almost final draft of PS

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lion135
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:15 pm

almost final draft of PS

Postby lion135 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:08 am

Thanks for any comments.
Last edited by lion135 on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:20 am

Not an enjoyable read. Will you be applying as "Dr. Mikolasik's stagiare" ?

lion135
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby lion135 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:23 am

Yeah, one of my main problems with it is it seems kind of flat and isn't too engaging. Any suggestions?

lion135
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby lion135 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:30 am

And to answer your question, no I completed my internship there a little over a year ago; I'm still in undergrad.

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

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:24 pm

My point was that your identity was obscured by your repeated use of Dr. Mikolasik's name. The name on your law school applications should be your own.

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

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby dani_burhop » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:47 pm

This is a tricky one - I've seen essays of this sort get applicants into very good law schools. It is dry, but it also comes across as professional and leaves the reader with a strong impression that you are law-school-ready. There is no warmth or humor to be found here, so the likability points are low, and it is truly a dense read. But submitting an essay like this is not a tremendous risk; some applicants just come across as very serious-minded, and that seems to work for them.

The take-away message is that you worked very hard and found yourself playing a bigger role than you had anticipated - it's the right kind of theme for a law school application.

If you think you can write this to make the experience more textured for the reader, go ahead and remove some of the more abstract, bureaucratic language and spend more time on the "feel" of this place and experience.

And consider not splitting this infinitive: "I was determined to not be a passive spectator"

Best, Dani

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

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:29 pm

"Professional" ? I don't understand that comment other than as a partial resume regurgitation. My best guess is that if OP is admitted to her top choice law schools, it won't be due to her PS, although the internship highlighted in this writing should be viewed in a favorable light.

lion135
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby lion135 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:34 pm

Thanks to both of you. Your comments have been really helpful and I'm going to rework it to be a little more personal and less I did this, I did that.

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

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:36 pm

And less Dr. Mikolasik this & Dr. Mikolasik that. I've reread your PS several times noting that the repeated use of "Dr. Mikolasik" is the primary irritant. (Repeated use of his name suggests that you were a minor clerk in awe of a God-like figure--which seems unprofessional.)

P.S. Both the first & last paragraphs are very good, in my opinion.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lion135
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby lion135 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:39 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:"Professional" ? I don't understand that comment other than as a partial resume regurgitation. My best guess is that if OP is admitted to her top choice law schools, it won't be due to her PS, although the internship highlighted in this writing should be viewed in a favorable light.



Actually I'm a him and for some context I'm a mid 3 gpa and 17X LSAT looking to ED to UVA.

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

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:46 pm

You should be a strong ED applicant for Virginia due to your LSAT score & international experience.
Sorry about the gender mix-up. Unfortunately, as written, your PS strikes me as being written by one smitten with his/her boss that is a bit demeaning for one seeking to become an attorney. This impression is easy to correct by using the Dr.'s name less.

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

Re: almost final draft of PS

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:42 am

Great story, poorly written. Okay, not poorly, but not well. Get rid of the passive voice.

Your opening: Ask yourself what value your opening on the train platform achieves. The story is not about overcoming fear, it seems to be about applying yourself and being rewarded.

Your grammar: Lose the passive voice. Here are some examples:
As my coworkers saw my intellectual fervor and passion to learn and contribute to the team I was given an increasing amount of responsibility. My coworkers notice my passion and willingness to work and rewarded me with increasingly important assignments. I became seen as an asset to the office: researching and reporting on subjects as diverse as the EU’s history of preferential free trade agreements and body scanner technology. I gained their respect researching and reporting on wide-ranging subjects from the EU's historical use of preferential trade agreements to body scanner technology. Soon I was entrusted with attending hearings that my MEP was too busy to attend personally and drafted reports on Parliamentary developments. The chief of staff began tasking me with attending hearings and drafting reports when the MEP was unable to attend.
By the onset of the Belgian spring, a cold alien world had blossomed into a home away from home. I had converted a foreign landscape into a home away from home. In the office I had become a fully functional member of Dr. Mikolášik’s staff. In the office, I earned my place as a valued member of the team...




You miss an opportunity with this climactic paragraph by not writing it better and drawing out the emotion of the moment. If you have to say things like "I felt..." your are narrating your thoughts instead of expressing them dramatically. Try to avoid meaningless modifiers like "weighless glow."
lion135 wrote:When I walked into the hall on the day of the conference I hoped to hear some trace of my efforts in Dr. Mikolášik’s speech. wondered if Dr. M agreed with my arguments. When Dr. M spoke I listened closely for any reference to my preparatory speech. As he began to speak, however, and as I heard my exact words spoken, a warm pride filled me. I could feel myself mouthing the words as Dr M read them. I realized he was using my 10-page draft unedited and in its entirety and my words were coming out of his mouth verbatim. Here I was a humble stagiairie from America speaking to Through his speech, I was sharing my ideas with an audience of over one hundred interested and attentive bureaucrats and reporters, listening attentively to every word I had written. The opportunity to live and observe in the the chambers of European power would have been enough. However, I had done more than I set out to do. Through hard work and selfless support, I had become an integral part of the system I had set out to study. When the applause finally came at the end, I leaned back in my chair and smiled. it felt as if the audience were applauding my work as much as Dr. Mikolášik. Reflecting on the path I had forged to that moment, I savored the weightless glow of accomplishment.




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