Many critiques suggest "putting in the resume, instead.." ..

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Many critiques suggest "putting in the resume, instead.." ..

Postby pschmied » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:58 pm

But what if the law school you are applying to dosent require a resume?
Last edited by pschmied on Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I would really appreciate any and all critiques Thanks!!

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:02 am

pschmied wrote:I turned on the light and the filament inside the old fashioned bulb flickered initially and then adjusted, radiating steadily, yet dimly. Retaining the original light fixture created the illusion that my place was merely another in the cluster of dated businesses that had historically defined Los Angeles’ Valley Village. Inside, the elegant and softly-lit lounge was a sharp contrast to the bustling traffic of Lankershim Boulevard. Four years of my life had been spent attaining the moment when I could officially open my cocktail lounge. Although pleased with the results, the moment felt anti-climactic. I scanned the front façade one last time, making a mental note of the lack of illumination, yet not knowing exactly how to fix the problem.

The decision in 2001, to open my own place resulted in part from a desire to free myself from my chaotic past. I had left my college years at Tulane behind, determined to prove that I could seize control. I lacked financial resources yet I was fortified with the belief that either success or failure in business was acceptable, as long as I maintained my self-reliance and integrity.

When I was 10, my father suffered a near fatal head injury which resulted in severe brain damage. This event insured that he would live the rest of his life disabled and impoverished. I would spend the next eight years with my mother and stepfather, visiting my father bi-monthly through court-ordered visitation. I had been flying independently between parents since I was four and was no stranger to new environments, but I was thrown by this latest turn of events. I buried my feelings by making my home on the basketball court.

I lived in Glendale but was able to enroll at La Canada High School on the basis of an entrance exam. Although not part of the social class, I used skills honed while navigating my fragmented childhood to ingratiate my way into the high school where I cultivated life long relationships.

By the time I was a senior, I was eager to explore different parts of the country. I set my sights on Tulane University for the cultural and historical allure that both Louisiana and the city of New Orleans embody. I worked in the French Quarter to pay rent and scrambled to borrow the money for tuition and books. Despite the challenges of this period, I value the things I learned about myself, both my limitations and strengths. I learned empathy for people struggling to get by and fit in. I left Tulane just short of graduation due to my father’s failing health and his desire to return to his home in Switzerland. I found him care in his hometown of Interlaken, Switzerland, and arranged for employment for myself at a hotel, high in the Alps. I stayed there for over a year, working, caring for my father and traveling through Europe whenever the opportunity arose. My father passed away shortly afterward and that year remains a bittersweet spot in my memory.

My return to Los Angeles came with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to open my own business. I became a voracious reader of all industry-related literature. I developed relationships with prominent planners, developers, and architects. This outreach came naturally as I am outgoing and genuinely interested in others. A relationship with the hospitality industry’s most visible lawyer provided an essential resource. Our meetings introduced me to concepts of business entities and the legal instruments required for raising capital, specifically, a Private Placement Memorandum. This exposure to business law generated my initial interest in a legal education.

After 2 years of maintaining this torrid pace and working full-time, I developed an understanding of the principles used by industry experts for determining viable deals. I was actively negotiating with landowners and brokers for appropriate sites. My ability to locate potential locations that fulfilled this criteria, initiated a joint venture with the two prominent principles of a top restaurant/bar/event planning company.

I negotiated favorable terms for my bar in North Hollywood, California. My partners and I assembled a private placement memorandum for our newly formed L.L.C. I raised the majority of the $250,000 needed to fund the project. I formed the business and served as the managing member of the L.L.C. and on-site general manager.

Four years of total immersion into this venture had yielded propitious results. However I had grown disillusioned by the unscrupulous conduct of my partners. My concerns were casually dismissed as the way things were done in this industry. At first my objections were tentative and sporadic. As time passed, I became more assertive in expressing my concerns and my partners’ more dismissive in overruling those concerns. My passion for the industry as a whole began to wane. At our first formal meeting after the opening of the bar I openly voiced disapproval for the persistent disregard for ethical standards. I was terminated as general manager, notwithstanding the fact that our employment contract was incorporated into the operating agreement. I later discovered that my role as manager of the LLC and my equity as a member had been diminished. Reeling from the fall-out, I sought other employment and was immediately hired at the "(Removed the Name of the Place).

I began assessing the merits of the controversy, while simultaneously conducting a self-analysis into the role I had played in the failure of the partnership. My naiveté and weakened position had put me at a substantial disadvantage. I found a firm to take my case on contingency, eventually settling the matter days before trial. The totality of this experience allowed me to see first hand how our justice system has developed into one that is altogether complex and yet innately fair. This would fuel my desire to make the practice of law my ultimate pursuit.

Reflecting back on the lack of fulfillment I felt gazing up at that dim, flickering, light, I am able to process the moment in a more positive manner. I see it as the antithesis of the proverbial beacon of light, for it led me to reexamine who I was and the person that I want to become. The experience has enabled me to develop discipline and a sense of purpose that, at 34 years old, is in stark contrast to that person in his early 20’s. I am grateful for the solid foundation that allowed me to learn from my experience and not lose my way. I am confident that I can confront and overcome whatever challenges lay before me.

Thank your for considering my candidacy for law school at (School name). I look forward to performing admirably with my eyes firmly fixed on the steady light shining ahead.

It's part resume and part negative. Use addendums to explain the breaks in your timeline (Tulane and the bar). Use the PS to sell your candidacy. Move the resume material to the resume. Cut the negative.

All the stuff about negotiating contracts, raising capital, etc. goes in the resume.

I would cut the part about the fallout with your partners. It doesnt help you, if anything it hurts you. Try to avoid words like ingratiate when describing yourself--they have a negative connotation.

I would focus more on the positive aspects of caring for your father and/or traveling to Europe. Regardless of topic, pick a story that is more current and focus in on that one story. You go from 8 years old to current in two pages.

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Re: I would really appreciate any and all critiques Thanks!!

Postby getitdone » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:06 am

u need a catchier opening, like the one you have is too wordy nd didnt catch my attention at all

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Re: I would really appreciate any and all critiques Thanks!!

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:18 am

You used 6 adverbs in the first paragraph, three in the first SENTENCE. Overkill.

After the attempted imagery of the first paragraph, you then switch gears and basically list items on a timeline for the rest of the essay. I appreciate that you tried to return to the dim lightbulb image at the end, but the first and last paragraphs are so disparate from the middle section that it doesn't really work.

Cut everything about high school and undergrad and focus on opening your own cocktail lounge. That's a good topic, but you need to write less of a resume ("I did this. Then I did this. Then I did this.") and more of a, well, personal statement. ("I dreamed of this. I did this. It taught me this. I changed thusly.") Don't talk about industry experts and private placement memoranda, talk about how it felt to see happy people drinking in your lounge, what it was like to discover you had unscrupulous partners, and why you kept (or got rid of) that dim lamp to remind you of (or forget) your first foray into business.

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Re: I would really appreciate any and all critiques Thanks!!

Postby pschmied » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:45 pm

Thanks for all the valuable insight, Ill continue to work away at it..:)

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Re: Many critiques suggest "putting in the resume, instead.." ..

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:08 pm

pschmied wrote:But what if the law school you are applying to dosent require a resume?

Always send the resume. They are expecting it from you.

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