Which topic?

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

Which option?

1. Sports and leadership
6
86%
2. Political and possible use of law degree.
1
14%
 
Total votes: 7

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minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Which topic?

Postby minnbills » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:13 pm

So I've been grasping in the air for the past month or so trying to figure out what I want to write about. I've put pen to paper and yet I'm still struggling here. I have two ideas.

1. I've been working as a ski coach at a local high school for the past few years, I've also been a racer for many years. I've achieved some leadership positions on my university's club team and have learned many legitimate life lessons through my experiences. On one hand, this narrative has been the transformative experience in my life. It's helped me figure out the kind of person I want to be, how to be a leader, etc etc. The problem is that it doesn't have much to do with why I want to be a lawyer. This is the topic I would like to write on, but I think it would not be sincere if I had to connect it with why I'm pursuing a law degree, which is pretty much necessary for a ps right?

2. The other topic is risky as well. After watching the Walker budget bill debate, and the way unions are being busted up and workers are being marginalized politically across the country, I've put a lot of thought into using a law degree to fight for worker's rights. The problem is twofold. I'm under the impression that it's verboten (sp?) to write something so political. In addition, I haven't done anything substantive to demonstrate to an adcomm this position.

So, what say you?

MumofCad
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Which topic?

Postby MumofCad » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:44 pm

Mind you, I am not an app expert like some on here. However, I would avoid an overtly advocacy piece.

I have read this on many top law school blogs (check out Yale's 203 PS boot camp) for several reasons:

1) A discussion of the law/legal reform when read by people who are already successful attorneys will usually come off as what it is, amateur and idealistic, even unreasoned

2) Anytime a personal statement looks like it could be written by anyone, and doesn't really tell them about you - it hasn't fulfilled its purpose

I would say that both of these are compelling reasons to avoid #2. If you don't have anything to show you've actually been inflamed to action on this topic, don't write on it.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Which topic?

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:19 pm

always stay away from controversial topics such as politics, social rights. Besides your first topic is a great topic.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Which topic?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:41 pm

If I were reading my thousandth admissions essay of the day, I'd rather read about ski racing than about the political legal reform ambitions of someone who hasn't been to law school yet.

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minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Which topic?

Postby minnbills » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:31 am

ok- but what about weaving in the part about why I want to be a lawyer? Is it expected that that be included?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Which topic?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:38 am

minnbills wrote:ok- but what about weaving in the part about why I want to be a lawyer? Is it expected that that be included?

Not necessarily, unless the school's essay prompt specifically mentions it. Prevailing theory says that the PS is more to introduce yourself as a person (hence the name "Personal Statement") and it doesn't really have to include "why I want to go to law school."

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Samara
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Re: Which topic?

Postby Samara » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:13 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
minnbills wrote:ok- but what about weaving in the part about why I want to be a lawyer? Is it expected that that be included?

Not necessarily, unless the school's essay prompt specifically mentions it. Prevailing theory says that the PS is more to introduce yourself as a person (hence the name "Personal Statement") and it doesn't really have to include "why I want to go to law school."

+1

If it shows off your positive qualities that will lead you to success in law school, then it will inherently be related to law school, even if the connection is not explicit. I also agree that reading about ski instruction is more interesting and brings more diversity than what is likely to be one of many underinformed musings on labor laws. (Good on you for wanting to fight for workers' rights though!)

As a point of comparison, I wrote my PS about using a legal education for the good of society in a different field. However, I had a personal experience with the intersection of the law and this field that comprised the focus of the essay. Also, it's a pretty non-controversial and non-political position (and relatively obscure), especially compared to labor laws, and I didn't describe the law any further than was necessary to demonstrate the need for legal protection. So, writing a PS about workers' rights is not necessarily inadvisable for everyone, but it seems to be for you. If you want, PM me a rough outline and I'd be happy to take a look.

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minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Which topic?

Postby minnbills » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:56 pm

Samara wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
minnbills wrote:ok- but what about weaving in the part about why I want to be a lawyer? Is it expected that that be included?

Not necessarily, unless the school's essay prompt specifically mentions it. Prevailing theory says that the PS is more to introduce yourself as a person (hence the name "Personal Statement") and it doesn't really have to include "why I want to go to law school."

+1

If it shows off your positive qualities that will lead you to success in law school, then it will inherently be related to law school, even if the connection is not explicit. I also agree that reading about ski instruction is more interesting and brings more diversity than what is likely to be one of many underinformed musings on labor laws. (Good on you for wanting to fight for workers' rights though!)

As a point of comparison, I wrote my PS about using a legal education for the good of society in a different field. However, I had a personal experience with the intersection of the law and this field that comprised the focus of the essay. Also, it's a pretty non-controversial and non-political position (and relatively obscure), especially compared to labor laws, and I didn't describe the law any further than was necessary to demonstrate the need for legal protection. So, writing a PS about workers' rights is not necessarily inadvisable for everyone, but it seems to be for you. If you want, PM me a rough outline and I'd be happy to take a look.


Thanks, I'll shoot you a message a bit later. Nice avatar btw. Curb was awesome.




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