Topic help!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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piccolittle
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Topic help!

Postby piccolittle » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:33 pm

So it's not as though my background is totally vanilla-- I did go to undergrad in the UK-- but I'm really having trouble thinking of a topic. I never had any obstacles to overcome, have a fairly normal upbringing, and am non-URM.

Also, since I graduated with an LLB, do you think I'll be expected to address my law school experience, or "why law?", despite most applicants being encouraged not to?

Help with weeding out the bad topics?

1) Growing up with horses/working on our family farm/rescuing an ex-racehorse and how that has impacted my character and my interest in working in animal welfare
2) Preparing for and passing the NY Bar (and would it be awful to say something like "I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a lawyer, and I was in the middle of the Bar exam?")
3) Attending school abroad, learning Italian, how an international education shaped my identity as an American (without somehow sounding like those "really special semester abroad" essays)-- also considering submitting this in a DS instead
4) All of the above (and advice on doing that would be extra helpful)

Your vote? Sorry if it seems like a useless thread, but any constructive advice would be great.

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Knock
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Re: Topic help!

Postby Knock » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:41 pm

piccolittle wrote:So it's not as though my background is totally vanilla-- I did go to undergrad in the UK-- but I'm really having trouble thinking of a topic. I never had any obstacles to overcome, have a fairly normal upbringing, and am non-URM.

Also, since I graduated with an LLB, do you think I'll be expected to address my law school experience, or "why law?", despite most applicants being encouraged not to?

Help with weeding out the bad topics?

1) Growing up with horses/working on our family farm/rescuing an ex-racehorse and how that has impacted my character and my interest in working in animal welfare
2) Preparing for and passing the NY Bar (and would it be awful to say something like "I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a lawyer, and I was in the middle of the Bar exam?")
3) Attending school abroad, learning Italian, how an international education shaped my identity as an American (without somehow sounding like those "really special semester abroad" essays)-- also considering submitting this in a DS instead
4) All of the above (and advice on doing that would be extra helpful)

Your vote? Sorry if it seems like a useless thread, but any constructive advice would be great.


You've already passed the bar? Can you go practice or do you need to go to LS?

I think 1 or 3 could be good -- i'd avoid 2, especially if you weren't sure you wanted to be a lawyer in the middle of the bar exam.

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piccolittle
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Re: Topic help!

Postby piccolittle » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:48 pm

Yeah I sort of did everything backwards :(
I can practice in NY, but I can't take most other state Bars without a JD.

I'm really leaning toward the horse angle, but I'm worried that it might not demonstrate my academic qualities as much as most people's PSs tend to do... more illustrate the inception and development of my interest in animal welfare.

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Knock
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Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: Topic help!

Postby Knock » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:52 pm

piccolittle wrote:Yeah I sort of did everything backwards :(
I can practice in NY, but I can't take most other state Bars without a JD.

I'm really leaning toward the horse angle, but I'm worried that it might not demonstrate my academic qualities as much as most people's PSs tend to do... more illustrate the inception and development of my interest in animal welfare.


I think that would be better. PS is to showcase biographical details, and let the schools know you beyond the numbers and beyond what they can get from an application. So I actually think the horse PS might work well for you.

Also, you should consider just practicing in NY. It will save you 150k+ not to mention lost income. That is assuming you can find a job somewhere. I would be very hesitant to attend unless it would be to a top ranked school, or under a full scholarship. I'm assuming you've already considered all this, so I will remove myself from your personal business at this time :P.

DreamShake
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:03 pm

Re: Topic help!

Postby DreamShake » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:30 pm

I vote for option 1, though maybe that's just my high opinion of animals showing :P Truthfully, 2 sounds like it would be a little boring/hard to get 2 solid pages out of; 3 sounds cliche; and 4 seems like too much material in too little space to really do any of it justice. Write biographically; if you write well, your skillz will shine through. In any event, your actual numbers will matter much more than any writing you do concerning academia...so take the opportunity to tell them something not related to academia, which is somewhat less negligible.

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piccolittle
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Re: Topic help!

Postby piccolittle » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:45 am

Thanks, guys! I have been panicking a little bit reading everyone's "saving orphans," "surviving rape," and "highly developed philosophical discourse"-type essays and started thinking that plain old me mucking stalls down on the farm might not be academic or noble enough. I'm actually really excited, because this is something I feel has shaped me completely outside academics, so hopefully I can make it into something good.




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