Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

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2011Law
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Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

Postby 2011Law » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:08 am

I tried going in a few other directions with my PS, but they all came out horrendous. I'm really just looking to find out whether you think this is an okay direction to go in.

****


The summer before I began high school I was assigned to choose a book to read. I cannot recall exactly why, I'm sure it had something to do with what I knew of the author's achievements, but I decided to read Gandhi's autobiography. A number of things struck me about the book. I went in assuming that Gandhi was simply born with benevolence and an unconquerable will, I came out understanding that he was as human as I. Shaped by his upbringing and life at school, his life could very well have gone down many different paths, but in the end could not run from the injustices that followed him and those around him. Gandhi's world view is the other thing that stuck with me. I had never before encountered a person who dedicated their entire life to the cause of justice as Gandhi had. His use of nonviolent resistance to unjust laws instilled in me not only a sense of how I should engage those laws which I believe to be unfair but a deep respect for those laws that I do find reasonable.

In high school I was fortunate enough to take an elective on constitutional law; the class grabbed hold of my interest in a way no other class had ever done before. Uncovering the philosophical and historical origins of my government and following the logic behind the major cases and events that shaped how that government evolved aroused my curiosity and impelled me to learn as much as I could on the subject. I spent much of my free time not only keeping up with the political news of the day but also informing myself as best I could on the issues that seemed to divide the country so deeply.

My interest in the Constitution and the role and functioning of government led me to study political science at _____________. Studying the theories of how institutions operate within a country and how governments interact among each other increasingly felt more like a hobby than an assignment that I would be graded on, yet I increasingly felt the need to become involved in the political world in a meaningful, if minor, way. This need drove me to join and become president of the __________[a political club with no political affiliation] as well as to become an intern with the _______ _________ Party and then the ________ Senate.

*****

Needless to say this thing needs much work and an ending. For an ending I was thinking about just discussing some more specifics of why I think I would enjoy being a lawyer and what not.

EDIT: also planned to say a sentence about what I enjoyed about being an intern and president and studying poli sci.

2011Law
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Re: Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

Postby 2011Law » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:49 am

Bump because I'm desperate. Okay enough direction or not?

BlueDiamond
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Re: Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

Postby BlueDiamond » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:54 am

its pretty late.. id wait for responses until tomorrow

LSATclincher
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Re: Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

Postby LSATclincher » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:43 am

No this doesn't work. Forget any high school achievements. Also, forget the fact that you studied political science in college. Out of the 10 attorneys at the law office I work, I'd say 7 have Political Science degrees. It's simply too common. But it does appear you have a few neat accomplishments: president of that club and the internship.

Here's the template I'd recommend for most PS's:

1st para: clever personal anecdote
2nd para: How the anecdote shaped your direction
3rd para: Transition into curiosity for law
4th para: relevant experiences that stand out from your peers (do not cite any common achievements such as grades, study abroad, etc.)
5th para: a creative conclusion (this can summarize the previous, refer back to the anecdote, extend upon "why law") But don't use this final para for "why x law school"

2011Law
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Re: Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

Postby 2011Law » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:17 pm

LSATclincher wrote:No this doesn't work. Forget any high school achievements. Also, forget the fact that you studied political science in college. Out of the 10 attorneys at the law office I work, I'd say 7 have Political Science degrees. It's simply too common. But it does appear you have a few neat accomplishments: president of that club and the internship.

Here's the template I'd recommend for most PS's:

1st para: clever personal anecdote
2nd para: How the anecdote shaped your direction
3rd para: Transition into curiosity for law
4th para: relevant experiences that stand out from your peers (do not cite any common achievements such as grades, study abroad, etc.)
5th para: a creative conclusion (this can summarize the previous, refer back to the anecdote, extend upon "why law") But don't use this final para for "why x law school"


The class I took in high school wasn't at all meant to show an achievement on my part, it was sincerely something that got me thinking I'd like to do law. I know that lots of lawyer did poli sci in UG, but I just wanted to say why I chose it as my major.

Anyone else? I'd hate to start from scratch again. Its so late already, and I'm thinking I just need something that won't hurt me. Would going this way really hurt me?

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PinkCow
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Re: Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

Postby PinkCow » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:49 pm

Sorry you're not getting much love/replies for your PS. It sucks I know!

Anyway, your PS reads a lot like one of my early drafts, which got criticized for very similar reasons. I think the main thing is you want to show personal growth and "why law" thinking that has happened more recently (e.g., in college). Talking a lot about high school growth shows immaturity and lack of personal growth. (Side note - I know that you probably don't feel that way, but that's how people will read it, whether it's true or not...Lame I know).

Here's some specific advice:
--Ghandi could work, but shorten the first pre-college bit and try to tie him in to your college experiences tightly and go from there. Talk more about being president of the club. Talk more about poli sci in college (even though LSATClincher is right - every lawyer and their mom studied poli sci, so try to bring out something somewhat unique to you, if possible). Also, of course talk about your internship. In sum, if you really want to start with Mr. Ghandi (which is kind of ho-hum IMO), keep him as your theme and show how that inspired you uniquely (i.e., internship and club).

--Alternatively, you could choose one unique experience and build off of that. I'd recommend this one, but it will take more work as you will have to restructure most of your essay. For instance, start with your senate party internship and talk about how (if it did) it shaped/changed/influenced your motivation to go to law school.

In the end, just try to be genuine I guess. Good luck!
Also, FWIW, I had a very blah PS, and so far, my cycle is turning out exactly like my numbers said it would.

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The Stig
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Re: Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

Postby The Stig » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:20 pm

2011Law wrote:
The summer before I began high school I was assigned to choose a book to read.


Woah, this first line is border-line middle school!

I know you know this needs a lot of work, but here's what I thought generally!

1) Gandhi is nice, but what does it really tell about you? That you respect/are inspired by Gandhi? Who doesn't?

2) High school class? I'd cut this out...you must have done something like this college that provides similar context/meaning...

3) Last paragraph ends with resume-like regurgitation....what have those experiences done for you? How have they changed you?

Overall, I think it needs to be a)more recent b) more reflective, less fact-y...

2011Law
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

Postby 2011Law » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:07 pm

The Stig wrote:
2011Law wrote:
The summer before I began high school I was assigned to choose a book to read.


Woah, this first line is border-line middle school!

I know you know this needs a lot of work, but here's what I thought generally!

1) Gandhi is nice, but what does it really tell about you? That you respect/are inspired by Gandhi? Who doesn't?

2) High school class? I'd cut this out...you must have done something like this college that provides similar context/meaning...

3) Last paragraph ends with resume-like regurgitation....what have those experiences done for you? How have they changed you?

Overall, I think it needs to be a)more recent b) more reflective, less fact-y...


So no one thinks the high school class is good? I include it because its when I realized I'd like to study poli sci in UG and then probably go into law. Not sure if I should also include that I was on my school's mock trial team for 3 years, we got to the district finals, but never went further.

Yeah the Gandhi thing probably won't work, though I didn't really convey what I wanted to about the book.

Agreed with 3rd paragraph.

Agreed that the first line through last line is middle school quality.

Thanks, I'm gonna try the template that clincher wrote.

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The Stig
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Re: Very Rough Why Law PS --- Some Advice Please

Postby The Stig » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:48 pm

2011Law wrote:
The Stig wrote:
2011Law wrote:
The summer before I began high school I was assigned to choose a book to read.


Woah, this first line is border-line middle school!

I know you know this needs a lot of work, but here's what I thought generally!

1) Gandhi is nice, but what does it really tell about you? That you respect/are inspired by Gandhi? Who doesn't?

2) High school class? I'd cut this out...you must have done something like this college that provides similar context/meaning...

3) Last paragraph ends with resume-like regurgitation....what have those experiences done for you? How have they changed you?

Overall, I think it needs to be a)more recent b) more reflective, less fact-y...


So no one thinks the high school class is good? I include it because its when I realized I'd like to study poli sci in UG and then probably go into law. Not sure if I should also include that I was on my school's mock trial team for 3 years, we got to the district finals, but never went further.

Yeah the Gandhi thing probably won't work, though I didn't really convey what I wanted to about the book.

Agreed with 3rd paragraph.

Agreed that the first line through last line is middle school quality.

Thanks, I'm gonna try the template that clincher wrote.


The lsatclincher outline looks good!

I didn't mean that the first line was middle-school quality writing, but that it was referencing an experience that was almost from middle school! (which is like the dreaded "I have always wanted to be a lawyer" line). Your actual writing quality isn't a problem at all, it is just the content/message that needs some attention!

Also, only include the mock trial story if it is a college mock trial team, if it is a high school mock trial team, they will wonder why you didn't continue it in college if you liked it so much. Know what I mean?




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