NEW IDEA-- deleted by author- thanks for the help!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
KMD2695
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NEW IDEA-- deleted by author- thanks for the help!

Postby KMD2695 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:16 am

Started over. Thanks for the input!
Last edited by KMD2695 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: PLEASE HELP ASAP-- FIRST DRAFT.

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:32 pm

Okay, I've never seen a murder scene or anything, but as another female, this entire thing made me cringe. You spend way too much time about how omghorrible it was and how intimidating the cops were. The 'young, bleach-blonde in heels' thing made me *facepalm* (your haircolor is irrelevant and who the fuck wears heels on a ride-along with a cop?).

I don't know if you're trying to sound like a helpless damsel or if you really are one, but either way I kind of want to smack you, and neither makes me think 'assertive and competent lawyer material.'

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DeeCee
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Re: PLEASE HELP ASAP-- FIRST DRAFT.

Postby DeeCee » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:38 pm

yes this story is cringe-worthy and does not sound convincing. You have to prove to the adcomms you are intelligent and have a real life-changing story and this doesn't help you.....it sounds like you want to be construed as a "dumb blonde" type in the beginning of your story.

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Leira7905
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Re: PLEASE HELP ASAP-- FIRST DRAFT.

Postby Leira7905 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:42 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Okay, I've never seen a murder scene or anything, but as another female, this entire thing made me cringe. You spend way too much time about how omghorrible it was and how intimidating the cops were. The 'young, bleach-blonde in heels' thing made me *facepalm* (your haircolor is irrelevant and who the fuck wears heels on a ride-along with a cop?).

I don't know if you're trying to sound like a helpless damsel or if you really are one, but either way I kind of want to smack you, and neither makes me think 'assertive and competent lawyer material.'

+1

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: PLEASE HELP ASAP-- FIRST DRAFT.

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:44 pm

KMD2695 wrote:[b]
Being a young, bleach blonde woman in high heels and a skirt


ASL?

CanadianWolf
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Re: PLEASE HELP ASAP-- FIRST DRAFT.

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:53 pm

The above is the most memorable line in your essay. Is that what you want to achieve ?

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math101
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Re: PLEASE HELP ASAP-- FIRST DRAFT.

Postby math101 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:25 am

I think the story itself is interesting. Few people have been to a murder scene. But:

(a) I agree with the above posters that the way it is written does not cast you in a positive light, and

(b) it left me wondering how you went from wanting to be a detective to wanting to go to law school. The story made it seem like seeing a dead body was too much for you to bear and you're now running to law school to 'help without the icky part' or something.

(c) either choose 'I felt anger, sympathy, and extreme nausea' or 'I felt angry, sympathetic, and extremely nauseous'... or better yet, show these feelings instead of listing them.

KMD2695
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Re: PLEASE HELP ASAP-- FIRST DRAFT.

Postby KMD2695 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:19 am

Thank you to everyone for the feedback. It has been edited, I could still use your opinions.
Last edited by KMD2695 on Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KMD2695
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Re: PLEASE HELP ASAP-- FIRST DRAFT.

Postby KMD2695 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:25 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Okay, I've never seen a murder scene or anything, but as another female, this entire thing made me cringe. You spend way too much time about how omghorrible it was and how intimidating the cops were. The 'young, bleach-blonde in heels' thing made me *facepalm* (your haircolor is irrelevant and who the fuck wears heels on a ride-along with a cop?).

I don't know if you're trying to sound like a helpless damsel or if you really are one, but either way I kind of want to smack you, and neither makes me think 'assertive and competent lawyer material.'


Thank you so much for your feedback. I can now see that I am not portraying myself in the most positive light. I assure you that I will not make an incompetent lawyer. I mistakenly felt that being a “young blonde woman” was the most diversity I had working in my favor. I was trying to show their initial impression of me- with intent to show how I proved them wrong. I see that my story never connected those pieces.

I also should clarify..I didn’t "wear a skirt and heels to a ride along with a cop”..I was working (dressed professionally at the Prosecutor's Office) when a detective unexpectedly was headed to a crime scene and invited me to join. I was caught off guard and was very unprepared.

I have revised my statement and hopefully it has improved.

kublaikahn
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:55 pm

KMD2695 wrote:Thank you in advance for your help. This is my second draft and it desperately needs an editor!

I took a deep breath as I felt my heart begin to pound. The adrenaline rush came with mixed emotions of panic, excitement, and fear. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” the detective club manager asked me one last time. He could tell by the instant lack of color in my face that I had not done this before. I replied with a smile, “Of course I am,” I secretly lied. I had been begging for the opportunity to shadow him at a murder scene work that pole, so I needed to prove I could handle anything the men could dish out.



I think this is a more appropriate beginning.

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DeeCee
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby DeeCee » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:02 pm

kublaikahn wrote:
KMD2695 wrote:Thank you in advance for your help. This is my second draft and it desperately needs an editor!

I took a deep breath as I felt my heart begin to pound. The adrenaline rush came with mixed emotions of panic, excitement, and fear. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” the detective club manager asked me one last time. He could tell by the instant lack of color in my face that I had not done this before. I replied with a smile, “Of course I am,” I secretly lied. I had been begging for the opportunity to shadow him at a murder scene work that pole, so I needed to prove I could handle anything the men could dish out.



I think this is a more appropriate beginning.


:shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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20121109
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby 20121109 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:12 pm

kublaikahn wrote:
KMD2695 wrote:Thank you in advance for your help. This is my second draft and it desperately needs an editor!

I took a deep breath as I felt my heart begin to pound. The adrenaline rush came with mixed emotions of panic, excitement, and fear. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” the detective club manager asked me one last time. He could tell by the instant lack of color in my face that I had not done this before. I replied with a smile, “Of course I am,” I secretly lied. I had been begging for the opportunity to shadow him at a murder scene work that pole, so I needed to prove I could handle anything the men could dish out.



I think this is a more appropriate beginning.


Though I loled...please do not troll on-topic threads.

Skyhook
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby Skyhook » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:17 am

This PS says very little about you, other than you've been in a police car, seen a murder victim, want justice.

Would you say all of this in an interview?
You could cut out half of the drama & filler and give way more emphasis to who you are, how you operate, your goals.

Really look at some of the examples given on the TLS guide.
See how much more they tell the reader about the author.

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nshapkar
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby nshapkar » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:06 pm

kublaikahn wrote:
KMD2695 wrote:Thank you in advance for your help. This is my second draft and it desperately needs an editor!

I took a deep breath as I felt my heart begin to pound. The adrenaline rush came with mixed emotions of panic, excitement, and fear. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” the detective club manager asked me one last time. He could tell by the instant lack of color in my face that I had not done this before. I replied with a smile, “Of course I am,” I secretly lied. I had been begging for the opportunity to shadow him at a murder scene work that pole, so I needed to prove I could handle anything the men could dish out.



I think this is a more appropriate beginning.



+1

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Mce252
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby Mce252 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:22 pm

1.) I would have someone look over your comma usage.

2.) On the whole, it seems well written.

3.) Everyone that watches CSI has the same experience that you just described. Although that moment was unique for you, it doesn't correlate to your potential as an attorney. These things might be in the other parts of your application, but a connection is needed.

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loblaw
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby loblaw » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:34 pm

Mce252 wrote:1.) I would have someone look over your comma usage.

2.) On the whole, it seems well written.

3.) Everyone that watches CSI has the same experience that you just described. Although that moment was unique for you, it doesn't correlate to your potential as an attorney. These things might be in the other parts of your application, but a connection is needed.


+1 major comma problems in here

KMD2695 wrote:Plastic bags were used to gather any incriminating evidence


Blerrgg I just don't buy it--I want to be more convinced that you belong in a courtroom versus being a detective. Also, anything else you did when you worked there worth mentioning? I think with a little refocusing this could turn into a really cool essay.

czelede
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby czelede » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:22 pm

This whole statement reads like someone who is trying to describe their love of justice after watching the Law and Order marathon on USA with a side of "young white female as the underestimated underdog".

You need someone to heavily proof your grammar, style, and word usage (hello, comma splice), but before we can even get to that there are a LOT of other changes that need to be made. I don't want to be harsh, but this hands down one of the most cringe-worthy personal statements I've ever read. In my opinion, personal statements should show character, maturity, and in some way demonstrate (convincingly and coherently, though not always explicitly) why you want to go to law school.

Your essay does none of the above.

I'll break it down for you.

KMD2695 wrote:I took a deep breath as I felt my heart begin to pound. The adrenaline rush came with mixed emotions of panic, excitement, and fear. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” the detective asked me one last time. He could tell by the instant lack of color in my face that I had not done this before. I replied with a smile, “Of course I am,” I secretly lied. I had been begging for the opportunity to shadow him at a murder scene, so I needed to prove I could handle anything the men could.

Being a young white woman, in a male dominated field, I didn’t exactly fit in with the Detroit Homicide Department. The detectives were older, tough, and predominately men, all equipped with a gun that I had no idea how to use. They seemed so fearless. Their faces were extremely intimidating, and I could feel their eyes staring me up and down, immediately doubting my capabilities. I felt uncomfortable, but it was a very familiar feeling. Being a petite female, I had grown accustomed to this type of reaction. I knew I had to prove myself, my passion, and my commitment. It was going to be very difficult to earn respect with this crowd, but this was my dream job, and I was not going to allow anyone to deter me.


-The opening sentence was my first clue that this was not going to go well. You might as well have led with "It was a dark and stormy night." You have an overwhelming number of cliches in this essay, and I get that it's hard to write an essay completely devoid of any, but please don't lead with one.

- "Being a young white woman, in a male dominated field, I didn’t exactly fit in with the Detroit Homicide Department. The detectives were older, tough, and predominately men..."
1) Redundancy, a common theme in your writing. If you say you're in a male-dominated field, it's probably safe to assume that most of the people there are...predominantly male.
2) Would you fit in better if you were a young blue woman?

- This whole second paragraph, gah. I can't tell what it is that causes you so much distress. Are their eyes, staring up and down, checking you out? Are you accustomed to intimidating gazes being a petite female because you're small and you think there is some belief that small people are incapable? I think I know what you *might* be trying to get across with this paragraph, but you honestly come off sounding a bit judgmental and naive, and possibly a little self involved.

- If the detective scene is your dream job, why are you going to law school?

KMD2695 wrote:As I inched toward the murder scene, the knot in my stomach tripled in size. Beads of sweat started to form on my forehead. Quickly wiping them away, I tried to maintain my composure before anybody could notice. I closely followed the detective, trying not to miss a thing. A young man, in his twenties, had been shot numerous times. His lifeless body lie before me on the street, blood was splattered everywhere. I felt angered and sympathetic, but to my surprise, I wasn’t nauseous. I was amazed at how each detective quickly went to work, securing the crime scene and gathering data. Pictures were snapped from every angle, ensuring that no evidence was overlooked. Plastic bags were used to gather any incriminating evidence, which would be needed in court to later obtain any conviction. In great detail, they explained to me what evidence was critical to gather, and how even the most seemingly meaningless detail, could help them solve the case.

The entire ride home, I drilled the detectives with questions. He was very impressed with the detail I had noticed and my extreme interest in his line of work. A rush of excitement overcame me like I had never experienced before. But I still could not comprehend why anybody would commit such a heinous crime? The detective looked very calm, with lack of any emotion. For a moment, I doubted that he saw everything I did. “Welcome to Wayne County,” he blurted. “This happens here at least once a day. It’s normal.” He explained. The words “normal” haunted me all night long. This should not be a “normal” way of life in any city.


Argh, more cliches. You waste a lot of valuable time describing what anyone who has watched CSI/any crime show out there would know. There is no value added, because this does not tell me anything about *you* except that you are angered and sympathetic when you see a murdered corpse. Am I supposed to expect otherwise?

You have a terrible problem with telling, not showing. Why did a rush of excitement overcome you? Why did you feel angered and sympathetic? And really, you are stunned by the heinousness of someone getting shot? This implies to me an extreme lack of life experience (or, at the very least, that you've never picked up a history book/newspaper). It's not just Wayne County. People get shot all the time, all around the world.

KMD2695 wrote:This scene stayed fresh in my mind for many months to follow. I was overwhelmed with wanting the person responsible for this crime to be identified and put behind bars. I had the opportunity to meet with the victim’s family members and it became very clear to me how this incident had changed their lives forever. I wanted so badly to help ease their pain. I wanted to do everything in my power to help them find justice.

I spent the next year, following every possible headline on this case. Relief filed my entire body when it finally made it to trial. There was an abundance of evidence, so I knew the offender did not have a chance of getting away. Day after day, I spent in the courtroom, patiently waiting for the jury to reach a guilty verdict. The prosecutor’s demeanor was so intriguing. She played such a crucial role in the entire process, giving me goose bumps with each point that she made. That offender’s future was going to be determined by how well she presented her case.


Again, more telling, more cliches, more terrible language - and a lot of unsubstantiated claims.

KMD2695 wrote:The jury did not take long to deliberate. A guilty verdict was soon reached, and this worthless man was placed behind bars. While I was satisfied with the outcome, it didn’t change what happened to the innocent young victim who had his life unjustifiably stolen from him. It didn’t erase the images I saw, nor did it take away the heartache that family would forever feel.

This experience substantially increased my passion for justice. I learned that the crime scene was not necessarily the place I belonged, but that my true interest was in the courtroom. I realized the vital importance of a prosecutor and could not help but to think of how differently things could have turned out, had she preformed another way. This opportunity has motivated me even more to attend law school. It has sparked a flame of desire within me that will never burn out.


Ah, and now you make the link about how your dream job goes has shifted from the crime scene to the courtroom. So...why did you spend the majority of your essay describing the crime scene? You literally dedicate one sentence to describing the courtroom via the prosecutor's demeanor: it was intriguing.

Your entire case for why you now want to become a lawyer is because of this interesting prosecutor, since, like you say, things may have turned out differently with a 'different performance'. But then you say that you weren't worried about a conviction because there was an abundance of evidence. So which one is it? The evidence spoke for itself, or the prosecutor won the day? What exactly did the prosecutor even do, aside from giving you goosebumps?

This whole conclusion just validates every half-opinion I was beginning to form throughout your essay. You don't even describe anything about this case except that it resulted in a man getting shot and killed. Do you know the circumstances? If it was a crime of passion or if it was premeditated? Did you care? Who are you to decide that this man is worthless? Most of all, are you seriously trying to describe your passion for justice through an open-and-shut case?

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Mce252
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby Mce252 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:42 pm

Don't be discouraged. The poster just needed to feel smarter than someone else for a moment.

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Leira7905
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby Leira7905 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:44 pm

Well, I think there are positives and negatives about this PS. On the positive side, it IS a unique experience to have witnessed a murder scene investigation, so that may cause you to stand out a bit from the rest of the applicant pool. Also, the writing itself isn't bad in terms of grammar, sentence structure, etc. (minus a few minor punctuation errors). On the other hand, one thing I've heard over and over again from a variety of sources, is that a personal statement needs to be about YOU. This reads more like something you saw someone else do. I think you need to speak a little more about the effect that this had on you, and what you have done, are doing, or will do about it.

Also, find a different way to say this: "It has sparked a flame of desire within me that will never burn out." You don't want the last sentence of your PS to sound like a romance novel. :wink:

limelightwave
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby limelightwave » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:58 pm

I like the idea overall, but I do think you could develop the reasoning behind your feelings about the prosecutor. Did you see yourself in the prosecutor's shoes? If so, why? What about being the prosecutor appealed more to you than being the detective?

Right now, I know more about the detectives and the case than I do about you and your passion for the law. Where you can make this great, I think, is in drawing a more clear link between what you saw at the crime scene, what you read in the papers, what you observed in the courtroom, and why you want to be a lawyer.

Just my 2 cents! Good Luck!

czelede
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby czelede » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:12 pm

Mce252 wrote:Don't be discouraged. The poster just needed to feel smarter than someone else for a moment.



*eyeroll* Okay then.

Look, this is in my opinion a very weak essay. The writing itself is filled with cliches, grammar errors, spelling errors, passive voice, and sentences like these: "I replied with a smile, “Of course I am,” I secretly lied." I don't consider this to be strong writing, and I would be loathe to believe that many deans of admissions would disagree. Pointing out the flaws of this essay does not imply that OP "isn't smart", but instead that her essay, as it stands, has a LOT of room for improvement - and this is very clearly a first draft with some minor initial edit to begin with, so that's not exactly something unique to the OP. I'm harsh, but I don't really see the point of sugarcoating my criticisms with parenthetical "But don't worry, you're still smart and I'm sure you'll be perfect for law school!". And at the end of the day, if someone is going to cringe through my essay, I would rather it be some random person on the internet than the adcomm of the school my numbers are borderline for.

If OP begs to differ, nobody is forcing her to change anything. She posted it and asked for feedback, and I gave it.

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20121109
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Re: Murder Scene PS-- Criminal Law-- PLEASE HELP.

Postby 20121109 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:59 pm

czelede wrote:
Mce252 wrote:Don't be discouraged. The poster just needed to feel smarter than someone else for a moment.



*eyeroll* Okay then.

Look, this is in my opinion a very weak essay. The writing itself is filled with cliches, grammar errors, spelling errors, passive voice, and sentences like these: "I replied with a smile, “Of course I am,” I secretly lied." I don't consider this to be strong writing, and I would be loathe to believe that many deans of admissions would disagree. Pointing out the flaws of this essay does not imply that OP "isn't smart", but instead that her essay, as it stands, has a LOT of room for improvement - and this is very clearly a first draft with some minor initial edit to begin with, so that's not exactly something unique to the OP. I'm harsh, but I don't really see the point of sugarcoating my criticisms with parenthetical "But don't worry, you're still smart and I'm sure you'll be perfect for law school!". And at the end of the day, if someone is going to cringe through my essay, I would rather it be some random person on the internet than the adcomm of the school my numbers are borderline for.

If OP begs to differ, nobody is forcing her to change anything. She posted it and asked for feedback, and I gave it.


+1

Honestly, Mce252's little quib is actually less helpful. Czelede was quite constructive and to say anything otherwise merely frustrates the validity of the feedback. The original draft was certainly less than stellar.

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Mce252
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Re: NEW IDEA-- deleted by author- thanks for the help!

Postby Mce252 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:24 pm

I never said the advice wasn't helpful. The tone was unnecessary. It's difficult to receive negative feedback about a personal essay. The least you could do is add a little cushion.




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