PS Draft, in need of feedback

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PS Draft, in need of feedback

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:02 pm

I'd greatly appreciate any feedback from those who wouldn't mind reading this draft. And to those who do, thanks.

Growing up in a household of Vietnamese immigrants from Hong Kong, I confess I stepped into my first day of kindergarten with little in common with my classmates. Neither of my parents knew any English, and both had yet to spend an afternoon in an American classroom. Instead, my mom and dad worked low paying jobs at long hours every day of the week, crammed in some large warehouse sewing clothes. And while my parents worked, I spent my day after school at home babysitting my little brother. After my last class, we’d walk him home from school and together, my brother and I preserved our apartment until our parents got home. We would do the laundry, vacuum the carpet, watch some Powerpuff Girls, and in those occasional late work nights, prepare dinner for ourselves. Fittingly, being the only English speaker in house as a child I typically had to fill out government forms, pay the bills, and handle the abundance of customer service reps.

During my first year into high school, I was at that precarious point of my life where I was old enough to work and contribute to my family’s financial conditions, while in the same time, experiencing that awkward thing called puberty. By the time my voice was beginning to deepen, I had spent enough nights hearing the commotion of my parents arguing about the bills and rent, and I felt like I was ready to bare another responsibility in the house. The first chance I got, I told my parents that I wanted to work and help pay for the bills, but to my surprise both of them discouraged me to do so. Rather, my parents wanted me to focus my energy on school and leave the bills and rent to them. To say the least, I was very angry with their response. I didn't really understand why they decided against it, and I believed that they didn't appreciate my motives for wanting to work.

Thus, week after week, my enthusiasm for school waned as my desire to work grew. My parents seeing this, reflected through my grades, urged me to get involved in some community work with the school. At the time, I think my parents just wanted me to stop thinking about the financial situation at home, so I acted on their advice and joined a youth club headed by the local YMCA.

One winter morning, I volunteered as part of an annual quota selling spruces to customers a week away from Christmas. In hindsight, I admit I knew little what I was actually getting into. As I made my way to the back of the main building where the basketball courts were, dressed in my T-shirt and shorts, I was told I’d be one of the few students carrying the trees from the lot to the customer’s car, and to tie the trees to the car. Before you know it, there we were, a bunch of skinny boys lugging around this man-sized hunk of wood, clad in our scratches, blisters, sores and all. I know what you’re thinking, but no, I didn't have gloves. By the time we mustered that wrapped up spruce log to the car, my fellow volunteers and I would stare at each other with that “how the hell are we going to get that thing on top the car?” look. Someway, somehow, we got done. By the end of the day I got some time to rest and think about those cars, particularly that 6 foot SUV, leaving the lot, each one looking like they just got wrapped by a 1st grader with some construction paper and tape, except the presents a beat up tree, and the wrapping some dirty white threaded rope. When it was all done, I was exhausted, shivering, and battered, but that was the first time I felt like I was doing something meaningful, and the first time I thought to myself, “this is probably how my parents feel everyday”. It was great, during that whole ordeal I was focused and driven, and finished the day with twenty something dollars in tip.

Yet, nearing the end of my first year in college, I found myself in a familiar situation. I wasn't earnest about my academics, but rather I was thinking about things at home. My parents were on the verge of divorce, and I was trying to find something perhaps outside of studying that would keep me driven. At first, I looked to community work in an organization setting, but with large memberships and operations came with it great club fees. So instead, I joined an intramural sports team, playing basketball and football each quarter. I also started an online gaming team, participating in UCR’s LAN party competitions everything year. With each activity, I felt like I achieved my own manner of success, whether it is making the playoffs with my team or placing 1st in a video game tournament. In my leisure time I discovered a passion and curiosity for law. Through books and movies, I flooded my mind with questions and hoped to find answers in the classroom. With each seceding year I tailored my curriculum towards the path of studying law, and with each subsequent year my grades improved, ultimately finishing my senior year with straight A’s.

I am interested in continuing my studies with the law. I have experience confronting tasks regardless of their size, and I am drawn to working with others in facing problems and challenges. I believe my personal perspective as an immigrant growing up in my home has shaped me into a willing and driven individual, be it as a student or as a worker. It is through my own self analysis and experiences that I have decided the study of law is an endeavor I am fit for.

Its a bit long, and I'm hoping to cut it down in order to meet the 2 page requirement. Currently it stands at 2 pages and a half.

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Re: PS Draft, in need of feedback

Postby Ramius » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:03 am

Forgive me in advance for being harsh, but this was not a very good PS at all. You hit on quite a few PS "no-no's" throughout. First, talking about childhood for the reasons you discussed serves no purpose. It doesn't really tie in to your greater narrative, and therefore makes me think, " what?" Second, you have no consistent message you're trying to convey. What quality are you trying to show me that makes you a good candidate for law school? This should be your main goal in writing a PS. Think long and hard about what will make you a good law school student and future lawyer before you write any new drafts. Third, you get into a bit of a resume dump when you talk about the jobs you've held, intramurals you've joined, etc. You're not really telling me anything in it that I won't see and assume in your resume/CV. Fourth, you tie your desire to go to law school to seeing movies and reading books. This is probably the biggest mistake I saw, even though it was confined to a single sentence. It makes you sound incredibly naive and juvenile if you're letting what you see on TV drive you toward a particular career path. You're a future professional, so I want to see that you think and act like one.

Lastly, and rather importantly, your English needs heavy revision. It would seem you're an ESL, which is perfectly okay, but this was still rough. If writing is a struggle for you, feel free to get help on grammar and sentence structure from anyone you know who is strong in it. I say this more generally because this will get at the most central point: this is not a workable version. You need to write something new tnat is interesting, unique and shows me something about you that will make you a strong law school candidate. Take the time now to really look inward to determine what those qualities are and then look into your past experiences to find some way to show me those qualities without having to tell me you have them.

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