Domestic violence--too taboo?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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quishiclocus
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Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby quishiclocus » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:04 pm

This seems like a potentially risky area and I wondered what people's thoughts were, as I start working on rough drafts. A major turning point in my life came as the result of an abusive relationship and a subsequent stay in a women's shelter. I do not want to play the 'victim' card... I don't want to be seen as a victim at all. But it remains a huge part of how I got where I am now and why I'm doing what I'm doing.

Is this going to hurt me, though, if I bring it up? I can't tell how much of my concern that it will paint me as weak and powerless, even though I was the one who got myself out, is valid, and how much of it is the residual insecurity left from what happened. Has anyone else used an incident like this as a major topic in a personal statement? How did it work out for you?

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kalvano
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby kalvano » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:45 pm

I think you should, if it's that important to you.

It won't paint you in a negative light. If anything, it's a very good light.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby TheBigMediocre » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:46 pm

I've seen enough lifetime movies to say that if correctly woven into your personal statement, it will show you in a very positive light and as a strong woman.

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20121109
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby 20121109 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:48 pm

I opened my PS with a memory of DV....see my LSN link to see whether or not it had a negative effect on my cycle <3
Last edited by 20121109 on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:49 pm

TLS consensus is to avoid "taboo" or controversial topics, but then turn around and say things like "Give them a picture of who you are" or "Write about something personal." It has always seemed like a strange contradiction to me, in a lot of ways.

I think this is a good topic and you should go for it. But make sure you get LOTS of critiques on TLS and elsewhere. One poorly worded sentence could turn people off and rub people the wrong way.

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romothesavior
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:51 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:I opened my PS with a memory of DV....see my LSN link to see whether or not it had a negative effect on my cycle or not <3


Your very solid stats, coupled with your URM status, make it difficult to tell if your PS had any effect one way or the other.

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mazzini
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby mazzini » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:55 pm

My PS recounted memories of domestic violence and drug abuse. I don't think it hurt me. In fact, one school mentioned that the PS helped in their decision to accept me.

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20121109
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby 20121109 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:56 pm

romothesavior wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:I opened my PS with a memory of DV....see my LSN link to see whether or not it had a negative effect on my cycle or not <3


Your very solid stats, coupled with your URM status, make it difficult to tell if your PS had any effect one way or the other.


But I doubt it had a negative effect, right? That was her main concern...OP shouldn't be worried about DV. Everyone who read my PS said it was pretty good. You just have to make sure you show the adcomm how it made you the person you are today <3

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby TheBigMediocre » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:19 pm

DV? Don't worry. VD? Worry.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:21 pm

quishiclocus wrote:This seems like a potentially risky area and I wondered what people's thoughts were, as I start working on rough drafts. A major turning point in my life came as the result of an abusive relationship and a subsequent stay in a women's shelter. I do not want to play the 'victim' card... I don't want to be seen as a victim at all. But it remains a huge part of how I got where I am now and why I'm doing what I'm doing.

Is this going to hurt me, though, if I bring it up? I can't tell how much of my concern that it will paint me as weak and powerless, even though I was the one who got myself out, is valid, and how much of it is the residual insecurity left from what happened. Has anyone else used an incident like this as a major topic in a personal statement? How did it work out for you?


I have some pretty bad experiences in my life of this nature, but for my college admissions cycle, and now for my upcoming law school cycle, decided to leave it out entirely. Part of it is because I wasn't sure that 500 words could really do it justice--introduce, explain, and most importantly, allow me to close up the arc with closure. It's difficult, I feel, to write a statement that allows you to talk about it and show what strengths you have to offer at the same time. If you can do this, all the power to you, but please make sure to have many edits from other eyes. Also, you mention this, is this part of why you want to be a lawyer? To advocate on behalf of other people who have been through what you did? If so, then it could work out to be a pretty good statement.

I have no interest in tying my experiences into my practice of law, so for me it seemed irrelevant as a topic.

Hey-O
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby Hey-O » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:25 pm

TheBigMediocre wrote:DV? Don't worry. VD? Worry.



Lol +1

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quishiclocus
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby quishiclocus » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:09 am

Doing it justice is going to be the tricky part. Okay, now go to through the first hundred drafts or so before I feel like I have something ready to share, but it will definitely be something I'll be looking for feedback on later!

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Moxie
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Re: Domestic violence--too taboo?

Postby Moxie » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:18 am

I wrote a personal statement on a semi-similar topic (growing up as the victim of parental abuse in a domestic violence household). I think it can definitely be done, and I got some interesting feedback from one admissions officer during a phone interview that implied he really liked the topic.

I assume some sort of healthy anger stemming from this event is part of why you want to become a lawyer ?? (or at least it was for me)

However, the hard part is writing an essay that "does it justice". I'm sure you'll nail it, best of luck!




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