Law School Discussion

Personal Statement Confusion :( Help?

sheltron5000

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Personal Statement Confusion :( Help?
« on: May 27, 2008, 03:30:56 AM »
I'm trying to get started on my personal statement and having a really tough time picking a topic. I've read all the essays I can find and it seems like there are really three kinds of essays: "why I want to be a lawyer," "my life changing experience," or the "my childhood/background." The first two don't really work for me, but I can't think how to go about the "background" essay. My background is a little unusual, and it seems that writing about it all is too long, but writing about any one part seems to sell me short...

I'm a white gay male from a broken home, my father is a recovering alcoholic and my mother co-dependent. I spent grade school changing from school to school and most of it in special education programs for ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, and related behavioral disorders. After a rapid turn around I went to a catholic high school where I spent my junior year as an exchange student in Germany.

What do you think? How do I shorten all that without leaving the important stuff out?

Thanks!

mbw

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Re: Personal Statement Confusion :( Help?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2008, 08:22:24 AM »
I think you might want to focus on your life as an Aspie, in part, because Adcomms will be concerned about how it might influence your success as a law student, and additionally, because spectrum disorders/diversity are not well understood by the general public, adcomm members included, and you can discuss the benefits of your unique perspective, as well as the challenges you've (clearly) overcome.  While it might seem to fit more in a diversity statement, I would imagine it's been pretty central to your life, so as long as your PS doesn't raise more red flags than it puts to rest, I think it would be viewed positively.

If you need a reader later, I'm game.  (I have two sons, one with HFA, the other, moderately profound AS, and an aspie daughter.)

sheltron5000

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Re: Personal Statement Confusion :( Help?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2008, 09:41:05 PM »
frybread,

Thanks for your post. Your advice helped me more than might be resonable  ;), but I now have a working draft of a personal statement (and a room full of scraps of paper with random bits of writing on them).

Do you think I might want to include an addendum to explain why AS/ADD won't effect my performance in law school?

Thanks!

Ninja1

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Re: Personal Statement Confusion :( Help?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 03:34:09 AM »
Just make sure to tie your PS back into why you would be a good fit for law school/would do well in law school, that always seems to be the important thing to do. A lot of people write about something that might work, but then fail to relate it to them and law school in any way.

$Bill

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Re: Personal Statement Confusion :( Help?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2008, 07:45:57 AM »
I'm of the opinion that your background would better serve as an diversity addendum. Why you would be a good fit for law school using a personal experience as a fulcrum seems to be the best idea by consensus.