Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

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natural_law

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Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby natural_law » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:22 pm

Reworking it, thanks for feedback
Last edited by natural_law on Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:53 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby Mr. Archer » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:54 pm

Yes, the structure is weird and the PS is disjointed. You also sound like an insufferable douchebag. The PS should make adcomms want to admit you, not want to never be around you.

natural_law

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby natural_law » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:57 pm

Any suggestions specifically?

I didn't necessarily want to take this privilege line, but a judge advised me that it is a differentiator and should be emphasized. You know, in case they need an insufferable douchebag for class diversity. In all seriousness, I am being sincere in my PS, so it would help to know which parts make me look like an ass, as I'm blind to it.

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glockov

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby glockov » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:35 pm

It comes off as pretentious. Adcomms should be sympathetic to you because Bush was president and you do not live on a country estate? You name drop all these people, but are very vague about what you actually do. Then you turn it around saying how amoral that industry is and that you are above it. Also I don't know if saying that you want to go to law school so you can become a politician is the best idea. You seem very dedicated to the land value tax, but why does it mean so much to you?

natural_law

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby natural_law » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:52 pm

Thank you, good insights.

LVT is a cornerstone policy of a just society. It has massive implications for economic justice.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby Mr. Archer » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:57 pm

natural_law wrote: I didn't necessarily want to take this privilege line, but a judge advised me that it is a differentiator and should be emphasized. You know, in case they need an insufferable douchebag for class diversity. In all seriousness, I am being sincere in my PS, so it would help to know which parts make me look like an ass, as I'm blind to it.


That judge was wrong. All of it makes you look like an ass. It's also just not a very good PS even if it didn't come off as pretentious. Pick a different topic (not the weird land value tax thing where there's no private property).

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xn3345

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby xn3345 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:00 pm

If you had leveraged your luck to affect social change, I think the privilege angle would be effective. Instead, you worked in finance, which you even refer to as amoral, and merely have aspirations to do good. At worst, your political ambitions come across as something you thought of last night in order to supply the narrative you imagine Adcomms want to hear, when in reality you're just chasing more money and prestige (an impression bolstered by your somewhat nauseating discussion of Eton's prestige and that of the random list of people you've worked for). At best, you have a bunch of strongly held beliefs that you've hardly acted on at all. Awareness of your privilege alone is not going to earn you the brownie points you seem to think it will.

Your interest in land policy is quirky. I'd cut everything but that. They'll see Eton and Pomona on your resume. They know what they are. You don't have to explain. The same is true of the people you've worked for. Let your resume speak for itself. Also, the part about your far off ambitions (JAG, exec, etc.) is even more pretentious than the Eton stuff since you haven't actually done it. Cut that too.

The weird thing about you is that you're into land policy. Tell them how that came to be. Stop putting up a wall of pretense between you and the adcomms.

natural_law

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby natural_law » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:13 pm

Thanks, that reaffirms my first thought to go all in on LVT and make it a personal account. That is the idea that I am dedicated to in life, so it I should rely on it to carry the PS.

As an aside, my job was one of the few ones I could earn the money for law school in a 3-4 year time frame while keeping financial institutions off my resume. More importantly though, it gives me access to the types of individuals who will oppose a LVT in future. It's like my own little psychological study of their value systems, so that I can learn how to persuade them/defeat their values in future. Would you talk about this in relation to work or do you think it comes across as overly Machiavellian?

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xn3345

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby xn3345 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:26 pm

natural_law wrote:Thanks, that reaffirms my first thought to go all in on LVT and make it a personal account. That is the idea that I am dedicated to in life, so it I should rely on it to carry the PS.

As an aside, my job was one of the few ones I could earn the money for law school in a 3-4 year time frame while keeping financial institutions off my resume. More importantly though, it gives me access to the types of individuals who will oppose a LVT in future. It's like my own little psychological study of their value systems, so that I can learn how to persuade them/defeat their values in future. Would you talk about this in relation to work or do you think it comes across as overly Machiavellian?


For either you or I to answer that question with credibility, you'll have to write that statement first. For what it's worth, I can imagine that rationale being silly or transparent spin: "Oh. You went to the most lucrative job available to you in order to conduct a sociological/psychological study?" If you learned substantive information that will allow you to better implement your preferred policies (and you can persuasively demonstrate that), then it might be a bit credible. Do not try frame it as your rationale for initially taking the job though. That will sound absurd. It is, at best, a perspective shaping experience that might help you craft and push the policy you're so interested in. That means a line or two - not a paragraph. And if you can't demonstrate how working in finance has enlightened your (future) approach to policy, cut it.

natural_law

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby natural_law » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:33 pm

I don't work in finance. I'm a consultant, bankers happen to be my client group.

The reason I'm doing it is a) money (so I don't have to rely on my family or the taxpayer), b) access to value systems that otherwise are impossible to study, and c) keeping big law and finance off my resume for future political purposes.

I'm not worried about how it will sound; the truth will resonate through to the right person. But yeah, I need to write it first.

natural_law

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby natural_law » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:34 pm

I don't work in finance. I'm a consultant, bankers happen to be my client group.

The reason I'm doing it is a) money (so I don't have to rely on my family or the taxpayer), b) access to value systems that otherwise are impossible to study, and c) keeping big law and finance off my resume for future political purposes.

I'm not worried about how it will sound; the truth will resonate through to the right person. But yeah, I need to write it first.

echonov

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby echonov » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:09 pm

natural_law wrote:I don't work in finance. I'm a consultant, bankers happen to be my client group.

The reason I'm doing it is a) money (so I don't have to rely on my family or the taxpayer), b) access to value systems that otherwise are impossible to study, and c) keeping big law and finance off my resume for future political purposes.

I'm not worried about how it will sound; the truth will resonate through to the right person. But yeah, I need to write it first.


I mean this in the best possible way, but you definitely should be worried. You're not writing an ad campaign meant to resonate with constituents. You're writing a personal statement to be read by a small, very specific audience, looking for very specific things. Right now, the way that you are talking about this is, frankly, both unconvincing and off-putting. I can see where other commenters are coming from in saying that your commitment to this particular policy is something different and potentially interesting, but I think you also have to be very, very careful with how you explain it. Focus more on you -- how did you get interested, why do you care, and what have you done to demonstrate that interest. Adcoms aren't looking for a political treatise on why your policy is right or how you'll implement it. At worst, you may offend people, and at best, the PS could come off as naive or irrelevant. Some of this also has to do with how strong the rest of your application is; your PS strategy might be slightly different if you're at or above the 75ths for the schools you care about than if you're below medians and trying to differentiate yourself.

One other thing -- I read your PS before you took it down, and would strongly advise you against name-dropping clients, no matter what else you do. It can come off as pretentious, and there is often a sense in big consulting that that kind of name-dropping is ethically dubious. Not saying that it is right or wrong, just noting that it is a norm in that industry, from my experience.

(And as a sidenote, family and "taxpayer" aren't the only funding options for law school -- depending on the schools you're looking at, a substantial portion of students will be funded in part or whole by the institution itself.)

natural_law

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby natural_law » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:33 pm

echonov wrote:
natural_law wrote:I don't work in finance. I'm a consultant, bankers happen to be my client group.

The reason I'm doing it is a) money (so I don't have to rely on my family or the taxpayer), b) access to value systems that otherwise are impossible to study, and c) keeping big law and finance off my resume for future political purposes.

I'm not worried about how it will sound; the truth will resonate through to the right person. But yeah, I need to write it first.


I mean this in the best possible way, but you definitely should be worried. You're not writing an ad campaign meant to resonate with constituents. You're writing a personal statement to be read by a small, very specific audience, looking for very specific things. Right now, the way that you are talking about this is, frankly, both unconvincing and off-putting. I can see where other commenters are coming from in saying that your commitment to this particular policy is something different and potentially interesting, but I think you also have to be very, very careful with how you explain it. Focus more on you -- how did you get interested, why do you care, and what have you done to demonstrate that interest. Adcoms aren't looking for a political treatise on why your policy is right or how you'll implement it. At worst, you may offend people, and at best, the PS could come off as naive or irrelevant. Some of this also has to do with how strong the rest of your application is; your PS strategy might be slightly different if you're at or above the 75ths for the schools you care about than if you're below medians and trying to differentiate yourself.

One other thing -- I read your PS before you took it down, and would strongly advise you against name-dropping clients, no matter what else you do. It can come off as pretentious, and there is often a sense in big consulting that that kind of name-dropping is ethically dubious. Not saying that it is right or wrong, just noting that it is a norm in that industry, from my experience.

(And as a sidenote, family and "taxpayer" aren't the only funding options for law school -- depending on the schools you're looking at, a substantial portion of students will be funded in part or whole by the institution itself.)


Thank you, very useful. Do you mind if I send you the reworked (less cringeworthy, I hope) PS?

Could you elaborate on differences in strategy for splitters? My GPA is trash, but got a 178.

echonov

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Re: Please critique my PS. Happy to swap if anyone would like to

Postby echonov » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:42 pm

natural_law wrote:Thank you, very useful. Do you mind if I send you the reworked (less cringeworthy, I hope) PS?

Could you elaborate on differences in strategy for splitters? My GPA is trash, but got a 178.


Sure, you're welcome to send it. How low is your GPA? And where are you applying? Big difference between a 2.7/178 applying to HYS and a 3.4/178 applying to WUSTL. Either way, though, all I meant was that if your numbers are super solid, then there may be a little less pressure on differentiating yourself via PS, so the focus can be on putting together a well-written, non-offensive essay. If your numbers are marginal, I think the PS can take on more significance as a differentiating factor. Either way, it's definitely important and should be constructed thoughtfully, but you may be slightly more willing to take a risk to differentiate yourself if you think you'll need it to get in.



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