50 pm

Re: Comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

Postby pnt07 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:55 pm

SMA22 wrote:This is one of those personal statements that will get a perfectly qualified candidate rejected. Please, do not turn this in--the topic is not appropriate, and adcomms are going to read this as poor judgment on your part. Focus on criminology, not arguments for or against sex acts.


Thanks. I was trying to show more how I can see the flaws in an argument/be creative in my thinking, not necessarily show that I'm for or against certain sex acts, but I wasn't sure how well it others would be able to see what I was going for.

pnt07
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:50 pm

Re: Comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

Postby pnt07 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:58 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Essentially, your writing concludes with a self assessment that you are not yet ready for law school. Even if this is attempted "reverse psychology", it is not the best approach to marketing yourself to law schools.
Additionally, this personal statement portrays you as one who is easily influenced as well as one who is still searching & curious.


If I cut out the last paragraph as the person above suggested do you think that would make a difference? I wasn't sure about it anyways. As far as the part about being willing to switch from criminal law, I just wanted to show that I'm not 100% unwilling to change my mind.

Although considering how I'm thinking about scrapping the whole thing I guess it doesn't really matter... :|

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

Re: Comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

Postby dddhhh » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:04 pm

Please consider a new topic...this one reads as if you are not truly ready for law school. I know you wanted to show that you can see flaws in arguments but they will see this through other aspects of your application (lsat score for example). Use this space to really convey who you are and what you can bring to the school.

pnt07
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:50 pm

Re: Comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

Postby pnt07 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:17 pm

Alright, new topic it is :)

When I started writing this one I felt that it was a bit risky, but as long as I was careful with word choice adcomms would see what I was going for. But as the general consensus seems to be that they all would reject me I guess I better get started on a new PS. I'll probably still focus on my major choice, but leave out what initiated the idea.




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