Real Personal Statement- Please critique

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Phattypattyfrost

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Real Personal Statement- Please critique

Postby Phattypattyfrost » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:09 pm

I would be happy to critique other's personal statements as well. Here is mine:

(Changed and submitted. As usual the TLS community was beyond helpful.)


Please let me know what you think.
Last edited by Phattypattyfrost on Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

smile0751

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Re: Real Personal Statement- Please critique

Postby smile0751 » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:29 pm

I really like it. I think it's one of the stronger one's I've read on this forum.

Only critique (and this is a minor one) is you focus a lot on other people and less on you. I think the nature of the stories make this flaw unavoidable, but that's the only issue I could see.

sparty99

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Re: Real Personal Statement- Please critique

Postby sparty99 » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:36 pm

I think you spend way too much time talking about other people. A personal statement is supposed to be about YOU not a third-person. You also talk about how you like helping people. Well, on one hand, that's what laweyrs do, but it's some what overstated. You said you like working with entreprenuers, but if you worked as a lawyer for a big law firm, it's more about billing hours than helping client's. You "help" them per se, but the business model is about making money. Then you talk about a domestic abuse situation which would make me think that you want to go into public advocacy. So then I'm thinking about how you talked about business but then on the flip side you talk about public advocacy. So I'm wondering how sincere are you? They are extreme spectrums. One thing that you should know is that just because you want to be a lawyer does not mean that you have to talk about that you like helping people. Many people will spin that same bs line. "I like to help people, this is why I want to be a lawyer." I think you should focus more on a single aspect. When I read the story about your dad I wanted to know more about that experience and how it shaped you. I was less impressed and interested in your friend. It sounded like you put that in b/c you think the admissions committee wants you to hear how you wanna help "the little guy." You can certainly right about that experience, but to me, it didn't come off too sincere and I was really not interested in your friend. That was your only example of helping someone in the public so I didn't really get the sense that you really do care about helping others. If you would have started a non profit organization for battered woman and families then the story about your friend makes more sense. But you didn't do that so I don't think that experience should be in your paper.

All in all, the essay was "okay." It wasn't bad but it wasn't earth shattering. I feel that I can learn so much more about you if you focus less on others and more on you. I would like to hear more about how you used your father's experience to change your life and how that has shaped you. I want to get to know more about you and your upbringing. The way you present your story I do not get understand your life.

sparty99

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Re: Real Personal Statement- Please critique

Postby sparty99 » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:44 pm

Also, why the hell was your father let go? How would a lawyer have solved that problem? Did you visit a lawyer with your dad? You already have two degrees and want another one. You need to show the reader why a law degree is a logical next step. You should do a better job selling your experience. It appears that you got an accounting and finance degree, but then realized that they don't open the doors that you wanted them to open. So how do you know a law degree would do the same? You need to make it seem like "okay, yes, accounting and finance degrees were a great choice....Now I want to use that background in law...." You are coming off as a career student. If you have professional work experience, I want to hear about that as well.

Joseph

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Re: Real Personal Statement- Please critique

Postby Joseph » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:37 pm

Its kind of funny, but this is very similar to my personal statement. Except I've never studied accounting or done something as amazing as you did with Abdul.


Reading other commenters' opinions, I think the part about your father might be a bit unclear. What I'm getting is that you decided to pursue finance/accounting to help people, but was faced with the harsh reality that it isn't that way. It might be helpful to highlight the wanting to help people more in that section.

Overall, I really like this personal statement because its so personal and unique. I also really like the fact that you tell more than one story (your dad and Abdul) and that it does not make your personal statement disjointed or awkward. But I think there are two issues with your personal statement, the first is that its based on one character trait (wanting to help people) and it could make you seem one-dimensional and the second is that there isn't (well, there might be) a paragraph about why X law school is the one for your (tailored paragraph showing you've done research on a particular law school and that that law school is the one for you).

MikeM-law

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Re: Real Personal Statement- Please critique

Postby MikeM-law » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:09 pm

I think the criticisms are on point. I like the two stories individually but I don't think they work collectively. They aren't really related in terms of practice area. It makes you sound undecided/unsure of what you want to do. Pick one and run with it. Also I'd scrap the part about living in a christian conservative town with your Muslim friend. It makes it sound like you're intolerant towards them. This could offend an admissions officer in the off chance they are christian/conservative which could go against you.

Big Dog

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Re: Real Personal Statement- Please critique

Postby Big Dog » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:43 pm

Only critique (and this is a minor one)...


Disagree; it's a major criticism. Moreover, you didn't care for Abdul, your family did. While I'm sure that you were a wonderful friend....it's hard to believe that a (mere) teenager convinced someone to leave their husband. (Not trying to say its not true, just that is is hard to believe for me, and perhaps will be for adcoms as well.)

Also, it reads like two separate stories, cobbled together....

flomotion

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Re: Real Personal Statement- Please critique

Postby flomotion » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:26 pm

This is a relatively strong statement, but I agree that the focus should be more about you.

Also-- I think the essay could be even stronger if you returned to how your education has shed light on your father's struggles and what you'd learned from the experience. If you outline an adversity, I think a natural reaction for a reader is to ask not only "how did it motivate your education," but rather, what did you learn from it? I think some more analyses about how you view your father's path now would be helpful.

And this is actually quite minor-- but a story about high school might be a little farther back than is ideal, esp since you already have a master's degree. It's a poignant story, but if you have something that's more recent, I'd go with that instead.

Phattypattyfrost

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Re: Real Personal Statement- Please critique

Postby Phattypattyfrost » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:09 pm

Awesome, critiques. Thank you all for the honest help. I have been tweaking it off of your suggestions and I know it will be stronger for it.



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