My very, very first PS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
natcas90
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My very, very first PS

Postby natcas90 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:05 am

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Last edited by natcas90 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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esq
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby esq » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:15 am

natcas90 wrote:Hi folks. Before you read this, I want to note that this is my very first effort at a PS and that I'm not sending in apps until the end of October when my Oct LSAT score comes in. I have four real complaints about this PS:

1. It's too long.
2. It's not attention-grabbing/compelling/dramatic enough. That said, might adcomms tire of melodramatic PSes?
3. The point might not be entirely clear.
4. The subject itself might be dull. Should I completely start over with a new story?


And why do you expect anyone to read this? Get your shit together, and then repost it when you are at the point that you need help. At this point, it looks like you know what you need to fix, so do that first.

natcas90
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby natcas90 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:19 am

esq wrote:
natcas90 wrote:Hi folks. Before you read this, I want to note that this is my very first effort at a PS and that I'm not sending in apps until the end of October when my Oct LSAT score comes in. I have four real complaints about this PS:

1. It's too long.
2. It's not attention-grabbing/compelling/dramatic enough. That said, might adcomms tire of melodramatic PSes?
3. The point might not be entirely clear.
4. The subject itself might be dull. Should I completely start over with a new story?


And why do you expect anyone to read this? Get your shit together, and then repost it when you are at the point that you need help. At this point, it looks like you know what you need to fix, so do that first.


The thing is I know it's too long but need input as to what should be cut. And as far as the other three points, I need others' opinions on whether they are true or not. I am sometimes overly self-critical (who among us isn't?).

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby FantasticMrFox » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:22 am

esq wrote:
natcas90 wrote:Hi folks. Before you read this, I want to note that this is my very first effort at a PS and that I'm not sending in apps until the end of October when my Oct LSAT score comes in. I have four real complaints about this PS:

1. It's too long.
2. It's not attention-grabbing/compelling/dramatic enough. That said, might adcomms tire of melodramatic PSes?
3. The point might not be entirely clear.
4. The subject itself might be dull. Should I completely start over with a new story?


And why do you expect anyone to read this?

Because he was childhood friends with zac efron!!
in all seriousness, OP, I think perhaps you should try to go about with a different subject of this obviously important event or a different event all together. Maybe it's my bedtime? but I didn't find it very engaging or fun to read; I was actually bored :(

And no, you are not overly-critical; all your four points are valid.
1. It's too long
2. That hook is definitely not a hook
3. I didn't really get the point (but I didn't read carefully)
4. As I've said, I was bored :x

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby fundamentallybroken » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:26 am

You write well, but this whole story makes you come off as a total douche. "I was somewhat famous, as was my family, but I was totally jaded by twelve." "I don't think you understand who you're talking to, Ms. Nameless City Official, please let me explain your rules to you... why yes, I was in a Mervyn's commercial!"

Choose a different story, then avoid dropping any information about how very impressed you can be with yourself.

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memphisbelle
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby memphisbelle » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:33 am

Yes, most assuredly drop the child actor thing if you want to talk about working on the campaign. I think you could have a decent shot with either subject, but not both. Also, the Spanish is a little forced. It kind of screamed 'look at me, I'm diverse'. Keep trying OP, it's a good thing you have an early start. :)

natcas90
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby natcas90 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:40 am

fundamentallybroken wrote:You write well, but this whole story makes you come off as a total douche. "I was somewhat famous, as was my family, but I was totally jaded by twelve." "I don't think you understand who you're talking to, Ms. Nameless City Official, please let me explain your rules to you... why yes, I was in a Mervyn's commercial!"

Choose a different story, then avoid dropping any information about how very impressed you can be with yourself.


memphisbelle wrote:Yes, most assuredly drop the child actor thing if you want to talk about working on the campaign. I think you could have a decent shot with either subject, but not both. Also, the Spanish is a little forced. It kind of screamed 'look at me, I'm diverse'. Keep trying OP, it's a good thing you have an early start.


Thank you guys for your candid input. You are right; I come off as douchey here (and this is why I hate writing in the first person...hate it). More work ahead...

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Montevillian
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby Montevillian » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:51 am

Woah, that does come off as super douchey. I read everyone's comments first, and I absolutely agree. I liked the story about the parking lot, but drop the child actor stuff and the things about your family. Drop the Spanish for sure. I would recommend you drop the conversation with the city official, or at least the part about "you should be a lawyer"- basically everyone has heard that at some point or another, and paying so much attention to one person saying it to you makes you come off as naive. If you're going to brag about yourself, you have to do it more subtly, or at least a whole lot less. This personal statement just made you seem about as full of yourself as a person can be.
I mean that in the nicest way, of course. I offer you that advice because I'm sure you're not full of yourself, otherwise you wouldn't ask us to look at so rough a draft. Good luck!

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boalthopeful
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby boalthopeful » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:06 pm

Start on the parking lot, which is attention grabbing, relevant, and impactful. Cut the crap about how famous or connected you are. Zoom out of the parking lot to connectthe persuading camera to persuading courtroom.

CanadianWolf
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:42 pm

"Lyndon Johnson once called politics 'showbiz for ugly people'" is one of the most memorable lines that I have ever read.

Sorry, but I didn't read the rest of your essay. Just wanted to thank you for sharing that line.

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memphisbelle
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby memphisbelle » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:58 pm

Respectfully disagree with keeping the persuading the camera to pursuading the courtroom analogy. I think it sounds superficial. With the wording used, it also makes the OP seem like he thinks he can be Jack McCoy. Just my two cents.

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TheTopBloke
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby TheTopBloke » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:59 pm

Plenty of ass kissing and name dropping. Perfect! You'll do just fine. I wouldn't change a thing.

CaliforniaGurl
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby CaliforniaGurl » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:12 pm

I hate to say this op, but by the end of this essay, I was thinking to myself, "is this a real story?" For some reason, I didn't buy it. :|

weejonbu
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby weejonbu » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:37 pm

CaliforniaGurl wrote:I hate to say this op, but by the end of this essay, I was thinking to myself, "is this a real story?" For some reason, I didn't buy it. :|


I think this was too weird to make up. . .

p.s. He was a model in a Mervyn's commercial? Do those even exist anymore? Made me think of Food Lion and other companies that died in the 90s...

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby FantasticMrFox » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:35 pm

TheTopBloke wrote:Plenty of ass kissing and name dropping. Perfect! You'll do just fine. I wouldn't change a thing.

and hate to be so rudely blunt but your attempt to tie all these together is rather conceited

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DocHawkeye
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby DocHawkeye » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:40 am

Speaking as an Iowan, I found this statement more than a little offensive. It somehow makes the entire population of the state sound folksy and somewhat stupid. We don't like being made sound folksy and stupid. It also makes you sound like an arrogant ass.

Oh, and "greasing palms"? Bribes? Really? If that's what you mean, fine, but if not, be sure to understand the meaning of your idioms.

And I would advise against beginning your statement with a quote. Doing so is a horrible cliché. I almost didn't bother to read past it. I'm pretty sure many adcoms won't either.

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Bobeo
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby Bobeo » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:25 am

While most of the criticism here is justified, I found your PS compelling. The amount of responsibility you took on for a national campaign seems like it would speak very well to your work ethic and maturity.

As an aside I am totally jealous that you had the chance to work so closely with a national campaign.

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seancris
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby seancris » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:51 am

1. It's too long.


Yup. I would get rid of absolutely everything having to do with acting/hollywood/commercials/etc. right off the bat.

2. It's not attention-grabbing/compelling/dramatic enough. That said, might adcomms tire of melodramatic PSes?


I would say it's too dramatic. Example would be the following paragraph which is entirely over-done IMO. Everything bolded is so over-the-top it makes me cringe:

Driving home to Chicago, I was still stunned at the apparent serendipity of a half-remembered commercial from my bygone days as a B- or C-list child actor in Los Angeles finding its way to relevance in my new life. I then realized that I had spent the bulk of the previous night either memorizing regulations or planning persuasive arguments. Upon arriving home, I rushed into our apartment, reveling in self-discovery and shouting to hoarseness, “Mamá, Mamá, I’ve figured it out: I want to be a lawyer!” "Hijole," she sighed. "To think I taught you to persuade a camera and now you want to persuade an entire courtroom!"


3. The point might not be entirely clear.


Is the point that you're type-A and believe that you would make a good lawyer?

4. The subject itself might be dull. Should I completely start over with a new story?


Your call. Hard to say if you should pick a new story. If you stay with this story I would eliminate everything having to do with "show-biz" or being a child actor.

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Flips88
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby Flips88 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:20 am

Stopped reading after you name dropped "my Oscar award winning sound editor father." No one cares.

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swc65
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby swc65 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:33 am

You need to sit down and ask yourself, "What was the point of writing this?" " What was I trying to communicate to an adcom."

Build your story around whatever the answer is to those two questions. Currently, your PS does not communicate anything other than you love of showing off. Even your punctuation comes across as showy. Simplify, get to the point, and be concise.

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Gemini
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby Gemini » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:16 am

Flips88 wrote:Stopped reading after you name dropped "my Oscar award winning sound editor father." No one cares.


I kinda skimmed it after this sentence.

1) you sound like a douche
2) no one cares about who you know and who your father is, and that you were friends with Zac Efron
3) What the hell do your connections/who you know have to do with law?
4) This sounds more like a screen play narrator than a personal statement

5) I think it'd be wiser to leave out WHICH party you were campaigning for. You never know who is going to read your PS.

natcas90
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby natcas90 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:47 am

Surprised people are still commenting on this. I've scrapped this version entirely and while I have a considerably less douchey, more substantive re-edit, am considering starting from scratch anyway. I'm embarrassed to have given you all this impression of myself. Back to the drawing board. :oops:

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Patriot1208
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:50 pm

f7 wrote:This is a masterpiece.

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swc65
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby swc65 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:55 pm

natcas90 wrote:Surprised people are still commenting on this. I've scrapped this version entirely and while I have a considerably less douchey, more substantive re-edit, am considering starting from scratch anyway. I'm embarrassed to have given you all this impression of myself. Back to the drawing board. :oops:



Don't be embarrassed (I would say this is a no-judgment zone, but that would be a total lie)! I would guess a lot of people completely miss the mark on their first try, I know I did. It is weird to try to communicate to a stranger who you are and what you're about in a short essay. "I am more than those three pages!!!"

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sneijder
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Re: My very, very first PS

Postby sneijder » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:44 am

FantasticMrFox wrote:
esq wrote:
natcas90 wrote:Hi folks. Before you read this, I want to note that this is my very first effort at a PS and that I'm not sending in apps until the end of October when my Oct LSAT score comes in. I have four real complaints about this PS:

1. It's too long.
2. It's not attention-grabbing/compelling/dramatic enough. That said, might adcomms tire of melodramatic PSes?
3. The point might not be entirely clear.
4. The subject itself might be dull. Should I completely start over with a new story?


And why do you expect anyone to read this?

Because he was childhood friends with zac efron!!
in all seriousness, OP, I think perhaps you should try to go about with a different subject of this obviously important event or a different event all together. Maybe it's my bedtime? but I didn't find it very engaging or fun to read; I was actually bored :(

And no, you are not overly-critical; all your four points are valid.
1. It's too long
2. That hook is definitely not a hook
3. I didn't really get the point (but I didn't read carefully)
4. As I've said, I was bored :x


The parking lot story might be a keeper but everything else was very off-putting. I think the adcomms might find parts of your story hard to believe to say the least. Stay with it man. Your writing is strong but you've got to find another hook.




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