help with personal statement

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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WashULawyer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:33 pm

help with personal statement

Postby WashULawyer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:37 pm

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Last edited by WashULawyer on Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: help with personal statement

Postby traehekat » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:49 pm

As much as I love There Will Be Blood, this is probably a bad idea. First of all, contrary to what I would like to think, I doubt a lot of people have even seen it (or read the book it was based on). For those who haven't, you are just going to sound weird. For those who have seen it, I'm sure they will pick up on what you are doing (I got it after the first sentence). However, then it comes off as a gimmick, which are rarely effective, especially for transfer applications.

You should also cut out any hint of putting down your current school/classmates, i.e., "becoming part of a superior student body," and "only other diamonds can cut a diamond" (nice imagery/metaphor/whatever, but it comes off wrong).

WashULawyer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:33 pm

Re: help with personal statement

Postby WashULawyer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:07 pm

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Last edited by WashULawyer on Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

maf70
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:57 am

Re: help with personal statement

Postby maf70 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:24 pm

I really dont care for it too much and its a bit risky. Your numbers alone are really good and will probably get you in to one of the Top 6. Id get rid of the gimmick and go with a safer more generic personal statement.

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traehekat
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Re: help with personal statement

Postby traehekat » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:45 pm

maf70 wrote:I really dont care for it too much and its a bit risky. Your numbers alone are really good and will probably get you in to one of the Top 6. Id get rid of the gimmick and go with a safer more generic personal statement.


+1. Look at it this way: unless you have some ridiculously impressive/unique experience and you present it well, your PS isn't going to help. However, it CAN hurt you. The potential risk doesn't match up with the potential reward. I would also recommend going a standard but well-thought out transfer PS.

WashULawyer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:33 pm

Re: help with personal statement

Postby WashULawyer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:50 pm

Well, what is a traditional, standard transfer PS? I mean, pretty much everyone who is trying to transfer into the schools I am trying to transfer into has had the same experience as me. What should I do differently? What should I talk about? Frankly, I have no idea what to put in this personal statement.

specialblend35
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: help with personal statement

Postby specialblend35 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:01 pm

I don't think everybody applying to T5 schools have gone to Israel to study Talmudic Law for two years. This is a great experience that could form the basis of a solid PS, and you could easily and effectively set this up as your motivation behind your goal to become a professor. You're too hung up on what to include. You've got plenty to talk about, I think what you need to focus on is what to drop.

Here are some suggestions:
1. Drop the first sentence. You dropped the douchey/arrogant half of the reference (as it comes off to those unfamiliar). Now it's just kinda confusing and meaningless. Lose the other half.
2. Paragraph two should be deleted. It does not effectively transition from the talmud experience to law school. Find another way to do this.
3. You spend too much time concentrating on the negative aspects of your law school experience. You're top 5%...let your numbers speak for themselves. No sense shooting yourself in the foot by pointing out your weaknesses in writing or on your K's midterm...especially when the payoff is a pretty weak "overcoming adversity" claim. Focus on what you liked. How did studying the talmud prepare you for your experience? Etc...
4. Drop the bit about video editing. You have far more compelling motivations besides teaching one class 6+ years ago. Having parents as teachers and studying the talmud like you did make this experience pale in comparison, in my opinion.
5. Drop "we" in the last sentence, unless you articulate some reason for your wife wanting to move to CA besides just coming with you.

How you write is far more important than what you write about, as far as PS's are concerned. This isn't a great piece of writing, in my humble opinion, and combined with some risky elements, there's definitely a potential for this to backfire on you. Spend some time making it the best piece of writing you can, and you should in be in shape to transfer successfully.

WashULawyer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:33 pm

Re: help with personal statement

Postby WashULawyer » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:24 pm

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Last edited by WashULawyer on Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

specialblend35
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:38 pm

Re: help with personal statement

Postby specialblend35 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:31 pm

This has improved significantly. I really like the anecdote, too.

I think you could still add it in, just make it a quick sentence about how this experience then inspired you to study the talmud for two years. It doesn't need it though, I don't think. Your call.

Well done!




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