Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

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lawyer494
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Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby lawyer494 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:32 pm

PLEASE make comment/advice on this personal statement-- is it a bad topic, what should I add or take out, etc. Anything will help me out a lot. Thanks for your help!
Last edited by lawyer494 on Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:35 pm

Rule of thumb is to not even mention the LSAT in your personal statement, so yeah.

Honestly, I just skimmed it, and you need to completely redo it (don't feel to bad, I took a month and went through like 7 completely different statements).

Remember your audience: the adcomms want to see that you will make a good addition to their school. You are not telling them anything that would make them think this.

"The November air sent a crisp chill to the bones and the eerie darkness after class got out at ten o’clock at night would send shake anyone in their boots a little."

At least personally, I like the personal statement a bit drier than what you're going for. That doesn't mean boring, but the imagery you use is just pointless. When you write something, think "does this go to show that I would somehow bring something to the law school?"
Last edited by TheFutureLawyer on Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

freestallion
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Re: Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby freestallion » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:41 pm

I don't really think this topic is appropriate for a law school PS. I would start over and choose a different topic.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:53 pm

This tells the reader absolutely nothing about you as a person, except that you sound a little immature in the way you handled the situation with the old guy. I would advise starting over with an entirely different topic.

lawyer494
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Re: Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby lawyer494 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:34 pm

I appreciate the feedback. I have written multiple statements because I just don't know what to write about. What consumes a strong statement? I have many accomplishments I have achieved in my life, but I don't know how to highlight them without making it sound like a resume in an essay format. Any ideas? I grew up in a pretty lucky lifestyle, which I am truly fortunate for-- therefore I don't have much negative or emotional appeals to work with like many statements have-- could I talk about how my good fortunate has shaped my life. Many would take their luxuries and become greedy, stuck up and spoiled, but I am the exact opposite. I rather share with those that cannot have the things I can, go out of my way to make someone else happy and give my money rather then spend it. With this spark any interest in the review board for law schools? Really any advice will greatly help!! Thanks :)

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rinkrat19
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Re: Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:44 pm

My two favorite pieces of general advice are:

1. Write about what makes you "you." Is there anything unique about you? It doesn't have to be something "important" or something tragic in your past. If asked to talk about you, what would your closest friends say? My PS mentions hockey and snowboarding and growing up with environmentalist parents. None of those is the main topic, but they're used as side details to flesh out 'Me'.

2. Your PS doesn't have to explicitly explain 'why law school.' But if it leaves the reader wondering "why the hell is this person applying to law school instead of [blank]?" you've missed your mark. Either answer the question, or don't ask it.

And what worked for me was to start pounding out paragraphs on whatever topics I could think of. Don't worry about intros or conclusions, just put words on the page. When you run out of stuff to say on one topic, switch to another or come at it from another direction. Eventually a couple of things connected, and I figured out something else to add that would work as the main topic.

ETA: your idea about growing up relatively privileged but not letting it spoil you could be interesting, but could also be tricky to pull off. I see dangerous potential for sounding extremely condescending and patronizing and coming off like Marie Antoinette. But if you refrain from making broad, unprovable statements like "Many would take their luxuries and become greedy, stuck up and spoiled, but I am the exact opposite," and instead use specific examples to show rather than tell the reader about your largess, it could work.
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

freestallion
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Re: Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby freestallion » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:47 pm

Also, read this page for some tips on writing a good personal statement: http://www.top-law-schools.com/statement.html

Some topics I think work well for people who don't have much in the way of diversity or overcoming obstacles is looking at your achievement -- have you done some significant work in extracurriculars, worked/studied abroad, solved a problem, or excelled at something? Do you have any work experience? Did you write a senior thesis or anything like that? Looking at something you've accomplished can provide some ideas on what to start writing about, and will showcase your strengths rather than your weaknesses.

lawyer494
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Re: Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby lawyer494 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:35 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:My two favorite pieces of general advice are:

1. Write about what makes you "you." Is there anything unique about you? It doesn't have to be something "important" or something tragic in your past. If asked to talk about you, what would your closest friends say? My PS mentions hockey and snowboarding and growing up with environmentalist parents. None of those is the main topic, but they're used as side details to flesh out 'Me'.

2. Your PS doesn't have to explicitly explain 'why law school.' But if it leaves the reader wondering "why the hell is this person applying to law school instead of [blank]?" you've missed your mark. Either answer the question, or don't ask it.

And what worked for me was to start pounding out paragraphs on whatever topics I could think of. Don't worry about intros or conclusions, just put words on the page. When you run out of stuff to say on one topic, switch to another or come at it from another direction. Eventually a couple of things connected, and I figured out something else to add that would work as the main topic.

ETA: your idea about growing up relatively privileged but not letting it spoil you could be interesting, but could also be tricky to pull off. I see dangerous potential for sounding extremely condescending and patronizing and coming off like Marie Antoinette. But if you refrain from making broad, unprovable statements like "Many would take their luxuries and become greedy, stuck up and spoiled, but I am the exact opposite," and instead use specific examples to show rather than tell the reader about your largess, it could work.


Thanks for the advice-- I'll start on various paragraphs and start connecting them to form a main topic later on. I truly appreciate the feedback!

lawyer494
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby lawyer494 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:40 pm

freestallion wrote:Also, read this page for some tips on writing a good personal statement: http://www.top-law-schools.com/statement.html

Some topics I think work well for people who don't have much in the way of diversity or overcoming obstacles is looking at your achievement -- have you done some significant work in extracurriculars, worked/studied abroad, solved a problem, or excelled at something? Do you have any work experience? Did you write a senior thesis or anything like that? Looking at something you've accomplished can provide some ideas on what to start writing about, and will showcase your strengths rather than your weaknesses.


Thanks for giving me some topics. As mentioned, I have many accomplishments I have achieved in my life, but I don't know how to highlight them without making it sound like a resume in an essay format. I have achieved many academic goals in my life-- one being graduating with cum laude honors from a good undergraduate program. Also, I was a college athlete for a portion of my collegiate career, so I have that under my belt as well. For the remainder of my college years until now I have withheld a job with the same firm, but I feel that would be irrelevant because it is my family's firm. I know I have a number of accomplishes I can highlight on-- I have even written a statement about them already, I just do not know how to hit them without it coming across as an essay version of a resume as I previously stated. Any ideas?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Very rough draft of personal stmt-- advice wanted!!

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:44 pm

lawyer494 wrote:
freestallion wrote:Also, read this page for some tips on writing a good personal statement: http://www.top-law-schools.com/statement.html

Some topics I think work well for people who don't have much in the way of diversity or overcoming obstacles is looking at your achievement -- have you done some significant work in extracurriculars, worked/studied abroad, solved a problem, or excelled at something? Do you have any work experience? Did you write a senior thesis or anything like that? Looking at something you've accomplished can provide some ideas on what to start writing about, and will showcase your strengths rather than your weaknesses.


Thanks for giving me some topics. As mentioned, I have many accomplishments I have achieved in my life, but I don't know how to highlight them without making it sound like a resume in an essay format. I have achieved many academic goals in my life-- one being graduating with cum laude honors from a good undergraduate program. Also, I was a college athlete for a portion of my collegiate career, so I have that under my belt as well. For the remainder of my college years until now I have withheld a job with the same firm, but I feel that would be irrelevant because it is my family's firm. I know I have a number of accomplishes I can highlight on-- I have even written a statement about them already, I just do not know how to hit them without it coming across as an essay version of a resume as I previously stated. Any ideas?
There is no way to cram all of that in a personal statement without it being a resume regurgitation. The PS is NOT supposed to be a laundry list of accomplishments, it is supposed to teach the reader something about you as a person. Pick one or two things and write about them in more depth, with emotion. Use humor or pathos or suspense (or any other emotion). Make the reader smile or frown along with your story. Give them something they can't get from your resume.




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