help/critique on my personal statement please :)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
julesss
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:52 pm

help/critique on my personal statement please :)

Postby julesss » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:56 pm

a
Last edited by julesss on Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hyakku
Posts: 604
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: help/critique on my personal statement please :)

Postby hyakku » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:05 pm

Lol knowing a bunch of Dominicans from home, I immediately could relate to what you meant when you said loud. I don't even have dominican parents and they've instilled the fear of the chancleta into me.

Im not a pro editor, so I don't want to touch it too much, but I liked the general message you are sending out here. There are some phrases that I think other posters can help you out in, but one thing I would definitely suggest you change is

"I have often envied my friends who have never had to work a day in their lives, I know my experiences have been far more rewarding than theirs."

One, because it's unlikely that your friends have never worked a day in their life, even if it's not at a job (I know what you mean though, I've been working since I was 15) per se. Two, you can't really claim that your experiences are "more rewarding" than anyone else's objectively (nor should you subjectively if you are trying to sound humble, which you have throughout the essay except in this instance in my opinion). Finally, it sounds a bit bitter, almost as though you are angry at your friends for not having to work. I know that's not what you mean; coming from the same spot I can relate to being frustrated when my friends bitch about being "broke" while I've got car payments, rent, and groceries to buy on a shitty salary, but you don't want it to come off that way.

In any case, I think you've got a pretty solid ps foundation here and home someone can help you out and perfect it. Good luck

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msblaw89
Posts: 2669
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:10 pm

Re: help/critique on my personal statement please :)

Postby msblaw89 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:12 pm

You have advanced syntax throughout your entire statement, but it is "scaled down" because of your "common" word choices ( IMO). If you try to swap some of the common words for more advanced vocabulary, I think your statement will be stronger overall.

VyingDestiny
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: help/critique on my personal statement please :)

Postby VyingDestiny » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:28 am

julesss wrote:If I had to describe my family in one word, I would say "loud" sums it up relatively well. Ever since my parents divorced when I was four years old, I, my brother me and my family of about 10 first-generation immigrants from the Dominican Republic have lived together all under one roof. Fights over the bathroom, shrieks of frustration when someone soils the kitchen floor that my grandmother spent hours cleaning, laughter and dancing to a staticky [I'm amazed this is a word, but even so, please use an alternative] radio playing salsa and merengue, and simple conversations held at decibels far higher than the average American might find comfortable, have all become parts of my daily routine that many would rightfully characterize as obnoxious and boisterous. What those of different cultures often fail to realize, however, is that the exaggerated expressions exhibited by my family are only direct consequences of the love and affection also inherent among it. In traditional Latino cultures like my own, intimate familial bonds are of utmost importance. Through these bonds, I have learned the fundamental values that have allowed me to become the woman I am today, and for that, I am eternally grateful. [Overly cliche, and ultimately unnecessary]

Although my mother, her parents, and her siblings all faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles when their home and family business were devastated by Hurricane David in 1979, not once have they allowed anything to impede their progress. My pursuit of academic success has always been motivated by my respect for the impossible [word choice] strength my family has demonstrated as immigrants: from my grandmother's years of drudgery working in a factory for less than minimum wage, which resulted in several surgeries to her frail, damaged hands, to my aunts' navigation of the college admissions process entirely on their own, which to everyone's surprise led to their acceptances to prestigious universities. [Run-on; simplify] If these first-generation immigrants were able to overcome the cultural, linguistic, financial and educational barriers they faced, I have absolutely no excuse not to do the same as a second-generation immigrant with greater opportunities than my family could have ever imagined.

Beginning in high school, I have managed to maintain financial independence from my parents, working and earning my own money while simultaneously excelling academically. I have learned that it is not an easy task keeping a balance between work and school, but although I have often envied my friends who have never had to work a day in their lives, I know my experiences have been far more rewarding than theirs [An interesting, but unsupportable anecdote; omit]. I am proud to say that I have inherited my family's work ethic, and as a result, I am able to appreciate not only what my family has done for me, but more importantly what I have done for myself.

I have volunteered at The Partnership at Drugfree.org for many years, implementing [word choice] my unremitting desire to help others in any way that I can—yet another inherited trait for which I owe thanks to my family. I cannot help but be drawn to those of Hispanic descent, especially those who have yet to master the English language. Whenever possible, I have tried to use my Spanish-speaking abilities to the advantage of others, in order to avert the same feelings of alienation and disconnect my family felt when they first arrived to the United States.

While I have not always dreamed of becoming an attorney like many law school applicants, my experience as a legal assistant at a law firm, coupled with my genuine compassion for those who are ignorant of their legal rights due to lack of education or language barriers, have stimulated my interest in the legal field to the point that there is nothing else for which I feel better suited. [Remove or rework; sounds borderline petulant] By attending law school, I hope to attain the knowledge and skills that will enable me to advocate for those individuals who are in the same shoes my family was in thirty years ago.

In sum, I do not retract my previous assertion of my family being loud, obnoxious and boisterous; I would, however, like to clarify that also intrinsic within these passionate forms of expression is "strength," thus making it possible to still define them by my initial word choice. [Awkward wording] Strength is only one of the traditional Latino values my family has instilled within me, among others such as respect, compassion, work ethic, and perseverance. With my family serving as an example of what can be conquered with the right attitude and mindset, I have never relented in my many years as a student or as an individual. If given the opportunity to attend your law school, I am sure that I will validate the truth ofthose words.


What I like:

Your story, as well as your overarching message. This is the type of statement that makes me genuinely interested in knowing you as a person, so kudos on demonstrating a genuinely intriguing personality.

What I dislike:

Parts of this are simply too conversational. In addition, many of your clauses are superfluous and just do not add any substance to your statement. I have highlighted some that I noticed, but I think this is something to really pay attention to in your writing, as it is a pervasive issue.

It might be difficult to refine this with an eye for professionalism, while still maintaining the aspects of personality that make it compelling, but I think that is the next step that will propel this to a sensational statement.

julesss
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:52 pm

Re: help/critique on my personal statement please :)

Postby julesss » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:46 am

a




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