(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Postby lawskyandhutch » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:09 am

I've been encouraged to write PS about volunteer work I've done and other info about me and how that has led me to an interest in reform or political/social advocacy.

I think there's some wisdom in this advice, but I have a few reservations.

a) This sort of essay a bit cliche.
b) It can come across as fake (e.g. How many lawyers would turn down $160k in order to become a do-gooder of some sort?)
c) It can seem arrogant. (e.g. Do you really think that just because you have a law degree and want to "help people" that you'll be some sort of world-historical figure?)

How can one overcome these obstacles?

Would it be better to write a blander, more intellectual PS about my understanding of what the law is or what its benefits can be?


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Re: Do-goodery

Postby sarahh » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:48 pm

Yes, it is somewhat cliche, but I think law schools like people who express an interest in public interest if it is sincere. There are many lawyers who choose public interest over biglaw. I think it can appear fake if you don't have the experience to back up your assertions, but if you have volunteer experience, I don't see anything wrong with writing a public-interest themed personal statement.

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Re: Do-goodery

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:11 pm

You could talk about you volunteer experience and not even say you want to do public interest work. Say how the things you learned will give you unique perspectives on the law or some such bs. You will show them that you are a compassionate person who will work on social issues and you wont have to sound stupid by blatenly saying you would turn down big money for thankless work. Plus that allows you to help the poor in more than one way and still be genuine. I look at it this way: Who helps the poor more, the guy working public interest or the biglaw partner who donates the salary for 2 people to work public interest?

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Re: Do-goodery

Postby lawskyandhutch » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:23 pm

Thanks everyone!

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