Begging for your feedback...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
spring2012hopeful
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:55 am

Begging for your feedback...

Postby spring2012hopeful » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:44 am




I would highly appreciate your help in transforming this into my final draft. I'm not the strongest writer, and have noticed that several of you are capable of offering very constructive criticism. Spring deadlines are coming up, and I really need to polish this.





Bright lights, alarms, chaos - I was pulled away towards the back of the room, and then just like that my life was forever changed.

A decade in the grand scheme of things is such an infinitesimal amount of time, and yet a decade was quite sufficient to define me. My journey began as a struggle for independence. It was a common coming of age battle for power, until of course I went a bit overboard as was my nature.

I longed for the freedom and respect which I was certain would accompany my chosen course of action. I was much too impatient to wait for a year or two to implement my plan, so I hastily made the decision to withdraw from high school and to begin college at the age of fifteen. I then took my pursuit for independence to the next level and married at seventeen. By the time that I was twenty, four of my five children had made their debut and my education was put on the back burner.

Life in those days was a whirlwind. My youngest child, and only daughter at that time, was diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality and heart defect in utero. Physicians assured me that the heart defect was quite common, and could be easily repaired when she reached four to six months of age. Exactly three months after she came into my life, my little girl stopped breathing. The emergency room staff brought her back to life three times, and she seemed to be in a more stable condition for hours after the third time. I refused to budge from her bedside. I laid my head next to her little hospital bassinet and held her hand for hours. Out of nowhere, her condition sharply turned for the worse. Within moments she was gone and I was living a nightmare. If she had only made it one more month, the surgery would have likely saved her life. The word devastation could not even begin to encompass the way that I felt. In fact, eight years later it still cannot.

The fall after I lost my daughter, I enrolled in classes at "X" University. She had only been gone for six months, and I was still in a deep state of emotional turmoil. When I was emotionally present I excelled, but when I was not - I did anything but. That pattern continued for several years. I completely lacked direction, and to be perfectly honest, I felt guilty about moving on with my life. If there was a moment that I was not grieving, I felt as though I should be.

Meanwhile, my marriage was deteriorating. Realistically, the marriage had been a charade all along, though I either didn’t know it or would not admit it. There was abuse and infidelity, and yet I endured it all for a decade. My will had been completely annihilated. I just wanted the whole world to stand still, and when it failed to do so – I stood still myself.

My marriage finally came to an end as my house was set ablaze on the very same day that my divorce was filed, and the fire was ruled as arson. The police were unable to find enough evidence to prosecute, so the perpetrator was never punished. Because of losing my home, I was faced with the arduous task of beginning again alone while caring for my three young sons, but I did it. In so doing, I was reminded that I am strong and capable – facts that I will never overlook again. The destruction of my home forced me to rebuild myself, and the demolition of my marriage significantly contributed to that reconstruction.

My counsel in the dissolution proved unreliable, so I chose to represent myself. The need to move forward pro se was serendipitous, for it was my attorney’s physical absence and lack of tenacity when present that led me to realize, through self-representation, that not only am I capable of studying the law and demonstrating that knowledge in court, but that it is in fact my calling.

Over the years I have become exceedingly more selective of the things which I deem to be worthy of my vigilance, and on that list, my academic career is second only to the wellbeing of my children. My children have been at my side as a source of additional motivation throughout the pursuit of my undergraduate degree. My sons have subsequently developed a deep appreciation for the importance of education, and my oldest hopes to attend law school as well one day. I have whole-heartedly attempted to instill in them the belief that study, hard work, and perseverance will lead to success.

Becoming an advocate for those who are struggling as I have in the past, those who are voiceless, and those who have forgotten their strength or have yet to find it is my prime motivation to pursue the study of law. I truly feel that “X” would be the ideal place for me to realize this dream. The chance to participate in the Children and Family Law Center would be a profusely enriching opportunity, not only by providing me with invaluable experience, but also by allowing me the opportunity to positively impact clients’ lives. I can only hope to be amongst the chosen few who will be afforded that opportunity.

spring2012hopeful
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:55 am

Re: Begging for your feedback...

Postby spring2012hopeful » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:57 pm

.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13917
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Begging for your feedback...

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:17 pm

The first sentence needs to go. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything. You start to set a scene and never refer to it again. I have no idea what the lights and alarms are or what room you're being pulled toward the back of.

Aside from that, it has a lot of "This happened. Then this happened. Then this happened," without much introspection or analysis. Any one of the events/subjects you mention could make a great topic for a PS all by itself (leaving school, getting married early, having kids, having a kid with a health problem/losing a kid, representing yourself in a divorce, arson). As it is, there's no room for detail and the reader doesn't really learn much about you as a person, besides the fact that A, B, C, and D happened.

I would pick one event (representing yourself in the divorce, maybe, since it ties so easily to law) and perhaps refer to some (probably not all) of the others in passing as you flesh out your "I want to do family/child law" theme.

ETA: I swear I've read an earlier draft of this before. Did you register with a new screenname? Admins might not like that.

Calchexas
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:31 am

Re: Begging for your feedback...

Postby Calchexas » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:31 pm

Hey S12H,

This is a very nice place to be at for you: this work looks like it should suffice for most 2-3 page requirements, and it is a well-written, personal story that could never be duplicated.

However, I have a few thoughts re content:

*To me, it seems like it takes at least one or two paragraphs too long to get to the point where you have reconstructed yourself. There are a lot of tragic things going on, and I am left with those strong images above all - not the image of you overcoming amazing, overwhelming odds.

The ideas present in your tragic paragraphs are necessary to convey, but consider condensing and tightening those four paragraphs as much as you can. That way, a greater proportion of your piece is dedicated to what's an honestly amazing story of perseverance.

*Your "Bright lights, alarms, chaos" attention-getting device is interesting and effective, but it seems like it takes much too long before it "clicks." Again, I think tightening up those four paragraphs by 40-100 words would solve this issue, but as the poster above me says, considering a different AGD could be worthwhile.

*Your "this is the reason why I want to enter law" is extraordinary, and shouldn't be altered at all save a few minor aesthetic tweaks.

*Per the person above me, maybe a different angle you could take is to jump straight into your house burning. That way, the logic connection between your intro is there right away, and you have time to expand on what happened after that.


*Finally, I have a few grammatical and punctuation tweaks to offer up, but it'd be better if I just sent those to you via PM.

spring2012hopeful
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:55 am

Re: Begging for your feedback...

Postby spring2012hopeful » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:13 pm

Thank you for the feedback. I completely agree about the "and, and, and" way that it reads. So many things have happened over the last 10 years that I have trouble identifying what will be considered relevant. I am well aware that there is a flow issue, so please keep the comments and suggestions coming. The more specific the criticism, the better.

Calchexas,

I would REALLY appreciate that pm.

rinkrat,

I posted my 1st draft about a month or so ago, but it was under the same screen name. :)

User avatar
briviere
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:49 pm

Re: Begging for your feedback...

Postby briviere » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:30 pm

spring2012hopeful wrote:


I would highly appreciate your help in transforming this into my final draft. I'm not the strongest writer, and have noticed that several of you are capable of offering very constructive criticism. Spring deadlines are coming up, and I really need to polish this.





Bright lights, alarms, chaos - I was pulled away towards the back of the room, and then just like that (too vague & cliche, reword. even, "in a flash" would be better.) my life was forever changed.

A decade, (adverbial, need a comma here) in the grand scheme of things, (second comma closes adverbial) is such an infinitesimal amount of time, and yet a decade (redundant, "a decade" used twice in same sentence - rephrase. how about, ... amount of time, yet, within this short span of time I would be re-defined) was quite sufficient to define me. My journey began as a struggle for independence. It was a common coming of age battle for power, until of course I went a bit overboard as was my nature.

I longed for the freedom and respect which I was certain would accompany my chosen course of action. I was much too impatient to wait for a year or two to implement my plan, so I hastily made the decision to withdraw from high school and to begin college at the age of fifteen. I then took my pursuit for independence to the next level and married at seventeen. By the time that I was twenty, four of my five children had made their debut and my education was put on the back burner.

Life in those days was a whirlwind. My youngest child, and only daughter at that time, was diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality and heart defect in utero. Physicians assured me that the heart defect was quite common, and could be easily repaired when she reached four to six months of age. Exactly three months after she came into my life, my little girl stopped breathing. The emergency room staff brought her back to life three times, after which her condition seemed to stabilize. I refused to budge from her bedside, laid my head next to her little hospital bassinet, and held her hand for hours. Suddenly, her condition sharply turned for the worse. Within moments she was gone - I was living a nightmare. If she had only made it one more month, the surgery would have likely saved her life. The word devastation could not even begin to encompass (define, describe) the way that I felt what I was feeling. In fact, eight years later, (close adverbial) it still cannot.

The fall after I lost my daughter, I enrolled in classes at "X" University. She had only been gone for six months, and I was still in a deep state of emotional turmoil. When I was emotionally present I excelled, but when I was not - I did anything but. That This pattern continued for several years. I completely lacked direction, and to be perfectly honest, I felt guilty about moving on with my life. If there was a moment that I was not grieving, I felt as though I should be.

Meanwhile, my marriage was deteriorating. RealisticallyIn truth, the marriage had been a charade all along, though I either didn’t know it or would not admit it. There was abuse and infidelity, and yet I endured it all for a decade. My will had been completely annihilated. I justwanted the whole world to stand still; when it failed to do so – I did.

My marriage finally came to an end as my house was set ablaze on the very same day that my divorce was filed; and the fire was ruled as arson (This sentence is prime material for some symbolic analogy between your marriage symbolically turning to ashes while your house was actually ablaze). The police were unable to find enough evidence to prosecute, so, the perpetrator was never punished. Because As a result of losing my home, I was faced with the arduous task of beginning again alone while caring for my three young sons, but I did it. In so doing, I was reminded that I am strong and capable – facts that I will never overlook again. The destruction of my home forced me to rebuild myself, and the demolition of my marriage significantly contributed to that reconstruction.

My legal counselin the during the dissolution proved unreliable, so, I chose to represent myself. The need to move forward pro se proved serendipitous. My attorney’s physical absence and lack of tenacity when present led me to realize, through self-representation, that not only am I capable of studying the law, having demonstrated that knowledge capability in court, but that it is in fact my calling.

Over the years I have become exceedingly more selectiveof with regards to the thingspursuits whichI deem to be worthy of my vigilance. andOn that list, my academic career is second only to the well-being of my children. My children have been at my side as a source of additional motivation throughout the pursuit of my undergraduate degree. My sons have, subsequently, developed a deep appreciation for the importance of education, and my oldest also hopes to, one day, attend law schoolas well. I have whole-heartedly attempted to instill in them the belief that study, hard work, and perseverance will lead to success.

Becoming an advocate for those who are struggling as I have in the past, those who are voiceless, and those who have forgotten their strength, or have yet to find it, is my prime motivation to pursue the study of law. I truly feel that “X” would be the ideal place for me to realize this dream. The chance to participate in the Children and Family Law Center would be a profusely enriching opportunity, not only by providing me with invaluable experience, but also by allowing me the opportunity to positively impact clients’ lives. I can onlygreatly hope to be amongst the chosen few who will be afforded that opportunity.



This is an extremely powerful story. I do believe there are some grammatical and stylistic issues (some of which I have pointed out above). However, once finalized, I think this will make an excellent PS. Note: I am a humble 0L and have little personal experience upon which I have based my opinions, nonetheless, this is a powerful, demonstrative, and unique story and I'm sure that helps.

All the best,

spring2012hopeful
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:55 am

Re: Begging for your feedback...

Postby spring2012hopeful » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:10 pm

^ Extremely helpful.

Thank you :D




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