Draft 2.5

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
decentalias
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:33 pm

Draft 2.5

Postby decentalias » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:14 pm

I apologize for not saying thank you earlier (before I took down my old PS) to dani, CanadianWolf, and kublaikahn. I really appreciate(d) your advice and I have done my best to take it to heart. I have essentially scraped my old PS (and, as per dani's comments, I am turning bits of it into a DS).

I would appreciate all of your comments again because it definitely has helped me out a lot.

Thank you again.

P.S. More thank-yous are in the bump.

down
Last edited by decentalias on Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:56 pm, edited 6 times in total.

dani_burhop
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby dani_burhop » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:30 pm

This dips into diversity statement territory IMHO - starting a JD personal statement in childhood is always a risk. "What have you done lately?" Is the question that will arise for adcomms. Do what you can to focus on how you've overcome and survived, or do what you can to balance your PS and DS so you're not repeating yourself. Spend as little time in a PS on content from pre-19-years-old as possible.

This sentence doesn't appear to make sense:

Now, I am familiar with the stark wording of food stamp forms and piece together my parents’ resumes as an only child.

best, Dani

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

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:47 pm

Your writer's voice makes me uncomfortable; although it's neither condescending nor irritating, it is awkward and unconvincing. You pretend to know much more than you have experienced, or, at least, that is the impression that I get from reading your personal statement. The tone reminds me of the narration in the movie To Kill A Mockingbird.

P.S. The essay's tone has a dreamy quality that does not complement the harsh realism that you describe.

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

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:57 pm

"I have grown content with the direction that I have given my life." This seems to be the statement of an elderly person reflecting on her life. Your essay contains several statements that suggest that you are fumbling for an identity & unsure of how to present yourself.

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

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby kublaikahn » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:41 pm

Start over. This seems to be a patchwork of pilfered concepts. I used to cry because I had no shoes, til I met a man who had no feet. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Progress is slow (the arc of the universe is long but bends toward justice). It could be worse. The yin and the yang. This thing is a cliche from start to finish (not to say your life challenges are not substantial).

Also, optimism and self pity are mutually exclusive, I think. If you want to write about changing your perspective from self-pity to serving others, you should reorganize this to show how (not just when) you arrived at that transformation. You cannot sprinkle the "pitiful" throughout.

decentalias
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:33 pm

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby decentalias » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:03 pm

New draft in the OP as well as an overdue thank you.
Last edited by decentalias on Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

decentalias
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:33 pm

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby decentalias » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:01 pm

Bump before classes - I have a good bit of time to revise tonight, so any input would be helpful!

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

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:37 am

You start this off well, although the writing needs to be brought up a bit (see example.) You go off the rails when you start telling us about the class and what your professor says. No one cares what he says, we would like to know what you say. IMO you do not need to tie in the legal class at all. Build a better story about tutoring and your human kindness. That does come through and that should be your theme. All you need to say in this piece is, "I care."

Write some more and I will be happy to review it.

decentalias wrote:The children I tutor ask me questions like if I am a giant or wear a size 100 shoe. For my part, I stand still and do my best jungle gym impression as they climb all over me. We have an easy relationship. When the LAPS (spell it out the first time) director offered me the job, he cited my qualifications as being "goofy and sociable." I guess it pays to be 6 foot 6 and have the patience of Job. At risk eight- to twelve-year-olds need their questions answered; they need jungle gyms; and, they need to know how to read.
Promising that I am not a Giant, answering if I wear size one hundred shoes, and serving as a mobile 6’6” jungle gym encompassed my only experience with children. Despite this, the LAPS program director informed me that my “goofy and sociable” disposition gained me a tutoring position. Before I worked out if “goofy” was a compliment, I found myself at XXX Elementary as an afterschool tutor for "at-risk" 8-12 year olds.

imjustjoking22
Posts: 461
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:46 am

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby imjustjoking22 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:47 pm

Honestly, after reading that, I want to tell you to write the same thing over in NORMAL sentences. Say it out loud to a friend or the wall, and write it down like that. Your draft reads as if you are someone who is not 100% comfortable with the English language but has delusions of writing grandeur... you write with big words (used awkwardly), strangely passive sentences, and your sentence structure is wonky.

I'd love to read it once you write it out conversationally. I think "simplistic" is the route you need to go at this point.

decentalias
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:33 pm

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby decentalias » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:28 pm

Bumping for updated version in the OP!

Also:
Thank you kublaikahn (again, no less!) and imjustjoking22. I agree with 99% of what you each said. The passive voice was killing me and for some reason I couldn't get the sentence structure correct - I've tried to improve it in this draft.

I did leave in some of the stuff about the class but cut out a bit of it to take focus off of the professor. I am unsure as to whether this statement passes the implicit "Why Law?" test and have been trying to figure out how (if) to weave it in.

All the comments have been awesome and I look forward to more (and, eventually... you know... finishing this!).

Thanks!

imjustjoking22
Posts: 461
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:46 am

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby imjustjoking22 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:29 pm

This is already a million times better. PM it to me if you want a more detailed grammar edit, that could be improved but just in readability alone you have increased exponentially...also, I like this "you" MUCH more (in terms of how you come across to a reader).

decentalias
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:33 pm

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby decentalias » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:57 pm

imjustjoking22 wrote:This is already a million times better. PM it to me if you want a more detailed grammar edit, that could be improved but just in readability alone you have increased exponentially...also, I like this "you" MUCH more (in terms of how you come across to a reader).

This is good news! I definitely still "feel" kinks in this, but figuring how to work them out has been the hard part. PM sent - thank you!

decentalias
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:33 pm

Re: Draft 2.5

Postby decentalias » Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:28 pm

One of my last bumps (hopefully!) before taking this down, tweaking it a bit, and sending it in.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.