PS Topic Choice

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
gecko18
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:14 pm

PS Topic Choice

Postby gecko18 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:29 pm

Hello everyone! I'm working on my PS for this cycle and have hit a few road blocks. I have a couple of ideas, but when combined, my PS ends up at about 4 pages, which is simply double what I'm looking for. I know a few of you have read and edited my essay (thank you!) but it's split into two parts: a personal experience/value that really doesn't tie to law, and someone else's experience which forms the basis for why I want to go into law. I know that adcoms say you shouldn't write about goals for the future (ex: type of law) because you could change your mind, but the first part of my PS is not really tied to law at all and I don't want to leave adcoms wondering why I'm applying. What do you all think? Personality or impersonal reason for law school?

mmart207
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:40 pm

Re: PS Topic Choice

Postby mmart207 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:14 am

I'm also writing my PS and it has absolutely nothing to do with why I'm interested in law. I think you should write something that will give admission committees more information on who you are as a person.

User avatar
ivankasta
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:22 am

Re: PS Topic Choice

Postby ivankasta » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:17 pm

gecko18 wrote:Hello everyone! I'm working on my PS for this cycle and have hit a few road blocks. I have a couple of ideas, but when combined, my PS ends up at about 4 pages, which is simply double what I'm looking for. I know a few of you have read and edited my essay (thank you!) but it's split into two parts: a personal experience/value that really doesn't tie to law, and someone else's experience which forms the basis for why I want to go into law. I know that adcoms say you shouldn't write about goals for the future (ex: type of law) because you could change your mind, but the first part of my PS is not really tied to law at all and I don't want to leave adcoms wondering why I'm applying. What do you all think? Personality or impersonal reason for law school?


I think that, ideally, you could combine the two. When you are talking about the other person's experience, focus on how it specifically impacted you. What were the other factors in your life that made that experience resonate so much? The story of the other person's experience could fall on deaf ears for 99% of people, but for you, it impacted a major life decision. Why? Also, why do you think you will succeed in law school? What evidence do you have? Do you bring any unique perspective to the 1L classroom? I think these are the types of questions that you should try to incorporate. Maybe you could even tie the "personality" narrative into the answers to these questions.

mmart207 wrote:I'm also writing my PS and it has absolutely nothing to do with why I'm interested in law. I think you should write something that will give admission committees more information on who you are as a person.


This can absolutely work for some, but if you're not an exceptionally talented writer, I think it might be dangerous. Here's a link to a number of adcoms from top schools discussing mistakes made in applications: http://www.law.umich.edu/connection/a2z ... aspx?ID=20

Some relevant highlights:

"we get a surprising number of applicants with great numerical profiles, but who don’t even make it through the gate because of poor writing, a lack of explication of why they want to go to law school, or something else." - Yale

"As the others have made clear, the goal of an application is not to set oneself apart. Besides, with thousands of people applying to law school, that would be a huge challenge. Instead, the goal should be to convey who you are as an individual, the contributions you have made in the past and expect to make in the future, and how or why these factors have led you to this point . . . applying to law school." - Columbia

"How have you come to this point in your life where you are sitting at your desk putting this application together?"
"I have very little patience with the application that doesn’t have a common thread running through it" - Stanford

"my advice here: put the effort into your application materials to present yourself as a coherent, consistent rhetorical whole." - Michigan

The general vibe I got from reading this document was that you should ideally write a personal statement that showcases your personality, your decision to pursue law, and creates a general framework within which the rest of your applications can be coherently understood.

Judging from what you have said in your post, I think that it might be worthwhile to try to tie the personal experience into your life path leading to law school applications or to try to really turn the focus of the law-story onto yourself and why it affect you as it did.

I'd be happy to take a look as well!

User avatar
appind
Posts: 2182
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:07 am

Re: PS Topic Choice

Postby appind » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:44 pm

ivankasta wrote:
gecko18 wrote:Hello everyone! I'm working on my PS for this cycle and have hit a few road blocks. I have a couple of ideas, but when combined, my PS ends up at about 4 pages, which is simply double what I'm looking for. I know a few of you have read and edited my essay (thank you!) but it's split into two parts: a personal experience/value that really doesn't tie to law, and someone else's experience which forms the basis for why I want to go into law. I know that adcoms say you shouldn't write about goals for the future (ex: type of law) because you could change your mind, but the first part of my PS is not really tied to law at all and I don't want to leave adcoms wondering why I'm applying. What do you all think? Personality or impersonal reason for law school?


I think that, ideally, you could combine the two. When you are talking about the other person's experience, focus on how it specifically impacted you. What were the other factors in your life that made that experience resonate so much? The story of the other person's experience could fall on deaf ears for 99% of people, but for you, it impacted a major life decision. Why? Also, why do you think you will succeed in law school? What evidence do you have? Do you bring any unique perspective to the 1L classroom? I think these are the types of questions that you should try to incorporate. Maybe you could even tie the "personality" narrative into the answers to these questions.

mmart207 wrote:I'm also writing my PS and it has absolutely nothing to do with why I'm interested in law. I think you should write something that will give admission committees more information on who you are as a person.


This can absolutely work for some, but if you're not an exceptionally talented writer, I think it might be dangerous. Here's a link to a number of adcoms from top schools discussing mistakes made in applications: http://www.law.umich.edu/connection/a2z ... aspx?ID=20

Some relevant highlights:

"we get a surprising number of applicants with great numerical profiles, but who don’t even make it through the gate because of poor writing, a lack of explication of why they want to go to law school, or something else." - Yale

"As the others have made clear, the goal of an application is not to set oneself apart. Besides, with thousands of people applying to law school, that would be a huge challenge. Instead, the goal should be to convey who you are as an individual, the contributions you have made in the past and expect to make in the future, and how or why these factors have led you to this point . . . applying to law school." - Columbia

"How have you come to this point in your life where you are sitting at your desk putting this application together?"
"I have very little patience with the application that doesn’t have a common thread running through it" - Stanford

"my advice here: put the effort into your application materials to present yourself as a coherent, consistent rhetorical whole." - Michigan

The general vibe I got from reading this document was that you should ideally write a personal statement that showcases your personality, your decision to pursue law, and creates a general framework within which the rest of your applications can be coherently understood.

Judging from what you have said in your post, I think that it might be worthwhile to try to tie the personal experience into your life path leading to law school applications or to try to really turn the focus of the law-story onto yourself and why it affect you as it did.

I'd be happy to take a look as well!


this forum used to mostly convey that one need not explain why law in PS. has that changed?

mmart207
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:40 pm

Re: PS Topic Choice

Postby mmart207 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:52 pm

appind wrote:
ivankasta wrote:
gecko18 wrote:Hello everyone! I'm working on my PS for this cycle and have hit a few road blocks. I have a couple of ideas, but when combined, my PS ends up at about 4 pages, which is simply double what I'm looking for. I know a few of you have read and edited my essay (thank you!) but it's split into two parts: a personal experience/value that really doesn't tie to law, and someone else's experience which forms the basis for why I want to go into law. I know that adcoms say you shouldn't write about goals for the future (ex: type of law) because you could change your mind, but the first part of my PS is not really tied to law at all and I don't want to leave adcoms wondering why I'm applying. What do you all think? Personality or impersonal reason for law school?


I think that, ideally, you could combine the two. When you are talking about the other person's experience, focus on how it specifically impacted you. What were the other factors in your life that made that experience resonate so much? The story of the other person's experience could fall on deaf ears for 99% of people, but for you, it impacted a major life decision. Why? Also, why do you think you will succeed in law school? What evidence do you have? Do you bring any unique perspective to the 1L classroom? I think these are the types of questions that you should try to incorporate. Maybe you could even tie the "personality" narrative into the answers to these questions.

mmart207 wrote:I'm also writing my PS and it has absolutely nothing to do with why I'm interested in law. I think you should write something that will give admission committees more information on who you are as a person.


This can absolutely work for some, but if you're not an exceptionally talented writer, I think it might be dangerous. Here's a link to a number of adcoms from top schools discussing mistakes made in applications: http://www.law.umich.edu/connection/a2z ... aspx?ID=20

Some relevant highlights:

"we get a surprising number of applicants with great numerical profiles, but who don’t even make it through the gate because of poor writing, a lack of explication of why they want to go to law school, or something else." - Yale

"As the others have made clear, the goal of an application is not to set oneself apart. Besides, with thousands of people applying to law school, that would be a huge challenge. Instead, the goal should be to convey who you are as an individual, the contributions you have made in the past and expect to make in the future, and how or why these factors have led you to this point . . . applying to law school." - Columbia

"How have you come to this point in your life where you are sitting at your desk putting this application together?"
"I have very little patience with the application that doesn’t have a common thread running through it" - Stanford

"my advice here: put the effort into your application materials to present yourself as a coherent, consistent rhetorical whole." - Michigan

The general vibe I got from reading this document was that you should ideally write a personal statement that showcases your personality, your decision to pursue law, and creates a general framework within which the rest of your applications can be coherently understood.

Judging from what you have said in your post, I think that it might be worthwhile to try to tie the personal experience into your life path leading to law school applications or to try to really turn the focus of the law-story onto yourself and why it affect you as it did.

I'd be happy to take a look as well!


this forum used to mostly convey that one need not explain why law in PS. has that changed?


That's what I'm saying..

User avatar
Delano
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:27 pm

Re: PS Topic Choice

Postby Delano » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:57 am

mmart207 wrote:
appind wrote:
ivankasta wrote:
gecko18 wrote:Hello everyone! I'm working on my PS for this cycle and have hit a few road blocks. I have a couple of ideas, but when combined, my PS ends up at about 4 pages, which is simply double what I'm looking for. I know a few of you have read and edited my essay (thank you!) but it's split into two parts: a personal experience/value that really doesn't tie to law, and someone else's experience which forms the basis for why I want to go into law. I know that adcoms say you shouldn't write about goals for the future (ex: type of law) because you could change your mind, but the first part of my PS is not really tied to law at all and I don't want to leave adcoms wondering why I'm applying. What do you all think? Personality or impersonal reason for law school?


I think that, ideally, you could combine the two. When you are talking about the other person's experience, focus on how it specifically impacted you. What were the other factors in your life that made that experience resonate so much? The story of the other person's experience could fall on deaf ears for 99% of people, but for you, it impacted a major life decision. Why? Also, why do you think you will succeed in law school? What evidence do you have? Do you bring any unique perspective to the 1L classroom? I think these are the types of questions that you should try to incorporate. Maybe you could even tie the "personality" narrative into the answers to these questions.

mmart207 wrote:I'm also writing my PS and it has absolutely nothing to do with why I'm interested in law. I think you should write something that will give admission committees more information on who you are as a person.


This can absolutely work for some, but if you're not an exceptionally talented writer, I think it might be dangerous. Here's a link to a number of adcoms from top schools discussing mistakes made in applications: http://www.law.umich.edu/connection/a2z ... aspx?ID=20

Some relevant highlights:

"we get a surprising number of applicants with great numerical profiles, but who don’t even make it through the gate because of poor writing, a lack of explication of why they want to go to law school, or something else." - Yale

"As the others have made clear, the goal of an application is not to set oneself apart. Besides, with thousands of people applying to law school, that would be a huge challenge. Instead, the goal should be to convey who you are as an individual, the contributions you have made in the past and expect to make in the future, and how or why these factors have led you to this point . . . applying to law school." - Columbia

"How have you come to this point in your life where you are sitting at your desk putting this application together?"
"I have very little patience with the application that doesn’t have a common thread running through it" - Stanford

"my advice here: put the effort into your application materials to present yourself as a coherent, consistent rhetorical whole." - Michigan

The general vibe I got from reading this document was that you should ideally write a personal statement that showcases your personality, your decision to pursue law, and creates a general framework within which the rest of your applications can be coherently understood.

Judging from what you have said in your post, I think that it might be worthwhile to try to tie the personal experience into your life path leading to law school applications or to try to really turn the focus of the law-story onto yourself and why it affect you as it did.

I'd be happy to take a look as well!


this forum used to mostly convey that one need not explain why law in PS. has that changed?


That's what I'm saying..


I think I'd go with what the adcomms say. ^




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