1st Draft...Military/Leadership Related

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
hoepner33
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:30 pm

1st Draft...Military/Leadership Related

Postby hoepner33 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:43 am

1st Draft. Any comments helpful. It is right at two pages double spaced.
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Last edited by hoepner33 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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bjsesq
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Re: 1st Draft...Military/Leadership Related

Postby bjsesq » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:46 am

You have me at first, but lost me at the high school prank. I literally stopped reading there.

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Ramius
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Re: 1st Draft...Military/Leadership Related

Postby Ramius » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:30 am

This is a good statement and it really draws me in. I'm not sure what bj was referring to in his comment, so I'll assume you revised that portion out. The only dangerous land you bordered on was a slight resume dump, in that you may be trying to connect too many of your experiences into this overall leadership theme. That being said, I think you pass it off well enough to not be a huge concern. I think this statement will highlight the degree of leadership you had to undertake in leading a platoon of soldiers, which is pretty common for the military officer type. You show how you developed your understanding of leadership and how well you understand it now.

This does need some slight editing for awkward phrasing though. What I think you need to do is try reading it out loud like you're giving a speech or telling this story to the ADCOM in person. This exercise often roots out any breaks in flow or issues with awkward phrasing. As an example, I'd revise the sentence "After passing the phone back and forth, I was able to direct the driver to the restaurant where we had last seen the other group where they were waiting for somebody to pick them up." because the back-to-back 'where' threw me off as the reader. That's just one example, but there are a few instances where this exercise would probably help you out. This is relatively minor and should be a quick fix to any phrasing/flow issues.

Good luck!

hoepner33
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:30 pm

Re: 1st Draft...Military/Leadership Related

Postby hoepner33 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:59 am

Appreciate the feedback from both of you...and I did edit that statement. Definitely didn't add anything, and probably weakened it. Thanks for making that painfully obvious.

I will go through and read-aloud. I have not done a whole lot of writing in the past couple of years, and I have never done anything like a personal statement.

And I do agree about it being slightly resume heavy. For obvious reasons, my resume focuses a lot on my military career. Thats why I added stories about the study group, and India (along with the prank originally) to add a new flavor tomy application.

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Ramius
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Re: 1st Draft...Military/Leadership Related

Postby Ramius » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:04 am

There is nothing wrong with having a military focus. That's likely been your entire adult life (correct me if I'm wrong), so saying it had a large impact on who you are now is exactly what they're looking for. They want an insight into you as a candidate, regardless of subject matter. My entire PS was about an anecdote of my time serving in the military and to this day I think it helped me overcome less than stellar numbers at schools traditionally focused on the numbers. That might be naive, but with my crystal ball in the shop, it's all I'm really left to believe. Regardless, write about anything that provides an accurate portrayal of you as a candidate and make it interesting, which I think you've done a good job with here.

hoepner33
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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:30 pm

Re: 1st Draft...Military/Leadership Related

Postby hoepner33 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:26 am

Draft number 2: Some pretty big changes were made. 1) I wanted to make it more obvious why law school was the correct choice 2) The admissions committee is probably already expecting me to have leadership expierience so that does not need to be the only focus 3) Some of my examples did not add much,

Please let me know what you think.
Last edited by hoepner33 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ramius
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Re: 1st Draft...Military/Leadership Related

Postby Ramius » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:20 am

Get rid of the part on sexual assaults. Unless it ties in directly to the topic of your statement, it's just bringing up problems for the sake of paying them lip service. Your statement doesn't need its mention. I'd also change "It is often said..." in the first paragraph to "In the Army, we often say..." simply because I doubt that is said many places outside of the Army. I think you can write the third paragraph stronger and less like it's a citation of something you once read. This is a personal statement, it doesn't need the partial citation. You'd be better off discussing how you've come to learn that this definition of a professional is true in the fullest sense in the Army. Define a professional shortly and discuss why you believe the Army develops true professionals.

Personally I liked your previous version more than this one, so I think you need to take the time to be introspective and decide the exact message you want to send and how you can best send it. Before you post any new versions or decide on a different approach, just take the time to think: what am I selling? Why am I selling it? How do I best sell it? I've said this before and I'll say it again, admissions is a big game of sales. uGPA/LSAT are the price, the PS and resume are the flowery description under the price enticing the buyer (adcoms) to be willing to pay that price. Sometimes the sale is easy, when the price is right, while at other times that description will take the buyer the rest of the way to the checkout counter. You have the potential in this PS to get the adcom to walk to the checkout counter because you have a good product, but you just need to decide what words to put on the label.




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