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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
anonymous124
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Postby anonymous124 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:17 pm

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Last edited by anonymous124 on Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

horrorbusiness
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Re: Final PS- Please Critique

Postby horrorbusiness » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:16 pm

This reminded me of the kids who found themselves clients at a non-profit organization I solicited funds for when working in development consulting who could not afford any.


long, ugly sentence.

It was impossible not to empathize with the plight of children telling me how their drug dealing guardians forced them to start selling crack before turning eight since they were not old enough to be charged criminally if caught.


long, ugly sentence.

Once I got over my fear of briefing cases in public I ended up with a 98 average. My interest was piqued.


98 average in what?

Deciding in 2010 to start preparing for the law school admissions process I took a constitutional law elective the next semester and again excelled.


but taking constitutional law doesn't prepare you for the law school admissions process.

A moot court project for that class at the XXX law center taught me that regardless of whatever field of law I end up practicing I would like it to involve litigation.


this sentence might benefit from a comma.

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pkrtbx
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Re: Final PS- Please Critique

Postby pkrtbx » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:24 pm

Most children spend their summers in camp. I spent mine in my aunt’s courtroom in Ohio.


I am not one to get all up in arms about teh CLASSISM or anything, but I even kind of chortled at the first sentence. Most kids definitely don't spend their summers at camps. It's not a big deal but grabbed my attention on a weird way.

I became enamored with the legal process from a young age, sitting through routine docket calls and the occasional trial while shadowing defense attorneys trying to land in the Judge’s good graces.


I don't think "enamored" means what you think it means, and the passivity of the sentence makes it blah anyway. I would say "The law seduced me early on..." or something.

Comprehending the intricacies of our judicial system became an avocation of mine; to this day I find the systematic dismantling of an intense, real-life cross examination to be far more entertaining than Law and Order.


Your use of "avocation" completely ruins the flow of the sentence; "hobby" gets your point across fine and sounds much better. Also, the two ideas in this sentence aren't really related. You say that you became interested in comprehending the intricacies of the judicial system, and then that IRL is more interesting than TV. Is that because there are some intricacies that you understand about IRL that make it more interesting? You never say.

Undergraduate law courses at XXX served to transform that lifelong, idealistic admiration of the law into an unwavering pursuit of law school admission.


"served to transform" = "transformed"
"lifelong, idealistic admiration" is hyperbolic and cliche
so is "unwavering pursuit"

I'm guessing that your ugrad con law classes solidified your decision to become a lawyer, not to unwaveringly pursue admission to law school for its own sake. I would change your wording to reflect that.

“How much justice can you afford?” That was the caption beneath a cartooned lawyer being handed a stack of cash which my business law professor selected as the first slide of her semester’s PowerPoint presentation in 2010.


Date seems irrelevant.

Naturally, I could identify and sympathize with the majority of the clients there whom I was privileged to interact with. It was impossible not to empathize with the plight of children telling me how their drug dealing guardians forced them to start selling crack before turning eight since they were not old enough to be charged criminally if caught.


The second sentence makes the first entirely redundant. The second sentence could be rephrased much more effectively: "...drug-dealing guardians forced them to sell crack as young as (5? 6?) years old, in order to circumvent criminal charges." or whatever.

I imagine stimulating such a line of inquiry in her students is exactly why Professor XXX chose to place that slide first.


That sentence reads terribly, just take it out.

As a naïve, optimistic 18-year-old I majored in accounting because it had the largest starting salary listed next to it on the sheet of majors provided by the XXX Honor’s College.


I would alter word choice here. Picking a major based on its high starting salary actually comes off as cynical and jaded, whereas becoming a lawyer in order to gift justice upon the poor would be naïve and optimistic.

Once I got over my fear of briefing cases in public I ended up with a 98 average. My interest was piqued.


The whole part about briefing and your grade is confusing. The second sentence makes it sound like your interest was piqued by the grade and not the subject matter. I'd take both out.

Not only would I find the weeks of late-night preparation with my classmates for this project to be fulfilling, but that preparation would culminate with the moot trial where I was given a chance to go “work a room.”


Why all the "would"s? Why not just: "Not only did I find the weeks of late-night preparation with my classmates ["for this project" is redundant] ["to be" is unnecessary] fulfilling, but it led to my first opportunity to "work a courtroom." As your sentence is written the "Not only...but also" structure doesn't make a lot of sense because the second piece isn't really superlative of the first.

I enjoyed my work in development because it allowed me to do the same when speaking at fundraisers or privately attempting to convince a high net worth donor why our client was a worthy cause.


Use "persuade" instead of "convince"

I believe I demonstrate the desire, character traits and academic acumen necessary to be successful in that endeavor and respectfully seek your confirmation via admission.


This sentence is very, very awkward to me. I would end just restating your confidence in your abilities, but don't "respectfully seek confirmation via admission."

anonymous124
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:33 am

Re: Final PS- Please Critique

Postby anonymous124 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:04 pm

Thank both of you for taking the time to read this and for your helpful responses. I will edit out the ambiguities. I knew what I was trying to get across when I drafted this but obviously seeing where I was unclear is a benefit of posting on this forum.

Aside from those grammatical issues, did the theme read effectively enough to get the job done at my pressumptive admit schools?

anonymous124
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:33 am

Re: Final PS- Please Critique

Postby anonymous124 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:50 am

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Last edited by anonymous124 on Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: Final PS- Please Critique

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:33 am

Let me start by saying that you come across as intelligent and accomplished. That's a good thing.

I looked at some of the revisions you've made, and I think you went from sounding a little cynical to sounding outright condescending. You replaced "naive" with "starry-eyed?" That's kind of insulting to anyone who's ever followed through with their idealistic visions. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but you don't come across as the kind of person that really gives a shit about the underprivileged people you're talking about. Then you say you can empathize with them? There's no basis for that in your PS, and it could set off the "bullshit alarm."

You have some great accomplishments to talk about. I'd focus a lot more on the ways they've helped you grow as a person. How has your thought process changed? The only thing I could really glean is that you somehow became more hardened or seasoned. I urge you stay far away from this attitude and remove all traces of it from your PS, as you haven't earned that mantle (from, say, the perspective of someone who's been successfully fighting legal battles for 30 years).

Overall, I'd say your claims are not congruent with your tone. It's not a huge deal, but it could come across as offensive. If your numbers are over the schools's 75th, this PS won't kill your application. If your adcomms are rubbed the way I was, they might choose someone else who sounds more sincere.

I also want to add that I'm not doubting your sincerity, but that you need to communicate it more effectively. Good luck!




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