Please critique my personal statement!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Please critique my personal statement!

Postby jjfyre » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:34 pm

Last edited by jjfyre on Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Please critique my personal statement!

Postby Monday » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:40 pm

Last edited by Monday on Wed May 10, 2017 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Please critique my personal statement!

Postby UVA2B » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:05 am

Your writing is incredibly persuasive. You elicit emotions effectively with the way you capture your personal experiences between your personal upbringing and this watershed experience of visiting your country of heritage. And for that, you deserve a ton of credit.

What you still fell into is your desire to connect this theme to your entire resume. You shouldn't connect your entire experience to this one formative experience. By contrast, use the experience to typify how your approach to life has changed because of your experience. You're not seeking to make the reader understand everything about you. Instead you should seek to help this person understand you because of this one anecdote. Use your persuasiveness to elicit your underlying point: show them, through your emotions, that your purpose is driven by something beyond personal gain. You had this experience that most people reading it couldn't relate. Use that to your advantage and show how this experience, combined with your underlying experiences, will drive you into the future in the pursuit of the study of law.

It's impossible to do this perfectly, but what you must remember is that this person doesn't know you, doesn't fully understand everything about you and your history, and therefore will never fully appreciate your experience. With that understanding in mind, what you should aim for is pushing a narrative that YOU understand where you come from and why you come from it. If I'm reading your narrative, I appreciate every bit of your assurance that you have a grasp on who you are today and who you want to be. It won't alter my mind on whether you belong in my (X law school) institution, but it eliminates nearly every doubt in my mind that you are unclear about what you want to make of your chosen profession. And when I'm considering you as a candidate, I want to see in you more than striving: I want to see your purpose.

I recognize this opinion is not directly helpful to your overall narrative, but I hope you can take it and remember it when you think about what your message is to a given committee member that wants to see anything beyond your GPA and LSAT.

Happy to provide further comments if you feel they're necessary. Good luck!

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Please critique my personal statement!

Postby Mr. Archer » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:59 am

Of course she didn’t know the difference. In her life of poverty, had she ever touched a camera?

This is a little weird, and it's a little condescending. She might actually know what camera is but was startled by someone pulling out an unknown object all of a sudden instead of change. Most people don't treat beggars as tourist attractions and take their picture.

The paved streets, the stocked grocery stores, even the law enforcement officers of the United States stood in stark contrast to the dirt roads and corrupt police force of [country].

This sentence is awkward overall, particularly the bolded phrase. It's also not a parallel sentence. You compare three U.S. characteristics to two characteristics of the other country. What were the grocery stores like there??? Since you need to cut a lot from the second half of your PS, you should expand the ideas within the paragraph this sentence is in. It's a rushed paragraph, which is bad for your PS. This paragraph is where you show how you had a shift if views about judging people (I think your PS is really more about not judging people based on stereotypes and striving to understand others on a deeper level than a "journey to self-awareness," which is a vague phrase that's a little hokey. I don't see much about you trying to understand yourself other than you just saying that's what you did in college).

I struggled to reconcile the lambasted Western view of the country with my own experiences there.

You use "lambasted" here in a way that I think is weird at best and just wrong at worst. At times in your statement, you use adjectives and descriptions in a way that comes off as you striving to sound "smart" and makes me think you wrote your PS with a thesaurus in hand. That leads to awkward writing.

As others have said, the second half of the PS needs work. I would also add that you need to figure out how you want to end the PS. The one you have now is phoned-in and does nothing for you.


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Re: Please critique my personal statement!

Postby jjfyre » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:28 am


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