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Author Topic: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!  (Read 3217 times)

shadowcreeper

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Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« on: August 31, 2004, 02:20:47 PM »
I have tried hard to think about all the things that I could write about for my PS, but this is the most wicked case of writers block I have ever had. I have been thinking about this for about 4 months with no luck. I know it is really important to write a good Personal Statement, but coming up with something I feel good about writing is becoming near impossible. I have no problem writing, I am just afraid to pick a topic. I guess I am afraid I will pick the wrong topic, as silly as that sounds.

I have been struggling to decide on a personal statement topic. Someone told me that I needed to relive past events to think about what defining moments make me the person that I am. I wish it was easy, but unfortunately...I never had an epiphany that changed my life…but I wish I did it would make my life easier.

There are a few places that I could focus. A few friends were talking to me about focusing on my paintings and how art has impacted my life, but I am not sure this would be a good topic since Ad Com people are so structured and I do not want to come off as flaky. I think I am going to utilize art in some sense no matter what I write about, but I do not think I want to focus on it solely.

Some of the ideas I am tossing around are:
~ Art and how it has affected and shaped my life
~ Living with and overcoming hypochondria (the fear of being ill and dieing)
~ Being a woman who never let her gender get in the way of living life. I am not a feminist by any means, but I never let anyone put me down for being a woman or tell me that I could not do something because of my gender.
~ How important my family is to me and how they have influenced me, and how hard it is to have them telling me that I should not go to law school since I have already achieved more than most women my age (double major with honors 4.0 masters degree working full time through undergrad and grad school), and how I have to go against their wishes to pursue a law degree.
~ My struggle with drugs and alcohol in high school and how my guidance counselor told me to not go to college since I was never going to amount to anything. This hit me full force, and really pissed me off, I got into college and did all that I could to prove her wrong. I was a double major who graduated with honors in four years while working full time and taking 18 to 21 credits a semester, while my advisors in college told me it could not be done and that I was going to falter by taking on so many things. They told me to slow down and do it over 5 years instead of 4 (I also was the president of an organization, a VP of another, and worked on the school newspaper). I guess I just like pushing myself and showing those who doubt me that I can overcome the odds that are stacked against me.

I think that I could relate most of the ideas that I have to attributes that would be needed in law school and how they helped me see that I wanted to practice law, but I have no idea if any of these ideas are good enough to set me apart. I never had a real defining moment, so I am not sure which way to go with this. 

I wish I could find a way to define my life outlook and my personality in a defining moment, but unfortunately I cannot do it... :(

If anyone has input, it would be appreciated, if not, at least I got to get all of this out of my system!

~K
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself absurd.
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself be heard.
Nobody's gonna stand in my way.
Give it up son, I'm doin this my way.. Seether

http://lawschoolhopeful.blogspot.com/

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Re: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2004, 02:29:35 PM »
Are you coming straight out of UG, or do you have some significant work experience?

shadowcreeper

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Re: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2004, 02:37:12 PM »
I graduated from UG in May 2003, got a job as a marketing manager in June 2003... I still have that job now. I started my masters program in Sepetember 2003 and will be done with it this May.
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself absurd.
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself be heard.
Nobody's gonna stand in my way.
Give it up son, I'm doin this my way.. Seether

http://lawschoolhopeful.blogspot.com/

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Re: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2004, 02:53:56 PM »
What are you hoping to do with a law degree?  Why is NOW the right time in your life to go to law school?

shadowcreeper

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Re: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2004, 03:04:19 PM »
My masters program is in corporate and public communication. The program focuses a lot on mass media and influences of the media. I am focusing my studies on media, internet, and copyright laws...this area fascinates me. I am writing my mini-discertation on online gaming and privacy law.

I have felt out a job in marketing for the last year and a half or so..I know this is not what I want to do with my life. I have worked in advertising as an undergrad, as well as interning at Fairchild Publications in NYC in the advertising department, and I know that although I like advertising, it is not what I see myself doing everyday until retirement. I just feel like law school is the next step to help me get where I want to be.

I feel like now is the best time in my life to go to law school. I am focused and driven. I accomplish what I set out to do. I am 23 and unattached to anyone. I do not have a family to support or a house to pay for. I would rather go now, while I am able to quit my job and move to go to school, get a new job in that state and go to school at night while working full time, as opposed to waiting 4 or 5 years and being stuck in a different place in life. It just seems like the right point in my life right now...it may sound stupid, but it just feels right.
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself absurd.
I can't pass up this oppurtunity to make myself be heard.
Nobody's gonna stand in my way.
Give it up son, I'm doin this my way.. Seether

http://lawschoolhopeful.blogspot.com/

londongirl

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Re: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2004, 03:09:35 PM »
Ok, here's what I'd do.
I'd pick the theme of communication and influence interweave it all in!
you communicating through art
the influence of those who've told you you can/cannot, should/should not do XYZ thing.
Bring in your masters...
Say how you've grown and what you've learned
And then how you can follow it through with law.

Maybe I'm talking bs, but you sound very interesting and I think you can tie all these things together- there is a common thread here. Good luck!

dubris

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Re: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2004, 03:11:46 PM »
I vote for these two. The last one is really interesting, as long as you don't mention drugs too much. Play up the guidance counselor remark and the fact that you worked full time while going to school.
kgd2b1 also makes some excellent points. Listen to her, her PS is so good it gave me writers block  :D



~ How important my family is to me and how they have influenced me, and how hard it is to have them telling me that I should not go to law school since I have already achieved more than most women my age (double major with honors 4.0 masters degree working full time through undergrad and grad school), and how I have to go against their wishes to pursue a law degree.
~ My struggle with drugs and alcohol in high school and how my guidance counselor told me to not go to college since I was never going to amount to anything. This hit me full force, and really pissed me off, I got into college and did all that I could to prove her wrong. I was a double major who graduated with honors in four years while working full time and taking 18 to 21 credits a semester, while my advisors in college told me it could not be done and that I was going to falter by taking on so many things. They told me to slow down and do it over 5 years instead of 4 (I also was the president of an organization, a VP of another, and worked on the school newspaper). I guess I just like pushing myself and showing those who doubt me that I can overcome the odds that are stacked against me.

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Re: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2004, 03:19:00 PM »
I also feel you've been given excellent advice.  Determination to succeed and beat the odds (with anecdotal evidence of how you've exceeded expectations in the past) is an excellent topic to focus on.  You should be able to do something good with it.

ZAP

jacy85

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Re: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2004, 03:32:31 PM »
I like the idea of overcoming obstacles, especially when everyone says it can't be done.  I'd show how you really wanted these things (college, double major, working, etc), and your determination was boosted, not diminished by nay-sayers.  This might be somewhat tricky, as you dont' want them to think you did this just *because* they said no way, as in, you didn't do it just to prove them wrong.

Then tie it togehter with WHY you want to go to law school, despite your family's wishes, and then how you see it tying in with your majors and degrees.

This way, you're outlining a pattern of success (desire for something, working hard despite "expert opinion" saying not possible, then success), and then applying that pattern to law school

!@#$%

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Re: Personal Statement Struggle Rant!
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2004, 03:48:05 PM »
My masters program is in corporate and public communication. The program focuses a lot on mass media and influences of the media. I am focusing my studies on media, internet, and copyright laws...this area fascinates me. I am writing my mini-discertation on online gaming and privacy law.

I have felt out a job in marketing for the last year and a half or so..I know this is not what I want to do with my life. I have worked in advertising as an undergrad, as well as interning at Fairchild Publications in NYC in the advertising department, and I know that although I like advertising, it is not what I see myself doing everyday until retirement. I just feel like law school is the next step to help me get where I want to be.

I feel like now is the best time in my life to go to law school. I am focused and driven. I accomplish what I set out to do. I am 23 and unattached to anyone. I do not have a family to support or a house to pay for. I would rather go now, while I am able to quit my job and move to go to school, get a new job in that state and go to school at night while working full time, as opposed to waiting 4 or 5 years and being stuck in a different place in life. It just seems like the right point in my life right now...it may sound stupid, but it just feels right.

OK, here's my opinion FWIW.  You definitely do not want your PS to leave adcomms with the idea that you are going to law school because you don't like your current job, or because you simply want to defy everyone that tells you that you can't/shouldn't do it.  Overcoming obstacles is a good thing, but only if that accomplishment specifically demonstrates WHY it makes you committed to a law degree.  Neither of your obstacles (nay-sayers and hypochondria) really seem to do that, IMO.  So you can definitely mention them artfully, but don't make it your theme.

If I were you, I'd focus on the mass media studies as well as the work experience.  You say, "I am focused and driven."  That's excellent, so pick it up and run with it.  Explain with your PS how your studies and WE have focused you to want to become a lawyer.  The online gaming stuff, in particular, sounds really interesting.  If you can tie that to a particular "type" of law you'd like to study, you'd have a great PS. 

The other stuff you mentioned may be useful for optional essays, so don't discount them entirely!