(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:30 pm

Delete please.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Second Draft - critiques and comments greatly appreciated

Postby usernotfound » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:17 pm

Seems pretty good, but I'm not an expert on these things by any means.


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Re: Second Draft - critiques and comments greatly appreciated

Postby inlovewithpiper » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My second draft thus far. I like it much better than the first, but even then I can't say I don't have trouble finding faults in my own writing. Would really appreciate any comments, and I'm open to swapping p.s.'s with anyone if interested. Thanks!

- - - - - - - -

Who cares when George Washington was born, or how many electrons are in an atom of mercury? Well, that is the attitude I had at least. For much of my life I was largely of the opinion that learning and the pursuit of knowledge was a fundamentally dull and an unavoidable endeavor, and served as little more than an obstacle in my life. Memorizing distant historical facts and complex mathematical equations was a dreaded task that seemed to be fruitless in both its present practicality and future utility. While I had always expended the effort necessary to succeed in my childhood schooling, I had long been unaware of the joys and satisfaction that come from the pursuit of knowledge.

From an early age on, many of us are often told by our parents and elders that we must find something of interest that we enjoy, and we should consider pursuing that interest as career. For me, this was far from the easiest of tasks. I was never short of interests and hobbies, but the thought of a lifelong career had left me puzzled. I was convinced that eventually through my education I would stumble upon something that would genuinely inspire my curiosity and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, it seemed as though memorizing lists of facts and sets of equations had done more to curb my appetite for learning rather than to encourage it. Nonetheless, I eventually came to the realization that understanding the world and universe around me can be much more than an unavoidable consequence of growing up.

It was my senior year of high school when I finally found an academic discipline that grabbed me by the shoulders and said "I matter, and you better figure that out if you want to matter!” Despite my prior complacency, I dared to take AP classes in government and economics. The work was harder but the teachers were better. I was challenged, but never bored. And for the first time, the subject matter came alive. It mattered. Social sciences was hardly my forte at the time, and breaking into a previously underexplored field of study was an uphill battle, but I was fascinated and determined to succeed. For what felt like the first time in ages, education really mattered.

The most significant part to overcoming this intellectual barrier was not what I had learned, but understanding how to learn. Critical thinking and developing an open mind was the first and foremost skill in my arsenal. With that I ventured to discern the complexities and implications of the structures of government, law, and economics. Through my classes and further subsequent individual study, I was absorbed by the role of the law in society, and was on an unrelenting quest to know more. Reading Supreme Court cases and hearing oral arguments was fascinating to me, and I was truly inspired by the utility and capability of the law to ensure civil rights and create an environment where individuals can coexist prosperously in society and strive for the betterment of humanity.

My passion for intellectual advancement has not faltered, but has continued to grow. Since the start of college, I have become engrossed in a wide array of academic subjects that I could have never imagined I would find appealing. Disciplines like astronomy, psychology, and philosophy which I would have previously considered boring at best, have opened my mind to the widest range of possibilities. I soon began to realize the broad importance of knowledge, and how numerous different academic fields are interconnected with the law. Working at a law office, volunteering on more than a dozen political campaigns, participating in mock trial, and years of rigorous undergraduate coursework shown me significance of law in our society, yet I feel as though I have had only a mere glimpse of the true extent and utility of the law. Finding something that I was truly passionate about did not come easily, but I am confident that my desire for intellectual advancement and strong work ethic will lead to success in law school and my unique experiences and perspectives will allow me to be an important and contributing member to my class and law school community.

Please take everything I am about to say with a grain of salt; I've spent the past week tediously fine-tuning my own PS to the point that my eyes glaze over a bit when I so much as look at a computer screen.

Okay, so I'll speak to the general topic first; if I were an adcom member reading your personal statement, I'm not sure how much your statement would do for me in the way of differentiating you from the last 5/10/100/1000 statements I've just read.

Your PS skeleton is this: I never loved learning-->I took a class and had a revelation--->The class ignited a passion for learning--->That passion for learning has resulted in success X, Y, and Z--->My passion will continue on into law school.

The problem I see with this pattern is that the adcom probably expects that the people they choose to admit have a passion/curiosity/love for learning. Perhaps not to the point of what you've illustrated, but, nevertheless, satisfaction from learning should be a common denominator among all 1Ls (and 2Ls, 3Ls, etc). With that in mind, writing about a fervor for knowledge and the attainment thereof is not necessarily a "bad" thing in that respect; to make this statement something that adcoms will remember, I would humbly suggest expounding on that moment when you realized you truly love learning. Tell us how you really felt and paint a beautiful picture with words. A compelling anecdote/narrative will be of great benefit in bringing your story to life and adding the zest that it lacks in its current form. As a sidebar, you shouldn't ever have to "tell" us that you loved/liked doing anything--the story should do that for you.

That being said, you are clearly a gifted writer. Your word choices and vocabulary are commendable and you convey an obviously high-level of intellectual prowess. For me, it's just missing that innately unique quality that will set you apart from every other PS in the pile.

Good luck!

Anonymous User
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Re: Second Draft - critiques and comments greatly appreciated

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:22 pm

Thank you very much for your input. I thought a lot about my topic, and I felt this was the most relevant and true story that I could tell. I've revised it a few times, and I've tried to differentiate it from other essays. I'm sure this is a relatively common theme, but I don't really feel that I have a better story or would feel comfortable writing about something that isn't honestly the whole truth in terms of its significance.

Currently I'm a couple lines over two pages so I'll keep going at it and try to improve.

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