do we need to talk about recent experience?

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Geneva
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:32 am

do we need to talk about recent experience?

Postby Geneva » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:04 pm

is it bad to focus on a prestigous legal internship i had 7 years ago in my personal statement and not address the job i've had for the past few years?

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rinkrat19
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Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: do we need to talk about recent experience?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:07 pm

Are we talking '7 years ago' as in when you were in high school?

Prevailing theory is that there's no such thing as a bad PS topic, only a badly-written one. But it's a lot harder to write some topics well, and stuff that happened in high school (barring truly life-changing events) tends to fall more in that category.

A really skilled writer could spend 2 pages talking about sharpening pencils and make it compelling, but the average writer is going to have a harder time talking about something that happened when you were 14 and making it sound important enough for a PS.

You could certainly talk about the internship, but I think you'll want to at least connect it to something more recent. Otherwise you risk your message sounding like "all I know about the law I learned in 10th grade."

(Edit: If you've been working, I guess you probably weren't in 10th grade 7 years ago. Still, the same considerations should apply. There is risk in writing about a long-ago event. But it's not a deal-breaker. And if the event was in college, it's less risky than using a high school event.)

Geneva
Posts: 1014
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:32 am

Re: do we need to talk about recent experience?

Postby Geneva » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:17 pm

we r talking an internship i had my first year in college that enlightened me to the human element of legal practice. i am also tempted to write about overcoming adversity in college and college leadership experience that helped prepare me to be a good attorney, but i fear that will also look weird given that i've had years of work experience since then? will it give the ad comms pause if i simply don't touch on my work experience outside of the previous employment section and my resume?

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rinkrat19
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Re: do we need to talk about recent experience?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:22 pm

Geneva wrote:we r talking an internship i had my first year in college that enlightened me to the human element of legal practice. i am also tempted to write about overcoming adversity in college and college leadership experience that helped prepare me to be a good attorney, but i fear that will also look weird given that i've had years of work experience since then? will it give the ad comms pause if i simply don't touch on my work experience outside of the previous employment section and my resume?

You don't have to talk specifically about your job (especially if you risk just listing stuff off that they can get from your resume), but you need to relate whatever your main topic is to your current state of being. Otherwise they'll be like "Has this person been in a cryogenic freeze since 2004?" Even an adult changes, grows and learns in 7 years. You may have gotten your initial eye-opening in 2004, but I would hope that your understanding has continued to mature and evolve since then.




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