Law School Discussion


Which is best?

"I think about stuff carefully."
"I will practice law with compassion."
"Post-amnesia struggle gave me confidence."
"Identity crisis in the face of a lost sibling."
(none of the above)

Pick the Thesis!

Pick the Thesis!
« on: October 28, 2009, 09:27:17 PM »
Need help deciding a PS topic.  I hate that we have to sell ourselves like this.  At least in a job interview the scope is narrower, the stakes lower, and you've got a better idea what will work.  The classic whine, I suppose.

Am working on all of these simultaneously and hope to have good drafts done soon.  Quality of writing will hopefully help me nix one or two - I'm sure there are just some that are going to sound better in the end - but would like some advice too.


1. "I think about stuff carefully."
  • In short: My answer to the "amg here's my personal story and it's really powerful and FROM THAT DAY ON I KNEW I JUST HAD TO BE A LAWYER!!1"  I talk about how I'm a compulsive planner, researcher, skeptic, devil's advocate, etc. and how it's served me very well in life, academically and otherwise.
  • Pro: It's about my intellect, and would probably depict me as a likely candidate to succeed in law and/or contribute well to classroom discussions.
  • Con: Boring as hell.  I can splash some personal color and imagery in, but the thesis is still dry.

2. "I will practice law with compassion."
  • In short: Talks about my life as both a teacher/instructor and a student, and wanting to be an informative resource for clients.  Putting the "counseling" back in "counsel."  NOT being an alpha-male, prestige-seeking, self-interested, greedy heartless bastard.
  • Pro: Accurate and truthful.  Could strike a chord with Atticus Finch sympathizers, or at least PI departments.
  • Con: Too touchy-feely or idealistic.  Runs the risk of seeming out-of-touch with actual modern law practice, clichéd in its perception.  Then again, AdComs could be pretty high in the ivory tower themselves.

3. "Post-amnesia struggle gave me confidence."
  • In short: I lost my memory early in life and had to rebuild from randomly-occurring flashbacks and secondhand accounts.  It sucked pretty hard.
  • Pro: Establishes strength of character, independence.  Classic overcoming-an-obstacle story.
  • Con: Cliché.  I want to beat the piss out of every writer who's ever used this as a convenient plot device in their work.  Mine was mild and not really as dramatic as it might seem, or at least it's not something I usually think of as major (aside from being careful who I tell).  Doesn't impact my current day-to-day life much at all.

4. "Identity crisis in the face of a new sibling."
  • In short: Family rediscovered a long-lost sibling and I had to reconstruct my identity as the oldest.  Mild philosophizing about truth & honesty.  Maybe a little re:coping with death under such unusual circumstances.
  • Pro: Soap-opera style plot.  Memorable enough to stand out amongst others.
  • Con: Extremely personal, feels manipulative.  An important part of my life, yes, but is the PS really a proper place to be baring one's soul and closet-skeleton?

I'm leaning toward #1 right now, but the Con does really terrify me.  I don't really know how to make intelligence sound sexy outside of a dating context, and most of my competition is going to be in the same boat.  And while I don't generally fault others for making the most of hands they've been dealt, #3 or #4 would feel like playing a sympathy card, which is the last thing I want to do.  They're only on the table because they're unique.  I don't need pity, I need them to understand that I'm awesome.

Re: Pick the Thesis!
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2009, 10:51:49 AM »
Definitely not 1 & 2.  They've been done over and over and I doubt that you'll be able to add a new slant in a way that stands out.  #3 = TCR.  This has a real chance of standing out.  HOw many others are going to write about overcoming amnesia?  You can demonstrate your character and probably most importantly, you might be able to stand out by providing a new and interesting topic.  A million people want to practice law compassionately so the reader will most likely be bored again.  This is your opportunity to present a PS which the reader probably hasn't read before.  Make your mark this way.

I wouldn't do #4.  While it may be meaningful to you, I'm sure most people with new siblings found this time uncomfortable.  Again, it doesn't make you unique.

Re: Pick the Thesis!
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2009, 02:53:03 PM »
I like #3 as well, & you could weave #1 if you structure it well.  Even if it doesnt impact your everyday life, you could show how it impacted your outlook & shows the adcomms that you can persevere & overcome struggles; ie, if you can rebuild your memory, then you can make it though law school...was it a car accident?
Hey, I will you look at my theme/ intro post...i just posted it today...i had no luck on another site & i would really appreciate your input!!!  thanks & good luck!