Law School Discussion

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thorc954

Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2006, 04:32:06 PM »
okay, first, i wanted to comment on the OPs mention of being a middle class white male. this does put us at a disadvantage when it comes to writing a personal statement, although an amazing one can be written.  We dont have the life struggles to write about in our essays which makes it very difficult. You also dont want to write the typical personal statement, cause that bores the hell out of any adcomms.  I worked in the admissions office of my undergrad and read numerous personal statements.  The poor people can write about struggles to afford school, minorities can write about descrimination.  Automatically, a urm with similiar scores will get into the school.  White people have to compete almost exclusively among other whites while urms only really compete among other urms.  If they have similiar numbers as the white applicant pool, they are immediately snatched up.  If they have lower, they are left to try to compete for the spots to fill the quotas.  Not to say there is anything wrong with that, cause there are proven racial differences in testing results.  However, lawschools will fill their quotas and never have urms compteting with higher scoring whites.  The numbers have to be reported and who wants their averages to drop?  anyway, middle class people then have to compete with upper class and are at a strict disadvantage because of less access to resources and fewer life experiences and connections.  

I wrote a sucessful personal statement and so did my friend.  His was riskier then mine, but his scores were much higher.  

His: he wrote about an experience he had in a college music class and how horrible he was and how he grew and learned from it.  It got him into G-town and the director of admissions wrote comments about the statement on his acceptance letter.

Mine:  okay, here are my stats first: 161, 3.81, Math major, EC out the ass and a decent internship.   I wrote my essay in a format I found less risky and more textbook, but I did a great job at it.  I began with the question I recieve from everyone "What are you going to do with a degree in math." I then made the connection between the study of math and law, wrote about my minors to show that I actually had the writing skills necessary to suceed, wrote about career plans and my leadership skills and legal experiences.  I basically spent the first page being creative and showing them I could write (my topic sounds corny, but the first line was better then that and it was really well written), I spent the second page convincing them I wanted to be in law school, I know what its about and I have the skills to do well. This is more the typical essay.  Anyway, I thought it was creative. I got into GW (off WL), WF (off WL), GMU, American, UMD, and many tier two schools. My scores were definitely borderline at GW and others, so I think this helped.  

Anyway, write about life experiences if you can make it funny but try and relate it to law school and convince them you will do well.  Good luck with everything.  I like the Chile story, I wish you could write a PS on that and post it for my personal referrence, but that may be outdated at this point.  

sarp437

Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2006, 05:08:36 PM »
 We dont have the life struggles to write about in our essays which makes it very difficult.

Uh.. you are lucky you do not have those life struggles.  Really these 'poor me I am middle class and white' arguments are making you all sound like sniveling little shits.

Whose fault is it that you have been alive for 22 years and have done nothing remarkable?
You could have actually done something besides join sororities and go to fraternity parties while in college.  Don't blame your upbringing on the fact that you cannot write about anything interesting.

And do you really think that all minorities write about their struggles growing up minority?  That is very cliche, overused and not recommended.  Most write about their ACTIONS. Stuff they have done to better themselves, their family, their school, the world.


thorc954

Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2006, 05:18:32 PM »
 We dont have the life struggles to write about in our essays which makes it very difficult.

Uh.. you are lucky you do not have those life struggles.  Really these 'poor me I am middle class and white' arguments are making you all sound like sniveling little shits.

Whose fault is it that you have been alive for 22 years and have done nothing remarkable??
I can name numerous people (black, white, purple) that have actually done something besides join sororities and go to fraternity parties while in college.  Don't blame your upbringing on the fact that you cannot write about anything interesting.

And do you really think that all minorities write about their struggles growing up minority?  That is very cliche, overused and not recommended.  Most write about their ACTIONS. Stuff they have done to better themselves, their family, their school, the world.



Umm... you are a nasty little immature *&^%.  The OP was asking for advice on what to write. It isnt his fault he hasnt suffered some great loss during his life and it isnt mine either.  We werent the victims of discrimination and our parents had the financial resources to assit us during undergrad. No one is complaining that they arent a minority or that they didnt suffer.  We are simply stating that the lack of conflict in our lives make it difficult to come up with creative ideas for personal statements.  Key word, difficult, not impossible, which is why the OP is asking for advice.  And I never joined a sorority or fraternity while in undergrad, because I spent 7 days a week in the library working on math proofs.  Also, I really dont care what all minorities write about. In order for schools to give you special consideration you must show them that your race/class/gender created obstacles in your life. Therefore, if they are remotely intelligent they atleast briefly mention this in their essays and show how they overcome this diversity.  Im sorry my parents didnt have the money to send me on lavish trips throughout the world or to fly me down to volunteer places.  Im sorry I didnt have resources to take time off school and do remarkable things.

so, before you get any more demeaning and ignorant with your posts, read the initial question in this forum.  He is asking for advice on what to write. Not criticism from someone who isnt in the same situation as him.  And no one asked anyone to feel bad for them cause they are middle class and white.  So shut the hell up.

rtqw

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Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2006, 05:47:19 PM »
We are simply stating that the lack of conflict in our lives make it difficult to come up with creative ideas for personal statements.


We dont have the life struggles to write about in our essays which makes it very difficult.

I don't understand why being male, middle class, and white means you have no struggles or conflict in your lives. I'm a white middle class male with struggles and I am considering writing about some of them in my PS. There are problems that have nothing to do with race, gender, or socioeconomic status.

allow me to reiterate:  all i said was that i am at a disadvantage in the law school admissions process.  would you argue with that?

I would. If you were poor, you'd be far less likely to attend college, and probably less likely to do well. A poor URM with the same numbers as you will have an advantage, but most poor URMs don't go to college, much less achieve the same scores/GPA that you have.


rtqw

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Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2006, 06:51:52 PM »

I would. If you were poor, you'd be far less likely to attend college, and probably less likely to do well. A poor URM with the same numbers as you will have an advantage, but most poor URMs don't go to college, much less achieve the same scores/GPA that you have.


that is very true.  but of course, i wasn't talking about all the poor URMs who aren't applying to law school.  one could say that they were outside of the scope of my statement.

No, they're not outside the scope. If the poor weren't poor, they'd be competing against you for spots in law schools. If you were at a disadvantage for being middle class, then presumably you'd be in a better position right now if you were poor. I don't think that's true.

rtqw

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Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2006, 07:28:13 PM »

I would. If you were poor, you'd be far less likely to attend college, and probably less likely to do well. A poor URM with the same numbers as you will have an advantage, but most poor URMs don't go to college, much less achieve the same scores/GPA that you have.


that is very true.  but of course, i wasn't talking about all the poor URMs who aren't applying to law school.  one could say that they were outside of the scope of my statement.

No, they're not outside the scope. If the poor weren't poor, they'd be competing against you for spots in law schools. If you were at a disadvantage for being middle class, then presumably you'd be in a better position right now if you were poor. I don't think that's true.

really?  every poor person on earth wants to go to law school?

No, I didn't say that.

People who are not as fortunate to be at least middle class are often unable to go to college because of their economic status. And the few that can often don't do as well because they have difficulty paying for college. Had those barriers been eliminated, there would be more people that can compete with you in law school admissions. Not all, but some of those people would choose to apply to law school, making it harder for you to get in.

You talk about how being white and middle class means you don't have the same struggles that others can write about on their personal statements. They're struggles because they don't promote high GPAs and high LSAT scores.

rtqw

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Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2006, 08:59:18 PM »
and they're struggles that negate the need for high GPAs and LSAT scores.

Not entirely. You'll certainly get into tier 1 schools with your numbers, yet those schools don't reguarly admit 140/2.0 URMs.

Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2006, 10:08:32 PM »
Being a middle class white boy, I don't have a whole lot to write about.  Here are my 3 ideas.

1.  I spent two weeks in high school in Chile doing research on the diet of the native population with a Dr. at the University of Santiago.  I made the trip by myself (I was only 16) and I met the last two living members of the Yagan population.  but I feel like this is really cliche and overdone and possibly too long ago.

2.  My love of reading.  I think that if I do it in a self-deprecating way (most people's parents taught them loyalty and hard work, mine taught me to love reading) that it could be somewhat funny, and at least a chance of pace.

3.  I broke my right wrist snowboarding this past semester and it was in a cast for 6 weeks (midterms until a week before finals).  I had to type my papers one handed, take notes with my left hand, and actually allow myself to be helped by others, which I hate, since I'm fiercely independent.  And I actually got the best grades of any semester so far.

3

thorc954

Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2006, 10:33:22 PM »
wow, a lot of controversy over this post. I have to have the OPs back on this one.  When considering an applicant pool, the poor can use the struggles to pay for undergrad as a means to overlook lower numbers, the urm can use racial bias as a means, the upperclass has connections, legacy status, study abroard programs, or extensive travel that their parents could fund for them.  The middle class white male is left simply being a number in a really large group. We have to have something to stand out from the crowd with.  It is easier for a urm to stand out, cause they are under represented.  It is easy for a wealthy person to stand out because of all there advantages.  A middle class white male most likely didnt attend an ivy league school, has had no financial hardships or racial descrimination.  Our test scores and gpas are geared at accurately evaluating us among other white middle class males. Therefore, our numbers are fair.  How do I differentiate myself from one of probably a hundred applicants with the same numbers or close numbers?  How do I differentiate myself from the other people with the same major and crazy EC?  I cant except through a personal statement that is entirely risky.  The normal essay wont gain the attention of the adcomms, yet a urm can use that essay.  This is the point. 

OP: I kinda like number 3 too. I would suggest writing about it, relating it to your studies, and  having other prelaw people read over. After it is done another prelaw guy can give you good feedback.  you are even more then welcome to send it to me for feedback.  Im already registered for law school, so I wont steal it.

Emilia

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Re: My (lame) PS ideas
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2006, 03:15:54 PM »
Maybe you could combine #s 2 and 3 -- you probably had to do lots of reading during the semester that your wrist was in a cast.  Could you tie in your love of reading somehow?

#1 sounds like it would be interesting to read, but could be reaching a tad too far into the past unless it's followed by related and more recent experiences (maybe nothing too exciting, but that would tie the experience to who you are today -- other travel, reading about Chile, studying nutrition, something).