Is this a good direction for a why law school essay?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

What to do with this essay?

Poll ended at Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:04 pm

Rewrite essay and stick with this idea?
0
No votes
Drop it and go with something else?
1
50%
Go back to building houses?
0
No votes
Look for work in management at the dollar store?
1
50%
Watch lifetime with Sparty?
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 2

WAwork
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:39 am

Is this a good direction for a why law school essay?

Postby WAwork » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:51 am

This essay is not polished and is an initial draft (pretty weak), but I am struggling to find the right direction. How is this direction? I need this to be a strong representation of why I have quit my field to pursue a legal career? Any suggestions people? Thanks for any help?

I apply to xxx Law with a varied background. I have recently transitioned from small business to legal work to pursue my passion of public interest work in the legal field. The path I have taken to get here is not typical, but it has provided me with many learning opportunities that have enriched my life and given me a greater understanding of how to succeed.
I moved to XXXXXX over ten years ago as a starry-eyed idealist to work on Bull trout critical habitat designation and Grizzly conservation for a non-profit organization. My enthusiasm for this work drove me to work long hours to organize public meetings, invigorate a flagging Grizzly protection program, and to raise desperately needed funds to continue the work. I learned a lot. The fundraising fell short and several of us were laid off. This began a different type of conservation education that would grant me a wider view of conservationl issues.
At this point, I did not want to leave xxxxxx so I fell back on skills I had acquired as an undergraduate by starting work as a carpenter. At first I worked for others, learning more skills and the trade. Building on my new experience I set-up my own business to capitalize on new work opportunities. Small business taught me many lessons; I saw first hand how difficult it is to run a business and make a living in our state. With each project, the budget was always tight and the timeline specific. By balancing employee hours and carefully using materials, I was usually able to meet my budget and produce a product that the owners loved. The demands of the work combined with the daily planning to keep the schedule moving have given me great respect for making a business function.
In addition, I gained a new view of natural resource use and how it affects other industries reliant on those materials, such as timber. On the job, I was disappointed to see local timber mills shuttered and construction materials sent from further and further distant locales. This affected everything from labor supply to transportation and construction costs. As a worker and employer I saw firsthand how people struggle and succeed in their work. I found great satisfaction in the manifold intricacies of the work: producing a product, teaching others new skills, working with clients, and the constant cycle of project management.
Beyond my business life I maintained an interest in conservation and political issues in XXXX. I built bridges with landowners on conservation issues near XXXXXX, called on endless phone trees for elections, and worked on the senate campaign in an effort to see new leadership for our state. In addition, I pursued a personal interest in microfinance and the poor in developing countries by seeking volunteer work to aid those in extreme poverty. Looking back, leaving environmental work may have been the best thing to broaden my experience and help me see conservation from a different point of view.
Yet, my daily work has always lacked the satisfaction and passion of my previous environmental work. With that in mind, I worked for several years with the hope to transition from a contracting business to the legal field. I planned carefully and saved money to create the time and space needed to make a significant career change. The opportunity to begin this transition arose this past year as I began working with XXXX Law Office as a legal assistant where I have had great opportunities to work on cases with the Fair Housing Board, private landlord/tenant work, and land use issues. The work has affirmed my desire to pursue a law degree in order to give me the widest range of options possible for working in the public interest.
The XXXX Law School is an excellent fit for me. I am familiar with the issues facing the future of our state and I am eager to gain additional skills to work on these issues. I have worked on some of these issues in the past and continue to follow and work on them currently. The small class size and cooperative learning environment at XXXX Law are just what I am seeking in my legal education. Finally, the XXXXX Law focus on practical will be the best fit and provide me with the best chance for success in my years beyond law school.

User avatar
pixytree
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:35 pm

Re: Is this a good direction for a why law school essay?

Postby pixytree » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:45 am

WAwork wrote:This essay is not polished and is an initial draft (pretty weak), but I am struggling to find the right direction. How is this direction? I need this to be a strong representation of why I have quit my field to pursue a legal career? Any suggestions people? Thanks for any help?


I moved to XXXXXX over ten years ago as a starry-eyed idealist to work on Bull trout critical habitat designation and Grizzly conservation for a non-profit organization. My enthusiasm for this work drove me to work long hours to organize public meetings, invigorate a flagging Grizzly protection program, and to raise desperately needed funds to continue the work. I learned a great deal, but the fundraising fell short and several of us were laid off. This led me to a different type of conservation education that would grant me a wider view of conservational issues.
At this point, I did not want to leave xxxxxx so I fell back on skills I had acquired as an undergraduate by starting work as a carpenter. At first I worked for others, learning more skills and the trade. Building on my new experience I set-up my own business to capitalize on new work opportunities. Small business taught me many lessons; I saw first hand how difficult it is to run a business and make a living in our state. With each project, the budget was always tight and the timeline specific. By balancing employee hours and carefully using materials, I was usually able to meet my budget and produce a product that the owners loved. The demands of the work combined with the daily planning to keep the schedule moving have given me great respect for making a business function.
In addition, I gained a new view of natural resource use and how it affects other industries reliant on those materials, such as timber. On the job, I was disappointed to see local timber mills shuttered and construction materials sent from further and further distant locales. This affected everything from labor supply to transportation and construction costs. As a worker and employer I saw firsthand how people struggle and succeed in their work. I found great satisfaction in the manifold intricacies of the work: producing a product, teaching others new skills, working with clients, and the constant cycle of project management.
Beyond my business life I maintained an interest in conservation and political issues in XXXX. I built bridges with landowners on conservation issues near XXXXXX, called on endless phone trees for elections, and worked on the senate campaign in an effort to see new leadership for our state. In addition, I pursued a personal interest in microfinance and the poor in developing countries by seeking volunteer work to aid those in extreme poverty. Looking back, leaving environmental work may have been the best thing to broaden my experience and help me see conservation from a different point of view.
Yet, my daily work has always lacked the satisfaction and passion of my previous environmental work. With that in mind, I worked for several years with the hope to transition from a contracting business to the legal field. I planned carefully and saved money to create the time and space needed to make a significant career change. The opportunity to begin this transition arose this past year as I began working with XXXX Law Office as a legal assistant where I have had great opportunities to work on cases with the Fair Housing Board, private landlord/tenant work, and land use issues. The work has affirmed my desire to pursue a law degree in order to give me the widest range of options possible for working in the public interest.
The path I have taken to get here is not typical, but it has provided me with many learning opportunities that have enriched my life and given me a greater understanding of how to succeed. I am excited about the opportunity to apply to XXXX Law School as I believe it is an excellent fit for me. I am familiar with the issues facing the future of our state and I am eager to gain additional skills to work on these issues. I have worked on WHAT ARE THE ISSUES? in the past and continue to follow and work on them currently. The small class size and cooperative learning environment at XXXX Law are just what I am seeking in my legal education. Finally, the XXXXX Law focus on practical will be the best fit and provide me with the best chance for success in my years beyond law school.


Starts off like a cover letter rather than a PS. Move the first paragraph to the end and start with "I moved to..." PS statements work better as stories. Think of it this way: you have 3 minutes to tell your story-- what you've done, why you want to study law and how you got from A to B. It needs to be compelling. Is There a clinic, program, professor or class you can mention at the end? The things you listed are great, but don't set the school apart. What specifically about this school do you like?---other than that it's in the state.




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