Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

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Anonymous User
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Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:42 pm

Please help. I am very desperate and looking to send in the strongest personal statement I can, but I am no salesman. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


It’s no secret why someone would aspire to study law at the University of Texas. Wherever you go, whomever you speak to, odds are they’ve heard of UT. The most well respected and established law school in not only Texas, but the USA, and even the world, UT Law has an alumni list that of some of the most influential Texans of all time.
As for me, my aspirations for studying law at the University of Texas can be summed up in my political aspirations. Like many of the alumni, such as Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Lloyd Bentsen, Pete Geren, and Jeb Hensarling, I would like to someday serve my country as a member of congress. To follow in the footsteps of so many influential politicians is both a dream and a goal that I have worked toward for many years now. For instance, I served BLANK LAW SCHOOL as an elected member of the Student Bar Association. I represented my 1L class, and spent my time organizing events both social and curricular. In my first semester as an officer, I was able to play an integral part in helping LAW SCHOOL raise over $32,000 for charity.
The location of the University of Texas plays a strong role in my interest. As the capital of Texas, Austin is a city in which I could observe and participate in the political arena while I move forward with my education. To be immersed in such a climate would undoubtedly be invaluable to me, and to be a candidate for such an opportunity is something I have worked hard to achieve. Additionally, Austin is also the Live Music Capital of the World, and as a professional musician with a record deal from Toyota Motor Company’s Scion A/V Records, I believe that I would make a solid addition to the kind of creative and inspiring performers that Austin has been known for.
As the CALI award winner for my 1L Criminal Law class, I would like to continue forward in learning about how the Texas criminal procedure works, and would like an opportunity to be a part of the Criminal Defense Clinic offered by the school. I believe that I would make a formidable defender, and hope to have the chance to experience this clinic at the University of Texas, while being the kind of student that enhances UT’s stellar reputation.
After a successful first year of law school at BLANK LAW SCHOOL, I am ready to take the next step into the better educational and ultimately better career opportunities that a degree from the University of Texas can provide those who work for it. My father is a graduate from the University of Texas, and it has always been a goal of mine to make him, my family, and myself proud by becoming Longhorn.

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Hand
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby Hand » Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:44 pm

perfect, wouldn't change a thing

BigZuck
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:31 pm

Becoming "a" Longhorn

I wouldn't call UT the "most well respected and established" law school in the world. That starts you off on an insincere note and kind of colors the rest of the piece, at least for me. Basically I think it's mostly fine, I'd just tone it down a notch or three.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:43 pm

Not good. This is only a rough first draft, in my opinion. (I'm going to reread your transfer statement again before commenting further.)

Did you make law review at your current school ?

Consider deleting the entire first paragraph & the list of prominent alumni names from the second paragraph. This essay should focus more specifically on you & your reasons for wanting to transfer to the University of Texas School of Law. Accordingly, you need an opening sentence that sets out your theme (as opposed to praising UT).
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:48 pm

Grammatical errors aside (many of which I noticed after posting, as it goes), how do I make it stronger?

UT is pretty well respected, but you are right. I think I can tone it down a notch.

I did NOT try out for law review at my current school because no matter what happens I am transferring, and it would be a total waste of my time.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:58 pm

For example, consider (as your entire opening/introductory paragraph):

Although my experience at SMU School of Law has been a very positive period of intellectual & personal growth, the University of Texas School of Law is a better match for both my professional and personal goals. I have political ambitions, I am interested in participating in a well established criminal defense clinic, I am a professional musician & I want to continue my legal education at my father's alma mater.

Then write a short paragraph about each of your four reasons for wanting to transfer to UT law school. Conclude with a short paragraph which restates, in a condensed fashion, the reasons for your desire to transfer to UT law school.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:06 pm

Very helpful! This would be the last line of my intro paragraph

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:07 pm

Essentially, your introductory paragraph should set out your theme & let the reader know where your statement is going to take them. Then take the reader there in the next four paragraphs. Finally, finish with a strong restatement of what you have just shared with your readers.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:09 pm

My example is proposed as your entire introductory paragraph.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:13 pm

Your transfer statement needs to be clear & concise. This should create a convincing picture that your decision to transfer is both reasonable & well thought out. Clarity of thought is best shown by orderly (a logical progression), concise sentences.

P.S. Avoid ending sentences with a preposition.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:58 pm

OK! Hopefully this is much better

Although my experience at BLANK SCHOOL has been a very positive period of intellectual & personal growth, the University of Texas School of Law is a better match for both my professional and personal goals. I have political ambitions, I am a professional musician & I want to continue my legal education at my father's alma mater.
My aspirations for studying law at the University of Texas can be summed up in my political aspirations. Like many of the alumni, I would like to someday serve my country as a member of congress. To follow in the footsteps of so many influential politicians is both a dream and a goal that I have worked toward for many years now. For instance, I served SCHOOL of Law as an elected member of the Student Bar Association. I represented my 1L class, and spent my time organizing events both social and curricular. In my first semester as an officer, I was able to play an integral part in helping LAW SCHOOL raise over $32,000 for charity. During the summer, I will be interning with a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas, where I hope to learn more about the judicial and political process in Texas.
The location of the University of Texas plays a strong role in my interest. As the capital of Texas, Austin is a city in which I could observe and participate in the political arena while I move forward with my education. To be immersed in such a climate would undoubtedly be invaluable to me, and to be a candidate for such an opportunity is something I have worked hard to achieve. Additionally, Austin is also the Live Music Capital of the World, and as a professional musician with a record deal from Toyota Motor Company’s Scion A/V Records, I believe that I would make a solid addition to the kind of creative and inspiring performers that Austin has been known for.
As the CALI award winner for my 1L Criminal Law class, I would like to continue forward in learning about how the Texas criminal procedure works, and would like an opportunity to be a part of the Criminal Defense Clinic offered by the school. I believe that I would make a formidable defender while being the kind of student that enhances UT’s stellar reputation, and hope to have the chance to experience this clinic at the University of Texas.
I am ready to take the next step into the better educational and ultimately better career opportunities that a degree from the University of Texas can provide those who work for it. My father is a graduate from the University of Texas, and it has always been a goal of mine to make him, my family, and myself proud by becoming a Longhorn.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:27 pm

Much better. Two corrections:

"... performers for which Austin has been known."

The last two sentences should be spaced as a separate final paragraph. (Actually you may have already set this out. Just doesn't appear so on my computer.)

Also, the introductory paragraph left out any reference to your desire to participate in the well established criminal defense clinic.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:47 pm

I somehow fell into an editing hole, and this is what came out the other end.


My introduction to studying law at Law was a positive period of intellectual and personal growth, giving me the opportunity to better define my career objectives. My desire to transfer to the University of Texas School of Law stems from my interest in pursuing a career in Texas State government. Additionally, I would like to participate in UT’s well-established Criminal Defense Clinic.

My ambition for studying law at the University of Texas can be summed up in my political aspirations. Like many of the alumni, I would like to someday serve as a member of congress. To follow in the footsteps of so many influential politicians is a goal that I have worked toward for several years. Recently, I served as an elected member of the Student Bar Association at Law School. I represented my 1L class, and spent significant time organizing both social and curricular events. In my first semester as an officer, I played an integral part in helping LAW raise over $32,000 for the Texas Food Bank located in Houston. During the summer, I will be interning with a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas, where I hope to learn more about the judicial and political process in Texas.


The location of the University of Texas plays a strong role in my interest. As the capital of Texas, Austin is a city in which I could observe and participate in the political arena while I move forward with my education. To be immersed in such a climate would undoubtedly be invaluable to me, and to be a candidate for such an opportunity is something I have worked hard to achieve. With UT’s proximity to the State capital, I would be afforded the best opportunities to gain a deeper knowledge of the workings of the state government through personal contacts and internships between semesters. Additionally, Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, and as a professional musician with a record deal from Toyota Motor Company’s Scion A/V Records, I believe that I would make a solid addition to the kind of creative and inspiring performers for which Austin is known.


As the CALI award winner for my 1L Criminal Law class, I would like to continue forward in learning about how the Texas criminal procedure works, and would like an opportunity to be a part of the Criminal Defense Clinic offered by the school. I believe that I would make a formidable defender while being the kind of student that enhances UT’s stellar reputation, and hope to have the chance to experience this clinic at the University of Texas.


I am ready to take the next step into the better educational and career opportunities that a degree from the University of Texas can provide for a dedicated student. My father is a graduate from the University of Texas, and it has always been a goal of mine to make him, my family, and myself proud by becoming a Longhorn.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:52 pm

In my opinion, your first & last paragraphs need to be redone.

The paragraphs in-between are adequate, but the mediocre quality is more glaring due to weak opening & closing paragraphs.

In the second paragraph, for example, "...a goal that I have worked toward for several years." is awkward because then you detail only your most recent effort.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:08 pm

The body paragraphs are the same as my last draft for the most part. I didn't realize they were mediocre. I hate writing these kinds of things.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:16 pm

Adequate is a better term. But they rise in context when the opening & closing paragraphs are constructed well.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:34 pm

Would it be wiser to write with more personality? To include an anecdote? To be less cold?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Critique for UT Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:39 pm

You had a very well written transfer statement about 5 or 6 posts above. It only needed two minor corrections. Why not use that version ?




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