First Draft... Please help! Any advice or criticism helps.

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First Draft... Please help! Any advice or criticism helps.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:52 pm

From academic interests to extracurricular hobbies, I have always had eclectic taste; so much so, I viewed it as a fault. Where others often focused on and excelled at a chosen subject or sport, my curiosity pulled me in different directions distributing time and energy across a wider range. Though this gave me a diverse palate of pastimes - enjoying everything from racquetball to rock climbing to banjo - some interests did not easily coexist. Two of my passions that seemingly collided were that for mathematics, logic, and a black and white sense of precision, versus my passion for creativity and an intended lack of clarity. Growing up, I assumed that these two perspectives were incompatible and this constrained me as a result. Feeling often like my personality was divided, I had trouble choosing classes or a major being so passionate about such utter opposite fields. It was not until I began working on my senior project in philosophy that I realized it was not only possible to integrate precision and creativity, but it was in fact an asset; giving me a unique angle with which to approach a given problem. It was this senior project that assisted me in coming to terms with my conflicting interests, and solidified my decision to pursue law as a career.

When I took my first philosophy class, I immediately knew that I wanted to change my major. The professor entered on the first day and speaking as clearly and succinctly as I’d ever heard, he taught the class the main components of an argument and how to determine an argument’s validity. The information clicked like no history lecture, my original major, ever had, each piece fitting perfectly with no overlap or gray area. The professor then applied these given rules of logic to famous arguments written by various philosophers, analyzing them for form rather than content. And like an algebraic formula, I applied this same process of argument analysis throughout a wide array of philosophy classes with great success. That is, until I took my first ethics class. In ethics, contrary to most other fields of philosophy, content rules over form. And as much as I tried, the same method of rote argument analysis was virtually impossible when dealing with vague terms such as “cruel” or “kind”. But although I initially struggled through this class, having trouble adjusting to the innate obscurity of the subject matter, it sparked my interest. What the class lacked in precision, it made up for with the challenge of applying these theories to more ambiguous scenarios. Ethics, unlike the logic or epistemology classes I had taken, tapped into my creative side, forcing me to approach each problem differently than the last. I began taking upper division classes in the field and eventually declared my concentration in ethics and society.

In my third year of college, it was finally time to go about choosing a senior project topic. I talked to multiple philosophy professors, academic advisors, and consulted numerous sources trying to find a topic that fit my interests. I felt, however, that my “divided personality” was again restraining me. I didn’t want a topic purely in ethics, for it lacked the precision and logical rigor I desired. But on the other hand, a topic in the philosophy of science or in formal logic seemed to lack any application making it, in my eyes, futile. Explaining this to my Philosophy of Science professor, he proposed a topic that dealt with the infamous dichotomy of fact and value, and how it applied to the study of ethics and law.

After weeks of stumbling through research and corresponding with various philosophy professors across the country, I began noticing the same problem in much of the literature on the topic. Where some academics approached the problem from an ethics background, they failed to realize the role that mathematics and formal logic played in the problem, logicians, on the other hand, failing to apply their findings to less theoretical fields. When I finally began writing, I attempted to approach the problem by relying both upon my foundation in formal logic, as well as my appreciation and interest in ethics and law. Utilizing BOTH SIDES of the spectrum, I argued for an entanglement of fact and value showing that both logicians and ethicists would gain insight by paying further attention to each other’s fields. Simply stated, I argued that recent findings in set theory and philosophy of science had very real applications in ethics and law. And although my paper was not by any means revolutionary in the halls of academia, it triggered insights that were pivotal in realizing my strengths and solidifying my career choice.

By completing my senior project, and with the help of numerous advisors, professors, and mentors, I am now confident that pursuing a career in law is the right fit for me. The study and practice of law, much like philosophy, is careful and detail oriented, precision always being favored over verbosity. However, unlike many fields of philosophy, law has a practical application. As opposed to analytical reasoning for the sake of analytical reasoning, in law, these skills are utilized to solve problems that may have serious consequences. Moreover, similar to my senior project, the law is often applied in areas that are not cut and dry, forcing one to approach problems creatively while still maintaining precision and clarity. Having strengthened these analytic abilities through studying philosophy, along with having a strong desire to apply them in a more practical manner, sets me up to both enjoy and excel in law school and in future practice.

My unquenchable curiosity has, my whole life, pulled me into a wide array of interests. It is this drive to learn that has motivated most all of my major decisions, whether it be choosing a major and concentration, choosing a senior project topic, or now my decision to pursue law. Though I once felt this curiosity held me back, I now realize that being well rounded is my greatest strength, allowing me to combine outlooks and create a distinct approach to problem solving. Taking from my many, varied passions and perspectives, I intend to be both a unique and charismatic asset to [Name of Law School]’s law school and alumni.


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Re: First Draft... Please help! Any advice or criticism helps.

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:59 pm

I will be honest, this sort of statement is just plain boring, regardless of well you write it.

You tell people what they already know, your "insight" was foreseen from sentence 1, there is no real build-up or sense of emotional excitement with your statement.

Id scrap the topic altogether or pick something much more personal and interesting, and you can integrate your intellectual curiosity in combination with some personal anecdotes.

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