Struggling w/ discussing current legal job in PS

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PNorman1968
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:32 pm

Struggling w/ discussing current legal job in PS

Postby PNorman1968 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:25 pm

I've worked as a paralegal at a law firm for years and it's the only job I've had since finishing undergrad. The firm is a small civil rights office that is well regarded in the field and the attorneys I work with are amazing and inspiring.

It feels intuitive that in addressing why I believe I would make a good law school candidate that I discuss my understanding about what it means to work in law.

However, my first stab at a draft was all about the types of cases I've worked on, the lessons I've learned and doesn't really talk about me as an individual at all. The format I was working with really didn't allow my strengths or identity to come through.

It would feel odd to write a personal statement about why I want to be a lawyer without discussing my experience in the field. But essentially writing a cover letter about why I enjoy where I work and want to continue doing this kind of work only now as an attorney hardly feels like a solid personal statement.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Does anyone have a good example of a letter written by an applicant who has worked in the legal field?

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

Re: Struggling w/ PS and discussing current legal job

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:28 pm

Pick a case that struck a particular chord with YOU, that you can relate to your life in some way (even if in an opposites sort of way- "There was this intense civil rights case, which made me realize how charmed my life has been, never having to deal with that sort of issue, and made me want to help").

NavyOfficer23
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: Struggling w/ PS and discussing current legal job

Postby NavyOfficer23 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:33 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Pick a case that struck a particular chord with YOU, that you can relate to your life in some way (even if in an opposites sort of way- "There was this intense civil rights case, which made me realize how charmed my life has been, never having to deal with that sort of issue, and made me want to help").


Concur. Remember they will see your paralegal experience on your resume. Talk about an experience you had even before you starting working there - something that got you interested in law, and how your paralegal experience solidified & confirmed your passion for law!

PNorman1968
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:32 pm

Re: Struggling w/ discussing current legal job in PS

Postby PNorman1968 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:42 pm

Thanks. Focusing on one case is a helpful way to tell a compelling narrative and to name my strengths and what I contributed, but more importantly discuss how it impacted me and helped me evolve.

The experience that led me to start working there was getting arrested and beaten up. I was a plaintiff in a multi-party lawsuit which introduced me to the attorneys involved and they hired me to start working at the office. I can talk about my own case, which is certainly tempting and some people have suggested I do. However, it feels a little strange and it's a little hard to figure out what context to describe it in.

Plus, I'm including an addenda to explain the situation at the schools that require that. So it feels a little repetitive to tell the whole thing twice.

CYP
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:07 am

Re: Struggling w/ discussing current legal job in PS

Postby CYP » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:06 pm

Hey PNorman1968 I never post here but I just wanted to say that I can completely relate to your situation. I started working at a law firm after my own brother got arrested. The attorney my mother hired to represent him hired me to work for him. I worked with him for eight and a half years but I have no idea how to put it on paper or how to transition the arrest to me being hired. I'm not even sure it's a good idea to mention my brother being arrested. Also, I can't seem to write about me being hired by the attorney without sounding too smug. At least that is what I think so now I am left with nothing and starting my PS all over again.

Sorry I know I didn't give you advice but I just wanted to say I can relate.

Loooooooora
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:23 am

Re: Struggling w/ discussing current legal job in PS

Postby Loooooooora » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:15 pm

I had the same problem. I felt like my resume did not do my work experience justice so I decided to write a statement focusing on one recent case. If you want, we can swap!




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