PS Review - Rough Draft

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

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PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby barkgarry » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:52 pm

Hey everyone - I've finished a rough draft of my personal statement. Chime in if you think I'm on the right track or should scrap it, but I'm also specifically curious:
a) if there are sections that I should expand upon and/or trim
b) if/to what extent I need to go about fixing transitions and coherence - are the transitions too awkward/forced? Is the whole thing too disjointed?

Finally, what I'm really trying to do with this PS is to take an anecdote and expand it to how my work experience has reinforced my desire to go to law school. Am I doing a good job of that? Are there ways to improve. My PS is below - happy to read anybody else's (by PM as well, if you'd prefer that).


“Oh yeah, I guess you’re right – click.” That was a representative from Alberta’s Ministry of Finance hanging up on me, both confirming that I had properly read an Alberta regulatory document and that the information I had received from the past three or four people at the Ministry had been wrong. [MENTION THE HANGING-UP?] The question centered on whether our firm had to file certain documentation from previous years as we worked on reviving our company’s registration to be a broker in Alberta.

In February, I began working at a firm that runs an online platform in the relatively new space of equity crowdfunding. I was initially taken on to perform financial analysis, serve as a liaison between potential investors and the companies we listed, and to handle some marketing initiatives. Being only one of seven people at [COMPANY], it wasn’t long before handling work that covered the spectrum of running our business.
Over time, whenever a question came up that required researching OSC regulations or grappling with ambiguous portions of tax codes, I would be tasked with finding an answer. No one else at the office wanted to deal with it, so such work would somehow always be delegated to me. This arrangement worked out quite well – I personally loved reading through dense documents to answer questions like “We’re going to do X, do we need to file that with the Ontario Securities Commission?”

In fact, the compliance/regulatory work has been my favorite part about my job every time it comes up. This has reinforced my decision to attend law school. Although I’ve had a strong interest in law school and working in the legal field for several years now, that interest was conditioned by a desire to be sure I was choosing law school for the right reasons. The fact that I truly enjoy reading through a 134-page legal document to answer a specific question or understand general regulations that apply to my firm has only made me more certain about law school.

I’ve also come to appreciate the counseling role played by so many working in the legal field. Working at a financial technology startup, I have firsthand experience with how nerve-wracking it can be to ensure that your company is satisfying regulations and working within the confines of the law. Although my episode with Finance Alberta has humorous elements, it also has a serious side: if we had followed the advice given us by the Ministry, we would have violated their rules and possibly been slapped with a fine. It might have resulted in me being fired somewhere down the line.


I have gained a deeper understanding for legal education and the legal profession through my work with [COMPANY]. I’ve always had a fascination with the law, but my job gave me the opportunity to actually interact with it in practical ways. Even further, I can now see the positive impact that lawyers can have – not just in a broad sense like helping expand civil rights, but also in a much narrower sense, like in guiding a tiny company that may have to contend with as many rules as a multinational enterprise. My passion for the law, combined with my desire to be genuinely helpful to others, has convinced me that law school is the right choice.

mcmand

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby mcmand » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:03 am

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Last edited by mcmand on Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barkgarry

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby barkgarry » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:16 pm

mcmand wrote:
This is an interesting personal statement; I genuinely mean that, I did compliance/regulatory work before law school, too. I think it might be worth expanding on that second-to-last paragraph at the Kafkaesque nature of regulatory agencies telling companies and individuals relying on them contradictory information. Your role as a lawyer (at least in that specific setting) is to navigate that kind of stuff.
If you need some more literary inspiration... http://www.kafka-online.info/before-the-law.html

In terms of transitions, it feels a little choppy between paragraphs 3 and 4. Pivot in that first sentence of the 4th paragraph from researching/understanding the law to counseling clients about the law, so the connection is smoother.


Hey thanks! I'll definitely try to re-work based on your suggestions, and I'm always happy to read more Kafka.

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zot1

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby zot1 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:30 pm

I like the angle. You have a couple of typos though so make sure you revise. My only problem with it is that it feels like you used a lot of words to just say you like to read dense documents and that makes you want to go to law school. I would want to push you to be more creative and trying to say more about yourself.

mcmand

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby mcmand » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:01 pm

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Last edited by mcmand on Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barkgarry

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby barkgarry » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:10 pm

mcmand wrote:
zot1 wrote:I like the angle. You have a couple of typos though so make sure you revise. My only problem with it is that it feels like you used a lot of words to just say you like to read dense documents and that makes you want to go to law school. I would want to push you to be more creative and trying to say more about yourself.


I second this. You could probably condense and then connect the story you have to something else more personal about yourself. Be a little more vulnerable.


Yeah thanks to you both for the feedback. Any suggestions on where I should/could condense? Looking it over, I'm thinking I could probably join the 2nd and 3rd paragraph. And in terms of adding a more personal touch what if I tried to further develop the angle of how scary it can be (both in abstract terms as well as for me personally) trying to deal with laws/regulations when doing business? And then emphasized how I want to help people in those situations?

Or should I try connecting it to something personal in my life outside of my job entirely? Thanks for the help!

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zot1

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby zot1 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:14 pm

Your story at the beginning. Could you elaborate on it? Instead of explaining that you know how things are nerve racking or what's important or that you like to read dense documents, why not show these things through the story?

barkgarry

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby barkgarry » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:19 pm

zot1 wrote:Your story at the beginning. Could you elaborate on it? Instead of explaining that you know how things are nerve racking or what's important or that you like to read dense documents, why not show these things through the story?


I really like that idea. I originally decided against it due to concerns that it would be too long or that I'd get bogged down in trying to tell the whole story, but now that I have a draft down and some clearer ideas of what I'm trying to do and where I want to go with this, I think I'll try to come up with a draft that deals with the Finance Alberta story almost exclusively.

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zot1

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby zot1 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:22 pm

Yeah you don't have to say the whole thing. Jot down three to four things about yourself you want the admission officers to know. Then talk about parts of the story that highlight those things.

Anyone can say in an essay they are X or Y. But showing why it's important.

Good luck, mate. I know getting right can be frustrating, but don't get bogged down; it can give you an edge.

barkgarry

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby barkgarry » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:28 pm

zot1 wrote:Yeah you don't have to say the whole thing. Jot down three to four things about yourself you want the admission officers to know. Then talk about parts of the story that highlight those things.

Anyone can say in an essay they are X or Y. But showing why it's important.

Good luck, mate. I know getting right can be frustrating, but don't get bogged down; it can give you an edge.


Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I'll play around with it and try to come up with another version or two.

mcmand

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Re: PS Review - Rough Draft

Postby mcmand » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:55 pm

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