Law School Discussion

What kind of PS is this? Does this stack up well to the comp? How can I improve?


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matonte, no need to thank anyone..just jump into it.


You're saying absolutely nothing.  A string of words does not equal a statement.  This is truly horrific.


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Hi Matonte,

I suggest you find some friends who are good writers and run your work by them. I think both sample statements need some work, but the first has more potential than the second.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with telling "the story of your life," as long as it doesn't start on the day you were born and include every problem you ever had. Just mention the key points in your life and how they changed you and prompted you to become interested in the law.


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I recommend picking an event in your life that is truly something special and focus on that.  All of us have stories from when we were born forward, but that's boring to read.  Pick something amazing - and run with it.

Ok, a few notes on the first and second PS. Neither is going to get you what you want, I'm afraid.

PS 1:
You should not need to tell people why you are writing - if you do your job well this will make itself  clear in the statement.

Aside from the lack of something very compelling (chronology becomes tedious - others have suggested you craft a story, and this is indeed a good suggestion) you have made lots of unsubstatiated claims and have left many things unexplained.

stylisatic note: you repeat phrases and words too much, everywhere in both statements: 'thank you for giving me this day... you will not regret giving me this day'.  Too many 'around this time' etc. Do away with dates!

>During this time, January 2003 to August 2004, I learned about what I wanted to do with my life >and the values I would live by. Throughout this time (notice you repeat 'this time', my interests in the study of law was >reinforced and strengthened. I learned that the only way our society could stay strong and become >stronger was through the rule of law, not the rule of men. I learned that through law, that the ones >that harm, in all areas of society from the very top to the very bottom must be held accountable for >their actions and that the only way freedom, especially the freedom of the transmission of ideas, >could be protected was only through the law.

How did you learn these things? It's a big thing to say that you learned society can become stronger through the rule of law than that of men. Are you sure you are equipped to make such a statement> If so, please substantiate it. Because I would argue that the rule of law is the rule of men. Men, after all, create laws.  Convince me, or the adcoms, of your case.

How are people at 'the bottom' (and what do you mean by this?) held accountable for the mistakes of 'people at the top'? Do you see how these big claims are unsupported?

Don't use over emotional phrases such as 'my love's hand'. Again, big ordeal, little info on it.

'even visiting the world's most vital establishments to our society in New York City' - do you mean inviting?

These are just a few things that struck me.

PS 2:
Although I am not suggesting that you are conceited (on the contrary, your posts are very humble and appreciative) this statement is very self-righteous. 'I will protect the people's freedom'. 'The people'? What people? This sounds like a political manifesto! No matter how large the problem? You're not even in at law school yet and you're making enormous claims, which you don't back up with any evidence to make people believe they are even a remote possibility. I'm sorry to be harsh, but it's true. Your statement would be much more compelling if you realistically focused on one issue, farmers keeping land, say, and demonstrated your passion and direction.

I also think that appealing for a 'vote' is very gimmicky and has been done before. Montauk and others have said this.

On a grammatical and stylistic note:

>All in all, I wish that this committee will vote (I hope this committee will vote is more correct) to see >that I do get my chance to keep my (you've repeated 'my', why not say 'get the chance to keep my >charge') charge so that  I may be able to help the people,

the following does not make sense, so I have rewritten it.

Your version:
whether a professor that has been working on stem cell research that has found a cure one of our most tragic and destructive diseases to helping a small-town business get their they may keep their charge... (what does this mean?)

My version:
whether it be a professor who (not that) has been working... and who...or a small-town business get its (a business is a single entity)

you cannot have you can have 'from a professor to' or the above.

Again, I'm sorry for the brutality of this but I do hope it helps in the long run.

Definitely get Strunk & White. I've read it about 10 times since my junior year of college (professor made the class buy it) and I still reference it.


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applying06 is right!  your statements are unsubstantiated..and who could blame you?  you only get 2 pages to write this thing.  That is precisely why I say focus on 1 issue, develop it, explain it, argue it, whatever...just make it compelling and interesting and deep.  Superficial explanations are just too generic.  And please avoid altruistic phrases like "i'll save the world", "I want world peace", "can't we all just get along".  It is BS and law schools know it.  Be honest.

My PS starts off something like "I was 7 yrs old when [tragic environmental disaster happened in the former USSR]".  Then for the next 1 full page I describe how law/environment/safety all those things didn't work essence creating this bad thing.  Then I tied that into my environmetal/safety graduate work...and in the end talked about how a law degree is invaluable in my field of work for those precise reasons.  It all flowed together and told a compelling story of my unique experience.  Just a suggestion..

Oh boy...  :-[


OK. You have got to get your hands on one of those "Essays that got people into law school" books. Don't just read them; STEAL ideas from them (notice I didn't say to steal content). You're not even close. Don't make your decent numbers irrelevant because you hand in a terrible piece of writing! This is supposed to be the easy part. Since, obviously, writing is not your strong point, slow down and spend some time reading good essays and absorb their TONE. Get a "feel" for how good writing flows. Don't be afraid to steal a good idea, like perhaps the form of an opening story. And, for Christ's sake, open up and be honest, candid, and direct. After you wite a draft, go through and take out every word that you can while leaving the meaning of the sentences intact. Then wait a few days, come back and take out even more. Write the way intelligent people speak; that is, they say a great deal with very few words.


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Here are my <.02.  Don't address the admissions committee at all.  They know you're writing to request admission already, so there's no point in spelling it out for them anyway.

I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't really read any of those books.  Nor did I really talk about my interest in law, except for the last two tiny paragraphs (my last paragraph was tailored to each school I applied to).  Maybe this was idiotic of me, but I wrote about a sport in which I've participated for the past 15 years.  More specifically, I wrote about the learning process of mastering a difficult skill within my sport and how it impacted me in other decisions in my life (such as choosing to attend college 3 years early and becoming an undergraduate teaching assistant and research assistant).  Stuff like that.

It seems to have worked fairly well.  At the very least, it didn't get me rejected from schools where I had a good statistical chance by the numbers of getting in. *shrug*

Maybe try writing it more like a story?  While it should be pretty short and to the point, use lots of descriptions; instead of just saying, "I did this", explain HOW you did it.  Use active verbs in as many instances as possible.  Good luck!  I assume you're applying for next year's cycle?


Keep in mind the PS is there to put a face on your application. Tell a story to let them know who you are. Bring you personality out in it. Are you someone they want to be around for three years?