Not going well...

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Not going well...

Postby OneSixtySix » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:52 am

I'm struggling to put together a solid personal statement. The passing of calendar days makes it even harder to produce a piece of quality writing (I'm applying for fall 2010). I have internship experience, a interesting part-time college job, typical family issues (divorce), and other typical PS-topics, I just cant get anything to click.

I understand that a PS should be about "you" and not explicitly about why I want to study law, but it seems that whenever I try and write about my past work experience or some personal event it veers to far off topic and doesnt relate in any way to law school.

I feel like my numbers are solid enough to get me into a school I'll be happy at, so in some sense I just need a decent honest statement. Its just not coming.


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Re: Not going well...

Postby laughingberries » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:05 am

well you certainly do not have very much time left, but depending on how many hours you're willing to commit to this, you can still put together a decent ps.

i'm very happy with my personal statement and feel that its the strongest part of application, but it was developed through a long process of trial and error... it sounds like you have a lot of different ideas and have no idea how to target any of your thoughts into a cohesive well written statement. i was in a very similar situation early in the ps writing process so i wrote down about 20 different one/two sentence summaries. From there i developed several different intro paragraphs. Given that adcoms spend so little time reading your ps, the intro is the most important part, if it blows, you're done. After working through several different intros I narrowed it down to three or four ideas that i developed full outlines for. Finally for my best two I wrote out rough drafts and finalized the one that I felt could be a better written ps.

I realize that it sounds like a lot work to do all of this and its a very formal process, but its actually much more efficient than writing out several personal statements that are crap and continuing that process until you finally end up with something that works.

Best of luck!

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Re: Not going well...

Postby mattymatt » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:41 pm

The best advice I can give when choosing a topic is to write about something that matters to you. I struggled a bit too when I was first writing mine, as everything I came up with sounded forced and consequently pretty lame.

If you're feeling uninspired by the "typical PS topics" available to you, think a bit more abstractly. Have you read anything (a novel, political tract, poem, play, etc.) that really affected you? Is there anything that you've experienced or learned that has shaped how you understand things around you? That's the stuff of a really unique and compelling PS, not your parent's divorce, or an internship.

God speed. I know how frustrating it can be to struggle with this.

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Re: Not going well...

Postby dlee975 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:02 pm

I'd say to just start writing. Write about what got you to this point in making a decision to study law. Gotta get something on paper and go from there. Good luck!

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Re: Not going well...

Postby gdane » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:11 pm

Just brainstorm a little. Everything can tie into something. Think of a general message you want to convey, (thesis) and then use life experiences to get there.

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