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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:42 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: FIRST DRAFT. PLEASE CRITQUE

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:09 pm

Bump.

mmbt123
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Re: FIRST DRAFT. PLEASE CRITQUE

Postby mmbt123 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:35 pm

What did you do after firefighting? Is it applying to law school?

I feel like this is kind of too negative for a personal statement. Perhaps you could just focus on the part where you worked especially hard to maintain your times etc. despite your condition b/c that's obviously a good quality.

Anonymous User
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Re: FIRST DRAFT. PLEASE CRITQUE

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:31 pm

mmbt123 wrote:What did you do after firefighting? Is it applying to law school?

I feel like this is kind of too negative for a personal statement. Perhaps you could just focus on the part where you worked especially hard to maintain your times etc. despite your condition b/c that's obviously a good quality.



Thanks for the reply.

Firefighting was always just volunteering. I was going to college during my time there. Afterwards, I still had one year of school left, so I finished that up, got a job, and have been working since (just over a year now).

Yeah, I was afraid that it's a bit too negative. I'm going to seriously consider cutting it to just what you said. I originally felt the story not in its entirety would be pretty boring, but maybe not.

erik the viking
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Re: FIRST DRAFT. PLEASE CRITQUE

Postby erik the viking » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:24 am

I don't think it's too negative. You explain how you worked really hard to overcome a physical limitation and then you talked about how after achieving your goal you made a difficult decision to quit when you realized that you were not capable for another reason. That shows a lot of moral courage. This is a great essay. I would either try to tie it in more clearly to law school or not try to tie it in at all. It stands on itself really well, but if you only make it halfway about law school it doesn't come off as strong.

Also, maybe say more clearly that your were a volunteer firefighter in addition going to school.

Anonymous User
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Re: FIRST DRAFT. PLEASE CRITQUE

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:00 pm

erik the viking wrote:I don't think it's too negative. You explain how you worked really hard to overcome a physical limitation and then you talked about how after achieving your goal you made a difficult decision to quit when you realized that you were not capable for another reason. That shows a lot of moral courage. This is a great essay. I would either try to tie it in more clearly to law school or not try to tie it in at all. It stands on itself really well, but if you only make it halfway about law school it doesn't come off as strong.

Also, maybe say more clearly that your were a volunteer firefighter in addition going to school.


Thanks for your comments, Eric.

The fact that it does not touch on law at all is also a concern for me. For two reasons, I didn't spend much time trying to tie law in: Firstly, I'd be lying if I said I were interested in any first responders-related legal issues, and secondly, I just don't have the space to add anything about an independent interest in law. I suppose I could cut parts out, but I've already spent tons of time cutting, so that would probably be difficult. I may just end up writing another essay for "why law" prompts. I'm really glad that, in the absence of a legal angle, you still think it stands well on its own.

Also, I'm glad it doesn't come off as too negative to you. I've read in Ivey's book that, no matter how negative the subject you discuss, your PS should ultimately be "upbeat," so this essay not being upbeat enough, especially in the final paragraph, has been a concern.

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laxbrah420
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Re: First Draft. Please Critique.

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:12 pm

No need to start dramatically and tone down the language. You tried to acquire a physical? You say "harmless" too many times in a short period (even though you recognize it's clearly not harmless...). "Perpetually" fatigued is the wrong word. You "awoke" early? Stigma is "indescribable"?

There's more but it's tough to edit something that I'm not allowed to quote

Anonymous User
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Re: First Draft. Please Critique.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:56 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:No need to start dramatically and tone down the language. You tried to acquire a physical? You say "harmless" too many times in a short period (even though you recognize it's clearly not harmless...). "Perpetually" fatigued is the wrong word. You "awoke" early? Stigma is "indescribable"?

There's more but it's tough to edit something that I'm not allowed to quote



Lol, law school PSs are a goddamn enigma. Some say you absolutely must start with a dramatic lure, others the opposite.

I was worried about the term "physical." Since I could remember, when a coach of any sport requires one to first be checked out by a doctor (and the coach usually provides a form for the doctor to fill out), it's simply called a "physical." Maybe this is specific to my geographic area, so that's a problem.

I'll work on the part with so many uses of "harmless." Not sure what makes you think it's clearly not harmless; maybe the doctor's advice to take on lighter tasks? Or perhaps just the word "arrhythmia"? It is indeed harmless, just uncomfortable. In any case, I wouldn't want the reader seeing it as incoherent, so thanks for pointing out that possibility.

I can't figure out why "perceptually," "awoke," and "indescribable" are wrong. Do you mean these are poor word choices or that they actually make no sense?


Thanks for all your comments.

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laxbrah420
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Re: First Draft. Please Critique.

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:43 pm

I was not allowed to play football in middle school because I could not pass a physical.

Anonymous User
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Re: First Draft. Please Critique.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:26 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:I was not allowed to play football in middle school because I could not pass a physical.



Thanks, that does make it more clear what a "physical" is. I'm going to work on tightening up the language and might post an updated version later. My biggest concern, though, is that the overall message/tone of this essay is too negative, so I'm currently working on another PS with a completely different approach. Can I ask your opinion on whether this one is too negative?




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