personal statement advice

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

personal statement advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:10 pm

looking for advice on a personal statement.

Hoping to write about how working with disabled individuals has led to my desire to work disability law, but one of my recommenders just pointed out that it's possible that some of the top fourteen schools might shy away from that a little just because they might avoid someone who is already probably not going to add to their biglaw percentage.

Of course, this is generally an unreported statistic, and most disability law jobs won't detract from an overall employment score, but with the rise of sites like law school transparency where this percentage is easily accessible and the number of people who seem to want top 14 schools solely to get biglaw, I thought it was something worth inquiring about.

It seems unbelievable to me that schools would be unaware that LST is so popular now and how important the biglaw percentage number is to at least some applicants, so it seems reasonable to think that this might be of at least some concern. In my case, I'm a very super splitter, so I'm borderline at best for most schools I'm interested in, and I wouldn't want to risk ANYTHING that might put me at even a slight disadvantage.

Any thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!


tl/dr: if one is a splitter or otherwise borderline, is there any disadvantage to writing a PS that indicates a non-biglaw track (suggesting that one probably won't add to their biglaw placement numbers), given how important a school's biglaw placement seems to be to at least some applicants?

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t-14orbust
Posts: 2065
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:43 pm

Re: personal statement advice

Postby t-14orbust » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:looking for advice on a personal statement.

Hoping to write about how working with disabled individuals has led to my desire to work disability law, but one of my recommenders just pointed out that it's possible that some of the top fourteen schools might shy away from that a little just because they might avoid someone who is already probably not going to add to their biglaw percentage.

Of course, this is generally an unreported statistic, and most disability law jobs won't detract from an overall employment score, but with the rise of sites like law school transparency where this percentage is easily accessible and the number of people who seem to want top 14 schools solely to get biglaw, I thought it was something worth inquiring about.

It seems unbelievable to me that schools would be unaware that LST is so popular now and how important the biglaw percentage number is to at least some applicants, so it seems reasonable to think that this might be of at least some concern. In my case, I'm a very super splitter, so I'm borderline at best for most schools I'm interested in, and I wouldn't want to risk ANYTHING that might put me at even a slight disadvantage.

Any thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!


tl/dr: if one is a splitter or otherwise borderline, is there any disadvantage to writing a PS that indicates a non-biglaw track (suggesting that one probably won't add to their biglaw placement numbers), given how important a school's biglaw placement seems to be to at least some applicants?


umm no

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jselson
Posts: 6337
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:51 am

Re: personal statement advice

Postby jselson » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:24 am

Your recommender is incorrect.

Now if USNWR started basing employment rankings solely on BigLaw placement ....

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CFprez
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:28 am

Re: personal statement advice

Postby CFprez » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:30 am

I have worked at a disability law firm but your reasoning does seem like a stretch. That being said I wonder how t14 schools regard ambulance chasers, disability ssa law, insurance defense paralegals etc.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273258
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: personal statement advice

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:59 am

OP here.

I mean, the reasoning is sound. If there's a stat that potential applicants care about, regardless of whether or not USNWR cares about it, it seems likely that schools would want to make that stat as impressive as possible and is in their best interest to do so.

I'm sure it doesn't matter in 99% of cases, but the real question is, if there were two completely identical applicants and one just happened to say "I want biglaw" and the other one said "I want to be an ambulance chaser", would most schools rather admit the one who would really push for biglaw?

Clearly, there are unreported things that wouldn't affect the equation (hair color) and things that would (a bizarre soft, just for diversity on their website).

I mentioned I'm a splitter, and splitters can't really afford to do anything that puts them at a disadvantage compared to anyone, especially identical applicants, and especially regarding things like their PS that are completely within their control.

I'm just.... I have never heard anything about schools particularly CARING one way other other, but I also can't see why they WOUDLN'T care. It seems that they have every reason to care.

For those of you saying they don't care, why not? For example, I could see it possibly being the case that they don't care because they want their PI/shitlaw/etc stat up, or because one person won't affect the biglaw percentage all that much, etc.... but I'm not sure either of those are true.

thanks!

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Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: personal statement advice

Postby Ramius » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:29 pm

If there is anything they care about, it's your employability in general, not private vs. PI. In fact, I'd venture they prefer a mix of students and their interests. Diversity is the key buzzword in all higher education admissions.

Stop worrying about how the Adcomms will see your particular interests. Put together a coherent, quality application and they won't care if you trumpet any particular type of law. If your résumé, PS, DS and all other materials match up and present you as an honest and thoughtful candidate, then you'll be on at least a level playing field with your number twins.

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CFprez
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:28 am

Re: personal statement advice

Postby CFprez » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:09 am

I've thought about your reasoning and I think I see the flaw in it now. So if you take a look at the personal statements here rarely if ever will you see someone write a essay about how they are fascinated by protecting large corporations bottom lines . No I safely bet that softs that skew pi outnumber the number of big law firm interns 5 to 1 and the number of essays that bring up the poor or legally disadvantaged as a motivation outnumber 10 to 1 those that saw they want to work in corporate law. If you say that you want to work disability law, likely your ps will strongly resemble lots of others in the stack. THUS dood you will suffer no disadvantage for writing about it.




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