Ethical Dilemma

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Anonymous User
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Ethical Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:16 pm

One of the schools I'm applying to asks you to write about an ethical dilemma. I have a topic in mind but I'm worried that it's controversial. When I was 10, my grandpa died from a heart attack. He was healthy and he had just gotten remarried. His new wife refused to take him to the hospital and then she ended up with a good chunk of his money and more importantly, his ashes. My cousin and I plotted to break into her house to steal his ashes but obviously decided against it. Still, it was a very hard time for me. But I did learn a lot from the whole episode and I could convey that in my essay. Is this a horrible topic?

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bluepenguin
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby bluepenguin » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:29 pm

It's an interesting dilemma, but without knowing the prompt I bet they want a story from sometime after puberty...

Anonymous User
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:39 pm

Here it is--It's from Washington & Lee. I've written my other essays about college/post-college, I'm just wondering if this could perhaps be the exception. I'm sure I could come up with something else, just thought I'd see if this would be acceptable. It's actually the biggest ethical dilemma I've faced in my life, but I could elaborate on something more minor.

"You may electronically attach a 500-word double-spaced essay discussing the manner in which you dealt with an ethical dilemma. Failure to submit this optional essay will have no negative effect on your application."

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bluepenguin
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby bluepenguin » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:50 pm

I'm torn. The story sounds interesting, and the dilemma sounds interesting, and I'd be interested to know how you worked it out. But you'd have to do it very delicately. Surely who you are now is quite different from who you were then, and you'd want to focus on the former.

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paratactical
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby paratactical » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Here it is--It's from Washington & Lee. I've written my other essays about college/post-college, I'm just wondering if this could perhaps be the exception. I'm sure I could come up with something else, just thought I'd see if this would be acceptable. It's actually the biggest ethical dilemma I've faced in my life, but I could elaborate on something more minor.

"You may electronically attach a 500-word double-spaced essay discussing the manner in which you dealt with an ethical dilemma. Failure to submit this optional essay will have no negative effect on your application."

Write the adenda about this topic and write one about another topic. If you can get something that you can edit into something good, use it, if you can't, the few wasted hours of writing are worth knowing for sure.

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simplycatalina
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby simplycatalina » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:12 am

paratactical wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Here it is--It's from Washington & Lee. I've written my other essays about college/post-college, I'm just wondering if this could perhaps be the exception. I'm sure I could come up with something else, just thought I'd see if this would be acceptable. It's actually the biggest ethical dilemma I've faced in my life, but I could elaborate on something more minor.

"You may electronically attach a 500-word double-spaced essay discussing the manner in which you dealt with an ethical dilemma. Failure to submit this optional essay will have no negative effect on your application."

Write the adenda about this topic and write one about another topic. If you can get something that you can edit into something good, use it, if you can't, the few wasted hours of writing are worth knowing for sure.


Do you think it actually makes sense to write the addenda about this topic? I contemplated it but I was worried that I was too young when it happened for any adcomms to care about it.

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paratactical
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby paratactical » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:13 am

XXX wrote:
Do you think it actually makes sense to write the addenda about this topic? I contemplated it but I was worried that I was too young when it happened for any adcomms to actually care about it.


The point is to draft something and see what you come up with. If it's well written, moving, not too negative, and not trite, why not submit something else that gives insight into who you are? If it's boring or seems negative, don't submit. It's hard to tell what the end product will be without at least doing a draft.

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simplycatalina
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby simplycatalina » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:20 am

paratactical wrote:
XXX wrote:
Do you think it actually makes sense to write the addenda about this topic? I contemplated it but I was worried that I was too young when it happened for any adcomms to actually care about it.


The point is to draft something and see what you come up with. If it's well written, moving, not too negative, and not trite, why not submit something else that gives insight into who you are? If it's boring or seems negative, don't submit. It's hard to tell what the end product will be without at least doing a draft.


Ok, thank you!! :)

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dingbat
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby dingbat » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:03 am

you might want to leave off the part where you plotted to break into the house. Maybe say your cousin suggested it but after discussing it you changed his/her mind?

Basically, telling people that when faced with an ethical dilemma you would plan to commit a crime is a bad idea (considering and rejecting the idea, not as bad)

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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:44 pm

dingbat wrote:you might want to leave off the part where you plotted to break into the house. Maybe say your cousin suggested it but after discussing it you changed his/her mind?

Basically, telling people that when faced with an ethical dilemma you would plan to commit a crime is a bad idea (considering and rejecting the idea, not as bad)


Yeah, that's what I was thinking of doing. I thought I could explain the situation, how my cousin and other family members reacted to the situation, and then what I decided to do. So yeah, I could say that my cousin and a few others contemplated the idea, and then I decided against it for reasons X & Y.

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dingbat
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby dingbat » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:46 pm

^bingo, but not just that you decided against it, you also made sure no one else did

Be the hero

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LexLeon
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby LexLeon » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:39 pm

Why do you say that your grandfather's wife "refused" to take him to the hospital?

I doubt she would agree.

I wonder what your evidence for that conclusion is.

May God rest the soul of your grandfather, and may peace be with you and your family.

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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:26 pm

LexLeon wrote:Why do you say that your grandfather's wife "refused" to take him to the hospital?

I doubt she would agree.

I wonder what your evidence for that conclusion is.

May God rest the soul of your grandfather, and may peace be with you and your family.


.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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simplycatalina
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby simplycatalina » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:27 pm

LexLeon wrote:Why do you say that your grandfather's wife "refused" to take him to the hospital?

I doubt she would agree.

I wonder what your evidence for that conclusion is.

May God rest the soul of your grandfather, and may peace be with you and your family.


No, she wouldn't agree but her two young sons were in the house at the time this was happening and said that this was the case but they didn't know what to do. He had a great deal of money and had just gotten married a month before. In his will, she would inherit the majority of his money and possessions. She doesn't talk to anyone in our family anymore. There's strong evidence to support it.

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PutSumGravyOnIt
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby PutSumGravyOnIt » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:49 pm

That sounds like a good topic to me. I have a friend who talked about his run-ins with racism, and he used the N word as well as other profanity. Point being, it was a controversial topic, and he did great with it. I think controversial topics can be advantageous, within reason. Schools want to know why you are special, why your characteristics will fill in a unique piece of their enrollment pie chart. I believe that controversial topics can help you distinguish yourself from the other rat race of people applying.

Thing is, you must parley it into a great response that shows why your particular background, experience, set of skills, and personality are a good fit for their law program and for the career generally. That's really the point of any personal statement, though. Hope this helps.

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simplycatalina
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Re: Ethical Dilemma

Postby simplycatalina » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:21 pm

PutSumGravyOnIt wrote:That sounds like a good topic to me. I have a friend who talked about his run-ins with racism, and he used the N word as well as other profanity. Point being, it was a controversial topic, and he did great with it. I think controversial topics can be advantageous, within reason. Schools want to know why you are special, why your characteristics will fill in a unique piece of their enrollment pie chart. I believe that controversial topics can help you distinguish yourself from the other rat race of people applying.

Thing is, you must parley it into a great response that shows why your particular background, experience, set of skills, and personality are a good fit for their law program and for the career generally. That's really the point of any personal statement, though. Hope this helps.


Thank you, that's definitely helpful. I think I'm going to write a draft of the topic and see how it sounds :) I'll just make sure to phrase it delicately and emphasize first and foremost what I learned from the experience.




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