Critique request. Any and all help is appreciated

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
DoYouEvenLift?
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:51 am

Critique request. Any and all help is appreciated

Postby DoYouEvenLift? » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:36 am

Please let me know if there is anything you think I should do different.

-Anything that should be added/subtracted/worded differently
-grammatical errors
-anything at all



In February of 2006 I embarked on my first combat deployment, a mission that brought my team and I to a small Army post in an abandoned schoolhouse in a mid-sized city along the Euphrates River. I was an enlisted Arabic linguist with a Marine Corps signals intelligence unit operating in the al-Anbar Province in western Iraq. My team leader and I were inside setting up our equipment and clearing bats out of our new living space while the other two members of the team were setting up communication equipment on the roof. It was a pretty uninteresting day until two mortars exploded about fifteen feet from the building.

I ducked down quickly, and I looked over to saw my team leader hunched over and not looking nearly as shaken as I thought he should. There were a few short bursts of gunfire and then nothing. Luckily it was just some harassing fire. My team leader chuckled and said “Don’t worry man, you get used to it. They are just welcoming us to the neighborhood! Now help me run these power cables out front to the generator.” I had never heard a shot fired in anger before that day and I will admit it shook me a bit. I had several frivolous questions running through my head, but I realized the only thing there was to make sure the guys on the roof were ok and keep setting up the equipment. Keeping one’s mind on practical obligations is a great way to mitigate fear.

Practical obligations were something we had plenty of. Our command had sent us out to gather any useful intelligence in the area and decide whether or not to expand operations. My role in this operation was to take whatever information they gathered, translate it, and hand it off to the analysts to see if they could make any use of it. Though I began to cope appropriately with sporadic small arms fire as a natural part of life, I still had a considerable personal obstacle to face. I was still adapting to the Iraqi dialect, as my training had been in a mostly formal style of Arabic. However, a person can sharpen their learning curve dramatically if they have no choice of failure.

Luckily, the battalion had provided me with a serviceable Iraqi dictionary, and the sixteen-hour per day work schedule provided plenty of time to practice. With some persistence, I started gaining confidence in my Iraqi dialect. I even found myself able to hold a decent conversation with the Army’s contracted Iraqi interpreter from Baghdad who called himself ‘Mike.” In the end, my dialect became proficient enough for me to get the job done. Our mission was successful and the battalion even saw fit to use resources to set up a more permanent operation in the area. Our team moved on and my duties brought me to several other cities over the course of my two deployments.

The work ethic I developed in my training and while serving in Iraq is the same work ethic I bring to my academic pursuits. I know what it is to work long hours, endure stress, be faced with new and difficult situations and still get the job done. These qualities that made me a Marine and carried me through two deployments to Iraq are the same that gave me the strength of will to gain acceptance to and graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. I believe these qualities could make me excel at a legal education from (school name)

(this will be a paragraph that I will use to speak of each specific school)The stress and rigors of law school are challenges I am uniquely qualified to overcome and excited to undertake. (law school specific information) I hope to gain the chance to bring my experience and perspective to (blank)

cgw
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:06 pm

Re: Critique request. Any and all help is appreciated

Postby cgw » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:34 am

I ducked down quickly and I looked over to see my team leader hunched over, not looking nearly as shaken as I thought he should. Two mortars had just exploded fifteen feet from our building followed by a few short bursts of gunfire, and then nothing. Luckily, it was just some harassing fire. My team leader chuckled and said, “Don’t worry man, you get used to it. They are just welcoming us to the neighborhood! Now help me run these power cables out front to the generator.”

It was February 2006, my first combat deployment, and I had never heard a shot fired in anger before. My team and I were assigned to a small Army post, converted from an abandoned schoolhouse, in a mid-sized city along the Euphrates River. I was an enlisted Arabic linguist with a Marine Corps signals intelligence unit operating in the al-Anbar Province in western Iraq. My team leader and I were inside the building setting up our equipment and clearing bats out of our new living space when the shots were fired. The other two members of the team were setting up communication equipment on the roof.

I will admit to feeling shaken. I had several frivolous questions running through my head, but I realized the only thing I could do was check the men on the roof and continue setting up the equipment. Keeping one’s mind on practical obligations is a great way to mitigate fear.

Practical obligations were something of which I had plenty. Our command had sent us out to gather any useful intelligence and to decide whether to expand operations in the area. My role in this operation was to translate the information gathered and give it to analysts to determine its utility. Though I began to cope appropriately with sporadic small arms fire as a natural part of life, I still had a considerable personal obstacle to face. Because my training had been in a mostly formal style of Arabic, I had to adjust to the particulars of the Iraqi dialect. A person can sharpen their learning curve dramatically, however, if they have no choice of failure.

Luckily, the battalion had provided me with a serviceable Iraqi dictionary, and the sixteen-hour per day work schedule provided plenty of time to practice. With some persistence, I started gaining confidence in my Iraqi dialect. I even found myself able to hold a decent conversation with the Army’s contracted Iraqi interpreter from Baghdad who called himself ‘Mike.”

In the end, my dialect became proficient enough for me to get the job done. Our mission was successful and the battalion even saw fit to use resources to set up a more permanent operation in the area. Our team moved on and my duties brought me to several other cities over the course of my two deployments. (This paragraph is weak on content. Personally, I would omit the first sentence entirely and instead give more specifics as to how your battalion was successful and what role, specifically, you played in its success; or more specifics on how your increased proficiency led to some kind of personal growth. Right now, it’s not a terribly compelling tale. You call it a considerable personal obstacle and then overcome it with a dictionary. What was difficult about it? Do you have an example or story?)

The work ethic I developed during my military training and experience has similarly benefited me in my academic pursuits. I have worked long hours, endured stress, faced new and difficult situations, and still found the resolve and the ability to get the job done. The qualities that made me a Marine and carried me through two deployments to Iraq are the same that gave me the strength of will to gain acceptance to and graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. Similarly, I believe these qualities will allow me to excel in my legal education at (school name) and, subsequently, in my legal career.

(this will be a paragraph that I will use to speak of each specific school)The stress and rigors of law school are challenges I am uniquely qualified to overcome and excited to undertake. (law school specific information) I hope to gain the chance to bring my experience and perspective to (blank)




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.