Thoughts on discussing a specific area of law in the PS?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:25 am

Thoughts on discussing a specific area of law in the PS?

Postby abovethelaw » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:27 pm

I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I was wondering what everyone thought about touching on a particular area of law you would like to practice one day.

Personally, I do NOT know what type of law interests me the most. Part of why I want to go to law school is to find out! Someone who read my personal statement, however, said that I ought to write about a more specific future goal than simply "being a lawyer."

Is just "being a lawyer" too general of a motivation for a personal statement?

Thanks in advance!


Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Re: Thoughts on discussing a specific area of law in the PS?

Postby whatsyourdeal » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:54 pm

I worked on adcomm at my law school as a student volunteer, and also have spoken to adcomm and a few admission specialists. Here's my two cents based on those conversations and my experience:

Unless you have significant experience in an area of law-at least a few years or so- don't write about "why x area of law" as your personal statement. Odds are, you're not going to know what law you really want to practice in until after law school (where the internships/externships/clerkships/job market) will likely dictate what area of law you will practice in. So attempts to pass off that you want to right wrongs as a DA, or get into IP (without an engineer background, of course) will usually seem disingenuous at worst or extremely naiive at best.

Your PS is your chance to stand out and show other qualities that you have. In my time as a volunteer, I have read some really good and really bland PS. I read a really good one concerning child abuse and overcoming it to achieve. I've read a really good one about mountain climbing. I also read a really good one about overcoming poverty. These kinds of PS add more to your profile, and help your applications.

I would say the worst PS I have read usually dealt with why law, simply because they added nothing to their application that I couldn't gleam from LSAC or LSDAS (i forgot which) reports. These essays were usually extended and more elaborate versions of their resumes.

My advice in broad terms: tell them a story about yourself that the adcomm cannot find out about just by glancing at your resume.

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