Revised PS, too weak? I need help, guys.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Duramax80
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Revised PS, too weak? I need help, guys.

Postby Duramax80 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:38 pm

I have revised my PS to a point where I believe it shows my character, skills, and desire for law school. If you disagree, dont hesitate to point out problem areas. My main issue at the moment is that a few sentences seem too tangential, and my word choices may be a bit extreme. I have highlighted my problem areas with red, but if you see other areas I need to work on, again please let me know.

"Many universities share a common feature within their student populations, as they are filled with students with lots of talent, but little direction, and thus, little motivation. I was pulled out of this vacillation and indecisiveness upon enrolling in a required Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure course, leading me to finally realize my purpose and intellectual potential.

After the first week of class, I felt that I had finally found my place, something that I had previously thought to be nonexistent. The course and the concepts it included were demanding, yet I was able to understand and successfully apply them in their entirety. The format of the class included in-class debate, case analysis, fact pattern analysis, strength assessment of potential defenses and hypothetical judiciary decisions, all of which significantly challenged and fueled my intellectual curiosity. I especially enjoyed reviewing historical cases and analyzing the reasoning behind each party’s actions, ranging from the opening statements to the eventual jury decisions and judicial rulings. As the class came to an end, I continued to seek a strong foundation in legal education, enrolling myself in as many law classes as possible. I had found my drive that I had been lacking, inspired by a sincere interest in all aspects of law, and I knew from that point on that this was the field I wanted to be a part of. I began to take pride in my studies, and as my undergraduate career progressed, I tuned my passion and drive that I had unlocked in my legal classes to other aspects of my academic life. As time went on, scholarly life became incredibly enjoyable and rewarding, further fueling my desire to enter into the legal profession. The transformation that ensued was so significant, that in my final year, I earned my place on the Dean’s List honor roll. I had found where I belong, conquered my uncertainty, and therefore, conquered myself.

After graduating from XXXXX, ready to take on new challenges, I ventured out into the professional world in hopes of expanding my interest and foundation in law even further. I volunteered for an unpaid internship position at the XXXXX, a local law firm that specializes in several areas including business law, family law, bankruptcy, immigration and DUI. The wide range of specialties the firm worked within gave me the opportunity to develop and sharpen the skills necessary to successfully operate in vastly diverse and high stress environments. Maneuvering through the different legal niches, I enhanced my ability to adapt to new situations, relate to people from different demographics, apply an objective approach to each situation, and view each case from beginning to end, including hypothesizing potential outcomes and rulings the case may generate in court.

Aside from the skills I developed behind the phones and desks, working in such a diverse firm gave me the opportunity to see many different types of people, and witness the multitude of complexities inherent in the problems they faced on a deeply personal level. Specifically, I can remember speaking with a prospective client who, in tears, had told me that her spouse was physically abusive and she quickly needed a divorce. After her initial consultation with our legal team, I distinctly remember XXXXX, the senior attorney and my chief mentor, looking her in the eyes and saying, “don’t worry, we can help you.” I felt proud in knowing that I had been a part of the instrument that would grant her freedom. It was from this challenging scenario, and others like it, that I became completely cognizant of the fact that people need attorneys to help them through troubling circumstances. I now know, with no doubt in my mind, that the calling I felt in my undergraduate law classes is incontrovertible. Not only do I have a passion and understanding of law, I see the importance of practicing law and the extent to which it could improve the wellbeing of others, reinforcing my goal of law school and the life I want to lead."

On a final note, I changed from passive voice to present tense in the last two sentences of my last paragraph. Does it make it confusing to follow?

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Duramax80
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Re: Revised PS, too weak? I need help, guys.

Postby Duramax80 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:07 pm

--ImageRemoved--

nsbane
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Re: Revised PS, too weak? I need help, guys.

Postby nsbane » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:35 pm

*edit*
Last edited by nsbane on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Duramax80
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Re: Revised PS, too weak? I need help, guys.

Postby Duramax80 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:43 pm

nsbane wrote:I will be blunt and to the point. Please don't interpret this as being mean.

You need to lose the first paragraph, as quoted here:

"Many universities share a common feature within their student populations, as they are filled with students with lots of talent, but little direction, and thus, little motivation. I was pulled out of this vacillation and indecisiveness upon enrolling in a required Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure course, leading me to finally realize my purpose and intellectual potential."
Duramax80 wrote:"Many universities share a common feature within their student populations, as they are filled with students with lots of talent, but little direction, and thus, little motivation. I was pulled out of this vacillation and indecisiveness upon enrolling in a required Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure course, leading me to finally realize my purpose and intellectual potential.


This is the conclusion that the reader should draw about you, by himself, after reading your essay. You are smacking him over the head with the point you are trying to make, which destroys any narrative interest in your essay. Why should I bother reading the rest?

The first paragraph should draw someone in. It should be the most interesting, unique first few lines of your essay. They are reading 1000s of essays; the first few lines are to ensure the reader actually READS your essay, and doesn't just skim it. Reading 1000s of essays that start like this will quickly get the reader to just skim the rest of your essay.

Duramax80 wrote:The format of the class included in-class debate, case analysis, fact pattern analysis, strength assessment of potential defenses and hypothetical judiciary decisions, all of which significantly challenged and fueled my intellectual curiosity.


This is one of the most interesting part of your essay, but you've managed to bury it. So this is a unique class, with interesting debates. You should start your essay here. But SHOW, don't TELL. What that means is, don't say "it had very interesting debates." You start your essay with thought provoking or controversial dialogue from one of those debates. Allow the reader to conclude "wow the debates here are controversial." After the dialogue, you focus on yourself, how your head is spinning but in a good way, and you contrast yourself *then* with how you were *before*. You show a personal journey.

Then you transition to your next job, and you make the abused spouse the focal point, using that story to communicate other ideas about yourself and your goals for law.

Basically, your essay reads like cliff notes of a good essay. Cliff notes are organized and spoonfed so you don't have to do any critical thinking, and give you a summary of a fantastic story. But no one gets excited about curling up with a book of cliff notes next to a fire. Reading cliff notes is drudgery. You are underestimating your reader, and you are favoring summaries over personal anecdotes and emotion.


This is incredible, thank you for such informative advice. I definitely do not see this as mean in any way, just straightforward help and concrete ideas on how to make it better...exactly what I was looking for.




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