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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
CBROWN22
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Postby CBROWN22 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:23 am

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Last edited by CBROWN22 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:14 am, edited 4 times in total.

KMD2695
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby KMD2695 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:28 am

I would refrain from using the word "bitch".

I do think you have a good start. Try to eliminate the constant "and"s.

BeaverHunter
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby BeaverHunter » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:37 am

"What wise words those really were. I was taught to be polite to everyone. If I ever cursed, I could expect a mouth full of soap, which deterred me from ever even trying."

Then why would you use profanity in your law school personal statement?

CBROWN22
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:14 am

Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby CBROWN22 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:55 am

Good point, thank you. I guess it doesn't sound so good to completely contradict myself.

I tried replacing it! Thanks!

CanadianWolf
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:38 am

5th paragraph "Age the age of 18..." should be "At the age of 18...".

This personal statement focuses a bit too much on the motorcycle accident & its aftermath as if this event defines your life & who you are. Nevertheless, it is effective at conveying your outlook on life & your new found determination.
Overall this is a good personal statement that could be better because the reader wants to know more about you. The real difficulty, however, is that law school & the practice of law may become another tragic motorcycle accident for you based on your overly idealistic & unrealistic vision of the practice of law. (e.g., "I would like to specialize in criminal law and spend my life defending the unfortunate victims of crime.") Criminal defense attorneys defend the alleged perpetrators of crimes. (e.g., "I want to provide them with hope that through the justice I obtain for them, that their hearts will start to heal.") Most criminal defendants do not want justice; they want a "not guilty" verdict or a sweet plea bargain. Consider the ministry.

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kwais
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby kwais » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:02 am

"Please don't start personal statements with a quote" said kwais when he began reading. I feel like the first piece of advice that everyone gets is to not start these essays with a quote and yet, 9 out of 10 seem to start with a quote. There are more effective ways to get the point across. Otherwise, there were many bright spots for you to build on.

kublaikahn
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:03 pm

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Last edited by kublaikahn on Tue May 17, 2011 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kublaikahn
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:19 pm

Couple other points, many AdCom's would disagree with your statement below (I assume they would because I think I do). :)

“It’s nice to be important, but much more important to be nice.”


Also, was your friend telling you that you shouldnt be a lawyer or that you needed to get tougher? My point is what you see as a strength may be perceived as a weakness. Also, if this made you feel "very offended" maybe an AdCom could infer that you won't be a good lawyer. Perhaps, instead, you were annoyed, perturbed, quick to respond, immediately arguing in your head, etc.

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esq
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby esq » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:20 pm

I'm trying to think of something nice to say here, but overall this is a pretty shitty PS. You are right, being nice probably won't hold someone back from success in the legal field, but being nice and not understanding how to create a tight argument will. Here is my point. What I am able to gather from this mess is that this: "Becoming a lawyer, to me, doesn’t require somebody to be mean" is your thesis - you essentially begin and end with the statement. My problem is that your PS doesn't really make any sort of valid argument towards this. In fact, I'm not sure that you even attempted to argue towards this. What you displayed here is is a very novice "let me in because something sad happened to me" PS. While this isn't entirely a bad route, you need to pull something positive out of the experiences, something that shows adcomms that you have what it takes for law school because of your experiences - you have not done this. And above all, if your PS must build a case that supports your thesis: "I can be nice and be a successful lawyer." Your PS does not do this.

P.S. Oh, and this:

"MTV was the popular channel for students my age, but it was not permitted in our household. I had to entertain myself with different shows, which led to uncovering my love for COURT TV. Every night, my mother and I would watch Unsolved Mysteries, or any similar show that we could find. My heart would ache for the victims. I wanted so badly to help make a difference. Every night I would lie in my bed, praying that those families would find comfort and justice. Nancy Grace became an idol of mine, because she made that difference. She was compassionate and intelligent, always pushing for justice. She intrigued me at a very young age, inspiring me to follow down a similar path."

Makes you seem really immature. Sure, watching TV might have helped you to become excited about criminal law as a child, but when compared to other applicants who took that excitement and did something about it (i.e. applied that excitement by getting involved), it's going to make you seem like one of those stereotypical students who, for example, gets involved in a criminal justice program because CSI Miami looked cool. Inevitably, they fizzle out because they have no god damn clue that it's not as entertaining as the TV show.

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Moral_Midgetry
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby Moral_Midgetry » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:37 pm

I stopped reading here: "Nancy Grace became an idol of mine,.."

On a constructive note, I would consider taking that out. Nancy Grace doesn't have much stock with the legal academic types so depending on who is reading your PS, mentioning her as your "idol" could definitely be detrimental.


The PS is okay, but it conveys both some good and bad things about you. The good is that you're passionate, motivated, can overcome personal adversity, and have a unique story. The bad is the presentation. I take away from this that you are naive, emotional, and base your impression of using the law to help others on what you've seen on court TV and Nancy Grace. Big negatives. I think you can lose that and not take away from the impact of the story, or find another way to present it. It could be effective, but as it stands, it doesn't help you, it just makes you look naive.

I don't mean to pass judgement about your relationship with your late boyfriend but the way you mention him as a "long term boyfriend" comes across as adolescent. My thought was, "at 18, how long could you have been dating someone to consider them a "long term" relationship?" Possibly providing some background could fill in that gap, like, for instance, you grew up next door to each other and have known each other since birth and started dating at 13. You don't want to leave any questions lingering in an adcoms mind after reading your PS. Tighten that stuff up.

Also, the intro is weak. Think of something else. Quotes usually aren't good starting points. Good luck.

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pixytree
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby pixytree » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:13 pm

Have you done anything--helped someone in any way--that can show adcoms you are someone that can take action or lead? You said you helped people in your situation, why not talk about that? You're leaving a lot for adcoms to guess about if you're not giving them details about the work you're doing.

The conversation with your friend doesn't really fit for me. I think it can really help draw readers in to describe a specific incident, but that conversation just sounds juvenile. You also want your opening to wrap tightly with your closing and I don't see that here. A lot of this just sounds like you're talking about different periods in your life without a central theme--i.e. why this is important for them to know and understand.

As of now, your PS sounds like you should be a social worker or therapist comforting people, not an attorney.

Try drawing out the drunk driver story and connect that with the work you're doing with others in your situation? Perhaps you have an interest in working as a prosecutor to keep drunk drivers off the streets or something of that nature. Make it less about the emotional toil and more about how you overcame it, decided to help others and now want to parlay that passion into your work as an attorney.

CBROWN22
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Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby CBROWN22 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:38 pm

Great feedback! Thank you everyone. Each of you were very helpful.

About a year after the accident happened, I was hired to work at the local Prosecutor's Office. While my assistance is limited due to my knowledge, I have been able to see every aspect of their job. I understand it is not nearly as glamorous as the television shows portray it to be.

I also am employed as a Victim Advocate at Crime Stoppers. I wanted to somehow include both of these, but was advised to avoid "Resume Rewrites". I think it would be beneficial for me to include them, to show that they were what solidified my decision on law school, rather than a few crime shows.

Any suggestions?

CBROWN22
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:14 am

Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby CBROWN22 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:46 pm

kublaikahn wrote:Couple other points, many AdCom's would disagree with your statement below (I assume they would because I think I do). :)

“It’s nice to be important, but much more important to be nice.”


Also, was your friend telling you that you shouldnt be a lawyer or that you needed to get tougher? My point is what you see as a strength may be perceived as a weakness. Also, if this made you feel "very offended" maybe an AdCom could infer that you won't be a good lawyer. Perhaps, instead, you were annoyed, perturbed, quick to respond, immediately arguing in your head, etc.


Great advice!! Thanks. My friend wasn't saying that I shouldn't be a lawyer- or underestimating my ability to handle any of it- She was basically just saying I need to be a lot tougher.

I do agree on the use of offended. If I'm bother by that small remark, I'm sure Adcom's will think I'm unable to handle the career of an attorney. I will replace it.

Thanks again!

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pixytree
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:35 pm

Re: NEED HONEST OPINIONS & EDITORS!

Postby pixytree » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:46 pm

CBROWN22 wrote:Great feedback! Thank you everyone. Each of you were very helpful.

About a year after the accident happened, I was hired to work at the local Prosecutor's Office. While my assistance is limited due to my knowledge, I have been able to see every aspect of their job. I understand it is not nearly as glamorous as the television shows portray it to be.

I also am employed as a Victim Advocate at Crime Stoppers. I wanted to somehow include both of these, but was advised to avoid "Resume Rewrites". I think it would be beneficial for me to include them, to show that they were what solidified my decision on law school, rather than a few crime shows.

Any suggestions?


Definitely use them! Your PS doesn't have to be a rewrite, but you don't want the adcoms to have to connect the dots for themselves. I'll send you the portion of my PS that is very similar. Maybe that will give you some ideas.




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