Critique my PS!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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dredawg802

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Critique my PS!

Post by dredawg802 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:01 pm

Let me know what y'all think :D :

Growing up, my mom used to drive me around gated communities in Greenwich talking about the life she wanted for me. As a teacher in Stamford Public Schools, she recognized the systemic roadblocks that existed for young black boys, and she used these intimate moments to expose me to the ‘American Dream’, and life’s limitless possibilities.

She had been teaching throughout the state for 20 years, and she would teach for 20 more. During that time, she had seen a lot of kids matriculate through the system, and there were certain pitfalls that I was able to avoid because of her strenuous guidance.

Her philosophy was simple: despite the systemic inequities present in our current system, you could still succeed. She truly believed that you could do anything you put your mind to if you just pushed hard enough.

Throughout her career as an educator, she witnessed the kids who started out with a bang fizzle out, not able to live up to the daunting expectations placed upon them. She also had a hand in mentoring kids who started out hopeless and graduated with full-ride scholarships, started successful careers, and made an impact in their respective communities.

To her, it wasn’t about the institutional roadblocks or our lack of access to generational wealth, it was about what we did have. Our faith, our community support system, and our undying commitment to academic excellence were pillars in our family of two, and it’s what kept me going when times got tough.

Though my mother’s guidance got me to where I am today, as I reflected on all of the car-ride conversations that we had I can’t even begin to express how misguided she truly was. For so many in my community, it seemed like no matter how hard they worked, they couldn’t overcome a system that was designed to see them fail.

I recognize that while I didn’t have much, I still had more than many young black boys and girls in my community. In 2020, problems of racial inequity still seem to plague our precious country, leaving every aspect of the ‘American Dream’ affected. We have a criminal justice system that locks up black men at disproportionate rates (and jails over 25% of the world), a system of policing that only seems to benefit the wealthy and well-connected, and a staggering racial-wealth gap that we’ve consistently failed to even put a dent in.

Throughout my life I’ve been no stranger to success and achievement. I started winning statewide essay contests at 10 years old, got a full-ride debate scholarship to attend a historically black college and graduated at the top of my class, served on the national board of my fraternity, and worked on presidential campaigns all before the age of 24. Despite all the individual success I’ve been able to enjoy, I’ve subsequently witnessed some of my friends, neighbors, and even collegiate counterparts continue to get stuck in the same systemic pitfalls my mother taught me to avoid.

I aspire to attain a Juris Doctorate Degree because I seek to identify and eliminate the systemic inequities in our rule of law that continue to plague this country. I can no longer bear to see people that look like me continue to struggle to exist in a country that prides itself on freedom, liberty, and opportunity.

When I think about the car rides my mother and I would go on in Greenwich, I always think about what other black boys and girls would think about as they saw those mansions. To them, those mansions would probably represent unattainable aspirations in a system that isn’t set up to give them a fair shake. My deepest aspiration is to relentlessly attack and rebuild this system, and if admitted into law school, I will possess the knowledge and capabilities to do just that.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Critique my PS!

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:05 pm

This is a nice story, but it isn't really about you. We learn more about 1) your mom and 2) those underprivileged youths than we do about 3) you, and you only really show up in the last few paragraphs.

In other words, what you are trying to use for the entire essay (lessons from your mom, growing up around the incredible segregation of western CT) should really be a paragraph or two at most, and it should be nearer the middle of the essay than the beginning or end. Focus on you.

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mjb447

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Re: Critique my PS!

Post by mjb447 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:27 am

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:05 pm
This is a nice story, but it isn't really about you.
Yeah, agreed. So much of it is structured around telling us about your mother or systemic problems in America that you kind of get lost or come off as an afterthought. What we eventually hear about you (mostly in the paragraph starting "throughout my life") is positive and seems like it would have given you some experiences that would make for a few good personal statements, but it's currently discussed in very general terms and still seemingly in service of evaluating your mother's worldview.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Critique my PS!

Post by decimalsanddollars » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:08 am

Agree 100% with the above two posters; your personal statement should be a statement of your strengths and interest in law school. I'd add a piece of positive feedback that your writing is generally pretty good. Once you have a draft you're comfortable with, have a few "picky readers" give it a read, and use your judgment as to which edits to incorporate.

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