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Author Topic: Will someone please read my PS and give me their initial thoughts?  (Read 2207 times)

william wallace

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I have something in common with both our current president and a previous commander in chief. I was born in Hawaii and I was raised in Arkansas. Hawaii is somewhat of a melting pot, therefore exposing me to many cultures at an early age. This exposure stimulated my spirit of adventure as well as my interest and motivation to travel.
 
For the past year and a half, I have been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  This has given me the opportunity to live on my own and immerse myself in a completely different culture. I’m employed to teach English as a second language for a language institute. My clients are typically multi-national corporations whose employees need to learn English, the international language of business. I thoroughly enjoy helping these employees. My work in Argentina daily draws on my self-starting abilities and organizational skills. I also must demonstrate my ability of being sensitive to the local culture. For example, before and after each class I know I must kiss my students on the cheek. Working as an independent contractor has also been a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate my organizational and planning skills such as scheduling clients, completing pay sheets, and developing lesson plans, which will help me to be a successful businessman.

Living and working in a foreign country is often difficult, but I undertook this challenge for a variety of reasons.  My goal in moving to Buenos Aires was to expand my understanding of Latin American culture and become fluent in Spanish. The Spanish language has been a passion of mine since I began studying it in the eighth grade. In high school, I had a summer landscaping job where I was the only English-speaking employee besides my supervisor. Because I was familiar with Spanish, part of my job was to communicate work orders to the Hispanic crew. Because of my translations, there were fewer misunderstandings and there was an increase in efficiency. More importantly, I was able to learn about the Hispanic culture from these men, further fueling my desire to strengthen my command of their language. This also led me to pursue Spanish and International Marketing during my summer abroad in Barcelona, Spain. However, during study abroad, students are in a somewhat controlled environment with other Americans and many staff to assist them along the way. Therefore, I saw Argentina as a test to get out of my comfort zone and to be completely on my own, which has sharpened my mind and given me much more confidence in handling new situations that were once foreign to me.

I am now fluent in all forms of Spanish. The language has also allowed me to completely assimilate into the culture of Buenos Aires. I constantly interact with people who solely speak Spanish, ranging from my Spanish professors to all four of the landlords I have had in Buenos Aires. The language also helps me to understand the world from a different perspective. Before going to Buenos Aires, I assumed that most people in Argentina did not like Americans. I assumed this because in Spain, most people would scoff when I told them I was from America. Furthermore, many Americans are told that the world hates America because the world thinks it tries too hard to police everyone else. However, after countless conversations with locals in Buenos Aires, I have found that many of them are actually very impressed with our government and wish their own could act more like ours. While travel and language acquisition are not the only methods to further one’s understanding of other societies and cultures, they do counter preconceived notions we inadvertently grow up with. By 2050, the number of Hispanics in the U.S is projected to grow exponentially to over 100 million people, which will be approximately one quarter of the total U.S. population. That's more than triple the 2000 figure in a 50-year span. Based on facts analogous to this one, a command of Spanish is almost a necessity to be successful in the 21st century.

Another key event that has shaped my life was my father’s death from prostate cancer during my senior year of high school. I believe it was during his seven-year battle with this illness that I became more mature and developed an increased understanding of perseverance and determination. He spent his final few months in the local Hospice Center. These were very hard times for me. This forced me to look more seriously at my life. I was determined to make my father proud, but more importantly; I was determined to be successful and dedicated to my school, my studies and my future. I was able to successfully deal with his loss, and at the same time, balance a tough class-load of AP courses, sports, Boys State, and volunteer activities at Easter Seals. Through the whole ordeal, I overcame adversity and did not let this situation halt my personal growth.


The XXXXXXXX Law School appeals to me for many reasons. First, the campus is ideally located in XXXXX, near many of the states’ top law firms. Second, I have a strong interest in the “XXXXXXXX Study Abroad Program.” I feel that my background in Latin America provides me a strong core of knowledge in this area and that the program will broaden my knowledge of international law. Third, XXXXXXX offers cutting-edge technological resources for both research and presentation. Finally, I will be in familiar territory and near my family. All of my mother’s side of our family is from XXXXXX and I have visited the area many times. Combined with my Spanish skills, I would welcome the opportunity to obtain a legal education at XXXXXXX and perhaps to work in immigration law afterwards.

When I commit to furthering my education, whether in a language or a new course of study, I see it through to the end. I plan to use my language skills in a career in international law. I am motivated to learn more about the dynamic processes of international law. Although my travel and immersion experiences have already broadened my scope, I know that what I have seen and done represents only a tiny portion of what our world has to offer. I am enthusiastic to participate in more of it

william wallace

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Hey everybody, one person gave me some constructive criticism. They said "You keep harping on exposing yourself to new experiences and such, but do not really discuss these new experiences beyond your new job in Buenos Aires and your study of the Spanish language." and "Show the committee the new situations, don't tell them. It feels like you are just listing events and going through the motions. The loss of your father can also be explored more to add intrigue and depth."

What do you guys think? Is this true? I appreciate any input.

C an you guys spot specifically where I am going through the motions? I think it may be in the second paragraph.

Thanks!!!

cmd758

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Re: Will someone please read my PS and give me their initial thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2010, 09:05:19 AM »
Basic, but not contractions. I think comparing yourself to the president is a bit much unless you expand on it more. What is the point of bringing it up? It doesn't flow and it sounds a bit arrogant on its own..

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Will someone please read my PS and give me their initial thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2010, 11:04:15 AM »
tell you what braveheart, its a bit longwinded but should be fine. Send it in and find out.

john4040

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Re: Will someone please read my PS and give me their initial thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 05:03:31 PM »
Basic, but not contractions. I think comparing yourself to the president is a bit much unless you expand on it more. What is the point of bringing it up? It doesn't flow and it sounds a bit arrogant on its own..

My $0.02:   (Not trying to be a d1ck, just trying to save you from catastrophic failure)

^^  This guy hit the nail on the head.  After reading that first paragraph, I couldn't quite take the rest of your statement seriously.  It has no bearing on your aptitude or enthusiasm for the practice of law, nor does it explain why you would like to go to XXX law school - take it out.

"My clients"  -  LOL, what?!  You mean to tell me that you have directly solicited and are receiving business from these large corporations?

"I know I must kiss my students on the cheek" -  Irrelevant.  I know you're trying to put a diversity spin on your personal statement, but this is just ridiculous.

"This also led me to pursue Spanish and International Marketing during my summer abroad in Barcelona, Spain."  -  Your work experience communicating work orders to the Hispanic crew and them telling you about their culture led you to pursue this coursework?  Incredulous.  Make your personal statement as real as possible.

"many Americans are told that the world hates America because the world thinks it tries too hard to police everyone else" - Off putting for Americans to read (presumably the entire admissions committee), even if you say that the foregoing statement isn't necessarily the truth.  Steer clear of controversy in your personal statement.

"the campus is ideally located in XXXXX, near many of the states’ top law firms."  -- THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU SHOULD LEAD OFF WITH FOR YOUR REASONS TO CHOOSE XXXXX LAW SCHOOL!  You just talked about diversity and gave a sap story about your father's death... now you're going to tell the law school that the first and foremost reason you chose their school is for the cash?!  Also, if this is a must have statement for you, you better be damn sure that the school doesn't pride itself in being a major supplier to the public interest market.

Tsmdiver

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Re: Will someone please read my PS and give me their initial thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2010, 11:48:34 PM »
My initial thought: you teach English? Hahaha just kidding. But serious, I would start over. Best of luck.
Juris Doctor Candidate 2012
Florida State University College of Law

Cicero

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Re: Will someone please read my PS and give me their initial thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 11:56:38 PM »
"I have something in common with both our current president and a previous commander in chief. I was born in Hawaii and I was raised in Arkansas. Hawaii is somewhat of a melting pot, therefore exposing me to many cultures at an early age. This exposure stimulated my spirit of adventure as well as my interest and motivation to travel."

I'm guessing you've applied and are probably set to attend LS already, but if you're applying for the next round, I would redo this first paragraph. Your 2nd & 3rd sentences don't really match well. The second sentence makes it sound like you were born in Hawaii but raised in Arkansas, so would have been influenced by culture in Arkansas rather than HI. The 3rd sentence makes it sound like you were old enough to have had some cultural influence from HI. Anyway, I think I'd restructure the paragraph. Best of luck!


venom

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Re: Will someone please read my PS and give me their initial thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2010, 03:18:23 AM »
Skip artificial endings.  If your essay is truly personal, it sounds awfully strained when you slap on a concluding paragraph talking about why you want to go to that school.  If law schools ask you for a personal statement, they don't expect you to make token reference to their programs.  If you really want to talk about why that law school appeals to you, do so in a full length statement of purpose, not in a personal statement.