Law School Discussion

Personal Statement - Please Critique!

Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« on: July 22, 2015, 07:19:33 PM »
Thanks!

Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 09:05:08 PM »
Hmm, in my opinion, the problem with personal statements like this is that although they highlight your service, they don't tell me much about you. They tell me a lot about the training you completed but it applies equally to everyone who has. It also repeats your resume.

I am not sure this is a good topic, at least addressed this way. Is your SERE training the most interesting that happened to you? I doubt that. Intense I do not doubt, although it probably pales in comparison to your real life combat tours.

What is it about yourself that you want to communicate to the admissions committees? The ones that stood out were often not because of the topic but because of how they were written to explain something about the author. It's really your one chance to be creative in the law school admissions process.

loki13

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Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 12:29:47 PM »
A few thoughts-

First, don't sweat the personal statement too much. I agonized over mine, and it was only later that I realized just how little (for the most part) the personal statement matters in the applications process.

Next, I agree with groundhog. Your personal statement doesn't really say anything about *you*. Instead, you set a scene, describe it (over-describe it, in fact), and then perfunctorily write at the end, "Yep, I learned a lot!" Note- you don't actually tie in what you learned, how it impacted you, how it changed you, and how what you learned or experienced in SERE really changed who you are as a person. All I know after reading this is that you were in the military and went through SERE training, which is likely indicated elsewhere in your application materials.

Take an example- your last line states that you have learned from past mistakes. What past mistakes? You didn't state that you made any mistakes. So what did you learn? What type of a person are you?

This is an interesting approach, but

Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2015, 03:58:03 PM »
As odd as this sounds...............I agree with Loki (shivers)
but he is right. Don't over think this. You should be fine.

Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2015, 07:03:47 AM »
Thank you for your feedback. I'll abbreviate the description of my experiences at SERE, instead describing how it made me a better person and I'll repost.

Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2015, 09:17:56 PM »
You can repost if you like, but odds are its fine at that point.


Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2015, 09:32:14 AM »
Fine? Maybe. It wouldn't raise any red flags, sure. As it is if I were writing up OP's application I would write "somewhat generic PS about his military training." OP has a shot to turn that into "somewhat interesting PS about what app learned from military." It may not be determinative of admission but it matters most on reaches/borderline accepts, which presumably OP cares about.

Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2015, 04:12:36 PM »
Call me a cynic but I don't think anyone even reads those unless you are an URM or a felon  or were academically dismissed from your last school or something else that puts a spot light on it.

Military is run of the mill. It will just blend in like everyone else. I never even mentioned my service my entire time in law school. Why would I? No one cares. (nor should they really IMHO)

Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2015, 04:46:00 PM »
At least when and where I worked in admissions, we read every single personal statement and summarized it for the entirety of the adcomm to review. URM, felony conviction and academic dismissal letters are separate from the personal statement.

The one thing I do agree with you about though is that it will blend in. Other than separating OP from the K-JD applicants, which OP's military service already does, it will by itself not affect the personal statement. Whether OP can write well and tell a good story that allows the reader to know OP is what does.

Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 01:52:59 PM »
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