Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
white1ce
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Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

Postby white1ce » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:10 pm

Edit: New version below, severely re-edited!
Last edited by white1ce on Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

white1ce
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:09 pm

Re: Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

Postby white1ce » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:21 pm

Anyone?!

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manofjustice
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Re: Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

Postby manofjustice » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:57 pm

I am tired and will not give much feedback, but I will give you a grade on a scale of 1 through 5. This is "my" scale. A 5 on my scale is 1 out of 1000 good. A 1 on my scale is median. Now I will read it and then edit this post.

edit: -1.5

white1ce
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Re: Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

Postby white1ce » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:21 pm

What was the point of posting that without critique?

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bluepenguin
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Re: Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

Postby bluepenguin » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:02 pm

It would probably be best if you could find a better topic than something that happened in high school....

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domino
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Re: Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

Postby domino » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:39 pm

thoughts

- i think this story could make a good "hook" paragraph, but i would focus on something more recent for the rest of your ps. you want to show not only who you are now, but also that you're the kind of person who takes advantage of opportunities to learn, i.e., that you have grown a lot since high school. this might be a good jumping off point to discuss how you have engaged with public interest stuff in college if you have a story or two there.

- i'm not sure why you're going to law school, though this is something that you discuss in your ps. your story made me wonder whether you wanted to use your jd as a policy degree--is that the case? have not looked into that path at all, but that seems like a difficult way to go, so not clear to me how should be framed in your ps.

however, "difference maker," advocate etc. makes me think you are going for law school because of a vague desire to do something for the greater good, which i'm guessing can be a red flag (makes it sound like you might not know what your options are after school or you don't really know what you want yet). perhaps try to give the reader a more concrete sense of what kind of work sounds interesting to you or why? i think putting in new, more recent material and tying it into this message would help, for instance talking about your work with community engagement and how you thought legal community was well positioned to make a difference for x reason or how you were exposed to legal issues in a course and appreciated the way of thinking for x reason.

white1ce
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:09 pm

Re: Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

Postby white1ce » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:16 am

Thanks for the critique Domino, I have severely revised my PS. What do you all think?

It was my final weeks of high school and I was tasked with the idea of coming up with a law that would benefit members of society. The previous week in class we had talked about these new hybrid cars and I thought about proposing a law to make them more attractive by eliminating the sales tax of purchasing one. When I proposed the idea, my teacher was so enthused about it he opened up the idea of taking it beyond the classroom by contacting my local Representative and trying to turn this into a law. I did so and to my surprise my Representative was just as enthusiastic about it and we collaborated on drafting the bill that I eventually would be testifying on before the House Ways and Means Committee. The big day came when I went down to the Capitol and presented the bill; it was ultimately shot down but I was never disappointed, in fact, it was incredible to me that the fact that I wasn’t old enough to vote yet but I could still have a voice in the government. I walked away from the experience learning about the importance of political action and law. This was a huge inspirational lesson to me; I loved it.

After two years of an unfocused college life, I settled into a prosperous career in the casino business. My career, which is a fun one, doesn’t provide many opportunities for me to feel fulfilled. Currently the only opportunities that I have that provides any sort of fulfillment in the sense that the work that I am doing is worthwhile to someone else is when I volunteer to help run a casino for disabled people at a local hospital. On top of this, my career isn’t very mentally stimulating and doesn’t prove to be a challenge; it is work that isn’t very meaningful. Along the way, I’ve lost that voice I found.
While moving to various states following my career, I was always fascinated with and followed famous court cases very closely. Bernard Madoff, Amanda Knox and the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case all were very interesting to me. How the cases were decided, the strategies used by the Plaintiff’s team versus the Defendant’s team, the legal reasoning behind the decision of Citizen’s United and how the reasoning could vary immeasurably. It was a world of intellectually thought-provoking stimuli. The only thing was, I was an outsider looking in; I knew what I wanted to do, I wanted to be the one making and helping influence these decisions.

To realize this, I needed to go back to school; it would not be an easy task. I have commitments now that have to be attended to, but I would not let this stop me in my pursuit of practicing law. I enrolled at the university and had to work full-time while going to school full-time; my education was my new number one priority. I joined the political science book club, went on a study abroad trip to South Korea, and offered to help mentor new political science and pre-law students. I am incredibly excited about this new direction that I am headed in.

When people ask me why I’d want to leave my easy well-off job to take a risk and study law, the answer is easy, making a decent amount of money doesn’t mean that my life is satisfying. I don’t simply want to be listening to people in the court room and hearing what it was about, I want to be the one in the court room making a difference in people’s lives. I am fervent about this passion of mine and now after nearly completely my degree, I am taking my final steps to realizing my dream by applying to _____ which is the best choice for me for finally achieving my goal.

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domino
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Re: Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

Postby domino » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:57 am

interesting. i would not discuss why you're unhappy with your casino job--this makes it sound like law school is a way out for you. i also wouldn't say anything about being unfocused your first two years of college in your ps. if you are worried about your grades and there's a good reason that they were low, maybe write an addendum?

i like your why law paragraph a bit better, but i think there are still some issues with it. it's great that you enjoy learning about these well-known cases, but as i'd want to see you were interested in some aspect of them that would translate to what you would actually be doing. maybe you have already implied that, but i would draw the connection more clearly so the reader doesn't think you are expecting to end up in front of the supreme court (and you/i might, you never know...but probably best to show you have more realistic expectations going in).

also i would not list the activities you describe unless you can link them to law school in the essay. they will probably have your resume right? you only want to include stuff here if it ties into the theme of your ps. not sure why you have mentioned your commitment to education--to go back to the unfocused in college thing i would not mention this unless you need to explain a period of low grades, and i would try to do that somewhere else if possible.

eta i dunno man. i am coming away from this ps feeling unconvinced. i'm getting the feeling that it could be a good idea to revamp the material. sorry not to be of more help!

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manofjustice
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Re: Rough draft of PS, looking to submit soon, critque please!

Postby manofjustice » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:48 pm

white1ce wrote:What was the point of posting that without critique?


Even if I don't tell you what's wrong with it, at least you'll know to look for something. You're welcome.




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