personal statement idea....

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law_student92
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personal statement idea....

Postby law_student92 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:16 pm

hey all im looking for some advice. I am going to apply to law school this fall and im working on my personal statement. would mentioning my time i spent dancing in a strip club hurt my chances? I feel it was a turning point in my life and my general theme of my statement will be that i took control to change my life. I never did drugs or prostituted myself out. i just danced twice for about two months each time. Additionally this will not be solely what my statement is about. more just a way to introduce my paper and "grab" my readers. :) thoughts?

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nickb285
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby nickb285 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:22 pm

It could go either way. That's the kind of subject you would need to handle with a pretty deft touch--there's a lot of stigma around strippers.

Personally, I would include it in apps for hail-mary reach schools. For schools where you have a good chance of getting in, write something inoffensive--for the most part, personal statements can do a lot more damage than good, so if your numbers will get you into a school, your personal statement should be an exercise in not risking anything and demonstrating competent writing abilities. For a reach though, including an unusual statement like that might be a point in your favor. It won't make the difference between an acceptance and a denial, but it might make the difference in being high up on the waitlist versus barely accepted, or could influence whether you'll be accepted off the waitlist.

Again though, numbers are by far the most important part of the application, and you shouldn't use a risky PS unless you don't have a lot of confidence in your numbers to do the talking for you at a particular school.

PRgradBYU
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby PRgradBYU » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:42 pm

law_student92 wrote:hey all im looking for some advice. I am going to apply to law school this fall and im working on my personal statement. would mentioning my time i spent dancing in a strip club hurt my chances? I feel it was a turning point in my life and my general theme of my statement will be that i took control to change my life. I never did drugs or prostituted myself out. i just danced twice for about two months each time. Additionally this will not be solely what my statement is about. more just a way to introduce my paper and "grab" my readers. :) thoughts?


It all depends on how you present it. Assuming you're very cautious about it, I can't see it hurting you too much.

nickb285 wrote:numbers are by far the most important part of the application, and you shouldn't use a risky PS unless you don't have a lot of confidence in your numbers to do the talking for you at a particular school.


+1

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ArchieHicox
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby ArchieHicox » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:51 pm

law_student92 wrote:hey all im looking for some advice. I am going to apply to law school this fall and im working on my personal statement. would mentioning my time i spent dancing in a strip club hurt my chances? I feel it was a turning point in my life and my general theme of my statement will be that i took control to change my life. I never did drugs or prostituted myself out. i just danced twice for about two months each time. Additionally this will not be solely what my statement is about. more just a way to introduce my paper and "grab" my readers. :) thoughts?


I would advise against it. Unless your numbers are top notch (and you can afford to take risks) or below median (and you NEED to take risks) I wouldn't do it. Its too risky and it would turn off a lot of people. I know if I read the personal statement, I would start off with a negative perception. It just isn't worth it to alienate people, and a lot of people don't have positive opinions of sex work/quasi sex work.

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iShotFirst
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby iShotFirst » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:02 pm

The problem with something risky like this is there are going to be those assumptions you mentioned. So either people will assume some bad stuff (and maybe think admitting you may cause a disruption) or you will have to write in there to refute their assumptions... and write "I never did drugs or prostituted myself" or something equivalent, probably not the best sentence to put in a PS. Its just too risky.

Is it possible to talk about this time in your life and taking charge, etc, without specifically mentioning the dancing?

20141023
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby 20141023 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:23 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nickb285
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby nickb285 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:26 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:if you're applying to someplace like BYU, you might want to consider writing about a different topic let us know how that goes because it would be hilarious.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby NoodleyOne » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:28 pm

Lock for ASU.

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nickb285
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby nickb285 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:28 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:Lock for ASU.


180

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Yukos
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby Yukos » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:31 pm

A brilliant writer could probably pull this off and make it a net positive (e.g. Diablo Cody wrote a book about stripping while she was a PhD student), but I generally don't make decisions that rely on me being a genius. I would, at most, write a draft and show it to people who would tell you it sucks and see what they think. But it's probably easier just to write about something conservative and let your numbers determine everything.

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ArchieHicox
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby ArchieHicox » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:15 pm

Yukos wrote:A brilliant writer could probably pull this off and make it a net positive (e.g. Diablo Cody wrote a book about stripping while she was a PhD student), but I generally don't make decisions that rely on me being a genius. I would, at most, write a draft and show it to people who would tell you it sucks and see what they think. But it's probably easier just to write about something conservative and let your numbers determine everything.


This. I'm extremely confident in my writing abilities and I think given enough time, I could write something really innovative and awesome.... But I was applying under time pressure and had (what I felt like was) a 50-50 shot at admission, so I went as conservative as could be. I think most people couldn't pull off a Personal Statement like the one you are envisioning. If you are an elite writer, you may be able to, but is it worth the risk?

I really don't think LOR's, Personal Statements, etc. matter that much either. Maybe others disagree but this entire process has been numbers, numbers, numbers and specifically LSAT, LSAT, LSAT. I wouldn't risk screwing myself over by writing a potentially controversial personal statement.

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magp90
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby magp90 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:44 pm

nickb285 wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:if you're applying to someplace like BYU, you might want to consider writing about a different topic let us know how that goes because it would be hilarious.


Hahaha seconded

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Tekrul
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby Tekrul » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:36 pm

law_student92 wrote:hey all im looking for some advice. I am going to apply to law school this fall and im working on my personal statement. would mentioning my time i spent dancing in a strip club hurt my chances? I feel it was a turning point in my life and my general theme of my statement will be that i took control to change my life. I never did drugs or prostituted myself out. i just danced twice for about two months each time. Additionally this will not be solely what my statement is about. more just a way to introduce my paper and "grab" my readers. :) thoughts?


You hit the nail on the head when you asked the question to us. You felt the need right away to say these 2 things because you felt like you had to; like prostitution immediately gave one the impetus to assume these other things. And you were right.

This is plain/general social perception. Whether or not its fair or correct is not my intent to touch upon. I think if you choose to write on this topic, you will find your writing negatively affected by the nagging fear to re-emphasize over and over these 2 points and otherwise defend yourself. You won't be truly free to write the essay you want to "taking control of your life" when it is plagued by this kind of doubt.

While I understand it has strong, personal meaningfulness to you, what you are attempting to write upon in the PS should be the best representation of yourself. And in the society we live in, that would be brushing this under the rug.

I don't even think it rightly belongs in a DS either. Perhaps if unfortunate events made stripping an appealing job option, those unfortunate events might be worthy of mention in the DS. But, the stripping itself opens a myriad of doors and issues that you don't want clouding the minds of the AdComm.

I think at the end of the day, your move from the pole to the Bar is a victory you'll share between your friends and family. And, only if you become a novelist, the world. I'm sorry if what I've said was offensive or critical, I actually think highly of your pursuit of law school and initiative in taking control of your life.

Anyway, good luck with your admissions process and the LSAT!

MasterOfAllISurvey
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Re: personal statement idea....

Postby MasterOfAllISurvey » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:24 pm

All it takes is ONE person on the committee to say "I am certain he/she could have found another way to make money. Other people become servers" for it to all go downhill. The majority of people simply don't find being a stripper cute in any shape or form. Case in point: two of my classmates got in trouble for the exact same reason. One was known by faculty to be an exotic dancer, the other was a nice, quiet student. Guess which one got kicked out and which one faculty fought to keep by citing some ridiculous technicality that made the cases slightly different? And the exotic dancer was by no means a bad or disrespectful student in any way.

That being said, I think the story would be very successful if you're from the Soviet Union and you were promised a new life in America by some of your countrymen. You came here with them, but then they took your passport and forced you to work in the strip club. I saw that on Dexter.




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