Is this a big no-no?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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ImTheWiz
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Is this a big no-no?

Postby ImTheWiz » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:34 pm

I belong to the side that thinks over-formality can suffocate a PS. Adcomms, in the end, are normal people, and normal people relate to humor and common speech, as long as it is appropriate and kept in check.

That being said, I may be crossing the line at one instance in my current PS draft. I use the word "bullshit." Is there any context in which this is okay (in mine, think something along the lines of "...to sift through the bullshit and get to the heart of the matter..."), or is cursing straight taboo in the law app game?

Pushing boundaries can have its benefits but I would hate to cast a shadow on my application. Thoughts?

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Is this a big no-no?

Postby franklyscarlet » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:50 pm

ImTheWiz wrote:Is there any context in which this is okay


No.

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Tanicius
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Re: Is this a big no-no?

Postby Tanicius » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:54 pm

The only imaginable context in which this is maybe for some people potentially possibly okay is if you're quoting someone, and even then I would error on the side of not using it. Part of the judgement adcomms will make, perhaps subconsciously rather than consciously, is whether you have enough street smarts to exercise tact.

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ImTheWiz
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Re: Is this a big no-no?

Postby ImTheWiz » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:08 pm

Tanicius wrote:The only imaginable context in which this is maybe for some people potentially possibly okay is if you're quoting someone, and even then I would error on the side of not using it. Part of the judgement adcomms will make, perhaps subconsciously rather than consciously, is whether you have enough street smarts to exercise tact.


Well said. Totally agree.

Should have just listened to the advice of a wise man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj45hsYr ... re=related

EllaLemry
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Re: Is this a big no-no?

Postby EllaLemry » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:39 pm

You're thinking about your PS literary sense. You're not writing a short story or a cutting pop-culture essay. If it wouldn't play in an Op-Ed, it won't play as a personal statement. If you have to ask this question, you ought to reign yourself in a bit. You may be a good writer, but you have to write conservatively. Writing conservatively has nothing to do with stylistic flair or expression. It's simple common sense.

And the line isn't even a good line. It's very derivative.

In any case, I'm not critiquing your writing. I think it sounds that way because you're confined and you probably write good prose. But you're showing them your professionalism, persuasiveness and style. No area of law is bereft of the professionalism part. Take out the curse words, after you make friends with some salty professor, you can go out and have a few beers with him or her and swear a blue streak.

Until then, consider whether this profession is for you--not because you can't do it! Because you're never going to be able to write "bullshit" in any document you produce in law school--other than your personal notes.

Good luck!
Last edited by EllaLemry on Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Is this a big no-no?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:57 pm

Upside: The adcomm raises an eyebrow, lets out a chuckle, and keeps reading.
Downside: The adcomm finds your language totally inappropriate for a PS.

Not worth it.

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ImTheWiz
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Re: Is this a big no-no?

Postby ImTheWiz » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:38 pm

EllaLemry wrote:And the line isn't even a good line. It's very derivative.


The reason it sounds derivative is because I didn't wish to write the actual line so I instead gave a generic example that conveyed a similar context (notice I wrote "something along the lines of").

But, otherwise, you are correct. It was too much flash and too little purpose. Besides, I wouldn't have had the balls (oops! there I go again!) to keep it in there anyways. That moment of ignorance admitted, I would suggest in the future going easy on the whole 'maybe-this-law-thing-isn't-for-you' spiel. I hate calling people presumptuous (ironic preface, I know), but just because someone contemplates utilizing a little shock value doesn't mean that they have gravely miscalculated what the legal profession entails and must reevaluate their life goals. Seems a bit drastic.

Thanks, though, for taking the time to answer.

And bobbyh, you're right, reward doesn't justify the risk.

EllaLemry
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Re: Is this a big no-no?

Postby EllaLemry » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:13 pm

ImTheWiz wrote:
EllaLemry wrote:And the line isn't even a good line. It's very derivative.


The reason it sounds derivative is because I didn't wish to write the actual line so I instead gave a generic example that conveyed a similar context (notice I wrote "something along the lines of").

But, otherwise, you are correct. It was too much flash and too little purpose. Besides, I wouldn't have had the balls (oops! there I go again!) to keep it in there anyways. That moment of ignorance admitted, I would suggest in the future going easy on the whole 'maybe-this-law-thing-isn't-for-you' spiel. I hate calling people presumptuous (ironic preface, I know), but just because someone contemplates utilizing a little shock value doesn't mean that they have gravely miscalculated what the legal profession entails and must reevaluate their life goals. Seems a bit drastic.

Thanks, though, for taking the time to answer.

And bobbyh, you're right, reward doesn't justify the risk.


I'm sorry, while I did mean what I said about being derivative, I totally didn't mean the professional path part. That was just being silly (and speaking to the systemic tedium of law school). You'd be a great addition to any school thinking along the lines you're thinking now. And you're right, I didn't catch the "something along the lines" part. So, no, no it was not meant as a deterrent. The point was only that you have to submit to a codified system and it isn't always fun. I would never expect an ambitious person to be deterred by that; you just have to accept it. Wanting to use "bullshit" in a PS would be fun but it's a sad mortgage you take on if you want to be part of the profession.

Sorry if that came off as a "you're not law school material" thing. It wasn't meant that way at all. I bet you'll do quite well. As long as you don't mind speaking the King's.




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