Preliminary PS and Essay

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Preliminary PS and Essay

Postby Clawson112 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:54 pm

First time poster, friends.
Here is the scoop. I have a LSAC GPA of a 3.96 and a disparity with my LSAT score--155. Ouch. I was PTing in the high 160's. I am retaking in December (keep your fingers crossed). I am still going to apply to some regional state schools with my score. These are a couple of first draft essays. UTK asks for both an essay and a personal statement. These, I believe, encompass some achievements as well as oddities. Here goes. Any input would be very much appreciated.

A joke around my house involves the invocation of the “five-second rule” when a food item is carelessly dropped. For far too many children, dropped food is no joke. In fact, many are faced with the sad realization that they, along with their family members, will not have enough food to last them through the weekend. Today, almost one person out of every six does not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life, making hunger and malnutrition the number one risk to health worldwide—greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. In the spring of 2007, I believed, and still do, that no child should go hungry. This need in my community inspired me to take action and provide food for those in need, and what started as a big and seemingly unattainable dream turned into a life-changing reality called 5 Loaves 4 Kids.

At the age of 17, my charge was a call to action and a call to feed where there was no food. It was my goal to help as many underprivileged children in Tullahoma as I feasibly could. By targeting those children that were enrolled in the city school system, I was able to collaborate with principals, the school nutrition director and a team of very dedicated counselors to compile a list of critical need students. Each targeted child on that list was given a bag of food every Friday afternoon, and that bag contained approximately two to three dollars worth of food items. From our compiled list, we found that one out of every ten students from Tullahoma City Schools was in need of additional food in their homes.

Along the way, I gathered monetary pledges and donations, vehicles and drivers to make the weekly trip to Nashville Second Harvest Food Bank to pick up food, and volunteers to sack and deliver the food to each school every week. Thousands of dollars in donations have continued to pour in, 5 Loaves 4 Kids has achieved 501 (c)(3) status, and a core of caring men and women have built a passion for these needy children and their families.

A great work is continuing and thriving based on my belief that no child in America should bear the burden and social injustice of going hungry. I have been forever touched and changed as the result of seeing prison inmates volunteer alongside Rotarians for children that they will never identify, and I have received the greatest blessing of all—to evoke a social change and awareness. I have been able to give back to a community that has given me countless opportunities.

5 Loaves 4 Kids has grown from feeding 25 students a week to over 300. The motto for 5 Loaves is “Started by a child to help a child; continued by a community that cares for its children.” I am forever grateful that I have grown from a child with big dreams to an adult that wants to change the world through my spirit of compassion, dedication and service.

I will never forget the feeling that I had on the night of June 18th, 2011. I stood there in the most amazing gown I could think of in front of thousands of viewers and the six individuals that would decide my fate for the upcoming year. I was shaking in my four inch heels and holding on to a young woman who would go on to win Miss Tennessee 2011. You see, ever since I was four years old, I have never missed a Miss America Pageant. When I was seven, Miss Tennessee came to my second grade classroom and put her crown on my head and told me that one day I would be Miss Tennessee. She never told me I would be first runner-up to Miss Tennessee.

The Miss America Organization prides itself on the quality of its contestants. Each girl that passes through the ranks of the system is judged on five categories: interview, talent, evening gown, swimsuit and on-stage question. After I was crowned Miss Chattanooga, I was given the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss Tennessee 2011. I believed that I had everything it took to carry the title and represent Tennessee in the Miss America Pageant in January of 2012.

My first area of competition was interview. Being a political science major and a cognizant and concerned citizen, I was able to answer inquiries about political disputes, the budget crisis, international issues and disparities in legislation. I handled myself with authority and confidence with political issues, and I evoked humility as well as humor when talking about why I was qualified to become the next winner.

That evening, I walked across the stage in a swimsuit. No, I do not feel that I objectified myself as a walking billboard for sex, rather, I rejoiced in the fact that I had the discipline and determination to look and feel my best. The next night in evening gown, I was able to show that this six foot tall girl could exude poise and grace under pressure, all while keeping a smile on my face. After answering my on-stage question, I proved that I could speak articulately on any subject in front of a very large and certainly critical audience.

In the talent category I had the pleasure of performing on stage, something that I have done since I was a child. I felt at home under the spotlight singing to a Diana Ross ballad. After that night, I knew that I had put forth a compelling case as to why I should be crowned the next evening.

Indeed, law school is no beauty pageant; however, those qualities that I either possessed before pageants or developed while competing are qualities that are absolutely necessary for practicing law. I know how to lose, I know how to win, and most importantly I know how to serve others to make my world a more complete and just place. Just like Miss Tennessee, I believe that I have “everything it takes” to be not only a wonderful law student, but also an effective and compassionate practicing attorney.

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Re: Preliminary PS and Essay

Postby hyakku » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:38 pm

As I always preface my critiques in here, I'm not one of the pros, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

First of all, with that gpa, get that LSAT score up, a 167+ and you're looking at some t-14 acceptances most likely.

Anyway, i know you've heard this, but I wanted to stress that because you seem like a kickass applicant. I enjoyed reading the first essay so much I couldn't even be bothered to critique it and went to google it. To be honest, I would use THAT as your ps, and thankfully, you can use your other essay as your DS, because thats something that makes you unique to law schools (from what I've seen of law schools, they do alright but there aren't too many miss Tennessee's [runner ups or not] posted on LS quads). You can use this as a DS too though, I just found this one to be a lot stronger (for reasons I'll illuminate when I get to your second one)

Critiques on first:
Would combine first two sentences with a but (carelessly dropped, but for far too many...), just stylistic preference, not necessary).

"my goal was to help" rather than "it was my goal"

Remove the and make school nutrition directors plural (unless there is only one for the district, but this sentence makes it sound like you had to go to multiple school nurses / nutritionists)

Third paragraph: after Nashville bank change to "pick up and deliver the food to each school every week", commas seem to break that sentence up so I wanted to reduce that, again, stylistic preference.

If you do plan on using this as a ps, consider adding a bit about how you wish to contribute to the community at the school you join and wish to help cultivate social change there (berkeley would love you I think if you can get that LSAT to at least a 165)

Im hungry now so I can't critique the second one as well or long, but the things that immediately stuck out were:

1. The objectification comment. I understand where you are coming from, but it sounds here as if you are kind of snapping back at the reader who may not even feel that way. Try to figure out a way to temper this some.

2. This one seems a bit haughtier. In the first your balance was nearly perfect, in this you sway towards the arrogant unintentionally (not that you are). For instance, "I handled myself with authority and confidence with political issues, and I evoked humility as well as humor when talking about why I was qualified to become the next winner" and

"After answering my on-stage question, I proved that I could speak articulately on any subject in front of a very large and certainly critical audience. "

"After that night, I knew that I had put forth a compelling case as to why I should be crowned the next evening"

The only reason I point these out is because I can tell you definitely weren't trying to sound arrogant, but it still came off a little that way, at least IMO. Besides those though, I think its relatively solid, but I'll let someone else comment, gotta go cop some oatmeal.

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