Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
roranoa
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Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby roranoa » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:09 am

I really don't have a compelling reason as to why I want to go to law school.

I have a rather shallow reason that I think is best kept unsaid in public.

So is it necessary to write that in your essay?

The real question is whether it would be okay if I just write about my love for languages or something of that sort and focus on that.

Anna Ivey actually says in her book that "why law school" is a bad topic for students coming straight from undergrad.

What do you guys think?

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cinefile 17
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby cinefile 17 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:14 am

Anna Ivey is right. You don't need to say "why law school?".

roranoa
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby roranoa » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:28 am

cinefile 17 wrote:Anna Ivey is right. You don't need to say "why law school?".


Thanks for the reply. I just worried because my prepaid online editor suggests that I have to. He went so far as to say that a personal statement that only reveals your character will be questioned (e.g. why law school? why not med school? why not pursue academics?) and will be put aside.

This editor really got me worried...so.....any other ideas?

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Nulli Secundus
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby Nulli Secundus » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:58 pm

Regardless of the fact that you paid for an editor, and are still asking random people's advice over the internet; I think you should include something about "Why law school", because you see, personal statement, as the name implies, means stating something and that something is generally the origin of your interest in law school. The word generally in the previous sentence is kind of misleading actually, it should always be about that. Your character is definitely important, but you should at least connect the dots by including a paragraph about how the things you describe about your character make you a good candidate for law school; instead of doing this:

"Character analysis...

Traumatic event..

Effects..

Character analysis part 2"

Which one of the following accurately expresses the unstated conclusion of this PS?

a ) (TITCR) The paragraph about why law school.

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Grizz
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby Grizz » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:14 pm

roranoa wrote:I really don't have a compelling reason as to why I want to go to law school.


Don't go to law school.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:24 am

rad law wrote:
roranoa wrote:I really don't have a compelling reason as to why I want to go to law school.


Don't go to law school.


+1

chompchain
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby chompchain » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:54 am

acrossthelake wrote:rad law wrote:
roranoa wrote:
I really don't have a compelling reason as to why I want to go to law school.


Don't go to law school.


Correction: don't put yourself in crushing debt and forsake other opportunities for law school. Your PS should really convey why you would be successful in law school. The best answer to that is of course you are really passionate and have planned out your career and the school that you're currently applying to is integral to your life plan.

Absent that, at least say why you have chosen law school when you could be doing other things for three years. And the reason should be more than a general passion for languages. Nothing kills that faster than having to read 200+ pages per night. Try thinking of what you want to do with a law degree and work backwards.

Pip
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby Pip » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:52 am

I only applied to two law schools, one included an essay of why I hated lawyers, the other was about showing Einstein was wrong with two flashlights... neither one ever mentioned why I wanted to go to law school. I was accepted to both, so I don't think writing why law school is necessary... In fact I would guess that it can only hurt you because someone looking at those applications will tend to fill in the blanks on questions not answered, and for why law school they probably aren't going to say he/she wants to go because they want to make tons of money sucking money from corporations like a vampire on steroids... but I'm guessing that is probably the shallow reason you are talking about.

roranoa
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby roranoa » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:53 am

rad law wrote:
roranoa wrote:I really don't have a compelling reason as to why I want to go to law school.


Don't go to law school.



I don't mean that I only have selfish reasons, I mean that I don't have a compelling story that would make my reasons convincing.

For example, I want to work for my country (not USA) after I gain some experience but the reason I want to do so is because, well, it seems fulfilling. I read about all these people who did good for their country and I want to be like them. That's all.

But we all know we can't write that on our essays. (e.g.I want to work for my country cuz its cool!)

CanadianWolf
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:08 am

You do not need to write a "why law school essay" for your personal statement, but you do need a unifying theme to your writing.

03121202698008
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby 03121202698008 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:19 am

roranoa wrote:
cinefile 17 wrote:Anna Ivey is right. You don't need to say "why law school?".


Thanks for the reply. I just worried because my prepaid online editor suggests that I have to. He went so far as to say that a personal statement that only reveals your character will be questioned (e.g. why law school? why not med school? why not pursue academics?) and will be put aside.

This editor really got me worried...so.....any other ideas?


I'd be worried about finding a different editor. No need to address why law school.

firemed
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby firemed » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:47 pm

Quick question....

Someone mentioned you didn't need to say "Why law school?" if you were just coming out of undergrad per Anna Ivey.

Just confirming my suspicion here that if you are non-trad that you should at least mention it?

roranoa
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby roranoa » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:18 pm

firemedicprelaw wrote:Quick question....

Someone mentioned you didn't need to say "Why law school?" if you were just coming out of undergrad per Anna Ivey.

Just confirming my suspicion here that if you are non-trad that you should at least mention it?


I'm still in undergrad, planning to go straight to law school.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:41 pm

I never even mentioned law school in my personal statement, but it was not what I would call a typical personal statement by any means. It definitely worked for me, though.

One way to think about it is this: Law schools know you have an interest in going to law school because you're applying to go to law school. If you have something important enough to say about yourself in two pages that isn't about why you want to go to law school, then sure, say it. It's entirely possible you do; I did. Your goal with your personal statement is to sell you, not just necessarily your desire to go to law school. You might have some other quality that is far more unique and valuable and that sets you apart more.

Also, get your money back from your prepaid editor. That doesn't sound like it was a great business decision on your part.

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2ofspades
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Re: Is it absolutely necessary to answer "why law school?"

Postby 2ofspades » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:43 pm

firemedicprelaw wrote:Someone mentioned you didn't need to say "Why law school?" if you were just coming out of undergrad per Anna Ivey.

Coming out of undergrad, no, you don't need to address this in your PS. The reason why is that the school is less concerned with how the school will help you as an individual than with how you will enhance the richness of the entering class. If everyone wrote about how they thought it would be an engaging experience/career for type A or B reason, then admitting a diverse group and distinguishing between statistically alike applicants would be pretty hard.

firemedicprelaw wrote:Just confirming my suspicion here that if you are non-trad that you should at least mention it?

Older applicants, though, do need to explain. Presumably, they are giving up pre-existing careers to study law. This begs the question why.




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