Hey would love to get some feedback!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Hey would love to get some feedback!

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:21 am

If you guys can give me some advice- I would really appreciate it! Thanks!

Persistence. The ability to overcome adversity. These are qualities that all future JD students claim to possess. However, is that true? If someone gets rejected by a college, reapplies, and then gets accepted, does that demonstrate true persistence? What if he receives an, “A-“in a class, argues with the professor, and get it changed to an, “A”? Overcoming adversity is another important quality required by future JD students. If someone starts on the bench of a football team, improves his playing abilities, and then goes on to become a starter, did he actually overcome adversity? I have faced real adversity and I have persevered through the challenging times.
My initial foray into American culture was extremely difficult. My parents emigrated from the former Soviet Union with very little money and even less English-speaking skills. I hardly saw my father because he began his job at the local grocery store at 4 a.m. and only came home at midnight. When I entered elementary school, I had a problem. I did not speak any English. To make matters worse, the other boys mocked me. It is very difficult for anyone to be in this situation, especially a young boy. I went to my parents for guidance. My father told me that if I want to end their mocking, I must outwork all of them and rise to the top of my class. I was perplexed. How was I supposed to rise to the head of the class, if I didn’t even speak the language? My father allayed my fears. He told me how the first time he read the Wall Street Journal, he only understood a single word. The next day, he understood two words. He explained to me how the longer he read, the more he learned. Until finally, he could read through the entire newspaper. “You may not know how to speak English now,” he said, “but if you keep reading, you will learn to speak the language.” I took his message to heart. Every day after school, I would sit with my mother and practice my English skills. Though we had little money, my father spared no expense in purchasing reading materials for me. It was truly a testament to how far I had come when one of the ring leaders actually asked me, “Hey, can you help me out with the reading assignment?” At that moment, I knew that I had succeeded.

I am not scornful of the football player or the student who received the grade change, but there are clearly different types of adversities in the world. I faced an incredible language barrier. Forget the classroom assignments, it’s difficult to even have friends if they can't understand you. Yet, I persisted and pushed myself, until I was able to break down the barrier which stood before me.
A lot of people say they want to go into law so they can help other people. In fact, they may currently volunteer to help out the less fortunate. Whether it be a food drive or even working at a soup kitchen, they do great work. However, most of the time they will never truly be able to relate to these people. It’s hard to say that you feel the pain of the hungry, when you have never experienced true hunger. There are hundreds of Russian immigrants living in my community. Many do not speak English and few have any relatives that can help them. Because I speak both Russian and English, I can assist them in a variety of ways. I am able to read/write letters for them, fax documents, or even drive them to the supermarket. I know what it’s like to be in a country and feel helpless and misunderstood. I know that by going into law, I can help even more people. I feel that it is my duty to aid these people who face the very same issues that I once did.

My parents have been major role models for me. It is from them do I get my aspirations for success. I have read John Grisham, and I have seen Law and Order, but I have not been fooled. People tend to believe that a lawyer interrogates a defendant and then goes home with a hefty paycheck. I have spoken to many lawyers in my community, and I understand that being a lawyer is very difficult. Many, if not most, lawyers do not even go to a courtroom. However, I am not afraid of the challenges; I welcome them.

Because of my past experiences, along with my constant drive for perfection throughout the world of academia, I have come to the decision that the next stop on my journey is a law school. I believe that I am ready for the task ahead. I understand that there at times, it will be daunting. There will be long days and even longer nights. Nevertheless, I am undeterred. I will not be refused. I will not stop until I am at the pinnacle of my profession. There is always room for growth, and I will never settle for anything short of my potential.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Hey would love to get some feedback!

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:25 am

I'm sorry I don't have more substantive comments, but please, for the love of all that is good, do not use a student arguing their grade up from an A- to an A as positive example of persistence or overcoming adversity - or, really, anything.

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Re: Hey would love to get some feedback!

Postby jselson » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:34 am

After that huge straw man first paragraph, I would reject you out of hand as an adcomm, unless we had no choice but to take you with your numbers (whatever they may be).

Seriously, unless you have an exceedingly good reason to, NEVER knock others in your PS. It makes you look petty, as if you can only value yourself in comparison to some "lesser" others (and usually that vision reveals to the reader the limits of your moral imagination).


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Re: Hey would love to get some feedback!

Postby iceiceman » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:48 am

I understand what you guys are saying, but what is an adcomm?

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Re: Hey would love to get some feedback!

Postby Emma. » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:16 am



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Re: Hey would love to get some feedback!

Postby Davidbentley » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:21 am

iceiceman wrote:I understand what you guys are saying, but what is an adcomm?

Adcomm = Admissions Committee Member.

I agree with all of the above. The first paragraph is cringe-worthy and the whole thing strikes the wrong tone. You are taking a story of personal discovery, struggle, and triumph and making it sound like some petty competitive exercise. The Grisham and Law & Order stuff just trivializes it. Generally, the problem with going all-in on an overcoming adversity narrative is that there is always someone who had it worse. I think you'd be better off focusing on how your experience has shaped you, how it has formed the person who they'll be admitting, and how that plays into your decision to go to law school.

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