Personal statement topic, religion?

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Personal statement topic, religion?

Postby abc8542 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:34 pm

I just have a general question about personal statement topics. I've been reading Richard Montauk's How To Get Into The Top Law Schools and one of his possible essay topics are essays that show how you think. This has been a difficult subject for me to talk about, especially in a sensitive and balanced way, but I feel it resonates strongly with the formation of my character and how it shaped the person who I am today. I decided to write about religion and how my belief in God has changed from one of devout believer to one of an agnostic, with regards to deities, but an atheist with regards to religions like Christianity and Islam.

I don't know if this is too stigmatizing of a topic considering maybe there might be those sitting on the law school council who are devout christians and hate atheists but I hope to come across as one who demonstrates the qualities of independence, free thinking, analytic and one who comes up with their own answers in life. idk if this is too much to accomplish given the space but I hope to get some feedback from others. I also should emphasize there is a racial component involved namely because as a minority, religion is a big thing in my culture as a diaspora in America and it serves that function as a vehicle of unity for the community and so me turning my back on religion is in a way deciding to emphasize my own individuality over culture. Of course, I hope to balance this with a discussion about how I still retain my sense of culture but in a different way.

Also, just for information, Montauk already asserts that this essay topic is high risk since it does not convey often nothing to do with law or the applicant's credentials but indirectly about their characteristics.

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Re: Personal statement topic, religion?

Postby MarcusAurelius » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:53 am

Don't do.

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Personal statement topic, religion?

Postby Mr. Elshal » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:47 am

While I do believe a successful and impressive PS could be written about this topic, it is WAY too risky. Like you said, you really don't know who will be reading it. In addition, there are many traps you can fall into (such as focusing too much on ideologies, instead of your own personal development). Also, as I speak to more people, it seems that the conventional wisdom is to skip out on topics that are controversial, and the conversion from devout to agnostic is a highly controversial one. I had a similar religious experience (though less extreme) but I instead opted to discuss other experiences that helped shape me.

While I hate to put rules on how you should express yourself and your personal development, there have to be other, less controversial, and impressive experiences that have shaped who you are today.

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