Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
anubis1911
Posts: 150
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Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby anubis1911 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:54 pm

Here is my next draft of the original NRA PS. I hope that I am finally reaching something good here. Constructive criticism is welcome. I don't have time for "I hated it". If you hate it, tell me how to fix it so you no longer feel such animosity. Thank you.

My fascination with the legal process did not begin at an early age, but rather at eighteen beginning my freshman year at Texas Tech University. I received a phone call informing me that the National Rifle Association considered me a prime candidate for the lead plaintiff position in a class action lawsuit because of my participation in a rifle competition. Although I disagreed with many of the NRA’s positions on issues of firearm possession, I agreed with the NRA on this matter and decided to join.
The lawsuit, later to be named James D’Cruz v Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, challenged the premise that citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 should be prohibited from buying a pistol or its ammunition from a federally licensed dealer due to the citizen’s immaturity. Since citizens of this age group could legally purchase a firearm or ammunition through a private sale, I thought it logical to push for consistency in the law.
Upon accepting the role of lead plaintiff on the case, I began to receive various legal documents from the lawyers the NRA had provided me. The documents, although cryptic to me at the time, stimulated my interest in the amount of precision required to create firm contractual agreements. My lawyers shared their interpretation of the legal process with me, proving to me that law was more than clauses inscribed on paper. In the end, however, their interpretations of the 5th district court proved incorrect, and the case was dismissed.
As I reflected on the person I was before involving myself in the court case, I realized I had been stubborn in my political and social outlooks. I viewed my political, theological, and cultural ideas as absolutes. When faced with alternative value systems, I generally rejected them, ignoring any logic in the arguments.
Through my involvement in the lawsuit, I was introduced to arguments that I could not simply ignore. I researched instances of mass shootings and the court cases that followed in an attempt to understand how to predict the outcome of my own case. My research caused me to reach the epiphany that the statistics that the National Rifle Association and I were proclaiming as evidence in favor of overturning the law were not accepted by the opposition. I noticed how different surveys and studies could produce conflicting results that were open to interpretation depending on the reader. However, the statistics and studies were not the final arbiter of the law in my lawsuit, but rather a judge. Numerous times I questioned if I was acting for the greater good of society, or ignorantly fighting for further bloodshed.
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 negative consequences, without it I would have never questioned my own belief system, helping me mature. 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 hope the lessons I learned from debating the scope of the Second Amendment will continue to allow me mature as I pursue a career in law.

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

Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby anubis1911 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:17 am

shameless self bump

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

Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby anubis1911 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:10 pm

Come on guys!! Please help me out

TLSCLB
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Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby TLSCLB » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:17 pm

I thought this was really cool! I don't have an indepth critique to offer, cause most of it was sound, but this sentence bothered me:

My research caused me to reach the epiphany that the statistics that the National Rifle Association and I were proclaiming as evidence in favor of overturning the law were not accepted by the opposition.

1. epiphany is too strong generally, but especially here. Really? It took an epiphany for you to realize that the opposition disagrees with you? "Realization" or "Understanding" would be better here.

2. "were not accepted by the opposition." OBVIOUSLY. you'd have to be kind of stupid not to have realized that from the start. What I think you're looking to say is that the evidence "was not clear-cut" or "could be interpreted in different ways." I know you talk about that in the next sentence; maybe combine the two sentences together.

My own PS is in this forum and has gotten no critiques in 3-4 days. If you have time, please share your thoughts on it. "Flawless Personal Statement" is the title.

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Domke
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Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby Domke » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:28 am

I like it. This is one of the few PS that has drawn me in. My only concern is that you are putting yourself on one side of a controversial issue, some people may not like it simply because you associate with the NRA. You are really limiting yourself to conservative schools, if you are okay with that than it's a good PS.

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Ramius
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Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby Ramius » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:23 pm

Natem137 wrote:I like it. This is one of the few PS that has drawn me in. My only concern is that you are putting yourself on one side of a controversial issue, some people may not like it simply because you associate with the NRA. You are really limiting yourself to conservative schools, if you are okay with that than it's a good PS.


I disagree on several fronts. First of all, the OP says they had an original stance on the issue, learned something about the process and himself in going through it and came to take a more level-headed approach to an issue. Second, ADCOMS will likely not care that you side on one particular issue if your overall statement talks about how you came to a well-reasoned conclusion based on looking at both sides of the argument. Third, law schools won't really care about your political views unless they are particularly extreme and you voice your opinion loudly and without deference to thought and logical reasoning. Controversial political issues can be a bad topic if approached incorrectly, but it can be extremely effective if the person comes off as a thoughtful, mature and well-reasoned person, the reader may come to respect them as an applicant more.

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Domke
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Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby Domke » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:56 pm

matthewsean85 wrote:
Natem137 wrote:I like it. This is one of the few PS that has drawn me in. My only concern is that you are putting yourself on one side of a controversial issue, some people may not like it simply because you associate with the NRA. You are really limiting yourself to conservative schools, if you are okay with that than it's a good PS.


I disagree on several fronts. First of all, the OP says they had an original stance on the issue, learned something about the process and himself in going through it and came to take a more level-headed approach to an issue. Second, ADCOMS will likely not care that you side on one particular issue if your overall statement talks about how you came to a well-reasoned conclusion based on looking at both sides of the argument. Third, law schools won't really care about your political views unless they are particularly extreme and you voice your opinion loudly and without deference to thought and logical reasoning. Controversial political issues can be a bad topic if approached incorrectly, but it can be extremely effective if the person comes off as a thoughtful, mature and well-reasoned person, the reader may come to respect them as an applicant more.


We might have different experiences with schools. Most schools here on the west coast are liberal. I can easily imagine someone at UW, Stanford, Berkeley or UCLA being put off by an applicant talking favorably about the NRA. Especially from an applicant from Texas. If he is not planning on applying to a liberal school than by all means keep it.

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

Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby anubis1911 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:01 pm

I am applying to the following school:
Harvard
Yale
Stanford
U Chicago
U Texas
Georgetown(Waiver)
Duke(Fast Track, Waiver)
U Florida
U Michigan (Waiver)
NYU

Other stats:
165 LSAT
3.6 LSAC GPA
AA male

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Domke
Posts: 94
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Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby Domke » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:19 pm

The more I think about this the more I think they might like a diverse point of view. They always talk about putting together a class that has diversity.

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Ramius
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Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby Ramius » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:50 pm

Natem137 wrote:
matthewsean85 wrote:
Natem137 wrote:I like it. This is one of the few PS that has drawn me in. My only concern is that you are putting yourself on one side of a controversial issue, some people may not like it simply because you associate with the NRA. You are really limiting yourself to conservative schools, if you are okay with that than it's a good PS.


I disagree on several fronts. First of all, the OP says they had an original stance on the issue, learned something about the process and himself in going through it and came to take a more level-headed approach to an issue. Second, ADCOMS will likely not care that you side on one particular issue if your overall statement talks about how you came to a well-reasoned conclusion based on looking at both sides of the argument. Third, law schools won't really care about your political views unless they are particularly extreme and you voice your opinion loudly and without deference to thought and logical reasoning. Controversial political issues can be a bad topic if approached incorrectly, but it can be extremely effective if the person comes off as a thoughtful, mature and well-reasoned person, the reader may come to respect them as an applicant more.


We might have different experiences with schools. Most schools here on the west coast are liberal. I can easily imagine someone at UW, Stanford, Berkeley or UCLA being put off by an applicant talking favorably about the NRA. Especially from an applicant from Texas. If he is not planning on applying to a liberal school than by all means keep it.


Political biases rarely will play a factor in admissions like that. Yes, pretty much every law school in the country leans liberal, but that doesn't stop them from admitting hundreds of right wing conservatives. Even schools on the west coast take plenty from that background. Even boalt, which is attached to one of the more liberal schools in the country, wants conservative people as well. Dean Tom refers specifically to wanting 270 distinct voices in each class. Hence, if you present yourself and your conservative side of things with thought and thorough reasoning, it will be seen as a positive.

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

Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby anubis1911 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:24 am

So do you think that this personal statement, granted that it becomes a final draft, will help me gain acceptence to the school to which I am applying?

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Ramius
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Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby Ramius » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:13 pm

anubis1911 wrote:So do you think that this personal statement, granted that it becomes a final draft, will help me gain acceptence to the school to which I am applying?


I'm not sure it will be the difference maker in getting you in, but I think it'll keep you competitive. With your numbers, you look like you have a solid shot at H and this statement won't singlehandedly make or break those chances. At this point, all you can do is apply and find out. It's infinitely easier than worrying about it.

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lastsamurai
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Re: Constructive Criticism Welcome!!! Please Comment!

Postby lastsamurai » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:10 am

It's definitely better than your first version, but I just find it a bit boring. That comes down to personal preference though. With your URM boost, you should be just fine.

Good luck!

Oh, and take out epiphany as suggested earlier




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