Pls critique my ps VERY truthfully

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streiman

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Pls critique my ps VERY truthfully

Post by streiman » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:57 am

A characteristic that is integral to my personality is that I strive to have the courage to defend the dignity of other people. This is a fundamental aspect of who I am; what makes me, me. It is a quality that I developed early on, and was a central component in one of the defining moments of my adolescence. When I was twelve years old, I attended a religious school. I was far from a troublemaker, which lent to my shock when the priest told me that I had intrinsic evil in my soul and that I was going to hell. A few days prior, I told my religion teacher that I did not believe that homosexuality was a sin or that homosexual people should be treated differently simply because of their sexual orientation. I was soon to be baptized at my school, so the priest urged me to meet with my religion teacher and reconsider my beliefs. I was young and impressionable and the leaders at my school made me feel that I was in the wrong. I thought that I could trust those in authority and they would help guide me to improve myself. I found myself struggling to apologize, however, and after a few days of introspection I realized that I should not compromise my beliefs simply because I was told to do so. At the age of twelve, I made the decision to suffer whatever consequences necessary in order to rightfully defend a group of people who I felt were unfairly discriminated against.
I encountered a similar situation when I was seventeen. A teacher at my high school taught a factual lesson on the historical timeline of the church’s views on abortion, which some found controversial due to the subject matter. False information quickly spread about the lesson, leading to an abundance of unfair judgement and discrimination towards the teacher, ultimately resulting in a petition to have him fired. I knew that the teacher had good intentions, and more importantly, I knew the positive impact he had on the students at my high school, so I created a petition of my own. My petition counteracted the previous one, revealing the true intentions of the lesson and attesting to the character of the teacher. My petition was endorsed by several news outlets and became a popular topic on social media. Consequently, it received over five thousand signatures, and was recognized by the head of my school, who went on to release a statement defending and fully supporting the teacher.
At age twenty, I had another opportunity to fight for the greater good: I established a social activist group with other students at my university. This group fought for stricter gun laws, in support of those who had lost their lives to gun violence. I believed that although my group might not be able to make huge changes individually, the summation of all of the similar groups across the country could make a lasting impact. My group called local policy makers to advocate for stricter gun laws, and we worked to inform our peers about gun violence in America. These three seemingly small moments of my life exemplify my intrinsic drive to stand up for my beliefs and defend people in their time of need. As I have grown older and begun to assess my goals in life, I have realized that these instances, as well as many others, were not simply isolated events, rather a string of signs that my purpose in life is to fight for justice.
This drive to defend people in their time of need is what compels me to go to law school - becoming a lawyer will give me the ultimate opportunity to fight for justice in my daily life. I am interested in Arizona State University’s Law School for a multitude of reasons that I believe will enable me to be successful and flourish. I benefit most with intimate and individualized interaction so I know that the 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio will help me excel. While researching law schools, I found a quote on the ASU Law website that drew me to this program: “Student success is our top priority. Students tell us they choose our college because of the connections and externships we are able to provide, the value they get from their investment and the breadth and quality of our programs.” This is the precise reason why I hope to attend ASU Law - the success rate of recent graduates is evidence of how much this program cares about its students’ future careers and their long term well-being. Ultimately, I am looking for an exceptional law school that supports me and helps me thrive by providing a wide range of opportunities for its students, and this is why I feel that ASU Law is the perfect program for me.

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cavalier1138

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Re: Pls critique my ps VERY truthfully

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:26 am

The general theme (want to go to law school to help advocate for others) is fine, albeit a little generic. But I would scrap this PS and start from the ground up.

Overall, your statement suffers from a severe case of Tell-Don't-Show Syndrome. You want to do the opposite. From the very first sentence, you're beating the reader over the head with declarations of who you are as a person, rather than telling a story and trusting the reader to get to the point on their own.

I would pick a single story and focus on the details of it. Through that story, you'll show the reader all these great qualities without having to actually tell them "I am a good person who cares about justice" every other sentence. I'm not wild about any of the three stories you have right now, but I think that has more to do with your surface-level treatment of each one. Pick something that resonates deeply with you, and explain your personal connection to the issue.

You can include a "Why [X]" paragraph in the PS, but it makes more sense to separate that out into the "Why [X]" statement that all schools allow to be submitted as an optional essay. However, when you do this, I would restructure it to sound slightly less like you skimmed through the prospective students' brochure and regurgitated random facts. For example, don't say "I want to go to ASU because of your 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio," because it sounds like you saw that number on an infographic and thought ASU must really think that number is important. It doesn't sound genuine.

That leads to the final note: You need to work on writing in your authentic voice. This paper reads like you fed half the words through a thesaurus to sound "smart," which ends up having the opposite effect. The personal statement is meant to show the adcomms something about you that they can't learn from reading the rest of your application. Don't try to impress them or "sound like a lawyer." Tell them an interesting story, and tell them that story using your own voice.

streiman

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Re: Pls critique my ps VERY truthfully

Post by streiman » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:29 pm

Okay thank you so much! I thought it was kinda generic too so its good to have someone agree!

Lurkeratlaw1

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Re: Pls critique my ps VERY truthfully

Post by Lurkeratlaw1 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:05 pm

To add to Cavalier's great comments, I think you'd be best served starting directly with the story itself that shows the quality in you that prepares you for law school, then sussing out more abstractly what the story reveals about you; rather than "telling" w the quality itself is and then illustrating it. Another note is that to "show" better, you can focus on things like scene, dialogue, etc., though you'll have to use them sparingly since they take up a lot of valuable space. Seems like you've lived an interesting life so far and I'm sure you'll find a way to stand out!

CanadianWolf

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Re: Pls critique my ps VERY truthfully

Post by CanadianWolf » Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:40 am

Overall, this is a well written and convincing personal statement with a weak ending.

The first three paragraphs are very good until you wrote: "...my purpose in life is to fight for justice." What does "justice" mean ?

I think that your intended message was that your purpose in life is to advocate for causes in which you believe.

The concluding remarks about ASU's School of Law are too generic to be a meaningful component of an applicant's law school personal statement.

Lawschool123456

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Re: Pls critique my ps VERY truthfully

Post by Lawschool123456 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:08 pm

I agree with the above comments. I also think some of the strongest personal statements are the ones that start/open with the story. So if you keep this, start by jumping right into the story.

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