Is this PS topic too risky?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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tilapiahollandaise
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:59 pm

Is this PS topic too risky?

Postby tilapiahollandaise » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:19 am

The truth of why I want to go law school began when I was 11 and expelled from elementary school because of a rumor made up about me. I was socially awkward and played video games a lot, so the kids accused me of making a columbine-style threat not soon after columbine just happened and the school came swooping down on us.

The school got into a lawsuit with us, and it financially devastated my parents. We eventually settled out of court, but that was the moment where I realized how much it mattered to have a legal education.

I don't have some awesome story where I helped my poor family overcome adversity. The feeling that those lawyers knew so much more than I did made me think "I want to know what they know." And I still do.

However, I worry that since I am also applying to a school, after all, and since they would presumably have the same concerns that the school staff (and their school's lawyers) did then, that this topic is too risky. Virtually every topic about "what adcomms are looking for" gives an example of an adcomm generalizing heavily from some tiny aspect of your essay, and I'm not sure if I'm tying my own noose by giving them that kind of rope to work with.

jessie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:13 am

Re: Is this PS topic too risky?

Postby jessie » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:27 am

I personally think you should run with it. For one thing, if this is the main reason you decided to become a lawyer, anything else won't be the truth. For another, well-written stories about injustice, especially against a kid, are bound to garner sympathy in a way that even tragic tales can't. You were young, you couldn't grasp the depth of the politics involved, and there was nothing you could personally do to fight back. But now you're an adult and you have the opportunity to help others who are the victims of such injustice. I think it could make for a really strong personal statement.

Yes, there is a risk. There could have been a thousand lawsuits proving that the rumors weren't true, but anyone reading your statement will still have that lingering thought in the back of their mind. "Maybe those students weren't making up a rumor. Maybe there's some truth to it." Then they are going to think about all of the horrible school shootings, especially since you also have ones that happened at a college.

I think it will be really important to help clear up some of those doubts they are bound to have. If you can show how, later in life, you used this experience to help someone else who was the target of a vicious rumor, that would be awesome. If not, it could still benefit from talking about what you have done as an adult to show that, no, you didn't spend your undergrad time hiding in a dorm room playing World of Warcraft. Talk about work experience or activities where you were on a team or worked as part of a large group. Distance yourself from that unfortunate image of the loner kid who might have some very dark, secret feelings.

jessie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:13 am

Re: Is this PS topic too risky?

Postby jessie » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:28 am

By the way, your avatar is making me really hungry. Thanks a lot.

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tilapiahollandaise
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: Is this PS topic too risky?

Postby tilapiahollandaise » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:34 pm

Thanks for your advice, jessie. Those angles for this PS are amazing. :)

And yeah, I have a seductive avatar. I would usually study late-night at IHOP, and that menu item reminds me of them.

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JamMasterJ
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Is this PS topic too risky?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:36 pm

tilapiahollandaise wrote:Thanks for your advice, jessie. Those angles for this PS are amazing. :)

And yeah, I have a seductive avatar. I would usually study late-night at IHOP, and that menu item reminds me of them.

you ate fish at IHOP? How are you still alive?

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theadvancededit
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Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:31 pm

Re: Is this PS topic too risky?

Postby theadvancededit » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:07 am

This topic is actually pretty amazing. It's particularly honest, and totally against the "I want to save the world" trope. You also raise some interesting points that are especially current now-- cyberbullying, anyone?-- and are just as problematic now with social networking and what not. I don't think the adcomm is going to think poorly of you because of your statement-- if they do, they're missing the point of it being about a vicious rumor about a kid. Go for it.




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