about to submit final draft. HELP...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
shinesui
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:47 am

about to submit final draft. HELP...

Postby shinesui » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:40 am

Here is the final version of my personal statement. please correct any grammar / punctuation errors. And any critique are welcomed, thanks a lot! I feel my opening and ending are quite strange...

My uncle used to be a Health Secretary of Xuancheng City, and 10 years ago, he was prosecuted. At that time, since he had already gone through the Shuanggui (which refers to a designated time and place of inquiry) and been punished in the Communist Party, the conviction of his case was decided even before the trail. So no lawyer wanted to take the case and present for my uncle. My aunt wept all the time and tried to use all her resources to find a lawyer. The adults discussed with tremendous fear and anxiety about whether my uncle would be imprisoned and if so, how many years would it be. Though I was too young to understand how the whole process worked out, the impression laid in my mind that an attorney could be vital and indispensable.

Seven years later, I knocked on the door of Renmin University of China, Law School, the cradle of lawyers and jurists, with my high College Entrance Examinations score, the 35th of 300,000. When I arrived in Beijing after 17 hours railway, and caught the sight of Tian’ An’ Men, I felt that the world was waiting for me. With such childish fantasy, I got disappointed by the first semester curricula. At that time, I thought professors were intoxicated in the sophisticated law world and restrained in the ivory tower. So I turned away from law, did some broadcasting, went hiking with friends, ran Half Marathon and even did social researches in Puran, Tibet and in Taxkorgan, Xinjiang with students who major in sociology, concerning ethnic minorities. We dropped by Tibetans’ houses and temples, interviewed and chatted with Tibetans. We sang under the most beautiful starry sky and endured the most dangerous toilets, if they could be called toilets. These experiences are memorable. I thought I was to explore more about the outer world, but ended in the discovery and harvest of a renewed self.

This kind of life style moves on, until my junior year, when I was chosen to the criminal reconciliation clinic and legal aid center as well. The first case I got was a poor woman hit by a car and the driver refused to compensate. It was not a big case, involving little money. But they thanked us for times and during the whole process they counted solely on us. The feeling of being needed overwhelmed me, which rekindled a living fire for law career in my chest. I felt like I had been a wanderer for a long time, and now I’m back, with a renewed self.

Afterwards, I took part in the clinic more actively and received many people who were eager for help. Besides some cases in which I could provide my advices after analyses and researches with team members, there also existed cases where there were nothing I could do. For example, we received an old man who was abused by police and had no evidence against them. In our bright and warm office, he was still trembling, speaking emotionally and spearing his arms as someone was chasing him. I was sacred and astonished sometimes, but mostly, I felt sorry for them and wondered why this happened and what I could do. In general, after 3 years law school study, I know that justice is expensive and rare, peoples’ happiness is relative. But when in face of specific cases, I still feel that I need to do something and I just can not stay indifferent to them like my classmates who will become the typical elites in our society.

So that’s why I’m here. I want to have my intellects sharpened in your institution, where I believe the accomplished faulty and innovative teaching can equip me well to have the ability to help people who are suffering injustice. Meanwhile, the nation’s most distinguished clinics will keep on reminding me of reality, of the people who have nothing in common with me but their humanity, of my initial faith. With that faith, tons of papers will not terrify me, not to mention that I have already done lots of readings in China. I also have a strong confidence in my intelligence too, and my academic record is evaluated to be superior by LSAC. I will gain what I expected in your law school if given the chance.

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Gradvocates Editing
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:22 pm

Re: about to submit final draft. HELP...

Postby Gradvocates Editing » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:23 pm

This is not a final draft. Please do not submit this personal statement without further revision. Here are some random thoughts:
  • Your first two paragraphs really have nothing to do with the remaining paragraphs. Instead of talking about your uncle, which has nothing to do with you, and a confusing detour about Tibetans, you should make your clinic experience the focus of your personal statement. The personal statement is simply not cohesive as it stands.
  • Do you really have to brag that you were "the 35th of 300,000"? Tighten up your writing and omit irrelevant details.
  • Small numbers should be written out. Ten, not 10.
  • Avoid contractions. "I am," not "I'm."
  • Your tense usage is odd in a few different places: e.g. "This kind of life style moves on . . ."
  • Various other errors: e.g. "But they thanked us for times and during the whole process they counted solely on us."
  • This is inappropriate for a personal statement: "I also have a strong confidence in my intelligence too, and my academic record is evaluated to be superior by LSAC." If your academic record is great, then admissions will see it elsewhere in your application.

It is a good start; however, it is by no means anywhere near a final draft.
Last edited by Gradvocates Editing on Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

shinesui
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:47 am

Re: about to submit final draft. HELP...

Postby shinesui » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:33 pm

Thanks a lot!
Gradvocates Editing wrote:This is not a final draft. Please do not submit this personal statement without further revision. Here are some random thoughts:
  • Your first two paragraphs really have nothing to do with the remaining paragraphs. Instead of talking about your uncle, which has nothing to do with you, and a confusing detour about Tibetans, you should make your clinic experience the focus of your personal statement. The personal statement is simply not cohesive as it stands.
  • Do you really have to brag that you were "the 35th of 300,000"? Tighten up your writing and omit irrelevant details.
  • Small numbers should be written out. Ten, not 10.
  • Avoid contractions. "I am," not "I'm."
  • Your tense usage is odd in a few different places: e.g. "This kind of life style moves on . . ."
  • Various other errors: e.g. "But they thanked us for times and during the whole process they counted solely on us."
  • This is inappropriate for a personal statement: "I also have a strong confidence in my intelligence too, and my academic record is evaluated to be superior by LSAC." If your academic record is great, then admissions will see it in elsewhere in your application.

It is a good start; however, it is by no means anywhere near a final draft.

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

Re: about to submit final draft. HELP...

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:37 pm

Obviously, English is not your first language. Try to have a professor of English edit your essay.

I don't agree with the first two bullet-points in the post above. Clearly, your uncle's legal trouble has had a substantial impact on you & has motivated you to study law. Also, I am impressed that you ranked 35th best out of 300,000 exams.

Some of your personal statement is a bit too romanticized for Western readers. Legal writing should be more direct & less dreamy. Try to write more concisely using crisp, clear sentences.

As noted by the prior poster, this should not be your final draft.

P.S. I studied in China a long time ago & see a cultural difference between Chinese writing & American legal writing. Often Chinese writing demonstrates a moral struggle & a period of reflection before arriving at a conclusion. This is too dreamy & romanticized for American legal writing which values clarity of thought, not resolution of conflicting moral struggles.




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