2nd Draft of PS - Keep being brutal!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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2nd Draft of PS - Keep being brutal!

Postby pacman241 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:56 pm

Hi All, my earlier post is stuck further down the index page and doesn't seem to have a hope of being revived, so I decided to repost my most recent comment (i.e. the 2nd draft of my PS). Here it is, in its entirety:

Hi everyone. I'd like to thank you for all your help. In writing my new draft, I've tried to be mindful of all the advice you've given me. Here it is below. If posting a second draft in the original thread is against forum etiquette, please let me know.

My interest in the law began in the dusty basement of an office building, performing the enviable task of preparing 30 years of old files for shredding. By the following summer, having completed this along with photocopying, collating, binding and deliveries, I graduated to legal research and memo writing in support of a legal text on the collaborative dispute resolution. I’d made it from the basement to ******'s Great Library. Through this process, I became acutely aware of the evolving nature of the legal field, in both academia and in business.

The world is in a period of radical change, and the legal field is no different. As outlined in The Lawyer Bubble, by S. Harper, the community is now faced at both the academic and professional level with the reality that its actions are shortsighted and unsustainable. In short, it must adapt or die. It may seem strange that I am eager to join the field in a time of such upheaval, but crisis offers opportunity. The opportunity is to join a new wave of lawyers and academics remaking the study and practice of law, the effects of which will reach far beyond the legal profession.

Having said all this, my interest in making any contribution beyond my own interests only began to develop during my undergraduate studies. I was an unimpressive student in high school, and my transition to university was predictable: I struggled. In the midst of my own personal crisis, though, I began to understand that education too offers opportunity. In my second-year poetry course, it became clear to me in tracing the poetic tradition and its various critical approaches that I was being introduced not only to the technical aspects of literature (which is itself useful to the study of law), but more importantly to the idea that, as a student, I was a part of an evolving body of work. In the various journals and conferences to which I have access, I could be one of those who help shape these critical approaches and maybe even the pedagogy of English literature.

Admittedly, having that kind of impact as an undergraduate is close to impossible, but I’ve made progress towards fulfilling these goals: I am article currently writing an article for publication; and I was selected as one of nine students to participate in ******** college's first undergraduate colloquium, led by Principal ******** (NOTE: My university has a college system like Oxford), the object of which is to produce a major research project for an interdisciplinary audience of my peers.


Just as importantly, my professional experience with the law has convinced me that this paradigm shift is already underway. In conducting research and helping to draft legal texts for publication over the past two summers, I’ve seen first hand how there is a desire across the entire legal field to move away from traditional methods of dispute resolution. Recourse to adversarial methods is widely viewed as cost- and time-ineffective, meaning that new methods must be developed to fix the problem. I have therefore developed a keen interest in alternative forms of dispute resolution and the possibilities for widespread change that it promises. This, in particular, is part of the *******'s appeal to me; the faculty’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Society can provide me with a more intimate understanding of this area and its nuances. If the process of dispute resolution is made more effective, then access to justice will become available to many of those who are currently priced out.

With that in mind, I believe that I am best suited to pursue a legal education at the *****. Its relationship to the country’s legal nexus provides me with the best opportunity to make a meaningful professional and academic contribution to the law’s changing landscape, and its scholarly ethos matches my desire to examine the broader questions of the study of the law. Further, the evolving interdisciplinary work that the faculty offers provide me with the opportunity to affect academia and pedagogy as I outlined above. Given the opportunity, I would like to enroll in the JD/MA in English in order to combine the two fields about which I am passionate. It is my understanding that the program is still in its (relatively) early stages, so as one of its students, I would like to help improve it and shape its direction if possible.

Looking back on my personal growth, it’s clear that the time I spent ignoring the opportunities of education was time wasted. My time at the ***** has helped me fix these mistakes and, perhaps more importantly, realize that I exist as part of a community that can have a profound impact on the lives of others. Despite this, I believe I’m yet to be entirely fulfilled; a legal education at the ***** would help to bridge the divide between academia and the professional world, whether I stay within the academy or not. The University contributed to my growth, so it is only fitting that I continue my studies here to give back to the institution and the community at large

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Re: 2nd Draft of PS - Keep being brutal!

Postby AnonymousAlterEgoC » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:27 am

Having said all this, my interest in making any contribution beyond my own interests only began to develop during my undergraduate studies. I was an unimpressive student in high school, and my transition to university was predictable: I struggled. In the midst of my own personal crisis, though, I began to understand that education too offers opportunity.

You should consider putting your academic struggles in an addendum if possible. The repeated mentions of them were completely unnecessary and distracting.

I don't get the essence of a personal statement--you--from your personal statement. I get that you worked your way up and see a productive way to contribute. I do not get
academia and pedagogy as I outlined above
because strictly speaking, it's not there. You mention access, but access is not pedagogy. So this is expressed in unclear terms.

You should really think about telling me more than "hard working, determined." That's what your PS says. It's not a weak PS, but it doesn't make me think of you as an individual. It doesn't tell me who you are. Consider an anecdote about your employment that shows this.

I believe I’m yet to be entirely fulfilled

You believe, meaning you're not certain whether or not that is true? This sentence is just weak.

I like the English lit/poetry thread you're using here. It doesn't "do" enough yet though; I really think a clever anecdote could go a long way. Why is it that the statements I read begin with an image and then just delve into non-image? If you want to be original, there's an opportunity. I can't tell you whether that is advisable or not, though. Still, I'll try to help. Your first sentence has to be sarcasm. That tripped me up a bit. Why say that the files are dusty when this necessarily follows? You can find a better descriptive word here, something that does something that is not already being done.

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