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(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
admisionquestion
Posts: 473
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby admisionquestion » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:15 pm

The thing you just said is a pretty obvious tautology but entirely not responsive to what I said.

Telling me "I lost" is cocky and rude... quit being rude please.

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Bronte
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby Bronte » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:33 pm

Probably 80% of law professors and 50% of law students are atheists. It's a commonly held view among people in higher education. It's just going to come off as ignorant if not distasteful to mention it in admissions materials.

admisionquestion
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby admisionquestion » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:36 pm

Bronte wrote:Probably 80% of law professors and 50% of law students are atheists. It's a commonly held view among people in higher education. It's just going to come off as ignorant if not distasteful to mention it in admissions materials.


I fully agree and will not be righting the DS, this thread has moved on to other topics now. But thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.

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Bronte
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby Bronte » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:41 pm

admisionquestion wrote:this thread has moved on to other topics now.


A little early in your posting career to be telling me what's on and off topic, don't you think? Especially when the topic is that of the original post.

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thalassocrat
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby thalassocrat » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:53 pm

Bronte wrote:Probably 80% of law professors and 50% of law students are atheists. It's a commonly held view among people in higher education. It's just going to come off as ignorant if not distasteful to mention it in admissions materials.


I think there are rare occasions where it's acceptable--like if you're an atheist in the Bible Belt and use it as a jumping off point for when you started looking through other people's viewpoints which eventually led you to the law or some bullshit like that. I have to admit I'm a bit biased though, that was sort of what my PS was and I did get a few compliments on it from admissions people. Maybe they thought everything else in my application was boring, I don't know. I just think if the point isn't "hurr durr I'm an atheist that makes me special" but "this is part of who I am which is unusual where I'm from and often looked down upon, blah blah blah other stuff, now law whoo hoo" it can work.

I think people tend to overestimate the percentage of atheists in the field too, but that might just be something leftover from where I grew up. Even if someone doesn't go to [insert preferred religious service here] every week, I tend to assume they're not an atheist unless told otherwise.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:56 pm

admisionquestion wrote:Do you see how not believing in the existence of a god is not the same thing as not having religious beliefs.


Do you see how believing in the existence of a god is not the same thing as having religious beliefs?

Neither do I.

admisionquestion
Posts: 473
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby admisionquestion » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:58 pm

forget it.
Last edited by admisionquestion on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby TaipeiMort » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:58 pm

I agree with the comments about atheism already being prevalent in most law schools. Even if you feel it does make you unique, has in some way formed your character, or had provided a barrier to overcome, I wouldn't write it. In law school admissions, you need to be very careful about how you are marketing yourself. I believe this DS would market yourself negatively for two reasons:

1) It is not unique at all. If you write a DS for something non-unique, adcomms will question your judgement. I remember the HLS admissions dean once saying that an unneeded addendum is a really good ways to hurt your application.

2) It potentially raises negatives about you. While your religious atheism may add to the ideological diversity of a school (as opposed to the larger portion of passive atheists and agnostics in the student body), adcomms may worry that your strong belief system will actually harm the overall chemistry of the student body. Law school student bodies are already filled with stressed and angry people ready to blow. Additionally, devout religious people are one of the most significant URMs in law school. You don't want adcomms to think you will be critical of another smaller segment of the student body-- just like some guy writing a DS about growing up in a feminist environment and how he learned to reject the feminist ideology of his parents, or someone writing a DS about being white in the ghetto and enduring racism created by African Americans. While these individuals have had interesting experiences, they just don't market themselves in a way that would lead adcomms to believe they would be constructive additions to the student body.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:59 pm

admisionquestion wrote:I fully agree and will not be righting the DS, this thread has moved on to other topics now. But thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.


For real?

admisionquestion
Posts: 473
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Atheism DS

Postby admisionquestion » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:01 pm

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
admisionquestion wrote:I fully agree and will not be righting the DS, this thread has moved on to other topics now. But thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.


For real?


Okay yeah, foot in mouth.

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Bronte
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby Bronte » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:09 pm

thalassocrat wrote:
Bronte wrote:Probably 80% of law professors and 50% of law students are atheists. It's a commonly held view among people in higher education. It's just going to come off as ignorant if not distasteful to mention it in admissions materials.


I think there are rare occasions where it's acceptable--like if you're an atheist in the Bible Belt and use it as a jumping off point for when you started looking through other people's viewpoints which eventually led you to the law or some bullshit like that. I have to admit I'm a bit biased though, that was sort of what my PS was and I did get a few compliments on it from admissions people. Maybe they thought everything else in my application was boring, I don't know. I just think if the point isn't "hurr durr I'm an atheist that makes me special" but "this is part of who I am which is unusual where I'm from and often looked down upon, blah blah blah other stuff, now law whoo hoo" it can work.

I think people tend to overestimate the percentage of atheists in the field too, but that might just be something leftover from where I grew up. Even if someone doesn't go to [insert preferred religious service here] every week, I tend to assume they're not an atheist unless told otherwise.


Yeah there's always exceptions. If you have a compelling story behind it and can make it tasteful, go for it. Generally though it's going to be preaching to the choir--a choir that doesn't like preaching.

admisionquestion
Posts: 473
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Atheism DS

Postby admisionquestion » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:15 pm

Bronte wrote:
thalassocrat wrote:
Bronte wrote:a choir that doesn't like preaching.


:)

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thalassocrat
Posts: 488
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Re: Atheism DS

Postby thalassocrat » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:20 pm

Bronte wrote:
thalassocrat wrote:
Bronte wrote:Probably 80% of law professors and 50% of law students are atheists. It's a commonly held view among people in higher education. It's just going to come off as ignorant if not distasteful to mention it in admissions materials.


I think there are rare occasions where it's acceptable--like if you're an atheist in the Bible Belt and use it as a jumping off point for when you started looking through other people's viewpoints which eventually led you to the law or some bullshit like that. I have to admit I'm a bit biased though, that was sort of what my PS was and I did get a few compliments on it from admissions people. Maybe they thought everything else in my application was boring, I don't know. I just think if the point isn't "hurr durr I'm an atheist that makes me special" but "this is part of who I am which is unusual where I'm from and often looked down upon, blah blah blah other stuff, now law whoo hoo" it can work.

I think people tend to overestimate the percentage of atheists in the field too, but that might just be something leftover from where I grew up. Even if someone doesn't go to [insert preferred religious service here] every week, I tend to assume they're not an atheist unless told otherwise.


Yeah there's always exceptions. If you have a compelling story behind it and can make it tasteful, go for it. Generally though it's going to be preaching to the choir--a choir that doesn't like preaching.


+1 It's really all about what TaipeiMort said, about selling yourself as someone the dean of admissions wants in the student body. That should probably be posted in every "should I write my X about Y?" thread.




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