Take III

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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JCFindley
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Take III

Postby JCFindley » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:12 pm

This is my third take on a PS.

Both of the others have been scrapped completely.....

Background; 20 year Air Force Pilot, Flew B1-B bombers and various trainers as an instructor. I am retired Air National Guard, plenty of leadership honesty and all that stuff in the resume.

Since I have been retired I have worked as a government contractor and am self employed as a photographic artist.

I am applying to a few places late in the cycle because in December I found that the GI Bill changed and will cover three years of law school for me. That means I did the Feb LSAT so will be sending out apps this week when I get the results.

I realize it may end up being better to wait a cycle but figure it can't hurt to apply this cycle and see what happens and if I am accepted anywhere that I would actually want to go. (BTW, the GI Bill in combination with the VA Yellow Ribbon Program will pay for 100% of tuition anywhere on my list and pay a housing allowance that varies with the cost of living in each location.)

Any input, good bad or go to truck-driving school instead will be appreciated.

Thank yall in advance.
______________________________________________________________


For the past year I have been tutoring other artists on the business concepts of selling photographic art. I do this free of charge because people were willing to help me and it is my way of paying it forward.

Selling photographic art in today’s market can seem overwhelming. There are hundreds of thousands of people trying to break into the market and thousands more trying to maintain or advance their position within it. The recipe I use to sell my art is actually quite simple. Create top quality images that are marketable and cover subjects in unsaturated areas. Then I put that art in a position to be seen by potential clients be it on the internet, gallery shows or direct contact with interior design firms. Questions about how I accomplish that are easily answered but it is the questions for which I have no answers that has reignited my desire to pursue a career as an attorney.

There are two sides of intellectual property law that have the potential to affect every single artist. Without an understanding of intellectual property laws an artist may find him or herself unintentionally violating the copyrights or trademarks of others. The very same artist is always at risk of having their own copyright violated as well.

Can I sell an image of a Model T without getting written permission from Ford? My art was copied and is being sold by an Ebay company; what can I do about it? Pinterest.com’s Terms of Service state they can sell my work without compensating me; is this true? I was told by the police it is illegal to take a picture of the subway; that can’t be, can it? I get these types of questions almost every day and my answer is always the same; you should consult with an attorney.

Regardless of an artist’s chosen medium the right attorney can be a godsend. It is the attorney that protects the artist’s copyright against those looking to profit from our work without compensation. It is the attorney that can advise us and prevent us from inadvertently violating the laws ourselves. It is the attorney that can defend us against unjust detainments by the police done in the name of national security.

Protecting intellectual property is about far more than money; it is about protecting the very livelihood and freedoms of those that produce it. I originally planned on going to law school after my undergraduate education but chose a career in the military instead and retired in 2009. As a military officer I was charged with protecting the very freedom of Americans and I believe attorneys serve the very same task, both literally and figuratively. I view a career in law as a chance to continue to protect the freedoms of my fellow citizens and a natural progression of what I have done my entire adult life.

Breezin
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Re: Take III

Postby Breezin » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:39 pm

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Last edited by Breezin on Thu May 10, 2012 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bmore
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Re: Take III

Postby bmore » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:50 pm

It sounds like you have had a very interesting life. So why did you choose THIS for your PERSONAL statement. They don't want you to teach them about IP or selling photographic art. They want to know something interesting about YOU and what would make you a good law student.

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JCFindley
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Re: Take III

Postby JCFindley » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:50 pm

Thanks for the input.....

Well, I chose the artist side because that is a part of me that is not well represented on my resume. That said, my first attempt was how I go about producing my art, which frankly is FAR more interesting than this but it gives no clue as to why I would want to attend law school. Though, it does show planning, perseverance and determination. So, I scrapped that thinking I could show something more related to the law.

My next attempt was talking about using skills I have from teaching both self defense and close quarters counter terrorism classes to change the mind of a couple of car-jackers. But, the story takes time to develop and while interesting makes no point when used on its own and two pages is likely not enough to show the relationships between that and going to law school.

So, I tried to express something from the artist side of me that also gives an indication or why I might want to go to law school at this late point in my life.

I think I will eat a T-Bone and try again after a late lunch....

Maybe I will make one about exactly why I am choosing to jump into the game at the end of the cycle....

Thanks again.

JC

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laxbrah420
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Re: Take III

Postby laxbrah420 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:00 pm

I don't think becoming an attorney so that you can answer questions for your business clients is that great of an idea.
Why not talk about how your passion for art led to a passion for copyright laws?
Also, I always think saying something like "hundreds of thousands [of artists....]" makes you sound simple.

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travman90
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Re: Take III

Postby travman90 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:02 pm

JCFindley wrote:Thanks for the input.....

Well, I chose the artist side because that is a part of me that is not well represented on my resume. That said, my first attempt was how I go about producing my art, which frankly is FAR more interesting than this but it gives no clue as to why I would want to attend law school. Though, it does show planning, perseverance and determination. So, I scrapped that thinking I could show something more related to the law.

My next attempt was talking about using skills I have from teaching both self defense and close quarters counter terrorism classes to change the mind of a couple of car-jackers. But, the story takes time to develop and while interesting makes no point when used on its own and two pages is likely not enough to show the relationships between that and going to law school.

So, I tried to express something from the artist side of me that also gives an indication or why I might want to go to law school at this late point in my life.

I think I will eat a T-Bone and try again after a late lunch....

Maybe I will make one about exactly why I am choosing to jump into the game at the end of the cycle....

Thanks again.

JC


From my understanding (which is just really my own opinion and philosophy and by no means is definative) a good PS will take something interesting about you and tie it into why you want to go to law school.

It isn't about why you're applying late, it isn't about what you already know about IP law, etc. In fact, I would see this PS as a detriment, here is someone who is older, who might already thinks he knows a lot about IP law and wouldn't be as willing to learn as a younger more open minded person. You don't want to leave questions or thoughts like this in the admissions officers' mind. Also, you have to pick one topic, the fact that this PS goes from art to IP law to your military service is too much. You can certainly condense one of those into a seperate addendum (maybe make one about why you're applying so late and tie it into your military service so you don't have to cover that in your PS).

The point is really that you can focus on your art and how it might inspire you to want to learn about IP, but certainly don't give questions or definitions of an IP lawyer, you're wasting space and their time. Talk about yourself, why you love art, how you got involved, what you've learned from art (not necessarily about law), how art inspired you to go into law, etc. That would make for a far more focused and interesting PS, I think.

bmore
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Re: Take III

Postby bmore » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:03 pm

Don't get discouraged. Read some sample PS and scan this site for advice. Just remember, they want to know about you. And you seem like YOU are very interesting. You would be surprised about how much producing your art can tell them about you. You don't need to to tell them why you would want to go to law school. You have to let them see why you would make a good law student/lawyer.

I didn't love the carjacker story because, while interesting, I don't believe you actually proved they were up to no good.

Talk about you and the concentration you need for self defense. Or how you get lost in your art. And yes the preserverance and planning.

JMO

kakaa001
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Re: Take III

Postby kakaa001 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:07 pm

I hate to jump on the negative train, but I agree with them. I found this really boring, and a huge let-down after reading your background. What makes YOU want to be a lawyer?

You have accomplished amazing things in your military career, so why not capitalize on your leadership skills from there and how this transitions nicely to the legal field?? Perhaps mentioning your undying passion to serve your country--a nod towards your military service and a point towards public interest.

Its great you love art, but honestly, anyone can write about art. Your service is what REALLY sets you apart from everyone else.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Take III

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:17 pm

This would be a decent essay written in response to the prompt: What are your thoughts on IP law?

It is not, however, a personal statement.

My advice: Pick a single moment or situation. Describe that moment, so that the reader is right there with you. Describe your feelings, your observations, and what happened. If you really want to write about IP, then pick one of these moments where you were asked one of these questions about a Model T or eBay, or the time you were told you couldn't photograph the subway. Then tie it back to a larger theme (in that case, some of your more general thoughts on the importance of IP law), illustrating how your behavior/actions in that moment make you a good fit for law school/inspired to you pursue law.

That's just one way to approach a PS, but it works for a lot of people writing on a lot of topics.

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JCFindley
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Re: Take III

Postby JCFindley » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:33 pm

Thank you all for the input....... and I will get back to the drawing board as soon as I am done with this steak....

JC

RE the carjackers, that is one of the issues I had with that event. Would I have been able to convince a jury that two individuals dressed the way they were approaching you at night asking to break a 20 is really that dangerous of a situation? The fact that they continued towards me after I told them not to come any closer was enough for me but I am not sure your average american would understand the level of danger.....

But of course, it really doesn't matter in the context of a PS because if you weren't sure there would certainly be people on an Add Com that would feel the same way, thus it will not work.

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JCFindley
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Re: Take III

Postby JCFindley » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:39 pm

Oh, and no worries with the negative responses. I learn MUCH more from brutally honest critique and use everything as a learning opportunity.

At least no one took me up on the truck driver school thing....

JC




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