Please delete

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
shehadehr
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:52 pm

Please delete

Postby shehadehr » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:00 pm

Moderators, please delete this thread. Thank you.
Last edited by shehadehr on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: My PS, critique?

Postby cgw » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:38 pm

I don't like anything about your first paragraph. The first few sentences, especially, are pretty weak. Why is the second narrative in quotes, but not the first narrative? More importantly, however, why are you setting up this false dichotomy in the first place? I find it off putting. Why do you need all this to basically say "I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. It was challenging, but I never let that diagnosis define me." Why is it necessary to include an unwarranted dig at other people? It doesn't make you look better by comparison, I promise.

Also, not all learning disabilities are due to chemical imbalances; and I could be wrong, but I was under the impression the "cause" of ADD/ADHD has not been conclusively proven either.

shehadehr wrote: There are two characteristics I argue will demonstrate my ability to succeed in law school: I am hardworking, and I am passionate about the study of law.

You haven't spent a whole lot of time in this forum have you?

shehadehr wrote:The first characteristic is evidenced by two key facts. First, thru the achievement of mainly A’s and B’s I was able to maintain above a 3.0 GPA at Tufts University, an undergraduate institution historically known for it’s rigorous academics. Second, with the exception of three drama courses and one music course, every course taken between spring of 2010 and fall of 2011 is arguably considered amongst the most challenging liberal arts courses offered at Tufts. I regularly challenged myself by completing tough upper level courses, including numerous courses taught by either Fletcher School faculty or that included graduate students.

Reciting your transcript to adcomms is a really ineffective use of your PS. They already know this about you. The PS is an opportunity to tell them something personal about yourself.

shehadehr wrote: In terms of the evidence concerning my passion for the study of law, I both achieved high grades in virtually all seven of my law courses, and I created and subsequently helped run a law journal for three years.

Why isn't that the subject of your PS?

shehadehr wrote:We once had a guest lecturer from the Justice Department speak during my Ethics, Law & Society course. His lecture was a fantastic discussion on policy development, and toward the end he began fielding general questions. I asked him why the Justice Department was struggling to bring cases of fraud against Wall Street executives who are alleged to have some responsibility in the recent financial crisis. He responded, “We are struggling with the fraud argument because it only works if you can prove criminal intent.” I want to go to law school because I want to deeply immerse myself in the study of law. I am tired of watching situations where big banks are not held to the same ethical standards as the common, decent, hardworking man and woman, simply because they are too big and powerful. And this is just one example of many, in which our flawed legal system continues to pass as adequate, where in if something works then it is not worth fixing. No. If something is wrong, fix it.
After I pass the bar I hope to work at the District Attorney or U.S. Attorney’s office. Then whichever attorney I become, after establishing a strong legal reputation, and once I formulate the proper political base, I will look to make a successful run for public office. I have a vision for where I want the United States to go as it navigates through this century. I am a passionate man with a blunt and assertive nature. I believe I will make a success politician because I have an unwavering moral compass, I have the right ideas, and I have strong leadership skills. I would welcome the opportunity and honor to be part of your program.

I don't think this anecdote is particularly effective. And I do have to agree with you, this is more than a little self-righteous. Telling adcomms you know the flaws of the legal system and are going to fix them is extremely arrogant. What are these "right ideas" you have? It's one thing to say you believe there are flaws. Maybe even to say you hope law school will give you the knowledge/tools to better understand and fix those flaws. But to claim you already have all the answers? Why do need to go to law school then? You don't need a law degree to run for office, especially when you already know everything. Start saving the country now. Clearly, we could use it.

shehadehr
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:52 pm

Re: My PS, critique?

Postby shehadehr » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:53 pm

cgw wrote:I don't like anything about your first paragraph. The first few sentences, especially, are pretty weak. Why is the second narrative in quotes, but not the first narrative? More importantly, however, why are you setting up this false dichotomy in the first place? I find it off putting. Why do you need all this to basically say "I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. It was challenging, but I never let that diagnosis define me." Why is it necessary to include an unwarranted dig at other people? It doesn't make you look better by comparison, I promise.

Also, not all learning disabilities are due to chemical imbalances; and I could be wrong, but I was under the impression the "cause" of ADD/ADHD has not been conclusively proven either.

shehadehr wrote: There are two characteristics I argue will demonstrate my ability to succeed in law school: I am hardworking, and I am passionate about the study of law.

You haven't spent a whole lot of time in this forum have you?

shehadehr wrote:The first characteristic is evidenced by two key facts. First, thru the achievement of mainly A’s and B’s I was able to maintain above a 3.0 GPA at Tufts University, an undergraduate institution historically known for it’s rigorous academics. Second, with the exception of three drama courses and one music course, every course taken between spring of 2010 and fall of 2011 is arguably considered amongst the most challenging liberal arts courses offered at Tufts. I regularly challenged myself by completing tough upper level courses, including numerous courses taught by either Fletcher School faculty or that included graduate students.

Reciting your transcript to adcomms is a really ineffective use of your PS. They already know this about you. The PS is an opportunity to tell them something personal about yourself.

shehadehr wrote: In terms of the evidence concerning my passion for the study of law, I both achieved high grades in virtually all seven of my law courses, and I created and subsequently helped run a law journal for three years.

Why isn't that the subject of your PS?

shehadehr wrote:We once had a guest lecturer from the Justice Department speak during my Ethics, Law & Society course. His lecture was a fantastic discussion on policy development, and toward the end he began fielding general questions. I asked him why the Justice Department was struggling to bring cases of fraud against Wall Street executives who are alleged to have some responsibility in the recent financial crisis. He responded, “We are struggling with the fraud argument because it only works if you can prove criminal intent.” I want to go to law school because I want to deeply immerse myself in the study of law. I am tired of watching situations where big banks are not held to the same ethical standards as the common, decent, hardworking man and woman, simply because they are too big and powerful. And this is just one example of many, in which our flawed legal system continues to pass as adequate, where in if something works then it is not worth fixing. No. If something is wrong, fix it.
After I pass the bar I hope to work at the District Attorney or U.S. Attorney’s office. Then whichever attorney I become, after establishing a strong legal reputation, and once I formulate the proper political base, I will look to make a successful run for public office. I have a vision for where I want the United States to go as it navigates through this century. I am a passionate man with a blunt and assertive nature. I believe I will make a success politician because I have an unwavering moral compass, I have the right ideas, and I have strong leadership skills. I would welcome the opportunity and honor to be part of your program.

I don't think this anecdote is particularly effective. And I do have to agree with you, this is more than a little self-righteous. Telling adcomms you know the flaws of the legal system and are going to fix them is extremely arrogant. What are these "right ideas" you have? It's one thing to say you believe there are flaws. Maybe even to say you hope law school will give you the knowledge/tools to better understand and fix those flaws. But to claim you already have all the answers? Why do need to go to law school then? You don't need a law degree to run for office, especially when you already know everything. Start saving the country now. Clearly, we could use it.


I agree with you regarding the first paragraph. I don't come out of the gate strong nor is it necessary to make cutting sounding remarks against others. The notion of there being a false dichotomy is debatable depending on what lens you're looking through, but I completely understand what you mean. I will redo the first paragraph. I also have to make changes in my language to the last paragraph as you raised some great points. Thanks for your feedback, Cgw!

User avatar
fruitoftheloom
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:38 pm

Re: My PS, critique?

Postby fruitoftheloom » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:02 pm

This is rambling and lacks a coherent theme. I think you will have more success if you can pick an example or two from your service and show how those have helped you become a better leader / do more / achieve more.

I would avoid discussion of your college career for the most part - they have your transcript.

Additionally - regarding this:
Likewise, it was while serving overseas that I realized my genius for politics too. Many of my role models – Kennedy, Churchill, Lincoln, Carville, and Gates – were similarly diagnosed with ADD or ADHD; yet, like me they have achieved success despite said disabilities
Are you SURE this is factually true? I don't know that I would consider a diagnosis post-mortem a "diagnosis". Also - your "genius" for politics? What have you done that shows this?

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

Re: My PS, critique?

Postby thelawschoolproject » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:16 pm

Here we go...

1). You have no theme. No direction. No focus. Your PS lacks any ties that pull your thoughts together. My suggestion is for you to focus on one issue and exploit that as best you can. Tell us a story. Give us the details and then show us how you changed/transformed/grew as a person. This is what the adcomm wants to see.

2). Your writing style is weak. You spend too much time saying "I will do X" or "I am going to tell you about Y." There's no need to do this. Get to the point. Don't tell us what you're going to say--actually say it. The way you have your PS now it slows down the pace of the writing to an almost distracting level.

3). Your first paragraph needs to go. It does nothing for your PS. You don't need it. Your first paragraph should be a set-up for the rest of the statement. But, you don't really have a focus from which to create that kind of a paragraph in the first place, which is problematic.

4). You mention a lot of various ideas. You have ADD, were in the Navy, worked on a journal, took challenging classes, etc. You should pick one of these ideas to focus on--don't list them out to us. When you list them (as you have here) we aren't able to get a good view of you. It's kind of like reading your interests on a profile. Actually let us see who you are, how you handle challenges, how you respond to adversity and what makes you a competent person who would make a great lawyer.

5). There's no reason that you have to explain why you want to go to LS. This isn't required and it's a mistake that a lot of ppl make when writing their PSs. For good reason you might be under the impression that "why I want to go to LS" should be a paragraph, but that's not true. If it doesn't naturally flow into your PS don't just push it in there for the sake of having it there.

Good luck.




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