Please critique my first draft...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
Posts: 273552
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Please critique my first draft...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:20 pm

Be brutally honest. I can take it.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ClubberLang
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 11:34 am

Re: Please critique my first draft...

Postby ClubberLang » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:34 pm

That is very good and actually interesting to read. I wouldn't change too much. If anything it reads a bit like a life story, but I think it is fine here.

vzapana
Posts: 530
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:54 pm

Re: Please critique my first draft...

Postby vzapana » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:49 am

The big criticism I have is that I have no idea why you want to go to law school as opposed to any other graduate school. (Why even go back to school?) This will be a big question in the minds of admissions officers, so make sure you answer it.

Cutting the piece down to make it sharper. Also fixed a few grammatical errors.

It was the first time that I tied my own necktie. Until that dayFor years, I depended on my father to tie my necktiefor proper necktie etiquette before church on Sunday mornings. However, But this day waswould be different. This day, would demand that I leave my childhood behind and would reluctantly embrace maturity.
I was 17. As I stood there, before God and family in an empty church sanctuary, I recited words that I had previously only heard only on television, and within minutes I was married at age 17to the girl that made me a father in the 11th grade. (There was too much going on in this sentence, so I took out a qualifier.)
I was too immature to understand the magnitude of my spoken vows and too inexperienced to predict the financial and emotional hardships that lie ahead. I was forced to depend on the only example of manhood that I knew;: my father.
I had vivid memories of my childhood, just a few years past, watching my father rush in from a long day at work(doing what?) with just enough time to eat quickly and change clothes before rushing off to evening college classes. He eventually became the first and only of 12 siblings to graduate college.
Facing the enormous pressure of having a young wife and childthat depended on me for leadership and financial stability(People know that having a family when young is a trying experience; you don't have to say this explicitly), I was forced toplaced my college aspirations on hold. I worked at several menial positions(Be specific; what places, and what specific jobs? Also don't use "several" twice in a sentence.) that sustained our poor existence for several years.
After burying my deceased son at age 18,
(HE DIED? WHAT? You need to expand this)

I eventually obtained stable employment took a stable job (__doing what?__) with a national telecommunications company at age 23. After years of struggle, I could now promise a brighter future to my young family(you mean your wife?).
Never losing sight of my academic aspirations, I managed to complete college courses at night even while working up to 80 mandatoryhours per weekduring seasonal storm conditions. My lifestyle became an exact replica of I strived to do what I saw my father dodid in my childhood. Somehow, the grind of my daily existence gave me a sense of validation and leadership. I learned to enjoy the benefits of hard work and eventually came to depend on it as a formula forto achievinge my goals.
At 38 years old, I have been a father for 22 years, and I have been married most of my life. These factors have taught me life skills that few classrooms can convey. Hard work, honesty, leadership, and responsibility are all character traits that I had to depend on for survival as I grew into adulthood. Likewise, I will depend heavily upon these traits to matriculate throughat ___________ Law School.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273552
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please critique my first draft...

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:56 pm

:D Thank you very much!! I truly appreciate your help.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273552
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please critique my first draft...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:31 pm

Go away...

risanian
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Please critique my first draft...

Postby risanian » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Go away...


Just trying to help... but i can image how annoying it would be if someone else posted that on my blog post...

Regarding your PS:

Firstly, your draft doesn't successfully convey why you'd be a good candidate for law school. I'm sorry to hear about your struggles but I doubt you're going to get into law school just because you've had a rough life. I know at the end of your statement you mention that "Hard work, honesty, leadership, and responsibility are all character traits that I had to depend on for survival as I grew into adulthood" but I think you'd be better off writing about a time where you demonstrated all of those character traits and let the person reading your personal statement come to the conclusion above on their own...

Secondly, its very sad... based on your draft you've encountered obstacles much more difficult than the rest of us, but you should use that to your advantage. Keep it positive, or as positive as possible... I think coming out of a rough history with a genuine smile says a lot of great things about a persons character... The dean of admissions at Yale Law School wrote a blog post on the topic that you may find particularly useful... http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... rt-ii.aspx ... you'll find all the advise you need, and more, in the link above...

Thirdly, the entire necktie portion, although symbolic, is unnecessary. I know this is a draft but unless you're going to add some sort of story to tie in the necktie again I'd leave it out... based on your draft, you seem to have a lot worth writing about... I wouldn't waste the opening sentences, or any portion of the PS, talking about a necktie or anything else not critical to my life story.

Fourthly, although I'm certain your father was a great man, its a bit cliche... I'd stay away from it, you sir have you have accomplished a lot, and I think you'd be better off utilizing your personal statement to show your strengths and not your fathers...

My suggestions:

Move away from the idea of just putting all of your life's obstacles on a piece of paper and calling it your personal statement... put more emphasis on all of your accomplishments then slowly and statically mention the obstacles that made your journey more difficult than the average applicant, stressing that those obstacles, not matter how large or difficult, were nothing but mandatory detours which have delayed your ETA for your final destination... law school (or whatever your final destination is which requires law school)...

I was brutally honest.. hope it helps...

vzapana
Posts: 530
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:54 pm

Re: Please critique my first draft...

Postby vzapana » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:45 pm

Agreeing with risanian's first and third comments. On his fourth comment, I'm not really bothered by the fact that you mention your desire to be like your father, even if it is a tad cliche.

On his second comment, I'm not sure that the story needs a more positive spin. Sad stories, told without melodrama and sentiment, can be very powerful. (My PS was very sad, with virtually no positive spin, but adcomms from three T14 schools told me it's one of the best pieces they read last application cycle.) Moreover, you mention what you did to bounce back from the trauma in your life. Although you could include some additional concrete details, the descriptions of your trauma and recovery take up the right amount of space in the piece.

risanian
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Please critique my first draft...

Postby risanian » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:13 pm

vzapana wrote:(My PS was very sad, with virtually no positive spin, but adcomms from three T14 schools told me it's one of the best pieces they read last application cycle.)


Can you post it or PM it to me I'd like to read it if possible! Thanks!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273552
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Please critique my first draft...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:53 pm

Thanks again!! I'm soaking it all in. :D




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.