First Draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Cory045
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:42 pm

First Draft

Postby Cory045 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:45 pm

Below is my first draft. I am open to any and all suggestions.


Entering my sophomore year in the business school, my thoughts were focused on collecting good grades and finding easy A classes to boost my GPA for law school. I was your typical “I’ve always wanted to go to law school” student who had no idea about what career options law school gave me or what I actually wanted to do. I was not looking to learn or gain meaningful knowledge that would help me later on in life, I was floating along and not taking advantage of any of the resources I had at my disposal in college to improve my character and depth and breadth of knowledge. All of this changed with Dr. Rau’s Financial Accounting course. Dr, Rau challenged me and interested me like no other professor had. He had high expectations for the class and pushed me to not just learn material and regurgitate it on a test, but gain knowledge on a subject area I was completely unfamiliar with. Throughout the semester, the students who continued to view the course as I initially had struggled and their grades reflected that. From that point on, I have brought the same dedication to not just learning the material in each class, but seeking out knowledge that can help me later in my career. I will now be graduating as an Accounting major and each course in my major has challenged me as they progressively build on each other and require a dedication to learn the material and understand it.
Dr. Rau’s class also got me started to think about my professional career and how, before, I really did not actively seek out options to talk to employers or seek out internships. I started taking initial steps to remedy this through joining and later becoming an officer on the accounting honors fraternity, Beta Alpha Psi. This has helped me build relationships with employers who come to networking and speaking events we hold. Being in a position of leadership has not only helped to advance myself, but has given me an opportunity to help students who are unsure of where to start in looking for an internship or job. I am currently interning at Pricewaterhouse Coopers as a tax preparer, which has helped me make even more professional relationships that will help later when I am seeking an internship or employment.
I know have a clear focus for what I want to accomplish in law school and what area of study I wish to pursue. As an accounting major and after attending law school, my goal is to pass both the CPA exam and the bar to not only give me an edge over other job applicants, but give accreditation to my undergraduate degree in accounting.
As a law student, I will be open to being challenged intellectually and prepared to face those challenges head on. I not only wish to grow intellectually, but also build long lasting relationships with my fellow law students and professor as I have done in the years I have attended Duquesne University.

Cory045
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:42 pm

Re: First Draft

Postby Cory045 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:24 am

Any thoughts? I really want honest opinions because this is the last thing I need to get done to submit my application..

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Philosopher King
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: First Draft

Postby Philosopher King » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:30 am

Okay well I'm not an expert with these things but I would change your PS You spend too much time disparaging your character in the beginning without explaining how you're not like that anymore. I think you should refocus it to talk about your hard accomplishments, what you plan to do with a law degree, why you are passionate, etc. You can mention that professor and all but that can't be the meat of the story. Your PS leaves a lot to be desired. I'm terribly sorry if I sound mean but I just want to be helpful.

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rinkrat19
Posts: 13914
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: First Draft

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:35 am

Too short and way too simplistic, like it was written by a 9th grader. You start off with an all-too vivid description of yourself as an immature idiot, and it's hard to believe that one class would entirely change your approach to education and life when all you tell us is that it was "challenging." Either give the reader way more detail about how different that one class was, or give some more examples of things that helped you change. Otherwise the reader won't believe that you have changed.

Then you list some things from your resume (honor society, internship) and attach some vague qualities that these things supposedly have (networking, leadership) without giving any kind of detail to corroborate it.

Basically, I don't learn anything about you from this except that you were a bad student (in unfortunate detail), that you took this one class, and that you did these other things listed on your resume.

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Philosopher King
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: First Draft

Postby Philosopher King » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:37 am

rinkrat19 wrote:Too short and way too simplistic, like it was written by a 9th grader. You start off with an all-too vivid description of yourself as an immature idiot, and it's hard to believe that one class would entirely change your approach to education and life when all you tell us is that it was "challenging." Either give the reader way more detail about how different that one class was, or give some more examples of things that helped you change. Otherwise the reader won't believe that you have changed.

Then you list some things from your resume (honor society, internship) and attach some vague qualities that these things supposedly have (networking, leadership) without giving any kind of detail to corroborate it.

Basically, I don't learn anything about you from this except that you were a bad student (in unfortunate detail), that you took this one class, and that you did these other things listed on your resume.


I'll sign on to this opinion too.

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

Re: First Draft

Postby bracton » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:41 am

This is actually not bad. But -- won't Dr. Rau be one of your recommenders? If so, you're simply regurgitating the same things that he will write in his letter.

Also, it seems quite short for a PS.

Cory045 wrote:
Entering my sophomore year in the business school, my thoughts were focused on collecting good grades and finding easy A classes to boost my GPA for law school. I was your typical “I’ve always wanted to go to law school” student who had no idea about what career options law school gave me or what I actually wanted to do. I was not looking to learn or gain meaningful knowledge that would help me later on in life, I was floating along and not taking advantage of any of the resources I had at my disposal in college to improve my character and depth and breadth of knowledge.
...
As an accounting major and after attending law school, my goal is to pass both the CPA exam and the bar to not only give me an edge over other job applicants, but give accreditation to my undergraduate degree in accounting.


You're slightly too honest. The first paragraph is largely self-deprecation. You give the impression that you had the wrong motivations in your first year, and while it's good that you "found yourself" intellectually, that's still not as good as not needing to find yourself at all. Try to imply that you were always a well-motivated student, never looking for the easy option, and then became even more switched-on in your sophomore year.

On the honesty point, talking about "getting an edge over other job applicants" makes you sound ruthlessly competitive, and not necessarily a nice person to have around school. Instead, give some softer bullshit about making full use of your skills, etc.

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

Re: First Draft

Postby JasonR » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:52 am

Very perfunctory effort, to put it kindly. This reads like something you spit out in 20 minutes. Don't begin by focusing on some shortcoming of yours. I don't come away having learned much of anything interesting or good about you from reading this essay.

I know you're only looking for advice on your PS, but my unsolicited advice will be what others have told you elsewhere -- that you should take advantage of your excellent GPA and retake the LSAT. Get a year's work experience. That ought to help you with writing a more interesting PS.




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