Law School Discussion

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mbw

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« on: September 06, 2007, 10:27:26 PM »
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juliemccoy

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Re: Examples of non-traditional PS
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2007, 10:39:35 PM »
Good luck. You will be hard pressed to find a non-trad from the perspective that the non-trad is a working professional returning to school after some time in a career. If you are a non-trad who is a foreign national, there are more essays avail.

If you are in the former category and this is a career change for you, I advise you to consider a PS that is a Statement of Purpose that talks about your goals for a law career and the rationale, Why School X and why NOW is the right time for you to go to law school. Your rationale can include environmental factors surrounding your decision-- the way you were raised, your prior career, how you came to the decision to desire a legal career, and what the next step is. You can still make it sound exciting and pretty. Just make sure you can convince the adcomms that law school is a carefully thought out plan for you, not an escape or a hasty decision to escape the real world for 3 years to go "back to college."

My PS was one of those "Where I'm going and Where I've Been" Statement of Purpose that also could have passed for a Diversity Statement. Try to figure out what your message is and a couple of sub-messages that show how well-rounded and unique you are.

juliemccoy

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Re: Examples of non-traditional PS
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2007, 11:36:58 AM »
Quite honestly, the only thing the adcomms will be looking at are your LSAT and if you have URM status. If your numbers are on the edge, your interesting resume and years of work experience may put you over the edge when considering you among other folks who have similar numbers. Otherwise, it won't make much of a difference.

You don't need a million pieces of addenda. You may have 43 years of experience, but you need to figure out how to communicate why you want a law degree and legal career in 2 pages, or whatever the word and page limit may be for the school you are apply to.

I've beaten this to death in other threads, but I found Anna Ivey's book the most useful in terms of application preparation. She has a few examples of nontrad essays that I found helpful.

I think your idea to target your PS around an event that solidified "Why law school now" would be very appropriate. The purpose of the PS is to select a main theme, and maybe a few sub themes, that market your individuality and suitability for a law school program.

When I said, a "Where I'm going and where I've been" statement, I did not mean that you should literally pull out a chronological autobiography. Instead, you should pick out the relevant parts of your life that have led you to pursue a career in the law.

Stand out and be memorable in 2 pages or less. It may seem like a challenge when you have so much worldly experience and so much to say, but the PS is a marketing exercise... give the adcomms your 30 second elevator speech because they simply don't have time to watch the infomercial.

As far as most people seeming to be "foreign to you," I agree to a certain extent, but you need to learn to speak their language. You will be sitting in class with these people next year AND these people will become your peers and colleagues, regardless of the age difference.