Law School Discussion

Trying to figure out what law school and being a lawyer is all about. HELP!

I'm applying to law school and I was hoping this board would help since you people are the ones who are experiencing what law school is about and what lawyers do.  I'm trying to write a personal statement and I want to make sure I address what I need to address (questions like am I able to enjoy and handle my work).  But in order to answer that, I need to know what work they exactly do.  I kind of know the general stuff like you do research and analysis.  I'm asking for you guys to go more into detail so I can get a picture in my head.  So who better to ask than you guys.  Also, if anyone knows a great supplement for writing a great pesonal statement, I would appreciate it.  Thanks guys.


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you will probably get better responses on the other side of this board, the pre-law side. I don't think your personal statement is supposed to be about lawyering at all. I think it is supposed to be about overcoming adversity, or something along those lines. I could be wrong though, I wrote mine 3 years ago and don't really remember much about it.

law school is turtles all the way down.

Hearing about what people in admission have said, the best personal statements discuss a "moment" in one's life that is vivid.  Be descriptive and tell how it affected you.


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Pre-law side of the board will probably afford you better advice.  Most of us either have forgotten what we wrote about, due to being completely engrossed in case readings, or would be too far removed from the application process to properly advise you. 

One of my friends serves on the admissions committee at my school. He has told me the worst possible essays are:

-The road less traveled (it's been traveled)
-A poem or recipe, e.g., half pound of intelligence (they want you to be creative but not in that sense)
-Writing your own obituary
-Starting it w/ "ladies and gentlemen of the jury"
-Saying well I want to be a lawyer b/c my grandfather was a lawyer, and so is my father. (This gets you NO points)
-I want to go to law school b/c the guys on Law & Order look so cool doing it. 

I don't think that it's wrong to write about wanting to be a lawyer, e.g., one of my friends wrote about her personal background and how it fits into her goal of becomming a criminal prosecutor. However, keep in mind that if they are admitting you, they already believe that you have the drive and dedication to make it. Focus more on who you are, something that isn't obvious from your app. Think about this... what is your passion. Is it family, friends, football, making furniture. In other words, if one of your close friends was going to introduce you to someone, what would they say about you, e.g., "This is John. He's almost finished at Fabulous University. He is also training for the New York Marathon."

a supplement for writing a personal statement?  you've got to be kidding.  there are going to be times in your law school and legal career where you'll have to stand on your own.  now is a good time to start.

don't write anything even remotely law-related.  that's lame.  just like anyone that says "i've always wanted to be a lawyer," or "i just love the law."  disgusting.   admissions officers want a good story, they want to get to know you by learning something unique about you.   

as for what we students either spend all their time in the library, going to class, or making bad jokes based on legalese, or they accept the fact that it's overprice, not challenging or interesting, and try to enjoy themselves.  actual lawyers generally spend most of their time thinking about how they know everything, or at least more than you do.


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After reading over 100 cases with opinions ranging from the practical to practically poetry you quickly pick up new ways of communicating.  Law school is great, its a lot of hardwork and I dont say that lightly.  It makes undergrad feel like High School.  However, being in a room with people that are as intelligent if not more so than you has an enlightening effect.  First, you are humbled, you realize you arent that smart.  Then you realize that you have "unique" perspective, maybe you arent as smart as the gunner who always has his hand up, but he keeps missing the issue in a contracts.  Finally, you realize you arent that smart but that one day you are going to make a kick ass lawyer.  This all happens within the first 2-3 weeks.  Then law school becomes an adversarial system and all you do is sleep, study and drink massive quantities of alcohol with your colleagues.  Its great.  - Mike

I agree with the advice giraffe and mud gave.  My only addition is that, if you insist upon writing something regarding "what being a lawyer is all about," that is somethig that YOU must decide for yourself.  None of us can tell you what the law means to you.