First Draft of Statement. All readers welcome.

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harocutter
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:46 am

First Draft of Statement. All readers welcome.

Postby harocutter » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:40 pm

This is my first draft of my personal statement. It will probably have some grammatical errors in it, etc. It's pretty long so any ideas of what I could cut out would be helpful. Other opinions/ideas on the overall statement would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
Also, I'm planning on writing an addendum, does have have to be included in the 3 page maximum, or can it be in addition to the 3 page maximum?


The stage lights turned from a bright illumination into a subtle glow. The chattering of the audience fell silent, the only sound now coming from the nervous beating of my heart. I looked out from backstage and saw my goal, a single chair in front of a large audience. I clinched my guitar with one hand and did the sign of the cross with the other. “This is your moment, this is what you worked so hard for,” I told myself. With those words cycling in my head I stepped out from behind the curtain and walked towards my goal. The thousands of hours practicing and years of commitment, it all came down to this moment, my senior classical guitar recital. I closed my eyes, pressed the guitar against my heart, and began to play. The hall filled with an equal amount of music and my evaporated nerves. With each note I grew more confident, with each piece I grew more ambitious. Time slipped from consciousness awareness into a periphera, afterthought, and before I knew it I had achieved my goal, the recital was a success. The audience showered me with applause and cheers, an inner warmth and happiness overwhelmed me and I never felt so good about myself. As the audience began to leave I noticed one of my professors approaching. He congratulated me on a wonderful performance and asked, “So, what’s next?” When I replied, “law school”, he looked a bit surprised. With that surprised look still on his face he asked, “Why law school? It’s a big change from music performance.” Although the question he asked was simple, the answer requires an elaborate look into where I come from, what I have accomplished, and my ultimate life goals. The synthesis of these components will not only answer why I want to go to law school, but why I would be an exceptional candidate for Loyola Law School.

The study and performance of music in relation to the study and practice of law might seem analogous to oil and water. I believe, however, that my background in the study and performance of music has instilled in me unique and valuable skills that are directly applicable to the study and practice of law, both practically and theoretically. Learning how to play the classical guitar is the most difficult, but most rewarding journey I have undertaken. The thousands of hours perched in front of scores from geniuses like Bach and Barrios, noting every detail in an attempt to perform a sophisticated and authentic music. The thick calluses and sore hands that result from always striving to be a better musician. A deep sense of accomplishment that overwhelms you when you create something beautiful and realize all your hard work paid off. I see the work ethic that is required to become proficient on a classical instrument as the same work ethic that is required to be successful in law school. I look forward to new challenges, whether they be difficult pieces of music, or academic goals, because I know through the means of hard work the ends will be success.
Performing music develops additional practical skills that are useful in the practice of law. When a lawyer is litigating they are giving a type of performance, with goals very similar to that of music. The goal of litigation is to present an argument through an instrument, the lawyer, in an attempt to persuade an audience, the jury, to believe and to authentic your argument. When I perform music my goals are equivalent to that of litigation. I present my argument, the music, through my instrument, the guitar, in an attempt to convince and move my audience. My goal in performing music is to persuade my audience into believing that I am authentic, that what I am presenting is “musical truth.” This unique skill is something that I would love to put to use and cultivate through participating in Loyola’s respected moot court activities. I will bring unique and advantageous skills to Loyola that will contribute to a diverse, capable, and intelligent student body.

My knowledge of music theory is another unique skill that will provide me with an advantage in learning and applying law. Music theory is based on a set of rules and standards, similar to that of legal rules and precedents. In order for a musician to compose a new piece of music they must research and fully understand the implications of these rules. Mastering these rules allows a musician to interpret them and apply them to new situations, allowing for artistic creativity while maintaining a link to the underlying rules. This approach to music is analogous to one a lawyer would use in applying legal rules or precedents to their cases. A lawyer must research and understand the rules of law, they can then use that knowledge to apply legal rules to new situations that arise in their cases. These theoretical similarities between music and law will allow me to provide a unique perspective on the study of law. My perspective will contribute to lively and interesting class discussions and help individual students who have different backgrounds view ideas in new ways. The skills and knowledge that I gained in college are only part of what makes me an exceptional candidate for Loyola. My accomplishments throughout college also testify to my ability to succeed and contribute to the betterment of my fellow students.

When I declared music performance as my major I joined the Chico State Guitar Ensemble. The ensemble is made up of around sixteen guitarists who are divided into four sections based on skill level. The most coveted and respected position, reserved for only the most skillful and dedicated student, is first chair in guitar section one. The first chair guitarists also takes on the role of a mentor, helping new members strengthen their abilities so that the entire ensemble becomes stronger. When I first joined the ensemble I was placed in guitar section four, the section reserved for newcomers and lower skilled guitarists. I saw the skill and musicianship that the first chair guitarist displayed, and I knew I had the desire and the talent inside me to achieve that position, so I began working towards my goal. My professor would tell me to practice for three hours a night, I would practice for six. I was never absent from any ensemble meeting. I showed up early and I stayed late. My instructor saw and heard my dedication and after only one year he appointed me first chair guitarist. I maintained that position for three semesters until I graduated. I have accomplished great things not only in music, but also in another academic field, English.

I was involved with a unique and interesting English program at CSU Chico titled English 30. The English 30 program gives students, who have been recommended by English faculty and who complete a demanding internship and upper-level English course, the opportunity to help their peers with English related assignments. English 30 consists of a workshop style class, where ten students and one leader meet every week for two hours to work on and discuss English related assignments. The transformation of my students, from struggling writers into confident authors, drove me to become deeply involved with the program. Over the four years of my English 30 career I was recognized for my intelligence and ability to help others. I was promoted to a head mentor position where I took on the responsibility of training future English 30 leaders, as well as, assisting the director of English 30 in designing the future of the program. The director of the program also gave me the opportunity to assist with graduate level research, where I developed useful analysis and research skills. Through my involvement with the English 30 program I have become a strong and confident writer, developed a desire to help others improve their weaknesses through my strengths, and proven that I can achieve success in academic fields that are different than my own. All of what I have achieved and learned is only scaffolding, scaffolding that supports why I’m wiritng this, why law school makes sense.

I remember when I was young, playing in the schoolyard and just enjoying being a kid. The excitement of jumping off a swing, or scoring your first 3-point shot, childhood should be remembered fondly. For some kids though, the schoolyard was a place of torment and bullying. I saw these innocent kids being subjected to cruel and vicious behavior. The names they were called, the grass stains on their knees from being shoved into the ground, and although I was young I knew this treatment was unjust. However, I was a timid kid, not very big or very strong, so I did nothing to help protect these kids. I always dreamed of one day waking up with super strength, or incredible martial arts skills, and standing up to this injustice. I never got the power to move mountains or fight like Bruce Lee, but as I grew up I realized I don’t need those powers to fight for justice, all I need is the knowledge of law. Law school makes sense because it will give me the knowledge and ability to fulfill a lifetime desire of serving justice in society. I want to use my law degree and work for the District Attorney’s office. I believe working for the District Attorney’s office will give me the opportunity and power to fight for the betterment of society, and uphold morality and justice. My desire for social justice and integrity in law is also why Loyola is my first choice. Loyola’s mission statement and commitment to ethics, integrity, and justice is a reflection of what I am committed to pursuing. I want to go to a law school that has a history and reputation for producing graduates that are moral, intelligent, and above all else, provide a service for the public good.

Master Tofu
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:43 pm

Re: First Draft of Statement. All readers welcome.

Postby Master Tofu » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:18 am

Show, don't tell. I thought this PS had great potential after reading the first paragraph but was slightly let down by the resume-esque recitation that followed. Don't tell me why a musician would make a good lawyer or the grade that you got in English 30, that's not the point of PS.

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

Re: First Draft of Statement. All readers welcome.

Postby horrorbusiness » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:33 am

harocutter wrote:I remember when I was young, playing in the schoolyard and just enjoying being a kid. The excitement of jumping off a swing, or scoring your first 3-point shot, childhood should be remembered fondly. For some kids though, the schoolyard was a place of torment and bullying. I saw these innocent kids being subjected to cruel and vicious behavior. The names they were called, the grass stains on their knees from being shoved into the ground, and although I was young I knew this treatment was unjust. However, I was a timid kid, not very big or very strong, so I did nothing to help protect these kids. I always dreamed of one day waking up with super strength, or incredible martial arts skills, and standing up to this injustice. I never got the power to move mountains or fight like Bruce Lee, but as I grew up I realized I don’t need those powers to fight for justice, all I need is the knowledge of law. Law school makes sense because it will give me the knowledge and ability to fulfill a lifetime desire of serving justice in society. I want to use my law degree and work for the District Attorney’s office. I believe working for the District Attorney’s office will give me the opportunity and power to fight for the betterment of society, and uphold morality and justice. My desire for social justice and integrity in law is also why Loyola is my first choice. Loyola’s mission statement and commitment to ethics, integrity, and justice is a reflection of what I am committed to pursuing. I want to go to a law school that has a history and reputation for producing graduates that are moral, intelligent, and above all else, provide a service for the public good.


Well this paragraph really came out of nowhere. Did you just cram this on the end for a "why loyola" vibe?? i mean...

Law school makes sense because it will give me the knowledge and ability to fulfill a lifetime desire of serving justice in society.


What the hell? way to tell us your lifetime desire 5 seconds before we're done reading the statement, completely out of nowhere and not at all in line with the rest of the PS.

This last paragraph REALLY doesn't fit into your PS. feels like you frankenstein'ed it onto the end of some other PS you already wrote.

however, i really like the stuff before the last paragraphs. the analogies are interesting, though slightly cheesy, but i kinda liked them. just do something about this last paragraph, please.




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