Second Draft PS

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Anonymous User
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Second Draft PS

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:09 pm

So, this is my 2nd draft, I feel like this PS is not ready still, but I'm not sure where to go next to make it better. I posted my first draft on this forum as well and the criticism told me to cut down on the anecdote and discuss more about why I want to go to law school. Please give me some constructive criticism. Thank you in advance!

A group of roughly fifteen boys, ages ranging from ten to twelve, looked up at me. Some had beaming smiles on their faces and others wore uninterested expressions. I looked down at my attendance sheet, which was my only help now that I was separated from my boss. I told myself that I knew what I was doing, that I was going to be the best camp counselor ever. Unfortunately, when I started a game called “zoom,” not only did the boys lose interest in roughly thirty seconds, but also some of the more rambunctious ones began to wrestle in the middle of the circle we had made. My first day as a summer day camp counselor with this group of boys, called the Orange group, had just begun.

As the weeks went by, I began to realize that unexpected things happen at day camp. When these unanticipated things occurred, I learned to improvise. When bullying and exclusion became a problem, I set up football games and I would mix up the teams so that the kids with more power in the Orange group would be on the same team as the kids who were typically bullied and excluded. As soon as these boys remembered the joys of football, high-fives and smiles began to appear more and more from the Orange group. I also learned to be a leader of this group. Summer began with me trying to become their friend, which led to them running all over me. However, I realized that if these kids were to have any fun, I needed to step up and become the authority in this group. As I took command, the Orange group began to respect me more and even better, began to respect each other more.

When I figured out how to be a successful camp counselor, the Orange group began to have fun and as they had fun, I began to learn more about each of them. These kids had stories that I could not fathom and that explained so much about their behavior. When I was their age, I had two loving parents and no financial issues whatsoever. This was not a community I was used to being around and this summer opened my eyes to the unfortunate situation some of these kids are really in. After hearing their stories, I learned that I was eager to help kids and families like theirs. I began to realize that there was a way to mix the counseling skills I had gained over the summer with the academic skills I had gained at the University of Michigan.

About a year before this summer camp, I had a conversation with a family friend. He was an economics major, like I am, and suggested that I looked into going into law school. He even described a class that he had in law school where the professor used economic concepts to teach the class. I have loved my economics classes so this piqued my interest and I looked into law. When I read about how lawyers are able to use logical arguments, researching skills, and writing to make an impact in their clients’ lives, I realized that law could be the profession I had been searching for.

It was not until this summer at day camp with the Orange group that I learned what type of law I was truly passionate about. After hearing the Orange group’s stories and the tough times they had gone through, I learned about family lawyers. Not only do family lawyers use their academic backgrounds to win cases, but they also use skills as counselors to help families through hard times. I read about organizations like Kid’s Voice that represent children in court and give them a chance to have their rights heard, which sounded exciting to me. The idea of helping a family and kids through difficult times in their lives by using law has become my passion and is the reason why I want to go to law school.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Second Draft PS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:48 am

Bump. Any comments would be greatly appreciated

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Ramius
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Re: Second Draft PS

Postby Ramius » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:25 am

Was working with those kids really an impetus for you wanting to go to law school, or are you really just trying to somehow tie your experience into a reason why you could want to go to law school? I'm not necessarily questioning your motives, but more making a point: this reads like you contrived some purpose out of a summer job and are trying to force it into why you want to go to law school. I don't buy any sort of passion for helping kids and their families with this. When you're talking about finding a purpose for "why law," you need to show what brought on that passion and how you responded to it. This seemed more like "this guy said law school is cool, I'd love to do that. And look at these poor kids I worked with one summer! I want to be a lawyer for them." Do you really want that to be the message your PS boils down to in the end? Subliminal messages are tough, but I guarantee the people reading this will be able to read them better than you ever imagined. I would bet they can almost always read your subtext, whether it be conscious or not.

I also don't think the whole leadership angle worked for you in this statement. If you want to sell yourself as a leader and show how you learned to be an even better leader through this experience, you need that to be the sole focus and you need to use a more effective anecdote. In order to best do this, I think you need to make the boys more real to me as the reader. Right now, they are just a random group of rambunctious poor kids who you successfully corraled into not killing each other for one summer. Show me how you got to know them, show me how you got to lead them, show me how you managed to learn from them. SHOW ME.

I apologize if this was a harsh critique, but you can do better than what you've put together here. Good luck!

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Second Draft PS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:42 am

Hey thanks for the comment! I appreciate it, harsh or not haha. A lot of what you said addressed some of the concerns I had already had about this PS. After my first draft, I cut down a lot about my experiences with the kids and added more to the last two paragraphs. I felt like this took a bit of, I guess, heart and passion out of it. I really appreciate you saying that it doesn't come across as authentic. I guess I'm really struggling with the 2 page limit on the PS because I felt as if I couldn't add in a lot of those learning experiences into my PS




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