Does this ps have potential?

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californiauser
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Does this ps have potential?

Postby californiauser » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:16 am

obviously very rough, still needs a paragraph or two at the end...if I decide to work with this


I thought to myself, ”this must be the coolest place on Earth,” as a starry eyed fifth grader, half of me in awe of the immaculate building surrounding me and the other half enthused that I was missing school for the day. As I walked hand-in-hand with my mother down the halls of Latham & Watkins LLP for take your son to work day, my dreams of becoming the next Kobe Bryant or Barry Sanders instantly subsided, replaced with ambitions of becoming a lawyer, and to inevitably work in a cool building, just like my mom. I promptly proclaimed to my mother that I had decided to forgo the NBA draft to become a lawyer instead, being the supportive mother that she is, she simply looked at me and said, “OK xxx,” touched my head and graced me one of those warm, comforting smiles that mothers always seem to execute so well—the perfect assurance that whatever I wanted to do, I could do it.

My mother’s support for my endeavors has always been a driving factor for my life pursuits – but this all changed my sophomore year of college. I still remember the day that drastically stymied my comfortable little world in xxx. It was March 11, 2011—the day before I was due to fly home to xxx California for spring break—when my mother called me to tell me that my sister would be picking me up from the airport the following day because she hadn’t been feeling well as of late. She said we’d talk about it once I arrived home and insisted that I shouldn’t worry and that we’d discuss it the following day. My mother, a very health conscious woman, didn’t get sick, she raised my sister and I by herself for the first 13 years of my life and not once could I ever remember her ever getting sick—it simply did not happen.

The following 24 hours are a swift blur that I’ll never forget. Deeply concerned about my mother, I dropped my suitcases at the front door and found her in bed. The hour-long conversation that followed is still, to this moment, the most grounding experience of my life. My mother hadn’t been working for the past two weeks; she had all the symptoms of Meniere’s disease—an enigmatic condition that has no cure or cause. I was shocked, upset, and confused to find out that my mother had been showing symptoms for months, but didn’t tell me. Her excuse: she didn’t want to disrupt my studies with her problems at home. Not only is my mother, the main breadwinner and support system of our household sick and bedridden, but we also were losing our house to foreclosure—a severe problem, but at the time seemed of little importance in comparison to my mother’s health.

Throughout the next few months I had to make some very difficult decisions. I decided to leave my close friends and transfer to xxx with an academic scholarship and to move back home to deter some of the costs that college can burden on a family with financial difficulties. My decision to move back home was something I felt I had to do; I knew I had to return home to help the woman who had refused to do anything less than give me 100% support: now it was my turn to help her in anyway I could. My family grew closer than I could have ever envisioned and my personal growth, both academically and emotionally grew immensely.

My ambitions to become a lawyer did not subside, although my desire to work in a big building has been replaced with a less than general interest in public service—specifically public health and environmental issues. Although I’ve had a very strong interest in law at a young age—even before I knew what a lawyer did (lucky once I found out what being a lawyer actually meant it still interested me)—I’ve been very fortunate to directly work with a broad array of professionals including accountants, grant writers, program managers, human resource officers, environmental specialists, business managers, and a variety of different attorneys and have had the opportunity to question them about the intricacies of their chosen professions.

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shredderrrrrr
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Re: Does this ps have potential?

Postby shredderrrrrr » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:49 am

I don't see how the story you tell ties into your desire to be a lawyer at all. To me this PS sounds like: I wanted to be a lawyer when I was a kid, my mom got sick and I did a lot to help her, I want to be a lawyer. I think this has potential if you could somehow tie the two together. If you can't do that, drop one part and either focus on how your mom's illness changed you as a person or about how you have always wanted to be a lawyer.

This may sound like a strange comment (and I hope you don't take offense to it) but I think you should introduce your mom's illness less dramatically. As a reader, you made it seem as though she was going to die, which, in turn, made her illness seem less drastic by comparison. I'm very happy that she survived and am sure her illness was/is extremely devastating, but I thought I'd let you know how it comes across on paper. If you don't set it up to seem like she is going to die, her illness will get the increased sympathy it deserves.

There are grammatical and other small issues, but I think you should work on the meat of it first.

thederangedwang
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Re: Does this ps have potential?

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:53 am

Several things

1) Generally speaking..."I've always wanted to be a lawyer" topics are really bad since they are so cliche and comes off as superficial...even an honest and convincing one like yours is dangerous. I would consider changing the topic entirely

2) Having said that, it is well written and you are clearly a good writer. This is one of the better "I want to be a lawyer" PS..however, as the person above has said...it lacks focus...the thing about your mom just floats in the ps, it isnt connected to anything it just appears to be there for emotional effect. If you do decide to stick with this topic...either connect your mom into your theme more (make it clear how her illness affected you and your pursuit of law) or take it out and replace it with something else

californiauser
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:10 am

Re: Does this ps have potential?

Postby californiauser » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:00 pm

shredderrrrrr wrote:I don't see how the story you tell ties into your desire to be a lawyer at all. To me this PS sounds like: I wanted to be a lawyer when I was a kid, my mom got sick and I did a lot to help her, I want to be a lawyer. I think this has potential if you could somehow tie the two together. If you can't do that, drop one part and either focus on how your mom's illness changed you as a person or about how you have always wanted to be a lawyer.

This may sound like a strange comment (and I hope you don't take offense to it) but I think you should introduce your mom's illness less dramatically. As a reader, you made it seem as though she was going to die, which, in turn, made her illness seem less drastic by comparison. I'm very happy that she survived and am sure her illness was/is extremely devastating, but I thought I'd let you know how it comes across on paper. If you don't set it up to seem like she is going to die, her illness will get the increased sympathy it deserves.

There are grammatical and other small issues, but I think you should work on the meat of it first.


thederangedwang wrote:Several things

1) Generally speaking..."I've always wanted to be a lawyer" topics are really bad since they are so cliche and comes off as superficial...even an honest and convincing one like yours is dangerous. I would consider changing the topic entirely

2) Having said that, it is well written and you are clearly a good writer. This is one of the better "I want to be a lawyer" PS..however, as the person above has said...it lacks focus...the thing about your mom just floats in the ps, it isnt connected to anything it just appears to be there for emotional effect. If you do decide to stick with this topic...either connect your mom into your theme more (make it clear how her illness affected you and your pursuit of law) or take it out and replace it with something else



Thanks guys! Your thoughts make a lot of sense, i'm going to work on it and revise it using your suggestions!

comments from others are still greatly appreciated

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ix88
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Re: Does this ps have potential?

Postby ix88 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:46 pm

The PS seems scattered and unfocused.

Your intro describes a "why law?" scenario. Then we jump into a sick sister and then we jump into schooling and academics and then back to "why law?"

The PS has potential, but I feel like I just read a rambling more than a PS.

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cutecarmel
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Re: Does this ps have potential?

Postby cutecarmel » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:51 pm

I agree with the other posters. I would stay away from the "I've wanted to be a lawyer all of my life" theme. There has to be more to you than the desire to be a lawyer.

californiauser
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Re: Does this ps have potential?

Postby californiauser » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:03 pm

I tried to make the "i've wanted to be a lawyer since 5th grade" bit satirical; I intended to make my first paragraph about the significance my mother had on my life's ambitions, regardless of what they are -- not so much my wanting to be a lawyer. It kind of unraveled as I wrote on and I had two paragraphs that I ended up deleting -- i'll work on tying it together and if it doesn't work i'll scrap it.

tmgarvey
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Re: Does this ps have potential?

Postby tmgarvey » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:19 pm

I would find that statement very, very touching if I were your mom. So don't throw it away--tuck it in a card for her. :) I mean it, as a mom it's something that would make me tear up.

But I don't think the saga of your mom's illness seems to have much to do with your application to law school. I'm sure it did affect you in many ways, but it isn't clear how, and it comes off as overly sentimental (nice for mom and family, but not necessarily appropriate for law school app) or, worse yet, a bid for sympathy.

I would gear the statement more toward why you have this interest in public health/environmental law, and how you would like to make a contribution in those fields. Are there injustices you believe should be remedied? Are there laws that you feel should be changed? What are they, and why do you feel that way? How are they best addressed by someone like you, in the legal profession? What activities have you been involved in that demonstrate your commitment to these causes?

I think an eloquent statement addressing those questions would make it much more clear that you are someone who has direction and purpose in pursuing a legal education, and that you care enough about it to give it your best effort.

Just my two cents.




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