Need immediate advice...will be eternally indebted to you

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cofc2008
Posts: 63
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Need immediate advice...will be eternally indebted to you

Postby cofc2008 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:58 pm

By eternally indebted, I mean I will edit your PS, addenda or any other documents as many times as you would like.

Please edit for topic and clarity, not grammar. I haven't fully proofread this yet so it may have an error or two.

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Have you ever been in an argument and known you were right only to see the other person find some way to make his view plausible? Have you ever been frustrated in an argument because, no matter what you say, the opposing debater always finds a way to not be wrong? I am that person. Whether the debate centers on politics or the color of the sky, I always find a way to win. A winning debater is not always right, but he is never completely wrong. While I have not studied law, I have been serving as counsel for my views throughout my entire life, and I rarely lose a case. No matter how valid the opposing view is, I will find a way to raise the level of doubt. This approach to debate is already similar to the way a lawyer would approach a trial. My natural tendency is to research an issue and present my opinion, which I back up with evidence. When I was 10, I pointed out a reasoning flaw in one of my mother’s arguments. While I had no training in the use and application of reason, her view just didn’t make sense to me. I cannot remember the exact topic of the conversation, but I remember her anger when she yelled, “You always have to be right, don’t you?” Even at a young age, I was analyzing arguments and attacking their weaknesses—and yes, I always had to be right. Although I didn’t realize it until my final year of college, I know I would make a great lawyer. Now, all I need is the opportunity to become one.

I never intended to pursue a J.D. when I chose my major, but, in the end, journalism was the perfect choice for law school. The foundation of any court case—or any issue in general—is research. Successful lawyers, by their very nature, must be highly informed and able to support their opinions with verifiable research. Journalists have the same vocational prerequisites. My training as a journalist has greatly improved my research skills. I know how to comb internet databases and websites for useful information. The library has been a second home to me when I have been designing a strategic communication campaign or writing an article. Conducting thorough and effective research is one of my greatest skills and I know it would be useful as a lawyer.

Legislation, just like news articles, must be written with the utmost clarity. If it isn’t, loopholes and controversy can render it completely ineffective. Just as it did for my research capabilities, journalism has helped me to write with clarity. There are limits on the length of a news article and a journalist must be able to convey a clear message in as few words as possible. Obviously, this skill would help me as a lawyer. Some laws, such as the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, are meant to be vague so that they can be interpreted as warranted by various situations and cases. A lawyer, however, must argue a view in a clear and direct manner—leaving no room for ambiguity. Being in a profession where I could theoretically argue either side of a law is very appealing. In fact, I cannot think of anything I would like to do more. Unintentionally, I have been preparing for a legal career for many years and it has paid off by strengthening the skills I will need as a lawyer.

I don’t have an earth-shattering moment or epiphany that caused me to pursue a J.D. Instead, I decided to attend law school after a gradual realization of my strengths. If I were admitted to XXXXXX, I would bring these strengths along with me. Without a doubt, I am prepared to succeed in law school and in a career as a lawyer. My decision to attend law school was made even easier knowing that I also enjoy practicing those skills. Being good at a profession and truly loving it is a luxury not afforded to many people. Law school is my destination, the focus of my dedication and the first step toward the fulfillment of my goals. I would love an opportunity to pursue my dreams at XXXXXX.

Korlath
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:13 am

Re: Need immediate advice...will be eternally indebted to you

Postby Korlath » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:16 pm

I like it.

Here's a few things I would change, though.

-This approach to debate is analogous to the means in which a lawyer would approach a trial.

-While I had no training in the use and application of reason, her view simply did not make sense to me.

-Though I cannot remember the exact topic of the conversation, I do recall her anger when she yelled

-…library has been a second home to me while designing a strategic communication campaign or writing an article.

-If it is not, loopholes and controversy can render it completely null.

-…law school was made even simpler knowing that I also enjoy practicing those skills.

edit:
these are not grammar corrections, by the way. I believe they enhance the clarity of the sentences.

bklynav
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:33 pm

Re: Need immediate advice...will be eternally indebted to you

Postby bklynav » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:22 pm

The essay does need some work. The big rule of writing is "show don't tell." In the first paragraph you write "My natural tendency is to research an issue and present my opinion, which I back up with evidence." Your support for that statement is that you won an argument with your mother when you were 10 years old about a topic you don't remember.

Don't write "journalism has helped me to write with clarity." The point of the essay is for the admissions officers to determine whether or not you can write well.

I would draw attention away from the fact that you never wanted to be a lawyer since there is a prejudice that many people consider law school as a back up plan if they can't make it in another field. Also, since you are saying you have no law experience, don't try to talk about the intricacies of the Constitution.

I would focus more on what you know. You're coming from a unique background: journalism. Make it marketable. Discuss your achievements in journalism and give one specific example to show both your achievements in the field and how that has prepared you for law.

WayBryson
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:24 pm

Re: Need immediate advice...will be eternally indebted to you

Postby WayBryson » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:46 pm

I have mixed opinions on this. I know that the Dean of admissions at Yale, specifically lists the "I love to argue" topic as a death knell, but then this also seems to be a more nuanced approach to the essay. I also think you do a good job of backing up your position. I like how you link journalism, with its emphasis on research and writing, to the law (I agree with the post above about dropping the "never wanted to be a lawyer," but I would just rephrase to something along the lines of: "as my knowledge of the world and abilities grew I came to see the law as a natural place to take these skills..."). The writing is quite nice too.

What I don't like is the combative tone in the intro. I don't like it for two reasons. For starters, it makes me think that you might be a bit of ass-clown who is more concerned with getting the rhetorical one-up or the “gotcha” than a person who enjoys the actual intellectual playfulness of debate. It also makes me think that you might be one of those guys that cannot lose, and goes off McEnroe style whenever things don't go your way. Note, I said "might" in both of those sentences, which gets to the second reason I don't like the combative tone: It seems disjointed with much of the second half of the essay. You come across in other places as much more measured and dispassionate in your analysis of things, which doesn't seem to quite jive. The inconsistency makes the essay somewhat disjointed, which is a shame given the quality writing. All in all, I would drop the "I am always right, I am the guy who tends to piss people off opening" with something softer. Instead of demonstrating your ability to get under your mother's skin, maybe use an example of how you influenced the decision making of another adult and made them change their view of things by raising doubt--that would be a much stronger example, is the quintessential skill of a good trial lawyer, and makes you look more measured.

Anyway, these are my impressions. Good luck with it:-)

Korlath
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:13 am

Re: Need immediate advice...will be eternally indebted to you

Postby Korlath » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:14 pm

I had all of these impressions as well. Initially I felt the "i love to argue" theme of the essay was a bit too much. You might come off a little pretentious. Your tone is also a little too self-absorbed, in my opinion. Perhaps bring it down a bit and be a bit more modest?

The whole "i like to argue" theme....well....From what I know about the profession I think there is more to law than just arguing...

And...it kind of gives off the impression that you're willing to bend the truth just to make your point. Sounds a little unethical...
but then again....this might be the reality of the profession.

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cofc2008
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:29 am

Re: Need immediate advice...will be eternally indebted to you

Postby cofc2008 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:37 pm

Korlath wrote:I had all of these impressions as well. Initially I felt the "i love to argue" theme of the essay was a bit too much. You might come off a little pretentious. Your tone is also a little too self-absorbed, in my opinion. Perhaps bring it down a bit and be a bit more modest?

The whole "i like to argue" theme....well....From what I know about the profession I think there is more to law than just arguing...

And...it kind of gives off the impression that you're willing to bend the truth just to make your point. Sounds a little unethical...
but then again....this might be the reality of the profession.


I tried to make it more of an "I am skilled at arguing" as opposed to "I love to argue." Is this still a taboo topic? I am trying to convey that I have multiple skills that make me a good fit for law school, not just arguing. I'm gonna take out the "I always find a way to be right" and "I always find a way to win" parts for the purpose of being more modest. However, I still want to convey confidence in my abilities.

I'm also changing the given example.

Here is an updated first paragraph. Let me know what y'all think.

***********************************************************

Have you ever been in an argument and known you were right only to see the other person find some way to make their view plausible? Have you ever been frustrated in an argument because, no matter what you say, the opposing debater always finds a way to not be wrong? I am that person. A winning debater is not always right, but he is never completely wrong. While I have not studied law, I have been serving as counsel for my views throughout my entire life. No matter how valid the opposing view is, I will find a way to raise the level of doubt. This approach to debate is analogous to the way a lawyer would approach a trial. One instance in particular shows my ability to raise doubt and change opinions. During my third year of college, I entered into a debate on religion with a self-proclaimed atheist and he left the room intending to pray for the first time in his life. Instead of advocating for a specific religion, I asked him to tell me why he believed there is no God and then provided a rebuttal to each of his points. There were more issues discussed in this debate than I could write about in 3 pages, but the end result is evidence of my ability to effectively argue. Although I didn’t realize it until my final year of college, I know I would make a great lawyer. Now, all I need is the opportunity to become one.

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CGI Fridays
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:46 pm

Re: Need immediate advice...will be eternally indebted to you

Postby CGI Fridays » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:45 pm

Holy crap you lost me on the first handful of sentences.

"I... am... that... person."

I would honestly cut out the entire first paragraph.




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