Having kids strength or weakness?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
psteele99
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:04 pm

Having kids strength or weakness?

Postby psteele99 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:53 pm

I am writing my ps geared toward a law school in my area that has an evening program tailored especially for working adults. My theme is the many roles I have played in my life culminating in a decision to attend law school (wife, paralegal, daughter, sister, student, some-time volunteer). But I'm not sure if I should include that I am a working mom. On the one hand, I can see it as a strength that I am able to juggle work and motherhood, but on the other hand I have first hand experience of that fact working against me. I don't know if admissions would look at that and think I'm out of my mind and would never finish school anyway so on to the next applicant!

As a bit of background, I've been married for seven years and my girls are 5 and 2, my parents are a tremendous help and have agreed to care for them in the evening. I worked my entire college career to pay the bills and went to school at night...

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

slider
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:35 pm

Re: Having kids strength or weakness?

Postby slider » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:58 pm

What schools are you applying to?

Off hand I'd say if you are a borderline candidate, I don't think it would help you to include it. But if you chose to talk about it, be VERY careful how you phrase it, I wouldn't want to give the admissions committee the impression that law school will be on the bottom of your priority list or that you are getting in over your head. Its kind of risky.

psteele99
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:04 pm

Re: Having kids strength or weakness?

Postby psteele99 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:06 pm

I am apply to Seattle University... nothing fancy but it works for my goals and my schedule. That is exactly my concern, I don't want them to think they are a low priority. And of course, my girls always come first, but between my husband, sisters and parents, I have lots of help. Wonder if I should spin it that way....or just leave it out altogether.

slider
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:35 pm

Re: Having kids strength or weakness?

Postby slider » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:15 pm

If you are a non-trad candidate I'm sure you have plenty of other experiences you can bring to the table. Work? volunteering? Experiences that can set you apart from the typical candidate without having to give adcoms a reason to DING you. I have nothing against people who are brave enough to add these things to their PS and you might even get lucky and find adcoms who will relate to your story, but personally, I wouldn't chance it. I am sure you might find other people who will disagree.

Best of luck :D

kopper
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 12:15 am

Re: Having kids strength or weakness?

Postby kopper » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:59 pm

I think being a mother and dedicated student is a great topic to discuss however I agree you have to be careful in how you present this part of your life. I also applied to a local part-time evening program. I think the strongest statement I made in my PS was the importance of my family in my life. I was challenged at expressing who exactly I am and what makes me tick until I got to the part of my PS discussing the importance of my family and my dedication to them.

I think the topic of motherhood can be presented as a strength than as a weakness. Although we have greater demands on our time we also have more depending on our success. Furthermore, it demonstrates the ability to commit to something and discussing that commitment can be shown as a strength.

In addition to your achieving your personal goal of going to law school there is the added benefit this experience and achievement will have on your daughters. Your daughters will also serve as great motivaters for you because you will want them to see you succeed. I think it is a great topic to discuss if you feel that this topic will demonstrate the best of who you are and can be communicated in a way that exudes pride, dedication and commitment.

psteele99
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:04 pm

Re: Having kids strength or weakness?

Postby psteele99 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:18 pm

Thanks for the advice! One way I was considering dealing with the kids piece is that I am the first woman in my family to get a BA and I will be the first person in my family to attend law school. And those achievements are paramount in how they will set a strong example for my daughters. Seattle U is all about "social justice" so I figured putting the "strong woman" spin on it may be looked upon favorably. It's just very hard to leave that part of my life out, when it is so much of who I am.....

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KMaine
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: Having kids strength or weakness?

Postby KMaine » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:28 pm

I think that you SHOULD use it in your personal statement and you do not have to be more careful about it than any other topic. This is not a risky topic, and not at all a reason to ding you. I got into 3 t-14s (2 of which I could have been considered borderline at) and my opening paragraph talked about how dedicated I was to my children.

Other than that, if you have juggled things in your life law school IS NOT HARDER than those other things. Law school is hard for people who have not done anything else in their lives. I did very well, put my kids to bed every night, made 100% of breakfasts and lunches for them, and was home for dinner/cooked dinner about 90% of the time.

Write a good personal statement about the things that are important to you. If I did not talk about my kids I would have thought I was hiding something (hiding a part of myself).

Disclaimer: I am a dad, not a mom. But there are at least 2 moms in my class. Not sure if the kids appeared in their P.S.

jjman
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:03 am

Re: Having kids strength or weakness?

Postby jjman » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:08 pm

KMaine wrote:I think that you SHOULD use it in your personal statement and you do not have to be more careful about it than any other topic. This is not a risky topic, and not at all a reason to ding you. I got into 3 t-14s (2 of which I could have been considered borderline at) and my opening paragraph talked about how dedicated I was to my children.

Other than that, if you have juggled things in your life law school IS NOT HARDER than those other things. Law school is hard for people who have not done anything else in their lives. I did very well, put my kids to bed every night, made 100% of breakfasts and lunches for them, and was home for dinner/cooked dinner about 90% of the time.

Write a good personal statement about the things that are important to you. If I did not talk about my kids I would have thought I was hiding something (hiding a part of myself).

Disclaimer: I am a dad, not a mom. But there are at least 2 moms in my class. Not sure if the kids appeared in their P.S.


I agree, I used the fact that I'm a busy parent also. I think it proves you are responsible and capable of handling stress/multitasking, etc. Nothings harder than raising kids!




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