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Author Topic: Why Law?  (Read 997 times)

leaozinho

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Why Law?
« on: August 22, 2006, 12:43:02 PM »
I know that standard wisdom is NOT to specifically discuss why you want to attend law school and/or be a lawyer unless the school asks the question - so, does anyone have any thoughts on how to be original (or at least not forks-in-the-eyes boring) when answering this particular question?

I believe the prompt is worded like so: Please discuss why you wish to study law.

many thanks,

zinho

juliemccoy

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Re: Why Law?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2006, 12:52:13 PM »
I think you should say, "I wish to study law so that I can work in a big office and make money."

That's very original and hands-down beats out all the people who want to save puppies from terrorism.
Vanderbilt 2010

leaozinho

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Re: Why Law?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2006, 01:00:14 PM »
thanks, julie - you're probably right  :) the problem is, i don't!

i feel like the personal statement is much easier because you have so much leeway to be creative and to select your own topic, as long as you make yourself look good. but the "why study law" seems so trite - and i guess i'm not sure if they just want me to slap down my long-term career plan or what.


Lorelai Gilmore

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Re: Why Law?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2006, 01:06:14 PM »
I'm having the same problem with these prompts ... suggestions?
Cornell Law

juliemccoy

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Re: Why Law?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2006, 01:53:39 PM »
I think it would be a good idea to commit some time to answering this question. There are an awful lot of very unhappy law students and lawyers who wish they'd taken some time to really think about this before they'd committed so much time and money to their JD and career.

You don't have to have hammered out every last detail, but get a general feel for how you have arrived at the decision to pursue a legal career. How will the study of law help you on that path?

Canned answers that are bad answers: A law school education will help me become a better thinker/better writer/help me appreciate the law/understand our government/help me save the world/help others or because I am afraid to graduate and work so I'm trying to stay in school until I figure it out.

Better answers: I've studied computer science/engineering and I'm interested in studying IP/sitting for the patent bar; I have worked in business and want to help build businesses so I want to study tax law/business law; I have done X,000 hours of community service, including leadership positions that took me to the state capitol to help run a senatorial campaign/I'm an environmental studies major so I would like to study public interest/environmental issues, etc.; My work as a paramedic/studies in criminal justice/legacy as a baby born addicted to crack has left me with an interst in criminal law/personal injury and medical malpractice, etc.

Think of your individual life experiences and write down why you woke up one morning, turned to your best buddy in the dining hall at breakfast and said, "I am going to law school next year!"
Vanderbilt 2010

Lorelai Gilmore

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Re: Why Law?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2006, 02:44:52 PM »
My problem is I really want to go into human rights law ... international? ... and apparently this will seem trite or that I am lying.  I do however, have experience with internships in this field and clubs.  Should I go this route, or should I use other things, such as skills that would make me a good lawyer?  If I go the first route, would a good way to make me seem serious be to focus on a specific, for example, case I worked on at such and such law firm and how it inspired me, or should I focus on a class at school that turned my attention to human rights law, or multiple things?  Thanks much for the help.
Cornell Law

azstudent

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Re: Why Law?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2006, 03:07:28 PM »
I wrote my PS on why law for every school I applied to and didn't do so bad.  Just start off with a trigger story and then expand upon it.

juliemccoy

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Re: Why Law?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2006, 09:04:32 PM »
If they are asking you "Why law" and you have solid reasons with anecdotal evidence to back you, how is this trite? They are legitimate experiences that have guided you to this path.

You're not saying "I want to be a lawyer and work in Public Interest so I gain a greater appreciation of the American Legal System." You're saying, "I had this experience, and then this one, and then this one, and in the course of processing all of these experiences and my emerging skill sets in X, Y, Z, I have realized that my career path lies in 'ABC.'"

I think you would do well to talk about all of the major factors that have influenced you, maybe starting with the one that was the most important to you.

It doesn't have to be impressive -- like holding a guy's bloody guts in your hands during a war battle. It could be something as simple as a phrase uttered by a prof that got and held your attention, the internship where you stepped up, the crisis at work where your quick thinking saved the day or when you took a day out of your life to do something that challenged your point of view and changed you for the better.

There are some trite "Why Law" paragraphs and essays out there, but speaking from the heart isn't trite, and making the decision to go to law school should be one that is not made arbitrarily-- answering "why law" is just as important for admissions as for your own future happiness to know you have made the right decision.

My problem is I really want to go into human rights law ... international? ... and apparently this will seem trite or that I am lying.  I do however, have experience with internships in this field and clubs.  Should I go this route, or should I use other things, such as skills that would make me a good lawyer?  If I go the first route, would a good way to make me seem serious be to focus on a specific, for example, case I worked on at such and such law firm and how it inspired me, or should I focus on a class at school that turned my attention to human rights law, or multiple things?  Thanks much for the help.
Vanderbilt 2010

Lorelai Gilmore

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Re: Why Law?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2006, 10:56:17 AM »
I don't want to be misunderstood, I have sound reasons for attending LS, and I have thought it out.  I was only saying that I do want to go into a sector of nonprofit law - actually a pretty specific one -, and I keep have people tell me on LSD that saying this is apparently what everyone says and sounds niave, like I want to save the world.  It's not that at all, though, I have worked at these law firms and related groups.  I have done a lot of research and hands on work.  I am not niave and realize that no one can "save the world", and I am only trying to better the causes I believe in.  It is just because of people's overgeneralizations that I was unsure of writing about those intentions.
Cornell Law

skeeball

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Re: Why Law?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2006, 04:15:00 PM »
You can help people and do good things with the world without working for a not-for-profit (and $5 a year). Maybe what people are saying is that you should talk abou THAT and not how bad you want to work for an NFP. That might be a little more believable.