Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
mala2
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Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby mala2 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:11 am

Not sure if this is the right place for this, but I'm wondering what other non-traditional applicants are writing their PS about. I'm having a hard time deciding what is a good topic. Should it be like a lot of the rest about growing up? Should it be about work experience? Should it be about family experience?

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Mr. T
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby Mr. T » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:26 am

I'd be interested in the answer to this as well.

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acfair
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby acfair » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:29 am

What exactly do you you need to be/do to be considered non-traditional? I am entering law school fresh out of college, but I went to culinary school in the middle of college, and worked for a while as well. So I am 23, but I don't know if that is enough to be considered "non-traditional".

sarahh
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby sarahh » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:05 pm

I did a I-want-to-save-the-world essay and talked mostly about my job and a current volunteer activity, but I also discussed some of the more wacky stuff I did when I was younger, like dress up like a caribou and "ticket" SUVs. I thought it was funny and showed how I have matured. I don't think there is one thing you have to write about, but it may be a good idea to play up your maturity and life experience because those are supposed to be the advantages of being non-traditional.

Acfair, I don't think you would be considered non-traditional since you are 23. It is typically used to describe people who are in their late 20s or older, married, and/or have children.

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oldhippie
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby oldhippie » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:09 pm

i am way non-traditional (37 y/o) and wrote about how i got interested my current professional field, the variety of experiences i have had getting to where i am (working with unusual populations, rural areas, military service) and why i am making a change now...

don't know how successful it was yet, though :)

mala2
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby mala2 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:55 pm

acfair wrote:What exactly do you you need to be/do to be considered non-traditional? I am entering law school fresh out of college, but I went to culinary school in the middle of college, and worked for a while as well. So I am 23, but I don't know if that is enough to be considered "non-traditional".



I think that's an unusual experience and you could write about it, but it sounds like besides that break you're going straight through so I think that's what trad non trad is maybe?

I'm 28, worked for a year after college then joined the army for 4 years, and I have a daughter (technically I have a husband too, but we're working on that)

It sounds like the previous people wrote about work experiences. I was thinking about writing something military related. Another poster from a year ago wrote that sometimes writing a really personal one is good, but I'm not sure

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homestyle28
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:15 pm

I was told that the older you are the more the "Why Law School" essay makes sense. For most non-trad apps, LS represents some kind of directional shift, so explaining why you're making that shift is worth while.

I'll be 33 when I start, this is what I wrote about last year.

mala2
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby mala2 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:20 pm

homestyle28 wrote:I was told that the older you are the more the "Why Law School" essay makes sense. For most non-trad apps, LS represents some kind of directional shift, so explaining why you're making that shift is worth while.

I'll be 33 when I start, this is what I wrote about last year.



Did you write about "why law school" from a personal or professional perspective?

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homestyle28
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:25 pm

mala2 wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:I was told that the older you are the more the "Why Law School" essay makes sense. For most non-trad apps, LS represents some kind of directional shift, so explaining why you're making that shift is worth while.

I'll be 33 when I start, this is what I wrote about last year.



Did you write about "why law school" from a personal or professional perspective?


As professional a perspective as I could take. I was shifting from pursuing a PhD in philosophy to LS. I talked about my dissatisfaction with the abstraction of academia (at least of the kind I was doing) and wrapped it around some experiences I had volunteering.

bdubs
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby bdubs » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:28 pm

homestyle28 wrote:I was told that the older you are the more the "Why Law School" essay makes sense. For most non-trad apps, LS represents some kind of directional shift, so explaining why you're making that shift is worth while.

I'll be 33 when I start, this is what I wrote about last year.


I took this approach as well. The experiences I wrote about were professional, but my profession is directly related to law/litigation so it might not be a great guidepost for anyone else.

mala2
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby mala2 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:44 pm

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=80786

this thread makes it seem like personal is ok too, so I just am not sure what to do.

I'm thinking that I'll do a professional positive one for schools I'm confident I'll get into, and maybe do a more risky personal one for reach schools?

bdubs
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby bdubs » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:55 pm

mala2 wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=80786

this thread makes it seem like personal is ok too, so I just am not sure what to do.

I'm thinking that I'll do a professional positive one for schools I'm confident I'll get into, and maybe do a more risky personal one for reach schools?


Getting a PS right takes a little while. You might be better off writing one good PS for use at all schools and submitting earlier, especially if your second PS is for stretch schools.

Just a thought.

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thementor31337
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby thementor31337 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:11 pm

mala2 wrote:
acfair wrote:What exactly do you you need to be/do to be considered non-traditional? I am entering law school fresh out of college, but I went to culinary school in the middle of college, and worked for a while as well. So I am 23, but I don't know if that is enough to be considered "non-traditional".



I think that's an unusual experience and you could write about it, but it sounds like besides that break you're going straight through so I think that's what trad non trad is maybe?

I'm 28, worked for a year after college then joined the army for 4 years, and I have a daughter (technically I have a husband too, but we're working on that)

It sounds like the previous people wrote about work experiences. I was thinking about writing something military related. Another poster from a year ago wrote that sometimes writing a really personal one is good, but I'm not sure


I'm 28 as well and worked in the insurance industry for 8 years then joined the USMC at 24. When I start LS, I will have been in the USMC for 5 years. There was also a gap in between my associates degree and bachelors degree because of my military service. I'm going with a military theme for my PS because I think it's the strongest possible theme I could use, and I had a lot of life changing experiences because of the military. I'm hoping the non-trad and military experience will be a plus for me.

mala2
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby mala2 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:23 pm

thementor31337 wrote:
mala2 wrote:
acfair wrote:What exactly do you you need to be/do to be considered non-traditional? I am entering law school fresh out of college, but I went to culinary school in the middle of college, and worked for a while as well. So I am 23, but I don't know if that is enough to be considered "non-traditional".



I think that's an unusual experience and you could write about it, but it sounds like besides that break you're going straight through so I think that's what trad non trad is maybe?

I'm 28, worked for a year after college then joined the army for 4 years, and I have a daughter (technically I have a husband too, but we're working on that)

It sounds like the previous people wrote about work experiences. I was thinking about writing something military related. Another poster from a year ago wrote that sometimes writing a really personal one is good, but I'm not sure


I'm 28 as well and worked in the insurance industry for 8 years then joined the USMC at 24. When I start LS, I will have been in the USMC for 5 years. There was also a gap in between my associates degree and bachelors degree because of my military service. I'm going with a military theme for my PS because I think it's the strongest possible theme I could use, and I had a lot of life changing experiences because of the military. I'm hoping the non-trad and military experience will be a plus for me.



I'm thinking about doing a military theme one also. Do you know what you're doing as a theme yet? an overview or a specific incident?

MBA
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby MBA » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:54 pm

I'm 38, I have written 3 PS's all of which focus on my achievements concerning career and family that lead me to pursuing law school. I find it amusing reading these posts from younger non-traditional applicants. Guys I know this can all be stressful, just be yourself first and foremost and write with integrity. OP, you have a lot to share make it come out on the paper from the heart. Hope this helps.

sra_sundance
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Re: Non-traditional applicants, what are you writing about?

Postby sra_sundance » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:11 pm

I am also doing more of a 'why law school' approach. As an over 30 type, I kind of feel like it's important to tell people why I want to be there. I'm working in personal interest type stuff and work things...kind of doing a 'how my career path has led me to this point'. I am coming from a science background though.

I have to admit, I think the nice part of being a tad older is that I actually *do* have a perspective about why I want to go to law school. In my mid-early twenties I was always somewhat full of crap about my future interests.




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