Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ducky
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby ducky » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:20 am

This is the second draft and I listened to a lot of the stuff said in the first draft I submitted. I have a looot riding on this personal statement so I would greatly appreciate it.



From the Courtroom to the Congo: My Pursuit of International Justice
Poisonous gas suffocated the streets of Kuwait City. Iraq had just invaded my country, my community, and my life overnight. The banks were frozen, my family’s so-called friends vanished without a word, and Kuwait had become the battlefield of the first Gulf War. My parents were faced with two grave options: remain in war-stricken Kuwait or flee for their lives to refugee camps with nothing but the clothes on their back and three young children. After wandering through the smoldering Arabian Desert on a bus, my family finally found itself in a refugee camp assembled by UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. Our only sustenance was the food and supplies distributed by the Red Cross, but even then many people in our camps became victims to the relentless, desert heat and wild rodents. However, God intervened on behalf of my family’s miserable condition through UNHCR aid workers who gave our young family free plane tickets to India, my parents’ country of origin. This act of compassion—made possible by an international charitable organization—resulted in my family’s survival during the first Gulf War and left on me a lasting impression.
Upon suffering social stagnancy and injustice in India, my family immigrated to America with high hopes of acquiring financial freedom and social equality. However, many of these societal problems followed us to this nation; classism and racism are rampant in my parents’ occupations thus making financial freedom nothing more than an elusive dream. This oppressive social structure coupled with my childhood experience with UNHCR has motivated me to pursue a career in law. This profession would give me ample opportunities to ensure that justice exists in a society plagued by corruption and corporate agenda. It would also provide me with the opportunity to work as a lawyer for an international aid agency focused on promoting human rights, such as UNHCR. Macro-scale organizations such as UNHCR and the Red Cross will ensure that the maximum level of impact will be made in the greatest number of lives.
My interest in human rights initially motivated me to seek a career in social work. However, I soon discovered that my scope of influence is limited within this profession. Social workers have the primary role of referring clients to various other organizations within the community. However, through my studies in sociology, I have learned that many societal ills are a result of social injustice and inequality. As a lawyer, I would have the opportunity to prevent these problems from initially materializing, thus ensuring that individuals are not later at the mercy of governmental welfare agencies.
My dream of making a difference within society has not been a passive one throughout the last few years. I have taken the initiate to sponsor a girl from the third-world country of Kenya for five years. My financial support has funded her education and medical needs in an AIDS-stricken community. Throughout the years, I have encouraged her to excel academically through letter correspondence, and I have witnessed the impact of my support on numerous aspects of her young, flourishing life. Moreover, through my involvement in Amnesty International, an organization dedicated to ending human rights’ violations, I have written to various governmental agencies and diplomats demanding the release of numerous political prisoners. Similarly, I have written letters requesting the release of Christians unjustly imprisoned for their faith through my involvement in the Voice of the Martyrs, an organization dedicated primarily to this cause. Many of the prisoners I have advocated for have been released in later months, much to be excitement.
This satisfaction, however, is miniscule in comparison to the fulfillment I will experience as a lawyer. The compassion extended to my family by UNHCR in the midst of utter chaos and the social injustice we have faced in middle-class American life have nurtured in me a passion to become an instrument of change on a local and international scale. The Advocacy program at the Howard University School of Law will ensure that I will cultivate the skills necessary to manipulate the Scales of Justice in favor of the oppressed.

ducky
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby ducky » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:34 am

Oh yea this one is tailored to the Howard University school of law, but I will change based on different schools.

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TJISMYHERO
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Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby TJISMYHERO » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:49 am

Please correctly identify why your title is confusing to receive further critique.

ducky
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Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby ducky » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:31 pm

Well, now that I look at it I guess it's not the best title possible. I was trying to say, that I want to want to work on an international level in my career and not just in the courtroom. I also want to be involved in international human rights advocacy. I guess I should think of a better title, do you have any suggestions?

kublaikahn
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Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:13 pm

ducky wrote:Well, now that I look at it I guess it's not the best title possible. I was trying to say, that I want to want to work on an international level in my career and not just in the courtroom. I also want to be involved in international human rights advocacy. I guess I should think of a better title, do you have any suggestions?


Conventional Wisdom: Do not ever put a title on your PS.


This writing is dramatically better than the first version. Still weak. You need to improve this and retake the LSAT and get a 165+.

ducky
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby ducky » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:09 pm

Thank you so much. Could you tell me what exactly are the weak points in my essay? So that I can target them specifically whenever I revise it. Any advice I can get would be greatly appreciated. So you are not supposed to have a title for your personal statement??? Thank you so much for letting me know this now. Thank you soooooo much. I think I need to post a whole new topic with the title taken out, now:( I don't know if that is a good idea. Thank you so much for your critique. I don't know if I will get the opportunity to take the lsat again:( If I do I am definitely aiming to go over 170. Please let me know exactly what needs to be changed about my essay.

halostarbucks
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Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby halostarbucks » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:46 am

That essay is so much better this time around that I wouldnt have thought it was written by the same person except for the factual details that are related. Very inspiring and much better written. Most importantly, in my opinion, the "God Talk" isn't so overwhelming and tedious this time around.

ducky
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby ducky » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:32 pm

Thank you! I got a lot of help to make it more "stylized" Is there anything I can do to make it better? I want to include God more in the PS because he has made a huge impact in my life, but I can't seem to find where to put it.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:00 am

Please let me know exactly what needs to be changed about my essay.


First, THIS IS WAY BETTER THAN DRAFT ONE! So I have much hope for you.

However, this is tough to work with because it is a very weak PS, but I will give some edits so you have a reference of where you writing is lacking. Primarily you lack a unifying theme, so your argument is not strong. You make many unsubstantiated claims and tend to speak perjoratively and superlatively. This makes you seem immature and lacking strong critical reasoning skills.

First and foremost you need to show you can write. Secondly, you need to explain why you are someone they would want in their building for three years. This PS does neither.
ducky wrote:
[use the active voice, reduce the use of the passive voice. This will make your writing more dynamic and concise and less ambiguous.]

From the Courtroom to the Congo: My Pursuit of International Justice [No titles, just write "Personal Statement" and your name/lsac number in the header]

[This is the best paragraph of your PS and a vast improvement over draft 1] Poisonous gas suffocated the streets of Kuwait City. Iraq had just invaded my country, my community, and my life overnight. The banks were frozen, my family’s so-called friends vanished without a word, and Kuwait had become the battlefield of the first Gulf War. My parents werefaced withtwo grave options: remain in war-stricken Kuwait or flee for their lives to refugee camps with nothing but the clothes on their back and three young children. After wandering through the smoldering Arabian Desert on a bus, my family finally found itself in reached a refugee camp assembled by UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. Our only sustenance was the food and supplies distributed by the Red Cross, but even then many people in our camps became victims succumbed to the relentless, desert heat, rampant disease and wild rodents. However, God intervened on behalf of my family’s miserable condition through UNHCR aid workers who gave our young family free plane tickets to India, my parents’ country of origin. We prayed that God would deliver us from the miserable conditions that threatened our survival. God intervened through the caring hands of UNHCR aid workers who, at their own expense, gave our family plane tickets to India, my parents' country of origin. This incredible act of compassion—made possible by an international charitable organization—resulted in my family’s survival during the first Gulf War and left on me a lasting impression. may have literally saved our lives. While I was too young to remember it, I carry the indelible gratitude for that act of kindness and the desire to in some way pay it forward.

Upon suffering social stagnancy and injustice in India, my family immigrated to America with high hopes of acquiring financial freedom and social equality. However, many of these societal problems followed us to this nation; classism and racism are rampant in my parents’ occupations thus making financial freedom nothing more than an elusive dream.[This is a negative unsupported claim. If you want to say that your parents were discriminated against in India and then the US, you need to substantiate it. Further, when you use superlatives like "nothing more" you seem to lack logical complexity and maturity.] [Try to flesh this paragraph out in greater detail with more of your development included. I can't do that without knowing your background and details, but something like this, " While India offered our family a sanctuary from the violence that befell us in the middle east, my parents struggled financially because they lacked the Indian pedigree to actualize their potential. As members of the lower caste, we were unable to advance in the viscous social stratification that is the Indian society. In an effort to escape this injustice, our family applied for and was granted permission to immigrate to the United States, the land of opportunity. I had grown comfortable in India, but at the age of X was excited for the adventure before us.....explain your moving to US and subsequent discrimination of parents]

This oppressive social structure coupled with my childhood experience with UNHCR has motivated me to pursue a career in law. [You need a more understandable statement of the dichotomy of your personal experience with discrimination and charity and how those countervailing forces have led you to a decision to pursue social justice through a legal career] This profession would give me ample opportunities to ensure that justice exists in a society plagued by corruption and corporate agenda. [More unsubstantiated rhetoric. You should stick to what you have supported in your PS. More improtantly, eliminate the passive voice and make stronger statements such as, "I seek to use my legal education to help people immigrate to and develop societies where they can live safely and pursue success to the best of their God-given abilities.] It would also provide me with the opportunity to work as a lawyer for an international aid agency focused on promoting human rights, such as UNHCR. Macro-scale [are you coining this word?] organizations such as UNHCR and the Red Cross will ensure that the maximum level of impact will be made in the greatest number of lives.

My interest in human rights initially motivated me to seek a career in social work. However, I soon discovered that my scope of influence is limited within this profession. Social workers have the primary role of referring clients to various other organizations within the community. However, [We dont need to know why you dont want to be a social worker, just why you DO want to be a lawyer] through my studies in sociology, I have learned that many societal ills are a result of social injustice and inequality. As a lawyer, I would have the opportunity to prevent these problems from initially materializing, thus ensuring that individuals are not later at the mercy of governmental welfare agencies. [This is a very weak and sophmoric view of what a public interest lawyer can and does accomplish. Your claim that social injustice results in social ills, while probably true, is vague and totally unsupported, nor does it have anything to do with you personally. Furthermore, you seem to be diminishing the govermental agencies that saved you and that you want to support.]


My dream of making a difference within society has not been a passive one throughout the last few years. [But this sentence is a passive one, Try: "In an effort to make a difference, I actively volunteer and donate my time and money to causes that are dear to me."] I have taken the initiate am blessed to sponsor the financial and medical needs of an AIDS-stricken Kenyan child girl from the third-world country of Kenya for five years. My financial support has funded her education and medical needs in an AIDS-stricken community. Throughout the years, I have encouraged her to excel academically through letter correspondence, and I have witnessed the impact of my support on numerous aspects of her young, flourishing life. I have remained personally involved over the years writing her encouraging letters, and in return receiving grateful notes of her progress. Moreover, through my involvement in Amnesty International,an organization dedicated to ending human rights’ violations, [duh] I have written to various governmental agencies and diplomats demanding the release of numerous politicalprisoners of conscience. Similarly, I have written letters requesting the release of Christians unjustly imprisoned for their faith through my involvement in the Voice of the Martyrs, an organization dedicated primarily to this cause. I am encouraged that many of the prisoners I have advocated for have been released in later months, much to be excitement and committed to continuing the effort.


This satisfaction, however, is miniscule in comparison to the fulfillment I will experience as a lawyer. The satisfaction I recieve from helping my Kenyan God-child, and advocating for the persecuted only redoubles my desire to do more and affect greater change as a lawyer. The compassion extended to my family by UNHCR workers in the midst of utter chaos and the social injustice we have faced in middle-class American life have nurtured in me a kindled my passion to become an instrument of changeon a local and international scale. The Advocacy program at the Howard University School of Law will ensure that I will cultivate the skills necessary to manipulate the Scales of Justice in favor of the oppressed.

ducky
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby ducky » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:04 pm

Wow, thank you sooo much kublaikahn. I will definitely make all the changes you have suggested. You are a God send, I should be paying you, lol. I greatly, greatly appreciate all the time and effort you have put into my PS. I hope God blesses you for all your effort. Now off to make all the changes you suggested.

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esq
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Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby esq » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:23 pm

I have taken the initiate initiative

much to be my excitement.

This draft is much better than the last. So much so that I have to point out that I hope you understand what you are doing with this. If this PS was, for the most part, written by someone who decided to help you, you better touch up on your writing skills big time. There might be some issues you will face if your PS says that you can write one way, and then your actual writing when you get to law school is so far below that level that it raises questions in their minds. If it wasn't, no biggie, your last PS must have just been some disastrous fluke. Just be careful. Overall, this is a great PS.

ducky
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby ducky » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:45 pm

thank you!!! thank you for the tips!!!

ducky
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Re: Please give me the most honest critique humanly possible

Postby ducky » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:05 am

I know I definitely need to work on my writing. The crazy thing is I have always done really well in English, so I naively thought I was a good writer:(((((




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