Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
BigJohnso
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Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby BigJohnso » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:30 pm

Removed for editing. Thanks to everyone for some really good advice!
Last edited by BigJohnso on Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kublaikahn
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:19 am

Very deeply sorry, but no. This is mostly about what you do not want to do. I would not say I chose to be a lawyer by exhausting my other options.

I think a better angle would be to discuss how in a commercial or research setting your work would need to be hidden from view and the value of your work product could easily be stolen. Explain how your professor taught you some of the industry techniques for securing your data, etc. and this led to a 10 month long conversation that turned more and more to how innovation is both promoted and stymied by intellectual property protection schemes. My point is one can lead to the other without being a rejection of the first.

auntjulia
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby auntjulia » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:56 am

I heartily disagree with the criticism above. In fact, it completely misunderstands your explanation of law as your field of choice, which came off as very honest and sensible. No one in their right mind would take this as you falling back on law as the lesser of two evils so you can disregard that BS. All in all I think it was very good. You demonstrate your intellectual abilities, work ethic and accomplishments in a natural way. You also have very clear goals and good reasons for wanting your law degree. The writing wasn't all puffed up like what I see on lots of other people's personal statements.
Only thing I'd say you must change is the last sentence, make it something with a little more punch and individuality. Other than that I think you've got a very well done PS on your hands.

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hyakku
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby hyakku » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:12 am

auntjulia wrote:I heartily disagree with the criticism above. In fact, it completely misunderstands your explanation of law as your field of choice, which came off as very honest and sensible. No one in their right mind would take this as you falling back on law as the lesser of two evils so you can disregard that BS. All in all I think it was very good. You demonstrate your intellectual abilities, work ethic and accomplishments in a natural way. You also have very clear goals and good reasons for wanting your law degree. The writing wasn't all puffed up like what I see on lots of other people's personal statements.
Only thing I'd say you must change is the last sentence, make it something with a little more punch and individuality. Other than that I think you've got a very well done PS on your hands.


I'm going to agree. I know you just provided me advice, but from an objective standpoint you've prevented yourself from falling into the trap of using bombastic speech (something I'm particularly fond of despite not trying to do it consciously), it's very clear, and it illustrates your abilities well (I now see what you were trying to stress to me, and I think you've pulled it off quite well here).

I didn't get any type of sense of you "falling back" on law. Instead, I got the sense that you were one who had explored many options, and decided that law is where you would most succeed. In this sense I think it's the perfect message to convey; it demonstrates that you aren't just basing your idea of law school off of TV, stereotypes or hearsay, but rather off of knowing what you want out of life after experiencing a variety of things.

Finally, in addition to the sentiment on the last sentence, I think the paragraph that starts with "While..." could either be reduced and integrated, or tweaked slightly. I can't put my finger on it, but it seems to be standing out a little "in the cold" if you know what I mean, but wait to get other's advice as it may be grammatically correct.
Last edited by hyakku on Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:46 am

Although not as well written as it should be, your personal statement is logical, sincere & convincing.

For example, CONSIDER: "These moments led to the realization that I would enjoy...".

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Lady in Red
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby Lady in Red » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:16 pm

BigJohnso wrote:I have learned that I also possess a great passion and ability for figuring out and explaining how complicated things work to people in simple terms. After my recitations as a teaching assistant, students would often approach me after class and say “you have no Idea how much that helped me understand this.” These types of moments made me realize that I would enjoy a career that would allow me to utilize this passion on a day to day basis. I began to research my options.


After reading this, my first thought was, "Why doesn't he become a teacher?"

If you're sure that patent law is the path for you, you might want to strengthen the link between the skill set you've discovered in yourself and the skill set necessary for patent law. Unless you really feel that your ability to teach will help you in patent law, you might cut this part and keep the focus on your scientific background. Instead of explaining how your research led you to eliminate one career, focus on how it led to patent law.

I think your PS is shaping up nicely. A few structural changes will simplify the message. Good luck! :)

BigJohnso
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby BigJohnso » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:18 pm

Thank you all for the advice. I will work on my writing. Lol, this is the first non technical essay i have written in a while.

BigJohnso
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby BigJohnso » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:30 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:After reading this, my first thought was, "Why doesn't he become a teacher?"


Unfortunately, becoming a physics professor is next to impossible and it mainly involves research. I don't think I could deal with being a high school teacher either because I really enjoy learning about complicated subject matters.

In terms of my ability to teach in connection with patent law, my grandfather was an engineer with several patents and he explained to me the process by which he interacted with the attorneys. From these conversations I inferred that the ability to explain how inventions work technologically is a very important part of patent application process. I think the admissions committee will maybe be able to make that connection?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:15 pm

OP: I did not write the quote in your post above; in fact, that thought never occurred to me. My impression is that a career as a patent attorney is a logical choice for you.

kublaikahn
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:48 pm

I read this as someone who says they are passionate about research and then turns and says, but I do not want to do it. In the back of my mind, that dissonance is telling me that you are either undirected, lying about the passion in the first place, or not very good at it.

Those thoughts could be all wrong, but if the people who are deciding your fate read that into this PS, you will not get the result you want. So I could be wrong, and I do appreciate the vulnerability of being honest, but at the very least you need to restructure this and write it better so that you can see that your ambivalence arises over time and is informed by your experience.

BigJohnso
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby BigJohnso » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:09 pm

Sorry Canadian wolf, that quote showed up as yours for some reason.

kublaikahn wrote:I read this as someone who says they are passionate about research and then turns and says, but I do not want to do it. In the back of my mind, that dissonance is telling me that you are either undirected, lying about the passion in the first place, or not very good at it.


Just to let you know, my professor (who went to Berkeley) thought I could get into some of the top five programs in the country doing physics research with my ability.

What I was trying to convey was that I enjoyed the FIRST part of my research much more than the part in the laboratory. I think your concerns are valid and will work on the structure.

kublaikahn
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:36 pm

BigJohnso wrote:Sorry Canadian wolf, that quote showed up as yours for some reason.

kublaikahn wrote:I read this as someone who says they are passionate about research and then turns and says, but I do not want to do it. In the back of my mind, that dissonance is telling me that you are either undirected, lying about the passion in the first place, or not very good at it.


Just to let you know, my professor (who went to Berkeley) thought I could get into some of the top five programs in the country doing physics research with my ability.

What I was trying to convey was that I enjoyed the FIRST part of my research much more than the part in the laboratory. I think your concerns are valid and will work on the structure.

You should add the part about the professors assessment and use that to explain your decision to study law requires you to deliberately pass on a great opportunity. FYI, I didn't really think you sucked at research, I just said that to get your attention.

You see, you do have an angle. You found that there is a specific aspect of research that you don't like, rather than some over-generalization about "not helping people directly." When you said that, my reaction was to challenge you (as in, "scientists can help people directly. What is this guy really saying?") Now, I think I realize you are saying you want to work with people directly. No?

One other thing, when you say over four months you realized...you should not follow that with "At that moment..." Segues are hard, but they are critical. Say something more direct like, "I missed the feedback and interaction of working directly with others. I was most excited about my work when I was describing it to my peers, friends, and family in terms that someone without 10 months of applied knowledge could understand..."

By the way, your writing style is strong, so you will be fine if you just keep working on it.

BigJohnso
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Re: Second Draft PS, tear it apart if you wish

Postby BigJohnso » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:52 pm

kublaikahn wrote:
BigJohnso wrote:Sorry Canadian wolf, that quote showed up as yours for some reason.

kublaikahn wrote:I read this as someone who says they are passionate about research and then turns and says, but I do not want to do it. In the back of my mind, that dissonance is telling me that you are either undirected, lying about the passion in the first place, or not very good at it.


Just to let you know, my professor (who went to Berkeley) thought I could get into some of the top five programs in the country doing physics research with my ability.

What I was trying to convey was that I enjoyed the FIRST part of my research much more than the part in the laboratory. I think your concerns are valid and will work on the structure.

You should add the part about the professors assessment and use that to explain your decision to study law requires you to deliberately pass on a great opportunity. FYI, I didn't really think you sucked at research, I just said that to get your attention.

You see, you do have an angle. You found that there is a specific aspect of research that you don't like, rather than some over-generalization about "not helping people directly." When you said that, my reaction was to challenge you (as in, "scientists can help people directly. What is this guy really saying?") Now, I think I realize you are saying you want to work with people directly. No?

One other thing, when you say over four months you realized...you should not follow that with "At that moment..." Segues are hard, but they are critical. Say something more direct like, "I missed the feedback and interaction of working directly with others. I was most excited about my work when I was describing it to my peers, friends, and family in terms that someone without 10 months of applied knowledge could understand..."

By the way, your writing style is strong, so you will be fine if you just keep working on it.




Thanks a lot, I feel this is very good advice. I appreciate all of your help.




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