PS critique -- Please help...

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Anonymous User
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PS critique -- Please help...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:21 am

Re-typing per suggestions below. Thank you for the input!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:25 am

I just typed this up and am unsure as to how I feel about it. I know it somewhat sounds like a resume re-hash, which you aren't supposed to do, but some of these things are not on my resume and I feel like the quality of these experiences may justify writing about them in my PS. To me, at least, I just think these things make for a stronger representation of me than some random story, maybe not... But I know that law schools value leadership, so I am trying to highlight some of my experiences in leadership roles.

I think the ending needs work, but I also had to delete some things, and really try to condense it because with what is already written I am already on the final line of the 2-page double-spaced limit so I am kind of stuck here, though I would like to add a bit more and elaborate on my law school intentions.

Any constructive thoughts, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to give it a look!

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jselson
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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby jselson » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:44 am

No one cares about what you did in high school; just write about the business/website. And really make sure the tone doesn't sound arrogant.

Anonymous User
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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:56 am

jselson wrote:No one cares about what you did in high school; just write about the business/website. And really make sure the tone doesn't sound arrogant.


A few questions:

-Does it come off as arrogant as currently written? (tried not to)

-You mention writing about the business & website, but what about the fraternity?

I kind of agree with you on the HS football thing. I just thought it may convey that I am well-rounded. Website nerd --> football player. But I see your point, that would give me some more room to touch on 'why law school', which I wanted to do but ran out of space.

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heythatslife
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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby heythatslife » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:59 am

There is a reason that providing a summary of all your activities is not recommended. Besides being redundant, it's hard to relate all that stuff in a coherent narrative. If there is any item that you did not mention on your resume, it's either one of two things: 1) It's not important enough to deserve a mention, or 2) it is so personally significant that it should be made the main theme of your PS.

As it stands now, your PS has no focus. I agree with jselson - my suggestion is that you highlight the business experience and lose the parts on sports and fraternity. Also your reasons for wanting to go to law school can do with more elaboration.

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jselson
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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby jselson » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jselson wrote:No one cares about what you did in high school; just write about the business/website. And really make sure the tone doesn't sound arrogant.


A few questions:

-Does it come off as arrogant as currently written? (tried not to)

-You mention writing about the business & website, but what about the fraternity?

I kind of agree with you on the HS football thing. I just thought it may convey that I am well-rounded. Website nerd --> football player. But I see your point, that would give me some more room to touch on 'why law school', which I wanted to do but ran out of space.


Yeah, it comes off as arrogant mostly because the accomplishments aren't that impressive in the sense that there's gonna be tons of folks with better stuff than "led a fraternity, played varsity football." The other reason is that it doesn't really show your character - I know what you've accomplished, but I get no sense of you as a person. There isn't much to relate to, and no real narrative.

I think the business angle will work best for two reasons: 1) It shows you as an adult, while the frat stuff shows you as a college student, and 2) You can illustrate problem solving, learning, and growth more easily with it in a way that reflects a professional attitude and an entrepreneurial spirit. It'll be easier to illustrate and SHOW competence and determination, rather than just tell. It also lets you tie your childhood (no more than a paragraph, to grab attention) to your adulthood clearly.

Anonymous User
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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:50 am

I agree on the football aspect. We were #1 in a big state, but that is more of a team accomplishment than personal accomplishment so that makes sense, plus it would give me room to touch on the other stuff.

But as for the fraternity aspect I kind of have to disagree. Not sure if you skimmed or read the whole thing, but I founded the largest fraternity on my campus and secured us the largest house on campus my first semester of freshman year at a major public university (40,000+ students). Went head to head with chapters that have been around for 100 years. It may not be a business, but it is certainly a substantial enterprise, and having 60+ of your peers elect you to lead them twice has to have some kind of positive response by an adcomm, don't you think??

Yeah, it comes off as arrogant mostly because the accomplishments aren't that impressive in the sense that there's gonna be tons of folks with better stuff than "led a fraternity


I know there are some people out there with incredible resumes, but short of Zuckerberg, a Purple Heart recipient, a Gold medal athlete, inventor of the snuggie, or something ridiculous, I think that would put me ahead, soft-wise, of a good majority of people. Leading a large fraternity or sorority is probably the most substantial thing a student could do in the realm of traditional student activities/leadership positions. Most fraternity and sorority presidents put in more work than the President of the student body, I know that for a fact(they were all good friends of mine), and most Presidents only serve 1 year terms. I did 2 years AND started the thing. Please tell me that counts for something! :)

A buddy of mine got into Texas and his PS was about his time spent as President of a fraternity, and his being a fraternity president was commended in the first sentence of the acceptance letter.

Not trying to say you dont know what you're talking about here, just an argument to contradict your point. I'm open to hearing a rebuttal but if I do not mention something that I consider to be a pretty substantial achievement then I need to have a really good reason.

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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:03 am

jselson wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jselson wrote:No one cares about what you did in high school; just write about the business/website. And really make sure the tone doesn't sound arrogant.


A few questions:

-Does it come off as arrogant as currently written? (tried not to)

-You mention writing about the business & website, but what about the fraternity?

I kind of agree with you on the HS football thing. I just thought it may convey that I am well-rounded. Website nerd --> football player. But I see your point, that would give me some more room to touch on 'why law school', which I wanted to do but ran out of space.


Yeah, it comes off as arrogant mostly because the accomplishments aren't that impressive in the sense that there's gonna be tons of folks with better stuff than "led a fraternity, played varsity football." The other reason is that it doesn't really show your character - I know what you've accomplished, but I get no sense of you as a person. There isn't much to relate to, and no real narrative.

I think the business angle will work best for two reasons: 1) It shows you as an adult, while the frat stuff shows you as a college student, and 2) You can illustrate problem solving, learning, and growth more easily with it in a way that reflects a professional attitude and an entrepreneurial spirit. It'll be easier to illustrate and SHOW competence and determination, rather than just tell. It also lets you tie your childhood (no more than a paragraph, to grab attention) to your adulthood clearly.


After re-reading this, I definitely agree with you about the narrative. I'm hoping eliminating the football aspect will help clear enough space to really beef it up, but I will probably need more... Being limited to two double spaced pages is challenging.

To touch on the fraternity thing one more time, I do think that can go both ways. Someone who was involved in Greek life, particularly at a large school, will know what a big deal it is to be the President of a chapter, much less the founder. But someone who was not a Greek, and who possibly harbors some unfavorable stereo-type of Greeks may not respond well to that portion.

Decisions, decisions...

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jselson
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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby jselson » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:I agree on the football aspect. We were #1 in a big state, but that is more of a team accomplishment than personal accomplishment so that makes sense, plus it would give me room to touch on the other stuff.

But as for the fraternity aspect I kind of have to disagree. Not sure if you skimmed or read the whole thing, but I founded the largest fraternity on my campus and secured us the largest house on campus my first semester of freshman year at a major public university (40,000+ students). Went head to head with chapters that have been around for 100 years. It may not be a business, but it is certainly a substantial enterprise, and having 60+ of your peers elect you to lead them twice has to have some kind of positive response by an adcomm, don't you think??

Yeah, it comes off as arrogant mostly because the accomplishments aren't that impressive in the sense that there's gonna be tons of folks with better stuff than "led a fraternity


I know there are some people out there with incredible resumes, but short of Zuckerberg, a Purple Heart recipient, a Gold medal athlete, inventor of the snuggie, or something ridiculous, I think that would put me ahead, soft-wise, of a good majority of people. Leading a large fraternity or sorority is probably the most substantial thing a student could do in the realm of traditional student activities/leadership positions. Most fraternity and sorority presidents put in more work than the President of the student body, I know that for a fact(they were all good friends of mine), and most Presidents only serve 1 year terms. I did 2 years AND started the thing. Please tell me that counts for something! :)

A buddy of mine got into Texas and his PS was about his time spent as President of a fraternity, and his being a fraternity president was commended in the first sentence of the acceptance letter.

Not trying to say you dont know what you're talking about here, just an argument to contradict your point. I'm open to hearing a rebuttal but if I do not mention something that I consider to be a pretty substantial achievement then I need to have a really good reason.


I mean, congrats and all, but it's just a fraternity. There are people who are refugees from other countries, people who have started non-profits/have significant volunteer/"PI" experience/have published research/have taught for years/have impressive jobs/have graduate degrees/and yes, were student body presidents (the work may not be as taxing, perhaps, but it affects a lot more people). It's probably an above average soft, but starting a business just seems so much more applicable to law school and relatable for a larger group of people. And, no offense, but I have a feeling that keeping the "bro"/arrogant tone down to a minimum will be much easier with the business story than with the frat one. The thing is, the PS isn't that important for admissions, and certainly not nearly as important as LSAT/gpa, and so for a lot of people who just aren't great stylists or who don't have incredible stories, it's a thing where the PS is more likely to hurt than help a candidate. When you write sentences like, "my best was yet to come," it comes off as cheesy and arrogant. And adcomms will still see that you were president on your resume. And someone else in the thread has also agreed that the business route would be the best, so it's not just me. Not trying to be harsh or mean or knock down what you've done or anything, but I'm just telling you my impression from what I've read, and I've taught college writing and composition courses for the past two years, so I think I have some competence in evaluation, for what it's worth.

Just my two cents on the subject matter and tone, but whatever choice you make, it'll be best to focus on just ONE of these things.

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mvonh001
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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby mvonh001 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:41 am

jselson wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I agree on the football aspect. We were #1 in a big state, but that is more of a team accomplishment than personal accomplishment so that makes sense, plus it would give me room to touch on the other stuff.

But as for the fraternity aspect I kind of have to disagree. Not sure if you skimmed or read the whole thing, but I founded the largest fraternity on my campus and secured us the largest house on campus my first semester of freshman year at a major public university (40,000+ students). Went head to head with chapters that have been around for 100 years. It may not be a business, but it is certainly a substantial enterprise, and having 60+ of your peers elect you to lead them twice has to have some kind of positive response by an adcomm, don't you think??

Yeah, it comes off as arrogant mostly because the accomplishments aren't that impressive in the sense that there's gonna be tons of folks with better stuff than "led a fraternity


I know there are some people out there with incredible resumes, but short of Zuckerberg, a Purple Heart recipient, a Gold medal athlete, inventor of the snuggie, or something ridiculous, I think that would put me ahead, soft-wise, of a good majority of people. Leading a large fraternity or sorority is probably the most substantial thing a student could do in the realm of traditional student activities/leadership positions. Most fraternity and sorority presidents put in more work than the President of the student body, I know that for a fact(they were all good friends of mine), and most Presidents only serve 1 year terms. I did 2 years AND started the thing. Please tell me that counts for something! :)

A buddy of mine got into Texas and his PS was about his time spent as President of a fraternity, and his being a fraternity president was commended in the first sentence of the acceptance letter.

Not trying to say you dont know what you're talking about here, just an argument to contradict your point. I'm open to hearing a rebuttal but if I do not mention something that I consider to be a pretty substantial achievement then I need to have a really good reason.


I mean, congrats and all, but it's just a fraternity. There are people who are refugees from other countries, people who have started non-profits/have significant volunteer/"PI" experience/have published research/have taught for years/have impressive jobs/have graduate degrees/and yes, were student body presidents (the work may not be as taxing, perhaps, but it affects a lot more people). It's probably an above average soft, but starting a business just seems so much more applicable to law school and relatable for a larger group of people. And, no offense, but I have a feeling that keeping the "bro"/arrogant tone down to a minimum will be much easier with the business story than with the frat one. The thing is, the PS isn't that important for admissions, and certainly not nearly as important as LSAT/gpa, and so for a lot of people who just aren't great stylists or who don't have incredible stories, it's a thing where the PS is more likely to hurt than help a candidate. When you write sentences like, "my best was yet to come," it comes off as cheesy and arrogant. And adcomms will still see that you were president on your resume. And someone else in the thread has also agreed that the business route would be the best, so it's not just me. Not trying to be harsh or mean or knock down what you've done or anything, but I'm just telling you my impression from what I've read, and I've taught college writing and composition courses for the past two years, so I think I have some competence in evaluation, for what it's worth.

Just my two cents on the subject matter and tone, but whatever choice you make, it'll be best to focus on just ONE of these things.


I didn't read the essay, but I can tell you that running a fraternity is not that difficult, and if I have this mentality towards the position, be sure that many adcomms officers do as well.

Maybe, just MAYBE, starting a fraternity is more difficult, but i can't imagine it being more difficult than proposing an idea and getting a few kids to join your cause.

Think about all of the refugees who have traveled across the country with no money and the things they have accomplished, and the poor black kids who were the first of their family to graduate college while avoiding the life of drugs and easy money-- those are stories.. Maybe you story about starting a business could be a good thread to start, but as i did not see the essay, i can't comment.

thenewguy
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Re: PS critique -- Please help...

Postby thenewguy » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:28 am

While I disagree with everyone saying running a fraternity is not that impressive/hard....it doesnt matter because all that matters is peoples' perception of it. So it seems the perception is that its not much of an accomplishment, thus I am going to echo the advice of others and suggest writing about a different topic.




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