I’m finding writing a personal statement really difficult, which is really odd given that some might argue I write them in another form just about every day right here.
They are a particularly troublesome yet ephemeral part of life. Most of the lawyers I’ve talked to about law school haven’t even remembered what they wrote about. Yet for a somewhat borderline student (quite low GPA as first tier law school applicants go, nice-looking LSATs even as first tier law school applicants go) admissions officers say a good personal statement can make all the difference.
I have an idea that I know I will never get around to accomplishing that somebody should put together one of those “Essays that got people into law school” books for lower-first tier and second tier schools. I’ve bought several books of successful personal statements and the are all from folks who went to Ivy Leagues. Thus most of them have a certain “and then when I got out of the peace corps, I decided to go for a master’s degree in math…” quality. My life just hasn’t been that impressive and when I write a statement along the same lines as those, I feel I sound like a poor man’s version of a real law school applicant.
I can’t write about my current planned legal direction because I am interested in working for legal aid as a divorce lawyer for the poor. I don’t know how or why I got interested in divorce law, but I did. At least part of it is seeing that badly-done divorces can ruin in some cases both parties’ finances, even more so for the poor. That, and divorce law is an unusual but quite valid argument for gay marriage. And yes, a lot of it is growing up in a house where taking care of society’s less fortunate and doing it yourself was a focus of life. (CC’s mom is in the low-income housing business, theChalicerelative has worked for the Presby church or for the poor for most of her life. The ChaliceDad admittedly doesn’t care about anything but music and perhaps not that at this point. Every family has one...) But my advice books by law school admissions officers are unanimous that admissions officers are pretty cynical about people who want to work for the poor and you’re usually best off not writing about the law unless asked to because you can’t help but come off as naive.
I think that I have a comparatively successful blog is a pretty interesting thing about me, but writing about your religion is an admissions no-no and my blog does focus around my religion.
I have a month and a half to solve this one, so I’m nor particularly worried about it. But it is odd to see that the writing is so far the most difficult part of the admissions process for me.