About halfway done with PS, would love some input

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
WongWray
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:44 pm

About halfway done with PS, would love some input

Postby WongWray » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:33 pm

Within every person there exists certain qualities that cannot be learned, taught, or imitated; Qualities that define one’s very existence and are as much a part of them as the matter that makes up their physical body. These traits supersede any resistance, contrary belief, or desire and guide us through each and every obstacle and opportunity in our lives. Some possess remarkable courage. Others exude gracefulness and kindness. I am fortunate that I have been endowed with both a passion for learning and an ability to lead others that have allowed me to succeed both academically and professionally.

My passion for knowledge is nearly tangible. I crave the unfamiliar, that which lies beyond the borders of my understanding. It is more than desire, more than addiction; It is an infectious disease that spreads to all who choose to hear me express my infatuation until it is not just a part of me but a part of us. It is this devotion that has molded me into the man I am today, a man capable and eager to lead others.

This initiative has lived within me for as long as I can remember. Throughout my entire life I have been known as the motivator, the mediator, the persuader. It was during high school that I found my niche within the mock trials and in-class ethical debates that frequented my education. I adored the art of persuasion almost as much as the feeling of unity that resulted from it. People were drawn to my reasoning and energy, and the sense of pride that came with standing at the forefront of a belief is a feeling that cannot be equaled.

Discovering my passion for communication and influence fueled my confidence to assume leadership roles in the later stages of my education.


From here I want to mention some concrete examples of leadership throughout my college and work experience.

I would be very grateful for any critique on either content or grammer (I'm an engineering undergrad so I feel a little rusty with my writing)

Thanks in advance!

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dirtrida2
Posts: 474
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:54 pm

Re: About halfway done with PS, would love some input

Postby dirtrida2 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:50 pm

In reading this quickly... I was turned off by your drawn out intro. I can also tell you are trying too hard to sound intellectual (too much Thesaurus.com?).

Just remember that you only have 2 pages, give or take, for your PS and you want to have a majority of that filled with actual experiences - not fluff.

Maybe start off with an event/experience that interested you in law and then throw in your personal characteristics/achievements - ie: gloating.

If you are keen on going with the mock trial route, maybe you could go into detail about a specific case/experience in which your superb thinking skills helped you through a difficult situation - pushed you to rise above your peers - blah blah...

I can also tell you are spending too much time trying to perfect every line before you move on. Get your outline down first, narrate your story, check it over, and then go back and touch it up. If you are going slow because you don't know what to write next... Sit back and think it through before you continue.

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yupyup
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:00 pm

Re: About halfway done with PS, would love some input

Postby yupyup » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:05 am

dirtrida2 wrote:In reading this quickly... I was turned off by your drawn out intro. I can also tell you are trying too hard to sound intellectual (too much Thesaurus.com?).

Just remember that you only have 2 pages, give or take, for your PS and you want to have a majority of that filled with actual experiences - not fluff.

Maybe start off with an event/experience that interested you in law and then throw in your personal characteristics/achievements - ie: gloating.

If you are keen on going with the mock trial route, maybe you could go into detail about a specific case/experience in which your superb thinking skills helped you through a difficult situation - pushed you to rise above your peers - blah blah...

I can also tell you are spending too much time trying to perfect every line before you move on. Get your outline down first, narrate your story, check it over, and then go back and touch it up. If you are going slow because you don't know what to write next... Sit back and think it through before you continue.



I agree. The first two paragraphs don't really say anything concrete about you. Instead of saying you have a passion for this or that, SHOW it. Go right to the examples. Get right to the point. "Show don't tell" is always a good rule to go by. This is supposed to be a PERSONAL statement, highlighting what is unique about you. The first paragraph (and even the second) can be said of almost any other applicant. An anecdote about one of your mock trials does sound like a good place to start. Also, think about focusing your essay on one or two experiences and writing about them in depth, instead of listing college and work experience that is already on your resume. Just a suggestion. :wink:

WongWray
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: About halfway done with PS, would love some input

Postby WongWray » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:08 am

Thank you both for the advice. Its been very difficult coming up with a single event worth writing about.

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

Re: About halfway done with PS, would love some input

Postby cgw » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:11 am

WongWray wrote:
Within every person there exists certain qualities that cannot be learned, taught, or imitated; Qualities that define one’s very existence and are as much a part of them as the matter that makes up their physical body. These traits supersede any resistance, contrary belief, or desire and guide us through each and every obstacle and opportunity in our lives. Some possess remarkable courage. Others exude gracefulness and kindness. I am fortunate that I have been endowed with both a passion for learning and an ability to lead others that have allowed me to succeed both academically and professionally.

My passion for knowledge is nearly tangible. I crave the unfamiliar, that which lies beyond the borders of my understanding. It is more than desire, more than addiction; It is an infectious disease that spreads to all who choose to hear me express my infatuation until it is not just a part of me but a part of us. It is this devotion that has molded me into the man I am today, a man capable and eager to lead others.

This initiative has lived within me for as long as I can remember. Throughout my entire life I have been known as the motivator, the mediator, the persuader. It was during high school that I found my niche within the mock trials and in-class ethical debates that frequented my education. I adored the art of persuasion almost as much as the feeling of unity that resulted from it. People were drawn to my reasoning and energy, and the sense of pride that came with standing at the forefront of a belief is a feeling that cannot be equaled.

Discovering my passion for communication and influence fueled my confidence to assume leadership roles in the later stages of my education.


From here I want to mention some concrete examples of leadership throughout my college and work experience.

I would be very grateful for any critique on either content or grammer (I'm an engineering undergrad so I feel a little rusty with my writing)

Thanks in advance!



As far as content goes, I don't really respond to it, personally; but I believe we are products of our environment to a vast degree. So, I guess, I just don't believe you when you describe a natural passion for learning and leadership. I also don't think it makes for terribly compelling reading to describe a seemingly innate characteristic and then detail various ways in which you've applied it. The compelling aspect is how that characteristic or skill was developed in the first place, or else an instance in which it was challenged, but persevered.

In regards to the rest of your essay, I would caution you against simply describing your leadership roles in positions that are also listed on your resume. If the fact that you served in a leadership capacity in these positions is not evident in your resume, then I would suggest you are doing your resume wrong. The PS is an opportunity to provide deeper insight, to prove you've been challenged, and convey your motivations. Just make sure its adding something new to your application.

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: About halfway done with PS, would love some input

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:57 am

I agree with the other critiques here.

Two quick points: (1) Your semi-colon usage is incorrect. Semi-colons separate two sentences where the conjunction has been omitted. Each portion must stand as a complete sentence on its own. There is also no capitalization at the beginning of the second portion. (2) "Passion" might be the most overused word in law school personal statements. It already appears three times in your PS fragment.

doing_it_in_a_car
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: About halfway done with PS, would love some input

Postby doing_it_in_a_car » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:56 am

Quick grammar tip:
WongWray wrote:Within every person there exists certain qualities that cannot be learned, taught, or imitated


This sentence has a subject-verb agreement problem (there exist certain qualities, not exists).

Your statement needs a lot of help on content. I'm sure you're a curious and intelligent leader of men. However, it doesn't come across as genuine when you simply proclaim it and expect the reader to believe you. Anyone could have written this.

You know those "people" who you say were drawn to you? Well you didn't draw them to you by having them read statements about you like what you wrote here. They saw firsthand how you took action and worked hard and achieved victories. To get other people to believe these things about you, you have to describe what you actually did. Cut out the abstract, deep ideas and tell a freakin story with action verbs and vivid details. Give it a physical setting to ground the reader. Try to make it interesting to a 5th grader. For example, don't tell the reader that you "crave the unfamiliar". Instead, give the reader a narrative about a time you were curious. maybe you became engrossed in a particular mock trial case and obsessively researched a legal question and crafted a clever strategy and beat the odds. Don't sell your life short. Practically anything can be interesting if you tell it right.

Good luck.




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