Law School Discussion

Should you ever mention an arrest as a reason for wanting to pursue law?

Don't get me wrong, I've wanted to be a lawyer since early college from taking classes discussing immigration policy.  But I was arrested last year, a couple months before I took the LSAT for a misdemeanor and am still actually awaiting trial because I'm fighting the charges.  The whole experience has genuinely made me want to focus on civil rights and criminal defense law. 

Since this is a part of what I've been dealing with on a monthly basis since I sent in my application, should I actually talk about this in a LOCI to a school in which I've been waitlisted? 

I've considered talking about how 'being in this situation has given me a unique perspective in which I would be able to empathize with future clients, which is something that would drive me to serve them better.  That is why I find my aspirations in line with your school's Innocence Project/Criminal Defense Clinic/Public Defender's office program (...or something to that effect).' 

Is that a bad idea? Can you see it in any way shape or form as turning a negative experience into something that inspires me to study and focus on a certain area in law/program at a school?

....Or should I focus on something else about what attracts me to the school?  I am open to all suggestions about and/or criticism of this idea, so please fire away.


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Usually, I'm all about risks, but this one just sounds a little bit too risky for me.  Your chances of not painting a negative picture of yourself are slim, no matter how you spin this.  I wouldn't bring it up if I didn't have to.

Yes, I have already disclosed these things.  I would just like to make the case that being in such a position could prove useful later in service of others' need for defense in court, not for competence, but for the ability to understand, relate with, and appeal to future clients.

But yeah, I could see how emphasizing this one thing could be viewed as a generic 'cover-my-ass/tie my loose-ends about my mistakes' kind of ploy, which sucks because that's not true...but how do you know if you don't know me? 

It would not be as powerful as emphasizing strengths I've acquired than to seem to erase weaknesses.  I think this'll be my new strategy, but if you care to share any other thoughts, they're more than welcome.  Thanks for the input, both of you.