Better PS Topic????

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Benvenuto10
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:50 pm

Better PS Topic????

Postby Benvenuto10 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:56 pm

I have received a broad range of advice on these boards thus far. Some brutal, some kind, all constructive.

I finally have two working PS's which both have potential and flow. Where I am hung up is in regards to how the impact of each letter would differ.

OVERVIEW:

31 y/o male
10 yrs out of undergrad
Ex Hedge Fund Consultant

OPTIONS:

1) A deviation on an old story. David v.s. Goliath. An overview of my professional experience played in with the story of standing by helplessly in the court room while my business associate / friend was painted by attorneys for the SEC as the next Bernie Madoff. My experience with him through the trial, how it has pushed me towards law, and how everyone needs someone in their corner.

2) A story about a young girl whose life I saved years ago who taught me about humanity and the need for voices of the underprivileged to be heard. Tied in is her story, my story, the neighborhood we grew up in, and the need for people from those neighborhoods, such as myself to become advocates for people in near impossible situations.

Do either of these themes play better into my candidacy as a non-traditional applicant? My LOR's are mostly professional, so my achievements and professional aptitude is covered in those.

On a side note, my LSAT's are mid 160's, and my undergrad GPA, for which there will be an addendum, was a 2.2.

Anyone have thoughts? Opinions? Comments? Anything is appreciated........thank you.

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Gefuehlsecht
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:20 am

Re: Better PS Topic????

Postby Gefuehlsecht » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:05 pm

The girl story sounds much more interesting already. Writing about trial experience before you attend lawschool, even if it's minor, can backfire. Some adcom people have a stick up their behind about that kind of thing.

Benvenuto10
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:50 pm

Re: Better PS Topic????

Postby Benvenuto10 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:16 pm

Thank you for the insight. Honestly, I am more emotionally vested in the girl story anyway. It's been a huge part of my life.

I had written the other PS (trial one) because it was so recent, and incorporates some of my professional work as well. I didn't know if that would be valued.

Right now, I am leaning towards the girl story, and looking to let my resume and LOR's do the talking for me in regards to my professional endeavors.

Thanks again.

bball999
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:02 pm

Re: Better PS Topic????

Postby bball999 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:04 am

Either has the potential to make a good PS. What's more important is how you write it. Pick the one that you think would spur you to write a better PS.

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DeSilentio2728
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:38 pm

Re: Better PS Topic????

Postby DeSilentio2728 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:15 am

I personally think that if you can do 1 effectively, i.e. more about you than your associate, then you will be best off. Although 2 probably has some genuine moments in it, it sounds too much like the type of ps that a lot applicants write about. Few will have similar experiences as 1, plus thematically for your entire application (your being out of undergrad) I think it would be a more impressive way to say why you want to change careers and move into law. You would want to head more so in the I have seen the devastation poor financial regulations have on people and thus want to change this system, or I have seen how the Bernie Madoffs of the world ruin people's lives, and thus I want to change the system/be an advocate for those people, etc… Heading down the I want to save the world road via 2 seems more forced, and seems more like you just want a career change in the bad economy. Plus something tells me that a lot of the adcoms watch Damages, so you would have that going for you with 1. If 1, however, is just you talking about how bad you felt for your friend going through the trial, then yea 2 is the better way to go.

trutherd
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:26 am

Re: Better PS Topic????

Postby trutherd » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:57 am

DeSilentio2728 wrote:Although 2 probably has some genuine moments in it, it sounds too much like the type of ps that a lot applicants write about.

A lot of applicants write about saving a little girl's life? Come on.

DeSilentio2728 wrote:Few will have similar experiences as 1, plus thematically for your entire application (your being out of undergrad) I think it would be a more impressive way to say why you want to change careers and move into law.

This is absurd - take a step back and what this really says is "few applicants to law school have experiences that cultivated a desire to practice law." Of course the details are different (naturally), but everyone has some version of this story and it is common among PS topics.

So, you can play that angle, but 2 is far more compelling. One of the better quotes I've read recently on personal statements came from a Harvard admissions rep: "Address who you are today rather than who you hope to be in the future."

Benvenuto10 wrote:Right now, I am leaning towards the girl story, and looking to let my resume and LOR's do the talking for me in regards to my professional endeavors.

This nails it--go with your gut. Your professional accomplishments will be covered elsewhere so use the PS to give more depth on who you are as a person.

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DeSilentio2728
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Re: Better PS Topic????

Postby DeSilentio2728 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:11 am

I only meant in the sense that a lot of applicants write their topics about how they want to help the underprivileged, nothing about saving a girl's life, as not much was presented about this story. However, I just saw the op's earlier thread and, yea, he has a story.

I was just working off of the hedge fund thing, in combination with the bernie madoff associate, as something that could be a promising way of demonstrating how his career thus far has pushed him towards law school. I was just concerned about how the whole switching careers late in the game would play out if he wrote a generic ps concerning his desire to change the world in a legal interest entirely different from his previous work experience.

But you are right, OP should follow his gut, and write about the experiences that make him, who he is, and from his earlier thread, I think he has a multitude of stories to share that are genuine. He just needs to pick the right one, and after reviewing his story, I think 2 is the best way to demonstrate who he is as a person. it certainly isn't generic, just an oversight on my part.

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lostjake
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Re: Better PS Topic????

Postby lostjake » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:52 am

+1 on the girl story. Don't forget that many people, including those in admissions aren't too friendly towards ex-hedge fund people right now, and while you feel that might not be fair, thats just the boat you're in.

What ever you write about just make sure it flows well and shows some genuine growth through you part.

Benvenuto10
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:50 pm

Re: Better PS Topic????

Postby Benvenuto10 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:29 pm

Thank you to everyone once again. I believe I am more confident in the second one (little girl) anyway. The first one tends to get lost in details surrounding the charges, as well as the specific financial niche where I worked. It is "less human" than the second one.

The second speaks more to my character, as well as to the most genuine aspects of my life.

I will work on finalizing the second one, and use that as my PS. Thank you again to everyone for your insight and opinions.




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