Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

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MumofCad
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Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby MumofCad » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:09 am

Curious if people are addressing the "why law school" question (not why a particular law school, just why you've chosen to go to law school)?

I had a rough draft of my PS and was worried it sounded a little too much like an explanation of my resume. It was in fact an explanation of why I chose certain positions to advance particular causes. Anyhow, general consensus from friends and profs is that it is too resume-like. That is easy enough to fix, but the real concern they all expressed is that it doesn't tell them why I want to go to law school. Why leave a successful, rewarding career to become a student again?

Now I'm wondering if I really need to explicitly state why. I feel that most who know my field will implicitly understand my reasoning. Do I need to spell it out? Weigh in!

bbalcrzy23
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby bbalcrzy23 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:24 am

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Last edited by bbalcrzy23 on Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby yngblkgifted » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:04 pm

As rule of thumb, this question should be answered in a PS whether explicitly or implicitly.

thederangedwang
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby thederangedwang » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:11 pm

Disagree with the above 2 answers.

If you do mention it, it wouldnt be wrong, but if you don't, its not wrong either.

Most times the ps is to show who you "are". Take a look at the ps in the "ps samples/examples section" of this board. Most of them do not mention (even implicitly) why they want to go to law school. Indeed, the first one you see, about the flip flops, is very good and has nothing to do with why she wanted to go to law school.

Of course, this depends entirely on the school and your application. look at each prompt for each school carefully. UChicago does not want a why law schools statement while others may.

If your resume and letters of rec do not say why law school is a logical choice (for instance, your resume is filled with irrelevant expierience) then you may want your ps to say something about law school.

Likewise, if your resume is filled with law related jobs, then its repetitive and obvious already why you want to go to law school

I think the most important thing is that a personal statement is also known as a personal narrative. Whereas if the law school really wanted to know why you want to go to law school, they would ask for a statement of purpose, which is a completely different essay

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puppylaw
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby puppylaw » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:34 pm

I tried to fit that into my personal statement, but it didn't sound as authentic as everything else that was there, nor did it fit in well. My thought (and hope) is the fact that I am applying to law school shows enough of what they need to see.

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cinephile
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby cinephile » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:42 pm

I do agree that the PS should be a narrative explaining who you are. I used my PS to illustrate my passions and my strengths, which were not law related, but concluded with the idea that these same qualities and characteristics have led me to a career in law/will be of use in the future.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:47 pm

Noooo. cinephile is about right though

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dj_spin
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby dj_spin » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:55 pm

thederangedwang wrote:Indeed, the first one you see, about the flip flops, is very good and has nothing to do with why she wanted to go to law school.


If that personal statement is very good, the bar isn't very high.

thederangedwang
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby thederangedwang » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:15 pm

dj_spin wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:Indeed, the first one you see, about the flip flops, is very good and has nothing to do with why she wanted to go to law school.


If that personal statement is very good, the bar isn't very high.


I would be very interested by what you consider a good personal statement. Please look at those posted in the examples section and pick one out you regard to be good and let me know.

bbalcrzy23
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby bbalcrzy23 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:00 pm

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Last edited by bbalcrzy23 on Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

firemed
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby firemed » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:03 pm

It is good to include it for non-trads, I have learned. Otherwise they will wonder why you are leaving a successful career to go to law school. I actually had the dean of a school call and ask me that question (and a couple of other questions too).

But I have heard that for K-JD students it isn't really necessary.

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icecold3000
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby icecold3000 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:44 pm

It is not necessary at all, unless the school asks for it. In fact, some personal statements would be far better off if the "why law question" was left assumed. If the reason for attending law school is tacked on in the last 2 sentences of the conclusion, it will likely come across as hollow.

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nids333
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Re: Are you addressing "why law school?" in your PS?

Postby nids333 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:44 pm

It is absolutely not necessary. The fact that you are applying demonstrates you want to go law school. If you want to reiterate this in your PS, feel free to. I have seen strong personal statements where their decision to go law school is the focal point and others that never mention it at all. You should decide based on the quality of the statement you can produce with this topic.

Hope this helps!




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