Need Honest Feedback

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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DickyBumBum
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Need Honest Feedback

Postby DickyBumBum » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:26 pm

removed
Last edited by DickyBumBum on Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DickyBumBum
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Re: Need Honest Feedback

Postby DickyBumBum » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:23 pm

bump

kublaikahn
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Re: Need Honest Feedback

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:11 pm

If you are trying to teach adcoms about the difference between retributive and rehabilitative justice, they already know. If you want to say you favor the latter, you are simply stating the position of about 80-90% of applicants. I would find a topic that says more about you than you prefer treatment and rehab to the inhumanity of prison life. This seems as trite as any topic I can think of.

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paratactical
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Re: Need Honest Feedback

Postby paratactical » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:13 pm

My $.02:

You've clearly got good material to work with, but I think you're framing it poorly. First, while I respect your views and appreciate your ability to articulate them, you're limiting yourself by doing a thorough retelling of your resume rather then telling the reader something more intimate. When you talk about your two positions, it's clear that there must be some compelling shit going on. Rather than tell us that it's compelling and meaningful, you'd do better to compare and contrast two brief vignettes, one from each career, to display these two different view points. After those two stories, you can expound upon those opinions and your goals as space allows. If you can give some good treatment to some stories, the reader will give several more fucks about you and your goals.

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DickyBumBum
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Re: Need Honest Feedback

Postby DickyBumBum » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:11 am

Thanks for the input. The last few people I had read it were very encouraging--had practically nothing negative to say about it. I appreciate the divergence of opinions, I'm just a little unsure of how to proceed from here. Anyone else care to comment?

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danielhay11
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Re: Need Honest Feedback

Postby danielhay11 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:51 am

I agree with Paratactical. You'd be much well served offering a compelling story about a patient at the recovery center or a particular story at the magazine. "Resume essays" get little reaction besides an eye roll with adcoms. I come away from this essay thinking, "It's great you feel that way, but why? Show me, don't tell me."

Also, I would lose the esoteric opening. Law schools don't care about your theories on jurisprudence. They want to hear about you; to an admissions officer (or, worse, a law school prof), this will come across as forced, trite, or at the very least unoriginal.

You're burying the lead here. You have two WEs that are not only great softs but provide compelling reasons to attend law school. Focus on them, and remember less is more: use one moment or a few short anecdotes rather than just turn your resume into prose.

kublaikahn
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Re: Need Honest Feedback

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:23 pm

"is the present culmination of a perpetual effort to unite, on a personal level, the realms of theory and practice." This statement sounds antithetical because you improperly use culmination where a better word like manifestation would serve. Regardless, this is not the thesis of your paper, although I can see it twirling in your mind. Let the reader in on this secret. If you can tell a compelling story that ties your understanding of rehabilitative justice to your actions, you can make this point better. I, for one, am glad your ideas are shaped by more than your textbooks. But the other posters are correct that when you do not give a story of your experience it comes off as a resume regurgitation.

The third to last paragraph is just fluff. You state a claim, "it would be disingenuous of me to portray my draw to the legal field as of a purely professional or intellectual nature," but then fail to support it, instead giving some blurb about your academics. First, professional pursuits are action-oriented not theoretical exercises, so the statement contradicts your point. You need to cut the professional aspect out of the claim. Secondly, it should be supported more directly from your entire PS and in particular in that paragraph (perhaps you just mistakenly segregated the next paragraph from this one.) Secondly, do not use the word disingenuous to describe yourself, even if you are refuting it. Turn it into the positive. "My experience informed my support for the theoretical underpinnings of rehabilitation, but I desire to do more than support that position. I want to be a lawyer to put those theories into practice."

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DickyBumBum
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Re: Need Honest Feedback

Postby DickyBumBum » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:41 pm

This is all excellent advice. Thank you.




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