PS Feedback - late to process. Would love some feedback

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djs490
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:24 pm

PS Feedback - late to process. Would love some feedback

Postby djs490 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:29 pm

LATE DECISION TO APPLY TO LAW SCHOOL. WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FEEDBACK

It was eerily quiet that night. Most kids would be scared of the deafening silence, with fears of monsters in the closet. But not me. Not that night. That silence meant that he was gone. There would be no more Sunday football catches and no more family skiing trips. The kids would be sure to make fun of me in school. At home, my mother’s demeanor would never be the same. I just knew it. The previous night I had been cowering under my covers in bed, trembling while trying to hold my crying to a quiet whimper. The yelling was worse than ever. They didn’t know I could hear them every night through the floor. That night was different, however, as it would be the last night I heard the yelling. My father packed his things and moved out the next day. He left five kids at home with my mother who had withstood the fighting for so many years for the sake of her children.

School was no longer a refuge for me, as indeed, the other children did make fun of me because I was the only child in my grade that had divorced parents. My home was not a safe haven either. My siblings constantly bickered, and my mother kept to herself while trying to cope. I was left to make dinner for myself, put myself to sleep, and do homework without the help that most other children received from their parents. The one place, however, I could go to feel safe was the local synagogue. There, the whole environment was warm and caring. The group leaders were kind and gracious and the youth director would be there to listen to my issues. There were always the sounds of kids playing and laughing. I used these sounds to drift off into another world, far away from the troubled one I was living. Those sounds were the perfect antidote to the resounding silence I heard each night when I went to bed.

Ten years later, in my sophomore year of college, I was given the opportunity to become the youth director of the very same synagogue in which I grew up. I wanted to give back to the community which fostered such a warm and welcoming environment for me as a child. After having been the youth director for the past three years, I have had the opportunity to enrich children’s lives and foster that same welcoming and helping environment which I had the pleasure of experiencing. Recently, a child came to the synagogue and he seemed different than normal. Though she was reluctant to tell me what was wrong, I dug deeper until she broke. Tears were relentlessly streaming down her face as she told me she had just learned that her father had just been diagnosed with cancer and most likely didn’t have much time left to live. Her family could not afford treatment and they had to revert to selling some of their most precious items, including her doll collection. At that very moment, I realized that I could do nothing for her except provide some noise; a way for her to escape the dark reality into a place of imaginary dragons and games of freeze tag.

After reflecting back on my life and all of my trials and tribulations, as well as those of others, I have come to the decision to use my skills to become a lawyer. Seeing the impact of my work as youth director has strengthened my awareness of the need to use one’s abilities to the benefit of others. I plan, through the pursuit of a legal education to continue my mission to help others on, hopefully, a much larger scale. Maybe I can help that little girl’s family find a way to afford proper health care for her father. Maybe I can help parents come to peaceful conciliation during a messy divorce. Though my skillset has come from a very different realm, I am confident that I can utilize the skills I have mastered and make a seamless transition into the field of law. I am confident that I can provide some noise to those in need.

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domino
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:51 pm

Re: PS Feedback - late to process. Would love some feedback

Postby domino » Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:39 pm

My two cents:

- I would cut out the description of your parents' divorce and focus on your experiences at the synagogue.
- It might also be worth trying to re-frame your story of the girl you had worked with to sound more like "I did X to help, which had good effect Y" instead of "couldn't really do much" (or find a story where you feel you had more of a lasting positive influence).
- Tying your experiences more concretely to why you want to practice law might also be helpful. What skills have you gained that could be valuable as a lawyer--leadership, research, people skills, working with marginalized communities, etc.? And how would you like to help? I might be careful with saying something like "larger scale." While I would guess it's good for applicants to want to do something they value with a law degree, I think it's probably good to show that you have a realistic sense of what you might be able to do, i.e., not save the world, but perhaps make a difference here and there.

Good luck with your apps!

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laxbrah420
Posts: 2748
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:53 am

Re: PS Feedback - late to process. Would love some feedback

Postby laxbrah420 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:05 pm

djs490 wrote:LATE DECISION TO APPLY TO LAW SCHOOL. WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FEEDBACK

It was eerily quiet that night. I don't like stories that start off like this. I hated 7th grade and believe people should get rid of the "hook" because interesting topics "hook" better than soft-core porn style writing. But, whatever.Most kids would be scared of the deafening silence, with fears of monsters in the closet. But not me. Not that night. That silence meant that he was gone. There would be no more Sunday football catches and no more family skiing trips. The kids would be sure to make fun of me in school. At home, my mother’s demeanor would never be the same. Do you really talk like this? You're a little kid and you're worried that your mom's "demeanor" is going to change? I think you can fix this. I just knew it. The previous night I had been cowering under my covers in bed, trembling while trying to hold my crying to a quiet whimper. The yelling was worse than ever. They didn’t know I could hear them every night through the floor. But that night was different. however, as It would be the last night I heard the yelling. My father packed his things and moved out the next day. He left five kids at home with my mother who had withstood the fighting for so many years for the sake of her children.

School, was no longer a refuge for me, as indeed, the other children did make fun of me because I was the only child in my grade that had divorced parents which had once been a refuge, became unbearable. My classmates were relentless about my parent's divorce.. My home was not a safe haven either. My siblings constantly bickered, and my mother kept to herself while trying to cope. I was left to make dinner for myself, put myself to sleep, and do homework without the help that most other children received from their parents. The one place, however, I could go to feel safe was the local synagogue. There, the whole environment was warm and caring. The group leaders were kind and gracious and the youth director would be was there to listen to my issues. There were always the sounds of kids playing and laughing. I used these sounds to drift off into another world, far away from the troubled one I was living. This is kind of lame and I don't believe you. Make it more believable. "kid's playing" Are you Cat Stevens? Those sounds were the perfect antidote to the resounding silence I heard each night when I went to bed.

Ten years later, in my sophomore year of college, I was given the opportunity to become the youth director of the very same synagogue in which I grew up. I wanted to give back to the community which fostered such a warm and welcoming environment for me as a child. This (to the right) sounds weird... Just say I have had a chance to enrich lives over the past three years [and give back...] and that it's been rewarding. After having been the youth director for the past three years, I have had the opportunity to enrich children’s lives and foster that same welcoming and helping environment which I had the pleasure of experiencing. Recently, a child came to the synagogue and he seemed different than normal. Though she was reluctant to tell me what was wrong, I dug deeper until she broke. Tears were relentlessly streaming down her face as she told me she had just learned that her father had just been diagnosed with cancer and most likely didn’t have much time left to live. The way that you switch back and forth between tenses is fucked, bro. I get that you want to do it to add some drama, but it really fucks with readability. Her family could not afford treatment and they had to revert to selling some of their most precious items, including her doll collection. At that very moment, I realized that I could do nothing for her except provide some noise; a way for her to escape the dark reality into a place of imaginary dragons and games of freeze tag What are you talking about? This isn't a poem bro.

After reflecting back on my life and all of my trials and tribulations, as well as those of others, I have come to the decision to use my skills to become a lawyer. You have skills? If you don't want to talk about them, just say you want to be a lawyer. You're not Lebron James --your talents don't speak for themselves. Seeing the impact of my work as youth director has strengthened my awareness of the need to use one’s abilities to the benefit of others. I plan, through the pursuit of a legal education to continue my mission to help others on, hopefully, a much larger scale. Maybe I can help that little girl’s family find a way to afford proper health care for her father. Maybe I can help parents come to peaceful conciliation during a messy divorce. Though my skillset has come from a very different realm, I am confident that I can utilize the skills I have mastered and make a seamless transition into the field of law. I am confident that I can provide some noise to those in need.



It's OK. You have some work to do in cleaning up the language. It's not going to get you in anywhere you couldn't have gotten, but it's also not going to hurt you --and that's the main goal of these things. Put like 2 more hours into this bad boy and submit it


[Please vote for me as the most helpful Top-law-schools.com/forums user in the poll that will emerge on NYE in the lounge]

wifeofsamseaborn
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:51 pm

Re: PS Feedback - late to process. Would love some feedback

Postby wifeofsamseaborn » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:24 pm

Hi OP,

I agree with domino's comments -- tying it more closely to law school, focusing on the synagogue experience and drawing more concrete lessons/realizations from it. Since your introduction is so important, I also recommend revisiting it more carefully. At first, when you set up the contrast to "most kids" who find silence scary, I thought you were going to say something positive about the silence (i.e. that meant your dad was gone and there wouldn't be any more fighting). But you go on to talk about the negative effects of your dad leaving, which would lead me to believe that you didn't welcome the silence. I would take a step back and try to hone in on a clear point that you're trying to make in your intro, and throughout the essay as well.

Good luck!

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stuckinthemiddle
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:24 am

Re: PS Feedback - late to process. Would love some feedback

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:36 pm

The first paragraph is overdramatic and the amount of detail eats up space you could be using to convey your actual strengths and skills. I would cut it down to a paragraph of three short, succinct statements.




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