Posting here too...Sexual abuse, too much for personal stmt?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)

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Posting here too...Sexual abuse, too much for personal stmt?

Postby legalized » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:15 pm

Is using your trials/accomplishments/future goals and how law school gets you there despite/since sexual abuse at the hands of a family member and even homelessness for about a week and a half a great personal statement that shows if you can get to THIS point (starting college at 16, graduating magna cum laude, in graduate school for a master's, articles published in a foreign newspaper and published poetry in the U.S., all with divorce and two kids) through all that you can get through law school as well?

Since the point is to show them you can handle the toughness of law school?

Or is it going to make people's skin crawl and run, not walk, away from your application?

And unlike what seems to be a large number of people, I know exactly why I want to go to law school.

People are constantly asking me for help with their immigration/family law (Florida's) issues, and i have helped someone whose daughter got raped in their home country get their daughter a green card writing the facts and despair of her situation in a very convincing letter (they told me what happened, I even called down to the police in their country to get the case number and other names and facts needed to make a complete argument, and I made it sound as heartwrenching as necessary to get the INS/BCIS off their a**es, after they paid a few lawyers thousands and had their case shuffled around with no green card in sight, so what I did, they told me, would have cost them $5,000 at least in lawyers fees, and I got in done in one day). Aside from that I have seen too many cases of poor or broke people and friends who get shafted or get unnecessary criminal records because they simply did not know their rights or options and/or had no money to enforce these. I've been taken advantage of myself because I couldn't afford a lawyer to take the time to fight to the bitter end for me. I have gone to court pro se with some success, and I have done my own citizenship filing with obvious success, and do not find the material hard to understand.

To that end, if I am doing $5,000+ worth of work for free just taking dictation and finding them the correct immigration form to file (they knew which one they needed, just didn't know how to navigate the immigration department's website and how to understand the form)...I could be getting paid for that and more, and avoiding things like problems affording housing after the economy sucked up my job chances after graduation (the no place to live, bouncing around issue last August actually prevented me being prepared for last September's exam, and after research I realized i had no chance of doing this right if i didn't sit out a cycle, as I am doing and getting ready for June's LSAT).

My aim is solo practice and future legal consulting in my home country (not all at once), after some experience as a public defender and possible continuing pro bono work in that area, because ignorance of the law seems to affect black men especially and it bothers the hell out of me.

Why public defender? See the black men issue above, and the fact that poor or broke people facing criminal charges should have just as much chance to prevent the worst as the rich guys. U.S. constitution says equal justice for all so people need to be getting that. AND it gives me plenty of litigation/defense experience, which is critical in immigration because of that little area called deportation defense.

I want to do immigration and family law (often related anyway), as well as indigent and deportation defense (also often related anyway). To do this, and actually get paid for it, I need to be licensed to practice law, and to do that, I need to get a JD so I can sit the bar and be eligible to be licensed.

So here I am.

Is this too much, comments, questions, concerns? All appreciated. Should my goals for law be in a separate "why law" or "why xyz university" or should it be in my 2 or 3 page PS?


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Re: Posting here too...Sexual abuse, too much for personal stmt?

Postby cavebat2000 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:30 pm

perhaps the angle should be that these experiences give you a unique perspective and a sense of purpose that is sure to get you through anything law school can throw your way.

I would mention them without going into graphic detail about any one particular event. Just enough to bring out the pathos.

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Re: Posting here too...Sexual abuse, too much for personal stmt?

Postby YCrevolution » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:33 pm


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