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Messages - Burhop

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The PS should not be about a "life-changing experience." Thinking of it that way will lead to an essay that speaks only of things that have happened to you, and not of things you have personally accomplished.

Write about something you did, and did well. If it changed your life--bonus.



the DA thing will work if you have a specific incident/responsibility you can talk up. It won't be enough to say "I worked for a DA, I learned a lot, it seemed interesting, blah blah, these were my responsibilities." You need a storyline--a project you completed, or a person you helped by going out of your way.

Maybe think of it this way: if you were telling a friend about the funniest/hardest things you had to accomplish while there, what stories would you tell? What were the days you came home from work, dying to tell someone about something that happened? What did you do that made you really feel like you'd accomplished something special? Aim for specific and concrete.



I will predict with immense confidence that mine was the only PS to tred dangerously and sensuously and timorously betwixt the interstices of pop culture and Jewish mysticism with the phrase "bizarro twin doppelganger." joshin'? 'twin doppelganger' would be redundant, no? Unless you were referring to...multiple nefarious doppelgangers?!? ;)



interstices is such a good word--we use that in poetry quite a bit (i.e. 'write in the interstices of that idea/phrase")

I busted out some Weltanschauung in my PS.


the LSAC pdf process seems to take care of dates and whatnot. Title--I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a really compelling title. It isn't a necessary part of the app.



heh...I don't think he's ever logged back on--a post-and-run feller!

Another factor might be your transcript.

If you've taken a lot of poli sci, econ, philosophy, sociology, or international studies, for example (especially if you major in one or more of these fields) and are applying straight out of UG, it's probably clear that you're interested in law/government and not necessary to elaborate unless the prompt asks for it.

On the other hand, if you've taken a pre-med curriculum, or are a music or astronomy or math major, it would seem to be more important to give the adcoms some insight into why you're applying to law school, and that you're not just doing it because your parents want you to, or just because your boyfriend is applying.

This is an excellent point. Reiterating what one already has in their transcript (or in their resume) is simply redundant--best to use the limited PS wordcount to emphasize something else to make oneself a more attractive candidate. It could be good to explain why an BFA in ceramics might be applying to law, but for Philosophy or Poli Sci majors, the interest in constructing arguments, or in government, is implicit.


I showed my PS to an aunt, two teachers, and a recent law grad.

I didn't tell any of them the others were reading it, and waited for their reply.  All of them said it was good but did not show enough about "why law school."

Perhaps it was a more important question to answer for me since I have been out of college for 4 years and an adcomm might be interested in why I want to change directions like this now.

I still think it is somewhat important to address why, maybe less so depending on the prompt or the applicant.

I have to say I support Sara's comment that answering the prompt is important.  Just like on the LSAT, there are lots of answers that work, but the correct answer will be the one that addresses the prompt most directly.  That prompt may be different from school to school.

I had a large hiatus from school & am a slightly older candidate (27 in a few short weeks!), so I took the same route--I discussed 'why law' in about 25% of my essay. It may be a little pie-in-the-sky of me--I know I can be starry-eyed about these things. We'll see, I suppose. ;-)



That means they want something that is more story-based, as opposed to an "I want, I need, I'd like, this is why" essay.

So, dust off your creative writing chops!



I'm with redemption--a matter-of-fact tone will help keep the tone of a PS from turning maudlin or weepy.

Also a good thing to keep in mind--try as best you can to focus energy in the essay on things you have done/want to achieve, and less energy on things that have simply "happened to you." If you are a passive character in your essay, that is the impression you leave adcomms with--that many things have happened *to you,* but that you haven't done much yourself. Think: action verbs, & things you personally accomplished. 'Overcoming' should only be half of the story, in other words.

best of luck!


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