thanks all

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
LAWLADI2011
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:09 am

thanks all

Postby LAWLADI2011 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:40 pm

:D
Last edited by LAWLADI2011 on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paraflam
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby Paraflam » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:45 pm

LAWLADI2011 wrote:As a shy, awkward 19 year old from a conservative Southern Baptist home, I took the risk of being rejected by my family, by commencing on a path of self-acceptance and discovery. For as long as I could remember, a suffocating silence enveloped me like a shroud while I wrestled inwardly with a secret that directly contradicted the religious ideology I was raised to believe would protect me.

Growing up, my parents warned that they were not willing to go to hell by accepting sin regardless of the person committing the "sin" but somehow I convinced myself that this statement did not apply to me. A few months before I turned 19, I uttered those four words that I had been holding inside my whole life. "I am a lesbian." I did not expect approving words from my parents, congratulations for displaying the courage to be authentic, or even a feint attempt to be proud of me for being true to myself. I was even prepared for the two "religious" alternatives I expected they would offer: celibacy or the ex-gay movement. Even though I knew they would disapprove of my lifestyle, I listened in shock as my parents told me that if I chose to embrace this lifestyle I would no longer be welcome in the home or their lives.

I had no other close relatives or friends in the lgbtqi community to turn to for support but for me the idea that I could continue living my life rejecting my sexuality was no more an option for me than denying my African American heritage. My parents remained true to their faith and disowned me. It has been 11 years since I have seen either of them and all but one of my seven siblings.

The loss of my family could have left me feeling abandoned, angry, and depressed. Instead, I made a decision to use my adversity as strength to reach out in the community; with the realization that there are others facing situations similar to mine. My situation, albeit sad, is not unique everyone has an inherent desire to know that they matter to someone and a desire to belong to a group and my experience allowed me to empathize and connect with people from all walks of life. For me, this began with forgiving my family and focusing on strengthening my spirituality and rebuilding a “new family” by embracing a rich and diverse community. Five years later, I was facilitating a group at a local University with students and community leaders from different backgrounds, cultures and religions on ways to reconcile spirituality and sexuality in their communities.

11 years later, I am excited to embark on another journey that is law school. I am as confident of my decision to peruse the law as I was 19 years age in coming out and I have no doubts that the same determination, fortitude, empathy, and desire to succeed that I have displayed in my life will distinguish me in the classroom and the community as an excellent leader, outstanding student, and active member of the ____community.


Very, very, very well-written. Made my jaw drop open. Flows perfectly and keeps the reader's attention throughout. Wouldn't change a thing. Well done.

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Magnolia
Posts: 548
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:06 pm

Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby Magnolia » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:31 pm

LAWLADI2011 wrote:As a shy, awkward 19 year old from a conservative Southern Baptist home, I took the risk of being rejected by my family, by commencing on a path of self-acceptance and discovery. For as long as I could remember, a suffocating silence enveloped me like a shroud while I wrestled inwardly with a secret that directly contradicted the religious ideology I was raised to believe would protect me.

Growing up, my parents warned that they were not willing to go to hell by accepting sin, regardless of the person committing the "sin", but somehow I convinced myself that this statement did not apply to me. A few months before I turned 19, I uttered those four words that I had been holding inside my whole life. "I am a lesbian." I did not expect approving words from my parents, congratulations for displaying the courage to be authentic, or even a feint attempt to be proud of me for being true to myself. I was even prepared for the two "religious" alternatives I expected they would offer: celibacy or the ex-gay movement. Even though I knew they would disapprove of my lifestyle, I listened in shock as my parents told me that if I chose to embrace this lifestyle I would no longer be welcome in the home or their lives.

I had no other close relatives or friends in the lgbtqi community to turn to for support but for me the idea that I could continue living my life rejecting my sexuality was no more an option for me than denying my African American heritage. My parents remained true to their faith and disowned me. It has been 11 years since I have seen either of them and all but one of my seven siblings.

The loss of my family could have left me feeling abandoned, angry, and depressed. Instead, I made a decision to use my adversity as strength to reach out in the community, with the realization that there are others facing situations similar to mine. My situation, albeit sad, is not unique. Everyone has an inherent desire to know that they matter to someone and a desire to belong to a group. and My experience allowed me to empathize and connect with people from all walks of life. For me, this began with forgiving my family, and focusing on strengthening my spirituality, and rebuilding a “new family” by embracing a rich and diverse community. Five years later, I was facilitating a group at a local University with students and community leaders from different backgrounds, cultures and religions on ways to reconcile spirituality and sexuality in their communities.

11 years later, I am excited to embark on another journey that is law school. I am as confident of my decision to persue the law as I was 19 years ago in coming out and I have no doubts that the same determination, fortitude, empathy, and desire to succeed that I have displayed in my life will distinguish me in the classroom and the community as an excellent leader, outstanding student, and active member of the ____community.


I'm not a big fan of the last paragraph. It doesn't feel as genuine as the rest of the PS, and it feels like it's there because you think it needs to be. I wasn't wondering why you wanted to be a lawyer before I got to that paragraph, but I am now, and that unanswered question takes away from the rest of the essay. If you're going to bring up being a lawyer, I think you need to address why you want to be a lawyer. Otherwise, there's no need to mention it.

I think you could expand the second to last paragraph a bit more. You spent 3 paragraphs discussing your life at 19, and then 1 paragraph discussing the last 11 years, which makes that section feel a little rushed. It also seems like some of the ideas aren't fully connected (ie. how does connecting to people from all walks of life begin with forgiving your family?)

Overall, I really like it. It speaks to your bravery and resilience and reflects very well on you.

Punctuation and spelling edits are in red.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:34 pm

I would like a little more on what you did when your parents kicked you out. I sort of lost the emotional thread of the essay because I was stuck wondering "where'd she stay? What'd she do for money?" Relieve my curiosity on that and I think it's quite good.

The last paragraph is a tad 'In Conclusion, Admit Me To Ur Law School Plzkthx', but not terrible. Maybe a bit more linking your past work with other GLBTQ kids to your future career goals as a lawyer.

And 'lgbtqi' isn't a word, it's an acronym. Capitalize!

ITEDreamer
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby ITEDreamer » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:41 pm

MONEY! You are the Good Samaritan (I'm in cognito, shh)! I made some simple grammar changes. But all in all this is chicken dinner. I hope to know where you will be 10 years from now. Good luck to you.

LAWLADI2011 wrote:As a shy, awkward 19 year old from a conservative Southern Baptist home, I took the risk of being rejected by my family, by commencing on a path of self-acceptance and discovery. For as long as I could remember, a suffocating silence enveloped me like a shroud while I wrestled inwardly with a secret that directly contradicted the religious ideology I was raised to believe would protect me.

Growing up, my parents warned that they were not willing to go to hell by accepting sin regardless of the person committing the "sin" but somehow I convinced myself that this statement did not apply to me. A few months before I turned 19, I uttered those four words that I had been holding inside my whole life. "I am a lesbian." I did not expect approving words from my parents, congratulations for displaying the courage to be authentic, or even a feint attempt to be proud of me for being true to myself. I was even prepared for the two "religious" alternatives I expected they would offer: celibacy or the ex-gay movement. Even though I knew they would disapprove of my lifestyle, I listened in shock as my parents told me that if I chose to embrace this lifestyle I would no longer be welcome in the home or their lives.

I had no other close relatives or friends in the lgbtqi LGBTQI community to turn to for support, but for me the idea that I could continue living my life rejecting my sexuality was no more an option for me than denying my African American heritage. My parents remained true to their faith and disowned me. It has been 11 years since I have seen neither of them and nor all but one of my seven siblings in over a decade.

The loss of my family could have left me feeling abandoned, angry, and depressed. Instead, I made a decision to use my adversity as strength, motivating me to reach out in the community;[comma here I think, not positive] with the realization that there are others facing situations similar to mine. My situation alienation, albeit sad, is not unique. Everyone has an inherent desire to know that they matter to someone and a desire to belong to a group. and m My experience allowed taught me to empathize and connect with people from all walks of life. For me, this began with forgiving my family, and focusing on strengthening my spirituality in a way that celebrated my being and my values, and rebuilding a “new family” by embracing a rich and diverse community. I wait patiently and with open arms for my given family to come around and join the extended life-affirming family I have built.

[Move this sentence to next paragraph] Five years later, I was found myself facilitating a group at a local University with students and community leaders from different backgrounds, cultures and religions on ways to reconcile spirituality and sexuality in their communities. My choices have cost me much but enriched me more. Eleven 11 years later, I am excited to embark on another journey that is law school. I am just as confident of with my decision to peruse (pursue or peruse? Peruse means to read something casually or quickly I think) the law as I was at 19 years age in coming out. and I have no doubts that will leverage the same determination, fortitude, empathy, and desire to succeed that I have displayed in my life will to distinguish me lead, serve, and excel in the classroom and the law school community.as an excellent leader, outstanding student, and active member of the ____community.[This is great, I just dont think you should put the LS name in the last sentence. It makes it seem contrived and gratuitous.]


eta: This is a diversity statement not a PS, correct? If you need help with the PS, feel free to PM me.
Last edited by ITEDreamer on Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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esq
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby esq » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:55 pm

I think that you need a little more substance to show how you were able to succeed after you left your home. I think that you also need to show us a little bit about you - how you think, what makes you tick, etc. For example, how did your history and eventual success affect your outlook on life? How did this outlook motivate you? Were there any ways that you were able to contribute, if any, because of this outlook? And how has all of this prepared you for the study of law? Any legal interests that you developed because of this?

Your personal situation can give you a great admissions boost, but not if it is ridiculously obvious that you are playing it, and as of now your statement reads as "I'm a gay, AA, female, let me in."

LSATclincher
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby LSATclincher » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:26 pm

In the "I am a lesbian" quote, I think it's more powerful to use the contraction "I'm." I think I would place this scene at the very beginning of the essay. It will catch the adcomms eye right away, and let them know from the onset that you're a "diverse" candidate. It's also a more powerful way to open the essay.

I'm a proponent of writing about lgbt stuff because it's trendy in law schools. You can really use that to your advantage. I also like the break from your traditional religious family. The liberal culture at law schools will love this. I assume you're only applying to liberal schools.

Other than that one format change (and I feel really strongly about that), the essay is a success. I didn't check for grammar though.
Last edited by LSATclincher on Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paraflam
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby Paraflam » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:52 pm

LSATclincher wrote:The first thing I noticed was that "I am a lesbian" is five words.


Huh?

LSATclincher
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby LSATclincher » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:56 pm

Paraflam wrote:
LSATclincher wrote:The first thing I noticed was that "I am a lesbian" is five words.


Huh?


Yea ignore that. I thought it said "syllables."

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Paraflam
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby Paraflam » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:01 pm

LSATclincher wrote:
Paraflam wrote:
LSATclincher wrote:The first thing I noticed was that "I am a lesbian" is five words.


Huh?


Yea ignore that. I thought it said "syllables."


Lol. "I am a lesbian" is six syllables :?

Anyway, OP, I agree that this could use a little more detail about your life after you left home. You definitely have the room, space-wise, to expand on this.

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Magnolia
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby Magnolia » Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:53 pm

Paraflam wrote:Lol. "I am a lesbian" is six syllables :?

LOL. I guess math really isn't a strength for most law school applicants.

Peg
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby Peg » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:00 pm

esq wrote:I think that you need a little more substance to show how you were able to succeed after you left your home. I think that you also need to show us a little bit about you - how you think, what makes you tick, etc. For example, how did your history and eventual success affect your outlook on life? How did this outlook motivate you? Were there any ways that you were able to contribute, if any, because of this outlook? And how has all of this prepared you for the study of law? Any legal interests that you developed because of this?

Your personal situation can give you a great admissions boost, but not if it is ridiculously obvious that you are playing it, and as of now your statement reads as "I'm a gay, AA, female, let me in."


+1

You have the meat of a good story, you just need to approach it from a different angle (i.e. a more self-aware and thoughtful look into who you are, how your experiences have made you, how you succeeded), and change your writing style. I don't have time do a line-by-line critique, which is what I usually do, but these are the problems you need to address:
- You use passive voice occasionally and it comes off clumsily; you'd do better to change it to active voice.
- Your language is too heavy on the description and the melodrama (the bit where you lead up to "I am a lesbian" is needlessly dramatic), and it makes the text sound contrived, pretentious and insincere. If I were reading this I would definitely get the feeling that I was being milked for sympathy. Which brings me to the next point...
- You sound too much like a victim. Even if you are a victim, be careful not to sound like one.
- You have a typo: "lgbtqi" should be "LGBT"

Good luck!

LAWLADI2011
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:09 am

Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby LAWLADI2011 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:20 pm

Thanks everyone for your feedback. It is greatly appreciated. :D
I did have a couple of comments/clarifications on the feedback I received.
(1) I have been reading alot of the PS statment on this forum and one of the areas I tried to stay away from is quoting what is on my resume. I have done alot in the past 11 years but I put all that info on my resume so talking about it in the PS statement seems like a negative.
(2) I don't mean to come off like a victim and in fact by stating: My alienation, albeit sad, is not unique, I was hoping to make it clear that I am not a victim.
(3) Also I tried to make the writing concise and not introduce a variety of different topics because I was advised on this site that it made the statement seem convoluted and unfocused. I deleted it and this is what was left.

However I am revising the PS and will repost when finished. Thanks again!!

LAWLADI2011
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:09 am

Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby LAWLADI2011 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:48 pm

As a shy, awkward 19 year old from a conservative Southern Baptist home, I took the risk of being rejected by my family, by commencing on a path of self-acceptance and discovery. For as long as I could remember, a suffocating silence enveloped me like a shroud while I wrestled inwardly with a secret that directly contradicted the religious ideology I was raised to believe would protect me.

Growing up, my parents warned that they were not willing to go to hell by accepting sin regardless of the person committing the "sin" but somehow I convinced myself that this statement did not apply to me. A few months before I turned 19, I uttered those four words that I had been holding inside my whole life. "I am a lesbian." I did not expect approving words from my parents, congratulations for displaying the courage to be authentic, or even a feint attempt to be proud of me for being true to myself. I was even prepared for the two "religious" alternatives I expected they would offer: celibacy or the ex-gay movement. Even though I knew they would disapprove of my lifestyle, I listened in shock as my parents told me that if I chose to embrace this lifestyle I would no longer be welcome in the home or their lives.

I had no other relatives or friends in the LGBTQI community to turn to for support, but the idea that I could continue living my life rejecting my sexuality was no more an option for me than denying my African American heritage. My parents remained true to their faith and disowned me. I was fortunate to be working full-time so I packed up all my belonging and moved into my own place that week. I have seen neither of them nor all but one of my seven siblings in over a decade.

The loss of my family could have left me feeling abandoned, angry, and depressed. Instead, I made a decision to use my adversity as strength, motivating me to reach out in the community; with the realization that there are others facing situations similar to mine. My alienation, albeit sad, is not unique. Everyone has an inherent desire to know that they matter to someone and a desire to belong to a group. My experience taught me to empathize and connect with people from all walks of life. For me, this began with forgiving my family, focusing on strengthening my spirituality in a way that celebrated my being and my values, and building a “new family” by embracing a rich and diverse community. I wait patiently and with open arms for my given family to come around and join the extended life-affirming family I have built.

My choices have cost me much but enriched me more. Five years later, I found myself facilitating a group at a local University with students and community leaders from different backgrounds, cultures and religions on ways to reconcile spirituality and sexuality in their communities. I became a youth and teen leader in my church and in addition, started and chaired the social justice activism committee. In fact, the work that I did as a social justice committee chair and member is largely responsible for my interest and pursuit of a law degree. After being active and advocating on behalf of LGBTQI for several years in the community, it became apparent that many individuals in the LGBTQI community as well as the minority and low income communities have a pressing need for affordable legal assistance. The distrust of the legal system is fostered by the community mainly because they are not aware of their rights and by attending law school I hope to eliminate that distrust and friction that many in the community have in the legal system.

Eleven years later, I am excited to embark on another journey that is law school. I am just as confident with my decision to study the law as I was at 19 years age in coming out. I will leverage the same determination, fortitude, empathy, and desire to succeed that I have displayed in my life to lead, serve, and excel in the classroom and the law school community.

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sambeber
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Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby sambeber » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:03 pm

You mean to use faint, not feint in paragraph #1. Feint is a fake (like in basketball).

End of paragraph #3, the last sentance is awkward. Maybe, "I have seen neither them nor six of my seven siblings..."

P4, 2nd sentance, you want a comma, not a semi-colon.

2nd to last paragraph, don't capitalize university.

"is largely responsible for my interest in pursuing a law degree."

Being active and advocating don't agree, in terms of syntax. Rework that. Something like "after active advocacy on behalf"

"they are not aware of their rights, and by"

Either "distrust that many have" or "friction that many encounter". They need to agree.

"excited to embark on my next journey, which is law school."

19 years ago, not age.

Sorry the indicators re: place trailed off... edits are in order.

LAWLADI2011
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:09 am

Re: Revision..Feedback please.

Postby LAWLADI2011 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:56 pm

Thanks! I made the changes you suggested.




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