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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Chaucer1343
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Postby Chaucer1343 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:17 am

PS (1) - basura
Last edited by Chaucer1343 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Chaucer1343
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Re: First several Paragraphs of PS - Interesting/Good Direction?

Postby Chaucer1343 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:24 am

PS (2) sent
Last edited by Chaucer1343 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:38 am, edited 10 times in total.

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bluepenguin
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Re: First several Paragraphs of PS - Interesting/Good Direction?

Postby bluepenguin » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:28 am

Sort of depends on what the rest of the direction is, eh?

I seriously have no response. It doesn't look great now (writing is solid for a rough draft, though), but not much has happened. I can't interpret this without knowing what your point or story is.

edit: In re version 1

B90
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Re: First several Paragraphs of PS - Interesting/Good Direction?

Postby B90 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:34 am

bluepenguin wrote:Sort of depends on what the rest of the direction is, eh?

I seriously have no response. It doesn't look great now (writing is solid for a rough draft, though), but not much has happened. I can't interpret this without knowing what your point or story is.

edit: In re version 1


+1

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bluepenguin
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Re: First several Paragraphs of PS - Interesting/Good Direction?

Postby bluepenguin » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:38 am

Chaucer1343 wrote:v1...


I like this bit, but I feel like you go in the wrong direction from here. The third paragraph hints at how you could play off this, but doesn't itself accomplish it. You could build something very strong on this base (English major. Good writer).

Again, though, it depends on where you take this. I can envision several threads of varying quality.
Last edited by bluepenguin on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Chaucer1343
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Re: First several Paragraphs of PS - Interesting/Good Direction?

Postby Chaucer1343 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:42 am

Well, the first direction highlights my understanding of international work: cultural sensitivity and trust. Moreover, the direction of the first PS would continue to list some of the challenges of adapting and making a career in a developing country that is difficult to navigate.

The second direction more specifically relates to law. It would continue to list how I studied Chinese at famous uni A and then attained a legal editor job at a company run by famous uni B. The conclusion would relate to wanting to enter school x which offers Program X in China/US comparative law.

Basically, I keep going back and forth between these two drafts as the first one seems to flow better; however, the second one seems more relevant to law school (nevertheless, the second one could begin to sound a bit resume-ish when I detail my language studies/legal work). Maybe if I focus more on the personal aspects of those arrangements, it will work?

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bluepenguin
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Re: First several Paragraphs of PS - Interesting/Good Direction?

Postby bluepenguin » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:58 am

Chaucer1343 wrote:Well, the first direction highlights my understanding of international work: cultural sensitivity and trust. Moreover, the direction of the first PS would continue to list some of the challenges of adapting and making a career in a developing country that is difficult to navigate.

The second direction more specifically relates to law. It would continue to list how I studied Chinese at famous uni A and then attained a legal editor job at a company run by famous uni B. The conclusion would relate to wanting to enter school x which offers Program X in China/US comparative law.

Basically, I keep going back and forth between these two drafts as the first one seems to flow better; however, the second one seems more relevant to law school (nevertheless, the second one could begin to sound a bit resume-ish when I detail my language studies/legal work). Maybe if I focus more on the personal aspects of those arrangements, it will work?


What do you want me to say, mate? I can't really hypothesize about what will work or not without being able to see it. Having read what you've written so far, I'm dying to see you reflect on the freedom comment by analyzing freedom and the rule of law in China (maybe including how you learned Chinese to pursue that question), how that was different from what you grew up with, and how that solidified your desire to study law.

But maybe that's not your experience, or it's not a true reflection of you, in which case you shouldn't do it. That would really command my interest if done well, though.

The first direction probably has more raw potential, but also a greater likelihood of a message that misses the mark.

Chaucer1343
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Re: First several Paragraphs of PS - Interesting/Good Direction?

Postby Chaucer1343 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:05 am

I edited in/posted the full essay of the latter. I know, at the least, the conclusion needs to be tweaked/re-worked.

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bluepenguin
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Re: First several Paragraphs of PS - Interesting/Good Direction?

Postby bluepenguin » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:29 am

Chaucer1343 wrote:I edited in/posted the full essay of the latter. I know, at the least, the conclusion needs to be tweaked/re-worked.


This is nothing more than my opinion. That disclaimed, I urge you to scrap that for any school with a Why X (I imagine that goes without saying, but just in case). Either way, I'd like to see you give #1 a shot. You were correct in suspecting #2 might lean a little resume-ish.

You're numbers are probably fine and #2 is unlikely to hurt you, but I don't feel like it's doing much for you either.

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: Two Different PS -Which one to use/build on?

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:41 am

You are an excellent writer. :)

I would choose the second topic for four reasons
1) It more clearly addresses your strengths, and all the specific lessons you've learned from your international experiences.
2) It articulates why you want to be a lawyer and what you want to do with a law degree.
3) It links your background with the specific school you are applying to.
4) It shows actual action. While I enjoyed reading your first essay, you did nothing at all in it except answer a few formulaic questions in a neutral way. It doesn't give me a sense of who you are, how passionate you are, how committed you are to your goals, etc. The second topic clearly shows all of those characteristics, and exhibits why you would make a good lawyer.

Chaucer1343
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Re: Two Different PS -Which one to use/build on?

Postby Chaucer1343 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:44 am

Thank you all for the great advice and critiques. I've been running in circles for a couple weeks with these two and almost scraped them both. I'll probably stick with PS (2) and try to chip away at the resume-ish nature of it as well as increase the visibility of the red thread that unifies it. I feel like time is running out (as LSAT scores are going to be released soon).

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: Two Different PS -Which one to use/build on?

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:47 am

Relax, you are almost there. You could actually submit PS2 right now, without any edits, and still make a very positive impression. Of course you would want to blow adcomms away, but if you run short of time, know that this is already good to go. :D

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bluepenguin
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Re: Two Different PS -Which one to use/build on?

Postby bluepenguin » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:51 am

Fair read, stuck, but these are my thoughts:

stuckinthemiddle wrote:You are an excellent writer. :)

Agreed.

1) It more clearly addresses your strengths, and all the specific lessons you've learned from your international experiences.

I dont think it needs to. The vast majority of the content can be put on a resume at any school without a page limit.

2) It articulates why you want to be a lawyer and what you want to do with a law degree.
3) It links your background with the specific school you are applying to.


But this could be done much more concisely in a Why X, which would be an extraordinarily strong one (most of them suck), freeing the PS for something else. He's a strong writer, it could make for a more thoroughly marketed application.

4) It shows actual action. While I enjoyed reading your first essay, you did nothing at all in it except answer a few formulaic questions in a neutral way. It doesn't give me a sense of who you are, how passionate you are, how committed you are to your goals, etc. The second topic clearly shows all of those characteristics, and exhibits why you would make a good lawyer.


Agreed.



That said, given Chaucer's #'s and the fact that I expect the finished product will be well-constructed and error-free, #2 is a safe bet. I think it's a mild boost to his candidacy, but I think by being more aggressive his total package could be stellar. JMHO.




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