Thanks again for your thoughts, they help a TON!! I think I would like to write a paper specifically for my applications too. Its good to know that writing a "law and literature" paper will put me in that subfield, such that I will want to be able to show a match-up with a professor at the school I'm applying to. I need to investigate what the contours of that area really are, because its possible that my true interests are in another area!
Here is another question -- I've been fretting a bit about how my law degree will be received. This may sound silly, but I'm nervous they might be suspicious of my commitment to the program, or maybe they will think I am lazy for not sticking with the law. Or that I'm wishy-washy. Or shallow. These are probably irrational fears, and I feel silly admitting them. But I do wonder if they will see law school as an indicator of poor judgment, or something. I know its possible that they will look at my law degree and think it means I'm hard working, capable of graduate work, etc. And I know the rest of my application is far more important than this degree that keeps tapping me on the shoulder, saying, "what do you want to do with me? why do I exist?"
I feel like if I integrate my legal knowledge into my SOP I will somehow justify the fact that I went to law school, and make sense of my overall "path." But what if I actually want to leave law behind and pursue literature without using that knowledge? I will always be able to use the skills I learned in law school, and perhaps I can make my path seem smooth by emphasizing how useful those analytical / persuasive / research / editing skills can be in a PhD program -- and then not necessarily have to paint myself as a "law and literature" person. Hmm...
Did you address your business degree in your application, at all?
Thanks SO MUCH for helping me think about this! You've been really inspiring to me.