Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
karmaman
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:21 am

Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby karmaman » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:52 pm

OK so I think I have my PS dialed in, but would love to get some last minute opinions before I submit my apps. My GPA is only a 3.2 so I really need to have this be pretty perfect for it to compliment my ( hopefully ) high Dec LSAT score. Any feedback is much appreciated, thanks!!


The tension in the air is thick, ready to erupt at any time. Crowds are sprawled out in tents and sleeping bags on the sidewalks, others are chanting slogans and waving flags. Some shoot off fireworks while others graffiti their anti-government sentiments on any piece of exposed wall or building. This is Tahrir Square; this is the birthplace of the Arab Spring.
In the midst of the chaos and excitement, I found myself in a quiet office building a mile away, sheltered and closed off to the very real things happening around me. In February of 2012, I was afforded the rare opportunity to travel to Egypt to work as consultant for the Subway Sandwiches brand. As an International Business major, I spent four years of my life preparing for a career that allowed me to travel abroad and experience new cultures, so I accepted the offer.
Working in close proximity to the Tahrir Square, I spent many evenings after work mingling with protestors, speaking with foreign journalists, and assisting volunteers distribute hot tea to the masses. I was drawn to the square, the energy emitted from the thousands of people who fought for justice acted as a magnetic field and pulled me in. Race, color, age, gender or socio-economic background did not matter in Tahrir; the only criteria necessary was a sense of humanity.
One evening, I saw a journalist trying to communicate with an elderly woman, but she could not comprehend his broken Arabic. I stepped in, and translated his question, ”Why are you out here every night, what does this all mean to you?” With tears trickling down her cheek, she replied,” So that my children and grandchildren can have the opportunity to live a life of dignity and respect, this is a new beginning for all of us, for Egypt”. Tahrir symbolizes hope, change, justice, and democracy. Here, people feel that their voices can be heard, that they are helping rewrite their country’s history. They see themselves as catalysts for a change that they have for so long yearned for, but could never attain.
Tahrir has become a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation for the Egyptian people. Protected by the newly forged authority of the Square, they make their demands for a fully democratic government known. Similarly, the law affords those who have been marginalized, disenfranchised and with no place to turn, protection from the cruel realities of life. The law in all its grandeur and mystique is still at its essence a beacon of hope. It provides a sense of security, a belief that when all else fails we have somewhere to turn to. In addition, the law is a voice for those who have been too afraid to speak out about the injustices they have suffered, thus inviting them back into a society that has for so long forgot they were there.
Growing up in America, I have often taken for granted the law and the vital function it serves in our society. It wasn’t until I moved to Egypt, did I realize how critical role the law played in protecting and working towards the improvement of citizens’ rights. This epiphany sparked a serious drive within me to pursue an education in the legal field. As a student of the law, I will amass the knowledge and skillset to be a loud and clear voice for the downtrodden and forgotten citizens of our planet. As a lawyer, I plan on focusing on International Human Rights issues, for it is those people living foreign lands that are often the most abused and neglected, yet are left with no way to seek assistance or to make their grievances known to higher authorities. There are millions of people around the globe who suffer just as the Egyptian people are suffering, but I believe that an end to this suffering can be attained. If we, as humans, and lawyers, stand up for what is right and just then we can have a very real, tangible impact on this world that will affect future generations for years to come.

tathagatagarbha
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:13 pm

Re: Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby tathagatagarbha » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:49 pm

I like your writing. Very good intro.

Some of my thoughts are, (take them with a grain of salt)

1. You do provide a good detailed description of what happened in Egypt, but I think you should place more emphasis on revealing who you are. After reading your ps, I was able to get a better sense of the event, than who you are as a person. Don't get me wrong, your description of the event is good, but I want to read more about "you" as well.

2. I think you could write a more strong conclusion. You have a very good material at hand. Instead of finishing it very broadly as it is, try to be more detail, perhaps by referring back to the event.

Again, take these with a grain of salt, and do what you think is the best.
Overall, I like your essay, but I think there is room for improvement. I think you could be more personal.

Wish you the best luck!
Last edited by tathagatagarbha on Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PickMe!
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby PickMe! » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:51 pm

I like it. Your PS is similar to mine. Consider making the following revisions:

• “Subway Sandwiches brand” made me laugh. Consider “…to travel to Egypt to work as consultant. As an...
• "In close proximity" is redundant. Write "close to the Tahrir Square."
• "Assisting volunteers" is stilted. Write "helping volunteers."
• “New beginning for all of us" is wordy. Consider "this is a new beginning for Egypt."
• "People feel that their" is wordy. Write "people feel their..."
• "Grandeur and mystique" conflicts with singular verb "is." Write "grandeur, and mystique is"
• Change "wasn't" to was not.
• "I plan on focusing" sounds colloquial. Consider "I plan to focus on..."
• The subject "will" conflicts with verb "affect." Consider editing this sentence.

karmaman
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:21 am

Re: Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby karmaman » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:07 pm

Thanks for the advice guys! I think expanding on me personally is a good suggestion, I just can't seem to figure how to incorporate more of me without taking away from the event and its context. Any suggestions?

Actually, do you not think that describing my activities and participation in the protests are enough for the adcoms to infer about my personality that I'm a good communicator, I like to stand with those who are struggling and striving for something better? Then in the final paragraph I make those direct comments that drive me to the law, what do you think, sufficient or no?

tathagatagarbha
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:13 pm

Re: Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby tathagatagarbha » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:19 pm

You mentioned about majoring in business and preparing 4 yrs to start a career in business. And the event changed the whole plan. Why and how? I do not see that link clearly. Try to be more detail in how the event actually brought about that change. Instead of giving a general description about the role of law(in the middle), provide some personal reasons for changing your career plans from business to law. I guess you could talk more about what you did, and the interaction with others, etc.

Also, it seems like you can speak proficient Arabic. Maybe you could relate this event with your personal background a little bit?

karmaman
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:21 am

Re: Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby karmaman » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:34 pm

Thanks again, you make some very valid points, I guess i just need to step away from it for a bit, I just can't figure out a way to add that in right now. I mention on my resume that I speak arabic fluently, but yea that would probably be a good call to include something about that..Pretty random that a guy goes to work in Egypt and all of a sudden can speak arabic just like that.

K well I guess back to the drawing board for now, hopefully I can still get this ready to be sent out tomorrow, I feel like I'm so late already :oops: :oops:

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bluepenguin
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Re: Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby bluepenguin » Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:25 pm

PickMe! wrote:I like it. Your PS is similar to mine. Consider making the following revisions:

• “Subway Sandwiches brand” made me laugh. Consider “…to travel to Egypt to work as consultant. As an...
• "In close proximity" is redundant. Write "close to the Tahrir Square."
• "Assisting volunteers" is stilted. Write "helping volunteers."
• “New beginning for all of us" is wordy. Consider "this is a new beginning for Egypt."
• "People feel that their" is wordy. Write "people feel their..."
• "Grandeur and mystique" conflicts with singular verb "is." Write "grandeur, and mystique is"
• Change "wasn't" to was not.
• "I plan on focusing" sounds colloquial. Consider "I plan to focus on..."
• The subject "will" conflicts with verb "affect." Consider editing this sentence.


Agree with this.

I think the second paragraph hurts you. I kind of like "In the midst of the chaos and excitement, I found myself in a quiet office building a mile away." But the rest either is awkward or raises the question an earlier poster mentioned about why after all your IB preparation you're switching to business.

As to why you want to go into law... that's tough. Generally I think it's a good idea to present some evidence that you know what you're getting into and have good reasons for it, but idk that it's vital. I think your reasoning is fair enough, anyway.

Growing up in America, I have often taken for granted the law and the vital function it serves in our society. It wasn’t until I moved to Egypt, did I realize how critical role the law played in protecting and working towards the improvement of citizens’ rights. This epiphany sparked a serious drive within me to pursue an education in the legal field. As a student of the law, I will amass the knowledge and skillset to be a loud and clear voice for the downtrodden and forgotten citizens of our planet. As a lawyer, I plan on focusing on International Human Rights issues, for it is those people living foreign lands that are often the most abused and neglected, yet are left with no way to seek assistance or to make their grievances known to higher authorities. There are millions of people around the globe who suffer just as the Egyptian people are suffering, but I believe that an end to this suffering can be attained. If we, as humans, and lawyers, stand up for what is right and just then we can have a very real, tangible impact on this world that will affect future generations for years to come.


-This is a very long paragraph.
-*Wasn't* (Check for contractions)
-I wouldn't overplay the "epiphany." Even if it's true it's just impossible to make that sounds good.
-I also wouldn't mention your career plans. IHR is a small field, and that whole sentences is overlong. I would recommend limiting yourself to a general commitment to justice or some such, but that's more my opinion.
-Your last two sentences are too ambitious, IMO. I think you'd be better served by something more like "Our world is fraught with injustice, and people need to stand up and fight to change it." (only well written, lol)

I still like it, overall.

As long as you get it in before January I wouldn't stress too much...

karmaman
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:21 am

Re: Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby karmaman » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:27 pm

Thanks again bluepenguin, you are awesome!! Thanks for everyones help I"ll make some final revisions than I send this thing along

karmaman
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:21 am

Re: Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby karmaman » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:49 pm

Hey blue, I just took out the entire second paragraph completely in an effort to avoid any confusion or missing links from the business background to now the law field. Do you think that's probably the best route, or should I have just explained something about it later on?

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bluepenguin
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Re: Final Draft,Ready to Submit?

Postby bluepenguin » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:39 pm

I think that's probably your best bet.




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