personal statement review/ideas/trades?

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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Headybrah
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personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby Headybrah » Mon May 09, 2011 4:24 pm

anyone got advice on person statements for transfers?

anyone want a second pair of eyes for theirs?

lets make this thread a place to share ideas, trade PSs and the like

Zazelmaf
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby Zazelmaf » Mon May 09, 2011 8:25 pm

I'm currently editing mine, but once I have a better idea, I'll post it here. I have about a week before I send it out, so I need to get crack-a-lackin'.

Zazelmaf
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby Zazelmaf » Tue May 10, 2011 11:15 am

Although I am not done yet, this is what I got. I would like to finish this and send it out in the next week (still have a Constitutional Law final to study for and am going to Central America after). I will also be applying to Cardozo, Brooklyn, Rutgers and possibly NYU - so will edit accordingly

---

I am an intrepid soul. This is not because I do not know what I want, but because I am willing to pay the price to make my dreams a reality. I lead a goal-centric life that has made me the first in my family to finish college, the first to attend law school, and the first to travel and live abroad. I succeed, despite the discouragement that often comes from those less adventurous, because I have learned to quickly build a home and join a community wherever I go.

I have sacrificed much but gained more. After I graduated high school I left my hometown in rural Montana to study in Seattle. I pursued my career in San Francisco. I have immersed myself in the cultures of South East Asia, Europe, and Central America. I have always had an affinity for other cultures and a willingness to openly compare and contrast ours with others around the globe.

More recently, I left San Francisco, a city I had grown to love, to pursue my passion to practice law in NYC. I was thrilled to move to Massachusetts to study law. Each morning I would tell myself that I was one step closer to having my JD. As my first year comes to a close, I realize that I am a third of the way there. However, I find myself nearing a new transition. My dream has always been to practice law in New York City. When deciding on where to begin law school I chose to focus on the east coast and though I was not admitted into a school in New York City, I remain committed to that goal. I believed I would end up in the city I dreamed of living in, and it drove me to excel.

In realization of our shared goals, my wife has been accepted into St. John’s in New York to obtain her degree in education. I realize now is the time to begin the study of law at Fordham University. (not sure if this is too short, or what I could add to it)

I have chose to pursue the study of law at Fordham as it is well known for its international law program as well as its renowned International Law Journal. The campus location in the center of New York City makes Fordham more ideal to me. My interest in Fordham is furthered by it being a Jesuit institution. I attended University of San Francisco, another Jesuit university, and it was there I realized my passion for the law and thirst for knowledge. Fordham’s strong alumni network in the San Francisco Bay Area is yet another reason I have chose Fordham as the place I most want to study the law.

I have greatly challenged myself during my first year of law school and I realize that the challenges, and the rewards, have only begun. I have greatly enjoyed my first year and all that I have learned. My next life goal is to transfer and complete my Juris Doctor at Fordham University and begin a challenging and rewarding career in New York City.

My life is about goals and obtaining those goals. I will always do what it takes to make my dreams a reality and to make myself a better person. I believe that the guidance of one of New York’s best law schools is truly the next step in my life. I know that I will be a success and I want Fordham University to be a part of it.

kaiser
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby kaiser » Tue May 10, 2011 11:25 am

..
Last edited by kaiser on Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Older Chest
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby Older Chest » Tue May 10, 2011 11:34 am

Zazelmaf wrote:I know that I will be a success and I want Fordham University to be a part of it.

You need to take this line out of your personal statement.

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rinkrat19
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue May 10, 2011 12:06 pm

Zazelmaf wrote:Although I am not done yet, this is what I got. I would like to finish this and send it out in the next week (still have a Constitutional Law final to study for and am going to Central America after). I will also be applying to Cardozo, Brooklyn, Rutgers and possibly NYU - so will edit accordingly

---
I am an intrepid soul. This is not because I do not know what I want [This doesn't make sense. I don't automatically assume that intrepid=undecided. Intrepid means daring/brave.], but because I am willing to pay the price to make my dreams a reality[that is closer to the definition of intrepid, but still not quite right]. I lead a goal-centric life[this is telling, not showing, about yourself] that has made me the first in my family to finish college, the first to attend law school and the first to travel and live abroad. I succeed, despite the discouragement that often comes from those less adventurous[need examples to show, not tell], because I have learned to quickly build a home and join a community wherever I go.

I have sacrificed much but gained more.[You don't give any examples of sacrifices made or gaines earned.] After I graduated high school,[comma] I left my hometown in rural Montana to study in Seattle.[How/why did you make that choice? What major? What school? Was it hard? Was it fun?] I pursued my career in San Francisco.[What career?] I have immersed myself in the cultures of South East[Southeast is one word] Asia, Europe[no comma] and Central America. I have always had an affinity for other cultures and a willingness to openly compare and contrast ours with others around the globe.[Telling, not showing. Travel could be an entire essay on its own if you use it properly.]

More recently, I left San Francisco, a city I had grown to love, to pursue my passion to practice goal of practicing law. [You don't have a passion to practice yet because you haven't actually practiced yet.] in NYC. I was thrilled to move to Massachusetts to study law. Each morning, as I got ready for class at XXX Law School, I would tell myself that I was one step closer to having my JD. As my first year comes to a close, I realize that I am a third of the way there. [Mentioning the actual fraction sounds silly. Of course one year of law school is 1/3.] However, I find myself nearing ready to make a new transition. My dream has always been to practice law in New York City. When deciding on where to begin law school,[comma] I chose to focus on the east coast.[period] and Though I was not admitted into a school in New YorkCity, I remain committed to that goal. I believed I would end up in the city I dreamed of living in, and it My unyielding believe that someday my hard work could take me there drove me to excel. [Name some ways that you have excelled at your current school. Ranking? Grades? Just general awesomeness in class respected by peers and professors?]

In realization of As another step toward our shared goals, my wife has been accepted into St. John’s University in New York to obtain her degree in education. I realize Now is the time for me to begin the study of law at Fordham University. [Add something about your wife is ready to move from Mass to NY as well, so this is a critical juncture in both your lives.]

I have chose chosen to pursue the study of law at Fordham as it is well known for its international law program as well as its renowned International Law Journal. [You do know that International Law is largely the mythical unicorn of Law, right? You can still write about it, but know that very few people pratice "International Law" as such, and those few people are probably not coming from Fordham. But it could still be used as a strong PS topic if you tie it into your experiences traveling the world instead of just tossed in here like a buzzword you found in the Fordham viewbook.] The campus location in the center of New York City makes Fordham more ideal to me. [Why? Because it's convenient for your wife, too? Because you have always loved the pace of life in NYC? Because you like Broadway shows?] My interest in Fordham is furthered strengthened by it being a Jesuit institution. I attended the University of San Francisco, another Jesuit university, and it was there I realized my passion for the law and thirst for knowledge. [This isn't a strong enough example. Are you a Catholic? Whether yes or no, did attending another Catholic university make some kind of impression on you? Otherwise it sounds about as deep as if you chose your law school because it has the same mascot as your UG school.] Fordham’s strong alumni network in the San Francisco Bay Area is yet another reason I have chose chosen Fordham as the place I most want to study the law.

I have greatly challenged myself during my first year of law school and I realize that the challenges, and the rewards, have only begun. I have greatly enjoyed my first year at XXX Law School and all that I have learned. My next life goal is to transfer and complete my Juris Doctor at Fordham University and begin a challenging and rewarding career in New York City.

My life is about goals and obtaining those goals. I will always do what it takes to make my dreams a reality and to make myself a better person. [You haven't given me a single other example of setting goals or achieving them, aside from starting law school in the wrong place, which doesn't really support your statement.] I believe that the guidance of one of New York’s best law schools is truly the next step in my life. I know am confident that I will be a success and I want Fordham University to be a part of it.


I fiddled a bit with the structure, but this PS isn't strong. I learn almost nothing about you as a person beyond a few bald statements like "My life is about goals." It could be a Why Fordham essay (although your 'why' basically boils down to 'It's in NYC and I think I can get in'), but as a personal statement, it falls short. No sense of who you are or what your life has been like comes through at all.

I would scrap it and write a travel-centric essay, using specific examples of how your experiences abroad have affected you as a person and inspired you to A)go to law school and B)change schools mid-stream. And a better sense of what you want to do with your JD beyond the amorphous and mythical "International Law" would be a good idea. Do you want to work abroad? (In that case, why do you think an American JD would help? Plus you say over and over that you want to practice in NYC.) Do you want to lobby for NGOs? (In which case, DC might be better than NYC.) Do you want to work for a New York firm with foreign offices? (In which case, a useful focus like contracts or transactions or whatever would likely get you there faster than studying "International Law.") Do you want to work for the UN? (In which case, you need to be realistic about the chances of getting there from Fordham/Cardozo/etc and not Columbia or NYU.)
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Tue May 10, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue May 10, 2011 12:09 pm

kaiser wrote:I also have a Q about transfer PS. I haven't actually written mine yet, but I was wondering if this is a good idea. I got into my dream school when I first applied, but personal circumstances dictated that I pick a lower ranked school in order to be closer to home. But now that those personal circumstances have abated (plus the fact that my grades will likely land me around the 10%-15% of my class), I sort of want to "take my rightful place" with my dream school. It would be a move from a T30 to a T10

I was going to write the PS all about the joy I felt upon getting into the school in the first place, and all the things I loved about it that convinced me i wanted to be there. Then will be the interlude about how personal circumstances made it impossible at the time. But then I spin in based on all that I have learned and all the success I have had at my 1L school. And conclude by saying that I'm an even stronger applicant than the one they admitted in the past, they have always been where I want to be, and while I "took the long road around" I hope to graduate in their class of 2013, as I always dreamed of doing.

Just on a side note, do you think being previously admitted to a school, plus the fact that I REALLY wanted to go there, will work in my favor as a transfer? I'm sure 99% of transfers are students who were originally rejected or waitlisted, so I'm figuring I will be an atypical transfer applicant, and I'm hoping that would make me stand out.


I think that could be a very good way to approach your transfer PS topic.

(I have no input on your possible chances. Sorry!)

keg411
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby keg411 » Tue May 10, 2011 12:15 pm

I actually disagree with the above and don't think there is enough "Why Fordham". From what I can tell, transfer statements are VERY different from standard PS's in that you have to basically tell the school why you want to be there. Mention specific classes, specific programs and specific opportunities that are unavailable at your current law school and why you want to transfer. Besides, "practice law in NY", what are your career goals and how will Fordham (or whatever school you are applying to) help you get there?

Also, you should talk about experiences you've had in law school rather than pre-law school. Unless Fordham has a specialized international program that you want to take part in, "traveling the country/world" isn't compelling for a transfer essay.

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rinkrat19
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue May 10, 2011 12:17 pm

keg411 wrote:I actually disagree with the above and don't think there is enough "Why Fordham". From what I can tell, transfer statements are VERY different from standard PS's in that you have to basically tell the school why you want to be there. Mention specific classes, specific programs and specific opportunities that are unavailable at your current law school and why you want to transfer. Besides, "practice law in NY", what are your career goals and how will Fordham (or whatever school you are applying to) help you get there?

Also, you should talk about experiences you've had in law school rather than pre-law school. Unless Fordham has a specialized international program that you want to take part in, "traveling the country/world" isn't compelling for a transfer essay.


Fair point. I agree that this is a valid approach. Either way, there needs to be much more detail beyond "it's in NYC" and "I am goal-oriented."

bmore
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby bmore » Tue May 10, 2011 12:26 pm

"I have chose chosen to pursue the study of law at Fordham". Not yet you haven't. You would like to study law there. Too much about goals and acheivements without enough to back it up.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby UCLAtransfer » Tue May 10, 2011 1:06 pm

keg411 wrote:I actually disagree with the above and don't think there is enough "Why Fordham". From what I can tell, transfer statements are VERY different from standard PS's in that you have to basically tell the school why you want to be there. Mention specific classes, specific programs and specific opportunities that are unavailable at your current law school and why you want to transfer. Besides, "practice law in NY", what are your career goals and how will Fordham (or whatever school you are applying to) help you get there?

Also, you should talk about experiences you've had in law school rather than pre-law school. Unless Fordham has a specialized international program that you want to take part in, "traveling the country/world" isn't compelling for a transfer essay.


For me, this is absolutely credited. My transfer personal statements were very targeted toward each school. The structure I used was basically this:

1st paragraph: Something about how I had always known I wanted to go to law school, but 1L absolutely reaffirmed it. Talked about a couple of areas of law that I became interested in and classes I did particularly well in (CALI awards), how I became part of the community and enjoyed my peers/prof, but that I was positive that I wanted to end up in X city, and therefore felt transferring was necessary.

2nd/3rd paragraphs: Talked about the reasons I wanted to transfer (mainly geographic for me), why school X was the best place for me-discussed specific programs/clinics/etc. they had that I was interested in, notable professors who I wanted to take classes with/work with, and mentioned areas that the school is supposed to be great in as aligning w/my interests. (This should be VERY targeted, by just being very specific about why you are interested in X school above all others, and matching their strengths with your interests.)

Last paragraph: sell them on why you think you would be a good addition to their student body, why school X is a perfect fit, how school X would help achieve your goal(s) (specifically).

Zazelmaf
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Re: personal statement review/ideas/trades?

Postby Zazelmaf » Tue May 10, 2011 4:01 pm

Thank you all for your advice so far. I tried to mostly change it, made it more travel oriented. To be honest, I have always been bad at these. I am not sure how I got into my current school, but I do realize I need as strong as a statement as possible, so I am going to keep at it.
---

I am an intrepid soul. I am willing to pay the price to make my dreams a reality. A year ago I was accepted to (law school). I lived in San Francisco at the time, but I was determined to do what it took to begin the study of law. Most of my life I have survived with little money. Resources were tight when it came time for me to decide to either begin my dream or defer it. I chose to begin a new course, and I know I made the right choice.

It was through meticulous saving that we found a way to afford to move to the northeast from the Pacific coast. My wife and I gave away most of our possessions and embarked on a journey by bus across the United States. This was not my first journey across a continent. Three years before my wife and I traveled by train and bus from Bangkok, Thailand to Singapore and back. It was on this trip, as well as previous journeys in Mexico and Europe that I gained a great appreciation for the diverse cultures of the world. I witnessed first hand Buddhist temples, traveling with monks from the Bangkok to the temple of Doi Suthep high in the mountains above Chiang Mai. Upon returning to San Francisco, I continued to study and volunteer with Buddhist organizations, even though I myself am not Buddhist.

Even when in Thailand, I knew I wanted to go to law school. I was more aware of that goal even when I left the city I loved. I was thrilled to move to Massachusetts to study law. I knew it was through hard work and perseverance that I would excel. I created excellent relationships with my professors, always with a desire to understand the law more deeply. When midterm grades were posted, I found I was ahead of my peers. I always believed that I would do well. It was because the sacrifices I made as well as my love of learning the law that motivated me.

I originally chose to study on the east coast because is my goal to practice law in New York City, and though I was not admitted to a school in New York, I am committed to that goal. As another step toward our shared goals, my wife has been accepted to St. John’s University in New York to obtain her degree in education. Like myself, she is the first in her family to obtain a higher education. We both realize that this is a critical juncture in our lives and we are excited to begin it. Now is the time for me to begin my study of law at Fordham University.

I have chosen to pursue the study of law at Fordham for its course offerings in international and corporate law. I desire to work in and represent the corporate world while having first hand knowledge of how the laws of the world I have loved exploring shapes international business and financial transactions. Having lived in downtown San Francisco and Seattle, and yearning to return to a major city, Fordham’s central campus location is ideal to me. The strong values that were instilled in me as well as the superb education I gained from attending a Jesuit university is another reason I greatly desire to be member at Fordham. Fordham’s strong alumni network in the San Francisco Bay Area is yet another reason I have chosen Fordham as the place I most want to study the law.

I have greatly enjoyed studying at (law school), and will always be grateful for the chance they took on admitting me. However, for my personal and career goals, I realize that Fordham is a much stronger fit. It is through Fordham’s strength in the corporate world that sets it apart from my current law school. Realistically, I realize that my opportunities to begin practicing in New York City are much stronger by attending a school in New York City. In order to fulfill that which both my wife and I want, it is time we make this transition. I believe that the guidance of one of New York’s best law schools is truly the next step in my life. I realize that in order to obtain success one must know what they want and pursue it. I am confident that Fordham University is where I belong.




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