PS Review - Research + law school

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 9:20 pm

PS Review - Research + law school

Postby UMatti » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:20 pm

Dearest TLS community,

I would appreciate any feedback on my personal statement and would be willing to critique anyone else's in exchange. For those who have read my previous statements, this is something completely different and hopefully better. I feel this abandoned the "life narrative" approach and works better as a personal statement.

Again, thanks for any feedback

[Edited] 2nd draft below

On the table before me sat a large book filled with research projects. Maybe I would work with a psychology graduate student to better understand the human mind; or a sociology professor to understand the impact institutions have on racial stereotypes. The options were limitless, but I reverted back to what had brought me to the University of Michigan and the study of Political Science. At the age of sixteen, I left the isolated Upper Peninsula of Michigan to work on the U.S. House Floor as a Congressional Page. Working in the Capitol, interacting with Members, and studying atop the Library of Congress ignited my interest in the law and politics. The energy and focus of those around me was contagious. I left with my expectations and goals propped up on idealistic notions of the law. I entered into my first year of college looking for experience and affirmation of my intent to study the law. In my research with a member of the Ann Arbor Energy Commission, I realized law school was ultimately where my interests lie and that by attending I would receive the training necessary to achieve my goals.

The goal of this project was to advise the city council on their energy policy. My role was to assist development of a plan for conducting the audits and to help carry them out. In the early stages, I familiarized myself with REM/Rate (Residential Energy Methodology) and the National Energy Audit Tool; two computer programs that took home measurements and identified the sources of efficiency loss. After I had a better understanding of the measurements we would need for an accurate audit, I began to go to area homes with my sponsor. Among other things, we took meticulous note of the location of windows, the building materials used, and the seal the house provided from the elements. This last measurement was done by hooking up a giant fan to the front door and blowing air out of the house. Then a pressure reading was taken to give an idea of how well the house was insulated. By the end of my first year in college, I had learned more about light bulbs, windows, and insulation than I could have imagined possible.

Although I value the practical knowledge of this experience, the process of taking raw data and converting it into a meaningful set of options for homeowners was where I felt most rewarded. We would often meet families excited by the idea of reducing their energy consumption (and bills), but unsure of how to proceed in doing so. Through the measurements we took and expertise of my sponsor, we provided guidance and advice to those who needed it. I draw a parallel between this and the work of an attorney. Each client presents a new set of circumstances from which legal expertise can identify potential courses of action. From this experience and others, I tend to view things from a legal perspective. I know that a legal education from XXX law school will give me the training necessary to put this initiative and ambition to work.
Last edited by UMatti on Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 28
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 9:20 pm

Re: Conclusion help and rough draft critique!

Postby UMatti » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:41 pm

Bump. Anyone's thoughts?

Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:09 am

Re: Conclusion help and rough draft critique!

Postby JasonR » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:34 am

I think the second paragraph is largely unnecessary. It's basically info that you're going to include in your resume.

Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Conclusion help and rough draft critique!

Postby kublaikahn » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:55 am

You did great up until here:
Understanding that this was all possible within a particular legal context was captivating. What combination of regulations, credits and other government intervention (or absence) was needed to spur green innovation and initiative? I wanted to understand more and knew that a legal education was the necessary stepping stone toward doing so.

I had matured from a star-struck teenager on the U.S. House Floor to a young academic studying the impact of government on my community. The end of the year marked a transition from idealistic notions of the law to hands on experience working within it. Understanding the legal context in which this project and other community initiatives are possible is something only a legal education will provide me. I know that the XXX College of Law will give me the legal training I need to be successful in the future.

Captivating? Come on. Based on your assessment you are better to study politics and econ. I would tie this project to law in a more grounded way. Like investigating facts, applying rules and laws, and forming options for your clients. It's a good story, but the tie in to law is tenuous. You did not get an understanding of how the law interacts with society from this project. And to say so, seems an embellishment or naive assumption.

Rewrite the ending.

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