PS Draft 1 - I have 2 competing topics

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
skitlets
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:10 am

PS Draft 1 - I have 2 competing topics

Postby skitlets » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:42 pm

Hey guys. Need a little advice. I have two PS ideas, one already written out. First one is an awakening, the realization that I want to go to school for my own motivations and reasons. I'm not certain I am conveying the message in a captivating way, despite how I strongly I feel about it.

[quote][/quote]


Second topic expands on my experience with my current IT job, why I'm unhappy with it, and why EMS didn't work out, which leads me back to law school to find a career that is fulfilling and helps people. I know, it sounds generic.
Last edited by skitlets on Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jmart154
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: PS Draft 1 - I have 2 competing topics

Postby jmart154 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:07 pm

First off, I think this PS is relatively plain. There is nothing particularly memorable about it, and there is nothing that convinces the reader that you really should be accepted into Law School. Second, your second paragraph uses the word "never" too much - 4 times to be exact. Never is a strong word, and I think it's worth revising these sentences at the very least. Third, you mention in your final paragraph that you want to go to Law School for your own reasons, but throughout your PS, we are given the impression that you are living vicariously through your parents' goals and aspirations for you, and not your own. In case you cannot see where I am coming from, just take a look at this sentence: "The legal profession is one of three my parents approve of, up there with medicine and engineering. I forged the path without thinking about the motivations, just a checklist I inherited from my parents. Lawyers make money, right?" Who cares if you parents approve of you going to Law School? In the end, schools want to see that you are mature, and making your own decisions. Lastly, I feel as though your PS lacks a central, unifying theme. Where does it all tie in together? It doesn't, and is instead highly disjointed.

Sorry for being tough, but I feel as though there are certain aspects of your PS that need substantial revising. I cannot speak for your second topic seeing as you did not post it, but hopefully I have given you something to think about.

Best.

skitlets
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:10 am

Re: PS Draft 1 - I have 2 competing topics

Postby skitlets » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:14 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I am trying to convey the thought that for most of my life, I didn't know why I was doing school, etc, other than for my parents.

I'll try including my own motivations earlier into the essay and try to figure out what parts I can cut out. Maybe include some of my EMS experience as a motivation.

Thanks again!

horrorbusiness
Posts: 669
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:49 pm

Re: PS Draft 1 - I have 2 competing topics

Postby horrorbusiness » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:25 pm

skitlets wrote:
My parents still call me “baby,” and I turn twenty four in a few months. I am the youngest of three siblings, child of Vietnamese parents who left a war-torn country with nothing for a new start atop the “Golden Mountain,” San Francisco.

I never got to make big mistakes growing up. My older brother and sister made them for me. My parents caught them sneaking out and skipping class. The anger and disappointment, I never wanted to incense them in that way. I internalized the values my parents encouraged- honesty, hard work, and prioritizing my education above all else. I never questioned the approach. I knew education was important, I never truly understood why. My parents worked physically demanding jobs. They wanted their children to work with brains, not hands, to live comfortably and never have to worry about putting food on the table.

I diligently kept my grades up and my head down, applied and got accepted into the city’s magnet high school, _____. I grandly declared that I would someday hire my mother a personal chef if I were accepted into _______. Eating out was a luxury we rarely indulged in. My naïve twelve year old brain thought such a task would be easy, what with getting into a decent high school and all. My mother reminds me to this day. ____ drilled into our heads that we should go to college. I never thought to ask why and the counselors never bothered to explain it.

From elementary to middle to high school to college, a natural and predetermined progression. Finally in college, I had to decide how to move forward with my school career. I chose political science after a stint with engineering. I am just not passionate about programming or circuitry, as much as I love tinkering with computers. I am engrossed with the social sciences, learning about history and its lessons, society and its ills, the underlying political system and its laws and flaws. I thought about the practical uses for a political science degree and law school seemed a natural and attractive answer, another progression. The legal profession is one of three my parents approve of, up there with medicine and engineering. I forged the path without thinking about the motivations, just a checklist I inherited from my parents. Lawyers make money, right?

I wisened up my 4th year. The reality of being in debt punched me in the gut. I worked through college to pay for all of my living expenses but tuition was covered by loans, a thought I conveniently swept under the rug. The cost of law school isn’t something I wanted to take as casually, with students regularly graduating in excess of $100,000 in debt. I delayed applying to law school to work. I wanted more perspective. I knew I wanted to make my living directly impacting people. I took up more IT work while getting certified as an EMT. I learned from class and ambulance ride-alongs that emergency medical service is not for me. I learned from three years of IT work that I wanted something more fulfilling. My desires led me back to social policies and laws. I’m certain I read more now than I was in school.

With great clarity, I now want to continue education for my own reasons. I specifically want to continue my education in the legal field so that I may blend my academic passions with a longing to really impact the lives of others.


The good: You're clearly a talented writer. Grammar, structure, style all are good.

The bad: Content needs a lot of work. I'm not convinced at all. You talk about looking into law to please your parents, and then only a few lines later expect us to believe you're looking into it again for YOUR OWN reasons just because you didn't like a couple other side-jobs.

The "thinking about practical uses of political science..... lawyers make a lot of money right?" really gives the impression you're one of the "law school cause i don't want to do anything else" people. Mentioning "making a lot of money" just makes it worse cause it 1) it's tacky and 2) it seems like that's your main motivation (besides mentioning wanting to please your parents). That's no good.

I think you can turn this into a winning essay, but you need to do a better job of convincing the reader that you really want to go to law school and that you're a good fit. And not that you're trying to make a lot of money, please your parents, or trying to avoid other jobs you didn't like.

skitlets
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:10 am

Re: PS Draft 1 - I have 2 competing topics

Postby skitlets » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:35 pm

Thanks horror, some really good advice. Thanks esp for pointing out that it looks like I'm just in it for the money / last resort. It does look that way but is the last thing on my mind as I'm leaning towards PI work for sure.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.