Submitting today!! Last minute comments NEEDED!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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piccolittle
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby piccolittle » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:24 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Have you encountered legal positions that specifically require a "JD degree" in addition to a state bar membership ?
Additionally, although you have adequately explained the reasons behind your desire to attend law school even though a licensed attorney in New York state, you may wish to share any need for a JD degree in your situation.


Pretty much all of them require 'a JD degree with excellent academics.' I am also not eligible to sit any other state's bar but NY and CA. My current position is as a Legal Intern in London, so no, I'm not actively practising in NY. Since that will be made clear from my resume, is this still worth explicitly stating in my PS?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:28 pm

Many do not need any bar memberships beyond New York &/or California. Additionally, the Washington D.C. bar may be available to you by simply filling out an application & verifying membership in good standing with the New York State Bar.

Are you considering any Canadian law schools ?

Your application should state in clear fashion why you need a JD degree since you are already a member of the New York State Bar if you applying to any of the top 14 law schools, in my opinion. I suspect that many, if not most, lower ranked law schools will be less concerned with your reasons for wanting & needing a JD degree. Although I am not certain, an LLM degree from an accredited US law school may qualify you to sit for any bar exam in US states, territories and possessions.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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piccolittle
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby piccolittle » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:36 pm

Sad as this may be to say, I am also doing this to expand my options. A JD from a good school is something that would not only enhance my resume, but would put me more in line with the typical legal workforce- I wouldn't have to spend the rest of my life explaining its absence. Doing a cost-benefit analysis, I'm not going to spend the money to go to a school that I feel isn't worth it, so applying is really just keeping my options open and seeing what the best choice is. Ideally I'd like Columbia, but beggars can't be choosers...

So you guys think just a blunt statement of my reasons for pursuing a JD would work? Does my statement as it is now rub any of you the wrong way - does the tone appear arrogant or entitled, or am I making any other huge mistakes that I should reconsider?

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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:39 pm

Admissions officers at Columbia Law School should be able to give you expert advice regarding all of your concerns since approximately 11% of all Columbia law students are internationals, therefore suggesting that Columbia has dealt with similiar issues quite often & probably more than any other US law school.
No, your reasons do not sound inappropriate. My concern is that you may be directed to, or only eligible for, LLM programs if a sufficient need for a JD isn't presented to highly sought law schools such as Columbia, Harvard and the rest of the top 14.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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IAFG
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby IAFG » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:43 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
piccolittle wrote:Sorry, I'm applying for JDs... should I specify that in my PS?

The question everyone keeps asking is, why do you need a JD? I think adcomms will wonder this too.

Since this is the weak point in OP's app I am questioning the wisdom of using this as PS fodder...

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piccolittle
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby piccolittle » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:48 pm

Why do I have to show them that I really, really need one? Isn't wanting one and having a reason for that enough?

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AreJay711
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:57 pm

piccolittle wrote:Why do I have to show them that I really, really need one? Isn't wanting one and having a reason for that enough?


You don't need to prove you really, really need one just that there is a reason to get a JD when you already passed the bar. I think enhanced career prospects is good enough... i mean thats essentially what the degree is for: to give people the enhanced career prospects of being a lawyer. It would enhance my prospects a little more than yours because I'm at 0 right now but still.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:58 pm

piccolittle wrote:Why do I have to show them that I really, really need one? Isn't wanting one and having a reason for that enough?

It's confusing right now, because it's not clear what a JD would accomplish for you. You don't want them reading your application and going "This person's already a lawyer, why do we need to admit them to our school?" and rejecting you. Having a reason is good, but making that reason clear to everyone else is important to telling schools why they should bother letting you in.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:59 pm

Because highly sought after law schools may limit you to their LLM programs. This may be true especially if an US LLM degree will qualify you for all US bar exams. The LLM degree in comparative law is designed for students in your situation.
P.S. If you really want to complicate matters, then tell us that you want to live & practice in Louisiana or Mississippi ( Louisiana is not a common law state & Mississippi is a hybrid of common & civil law).

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piccolittle
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby piccolittle » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:37 am

Bump, new version of the essay in the OP! Would really appreciate all your thoughts :)

CanadianWolf, I have consulted the adcoms at the schools I am interested in and they confirmed that I am eligible to apply for JD programs. Thanks for all your advice though!

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IAFG
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby IAFG » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:20 pm

piccolittle wrote:Bump, new version of the essay in the OP! Would really appreciate all your thoughts :)

CanadianWolf, I have consulted the adcoms at the schools I am interested in and they confirmed that I am eligible to apply for JD programs. Thanks for all your advice though!

I would write a different PS topic and save this discussion for an addendum.

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ChinaMex
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Re: Attorney going to law school...

Postby ChinaMex » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:51 pm

piccolittle wrote:Why do I have to show them that I really, really need one? Isn't wanting one and having a reason for that enough?


So I have to agree with many of the other posters that this is really the important issue. When you gave the example of Palsgraf I thought to myself "well why doesn't he save $90,000 and buy some case books" If you're a practicing attorney, I feel like you already understand the concepts and the method of inquiry they're teaching us. If you turn the essay into "law school is necessary for networking, working closely on research with professors, learning about new areas of the law, or something" I could understand why you would want to get a JD but if you want to get your JD for the sole reason that you think something is missing, the JD turns into a "nice to have"

Additionally (and I know this would be a total overhaul but), I think you should focus on one narrative. Focus on one story/moment in your life that you realized you NEED a JD. The examples are helpful but unless you're talking about saving impoverished children from cancer, it's difficult to stay interested; especially if you've already read 600 personal statements. A short story and a moral, to me, seems like the best way to keep the ad comm's attention unless your PS is inherently interesting.

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piccolittle
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Re: Submitting today!! Last minute comments NEEDED!

Postby piccolittle » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:20 am

Bump! Submitting today, would appreciate any and all comments!

In particular, is the section beginning "In my most recent internship interview" a little too cocky? Let me know :)




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