Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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thementor31337
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Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby thementor31337 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:59 am

Please read the below and respond with any feedback. I'm having trouble coming to a conclusion after my last paragraph though, I know what I want to say (changing one opinion makes a difference and translating to practing law) but I don't know how to say it without it sounding forced at the end. Also concerned about referencing the Sgt as "the male Sgt" or actually using his last name. Here we go...

I am one of 15,000. This may seem like a nondescript statistic, but it is essential to who I have become. I am a female Marine. Female Marines make up about 7.5% of the total Marine Corps and are truly the fewer and the prouder. Female Marines endure the same training rigors as male Marines and have access to 93% of military occupations. However, female Marines are still seen as outsiders by many and struggle to earn the respect of their male counterparts.

During my almost five years in the Corps, I was often viewed by my male counterparts as weak, inferior, or undeserving of the title United States Marine because I was female. This was unacceptable to me and I was determined to change the views about female Marines. If I could change the opinion of just one male Marine, I would make a difference. I was able to accomplish that feat with hard work, motivation, and leadership ability.

A male Sergeant that worked in the next office would not make eye contact while passing in the hallway, would not return verbal greetings, and would not engage in conversation with me because he firmly believed females have no place in the Marine Corps. He had served for nearly eight years , seen multiple combat deployments, and was preparing to train in Special Operations. He was viewed as a Marine's Marine. Over the course of a year that we interacted on an almost daily basis, I continued to try and break through the seemingly impenetrable wall he had placed in front of female Marines. Little by little he gave way, after observing me leading my all male work section in physical training sessions, seeing the effort and hours I put into building a successful and efficient work section, and realizing that his leadership viewed me as the go-to Marine in my office.

His shift in opinion became apparent on the day I was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for stellar work performance during a four month period in 2010. Upon the conclusion of the ceremony, he quickly approached me, shook my hand, and said "You deserve this Cpl X, you really work hard for this place." I was shocked that the Sergeant who not so long ago wouldn't even make acknowledge my presence was now offering congratulations.

It was at that moment I realized that I had changed his opinion about female Marines. I had earned his respect and proven myself worthy to wear the uniform by working hard and setting a stellar example for my Marines to follow. Although he is just one person, I feel I made a difference in the struggle for females to stand on equal ground with male Marines. I want to take that experience now and apply it to a different path in life, the practice of law. It is possible to effect change by just influencing one person's opinion about a group of people or a set of circumstances, as I did with the Sergeant, and I feel the best way I can effect positive change is to pursue the practice of law at XXX Law School.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:26 am

Your essay is well done, convincing & complete, in my opinion.

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thementor31337
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby thementor31337 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:51 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Your essay is well done, convincing & complete, in my opinion.


Thank you!! I appreciate your feedback; you're pretty much the resource around here.

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salsahips
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby salsahips » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:42 pm

Really great essay, I was actually WANTING to continue to read it which honestly does not happen much. You tell the story really well.

I hope your DS is coming along, having read it, it will actually be a great supplement to your PS.

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thementor31337
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby thementor31337 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:45 pm

salsahips wrote:Really great essay, I was actually WANTING to continue to read it which honestly does not happen much. You tell the story really well.

I hope your DS is coming along, having read it, it will actually be a great supplement to your PS.


Thanks so much for the input!! I'm going to continue working on my DS after the holiday and hopefully it will work in concert with my PS.

smokemonsterfromLOST
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby smokemonsterfromLOST » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:21 am

1. "are still seen as" - too passive. Alter this sentence to make it active.
2. "male Sergeant that worked" - should be WHO, not THAT.
3. "He was viewed as a Marine's Marine." - more passive voice.
4. "wouldn't even make acknowledge my presence" - I don't think you mean to include the word make here.
5. Your last two paragraphs both present 'hinge' moments - you should probably limit the pivot to one or the other. I find 'on the day'/'at that moment' kind of jarring and not totally necessary.
6. No need to namedrop the school you're applying to. It feels like pandering and you're likely to embarrass yourself by forgetting to change the name of the school.

Overall it's a really strong statement and, as someone has mentioned, I'd love to read more - why did you win the medal? how do you feel about gender parity in the legal profession?

Thanks for your service and best of luck.

D10
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby D10 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:32 am

Definitely a good essay. It's a really unique topic/experience and I'm sure any admissions committee would be impressed by your achievements!

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thementor31337
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby thementor31337 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:43 pm

smokemonsterfromLOST wrote:1. "are still seen as" - too passive. Alter this sentence to make it active.
2. "male Sergeant that worked" - should be WHO, not THAT.
3. "He was viewed as a Marine's Marine." - more passive voice.
4. "wouldn't even make acknowledge my presence" - I don't think you mean to include the word make here.
5. Your last two paragraphs both present 'hinge' moments - you should probably limit the pivot to one or the other. I find 'on the day'/'at that moment' kind of jarring and not totally necessary.
6. No need to namedrop the school you're applying to. It feels like pandering and you're likely to embarrass yourself by forgetting to change the name of the school.

Overall it's a really strong statement and, as someone has mentioned, I'd love to read more - why did you win the medal? how do you feel about gender parity in the legal profession?

Thanks for your service and best of luck.


Thank you for the grammatical edits. I've always had trouble with passive/active voice. I guess I just got used to writing in passive because during UG my grammar wasn't really critiqued on papers. My Legal Research and Writing professor that I have now stated that passive voice is a lazy way of writing, and I guess that's why a lot of people just default to it, because it's easier. I agree with #6, I think I can just end the sentence at 'the practice of law.'

Also, I was awarded the medal because I took it upon myself to provide all aspects of administrative support to a 300 student Warrant Officer class for the period January 2010-May 2010 and during that period, I also led my office to a 98.6% command effectiveness rating in our biennial audit after our office failed the audit in 2008. That included processing over 700 reimbursements for travel expenses, joining the 300 personnel and making sure their records were accurate, keeping account of their service books, and typing a DD214 form for each student. I did this without assistance from any of my clerks, I kind of took it as my personal mission. It was a crazy four months and I was surprised when my command actually approved the award. When I read my personnel officer's write up, I was like 'Wow, I really did all that.' It was a pretty awesome moment, and although you'll always have those people who hate on you, it was like nothing could bring me down.

I find it interesting that although there are increased numbers of female applicants in law school, at least according to entering class profiles, it still seems like there are less women than men in the legal profession. Currently, I'm pursuing a Masters' in Paralegal Studies at GWU and about 95% of my classmates are women, which I think is interesting, because women are again dominant in the support role, but not taking the main stage. I don't think, however, that gender parity in the legal profession, or lack thereof, is as severe as the military. In the civilian world, a man may not like a woman in a certain position, but it is very unlikely that he would be openly hostile towards her because of the potential for a lawsuit. This is not so in the military, males can be openly hostile towards females and there is not much that can really be done because the majority of the leadership is male, so even if a female had a legitimate claim of a hostile work environment, etc it would be looked over because many think the female is just 'being too sensitive.' We've come along way towards gender parity in the military, but the battle is far from over in my opinion.

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thementor31337
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby thementor31337 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:52 pm

To respond point by point:

smokemonsterfromLOST wrote:1. "are still seen as" - too passive. Alter this sentence to make it active. - Switched to 'However, many still view female Marines as outsiders and we struggle to earn the respect of our male counterparts.'
2. "male Sergeant that worked" - should be WHO, not THAT. - Switched to who
3. "He was viewed as a Marine's Marine." - more passive voice. - Switched to 'Other male Marines viewed him as a Marine's Marine.'
4. "wouldn't even make acknowledge my presence" - I don't think you mean to include the word make here. - I didn't
5. Your last two paragraphs both present 'hinge' moments - you should probably limit the pivot to one or the other. I find 'on the day'/'at that moment' kind of jarring and not totally necessary. - I agree after reading it again, I switched the 'on the day' to 'when' and deleted 'at that moment' and replaced with 'then.'
6. No need to namedrop the school you're applying to. It feels like pandering and you're likely to embarrass yourself by forgetting to change the name of the school. - Agreed, I ended the sentence after 'the practice of law.'

Overall it's a really strong statement and, as someone has mentioned, I'd love to read more - why did you win the medal? how do you feel about gender parity in the legal profession?

Thanks for your service and best of luck.

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lrslayer
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby lrslayer » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:00 pm

truth. when i checked into my squadron my gunny told me, "don't fuck anyone in the shop." i was the second female to hold my mos and it def was an uphill battle. good luck with your cycle.

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thementor31337
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Re: Rough Draft PS, any feedback appreciated!

Postby thementor31337 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:19 pm

lrslayer wrote:truth. when i checked into my squadron my gunny told me, "don't fuck anyone in the shop." i was the second female to hold my mos and it def was an uphill battle. good luck with your cycle.


When I checked into my unit, my CoGySgt made a point to ask me in front of the all the company staff (while I was still in Alpha's) if I was on birth control because every female who worked in my section seemed to be pregnant within their first year. It was not the intro I was expecting. Unbelievable, but true! I have a lot of respect for females that go into hardcore MOS's and succeed. I had the privilege of meeting the first female EOD Warrant Officer when she came through TBS for training. She was kick-ass and had the respect of all the males, even the combat arms guys (grunts, arty, tanks, etc).




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