PS Critique Needed

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Post Reply

Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:22 pm

PS Critique Needed

Post by ck3ku » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:52 pm

Last edited by ck3ku on Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar

Posts: 172
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:39 am

Re: PS Critique Needed

Post by bedefan » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:40 pm

Hi c3ku,

That's certainly a dramatic image you start with, and it leaves the reader wondering what the context is (I thought "car accident" and wasn't sure where you were going with it). And you definitely come across as ambitious, and as a feminist.

There are some seriously problems with this PS though. There is first of all the issue of language. It's apparent that you're not a native speaker; you'll definitely want to have one proofread this essay and correct the mistakes that it's easy for a non-native speaker of English to make (e.g. using "the" too much, using the plural to indicate generality when the singular is called for, etc.).

Another issue is that you underestimate the emotional power of your anecdote. You move from the graphic scene at the beginning to a happy childhood, and then somewhat suddenly (and confusingly) give the background of that scene, but that move suddenly and jarringly to saying that now everything is OK. Really? After your dad pushed your mom down a hill and beat her? You just don't make it believable for the reader--your treatment of the event cheapens what would otherwise be very powerful.

A third issue revolves around the issue of your father, and I would venture that this is the biggest issue with this essay. Given that you give only vague reasons for wanting to attend law school (you want to be a "career woman"--oh, and you want to work for justice--and you're interested in International Law because, well, you're an international?), and given how much time you focus on the figure of your father (first he's going to abort your brother, then he's proud because your brother's a boy, then he's supportive and not misogynistic, then he's beating your mom, then he's fine and you're all part of a happy family), I think you risk coming across to an adcomm as someone who is not thinking deeply about why law school is appropriate. You come across as thoughtful and determined, as I said, but also as (potentially) deeply troubled. Given the seriousness of what you recount, you also need to demonstrate that you have the depth and emotional maturity to have, in a somewhat grim way, benefited from having had such dreadful experiences.

I do think this has the potential to be a very good essay, though personally I'd put it under the category of "risky." But try to get a little clearer about "why law," and try to be a little more specific about what exactly your father has to do with that, while treating the trauma you suffered with sufficient gravitas, and I think you'll be well on your way.

Good luck with the rewrite.

Post Reply

Return to “Law School Personal Statements”