Law School Discussion

Personal Statement About Interest in law?


Personal Statement About Interest in law?
« on: July 11, 2004, 09:05:34 PM »
I was wondering what you guys think about a personal statement devoted to the evolution of my interest in law? I know the conventional wisdom is that this is a terrible topic but I have two important pieces of experience with the law. The summer after my freshman year of college I worked in a DA's office where I observed firsthand a number of jury trials, hearings, etc. This past year I did an unpaid legal internship. It was a small law firm so they ended up giving me tasks that only law students usually get (writing briefs, large legal research projects, etc.). I also spend a lot of my free time reading Supreme Court decisions and legal treatises for pleasure. I'm graduating from college next year so I don't have a great deal of other work experience that I can use as the inspiration for an essay. Without sounding like an idiot, I'll also say that I feel like I've followed a pretty conventional life path (e.g. not a great deal of adversity). I'm also a very analytical thinker and just don't think I'd do well writing a deeply personal essay. I think the advantage of writing an essay like this is pretty obvious: most adcomms fear that kids just coming out of college have no idea what a career in the law entails, are just using law school to ride out a weak job market or are applying because their parents made them. This would obviously help counteract that impression. The disadvantages are also obvious: there is the potential that it would just restate parts of my resume(though I could work hard to avoid this) and it is more succeptible than most topics to reading like one giant cliche.

What do you guys think?


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Re: Personal Statement About Interest in law?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2004, 02:09:00 PM »
That's a tough area. If you take a look at the thread I started "I just spoke to an admissions..." I discuss this issue. My personal statment was similar, but covered my organizing protesting and lobbying a state government to (successfully) change provisions in the welfare reform laws passed in 1996/7, and how that victory steered me towards the law. The GWU adcom didn't like my personal statement at all. That's not to say that writing a great PS on that topic isn't possible, but what I wrote was decidedly not what they were looking for.


Re: Personal Statement About Interest in law?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2004, 02:21:16 PM »
My PS topic was almost exactly what you're proposing. I'm not sure what admissions committees thought of mine, but I was accepted nearly everywhere I applied.

I kind of felt I needed to explain my interest in the law, however, since I was an engineering major and hadn't taken *any* legal or business law classes in college.

If you don't feel like you need to explain why you're interested in the law, or if listing your legal experiences on a resume will be enough to give the adcoms a view of you, then write your PS on something else...

As a rule of thumb, you should write your PS to cover any area about yourself that you feel is glaringly lacking in the rest of your application.


Re: Personal Statement About Interest in law?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2004, 06:29:30 PM »
I'm writing an interest in law essay right now and it's killing me. I think I have a really good topic idea that shows my sincerity, but I'm having trouble giving it personality and punch. I want to make it unique and eye catching but I have written it in a pretty detached manner and I'm unsure how to put the intensity back into it. Any suggestions appreciated.