Marijuana-Themed PS Draft (Revised). Feedback Appreciated.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Marijuana-Themed PS Draft (Revised). Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:57 pm

Revised my marijuana-themed PS. I tried to explain the internship, discuss my takeaways, and explain how this experience puts me in a position to make a unique contribution to the student body/law school community. Any feedback is appreciated. (First three paragraphs are the same as last draft)


I had no idea what to expect when I took a job working for a cannabis farm. Ever since cannabis became legalized in the Pacific Northwest, I had been intrigued by this expanding sector of business and newly emerging area of law. After hearing the CEO of HiFi Farms speak at a local economic alliance panel, I emailed her directly to express my interest in becoming involved with her company.

I began researching HiFi Farms and became even more excited about the possibility of working there after finding multiple articles praising the company in newspapers and reputable business magazines. HiFi Farms’ CEO had previous experience working with tech start-ups in Silicon Valley, and with investor support, the company had raised over two million dollars in working capital. This was starting to seem like an interesting opportunity.

After a brief interview, HiFi Farms agreed to design an internship for me. I have spent the last three months working with the company’s compliance and regulatory department to understand how cannabis companies navigate the seemingly endless and ever-changing body of rules, laws, and regulations affecting the newly emerging industry. I have had the privilege to sit in on weekly team meetings, as well as meetings with HiFi’s outside legal counsel.

The cannabis law attorneys I’ve been introduced to tell me the practice is both challenging and rewarding. It is challenging in the fact that there are few established legal precedents, many unanswered questions, and conflicting interpretations of the law at state and federal levels. In many cases, cannabis attorneys cannot provide clients with firm resolutions. Instead, they offer opinions or suggestions on what to do as confusing legal situations arise. The reward comes in the sense of excitement derived from pioneering an uncharted field of law. Cannabis law is still in its infancy, and thus, each case represents a unique puzzle and has the potential to contribute to the larger body of legal knowledge in a meaningful way.

My experience at HiFi Farms has given me the rare opportunity to see the inner workings of a newly emerging industry. Over the past few months, I have gained exposure to cannabis-related legal issues such as: land and water usage, financial regulations, permit and packaging requirements, and the conflict between state and federal law. Yet, my most important discovery has been the openings this new field of law presents. The cannabis industry faces a vast array of unexplored legal issues and questions waiting to be explored.

Like any new industry, the cannabis industry will continue to need skilled attorneys to build a legal framework and help those in the business comply with state and federal regulations. As more and more states vote to decriminalize cannabis and as legalization measures continue to appear on state ballots, cannabis will continue to impact our society as an economic force. Not everyone needs to support the legalization of cannabis, but it is difficult to deny legalization has created and will continue to create economic opportunity for many people, including attorneys. Where others see risk, I see opportunity, especially for those who are able to rise above the negative stigma that still surrounds cannabis in the minds of many.

Last month, I helped host a fundraiser at HiFi Farms for the Oregon House Democrats. As I listened to elected officials speak about legalization and public policy to a room full of enthusiastic businesspeople and attorneys, it became clear to me how far the public perception surrounding cannabis has shifted and continues to shift. Over the next century, cannabis may very well enter our mainstream economy on a national scale. It is critical this transition is accompanied by sound legal and political decision-making.

To the Washington School of Law classroom I will bring unique experience and perspective to a newly emerging and rapidly expanding area of law and public policy. I am excited by the prospect of participating in the University of Washington’s Cannabis Law and Policy Project. I believe my experience working with one of Oregon's leading cannabis companies will allow me to contribute to this project, as well as the larger University of Washington Law School community, in a distinct and meaningful way
Last edited by TakeItToTrial on Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
MKC

Diamond
Posts: 16246
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:18 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby MKC » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:08 am

This topic seems overly risky. The idea with a personal statement is to write something that everyone likes and doesn't ruffle any feathers. I'm sure there are a few admissions dean out there that would love this. There's probably a few more who are only going to get "stoner" out of that essay. Personally, I would choose something else to write about.
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:39 am

MarkinKansasCity wrote:This topic seems overly risky. The idea with a personal statement is to write something that everyone likes and doesn't ruffle any feathers. I'm sure there are a few admissions dean out there that would love this. There's probably a few more who are only going to get "stoner" out of that essay. Personally, I would choose something else to write about.


Thanks. I thought it might work if I spun it the right way. I'm planning on putting this experience on my resume. Should I avoid that, too?

Maybe I'll send it to Berkeley and try to get lucky.

User avatar
Mr. Freeze

New
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:56 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby Mr. Freeze » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:01 am

I agree with Kansas. If you get an admin officer who is anti Dope you run this risk of them being turned off by your topic and jeopardizing your whole application.

User avatar
Mr. Archer

Bronze
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:08 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby Mr. Archer » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:57 pm

I would personally stay away from the topic. There might be a way to frame this and show your legal internships have given you a unique perspective, but I don't think your current PS does this. Parts of the PS are focused too much on the company. Others sound more like a defense of cannabis than a statement about you, so that doesn't give anyone a reason to admit you to law school. Others stray into resume' description. Personal statements about work will always include some details that are on a resume', but it can't just sound like a fleshed out resume'. The part about the representative is resume' description and strange, since. I know you mention part of her campaign is cannabis legalization, but you're really just discussing why she's great and forcing in that you're working on a reelection campaign. The part about the other project is also a lot of resume' description.

Be careful about how you word things. It's apparently a "privilege" to sit-in on weekly meetings with legal counsel and a "privilege" to help with a reelection campaign. Why isn't a privilege you worked on the Cannabis Cultivation Facility Best Practices Project?

User avatar
ArtistOfManliness

Silver
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:56 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:11 pm

Even if you don't get an admin officer who is anti-marijuana, you might get someone who knows that this is a hella stupid thing to write about b/c you could get an admit officer who is anti-marijuana.

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:28 pm

Mr. Archer wrote:I would personally stay away from the topic. There might be a way to frame this and show your legal internships have given you a unique perspective, but I don't think your current PS does this. Parts of the PS are focused too much on the company. Others sound more like a defense of cannabis than a statement about you, so that doesn't give anyone a reason to admit you to law school. Others stray into resume' description. Personal statements about work will always include some details that are on a resume', but it can't just sound like a fleshed out resume'. The part about the representative is resume' description and strange, since. I know you mention part of her campaign is cannabis legalization, but you're really just discussing why she's great and forcing in that you're working on a reelection campaign. The part about the other project is also a lot of resume' description.

Be careful about how you word things. It's apparently a "privilege" to sit-in on weekly meetings with legal counsel and a "privilege" to help with a reelection campaign. Why isn't a privilege you worked on the Cannabis Cultivation Facility Best Practices Project?


Thanks. I am starting to realize that after living in the Northwest (pot friendly) my whole life and working in the cannabis industry, I may have gone somewhat numb to the general public's perception of cannabis. I'm thinking about taking out the parts that read like a resume description, focusing it on my unique perspective and future goals, and then sending it to some reach schools where I'm below median, with the hope of standing out as a sort of pseudo diversity candidate.

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:28 pm

ArtistOfManliness wrote:Even if you don't get an admin officer who is anti-marijuana, you might get someone who knows that this is a hella stupid thing to write about b/c you could get an admit officer who is anti-marijuana.


This is a strange comment.

User avatar
ArtistOfManliness

Silver
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:56 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:31 pm

TakeItToTrial wrote:
ArtistOfManliness wrote:Even if you don't get an admin officer who is anti-marijuana, you might get someone who knows that this is a hella stupid thing to write about b/c you could get an admit officer who is anti-marijuana.


This is a strange comment.


You wrote a strange PS.

grades??

Silver
Posts: 984
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby grades?? » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:34 pm

This is an awful idea. Law is a generally conservative field. There is no possible universe where this is a good idea.

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:35 pm

ArtistOfManliness wrote:
TakeItToTrial wrote:
ArtistOfManliness wrote:Even if you don't get an admin officer who is anti-marijuana, you might get someone who knows that this is a hella stupid thing to write about b/c you could get an admit officer who is anti-marijuana.


This is a strange comment.


You wrote a strange PS.


The idea was to write something that stands out, but I agree it may be too risky.

User avatar
Mr. Archer

Bronze
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:08 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby Mr. Archer » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:36 pm

You won't look like any kind of diversity candidate. You'll just look like someone who likes pot. Also, I agree with ArtistOfManliness' comment. An adcomm who isn't anti-pot could read your statement and think you have a lack of judgment for writing a statement that could rub someone the wrong way.

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:03 pm

Mr. Archer wrote:You won't look like any kind of diversity candidate. You'll just look like someone who likes pot. Also, I agree with ArtistOfManliness' comment. An adcomm who isn't anti-pot could read your statement and think you have a lack of judgment for writing a statement that could rub someone the wrong way.


Yeah, I agree that could happen, especially if I sent it in as it reads today. But I have to believe there's a way to package this topic in a way that shows I know how to frame a difficult issue and portrays me as proactive, forward-thinking, even unique in the fact that I have experience in this new and relatively unexplored field of law.

paytonalexandra

New
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:16 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby paytonalexandra » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:19 pm

I'm not going to give the same response as everyone else and say it is too risky, though I think it may be. If you do decide to risk it and use this topic I would definitely rewrite this statement and give it a different tone. Right now it seems more like a resume and then at the end seems a little more impersonal and informative of the subject of marijuana/legalization, when you should be focusing on how this experience impacted you and why it makes you a unique candidate, what you learned from it, any personal growth and developments etc. I would steer clear of any pro-marijuana discussion and really just hone in on the experience take-aways.

User avatar
guynourmin

Gold
Posts: 3428
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:42 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby guynourmin » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:29 pm

paytonalexandra wrote: If you do decide to risk it and use this topic I would definitely rewrite this statement and give it a different tone. Right now it seems more like a resume and then at the end seems a little more impersonal and informative of the subject of marijuana/legalization, when you should be focusing on how this experience impacted you and why it makes you a unique candidate, what you learned from it, any personal growth and developments etc.


This is huge. Whether or not OP chooses to go with this topic, this is basically nothing salvageable in this current draft.

User avatar
Mr. Archer

Bronze
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:08 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby Mr. Archer » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:32 pm

TakeItToTrial wrote:
Mr. Archer wrote:You won't look like any kind of diversity candidate. You'll just look like someone who likes pot. Also, I agree with ArtistOfManliness' comment. An adcomm who isn't anti-pot could read your statement and think you have a lack of judgment for writing a statement that could rub someone the wrong way.


Yeah, I agree that could happen, especially if I sent it in as it reads today. But I have to believe there's a way to package this topic in a way that shows I know how to frame a difficult issue and portrays me as proactive, forward-thinking, even unique in the fact that I have experience in this new and relatively unexplored field of law.


Yes, I'm sure you could package it in a way that focuses on legal experience that just so happens to be in the field of cannabis law. It would definitely be attention-grabbing and unique. But your PS would need a complete rewrite to start down that path.

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:31 pm

Thanks to everyone for the responses. I think I'll attack the topic from a different angle and see if I can some up with something worth sending.

User avatar
ArtistOfManliness

Silver
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:56 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:37 pm

TakeItToTrial wrote:Thanks to everyone for the responses. I think I'll attack the topic from a different angle and see if I can some up with something worth sending.


Sounds like a plan, but I really suggest brainstorming some other PS possibilities and don't pigeon-hole yourself to this by not being willing to move on until it's too late.

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:53 pm

ArtistOfManliness wrote:
TakeItToTrial wrote:Thanks to everyone for the responses. I think I'll attack the topic from a different angle and see if I can some up with something worth sending.


Sounds like a plan, but I really suggest brainstorming some other PS possibilities and don't pigeon-hole yourself to this by not being willing to move on until it's too late.


Yeah, I won't spend too long on it. Worst case scenario, I'll have an alternate statement to send to a couple reach schools.

personofinterest

Bronze
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:13 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby personofinterest » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:04 am

TakeItToTrial wrote:
ArtistOfManliness wrote:
TakeItToTrial wrote:Thanks to everyone for the responses. I think I'll attack the topic from a different angle and see if I can some up with something worth sending.


Sounds like a plan, but I really suggest brainstorming some other PS possibilities and don't pigeon-hole yourself to this by not being willing to move on until it's too late.


Yeah, I won't spend too long on it. Worst case scenario, I'll have an alternate statement to send to a couple reach schools.


You should start from scratch with a different topic. Don't mention a schedule I drug in your PS. It would show poor judgment to write about this. Even an admissions office that is sympathetic to you would think you are showing poor judgment. A PS won't help you much in the admissions process, but writing about committing a federal crime could certainly hurt you.

ETA: UW, which appears to have the CLPP, is a good school for this essay. But unless a school has a program like this, keep weed out of you PS. Good luck!

User avatar
Mullens

Silver
Posts: 1044
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:34 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby Mullens » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:37 am

Marijuana law is a growing field (no pun intended) and not just in states that have legalized it. Its an issue in every state that has legal medical marijuana and will likely become even larger in the future. You may very well be able to build an early career in it with your background.

With that said, I agree that it might be too risky of a PS. I think it's possible for this topic to result in a good essay for schools in states where marijuana is legalized. I would stay away from the topic for schools in states that might have a less liberal attitude towards marijuana. If you're a reach for a school, I could see this possibly helping you if it's very well done (very narrow line here).

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:07 pm

personofinterest wrote:
TakeItToTrial wrote:
ArtistOfManliness wrote:
TakeItToTrial wrote:Thanks to everyone for the responses. I think I'll attack the topic from a different angle and see if I can some up with something worth sending.


Sounds like a plan, but I really suggest brainstorming some other PS possibilities and don't pigeon-hole yourself to this by not being willing to move on until it's too late.


Yeah, I won't spend too long on it. Worst case scenario, I'll have an alternate statement to send to a couple reach schools.


You should start from scratch with a different topic. Don't mention a schedule I drug in your PS. It would show poor judgment to write about this. Even an admissions office that is sympathetic to you would think you are showing poor judgment. A PS won't help you much in the admissions process, but writing about committing a federal crime could certainly hurt you.

ETA: UW, which appears to have the CLPP, is a good school for this essay. But unless a school has a program like this, keep weed out of you PS. Good luck!


I wrote this with UW's CLPP in mind, but UW is my first choice, so I'm somewhat hesitant to send them a risky PS.

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby TakeItToTrial » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:19 pm

Mullens wrote:Marijuana law is a growing field (no pun intended) and not just in states that have legalized it. Its an issue in every state that has legal medical marijuana and will likely become even larger in the future. You may very well be able to build an early career in it with your background.

With that said, I agree that it might be too risky of a PS. I think it's possible for this topic to result in a good essay for schools in states where marijuana is legalized. I would stay away from the topic for schools in states that might have a less liberal attitude towards marijuana. If you're a reach for a school, I could see this possibly helping you if it's very well done (very narrow line here).


Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. The cannabis attorneys I've spoken with say the practice is exciting because they are pioneering a new field of law.

If I approach the topic correctly, I could see it potentially helping me at some reach schools as well.

personofinterest

Bronze
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:13 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby personofinterest » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:36 pm

TakeItToTrial wrote:
personofinterest wrote:
TakeItToTrial wrote:
ArtistOfManliness wrote:
TakeItToTrial wrote:Thanks to everyone for the responses. I think I'll attack the topic from a different angle and see if I can some up with something worth sending.


Sounds like a plan, but I really suggest brainstorming some other PS possibilities and don't pigeon-hole yourself to this by not being willing to move on until it's too late.


Yeah, I won't spend too long on it. Worst case scenario, I'll have an alternate statement to send to a couple reach schools.


You should start from scratch with a different topic. Don't mention a schedule I drug in your PS. It would show poor judgment to write about this. Even an admissions office that is sympathetic to you would think you are showing poor judgment. A PS won't help you much in the admissions process, but writing about committing a federal crime could certainly hurt you.

ETA: UW, which appears to have the CLPP, is a good school for this essay. But unless a school has a program like this, keep weed out of you PS. Good luck!


I wrote this with UW's CLPP in mind, but UW is my first choice, so I'm somewhat hesitant to send them a risky PS.


I don't think it's risky because UW has the CLPP. They have it on their website. It would be risky anywhere that doesn't explicitly have a marijuana program.

personofinterest

Bronze
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:13 pm

Re: Marijuana-Themed PS Draft. Feedback Appreciated.

Postby personofinterest » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:38 pm

TakeItToTrial wrote:
Mullens wrote:Marijuana law is a growing field (no pun intended) and not just in states that have legalized it. Its an issue in every state that has legal medical marijuana and will likely become even larger in the future. You may very well be able to build an early career in it with your background.

With that said, I agree that it might be too risky of a PS. I think it's possible for this topic to result in a good essay for schools in states where marijuana is legalized. I would stay away from the topic for schools in states that might have a less liberal attitude towards marijuana. If you're a reach for a school, I could see this possibly helping you if it's very well done (very narrow line here).


Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. The cannabis attorneys I've spoken with say the practice is exciting because they are pioneering a new field of law.

If I approach the topic correctly, I could see it potentially helping me at some reach schools as well.


The way admissions works for non-URMs is that all that matters is your LSAT and GPA. Unless you are an Olympian or something else extraordinary, then you will be evaluated almost exclusively on your stats. Your PS draft from above is not "outstanding" from the perspective of an admissions department, so it won't help you with your reach schools. If you want to get into a reach school, retake the LSAT.



Return to “Law School Personal Statements?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.