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Author Topic: Too generic? Too condescending? Overly trite?  (Read 1440 times)

js11287

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Too generic? Too condescending? Overly trite?
« on: February 27, 2009, 09:47:36 AM »
These are the problems I'm faced with when trying to decide on a good PS topic.

My initial idea was to write about my experience studying abroad in Italy and living with an Italian family, but it seems both too cliched and too boring.

Then, I thought about writing something about my ultimate career goals (going to law school, getting my master's in art history, working on behalf of the US or US institutions to sort out the ownership of contested works of art between countries), but from reading posts on here, it seems as though the PS is not really supposed to be used to talk about "why you want to go to law school," etc.

Finally, I considered devoting my PS to talking about my experience in being adopted as a young child and growing up as one of 4 asian children in my school. It was a poignant experience for me, but I don't know how to admissions committee will feel about it; I dont' want to write about something and have those who read it think, "stop complaining, because other people have it worse," even though that's not what I'm trying to get across.

Any suggestions about which to choose, or even how to adjust any of the above topics to better suit the purpose of a PS are welcomed and extremely appreciated!

CTL

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Re: Too generic? Too condescending? Overly trite?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 10:06:41 AM »
These are the problems I'm faced with when trying to decide on a good PS topic.

My initial idea was to write about my experience studying abroad in Italy and living with an Italian family, but it seems both too cliched and too boring.

Then, I thought about writing something about my ultimate career goals (going to law school, getting my master's in art history, working on behalf of the US or US institutions to sort out the ownership of contested works of art between countries), but from reading posts on here, it seems as though the PS is not really supposed to be used to talk about "why you want to go to law school," etc.

Finally, I considered devoting my PS to talking about my experience in being adopted as a young child and growing up as one of 4 asian children in my school. It was a poignant experience for me, but I don't know how to admissions committee will feel about it; I dont' want to write about something and have those who read it think, "stop complaining, because other people have it worse," even though that's not what I'm trying to get across.

Any suggestions about which to choose, or even how to adjust any of the above topics to better suit the purpose of a PS are welcomed and extremely appreciated!

Write about what shaped an aspect of your identity.  It need not pertain directly to your desire to study law, or your aptitude to study law. 

I wrote about my experiences working at a job.  I didn't mention law once.

Most schools give you tons of latitude and just want to read about something that MEANS something to you.  It need not mean anything to them, and you don't have to persuade them of anything really.  Some schools, however, have specific points they want you to address.  Address those points if you are asked to.
If looks could kill, you would be an uzi.

penni_rose

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Re: Too generic? Too condescending? Overly trite?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 10:23:07 AM »
My personal statement was important to me, but I doubt it made a bit of difference in my cycle.

I wrote about the life-changing moment that made me realize I wanted to be a lawyer and the events that led up to it. I'm sure that most people don't have these moments, though. It is probably a boring story to most people, but it has basically completely redefined my life.

As the above poster said, though, my cycle also fit with my numbers.

CTL

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Re: Too generic? Too condescending? Overly trite?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 10:29:30 AM »
I think my PS, and my 'Why ____?' essay mattered greatly.  My numbers were right around median, so I can't exactly claim auto-admit status.  I guess it depends on your situation, but why not make your PS as interesting and as good as possible? 
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Re: Too generic? Too condescending? Overly trite?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 10:43:43 AM »
I think Why X essays are paramount if you're very borderline.  No Why X essay is going to compel an admission with lower than both median numbers - but they're the difference between turning a WL into an acceptance. 

dashrashi

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Re: Too generic? Too condescending? Overly trite?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2009, 11:52:26 AM »
Write about something important that you can also craft into a compelling 2 page personal statement. I had to give three different topics a go before I settled onto something (study abroad/fighting prejudice/last para on why law school).
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Saw dashrashi's LSN site. Since she seems to use profanity, one could say that HYP does not necessarily mean class or refinement.