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Author Topic: Personal Statement Workshop  (Read 2751 times)

Zam

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Personal Statement Workshop
« on: January 09, 2007, 11:24:51 AM »
In this thread we will workshop your personal statement, be excited!

Please read the FAQs before posting:

Zamora what do I need to do in order to be included?

You must post an excerpt from an essay you have written.

Will your advice be helpful?

It depends on how you define helpful. If by helpful you mean that our advice will make you laugh, then yes, it will be helpful.

Does the excerpt I submit have to be from my personal statement?
No, you can submit excerpts from your diversity statement, addenda, the essay you wrote in second grade about legumes, or on any other topics. Just be sure to tell us the purpose of your essay.

Can you give us an example of your editing skills?

Of course I can.

Before: I want to go to law school because I liked being in college and now that I'm in the real world I am scared.

After: Graduating from college was a slap in the face. I had spent four years immersed in academia; I lived every day hoping only to expand my mind. I could literally not go to the bathroom without striking up a conversation about Proust at the urinal. Upon graduation I faced the real world. I had read Slavoj Zizek's essay, "Welcome to the Desert of the Real," but frankly my first job out of school, temping at McDonald's, did not seem relevant to Zizek's paranoiac ramblings on the topics of terrorism. When I was promoted, however, to "French Fry Control Specialist" I realized that the life of starving artist slash part-time McDonald's employee allowed me to really get in touch with the people and provide me with real life experiences I could draw on in order to create my Tolstoy-esque novels. However, I have come to realize that writing about the little people is not enough. I need to help them. I need to rest my banana hammock on the prestigious knowledge that is the law, I need to contribute more to society than just my droll yet insightful musings on the way the french fry has shaped our modern idea of Americana. Thank you for your consideration.

EDIT: You can submit an excerpt or critique the work of others.
 
Read Zizek at:
http://web.mit.edu/cms/reconstructions/interpretations/desertreal.html

aerynn

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Re: Personal Statement Workshop
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2007, 01:11:25 PM »
Interesting, very interesting
Here's how it went for me for Fall 2006 admission:
168/3.67
In: Emory($$), UGA ($), W&M ($$), GW($)
Waitlisted:American(W), UVA (W)
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=aerynn

thestradgirl

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Re: Personal Statement Workshop
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2007, 01:31:43 PM »
taggy tag
this guy
------------------------------
I say that good painters imitated nature; but that bad ones vomited it.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

Red Bull Imperator

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Re: Personal Statement Workshop
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2007, 01:42:15 PM »
tag
LSAC Report:      $12
LSAT:             $120
Getting accepted: Priceless

Zam

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Re: Personal Statement Workshop
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2007, 01:48:18 PM »
Wow. I could have used you on my PS.

Okay, here's my draft:

I want to save the whales. And the koalas. And maybe the Eskimos, but only the cute ones. Like, just the babies, you know? Definitely chinchillas. I would like to specialize in Cute Animal (and maybe cute People) Law at your law school. I feel that my experience saving the chinchillas in Antarctica demonstrates my commitment to this cause, your school, and the law itself. Pick me!

Any pointers? Thx!



gc, you are a very advanced essay writer who could probably be giving others pointers. I say this because you understand what the admissions committee wants to hear. Writing what the admissions committee wants to hear is VERY important.

Just to clarify for those of you neophytes who are new to this process, here is a list of things that adcoms want to hear about:
1. Baby animals.
2. Why you want to go to law school, bonus points for specifying the name of a law school. (Triple bonus points for mentioning the school you are actually applying to).
3. How you have helped cute people, or in this case animals, in the past.
4. Your semester abroad.
5. Using the phrase "suddenly I realized" at least once in your essay. (Using it in every paragraph is very prestigious, but is a very advanced maneuver).

It is also important to have a catchy opening. My suggestion for revision is that you open as follows:

"It was so cold outside that when I tried to perform CPR on a particularly cute Chinchilla my lips froze to its tiny mouth. I was in Antarctica, on my semester abroad, and I had fallen in with a rogue group of Chinchilla Rescue and Freedom Fighters while snowshoeing across a particularly rough patch of tundra."

Then finish with:

"Suddenly I realized, as Gruvenrugeen the chieftain of the village put his hand on my thigh, that I wanted to attend Yale Law School because sexual harassment is bad."

bamf

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Re: Personal Statement Workshop
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2007, 01:48:32 PM »
Here is a good one:


I have been waiting for six years to write this personal statement,
which makes today a really exciting day for me, I'm serious, I have
never been so thrilled to write an essay.  Ever since one of those
infamous Close Up trips to Washington D.C. in 11th grade I just knew
that law school was where I belonged.  I decided not to apply to law
school during my last year of college because I really wanted to feel
ready for this challenge, and even though the prospect of going to law
school someday was deeply seeded in my heart, I don't think that my 20
year old self would have been ready for such a huge undertaking or
would have been able to make law school my number one priority no
matter how bad I wanted to go.  Though now that I am infinitely older
and wiser and have the world completely figured out in just 3 short
years, I couldn't be more ready.

Thing is, this is a real PS that someone gave me in the heat of finals week ... never got around to doing it, mostly because I didn't quite know where to start ... so maybe you guys can help!
2L, Boston College Law

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/bamf

Around from time to time.  Always willing to answer any Qs about BC, my '06/'07 cycle or law school in general ... PMs work better ...

Hank Rearden

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Re: Personal Statement Workshop
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2007, 01:55:54 PM »
This is actually a paraphrase of an actual PS I read...

The other day I was watching CNN, and someone said something about the Voting Rights Act's being renewed.  The Voting Rights Act!  That is, like, so important!  And to think that the news anchor dismissed it as if it were just another strange odor in the New York subway system!  Black people have had it tough--tough I say!  And without brilliant legislation like the Voting Rights Act, which I think I will look up on wikipedia after I'm done writing, they would have no rights, and that would be bad.  Anyway, I want to be a lawyer to help make sure we don't forget why we have our rights, even though I'm not black.   
CLS '10

The appropriateness of Perpetua would probably depend on the tone of the writing.  When I used it, I (half playfully) thought the extra space made the words sort of resonate.

Boss

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Re: Personal Statement Workshop
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2007, 02:03:27 PM »
Wow. I could have used you on my PS.

Okay, here's my draft:

I want to save the whales. And the koalas. And maybe the Eskimos, but only the cute ones. Like, just the babies, you know? Definitely chinchillas. I would like to specialize in Cute Animal (and maybe cute People) Law at your law school. I feel that my experience saving the chinchillas in Antarctica demonstrates my commitment to this cause, your school, and the law itself. Pick me!

Any pointers? Thx!



You're so naive and should not apply to law school until you've matured, experience you can only gain by working as a paralegal for 5 years or doing Teach For America.  Then you will realize that you can't save Eskimos AND whales because the eskimos EAT the whales.

damn n00b.
It's been brought to my attention that boss is my favorite poster  :-*

Boss

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Re: Personal Statement Workshop
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2007, 02:05:53 PM »

 :'(

I just don't want anything cute to die!

Everything dies at one time or another.  Everything.  Usually painfully.  Even Elle Woods and her little dog, too, will die.  Just like your dreams of law school.  They too will die. 
It's been brought to my attention that boss is my favorite poster  :-*

Zam

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Re: Personal Statement Workshop
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2007, 02:07:05 PM »
That Gruvenrugeen guy was a good time.

Tell me about it.