Opinion of my idea for PS

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Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Opinion of my idea for PS

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:42 pm

After a weak display of my first draft I have decided to start over.

My idea is going to be writing about the days I spent in the hospital about a year ago with a freak heart problem. I spent a couple days in ICU and met a guy who was 60+ and we shared some good stories. We both helped each other get through those times, and we both came out ok. We still exchange emails to this day just to check up on each other.

This happened last December, and I was going to write about overcoming that rough time, getting a job at a law firm to reinforce my decision to go to law, and use "helping others" theme to make me sound like a solid law school candidate.

I was going to write it in a narrative style, beginning with hospitalization, what me and John would discuss and do to help each other, ultimately making it out, reinforcing decision to go to law school, then conclude with what I learned and tie that into the whole 'helping of others' theme.

Any advice?

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bees
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Re: Opinion of my idea for PS

Postby bees » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:47 pm

Just off the top, it seems like connecting a hospital stay to getting a job at a law firm will be tough to pull off (since I'd bet they had almost nothing to do with each other). It sounds like too much to write about in just two pages or so. Also the "helping others" theme is a nice thought but please don't make it corny.

Narrative style sounds promising, but I am more interested in what other styles you were considering?

Santiago and Dunbar
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Opinion of my idea for PS

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:52 pm

bees, thanks for helping. I obviously have deadlines to meet and I am really digging deep for a direction.

I don't know if the hospital stay does really relate to the job at a law firm, but I was reading over the TLS PS guide and saw that one of the things admissions committees like to see is prior work at a firm.

I am really searching, and I know what you mean about not being corny, but I truly do believe in the helping of others, and that is one of my reasons for wanting to be an attorney.

It is nice to be nice.

I wanted to use the law firm to add a little more substance, because I was worried that the narrative of my hospitalization wouldn't be enough. Although, the helping of others theme should suffice, no?

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bees
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Re: Opinion of my idea for PS

Postby bees » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:00 pm

Did you do/see anything meaningful at the law firm that further convinced you to be a lawyer? I think this is a safe route to take with a PS.

"Helping people" is a fine sentiment. I focused my PS on the idea of helping others, but it was more about witnessing it than claiming I had some deep need to be a better person. If you spend any time at all on these boards you will see a large number of PSs that end with some grand notion of being a better peron or saving the world - and this will surely make adcoms roll their eyes.

Just be honest with what you write and don't use big words when smaller ones will do the job. Read the thing out loud to yourself and if you think it makes you sound like a tool, start over.

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Opinion of my idea for PS

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:09 pm

I was going to write about overcoming that tough time with the help of John. I think John would say the same. I could further the 'helping others' theme by what I have witnessed at the firm.

Maybe that is how I could tie in the law firm bit.

Truth is, I was admitted to the hospital the Saturday after the LSAT last December. I didn't feel right and I knew I had bombed it. Health became the bigger issue as I knew I should cancel.

So when I was in the ICU I did a lot of soul searching, and one of the things I wanted to do was to reinforce my decision to go to law school by working at a firm.

I could use my story to lead to working at the law firm, which reinforced the notion of 'helping others' because I do witness it here at the firm. Whether it be via settlement, a real estate purchase, etc.

cubswin
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Re: Opinion of my idea for PS

Postby cubswin » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:12 pm

Any PS hinges on the quality of the writing. Relating the hospital stay directly to law school isn't necessary as long as it tells the ad-comm something about who you are as a person. If it was a formative experience for you, then it's a good topic. A PS seems like it is a de facto writing sample for the majority of applicants, with exceptions here and there for people with truly outstanding stories to tell (e.g. not you, and not me either).

Just be wary about not sounding too cliche with the I'm-going-to-save-the-world-with-my-law-degree approach. You won't be the first PS they read that day with that idea.

Santiago and Dunbar
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Opinion of my idea for PS

Postby Santiago and Dunbar » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:14 pm

cubswin wrote:Any PS hinges on the quality of the writing. Relating the hospital stay directly to law school isn't necessary as long as it tells the ad-comm something about who you are as a person. If it was a formative experience for you, then it's a good topic. A PS seems like it is a de facto writing sample for the majority of applicants, with exceptions here and there for people with truly outstanding stories to tell (e.g. not you, and not me either).

Just be wary about not sounding too cliche with the I'm-going-to-save-the-world-with-my-law-degree approach. You won't be the first PS they read that day with that idea.



cubs, thanks, I really don't want to give off the impression I am going to save the world from living through this experience.

Unfortunately, my mom was born with both legs, and I didn't have to save a minority from polio when I was 7.


This was definitely a formative experience for me, and I could not overstate the appreciation I had for John. Staying in an ICU for 4 days at age 22 is pretty crazy. At least, crazy for me.




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