First Draft, would love some advice

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First Draft, would love some advice

Postby vinnnyvincenzo » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:49 pm

Last edited by vinnnyvincenzo on Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First Draft, would love some advice

Postby Liquox » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:43 pm

Here's a quick edit. Hope it helps.

vinnnyvincenzo wrote:“How did I end up here,” I recall thinking as I looked out the fogged glass doors of the Port-au-Prince Airport to a mob of people packed tightly behind a rusted metal fence, most of whom were screaming in the hopes of drawing the attention of loved ones who had just flown in.

This sentence is too long, especially for a first sentence

Of course this first thought was of little importance at all.

excessive sentence; find a way to shorten it

In fact, how I ended up in Haiti the day before my 21st birthday was actually rather simple. My sister had been there for several months working for a non-profit organization focused on education and health care in the rural area outside of the capital and largest city Port-au-Prince. For weeks she had incessantly attempted to coerce me into a visit. I was, naturally, a little hesitant and nervous to acquiesce. I had only once been out of the country, and that was to a swanky resort in the Bahamas. Where I stayed in Haiti was no resort, not to mention the dangers inherent with any trip to a Third World nation. But, her constant requests did begin to wear me down.

way too many adjectives; admin people read dozens of these a day. make it read fast. "for weeks, she asked me to visit" could be short for: "for weeks, she had incessantly attempted to coerce (breath) me into a visit"

More importantly, her efforts also sparked a degree of intrigue inside me. Since a young age I have coveted knowledge. If I do not have information on a given topic, it annoys me to no end and I strive to gain it. As a political science major, I had read somewhat extensively on the Third World, but much of the scholarly work focuses on statistical evidence and underlying causes, often times lacking a human element that makes it relatable. Experiencing something first hand, however, forces you to abandon any preconceived notions you might have and allows for a brutally honest interpretation. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then actually going will be infinitely more telling,” I rationalized. Still I was unconvinced. I had always had a cautious disposition towards new, and possibly dangerous, experiences. But my intrigue finally won out and I decided to indulge .

there's a lot of "qualifying the self" here. put some events/action in there. show, don't tell.

Ironically, my trip to Haiti is simultaneously one of the best and worst experiences of my life.

annoucements are unnecessary. the following events should show what this sentence says.

For two excruciating weeks I was thrown out of my comfort zone beyond belief. Yet what I observed while there was more of a learning experience then I had hoped. First, watching the sacrifice, dedication and hard work put forth by the Haitians who worked at the hospital clinic was beyond inspirational. I returned to America with a new found maturity, trying to emulate I met in Haiti by pushing and challenging myself. I dedicated myself further to becoming the best student and person possible by redoubling my efforts to be successful. The results were a stark increase in my grades and greater enjoyment of my courses as a whole. Beyond just coursework, I have made a concerted effort not to take anything for granted or take an easy more comfortable route, for example staring down my uneasiness with public speaking by presenting my work at a political science conference and now challenging myself to get admitted to and graduate law school.

sounds like you've seen and done some interesting things. put your reader where you were. don't just tell them about it. less description.

Another important lesson I came home with was just how important the rule of law is to the success of a society. During my trip I asked one of the doctors how much money it would take for Haiti to become a success story. He laughed and pointed out that money alone cannot fix their problems. The problem in Haiti is systemic. Many of their issues can be traced to a dearth of adequate rules and regulations and an even greater shortage of faith in the laws and the lawmakers they do have. Whether its from deforestation, pollution, the raiding of the national treasury or just petty crime, to name a few of the issues which have faced Haiti, many of their problems arise out of the lack of a coherent vision their citizenry.

showing what you learned; this is good.

That is what makes America great, the fact that we have approximately 312 million people living here and the majority buy into and believe in the system of rules and regulations that have been established. This is a contextualization of why I want to be a lawyer. I have seen the dire consequences caused by a lawless attitude and a lack of faith in the system, it results in the near chaotic atmosphere seen in places like Haiti. The truth is that every person protects our system when they obey even the smallest law. But a select few such as police officers, lawyers and government officials have direct influence by enforcing, creating and challenging the laws we have in place. I want go to law school and become a lawyer because I want to be a direct contributor to keeping our system from devolving.

not sure you want to end on an apocalyptic note. also, try not to tell accredited members of the ABA what it means to be a lawyer. in case you're not spot on with whoever's reading your paper's opinion, this may play against you

overall: i like the "got out of the US and learned something new" idea, but work on presentation. you must have enjoyed going to haiti. write as if you're taking the admin people with you on another trip. show them what you saw. give them something to wonder about (there must be some curiosity in haiti that perplexed you)

good start; hope this helped and feel free to pm me if you have questions

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