Advice/Swapping Personal Statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
bvoets17

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Advice/Swapping Personal Statement

Postby bvoets17 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:37 am

Hi all, can someone please give me advice on my personal statement? I'm also willing to swap if anyone wants to...

One morning last spring, my manager called me into her office and broke the news on a development with one of the musical artists we represented in our production library. She let the members of our department and I know that this musical artist was suing us, claiming they did not receive the royalties they were entitled to based on our licensing of the music they wrote. As a music publishing company in operation since 1997 with a library of over 15,000 unique copyrights to musical works, it surprised me when I found out that this was the first time our company had faced a lawsuit of this nature. When I was told that I would be tasked with managing discovery for this lawsuit, this surprise turned into shock.

For three years prior to this moment, I spent my time working in a few different roles in the legal field. Prior to my current job, I was a case manager at an immigration law firm and while pursuing my undergraduate degree I was an investigator for the Pre-Trial Services Division of the Santa Barbara Superior Court. Despite this experience, I had no experience with lawsuits or the requirements of litigation. Coupling this with the lack of institutional knowledge on how to properly handle the collection and organization of the documents and other information we were required to provide made this a daunting task. I had been working at my company for a little over a year at this point, and this was by far the most important thing they had entrusted me with. If any part of this suit was mishandled, it could spell the loss of a significant amount of money in damages, not to mention sabotage my company’s reputation. While that made me a bit nervous, I also recognized this as a wonderful opportunity to learn about a process that is ubiquitous in the legal field. Further, I was being given a chance to lead, and therefore I chose to approach this situation with full confidence in the ability I knew I possessed.

Our opposing counsel requested that we provide a copy of every license granting use of this artist’s music over the past four years, and collection of these licenses was expected to begin immediately. We granted hundreds of unique licenses per year to a wide array of clients in all facets of the entertainment and advertising industry, so the breadth of this request made it difficult to determine where to start. This was intimidating, but I knew if I wanted to be effective, I would need a plan of attack that involved multiple departments acting as a cohesive unit. I began formulating this plan by considering the nature in which we offer licenses to our clients, and I recognized that not all of the licenses we issued required memorialization in a written contract. Instead, payment of the invoice memorialized the deal. Further, many of these licensed only included tracks not written by the plaintiff. With these points in mind, I worked with our accounting and IT teams to determine if it was possible to create a filter that would eliminate all invoices that did not explicitly state use of the plaintiff’s music, and then separate these invoices into two lists based on whether an invoice required a written contract or not. They believed this was possible, but warned it would be complicated because it would require that data be pulled from our past and current customer relationship management systems and then aggregated. This method could lead to important information slipping through the cracks. Despite these issues, I decided we move forward. Our only alternative was to search through each contract manually, and unfortunately we did not have the manpower to complete a search of that magnitude in the time given . Luckily, some clever work with Microsoft Excel by these teams allowed us to pull the information needed to begin.

My department began collection of the list of invoices that required contracts, and I delegated responsibility of the collection and delivery of those that did not require contracts to our accounting department. With our roadmap in hand, we began searching for original copies of each agreement and invoice in our server files, hard files and off-site archives. As each license was pulled, I instructed that they be labeled with their corresponding invoice number. I believed this was the best method of organization, because it would allow for our counsel to easily search the files to find the documents that corresponded with one another during their analysis. Once the necessary documents were found, organized and reviewed for accuracy, we had a collection of over 2,000 documents amounting to over 16 million dollars in revenue for the company. In this delivery we also included a spreadsheet with notes that explained the complexities (including, for example, which were direct performance licenses ) of some of the licenses, to quell any possible confusion that may arise. This delivery was comprehensive and represented the majority of business we had done over the past four years. With the exception of a few questions from our outside counsel related to the files over the coming months, we were happy to find we provided all of the information needed for our lawyers to confidently present our argument against what the lawsuit was alleging.

When I think back on this project I was tasked with last spring, I cannot help but be proud of the results of my hard work. I was presented with a challenge I was not sure I could handle, but through hard work, perseverance and application of my leadership and problem solving skills, I proved to my superiors and myself that I was capable of taking control of a task that, if failed, came with huge consequences. The potential I showcased during this period earned me a promotion, and since then, I have been entrusted with managing other projects. Although the stakes have not always been as high, I’ve approached them with the same confidence and focus and have found similar success in all of them. It has been my goal to pursue a career in the legal field for quite some time now, but my positive experience with this project and subsequent tasks has cemented the belief that I have the potential to excel in this profession. I know this road will be difficult and I know there will be times when I question my convictions, but I am eager to continue my journey onward. From this I have learned that if I trust in my abilities and approach each new challenge with concentration and tenacity, I am certain I will find the success I hope to achieve in this endeavor.


Thanks!

Scutrules

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Re: Advice/Swapping Personal Statement

Postby Scutrules » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:31 pm

I perused your posts and I see that this is a completely different version of a PS than those you previously posted. I think this one is definitely the most focused of the three and I like the lessons learned section at the end. However, I think how you challenged yourself, how you didn't back away from the task because of lack of experience, is much more important than the specifics of gathering the data and whatnot. Those specifics don't matter and I found myself thinking that this was a decent essay if I wanted to learn about gathering and promulgating years of data. I would expand the last paragraph and minimize the rest.

bvoets17

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Re: Advice/Swapping Personal Statement

Postby bvoets17 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:51 pm

Thanks for your input. I understand what you mean, I focused more on the task instead of focusing on what my handling of the task says about me. I'll revise and rework with that in mind.

I appreciate your help!

Bioverse7140

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Re: Advice/Swapping Personal Statement

Postby Bioverse7140 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:32 pm

Hey everyone,

This is my first time applying to law school and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to take a quick peek at my personal statement. I understand if there are some grammatical issues, but I really want to know if this is going in the right direction. I will be censoring some information on here as it may give away some personal information about me and I'm not exactly a fan of giving information that would pinpoint who I am. I really wanted to showcase my research experience in my field and wanted to relate it to the law since it is a research-heavy endeavor and show I am capable of performing well in law school. Let me know what your opinions are, I am welcome to any form of criticism be it, "I like it but it could use a little more tweaking," too, "law schools won't care about this statement, trash it because it is trash."

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I felt the silk web clasp onto my face as I walked through the tall grasses on the side of the mountain. I paused and could feel something crawl up my skin, something that had eight legs and eight eyes. I looked at my hand and saw a beautiful rainbow colored jumping spider. The average person would normally try to swat it off or scream, but a sense of excitement came over me. It was at this point I said to my colleague and advisor that this would be the best place to stop and begin collecting arachnids for our research. I reached into my bag to grab my quadrat sampling tool, placing it on the soil while brushing aside bushes and shrubs, I set the timer for collection, and went to work finding spiders, harvestmen, ticks, and even pseudoscorpions. After returning to my lab to begin my analysis and research on the freshly collected arachnids, it dawned on me how arachnology shares its process to legal studies along with its practice as well. Writing, research, and analysis are some of the keys to success in the legal field, and arachnology requires these elements for success. Overall, this experience was a challenging one, but exciting and rewarding nonetheless.

The most interesting aspect of arachnology is that it brought me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to get my hands dirty in something that I never fully understood before. Initially, I was terrified of spiders, until I read more about arachnids in my Ecology class when my current research advisor took it over and became fascinated by how their consumption of insects aid in controlling trophic levels, preventing environmental damage. To being my first ventures in arachnological research, I conducted an arachnid assessment out at the ------------------, a place that was heavily affected by the --------------------- over the course of a hundred years, to determine how the impact of -------- pollution would impact the biodiversity of arachnid populations. Spending time here made me lean towards observing the aesthetic beauty of the mountain, with its duality of half lush forest and the other half barren. One of the desires in my life is to protect the land and prevent unnecessary harm to it, and I feel after viewing both the sceince and policy sides of the environment, law would best suit my interests.

Part of the reason why I loved this project was because of the attention to detail necessary to identify arachnids. First, I needed to have a complete understanding of arachnid anatomy, which I studied before conducting the project and understand the definition of a different body part with its description. Next, a thick taxonomy book would provide certain rules and steps required for proper identification; however, this guide would be useless without prior knowledge on arachnid anatomy. The challenging part of the project comes when I would have to look into the microscope and observe the specimen’s eyes, legs, genitals, coloration, various appendages, etc. The reason is that it’s challenging to ascertain the correct body parts along with determining the different variations of each body part when reviewing sketches from taxonomy textbooks, leading me to make inferences based on the current evidence. The difference between two almost identical species could mean the difference of a centimeter in a segment of one leg. The law requires this attention to detail and being able to spot the minute differences between something and to make inferences based on past information in a case.

After a few months of researching arachnids, I became further engrossed in the topic and decided to conduct my honors thesis on them. This thesis would allow me to study the harvestmen, “a.k.a. daddy long legs” and review a poorly studied family known as the Cosmetidae. Throughout the project, my goals are to assist in reworking the families’ phylogenetic tree, due to previous taxonomic issues apparent since the fifties. This new endeavor in identification would require me to learn new concepts from genetics, a class that I regretfully could never take due to scheduling conflicts. This is because describing a new species properly requires DNA testing to prevent the issue of improper identification of a similar species. Furthermore, I will provide an in-depth description of a new species from the families’ genus, Erginulus, along with naming a brand new species from the families’ genus. I plan on naming it after my Ecology professor and advisor who encouraged me to major in Environmental Science, Dr. -------, who passed away last year, naming it Erginulus ----------- in honor of him. Even though it is known that this family of harvestmen has taxonomic issues, I will still have to defend my thesis showcasing why prior identifications are wrong, along with the reasoning as to why Erginulus ------------ is a new species. Much like the law, I would have to provide evidence for the new species to an honors panel, much like a jury, and persuade them that my research holds ground, and will hopefully be published in a scientific journal.

Similar to the law, arachnology requires precise language, the ability to point out holes and come up with new studies that solve issues of arachnids pertaining to its biology or taxonomy. These skills were conveyed in my final term paper for my senior seminar class which focused on two popular Amazonian spiders, the Brazilian Wandering Spider, and the Goliath-Bird eating spider. I enjoyed this paper immensely because of the unique, yet scarce material on these two spiders, leading me to learn more about arachnid biology and the Amazon Rainforest itself. The objective of this paper was to provide a background on these spiders and what they are known for in a concise, scientific manner. Next, I conducted a literary review, pointing out flaws and gaps in studies along with comments to improve their research, similar to how attorneys point out flaws and inherent problems in a contract, statute, ruling, etc. The best part of the paper was coming up with my own research projects and applying past research along with my new ideas that could remedy current mysteries of arachnids such as venom production for medicines and evaluate their potential to regenerate hairs to improve their defenses. Solving an unsolved issue has something that always excited me, which is why the aspect of case laws intrigues me.

The skills needed for law schools are skills that I use every day in my ongoing research, and I love every minute of it whether it be analysis, research, writing, or demonstrating my work. Overall, I always enjoy learning something new and do my best to take on new challenges. I’ve never let anything stop me from enhancing my own knowledge and bettering myself. The law is ever changing, requiring to always and be committed to learning new concepts no matter what. With the law, it will perhaps lead me to my goals in aiding the environment; however, I am always willing to delve into new areas and try new things.

Scutrules

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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: Advice/Swapping Personal Statement

Postby Scutrules » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:34 pm

@Bioverse7140, this sounded like a paper on the importance of attention to detail when identifying spiders. I see that you used parallels between your work with spiders and with law but it felt like a stretch to connect the two.

I liked the thought process behind your PS. I think you started with a good concept but then you went off on spiders and their characteristics and you used "etc" too often for a PS. Use the concept but maybe discuss the challenges more (you mentioned your fear of spiders, that must have been difficult to overcome).

Lastly, you don't really sound excited about going to law school. You sound excited about spiders and the environment. You like law because you like learning stuff. Why law school, then, over watching youtube videos and reading old cases?



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