1st Draft Please Critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Jag314
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:37 pm

1st Draft Please Critique

Postby Jag314 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:56 pm

Hey guys, I heard this was a good source to get advice. Please let me know if I'm going in the right direction and what areas I should improve on. Thanks in advance.

As a child, I discovered the meaning of service and how it could influence someone’s life. At the age of fourteen I enrolled into the Army JROTC program at my high school. I did not know what to expect because I had little knowledge about the program. However, I quickly learned valuable leadership skills that I used in school and in my life at home. During my first semester in JROTC I participated in various events, but the one that was most fulfilling was volunteering at a local veterans’ home. The home primarily housed veterans that were disabled or overcoming addiction. We helped serve meals, play games or just talked with the veterans. They would often tell stories about the days when they served, while others would just reflect on their lives. Although some of their situations seemed dismal, they were happy and appreciative to have us there. We got to know the veterans well and had become companions to most of them. At the time it was unbeknownst to me that by helping the veterans I was essentially helping myself. Throughout high school I lived in an area of North Saint Louis that was on an economic decline and many of my peers had increasingly become involved in illicit activities. JROTC instilled values in me that allowed me to overcome the plights of my community. It wasn’t until after high school that I realized how fortunate I was to be a part of the program. The stability and structure was an important facet in my life that many of my peers lacked.
The experience from volunteering at the veterans’ home was gratifying. It helped me shift my focus from what I wanted for myself to what I hoped to do for others.
The attacks of September 11th and reflecting on my experience with JROTC lead to my decision to join the U.S Navy. My service in the Navy offered me experiences that were invaluable. I became exposed me to people of different backgrounds, socioeconomic status and cultures. While on deployed on USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom I was able to see many parts of the world. I enjoyed meeting native people of countries that I visited. Learning their views of America taught me humility and made me more eager to learn more about the world outside of my own.
After five years of service in the Navy I decided that I wanted to pursue a new challenge—my education. In my community going to college was virtually unheard of so I never considered it as an option. Being exposed to a diverse environment and with the encouragement of my superiors in the military I began to see that it was possible. There have been some challenges in my undergraduate career but I am proud to say that I am now a college graduate and the first in my family to reach this goal.
I am grateful for the opportunities that my military service has provided me. It has taught me discipline, integrity, and leadership skills that would be beneficial to any student studying law. Earning a law degree will allow me to provide a valuable service my community and also provide a path for others in my community to follow.

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t-14orbust
Posts: 2066
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:43 pm

Re: 1st Draft Please Critique

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:58 pm

No offense but that was really trite. Rather than telling us what you did and how it affected you, why don't you show us?

chinadoll
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: 1st Draft Please Critique

Postby chinadoll » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:43 pm

Jag314 wrote:As a child, I discovered the meaning of service and how it could influence someone’s life.excessiveAt the age of fourteen I enrolled into the Army JROTC program at my high school. I did not know what to expect becauseI had little knowledge about the program. --> sentence out of placeHowever, I quickly learned valuable leadership skills that I used in school and in my life at home. During my first semester in JROTC I participated in various events, but the one that was most fulfilling wasvolunteeringedat a local veterans’ home. The home primarily housed veterans that were disabled or overcoming addiction. We helped serve meals, play games or just talked with the veterans.<-- sentence was boring and served no relevant purposeThey would often telltoldstories about the days when they served, while others would justreflecting on their lives and [insert some detail that doesn't make your job sound like visiting grandpa's retirement home. Although some of their situations seemed dismal, they were happy and appreciative to have us there.We got to know the veterans well and had become companions to most of them. At the time it was unbeknownst to me that by helping the veterans I was essentially helping myself. <-- too cheesy
Throughout high school I lived in an area of North Saint Louis that was on an economic decline and many of my peers had increasingly become involved in illicit activities. JROTC instilled values in me that allowed me to overcome the plights of my community. It wasn’t until after high school that I realized how fortunate I was to be a part of the program. The stability and structure was an important facet in my life that many of my peers lacked.
The experience from volunteering at the veterans’ home was gratifying. It helped me shift my focus from what I wanted for myself to what I hoped to do for others.
The attacks of September 11th and reflecting on my experience with JROTC lead to my decision to join the U.S Navy. <--- this sentence is too important to be at the bottom My service in the Navy offered me experiences that were invaluable. I became exposed me to people of different backgrounds, socioeconomic status and cultures. While on deployed on USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom I was able to see many parts of the world. I enjoyed meeting native people of countries that I visited. Learning their views of America taught me humility and made me more eager to learn more about the world outside of my own.
After five years of service in the Navy I decided that I wanted to pursue a new challenge—my education. In my community going to college was virtually unheard of so I never considered it as an option. Being exposed to a diverse environment and with the encouragement of my superiors in the military I began to see that it was possible. There have been some challenges in my undergraduate career but I am proud to say that I am now a college graduate and the first in my family to reach this goal.
I am grateful for the opportunities that my military service has provided me. It has taught me discipline, integrity, and leadership skills that would be beneficial to any student studying law. Earning a law degree will allow me to provide a valuable service my community and also provide a path for others in my community to follow.


you need a shorter introduction. law schools love military people, so focus more on your experience in the navy.

Jag314
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:37 pm

Re: 1st Draft Please Critique

Postby Jag314 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:47 pm

T-14 no offense taken, I came here to solicit advice from you guys. Do you have any suggestions on how I should go about showing what I did. China, thanks for the advice as well. I will get started on a new draft and will include more about my Navy service. I am in the Air Force Reserves, do you think i should mention this is my statement also.

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Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: 1st Draft Please Critique

Postby Ramius » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:14 pm

Complete honesty: you need a complete rewrite here. You spend the entire PS telling how something affected you instead of showing how it affected you. Basic english rules apply: show, don't tell.

Further, I'm sure you had some excellent experiences while serving in the military. Most people leave the military having been reformed in some major ways personally. Figure out how your time in the military has really changed you, find a good anecdote that led to that change and really paint a picture for the ADCOM.

Lastly, drop the entire part of JROTC and high school. No ADCOM wants to hear about your experiences in high school unless you did something truly phenomenal while there (Olympic medalist perhaps). Stick to stories that a reader who doesn't know you would enjoy reading. If it's not interesting, they'll quickly discard it as drivel.




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