Admit being privileged in PS?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
lcc20
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:58 am

Admit being privileged in PS?

Postby lcc20 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:26 am

I'm an international student and I do lead a privileged life in my country. In my PS I would like to start by talking about how I came to realize that I am a beneficiary of social inequality. This topic is related to why I want to apply for US law schools and what I plan to do in the future. But is it too risky to admit being privileged? It is true that realizing the fact of being privileged was a very important turning point in my life. Does a PS of "I'm privileged and I know it, but I'm a good person" sound disastrous?

cavalier1138
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Admit being privileged in PS?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:48 am

The topic itself isn't necessarily a no-go, but I think there's about a 99% chance that it comes across badly.

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Hand
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Re: Admit being privileged in PS?

Postby Hand » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:05 am

I assume that what you want to do with your us law degree is join ranks of the privileged in this country?

lcc20
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:58 am

Re: Admit being privileged in PS?

Postby lcc20 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:12 am

Hand wrote:I assume that what you want to do with your us law degree is join ranks of the privileged in this country?


No. Actually I want to learn more about public interest law. In my country this field is still quite undeveloped so I have to further my studies in another country. I plan to work for NGOs in the future. Sounds like hypocrisy, I know. The story is true, but maybe I shouldn't write it down in my PS. :(

lcc20
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:58 am

Re: Admit being privileged in PS?

Postby lcc20 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:14 am

cavalier1138 wrote:The topic itself isn't necessarily a no-go, but I think there's about a 99% chance that it comes across badly.


Got it. Thanks for comment!

mvp99
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Admit being privileged in PS?

Postby mvp99 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:52 am

Have you done something to help those that aren't privileged and scan somehow show some sacrifice? If not, don't do it.

damask_rain
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:14 pm

Re: Admit being privileged in PS?

Postby damask_rain » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:53 pm

I think this can take two very different directions. To better assess, I'd need to read a draft.

Justtrying2help
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:57 pm

Re: Admit being privileged in PS?

Postby Justtrying2help » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:23 pm

If you can write this topic in a way that isn't cringey or cheesy, you should be a novelist (or an essayist) and not an attorney. It can be done, but it's probably not worth the headache to attempt. I would choose another topic if I was you.

superpickle
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:17 pm

Re: Admit being privileged in PS?

Postby superpickle » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:01 pm

I was reading the "PS Bootcamp" blog of someone on the admissions panel at Yale, and she said essays very similar to what you're describing are so common they're uninteresting. I'm sorry for not remembering which exact post but it was this blog: https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admissions/ask-asha

Basically, she said privileged people who want to "give back" by entering public interest are a dime a dozen, and while she is sometimes very moved by the essays, they don't set you apart.

I wouldn't make it the main focus of the PS. But I don't think mentioning it is terrible. It *is* a legitimate reason that you want to study law. But her post encouraged realism as well- very few lawyers actually get to make a huge difference, even fewer get to "set policy", and something like public defending means 99% trying to negotiate a plea for a very guilty person. She said it's important to show you actually understand what being a lawyer entails and are excited about it, not dreaming about how your activism will change the whole world.

So if you go the "I want to help people" route, stay keenly aware of the fact that many other applicants are saying the same thing, and the reality of being a lawyer is probably different from what your "dream job" is. If you can write that essay in such a way to set yourself apart, go for it, but it's probably better to look for what makes you unique.




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