PS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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PS

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:50 pm

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Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sploshy
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby Sploshy » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What do you guys think:

I started to my college orientation buddy a lot less following that day. His grades began to decline heavily and his drained face became more apparent week after week. I was lost between disassociating myself from his actions or getting involved more heavily than simply suggesting he stop his habits. One weekend while we were at the cafeteria, he had told me that police got involved at the house during one of his visits. He had gotten charged, although not as heavily as the residents. I gave a look of disbelief and admitted anger towards his situation as any friend would, but beneath the mask I gave a sigh of relief and satisfaction. I told myself, “This was it, he learned his lesson the hard way but now he can begin to improve.” I quickly realized that thought was only a daydream. Nick was very efficient at making new friends, and although one house went down, many more sprang up. His habits began to fully consume him. I saw the situation spiraling out of control in my mind, and I found myself at a crossroads.


missing something in that bolded line

it is definitely an interesting story, but I don't get much out of it that tells me why you want to be a lawyer or why law school is the appropriate next step for you. personal statements are meant to be personal and different for everyone so I don't want to say that its bad per say, but when I read what admissions officers say about statements and what they should be about I see much of what I mentioned earlier (why should you be a lawyer and why is law school the next step).

there are obviously exceptions. those guidelines are meant for a generic statement, and there are some statements that are like yours that have different stories that have morals and points much different than those generic ones. I think it is a gamble to write a statement like this so if you are at the schools numbers then I wouldn't go with it, but if the school is a reach school then maybe this is the type of thing that will impress them.

I am not a law school admissions person, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I think the story is interesting and well written, but I think the point that it gets across isn't one that has much to do with law school.

Anonymous User
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:18 pm

Sploshy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What do you guys think:

I started to my college orientation buddy a lot less following that day. His grades began to decline heavily and his drained face became more apparent week after week. I was lost between disassociating myself from his actions or getting involved more heavily than simply suggesting he stop his habits. One weekend while we were at the cafeteria, he had told me that police got involved at the house during one of his visits. He had gotten charged, although not as heavily as the residents. I gave a look of disbelief and admitted anger towards his situation as any friend would, but beneath the mask I gave a sigh of relief and satisfaction. I told myself, “This was it, he learned his lesson the hard way but now he can begin to improve.” I quickly realized that thought was only a daydream. Nick was very efficient at making new friends, and although one house went down, many more sprang up. His habits began to fully consume him. I saw the situation spiraling out of control in my mind, and I found myself at a crossroads.


missing something in that bolded line

it is definitely an interesting story, but I don't get much out of it that tells me why you want to be a lawyer or why law school is the appropriate next step for you. personal statements are meant to be personal and different for everyone so I don't want to say that its bad per say, but when I read what admissions officers say about statements and what they should be about I see much of what I mentioned earlier (why should you be a lawyer and why is law school the next step).

there are obviously exceptions. those guidelines are meant for a generic statement, and there are some statements that are like yours that have different stories that have morals and points much different than those generic ones. I think it is a gamble to write a statement like this so if you are at the schools numbers then I wouldn't go with it, but if the school is a reach school then maybe this is the type of thing that will impress them.

I am not a law school admissions person, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I think the story is interesting and well written, but I think the point that it gets across isn't one that has much to do with law school.


fixed up the bolded line you mentioned. However the personal statement nowadays doesn't have to do with specifically why you want to go to law school. specifically, they want you to show them how your experience has shaped you to who you are today. so when i wrote this out, it wasn't aimed directly at why i want to go to law school, although in the last paragraph where I tie everything together, I do mention how the story is a reason for me to go to law school. an example being, "And although I wasn’t there for Nick at that instant, I can be there for others in the future. Kids who are at an age of attempting to find their own identity and path, and who sometimes lose their way in the process of doing so." although I could word it better at directly pointing to law school

Sploshy
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby Sploshy » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sploshy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What do you guys think:

I started to my college orientation buddy a lot less following that day. His grades began to decline heavily and his drained face became more apparent week after week. I was lost between disassociating myself from his actions or getting involved more heavily than simply suggesting he stop his habits. One weekend while we were at the cafeteria, he had told me that police got involved at the house during one of his visits. He had gotten charged, although not as heavily as the residents. I gave a look of disbelief and admitted anger towards his situation as any friend would, but beneath the mask I gave a sigh of relief and satisfaction. I told myself, “This was it, he learned his lesson the hard way but now he can begin to improve.” I quickly realized that thought was only a daydream. Nick was very efficient at making new friends, and although one house went down, many more sprang up. His habits began to fully consume him. I saw the situation spiraling out of control in my mind, and I found myself at a crossroads.


missing something in that bolded line

it is definitely an interesting story, but I don't get much out of it that tells me why you want to be a lawyer or why law school is the appropriate next step for you. personal statements are meant to be personal and different for everyone so I don't want to say that its bad per say, but when I read what admissions officers say about statements and what they should be about I see much of what I mentioned earlier (why should you be a lawyer and why is law school the next step).

there are obviously exceptions. those guidelines are meant for a generic statement, and there are some statements that are like yours that have different stories that have morals and points much different than those generic ones. I think it is a gamble to write a statement like this so if you are at the schools numbers then I wouldn't go with it, but if the school is a reach school then maybe this is the type of thing that will impress them.

I am not a law school admissions person, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I think the story is interesting and well written, but I think the point that it gets across isn't one that has much to do with law school.


fixed up the bolded line you mentioned. However the personal statement nowadays doesn't have to do with specifically why you want to go to law school. specifically, they want you to show them how your experience has shaped you to who you are today. so when i wrote this out, it wasn't aimed directly at why i want to go to law school, although in the last paragraph where I tie everything together, I do mention how the story is a reason for me to go to law school. an example being, "And although I wasn’t there for Nick at that instant, I can be there for others in the future. Kids who are at an age of attempting to find their own identity and path, and who sometimes lose their way in the process of doing so." although I could word it better at directly pointing to law school


yeah I think that the admissions people can make that leap, but maybe spelling it out is better (i made the leap also btw I just didn't see it as something that uniquely applied to the law because that sounds like much more of a school counselor's role than a lawyers[i will submit that it does apply to the law just not exclusively so]) . I am no where near the type of personality that you seem to be. I am analytical and straightforward you seem to be creative and emotional (at least the way that you write invokes emotions). So this is nothing like the type of statement that I would ever write, but like I said earlier that's not necessarily a bad thing because the statement is meant to be personal and reflect you as a person. However, if you look at the admissions criteria at various t14 schools many of them specifically mention the two things that I stated (why you want to be a lawyer/why law school is the next step), although I realize that there is an unspoken criteria that if it is interesting and reflective that may be enough.

If you look up some of the youtube videos for Asha Rangappa (the dean of admissions at yale) you can get some of her advice for yls specifically. Like I said she stresses the part about lawyer/whylawschool, but she also leaves room for more unique statements like yours. These videos are also old, but they aren't old enough that I'd discount them entirely. Her advice also doesn't necessarily apply to all law schools because they all want to think of themselves as unique snowflakes with different subjective criteria, but I think that mostly a statement about whylaw/lawschool can't go wrong at any school.

all of that being said the most important part of the statement is that it is reflective and shows how you think, and I think that this statement does that.

YBF-W
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby YBF-W » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:03 pm

This is an odd statement because It's not about you at all. It's about Nick. It's not clear why you're writing it. I kept reading looking for a point, but instead it's you telling us about Nick. I would simply advise that you do more research on what the point of a PS is and look at examples on TLS (both the chapter provided by Ken and the stickied collection of personal statements floating around somewhere) and on Spivey's site.

Also, yes, you don't have to spell out why you're interested in law school, but you should really answer to yourself what you want admissions officers to know about you and what characteristics you bring to the legal academic environment, amongst other questions. So yes, in doing that, you can talk primarily about an experience that is meaningful to you or shaped your views, but that's not really what you're doing here.

Sploshy
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby Sploshy » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:21 pm

The story has some things that you can pull out of it, but it doesn't come out and punch you with them. It is a subtle story, which might be ok? It deals with your maturing as an adult, your common sense, your care for others, and dealing with grief (although that is really a stretch). So while I agree that the statement is a little misguided I don't think its fair to say that it isn't a meaningful experience or didn't shape OP's views.

Its your first go like you said, so there is a lot of room for improvement, and I'm not sure whether its good to be subtle or just straight out say what you mean. I think that subtlety might be a mistake, but like I said I'm not an admissions officer.

To be honest (don't mean to hurt your feelings) I think that the idea of a statement about saying no to drugs might come off as a little childish. I've never done any drugs in my life, but it isn't something that I'd tell anyone about unless they specifically brought up the subject. The story is obviously not without its merits, but you might want to reconsider at least some aspects of it.

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mjb447
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby mjb447 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:40 pm

I generally agree with Sploshy. It's one thing to say that you don't have to do a "why I want to go to law school" PS (true). It's another to write a PS that leaves the impression that your life goals align better with being a counselor/teacher/coach/etc. than a lawyer.

cavalier1138
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:41 pm

Yeah, the issue isn't that I'm missing why you want to go to law school (although that doesn't come through at all, so I hope it's clear on your resume). The issue is that you've written a very compelling story about someone else. There's another PS from a day or two ago that takes a similar topic, but it doesn't feel like the writer took themselves out of the story so much. In this statement, you seem like a supporting character in the Adventures of Nick.

And you need a thorough read-through for basic grammar and syntax issues. There are lots of simple mistakes that shouldn't make it into anything that you submit.

lucretius_
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby lucretius_ » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:03 pm

I agree with the comments above that this story really isn't about you, which is a major problem. But, I'm going to go further and say that this is poorly written, not compelling, and does not make me more interested in you personally. You basically admit that you knew your friend was in trouble, but at several points were too afraid to take any action besides avoidance. As far as the story goes, you never discussed your friend's drug use and your concern with his increasingly erratic behavior. At the end, you mention that you sort of learned something from the experience, which I've translated as: "I should probably help kids that try drugs if that ever comes up sometime in my life." What sort of actions have you taken to show that you have grown from this experience? The actions you take are much more indicative of your personality than some vague notion that you have to do better in the future. Tell me a story about something you have done so I can assess you as a person.

I also think you have some issues with proper word use. So many "vocab" words in this piece are beyond clunky; they are actually not used correctly. Don't attempt to be flowery. Be direct in your language so your writing is clear and focused. What I read above is neither.

Don't take these comments personally. Personal Statements take a long time to perfect. I think mine took a good 2-3 months of Saturdays to get right. My original idea was only tangentially related to what I actually submitted with my applications because the story I first wrote about did a poor job of delivering my intended message. I spent at least a month just editing for clarity of prose to properly communicate my main point. Some pieces of this story may make it into your final statement, but I would recommend scrapping most of this and starting over with a story that deals with you.

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DorkothyParker
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby DorkothyParker » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:18 pm

It's a little dramatic for hanging out with some stoner kids. As it stands, the tone is a bit naïve.

It's not you, but I have a seen a few of these stories about other people (and their tragedies?) where the person doesn't actually intervene do anything other than "other" these individuals. It comes across a little judgmental and doesn't really show any growth on your end. I guess I would like a story that actively shows personal growth, not just states that it occurred. Can you give an example of something you have done since that moment that reflects this choice?

Anonymous User
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:54 am

Ya I think Im going to take out a paragraph or two and shift it to focus on me so the story makes it clear about my transition, and also work on some syntax things, and repost it later for yall.

MomJustLetMeGoToGULC
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Re: First go at my PS! lemme know

Postby MomJustLetMeGoToGULC » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:10 pm

I have to agree with Lucretius_. When it comes to Personal Statements, one of the biggest criticisms is that the applicant did not write their PS with themselves in mind. Law schools don't want to know about Nick. They want to know about YOU. I'd also have to agree that this is not a compelling story, nor is it well written. There's too much use of the passive voice and you're trying too hard to come off as intelligent. I'm sure you are! After all, it tends to be clever people who want to apply to law school. But once you get here, you'll find that your briefs and your memos will all have strict word limits, and the more flowery your language, the less your professors will enjoy it. You have also used a lot of words that do not make sense in their context (i.e. "dismay"," "protruded,"). Some portions are simply badly written.

On a slightly more personal note, that I hope you do not take personally, this story does not make you sound likeable. It makes you sound naïve, immature, and selfish. Please look out for that when writing. Law schools do not only care about your credentials and your experiences; they care about your likeability. You will go out into the world to represent them and their brand. They want a likeable person doing that. By all means, show off your achievements! But do it with the goal of making yourself the type of person that the admissions committee would like to get to know.

One last thing: you do not need a really sad story to write a compelling personal statement. It seems like you went digging through the annals of your past to find one, but it came off as insincere. Not everyone has tragedy strike; not everyone has a disability to overcome. Writing about positive experiences can be just as successful because admissions committees can tell when you're being genuine. You do not necessarily have to address why you want to go to law school unless the directions state it, but you should be telling that school why they want YOU specifically. What do YOU bring to the student body? How do YOU contribute to their diversity? How will YOU be a good ambassador for their school?




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