Rewrite Please Critique!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
anubis1911
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 12:41 am

Rewrite Please Critique!

Postby anubis1911 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:02 am

I'm trying to make my PS a lot more personal and a lot less like I'm standing on a soap box preaching political views. Am I starting to go down the right track? I know that it is a bit rough around the edges.

My fascination with the legal process wasn’t birthed through television, literature or a lust for money, but rather through a constitutional challenge. I received a phone call which informed me that the NRA considered me a prime candidate for the lead plaintiff position in two class action lawsuits after finding out that I was qualified to participate in a rifle competition with the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.

One lawsuit, later to be named James D’Cruz v Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, sought to challenge the premise that citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 were prohibited from buying a pistol or its ammunition from a federally licensed dealer, despite being legally able to do so in a private sale. The second lawsuit, James D’Cruz v McCraw, sought to allow citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 to conceal carry after undergoing proper training and background checks. Although I disagreed with many of the NRA’s positions on issues of firearm possession, I found myself agreeing with the NRA on this matter and so decided to join.
Upon accepting the role of lead plaintiff on the cases, I began to receive various affidavits from the lawyers the NRA had provided me. The documents, although cryptic to me at the time, stimulated my interest in the way precise words were capable of creating contractual arrangements. My lawyers, observing my interest in the law, answered my numerous questions regarding the politics of the legal process. In the end, however, their interpretations of the politics of the 5th district court proved incorrect, and the cases were dismissed.

As I reflected on the person I was before becoming involved in the two court cases, I realized that prior to this experience; I had been a social and political bigot. I had always viewed my political, theological, and cultural ideas as absolutes. Although I was never bothered when opinions opposed mine, I refused to consider their reasoning. This was a consequence of growing up in a strict Conservative, Christian household.

Through my involvement in the two lawsuits, I was introduced to arguments that I could not simply ignore. Suddenly, there was no ultimate authority to determine the legitimacy of the firearm statistics besides the judge. I was left many times wondering whether or not I was acting for the greater good of society, or ignorantly driving it to more bloodshed. I began heavily researching instances of mass shootings and the court cases that followed in an attempt to understand how to predict the outcome of my own case.
With this research, I was able to look into the fabric of society and see how laws evolve with the court system. I became fascinated with the way legislators, lawyers, and judges are able to build social customs into enforceable statute.

The court cases took much from me in the form of my reputation. I was ridiculed and harassed, alienated and deceived. Through all of the bad, however, I would have never grown into the man I am today without it. The controversy forced me to recognize other arguments and defend mine logically to my challengers. Whether or not handguns belong in the hands of adults between the ages of 18 to 21 will be determined by the Supreme Court at a later date, but I now know how to listen and argue all sides of a debate with a unique precision. I now have the fortitude and dedication to endure the trials of my life because of these court cases, despite the negative consequences that followed joining them.

Thanks!

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

Re: Rewrite Please Critique!

Postby Ramius » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:21 pm

This was a huge improvement! It's still rough around the edges, you're right, but you're putting together a truly interesting narrative here. I didn't feel like you were preaching on anything in the least, and you really kept the focus on how the court cases affected you and how you grew from them. It also gives a quality explanation of "why law."

Some minor things I would like to see changed:
1) Your opening sentence is a bit judgmental because it implies that those are the reasons other applicants are applying to law school. When you're trying to show through your PS that you've learned to see both sides of an argument, it's not a good idea to belittle other applicants, even implicitly.

2) Attributing being a "social and political bigot" due to your "Conservative, Christian household" comes off very off-putting. First of all, don't capitalize "conservative." Second, if you're going to point to your upbringing, don't tie it to such a significant group of people. Point to your parents specifically, not a political or religious group. Again, comes off incredibly judgmental.

You've moved solidly into the Land of Quality Personal Statements, so now you just need to touch it up, expand on a few things in places and touch up the grammar and flow.

GL OP!

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jselson
Posts: 6337
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:51 am

Re: Rewrite Please Critique!

Postby jselson » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:07 pm

Three smallish things:

1) Use the Oxford comma. It's the most common American form.

2) I'd be careful about blaming your cases' loss on "the politics of the 5th district court." For one thing, it sounds implicitly accusatory, as if you do not believe the court's reasoning was sound but instead incorrectly biased politically. Since I imagine many of the adcomms probably will not agree with your position, if they happen to know and agree with the court on the case, you would essentially be insulting them. For another, you can't prove the case was decided because of "politics," and even if you could, it would take up too much space and be distracting, so leave it out.

3) "Fabric of society" is clichéd, overbroad, and vague.

anubis1911
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 12:41 am

Re: Rewrite Please Critique!

Postby anubis1911 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:24 pm

My fascination with the legal process wasn’t birthed through television, literature or a lust for money, but rather through a constitutional challenge. I received a phone call which informed me that the NRA considered me a prime candidate for the lead plaintiff position in two class action lawsuits after finding out that I was qualified to participate in a rifle competition with the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
One lawsuit, later to be named James D’Cruz v Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, sought to challenge the premise that citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 were prohibited from buying a pistol or its ammunition from a federally licensed dealer, despite being legally able to do so in a private sale. The second lawsuit, James D’Cruz v McCraw, sought to allow citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 to conceal carry after undergoing proper training and background checks. Although I disagreed with many of the NRA’s positions on issues of firearm possession, I found myself agreeing with the NRA on this matter and so decided to join.
Upon accepting the role of lead plaintiff on the cases, I began to receive various affidavits from the lawyers the NRA had provided me. The documents, although cryptic to me at the time, stimulated my interest in how much precision was required in order to create firm contractual agreements. My lawyers, observing my interest in the law, answered my numerous questions regarding the politics and practice of the legal process. In the end, however, their interpretations of the 5th district court proved incorrect, and the cases were dismissed.
As I reflected on the person I was before becoming involved in the two court cases, I realized that prior to this experience; I had been stubborn in my political and social outlooks. I had always viewed my political, theological, and cultural ideas as absolutes. Although I was never bothered when others’ opinions opposed mine, I refused to consider their reasoning. This was a consequence of growing up in a strict household that forbade the questioning of family values.
Through my involvement in the two lawsuits, I was introduced to arguments that I could not simply ignore. Suddenly, a judge was the ultimate authority to determine the legitimacy of firearm statistics. I was left many times wondering whether or not I was acting for the greater good of society, or ignorantly driving it to more bloodshed. I began heavily researching instances of mass shootings and the court cases that followed in an attempt to understand how to predict the outcome of my own case.
With this research, I was able to examine society more carefully and see how laws evolve with the court system. I became fascinated with the way legislators, lawyers and judges are able to build social customs into enforceable statute.
The court cases took much from me in the form of my reputation. I was ridiculed and harassed, alienated and deceived by all sides of the debate. However, even though the court cases had many negatives associated with them, I would have never grown into the man I am today without this experience. The controversy forced me to recognize other arguments and defend mine logically to my challengers. Although issue of gun control will be settled by courts at a later date with or without my influence, the experience taught me how to listen and argue all sides of a debate with a unique precision. I now have the fortitude and dedication to endure the hardships of my life because of these court cases, despite the negative consequences that followed joining them.


I believe I fixed everything. Other suggestions?

anubis1911
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 12:41 am

Re: Rewrite Please Critique!

Postby anubis1911 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:24 pm

I believe I fixed everything. Other suggestions?[/quote]

Except the first sentence...still working on that

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Rewrite Please Critique!

Postby NYstate » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:10 pm

I still don't like this. It still is badly written and I think it paints you in a bad light. The whole thing is fishy because they call and ask you to be a named plaintiff but you never say you looked to buy guns from a federal dealer or to carry a concealed weapon. You blame the politics of the 5th circuit, but the whole case was for political purposes. You were used by the NRA because they could put you forward as a good kid with a talent for shooting who was being unfairly denied the right to buy a weapon or conceal a weapon because of your age.

And you still sound like a narrow minded person to be honest.

I really don't think this topic serves you well. Maybe if you completely changed your angle on it.

---
As for the first sentence,
Why not just say " my introduction to law began as a named plaintiff in a constitutional challenge."

Also are you sure the affidavits related to contracts?




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