God and the Navy, removed: thanks for your comments :)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
navyhoosier
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God and the Navy, removed: thanks for your comments :)

Postby navyhoosier » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:08 pm

Thanks for your comments!
Last edited by navyhoosier on Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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papercut
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby papercut » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:14 pm

Which schools are you looking at? Are you aiming hard at BYU or something?

Your writing needs work, but I'm not sure I can help you. Your frame of reference is just really different from mine. I'm not sure what's bad writing, and what's just you expressing your relationship with the Big Guy Upstairs in a way that would fly with similarly minded folks.

I do have some general advice for you. Most military guys tend to jargon bomb their PS.

We held each other close. He whispered in my ear, "I think I'm ready to turn our friendship into a more permanent arrangement."


Whoa my panties are soaking wet. Haha

It's weird to use business talk when writing about something so personal.

Also this part doesn't work:

desire to help people, and my profession’s inherent focus on technology.


You're trying to say there's a tension between "technology" and helping people? This is a really ham-fisted generalization. I'd ask if you were Amish, but they don't serve in the military.

navyhoosier
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby navyhoosier » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:17 pm

Thank you for your feedback. There are only two schools that I have applied to, and I won't be applying to any others: IU Indy, and Maurer. Its going to be either one or the other or wait another year and get a better LSAT score, and apparently write a better PS.

Thank you for the advice regarding the "jargon bomb," I don't think that I did too much of that, but that is why I submitted my PS for review.

With regard to the "permanent arrangement" problem... If I am accepted or rejected by a law school, I would like it to be because they saw who I am, and found me either fit, or unfit to be a student at their school. I therefore opted for a somewhat detached narrative in the interest of preserving the factual story of how I decided to become a lawyer.

Tension between "technology" and helping people... Hrm.. I suppose that in my efforts to express how it went down, I attempted to give some sort of reason why my 'desire to help people' was not just a bunch of BS.. Basically, I sit around fixing all sorts of electronics, some the size of a shoebox, and some that fill a huge room, and I honestly wanted to be able to use the same sort of in-depth analysis, but in a way where success equals more than just a properly functioning radar.

No I'm not Amish. I'm just a normal Christian dude.

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justin8509
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby justin8509 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:24 pm

Being religious isn't the problem. But just remember, religion isn't the center of everything, at least in this case. I have a close friend who is applying to law schools and he is a good christian guy. He knows, though, that mentioning his religion, political preference etc. (things that are somewhat sensitive and could go without being said...) may be harmful for him.

Though it's a huge part of his life, I know for a fact he won't be mentioning religion. I'm not religious myself, and I am not in any way going to promote my beliefs (or lack thereof)..... If you feel it's that important to mention, then go for it. Just know it may make some folks turned off. That's just how the world works. Some people, whether we like it or not, will be turned off by mentioning a strong faith in god, or vice versa.

Good luck!

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papercut
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby papercut » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:09 pm

In general the rule is: the more serious the topic, the more understated the writing should be.

A relationship with God is pretty serious. So, your PS could benefit from a more understated approach. You mention God five times in the first paragraph (Jesus, He, God). It seems a bit much to me.

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patogordo
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby patogordo » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:18 pm

your PS is 98% about god and your wife and 2% about the one time you talked to a JAG officer and thought about law school. and even that realization you attributed to god. here's an exercise: go through your PS and replace [God] with [football] or [my uncle Steve] and see how it reads.

mach9zero
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby mach9zero » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:51 pm

Personally think it's over the top with the mentioning of your relationship with Christianity. I don't think it adds anything to your own "personal statement." It's also too much information about looking forward toward marrying your wife. If your Best Man isn't on the admission committee, spare your relationship details. The "We" "Us" and stuff about your marriage has got to go. It's a personal statement, but it doesn't mean they're looking to get to be in a personal relationship with you.

You also mention in your PS applying to those schools solely on location, then you follow up with "whelp maybe I'll go JAG (your time frame is slightly off) because I talked to a JAG officer," and "if that doesn't work I'm going to another school in another country and do what you guys couldn't fulfill." The way it also reads, it sounds as if you're applying JAG after your 1L, than if not accepted, planning on leaving that law school to go to Iceland. That'd be a huge red flag for me as an admissions counselor looking to keep retention up.

Don't rely on the resume and personal statement being read together, or even being read by the same person. It'd be odd to throw in a tidbit on the Icelandic language and ballet, when the person reading your essay doesn't already know those are your hobbies.

I'm also not convinced you're sure about law school. It reads to me like you're done your service and looking for the next step. You've talked to JAG once, your background wasn't working for you, and you want to be near your wife. You also don't seem to have a clear and concise plan for what you would like to do with law. Focusing on "soldiers impacted by the Fukushima Daiichi power plant," isn't a field of law, nor will the market ever be there for that to be your focus. It sounds like you're trying to grab at recent catastrophes to let the committee know you like helping people. I don't mean that your not serious about law school, I'm just going based on what I read here, you don't have a convincing argument for wanting to study law.

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SemperLegal
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby SemperLegal » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:13 pm

Obvious question, but have you seen this?
http://www.jag.navy.mil/careers_/career ... s_ipp.html

Notice that the limit is 10 years in service. I would be cautious about that. Even if you are applying through a different program it shows the military's thought on mustangs.

As insane as it seems, the military doesn't like its officers to have enlisted backgrounds, especially when its as substantive as yours. In their mind, it impedes heavily with good order and discipline. Plus, if you spent 9 years in the Navy without having some internalized hatred of the O's, you are doing something wrong.

I only say this because I think you might want to talk to a OSO of your branch and a few others and see whether you have a chance of being a JAG before you get any more committed.

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JazzieShizzle
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby JazzieShizzle » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:16 pm

I agree with everything everyone already posted, especially this:

SemperLegal wrote: Plus, if you spent 9 years in the Navy without having some internalized hatred of the O's, you are doing something wrong.


My overall impression from your PS is that you had a career plan, started second-guessing yourself at the last minute, then had a nice conversation with some people you just met and discovered a new hobby. (That new hobby being reading/listening to lectures about law.) I did not get the feeling that you are committed to law at all. You do not have to know exactly what you want to do with a law degree when you apply. I actually think the explanation you gave might cause adcomms to take you less seriously. First, why you want to be a Navy JAG is shallow and can be applied to so many other careers (I thought HR immediately) and makes no sense. (Match the bold and underline to see what I'm referring to)

I learned that a Navy lawyer’s profession embodies some of the troubleshooting and research aspects I enjoy about my current job, as well as the broad scope and interaction with people that I feel are necessary to make meaningful contribution the rule, rather than the exception. Moreover, I had observed the culture of naval officers and greatly desired to be counted among the ranks of those who also take seriously concepts such as honor and integrity.


However, if you are going to be that specific, defend it! So what if you don't end up being a JAG in the Navy? You don't need to have every "what if" accounted for, but you do have to convey to adcomms that you gave serious consideration to your decision and you are fully committed to it. Bringing up an alternate career makes it sound more like you actually have no idea what you are doing or why.

I would have preferred a better explanation of what you were a part of in Africa. You mentioned you had a small impact on it, but you should have played up where you had a meaningful impact instead. I think that would have made for a much better and more interesting PS. Your faith in God and your wife have nothing to do with the main story you told, and unless you applied to Regent and Liberty Law, I don't think it has any place in a PS. I'm a Christian- I get where you're coming from. But you have to be able to write for your audience.

Hopefully they won't be as critical as we are and it will all work out :)

navyhoosier
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby navyhoosier » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:43 am

These are all really helpful pieces of advice. I kind of wish I had discovered this website BEFORE I submitted my applications, but I may end up having to do it again next year. I'll be sure to give an update when I get accepted or rejected or whatever. I have to check out that 10yrs of service thing, because I definately had 9.5 active, and now with 2 years of reserve time.. im cutting it real close.. may have to do swo for 10 yrs.. or maybe be a chief in the reserve and have normal law job..

navyhoosier
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby navyhoosier » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:47 am

Also, regarding the 10 years max thing.. it seems that this is for people who are enlisted, who want to have the Navy pay for law school.. I am doing it completely apart from the Navy by using the GI bill. For this, the same limits apply as do for any other applicant: They have to be able to complete 20 yrs of service before they are 62 or something like that..

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TheodoreKGB
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Re: PS about God and the navy. All thoughts are welcome.

Postby TheodoreKGB » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:22 am

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