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Author Topic: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests  (Read 1754 times)

Jennaye

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2004, 09:53:20 AM »
I'm not too fond of the arrest approach either.  It would seem to me that ad coms would be on the more conservative side.  I don't know if they would really like the pro marajuna, etc.

If I were you, I would go the safer route and write about the honor/internship stuff. 



Pro MEDICAL marijuna... but that's another issue entirely  ::)

Really? I somehow thought that they might be more liberal-leaning... I know two of my friends who did activism in the drug policy field, used it for their PS, and got into top law schools (Georgetown and UPenn) (And of course correlation doesn't equal causation).  

Maybe I've just been around liberal academia too long.  They eat this kind of crap up with a spoon.

nathanielmark

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2004, 09:54:53 AM »
I think you are asking for trouble here.  part of being a lawyer is respecting the rules of the land.



I want to write about my political activism, using my arrests (yes, arrests) part of my PS... was arrested twice during political demonstrations... One was a planned civil disobedience aimed at stopping DEA raids on medical marijuana facilities, the other was an unplanned (and illegal) mass-arrest during and anti-war rally (lawsuit pending).  The rest would talk about the other activities (teach-ins, lectures, etc.) that I've planned. 

But do you think that talking about the arrests would be a turn-off for the admissions committee?

I also have more academic stuff to talk about... senior honors thesis, research assistantships, federal internship, etc. Would that be a safer bet?


jgomez

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2004, 10:02:32 AM »
Your response brings up a good point.  That each school is different and sometimes you will write one kind of PS to one school, but then write another kind of PS to a different school.

I'm not too fond of the arrest approach either.  It would seem to me that ad coms would be on the more conservative side.  I don't know if they would really like the pro marajuna, etc.

If I were you, I would go the safer route and write about the honor/internship stuff. 



Pro MEDICAL marijuna... but that's another issue entirely  ::)

Really? I somehow thought that they might be more liberal-leaning... I know two of my friends who did activism in the drug policy field, used it for their PS, and got into top law schools (Georgetown and UPenn) (And of course correlation doesn't equal causation).  

Maybe I've just been around liberal academia too long.  They eat this kind of crap up with a spoon.

Jennaye

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2004, 10:04:26 AM »
I think you are asking for trouble here.  part of being a lawyer is respecting the rules of the land.



Ok, I'm not trying to argue everyone's advice here (I really do appreciate the feedback, I'm just a bit surprised at it)...

...But I do want to point out that for the second arrest, I was not doing anything illegal.  I was attending a permitted rally.  The DC police even later admitted that the arrests were illegal -- they just rounded up everyone at the rally (~500 people, including people just passing by and eating lunch in the park) and arrested them.  Of course that might be difficult to convey in a personal statement, although I could talk about how it made me more aware of the necessity for respecting the rule of law (both citizens and officials alike).

The ZAPINATOR

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2004, 11:37:18 AM »
I think you might want to use a statement like that for Boalt (if you're looking to go there) and other schools with a more Bohemian reputation. 

Unfortunately, I too have learned that most law students are corporate slave wannabes.  Individuality is hard to come by.  I personally think adcomms at SOME schools (not all) would find your approach refreshing.  Just don't overdo it.

ZAP

dr_draino

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2004, 11:45:09 AM »
Wow, thanks for the kind words.  But I don't think that there's anything loser-ish (loser-eque?) about exercising one's First Amendment rights to express one's beliefs.  

After being on this board for awhile, I'm becoming worried about law school.  I'd heard the rumors that law school students tend to be conformist, wanna-be-corporate (or government) slaves.  But I'm still holding on to the (perhaps) mistaken belief that law schools value diversity of beliefs and free-thinking individuals who aren't afraid to take risks.

1)  Not really sure why you even posted this.  Why do people post questions when their mind is already made up as to what they're going to do?  Just to get reinforcement for something they've decided to do?

2)  I'm a risk taker and not a conformist.  But if I've got cards to play that aren't risky and no reason to throw out a risky card, then I see no reason to be risky just for the sake of being risky.  You have plenty of great stuff that isn't risky to write about in your PS.  Doing things the hard way is not always better. 

Jennaye

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2004, 12:05:19 PM »

1)  Not really sure why you even posted this.  Why do people post questions when their mind is already made up as to what they're going to do?  Just to get reinforcement for something they've decided to do?

2)  I'm a risk taker and not a conformist.  But if I've got cards to play that aren't risky and no reason to throw out a risky card, then I see no reason to be risky just for the sake of being risky.  You have plenty of great stuff that isn't risky to write about in your PS.  Doing things the hard way is not always better. 


No, I do appreciate the feedback.  Originally I had no hestitation about writing about the arrests -- like I said, I've only recieved positive feedback about my activism from profs.  But now I'm re-thinking it.  Especially about the planned civil disobedience.

My concern is that people are becoming too afraid to take risks in their PSs and if I do the same, I will end up with a very vanilla essay (I mean, everyone and their grandma had an internship and was in the honors program).  I've found that in general, people like hearing exciting stories and seeing that people are committed to a cause.  And, being passionate about a cause makes for a passionate legal career.

Would I be able to write an addendum about the arrests, even though I wasn't convicted and wouldn't have to disclose them?

dr_draino

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2004, 12:12:04 PM »
I never said not write about your activism, I said not to write about your ARRESTS, which seemed to be what you were asking.  You should easily be able to talk about your activism without mentioning the arrests, I would think.

Jennaye

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2004, 12:42:14 PM »
I never said not write about your activism, I said not to write about your ARRESTS, which seemed to be what you were asking.  You should easily be able to talk about your activism without mentioning the arrests, I would think.

Right right, that's what I was referring to.

Butch

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Re: Advice on PS topic idea -- my arrests
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2004, 01:06:00 PM »
I'm a hard-core leftie too....but my advice is to *not* mention the arrests.  There's nothing really admirable about being arrested, though I know lots of protestors think that it's a badge of honor.  There are millions of us who protest and do not get arrested, so to think that it's a sign that you're more committed is foolish.

Plus, not everyone who reads teh applications is going to be a leftie...nor is everyone in favor of legalizing marijuana.

More than anything, a lawyers job is to uphold and work within the law, even if htey don't agree with it.  I would not highlight that you've been breaking the law....