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Saturday, October 4, 2008

The last time I talk about the law school applications until I get my results

Well, I submitted my law school applications last night. It's done and I feel great relief about that. I've been working on this whole process since I began studying for the LSAT last Fall, and while the year has gone by quickly in retrospect, there was a lot to accomplish in that time. It's nice to finally be over this hurdle.

I want to thank everyone who provided comments, praise, and criticism on my essay. The response was generally positive, and the criticisms were generally apt. I did my best to address the shortcomings you all pointed out, and I feel like the final product is a much stronger essay thanks to your help. So thank you sincerely.

I did have a couple people tell me that the essay sounds like I just got bored one day and decided to go to law school on a whim. I guess I can see how that might come across if you're not looking at the whole picture. The story about the car and the CD booklet is true; that really was the moment that everything fell into place for me, and I was being honest in telling that story. But just because the decision was made in a moment doesn't mean the moment wasn't a culmination of a great deal of thought and soul-searching. I thought I communicated that by showing that I changed my mind about my initial decision to go to law school specifically because I did not want to make such a serious decision lightly. I thought I communicated that now I have a specific reason to go to law school (especially since I did flesh out my conclusion to include more specific plans for what I hope to accomplish).

I was advised that I needed to "schmooze and bullshit the committees more" and really play up my passion for legal studies. I was told I should have talked more about the six years I've spent working in the legal industry and played up that angle a lot, and I should have talked about my grandfather, who was an attorney and a judge, which would show that I come from a legal family.

Well, the problem with that angle is it IS bullshit. Those things have nothing to do with me and why I want to go to law school. Really, they don't. My grandfather is my hero. He had so much integrity -- more than anyone else I have ever known -- and because of that he made a fine judge and attorney. The scales of justice tattoo between my shoulder blades is for my grandfather; that is how I honor his memory. But I don't want to be an attorney just because my grandfather was one, and I think that is an overused ploy that admissions committees would see right through.

Also, yes my experiences working for the med mal firm and the IP firm have definitely influenced my choice to go to law school, but only in the sense that those experiences haven't DETERRED me from making this choice. Some people decide to go to law school because it looks so exciting on TV and in the movies. Well, there's nothing like working in an actual law firm to show you that law really isn't that glamorous most of the time. But it is rewarding in its own way. I think in my essay the role that these experiences plays is exactly as it should be. It was a guide but not a major factor in my choice.

I was not willing to lie to the admissions committees or even bend the truth so that it reads like what they want to hear. I tried to tell them what they wanted to hear in my first attempt at the essay, and that essay was terrible. It was dishonest, dispassionate, and not my voice. This essay, on the other hand, was my voice, and it was the best I could do. If that ends up not being good enough for the admissions committees, then so be it. I was honest, and I feel no shame in that. It really was the best I could do.

So now I play the waiting game. You'll hear from me about this again once I start to get some results, and especially when I know where I'm going (because I have to believe that I'm going to get in SOMEWHERE). I'll probably know in 3-8 months.

Until then, breathe a sigh of relief with me. We can finally talk about something else!



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13 comments:

sovknight said...

I think you made the right choice. Plus, anything you want to say about your experience or Grandfather can come up in the interviews. You played it right.

One note, and I'm sure you're aware of it, is that in this day and age, admissions officers and those who make decisions will find out what they can about you. Don't be surprised if they were to come across your blog and give it a read.

Sra said...

I won't be surprised if they find this site, because I put it on my resume. :) Hey, I had to fill up the general activities section somehow! And the truth is that I do put a lot of personal energy into this site. I open up my heart on here, keeping only certain things to myself (as everyone does), and I feel like I have nothing to be ashamed of here. I let my ugly side out on here too sometimes, but we all have those sides, right? I try to at least be honest about myself with myself, and I'm ok with it if other people see that too when they evaluate me as a person.

But really, these people have so many applications to process that I doubt anyone will really give much attention to my blog.

Ben Sloan said...

Ah, waiting. Good luck!

B.R. said...

I think listing your blog is a good thing! Contributing to the Public Sphere is something I find rather important if not necessary. You are engaged in modern discourse and conversation and that is definitely a valuable contribution.

Natalie said...

i didn't ever give you my opinion on your essay, but i thought it was great. i liked the fact that it sounded real. not like you were schmoozing. i have been around and reading...just not commenting much. and i love your blog. i love your honestly. thanks for being yourself.

Sra said...

B.R.: I'm glad you think so. I worried it might come across as resume padding. But I do spend a lot of time on this and I do think it has value.

Natalie: Thanks for the kind words. I love your blog too.

jess said...

oh i can't wait to hear the end of this story! (you know, the part where you get into law school...)

Miranda said...

Hi Sra. I'm just catching up on some reading and I see that quite a lot is happening in your life right now! I hope you had a nice birthday, and I am really proud of you on the whole law school endeavor. And I mean that in a you go girl sort of way. We really must get together again at the Bayou sometime...

Sra said...

Thanks Miranda. I will contact you about the Bayou.

Sra said...

Thanks Miranda. I will contact you about the Bayou.

jess said...

oh i can't wait to hear the end of this story! (you know, the part where you get into law school...)

Ben Sloan said...

Ah, waiting. Good luck!

Miranda said...

Hi Sra. I'm just catching up on some reading and I see that quite a lot is happening in your life right now! I hope you had a nice birthday, and I am really proud of you on the whole law school endeavor. And I mean that in a you go girl sort of way. We really must get together again at the Bayou sometime...

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