500 Word Limit - Welcoming any and all criticism! Thanks!

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500 Word Limit - Welcoming any and all criticism! Thanks!

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:58 pm

500 word PS - FSU. Main concern is paragraph three - want to accentuate work experience, but limit doesn't leave room for much else...


It’s been a little over four years since I walked across the stage at Paulson Stadium. My teammates and I had won a lot of football games in that stadium – a fitting end to an exhilarating career. I shook the Dean of Engineering’s hand, and received my diploma thinking I had left formal education behind me forever. But something remained.

A defining characteristic of my personality would be my considerable level of intellectual curiosity – considerable because there is no single fact, assertion, or argument that doesn’t warrant verification, further research, and analysis. It’s this trait - one that has forced me to reexamine, breakdown, and rebuild my belief system countless times - that first incited in me an interest in the legal profession a few years ago. The desire to act on that interest, continue to build myself intellectually, and apply that education in the service of others, is the reason that I have sent this statement to The Florida State University College of Law.

Working for CSX Transportation’s engineering department has been an extremely rewarding experience. Since I’ve worked for the company I’ve had the privilege of learning from and leading a sizable number of men and women of various backgrounds. Through our successes I’ve learned both, how to lead, and when to defer to the experience of my subordinates. That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges. Railroad employment, particularly in the engineering department, is extremely demanding. The job is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, typically in the elements. Those factors coupled with the unfortunate, but understandable, antagonism that exists between union employees and company leadership has led to a relatively high attrition rate among front-line managers. Work ethic, great employees, and good fortune allowed me to overcome those obstacles, become a successful young manager, and receive a promotion to company headquarters in Jacksonville, FL. Though my current job carries with it additional responsibility, the stable work schedule has allowed me time to reevaluate my chosen career.

It was through my intellectual curiosity, combined with a long period of reflection, that I first came to the realization I had more to offer my community and I knew I would never be at peace unless I could direct the whole of my efforts towards that end. I believe I have found the means of doing that by pursuing a legal education. A year ago, I watched an excellent video put out by a local Jacksonville attorney. The subject was him interviewing a graduate for employment at his firm (now a partner) 29 years ago. The attorney asked the applicant why she wanted to be a lawyer. The response – “I want to change the world, and that will be the highest position of power that I’ll ever attain”. I thought it was an excellent answer, and after hearing it, I never looked back. I’m not necessarily interested in “changing the world”, but I am determined to change lives within my world - my community.

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Re: 500 Word Limit - Welcoming any and all criticism! Thanks!

Postby eerie_erie » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:23 pm

Thanks for sharing your personal statement. I think what you have written comes off as a little too abstract for me. True, you are talking about intellectual curiosity, but keep in mind that theory must eventually confront with real-life examples as well. I would have liked to hear more about the engineering department's nuts and bolts operations, and specifically as to how these experiences would make you a good attorney (in the long-term) and enable you to contribute positively to the school (in the short-term).

In addition, you could also make it more specific as to why FSU stands out beyond the others in terms of law schools. Right now your reason sounds a bit generic and could apply to any other school.

Good luck.

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