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Barack O'Drama

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Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:54 am

Seeing all these posts make me want to get started on my PS. It is something to do to take my mind off the LSAT, at least for a few hours at a time.

So, to be honest, I just have no idea what to write about... Here are some quick things about me, and I was hoping some people could chime in with ideas how to relate them to writing a good PS. They are sort of random and not necessarily anything I am going to write about, or that even matter. I just don't feel like I have many interesting things to write about, so apologies in advanced.

So, I'm a URM ( mixed, if that matters) and while growing up I was raised by my white grandparents from age 12+ due to my parents being abusive/having a drug habit. I don't really know how this could be written about without it coming off as too gloomy and like I'm looking for sympathy. I do feel like my grandparents taking me away from a bad situation sort of showed me another world and encouraged me to become successful.

Sort of relating to the last idea.. Because of growing up in a bad area, with bad parents, school always felt like a haven for me. I never really played sports in school but when it came to my courses and learning, I felt like I always knew how to play (if that makes sense) I did really well in high school (salutatorian) and then went to college and graduated summa and spoke at my graduation. I also founded a club, was active in SA gov't, etc. Average softs to be honest. I think I'd like to incorporate how much I enjoy learning and how I feel like it saved me (along with my grandparents)

Lastly, I think it may be helpful to write about why I want to become a lawyer/go to law school. This is pretty complicated for me. I think a lot of it has to do with just being interested in law due to law being the rules/structures our society is based on. I literally could never think of a more important and interesting thing to study. I also am just generally interested in making the world a better place. Not interested in big law, but more so public interest. I also interned with a defense lawyer in college and seeing how he helped people and gave people piece of mind--at least to some extent really inspired me to pursue it.

......

So anyways, that is just a little hodge podge of my life. Does anyone have any idea how I can use some of this to write a decent PS?

Any help or idea are much appreciated :D
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PDX4343

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Re: Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby PDX4343 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:14 am

Sounds like you have a nice basis to chisel a compelling story out of. If it were me, I would write about the difficulties of having to leave your parents home and live with your grandparents. You can maybe talk about how school was an escape for you, and how it helped you overcome your tough childhood. You should be able to highlight some great qualities about yourself that will be helpful to your law school ambitions. Above all, though, make sure whatever you write is well written. Not sure if any of that helps, good luck!

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:38 am

PDX4343 wrote:Sounds like you have a nice basis to chisel a compelling story out of. If it were me, I would write about the difficulties of having to leave your parents home and live with your grandparents. You can maybe talk about how school was an escape for you, and how it helped you overcome your tough childhood. You should be able to highlight some great qualities about yourself that will be helpful to your law school ambitions. Above all, though, make sure whatever you write is well written. Not sure if any of that helps, good luck!



It is nice to hear you think that it is at least a good basis. I think I will try that because as of now I am just stuck. Seeing how you would lay it out is very helpful. It gives me a nice skeleton to start working with. Thank you :D
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PDX4343

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Re: Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby PDX4343 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:12 am

No problem!

I'm in the process of doing the same thing, actually. I know getting some outside perspective can be a big help. Also, feel free to shoot me a PM with a rough draft when you get one hammered out if you're looking for someone to swap statements with.

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:12 am

PDX4343 wrote:No problem!

I'm in the process of doing the same thing, actually. I know getting some outside perspective can be a big help. Also, feel free to shoot me a PM with a rough draft when you get one hammered out if you're looking for someone to swap statements with.



Off course! That would be really helpful I will certainly PM you once I have a good draft done. And of course, I would be more than honored to swap with ya :lol:
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby 20170322 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:23 am

What about a PS about being POTUS?

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:05 am

SweetTort wrote:What about a PS about being POTUS?



Haha! oh, if only Sweet Tort! Although I guess we were both raised by our white grandparents..hmm. I wonder what his PS was about the he applied to HLS :lol:
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Re: Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby 34iplaw » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:25 pm

Barack O'Drama wrote:
SweetTort wrote:What about a PS about being POTUS?



Haha! oh, if only Sweet Tort! Although I guess we were both raised by our white grandparents..hmm. I wonder what his PS was about the he applied to HLS :lol:


Feel free to shoot it over to me if you ever want any proof reading [grammar, structure, flow, etc.] or anything like that.

I replied to you in the other thread, so I'll do it shorter here [also for others]. Don't worry about knocking out the perfect statement right now. Write what comes to you. Leave it alone for a few days or a week. If it is an idea or train of thought you like, I would suggest writing a second version before you look at your first again. This is probably more relevant/pertinent if you are going for a slightly more creative writing approach.

Someone elsewhere on here posted about moving around a lot during their life and is from a place with mandatory conscription. I was a fan of some element that would tie it all together like reflecting as wheels screech on tarmac. I am going to find out if expounding on the mundane is actually good for law school personal statements, but it seems like the general consensus is to write in a way that showcases your strengths and is natural.

I would talk to someone who also has experience with applying as a URM as well. IIRC, there is a diversity statement, and I am unsure if it is desirable to have too much overlap between the two if that makes sense.

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Re: Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:49 pm

34iplaw wrote:
Barack O'Drama wrote:
SweetTort wrote:What about a PS about being POTUS?



Haha! oh, if only Sweet Tort! Although I guess we were both raised by our white grandparents..hmm. I wonder what his PS was about the he applied to HLS :lol:


Feel free to shoot it over to me if you ever want any proof reading [grammar, structure, flow, etc.] or anything like that.

I replied to you in the other thread, so I'll do it shorter here [also for others]. Don't worry about knocking out the perfect statement right now. Write what comes to you. Leave it alone for a few days or a week. If it is an idea or train of thought you like, I would suggest writing a second version before you look at your first again. This is probably more relevant/pertinent if you are going for a slightly more creative writing approach.

Someone elsewhere on here posted about moving around a lot during their life and is from a place with mandatory conscription. I was a fan of some element that would tie it all together like reflecting as wheels screech on tarmac. I am going to find out if expounding on the mundane is actually good for law school personal statements, but it seems like the general consensus is to write in a way that showcases your strengths and is natural.

I would talk to someone who also has experience with applying as a URM as well. IIRC, there is a diversity statement, and I am unsure if it is desirable to have too much overlap between the two if that makes sense.


Thanks iplaw :) I will definitely take you up on that offer once I actually figure out what the heck I am going to write about. And good call with the PS vs. DS. I think I am going to try to balkanize them into their respective places and keep how my being raised by my grandparents who were white in the DS.

I like your idea of expounding on the mundane. Depending on my mood, I can certainly write in a style that reflects that. I have always been good at trying it all together in a neat little bow, but I always have trouble actually getting started. I am hopeful that once I develop an idea of where to begin the entire writing process can probably be done in a hour or two. Editing will be the real pain. However, I think if I begin now, by application time I should have a great PS. Like you said, I just need to find something that showcases my strengths and tells a story. I am not a very good story teller so I think that is going to be the hardest thing to overcome while writing this.

Maybe I will write about how school was a haven for me, and subtly tie in achievements, and how my hard work and determination helped me and will help in being a lawyer. The problem here is that it feels cliche. I will say that I feel more comfortable doing cliche than taking risks in my PS, as I am not a very strong creative writer. I am concise and pretty straight forward... I just need a solid theme to tie the education/haven idea ----> why I want to go to law school.

For my DS, I could write about my childhood and my family issues and moving out of the ghetto to live with my white grandparents and how that sort of changed my views and helped to develop the beliefs I have today--especially about helping those who are in poverty.
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Can't think of a PS topic?

Postby 34iplaw » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:02 am

Barack O'Drama wrote:
34iplaw wrote:
Barack O'Drama wrote:
SweetTort wrote:What about a PS about being POTUS?


Haha! oh, if only Sweet Tort! Although I guess we were both raised by our white grandparents..hmm. I wonder what his PS was about the he applied to HLS :lol:


Feel free to shoot it over to me if you ever want any proof reading [grammar, structure, flow, etc.] or anything like that.

I replied to you in the other thread, so I'll do it shorter here [also for others]. Don't worry about knocking out the perfect statement right now. Write what comes to you. Leave it alone for a few days or a week. If it is an idea or train of thought you like, I would suggest writing a second version before you look at your first again. This is probably more relevant/pertinent if you are going for a slightly more creative writing approach.

Someone elsewhere on here posted about moving around a lot during their life and is from a place with mandatory conscription. I was a fan of some element that would tie it all together like reflecting as wheels screech on tarmac. I am going to find out if expounding on the mundane is actually good for law school personal statements, but it seems like the general consensus is to write in a way that showcases your strengths and is natural.

I would talk to someone who also has experience with applying as a URM as well. IIRC, there is a diversity statement, and I am unsure if it is desirable to have too much overlap between the two if that makes sense.


Thanks iplaw :) I will definitely take you up on that offer once I actually figure out what the heck I am going to write about. And good call with the PS vs. DS. I think I am going to try to balkanize them into their respective places and keep how my being raised by my grandparents who were white in the DS.

I like your idea of expounding on the mundane. Depending on my mood, I can certainly write in a style that reflects that. I have always been good at trying it all together in a neat little bow, but I always have trouble actually getting started. I am hopeful that once I develop an idea of where to begin the entire writing process can probably be done in a hour or two. Editing will be the real pain. However, I think if I begin now, by application time I should have a great PS. Like you said, I just need to find something that showcases my strengths and tells a story. I am not a very good story teller so I think that is going to be the hardest thing to overcome while writing this.

Maybe I will write about how school was a haven for me, and subtly tie in achievements, and how my hard work and determination helped me and will help in being a lawyer. The problem here is that it feels cliche. I will say that I feel more comfortable doing cliche than taking risks in my PS, as I am not a very strong creative writer. I am concise and pretty straight forward... I just need a solid theme to tie the education/haven idea ----> why I want to go to law school.

For my DS, I could write about my childhood and my family issues and moving out of the ghetto to live with my white grandparents and how that sort of changed my views and helped to develop the beliefs I have today--especially about helping those who are in poverty.


Sounds good. Let me know.

One of my college undergrad essays was something about scraping off dishes at a family friend's Christmas party. That essay I liked. It ended up basically describing a dinner as an accessible abstract of sand mandalas without the explicit connection.

Just write a bit before you go to bed. Doesn't need to be anything specific. Just get it out of your head and onto paper. I sort of agree that your idea about school being a haven is probably slightly cliche [I imagine], but, in certain cases, it may be a lot more relevant and poignant. Yours could be one of those cases. I think the why you want to be a lawyer is probably more important than the what will make you a good lawyer in a personal statement. I'm not an adcom - so that is stepping a bit out of realm of knowledge - but I think a law school applicant is a bit out of their depth other then generic platitudes in this regard and too much 'why I'll be the best lawyer that ever did lawyer' could just come across as too hollow or too much like a cover letter. Maybe there's a specific event or chain of events or person or object that can be used as a lens. I also think that's very astute - actually writing the statement doesn't take much time... at all. It's the process leading up to it and the subsequent editing that's a pain.



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