Critique Please

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Critique Please

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:04 pm

I was denied admission to law school last year. I will be reapplying next year and here is my personal statement that did not allow me to gain entry. Any feedback would be appreciated:

I am seeking entry as a First Year Regular Applicant into the Faculty of Law at the University of X. My academic and professional experiences reflect my diligence, work ethic and purpose. I have been involved in the nonprofit sector for the last two years substantiating my commitment to social justice. A legal education would provide me with the tools to continue promoting human welfare in a professional capacity.

Law prescribes the norms and mores of society, assigning moral guidelines on behavior and social conduct. Within this framework, legal students strive to define justice and see that it is served. As a political scientist, this subject matter fascinates me. My undergraduate studies stimulated my yearning for this knowledge. The two most illuminating courses in this regard were Politics of the European Union and Political Philosophy. Politics of the European Union focused on the complicated process of creating laws within a supranational entity like the European Union. These courses introduced me to constitutional law and the challenge of harmonizing standards among twenty-seven member states. This practical introduction to law was supplemented by my Political Philosophy course, which provided a foundation for understanding justice. In this course I studied contemporary political philosophers who wrote about justice, like Martha Nussbaum, Robert Nozick and John Rawls. This course ushered in a period of personal introspection and I came to the realization that I am passionate about justice.

My coursework allowed me to gain the requisite skills that will allow me to flourish as a legal student. If admitted, I will be able to draw upon a wide range of academic disciplines. My minor, International studies, was interdisciplinary and has allowed me to diversify my education as I studied economics, sociology, political science and history. This diversity has provided me with a well-balanced education and has taught me how to excel within various disciplines.

Furthermore, during the course of my undergraduate studies, I spent half a year on exchange in France, studying at the Université X. Submersing myself in an unfamiliar culture was a catalyst for personal growth and has had a lasting impact on my worldview. I learned how to adapt to unfamiliar circumstances and excel academically in a foreign academic setting. My interactions with different cultures have been continually influenced by my time abroad. I am more culturally sensitive, respectful of discrepancies and aware of my own biases as a result of these experiences.

I have been employed in the nonprofit sector over the past year, advocating for those who are socially marginalized. Employment with nonprofit X provided context for my political science studies and allowed me to develop skills relevant to a career in law. This is advantageous to the study of law as my knowledge is not restricted to simply theory or the abstract. I have branched out beyond the world of academia and connected my knowledge with tangible experience.

While at Nonprofit X, I coordinated the fundraising campaigns for thirty-five different workplaces within the community of X. This role involved organizing, training and mentoring campaign volunteers. While working in this capacity I acquired a knowledge of the issues in my community and took responsibility to educate myself on the solutions. Most significantly, I developed strong skills as an orator and educator. I conducted five weekly speaking engagements to audiences of varying size, educating attendees on the social issues within my community. I contributed to the organization’s fundraising total of $21.5 million to help those in need in X. A legal career would allow me to continue these public-spirited endeavors in a professional capacity.

I can contribute to X’s Faculty of Law in a number of capacities. I am a fervent and committed supporter of my community. My community involvement is indicative of my passion for public service and my strength as a collaborator. My experiences are emblematic of my passion and commitment to success. My upbringing, values, education and professional experience make a strong case for my candidacy into the Faculty of Law. I am fully aware that increasing my knowledge will shape my beliefs and passions. It is with this belief I am applying to the Faculty of Law with an open mind. Completing a Juris Doctor will facilitate lifelong learning and allow me to continue my humanitarian efforts with new ideas and strategies to benefit the field. I ask that you give me an opportunity to prove my worth at your university.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Critique Please

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:10 pm

You are completely missing the point of a personal statement. This doesn't give me anything I can't get from your resume. It's boring and the language is pretentious. Most of all, it isn't personal at all.

Pick one topic (perhaps a specific incident that happened while employed at the non-profit), describe it in detail and with emotion, and develop a theme that ties into your motivations for pursuing law school and illustrates why you would be a good law student/lawyer whatever this faculty of law thing is/why you are a good candidate.

I'd suggest reading the personal statement sample thread to see what I mean, because this cannot be salvaged.

ETA: ...unless the topic/prompt for the personal statement that you are going off is completely different than the typical US law school application. Then maybe this structure is ok. But I'd need to know more about whatever it is you're applying for.
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Critique Please

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:11 pm

What is the PS topic? And are you applying in the UK?

Anonymous User
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Re: Critique Please

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:19 pm

Thanks for the honest feedback. FYI it is for Canadian law schools not American.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Critique Please

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:27 pm

Ok, I'm seeing that (some of?) the Canadian schools call their law schools "Faculty of Law" which makes no sense whatsoever, but makes me understand YOUR phrasing better. :P

But post the prompt that you're working from and we can give you better advice.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Critique Please

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Still need the prompt... but even for a "why do you want to go to law school," a little more personal/story would be better.

Anonymous User
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Re: Critique Please

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:44 pm

Generally, the purpose of the personal statement is to provide the Admissions Committee with any information an applicant considers relevant to the consideration of her or his application. The Admissions Committee would like to see several kinds of information from you in order to make its decision. First, if your academic performance in some limited period was affected by a short-term medical condition or other circumstances, information about this should be provided, along with supporting documentation. Second, a personal statement should also highlight those aspects of your personal history that enhance your application. For example, a personal statement should set out the relevant information about: academically related extra-curricular activities, community involvement, work (both paid and volunteer) experience, parental or caregiver responsibilities, and relevant personal characteristics and attributes. And lastly, the Admissions Committee is particularly interested in you telling us why you want to study law, what makes you well-suited to the study of law (e.g., the particular skills, interests and/or experiences you have), and what contributions you think you would make to the UBC Faculty of Law.




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