Law School Discussion

General questions about writing topics!

General questions about writing topics!
« on: October 15, 2006, 09:37:51 PM »
I'm a little unclear on some things (when in fact I should probably already have a PS written by now).

One of my top choices, Albany, doesn't even require a personal statement (but claim to recommend it). The thing is, they seem to provide absolutely no direction beyond this; they simply recommend a personal statement.

With that said, should I be writing how it is I came to be interested in the idea of attending law school? Because I'm not sure I can pinpoint that into a single experience that's even relevant enough to write about, let alone to let me into law school for.

Looking through a couple essays and some message board posts here, I see that some people have written about some pretty abstract things, such as what it means to be a good citizen. I assume it is cliche and trite to write a 'why I want to attend law school' essay, but I'm left wondering what is an acceptable topic.

I've come up with only 2 ideas. The first involves discussing a certain class (Psychology and the Law) and a corresponding internship with the professor, a forensic psychologist, at his practice. In the essay, I would discuss my experience at the internship, with the main theme being how I was rather bluntly introduced to the fact that the real world is not as neat and tidy as in-class learning would have you believe. The internship was interesting, to say the least; the prof/psychologist had worked with some pretty unique individuals. This is not really law related (at least in terms of explaining my own personal interest in law).

The only other idea I had was that the idea of applying to law school was inspired by another professor who I had taken several classes with. She taught crime-related sociology classes (criminal justice, criminology, media and crime, sociology of punishment), and after being exposed to her teaching so much, I became interested in the law. Specifically, one topic brought to my attention that I was really interested in was the prison system, and how unbelievably counterproductive it seems to be. This was the focus of an entire class, and I am very interested in the topic. It seems like a law education would be helpful in effecting any changes or becoming involved in the politics of this particular issue. So, this topic may somewhat address my interest in law school, but it still isn't entirely specific, and it isn't tied to any seriously personal real-world experience.

Am I overthinking this? My main goal is to avoid serious cliches while still writing something that isn't absurdly inappropriate.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!


Re: General questions about writing topics!
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2006, 10:02:55 PM »
There's a personal statement, a statement of purpose and something in between.  You can submit any of these.

My personal statement has nothing to do with law school whatsoever.  Or my career path.  It's about a narrative about a particular experience that reveals something about my personality.

My statement of purpose has my "why I wanna go to law school, and yours in particular" stuff.

I decide based on the exact prompt, the optional essays, etc.  Usually I submit both.