Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Remnantofisrael
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Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby Remnantofisrael » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:18 pm

Since this got 80 views and no replies, I'll get rid of the wall of text and make it snappy.

I have an interesting situation in that I left school after only 3 years with 6 hours left and finished school this year after 5-6 very successful years in advertising. I left because I knew my career path WAS advertising.

I'm a splitter 3.15 gpa, 170+ lsat (170 in june, retook last week). Most of my poor grades were from early college and my last bunch of classes are basically 6 As and a B. I took large loads and summer school to "finish" early because all I cared about was getting to my career. I was married as well, since my sophomore year, and worked all through college, sometimes multiple jobs. Once again, so I could have the $$ to get through school quickly to get to my job.

I was considering focusing my Personal Statement on all of this. How I had a job path before me and made all my decisions for a career that wasn't what I wanted but what I felt was expected. That It wasn't until being very successful in business that I realized that this wasn't what I ever wanted to do, and that my passion wasn't advertising but philosophy and law. It should explain my GPA and my odd life-path.

First, does this sound like a good foundation for a personal statement? Second, i was thinking of really emphasizing that I was living in my father's shadow, doing what I felt he wanted me to do, and that after having my own children I realized that I wouldn't want them to be in my shadow, and so I reconciled with my father and he now supports my decision to change everything in my life. That I put at risk more than 3 years of my life for this decision, that I put at risk my entire families well being, but that I am so confident in this path that my wife and I are willing to do this.

Any thoughts?

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Remnantofisrael
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby Remnantofisrael » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:09 pm

edited so maybe someone might comment. No one likes walls of text.

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bk1
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby bk1 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:10 pm

Father thing sounds meh.

General advice is write it and then have someone read it. It is hard to tell when it is just an idea.

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Veyron
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby Veyron » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:11 pm

NO! You should make it about something interesting that happened to you while in advertising that demonstrates the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to succeed in law school.

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JG Hall
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby JG Hall » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:12 pm

better off writing about how what you learned in job X can translate into law school/legal career, as opposed to "it took me five years to realize I hate my life bc I'm slow like that"

edit: nvm, see above

Woozy
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby Woozy » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:50 pm

Most people seem to think the PS is the time to tell the school how much you want to go to law school. This is the exact opposite of what you should do. The point isn't to convince them you want to go to law school, it's to convince them that they want you to go to law school - specifically their school. The easiest way to do that is by showing what you bring to the table that other applicants don't.

C'mon - you are in advertising - this is marketing 101. Sell yourself. Does Burger King run ads like: "we reeeeeally want to make burgers...we totally know that making burgers is the right thing to do with our lives...please buy one"?

Write a separate addendum about the GPA.

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Veyron
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby Veyron » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:12 am

Woozy wrote:Mo

C'mon - you are in advertising - this is marketing 101. Sell yourself. Does Burger King run ads like: "we reeeeeally want to make burgers...we totally know that making burgers is the right thing to do with our lives...please buy one"?



Awsome analogy.

mtrl
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby mtrl » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:30 am

I read your post before you edited it and thought it sounded like a very interesting personal statement: a narrative of personal discovery about how you wanted to go into law where you faced a difficult situation (confronting your father about not meeting his expectations for you). The way your OP is now doesn't capture that, so obviously people are going to shoot it down. In any case, I would say that your situation has good material and if you go in that direction the result certainly won't be boring (depending on execution I guess).

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Remnantofisrael
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby Remnantofisrael » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:59 am

All great stuff- thanks for the advice ladies and gents!

My initial idea was going from the ad-man perspective, but I started to think, who is my audience and what am I selling them? It seems my audience is an educated mass of very specialized folk who's sole purpose is to make sure their schools end up graduating a combination of high-earning, high-power, high-renown graduates who pass the bar and stay somewhat connected to the institution. I asked myself how to make myself fit in this scope and realized that, just like Burger king, I need to either distract from perceived weakness/grade-D beef (took 6 extra years to finish college, low GPA) or I need to express how those things actually make me a better candidate for their schools/mouth holes (I'm flame broiled you see...)

As MTRL noted, my initial post focused MUCH more on being under rule of my father. About how every choice was made with this in mind. Note that I didn't graduate HS (got my GED at 17 instead) and didn't care about grades because my father didn't care. I have countless examples of taking life too fast. I wanted to get engaged at 19, my father said I should just get married and save money on rent. After college I wanted to rent, my father told me to buy. In the end, though, my biggest fear with focusing on this was actually that it made me sound like a spineless wuss who does what his dad tells him, and that isn't what I'm trying to express at all. Rather that from a much too young age I had my life laid out for me and I got very comfortable following that road in order to gain acceptance from a very abrasiveness and harsh father. But if I read about that I'd probably think- "boo-fakin-hoo. Poor guy had easy streets."

Anyway, like I said the feedback is great. I can start redirecting energy away from selling why I should be in law school and focus on why they should want me.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:13 am

"Where's the beef?"

You have exhausted your keyboard enough to have written several personal statements by now. Is procrastination an issue ? Best to write a personal statement before seeking critiques. The topic is secondary to the delivery.

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Remnantofisrael
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Re: Unique student, "boring" life? - a little help!

Postby Remnantofisrael » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:19 am

CanadianWolf wrote:"Where's the beef?"

You have exhausted your keyboard enough to have written several personal statements by now. Is procrastination an issue ? Best to write a personal statement before seeking critiques. The topic is secondary to the delivery.


Rock on- that is what I will do. Not procrastination, just lack of topic clarity. If my posts are any indication, I can write 20 pages on "what is the color of your desk", so my need is generally focus of topic. Seems like I have two distinct focus points so will work on those. Thanks all!




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