Is this a PS mistake?

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Platopus

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Is this a PS mistake?

Postby Platopus » Mon May 22, 2017 6:55 pm

Please don't quote.

Some background: 2 years out of undergrad, currently working full-time for an insurance carrier. Was promoted from my entry-level job in under a year, but didn't stick around at this company for more than a week after my promotion. I decided to move and took an equivalent position (both in rank and pay) in a lower COL area, so I'm currently at my 2nd company. The work is bearable, but not entirely engaging. White male from a middle to upper-middle background. Great home life growing up, and grew up in good public schools. No crazy travel/volunteering/study abroad. 3.95+ GPA in college. Very much a "normal" upbringing, with very little hardships and all the (undeserved) advantages of being a white male w/ my background.

Needless to say, I'm struggling a bit to come up with something at least half-decent for a PS. My only real "hardship" was in my Junior year in high school my mom was diagnosed w/ cancer, and later died my senior year. It was tough on my family, we had to deal w/ all the chemo/radiation, and my mom subsequently needed much more care as her disease progressed. It honestly really did change my perspective on life, as I was a lazy C student in high school and really got my shit together in college once I realized life is short. Didn't really think through where to attend college, since my entire family was just focused on helping my mom, so I ended up going to the local college to stay closer to my dad and brother.

Would it be a mistake to write about this in a PS? I hate to go all the way back to high school for something meaningful that happened in my life, since college through now has been pretty much drama free.

Honest feedback/advice appreciated.

judill

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby judill » Mon May 22, 2017 7:04 pm

Does that experience have anything to do with you wanting to be a lawyer? Instead of identifying a "hardship" as a starting point, examine why you're applying to law school in the first place.

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gsy987

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby gsy987 » Mon May 22, 2017 7:52 pm

Agreed with the above. However, if it turns out that it led you to being more motivated generally, which led you down the path of wanting to attend law school, that strikes me as a strong PS (so long as it's written well.) I really think that the quality of the writing matters just as much (if not more) than the actual content of what you're saying.

Also, assuming that you're just starting the application process, you've got time to figure this out. I remember reflecting & pondering for a month or so about the content of my PS, so if you're struggling to come up with one now, that's not the end of the world.

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Platopus

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby Platopus » Mon May 22, 2017 9:01 pm

Thanks for the advice so far, gals/guys, very much appreciated. Law school was always in the back of my mind, but I didn't have any real reason to attend straight out of undergrad, so I took TLS wisdom and got a job and forgot all about law school. A couple years into my career, and I'd like to continue with the insurance path, as I work in a specialty/niche market and there is certainly some benefit to having a background in insurance if I end up going in-house (which is the goal). However, the work I am doing now is very local and policy specific, so I'd much rather be dealing with the "larger picture" such as shaping in house policy forms, underwriting practices, claims processes, reviewing commercial contracts, drafting contracts for agency partners, loss prevention input, that sort of thing. That said, I'm not wed to working in insurance forever, and I'm hesitant to write as PS about "work" as a reason to attend law school, especially since I'm not very far out of UG, and I'm going off some pretty vague and probably premature feelings at this point.

So, having lost a parent to cancer did not at all affect my decision to attend law school, but weaving together a narrative of why work has lead me to law school would also be a bit a stretch for me to write, since it's by no means the only career path I'm considering.

I could definitely draft a good coming of age narrative in my PS revolving around my parent, but it seems a bit cliched. I'm just at the brainstorming phase, but I appreciate the feedback.

Npret

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby Npret » Mon May 22, 2017 9:49 pm

You think writing about the effect your Mom dying of cancer had on you is cliched?
I don't agree at all.
I think this topic if written correctly could give ad comns a good/ great insight into the person you are- it doesn't have to be a straight line connection to law school.

Edit to add: sorry for your loss OP. That had to be tough.

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Platopus

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby Platopus » Mon May 22, 2017 11:56 pm

Npret, thanks. I guess I'm worried it will come off more as an attempt to elicit some kind of sympathy instead of an actual narrative of personal growth and accomplishment. I guess a lot comes down to the way I write it, so giving off the right tone is on me. I think at this point I'll at least put in the time and write up a draft, and take it from there. And yeah, it was tough, thanks. But there was definitely a silver lining: I got my life together and grew up a lot, developed a good relationship w/ my father, and have a much healthier perspective on "success", the "good life" and happiness.

YellowWolf

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby YellowWolf » Tue May 23, 2017 12:41 am

Nice GPA Platopus :P

Hennessy

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby Hennessy » Wed May 24, 2017 5:35 pm

Even if it doesn't directly affect your interest in the law, I'm sure your mother's death has drastically affected your worldview. It's not cliched at all. I think it would be a good place to start. Some of the best personal statements don't just reiterate your goals; they make you critically self-examine and engage with the things most important to you.

I am sorry for your loss, also.

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Drea

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby Drea » Wed May 31, 2017 3:18 pm

To sort of echo what people have said, I don't think you should necessarily worry about how far into the past you're reaching. I think what matters more is how significant the past event was, what kind of reverberations it has had throughout your life, and whether it has shaped who you are today in a truly meaningful way.

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34iplaw

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby 34iplaw » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:07 pm

Drea wrote:To sort of echo what people have said, I don't think you should necessarily worry about how far into the past you're reaching. I think what matters more is how significant the past event was, what kind of reverberations it has had throughout your life, and whether it has shaped who you are today in a truly meaningful way.


I do not think I could have said this better. 180% agree.

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Platopus

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Re: Is this a PS mistake?

Postby Platopus » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:46 pm

Thanks for all the feedback folks. It was definitely a "coming of age" moment in my life and if I do decide to go down this road for my PS, this is the angle I'd approach it from.



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