how bad is it

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Tushbush
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how bad is it

Postby Tushbush » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:07 pm

**removed**
Last edited by Tushbush on Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: how bad is it

Postby thelawschoolproject » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:31 pm

A few thoughts:

1). You don't really talk about you. Remember that this is a personal statement and that means that you need to talk about yourself on a personal level. Adcomms are giving you the opportunity to show who you are. It probably isn't advantageous to waste that time talking about someone else's case or about how sure you are that you can handle law school. Instead, let us get to know you. Tell us something about yourself that we aren't going to learn by reading your application. Obviously, if you're applying to law school you are interested in law. And while the story you present may be interesting to some people, it does not show your reader who you are.

2). I fear that you are under the impression that a personal statement means that you need to explain why you want to go to law school. This is not the case. While it is very true that many applicants mention why they want to pursue law school in their PS it is by no means a requirement. In fact, some of the best PSs don't even mention law school. You need to write about something that shows us how you handled a situation and how, in the process, you grew as a person.

3). My advice to you would be to think about one small aspect of some situation that you feel enabled you to mature/develop/change in some way. If this court case is one of those events, I'd suggest showing us something that you did during that case. Show us how you had a positive effect on these people. Explain to us what you learned and how your contributions made a difference. It is always more effective to say "I did X and as such produced Y" and let the implication be that these skills and results will make you a good lawyer as opposed to "I will make a good lawyer." Let the adcomm discern that information. Let them leave your PS going "This person would be a positive addition to the legal community," rather than coming across as simply eager to attend.

Best of luck!

bmccaslin
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Re: how bad is it

Postby bmccaslin » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:52 pm

Some law schools are receptive towards statements that address "why law".
Last edited by bmccaslin on Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: how bad is it

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:04 pm

I agree with everything TLSP said. Also, stylistically, this needs lots of work. I'd cut the entire quote at the beginning, I got bored with it before I was even done, and I don't read thousands of these a year. And you do a lot of telling, but very little showing. Don't tell me that you have good focus and determination, show me through something you've done with your life.

Unless you can use your internship at the DAO to demonstrate something about yourself other than what can be gleaned from your resume, it should not be the focus of your essay.

Tushbush
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Re: how bad is it

Postby Tushbush » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:21 pm

Do neither of you feel like, since adcomms do read thousands of these a year, they get sick of hearing the stories about how applicants overcame a parent's drug abuse or a parent/family members death, etc. I feel like everyone writes about that, and I dont have any sob stories that show how I have overcame something that defined who am I as a person

Im at a loss

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: how bad is it

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:27 pm

Tushbush wrote:Do neither of you feel like, since adcomms do read thousands of these a year, they get sick of hearing the stories about how applicants overcame a parent's drug abuse or a parent/family members death, etc. I feel like everyone writes about that, and I dont have any sob stories that show how I have overcame something that defined who am I as a person

Im at a loss


Overcoming adversity stories are a lot less common than "I did grunt work somewhere law related and so I'm going to force that into a statement about wanting to be a lawyer."

There has to be an event that defined you, something that makes you stand out as a person. Having read this, I feel like I know absolutely nothing more about you than what I would gather from a resume.

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: how bad is it

Postby thelawschoolproject » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:59 pm

I can tell you that I have read a significant amount of PSs on this site, and the ones that I remember aren't categorized by how severe of a struggle they overcame. The ones I remember told their story in an interesting and gripping way. Some were really emotional, but some were simply unique and well-crafted--and they in no way discussed surmounting great obstacles.

Tushbush
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Re: how bad is it

Postby Tushbush » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:09 pm

show me one that displays the characteristics you speak of

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facile princeps
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Re: how bad is it

Postby facile princeps » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:15 pm

[Edited to remove OP's originally quoted draft]
Last edited by facile princeps on Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: how bad is it

Postby thelawschoolproject » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:19 pm

I would suggest that you peruse these.

Unfortunately, I'm not going to copy and paste other people's PSs here as most people don't enjoy those being quoted. What I will say is that common traits in memorable PSs (for me anyway) include:

-well-crafted sentences
-active language
-a focus on the self
-a description of change (either how a person left an organization/occupation/person/themselves in a better place)
-a strong and authentic voice (which is to say that although I don't know the individual, by reading their PS I get a sense of their personality through their word choice/sentences/and occasionally humor [although this is to be used with the utmost caution])
-a genuine, non-formulated honesty throughout the piece

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CorkBoard
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Re: how bad is it

Postby CorkBoard » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:52 am

Tushbush wrote:show me one that displays the characteristics you speak of

There are plenty of examples in this forum. Do some research.

You might think of a good topic to write about while you're at it.

Tushbush
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Re: how bad is it

Postby Tushbush » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:29 pm

**removed**
Last edited by Tushbush on Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

kublaikahn
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Re: how bad is it

Postby kublaikahn » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:39 pm

Start over. There are lots of interesting cases in America's courtrooms. Law schools want to hear about interesting candidates.


And don't say "I speak of.." when writing. It is too informal for a PS.

Tushbush
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Re: how bad is it

Postby Tushbush » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:57 pm

Are you telling me to rewrite because it is not a perfect personal statement, or because it's terrible? I'm not looking for something perfect, just something to fill the personal statement requirement at the school I want to go to. My lsat and gpa are well above the 75th percentile at the school so as long as this isnt atrocious I don't think I'll have to much trouble getting in.

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inthebeginning
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Re: how bad is it

Postby inthebeginning » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:19 pm

So how does this law work? If you engage in a crime that results in the death of an accomplice you can get charged with first degree murder?

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inthebeginning
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Re: how bad is it

Postby inthebeginning » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:21 pm

Read posters profile, someones just having fun...

But really, how does this law work?

Tushbush
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Re: how bad is it

Postby Tushbush » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:43 am

Yes. If, while in commission of a felony, someone involved in the crime dies, regardless of who killed him or her. The state can charge the other person or persons involved in the crime with first degree murder. The state has tons of options in this scenario. Even if two guys are fleeing from the scene of a crime, and one gets hit by a car on the street and dies, the other one can be charged with murder.

bmore
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Re: how bad is it

Postby bmore » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:04 am

Completely agree with LSP. Listen to the advice.

Also it is not well written. Ex.

"After this trial I would often imagine myself in the shoes of one of the jury members. Could I have had an impact on the verdict? Then I would picture myself as a member of the defense team. Could I have done a better job at convincing the jury of the young man’s juvenility? I would like to believe that I could answer yes to both of these questions, but before I can do so, it is necessary that I get a quality legal education if I wish to make any kind of realistic impact on issues like the one discussed above. "

You need to go to law school to be a good juror? Of course you (any juror) would have an impact on the verdict. Convince them of his "juvenility"? If he was on trial as an adult it is irrelevant isn't it? I would avoid this topic and find a topic about you. It does not need to be a sob story.

Tushbush
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Re: how bad is it

Postby Tushbush » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:40 pm

What else is wrong with it? I have fixed those problems you guys have pointed out. However, I am not going to drop it and write a new one. I've fixed just about every mistake you guys have pointed out, except how it doesn't show the adcomms that I possess the qualities I mention. I'm working on that part now by giving some examples and such. Like I said, I'm not lookIng for an amazing PS, just something that will fill the requirement without stunning my chances for admission. If its average, I'm ok with that.

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chadwick218
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Re: how bad is it

Postby chadwick218 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:46 pm

OP, aside from reworking a number of sentences and word choice, I actually think that it is very good. To the extent that you can, I would try to tie the specific school into your statement. For example, Northwestern has a great clinical programs on wrongful convictions, juvenile justice, and a two professors who are deemed to be experts in jury trials ... I would tie these things into your statement (assuming, of course, that you have any interest in Northwestern) ... :wink:

Tushbush
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Re: how bad is it

Postby Tushbush » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:56 pm

Thanks Chadwick. I'm looking in to at least mentioning the school, I'll see where it leads me. Can you give me some examples where the word choice or sentence structure needs work?

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20130312
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Re: how bad is it

Postby 20130312 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:00 pm

I would be very wary of attending Oklahoma City U, as you would only come out with a coin flip's chance of practicing law (LinkRemoved).

Tushbush
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Re: how bad is it

Postby Tushbush » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:35 pm

You probably know nothing about that university except the incomplete and totally unrepresentative data that is reported to the ABA. Especially when it comes to employment prospects. If you have taken the LSAT you should know that drawing a conclusion from facts that are incompete or unrepresentative is one of the biggest flaws in an argument. I dont plan to attend, but i know several students who do. Now back to the personal statement...

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20130312
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Re: how bad is it

Postby 20130312 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:49 pm

Earlier you said it was your dream school. Interesting that you edited that.




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