PS help please!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
GreatK49
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:11 pm

PS help please!

Postby GreatK49 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:14 pm

First draft. Any comments, besides flames would be immensely helpful!

I believe I am a very fortunate human being born into this world. Unlike my father who faced adversity as a child in India, I was born free of adversity into one of the most successful countries. Both of my parents are well-educated hard working members of the populous that strive for excellence in their daily lives and expect nothing less than high merit from their children. As corny as it sounds, I’ve been given a great opportunity to live my life to its greatest potential and become an influential and productive member of society.
Lawyers are highly respected educated elites in society that carry the power to influence others based on rational decisions that overall keep society stable and in check. As one of the earliest medieval professions lawyers are an invaluable part of the economy. I do not plan on solving the a world crisis or bringing peace to the Middle East conflict but I wish to possess the skills required to become more or as successful as my parents and I believe pursuing a career in law would help me accomplish that goal.
My background and interest is in Political Science but I am also intensely involved within the field of music. The study of political systems and political behaviors is so vast that it encompasses many fields such as economics, public policy, history, and even law. The political philosophies of political scientist such as John Mearsheimer present new ideas that challenge old thought which I find riveting due to the fact that these ideas change the outlook of people on a daily basis. I stated earlier that I boast a large interest in music that has intellectually changed my philosophy and work ethic throughout my academic work. My university did not offer a music program that suited my interests so with some help from the faculty I aided in the establishment of a small vocal group that performs on campus. I find learning a piece of music to be a challenging exercise and I enjoy rising to the challenge even at the expense of making a few mistakes because it is the information and learning process in which I find to be an invaluable asset.
In spite of my relatively mundane middle class upbringing I feel that through my interest and involvement in politics and music I would be a diverse and valuable candidate for (XYZ). I have been exposed to law through the enrollment of several courses offered at my school such as Environmental Law and American Constitutional Law. I find it considerably interesting that statutes can be interpreted in a myriad of ways providing a specific solution to the issue at hand. I believe that my background, skills, and interests will provide me with the right tools to tackle the specific field of law that I pursue. (XYZ) will hopefully not only provide me with the right tools but the foundations to which I will be able to accomplish my goals.

ManofGod78
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Re: PS help please!

Postby ManofGod78 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:06 am

OP, first I admire your courage to post your personal statement for public review. I'm sure you'll receive constructive feedback, as mostly everyone here--at least in my opinion--has a heart to help others. After all, that's what lawyers do; we serve.

OP, your PS needs work. Rather than immediately point out all the flaws, I encourage you to read the free book about personal statements available here at TLS. Read the entire book, including the PS examples. Do this first, then PM me, and I'll help you. I promise.

I couldn't leave you hanging, so here's one flaw:
#1 flaw -- Your motivation for attending law school isn't strong. Based on how the draft reads, your only motivation is to surpass the success of your parents.

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powerlawyer06
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Re: PS help please!

Postby powerlawyer06 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:23 am

ManofGod78 wrote:#1 flaw -- Your motivation for attending law school isn't strong. Based on how the draft reads, your only motivation is to surpass the success of your parents.


This.

Plus your writing style is awkward and choppy. Some of your verb and adjective tenses are mismatched. If English is your second language I would state that directly in your PS. Please don’t be offended if it is not but your story about your parents and your sentence structure made me think it could be.

Either way I would edit, edit, and edit some more for grammar and sentence structure.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS help please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:28 am

GreatK49: Your essay is not really suitable as a law school personal statement since it fails to enlighten the reader in any meaningful fashion as to who you are, how you view the world & what motivates you. This writing is poorly structured, disorganized, slightly rambling & lacking in a central theme.
The short version of my critique is that anybody could have written this piece; there is no unique you in your personal statement.

kublaikahn
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Re: PS help please!

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:39 am

GreatK49 wrote:First draft. Any comments, besides flames would be immensely helpful!

I believeI am a very fortunate human being born into this world. Unlike my father who faced adversity extreme poverty and socioeconomic immobility as a child in India, I was born free of adversity into in one of the most successful countries with seemingly limitless opportunities. Both of My parents are well-educated, hard working members of the populous that ,and strive for excellence in their daily lives. and They expect nothing less than high merit from their children, and as As corny as it sounds, I’ve been given a great opportunity to live my life to its greatest potential and become an influential and productive member of society I do not take for granted the great opportunity I have to actualize my potential and become a vital member of society. This can be a good start for you. Many take their opportunities for granted and if you are of the special few that can be grateful for what you have, you can make this a memorable PS.

Lawyers are highly respected educated elites in society that carry the power to influence others based on rational decisions that overall keep society stable and in check. As one of the earliest medieval professions lawyers are an invaluable part of the economy. I do not plan on solving the a world crisis or bringing peace to the Middle East conflict but I wish to possess the skills required to become more or as successful as my parents and I believe pursuing a career in law would help me accomplish that goal. This paragraph adds no value. You need to take this PS in a different direction. If your theme is acknowledging your opportunities, you stay on that theme. Tell us how you developed that character trait with a story, or tell us how that awareness will shape your future (Or both)

My background and interest is in Political Science but I am also intensely involved within the field of music. The study of political systems and political behaviors is so vast that it encompasses many fields such as economics, public policy, history, and even law. The political philosophies of political scientist such as John Mearsheimer present new ideas that challenge old thought which I find riveting due to the fact that these ideas change the outlook of people on a daily basis. I stated earlier that I boast a large interest in music that has intellectually changed my philosophy and work ethic throughout my academic work. My university did not offer a music program that suited my interests so with some help from the faculty I aided in the establishment of a small vocal group that performs on campus. I find learning a piece of music to be a challenging exercise and I enjoy rising to the challenge even at the expense of making a few mistakes because it is the information and learning process in which I find to be an invaluable asset. Take the idea that you built a music program and tie it into your theme of recogniing and seizing opportunity. Rewrite this paragraph to say, your passions are PoliSci and Music and while your university fed your passion in Polsci, it did not in music. You took it upon yourself to build the structure and institutions that you and others need to express actual this artistic expression.

In spite of my relatively mundane middle class upbringing I feel that through my interest and involvement in politics and music I would be a diverse and valuable candidate for (XYZ).This makes no sense at all. There is no coherent relationship between the middle class, politics, music, and diversity. I have been exposed to law through the enrollment of several courses offered at my school such as Environmental Law and American Constitutional Law. I find it considerably interesting that statutes can be interpreted in a myriad of ways providing a specific solution to the issue at hand. I believe that my background, skills, and interests will provide me with the right tools to tackle the specific field of law that I pursue. (XYZ) will hopefully not only provide me with the right tools but the foundations to which I will be able to accomplish my goals. The bolded/italicized text in an incoherent rambling about "why law?" that is puncuated with some platitude about how you would be good at it. This is useless and a waste of real estate. If you want to segue from the music paragraph, you need to find a better way to do it. I sense you are reaching for a why law, but I would stay away from the law classes and focus on how your theme of opportunity ties into you goal of law school.


I started to post some comments but realized this is a useless endeavor. You need to work harder and spend more time on this. It seems like you just chunked this out in about 10 minutes. Perhaps it is a troll. But if you are serious, go back and work on it and when you have something more substantive, repost it for others to seriously critique.

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aspire2more
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Re: PS help please!

Postby aspire2more » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:57 am

I'd scrap it completely and start over. Definitely do some reading about crafting personal statements. I think your background in music could be interesting and relatively unique. You might consider writing your essay about that passion - i.e. some significant experience you had while developing that interest. Your immigrant background really is not that interesting, at least as you've described it here. Replace the name "India" with "the United States" and change "in one of the most successful countries" to "into a stable, middle class family" and your opening paragraph could describe a huge portion of law applicants, including URMs.

Whatever you do, don't use your personal statement as a mini biography or to rehash things that should already be in your resume and transcript - i.e. listing courses you've taken, mentioning extracurriculars in passing. An equally big mistake would be to act as though you know more about the law and lawyers than the ones reading your personal statement. Your statement seemed like it was heading in that direction in one paragraph, so just keep that in mind during your rewrite.

gator1
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: PS help please!

Postby gator1 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:07 am

GreatK49 wrote:First draft. Any comments, besides flames would be immensely helpful!

I believe I am a very fortunate human being born into this world. Unlike my father who faced adversity as a child in India, I was born free of adversity into one of the most successful countries. Both of my parents are well-educated hard working members of the populous that strive for excellence in their daily lives and expect nothing less than high merit from their children. As corny as it sounds, I’ve been given a great opportunity to live my life to its greatest potential and become an influential and productive member of society.
Lawyers are highly respected educated elites in society that carry the power to influence others based on rational decisions that overall keep society stable and in check. As one of the earliest medieval professions lawyers are an invaluable part of the economy. I do not plan on solving the a world crisis or bringing peace to the Middle East conflict but I wish to possess the skills required to become more or as successful as my parents and I believe pursuing a career in law would help me accomplish that goal.
My background and interest is in Political Science but I am also intensely involved within the field of music. The study of political systems and political behaviors is so vast that it encompasses many fields such as economics, public policy, history, and even law. The political philosophies of political scientist such as John Mearsheimer present new ideas that challenge old thought which I find riveting due to the fact that these ideas change the outlook of people on a daily basis. I stated earlier that I boast a large interest in music that has intellectually changed my philosophy and work ethic throughout my academic work. My university did not offer a music program that suited my interests so with some help from the faculty I aided in the establishment of a small vocal group that performs on campus. I find learning a piece of music to be a challenging exercise and I enjoy rising to the challenge even at the expense of making a few mistakes because it is the information and learning process in which I find to be an invaluable asset.
In spite of my relatively mundane middle class upbringing I feel that through my interest and involvement in politics and music I would be a diverse and valuable candidate for (XYZ). I have been exposed to law through the enrollment of several courses offered at my school such as Environmental Law and American Constitutional Law. I find it considerably interesting that statutes can be interpreted in a myriad of ways providing a specific solution to the issue at hand. I believe that my background, skills, and interests will provide me with the right tools to tackle the specific field of law that I pursue. (XYZ) will hopefully not only provide me with the right tools but the foundations to which I will be able to accomplish my goals.


real fast...what's your GPA + LSAT scores again? I can overlook it all if you have at least 175 and 3.9 otherwise you need to take a writing class ASAP. I don't mean to be rude or anything but you simply cannot write "as corny as this sounds" in a PS that alone will get your whole application sent to the trash! you're not writing to friends. Remain professional at all times. Your writing has to be exquisite, even more so because you are a minority in this country. Show your grasp of the English language by writing effectively.

GreatK49
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:11 pm

Re: PS help please!

Postby GreatK49 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:50 pm

2nd draft after that poor excuse of a first draft:

I am very fortunate. Unlike my father who faced extreme poverty and socioeconomic immobility as a child in India, I was born into a stable middle class family with seemingly limitless opportunities. My parents are well-educated hard working, and strive for excellence in their daily lives. They expect nothing less than high merit from their children, and as clichéd as it sounds, I do not take for granted the great opportunity I have to actualize my potential and become a valuable member of society.
During my sophomore year of high school, I was selected among 40 other choir students to sing at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. due to my talent and work-ethic as a singer. My parents were reluctant to let me attend as students were required to cover all of the travel expenses. I acknowledged the opportunity I was given so I sought out to raise the money to attend through the acquisition of a paper route and school fundraisers. In the end my parents paid for the lump sum of the travel expenses because they understood how important the opportunity was to me through my hard work and resourcefulness to raise the money. It was through this experience that I learned to recognize the opportunities granted to me and that I should pursue them to the best of my ability.
My passions are in Political Science and music, while my university fed my passion in political science, it did not in music. Prior to my attendance the university offered only a few courses in music history, but they failed to offer any courses in vocal instruction. In the absence of this opportunity, I brought it upon myself to create a vocal music presence on my campus. In order to accomplish this task, I was required to take the initiative and search the student body for interested students. In addition, I had to pitch the idea of this course to several faculty members. I had to show professors the benefit and interest in a vocal music class. With the help of a music history professor, I aided in the creation of a small vocal group that is recognized by the department with growing interest in the student body.
I understand and recognize the opportunities that are given to me and I do not take them for granted. There may be obstacles preventing me from attaining my goals but I am confident in my abilities that I can surpass those barriers. Lawyers must be resourceful, hard working, and have the ability to articulate ideas in a coherent argument. I wish to attend law school to hone these abilities that I possess and present myself with the opportunity to provide a legal service to help others.

shock259
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: PS help please!

Postby shock259 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:51 pm

I'll give a shot:

The music and the political stuff you described are cool, and I'm sure they are meaningful to you, but they don't belong in this personal statement (imo). They don't relate to your desire to study law, and if they do, you don't explain it. The only thing I see that relates to law in the personal statement is the final paragraph, which seems to make some blanket statements without backing them up.

I really think you should scrap this and start over. I'd recommend starting with the last paragraph and making it into an essay. What skills do you possess that would be useful in your career as a lawyer? Why do you really want to be a lawyer? (and please don't say for the status..!). What examples/stories/etc can you use to illustrate your skills/determination/etc?

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aspire2more
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Re: PS help please!

Postby aspire2more » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:11 am

I disagree and think that the music interest could be a great focus for the personal statement, but only if it is presented in a much more compelling way. Either way though, this approach just doesn't do it for me. It feels like the first version of the essay all over again, but with improved grammar.

OP do you have a copy of The Ivey Guide to Law School? If not, check it out from the library and read the section on personal statements. Instead of rewriting, do some research on how to craft personal statements first and you'll have a better idea of what to do.

gator1
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: PS help please!

Postby gator1 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:08 am

This is a joke, I don't even know why you guys are entertaining the idea of editing this ps. This kid needs some serious writing seminars to improve his writing.

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powerlawyer06
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Re: PS help please!

Postby powerlawyer06 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:38 am

gator1 wrote:This is a joke, I don't even know why you guys are entertaining the idea of editing this ps. This kid needs some serious writing seminars to improve his writing.

+1

Maybe you should scrap the law school dream and try out for American Idol.

gator1
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: PS help please!

Postby gator1 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:42 am

powerlawyer06 wrote:
gator1 wrote:This is a joke, I don't even know why you guys are entertaining the idea of editing this ps. This kid needs some serious writing seminars to improve his writing.

+1

Maybe you should scrap the law school dream and try out for American Idol.


bloody hell mate! fantastic lol

sparty99
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Re: PS help please!

Postby sparty99 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:38 am

This is not a well written essay and I am wondering if it is a flame.

jim-green
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Anna Ivey rates?

Postby jim-green » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:26 pm

Does anyone know how much Anna Ivey charges for unlimited admissions counselling? Her website does not post the $$ amount. Has anyone used her as a consultant, not just her book.

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aspire2more
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Re: Anna Ivey rates?

Postby aspire2more » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:23 pm

jim-green wrote:Does anyone know how much Anna Ivey charges for unlimited admissions counselling? Her website does not post the $$ amount. Has anyone used her as a consultant, not just her book.


Unlimited? Probably quite a bit! I think you might want to consider exactly what type of counseling and assistance you need, how long you think it might take to get your questions answered, and then ask for a quote via the contact form on her website. What it cost one person to get assistance may not be anywhere near what it will cost you.




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