How's this for my PS?

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Torres1893

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How's this for my PS?

Postby Torres1893 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:50 pm

**I will be adding an additional paragraph at the end for each school I apply to about how their programs will help me. Any feedback will be appreciated.

My family and I had made our annual trip to ABC, a small border town in northern Mexico and the birthplace of my parents, to escape the cold winters of DEF. The first stop we made was at my grandmother’s house, a small house next to the town’s church and just a stroll away from La Plaza, the center of life of the town. After greeting our grandparents and telling them how we’ve been for the past year, my brother and I eagerly made our departure to La Plaza. We debated while we walked on what we would do first. Would we challenge each other in the make-shift arcade, buy some delicious food from the numerous street vendors, or get the raspas from GHI’s general store? Reaching La Plaza we noticed something wasn’t right.

The silence that enveloped La Plaza was an unfamiliar presence that conflicted with the usual laughing of children, sound effects of the arcade, and corridos blaring from cheap speakers. We looked around and there was no one. The arcade was gone, the street vendor’s stalls were empty, and GHI’s was closed. It was as if La Plaza was in the middle of a ghost town. We cautiously walked for some time trying to make sense of what was going on when I noticed some movement in the corner of my eye. I turned and saw a man fully clothed in black, walking in our general direction with a large knife in his hand. They say that fear can make a man freeze where he stands, and I genuinely believe that is true because my brother and I both stood like wary statues and watched as this man walked right past us. Needless to say, we ran back to that small house next to the church once we felt it was safe.

That man may have been a member of JKL, a notoriously violent drug cartel of northern Mexico, whose members are known to dress in all black. In 2009 they had started a war with another cartel in order to contest for drug routes, and were also hunted by the Mexican army with their war on drugs. ABC, and the people in it, unfortunately got stuck in the middle of a war zone, like many Mexican border towns.

My experiences in ABC that year had a major impact on me. I’ve heard of cities being put in lock down on the news before due to wars or some other conflict, but I had never experienced it firsthand. Seeing not only a town, but my home away from home become a shell of its former self due to falling into such a state of fear that the people of the town refused to leave their homes left me with a feeling of helplessness, and that created within me a desire to make a change.

As a freshman in college I was unsure how to go about fulfilling my desire. I took a gamble and enrolled in an introductory paralegal course, which resulted in my decision to have a career in the legal field. Initially, I studied to become a paralegal, but after witnessing the inner workings of a law firm and the duties of a lawyer while I worked as an intern I became captivated in becoming a lawyer. Learning of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is what solidified my decision because it gave me a solution to the problem I want to solve.

My goal is to make communities safe by preventing or reverting the terror set by criminal organizations like JKL. RICO can be my tool in combating these organizations. Though I may not be able to aid ABC as a lawyer in the United States, there are many places here that tell a similar story, and it is in these communities where I want to fulfill my desire of making a change.

Keilz

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Re: How's this for my PS?

Postby Keilz » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:25 pm

Interesting, I like it. However it's top heavy in details about the situation and then explanation of what the gang was. You need to transform at least one of those paragraphs back into you. I don't think you should use the last paragraph for each school, it's not enough space and doesn't tie in. You can submit an extra short essay for the schools you're interested in about why you like them.

Maybe explain your general goals in becoming a lawyer, how you will be involved in that act that you named,and how you will solve problems - what specifically is the problem you want to solve?

BobBoblaw

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Re: How's this for my PS?

Postby BobBoblaw » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:03 pm

This is kind of nit picking, but your use of 'la plaza' kind of sounds forced. I say this as someone fluent in Spanish. First of, every town in Latin America has least one plaza, so it's not exactly a distinguishing name. Second, plaza is a word in English that could reasonably be used in this context, so when i keep reading 'la plaza' it just sounds weird in my head. You could briefly describe it as being the town square or something similar the first time it is mentioned, and thereafter just call it "the plaza". The other use of Spanish is fine, the references to raspas y corridos, but somehow the use of la plaza just doesn't sit right.

Notanotherone

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Re: How's this for my PS?

Postby Notanotherone » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:22 pm

This is a good essay. You were kind of losing me when you started talking about the gangs, but the brought it together at the end about how you want to keep communities safe. I would maybe condense that in some way, so you can focus on how it impacted you without giving that much background on this gang. Also, you say the encounter affected you, but I feel like you could delve into that a bit more. It seems rushed, like you're trying to get to why you want to be a lawyer without fully expanding on the experience that made you do it. I agree with the stuff about "La Plaza." I'm Mexican and we call it la plaza too but it doesn't fit if you say it more than once.

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Torres1893

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Re: How's this for my PS?

Postby Torres1893 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:52 pm

Keilz wrote:Interesting, I like it. However it's top heavy in details about the situation and then explanation of what the gang was. You need to transform at least one of those paragraphs back into you. I don't think you should use the last paragraph for each school, it's not enough space and doesn't tie in. You can submit an extra short essay for the schools you're interested in about why you like them.

Maybe explain your general goals in becoming a lawyer, how you will be involved in that act that you named,and how you will solve problems - what specifically is the problem you want to solve?


Yea after I submitted it to one of my professors for an LOR I noticed that the first half of the essay is too long compared to the section about myself. I wanted to add more info about myself when I transferred to a university, go into more detail about my internship or what I want to do as a lawyer, but I felt the statement was going to get too long because how it stands it's nearly 2 pages double spaced. I'll make some changes before I submit my apps.

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Torres1893

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Re: How's this for my PS?

Postby Torres1893 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:54 pm

BobBoblaw wrote:This is kind of nit picking, but your use of 'la plaza' kind of sounds forced. I say this as someone fluent in Spanish. First of, every town in Latin America has least one plaza, so it's not exactly a distinguishing name. Second, plaza is a word in English that could reasonably be used in this context, so when i keep reading 'la plaza' it just sounds weird in my head. You could briefly describe it as being the town square or something similar the first time it is mentioned, and thereafter just call it "the plaza". The other use of Spanish is fine, the references to raspas y corridos, but somehow the use of la plaza just doesn't sit right.


Yea I noticed it too. I'll make some changes to it.

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Torres1893

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Re: How's this for my PS?

Postby Torres1893 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:57 pm

Notanotherone wrote:This is a good essay. You were kind of losing me when you started talking about the gangs, but the brought it together at the end about how you want to keep communities safe. I would maybe condense that in some way, so you can focus on how it impacted you without giving that much background on this gang. Also, you say the encounter affected you, but I feel like you could delve into that a bit more. It seems rushed, like you're trying to get to why you want to be a lawyer without fully expanding on the experience that made you do it. I agree with the stuff about "La Plaza." I'm Mexican and we call it la plaza too but it doesn't fit if you say it more than once.


Like I mentioned in my response to Keilz I felt the PS was getting too long, so it does look rushed at the end. I guess I'll make it 2 and a half pages to add more context.

barkgarry

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Re: How's this for my PS?

Postby barkgarry » Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:49 pm

Torres1893 wrote:Like I mentioned in my response to Keilz I felt the PS was getting too long, so it does look rushed at the end. I guess I'll make it 2 and a half pages to add more context.


One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of law schools don't want a PS over two pages long, and they can be sticklers about it. You should double check that the schools you're interested in applying to are cool with a slightly longer Personal Statement.



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