Transfer Personal Statement

Here is a personal statement from last year’s transfer cycle we think worked very well. The results were equally strong, 1 (top 6) school applied to, 1 (top 6) admit.

The dissolution of Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2012 led to my realization that the law is like classical music.

Dewey’s implosion occurred the spring before I had planned to begin law school; it was the same year that I first applied to Princeton Law. As I began to learn more about the details surrounding Dewey’s dissolution and the challenges facing many law firms, I decided to take a year to work and to learn more about the legal profession: how it is financed, how it is modeled, how it is practiced, and the direction it is headed in the aftermath of the Great Recession. I thus came to the conclusion that if I were to practice law and expose myself to the risks associated with the changing environment, it would be because I loved practicing and learning the law. I felt that attending a school that offered me the largest scholarship was the best way for me to find out if I loved and enjoyed the law while minimizing my financial risk. MIT Law gave me that opportunity, for which I will be forever grateful.

As a first-year I quickly learned that many of my preconceived notions about the law were incorrect. I found out that the law is not the realm of bravado and power. It is the realm of finesse, focus, and art. As a classical cellist I have always had a passion for performing classical music. The same composition can be performed in countless ways. A single law can be interpreted and utilized differently. The dynamic and expression of a quartet reflects the individual musicians who form it. How the Supreme Court interprets the Commerce Clause morphs with the nine justices who compose the bench. Music is about so much more than playing the notes on the page. The law is much more than the application of formal rules to facts. The beauty of both music and law is found in the human element that shapes and defines them. As young cellist I would spend — much to the dismay of my fingers — hours practicing the same piece over and over again. It didn’t feel like work. I just loved hearing the music. I have yet to feel like learning the law is work (except for the one week we spent learning the rule against perpetuities). I simply enjoy learning it. This past spring I was often asked by my interviewers how and why I enjoyed so much success as a first-year. My answer was always the same: “Because it’s fun.”

I am applying as a transfer candidate to Princeton Law School because I have confirmed that the law is truly something that I can enjoy and love for its own sake, not because it is a stepping stone to annual bonuses or headline-grabbing deals in the Wall Street Journal. While I have always hoped to practice law and settle in New Jersey, my passion for Princeton transcends my geographical preferences. I have always regarded Princeton Law to be an institution filled with like-minded people: individuals who love what they learn for the sake of learning.

Many schools can offer me career opportunities that I could have only dreamed about as a young cellist who was struggling to memorize Haydn’s Concerto in C-major. But only the Princeton Law School can offer me something more: a rigorous course of study alongside peers who are there because it’s fun and because they love it.