Help a first timer with a Personal Statement critique!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
TimeToChoose
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:27 am

Help a first timer with a Personal Statement critique!

Postby TimeToChoose » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:56 pm

Hey guys. Thought you could help me a bit with my personal statement. Tell me what you think. Thanks!

The grounds surrounding the imposing Wisconsin Capitol building rotunda swarmed with a sea of citizen spectators desperately waving signs, clutching megaphones, banners, and even sleeping bags. The scene, I have to admit, shook me. Coming from the mid-sized, Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin, the chaotic mass of citizen protesters that I encountered daily on my walk to class was a sight unlike anything I had ever encountered. What was driving these people to become so engaged? What was making them care so much? At the time, I did not foresee how Wisconsin politics would shape my plans for the future.

As a student in my state capitol city of Madison, Wisconsin, I am never surprised to see small groups protesting this or that. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a day when there isn’t a protest of some sort. But, when newly elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, in order to correct a state budget shortfall, took office and initiated major reforms to state government workers’ rights, the reaction to the proposed reforms was immense, raucous crowds of protesters, whose numbers grew daily.

I was drawn to examine the issues at the heart of the protests. Do public employees, whose salaries and benefits are paid by the taxpayers, have a right to collectively bargain for workplace issues? What is the extent of the state’s right to limit public employees’ rights? Can state senators flee the state in order to avoid voting on a contentious issue? To what extent can demonstrators occupy the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt its daily business? So many questions, and I was determined to find answers. At first a bystander, I soon found myself deeply interested in the issues at hand. It was if I had taken a long, deep breath of air after being submerged in a deep pool of water for the first twenty years of my life. It was clear that political history was unfolding in Madison, Wisconsin, and I was a firsthand witness.

During the spring of 2011, as the debate over public employees’ rights moved beyond Wisconsin and became front page news at the national level, I found myself lingering at the edge of the demonstrators on my way to and from class. My attraction to this movement paid allegiance to neither political party. It was simply my keen interest in the issues at hand and how they related to the laws of my state. I found myself gathering my friends to join in, regardless of their political leanings. I felt compelled to share my opinions with others, to hear their opinions, to bring them into the conversation.

Wisconsin’s demonstrations surrounding the passage of Act 10 allowed me to appreciate the importance of our democratic process at the state level and the laws that govern that process. I have seen state politics come to life as demonstrators tried to exert influence on state law through their actions. I have also seen the legal challenges brought by those intent on reversing laws recently passed. I was able to take part voting in, and witnessing, a hotly contested special election for the recall of Governor Scott Walker. Everything unfolded right before my eyes and I had the privilege of witnessing history in Wisconsin.
I appreciate that I have been privy to a very unique time and place in Wisconsin politics. Wisconsin politics has left me with a clear focus for the career path what I would like to pursue. I plan to attend law school as preparation for a career in government and I respectfully ask for the opportunity to be a member of the ___________class of 2016.

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

Re: Help a first timer with a Personal Statement critique!

Postby brittanynicole_4 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:43 am

Overall I like the topic. It shows your world view/political awareness, which I believe adcoms will find attractive. Though I do feel you focus too much on the story and not enough on how if affected your decision to choose law or how it influenced you in any way. I know this can be a problem with many personal statments, including my own. It is very easy to get carried away with the story and not focus on the impact of the story. I have this problem too, still trying to work on it. Please check out my ps and let me know what you think, I would appreciate it greatly. It is under subject title: "Please Help! PS."

TimeToChoose
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:27 am

Re: Help a first timer with a Personal Statement critique!

Postby TimeToChoose » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:37 pm

UPDATE
Alrighty, I updated this one a bit. I hope this is a little better than my first try. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks so much!

The grounds surrounding the imposing Wisconsin Capitol building rotunda swarmed with a sea of citizen spectators desperately waving signs, clutching megaphones, banners, and even sleeping bags. The scene, I have to admit, shook me. Coming from the mid-sized, Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin, the chaotic mass of citizen protesters that I encountered daily on my walk to class was a sight unlike anything I had ever encountered. What was driving these people to become so engaged? What was making them care so much? At the time, I did not foresee how Wisconsin politics would so drastically shape my personal views as well as transform my plans for the future.

As a student in my state capitol city of Madison, Wisconsin, I am never surprised to see small groups protesting this or that. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a day when there isn’t a protest of some sort. But, when newly elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, in order to correct a state budget shortfall, took office and initiated major reforms to state government workers’ rights, the reaction to the proposed reforms was immense, with raucous crowds of protesters whose numbers grew daily. I was drawn to examine the issues at the heart of the protests. Do public employees, whose salaries and benefits are paid by the taxpayers, have a right to collectively bargain for workplace issues? What is the extent of the state’s right to limit public employees’ rights? Can state senators flee the state in order to avoid voting on a contentious issue? To what extent can demonstrators occupy the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt its daily business? So many questions, and I was determined to find answers. At first a bystander, I soon found myself deeply interested in the issues at hand. It was if I had taken a long, deep breath of air after being submerged in a deep pool of water for the first twenty years of my life. Confronted with these topics, I quickly found myself caring right alongside with the citizens. It was clear that political history was unfolding in Madison, Wisconsin, and I was now a participant.

During the spring of 2011, as the debate over public employees’ rights moved beyond Wisconsin and became front page news at the national level, I found myself lingering at the edge of the demonstrators on my way to and from class. My attraction to this movement paid allegiance to neither political party. It was simply my keen interest in the issues at hand, and how they related to the laws of my state. I found myself gathering my friends to join in, regardless of their political leanings. I felt compelled to share my opinions with others, to hear their opinions, to bring them into the conversation. Wisconsin’s consciousness was rising, and so was my own. Wisconsin’s demonstrations surrounding the passage of Act 10 allowed me to appreciate the importance of our democratic process at the state level and the laws that govern that process. I have seen state politics come to life as demonstrators tried to exert influence on state law through their actions. My unique experience has given me an ability to distinguish these legal ramifications within real-world implications. I have seen the legal challenges brought by those intent on reversing laws recently passed. I was able to take an active part voting in, and witnessing, a hotly contested special election for the recall of Governor Scott Walker. Everything unfolded right before my eyes, and I had the unique privilege of carrying an active role in the formulation of Wisconsin’s history.

Reflecting on my personal growth and contributions in my college years, my most discernible achievement is the realization that I need to be that voice, to be a participant, to reject the bystander notion as the residents of Wisconsin have so courageously done. Wisconsin provided me not only a true respect for our political system, but also cultivated within me a growing sense of responsibility as a citizen of my state. This is one philosophy I am absolutely determined to carry alongside with me; be an actor, be engaged – be like Wisconsin. Law school presents an opportunity to take the first steps to channel and direct this mentality into a concrete reality.

I appreciate that I have been privy to a very unique time and place in Wisconsin politics. Wisconsin politics has left me with a clear focus for the career path what I would like to pursue. I plan to attend law school as preparation for a career in government, and I respectfully ask for the opportunity to be a member of the ___________class of 2016.

cslouisck
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:59 am

Re: Help a first timer with a Personal Statement critique!

Postby cslouisck » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:55 pm

TimeToChoose wrote:UPDATE
Alrighty, I updated this one a bit. I hope this is a little better than my first try. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks so much!

The grounds surrounding the imposing Wisconsin Capitol building rotunda swarmed with a sea of citizen spectators desperately waving signs, clutching megaphones, banners, and even sleeping bags. Too many modifiers. And a mixed metaphor. Seas typically don't "swarm." The scene, I have to admit, shook me. Coming from the mid-sized, Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin, the chaotic mass of citizen protesters that I encountered daily on my walk to class was a sight unlike anything I had ever encountered. "Encountered" appears twice. You can eliminate the descriptors of your city to simply say "Milwaukee suburb" since the connotation of suburbs is that they're pretty tame. What was driving these people to become so engaged? What was making them care so much? At the time, I did not foresee how Wisconsin politics would so drastically shape my personal views as well as transform my plans for the future. If you say they would "drastically shape" and "transform," you need to follow through on how that happened.

As a student in my state capitol city of Madison, Wisconsin, I am never surprised to see small groups protesting this or that. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a day when there isn’t a protest of some sort. But, when newly elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, in order to correct a state budget shortfall, took office and initiated major reforms to state government workers’ rights, the reaction to the proposed reforms was immense, with raucous crowds of protesters whose numbers grew daily. You can excise a lot of this under the assumption that the adcomms will be familiar with the issue. I was drawn to examine the issues at the heart of the protests. Do public employees, whose salaries and benefits are paid by the taxpayers, have a right to collectively bargain for workplace issues? What is the extent of the state’s right to limit public employees’ rights? Double check that you mean "rights" here. Can state senators flee the state in order to avoid voting on a contentious issue? To what extent can demonstrators occupy the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt its daily business? So many questions, and I was determined to find answers. At first a bystander, I soon found myself deeply interested in the issues at hand. It was if I had taken a long, deep breath of air after being submerged in a deep pool of water for the first twenty years of my life. Confronted with these topics, I quickly found myself caring right alongside with the citizens. It was clear that political history was unfolding in Madison, Wisconsin, and I was now a participant.

During the spring of 2011, as the debate over public employees’ rights moved beyond Wisconsin and became front page news at the national level, I found myself lingering at the edge of the demonstrators on my way to and from class. My attraction to this movement paid allegiance to neither political party. It was simply my keen interest in the issues at hand, and how they related to the laws of my state. I found myself gathering my friends to join in, regardless of their political leanings. I felt compelled to share my opinions with others, to hear their opinions, to bring them into the conversation. It's good that you grew interested in the topic, but it's unclear what you actually did. How many other folks in Wisconsin could say they discussed the issue with friends? So if you became an active participant in the demonstrations, or brought friends to them, say so because "lingering at the edge" doesn't inspire thoughts of leadership or engagement. Wisconsin’s consciousness was rising, and so was my own. Wisconsin’s demonstrations surrounding the passage of Act 10 allowed me to appreciate the importance of our democratic process at the state level and the laws that govern that process. I have seen state politics come to life as demonstrators tried to exert influence on state law through their actions. My unique experience has given me an ability to distinguish these legal ramifications within real-world implications. To be blunt, this experience is not unique. And I honestly don't understand what the latter part of the sentence means. I have seen the legal challenges brought by those intent on reversing laws recently passed. I was able to take an active part voting in, and witnessing, a hotly contested special election for the recall of Governor Scott Walker. Everything unfolded right before my eyes, and I had the unique privilege of carrying an active role in the formulation of Wisconsin’s history. Again, it's unclear what "active role" you played. You've said you watched the demonstrations, discussed the issue with friends and voted.

Reflecting on my personal growth and contributions in my college years, my most discernible achievement is the realization that I need to be that voice, to be a participant, to reject the bystander notion as the residents of Wisconsin have so courageously done. Wisconsin provided me not only a true respect for our political system, but also cultivated within me a growing sense of responsibility as a citizen of my state. This is one philosophy I am absolutely determined to carry alongside with me; be an actor, be engaged – be like Wisconsin. This idea is great. Focus on this and cultivate it into a thought that grows through your PS and blooms here. i think you'll get a lot more out of it.Law school presents an opportunity to take the first steps to channel and direct this mentality into a concrete reality.

I appreciate that I have been privy to a very unique time and place in Wisconsin politics. 'Unique' indicates the sole instance of a thing. It cannot take an intensifier. This is also the third time you've used it, so be careful. Wisconsin politics has left me with a clear focus for the career path what I would like to pursue. I plan to attend law school as preparation for a career in government, and I respectfully ask for the opportunity to be a member of the ___________class of 2016. In fact, you can probably just cut this graf altogether.


Overall, I hope this isn't too harsh, but the PS needs a fair amount of work. You need to eliminate about a quarter of the copy distilling it to capture the transformation you describe in the second to last graf. You were a political wallflower and now you're about to engage in a career exploring the philosophical and practical vastness that is the law. That's a good story. Hope my thoughts helped.




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