2nd draft personal statement- correct format

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bsf2344
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:48 pm

2nd draft personal statement- correct format

Postby bsf2344 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:28 pm

Hello everyone, this is my 2nd draft. I'm looking for any feedback good or bad. Please be as blunt as possible. Thank you.

Growing up I heard all the different lawyer jokes. My parents, my sister, my grandfather (a former New York State Supreme Court Justice), my uncle, and many of my cousins are attorneys. Over the years they have labeled themselves the “law group.” Weekly Sunday night dinners were commonly prefaced with lines from the American comedy film “My Cousin Vinny.” Although it seemed as if becoming a lawyer would be inevitable, I never liked the idea.

I never wanted to be part of their group. I wanted to break the mold that my family designed and venture into something new. All of that changed, however, when I enrolled in a summer study abroad program beginning in June 2011. I enrolled alone, seizing an extraordinary opportunity that nobody in my family ever had. The program started in Cyprus, a unique country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. During the student orientation we learned about a separate northern region in Cyprus; an unrecognized, self-declared state called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (“TRNC”). This is where the law began to pique my interest. The citizens of TRNC had their own laws, which were very different from the common law in Cyprus. I began to research the TRNC law and how it was interpreted differently across this unrecognized border.

Over the next two months I traveled to fifteen countries across the Mediterranean and Europe. This gave me the opportunity to see more unique law structures in various countries. I began speaking with anybody I could about the rules and regulations of their home country. The cultural and legal differences fascinated me. I became engrossed in learning the differences in legal practices across borders. One German cab driver mentioned a legal regulation that it was unlawful to run out of gas on the highway. A merchant in Greece described the difference between the Greek VAT and English taxes. I became so immersed in learning the subtle distinctions between laws of different countries that I began to keep a journal to remember the discrepancies. I soon realized that international law was, and is, my calling.

Although I never had any intention of becoming a lawyer, and did not like the idea of following my “generic” family path, my experiences abroad have lead me to realize that becoming an attorney, and specializing in international law, is what I want to do. While my decision to go to law school may not seem like a surprise to many, it is certainly a surprise to me, and, for the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to joining my family’s “law group.”



Thanks everyone.

canarykb
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:56 am

Re: 2nd draft personal statement

Postby canarykb » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:33 pm

Growing up I heard all the different lawyer jokes. My parents, my sister, my grandfather (a former New York State Supreme Court Justice), my uncle, and many of my cousins are attorneys. Over the years they have labeled themselves the “law group.” Weekly Sunday night dinners were commonly prefaced with lines from the American comedy film “My Cousin Vinny.” Although it seemed as if becoming a lawyer would be inevitable, I never liked the idea. [I don't think this a good way to open. The tension you're setting up in this statement so far is: "Everyone in my family is a lawyer, I didn't want to be one, now I do." I just don't think it's a very compelling narrative. You're struggling against pressure to become a successful lawyer, among a family of successful lawyers, who can probably offer you amazing advice and resources. I can't bring myself to care about that too much.]

I never wanted to be part of their group. I wanted to break the mold that my family designed and venture into something new. All of that changed, however, when I enrolled in a summer study abroad program beginning in June 2011. I enrolled alone, seizing an extraordinary opportunity that nobody in my family ever had. The program started in Cyprus, a unique country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. During the student orientation we learned about a separate northern region in Cyprus; an unrecognized, self-declared state called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (“TRNC”). This is where the law began to pique my interest. The citizens of TRNC had their own laws, which were very different from the common law in Cyprus. I began to research the TRNC law and how it was interpreted differently across this unrecognized border. [I think this is more interesting fodder for an essay. The study abroad narrative is pretty common, but you cite specific things about Cyprus that engaged you, and that's very worth wile.]

Over the next two months I traveled to fifteen countries across the Mediterranean and Europe. This gave me the opportunity to see more unique law structures in various countries. I began speaking with anybody I could about the rules and regulations of their home country. The cultural and legal differences fascinated me. [Did you really? Like REALLY, did you speak with anyone you could about the rules & regulations where they live? This seems like a bending of the truth to me. Was it maybe for a research paper?] I became engrossed in learning the differences in legal practices across borders. One German cab driver mentioned a legal regulation that it was unlawful to run out of gas on the highway. A merchant in Greece described the difference between the Greek VAT and English taxes. I became so immersed in learning the subtle distinctions between laws of different countries that I began to keep a journal to remember the discrepancies. [Ok, this makes me believe you a little more. Maybe put this tidbit earlier?] I soon realized that international law was, and is, my calling. [Very weird grammatically.]

Although I never had any intention of becoming a lawyer, and did not like the idea of following my “generic” family path, my experiences abroad have lead me to realize that becoming an attorney, and specializing in international law, is what I want to do. While my decision to go to law school may not seem like a surprise to many, it is certainly a surprise to me, and, for the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to joining my family’s “law group.” [I think this conclusion comes across as pretty naive. I can't tell how long this program was, but it seems like your decision to become a lawyer isn't incredibly well thought out? We also don't get an idea of what your former career goals were, I'm curious what those were, and why you changed your mind. ]

You asked for blunt - I would scrap most of this and try to think of another topic. Or maybe you can focus entirely on your trip to Cyprus and how that exposed you to the complexities of international laws? That could be an effective essay if written in a compelling way.

bsf2344
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: 2nd draft personal statement- correct format

Postby bsf2344 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:25 pm

Ok thank you. I appreciate the detailed feedback. Any other opinions?

bsf2344
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: 2nd draft personal statement- correct format

Postby bsf2344 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:57 pm

Anyone else?

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LoveLife89
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:08 pm

Re: 2nd draft personal statement- correct format

Postby LoveLife89 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:20 pm

bsf2344 wrote:Hello everyone, this is my 2nd draft. I'm looking for any feedback good or bad. Please be as blunt as possible. Thank you.

Growing up I heard all the different lawyer jokes. My parents, my sister, my grandfather (a former New York State Supreme Court Justice), my uncle, and many of my cousins are attorneys. Over the years they have labeled themselves the “law group.” Weekly Sunday night dinners were commonly prefaced with lines from the American comedy film “My Cousin Vinny.” Although it seemed as if becoming a lawyer would be inevitable, I never liked the idea.
I think this beginning needs to be scratched. This is trite and nothing new. Many people come with this same attitude of, "I never wanted to be a lawyer, but somehow, something drew me in" I am also not even sure how becoming a lawyer would be inevitable. Just because many people in your family were lawyers does not necessarily make it inevitable, at least not to me.

I never wanted to be part of their group. I wanted to break the mold that my family designed and venture into something new. All of that changed when I enrolled in a summer study abroad program beginning in June 2011. I enrolled alone, seizing an extraordinary opportunity that nobody in my family ever had. The program began in Cyprus, a unique country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. During the student orientation, we learned about a separate northern region in Cyprus; an unrecognized, self-declared state known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (“TRNC”). This is where the law began to pique my interest This is written in the passive voice and needs to be changed. You should be doing the action,not having something done to you. The citizens of TRNC had their own laws, which were very different from the common law in Cyprus. I began to research the TRNC law and how it was interpreted differently across this unrecognized border.

Over the next two months I traveled to fifteen countries across the Mediterranean and Europe. This gave me the opportunity to see more unique law structures in various countries. I began speaking with anybody [anyone] I could about the rules and regulations of their home country. The cultural and legal differences fascinated me. I became engrossed in learning the differences in legal practices across borders. One German cab driver mentioned a legal regulation that it was unlawful to run out of gas on the highway [This is random and poor syntax. Fix or ditch. A merchant in Greece described the difference between the Greek VAT and English taxes. I became so immersed in learning the subtle distinctions between laws of different countries that I began to keep a journal to remember the discrepancies. I soon realized that international law was, and is, my calling.

Although I never had any intention of becoming a lawyer, and did not like the idea of following my “generic” family path, my experiences abroad have lead me to realize that becoming an attorney, and specializing in international law, is what I want to do. While my decision to go to law school may not seem like a surprise to many, it is certainly a surprise to me, and, for the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to joining my family’s “law group.”



Thanks everyone.



So, I think this needs work. But, I think it needs work because it is trite. I knew what your conclusion was going to be before I even read it, and that does not leave the reader in suspense. You say your reason for wanting to practice "international law" is because you became fascinated with learned the differences between the laws of differing countries. But one does not have to attend law school to learn that. They can simply pick up a book or take course. Do you catch my drift? You should try to incorporate a more concrete reason that leaves no doubt in the minds of the adcom that law school is right for you. Because saying you were so against it, but somehow enjoying learning about the differences changed your mind just seems weird.

I'd suggest you start over or really just think of where you want this PS to go and your reason for wanting to attend. But, whatever you do, the first paragraph needs to go.




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