PS about molestation...?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
whitegrape
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PS about molestation...?

Postby whitegrape » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:01 am

I could really use some opinions.

I've been considering writing my PS on my experience with being a victim of molestation. It's a driving factor in my reasoning for wanting to practice criminal/family law, and I would clearly relate it to that.

Does this immediately strike anyone as being a bad idea? If it matters at all, I'm applying to T2/T3 schools.

Appreciate any advice.

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reebtoor
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby reebtoor » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:54 am

I think it all depends on your statement. I wouldn't say it is categorically wrong to write a statement like that, and it might really work for you. It's a subject that makes people really uncomfortable, which, depending on how you use it, could be a good or a bad thing. I wouldn't advise going into any more detail than is necessary to make your point, but if it really is a factor in your decision, it's not a bad idea. I'd be happy to look at it for you.

the_assassin
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby the_assassin » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:58 pm

Very dangerous. Avoid if possible.

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ec2xs
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby ec2xs » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:00 pm

I read that you should avoid "dark" topics because it may put a negative association with your application.

I think it's an overly-risky topic. But if it's for a reach and it's the premise of you wanting to be a lawyer, maybe it's worth a shot.

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AlanShore
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby AlanShore » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:06 pm

I don't think it is a bad topic. It is something that has shaped you. You shouldnt have to hide from it.

That being said, just be very careful. The tone and choice of words will be key! Perhaps get someone knowledgeable in PS to help you edit? I think if written well, it can be great! if written poorly, yikes.

whitegrape
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby whitegrape » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:07 pm

ec2xs wrote:I read that you should avoid "dark" topics because it may put a negative association with your application.

I think it's an overly-risky topic. But if it's for a reach and it's the premise of you wanting to be a lawyer, maybe it's worth a shot.



Maybe I should elaborate.

I don't plan to heavily focus on it. I would discuss it in my opening, elaborate on what is necessary, and then branch off into how it shaped me, how it motivates me regarding law school, etc. I would, obviously, leave out the details and try my best not to make anyone overly uncomfortable.

Still too risky?

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ec2xs
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby ec2xs » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:09 pm

whitegrape wrote:
ec2xs wrote:I read that you should avoid "dark" topics because it may put a negative association with your application.

I think it's an overly-risky topic. But if it's for a reach and it's the premise of you wanting to be a lawyer, maybe it's worth a shot.



Maybe I should elaborate.

I don't plan to heavily focus on it. I would discuss it in my opening, elaborate on what is necessary, and then branch off into how it shaped me, how it motivates me regarding law school, etc. I would, obviously, leave out the details and try my best not to make anyone overly uncomfortable.

Still too risky?


Are you a sure bet at these T2/T3 schools without it? If so, I would avoid it. Still, I think you could note it without dwelling on it (and, most importantly, making a very positive essay about it).

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PhantaManta
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby PhantaManta » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:11 pm

I think this would work well, and you only have to mention in once. That way it is not a PS that dwells on a negative, while at the same time I think it would certainly give added weight and seriousness to your desire to work in family law. I think it would be a convincing PS. I cannot imagine any admissions person making a conscious decision to devalue your application because they are uncomfortable reading about something that really happened to you. In my completely speculative opinion, I believe it would probably have the opposite effect. Obviously, do not include specific details. Best of luck!

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:20 pm

Someone else wrote a PS about being IN gay porn...but it was well done. Soooooo...I would say, write two. Preview both on TLS and to other people you trust and get a verdict.

Also, everyone thought the gay porn PS was a great idea...because it was well-written.

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emilybeth
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby emilybeth » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:21 pm

A few months ago, a thread posing an identical question got ugly very quickly, so I'm going to say this quick and get out.

Acknowledging sex assault, of any form, should not be a taboo topic. This is especially true if it played a formative role in shaping your character and ambitions, and the question you're asked inquires directly after your character and ambitions, as most personal statement prompts do.

As long as your PS is ultimately tailored to sell yourself, sell your skills, prove your ambition, demonstrate your commitment, evince your passion, etc., then I think you can write about anything you want. Numerous people on this board can attest that a PS about sex assault can be very effective. A friend of mine could tell you that an adcomm made the effort to get in touch with her and give her highly positive feedback about her PS, which was about sex assault.

People on here are advising you against writing such a PS on the basis that they find the topic risky, they find it controversial, they find it negative, they find it disconcerting ... whatever. I would advise that you inquire after the source of any advice on this board before you take it, because as will invariably happen in this thread, the people telling you not to write about it are basing such advice on their own personal feelings, and the people telling to you write it are basing it on their own personal experiences. Big difference. Huge.

If you've more specific questions, please don't hesitate to PM me.

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AlanShore
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby AlanShore » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:38 pm

emilybeth wrote:A few months ago, a thread posing an identical question got ugly very quickly, so I'm going to say this quick and get out.

Acknowledging sex assault, of any form, should not be a taboo topic. This is especially true if it played a formative role in shaping your character and ambitions, and the question you're asked inquires directly after your character and ambitions, as most personal statement prompts do.

As long as your PS is ultimately tailored to sell yourself, sell your skills, prove your ambition, demonstrate your commitment, evince your passion, etc., then I think you can write about anything you want. Numerous people on this board can attest that a PS about sex assault can be very effective. A friend of mine could tell you that an adcomm made the effort to get in touch with her and give her highly positive feedback about her PS, which was about sex assault.

People on here are advising you against writing such a PS on the basis that they find the topic risky, they find it controversial, they find it negative, they find it disconcerting ... whatever. I would advise that you inquire after the source of any advice on this board before you take it, because as will invariably happen in this thread, the people telling you not to write about it are basing such advice on their own personal feelings, and the people telling to you write it are basing it on their own personal experiences. Big difference. Huge.

If you've more specific questions, please don't hesitate to PM me.

+100 on this post.

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ConMan345
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby ConMan345 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:46 pm

FWIW, if it were me, and if it were well done, this topic wouldn't be a negative. However, I worked on my personal statement with a professor of mine who worked for Kaplan Law School Admissions for years. She said that many law school personal statements are far too personal and that many students confuse them with undergraduate personal statements, which can be quite revealing. She suggested thinking of your personal statement as something you could read out loud to a trusted professor or mentor. They go into the situation sympathetic to your history, but they aren't family or your peer. My first draft was pretty "intense," as it sounds like yours could become, and she told me to start from scratch.

That being said, it's important for your development and your interest in the law. There are ways around this dilemma. If you've worked with victims of violence, mention something about how you have experienced something similar in your life. Or say something like "
as someone who has experienced sexual violence, blah blah blah." I even think that may be too much, but hopefully you get my drift. It's not about being dishonest, it's about knowing your audience.

taytay
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby taytay » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:49 pm

.
Last edited by taytay on Sat May 25, 2013 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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amputatedbrain
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby amputatedbrain » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:51 pm

I think it's a fine idea. Just make sure it's done well, as any topic done poorly will shoot you in the foot. Every law school advisor I've ever talked to has always said that being genuine is very important. I sense that this will be a strength for you, and adcomms will pick up on this. One poster a bit farther up was right in saying that you shouldn't get into the nitty gritty more than is necessary to tell the story and why it influenced your decision to want to go to law school, but I doubt you were heading in that direction anyway. Just remember to focus more on why your past makes you want to be a lawyer more than the past itself.

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jonas586
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby jonas586 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:20 am

emilybeth wrote:Acknowledging sex assault, of any form, should not be a taboo topic. This is especially true if it played a formative role in shaping your character and ambitions, and the question you're asked inquires directly after your character and ambitions, as most personal statement prompts do.

As long as your PS is ultimately tailored to sell yourself, sell your skills, prove your ambition, demonstrate your commitment, evince your passion, etc., then I think you can write about anything you want. Numerous people on this board can attest that a PS about sex assault can be very effective. A friend of mine could tell you that an adcomm made the effort to get in touch with her and give her highly positive feedback about her PS, which was about sex assault.

People on here are advising you against writing such a PS on the basis that they find the topic risky, they find it controversial, they find it negative, they find it disconcerting ... whatever. I would advise that you inquire after the source of any advice on this board before you take it, because as will invariably happen in this thread, the people telling you not to write about it are basing such advice on their own personal feelings, and the people telling to you write it are basing it on their own personal experiences. Big difference. Huge.

If you've more specific questions, please don't hesitate to PM me.

True, acknowledging sexual assault of any form should not be taboo, but that doesn't mean its a good topic for your personal statement.

Whether it's risky or not is beside the point; what you should be asking yourself is whether the topic is going to provide you with compelling material for your PS. If you feel like it does, then you should give it a try.

Also, the bolded is bullshit. Just because this person knows someone who allegedly wrote a successful PS on this topic does not mean that everyone encouraging you to write on this topic is invariably speaking from experience. Even if this were the case, it still would not guarantee a positive outcome for you because there are too many variables involved, such as writing skills, to know whether your PS will turn out good. The only way to know if this is a good topic for your personal statement is to hammer out a few drafts and see how you like them. I think the results of these drafts will provide you with a decent answer of whether or not this will make a good topic for your PS.

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Relientkate
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby Relientkate » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:00 pm

I've asked law school representatives about this question directly. I've never had a rep tell me that I should not write about this topic, or that it might not be a good idea. However, I have been told to "stick with the factual information" and try not to dwell on the emotional aspects, and to try not to appear as if you are still angry or bitter towards society in general as a result of what you've experienced. I'm writing about a similar topic, I'd be happy to swap personal statements if you are interested.

brittanynicole_4
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby brittanynicole_4 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:34 am

I have written a draft about this topic. Everyone please check it out and tell me your thoughts. I would appreciate it greatly, as I was unsure whether to write on the topic or not. It is under Law School Personal Statments forum---> subject: Please Help! PS

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dingbat
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Re: PS about molestation...?

Postby dingbat » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:46 am

whitegrape wrote:I don't plan to heavily focus on it. I would discuss it in my opening, elaborate on what is necessary, and then branch off into how it shaped me, how it motivates me regarding law school, etc. I would, obviously, leave out the details and try my best not to make anyone overly uncomfortable.

Excellent. It makes you a human and it shows your drive and motivation. As long as it's not preachy or makes anyone uncomfortable, go for it

edit: I saw you have a draft up, I'll find it and critique it when I have a moment




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