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Messages - GA_Kristi

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41
GA_Kristi's question: Why ARE you interested in a program in law and economics?  What about your personality, or what experience, has led you to decide this is where your intersts lie?

So for me it was an evolving thing.  At first when I was in HS I was interested in international affairs because of my background as an immigrant.  Then through Int'l Aff (my ugrad major) I got exposed to econ (my second major).  I realized I really liked econ.  But I am also interested in law.  I want a technical degree which is what a JD really is...  Econ and law are really interconnected.  The purpose of law is to regulate society in order to provide economic benefits.  So the economy  does have a substantial effect on law.

What do you mean by a JD being a "technical degree"?  When I think technical degrees I think Associates Degrees in auto mechanics or beauty school.  A JD is more of a professional degree.  We're probably just having a miscommunication here.

What type of law do you think you'd like to practice?  Do you want to get into government or legal policy analysis in order to have an impact on how the economy affects laws and vice versa? 

Feel free to email me if you'd rather discuss this via email (Kristi_Ann81@yahoo.com).  I'm sure you don't want your whole personal statement aired here on the board!  Sorry!  :)

42
Law School Admissions / Re: How does one score in the 130s?
« on: July 15, 2004, 12:38:36 PM »
Some of the most brilliant people in history were considered completely crazy or stupid in their time, that is my point.  I think there are different kinds of intelligence.

I also think that attorneys often have to take risks, be creative in the courtroom, and use skills other than logical thinking to win a case.  If you're a defense attorney and your client looks guilty to the average person, then you'll need to think of a way to prevent the jury from thinking logically.  This would require other talents and skills than simply being a logical thinker.  For example, my LSAT scores weren't all that great, but I'm a terrific writer, a charismatic public speaker, terrific at research...those are all skills which will compliment my legal education.  Perhaps different areas of law, or even alternative careers in law, are best suited for certain types of people.  Maybe your logical thinking skills will serve your client best, but my creativity and eloquent speech and writing will serve my client better.  I think there are rooms for all types of people (and intelligence) in law.  I'm sure those of you with higher scores are better logical thinkers than I am (obvious by LSAT score), but it by no means is a sole indicator that you make up the most intelligent echelon of society.

**But ok, I scored a 150 and a 154, and despite all my other strengths, I must not be very intelligent.  I give up, I agree!  (read: dripping with sarcasm)

43
ALSO in my essay I choose to talk about an adversity that I overcame in my background.  How do I link that to why I want to go to that particular school?  If the reason is that I want a specific program that has absolutely NOTHING to do with my background/adversity.  If I talk about how it was hard to learn english cold-turkey when I got to the US... how do I go from that to telling the AdComm that I want to go to that school because they have an awesome program for law and econ.  Maybe it's me but I am just not seeing the linkage.

This is only a personal opinion, though based on LOTS of things I've read...but trust me, law schools want some idea of why you want to go to law school when they read your PS.  This is NOT saying that want you to start a sentence that reads "I want to go to law school because *blank*"...that is not an effective PS.  There are lots of creative ways to tie it in that don't state it so bluntly, but leave the reader with an understanding of why you want to go to law school.   I've read a couple of statements other people have written and wondered why on earth they want to go to law school based on what they've told me about themselves in the PS.  I also have a family friend who sat on an AdComm at a law school, until about a year ago, who advocates you address why you're interested in law in your PS.  I can find all kinds of sources to cite if you're interested, but just trust me on this...its not good to leave the AdComm wondering why on earth you're applying to law school.

Answer this for me and I'll give you a better idea for how to tie in your interest in your PS:

Why ARE you interested in a program in law and economics?  What about your personality, or what experience, has led you to decide this is where your intersts lie?


44
Here are some examples of personal statement prompts from applications.  You will see that quite a few, if not most, law schools ask you to give them some indication of why you want to pursue a legal education.  There are other ways to show why you're interested in law than saying "because I've wanted to go to law school since I was five," or "because my father is a lawyer"...those are the things they do NOT want to hear.  Like I said, its important to find a way to present this to the AdComm without hitting them in the face with it, so to speak.  Show them your qualities and attributes and why that has led you to be interested in a career in law.  There are eloquent ways to do this that are not cookie-cutter or boring to the AdComm.  Here are the examples of prompts for several schools:

UGA:
On a separate supplemental sheet state your reason(s) for desiring to obtain a legal education. Transfer and visiting applicants should state instead the reason(s) for desiring to attend University of Georgia School of Law.

Whittier:
Please attach a personal statement, not to exceed 3 pages, which addresses: (1) Why you want to pursue the study of law. (2) What educational, employment or family experiences would be relevant to this application?

George Washington:
All applicants are required to submit a personal statement which should include any additional information you think might be of assistance to the Admissions Committee in considering your application.  Examples of such information are significant extracurricular or community activities, the reasons why you want to study law, a discussion of your background, or an explanation of any unusual aspects of your academic record.  The statement must be written on separate pages and must accompany this application.

45
Even if they don't specifically ask I would address why you want to go to law school.  There much more likely to admit someone who they feel has a genuine interest in law school or being a lawyer than someone who failed to give them any reasons at all.  Most general advice I've read says that you should make sure and address this.  It's also usually helpful to address why you want to go to the school you're applying to, whether it be because of geography, programs offered, etc.  They want to know that you have a genuine interest in the law and their school.  There are many ways to illustrate this without hitting them over the head with it though, just find a nice way to flow from talking about yourself and your character traits into why those attributes have led you to be interested in law.

Good luck with it!  If you need someone to read it once you're done, give my friend I mentioned above a try...she's great with this stuff!  :)

46
Some quick thoughts...

I think stories about immigration and the hardships you overcome are perfectly alright.  Just know that there are lots of you out there (look, 2 on this thread alone!), so you have to make it specific to your situation and show the AdComm what you learned about yourself, or how your character was shaped.  I wouldn't get into stories about your family, whether or not they finished school (that type of thing), keep it focused on YOU.

My friend that edited Lexie's statement:
http://www.geocities.com/theessayqueen/index.html

You do NOT send your PS to LSDAS.  You send it off to each school with your app, as each school asks for something a little different sometimes.  I wrote one generic statement and then changed the last paragraph for each school to reflect on why I wanted to go to that particular school (because of location, programs, etc.).  I know lots of people use this method and I think it is the best use of your time.

I think its fine to start with a "short story" type format.  Some of the better PSs I've read start with either a great quote, a cute comment, or an intriguing story.

Good luck to everyone!!  

47
I think those are all suitable things to discuss, as long as you do it in the context of showing the admissions committee how these things have shaped you as a person.  Any stories you tell should be showing the committee who you are.

Check out this website for some good tips:
http://www.geocities.com/theessayqueen/index.html

Hit the "Advice" page and check out some of the advice.  She gives examples of what some schools ask for in their personal statement, and most ask for you to tell them why you want to go to law school.  Most committees find it very important that you have a well-founded reason for wanting to attend law school.  I would find a way to work this into your statement, based on your experiences or personality traits.

Good luck!

48
Law School Admissions / Re: How does one score in the 130s?
« on: July 14, 2004, 06:31:26 AM »
I don't think it is so much the "standardized" test taking as it is the "test taker."  There are "bad test takers" like me who tend to have a defeatest attitude going into a test, an abnormally high amount of anxiety, other variables, that put us at a disadvantage before the test is even written.  This is similar to a 100 meter sprinter who doesn't get a good "start" and has to constantly catch up.  You've all heard of this right?  "I am such a bad test taker!"  That person is no less intelligent than those that state they are a "good test taker."  I think it really comes down to that.  Now having said that, I do not know what my LSAT score will be, but I know I would have an advantage if the test was not multiple choice because I am a great test taker when using a bluebook exam.  This gives me an advantage over someone who is a bad test taker while using blue books.  That doesn't make me any more intelligent than him/her.  And it damn sure shouldn't allow me to get into a better school because I do exceptionally well on bluebook exams.  Since the bar, at least in CA is 2/3 writing, why shouldn't the LSAT be at least "x" amount of writing.  That's what bothers me. 

Agreed!  I do exceptionally well on blue book, or essay type, exams.  I've always had a problem with multiple choice exams.  I've been told this is because I don't necessarily think "logically," not because I'm not intelligent.  This will perhaps hurt me in law school, as the logic and reasoning skills tested on the LSAT are supposedly used in law school.  Obviously this is a problem I need to work on.  However, I'm happy to be attending law school in CA because I do think I'll do well on the CA bar since it has such a large writing component.

The LSAT definitely falls short in being a simple measure of intelligence.  I know plenty of people with high GPAs who score low on the LSAT because their brain just isn't programmed to think like that.  I've also read personal statements (I'm not referring to anyone who I've read for on this board) by people with very high LSAT scores who can't write for crap...it always amazes me.  Being a good writer is a huge part of being a practicing attorney, so what good does scoring high on your LSAT do you then?

My point is that the LSAT is flawed.  I think it measures logic and reasoning skills...not intelligence.  Some very smart people are highly irrational, but this doesn't make them any less intelligent.  I've conceded that perhaps I'll have to work harder in law school because I somewhat lack in these skills that are tested on the LSAT, but I don't think it means I'm an idiot just because I didn't do well on one test.

Has anyone ever seen a study where they try to compare SAT and LSAT scores?  Just curious.

49
Never heard of them, but thought I would second my endorsement of http://www.geocities.com/theessayqueen/index.html.  You can get your PS read and edited once for $5, or pay $10 to have as many edits as needed throughout the admissions season.  The Essay Queen will ask you about your LSAT, GPA, target schools, etc. and help tailor your PS to fit your needs.  This is a 3rd year law student who was a Journalism/English major in college...excellent writer!

She edited my PS...I'm more than happy to show the finished product to anyone who would like to see it.  Definitely cheaper than any of the other services and you get more personal service I think.

50
Quite a few of you have emailed me your PS for my advice and edits.  I will glady continue to help out, as I actually have enjoyed doing this.  However, in about a month I will begin law school and I'm not sure how much time I will have for this.  I know some people won't be done writing their PS for another month or two, so I wanted to give you all another resource for editing.

I have a friend who is going into her third year at a Tier 1 school (I'm not giving out the name because I'm not sure she wants that disclosed).  She has a degree in Journalism and is excellent at editing essays and personal statements.  She edited mine last year and did a terrific job!  She's also very talented at helping you get started with your PS, I know she's had people just send her some topic ideas and little about themselves and she's helped them start in the right direction.  Anyhow, I can't say enough good things about her.

She's in the process of setting up a website at:  http://www.geocities.com/theessayqueen/index.html

Please visit her!  I would use her over services like EssayEdge without a second thought!  She only charges $5-10 and most bigger services charge from $50+.  I used EssayEdge once and was NOT impressed, my friend could have made these same edits much cheaper!!

Anyhow, thought I would share this with you all.  Good luck with all of your applications!!  :)

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