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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
stuckinparadise
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 1:45 pm

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Postby stuckinparadise » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:09 pm

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Last edited by stuckinparadise on Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:17 pm

Not good. Basically, you have 3 paragraphs of material that you have stretched into 6 paragraphs. This is poorly written & difficult to accept as the work product of a rising second year law student. Try to stay on topic & write in crisp,clear sentences. Good luck !

P.S. Actually you have only one or two paragraphs of relevant material. This essay needs to be rewritten, in my opinion. Too many extraneous facts & observations that are not directly related to why you want to transfer to FSU.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:24 pm

Curious as to your approximate class rank at your present law school. Are you willing to share that info. ? Thanks !

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Lawquacious
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Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:28 pm

I almost always wince seeing drafts posted on here because of how harsh the TLS criticism tends to be. But I'm sure in some cases it is helpful, and at the very least it takes guts to post it, even if it is still in an anonymous or semi-anonymous setting.

I actually think the PS is fairly solid, but I would maybe cut down on some of the flowery language, such as 'budding' and 'able to embrace' (just my opinion). You could maybe consolidate it a bit, but I don't agree that you've written two or more times as much as you should have given the information you are providing. I at least didn't get the impression that you are simply repeating yourself. Good luck.

stuckinparadise
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 1:45 pm

Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby stuckinparadise » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:30 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Not good. Basically, you have 3 paragraphs of material that you have stretched into 6 paragraphs. This is poorly written & difficult to accept as the work product of a rising second year law student. Try to stay on topic & write in crisp,clear sentences. Good luck !

P.S. Actually you have only one or two paragraphs of relevant material. This essay needs to be rewritten, in my opinion. Too many extraneous facts & observations that are not directly related to why you want to transfer to FSU.


I hear ya... I suck at writing personal statements. I have the grades to get in at FSU law... all I'm trying to convey is that 1). I want to study international environmental law 2). FSU has excellent professors in this field 3). I want to lower my debt, 4) be closer to family and friends, and 5) move back to my home in Tallahassee.

I feel those are all relevant factors as to "why" I want to transfer to FSU Law. Which paragraphs do you think fail to flesh these points out?
Last edited by stuckinparadise on Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:50 pm

This is a very quickly edited version of your essay. Hopefully it will help you to refine your work.

I would like to transfer to Florida State University School of Law to study international environmental law, to enjoy in-state resident tuition & to be closer to friends & family.
My interest in FSU's law school was further heightened as I became familiar with the work of two FSU law professors--Donna Christie & Robin Craig--through my research involving international environmental law of the sea.
Additionally, as a Florida resident, I would like to reduce my cost of completing law school by paying resident tuition rates while returning to my home area.
FSU School of Law is my first choice and I will attend if accepted as a transfer student.
Thank you for considering my application as a transfer student from Stetson University College of Law. If I can be of any further assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact my at.....



Hope this helps. I do realize that my version contains redundancies, but I've been celebrating quite a bit today.

P.S. What was/is the prompt for this essay ? Is there any space limitation or requirement ?

stuckinparadise
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 1:45 pm

Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby stuckinparadise » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:06 pm

Wolf... the prompt is "Why do you want to transfer to FSU Law." The guidelines also recommend 3 pages, but a 2-pager is sufficient.

I think I conveyed your suggestions in my PS... but, also included a paragraph on "how" my interests in international environmental law developed.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:16 pm

Well, if you need 3 pages, then my version is much too short. Your original version, nevertheless, is not likely to help your application since you include extraneous material & use awkward phrases.
As a rough draft, your version is a good road map, but your writing style needs refinement & more precise focus on the topic.

For example, "gained" is an odd word choice used in"...when I gained a research position with...". Consider: "obtained" or "secured".

Delete: "...to further develop myself as a student of..." in the first paragraph. Consider: "I want to transfer to FSU School of Law to study...".

Second paragraph: Consider: "My interest in International Law Jurisprudence developed...".

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curiouscat
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Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby curiouscat » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:10 am

Stuckinparadise, this draft is looking better. I agree with CdnWolf - need to work on making your writing a bit clearer & more concise and sharpening your focus. Some comments (and a few quibbles over punctuation, couldn't resist :)):

I developed an interest in international law jurisprudence through my undergraduate studies in political science, and growing up with the life-stories of my father; a father, a Cuban immigrant who left his country as a political refugee.

Not sure if this sentence is relevant. If you were to build on either your poli sci background or your father's story throughout the PS, this sentence would make sense but, as it stands, it's more of a distraction. Cut unless you can build it into your PS.

At X Law School, I advanced this interest as an international environmental law student during my first year when I gained a research position with Professor X. Through my research, I documented piracy off the coast of Somali.
Analyzed, researched...? "Documented" is a little misleading, unless you were the one directly gathering evidence.

I learned that the genesis of Somali piracy has a nexus to its inhabitant’s inhabitants' efforts to deter foreigners from overfishing and polluting the Somali coastline
This is a confusing sentence. The "genesis has a nexus to" is awkwardly phrased (go for something more direct like "the roots of Somali piracy are connected to..."). It also makes your position unnecessarily vague - it's not clear whether you believe that "the inhabitants' efforts [...]" is the primary direct cause, or has some connection to the piracy, or what. The position per se isn't critical for your PS, but your ability to state it clearly is key, since it's so central to the work you've done up to now. That's especially true since your claim (as I understood it) is a somewhat controversial one (or, at the very least, might be interpreted as a simplification) so this line needs to be presented convincingly.

and that international law often fails to properly address these important environmental issues.
This should be in a sentence of its own.

Many of these practices, such as sailing under “flags of convenience,” which is the act of registering a vessel with a State state that does not abide by international environmental laws in order to flout them, create major transboundary problems regarding Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU), air pollution, and pollution of the oceans.
Long, confusing sentence. The "flags of convenience" detour makes it hard to follow, and it's clear why it's relevant to bring it up here. If you're trying use this to build up your argument about Somali piracy, make that connection clear; otherwise, it makes it look like you're throwing around environmental law concepts just to show that you've learned them (and it's a pretty basic, well-known concept at that, so it's not like defining it would score you too many points).

I feel that I can be this type of lawyer, that I would enjoy the work it involves, and that the Florida State University College of Law can best help me to achieve this goal because of its distinguished professors that are experts in international environmental law.
Another long sentence, you can break it up into two (at the point where mention FSU) or cut out part of it (e.g. the bit about enjoying the work).

In studying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, (UNCLOS),
extra comma - "the Sea (UNCLOS),"

These insights, provided by Professor Christie and Craig’s work, had a great impact on the role that I began to see for lawyers that could change the underwhelming policy that some international environmental regulations entail.
awkward, confusing phrasing

One of the most appealing things to me about the schools location is its close proximity to those who mean the most to me; like my sister and my parents who are relocating to Tampa.
"mean the most to me, like my sister and my parents, who are relocating to Tampa."

There is also the added benefit to attending FSU because I lived in the capitol district
capital (unless this is one of those weird American things)
for six years ins , making friends that work in the legal field who will recommend me to Florida employers.
I don't know if I'd get so explicit about cronyism in my PS... :)

Hope this helps, best of luck!

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curiouscat
Posts: 315
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Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby curiouscat » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:05 am

oops... didn't realize that was the old version. i guess that's what happens when I try to edit at that hour. :oops:
looking forward to seeing the new version. hope it still helped a bit. :)

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:44 pm

stuckinparadise wrote:I am pursuing a transfer to the Florida State University College of Law to further develop myself as a student of international environmental law, lower my debt burden, and be closer to my family and friends.

I developed an interest in international law jurisprudence through my as a politcal science undergraduate studies in political science, and growing up with hearing the rich life stories of my Cuban father; a Cuban immigrant who left his country of origin as a political refugee. However, like many of my peers, I began my law school studies with only a basic understanding of international law and no idea which area of law I would focus. At X Law School, I studied and gleened a deeper passion advanced this interest as an for international environmental law student during my first year when I gained was awarded a research position with Professor X. My work with Professor X has sharpened my career focus and heightened my desire to learn all that I can about international environmental law and policy. As a thought leader in the area of international environmental law, Florida State College of Law offers me the perfect place to further prepare for a career protecting our oceans and environment.

Through my research, I documented piracy off the coast of Somali. I learned that the genesis of Somali piracy has a nexus to its inhabitant’s efforts to deter foreigners from overfishing and polluting the Somali coastline and that international law often fails to properly address these important environmental issues.

As I gained a deeper understanding of international environmental law, I became frustrated with some of its the maritime practices that were negatively impacting the seas and waterways. Many of these practices, such as registering and sailing under “flags of convenience” which is the act of registering a vessel to be governed by with a State that does not abide by international environmental laws in order to flout them, create major transboundary problems regarding flout laws regulating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU), air pollution, and pollution of the oceans. These issues can be effectively addressed, but the lawyers who address them will need to utilize the resources available to them and understand the nuances involved in arguing for sound policies. I feel that I can be this type of lawyer, that I would enjoy the work it involves, and that the Florida State University College of Law can best help me to achieve this goal because of offers me the best preparation for this career with its distinguished professors that are experts in international environmental law.

In While studying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, (UNCLOS), I was able to embrace the work product of was impressed by Professor Donna Christie's scholarship. I read her contributions on the U.S. Commission of Ocean Policy, and her article on the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Act of Belize which illuminated some of the more important aspects of how outdated legislation adversely affects progress in coastal zone management programs. I also became familiar with Professor Robin Craig’s work on coastal water pollution and her explanations on how constitutional jurisprudence is often too cumbersome to solve environmental issues. These insights, provided by Professor Christie and Craig’s work,had a great impact on the role that I began to see for lawyers that could encouraged me to apply my career to changing the underwhelming ineffective policies that some international environmental regulations entail. I believe studying under and supporting these FSU professors because FSU has professors such as these in their international and environmental departments, I will be able to find the direction and understanding I will need to tackle these important issues. need from mentors who understand the issues that I would like to tackle.

As a Florida resident, I am also attracted to FSU because of its location and cost of tuition. One of the most appealing things to me about the schools location is its close proximity to those who mean the most to me; like my sister and my parents who are relocating to in Tampa. There is also the added benefit to attending FSU because I previously lived in the capitol district for six years making friends that work building relationships with recommenders in the legal field who will recommend me to hold some sway with Florida employers. Also, the lower cost of tuition at FSU, and its associated lower debt load, will significantly enhance my career flexibility because of a reduced debt ability to serve the public interest. Overall, these benefits not only provide me with the opportunities that I desire, but they also The familial support and greater financial security provide me with a stable and healthy environment that at FSU will reduce stress and allow me to thrive even more at the Florida State University College of Law.

Because of its qualities, FSU will best help me to become a successful international environmental attorney. After a In my first year of law school, I have accomplished some been involved in important research that has allowed me to appreciate the role that international law has in shaping world-wide environmental policies. Though I am grateful for the opportunities that I have found through my current school. I know the resources at FSU will allow me to achieve the level of success that no other law school can provide even greater opportunities to succeed and grow. I look forward to working with the international and environmental law departments and being mentored by some of the leading scholars in the field. I am also eager to move back to the community that I call come home, remain closer to my family, and use avail myself of the connections supporters I have in the Tallahassee legal community to begin launch my legal career. It is a great honor privilege to be considered for a seat in Florida State’s class of 2013 and I can say with absolute certainty that there is no other law school that I would rather attend than the Florida State University College of Law.

sparty99
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Re: Transfer PS--final draft--critique please!

Postby sparty99 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:01 am

Poorly written. I would not submit your essay. However, I would submit (after another revision), the edited version above my post. He made your essay succinct. Although there are further edits that you should make with his revisions.




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