PS, tear me apart! Politely?

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erikordos
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PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby erikordos » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:53 pm

"Jesus man, what the hell is wrong with you? Do you have any sense at all?" Anthony's words echo in my head to this day.
Mutt's Place in Sunny Side, Morgantown, West Virginia, oh what a night. Late December back in 2009. Distraught from another defeat in a team billiards game, Anthony and I decided to cut our losses and head home. While saying our goodbyes and walking towards the exit my path was abruptly cut off. In a dive like fashion a high heeled co-ed landed at my feet. Suppressing my laughter I helped her to her feet. With a thank you hug and kiss on the cheek we went our separate ways.
At some point while traversing through the crowd I lost sight of Anthony. No matter, I thought, he will catch up at some point during the one block walk back to our apartments. So, out the door I went.” "Hey you." the voice behind me shouted. I turned around to see a group of five hostile looking individuals. Puzzled I asked, "what's up?" "That was my girlfriend you were kissing," the head of the pack accused. "Nope, she fell on the ground buddy. I helped her up and she pecked me on the cheek," I retorted. Fixed on my accuser, I didn't notice that the rest of his entourage was busy surrounding me. "Bullshit!" he screamed as he positioned himself to strike. Realizing there was no chance to make a break for it, I stood up right, clasped my hands behind my back, and braced myself for the attack. A half dozen blows to the face was all I could bare before my knees buckled and I collapsed. Darkness is my only recollection before I regained consciousness to the sound of Anthony's voice.
My refusal to retaliate or attempt to defend myself that night stems from my deep seeded resentment of violence. I contribute this stance to my life experiences with violence. Exposure to violence began for me at an early age. My parents were physically aggressive towards one another until they separated when I was twelve years old. After years of counseling they reconciled their differences, rejoined into one household, and have been nonviolent towards one another since. I have watched as some of my closest friends have made the mistake of retaliating against an aggressor, only to find themselves subject to penal systems and subsequently imprisoned. I have learned from the mistakes of others. While the outcome may not always be favorable, as was my case, practicing restraint is essential.
It is my intention to volunteer and become a court appointed special advocate in the near future. With acceptance the organization will serve as my starting point. Assisting abused and neglected youth while simultaneously exposing me to the court systems. I'm optimistic that through sharing my experiences they too will contend, as I, that violent begets violence. That it is not cowardice to be nonviolent and the maltreatment they suffered can be alleviated through a societal shift in the ethos that violence, in all its forms, is never justified. Furthermore, I want to delve deeper and obtain a formal legal education to broaden my capacity to assist youth in my community. Ultimately, I want to represent youth in dire social situations. It is not my goal to indoctrinate, but to share my ideals and above all provide assistance those in need.

halostarbucks
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby halostarbucks » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:11 pm

"Tear apart" and "polite" are not compatible. If you want feedback that helps you, you have to be prepared for your work to be criticized without being defensive. Here is my *polite* criticism though.

Pros:
1. Overall good use of grammar and vocabulary, if this were an English class that emphasized style over substance, you'd be okay.
2. You sound like you have some relevant experience helping people and I definitely think you should focus on that theme.

Cons
1. In regards to the opening anecdote about you getting the crap beat out of you and choosing not to fight back, it seems like you are trying to leave a Jesus/Ghandi impression but it actually just makes you look weak. I recommend taking it out.
2. Your claim that you avoid fights because of your troubled family history does not go well at with your final paragraph where you say that you want to fight for the rights of victims. I am pretty sure that you are only talking about physical violence but you really need to completely revise that first part.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:17 pm

Interesting story that may cause the reader to question your judgment.

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Flustercluck
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby Flustercluck » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:32 pm

erikordos wrote:"Jesus man, what the hell is wrong with you? Do you have any sense at all?"Quotes to start personal statements are annoying at best and offputting at worst. You may think you're capturing the reader, but it just seems unprofessional/amateurish Anthony's words echo in my head to this day.
Mutt's Place in Sunny Side, Morgantown, West Virginia, oh what a nighttoo colloquial, your personal statment should be written professionally. Late December back in 2009. Distraught from another defeat in a team billiards game, Anthony and I decided to cut our losses and head home. While saying our goodbyes and walking towards the exit my path was abruptly cut off. In a dive like fashion a high heeled co-ed landed at my feet. Suppressing my laughter I helped her to her feet. With a thank you hug and kiss on the cheek we went our separate ways.
At some point while traversing through the crowd I lost sight of Anthony. No matter, I thought, he will catch up at some point during the one block walk back to our apartments. So, out the door I went.” you needf to connect the cause and effect better, discussing Anthony breaks up the flow of your writing"Hey you." the voice behind me shouted. I turned around to see a group of five hostile looking individuals. Puzzled I asked, "what's up?" "That was my girlfriend you were kissing," the head of the pack accused. "Nope, she fell on the ground buddy. I helped her up and she pecked me on the cheek," I retorted. Fixed on my accuser, I didn't notice that the rest of his entourage was busy surrounding me. "Bullshit!" he screamed as he positioned himself to strike. Realizing there was no chance to make a break for it, I stood up right, clasped my hands behind my back, and braced myself for the attack. A half dozen blows to the face was all I could bare before my knees buckled and I collapsed. Darkness is my only recollection before I regained consciousness to the sound of Anthony's voice.
My refusal to retaliate or attempt to defend myself that night stems from my deep seeded resentment of violence. This example does not paint you in a positive light. I would remove it entirely.I contribute this stance to my life experiences with violence. Exposure to violence began for me at an early age. My parents were physically aggressive towards one another until they separated when I was twelve years old. After years of counseling they reconciled their differences, rejoined into one household, and have been nonviolent towards one another since. I have watched as some of my closest friends have made the mistake of retaliating against an aggressor, only to find themselves subject to penal systems and subsequently imprisoned. I have learned from the mistakes of others. While the outcome may not always be favorable, as was my case, practicing restraint is essential. Expand more here. What did you see, how did it shape you, and what does it have to do with your interest in law?
It is my intention to volunteer and become a court appointed special advocate in the near future. With acceptance the organization will serve as my starting point. Assisting abused and neglected youth while simultaneously exposing me to the court systems. I'm optimistic that through sharing my experiences they too will contend, as I, that violent begets violence. That it is not cowardice to be nonviolent and the maltreatment they suffered can be alleviated through a societal shift in the ethos that violence, in all its forms, is never justified. Furthermore, I want to delve deeper and obtain a formal legal education to broaden my capacity to assist youth in my community. Ultimately, I want to represent youth in dire social situations. It is not my goal to indoctrinate, but to share my ideals and above all provide assistance those in need.


Before even factoring in grammer, word choice, flow etc, you really need to rethink this from the group up. The idea of the importance of a non-violent approach and how this dovetails into the area of law and the career you wish to pursue are good foundations, but ultimately it's lost in what is frankly a pointless story of you getting your ass kicked. It doesn't paint you as enlightened, it paints you as a guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are certainly better direct or indirect examples of your values that don't paint you as, frankly, some young punk at a bar. Worse, you go into specifics on the most impersonal and unflattering example of your pacifism (the bar) but gloss over the more personal and likely more poignient experiences (your family life) that would go to the root of a personal statement. Find some other experiences in your background that are more savory, explain them in detail, come back with draft 2

kublaikahn
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:27 pm

Paragraph 1: Abridge the opening story to just explain the gist of your beating.
Paragraph 2: Explain your parents and the violent home as the source of your pacific world view.
Paragraph 3. Explain your parents reunification (a before and after story) as an example of using nonviolence to solve conflict
Paragraph 4: Develop your view on pacificism
Paragraph 5: Explain your career goals and how your pacific worldview will be an asset and has led you to those goals

See edits below.

erikordos wrote:"Jesus man, what the hell is wrong with you? Do you have any sense at all?" Anthony's words echo in my head to this day.
Mutt's Place in Sunny Side, Morgantown, West Virginia, oh what a night. Late December back in 2009.

Distraught Resigned from another defeat in a team billiards game , Anthony and I decided to cut our my losses and head home. While saying our goodbyes and walking towards the exit my path was abruptly cut off . In a dive like fashion a high heeled by the slow motion nose dive of the effervescent co-ed that landed at my feet. Suppressing my laughter I helped her to her feet and with a thank you hug and kiss on the cheek,we went our separate ways.
At some point while traversing through the crowd I lost sight of Anthony. No matter, I thought, he will catch up at some point during the one block walk back to our apartments. So,
out the door I went. "Hey you." the voice behind me shouted, "That was my girlfriend you were kissing," I turned around to see a group of five hostile looking individuals snarling faces. Puzzled I asked, "what's up?" "That was my girlfriend you were kissing," the head of the pack accused. "Nope, she fell on the ground, buddy. I just helped her up and she pecked me on the cheek," I retorted. Fixed on my accuser, I didn't notice that the rest of his entourage was busy surrounding me. "Bullshit!" the head of the pack he screamed as he positioned himself to strike and the other four circled my position. Realizing there was no chance to make a break for it With all passes blocked, I stood up right stoicly tall, clasped my hands behind my back, and braced myself for the attack. A half dozen blows to the face was all I could bare before my knees buckled my knees and I collapsed. Darkness is my only recollection before I regained consciousness to the sound of Anthony's voice. While the outcome may not always be favorable, as was my case that night, practicing restraint is essential. [Now prove this statement]

My refusal to retaliate or attempt to defend myself that night stems from my deep seeded resentment of violence. I contribute this stance to my life experiences growing up in a violent home with violence. Exposure to violence began for me at an early age. My parents were physically aggressive towards one another until they separated when I was twelve years old. [at this point you need to get raw and explain how that environment led you to a pacific world view. Further, you need to make the case that pacificism is the right choice, including during that scene at the bar.]

After years of counseling they reconciled their differences, rejoined into one household, and have since been nonviolent towards one another since. I have watched as some of my closest friends have made the mistake of retaliating against an aggressor, only to find themselves subject to penal systems and subsequently imprisoned. I have learned from the mistakes of others. [This part about friends is distracting and unnecessary. I would use your parents reunification as an example of a better way forward, and develop that instead of offering more support against violence.] While the outcome may not always be favorable, as was my case, practicing restraint is essential.

[This paragraph would be better expressed as two paragraphs. The first paragraph should follow the paragraph about your parents reunitiing and explain your position on pacificism as the appropriate response to conflict. The second and final paragraph should explain how you will use this philosophy as part of your career goals to shape and improve the lives of abused and neglected youth.] [This should be the start of the last paragraph] My ability to face and successfully resolve conflict without resorting to violence uniquely prepares me for the career I seek. It is my intention to volunteer and become a help youthful offenders and abused children as a court appointed special advocate in the near future. With acceptance the organization will serve as my starting point. Assisting abused and neglected youth while simultaneously exposing me to the court systems. I'm optimistic that through sharing my experiences they too will contend, as I, understand that violent begets violence. [The following sentence should be the start of the fourth or second to last paragraph] That it is not cowardice to be nonviolent and the maltreatment they suffered can be alleviated through a societal shift in the ethos to the attitude that violence, in all its forms, is never justified. Furthermore, I want to delve deeper and obtain a formal legal education to broaden my capacity to assist youth in my community. Ultimately, I want to represent youth in dire social situations. It is not my goal to indoctrinate, but to share my ideals and above all provide assistance assist those in need.

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esq
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby esq » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:41 pm

Tear you apart, or the PS - because it's pretty evident from the PS that you've been torn apart already, but if that's what you want? :P

Overall, it is interesting, but I agree, it seems like you are aiming for a cliche Gandhi theme. I don't doubt that you might in fact be interesting because this is true, but if so, I think that you need to condense the experience you've related here into a paragraph, and then explain how this perspective makes you a solid candidate for law school. As of now, you just have an experience. You need to make sense of it for the adcomms. How will this help you add a unique perspective to their school; motivate you through your education; give you a viewpoint that will benefit the abused; what kind of assistance do you feel that they need because of what you've learned through your experience? Like I said, I think that your experience is interesting enough, you just need to put it into the proper context for law school adcomms.

kublaikahn
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:41 pm

I disagree with the other posters. Your story is stout. Not many people could stand there while someone punches them in the face. I think it makes a very serious point about your committment to nonviolence.

You just need to support that position with solid reasoning and emotion. Otherwise you will look crazy or stupid. You need to show how your position evolved. You need to address the contraposition. Would you intercede with force if you saw someone beating a child with a stick? Would you defend the child? How do you reconcile these things? You make the claim that violence is never justified. Never? What if someone is about to shoot you dead? Would you pick up a brick and throw it at them?

FWIW, I disagree with your pacifism. I believe in defending that which is defensible. But I respect your position and believe you could make this into one of the best PS's posted by on this site.

erikordos
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby erikordos » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:39 pm

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I am going to rework it a bit then submit it...

Oh and here are my responses to the following inquiries...

Would you intercede with force if you saw someone beating a child with a stick? Would you defend the child? How do you reconcile these things? You make the claim that violence is never justified. Never? What if someone is about to shoot you dead? Would you pick up a brick and throw it at them?


Of course I would, I would create space between the child and aggressor but I would not strike. People assume that violence is required to stop someone attacking another, not true. Wrapping your arms around someone or redirecting there attention isn't violent. In a life and death situation or even one that isn't I would try other means to escape the situation, i.e negotiate or run. However, if it is inevitable that I am going to die or be beaten I would more than let my aggressor kill me or beat me. Retaliating would require me to "stoop to their level" and contribute to the endless cycle of violence that our society has become accustom to.

erikordos
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby erikordos » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:54 pm

halostarbucks wrote:"Tear apart" and "polite" are not compatible.


Hence the question mark dick, it was meant to be comical.

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TheTopBloke
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby TheTopBloke » Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:37 am

I think you could cut out a lot of the beginning. You might try starting with an abusive family and landing on that night at the end, or even removing the specific example altogether in order to stay on point. Just some thoughts for ya.

halostarbucks
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby halostarbucks » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:31 am

Dude, I don't mean to be a dick, sorry you took it that way, (for a "pacifist" you seem pretty defensive about your writing!). I just don't think your absolute pacifism in all circumstances is logically tenable.

If I were a LS admissions counselor, after reading your essay I would be really wondering if you had what it takes to stick up for abused clients and adequately defend their rights.

erikordos
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby erikordos » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:51 am

No worries buddy the dick comment was a joke as well. I am a very laid back and sarcastic person, not the kind that gets angered easily. You are right they may have their doubts but I think my passive nature speaks volumes for my ability to negotiate without resorting to a primitive means of persuasion, violence. In any respect I reworked it a bit and this is what I came up with thanks in large part to kublaikahn, you are the man!

"Jesus man, what is wrong with you? Do you have any sense at all?" Anthony's words echo in my head to this day.
Resigned from another defeat in a team billiards game, I decided to cut my losses and head home. While walking towards the exit my path was abruptly cut off by the slow motion nose dive of the effervescent co-ed that landed at my feet. Suppressing my laughter I helped her to her feet and with a thank you hug and kiss on the cheek I continued out the door.
"Hey you." a voice behind me shouted. "That was my girlfriend you were kissing," I turned to see five snarling faces. "Nope, she fell on the ground buddy. I just helped her up and she pecked me on the cheek," I retorted. "Bullshit!" the head of the pack screamed as he positioned himself to strike and the other four circled my position. With all passes blocked, I stood stoically tall, clasped my hands behind my back, and braced myself for the attack. A half dozen blows was all I could bare before my knees buckled and I collapsed. Darkness is my only recollection before I regained consciousness to the sound of Anthony's voice.
My refusal to retaliate or attempt to defend myself that night stems from my deep seeded resentment of violence. I contribute this stance from my exposure to violence at an early age. My parents were physically aggressive towards one another until they separated when I was twelve. Haunted by sleepless nights of brutal screaming and hospital visits, I vowed to never contribute to the cyclical home violence. After years of counseling, they reconciled their differences and rejoined into one household. They have been nonviolent towards each other ever since. My parents reconciliation taught me that alternate methods of dispute resolution are superior. No matter what the cost and despite an unfavorable outcome, as in my case that night, practicing restraint is essential. Succumbing to violent means of expression carries negative implications on both a personal and social level. I tested and gained evidence to my contentions that night; my attacker was arrested shortly after the assault.
My ability to face and successfully resolve conflict without resorting to violence uniquely prepares me for the career I seek. It is my intention to volunteer and become a Maryland court appointed special advocate in the near future. If accepted, I intend to use this organization, CASA, as a launching point for my passion to assist abused and neglected youths while simultaneously exposing myself to the court systems. I am optimistic that through sharing my personal experiences, that I can teach those I aid to understand that violence begets violence. Also, that it is not cowardice to be nonviolent and the maltreatment they suffered can be alleviated through a societal shift in the ethos that violence is never justified. Furthermore, I wish to delve deeper into this notion and obtain a formal legal education so that I may broaden my capacity to assist the youth in my community. Ultimately, I would like to represent youth in dire social situations. It is my goal to share my ideals and assist those in need. With acceptance into your institution I know I will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve my goals.

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Paraflam
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby Paraflam » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:53 am

erikordos wrote:Of course I would, I would create space between the child and aggressor but I would not strike. People assume that violence is required to stop someone attacking another, not true. Wrapping your arms around someone or redirecting there attention isn't violent. In a life and death situation or even one that isn't I would try other means to escape the situation, i.e negotiate or run. However, if it is inevitable that I am going to die or be beaten I would more than let my aggressor kill me or beat me. Retaliating would require me to "stoop to their level" and contribute to the endless cycle of violence that our society has become accustom to.


In the words of Daniel Tosh: What if you come home from work and your wife has drowned two of your kids in the bath tub, and she's about to drown the third one. Can you pop her then? How about if you ask her to DVR the game, but she forgets to record the half hour show after the game just in case it goes into overtime. My point is, there's a grey area!!!

halostarbucks
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby halostarbucks » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:46 pm

I strongly disagree with you about pacifism but I think your edited essay is much better. You seem more like a moral agent who opposes violence in principle than a wimpy dipshit who gets his ass kicked because he's weak. I would say that its excellent this time around.

On a side note, though I have one question I would love to hear you answer: How would a pacifist have stopped Hitler in World War 2?

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nerdherder
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby nerdherder » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:18 pm

I agree, this edited version is much better. One critique I have is that I feel like your opening quote significantly weakens your story. Even though it is a quote that still resonates in your head, it is a very negative statement and sort of puts me, as a reader, off your story. I like that you move from a negative situation to explain yourself rationally, building yourself up in a positive light. However, I think that it's unnecessary to emphasize the negativity of the beginning (people calling you crazy, losing a game of pool, and getting into a fight over a misunderstanding). This may be personal preference, of course, but I strongly believe that your PS is significantly better if you just cut out the first two lines. I would even start with when the aggressor begins speaking. Also it might be better to change the dialogue slightly (unless you remember this is the exact dialogue exchange). My suggestions and also a couple minor grammatical/punctuation/spelling issues are below:

"Hey you!" a voice behind me snarled. "That was my girlfriend you were kissing." I turned to see five snarling faces.
"Hey, she just tripped, buddy. I helped her up and she pecked me on the cheek," I responded.
"Bullshit!" the head of the pack screamed as he positioned himself to strike as the other four circled my position.
Completely surrounded, I stood stoically tall, clasped my hands behind my back, and braced myself for the attack. A half dozen blows was all I could bear before my knees buckled and I collapsed into the darkness.
My refusal to retaliate or attempt to defend myself that night stems from my deep seeded disapproval of violence. I contribute this stance to my exposure to violence at an early age. My parents were physically aggressive towards one another until they separated when I was twelve. Haunted by sleepless nights of brutal screaming and hospital visits, I vowed to never contribute to the cyclical homeabuse of violence. After years of counseling, my parents finally reconciled their differences and rejoined into one household. They and have been nonviolent towards each other ever since. Their reconciliation taught me that alternate methods of dispute resolution are superior. No matter what the cost and despite an unfavorable outcome, as in my case that night, practicing restraint is essential.Succumbing to violent means of expression carries negative implications on both a personal and social level. I tested and gained evidence to my contentions that night; my attacker was arrested shortly after the assault.
My ability to face and successfully resolve conflict without resorting to violence uniquely prepares me for the career I seek. It is my intention to volunteer and become a Maryland court appointed special advocate in the near future. If accepted, I intend to use this organization, CASA, as a launching point for my passion to assist abused and neglected youths while simultaneously exposing myself to the court systems. I am optimistic thatthrough sharing my personal experiences, thatI can teach those I aidothers to understand that violence begets violence. Also, and that it is not cowardice to be nonviolent. and I can teach them that the maltreatment they have suffered can be alleviated through a societal shift in the ethos that violence is never justified. (<-this is a bit awk) Furthermore,I wishplan to delve deeper into this notion and obtain a formal legal education so that I may broaden my capacity to assist the youth in my community. Ultimately, I would like to represent youth in dire social situations (maybe put this at the beginning of this paragraph? it too closely mimics the message of the next sentence but is important on its own). It is my goal to share my ideals and assist those in need. With acceptance into your institution, I know I will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve my goals.

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powerlawyer06
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby powerlawyer06 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:27 pm

I would choose a different theme/topic for this PS. An anecdote about a one sided bar fight does not make you seem like a good law school candidate. You must have a better anecdote or experience you can use to tell about yourself.

BeaverHunter
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby BeaverHunter » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:07 pm

This story really isn't that funny. Do you think getting your ass kicked somehow defines you as a person and makes you a good candidate for law school?

Do you think passiveness and pussiness are good traits for an attorney? Pull yourself together man.

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Flustercluck
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Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby Flustercluck » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:25 pm

erikordos wrote:"Jesus man, what is wrong with you? Do you have any sense at all?" Once again, opening with a quote is unprofessional. You're not grabbing the reader, you're coming across as doing a creative writing exercise as opposed to a personal statement. Also, you should start with a positive. You immediately paint yourself in a negative light, and that's the first impression you give the reader of who you are. Anthony's words echo in my head to this day.Who's Anthony? Thats' what a first time reader asks. Not in the context of "I'm so intereseted!" but rather in the context of "WTF?"
Resigned from another defeat in a team billiards game, I decided to cut my losses and head home. While walking towards the exit my path was abruptly cut off by the slow motion nose dive of the effervescentcompletely gratuitous and nonsensical word use co-ed that landed at my feet. Suppressing my laughter I helped her to her feet and with a thank you hug and kiss on the cheek I continued out the door.
"Hey you." a voice behind me shouted. "That was my girlfriend you were kissing," I turned to see five snarling faces. "Nope, she fell on the ground buddy. I just helped her up and she pecked me on the cheek," I retorted. "Bullshit!" Any sort of swearing should be eliminated unless making a serious point... in this case, it isn't neededthe head of the pack screamed as he positioned himself to strike and the other four circled my position. With all passes blocked, I stood stoically tall, clasped my hands behind my back, and braced myself for the attack. A half dozen blows was all I could bare before my knees buckled and I collapsed. Darkness is my only recollection before I regained consciousness to the sound of Anthony's voice. Ignore my advice again if you wish, but this needs to be eliminated. This is a HORRIBLE example of your principles. Non-violence in the frame of values and morality and social justice = WINNING. Non-violence in a bar fight = You're dumb. Also, "stoically tall" comes across as pretentious/self eggrandizing - you're no hero for this, but you automatically cast yourself as "enlightened." It's fine if you believe them, but you should write as someone who's confident, not someone who's superior. All in all, I still hold that this example is unflattering in terms of your choice of venue, relative maturity displayed, and ultimate outcome. As others have, I very strongly recommend eliminating it entirely
My refusal to retaliate or attempt to defend myself that night stems from my deep seeded resentmentobjection is more, ironically, objective. You don't want to be decidedly negative in your statement, and resentment has an inescapable negative connotation.of violence. I contributeattributethis stance fromtomy exposure to violence at an early age. My parents were physically aggressive towards one another until they separated when I was twelve. Haunted by sleepless nights of brutal screaming and hospital visits,use an example of this to open. It's more personal, more touching, more relatable than getting in a bar fight. Also, it is an example of an experience that shaped your outlook, as opposed to one that is merely a reflection of it (the bar fight) I vowed to never contribute to the cyclical home violencecycle of domestic violence. After years of counseling, they reconciled their differences and rejoined into one household were able to live together again in the the same household. They have been nonviolent towards each other ever since. My parents reconciliation taught me that alternate methods of dispute resolution are superiorword choice again. try something like important, vital, powerful, etc. Superior is once again a value judgement, and the poiunt at which you judge values in your essay becomes the point at which the reader may choose to judge you for your values. This is great when the reader agrees with you, but horrible when they do not. As such, it is a chance you should not take.. No matter what the cost and despite an unfavorable outcome, as in my case that night, practicing restraint is essential. Succumbing Resortingto violent means of expression carries negative implicationsviolence can have a negative impacton both a personal and social level. I tested and gained evidence to my contentions that night; my attacker was arrested shortly after the assault.Argument is factually sound, but not persuasive. Shoule be better laid out if example is kept, which I still believe it should not unless re-framed completely. Anthony thought I lost the fight. So did the individual who chose to resort to violence. But for me the issue wasn't about winning or losing, it was about upholding the values I belive in, values that are in turn upheld by the law. The person who resorted to violence was taken to jail and charged with assault. The law addressed this situation evenly, fairly, and most importantly non-violently. It is this aspect of the law that I respect most, and that I wish to uphold by pursing the study of law at your university
My ability to face and successfully resolve conflict without resorting to violence uniquely prepares me for the career I seek.Incorrect. You didn't resolve a conflict. Resolving means you prevented violence, which was obiviously not the case. If you have an example of where you diffused a potentially violent situation, that would be the best possible example and should replace the bar fight example currently being used. As written, however, saying you resolvedthe situation is bad wor choice at best and slightly delusional at worst It is my intention to volunteer and become a Maryland court appointed special advocate in the near future. If accepted, I intend to use this organization, CASA, as a launching point for my passion to assist abused and neglected youths while simultaneously exposing myself to the court systemsI can't help it, I giggled. Rephrase: gaining valuable experience and knowledge in our legal system. I am optimistic that through sharing my personal experiences, that I can teach those I aid to understand that violence begets violence. Good, but be careful. You almost sound more interested in social work than law. If you see a synthesis of the two, you must be clear in explaining how law is a vital component of this approach to reducing violence in society, rather than simply promoting the importanct of reduced violence. If you cannot tie this connection clearly and strongly for the reader, then while you may personally believe that law will help to this end, they will not be convinced of you sincer interest in/understanding of the law. Going into greater detail as to the responsibilities of the CASA and the legal/social components there in would help in terms of clarifying this to the reader, and also showing that you have a clear path and understanding of the direction in which you wish to pursue a legal career Also, that it is not cowardice to be nonviolent and the maltreatment they suffered can be alleviated through a societal shift in the ethos that violence is never justified. This is wonderfully grandious, you may want to couch it in less sweeping terms. A gradual shift is more grounded, as would an emphasis on explaining to them that a change in their personal approach is the first step in projecting these values out into the world and having them reflected back at you. It is my hope to educate these at-risk youth that not only does violence begents violence, this reciprocity can work in a positive fashion as well: nonviolence begets nonviolence. By working to make a change on a personal level, you can see that change reflected back to you in the world around you, and in those you share this perspective with. Hell, you could even work in the Ghandi quote "Be the change you want to see in the world"Furthermore, I wish to delve deeper into this notion and obtain a formal legal education so that I may broaden my capacity to assist the youth in my community. Ultimately, I would like to represent youth in dire social situations. It is my goal to share my ideals and assist those in need. With acceptance into your institution I know I will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve my goals.
very well phrased ending

User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby Emma. » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:13 pm

Flustercluck wrote:
erikordos wrote:"Jesus man, what is wrong with you? Do you have any sense at all?" Once again, opening with a quote is unprofessional. You're not grabbing the reader, you're coming across as doing a creative writing exercise as opposed to a personal statement. Also, you should start with a positive. You immediately paint yourself in a negative light, and that's the first impression you give the reader of who you are. Anthony's words echo in my head to this day.Who's Anthony? Thats' what a first time reader asks. Not in the context of "I'm so intereseted!" but rather in the context of "WTF?"
Resigned from another defeat in a team billiards game, I decided to cut my losses and head home. While walking towards the exit my path was abruptly cut off by the slow motion nose dive of the effervescentcompletely gratuitous and nonsensical word use co-ed that landed at my feet. Suppressing my laughter I helped her to her feet and with a thank you hug and kiss on the cheek I continued out the door.
"Hey you." a voice behind me shouted. "That was my girlfriend you were kissing," I turned to see five snarling faces. "Nope, she fell on the ground buddy. I just helped her up and she pecked me on the cheek," I retorted. "Bullshit!" Any sort of swearing should be eliminated unless making a serious point... in this case, it isn't neededthe head of the pack screamed as he positioned himself to strike and the other four circled my position. With all passes blocked, I stood stoically tall, clasped my hands behind my back, and braced myself for the attack. A half dozen blows was all I could bare before my knees buckled and I collapsed. Darkness is my only recollection before I regained consciousness to the sound of Anthony's voice. Ignore my advice again if you wish, but this needs to be eliminated. This is a HORRIBLE example of your principles. Non-violence in the frame of values and morality and social justice = WINNING. Non-violence in a bar fight = You're dumb. Also, "stoically tall" comes across as pretentious/self eggrandizing - you're no hero for this, but you automatically cast yourself as "enlightened." It's fine if you believe them, but you should write as someone who's confident, not someone who's superior. All in all, I still hold that this example is unflattering in terms of your choice of venue, relative maturity displayed, and ultimate outcome. As others have, I very strongly recommend eliminating it entirely
My refusal to retaliate or attempt to defend myself that night stems from my deep seeded resentmentobjection is more, ironically, objective. You don't want to be decidedly negative in your statement, and resentment has an inescapable negative connotation.of violence. I contributeattributethis stance fromtomy exposure to violence at an early age. My parents were physically aggressive towards one another until they separated when I was twelve. Haunted by sleepless nights of brutal screaming and hospital visits,use an example of this to open. It's more personal, more touching, more relatable than getting in a bar fight. Also, it is an example of an experience that shaped your outlook, as opposed to one that is merely a reflection of it (the bar fight) I vowed to never contribute to the cyclical home violencecycle of domestic violence. After years of counseling, they reconciled their differences and rejoined into one household were able to live together again in the the same household. They have been nonviolent towards each other ever since. My parents reconciliation taught me that alternate methods of dispute resolution are superiorword choice again. try something like important, vital, powerful, etc. Superior is once again a value judgement, and the poiunt at which you judge values in your essay becomes the point at which the reader may choose to judge you for your values. This is great when the reader agrees with you, but horrible when they do not. As such, it is a chance you should not take.. No matter what the cost and despite an unfavorable outcome, as in my case that night, practicing restraint is essential. Succumbing Resortingto violent means of expression carries negative implicationsviolence can have a negative impacton both a personal and social level. I tested and gained evidence to my contentions that night; my attacker was arrested shortly after the assault.Argument is factually sound, but not persuasive. Shoule be better laid out if example is kept, which I still believe it should not unless re-framed completely. Anthony thought I lost the fight. So did the individual who chose to resort to violence. But for me the issue wasn't about winning or losing, it was about upholding the values I belive in, values that are in turn upheld by the law. The person who resorted to violence was taken to jail and charged with assault. The law addressed this situation evenly, fairly, and most importantly non-violently. It is this aspect of the law that I respect most, and that I wish to uphold by pursing the study of law at your university
My ability to face and successfully resolve conflict without resorting to violence uniquely prepares me for the career I seek.Incorrect. You didn't resolve a conflict. Resolving means you prevented violence, which was obiviously not the case. If you have an example of where you diffused a potentially violent situation, that would be the best possible example and should replace the bar fight example currently being used. As written, however, saying you resolvedthe situation is bad wor choice at best and slightly delusional at worst It is my intention to volunteer and become a Maryland court appointed special advocate in the near future. If accepted, I intend to use this organization, CASA, as a launching point for my passion to assist abused and neglected youths while simultaneously exposing myself to the court systemsI can't help it, I giggled. Rephrase: gaining valuable experience and knowledge in our legal system. I am optimistic that through sharing my personal experiences, that I can teach those I aid to understand that violence begets violence. Good, but be careful. You almost sound more interested in social work than law. If you see a synthesis of the two, you must be clear in explaining how law is a vital component of this approach to reducing violence in society, rather than simply promoting the importanct of reduced violence. If you cannot tie this connection clearly and strongly for the reader, then while you may personally believe that law will help to this end, they will not be convinced of you sincer interest in/understanding of the law. Going into greater detail as to the responsibilities of the CASA and the legal/social components there in would help in terms of clarifying this to the reader, and also showing that you have a clear path and understanding of the direction in which you wish to pursue a legal career Also, that it is not cowardice to be nonviolent and the maltreatment they suffered can be alleviated through a societal shift in the ethos that violence is never justified. This is wonderfully grandious, you may want to couch it in less sweeping terms. A gradual shift is more grounded, as would an emphasis on explaining to them that a change in their personal approach is the first step in projecting these values out into the world and having them reflected back at you. It is my hope to educate these at-risk youth that not only does violence begents violence, this reciprocity can work in a positive fashion as well: nonviolence begets nonviolence. By working to make a change on a personal level, you can see that change reflected back to you in the world around you, and in those you share this perspective with. Hell, you could even work in the Ghandi quote "Be the change you want to see in the world"Furthermore, I wish to delve deeper into this notion and obtain a formal legal education so that I may broaden my capacity to assist the youth in my community. Ultimately, I would like to represent youth in dire social situations. It is my goal to share my ideals and assist those in need. With acceptance into your institution I know I will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve my goals.
very well phrased ending


The above is pretty sound advice. Basically I think this has some potential but needs a lot of work to reach that potential.
If you are committed to keeping it more or less as is though I'd at least make the following changes:
• Were you really "distraught" from losing a game of pool?
• You should replace "deep seeded" with "deep-seated"
• Cut out the swearing
• Is "resentment" the right description of your feelings towards violence?
• "I stood up right" ? Do you mean "I stood up straight"?
• I feel like "court appointed" should be hyphenated
• I'd change "exposure to violence began for me" to "my exposure to violence began at"


Why didn't you at least protect your head when you were getting punched? A commitment to nonviolence would be served just as well by keeping your guard up. It does make me question your common-sense, which is probably a pretty desirable attribute in an attorney.

Derekj032
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:45 pm

Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby Derekj032 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:49 pm

BeaverHunter wrote:This story really isn't that funny. Do you think getting your ass kicked somehow defines you as a person and makes you a good candidate for law school?

Do you think passiveness and pussiness are good traits for an attorney? Pull yourself together man.


LMAO I thought this was troll thread. Is this person actually serious? You put your hands behind your back and allowed others to beat you for no reason? Please come to Michigan so I can punch you in the face. To think that ANY human is capable of being as cowardly as you makes me weep for all man kind.

If I was on an admissions board, after reading your statement I would invite you to come in for an interview. I would then punch you in the face, knowing you would do nothing.

erikordos
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:16 pm

Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby erikordos » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:31 pm

Derekj032 wrote:
BeaverHunter wrote:This story really isn't that funny. Do you think getting your ass kicked somehow defines you as a person and makes you a good candidate for law school?

Do you think passiveness and pussiness are good traits for an attorney? Pull yourself together man.


LMAO I thought this was troll thread. Is this person actually serious? You put your hands behind your back and allowed others to beat you for no reason? Please come to Michigan so I can punch you in the face. To think that ANY human is capable of being as cowardly as you makes me weep for all man kind.

If I was on an admissions board, after reading your statement I would invite you to come in for an interview. I would then punch you in the face, knowing you would do nothing.


Didn't have a way out of the situation. I think it would have been more cowardly to show fear and curl up as he hit me. If there was a way out I would have taken it, understand this is a shortened version of the entire altercation. I wanted to show that individual his threat didn't phase me and that I welcomed his aggression if he couldn't accept my words as truth. If there was the opportunity to walk away I would have done it, but I was surrounded. Fight back? Why? I have no reason to inflict harm on someone else, it is inane. People like you two are the reason why peace can never exist in the world. You think the ones who condone violence in its entirety are cowards when we are visionaries. Do not pity me, I pity you for not having the decency to respect others beliefs. To borrow from your so eloquently put statement, to think that ANY human is capable of being as childish as you makes me weep for all man kind.

Pussiness? nice choice of language.

Next time

Thanks for the constructive criticism from everyone, I have implemented many of the suggestions into my PS and think that it is satisfactory for submission.

User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby Emma. » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:40 pm

erikordos wrote:
Derekj032 wrote:
BeaverHunter wrote:This story really isn't that funny. Do you think getting your ass kicked somehow defines you as a person and makes you a good candidate for law school?

Do you think passiveness and pussiness are good traits for an attorney? Pull yourself together man.


LMAO I thought this was troll thread. Is this person actually serious? You put your hands behind your back and allowed others to beat you for no reason? Please come to Michigan so I can punch you in the face. To think that ANY human is capable of being as cowardly as you makes me weep for all man kind.

If I was on an admissions board, after reading your statement I would invite you to come in for an interview. I would then punch you in the face, knowing you would do nothing.


Didn't have a way out of the situation. I think it would have been more cowardly to show fear and curl up as he hit me. If there was a way out I would have taken it, understand this is a shortened version of the entire altercation. I wanted to show that individual his threat didn't phase me and that I welcomed his aggression if he couldn't accept my words as truth. If there was the opportunity to walk away I would have done it, but I was surrounded. Fight back? Why? I have no reason to inflict harm on someone else, it is inane. People like you two are the reason why peace can never exist in the world. You think the ones who condone violence in its entirety are cowards when we are visionaries. Do not pity me, I pity you for not having the decency to respect others beliefs. To borrow from your so eloquently put statement, to think that ANY human is capable of being as childish as you makes me weep for all man kind.

Pussiness? nice choice of language.

Next time

Thanks for the constructive criticism from everyone, I have implemented many of the suggestions into my PS and think that it is satisfactory for submission.


Is "satisfactory" really what you are going for in a PS? Also, where are you applying so late? Any chance you'll consider waiting a cycle and applying early with a more polished package? It'll almost certainly be worth your while.

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Bartlebee06
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:43 pm

Re: PS, tear me apart! Politely?

Postby Bartlebee06 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:50 pm

Makes you sound like a wuss. How can you defend people in court if you wont even defend yourself from an ass kicking.




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