Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
hutchjm
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:30 pm

Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby hutchjm » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:45 am

Here is a shorter revised addition of my ps please continue to critique. Thanks!

I nervously glance around the parking lot to see if I know any of the dozens of spectators who have gathered to watch my public search and thus, inward demise. With trembling hands I give the officer my license and the three items that I have on my person. After a thorough frisk he gives back my wallet, phone and keys, as these possessions provide no resolution to the situation at hand. He orders me to sit on the ground while he uses my id to check for any warrants that I may have. At this point, my usually confident and optimistic personality has been belittled into a demeanor of embarrassment and uncertainty. I grasp at solace by pretending to be more concerned with the scorching Alabama summer heat than the direct assault of my character. However, judging by the cold glares, my audience does not accept my false front. After about ten grueling minutes that seem more like ten hours, the officer returns from his car with my id and tells me that I am free to go. I think to myself, “What? Is that it? No apology or public proclamation of my innocence to the grocery store parking lot?” Nevertheless, I quickly rise to my feet and try to shake off the reproach that I have amassed from the condemning stares of my jury of parking lot peers. As I am driving home it is hard to swallow the fact that I have just been falsely accused of shoplifting at my local Piggly Wiggly grocery store.

I tell my parents of this unwarranted ordeal as soon as I make it home. They contact the chief of police and an attorney. The chief tells my parents that he will notify them after he looks into the situation. This incident occurred during Summer of 2010 and we are yet to hear of any investigation or inquiry that the chief has made into the matter. The attorney refuses to take the case. He explains that the store associate who reported me and the officer who responded to the call both behaved within their legal rights even though I was completely innocent and severely embarrassed. My parents’ efforts to attain justice proved both futile and fruitless. However, a positive externality did manifest from this humiliating experience. Failing to reap some form of an apology or acknowledgement for the wrongful accusation of shoplifting forced me to recognize my very limited knowledge of the American legal system. This ignited a desire within me to develop a more profound understanding of the law. Because of that fateful summer day I now revel in any opportunity to learn about the law.

During Fall of 2010 I met with my academic adviser and we decided that switching my major from undeclared sciences to public administration would be the best course of action for me to gain a more thorough understanding of law. I devour any government or legal course that I undertake, this fact is evident through the 4.0 major GPA that I have earned while studying public administration. Because of my discovered knack for legal courses I want to further my legal education and earn a professional degree in law. This desire does not only involve my selfish pursuit of gathering a more exhaustive mental database on the subject, it is also comprised of my hunger to advocate for those who are wrongfully accused of breaking the law and those who are on the receiving end of disparate or unlawful treatment. I felt absolutely horrible when I was publicly accosted for a crime that I did not commit. In fact, I had nightmares about the misfortune for some time. I can only imagine how it must feel to be jailed for a crime that one did not commit or to go to work at a job where one is adversely treated because of one’s gender or heritage. Although my aspiration for a legal career is derived from misfortune, I am quite fortunate to have gone through the parking lot debacle. As a result of the undeserved public degradation that took place on the outside pavement of a Piggly Wiggly I now have an unyielding yearning to practice law.

Last edited by hutchjm on Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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joshhoward
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:07 am

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby joshhoward » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:09 pm

take out the last two sentences. don't beg. your ps should make them beg.

i really like the first paragraph! it kept me pretty intrigued to find out what was happening.

take out mention of money/attorney. you just wanted an apology.

i am confused how the vision part fits in. you might want to think about splitting up some paragraphs and add a transition.

you were born through misfortune? explain or don't mention.

don't use your PS to explain bad grades. that goes in an addendum.

transition back from vision episode to conclusion. doesn't really connect.

hutchjm
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:30 pm

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby hutchjm » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:38 pm

kingabraham3 wrote:take out the last two sentences. don't beg. your ps should make them beg.

i really like the first paragraph! it kept me pretty intrigued to find out what was happening.

take out mention of money/attorney. you just wanted an apology.

i am confused how the vision part fits in. you might want to think about splitting up some paragraphs and add a transition.

you were born through misfortune? explain or don't mention.

don't use your PS to explain bad grades. that goes in an addendum.

transition back from vision episode to conclusion. doesn't really connect.




Thank you so much for the help! I made the changes you advised and a couple more. I cut out the last paragraph and part about vision. Please let me know what you think.

I nervously glance around the parking lot to see if I know any of the dozens of spectators who have gathered to watch my public search and thus, inward demise. With trembling hands I give the officer my license and the three items that I have on my person. After a thorough frisk he gives back my wallet, phone and keys, as these possessions provide no resolution to the situation at hand. He orders me to sit on the ground while he uses my id to check for any warrants that I may have. At this point, my usually confident and optimistic personality has been belittled into a demeanor of embarrassment and uncertainty. I grasp at solace by pretending to be more concerned with the scorching Alabama summer heat than the direct assault of my character. However, judging by the cold glares, my audience does not accept my false front. After about ten grueling minutes that seem more like ten hours, the officer returns from his car with my id and tells me that I am free to go. I think to myself, “What? Is that it? No apology or public proclamation of my innocence to the grocery store parking lot?” Nevertheless, I quickly rise to my feet and try to shake off the reproach that I have amassed from the condemning stares of my jury of parking lot peers. As I am driving home it is hard to swallow the fact that I have just been falsely accused of shoplifting at my local Piggly Wiggly grocery store.

I tell my parents of this unwarranted ordeal as soon as I make it home. They contact the chief of police and an attorney. The chief tells my parents that he will notify them after he looks into the situation. This incident occurred during Summer of 2010 and we are yet to hear of any investigation or inquiry that the chief has made into the matter. The attorney refuses to take the case. He explains that the store associate who reported me and the officer who responded to the call both behaved within their legal rights even though I was completely innocent and severely embarrassed. My parents’ efforts to attain justice proved both futile and fruitless. However, a positive externality did manifest from this humiliating experience. Failing to reap some form of an apology or acknowledgement for the wrongful accusation of shoplifting forced me to recognize my very limited knowledge of the American legal system. This ignited a desire within me to develop a more profound understanding of the law. Because of that fateful summer day I now revel in any opportunity to learn about the law.

During Fall of 2010 I met with my academic adviser and we decided that switching my major from undeclared sciences to public administration would be the best course of action for me to gain a more thorough understanding of law. I devour any government or legal course that I undertake, this fact is evident through the 4.0 major GPA that I have earned while studying public administration. Because of my discovered knack for legal courses I want to further my legal education and earn a professional degree in law. This desire does not only involve my selfish pursuit of gathering a more exhaustive mental database on the subject, it is also comprised of my hunger to advocate for those who are wrongfully accused of breaking the law and those who are on the receiving end of disparate or unlawful treatment. I felt absolutely horrible when I was publicly accosted for a crime that I did not commit. In fact, I had nightmares about the misfortune for some time. I can only imagine how it must feel to be jailed for a crime that one did not commit or to go to work at a job where one is adversely treated because of one’s gender or heritage. Although my aspiration for a legal career is derived from misfortune, I am quite fortunate to have gone through the parking lot debacle. As a result of the undeserved public degradation that took place on the outside pavement of a Piggly Wiggly I now have an unyielding yearning to practice law.

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

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby Gradvocates Editing » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:18 pm

It's a good start. Respectfully, we believe that you should tone down the victim angle. Although this was obviously a bad experience for you, getting stopped, questioned, and released is not, objectively, a huge deal. From the facts of your story, the police officer did not commit any misconduct or act inappropriately. Being embarrassed does not mean that anything illegal happened. Furthermore, it is unclear why you expected to be able to bring a lawsuit based on these facts. Members of the admission committee might see this as naive.

Simply put, many, especially those with any understanding of criminal procedure, would see what happened to you as not being a big deal; therefore, it is a huge jump to use it for the basis for wanting to "advocate for those who are wrongfully accused of breaking the law and those who are on the receiving end of disparate or unlawful treatment." Although you were certainly wrongfully accused by the store owner, the circumstances of this accusation is unclear. And you certainly did not receive any disparate or unlawful treatment.

We don't mean to offend you or downplay what happened to you, but we are just giving you honest advice as we would with any of our clients.

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thelawschoolproject
Posts: 1364
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:58 am

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby thelawschoolproject » Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:59 pm

Here are a few thoughts:

1). You need to tone down the vocabulary. It's great that you're trying to sound---however it is you're trying to sound. But, it comes across as immature and as someone who is trying to make themselves feel like they look educated/intelligent. There's no need to try and show how expansive your vocabulary is. That's not something that's going to set you apart from the hundreds of other applicants. What will set you apart? Strong and succinct writing.

2). Insofar as the content of your PS is concerned, I'm not a fan. You were searched for shoplifting outside of a store. Based upon what I read, it doesn't seem like they did anything "wrong" to you. They did their job, yet you felt incredibly embarrassed. I understand the feeling embarrassed. But, what else were they supposed to do? When they suspect someone of shoplifting should they have more evidence before checking? Should they issue public apologies to anyone who has hurt feelings after the matter? The way this is written, you sound like a kid with a grudge and that's simply not attractive.

3). You go and say that you switched your major to public administration because you wanted to learn more about the law. I'm not going to delve into how, if you did understand the law, you'd probably let this situation go, but the adcomms will be thinking it. Your PS doesn't have to be a "why I want to attend law school" essay. It's simply a personal statement, which is very different (or at least it can be). You referencing the GPA and whatnot is probably unnecessary because they have that on your application/transcripts anyway.

4). So, you still think your situation is the best topic you have? Maybe it is. But, you need to give us more than a routine search outside of a store. Did anything else happen? Do people really believe you're actually a shoplifter? Was your credibility harmed and now you can't get a job? There has to be more than you were upset and embarrassed and they were wrong. It sounds too childish, and I'm sure that's not how you want to be seen by the adcomm.

5). On the off chance you are willing to consider a new topic, think of things that changed you. It seems like maybe this situation did change you--but you need to tell it in a different way. Think of times when you felt the most challenged. Think of days that were unbelievably hard, but the next day they were less so because you learned a skill that taught you how to handle the difficulty. Write about that skill and how it's going to help you in the future. But, more than anything, write something that paints you in a good light, because this PS doesn't.

Best of luck.

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LexLeon
Posts: 400
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:03 pm

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby LexLeon » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:22 pm

There are several comma splices in your writing. Research what they are and correct them before you submit your statement.

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LawyerBrah
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:02 pm

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby LawyerBrah » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:43 pm

I'm not too keen about your personal statement. Did you really get nightmares because a police officer frisked you, and asked to see your identification? It doesn't seem like that big of a deal.

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overperformer
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:43 pm

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby overperformer » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:38 pm

hutchjm wrote:Here is a shorter revised addition of my ps please continue to critique. Thanks!

I nervously glance around the parking lot to see if I know any of the dozens of spectators who have gathered to watch my public search and thus, inward demise. With trembling hands I give the officer my license and the three items that I have on my person. After a thorough frisk he gives back my wallet, phone and keys, as these possessions provide no resolution to the situation at hand. He orders me to sit on the ground while he uses my id to check for any warrants that I may have. At this point, my usually confident and optimistic personality has been belittled into a demeanor of embarrassment and uncertainty. I grasp at solace by pretending to be more concerned with the scorching Alabama summer heat than the direct assault of my character. However, judging by the cold glares, my audience does not accept my false front. After about ten grueling minutes that seem more like ten hours, the officer returns from his car with my id and tells me that I am free to go. I think to myself, “What? Is that it? No apology or public proclamation of my innocence to the grocery store parking lot?” Nevertheless, I quickly rise to my feet and try to shake off the reproach that I have amassed from the condemning stares of my jury of parking lot peers. As I am driving home it is hard to swallow the fact that I have just been falsely accused of shoplifting at my local Piggly Wiggly grocery store.

I tell my parents of this unwarranted ordeal as soon as I make it home. They contact the chief of police and an attorney. The chief tells my parents that he will notify them after he looks into the situation. This incident occurred during Summer of 2010 and we are yet to hear of any investigation or inquiry that the chief has made into the matter. The attorney refuses to take the case. He explains that the store associate who reported me and the officer who responded to the call both behaved within their legal rights even though I was completely innocent and severely embarrassed. My parents’ efforts to attain justice proved both futile and fruitless. However, a positive externality did manifest from this humiliating experience. Failing to reap some form of an apology or acknowledgement for the wrongful accusation of shoplifting forced me to recognize my very limited knowledge of the American legal system. This ignited a desire within me to develop a more profound understanding of the law. Because of that fateful summer day I now revel in any opportunity to learn about the law.

During Fall of 2010 I met with my academic adviser and we decided that switching my major from undeclared sciences to public administration would be the best course of action for me to gain a more thorough understanding of law. I devour any government or legal course that I undertake, this fact is evident through the 4.0 major GPA that I have earned while studying public administration. Because of my discovered knack for legal courses I want to further my legal education and earn a professional degree in law. This desire does not only involve my selfish pursuit of gathering a more exhaustive mental database on the subject, it is also comprised of my hunger to advocate for those who are wrongfully accused of breaking the law and those who are on the receiving end of disparate or unlawful treatment. I felt absolutely horrible when I was publicly accosted for a crime that I did not commit. In fact, I had nightmares about the misfortune for some time. I can only imagine how it must feel to be jailed for a crime that one did not commit or to go to work at a job where one is adversely treated because of one’s gender or heritage. Although my aspiration for a legal career is derived from misfortune, I am quite fortunate to have gone through the parking lot debacle. As a result of the undeserved public degradation that took place on the outside pavement of a Piggly Wiggly I now have an unyielding yearning to practice law.




my brother (who is an attorney) was falsely accused of shoplifting sunglasses, and he ended up getting $2500 or so in a settlement. it was in a mall and one of popular ones. it was due to 2 hours of imprisonment.

i believe the story, still at many moments, your word economy is not the best., e.g., "I felt absolutely horrible", "As a result of the undeserved public degradation that took place on the outside pavement of a Piggly Wiggly"

clean it up. i have a big vocab and i believe if u have it, you should use it.. to me it seems, at moments ur using fancy words for the sake of using fancy words, e.g., "I grasp at solace"

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

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:40 am

Your PS sounds really immature. What went through my mind while reading it was how weak a person must be to be so traumatized by a wrongful accusation. If you spent nights in jail, or were harmed, I would understand. But didn't you just get your ID taken? :? I don't believe you when you say that that incident is what ignited your fire for the law.

Change topic.

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overperformer
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:43 pm

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby overperformer » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:53 pm

stuckinthemiddle wrote:Your PS sounds really immature. What went through my mind while reading it was how weak a person must be to be so traumatized by a wrongful accusation. If you spent nights in jail, or were harmed, I would understand. But didn't you just get your ID taken? :? I don't believe you when you say that that incident is what ignited your fire for the law.

Change topic.


this is what i would have said if i was more blunt.

honestly, i just re-read and the only impressions i have is "piggly-wiggly" is fun to say

hutchjm
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:30 pm

Re: Please Critique My Personal Statement!!!!

Postby hutchjm » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:59 am

Thank you for the critiques! I will take them into consideration as I continue to revise my ps.




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