Second draft personal statement.. Criticism much appreciated

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Stl2012
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:53 pm

Second draft personal statement.. Criticism much appreciated

Postby Stl2012 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:59 am

Down for editing- thanks for advice everyone!
Last edited by Stl2012 on Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Stl2012
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:53 pm

Re: Second draft personal statement.. Criticism much appreciated

Postby Stl2012 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:49 am

shameless bump...

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

Re: Second draft personal statement.. Criticism much appreciated

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:19 pm

The semester abroad thing is a bit overdone. But it can work, I suppose. If your point was that you are good at crisis management (which is the necessary premise of your argument), it is irrelevant that you found a place to stay. Now, if you calmed the group down and together they built a solution, then it works. I like the argument of drawing an analogy, but you will need to do it better.

The last paragraph about the drunk driving incident is wholly unconnected. You need to go with either/or. But I can tell you from first read, that dd story had nothing to do with you. Also, you make a statement about the purpose of the lawsuit not being to punish the drunk driver. Why? Do you think the DD does not need to be punished? Besides, the DD is not even party to the suit, so how is that relevant?

thestillpoint
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:45 pm

Re: Second draft personal statement.. Criticism much appreciated

Postby thestillpoint » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:39 pm

I have to agree with kublaikhan that the study aboard PS is frequently done. Perhaps consider using this more as a short ancedote to illustrate your leadership abilities / adaptability in a difficult situation. This could then be broaden and supported by other instances.

A couple grammatical issues:
everybody was worried about where we would be sleeping and, more importantly, about keeping our belongings


open to suggestions about how to best get out of the situation we were in.


that now was not the time to start discussing why we should never have come to Prague in the first place


I sought out advice from a hostel secretary and, at 2 a.m., we found a place to stay.


In terms of the next part of your PS, I'm not sure if it's wise to mention your intensive LSAT prep course. It does demonstrate how busy you were while still earning good grades, but I don't see any reason to draw attention to having taken a course (especially depending on how your LSAT score turned out). This is my personal view, not sure what others have said previously about this.

As for your last paragraph, did this take place when you were younger? If so, it's a bit confusing chronologically to have this at the very end and it makes your PS seem disjointed. You could perhaps open with this bit, but I don't think it's the strongest material to conclude your PS or to demonstrate why you will make a good law student / lawyer (rather than just why you want to become one).

I hope this is helpful, I think figuring out a more cohesive theme would give your PS a better flow. The drunk driving incident or your study abroad experience could be better used as supporting evidence, but I think you need a little more "you" in the essay.

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

Re: Second draft personal statement.. Criticism much appreciated

Postby horrorbusiness » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:39 pm

Stl2012 wrote:We were lost late at night in an Eastern European country that none of us had ever been to before. My classmates and I were taking a Crisis Diplomacy class in Vienna, Austria and decided to travel to Prague for the weekend. The hostel we booked gave our rooms away, so our group was searching for somewhere to sleep in the Czech Republic at 11:30 at night. It was a long day of traveling and group morale began to deteriorate. Frustrations boiled over, people lost their composure, and everybody was worried where we would be sleeping and, more importantly, keeping our belongings. Our group of twenty looked like typical American tourists; we had suitcases, ipods, and were completely disoriented and unaware of our surroundings. Up until this point, I remained calm and open to suggestions as how to best get out of the situation we were in. When people started arguing and bickering, I stepped in and reminded everybody that now was not the time to start discussing why we should have never came to Prague in the first place, or why whoever planned the trip should be scolded. I told them we needed to find a place to stay and that was the bottom line. After settling everyone down and throwing around ideas, I sought out advice from a hostel secretary and at 2 a.m., we found a place to stay.

Events like this seemed to become the norm for our group in our six week study abroad program. Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong. Yet, being thrown into these unfamiliar, stressful situations is something that has made me a more confident individual. Although I did not handle every situation as well as I could have while I was in Europe, I was able to roll with the punches, succeed in an appropriately titled ‘Crisis Diplomacy’ class, and immerse myself in another culture in a short span of time. Law school is another unfamiliar, stressful situation that I will have to adapt to, and I believe I can succeed given my track record.

However, my study abroad class is not the only testament to my academic success and potential in law school. I have performed especially well in the past spring term due to a maturation of my academic identity, goals, and interests. In a term where I had decided to challenge myself by taking all upper level courses, an honors course, and an intensive 11 hour/week LSAT prep course, I performed at a higher level than in any other semester. I am assured that not only can I succeed in law school, but law school is a judicious path to take toward my career goals.

I have held a steady interest in the law for most of my academic life, but was not always convinced that law school was right for me. However, after watching those in the legal profession help people in a capacity that most cannot, I became convinced that I could gain great satisfaction out of a career in law. This moment came after hearing that a friend of mine and teammate in high school had lost his older brother in a drunken driving accident when we were young kids, and that their family filed suit against the drinking establishment that served the drunk driver. The suit was not about money, or getting revenge on the drunk driver and his family. The suit was about shutting down a bar that was notorious for serving underage kids that came to the bar on a frequent basis and usually drove home. The suit eventually forced the bar to shut down, gave my friend’s family the closure they deserved, and made the surrounding area and roads a safer place. To be able to serve in this capacity, to provide help to those families who need guidance, and to perform an essential public service by defending those who may not be able to defend themselves, that is why I want to become a lawyer.


Grammar and style are good but the content is kinda poor. At least the first half. I don't think the study abroad thing has any effect on the adcomms. What reaction are you expecting to elicit by basically saying "I'm rich enough to study abroad, and the biggest challenge in life I've faced is getting lost during my time in a European country" ?? I feel like everything you mention about your European trip isn't a real problem, and none of your solutions to those "problems" are worth mentioning either. You more or less had an average semester abroad.

That being said, I like the second half a lot more. If you were to expand that and make it more convincing this would be a lot better of a statement.




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