critique addendum please

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GoBroncos22!
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critique addendum please

Postby GoBroncos22! » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:43 pm

Let me know how badly this sucks, god I feel like a jackass having to write one of these to explain why I let alcohol get me in so much trouble.


Experience can be a tough lesson, but of course, it is inevitable. Admittedly, I allowed alcohol to have far too great an influence in my life beginning in college and I certainly paid the consequences. In November of 2007, I received a minor in consumption of alcohol ticket while at a friend’s house and was ordered to attend 12 hours of alcohol education. In _______, I was arrested for a misdemeanor ________ I had to spend 2 nights in jail, pay a fine, attend 60 hrs of alcohol counseling, A.A meetings and was sentenced to a year of probation. In _______ I was arrested for misdemeanor __________ while walking home from a friend’s house (again under the influence of alcohol) in 20 degree weather, and was attempting to find somewhere to warm up. I was ordered to pay restitution, court costs/fines, put on a year of probation and ordered to 7 days of Sheriffs labor duty. As of now, since that night in January, I have not touched alcohol nor have I had any desire to do so. I wouldn’t say I ever had a “drinking problem”, I just allowed myself to lose focus and inhibitions while under the influence. I see how much of a better person I am without it in my life. Alcohol certainly played a part in my poor grades in the first year and a half, but the blame, of course, has to be placed on myself. Now, I am refocused, determined and have vowed to impart some of the lessons I have learned on others, perhaps before experience teaches them the hard way.


I just ommitted the dates and charges, but if your creative im sure you can come up with them. Should I explain specifics more?

CanadianWolf
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Re: critique addendum please

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:50 pm

DELETE: "I wouldn't say that I've ever had a drinking problem, I just allowed myself to lose focus & inhibitions while under the influence."

This is not an effective addendum because you write with a tone of anger & blame alcohol rather than yourself.

Alcohol is an addictive behavior, try to substitute running, weightlifting, swimming or another positive behavior for your addiction to alcohol.

GoBroncos22!
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Re: critique addendum please

Postby GoBroncos22! » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:15 pm

Thanks, I will. I totally forgot to mention my biking and running and how I have taken them alot more serious now and focus energy there.

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LAWLAW09
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Re: critique addendum please

Postby LAWLAW09 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:23 pm

If I were you, I wouldn't write an "addendum." I'd write a "personal statement" explaining what your way of thinking and living was leading up to the violations, your way of thinking at the time of them, and what your way of thinking and living is now and why. Each phase should be related to the subject of alcohol.


"This was my mistake. I know I messed up. I've grown and it won't happen again" is not very convincing to me. I understand that keeping it that short and to the point is the traditional advice given on here but in your situation (and in many others) I think that's the wrong approach to take.

Your statement does not "show" growth, remorse, or a shift in thinking and living. It only claims it. This advice is given often on PS and DS and not for addenda probably b/c of the risk of sounding like you're making excuses or looking like you can't be concise. Account for both of those risks in how you write your statement and forget about length. Length has nothing to do with coming off as an excuse-maker or a rambler.

Unwritten rules for the length of addenda shouldn't concern you b/c it is in the adcoms interest that they don't get flooded with supplemental essays that are neither well written or substantive. After three similar violations, you should have plenty to say.


It's my belief that the absolute worst thing an addendum can do is to leave the person reading it with a bunch of unanswered questions. While preferences change from person to person and school to school, I say you're better off writing a longer statement that leaves no questions (or that answers as many as possible), than you are by writing a shorter statement that leads to many.



I'm sure others will offer their opinion. Sort through them and try to write an addendum that at the very least gets you rejected for what they know about you, and not from what they don't.


Good luck.

GoBroncos22!
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:18 pm

Re: critique addendum please

Postby GoBroncos22! » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:11 pm

Thank you Lawlaw09. In my actual PS I dont mention at all these incidents. Would I be better off making some allusion to them in there instead, or just leaving that as it is and write a longer addendum. I was just focusing on keeping it short and simple, but now what you said, maybe I will make it a little longer for more explanation. Anymore thoughts?

CanadianWolf
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Re: critique addendum please

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:15 pm

Do not put this in your personal statement.

Write a short addendum accepting responsibility, admitting (if true) to an addictive personality & claiming your new passions as running & biking. Keep it short, humble & positive.

If maturity was/is an issue, then your personal statement should reflect a willingness to recognize & accept your weaknesses while illustrating a more mature & positive attitude.

GoBroncos22!
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Re: critique addendum please

Postby GoBroncos22! » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:46 pm

One more question. Surperisingly, my attorney for these incidents turned out to be one of the biggest influences ever and made me want to be a lawyer more than ever. He was an amzing guy and really taught me alot about maturation, self respect, etc...should I mention this at all? Or is this just pointless

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jtemp320
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Re: critique addendum please

Postby jtemp320 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:49 pm

Im not sure how non-specific you can be but I almost think if you can say

I was arrested in three non-violent alcohol related incidents. I deeply regret my immaturity and these mistakes - I have learned from them and not only do I no longer drink alcahol I have become a more focused, serious and mature person since these incidents as reflected by X you see you in my application.

Either this is something you address in your PS in a positive narrative or I'd avoid going more then 3 lines making excuses, giving specifics - just show that you made some mistakes which will be reflected in your record, you regret it, will not repeat it and youve grown in some demonstrable way since

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: critique addendum please

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:56 pm

jtemp320 wrote:Im not sure how non-specific you can be but I almost think if you can say

I was arrested in three non-violent alcohol related incidents. I deeply regret my immaturity and these mistakes - I have learned from them and not only do I no longer drink alcahol I have become a more focused, serious and mature person since these incidents as reflected by X you see you in my application.

Either this is something you address in your PS in a positive narrative or I'd avoid going more then 3 lines making excuses, giving specifics - just show that you made some mistakes which will be reflected in your record, you regret it, will not repeat it and youve grown in some demonstrable way since

+1. AdComms don't need to know you were walking home from a friends house, etc. They need to know that you have taken responsibility for your actions, have had treatment, and are sober and therefore won't let alcohol get in the way of success in law school or as a lawyer. Make it short and to the point.

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SullaFelix
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Re: critique addendum please

Postby SullaFelix » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:04 pm

GoBroncos22! wrote:Let me know how badly this sucks, god I feel like a jackass having to write one of these to explain why I let alcohol get me in so much trouble.


Experience can be a tough lesson, but of course, it is inevitable.


I would cut this first line. It's not remotely necessary.

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LAWLAW09
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Re: critique addendum please

Postby LAWLAW09 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:32 pm

I dont post that often so I'm not sure how helpful I'll be moving forward.
Unless your application looks like the typical application in the eyes of the adcoms (hopefully it doesn't), then generic advice has its limitations.

I don't know what 'story' the rest of your application (PS, work history, resume, etc) is telling, so I can only say what is and isn't believable to a certain degree.

What qualities are emphasized and said in your letter of recommendations and how far removed you are from the violations are things that matter. How close the events were to each other and why is something you should address. It being 20 degrees outside isn't. 'I'm ready to show others how not to make the same mistakes that I did' isn't believable. 'I've been volunteering (not court ordered) at xyz since Jan to help others avoid dangers associated with alcholism and youthful irresponsibility'... is.


Maybe taking some time to distance urself from this events should be considered.
You gotta decide how believable ur own addendum is and how believable it can be made. Let ppl that don't know and that aren't on TLS read it and ask them 'What comes to mind when you read this?' and then ask, 'What questions do you still have about the person that wrote that after reading it?' Whatever questions and doubts u get back need to be addressed in some fashion in your application. Ideally, your application should address those events in a way that makes you appear to be a stronger applicant bc of them

Lastly, I'd consider using a different addenda based on whether or not the school is reach, target, etc. Again, what you can and can't get away with saying depends on the story that makes up the rest of your application and the strength of that story.

Good luck.

GoBroncos22!
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:18 pm

Re: critique addendum please

Postby GoBroncos22! » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:58 pm

Wonderful, thank you guys so much. I will consider all of these criticisms and write a new one and post it when I am finished.




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