CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

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thevuch
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CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby thevuch » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:19 pm

ok so. im gonna be rigorously honest here. been reading the tls book on personal statements and its a lot about leadership and overcoming obstacles and academic curiosity.so here goes, im a recovering heroin addict, and i dont have any felony convictions, but ive got a felony arrest (which ill have to tell the law school about) SO, i was thinking... i was in school 2007-10 proble got real bad (my gpa was still a 3.21) but i medically withdrew, struggled and fought it in and out of treatmetn from 2010-2012, but right before the end of 2012 i cleaned up, i got back into school and fell in love with it all over again, have made straight A's since the spring, in the summer, and anticipate to in the fall) im set to graduate in may. since ive come back ive started a new student org at my school that has taken off, and i was elected president (leadership), and im a philosophy/poli sci double major so ive got some philosophical reasons why i want to practice law and why i love academics learning, but my question is what do you guys think of putting in this getting clean and growing up part of my life into my personal statement (not trying to toot my own horn but it is a hell of a story. had a spiritual awakening, gained a whole new perspective on the world and all that...i mean i was addicted to heroin and ive been clean almost a year now) i know its not long and im worried law schools will see me as a liability) but IN THIS YEAR, ive gone back to school, kicked ass, and gotten my life back on track, got into a national honors society and started this new student org. AND theyre gonna find out about it anyway when i divulge my past arrests, so what do yall think? if you were me would you include it in your personal statement?

Void
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby Void » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:21 pm

Was your felony arrest drug related?

P.s. Congrats on getting clean- that's huge.
Last edited by Void on Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thevuch
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby thevuch » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:24 pm

yeah possession of a controlled substance...no violence/theft ever.

SBTC
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby SBTC » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:26 pm

Yes. But here's a tip: don't refer to yourself as a "recovering heroin addict". Also, make it very clear that those years are behind you. Show, don't tell. And of course, conclude with what you've learned and how you got to why you are today, and why you want to go to law school.

ltrego
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby ltrego » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:26 pm

I think that could make a very strong personal statement, especially if you talk about how you learned from it, how it influenced your love of learning, and how it influenced your decision to practice law.

Void
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby Void » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:29 pm

thevuch wrote:yeah possession of a controlled substance...no violence/theft ever.


The reason I asked is because your statement could be a great way to negate that arrest. I think it's risky but could play really well. Lots of adcomms practiced law themselves at some point, and many have worked with clients with substance abuse issues, or at least worked in systems where those issues are prevalent. I guess it would depend upon your legal interest- if you are interested in going into public service and helping people who are affected by similar circumstances, it could work pretty well. Good luck, and again, congratulations. You are stronger than most.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:27 am

You're a good turnaround story, tell that story in a compelling way and I could see it being compelling

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thevuch
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby thevuch » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:32 am

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:You're a good turnaround story, tell that story in a compelling way and I could see it being compelling


Void wrote:
thevuch wrote:yeah possession of a controlled substance...no violence/theft ever.


The reason I asked is because your statement could be a great way to negate that arrest. I think it's risky but could play really well. Lots of adcomms practiced law themselves at some point, and many have worked with clients with substance abuse issues, or at least worked in systems where those issues are prevalent. I guess it would depend upon your legal interest- if you are interested in going into public service and helping people who are affected by similar circumstances, it could work pretty well. Good luck, and again, congratulations. You are stronger than most.


word. thanks yall

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rinkrat19
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:33 am

The only concern I have is that you've apparently been clean a year or less. I worry that adcomms might be a little leery of a possible relapse in the stressful environment of law school, since your problems are relatively recent.

ltrego
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby ltrego » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:35 am

rinkrat19 wrote:The only concern I have is that you've apparently been clean a year or less. I worry that adcomms might be a little leery of a possible relapse in the stressful environment of law school, since your problems are relatively recent.



True, but he's going to have to disclose one way or another. It would probably be better to control the narrative through a PS.

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thevuch
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby thevuch » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:37 am

rinkrat19 wrote:The only concern I have is that you've apparently been clean a year or less. I worry that adcomms might be a little leery of a possible relapse in the stressful environment of law school, since your problems are relatively recent.


i know that is what im worried about too. the arrest was feb 2012. and i have no other arrests since then, i guess i wouldnt have to necessarily disclose certain dates, you know just say i cleaned up after feb 2012, which i did for the most part, and then got back in school in 2013, but i am going to have to tell them about the arrests anyway and i guess the quesstion is to i want to address it in some littl ebox, or in my PS

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:39 am

I personally don't think the difference between 2 years removed and 3 years removed (assuming rink is recommending waiting a year) is even perceptually significant enough for you to wait. Just tell your story and roll the dice.

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sublime
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby sublime » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:44 am

..

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thevuch
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby thevuch » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:46 am

sublime wrote:Idk, I tend to be of the opinion that the vast majority of the time, personal statements don't matter, but when they do, it can be either a small bump or completely tank you.

That said, I tend to favor low risk personal statements, as the risk to reward ratio isn't there to do otherwise.

You have to address it in an addendum, but myself, I would keep it out of the PS.



all the TLS stuff on PS's act like its a great way to separate you from the crowd of people who have similar numbers...and that it can MAKE you

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sublime
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby sublime » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:57 am

..

moralsentiments
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby moralsentiments » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:20 am

I would be more concerned with the ABA character and fitness standards. I don't know in what state you're planning to practice, but i would do a little research.

http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/ ... eckdam.pdf\

Chart 2 starting on page 4. Check the supplemental remarks regarding felony convictions.

moralsentiments
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby moralsentiments » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:22 am

my bad, you said you don't have any convictions…never mind

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thevuch
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby thevuch » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:29 am

moralsentiments wrote:my bad, you said you don't have any convictions…never mind


i know right thank god. i am from the southeast, where things are conservative, so maybe the admission guys are conservative too, thats anotehr reason im apprehensive

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rinkrat19
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Re: CONTROVERSIAL personal statement topic (need your opinion!)

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:33 am

thevuch wrote:
sublime wrote:Idk, I tend to be of the opinion that the vast majority of the time, personal statements don't matter, but when they do, it can be either a small bump or completely tank you.

That said, I tend to favor low risk personal statements, as the risk to reward ratio isn't there to do otherwise.

You have to address it in an addendum, but myself, I would keep it out of the PS.



all the TLS stuff on PS's act like its a great way to separate you from the crowd of people who have similar numbers...and that it can MAKE you

No, TLS is pretty much agreed that a bad PS is more likely to hurt you than a good one is to help you. It's a miniscule tiebreaker at best, unless you are writing about being a refugee child soldier turned Nobel prize-winning chemist who survived cancer with a treatment of your own invention while writing an Oscar-winning movie script and medaling at the Olympics.

But a crappy PS can hurt you quite badly. Some of the utter shit that college graduates think is good writing is just mind-boggling.




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