Need critique on my Personal Statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
dancerleslie22
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:05 pm

Need critique on my Personal Statement

Postby dancerleslie22 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:11 pm

Taken down for edits. Thanks for the feedback!
Last edited by dancerleslie22 on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

bracton
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:07 am

Re: Need critique on my Personal Statement

Postby bracton » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:25 pm

dancerleslie22 wrote: Six core values- excellence, respect, leadership, integrity, loyalty, and selfless service were engraved in the wall I was staring at. And there in the middle of the hallway, I had what psychologists would call an “AHA” moment. These six core values described myself perfectly, and to this day, I use them to describe myself because I wish to present a truer picture of who I really am .


You're clearly a modest, humble lady. Good luck in the job hunt.

postn0bills
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: Need critique on my Personal Statement

Postby postn0bills » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:00 am

I wonder if you're trying to focus on too many things in this PS and not enough on something truly revealing about yourself. While I understand the words are all applicable, is there one that means the most to you? Is there a specific experience you can show (show, not tell) that gives the reader a better understanding of you as a person and what's motivated you to apply to law school? Right now, it feels like a resume dump. I found the volunteer work you mentioned to be interesting, as well as the family values tied in with your Hispanic background. If you wanted to keep the six words as your theme, maybe there is a way for you to expand on one of those experiences to touch upon the six terms you believe describe you? It seems to me that the volunteer work for example relates to excellence, respect, leadership, integrity, loyalty, and selfless service.

Another thing that concerns me is that the words come from something you passed by in a college building. Because they were displayed publicly, they are more or less generic in nature and seems to me that they could apply to anyone (which is probably the intent). If you're going to use these words and introduce them as coming from something you walked by one day, I would consider connecting them to something deeper. Of all the words you see in a given day, why did these jump out at you specifically?

Ultimately, I don't feel like I am learning about what kind of a person you are from this personal statement. Although it probably wasn't your intent, it comes off as contrived. I would recommend writing a few drafts of any personal statement idea from scratch before settling on one to perfect.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Need critique on my Personal Statement

Postby thederangedwang » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:00 am

The topic is fine, but you make a lot of fundamental mistakes. Generally, using a quote from a famous person is considered a lazy writing technique since you are borrowing someone else's words in place of your own.

In addition, you have a very clear and obvious "aha" moment. This is very cliche and seldom true. Even if it is true in your case, I am sure you can understand why people would be skeptical of your so called eureka moment...i mean, who seriously wants to go to law school after gazing at a brick wall.

In general, it is best to avoid statements like, "and at that moment I knew I wanted to go to law school"...unfortunately, the entire foundation of your ps is based on this. I would rewrite the ps, but keep the topic

dancerleslie22
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Need critique on my Personal Statement- REVISED

Postby dancerleslie22 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:07 pm

Ok I totally rewrote my personal statement and took a new, more personal angle. Please let me know what y'all think. Also, right now it is under 600 words. Do you think that is too short?

“Katelyn, Dad didn’t make it. I’m so sorry.” Nothing could have prepared me for that moment the family had to gather around my cousin’s hospital bed to tell her that her father did not survive the accident. I was ten years old; my cousin Katelyn was thirteen. As the tears rolled down my cheeks, I felt a sadness in my heart that cannot be explained, it can only be felt. Katelyn began to scream in denial, and my tears intensified. It was a Sunday morning, and my family was just about to leave the house to head to church when we got the call from my aunt that there had been an accident. Roy was struck by a drunk driver who flew off an overpass and landed on Roy’s truck. It was instant. At ten years old, my innocent view of the world was shattered.

Before this incident happened, I was never really concerned with the outside world. I did not believe people did bad things and hurt others. One moment in time completely changed my family and me in ways that I can still see today. My aunt, almost ten years later, is still dealing with the emotional and financial ramifications of this life-altering incident. Because I was so young, my parents did not update me on all the legal discussions that were happening, but my keen ears and curious mind overheard some of their discussions. In my head I pictured the attorney as a knight in shining armor ready to save us all from this tragic despair with his weapon being legal justice. Naïve as it was, my view of the legal system was based upon this moment for many years to come. Although now I realize that attorneys are not, in fact, knights in shining armor, they do bring hope and comfort to those put in unfortunate situations. They offer a specialized form of council that is only granted to those who have worked hard and demonstrated their love for the law.

Growing up in Brownsville, Texas, a predominately Hispanic and poverty-stricken border city, taught me many life lessons. Being Hispanic myself, I learned that nothing is more important than mi familia. Roy’s death was my first introduction to this lesson. My family became much closer after his death, and I realized that family always comes first in the Hispanic culture. Loyalty has thus become one of my core values. It is one that influences many of my decisions in life and one I would hope people would use to describe myself. While I left my family to move seven hours away for college, I found a new familia in Texas A&M University which teaches loyalty to one another unlike most universities. “We are the Aggies, the Aggies are we. True to each other as Aggies can be.” As I move on to law school, I hope to find another institution that holds loyalty in a high regard like I do. Because of its loyalty to its students and goal to produce successful attorneys who are loyal to their clients, I have chosen to submit my application to ………. Law School.

postn0bills
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: Need critique on my Personal Statement

Postby postn0bills » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:19 pm

This is a much better topic, and far more personal. The last paragraph still seems a bit disconnected from the rest. If you do want to emphasize the importance of family, maybe you can introduce it somewhere in the first paragraph and have that run through as a secondary theme. There is also an opportunity here to connect the incident with your wanting to become an attorney so as to be able to assist others in similar situations, like the attorney did for your family.




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