And another personal statement. Please critique.

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And another personal statement. Please critique.

Postby crv8623 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:35 pm

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Last edited by crv8623 on Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: And another personal statement. Please critique.

Postby JasonR » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:13 pm

This won't be what you want to read, and it's not fun for me to write it, but this PS has a fatally large number of problems.

The first two paragraphs are maddeningly repetitive. The entire PS is repetitive, in fact, but I almost quit reading after the first two paragraphs. It's too long overall.

There are numerous grammatical and punctuation issues. In almost every instance in which you used a semicolon, you used it to separate an independent clause from a sentence fragment instead of from another independent clause. There are sentence fragments posing as sentences, and there is improper comma usage throughout. At times the tone is too colloquial; "hanging out" and "ok" do not belong in a law school PS. The narrative is disjointed. You're in a jail cell at one moment, and then you're leaving a hospital in the next.

Unfortunately, there are more serious problems. The "I always wanted to be a lawyer" approach is the worst PS cliché in the book. Don't use it. Don't spend more than half of a PS detailing your earlier poor achievement, irrational belief system/poor judgment, alcohol abuse problem, criminal behavior, and hatred of yourself. None of that will help you with adcomms in any way. Nothing in the entire PS illustrates anything about your skills, rare/unique attributes, and passions. One need not explicitly state an answer to the "why law?" question, but a PS should provide some indication. This one does not, because "lifelong dream of being a lawyer" does not count. You don't present any sustained and compelling positive narrative about yourself. You go from years of very poor judgment and poor achievement to making good grades and giving up drinking for your final semesters. What else? A redemption story doesn't win you any special points (more often the opposite, actually), and yours is presented in depressingly anticlimactic fashion. Remember that a PS is basically a kind of job interview in which you're doing all of the talking. Why should you get the job/seat over the other guy?

Use your PS to present yourself in a positive way, to give adcomms an idea of what makes you tick. Deal with your grade and C&F issues in addenda. Is there not any sort of interesting anecdote you can draw from your volunteer experiences (or any other extracurricular experiences) to help you structure a narrative that positively differentiates you in some way?

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