PS Final Draft - Please Critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
DBishops
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PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby DBishops » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:20 pm

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Last edited by DBishops on Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MrHaephestus
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby MrHaephestus » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:56 am

Ultimately, it's your call on what you submit, but here's a couple of observations:

1) Your sentence structure, at times, gets exhausting. Grammatically, the writing is correct, but the "lists" really started to wear me down as did the frequent use of appositives. The style is kinda like Davis Foster Wallace, but I think you might want to go more Hemingway stylistically. I think you could remove quite a bit, and tighten up the writing to give the essay more punch.

2) I would suggest you tie in your music interests and law school interests. How do music and law school go together? Working under pressure? Tight deadlines? Small margin for error? I don't know, and you're PS does not tell me.

NoJob
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby NoJob » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:33 am

So why do you want to be a lawyer? Is it because you couldn't get a musician gig? that's what I read into your PS.

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Easy-E
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby Easy-E » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:35 am

NoJob wrote:So why do you want to be a lawyer? Is it because you couldn't get a musician gig? that's what I read into your PS.


Is there a reason you feel the need to be a douchebag to everyone who posts? Just don't reply if you don't have something useful to offer.


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thelawschoolproject
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby thelawschoolproject » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:59 am

I'm going to have to ditto some of the earlier comments here. When I finished reading your piece the major question I had was, "If music is going so well, why stop for law school?" There seems to be some kind of a disconnect there.

Also, I agree with an earlier poster on your sentence structure. It distracts from your piece and makes your writing less effective. For example, you don't need to use the word "had" to denote past tense in most cases. It distances the reader from you, and during your personal statement you want to bring your audience as close as possible to your point of view/story. So, instead of saying something like: Four years ago I had gone to Jamaica for vacation, you could say Four years ago I vacationed in Jamaica. It's subtle difference, but will add to the effectiveness of your writing.

Best of luck in the upcoming cycle!

DBishops
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:17 am

Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby DBishops » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:55 pm

dsf
Last edited by DBishops on Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LawSchoolChampion
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby LawSchoolChampion » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:02 pm

Since you've posted final draft, I will be critical.

The writing is fine. It's a bit lengthy, but it works. Don't start chopping things unless you feel that it works.

The content is a significantly different issue.

If your hards are fine, I wouldn't worry. The PS is well written and will attract enough law schools, especially if you're aiming for NY/LA/Chicago. However, if you numbers aren't great, or you are banking on this statement to really help your admissions process, then I would revise a few things.

It is essential that you mention why you want to attend law school. Did you get screwed at a gig on time because of a poor contract or no contract? Did you record an album and didn't collect royalties? Or do you want a bigger salary?

These are the things a law school will want to know.

Make sure you tie in why/what you want out of law school.

And take what's posted below as a personal opinion, but as a musician I chalked your statement up to:

"Well, I practiced and then got a job." Maybe an adcom will bite for your story, but personally, I haven't. I play Jazz Piano, and it's just not that hard. If you practice, you'll do well. If you don't, very few have success.

You need to explain/exemplify how practicing has improved you as a person, whether it be work ethic or intelligence. How have you grown as a person?

If you go with a character statement, you must have that information.


As of now, you're a guy who likes jazz, practiced, and got better.

I've got to be honest...that's how playing an instrument works. Your story isn't impressive as it's written currently...but you can sell yourself through it.

dani_burhop
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby dani_burhop » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:36 pm

If your numbers are great and you're doing T14, there's no need to cover "Why Law." An essay that shows interest and ambition will do you just fine. If you're applying downlist and to schools that specifically request "why law," you'll have to get into that subject matter explicitly. But most students don't have a clear answer to "why law," and anecdotes from adcomms abound about how they don't need to hear generic, unsure "why law" pap from applicants - they're looking for aptitude more than anything. You do come across as smart here.

My issue: This reads as wooden - I can't tell if you love music, or if you're a jazz automaton. I come away from this believing in your ability to succeed in the face of genuine challenge, but I don't come away rooting for you. Where can you make someone smile? Where can you get the reader on your side? It's not enough to write that you were worried, or stressed, because high achievers are almost always giant bags o' stressiness - why did you take on these challenges? What did these successes mean to you? Did you ever have to overcome a setback?

Best, Dani

kublaikahn
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:29 am

What is a theoretical music skill? Does the audition not test actual music skills? Not trying to be a smart ass, just asking.

This piece is probably very interesting to a music major, but I was lost and did not care. What does it mean to approach something academically? Does that mean your training lacked passion or practical use? I just ask because it seems that your point is that your were passionate and converted theoretical training into practical utility. Is your theme then, that practical theories (like law school) when vigorously studied (like in law school) produce functional skills (like good lawyers). I like that theme. Law school bounces back and forth from being a trade school to a theoretical exercise. If you can convey taking theory and applying it (in a more interesting writing style), you can shape this piece into something more compelling.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:52 pm

Expect good news from Berklee, not Berkeley.

This essay is an overly detailed primer for jazz guitarist hopefuls that lacks a relevant theme; accordingly, your first paragraph is weak & poorly done. Oddly, your final paragraph--minus the last sentence--would be a more appropriate introductory paragraph, in my opinion.

DBishops
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby DBishops » Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:08 pm

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Last edited by DBishops on Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: PS Final Draft - Please Critique

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:03 pm

Teaching yourself is an important point to note in your personal statement because law school's primary mission is to teach law students how to teach themselves.




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