2nd Draft PS help

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
CourtneyJoann
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2nd Draft PS help

Postby CourtneyJoann » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:19 am

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Last edited by CourtneyJoann on Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby NoodleyOne » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:21 pm

I can manipulate the truth to convince a person of a falsity without ever actually lying.


Take that out now. Bad bad bad. It perpetuates the wrong image of lawyers, and probably won't be looked at favorably.

I am a good manipulator,


That too.

Okay, other than those two, which in my opinion need to be deleted so fast your backspace key won't know what hit it, there's kind of a sterility to such a personal story which is a bit offputting. I like the idea of talking about your work at True North and why you work there yourself (although you were a bit redundant with listing your qualities and then relisting them a paragraph or two later in the context of when you were abused). I think you would have a moving PS here if you focused on survival and justice rather than a list of qualities. You have a story that could move someone, don't be afraid to try. Tie your experiences in with your work, but also why, not how, that has made YOU want to be a lawyer.

You have a compelling frame here, I just think it needs some cleaning up. More personal, more real. This doesn't come off as a sob story, which is good, but it comes off as a bit sterile.

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ShiningDown
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Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby ShiningDown » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:34 am

You opened up very well with a nice attention grabbing quotation and then left the reader confused by the end of the introductory paragraph because you failed to point out how any of the information relates to you and law school.

The rest of the letter was reasonable but if you would like to elevate it to the next level I suggest condensing it. I felt it was a bit dragged out at times and you began to repeat yourself. Furthermore, the overall tone of your letter is too negative as well. Keep in mind that the admissions representative hears about applicant's predicaments all the time - they'd much rather (in most cases) select a candidate that had a problem and overcame it as opposed to one that continues to cling to it. Talk about your problem and then move on. To remedy the said issue here is an ideal format that I personally suggest to you:

1. Quote (this was wonderful by the way)

2. Your bad experience
A) Your job and its influence on you
B) How your job and bad expirience have shaped who you are today (be specific)
C) What you plan to achieve while in law school
-career ambitions (brief)

3. Conclusion
A) Emphasize that you are going in the right direction. Sound positive - talk about how great you feel and how dedicated you are to success at the institution. Be genuine.
B) List the four most valuable assets you have to offer to their campus.
C) Thank them for their consideration. Sound professional here.

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
Last edited by ShiningDown on Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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LoveLife89
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Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby LoveLife89 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:55 am

I think your introduction is very strong and the use of the quote was very effective. I do agree with the redundancy aspect.

I don't think it is a sob story at all. You can work on the few kinks and iron out the repetitive issue and you should be good.

I agree with noodley that the idea of manipulation should be omitted. I know what you mean by that, but you don't want to put a bad taste in your mouth about anything written in your PS

CourtneyJoann
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Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby CourtneyJoann » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:11 pm

Thanks for the tips! I added in the lines about manipulation at the last second, and I'm not sure why. I'll definitely take those out. I'm also going to go back through and try to re-structure it so it's not as redundant.

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ShiningDown
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Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby ShiningDown » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:44 pm

LoveLife89 wrote:I think your introduction is very strong and the use of the quote was very effective. I do agree with the redundancy aspect.

I don't think it is a sob story at all. You can work on the few kinks and iron out the repetitive issue and you should be good.

I agree with noodley that the idea of manipulation should be omitted. I know what you mean by that, but you don't want to put a bad taste in your mouth about anything written in your PS


Never did I use the term "sob story" perhaps you should review what I wrote.

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Bfalcon
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Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby Bfalcon » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:18 pm

I think it has some fantastic potential. I believe a few points need to be massaged more thoroughly. Just eliminate some points and add a little more depth.

CourtneyJoann wrote:At True North Shelter, we have a mantra: we help victims to become survivors. Behind this mantra is the idea that, while you cannot control what happens to you in life, you can control who you become after it happens. I have worked at True North for over three years now, and through my work, I have had the unique opportunity to meet these victims of domestic/sexual assault at the lowest point in their lives. For three years, I have surrounded myself with their stories. I answer their hotline calls, I help them fill out ex partes, and I go to the hospital to provide advocacy directly after the abuse. These stories, and these survivors, have impacted me in ways that I never expected.


Eliminate "these" between meet and victims of domestic/sexual. It's an extra term that's not necessary. Brevity, brevity, brevity.

CourtneyJoann wrote: From the age of 10 to the age of 15, I was consistently sexually abused by a close friend of the family. My abuse has influenced me in ways that I am only just now beginning to understand. I have always known that I wanted to be a lawyer, but I could never explain just why that was. It simply just made sense for me to become one. After all, I seem to naturally possess the traits of one. I have always been somewhat of a workaholic. I have always been more at home in a library than in a social setting. I have always drifted towards activities involving justice and the law. I can manipulate the truth to convince a person of a falsity without ever actually lying. While these traits will make me a good lawyer, it took the stories I heard at True North to realize just why I possessed them.


This is your weakest paragraph. Don't reference "i have always known that I wanted to be a lawyer". As someone wisely wrote in the guide to PS writing, children hardly comprehend what being a lawyer entails. The after all seems a bit cocky. Eliminate the workaholic comment. It's a stereotype with a negative connotation. Library vs social setting might imply a weakness at engaging your peers socially - the ability to network and interact with others is a very important quality for lawyers. Noodley is bang on about eliminating the manipulation comment. IMHO this type of statement has to tread very carefully about the detailing of the abuse and after-effects. Too much and it can turn the committee against you. I would keep the negative implications to a minimum, particularly about staying away from social settings and manipulations. As a recruiter, I would have huge red flags from an applicant openly admitting these traits. If you were to describe how you've overcome them, then that would be another story. Recognizing your wounds from abuse are a great first step, but demonstrate how these wounds have healed!

CourtneyJoann wrote:Bad things happen; yet, as we teach our victims at True North, no matter how awful the experiences we have, we possess the ability to determine the outcome. The outcome of my experiences is me, sitting here, writing this statement, and I could not imagine any other course my life could take.

Edit: I could not imagine my life taking another course. OR The outcome of my experience is myself, sitting here, writing this statement, and reflecting how the rivers of life have brought me to these headwaters (if you want to wax poetical).

CourtneyJoann wrote:My past has shaped me into a person who knows exactly what they are meant to do with their life. I cannot imagine a world where I am not involved in the field of law. I cannot imagine a life where I am not helping others. I am not so naïve as to believe I will save the world, but I know that my past makes me equipped to save a few. I do not know who I would be without those 5 years, and I do not want to know, because it no longer matters. I have chosen my outcome. For 5 years I was a victim. Today, I am not only a survivor, I am me.


I like the ending. It is almost cliche now to include how one is NOT so naive as to believe they will save the world, so I would shy away from that. Rather than stating it, you could eliminate some of the earlier sentences and include some examples that might demonstrate that you have the maturity and life experience to work to effect incredible change in the face of odds while being realistic about the circumstances. Some situation where you have demonstrable tact.

Finally, I feel like there could be more emphasis on academic excellence, or specific instances of achievement at your workplace. Things that could demonstrate those lawyerly qualities you stated you have (but haven't shown to have in the statement).

Best of luck!

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LoveLife89
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Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby LoveLife89 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:28 pm

ShiningDown wrote:
LoveLife89 wrote:I think your introduction is very strong and the use of the quote was very effective. I do agree with the redundancy aspect.

I don't think it is a sob story at all. You can work on the few kinks and iron out the repetitive issue and you should be good.

I agree with noodley that the idea of manipulation should be omitted. I know what you mean by that, but you don't want to put a bad taste in your mouth about anything written in your PS


Never did I use the term "sob story" perhaps you should review what I wrote.



Drop the defense dude. I never even read your response. I was going by what OP said about not wanting to sound generic or that she's asking for sympathy. We are all trying to help one another and in this case, OP. chilllllll

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ShiningDown
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Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby ShiningDown » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:52 pm

LoveLife89 wrote:
ShiningDown wrote:
LoveLife89 wrote:I think your introduction is very strong and the use of the quote was very effective. I do agree with the redundancy aspect.

I don't think it is a sob story at all. You can work on the few kinks and iron out the repetitive issue and you should be good.

I agree with noodley that the idea of manipulation should be omitted. I know what you mean by that, but you don't want to put a bad taste in your mouth about anything written in your PS


Never did I use the term "sob story" perhaps you should review what I wrote.



Drop the defense dude. I never even read your response. I was going by what OP said about not wanting to sound generic or that she's asking for sympathy. We are all trying to help one another and in this case, OP. chilllllll


"OP," as you referenced to, never used the term "sob story" either. "OP" did say "horrible" however. The definitions of horrible and sob story are very different. I was never on the defensive, only making a clarification. I suggest chosing your vocabulary better. Afterall, we are in a forum full of lawyers.

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LoveLife89
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Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby LoveLife89 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:05 pm

ShiningDown wrote:
LoveLife89 wrote:
ShiningDown wrote:
LoveLife89 wrote:I think your introduction is very strong and the use of the quote was very effective. I do agree with the redundancy aspect.

I don't think it is a sob story at all. You can work on the few kinks and iron out the repetitive issue and you should be good.

I agree with noodley that the idea of manipulation should be omitted. I know what you mean by that, but you don't want to put a bad taste in your mouth about anything written in your PS


Never did I use the term "sob story" perhaps you should review what I wrote.



Drop the defense dude. I never even read your response. I was going by what OP said about not wanting to sound generic or that she's asking for sympathy. We are all trying to help one another and in this case, OP. chilllllll
u

"OP," as you referenced to, never used the term "sob story" either. "OP" did say "horrible" however. The definitions of horrible and sob story are very different. I was never on the defensive, only making a clarification. I suggest chosing your vocabulary better. Afterall, we are in a forum full of lawyers.



. I've been working on this for a while, but I'm getting really nervous now that I'm about to send it off. It does regard a sensitive subject, and I'm concerned that I come off as too generic in it. I sort of feel as if the admissions committee will think I'm just trying to get a sympathy vote,

^^ this is where I was referencing and I was lettin her know that it wasn't coming off as a son story. Again, chillllll. I won't entertain you anmore on her thread.

CourtneyJoann
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: 2nd Draft PS help

Postby CourtneyJoann » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:15 pm

Thanks for all the responses! It's exactly what I needed. I think I know where to go from here now. I'm going to try to make it more positive. I actually did have concern about sounding anti social, and so I'm glad someone agrees.




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