PS critique?

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rinkrat19
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Re: PS critique?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun May 22, 2011 11:30 pm

I don't like how almost every paragraph begins with a clause setting the time frame, or a useless conjunction like 'however'. It reads like a list or a proof from my 9th grade geometry class. After the Cinderella incident/for two years/several rewrites later/three weeks after the incident/after I finished writing my essay... you need to vary the sentence structure more so it doesn't sound so repetitive.

And I agree with everyone else: you still sound kind of unbalanced, although not as completely batshit as the first draft. What the hell were you writing that freaked people out that much? I took a fiction class in UG where people wrote on deeply disturbing topics with startling starkness, and no one blinked an eye because the people themselves seemed perfectly normal. I'm guessing there was something besides the words on the page that caused concern.

blsingindisguise
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Re: PS critique?

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon May 23, 2011 8:58 am

Ok, read the third draft. It's cleaner, but honestly I don't get it. You and writing are married? Why are you going to law school then? Do you think Yale Law School wants to turn out fantasy novelists? What kind of message are you trying to send to adcoms about yourself?

Die$el
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Re: PS critique?

Postby Die$el » Mon May 23, 2011 9:27 am

blsingindisguise wrote:Ok, read the third draft. It's cleaner, but honestly I don't get it. You and writing are married? Why are you going to law school then? Do you think Yale Law School wants to turn out fantasy novelists? What kind of message are you trying to send to adcoms about yourself?


The intro and conclusion aren't developed yet (they are placeholders until I can refine what I want to say). I just wanted to get the story out of the way before I format the argument. It's only a rough draft, but this is the story I want to tell. No one else has this story, as far as I'm concerned.

I have no interest in becoming a creative writer. I'm a logical person, and that shows with my leadership positions in the economics association as well as my course-load (research-intensive math/econ/business classes). For my essay, I wanted to focus on my writing, which is also significant for me. My reasoning for law school: If I could use words to inform a group (who didn't know about the story until I told it to them) about a strange and burdening stigma and persuade them to be on my side, I can use words to persuade people like any lawyer. I'm sorry this isn't clear yet, and I'll be working on it over the week to refine this story. But this is the direction I want to go towards with my next draft. If you could help me out, that would be great.

As for why I want to go to law school, I want to go into the teaching/research field of law and economics (economic analysis of law; Pareto efficiency and opportunity costs and all that stuff). JD/PhD. With this knowledge, I want to go into research, maybe work for a few years, then teach at the university level.

blsingindisguise
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Re: PS critique?

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon May 23, 2011 10:28 am

Look, I'm trying to make myself clear -- your angle is no good. You need to scrap this and start fresh. I mean jesus, you're a guy who's actually interested in Law and Econ coming in, so why not just write about that? That's a good angle that most people won't have, and it shows seriousness and intellect. I mean it's not that you couldn't write an effective essay about your novels, I guess, but writing an essay about how everyone thought you were a suicide risk because of the content, not to mention that this sort of thing has happened more than once -- that is just the kind of thing that you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IN AN ADMISSIONS ESSAY, regardless of whether the fears were unwarranted. You're raising concerns that you don't need to raise at all and that you won't be able to completely assuage no matter what you write.

Imagine if you represented someone in a criminal trial and he had a prior arrest where charges were dropped. Would you want him to start talking about the prior arrest on the stand if no one asked him about it?

Die$el
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Re: PS critique?

Postby Die$el » Mon May 23, 2011 1:29 pm

Alright, rewrote my essay.

blsingindisguise
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Re: PS critique?

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon May 23, 2011 1:54 pm

Big, big improvement. Still needs work in spots. I will try to offer some suggestions later since I gave you such a hard time about the first draft

kublaikahn
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Re: PS critique?

Postby kublaikahn » Mon May 23, 2011 2:49 pm

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Last edited by kublaikahn on Mon May 23, 2011 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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esq
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Re: PS critique?

Postby esq » Mon May 23, 2011 3:09 pm

Ok, you've put a lot of work into this and convinced me, in spite of your comical first draft, that you are not a flame. Here are some of the things that I think you should work on:

1) Your PS is not an exercise in creative writing. Sorry about that, but creative writing is dead in law school. They are looking for evidence that you can create a tight argument about your abilities that also demonstrates your writing abilities. While you seem to think that extra details like "I love the smell of books and computer vents as I browse for information," or, "We submitted the paper close to nine o’clock at night, screamed at the top of our lungs, and ran around like crazy"
add to your essay, they don't. It's wasted space that could otherwise be used to make a concise argument about your credentials - who cares if you enjoy smelling books or run around and scream like a little girl every time you are excited.

2) Eliminate your first paragraph. If you are going to start with the bit about your first econ paper, it adds nothing to your essay and, arguably, detracts from it.

3) Try to find some solid accomplishments to include. When you build yourself up and then end with "Our team didn’t place that competition, but we received a consolation prize," it's a real let down for the reader who thinks that this event marks some big accomplishment in your life. If you are going to go with this, focus on the "A" you received in class, the consolation prize and how important it was, and a little more description about how this event sparked an interest in econ that would later emerge in college - I think that's what you're trying to say with this grade-school event, but the dots could be connected a bit better. Also, don't mention that the consolation prize was given to you because you didn't place. Leave the negatives out.

4) If you can say something more to the effect of "I expanded on the economics research that I did in high school" rather than "I revised and reformatted my high school economics paper," it will sound less like an academically lazy attempt to convince your professor to allow you to fulfill a new project with old material, double dipping. You need to highlight the importance of The Seagull. Without doing that, it sounds like one of those college publications that will accept almost anything for publication out of the sheer need to fill its pages every month.

5) Rather than "bringing you joy," you need to connect the dots as to how your stint as Vice President of the economics club and the editor-in-chief of The Seagull has helped you to mature as a person, gain some more of the skills needed for a legal education, and an overall view of the rigors that you faced because of these challenging (were they, I don't know? You don't talk about it.) positions.

6) You need to demonstrate a better understanding of why you want to pursue the law and economics. "I did a google search and know that this field is for me" will not have a great effect on any adcomm. You need to tell them what you think you can contribute, that you (as a self stated econ prodigy) have thought about the issues you might address through your legal education, how you think you might be able to do that, maybe how ____ law school can help you do this, and where you realistically see yourself as a newly minted grad. Also, I'm not sure that it's a good idea to refer to yourself as an "academic." Most people reserve that term for teachers of higher education.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: PS critique?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Mon May 23, 2011 3:50 pm

Ok...I'm going to preface this with this comment: this PS sort of sounds like a long email rant to a friend of yours about why you decided to go into law, not a PS to a group of adcomms trying to explain why you're a good candidate for their school. I finished this without any further insight into who you are--this could literally be anyone's story. The topic is disjointed and there's no clear sense of what you're trying to tell us/how you're trying to distinguish yourself from the other candidates. Anyway, with that general statement out of the way, more specifically:

You spend half your PS talking about an experience from high school...sorry, but the fact that you got a good grade in your AP Econ class is not compelling in a PS for law school :/ Similarly, the paragraph in which you outline step by step how googling + wikipedia led you to a newfound love for the law and economics is...rather strange. I mean, props to you for being honest but it's probably not going to impress any adcomms. Try to find something that is more unique/will distinguish you from other people. This doesn't have to be related to academics or school, per se, but it should be personal.

On top of that, you need to /show/ more than /tell/. You throw a lot of things at us without actually bringing us in as readers. This also ties into the feeling that we don't really get to know you at all.

Also, +1 to the few people above me.

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rinkrat19
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Re: PS critique?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon May 23, 2011 4:30 pm

Hooray, you sound almost entirely un-psycho in this draft! :P

I'm glad you got what we were trying to say: it doesn't matter whether the writer of an essay actually is a particular negative quality (be it arrogant, crazy, helpless, naive, etc.) if the essay immediately makes the reader think they are, or might be. Chances are the adcomms were going to have the same reactions to your previous drafts as almost everyone here did, which was "WTF is wrong with this dude?" After that initital impression, you could present a thousand letters from psychologists proclaiming you the sanest person in the Western Hemisphere, and the 'crazy' label would still stick.

Now on to your new draft.

I'm going to disagree with a few people here and say I actually liked the image of the smell coming from the computer vents. It's the only time in the essay you show instead of tell, and I thought it worked well. Not some overly poetic flight of fancy; just a nice little detail.

Then you spend four paragraphs talking about high school. Unless you did something really, truly awesome (think winning a national competition, going to the Olympics, etc.), focusing that much on high school makes it seem like you haven't done anything since. It's virtually assured that you were callow and immature compared to your present self, and even if you did discover a lifelong passion for something (in your case economics), hopefully your appreciation for it and the ways in which you have continued your pursuit of it have matured and expanded. The entire paragraph about figuring out your formula for the competition paper should be scrapped, at the very least. And I agree with trying to minimize the fact that you actually lost the high school competition. It's not that big of an accomplishment, then, is it? (It can still be a source of inspiration, don't get me wrong, but don't brag about a consolation prize.)

Don't say you re-used your high school econ paper. It makes you sound lazy and makes the college econ class sound too elementary, if a high school paper could pass muster.

I'm torn on the google/wikipedia paragraph. It's a cute intro to the law-econ subject and how you discovered its existence, but leading into some more concrete information that you have learned about the field from a source other than wikipedia would make it sound much more mature. I read about cool stuff on wikipedia all the time, too, but I don't suddenly decide I want to go to school for it. You need to move it beyond 'fascinating internet time-waster' to the real world, what law-econ has done for the world, and what you would do with your JD-PhD.

Die$el
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Re: PS critique?

Postby Die$el » Mon May 23, 2011 5:46 pm

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Last edited by Die$el on Mon May 23, 2011 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kublaikahn
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Re: PS critique?

Postby kublaikahn » Mon May 23, 2011 5:47 pm

Die$el wrote:My peers think I’m delusional, but I’ve always loved thrived researching and writing academic papers. I love the smell of books and computer vents as I browse mine/dig/search for information. Whenever my high school APteachers ask me to do a assigned research papers in high school, whether it the topic was Van Gogh or Vietnamese immigration, I always returned a thick, multi-part paper with thirty-something citations. Not to mention each one was probably edited more than six times. Despite the tedium of entering citations using Word 2003, I loved writing research papers, correctly citing my sources, and convincing others of the validity of my positions. Even if the citations were annoying to input back then with Word 2003, writing research papers was my bread and butter, or if you’re Asian like me, rice and soy sauce.

My love for research and writing first introduced my to economics and mathetical modeling in high school, when I led my high school team in the prestigious Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. The first economics research paper I ever wrote was an applied mathematics competition known as Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. Thirty borrowed economics textbooks, fourteen hours on a bright and sunny Saturday, and five of the smartest kids you ever knew sitting in our school library as we began typing a twenty-page paper. The prompt for the competition: use mathematical models to determine the efficacy of the stimulus plan and the necessity for another in the next two years. At seven o’clock in the morning, our math team began developing our strategy. After fifteen minutes, I came up with the basic model. If we could find the current tax and government multipliers, we could figure out the increase in GDP. Consequently, we could use a conversion factor to determine the decrease in unemployment. If the stimulus was deemed ineffective by this model, we would reverse the steps to determine the addition amount of money needed for unemployment to decrease to the natural rate of unemployment. Then we got to work. We used our math skills and basic macroeconomic knowledge to help each other calculate values and write portions of the paper.Twelve hours later, when the paper was done, we put together our two pages of citations. Wesubmitted the paper close to nine o’clock at night, and screamed at the top of our lungs, and [s]ran around like crazy[/s] I was hooked.

Our team didn’t place that competition, but we received a consolation prize. The math team submitted that paper to our AP Economics class, which earned us an A. We reunited one more time for our state’s Fed Challenge, right before we headed to our state mathematics competition to kick some butt. By then, I was exhausted, but still on an economic high. It felt good.

I came to Brighton College as a business major, finance concentration. Finance was close enough to economics and math, I reasoned, and I probably need the business background to become a business lawyer. However, after writing my analysis of the recession on the organic foods industry on in my Business Ethics class, I knew knowing my heart was in economic research. After that semester, I switched my major from finance to economics. I never looked back. With the suggestion of Professor Klaus, I revised and reformatted my high school economics paper, and with the permission of my math team friends, submitted it to The Seagull. It was accepted, and before I knew it, I was brought into joined the Economics Club by the former President of the club. Today, I am
and serve as the Vice President of the club My peers selected me and the editor-in-chief of The Seagull, where I guide and also learn from the writings of my classmates. It brings me joy, being editor-in-chief, to read papers done by other students, to learn something new from my peers and seniors. Not surprisingly, my law brief in my Business Law class brought my interest into law. Before I did this research paper, I was indifferent. Law was just rote memorization, I thought. Not so. The paper took much logic and development to craft, as well as a close analysis of words. When I finished the paper, I was ecstatic, not for the painful one-hundred and one citations I had to input, but for the ease and flow of its construction. This paper pushed me over the edge. Law was writing; law was research. [One more paragraph like this and I'm gonna push you over the edge.] As editor, I realized the leverage I could gain from helping others combine solid writing with strong analytics. I added teaching and helping others to my list of passions along side economics and research. As I grew academically, I searched for ways to apply what I was learning and pathways in which I could create a career pursuing my passions. My answers came in a business law class I took, when my professor assigned a research paper asking [what paper was about].... This was my first introducation to the law and I saw a gap in the economic tools available to lawyers. Blah Blah Blah.

Wanting to pursue something involving law and economics, I researched online for “law and economics.” The search results returned with a Wikipedia article on “Law and economics.” Wait, that field actually exists, I thought? I opened the article. My mouth opened wide as I clicked through link after link, seeing familiar terms like torts and crimes, but intertwined with economic concepts. [Per other posters, this is not a good way to introduce your new field of study. You should probably find a class where you can write a paper on it and then add that experience here] Link through link, I learned about Posner’s rational choice theory, Pareto and Kaldor-Hicks efficiency, and opportunity and social costs.[not impressed, not just because I studied Econ, but because I could come up with this list in ten minutes of google work.]This opened my eyes to so many possibilities that I began researching the topic myself. By the time I arrived on campus sophomore year, I knew this was the field for me.

As an aspiring academic, I wish to enter [Insert School Here] to pursue a JD/PhD my dream field of research: law and economics. I know I wouldn’t get as much monetary return for these additional seven years of study [wtf?, no.], but the learning experience I will receive at [Insert School Here], in addition to the joy I will receive from teaching and research, will bring me more marginal benefit than any amount of money ever would the career satisfaction that financial remuneration cannot replace. After all, doing what you love, helping others, and doing it well, is may be the best feeling in the world.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: PS critique?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Mon May 23, 2011 6:29 pm

Die$el wrote:-I'm 18. I realize that I can't compete against 30-year olds (except with my personal experiences, which are controversial and inappropriate by all standards). Although I'm intellectually capable, my age definitely shows, so I want to take as much time as possible to write a strong foundation of my essay. When I apply next year, I want to have good, solid framework ready to fill the details. If I don't make these mistakes before I really begin my application next year, I can guarantee that it will end up horribly. No mistake is better learned than made.

Are you an 18 year old college grad/senior, or are you an 18 year old college sophomore trying to get a head start on LS apps? If you're the latter, then I suggest working on studying for the LSATs instead of writing your PS as a means of getting a headstart. Writing your PS as a sophomore is way too early, and it shows in your writing (ie, writing style, mentioning HS exp as a bulk of your PS).

If you're the former, I assume that you either entered or are graduating college significantly early. This experience is something that would be interesting to write about, IMO, not some HS competition that the adcomms probably haven't heard much about. By mentioning HS, you are emphasizing your youth, not down-playing it. You should be trying to show adcomms that you have the maturity to enter LS early, not talking about HS experiences as if they are life-changing or talking about how wikipedia-surfing ignited your passion for the law. Anyway, I think if you structured your topic to center around why you graduated/entered college early, and how it has effected you, you'd have a stronger essay than this one.

blsingindisguise
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Re: PS critique?

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon May 23, 2011 8:18 pm

kublaikahn wrote:Also, the law and econ field can be controversial to some. Many lawyer types do not buy it.




This is just a silly point. Law & Econ is offered at every reputable law school in the country and no one is going to ding you for it even if they might not be one of the faithful.

blsingindisguise
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Re: PS critique?

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon May 23, 2011 8:20 pm

Oh, a simple thing, but I wouldn't say "my peers think I'm delusional" in the first sentence -- wrong word. Liking something that most people hate might be an eccentricity, but it's not a "delusion."

kublaikahn
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Re: PS critique?

Postby kublaikahn » Mon May 23, 2011 10:18 pm

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Successful24
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Re: PS critique?

Postby Successful24 » Tue May 31, 2011 12:10 pm

Anyone care to edit my PS??

A friend of mine once told me, “You either know when you lost your virginity or not, there is no not knowing!” I had many things to say in response, but I decided to just listen instead.

Is it possible for a girl to not know when she lost her virginity? If I voiced my opinion, I would have said yes, it is possible. Or else what is there to be said of young girls who lie in bed at night and are awakened by a predator they should call uncle, friend, brother, father, cousin? Should we expect this young girl to refer to her first “experience” as her first time? Violated and invaded against her will, exploited for parts she did not even understand yet, forced to keep quiet or get “in trouble.” Is this a first time? No. Girls who have been entered in the prime of development, with no hips, breasts, period, or sense of self, can’t lose their virginity. In this case, virginity is stolen, not lost. Captured and trapped, secluded and observed then overcome and conquered, like a caught cocooned caterpillar turned butterfly, trapped in a pickle jar with one hole poked in the cover for air. No. Here, virginity is not something within ones control. Here, the caterpillar was not yet ready to transform into an adult in her silk cocoon. She still had time left to be naïve of the winds, sheltered in her protective shell. But she was required to shed that cocoon as a defense against her capturer. For fear of being seen as a victim she changed her outer appearance, to prove she could still control something. Yet even after being released, she’s always in some way at the mercy of who ever owned the jar. That is, unless the justice system intervenes.

Humans often do not acknowledge thoughts they are afraid of. I used to be one of these, a suppresser. Often, I would let secrets manifest within the very depths of my soul. I have long since grown from my experiences as a butterfly, a victim. I do not mean to be abrupt in this personal statement, nor do I wish to offend anyone in my acknowledgment of this growth. I can relate to the butterfly above, but I don’t mention it for sympathy. Honestly, the reason I resolved to share is because the trauma I experienced as a “caterpillar” has led me toward my interests and passion for Criminal and Juvenile Law. I have always seen Law School in my future. It seems to be the perfect way for me to delve into Juvenile Justice Policy, speak for children and their rights, affect lives and play a vital role in a system known for seeking and attaining Justice for all who deserve that much. Ultimately, I yearn to make an impact. One that is bigger than me and my trauma. The only way I can truly make such a profound and yet subtle difference would be to understand the law so that I might apply it to accomplish that impact. As a Law student, I know that I can continue my efforts toward making an impact, whether it is in a classroom during a discussion or in the world, during the clinics I look forward to partaking in.

In the mean time, I continue to acquaint myself with the law beyond my undergraduate studies, and make an impact in other forms. (In volunteering….)I volunteer, and I have taken on voluntary internships all while being a fulltime student and maintaining an admirable, well respected GPA. I also worked at a residential facility for abused and traumatized girls, aged twelve to twenty-one. Whether from the Department of Youth Services, Department of Mental Health Services, or Department of Children and Families, all of my Clients had come into contact with the Justice System at some point in their young lives. Reading the files of these Clients only told half their story. It was speaking to and forming close bonds with the girls that revealed a curious tale about the cycle of criminality and self-harming that had engulfed so many of them. I began to question things about the system and how it relates to the unfortunate events these children survived. How could our system have intervened more effectively? Sooner? How has our system helped or hurt this child? How can the law impact these Clients lives as well as the lives of children not yet in this predicament? How can I be a necessary force within the entirety of that impact? I have heard many Clients offer opinions about the answers to these questions as well as others. While doing so, I have found that an impact can be made best, in first listening to those you wish to impact.

At times, I’d wish I knew and understood the extent of the answers. I am always analyzing, considering all aspects of a question or an answer, thinking compulsively. These habits will only mature in a Law School environment, where I can not only learn how to find answers to my inquiries, but learn how to best act on my interests based on those answers.

_____Law School appeals to me because I feel it will guide me into becoming a Lawyer who never ceases to make the most effective choices and efforts in order to achieve the greatest impact on a Client, a life, a decision, a case, the law or whatever it may be. ______ Law School has a reputation for ________, and with my reputation for ________, I feel ______Law School and I will benefit from each other. With my intelligence, drive, passion, resilience capability, and sincerity I know that _____ Law School will value my presence as a student. I need to attend a Law School that is going to prepare me to be a successful, impactful lawyer. I know that _______ Law School is that place.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: PS critique?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue May 31, 2011 1:03 pm

Successful24 wrote:Anyone care to edit my PS??

A friend of mine once told me, “You either know when you lost your virginity or not, there is no not knowing!” I had many things to say in response, but I decided to just listen instead.

Is it possible for a girl to not know when she lost her virginity? If I voiced my opinion, I would have said yes, it is possible. Or else what is there to be said of young girls who lie in bed at night and are awakened by a predator they should call uncle, friend, brother, father, cousin? Should we expect this young girl to refer to her first “experience” as her first time? Violated and invaded against her will, exploited for parts she did not even understand yet, forced to keep quiet or get “in trouble.” Is this a first time? No. Girls who have been entered in the prime of development, with no hips, breasts, period, or sense of self, can’t lose their virginity. In this case, virginity is stolen, not lost. Captured and trapped, secluded and observed then overcome and conquered, like a caught cocooned caterpillar turned butterfly, trapped in a pickle jar with one hole poked in the cover for air. No. Here, virginity is not something within ones control. Here, the caterpillar was not yet ready to transform into an adult in her silk cocoon. She still had time left to be naïve of the winds, sheltered in her protective shell. But she was required to shed that cocoon as a defense against her capturer. For fear of being seen as a victim she changed her outer appearance, to prove she could still control something. Yet even after being released, she’s always in some way at the mercy of who ever owned the jar. That is, unless the justice system intervenes.

Humans often do not acknowledge thoughts they are afraid of. I used to be one of these, a suppresser. Often, I would let secrets manifest within the very depths of my soul. I have long since grown from my experiences as a butterfly, a victim. I do not mean to be abrupt in this personal statement, nor do I wish to offend anyone in my acknowledgment of this growth. I can relate to the butterfly above, but I don’t mention it for sympathy. Honestly, the reason I resolved to share is because the trauma I experienced as a “caterpillar” has led me toward my interests and passion for Criminal and Juvenile Law. I have always seen Law School in my future. It seems to be the perfect way for me to delve into Juvenile Justice Policy, speak for children and their rights, affect lives and play a vital role in a system known for seeking and attaining Justice for all who deserve that much. Ultimately, I yearn to make an impact. One that is bigger than me and my trauma. The only way I can truly make such a profound and yet subtle difference would be to understand the law so that I might apply it to accomplish that impact. As a Law student, I know that I can continue my efforts toward making an impact, whether it is in a classroom during a discussion or in the world, during the clinics I look forward to partaking in.

In the mean time, I continue to acquaint myself with the law beyond my undergraduate studies, and make an impact in other forms. (In volunteering….)I volunteer, and I have taken on voluntary internships all while being a fulltime student and maintaining an admirable, well respected GPA. I also worked at a residential facility for abused and traumatized girls, aged twelve to twenty-one. Whether from the Department of Youth Services, Department of Mental Health Services, or Department of Children and Families, all of my Clients had come into contact with the Justice System at some point in their young lives. Reading the files of these Clients only told half their story. It was speaking to and forming close bonds with the girls that revealed a curious tale about the cycle of criminality and self-harming that had engulfed so many of them. I began to question things about the system and how it relates to the unfortunate events these children survived. How could our system have intervened more effectively? Sooner? How has our system helped or hurt this child? How can the law impact these Clients lives as well as the lives of children not yet in this predicament? How can I be a necessary force within the entirety of that impact? I have heard many Clients offer opinions about the answers to these questions as well as others. While doing so, I have found that an impact can be made best, in first listening to those you wish to impact.

At times, I’d wish I knew and understood the extent of the answers. I am always analyzing, considering all aspects of a question or an answer, thinking compulsively. These habits will only mature in a Law School environment, where I can not only learn how to find answers to my inquiries, but learn how to best act on my interests based on those answers.

_____Law School appeals to me because I feel it will guide me into becoming a Lawyer who never ceases to make the most effective choices and efforts in order to achieve the greatest impact on a Client, a life, a decision, a case, the law or whatever it may be. ______ Law School has a reputation for ________, and with my reputation for ________, I feel ______Law School and I will benefit from each other. With my intelligence, drive, passion, resilience capability, and sincerity I know that _____ Law School will value my presence as a student. I need to attend a Law School that is going to prepare me to be a successful, impactful lawyer. I know that _______ Law School is that place.

This is obviously a very personal thing to share, so I just wanted to acknowledge that it's incredibly brave of you to actually share it.

With that said, I would highly urge you to change some things about it, particularly the first sentence/paragraph (I read it and thought it was a troll at first, and it just comes off as very...IDK, not very serious/professional), and the instances where you 'break the fourth wall' (see bolded for an example). Typically you do not want to address the adcomms directly or talk about writing your PS within your PS. It should be more of a 'X occured, Y was how I dealt with it, and it has influenced my interest in law in Z way.' You don't need to make apologies or explain yourself in your PS, and this applies regardless of the topic you choose.

Moreover, the rhetorical questions you ask/analogy you employ in the PS don't do anything for your point, and though your story is incredibly compelling, I think it would almost be better serviced in a different structure of PS. For example, you could begin by talking about a specific experience you had volunteering and getting to know one of the girls from the DYS, then tie it into your own story, which would lead into your subsequent interest in law. It gives the reader a much more concrete view of where you come from. Right now, it seems too loose/unorganized, and reads more like a philosophical/introspective paper, which is a pity because I can tell the point you want to hit home is quite poignant. IMO, giving the reader something more concrete as a foundation for your experience makes it easier to convey the emotion that you intend to get across.

I hope this helps. Good luck in writing your PS.

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esq
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Re: PS critique?

Postby esq » Tue May 31, 2011 1:14 pm

I thought that it was not only very well written, but it captivated me throughout and clearly explains your motivation to study law. Very well done. Why did you post it on a thread for Diesels PS though?

Successful24
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Re: PS critique?

Postby Successful24 » Tue May 31, 2011 1:14 pm

Wow! Very useful response! I appreciate it, and I will do my best to continue making revisions based on the feed back you've offered! Thanks again!

Successful24
Posts: 31
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Re: PS critique?

Postby Successful24 » Tue May 31, 2011 1:19 pm

esq wrote:I thought that it was not only very well written, but it captivated me throughout and clearly explains your motivation to study law. Very well done. Why did you post it on a thread for Diesels PS though?

LOL, as far as I know I posted it on a "PS Critique" thread, and thank you.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: PS critique?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue May 31, 2011 1:26 pm

Successful24 wrote:Wow! Very useful response! I appreciate it, and I will do my best to continue making revisions based on the feed back you've offered! Thanks again!

NP, I'm glad it was helpful. And FWIW, this is someone's personal PS critique thread, so you might get more responses to your own PS if you either started a thread of your own or posted it here: (The official 'swap PS/edit my PS' thread).

blsingindisguise
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Re: PS critique?

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue May 31, 2011 1:31 pm

I second the posts above for the most part -- difficult and brave thing to write about, and you generally make it work.

I think the essay takes too long to transition into why you want to go to law school though -- the first paragraph (which is already preceded by a quote) is on the long and poetic side, and then the second paragraph seems like a continuation of the first paragraph for a few more lines before it gets into the relationship of all this to your desire to get involved in law. So I'd try to trim that down. Limit the use of the more poetic and more vague devices (though I wouldn't take them out entirely, because you use them effectively). I'd also cut back a bit on informal writing devices such as one-word-sentences ("No." used twice) and sentences that aren't actually complete sentences -- these things are acceptable uses of creative license, but moreso in creative essay writing than in a law school personal statement. Again, I wouldn't completely get rid of these because they set a nice tone for your essay.

A more basic, formal thing -- watch your capitalization. No need to capitalize "clients," "law school," or "justice."

Curry

Re: PS critique?

Postby Curry » Tue May 31, 2011 1:41 pm

Just read your personal statement. As crumpets said, thats a very brave thing of you to share.

That being said, this tells me very little about you. It tells me a little about why you want to go to law and a lot about a traumatizing experience you've had but nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, about who you are. A personal statement isn't just the chance to tell your reader something personal about you (if that were the case, you would be just fine), it a chance for the reader to get to know who you are and where you come from. From this, I learned neither. The first part is a really good story. The second part is a decent reason as to why you go to law school (though it shows that you don't really understand what law is). Overall, it does absolutely nothing in the way of telling me who you are. Sorry.

Also, its really poorly written. I'm not a grammar pro so I'll leave that to the other people here.

Successful24
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 10:10 pm

Re: PS critique?

Postby Successful24 » Tue May 31, 2011 2:17 pm

Curry wrote:Just read your personal statement. As crumpets said, thats a very brave thing of you to share.

That being said, this tells me very little about you. It tells me a little about why you want to go to law and a lot about a traumatizing experience you've had but nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, about who you are. A personal statement isn't just the chance to tell your reader something personal about you (if that were the case, you would be just fine), it a chance for the reader to get to know who you are and where you come from. From this, I learned neither. The first part is a really good story. The second part is a decent reason as to why you go to law school (though it shows that you don't really understand what law is). Overall, it does absolutely nothing in the way of telling me who you are. Sorry.

Also, its really poorly written. I'm not a grammar pro so I'll leave that to the other people here.


No need for apologies! Thank you for your advice! They will not be taken lightly! I will work on it!




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