Transer PS Feedback?

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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Anonymous User
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Transer PS Feedback?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:04 pm

I posted this over in the Personal Statement section with no responses after a day. I sent a version of the personal statement below out yesterday to one school. I'm going to send out applications to most of the T14 tonight and tomorrow. As it is, it comes to about 2.5 pages double-spaced, so I'm going to need to cut some portions. Any feedback -- especially on substance and effectiveness -- is greatly appreciated.

In regards to the bit about depression and bipolar, my character and fitness was certified by my home state. I don't have to answer many of the C/F questions on the transfer applications but may include a short addendum stating I'm fine. Told in full, the struggle with mental illness makes for a very compelling story, but I'm a little concerned I may have wittled it down too much. Any thoughts on the degree to emphasize this would be helpful too.

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My father never went to college. Nor did any of my grandparents, including my paternal grandfather who would sometimes joke about “graduating from the eighth grade” – in reality he quit school to help support his family during the Great Depression. My mother was the first in my family to earn a college degree at the age of 30, and she along with my father sacrificed to give me opportunities they themselves did not have. My parents worked to ensure I took advantage of these opportunities by instilling values like hard work, perseverance, and the importance of education. I still cherish these lessons, but as I grew into adulthood, my world expanded and unexpected challenges arose making it necessary for me to dig deep within myself to gain unique insight and self-understanding as I left the world of my parents and entered my own. My first year of law school was a major step in this journey, but I also know it was not the end but just another step along the way. I believe that transferring to [insert school is the next step in the furtherance of my legal education and career.

[Home Region] where I was born and raised, includes not only [part of region] but the entire area west of [major city]. In the western part of the state, instead of development in the form of large cities, there are just a few small- to medium-sized cities scattered across seemingly endless dusty plains with small dying farm towns spaced in between. My hometown of [hometown] was one of the cities situated in the middle of this, and its culture closely mirrored the monotonous and static nature of the landscape. The city—steeped with intolerance, lingering racism, and a careless ignorance that often manifested as anti-intellectualism—was a difficult place for an intellectually curious child like me to grow up. I often found refuge in the playground of my mind or the many books I read, but as I grew older, and the unsatisfied yearnings for something beyond the city limits built up, the frustration gave way to depression that led to far greater challenges.

Depression eventually affected me to such a degree that I saw a psychiatrist who prescribed a standard antidepressant and then steadily increased the dosage to levels above the recommended limits. The high levels of medication triggered a manic episode, and so not long after my eighteenth birthday, while most my age were preparing to leave for college, I found myself hospitalized and struggling to hold on to some semblance of sanity. A diagnosis of bipolar disorder followed, and I was told that I would need to take powerful mood stabilizing medication with significant side effects for the rest of my life. I all at once had to overcome the embarrassment and stigma of mental illness, manage a chronic disease, and control side effects from medication. Despite these challenges, I never doubted my course in life, and after postponing college for a year to focus on my health, I started at the [State U].

In college, the depression continued, and I struggled to find the “right combination” of pharmaceutical drugs that I was told would alleviate the depression and allow me to feel like myself again. From a medical perspective, this combination came many years later after a doctor realized that I had been misdiagnosed and changed my diagnosis to a milder ailment with a better prognosis and less disruptive treatment. But the real cure came in the form of filling the hole that my earlier years in an intellectually oppressive environment created. The process of finding what I lost as a child began at the [State U] where I was exposed to new ways of thinking and the reality that the world was bigger than [home region]. I recall a particularly influential class, [course title] that applied scholarly criticism to the origins of Christianity as portrayed in the Bible and challenged many of the sacrosanct beliefs held by those in my hometown. Religious implications aside, the most novel concept I took from the class was how truth is revealed from a text not by blind acceptance but instead by reasoned analysis. This appreciation continued to develop throughout my years as an undergraduate, and while the road to graduation was not always smooth, I left the [State U] with a renewed belief in the value of learning, knowledge, and reason and confidence in my ability to overcome any challenge.

For four years after college, I worked in several jobs in education and electoral politics. These years represented both applications of the analytical tools I started to develop in college and efforts to share to those tools with others. But I found myself dissatisfied with both my own intellectual growth and the degree to which I could affect positive change in the world, and for these reasons I chose to begin law school at the [Current Law School]. There I found the rumors of long hours and the challenge of the case method to be true, but those of misery and impossible struggle proved decidedly false. To the contrary, while the inherent challenge of the study of law never subsided, instead of the predicted misery, I found pleasure. From the first class to the last exam, I reveled in every twist of logic, creative distinguishing of precedent, and policy argument. One of my few regrets from the past year is that the demanding first-year curriculum does not provide enough opportunity for an in-depth study of the issues presented to first year students. The introduction to the study of law filled the hole that my childhood and years of depression created, not by any revelation of specific knowledge but by exposure to a way of thinking and solving the problems of society.

[Here will be a paragraph or two on the importance of transferring in relation to the narrative I laid out and reasons to transfer to the specific school/region. Conclusion ties back into the general theme]

---

Thanks!

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stillwater
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Re: Transer PS Feedback?

Postby stillwater » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:15 pm

seems way too long

Anonymous User
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Re: Transer PS Feedback?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:17 pm

It comes out to about 2.5 double spaced including a paragraph about the school and conclusion. I'm going to cut it down to 2 pages to meet most of the applications. Does it read long? Also, for Berkeley, does anyone know if it's best to use the full four pages?

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Jsa725
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Re: Transer PS Feedback?

Postby Jsa725 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:19 pm

.
Last edited by Jsa725 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

transfer57
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Re: Transer PS Feedback?

Postby transfer57 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:30 pm

This is my main takeaway after reading the paper: "Law school has saved my life"

It seems a little over the top, but for what it is, the paper is well written.

Anonymous User
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Re: Transer PS Feedback?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:35 pm

The depression story was the sole focus of my 0L applications, and I was admitted to each school I applied to. I do not know what role the PS played in that though. I was a low GPA/high LSAT splitter.

With this one, I wanted to incorporate the depression into a broader narrative of finding myself and how the study of law fit into that. I would hope it doesn't read "I'm depressed, take me," but again, the story is difficult to tell in 2 double-spaced pages. Told in full, it's quite compelling, and that I overcame what I did had a lot to do with my success as a 1L and likely my future success.

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Jsa725
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Re: Transer PS Feedback?

Postby Jsa725 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:45 pm

.
Last edited by Jsa725 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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stillwater
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Re: Transer PS Feedback?

Postby stillwater » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:46 pm

Jsa725 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The depression story was the sole focus of my 0L applications, and I was admitted to each school I applied to. I do not know what role the PS played in that though. I was a low GPA/high LSAT splitter.

With this one, I wanted to incorporate the depression into a broader narrative of finding myself and how the study of law fit into that. I would hope it doesn't read "I'm depressed, take me," but again, the story is difficult to tell in 2 double-spaced pages. Told in full, it's quite compelling, and that I overcame what I did had a lot to do with my success as a 1L and likely my future success.


The transfer PS is different than the regular PS... Why do you want School X? Gotta hit that point hard... The depression is good to show "overcoming adversity" but it takes too long to get there... You could delete 1st paragraph and hit the ending harder...


agreed. i admit to be lazy on some of mine and using my PS from last year but supplied brief supplemental statements really hammering on my desire to be in the area.

Anonymous User
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Re: Transer PS Feedback?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:36 pm

Thanks for the help...I'm cutting some of the excess and trying to target it better. It should build to the point of why transferring is important to me. From there, I'll have about a half a page for specifics about transferring and the specific school.




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