I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
horrorbusiness
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I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby horrorbusiness » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:48 pm

:)
Last edited by horrorbusiness on Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dj_spin
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby dj_spin » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:15 pm

horrorbusiness wrote:The year is 1991, and the setting is the visitation center of the Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution in southern California. I’m just four years old, and my mother is about to witness the end of my sweet naiveté about my father. The reality of the situation settles in my young mind for the first time, and hits me hard. I turn to my mother, eyes wide, and stammer out, “m-m-my dad is in jail?” I begin crying inconsolably before she can reply. Nothing makes my mother both laugh and cry like telling this story, and I believe nothing has shaped me and my interest in the law like the struggles of my parents and family before me.

My father was an illegal immigrant to the United States who got himself imprisoned, and later deported, just months after my birth. Because he was the sole breadwinner of our small family, and because of complications related to his imprisonment, my mother was left as a 40-year old single parent of two young boys without a home and without a job. I was born into what is probably the very nadir of our family’s course of history. From such a low point, however, things had nowhere to go but up. And up they went, albeit with no shortage of financial stress and struggle. My mother was able to get a caretaking job at a local hospital and a small place for us to rent, fully committed to raising my brother and I as well as she could on her own.

My brother and I took to schooling immediately. If we were to transcend our humble beginnings, as our mother was working so hard to allow us to, we had no choice but to exhaust all the opportunities given to us, especially the opportunity of succeeding in school. Fortunately, I took on what seem to be two family-wide inclinations: a natural affinity for language and a voracious appetite for reading.


Up until this point, I really liked it a lot. It needs to be re-read in depth with a focus on rewriting for clarity, but I was genuinely taken with the story.

After this, your description of your accomplishments is too boring, and looks too much like you are struggling to fit things which are not especially important into a box of importance. Being the first to graduate from college is an actually important thing, especially the look in your mothers eyes that day after all those years of struggle (which are elided for some reason, in favor of peer mentoring which is neither significant nor interesting).

You must have something more about you, something in mind about the kind of lawyer you want to become, that says so much more about you than something we've already read off of your resume.

That's just my thoughts.

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paulshortys10
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby paulshortys10 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:45 pm

something tells me you're into caramel skin colored black girls that grow their own purebred banana trees....

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tmplge
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby tmplge » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:51 am

PM'd you

shmoo597
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby shmoo597 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:42 pm

Overall, I thought it was very good. I like the discussion of your peer mentoring job, because it seems genuine. Well done.

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Rawlberto
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby Rawlberto » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:12 pm

horrorbusiness wrote:The year is 1991, and the setting is the visitation center of the Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution in southern California. I’m just four years old, and my mother is about to witness the end of my sweet naiveté about my father. The reality of the situation settles in my young mind for the first time, and hits me hard. I turn to my mother, eyes wide, and stammer out, “m-m-my dad is in jail?” I begin crying inconsolably before she can reply. Nothing makes my mother both laugh and cry like telling this story, and I believe nothing has shaped me and my interest in the law like the struggles of my parents and family before me.

My father was an illegal immigrant to the United States who got himself imprisoned, and later deported, just months after my birth. Because he was the sole breadwinner of our small family, and because of complications related to his imprisonment, my mother was left as a 40-year old single parent of two young boys without a home and without a job. I was born into what is probably the very nadir of our family’s course of history. From such a low point, however, things had nowhere to go but up. And up they went, albeit with no shortage of financial stress and struggle. My mother was able to get a caretaking job at a local hospital and a small place for us to rent, fully committed to raising my brother and I as well as she could on her own.

My brother and I took to schooling immediately. If we were to transcend our humble beginnings, as our mother was working so hard to allow us to, we had no choice but to exhaust all the opportunities given to us, especially the opportunity of succeeding in school. Fortunately, I took on what seem to be two family-wide inclinations: a natural affinity for language and a voracious appetite for reading. These inclinations naturally guided my decision in choosing my two majors of study in college: English literature and Philosophy. I put myself through college with loans, grants, and by working part-time, and still managed to I flourish in these two fields, especially in the latter. I was able to delight my family by not only becoming the first to graduate college, but also by receiving multiple Dean’s Honors List appointments and participating in many programs, clubs, and teams at my university.

It was while I was still an undergraduate, though, that a volunteer position I held at my university completely affirmed my decision to pursue law school. The legal career path was first suggested to me by an aptitude test in a community college career counseling class. I was not surprised by the suggestion, and it confirmed my long-time suspicion that my academic talents might be consonant with those required by the study of law. At this time, however, law was still just a consideration – I was also seriously considering graduate study in philosophy or literature, two fields in which professors told me I could really flourish.

In my second year at XXXXX I interviewed and was selected for a peer-mentor position to new transfer students. I was unable to see, at first, what a profound effect accepting the position would have on me. At the Transfer Student Center, it was my duty essentially to help new transfer students locate certain resources on campus, which could be anything from free tutoring to daycare for their children. During my two years of service, however, my position evolved from a sort of campus guide to an eager advocate and friend. I became completely committed to the position, and was more often than not helping students from disadvantaged or non-traditional backgrounds – people with which I oftentimes could strongly relate. I assisted single moms, first-generation college students, and 50-year old re-entry students all adapt to a university setting and made sure they were able to hit the ground running. Really, there was just one common thread between myself and these students: a desire for success so strong that it yields to no obstacle and gives credence to no perceived “disadvantage”.

The advocacy I offered during my tenure gave me but a taste of what I now know I want to do for the rest of my life. At the same time, I have cultivated my natural talents to read, write, and reason through a vigorous course of study. I am convinced that a meaningful synthesis of these elements demands my study of the law, which, in my view, uniquely affords me the opportunity to channel my greatest talents into something of greatest importance to me.


Thanks for the help on my PS, I intend to return the favor.

For some reason the opening sentence irks me as the length for a PS is short, thus the "setting the scene" sentence kind of seems like filler. Also the last sentence of the first paragraph can be easily be broken into two for easier reading.

"At the Transfer Student Center, it was my duty essentially to help new transfer students" take out essentially.

While I do like it I think I agree with dj_spin's assessment. I understand that you have selected your peer mentoring to highlight that you have skills that would be of benefit in law school. Still, being the first to graduate is a significant accomplishment. You could also elaborate on how education gave your life "a way out" of the circumstances you grew up with. Considering the direction you seem to be going with in your opening paragraphs I feel that highlighting or focusing on that gives those first paragraphs "more weight." In its current state it comes off as being a means to connect how you were able to have a connection with those you mentored.

Cricha11
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby Cricha11 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:11 am

I really liked your overall statement, especially the beginning.. However, I have to agree with some of the above posters as I got further down it got disconnected. I like your peer-mentor position inclusion but maybe add more depth to it, describe maybe a particular case where you felt an affinity towards one of the people you were helping. Regardless of whether or not you use that idea, try to add in more detail to that job and tie it into your experiences with your father more strongly - it seems right now like you have two different PS's going.

t was while I was still an undergraduate, though, that a volunteer position I held at my university completely affirmed my decision to pursue law school. The legal career path was first suggested to me by an aptitude test in a community college career counseling class. I was not surprised by the suggestion, and it confirmed my long-time suspicion that my academic talents might be consonant with those required by the study of law. At this time, however, law was still just a consideration – I was also seriously considering graduate study in philosophy or literature, two fields in which professors told me I could really flourish.


I really wasn't a fan of this paragraph specifically. It seems forced to me and this is where your whole essay starts becoming disconnected for the initial theme. I would try and integrate your family struggles more strongly throughout to help keep that theme running. I think this could be especially valuable when you talk about those individuals you helped as transfer students, both disadvantaged in a way so you felt a strong sense of connection with them taking them in as your own family to a degree. Just elaborate more and tie in your family theme. I think with those ideas this could be a very strong statement! Hope this helps!

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NiccoloA
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby NiccoloA » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:03 am

I'll echo the comments of the first poster. But really, I like the direction of the first part of your PS a lot. It reaches out and pulls you in, I think that if you keep on that track, describe your struggles and overcoming them more fully, it will be perfect.

CanadianWolf
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:40 am

CHANGE: "...people with which..." to "...people with whom...".

CHANGE: "...all adapt..." to "...to adapt...".

The final paragraph needs to be redone. For example, "leads to the study of law", not "demands my study of the law". DELETE: Everything after this phrase. Conclude with, therefore, "...leads to the study of law."

horrorbusiness
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby horrorbusiness » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:26 pm

dj_spin wrote:
horrorbusiness wrote:The year is 1991, and the setting is the visitation center of the Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution in southern California. I’m just four years old, and my mother is about to witness the end of my sweet naiveté about my father. The reality of the situation settles in my young mind for the first time, and hits me hard. I turn to my mother, eyes wide, and stammer out, “m-m-my dad is in jail?” I begin crying inconsolably before she can reply. Nothing makes my mother both laugh and cry like telling this story, and I believe nothing has shaped me and my interest in the law like the struggles of my parents and family before me.

My father was an illegal immigrant to the United States who got himself imprisoned, and later deported, just months after my birth. Because he was the sole breadwinner of our small family, and because of complications related to his imprisonment, my mother was left as a 40-year old single parent of two young boys without a home and without a job. I was born into what is probably the very nadir of our family’s course of history. From such a low point, however, things had nowhere to go but up. And up they went, albeit with no shortage of financial stress and struggle. My mother was able to get a caretaking job at a local hospital and a small place for us to rent, fully committed to raising my brother and I as well as she could on her own.

My brother and I took to schooling immediately. If we were to transcend our humble beginnings, as our mother was working so hard to allow us to, we had no choice but to exhaust all the opportunities given to us, especially the opportunity of succeeding in school. Fortunately, I took on what seem to be two family-wide inclinations: a natural affinity for language and a voracious appetite for reading.


Up until this point, I really liked it a lot. It needs to be re-read in depth with a focus on rewriting for clarity, but I was genuinely taken with the story.

After this, your description of your accomplishments is too boring, and looks too much like you are struggling to fit things which are not especially important into a box of importance. Being the first to graduate from college is an actually important thing, especially the look in your mothers eyes that day after all those years of struggle (which are elided for some reason, in favor of peer mentoring which is neither significant nor interesting).

You must have something more about you, something in mind about the kind of lawyer you want to become, that says so much more about you than something we've already read off of your resume.

That's just my thoughts.


I appreciate the posts everyone, especially yours dj_spin since everyone seems to agree with your assessment. gonna do some heavy revisions today and see what you guys think.

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patrickd139
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:35 pm

FWIW, I read "The year is 1991..." and all I could think of was JayZ.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwoM5fLITfk#t=0m55s

horrorbusiness
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby horrorbusiness » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:50 pm

patrickd139 wrote:FWIW, I read "The year is 1991..." and all I could think of was JayZ.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwoM5fLITfk#t=0m55s


lol, i got 99 problems and all of them are related to getting into law school

horrorbusiness
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby horrorbusiness » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:45 pm

To the people who have previously commented on my essay, and even those who haven't: do you think i should remove my peer-mentoring position entirely? I got that vibe from some of your comments.

I put it in originally because I thought it could serve as 1) evidence that i'm an empathetic person, 2) a good, partial reason for my pursuing law school, and 3) further evidence that i can relate to the disenfranchised and therefore be an effective advocate for them.

I really want to hear some thoughts on this, thanks!

CanadianWolf
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:29 pm

Peer-mentoring should be viewed as an asset by law schools since the primary purpose of law school is to teach law students to teach themselves, and this is best learned by teaching others. The problem, however, with your paragraph on peer-mentoring is found in the last sentence after "...a desire for success...". If you conclude that paragraph with "a desire for success." it will be much stronger, in my opinion.

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

Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby horrorbusiness » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:43 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Peer-mentoring should be viewed as an asset by law schools since the primary purpose of law school is to teach law students to teach themselves, and this is best learned by teaching others. The problem, however, with your paragraph on peer-mentoring is found in the last sentence after "...a desire for success...". If you conclude that paragraph with "a desire for success." it will be much stronger, in my opinion.


Much appreciated.

powerscore
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Re: I reviewed your PS, now review mine!

Postby powerscore » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:26 am

I put myself through college with loans, grants, and by working part-time, and still managed to I flourish in these two fields, especially in the latter.

This stuck out to me, i don't think you meant " and still managed to I ..

I was able to delight my family by not only becoming the first to graduate college, but also by receiving multiple Dean’s Honors List appointments and participating in many programs, clubs, and teams at my university.

I don't know if the use of the word delight is the best here. I would try and find a different way to put it.

It was while I was still an undergraduate, though, that a volunteer position I held at my university completely affirmed my decision to pursue law school.

I would also reword this, it is slightly awkward sounding.

I was also seriously considering graduate study in philosophy or literature, two fields in which professors told me I could really flourish.

Repetitive use of the word flourish.

The advocacy I offered during my tenure gave me but a taste of what I now know I want to do for the rest of my life.

This sounds a bit cliche, you might want to express this feeling in a different way.

Overall I think the beginning is stronger than the end, I feel like you have good things to say at the end, you just might want to find a way to make them stronger and more cohesive.

Thank you for your help on my personal statement, I am doing major overhaul.

Good luck!




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