Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
adil91
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Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

Postby adil91 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:26 pm

Please offer me a ruthless criticism of my personal statement. If you think I need to change my topic please say so.

ersonal Statement 
 
 
When I first walked up the steps of Demosthenian hall, I remember being awestruck at the elegant early 19th century décor of the building. The hall was able to preserve the quaint antebellum charm that the rest of the University of Georgia campus struggled to reproduce. This was in the fall of 2012, the first semester of my junior year, and the second at the University of Georgia. Being a transfer student presents itself with unique challenges and opportunities. A new set of academic requirements, finding a new group of friends, and navigating the culture of the new school were among the challenges that confronted me. The ability to redefine myself as a person and as a student, however excited me to no end. I had always enjoyed debating various topics, from history to biology, but before stepping into the halls of the Demosthenian, I had never debated formally. On a quiet Thursday night, I decided to check out one of the two debate societies on campus, a friend who knew of my interest in debate, suggested I attend a meeting.  
 
 
After entering the building I quickly scanned the room and noticed that nearly everyone was dressed formally. The men were in suits and the women in dresses. I had come to the meeting in a t-shirt and cargo shorts ,I was embarrassed but eager for the meeting to start. The first topic of the meeting was a resolution stating that the waterboarding of Guantanamo Bay prisoners was unconstitutional and against the basic founding principles of the United States. One by one, members enthusiastically stood up to ask to be selected so they could defend their position on the topic, behind the lectern. The speeches were mesmerizing in their rhetorical flourish and encyclopedia like content. As I left the hall that night, I remember telling my self that I wanted,nay, needed to be in an organization that encouraged such wonderful intellectual discourse. At the second meeting I attended, I decided to give my first speech. I stood behind the lectern and I spoke one or two coherent sentences before mumbling my words and stumbling into incoherence. I was assured by long time members that one's first speech is never their best and that I would improve if continued to speak. Despite this encouragement I felt as though I was not measuring up to the great speakers within the society. I was not living up to the standard of my Demosthenian forbearers, from former prominent US Senator from Georgia, Herman E. Talmadge to the first African American Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham, Demosthenian has a legacy of producing strong speakers and leaders.  
 
 
The subsequent speeches I gave were no better than my first. I couldn't speak for longer than two minutes, out of the maximum five minutes you were given for a speech. I went to various optional speaker's workshops and sought the advice of seasoned debate veterans. Eventually I was able to give persuasive and more insightful speeches. Honing my public speaking and debate abilities however were only a couple of many delightful outcomes of joining the organization. Debating with fellow members inside and outside of the hall gave me a better perspective on the varied opinions of people from different backgrounds and political beliefs. I was better able ,by the end of my tenure as a member ,to deconstruct arguments. The ambitions of my fellow members motivated me to follow my dreams, for example one of my fellow members is in Yale law school pursuing international human rights law and another one is serving in Morocco with the Peace Corps.  
 
 
At the beginning of my time at the University of Georgia, I was unsure of what I wanted as a career and where I belonged. By the end the second semester of my senor year, I was sure that I wanted to become a public defender. I wanted to defend indignant people facing accusations of criminal conduct from the state. The multifarious debates on human rights and politics that we had in the society solidified my desire to become a defense attorney. I made a group of life long friends in the organization, friends who also have a burning desire to discover the truth through debate. I developed a persona within the organization, I was “Leftist Yaqoob”. I was known as the person who would take the position of the poor, the prisoner, and the forgotten in almost every speech I gave. Though at first hesitant of the label, I embraced it. My time as a member of the Demosthenian literary society helped me discover who I was and what I wanted to be.  

LamBam89
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Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:11 pm

Re: Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

Postby LamBam89 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:53 pm

Sounds good to me! It is coherent, anecdotal, thoughtful, and relevant.

I think it could use another proof read or two. But you are definitely on the right track with this one.

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pcph
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Re: Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

Postby pcph » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:57 pm

I enjoyed reading your statement. There's some grammar issues with commas & semi-colons but I'm sure you can fix those later. It was an interesting topic and easy to read. I don't have any suggestions but I think you should stick with this topic.

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Gray
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Re: Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

Postby Gray » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:21 pm

This is definitely on the right track, but I found the language a bit too stuffy and formal in places. Try reading it out loud, and eliminate any phrasing that you couldn't imagine yourself using in a job interview. "quaint antebellum charm" comes to mind.

Not sure if these are typos or what, but your comma spacing is off all over the place.

Also, not sure about your use of the word indignant in the last paragraph. I don't think you really mean that you want to represent people who are angry/pissed off about their accusations.

adil91
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Re: Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

Postby adil91 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:38 pm

Lol ya I meant indigent. Thanks for the suggestions guys.

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WhiskeyAndCupcakes
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Re: Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

Postby WhiskeyAndCupcakes » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:48 am

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Last edited by WhiskeyAndCupcakes on Fri May 29, 2015 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

JustDuke
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Re: Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

Postby JustDuke » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:11 pm

I was not living up to the standard of my Demosthenian forbearers, from former prominent US Senator from Georgia, Herman E. Talmadge to the first African American Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham, Demosthenian has a legacy of producing strong speakers and leaders.


WTH was that?

adil91
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

Postby adil91 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:16 pm

JustDuke wrote:
I was not living up to the standard of my Demosthenian forbearers, from former prominent US Senator from Georgia, Herman E. Talmadge to the first African American Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham, Demosthenian has a legacy of producing strong speakers and leaders.


WTH was that?

Do you think I should leave this part out?

JustDuke
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Re: Personal statement rough draft-Please critque

Postby JustDuke » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:55 pm

adil91 wrote:Do you think I should leave this part out?


I am no expert but I would say yes. No need to bring former senators in.


But as I re-read it, I think we can contract it even more. Look at the rewrite:

Despite this encouragement I felt as though I was not measuring up to the great speakers within the society.
The subsequent speeches I gave were no better than my first. I couldn't speak for longer than two minutes, out of the maximum five minutes you were given for a speech. I went to various optional speaker's workshops and sought the advice of seasoned debate veterans. Eventually I was able to give persuasive and more insightful speeches.


Sounds a bit dry, but technically that's the only thing you are trying to convey. Everything else is blah-blah-blah.




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