.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

.

Postby jychun412 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:15 pm

THANK YOU so much for all your great critiques and advice! :)
----------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by jychun412 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:35 pm, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Tom Joad
Posts: 4542
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:29 pm

If your gpa isn't as high as your competitors you might want to add something that shows your academic potential. If your gpa is super high, it might speak for itself.

User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby jychun412 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:39 pm

Thank you for your reply, Tom Joad.
My gpa is about 3.89. But do you think it would still be better if I add something to show my academic potential? What kind of things should I add? Nothing really comes to my mind..

User avatar
Tom Joad
Posts: 4542
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby Tom Joad » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:20 pm

jychun412 wrote:Thank you for your reply, Tom Joad.
My gpa is about 3.89. But do you think it would still be better if I add something to show my academic potential? What kind of things should I add? Nothing really comes to my mind..


I assume that would be on the high side for most schools so feel free to ignore my comment if you wish.

r3k790
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:21 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby r3k790 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:55 pm

Here's my hard edits. Comments are in parentheses
jychun412 wrote:
All I had known of the United States when my family packed up to move here 11 years ago was that it was a country of English-speaking white people. I was enthusiastic about experiencing a whole new world, but at the same time extremely daunted (You're either just daunted or pick another verb that conveys extremity) by the unknown. On a sleepless night before my first day of school in the United States, I repeated to myself that I had to be strong and determined to “whiten” myself as soon as possible to successfully transition into a new life (too long a sentence).
The next day, I was completely caught by surprisedumbstruck to witness kids of a great variety of different races conversing (do kids converse? Maybe they socialize, but pick one word) and playing together on a school yard. Having only lived in a mono-racial society, it had never crossed my mind that such diversity could exist. It made me dumbstruck, but as The pressure of having to “become white” died away; I felt extremely relieved andgrateful that I could be myself. To a young 11-year-old Korean immigrant in a very multicultural city of San Diego, the United States was a country of diversity, equality, in which no race should feel left out devoid of racial exclusion.
The summer of my sophomore year in high school, my perception began to change. (Changed the order) My family was unfairly forced to close down the clothing store that we had owned for a couple ofseveral years. It was the first family business that my parents opened, financed by years of work in demanding part-time jobs, which my whole family had been ecstatic about. We had attached ourselves to the shop very dearly; I remember being unable to sleep, so great was my excitement at the promised turning point for my family. But everything changed when we received a sudden notice demanding the closure of our store in a month. I was completely taken abackcrushed by the unexpected misfortune that befell my family. Though I felt angry and frustrated, there was nothing that we could do to stop it. In a consultation with a lawyer, we were told that we had a high probability of winning if we pursued a court case. We did not have enough money to hire a lawyer. We had to let go of our store. (I think the chronology of this paragraph could be straightened out to maximize the drama. Start with the store opening, and then mention the foreclosure. Don't foreshadow, you'll ruin the outrage you want the reader to feel.)
The feeling of utter helplessness that I had felt so strongly during in that time turned into a determination to become successful and prevent any future unfair experiences for my family as well as for others around mefight for fair treatment. It was from that time that m The trauma my mother suffered lingers to this day, vividly reminding me of both that time and what I'm fighting for.
On the bright side, it had given me a sense of purpose and the strength to pursue my endeavor throughout college. It was the decisive moment that saved me from the confusion of my future and directed me to find my passion in law (Foreshadowing again, ruining the drama). As I shared my family’s experience with others in the Korean American community, I was dumbstruck by how many of them have experienced situations like my family had. Many of the Korean Americans, particularly those who have immigrated to the United States, have experienced similar pains because of their lack of legal knowledge, inadequate English skills, and financial difficulty.
I maintain the admiration for the United States that I had grown when I was youngdeveloped in youth, but I feel that more could have been done to protect my community. Although there is a diversity of races, there are also barriers between them preventing their voices from being heard. There was an alienation of Korean Americans in the American society that prevented them from having a voice in the legal system. I had decided to move into a Korean Buddhist temple in my sophomore year of college to increase my Korean knowledge and have more contact with Korean Americans. With my bicultural background, as I became more and more knowledgeable of all the challenges facing the Korean American immigrants, I felt a stronger sense of duty to become a bridge between the two different cultures.
I committed myself to become more knowledgeable about what was being done in the community for the disadvantaged segments of the society. When I entered college, non-profit was naturally the first area to which I directed myself. I researched for a volunteer opportunity at the local law center to gain exposure to the workings of a non-profit legal organization that I hope to establish for disadvantaged Korean American immigrants. I also found volunteer opportunities in another non-profit organization YWCA, where I assisted with programs reaching out to the community and learned how else I could help the disadvantaged. My background, my commitment to non-profit organizations, as well as my experience at legal institutions like the East Bay Community Law Center and the District Attorney’s office, will contribute uniquely to the class at X school of law. (Don't be lazy, it looks a lot better to not be totally generic in your personal statement).

User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby jychun412 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:40 pm

Thank you for your edits r3k790.
Sorry. I just saw this because I decided not to apply last year.
The edits are very helpful :)

esther0123
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:40 am

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby esther0123 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:02 am

Hey, overall, I like it. I think it makes you come across as sincere, and I can definitely sympathize with the hardship of a first generation (maybe 1.5 generation) immigrants from the way you wrote your PS. But I think the writing needs to improve.. the content is solid, but the writing makes me cringe time to time. There are quite a few awkward sentences and some odd word choices, reminiscent of ESL writing. With some polishing, I think you'd have a solid PS!

User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby jychun412 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:19 am

Thanks for your input esther0123!
I do realize my writing is bad but it's the best I can do :(
That's why I am so desperate for critique :)

User avatar
kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby kwais » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:20 am

The language is cumbersome, but I agree that the content is decent. There was something not quite right for me about you being cryptic about the store closing. I think you need to go into a little bit of detail on that. There seems to be a hint of racial undertones in that story so I think you need to back that up. If that's not the case, just make that clear. A quick phrase about the nature of the issue, whether tax, zoning or whatever, would be helpful.

I'm was also a little taken aback by the statement concerning the alienation of Korean-Americans. I'm not doubting this situation, but again, I don't think that rings a lot of bells for the uninformed the way it would for african-americans or mexican-americans. Because of this, I felt a little like you were "using" you race. I think for better or worse there is a stereotype that Korean Americans do just fine, so again, maybe just flesh out the issue in one or two more lines.

Good luck

User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby jychun412 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:58 am

Thanks kwais :)
I appreciate your critique, particularly the one on the alienation of Korean-Americans.
I didn't realize it could be understood that way. I should really write some more about that.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:30 am

The primary weakness in your otherwise sincere & interesting essay is the final paragraph. You cram too much irrelevant information into the concluding paragraph that disrupts the flow created by the rest of your writing.

This law school personal statement offers observations lacking in depth of analysis, however.

P.S. There is nothing magical about non-profit organizations; I think that you are confusing "non-profits" with "charitable work" or "giving back to the community" (even though most non-profits are chartible organizations, your use of the term non-profits is unusual).

User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby jychun412 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:33 am

Thanks CanadianWolf.
I see what you mean about non-profit.
Thank u very much for your input :)

User avatar
Systematic1
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby Systematic1 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:06 pm

It's pretty good. However, to reiterate what someone else said, you need to explain why you guys had to close the store. Otherwise, that whole section seems really suspicious, almost as if you're trying to hide something.

User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby jychun412 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:46 pm

Thanks Systematic1.
I couldn't think of a way to explain that concisely so I just left it like that.
But you're right. It might seem suspicious.
I appreciate your critique :)

User avatar
aekea
Posts: 236
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:10 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby aekea » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:21 am

I like the topic. I think the essay needs a bit more structure to it. How do these ideas link together? I think your general idea is
1. I moved to the United States and feared I would have to force myself to fit into a "white" society.
2. Was pleasantly surprised by the racial diversity and acceptance in the U.S.
3. Was unpleasantly surprised by legal trouble that my parents and my family dealt with because we were Korean and unfamiliar with the American legal system.
4. Realized many other Koreans had these problems and that while the U.S. was accepting of many cultures, the language and cultural barriers made it difficult for Korean immigrants to have equal access to opportunities or participate fully in the legal system.
5. Decided to pursue a career in law in order to help Korean immigrants understand and deal with the U.S. legal system.

Hopefully that's what you were going for. I tried to clarify some of those ideas and made some style edits. My rewrites are in bold. I didn't attempt the part about your family's store as I was unsure of the details.

Good luck!

jychun412 wrote:
All I had known of the United States when my family packed up to move here 11 years ago was that it was a country of English-speaking white people. I was enthusiastic about experiencing a whole new world, but at the same time extremely daunted by the unknown. On a sleepless night before my first day of school in the United States, I repeated to myself that I had to be strong and determined to “whiten” myself as soon as possible to successfully transition into a new life.

The only think I knew about the United States when my family packed up and left Korea 11 years ago was that it was a country of English-speaking white people. I was excited to experience a whole new place, but at the same time, daunted to take on the unknown. On a sleepless night before my first day of school in the U.S., I became resigned to “whiten” myself as soon as possible, to successfully transition into a new life.

The next day, I was completely caught by surprise when I witnessed kids of a great variety of different races conversing and playing together on a school yard. Having only lived in a mono-racial society, it had never crossed my mind that such diversity could exist. It made me dumbstruck, but as the pressure of having to “become white” died away, I felt extremely relieved and grateful that I could be myself. To a young 11-year-old Korean immigrant in a very multicultural city of San Diego, the United States was a country of diversity and equality in which no race should feel left out.

The next day, I was completely caught by surprise when I saw kids of a great variety of different races talking and playing together in the schoolyard. Having only lived in a mono-racial society, it had never crossed my mind that such diversity could exist. The pressure I had put on myself to become “white” started to die away, and I was relieved and grateful that I could be myself. As an 11-year-old Korean immigrant in the multicultural city of San Diego, I came to regard the United States as a country of diversity and equality in which every race was accepted and afforded the opportunity to succeed.

My perception began to change in the summer of my sophomore year in high school, when my family was unfairly forced to close down the clothing store that we had owned for a couple of years. It was the first family business that my parents opened after years of working in demanding part-time jobs, which my whole family had been ecstatic about. We had attached ourselves to it very dearly, and I remember not being able to sleep at night in a joyful excitement for what seemed to be a great turning point for my family. But everything changed when we received a sudden notice demanding the closure of our store in a month. I was completely taken aback by the unexpected misfortune that befell upon my family and felt angry and frustrated, but there was nothing that we could do to stop it. In a consultation with a lawyer, we were told that we had a high probability of winning if we pursued a court case, but we did not have enough money to hire a lawyer. Completely helplessly, we had to let go of our store.
The feeling of helplessness that I had felt so strongly during that time turned into a determination to become successful and prevent any future unfair experiences for my family as well as for others around me. It was from that time that my mother began to suffer from depression that she continues to cope with to this day, which vividly reminds me of that time.

[After reading the last section, this transition makes it sound like your family was forced to close the store because they were Korean and the closure was racially driven. But, after reading the following paragraph, where you talk about other Koreans with similar problems as your family’s, it sounds like these troubles came from a lack of legal knowledge and a language barrier. As others have said, it’s important to explain the actual situation.]

On the bright side, it had given me a sense of purpose and the strength to pursue my endeavor throughout college. It was the decisive moment that saved me from the confusion of my future and directed me to find my passion in law. As I shared my family’s experience with others in the Korean American community, I was dumbstruck by how many of them have experienced situations like my family had. Many of the Korean Americans, particularly those who have immigrated to the United States, have experienced similar pains because of their lack of legal knowledge, inadequate English skills, and financial difficulty.

As I shared my family’s experience with others in the Korean American community, I was struck by how many of them had been in similar situations. Many of the Korean Americans I spoke with, particularly first generation immigrants, had experienced similar pains because of their lack of legal knowledge, inadequate English skills, and financial difficulties.

I maintain my admiration for the United States that I had grown when I was young, but I felt that more could be done about my community. There is a diversity of races and yet with clear barriers between them that prevent voices from being heard. There was an alienation of Korean Americans in the American society that prevented them from having a voice in the legal system. I had decided to move into a Korean Buddhist temple in my sophomore year of college to increase my Korean knowledge and have more contact with Korean Americans. With my bicultural background, as I became more and more knowledgeable of all the challenges facing the Korean American immigrants, I felt a stronger sense of duty to become a bridge between the two different cultures.

My family’s struggle and the helplessness that I felt as a result was the decisive moment that spurred my passion for law. I maintain the admiration for racial diversity and acceptance in the U.S. that I developed when I was young. But, while there are many diverse communities, there are clear barriers for some that prevent all perspectives and voices from being equally heard. There is an alienation of Korean Americans in American society that prevents them from having a voice in the legal system. After living in a Korean Buddhist temple in my sophomore year of college and becoming very close with many Korean-American immigrants there, I became more and more knowledgeable of all the challenges facing the Korean immigrants in the United States. With my bicultural background, I developed a strong sense of duty to become a bridge between the two different cultures.

I committed myself to become more knowledgeable about what was being done in the community for the disadvantaged segments of the society. When I entered college, non-profit was naturally the first area that I turned my head to. I researched for a volunteer opportunity at the local law center to gain exposure to the workings of a non-profit legal organization that I hope to establish myself later for the disadvantaged Korean American immigrants. I also found volunteer opportunities in another non-profit organization YWCA to assist with programs reaching out to the community and learn of the ways that I could help out the disadvantaged. My unique background in non-profit organizations, as well as my experience at legal institutions like the East Bay Community Law Center and the District Attorney’s office, will add a considerable value to my law school class.

[It's not clear if you're talking about the Korean American community, or some other community in this paragraph. I'm not sure this paragraph belongs in your essay. Most of these things should be on your resume and you can explain them there. Also, I think you're weakening your point by saying the value you will bring to a law school is your experience at these organizations. You've written your entire essay about wanting to help Korean Americans navigate the complicated legal system in the United States. This is what is interesting and unique about you. Your concluding paragraph should focus on that.]

User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Please Please! Personal Statement critique

Postby jychun412 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:33 am

Thank you so much, aekea!
Your critique and edits are sooo helpful :)

User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Should I write a Diversity Statement?

Postby jychun412 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:46 pm

Anyone?

collegebum1989
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Should I write a Diversity Statement?

Postby collegebum1989 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:27 pm

great essay, if you're still debating whether to write a diversity statement, you may want to think about this: each part of the application is a "slot" to show something about you. So if you have a interesting story about immigration (like in this essay) you can focus on this aspect of your life in your DS, and focus on aspects of your life such as career motivations in your PS. That would be the most effective way of using two slots to represent two diverse aspects of your life to only strengthen your application.

Also remember that you also submit a resume in your application. So don't waste an essay elaborating on something which can easily be ascertained from reading your resume. If you're really ambitious, you can utilize these different slots in creative ways and connect them to subtly convey a broader characteristic about yourself as a law school applicant. Good luck! You'll do well.

User avatar
jychun412
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Should I write a Diversity Statement?

Postby jychun412 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:53 pm

Thank u so much collegebum1989!
I think it's a good way to approach PS and DS.
I want to focus on immigration in my PS though because it's closely tied to my career motivations.
Do you think writing about having to support family business in my DS would be not as effective?

And I took out my last paragraph so I don't repeat things from the resume since a lot of people pointed that out.
Again, thanks for your input! :)

collegebum1989
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Should I write a Diversity Statement?

Postby collegebum1989 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:28 pm

could work also, since DS also include adversities




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.