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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
rglifberg
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:43 pm

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Postby rglifberg » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:42 pm

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Last edited by rglifberg on Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Guchster
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Re: Can you critique my personal statement please?!

Postby Guchster » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:50 pm

I'm not going to lie. This is in pretty rough shape right now and you're going to need to put a lot more work into this.

First things first, the first paragraph belongs in an addendum, not in a personal statement. Your story is really interesting. Don't waste words that are already available to you through another medium.

Right now the JAG -> Mom transition is pretty rough. I'd flesh out that connection more. I think it's really interesting and there's some great potential. Give us more of the story about your uncle and his service, and exactly how it influenced you to want to serve your country.

I get a different sense of honesty and power in your words when I started to read the "first in family" part of your essay. I would dig deep more into this to bring out more punch in your PS.

Summary: Eliminate the first paragraph entirely and put it in your addendum. Give more narrative about your uncle's JAG and how this inspired you. Transition better to your mom and being "first in family." Lastly, arrive at why the law (JAG).

rglifberg
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:43 pm

Re: Can you critique my personal statement please?!

Postby rglifberg » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:55 pm

Thanks a lot I appreciate your input, I know it definitely needs a lot of work so thanks for responding! So I should put the info about my grades in an addendum? I just really want to make sure the adcomms see this when they look at my application because my cumulative gpa sucks but I really have made a complete turn-around academically.

Edit: about my uncles WWII service he was part of the Japanese invasion in the Pacific. Basically he inspired me to want to serve, and I believe JAG would be a perfect fit for me.

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Guchster
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Re: Can you critique my personal statement please?!

Postby Guchster » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:59 pm

rglifberg wrote:Thanks a lot I appreciate your input, I know it definitely needs a lot of work so thanks for responding! So I should put the info about my grades in an addendum? I just really want to make sure the adcomms see this when they look at my application because my cumulative gpa sucks but I really have made a complete turn-around academically.


They'll see it. Don't worry. I think your story sounds really interesting and I think you have potential for a very strong personal statement. Add some more narrative in there and come back and we can get it in working shape. I wouldn't waste valuable space with crap that belongs in an addendum.

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Jsa725
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Re: Can you critique my personal statement please?!

Postby Jsa725 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:03 pm

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Last edited by Jsa725 on Wed May 29, 2013 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nsbane
Posts: 163
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Re: Can you critique my personal statement please?!

Postby nsbane » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:06 pm

Don't talk about anything negative about yourself like being academically suspended. Write an addendum for that. Personal statement is you selling yourself. Many people are tempted to do a come-back story. Don't do it.

You only have 2 pages to sell yourself. You have unlimited room to write an addendum explaining your screw ups. Don't waste space in your PS to dwell on academic screw ups.

geauxsaints
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Re: Can you critique my personal statement please?!

Postby geauxsaints » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:27 pm

If I read this while on an admissions committee, I would be pretty unimpressed. I agree with above posters that the academic issues need to be addressed through an addendum and removed from the PS. As a veteran, I feel that the portion of your PS pertaining to your great-uncle is rather cliche and idealistic. By cliche and idealistic, I mean that the admissions committee may have read a PS prior to yours detailing an applicants experience in Fallujah after an IED injured him/her on patrol. I would definitely remove the great-uncle and JAG aspirations out of the PS unless it is your entire PS.

I would recommend you do more research on the Personal Statement writing style. There are all kinds of guides to writing a better personal statement because I think you are missing the point. You made an application that jumps from topic to topic and is blandly generic. For Example;

While some people may have given up when faced with situations similar to mine, I regained focus, remained inspired, and prevailed. My ability to overcome adversity is what will make me a successful law student, showing that I obtain the characteristics necessary for success.


^ You should write a Personal Statement that tells the admissions committee this statement without telling the admissions committee this statement.

I am not trying to sound harsh, but you need to do more research and find one specific topic/story to shape.

EDIT:

I don't want to sound like you must have an interesting story with a witty anecdote, but you only skim the surface with your statement. You should not write about anything that is in your resume or application, this is your time to tell the adcomm what makes you special using specifics and not just telling them "...I obtain the characteristics necessary for success,.."

rglifberg
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:43 pm

Re: Can you critique my personal statement please?!

Postby rglifberg » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:15 am

geauxsaints wrote:If I read this while on an admissions committee, I would be pretty unimpressed. I agree with above posters that the academic issues need to be addressed through an addendum and removed from the PS. As a veteran, I feel that the portion of your PS pertaining to your great-uncle is rather cliche and idealistic. By cliche and idealistic, I mean that the admissions committee may have read a PS prior to yours detailing an applicants experience in Fallujah after an IED injured him/her on patrol. I would definitely remove the great-uncle and JAG aspirations out of the PS unless it is your entire PS.

I would recommend you do more research on the Personal Statement writing style. There are all kinds of guides to writing a better personal statement because I think you are missing the point. You made an application that jumps from topic to topic and is blandly generic. For Example;

While some people may have given up when faced with situations similar to mine, I regained focus, remained inspired, and prevailed. My ability to overcome adversity is what will make me a successful law student, showing that I obtain the characteristics necessary for success.


^ You should write a Personal Statement that tells the admissions committee this statement without telling the admissions committee this statement.

I am not trying to sound harsh, but you need to do more research and find one specific topic/story to shape.

EDIT:

I don't want to sound like you must have an interesting story with a witty anecdote, but you only skim the surface with your statement. You should not write about anything that is in your resume or application, this is your time to tell the adcomm what makes you special using specifics and not just telling them "...I obtain the characteristics necessary for success,.."



I appreciate your input but I don't see how having a relative who I am very close with that is a WWII vet is cliche. But yeah what makes me special to adcomms in my opinion is what everyone says I should put in an addendum. I pretty much used to be a fuck up and turned myself around. I wish I could say I did more for society but I really haven't lol. But yeah JAG is what I really want to do and that is my reason for going to law school, I would be happy practicing law in general, but that is my goal..thanks for your service by the way

geauxsaints
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:52 am

Re: Can you critique my personal statement please?!

Postby geauxsaints » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:26 am

I appreciate your input but I don't see how having a relative who I am very close with that is a WWII vet is cliche. But yeah what makes me special to adcomms in my opinion is what everyone says I should put in an addendum. I pretty much used to be a fuck up and turned myself around. I wish I could say I did more for society but I really haven't lol. But yeah JAG is what I really want to do and that is my reason for going to law school, I would be happy practicing law in general, but that is my goal..


I just want to give you my personal opinion regarding your PS. There is nothing at all wrong with being inspired to join the military in order to continue family tradition. I joined the Marine Corps largely due to my Great Grandfather's involvement at Iwo Jima and throughout the pacific theatre. However, your reasoning behind JAG, in particular, is incredibly superficial. There are thousands of jobs throughout the military that can honor your great-uncle, so why JAG in particular? Have you participated in ROTC in any form? Have you contacted the Air Force or researched threads like this (http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=31543)?

I feel you are 100 times better off discussing how your ethnic/cultural diversity can impact the learning environment.

Good luck and good luck if you decide to pursue jag!

nsbane
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Can you critique my personal statement please?!

Postby nsbane » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:41 am

rglifberg wrote:But yeah what makes me special to adcomms in my opinion is what everyone says I should put in an addendum. I pretty much used to be a fuck up and turned myself around. I wish I could say I did more for society but I really haven't lol.


Just trying to help you out. Have you read any "getting into law school" books? Go to Barnes and Noble and pull 3 books off the shelf and read what they say about the Personal Statement. These books interview adcomm members ... in fact former admissions deans write these books.

And they consistently say: don't write anything negative about yourself in your personal statement. You are not the first person to think of writing about how you overcame your screwups. And the books say don't do it.

Take that as you may.




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