advice please - 2 possible avenues for PS

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advice please - 2 possible avenues for PS

Postby emhoffman » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:01 pm

Hi everyone,

I just finished writing a draft of my personal statement and am now considering revamping it. I appreciate any opinions given as to these two directions for it:

Option 1) My current draft is centered around why I want to go to law school and what I want to do with my law degree, but draws on two very different experiences. I want to ultimately work in public service in either the criminal or environmental law fields and I draw on two experiences that have helped me realize that. For criminal law, it was working in the International Prisoner Transfer Unit with the USDOJ for six months as a full-time intern, reviewing foreign prisoners' applications to transfer the remaining time on their sentence to serve it in their home country. For environmental law, I spent six weeks sailing a brigantine vessel and conducting oceanographic research in the mid-Atlantic, and seek to combine my passions for law and environmental studies in this respect. I also draw upon teamwork, leadership etc. in this part. I conclude by saying that I want to use my law degree to help others who cannot help themselves, because they are marginalized or do not have a voice.

Option 2) Scrap the USDOJ part and focus totally on my experience at sea. It is considered a study abroad at my school, even though we spent only three days in Dominica, but living on a brigantine vessel is like being thrown into a foreign country: there is a different language, different priorities, different schedule. You even have to learn how to walk, eat, and sleep on the boat. I could also expound more on the leadership and teamwork lessons I learned. However, I don't think I could neatly tie in why I want to go to law school in this, nor relate it to specific schools. I'm also worried that it will either be the 100th study abroad PS they read or that they won't really consider it as "study abroad" enough to consider the growth and immersion it provided me with.

So which one do you think I should go with?

Btw, I am applying to a lot of different schools that have a PI bent and strong environmental and criminal law programs, with the opportunities to do criminal law clinics, specifically prisoners' rights. Some of these schools (BC, Berkeley, NYU) I do not have auto-admit numbers so I want my personal statement to be killer.

Thanks for your help!

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