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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
aten2080
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:55 pm

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Postby aten2080 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:13 am

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Last edited by aten2080 on Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DickyBumBum
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:24 pm

Re: Why Cornell Essay

Postby DickyBumBum » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:16 am

I would definitely rephrase the part about wanting to experience an "intimate and placid lifestyle." I think it always seems somewhat patronizing when "city-folk" talk about the quaintness of small-town life. Also, don't say the "institution will adequately prepare" you. Use a stronger word than adequately.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Why Cornell Essay

Postby moneybagsphd » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:11 pm

Definitely change the "placid lifestyle" thing. Also, "Cornell Law is located in the small and beautiful city of Ithaca and is known for its low faculty-to-student ratio" sounds like it was ripped right out of their brochure. If you're going to mention the location, be more specific. If you're going to talk about the low faculty-to-student ration, at least explain what appeals to you about this aspect of education... is it more personalized? get to acquainted with your professors? You can even set up a contrast with Berkeley (where I went/live btw), and coming from a large public institution.

Also, the second paragraph is the real substance of your essay, so I suggest expanding on it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Why Cornell Essay

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:16 pm

Cornell Law touts its placid lifestyle as a reason prospective law students should consider Cornell Law School. Read the TLS profile on Cornell (an intimate & serene setting). It is a main selling point that Cornell admissions emphasizes in other publications as well.

Overall this an ineffective Why Cornell Law statement because it is too generic.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Why Cornell Essay

Postby moneybagsphd » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:27 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Cornell Law touts its placid lifestyle as a reason prospective law students should consider Cornell Law School. Read the TLS profile on Cornell (an intimate & serene setting). It is a main selling point that Cornell admissions emphasizes in other publications as well.

This is true. But if they're going to mention it, shouldn't they at least try to explain why a placid lifestyle appeals to them? They want to focus on academics, they enjoy nature, etc.

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Ostrizr316
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:56 pm

Re: Why Cornell Essay

Postby Ostrizr316 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:39 pm

aten2080 wrote:As discussed extensively in my statements, I was entrapped within my segregated community throughout my childhood. I’ve always wanted to spread my wings and explore, but this city kept me grounded. Once I moved to Northern California, a new array of academic opportunities was presented to me. I hope the Cornell University Law School will do the same. Being raised near the big-city life of Los Angeles and later attending U.C. Berkeley, I am ready to embark on an eastern journey and experience an intimate and placid lifestyle. Cornell Law is located in the small and beautiful city of Ithaca and is known for its low faculty-to-student ratio. I believe this is the type of environment where I can foster my academic potential and continue my excursion in becoming the best advocate for underprivileged individuals.

Lets break this down:
aten2080 wrote:As discussed extensively in my statements, I was entrapped within my segregated community throughout my childhood. I’ve always wanted to spread my wings and explore, but this city kept me grounded.

I already don't like you after reading this line. "As discussed extensively in my statements" connotes that the reader should already understand the answer. They shouldn't, its your job to reiterate. Also, your metaphorical spreading your wings and being grounded by the city comes off as forced and disingenuous.
aten2080 wrote:Once I moved to Northern California, a new array of academic opportunities was presented to me. I hope the Cornell University Law School will do the same.

Oh really, you went college and were presented with academic opportunities? Thats what college is. You hope Cornell will do the same? What, is Cornell potentially not going to do that? Or have you not done enough research to know whether it will?
aten2080 wrote:Being raised near the big-city life of Los Angeles and later attending U.C. Berkeley, I am ready to embark on an eastern journey and experience an intimate and placid lifestyle.

Eastern journey? Are you backpacking out here? Or are you going to take a flight like everyone else who comes to Cornell from Cali?

Intimate and placid lifestyle sounds like you want to have a boring sex life.
aten2080 wrote:Cornell Law is located in the small and beautiful city of Ithaca...

Know your audience. If you think that the reader of a why Cornell statement doesn't know this then you really need to rethink law school.
aten2080 wrote:...and is known for its low faculty-to-student ratio. I believe this is the type of environment where I can foster my academic potential and continue my excursion in becoming the best advocate for underprivileged individuals.

This is the first thing that you've said that has anything remotely to do with "Why Cornell" and should be the lead of the paragraph. Except don't use the word excursion, unless you plan on advocating via backpacking too.


The person reading these things is literally seeing dozens per day. Using some metaphorical round-about of how Ithaca is the perfect place for you to journey to and spread your wings is a waste. Instead, focus on what you want:
- You want to go to a school that will give you the best educational opportunities to be an advocate for the underprivileged.
- Cornell has a wide variety of clinicals that will provide you with real world expereince
- Cornell's focus on 2L and 3L externships means that you'll have a better chance of developing real skills and having an impact early in your career then if you attend another school.
- Ithaca can provide you with a study and living environment that is vastly different than the one you grew up in. ( I don't know what you meant by intimate and placid lifestyle so i cant help you here. )

Good luck




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