Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Personal Statements, Resumes, and Letters of Recommendation => Topic started by: Soft Factors on October 27, 2006, 06:35:43 AM

Title: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: Soft Factors on October 27, 2006, 06:35:43 AM
This has been the question of October for me.

When approaching a "why..." personal statement topic, is it expected of you to write in a standard essay format, with thesis statement and body what not? Or, is it okay to tell a story, write a relatively unrestrained essay analogous to something you want to subtly stress about yourself or come up with something that is generally just creative?

I personally feel uneasy formatting the explanation of my desire into a structured I II III IV V Essay format.
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: jer on October 27, 2006, 06:37:50 AM
either way you go, try to highlight your natural talent for writing...don't just string together statements about how much you want to practice law.
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: Soft Factors on October 27, 2006, 08:16:55 AM
either way you go, try to highlight your natural talent for writing...don't just string together statements about how much you want to practice law.

So, you think the letter can go either way? I assume, for you, the focus is showcasing an ability to write well. You think this is more important than having a great answer?
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: jer on October 27, 2006, 08:32:08 AM
either way you go, try to highlight your natural talent for writing...don't just string together statements about how much you want to practice law.

So, you think the letter can go either way? I assume, for you, the focus is showcasing an ability to write well. You think this is more important than having a great answer?

you can't have a great, well-written answer?

i think you need to take a good look at the prompt, some vary in important areas and ask for different things.
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: Soft Factors on October 27, 2006, 09:39:13 AM
either way you go, try to highlight your natural talent for writing...don't just string together statements about how much you want to practice law.


So, you think the letter can go either way? I assume, for you, the focus is showcasing an ability to write well. You think this is more important than having a great answer?

you can't have a great, well-written answer?

i think you need to take a good look at the prompt, some vary in important areas and ask for different things.


This is regarding ONLY the following prompts: "Why do you want to go to X Law School...Why would you be a good fit at X Law School...What can you offer X Law School..."

Of course you can have a great answer that is well-writen, but you can also have a horrible answer that is well written and a great answer written horribly and a horrible answer written poorly.

What I'm wondering is:

Are they looking for legal writing skills or general writing skills? How much creative license is there?

Are they expecting a specific essay structure. Do I need to tell them everything up front while later expanding, or can I take them through a story?


The reason I started this post is because I'm considering writing my PS for these prompts about a certain vehicle in my life, whatever it may be, that I feel explains why I want to go to law school (without the explicit, "this is why and this is why and this is why") while stressing, through subcontext, a parallel to success in whatever particular arena I choose to show an interest in.

Example:
I'm not the most competitive applicant. So I was considering writing about my history as a track and field hurdler (not true), which I would tie into my love for the speed bumps that come with Criminal Defense work and its %98 conviction rate. I feel something like this would also, subtly, as subcontext, parallel my difficulty in getting accepted to a Law School. I.E. choosing hurdles.

This type of PS would not have a neatly placed thesis statement with and introduction and its echo, the conclusion.
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: jer on October 27, 2006, 11:50:21 AM
either way you go, try to highlight your natural talent for writing...don't just string together statements about how much you want to practice law.


So, you think the letter can go either way? I assume, for you, the focus is showcasing an ability to write well. You think this is more important than having a great answer?

you can't have a great, well-written answer?

i think you need to take a good look at the prompt, some vary in important areas and ask for different things.


This is regarding ONLY the following prompts: "Why do you want to go to X Law School...Why would you be a good fit at X Law School...What can you offer X Law School..."

Of course you can have a great answer that is well-writen, but you can also have a horrible answer that is well written and a great answer written horribly and a horrible answer written poorly.

What I'm wondering is:

Are they looking for legal writing skills or general writing skills? How much creative license is there?

Are they expecting a specific essay structure. Do I need to tell them everything up front while later expanding, or can I take them through a story?


The reason I started this post is because I'm considering writing my PS for these prompts about a certain vehicle in my life, whatever it may be, that I feel explains why I want to go to law school (without the explicit, "this is why and this is why and this is why") while stressing, through subcontext, a parallel to success in whatever particular arena I choose to show an interest in.

Example:
I'm not the most competitive applicant. So I was considering writing about my history as a track and field hurdler (not true), which I would tie into my love for the speed bumps that come with Criminal Defense work and its %98 conviction rate. I feel something like this would also, subtly, as subcontext, parallel my difficulty in getting accepted to a Law School. I.E. choosing hurdles.

This type of PS would not have a neatly placed thesis statement with and introduction and its echo, the conclusion.

something tells me you shouldn't use 'creative license' to include things about yourself in your application package that just aren't true.
that can come back to haunt you later.
/though it would make for good sitcom material
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: Soft Factors on October 27, 2006, 12:05:00 PM
either way you go, try to highlight your natural talent for writing...don't just string together statements about how much you want to practice law.


So, you think the letter can go either way? I assume, for you, the focus is showcasing an ability to write well. You think this is more important than having a great answer?

you can't have a great, well-written answer?

i think you need to take a good look at the prompt, some vary in important areas and ask for different things.


This is regarding ONLY the following prompts: "Why do you want to go to X Law School...Why would you be a good fit at X Law School...What can you offer X Law School..."

Of course you can have a great answer that is well-writen, but you can also have a horrible answer that is well written and a great answer written horribly and a horrible answer written poorly.

What I'm wondering is:

Are they looking for legal writing skills or general writing skills? How much creative license is there?

Are they expecting a specific essay structure. Do I need to tell them everything up front while later expanding, or can I take them through a story?


The reason I started this post is because I'm considering writing my PS for these prompts about a certain vehicle in my life, whatever it may be, that I feel explains why I want to go to law school (without the explicit, "this is why and this is why and this is why") while stressing, through subcontext, a parallel to success in whatever particular arena I choose to show an interest in.

Example:
I'm not the most competitive applicant. So I was considering writing about my history as a track and field hurdler (not true), which I would tie into my love for the speed bumps that come with Criminal Defense work and its %98 conviction rate. I feel something like this would also, subtly, as subcontext, parallel my difficulty in getting accepted to a Law School. I.E. choosing hurdles.

This type of PS would not have a neatly placed thesis statement with and introduction and its echo, the conclusion.

something tells me you shouldn't use 'creative license' to include things about yourself in your application package that just aren't true.
that can come back to haunt you later.
/though it would make for good sitcom material

It coming back to haunt you or just some dude lying in an application?

I think the TV show about the latter would suck.

How do you know I'm not a master hurdler?

What about those little open ended, fancy 250 word PSs, like Yale's? Can you lie in those?

Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: jer on October 27, 2006, 12:10:26 PM
either way you go, try to highlight your natural talent for writing...don't just string together statements about how much you want to practice law.


So, you think the letter can go either way? I assume, for you, the focus is showcasing an ability to write well. You think this is more important than having a great answer?

you can't have a great, well-written answer?

i think you need to take a good look at the prompt, some vary in important areas and ask for different things.


This is regarding ONLY the following prompts: "Why do you want to go to X Law School...Why would you be a good fit at X Law School...What can you offer X Law School..."

Of course you can have a great answer that is well-writen, but you can also have a horrible answer that is well written and a great answer written horribly and a horrible answer written poorly.

What I'm wondering is:

Are they looking for legal writing skills or general writing skills? How much creative license is there?

Are they expecting a specific essay structure. Do I need to tell them everything up front while later expanding, or can I take them through a story?


The reason I started this post is because I'm considering writing my PS for these prompts about a certain vehicle in my life, whatever it may be, that I feel explains why I want to go to law school (without the explicit, "this is why and this is why and this is why") while stressing, through subcontext, a parallel to success in whatever particular arena I choose to show an interest in.

Example:
I'm not the most competitive applicant. So I was considering writing about my history as a track and field hurdler (not true), which I would tie into my love for the speed bumps that come with Criminal Defense work and its %98 conviction rate. I feel something like this would also, subtly, as subcontext, parallel my difficulty in getting accepted to a Law School. I.E. choosing hurdles.

This type of PS would not have a neatly placed thesis statement with and introduction and its echo, the conclusion.

something tells me you shouldn't use 'creative license' to include things about yourself in your application package that just aren't true.
that can come back to haunt you later.
/though it would make for good sitcom material

It coming back to haunt you or just some dude lying in an application?

I think the TV show about the latter would suck.

How do you know I'm not a master hurdler?

What about those little open ended, fancy 250 word PSs, like Yale's? Can you lie in those?



let me ask the magic 8-ball and get back to you on that
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: S.A. on October 27, 2006, 12:12:35 PM
I am pretty sure that lying in any part of your app is just not a good idea
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: jer on October 27, 2006, 12:13:56 PM
we really should get BTLaw's input on this

/i crack myself up
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: Soft Factors on October 27, 2006, 03:17:02 PM
I am pretty sure that lying in any part of your app is just not a good idea

Even if you manage to pass it through LSAC?
Title: Re: "Why...?" - Standard or w/ Creative License?
Post by: zmlbc on October 27, 2006, 03:44:49 PM
It's ok to lie on your app, but only if you cross you fingers when you sign on the line to swear that you've told the truth and nothing but the truth.