Law School Discussion

Which theme is better?

Re: Which theme is better?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2006, 10:05:32 AM »
I wrote about my summers fighting wildfires. I did not make any link to the practice or study of law.

Did any of the schools that you applied to ask you to specifically discuss why you want to attend them?


Re: Which theme is better?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2006, 10:15:03 AM »
Yup (optional), and for each of these I have a separate "why law?" statement disguised as a "why your law school statement?". That way, I get two bites of the apple (3, if you count my diversity statement) and yet each statement is clean, without any awkward transitions etc. Will it work? Too early to tell, but if twriting samples are at all relevant then I don't see why not.


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Re: Which theme is better?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2006, 02:52:33 AM »
Thank you for your input.  I did not intend to write an essay about how I beat alcoholism.  I drink quite a lot actually (hahah).  My father quit drinking shortly before I was born.  He came from nothing.  For my entire life we climbed the social ladder and have achieved a solidly upper middle class life.  I was the first male in my family to go to college.  I'll be the first to go to law school.  I feel compelled to write about this topic because I feel that it is something that I care about.  I understand that it is a risky topic though, mainly because it doesnít address why I want to study law. 

My reasons for going to law school are really very practical.  Iíve been working for four years now and have found out that English Majors have very little to leverage in the work force.  I think I would enjoy legal research and writing.  The skills that I have (reading, writing, analytical thinking) are valuable skills in the field of law.  I think law is the most suitable way for me to make the kind of living that I want to make. 

I donít think Iím capable of writing a genuine intellectual piece about why I love the law.  What did you write about?  Anyone?

It is a risky topic--not because it doesn't address law specifically, but because this is a common response to the idea of "personal statement"--writing about the most personal thing that has happened to oneself. The PS's that result from this instinct (often) end up reading like therapy transcripts.

The best PS's I've seen this season have been very action-oriented, along the lines of "here's one very colorful and memorable thing I accomplished that makes me seem like a hard-working, thoughtful, genuine candidate who would be great to have around for three years." The essays contain lots of action verbs, and all of the paragraphs focus around some central accomplishment. This creates a very holistic, memorable storyline that will stick in the adcomms heads.

...not to say that the 'first to college/law school' thing isn't important--but what if you were to set up the essay with the first 3-4 paragraphs around a story that makes you seem brilliant/fun/accomplished, and *then* mention right at the end "hey, I'm a first for my family." That, I would argue, would make the introduction of that info endearing--mentioning it up front is more...imploring, you know?

in any case, I hope you find the story you'd like to tell. And of course, there's loads of us on here willing to send you more advice than you'll ever possibly need, should you ask! ;-)




Re: Which theme is better?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2006, 03:30:12 AM »

2. A discussion of my experience working at a civil engineering firm for the past 4.5 years.  This essay would describe some of the reading and writing skills that I honed as a proposal writer, describe my feeling of being an outsider in the field (I graduated with a B.A. in English), discuss the value of a J.D. in the field (the president and CEO are lawyers not Engineers) and note some of the ways that I have seen the law intersect with civil engineering.  The problem with this essay is that I'm not really interested in working in the field after I get my J.D.
Any opinions you have would be greatly appreciated!!       

Number 1 is not good at all, number 2 could be with more factors involved.  Try to show qualities that are important for the study of law without saying that they are.  You don't know anything about being a lawyer, you really don't know much about being a law school student, but you do know something about it because you have been a student.  Try to find relevant aspects of being a in the Engineering field as an English major that seem relevant for legal education, not a legal career.  Showing that you are different in a meaningful way is the best way to go in my opinion.  It has worked all right for me so far.

Re: Which theme is better?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2006, 05:38:47 AM »
Thanks for the input everyone.  I drafted part of an essay for the second theme last night.  I'll keep you posted.

Re: Which theme is better?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2006, 08:07:55 AM »
I really appreciate all of the feedback that you have given me up to this point.  Is anyone willing to take a peak at my essay and rip it apart?

Let me know and I'll PM you.

P.S. Thanks, Burhops, for the encouraging comments.  I have a more completed version now and would love to get any other input you might have.

Re: Which theme is better?
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2006, 11:08:13 AM »

Since you have my favorite actor as your avatar I'll take a look at your personal statement.