Please Critique!!! All input Appreciated

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Please Critique!!! All input Appreciated

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:40 pm

Only two years their senior, I didn't fully grasp my twin brothers’ disabilities in my early childhood. Originally, my parents had feared autism, but doctors were unable to match symptoms with a textbook disability. To this day, the condition has never been diagnosed as more than a complex neurological disorder that leaves my brothers with severe learning disabilities, hypotonia, and social behavioral issues. After countless visits to the neurologist, doctors told my parents that my brothers would probably never be able to walk, attend a normal school, or communicate verbally.

My inability to understand the extent of my brothers’ disabilities led to me to become obsessed with the idea of “fixing” them. Summer hours of my childhood were spent sounding out words to my brothers while watching their lips struggle to reproduce the same sounds. Every concept explained to my brothers had to be broken down to the most basic elements. The stream of conscious thought most of us take for granted is a broken and clumsy reality for my brothers; nothing they learn can be taken for granted.

For the past eight years of my life I have felt called to the practice of law, and I have come to realize that the experiences I had with my brothers as a youth are core to this calling. The days I spent as a child believing I could cure their learning disability by breaking down what most would find rudimentary has molded a mindset that makes me adept at taking advanced concepts and distilling them down to the most basic principles. I have displayed these skills as a leader in my undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering, my performance as a management consultant at (XX), and my role as founder and CEO of a tech startup in Chicago.

The idea for my startup, (XX), grew out of a previous venture I started in 2010 with a friend who had recently graduated from law school. Since I had a few months after graduation before my career at (XX) started, my friend and I started a real estate company, (XX). After a year and a half representing renters and buyers as a broker in Chicago, I grew frustrated with the out-of-date processes that slowed down rental transactions and complicated the process for tenants. I saw an opportunity to build a product that fixed what should be a simple process: rental applications.

There was one big problem. My only experience in web development was the WordPress site I built for (XX), and I had zero idea what being the founder of a tech company entailed. I contacted a friend from high school who had an impressive Computer Science background and explained the opportunity I saw to eliminate the traditional pen and paper processes in real estate. After I got another fellow engineer on board, I was able to raise a seed investment from a local angel investor to pay for office space in 1871, Chicago’s new tech hub. With a successful launch in September, we are now piloting our product with clients ranging from some of the largest real estate firms in Chicago to an elderly couple trying to find good tenants for the second floor of their Wrigleyville duplex. I know that my success pitching our business model to investors, customers, and developers who lacked intimate knowledge either of the real estate industry or of technology is rooted in the experiences I had with my brothers.

While I am extremely proud of growing a small startup, I can no longer ignore my passion to pursue a career as a lawyer. My background as an entrepreneur, engineer, and consultant will bring a unique multidisciplinary perspective to the (XX Law School). The innovative and business-focused nature of (XX Law School) aligns ideally with what I am pursuing in my legal education. I am confident that I will thrive in the collaborative nature of the school and am excited about the potential to draw on the experiences of my classmates.

At four years old, my brothers took their first steps. At nine, they attended a normal public school. At 16, they made the varsity wrestling team and competed at state tournaments. When they were 19, I watched my brothers walk across the stage at their high school graduation. While my brothers will never be able to become the doctors, lawyers, or bankers that embody the image of success in our culture, they have accomplished more in their lives than most by means of pure will. If admitted, (XX Law School) will be adding a compassionate, driven leader whose life experiences have taught him never to be ignorant to the road traveled in another man’s shoes. Watching my brothers persevere in the face of challenge has taught me the importance of never taking knowledge for granted.

elcee1987
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:40 am

Re: Please Critique!!! All input Appreciated

Postby elcee1987 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:29 am

Hey this is pretty good, I like it. It flows pretty well and I can hear your voice through it. Some small things I would fix:

2nd paragraph you say "take for granted" twice. I would reword one of them.

The para that starts with "there was one big problem" I would rework the whole "problem" and "no idea" stuff and turn it into a positive, ie. Since I had no technical knowledge to aid in leading a tech company, I reached out to others who would help me achieve my goals. We don't really need to know the individual stuff like your friend from high school's expertise or the engineer guy, or the fact that you're in 1871, or who your clients are. Distill that stuff a bit. The tech company is only a small part of the story, don't flesh it out with so many details. Instead, focus on your strengths. I particularly like the last sentence of that paragraph, THAT'S something I would flesh out and lengthen more.

In the next para, you discuss how you will bring a multidisciplinary perspective. I would remove the word "unique." I'll guarantee you're not the only entrepreneur with a start-up who's ever graced the halls of the school, particularly if you're applying to business-oriented law schools. Then delve in for a few sentences what YOU can do for the law school. You emphasize that YOU will fit in to the law school, that YOU will thrive, that YOU are excited. Now turn it around and discuss why the SCHOOL should take a chance on you.

Hope those comments help finetune things a bit. I tend to be a bit nitpicky in some areas and too relaxed in others, so don't rely solely on this! If possible, can you find my PS further down and give it a look over in exchange?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273256
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Critique!!! All input Appreciated

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:19 am

Awesome,

Thanks for the input. I'll definitely take a look at yours and give you some feedback.

brittanynicole_4
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Please Critique!!! All input Appreciated

Postby brittanynicole_4 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:06 am

Overall I think you relate your experience with your brothers and how it translated into your success with your startup well. At first I thought it focused a little too much on your brothers, but you did a great job in the last 3/4 relating it to you and how it ultimately translated into your success. I get where you are going with learning how to break things down for your brothers which enabled you to do that for clients in your startup, but you could maybe make this concept a bit more clear.

This paragraph is a little weak in comparison with the others:
"For the past eight years of my life I have felt called to the practice of law, and I have come to realize that the experiences I had with my brothers as a youth are core to this calling. The days I spent as a child believing I could cure their learning disability by breaking down what most would find rudimentary has molded a mindset that makes me adept at taking advanced concepts and distilling them down to the most basic principles. MAY NEED ANOTHER SENTENCE HERE FOR TRANSITION. I have displayed these skills as a leader in my undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering, my performance as a management consultant at (XX), and my role as founder and CEO of a tech startup in Chicago."

Overall, I find the flow of this paragraph doesn't quite match the rest of the ps. In bold you made this clear in previous paragraphs I think it is a bit repetitive. You could make this more concise.

I have posted a draft also under subject: "Please Help! PS" Please take a look at it and critique it....I know it needs much work. All comments would be appreciated.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273256
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please Critique!!! All input Appreciated

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:11 pm

Thanks Brittany! Even though I'm posting as anonymous, I promise I will get feedback on your essay during lunch!

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Please Critique!!! All input Appreciated

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:04 pm

Wow, this is a powerful personal statement. Consider becoming a trial lawyer because juries will love your method of delivery.

DELETE: The last sentence.




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