Law School Discussion

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mbw

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« on: August 12, 2007, 11:34:04 PM »
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I am Penny Lane

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Re: Ack! Too much life experience for PS
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2007, 11:55:51 PM »
I would figure out what you can convey in your resume and applications and maybe construct your PS around what you feel may still be missing. Or pick one major experience and write about that. Either way I think you'll have an interesting one.

annita

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Re: Ack! Too much life experience for PS
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2007, 07:17:42 PM »
I'm a 43 year old URM (AI/NA) applicant, and I feel like I have too much stuff to cram into two pages. I've been a teacher, a published archaeologist, a national level political operative, a state level candidate, a relatively widely read blogger (back when most people said "blog??") and an AI and disability advocate.  Where do I start on my PS?  Probably my main reason for entering law is the fact that my tribe is still waiting for federal recognition 150+ years after we were unfairly terminated and I think we need to be able to represent these issues ourselves.  So I thought about opening referencing a specific event (ironically, in a law school forum in 2003) where the lightbulb finally went on.  From there, work both backwards (providing some background) and forwards, to where I am now.  I'll probably end up leaving out a lot, but it should be more readable and hopefully enlightening, re. real issues facing tribes today, than a recitation of my resume.  Any thoughts?  Too unconventional?

Unconventional is fine, if it is well-done. You should try not to cover too much ground in the P.S. -- though it will be tempting. Honing in on one significant experience is good; connecting it to other experiences/goals is also good. But you can't connect all the dots for the admissions committee. Also, I'd advise writing a separate "diversity statement." That will offer you an extra opportunity to "sell" yourself and your background, and take off some pressure as you whittle down your P.S. Also, remember that your P.S. is just one (very important) piece of your application: you should try to compose a resume and solicit recommendation letters that will fill in parts of your story. For your P.S. (and then for your D.S.) you should ask yourself, what is *not* conveyed in other parts of my application? Good luck!

ghil04

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Re: Ack! Too much life experience for PS
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2007, 07:31:39 PM »
Although it's generally advisable to focus the PS on a few key topics, I think the diversity of experiences that you've had will be fine as long as you have a COMMON thread linking it all together.  You can't just say X experience taught me this and Y experience taught me that.  The essay must communicate some tangible reflection of you beyond what jobs you've held and what causes you've championed. 

If I were you, I would focus entirely on the tribal recognition issue.