Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: so what IS a good PS topic  (Read 3077 times)

darren

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 214
  • Nader / Camejo 2004
    • View Profile
so what IS a good PS topic
« on: August 04, 2004, 02:47:58 PM »
There are some people on here who seem to say that just about every topic people think of for their PS is no good.  Everything is "played out."  You can't say you want to fight injustice or inequality, you can't talk about difficulties in your past, you can't even say that you want to make a whole bunch of cash.  What the heck are we supposed to say then? 

None of us will be original, no matter how much we think we've got something fresh, EVERYTHING has been written before, probably thousands of times.  That's just the way it is with these things, in my opinion.  I personally feel like anything goes.  If it's genuine, it'll come across that way and that's the only thing that matters.  Anyone else feel the same way as I do?
GPA - 3.55 Overall, 3.75 Last 3 Years
LSAT - 169,171 on Timed Practice Tests

Hrothgar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: so what IS a good PS topic
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2004, 02:55:59 PM »
I agree, there's nothing new under the sun.  From what I've heard a good goal to have is to try and avoid boring them to death.  All topics are bound to be 'played out' but if you can present your used up subject in a way that doesn't make them want to wrench their own eyes from their skull just so they don't have to read the same stuff one more time, well then I think you've scored some points.
you will hardly know who i am or what i mean....

lexylit

  • Guest
Re: so what IS a good PS topic
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2004, 03:01:59 PM »
montauk is good on this-- what's trite about each topic vs what's good, especially for a given type of applicant (e.g. don't write about "why i want to be a lawyer" if you're coming straight from undergrad)

jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
Re: so what IS a good PS topic
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2004, 03:06:35 PM »
I think some topics really should always be avoided.  There are some that are so cliche and overused.  That's not to say that someone can't write a really interesting, attention-grabbing PS using a topic that's been beaten to death.  It's just really rare.

I mean, honestly, every other thread on this board alone is "I'm a URM, should I write about that?"  "I'm an immigrant, should I write about that?"  "I work in a law firm, should I write about that?"  "I faced <fill in hardship>, should I write about that?"  If just reading a 1-2 paragraph description of a topic bores the hell out of me, then what do you think adcoms think when they're sitting down to read their 200th essay on "why I want to save the world"?  I'm sure some of the posters on this board can take any topic and turn it into an amazing, gripping story (and some people here, when posting an idea for a "played out" topic actually manage to present an interesting spin on it).  But from my experience in the world, 95% of people can't do that.

darren

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 214
  • Nader / Camejo 2004
    • View Profile
Re: so what IS a good PS topic
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2004, 03:13:25 PM »
I think some topics really should always be avoided.  There are some that are so cliche and overused.  That's not to say that someone can't write a really interesting, attention-grabbing PS using a topic that's been beaten to death.  It's just really rare.

I mean, honestly, every other thread on this board alone is "I'm a URM, should I write about that?"  "I'm an immigrant, should I write about that?"  "I work in a law firm, should I write about that?"  "I faced <fill in hardship>, should I write about that?"  If just reading a 1-2 paragraph description of a topic bores the hell out of me, then what do you think adcoms think when they're sitting down to read their 200th essay on "why I want to save the world"?  I'm sure some of the posters on this board can take any topic and turn it into an amazing, gripping story (and some people here, when posting an idea for a "played out" topic actually manage to present an interesting spin on it).  But from my experience in the world, 95% of people can't do that.

OK, fair enough, I can see that.  But if you were going to give someone a general suggestion for what kind of topics to think about for a PS, what comes to mind? 
GPA - 3.55 Overall, 3.75 Last 3 Years
LSAT - 169,171 on Timed Practice Tests

jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
Re: so what IS a good PS topic
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2004, 03:19:36 PM »
I think that's hard to say without knowing anything about your background.  I think a PS can be about anything, as long as its well written, is relevant to the question on the application, and gives adcoms a picture of who you are and what you bring to the table other than your numbers.

I agree with lexylit that the Montauk book is great for offering pros and cons to different statments.  And other PS books (like Barrons) offer great suggestions on what NOT to write.  Deciding what to actually write, though, ends up being a very personal decision. (at least it was for me...)

casino

  • Guest
Re: so what IS a good PS topic
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2004, 03:20:57 PM »
this might sound cheesy, but if the personal statement is an honest presentation of one's self, desires, and experiences, than even if the topic has been used many times before, it will, at least, be an original piece.  that is why it is best, imo, not to address injustices beyond one's control, i.e. save the world PSs.

if you are an urm and that has been significant in your life, than write about it.  same goes for any other so-called played out topics.  it is just best, as others have written, to be honest about whatever it is that you are writing about, and not to lose perspective.  

casino

Nole

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2585
  • Go Noles!
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - nolegirl290@yahoo.com
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: so what IS a good PS topic
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2004, 03:41:29 PM »
I am just having a hard time b/c I am NOT a URM. I don't have a hard luck story or an unusual background. I am just a normal white girl. I have had some cool, unique experiences but according to books like "How to get into the top law schools," all my experiences are no good to write about. So I think I am just going to write about me and why I decided to apply to law school. I think I am a pretty interesting person in and of myself and if they don't think so, screw them. :P
Tony:"So your not gonna go to law school? What do you wanna do then?"
Mike:"I wanna dance!"

mkagan

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
Re: so what IS a good PS topic
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2004, 03:46:39 PM »
i feeel that same way as you. so i decided to write about my passion for film. it isnt a gripping story, but it explains the biggest interest in my life, giving adcomms a little something about myself. they can see that i took a lot of film classes, but i want them to see how much more film is to me than that. sounds dumb, but it is better than making up some crap about how mommy didnt love me.



I am just having a hard time b/c I am NOT a URM. I don't have a hard luck story or an unusual background. I am just a normal white girl. I have had some cool, unique experiences but according to books like "How to get into the top law schools," all my experiences are no good to write about. So I think I am just going to write about me and why I decided to apply to law school. I think I am a pretty interesting person in and of myself and if they don't think so, screw them. :P
I think pickles are cucumbers that sold out. They sold their soul to the devil, and the devil is dill...

Nole

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2585
  • Go Noles!
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - nolegirl290@yahoo.com
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: so what IS a good PS topic
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2004, 04:04:20 PM »
i feeel that same way as you. so i decided to write about my passion for film. it isnt a gripping story, but it explains the biggest interest in my life, giving adcomms a little something about myself. they can see that i took a lot of film classes, but i want them to see how much more film is to me than that. sounds dumb, but it is better than making up some crap about how mommy didnt love me.


It's so funny you say that b/c I have been thinking about writing about my passion for college football. I know it may sound trivial but it is something I really enjoy and care about. And one of the reasons I am going to law school is b/c I want to find that passion in an occupation, like I have found in in a hobby. It has also been a contant in my life, since I moved A LOT. It also kind of effects WHERE I want to go to school b/c I love th college town vibe, especially during football season, especially in the south. But I am afraid they will not think I am taking this seriously or that I am not a serious student, though my #s reflect otherwise. But I HAVE read that ADCOMS want to feel like they really got to know the student as a person from their statements, like a written interview. I feel like a statement like that would really allow me to express true self (cheesy I know.)
Tony:"So your not gonna go to law school? What do you wanna do then?"
Mike:"I wanna dance!"