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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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fisheye
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:47 pm

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Postby fisheye » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:51 pm

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Last edited by fisheye on Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Eva_Bates
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:41 pm

Re: Transition from Architecture to Law, Critiques Appreciated!

Postby Eva_Bates » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:44 am

fisheye wrote:Being the only child, my parents have always had high expectations of me, yet because I did not come to the United States until I was 18, and because my family was unable to provide much financial support, those expectations came with worries and doubts. That is why they told me to “stay practical” and go to a nursing school instead of a four-year university. I, on the other hand, did not think one’s future should be limited by mere language barriers. So I sought jobs that required in-person communication skills while taking classes at a community college. Juggling between two jobs and being a full time student, I was successfully transferred to UC Berkeley and earned my degree from the College of Environmental Design.

With a junior designer’s job secured in an international design firm 3 months after the graduation, I was full of high spirits and was eager to prove my value through work. Because of my software skills, fluency in Mandarin, and willingness to take on challenges, I was assigned to a design team that was planning a resort project in China. For 8 months, I worked with the senior designer and fellow team members to produce a master planning package that included the design of theme hotels, loft hotels, theme park, shopping mall, and under grade parking. In the meantime, I was designated to monitor the work progress of our associates in China and India, and to make sure they understand each assignment and submit the work on time. After numerous sleepless nights, frequent brainstorming of new ideas, and countless revisions of plans, the master design of the project was finally come to live. It was tailored to the local value yet remained modern and revitalizing to be the new icon of the locale as the client had envisioned. We were convinced the client would be attached to the design and continue our contract to proceed to the next phase.




Your first sentence is a major run on. And not just the parents of only children have high expectations of them: to the right (or wrong) person, it's bordering offensive - and that person will decide whether you are accepted to law school. And going from the concept of needing to be practical for financial reason to a language barrier makes little sense; you're lacking a link, skipping between the two. Regardless of CA's situation ITE (in this economy), don't advertise to the admissions office to know that it took you three months to find a job.

That being said, opening with this idea is interesting, and moving quickly to major work experience and responsibilities makes you sound motivated, smart and accomplished. Let's go over the points. You are an immigrant, arriving in the U.S. already into adulthood. You managed to overcome both financial and linguistic barriers while also prioritizing your true interests and passions... and went from 2 jobs and a full time student at a community college to a very well respected university. You quickly rose through the (corporate?) ranks to a managerial position. Yay!

Here's my advice. Condense. Make it clear what you overcame: You immigrated, you conquered pressures, etc. I shouldn't have to identify you as an immigrant: Do not make an admissions officer, who reads thousands of personal statements, combine "fluent mandarin" and "came to the US at 18". That's your job, and diversity is a good thing, so highlight it. I like that you laid out exactly what your project entailed, I liked that your former job sounds intense (although I could do without hearing - breathless - about the sleepless nights). But make your sentences clearer, more 'packed' yet concise. Less adjectives, more 'actual'. But I do like how you transition into how this experience led you to want to study the law.

Putting in the school's name ("XXX") won't fool anyone into thinking this is actually a tailed-for-each-school personal statement, so I'd just skip it completely unless you are willing to actually write a new, unique essay for each and every school / application.

I do, however, think that you need a proofreader. Seriously. If you are spending money and time on retaking the LSAT, application fees, etc., you should be able to swing this. You simply need someone to go over your grammar, sentence construction and word choice, and that shouldn't be too expensive. If you want to get into decent / better / use-your-own-description schools: it's necessary. Or get a friend who grew up in the U.S. and got good grades in English in college to look it over for you. (I am not trying to be mean here at all, but it is very necessary for your law school application).

And: Absolutely do not use the words, sentences, etc., that I have used here - or what anyone else has written for you - directly in your personal statement. I'm not sure if I actually need to spell this out, but I will, just in case. Top-Law-Schools is a public forum: not only can everyone see it, I'm sure the good law schools are also smart enough to look at it, once in a while. You seem smart and hardworking enough to get in without resorting to things not allowed, i.e. plagiarism. Make sure that your personal statement is your own. That's why I gave you my advice as general ideas, and grammatical corrections.

Good luck!

Eva_Bates
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:41 pm

Re: Transition from Architecture to Law, Critiques Appreciated!

Postby Eva_Bates » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:53 am

One more thing. Do this quickly. You want your applications in as soon as possible: we're nearing the end of November, and there are law schools that are already sending out decisions! Yes, fix your personal statement, but work on it now and get everything in, at latest, by the middle of December. (I don't know your situation but if you aren't doing anything else I think it's actually realistic to get all the applications in by Dec. 1st).

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fisheye
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:47 pm

Re: Transition from Architecture to Law, Critiques Appreciated!

Postby fisheye » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:48 pm

Thank you so much Eva!!

I was trying to make the statement "personal" at first and there's a little voice telling me that I sound too much like a whiny baby :oops: . I appreciate it very much that you pointed it out and told me the exact problem!! I guess over advertising could sound like showing off and be annoying... especially compare to thousands of greatly written statements out there.

I totally agree on the need a proofreader! Just trying to get the ideas straight before sending it to be proofread :D .

Thanks for the application reminder, I'll edit the statement today, and try to send it in around Thanksgiving time!!




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