PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
tombnorton
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:25 pm

PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby tombnorton » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:21 pm

Hi all, I've finished draft number 1 for my application to Fordham. Let me give you some background info:
1. 3.98 GPA/163 LSAT (My LSAT is a little below Fordham's median, so I really want to nail the PS)
2. Applying to Fordham (and possibly Columbia--any thoughts?!!) to study IP law, because I want to pursue a career in music business law.
3. In my PS I've tried to emphasize a few things:
A.) Telling a story that conveys passion and excitement about a topic
B.) Evidence of social activity/engagement
C.) Evidence of work experience
D.) Showing that I'm in touch with reality
E.) Displaying resourcefulness and creativity
F.) Showing that I have good reason to go to law school, and that I have what it takes to succeed there

One thing that I'm worried about is that my flow of logic in terms of addressing "why I want to go to law school" may be a little weak. Any suggestions or comments about this, as well as any other comments and suggestions, would be appreciated. Thanks!

-----
As a professional guitar player, I’ve done some thrilling stuff. I’ve nailed that killer lick. I’ve laid down a track in the studio with one perfect take. I’ve found myself lost in the music I’m playing, and in rare moments of transcendence above body and mind. The biggest thrill, though, comes when I’m in a five-by-five foot room, with a student sitting in the chair across from mine. Usually, professional musicians consider teaching lessons as a necessity to make ends meet. I consider it the best part of the job.

Students are like complex puzzles. Each has peculiarities of personality that once solved, allow me to teach to the student in a focused, personal way. The students pay back my attention with enthusiasm and hard effort. The smile on a student’s face after he or she has finally nailed that tricky chord change or lick makes me misty-eyed, because knowing that I’m partly responsible for his or her success is the most satisfying prize.

I’ve had some students for a long time. By seeing them week after week, year after year, I’ve developed a strong sense of community with them and their families. I’ve seen innocent five year olds grow into mischievous middles schoolers; I’ve seen scrawny, shy sixth graders grow up to be young adults with strong personalities, who drive themselves to lessons, perform gigs of their own, and take days off to visit colleges.

The lessons themselves became note enough: I needed something more. So, in 2008, I created and directed a guitar ensemble and a summer jazz band program for my students. My goal in founding these groups was to provide a forum in which students of varying age, skill, and interests could learn and play together, sharing their skills and ideas, and all reaching towards a goal of perform music. My plan worked: at the start of each new program session, new faces joined the groups on account of what they had seen and heard of us before. Through quality public performances and word of mouth, I increased enrollment in my ensembles by 300 percent, and succeeded in creating the type of collective forum I had envisioned.

Still, the community I’ve created is a small one. In some ways, it still occupies only the five-by-five-foot space of my lesson room. And though I love the puzzle-world of teaching, I know that more complex puzzles, more formidable intellectual challenges, and greater opportunities exist within the music business law community.

Like my students who are preparing to start college, or even high school and middle school, I am geared to embark a new start in law school. My passion for the music world, coupled with my craving to creatively solve challenges, has ignited a desire to extend my passion for teaching to the study and practice of intellectual property law.

Intellectual property law is much like a new student: it is young, malleable, and growing up very quickly. Students need the guidance and wisdom of teachers to realize their full potential. Intellectual property law—especially as it relates to the rapidly-changing music business—is another puzzle that needs savvy, skilled, and attentive individuals like me to sort through its pieces, discover its potential, and guide it to maturity.

MrAnon
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Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby MrAnon » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:30 pm

you should worry about the LSAT score. I am not sure these personal statements are even evaluated.

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Kess
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:26 pm

Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby Kess » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:31 pm

Overall, your PS is an interesting read. Music Business is a fascinating field, good luck getting into it,

Two comments:

When you say, "I’ve nailed that killer lick", I actually wasn't sure what you meant. I am guessing that it is a guitar term, but are you sure that adcomms will be super guitar savvy?

When you say that IP "needs savvy, skilled, and attentive individuals like me", I see where you are coming from. However, I wouldn't pat myself on the back quite so much. Your actions should speak for themselves (as they do) and the reader should draw this conclusion on their own.

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ggibelli
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Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby ggibelli » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:32 pm

For starters I really enjoyed your PS. It read fluidly and kept me engaged the entire way through. Your progression throughout is very good and the tie in to this progression in your conclusion fits well. The only thing that came off negatively to me is the mention of "moments of transcendence above body and mind." It came across to me as if you we're high on a drug even though I doubt thats what you were! Just a thought.

I can't speak toward the Fordham aspect of your situation but wish you the best of luck!

llachans
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:54 pm

Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby llachans » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:36 pm

Kess wrote:When you say, "I’ve nailed that killer lick", I actually wasn't sure what you meant. I am guessing that it is a guitar term, but are you sure that adcomms will be super guitar savvy?

I didn't have a problem with this. I recognized the term "lick" and knew what it referred to without any guitar experience. Perhaps you could say "mastered" instead of "nailed" and an adjective other than "killer" if you do end up tweaking the sentence.

Kess wrote:When you say that IP "needs savvy, skilled, and attentive individuals like me", I see where you are coming from. However, I wouldn't pat myself on the back quite so much. Your actions should speak for themselves (as they do) and the reader should draw this conclusion on their own.

I agree with this 100%. I'd take this advice. Your PS affirms that you are all of those qualities. There's no reason to shove it down the adcomms' throat.

tennisking88
Posts: 655
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Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby tennisking88 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:36 pm

I liked your PS but you should probably have a science or engineering background for IP. Not entirely sure what IP law is in the music biz or how you would get into that specific of a field.

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Kess
Posts: 394
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Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby Kess » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:42 pm

tennisking88 wrote:I liked your PS but you should probably have a science or engineering background for IP. Not entirely sure what IP law is in the music biz or how you would get into that specific of a field.


I am assuming OP is interested in working with copyrights. Either that or he doesn't mean IP but rather entertainment/contract law.

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:04 pm

"...and in rare moments of transcendence above body and mind." Your meaning is not clear.

"The students pay back my attention..." is awkward.

"...misty eyed" is corny & suggests that you are overly emotional.

"The lessons themselves became note enough..." What does this mean ?

"...on account of what they had heard & seen of us before." Awkward musing of a 15 year old.

"Through quality public performances..." sounds like a 13 year old's writing.

Rethink the final paragraph.

My overall impression is that you are quite young and that writing is not one of your strengths.

tombnorton
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby tombnorton » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:34 pm

MrAnon wrote:you should worry about the LSAT score. I am not sure these personal statements are even evaluated.


MrAnon, I am concerned most about my LSAT score. I recently read a transcript of a 2009 interview with Fordham's Assosciate Dean of Admissions, in which he said that an applicant's personal statement is read before their numbers are considered. This is why I want to have a solid PS, given my LSAT score. He also admits a preference for PSs that include some of the points that I focused on in writing mine. If you could contribute any suggestions relating to the points I tried to address in my PS, I'd appreciate it. Thanks for reading

tombnorton
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby tombnorton » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:35 pm

Kess wrote:Overall, your PS is an interesting read. Music Business is a fascinating field, good luck getting into it,

Two comments:

When you say, "I’ve nailed that killer lick", I actually wasn't sure what you meant. I am guessing that it is a guitar term, but are you sure that adcomms will be super guitar savvy?

When you say that IP "needs savvy, skilled, and attentive individuals like me", I see where you are coming from. However, I wouldn't pat myself on the back quite so much. Your actions should speak for themselves (as they do) and the reader should draw this conclusion on their own.


Thanks for your input. Sorry for the musician lingo--I'll see how it works itself out in future edits. I especially appreciate your critique of that self-serving sentence at the end. I'll definitely revise that bit. Thanks for reading

tombnorton
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby tombnorton » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:36 pm

Kess wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:I liked your PS but you should probably have a science or engineering background for IP. Not entirely sure what IP law is in the music biz or how you would get into that specific of a field.


I am assuming OP is interested in working with copyrights. Either that or he doesn't mean IP but rather entertainment/contract law.



Thanks so much for this input. I definitely will clarify this in later drafts.

tombnorton
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: PS for Fordham. Hack it up!

Postby tombnorton » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:10 pm

bump for more critiques please!




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