Do you need a "grander" narrative?

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Do you need a "grander" narrative?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:24 pm

I'm a few years out of undergrad, and my PS is about a specific work experience. I talk about working hard/learning a lot/taking leadership in a short period of time, etc. In the last paragraph, I tie it back to what I want out of my professional life/why I want to be a lawyer (specifically in corporate law).

I got some feedback that I should 1) really drive home the "why" more strongly, and 2) maybe include some kind of broader narrative about public service or being inspired by lawyers in my family, etc. Fair enough: the lawyers in my family did inspire me to go down this path, and philanthropy and public service are really important to me (I am on the board of a foundation, and I have worked on several long-term volunteering projects). On the other hand, I have no interest in going into PI law specifically. I want to become a lawyer because it's the career I want for myself -- I know that biglaw often gets a bad rap for being, well, mind-numbingly boring for awhile, and that's fine, but long-term, I think corporate law is incredibly interesting/engaging (personally, YMMV, plenty of people would rather eat shoe leather, and I get that). Is that a boring/insufficient reason? Are schools looking for some bigger picture? Does it look naive to talk about corporate law as an intellectually stimulating career choice (knowing that one of the common paths to get there can be a bit of a slog)?

Thanks!

galadriel3019

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Re: Do you need a "grander" narrative?

Postby galadriel3019 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:33 am

It can be a good idea to emphasize the "why". It's tough to give feedback on a grander narrative without seeing your work. I think forcing a grander narrative could hurt your essay, but if something is already there and you can just strengthen it, then great.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Do you need a "grander" narrative?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:04 am

I think it looks more naive to force a PI slant into the narrative if that's not what you want to do, honestly. Law schools want to get a sense of who you are and how well you can write, when looking at a PS. They're not screening for people who want to do PI. So if you want to do PI, that's great, but no one needs to feign a burning desire to save the world if that's not what they already want. Whether you talk about your family members who are lawyers is up to you.

And I think "why" is pushed too hard sometimes. Sure, it's a natural thing to organize your PS about. But it's also not required (and a lot of people don't have very informed reasons for why they want to be a lawyer so I don't think writing about why helps much. Not saying that's the case with you).

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Re: Do you need a "grander" narrative?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:12 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think it looks more naive to force a PI slant into the narrative if that's not what you want to do, honestly. Law schools want to get a sense of who you are and how well you can write, when looking at a PS. They're not screening for people who want to do PI. So if you want to do PI, that's great, but no one needs to feign a burning desire to save the world if that's not what they already want. Whether you talk about your family members who are lawyers is up to you.

And I think "why" is pushed too hard sometimes. Sure, it's a natural thing to organize your PS about. But it's also not required (and a lot of people don't have very informed reasons for why they want to be a lawyer so I don't think writing about why helps much. Not saying that's the case with you).


Thanks -- that's really helpful! I'll definitely keep that in mind. I feel pretty good about what I have written, in that I think it tells a story about me/who I am/what I want to do, but just wanted to confirm that I wasn't missing something big that schools are looking for. I appreciate the feedback!

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brinicolec

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Re: Do you need a "grander" narrative?

Postby brinicolec » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think it looks more naive to force a PI slant into the narrative if that's not what you want to do, honestly. Law schools want to get a sense of who you are and how well you can write, when looking at a PS. They're not screening for people who want to do PI. So if you want to do PI, that's great, but no one needs to feign a burning desire to save the world if that's not what they already want. Whether you talk about your family members who are lawyers is up to you.

And I think "why" is pushed too hard sometimes. Sure, it's a natural thing to organize your PS about. But it's also not required (and a lot of people don't have very informed reasons for why they want to be a lawyer so I don't think writing about why helps much. Not saying that's the case with you).


Thanks -- that's really helpful! I'll definitely keep that in mind. I feel pretty good about what I have written, in that I think it tells a story about me/who I am/what I want to do, but just wanted to confirm that I wasn't missing something big that schools are looking for. I appreciate the feedback!


I agree, people push the "why" a lot. I didn't talk about my "why" at all in my PS. I just talked about myself. I talked about my "why" in my Why X essay I sent to a few schools because it seemed fitting. We'll see if I made the right decisions (hopefully) soon lol



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