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! ;-)