Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

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ausoccer19
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Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby ausoccer19 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:19 pm

I am currently drafting my personal statement and I don't want to bog anyone down with reading the work in progress. Instead I just want to know if the topic is something worth writing about that adcomms would be interested in and that may help my chances.

I was a four year varsity letterman in soccer at my UG (NCAA Division II). I know this alone is not very special as there are thousands of collegiate athletes. What I am hoping sets my PS apart is that our team set the national record for largest single season turnaround in collegiate soccer history, regardless of division. My first two years were abyssmal, 5-10 record freshman year and 0-17-1 as a sophomore, but the second two years were quite impressive, 15-4-2 as a junior and 13-4-5 as a senior. The last two seasons we were nationally ranked, made the NCAA postseason, won the conference title, and set three or four shool records. Essentially, what I'm trying to express to the adcomms is that in the face of adversity and things appearing hopeless, and although I considered transferring, I lived up to my committments and refused to quit, thus aiding my team in a national record.

Also, as a somewhat sidenote, I also tore my MCL between the record setting years and returned before my junior year in the best shape of my life despite being sidelined for three months prior.

Anyways, please let me know if this is an experience worth pursuing as a PS and if it will or has potential to appeal to adcomms. Thanks in advance

cavebat2000
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby cavebat2000 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:25 pm

My question is how does this have anything to do with law school? You need to pick a PS topic that gives the adcomms insight into what you will contribute to law school, what kind of student you will be, what you want to do after law school, etc.


*edit* I see what you mean about "not giving up." But honestly, I think the connection is pretty weak. Law school is an intellectually rigorous exercise, filled with tons of reading, late nights of studying, etc. Soccer is a physical sport that, yes, requires committment, but I think it may be difficult to translate committment to a physical sport to committment to academics. In fact, many people who excel at sports due so at the expense of intellectual rigor. If you did well in grades in addition to your sports, then i'd say you may be able to successfully create some kind of "overcoming challenges" thing.

Good luck.
Last edited by cavebat2000 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Flanker1067
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby Flanker1067 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:27 pm

Yea this sounds great either as example of your persistence or as some sort of segway or something. Telling the story of the whole thing though really says nothing about how you will be a good law school student/lawyer.

Edit: While cavebat and I agree, it doesn't mean that this can't be done. I have read a few PS's about a family member or friend dying that everyone on TLS says, "oh thats so great" because it can engross the reader and make them forget why they are reading the piece. I am not sure if this works on adcoms, but if it works on TLS'ers I don't necessarily see why not.

ausoccer19
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby ausoccer19 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:48 pm

Thanks for the insight, I understand the predicament you've pointed out. Could it work if I added that despite this I was also a successful student academically as well, continuously studying on road trips and in the hotels on weekends etc. (3.5 GPA, two time all-conference academic, double major, worked in academic advising dept., public affairs organization scholar, student gov't, other EC's etc. to go along with it)??? Thanks for the advice/input. It's much appreciated.

Flanker1067
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby Flanker1067 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:52 pm

ausoccer19 wrote:Thanks for the insight, I understand the predicament you've pointed out. Could it work if I added that despite this I was also a successful student academically as well, continuously studying on road trips and in the hotels on weekends etc. (3.5 GPA, two time all-conference academic, double major, worked in academic advising dept., public affairs organization scholar, student gov't, other EC's etc. to go along with it)??? Thanks for the advice/input. It's much appreciated.


To me, that sounds like it could work really well. Achieving good grades while having a serious time commitment on the side is always good demonstration of work ethic.


Maybe target the areas of study/work/life that made you want to study law. That is basically what I did (and my side time commitments weren't even that big a deal) , and it is a little too early to tell you it worked for me but I am 1 for 1 so far.
Last edited by Flanker1067 on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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booboo
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby booboo » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:54 pm

Contrary to popular belief, a PS does not have to relate to the law.

If you have a story that you can tell that explicates why you are a good candidate for law (regardless of whether that story is law-related), tell it.

Flanker1067
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby Flanker1067 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:56 pm

That is true, but it is an easy and relevant theme to choose. A way to organize your thoughts.

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facetious
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby facetious » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:59 pm

booboo wrote:Contrary to popular belief, a PS does not have to relate to the law.

If you have a story that you can tell that explicates why you are a good candidate for law (regardless of whether that story is law-related), tell it.


+1. a lot of people come on here telling others to write about "why law" or some related topic. just my own opinion, but i think that a carefully crafted ps, law related or not, is worth more than any generic "why law" essay. fwiw, i wrote my ps about being a d1 athlete and ultimately giving up the game. it wasn't related to law at all, but i used my ps to show more about who i am and what i will bring to the school. and my cycle turned out just as i had hoped. i think writing about what you are passionate about will lead to a better ps; while we are passionate about "law", none of us really know what that is as 0Ls. good luck!

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Lincoln
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby Lincoln » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:00 pm

I'd like to add something that I've heard from more than one admissions official. You want the PS to show the adcom something about who you are. While showing skills that can be useful in law school is great, making the dean of admissions feel that they know you (and that you come across as a great addition to the class) can be just as useful. Simply showing that you are so awesome in the following ways doesn't necessarily say anything about you as a person, or separate your application from the thousands of others they'll see this year. If you feel that what you have to say about your accomplishments in soccer shows something about you, and reflects something about you that you feel is important to know, go for it.

Just my $0.02

ausoccer19
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby ausoccer19 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:08 pm

Thanks to all. Before I posted originally, the direction I planned to go was something like: our team was awful=> i wanted to transfer out=> instead i chose to honor my commitments to my coach and school => i tore my knee => still persevered and worked hard enough to come back and help my team in our accomplishments => translates into I won't quit, despite how difficult (physically or intellectually), I will live up to my commitments if given the opportunity.

I thank everyone for their input. I'm torn because I want something that makes me unique, even if its, "hey that soccer kid had an interesting story," and makes me stick in adcomms minds. And personally, my soccer career has dominated the previous 18 years of my life and essentially culminated in this story, its pretty much the most interesting and possibly most impressive feat i've accomplished/been a part of. Anyways, just a little of my perspective, thanks for reading

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:10 pm

I agree a PS definitely does not have to relate to the law
Especially if you are just getting out of UG.

Adcoms have stated explicitly that they think a PS from a UG saying why they want to practice law and what type of law etc. is just an example of naivete.

I think that a PS about your studies and simultaneous MCL tear and soccer improvement sounds great. Really tie all these things together thematically (think of one statement you are trying to make and use the first threeish paragraphs to detail the things that happened to you as examples and then the last 1 or 2 paragraphs to talk about you now and why these things had a certain effect on you, which by stating that this is a persistent trait you imply will help you in law school)

lawhawk
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Re: Potential PS topic/focus point...NCAA record

Postby lawhawk » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:14 pm

this has the potential to be very good, but also very cliche. Don't write a "never give up" story. Find one moment (a summer practice, a loss, the first victory of your junior season, etc) where you led or were a very important part of and write from there.

Also, even though this is sports related make the sports part a very minor part of the essay. This will be the hard part, but if it's too sportsy then it will detract from your message.




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